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Best headphones for Classical music? - Page 3

post #31 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fido2 View Post
 

interesting...ive been looking for a classical music phone and was thinking of HD800...do you guys think the DT880 or HD598 are the best candidates regardless of price? What about best up to the price of the HD800s? Please excuse the hijack...or slight detour?

 

Best up to the price of HD800? Well, HD800, or some very well done DIY electrostats...

post #32 of 72

Q701. They get even better if you recable them and use a good amp.

 

Have a look, just scroll down the page I lined to, for some discussion and pictures from when I recabled mine.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/582276/q701-appreciation-thread/2040


Edited by Hooster - 12/2/13 at 12:42pm
post #33 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fido2 View Post
 

interesting...ive been looking for a classical music phone and was thinking of HD800...do you guys think the DT880 or HD598 are the best candidates regardless of price? What about best up to the price of the HD800s? Please excuse the hijack...or slight detour?

I believe the DT880s are good for anything audio.

Best when used with a decent headphone amplifier.

post #34 of 72

Since OP and Fido2 both want detail and soundstage, I think they can exclude Sennheisers in this price range and choose DT880 or K701 variations. I think DT880 is good enough and K70x is better, but I still consider "which is better" to be an at least somewhat open question. I'm adding an FR chart if that helps.

 

post #35 of 72
Definitely a vote for the AKG Q701s here. Great instrument separation, and the music is crystal clear with a neutral presentation. They're a little fast sounding, but that's only compared to more laid back headphones like the HD650s.

Your Magni/Modi should drive the Q701s just fine.
post #36 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by joe50000 View Post

Definitely a vote for the AKG Q701s here. Great instrument separation, and the music is crystal clear with a neutral presentation. They're a little fast sounding, but that's only compared to more laid back headphones like the HD650s.

Your Magni/Modi should drive the Q701s just fine.

 

I would rather go Vali/Modi for Q701... Probably better synergy.

post #37 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by emertxe View Post
 

My opinion is that you should go with AKG Q701 if you want the best experience with classical music - good frequency response and the best soundstage for the price. You will find both pretty much welcome. DT880 are also a good choice especially considering their superior bass response (deeper) - on the other hand, they lack in soundstage and that's what I would find to be a dealbreaker for classical.

 

If you want the safest choice frequency response wise (not only for classical), go with HD598 (or modded HD558) but dont expect them to be technically or soundstage-wise on par with Q701. Skip HD600 - not good enough soundstage-wise and could be a bit too dark for classical. Skip AD900 - horrible headphone with extreme upper-mids - absolutely unnatural.

 

Some people are very soundstage conscious, others much less so. I personally am not even sure what soundstage is with headphones, and it certainly isn't high on my list of things to listen for. To be honest, I've never really noticed much difference in the way headphones present perspective, and I've owned dozens of phones. On the DT880s, the instruments seem placed much as they were placed in every other phone I've listened to--mostly left/right, some middle and occasionally a sense of depth when certain instruments are clearly placed further back. When I owned the K702, I was not aware that it presented a different soundstage, or that instruments were placed other than I've just described. Certainly I was not aware of any greater depth or breadth. In any case I'd be interested in reading about precisely where the DT880 lacks in soundstage by comparison. It certainly isn't apparent to my ears, and I'm one of those very much seeking to reproduce the concert hall experience.

post #38 of 72

pp312, I tend to agree with you as far soundstage concerned. I have four headphones (stax, senn HD650, AKG 240, sony mdr f1). It it is widely held that stax sx-3 3 is bad in soundstaging, and sony mdr f1 is very good. I do not notice too much difference in this sense. All four is capable to distinguish the different placing of musicians, group of instruments in case of symphonic orchestra, and all has a soundprint of a headphone. The differences are in timbre, micro and macro dynamism, detail, speed. But also, the differences are big if I do A-B (do very rarely), or I concentrate on the differences. But if I almost exclusively use the stax, but even if I use one of the less capable headphones of mine,  after a while I forget about the differences and I could enjoy the flow of music as well as on any other headphones. This even happen with my lowly 20 something buck worth of sony IEM run from my mobil. One day I heard through FM radio a live concert broadcasting of Mozart quartetts and I was able completly immerse into the music. Sometimes we just put too much effort into gears, and we are forgetting that our fantastic brain and imagination, if we allow to do, compensating the technical weaknesses of or gears. One could enjoy music on anything (or almost on anything) if he/she concentrates on the flow on the music and not on the weaknesses of the technicalities.

