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Looking to Upgrade from Sony MDR-7506

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hi all, I'm looking for some recommendations on headphones that would be a nice step up from my current MDR-7506s.  I've had them for years, and really love their sound signature, but I think it would be nice to try something different.

 

These headphones would be playing multiple roles, including home use from computer through Apogee Duet, mobile use from laptop or phone without an amp, gaming through Onkyo AV Receiver headphone jack, and gaming through PS Vita.  I obviously don't expect any headphone to perform perfectly in all of these situations, but I'm definitely looking for something that excels most.

 

As for musical tastes, it includes acoustic guitar, hard rock, metal, electronica, trip-hop, and lots of female vocals.

 

Must haves:

 

-High end detail. I am definitely more of an analytical listener.  I need that high end detail or else things just sound muffled to me.  For example, I feel 7506s definitely have a good amount of high end detail, though just tiny bit too bright and metallic/harsh at times.  My XBA-1s on the other hand are all around good, with a safe sound signature, but the treble is rolled off way too much.  Not to my liking in most situations.  Clarity and detail is key.

 

-Neutral sounding.  This again goes towards my preference of the 7506.  I like to hear everything in a balanced amount, nothing overwhelming anything else.  I am not a basshead.  I think the 7506s are just about right in that department, maybe could have a touch more.  I even find the XBA-1s acceptable (though definitely on the lacking side).  However, as I am trying for something different, I will be open to suggestions that vary from this a bit.

 

Over-ear and comfort:  I don't like on-ear headphones.  I tend to wear them for hours so comfort is a must.

 

Preferences:

 

-Closed vs Open.  I would definitely prefer closed as they will be used while in public spaces, but as I have not intention of getting rid of my 7506, a good open air headphone would definitely be considered.

 

 

And that is all I can think of at this moment.  Budget is at or around $500.  Thanks in advanced.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

post #2 of 11

MDR 7520 is a natural step up.

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
I had looked into 7520s, but I really don't know too much about them or their sound signature. If you (or anyone else) could compare them to the 7506s, I'd appreciate it.

Also, for anyone with experience with AKG K 702s, would they fall into the category of headphone I'm looking for? Just looking at frequency response graphs they don't seem to be too much of a departure from what I'm used to, while still having a unique sound, and being open (which could be fun to try).
post #4 of 11

My two cents and best guesses.

 

Your phone is going to work best with a low impedance (Ohm) headphone, like under 50-Ohms, your Sony MDR-7605s are 63-Ohm.

The Onkyo receiver is going to work best with headphones over 100-Ohms, 250-Ohm to 300-Ohm should be the sweet spot.

I know zero about the Apogee Duet's headphone output, but I might guess it's a little more versatile with working with headphones (guessing).

Chances are the laptop's headphone audio is very basic (low costing?), Most people are going to be plugging headphones in the 32-Ohm to a little higher impedance range, guess 63-Ohm is with in the range. Hard to guess how well headphones over 63-Ohm are going to do.

Even thou the AKG K702s are only 62-Ohm, they should still do well enough plugged into the Onkyo receiver.

A phone might not be the best choice for driving AKG 7XX series headphones, I'm guess they like a little more juice then what a smart phone provides, to sound their best.

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your input. As with anything, headphones are about compromise. I'm not worried about the apogee duet, it seems to work pretty well with the 7506. Same with the Onkyo (plus I don't need absolute perfect sound when gaming). The 702 seems similar enough, at least on paper.

Now the phone, laptop, and PS Vita are more of a concern unamped. The phone and Vita both already struggle a little to drive the 7506s. If the 702s are at least possible unamped, I'd be okay with that. It just means I'd need a small portable amp for when I need it (Maybe a Fiio E11).

Outside of the 702s, I'm still open to any recommendation.
post #6 of 11

Check out the AKG K612 Pro (120-Ohm) headphones, $160.

I've been checking them out for the past few months, try to give myself a good reason to buy them,

but I already own over 10 headphones.