post #39 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post
 

 

Some people are very soundstage conscious, others much less so. I personally am not even sure what soundstage is with headphones, and it certainly isn't high on my list of things to listen for. To be honest, I've never really noticed much difference in the way headphones present perspective, and I've owned dozens of phones. On the DT880s, the instruments seem placed much as they were placed in every other phone I've listened to--mostly left/right, some middle and occasionally a sense of depth when certain instruments are clearly placed further back. When I owned the K702, I was not aware that it presented a different soundstage, or that instruments were placed other than I've just described. Certainly I was not aware of any greater depth or breadth. In any case I'd be interested in reading about precisely where the DT880 lacks in soundstage by comparison. It certainly isn't apparent to my ears, and I'm one of those very much seeking to reproduce the concert hall experience.

 

+1.

 

After experiencing "proper" soundstage - i.e., on a pair of well-set-up speakers, headphone sound staging is a bit of a joke, really.

post #40 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post
 

 

Some people are very soundstage conscious, others much less so. I personally am not even sure what soundstage is with headphones, and it certainly isn't high on my list of things to listen for. To be honest, I've never really noticed much difference in the way headphones present perspective, and I've owned dozens of phones. [...]

 

Consider an extreme case: play the same orchestral piece on DT880 and a cheap Grado. Most Grados, especially when worn with S-cushions, have a very narrow soundstage. It's hard to tell where any instrument is in relation to any other. But that's part of what makes orchestral music so vibrant.

 

I've experienced considerable soundstage differences between DT880 and K70x. The Beyer soundstage is more compressed than its AKG counterpart, though K70x's soundstage is occasionally too large relative to the actual position of the instruments. Neither bothers me very much, but only because I no longer listen to orchestral music as often as I did ten years ago. It's certainly worth weighing if you listen to a lot of orchestral music.

post #41 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post
 

 

Some people are very soundstage conscious, others much less so. I personally am not even sure what soundstage is with headphones, and it certainly isn't high on my list of things to listen for. To be honest, I've never really noticed much difference in the way headphones present perspective, and I've owned dozens of phones. [...]

 

Consider an extreme case: play the same orchestral piece on DT880 and a cheap Grado. Most Grados, especially when worn with S-cushions, have a very narrow soundstage. It's hard to tell where any instrument is in relation to any other. But that's part of what makes orchestral music so vibrant.

 

I've experienced considerable soundstage differences between DT880 and K70x. The Beyer soundstage is more compressed than its AKG counterpart, though K70x's soundstage is occasionally too large relative to the actual position of the instruments. Neither bothers me very much, but only because I no longer listen to orchestral music as often as I did ten years ago. It's certainly worth weighing if you listen to a lot of orchestral music.

 I've no doubt some headphones present the illusion of a wider soundstage than others, along with a greater sense of air around instruments (usually due to a treble peak), but often the least impressive presentation is the most accurate. The HD800 is said to have a huge soundstage, but is the soundstage huge in most studio recordings (which means most recordings)? If you look at photos taken during orchestral recordings, several spot mics are hanging over specific instrument clusters with usually two suspended in front, quite close. I wouldn't have thought this presented a huge soundstage unless reverb were added (not unlikely). But which headphone is going to present that situation most accurately? The one giving us the bigger soundstage? I'm not sure.

 

As for "It's hard to tell where any instrument is in relation to any other", I've found that true of every headphone I've listened to including the K702. I think it's just a function of having two 50mm drivers very close to your ears. If one seems to position instruments better than the other I suggest it has to do with a presence peak somewhere--and in the case of the AKG it's probably that peak around 2khz, which I suspect is what caused me to dislike the phone originally. Just my theory, of course, waiting to be shot down. But worth considering.

 

graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID[]=2931&graphID[]=963&scale=30

post #42 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post
 

If one seems to position instruments better than the other I suggest it has to do with a presence peak somewhere--and in the case of the AKG it's probably that peak around 2khz, which I suspect is what caused me to dislike the phone originally. Just my theory, of course, waiting to be shot down. But worth considering.

 

I don't know if K70x positions the instruments better or only seems to, but I can hear the difference whatever the cause. If you care about soundstage (and neither of us really does), K70x will give it to you--or will seem to. :wink_face:  I, too, have long wondered if K70x's 2 kHz peak is the reason for the anti-K70x sentiments, as DT880's Grado-like 9 kHz spike is the reason for much anti-DT880 sentiment.

 


Edited by Claritas - 12/3/13 at 6:06pm
post #43 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post
 
I, too, have long wondered if K70x's 2 kHz peak is the reason for the anti-K70x sentiments, as DT880's Grado-like 9 kHz spike is the reason for much anti-DT880 sentiment.

 

 

I'm not sure how much anti-880 sentiment there is. Certainly it doesn't seem to polarise people like the AKGs, even if it doesn't always impress them. In any case the difference(s) between a 2khz spike and a 9khz one is that the latter is much easier to tame (a simple treble control serves admirably in my case) and is in a much less sensitive part of the spectrum. That area from 1khz to 4khz is critical to get right; the ear will pick up anything wrong there in an instant. And to correct it you need a proper EQ, which, for those of us who still listen from conventional stereos and not computers, is hugely impractical.

 

Oh, and I'm not sure the 880 has a "Grado-like" spike. I heard a Grado once, the SR80, and I'm still recovering. They should come with a warning, I say. :frown:

 

(Maybe it's more of an HE-500-like spike) ;):graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID[]=3241&graphID[]=963&scale=30


Edited by pp312 - 12/3/13 at 7:23pm
post #44 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post
 

 

 

If your priority with classical is neutrality, and it should be, you want the DT880. The 990 by comparison has ramped up bass and treble--fine for certain genres (rap, hip-hop anyone?) but wrong for classical. It might make certain recordings sound better but any aberration will do that. It's the result over a wide range of recordings that's important for long term satisfaction.


I agree that the 990s are not so great for classical or really any genre if you're someone who likes balance and detail. I bought a set of DT990 Pros recently and have thus far been quite disappointed. They are comfortable, but the heavy bass really bothers me. It crowds out lots of detail. Listening to Quatuor Debussy's interpretation of Mozart's Requiem, a particularly sparse version with particularly forward strings (I mean to say that because there are fewer performers, each string instrument is given much more attention than, say, Karajan's interpretation), I found a lot of the fine detail was missing that I catch when listening on my ATH-900x's. The sound is very warm on the DT990s, which I suppose has its benefits and may be a draw for some...

post #45 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by earfonia View Post
 

One more, I recently bought Soundmagic HP100, incredible clarity and transparency for a closed headphones, really nice for classical music.  It is a closed headphones that has the sound signature of an open headphones.  Detail and clarity is excellent.  Bass is also good, extended very low, clean and tight, although the level maybe a tad beyond what I would like to hear.  But I would say the bass is good quality and sufficient, not anemic.  Very neutral tonal balance, lean to natural-bright, but the kind with high quality treble that sounds airy and transparent, not the type that harsh and metallic.  Highly recommended for classical.

One drawback, not very comfortable for me, the pad is not thick enough for my ears.  So I usually take it off every 30 mins.  But can wear longer in cool environment.

 

http://www.amazon.com/SoundMAGIC-HP100-Premium-Folding-Headphones/dp/B0086YJ86Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1385977038&sr=8-1&keywords=soundmagic+hp100

 

 

Stop recommending the Soundmagic HP100  ......... i tested them against 3 others in similar price range and they are BAD!

 

 

To OP ... try Sennheiser HD380. They are not toooo bright, but awesome on classical. I trully enjoyed Mozart, Bacht, Chopin, etc. Natural strings, violin, etc.

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