The K612 Pro seem to offer a little less treble and sound stage and a little more bass, the the 7XX series.

Should really do nicely plugged into the Onkyo.

The Fiio E11 should have not problem driving them.

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks, I'll look into them. If I stay in this price range, I should have no problem getting an E11 or equivalent amp.
post #8 of 11

Think the MDR 7506 and make everything it does better--more detail, accuracy, extension, clarity, comfort and build quality (with a removable cable).  The 7520 is a great studio headphone that I don't find to be a bit boring.  It is included and discussed in the summer buying guide.  Look toward the bottom of this page:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/a/2013-head-fi-summer-buying-guide-over-ear-headphones

 

The K 702 (regular--not the Annies) is all about a very large sound stage and letting you hear every musical (or other) voice/sound.  They have good extension. although the bass is there, it is not prominent or sustained.  I find the treble to be just a bit metallic and I can understand why some find the treble to be too bright.  I think that the Q701 is a better can and a better value.  The sound signature of the Q 701 is more rounded (e.g. has a touch more bass and more tamed treble) and you don't lose much of the sound stage.  The Annies trade more of the sound stage for more bass and body.  All of these cans have the same drivers and same specs (62 Ohms and 105 dB sensitivity).  The problem is that they are much more difficult to drive than their numbers suggest.  I find that my mid-tier Onkyo A/V receiver is not up to the job of driving them.  My Yamaha Adventage is.

post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KG Jag View Post
 

Think the MDR 7506 and make everything it does better--more detail, accuracy, extension, clarity, comfort and build quality (with a removable cable).

 

That alone would have been enough to convince me.  But, while the the MDR-7520 might simply be a better MDR-7506, after further thought, I'm thinking it might not be what I'm really looking for right now.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

Check out the AKG K612 Pro (120-Ohm) headphones, $160.

I've been checking them out for the past few months, try to give myself a good reason to buy them,

but I already own over 10 headphones.

The K612 Pro seem to offer a little less treble and sound stage and a little more bass, the the 7XX series.

Should really do nicely plugged into the Onkyo.

The Fiio E11 should have not problem driving them.

 

After looking into the AKG 612 Pro, they seem pretty darn good (maybe better than K702?!?!?), especially at the price (though nothing mentioned so far is out of my budget).  I find myself leaning in this direction at the moment.

 

I'm still open to any other recommendations.

post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnalogSavior View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KG Jag View Post
 

Think the MDR 7506 and make everything it does better--more detail, accuracy, extension, clarity, comfort and build quality (with a removable cable).

 

That alone would have been enough to convince me.  But, while the the MDR-7520 might simply be a better MDR-7506, after further thought, I'm thinking it might not be what I'm really looking for right now.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

Check out the AKG K612 Pro (120-Ohm) headphones, $160.

I've been checking them out for the past few months, try to give myself a good reason to buy them,

but I already own over 10 headphones.

The K612 Pro seem to offer a little less treble and sound stage and a little more bass, the the 7XX series.

Should really do nicely plugged into the Onkyo.

The Fiio E11 should have not problem driving them.

 

After looking into the AKG 612 Pro, they seem pretty darn good (maybe better than K702?!?!?), especially at the price (though nothing mentioned so far is out of my budget).  I find myself leaning in this direction at the moment.

 

I'm still open to any other recommendations.


Before you pull the trigger, make sure that your equipment can properly drive them.

post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KG Jag View Post
 


Before you pull the trigger, make sure that your equipment can properly drive them.

 

 

Of course. I don't think I'm done doing research quite yet.  The nice thing about something like the AKGs is that at the price, I can easily afford an amp for most of my sources, though as you mentioned the Onkyo AV Receiver might have some trouble. 

 

Of course, as with anything, there is nothing stopping me from getting both the Sonys and the AKGs down the road.  That hole in my wallet isn't getting any smaller.

 

:) 

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