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$600 Classical and Opera headphones.

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Ok so im somewhat new to audio, my brother has been into it for many years. I go to him for advise on what i should get but sometimes he dosnt understand what it really is i want. I am willing to spend up to $600 on headphones for Classical music, and Opera. My brother is urging me to get Senheiser HD 650, he also told me to get those because i told him $400. I totaly see why just about anyone would buy hd650's. I on the other hand wouldnt, I have read a number of reviews saying how their sound is amazing, BUT the build quality isnt there. I like to have my headphones for years and years. I have had a pair of Beyerdynamic MMX300's for almost 3 years now. They still look new, and there is no way they will ever fall apart. but now back to what i want.


For $600...

Great sound for classical and opera

sounds even better through amp, dac, pre-amp, ext...

good build quality

good padding, not just around ears but headband as well

cup padding cant be leather, if are id like to be able to buy different cup padding

as little plastic as possible (not really a big deal, but would be nice)

i do not care about weight


So thats mostly what i want in my headphones. so really there are just 2 headphones im avoiding because a number of reviews say build is bad or they can start to just get uncomfortable. thats the Sennheiser HD650's, and the HIFiMan HE-400.  reason for the he400 is the headband. one other thing is i would consider paying even another 100-150. just to give a little bigger price area. i dont know if build quality goes up with price or if its just sound gets better and better. but i guess ill find out.

post #2 of 14

Do you have an amp and dac?

post #3 of 14
post #4 of 14

I say listen to your bro and get the HD600/650's.


I'm not sure what you're exactly concerned about. Build quality on the HD650 is fantastic, and being made of plastic is a good thing for headphones. Also the headband on the HE-400/500 is relatively plush. If anything, hifimans are uncomfortable due to their weight, but you said weight didn't matter to you.

post #5 of 14

Classical and Opera?


Find a used pair of Grado GS1000's ... stunning for classical, chamber, opera, jazz ...


The band is not cush/plush but the cans are so light that I never even notice.


I've had HD600's, HD650's, AKG K701, JVC Victor DX1000, various Stax cans, and also another member of the house has Beyer T1's and LCD3's ...


To my ear, nothing but the Stax cans I've had can even touch the soundstage and especially the nuance and detail retrieval in classical/opera recordings as the Grado GS1000's...


They are 32 ohm and can be driven quite easily, though they scale very well with higher end gear (amps/dacs/etc.). 


As 32 ohm headphones, they are odd though. You have to turn the knob up quite a bit more than other 32 ohm cans simply because the giant ear cups hold the drivers so far from the ear, almost like little speakers.


Also, pretty much the most comfortable cans I've ever worn, second only to Stax Lambdas.


They turn up used on the for sale forums for 600 bucks occasionally. Might even be some there now.


Good luck...

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 

i think ill just go with the hd650's then. just talked with my brother and he said that he thinks people saying the 650s being poor build quality is bs. plus, if there is one thing my brother has taught me about audio, most of the time you can get your money back.

post #7 of 14

^^ The hd650 is one of my favorite hp's of all time. But...if I'm being honest it's good not great for classical. 

post #8 of 14

I am also looking into some good cans for classical music around $300 - I did follow the link above for all the reviews of the 50+ best headphones which was excellent. But some of those headphones listed there are now cheaper or may have been surpassed by later models. In particular, after checking Amazon.com, I found the following ones that interested me:


Audio Technica ATH-A900x -> $219 at Amazon

Beyer DT 660 Premiums -> $139 at Amazon


Both of these rated very well for classical music and excellent buys in their price ranges. The ATH's all seem to review excellent for sound, but not for how they fit on the head. The DT 660's are an older can and to be honest, I could get DT 880's for ~$250 so I'm not sure the 660's make sense although the price looks appealing.


Anyone owning these two headphones have any thoughts on which might be better?



post #9 of 14

Shure SRH 1840 is something to consider as it meets all of your requirements. Somehow they don't have a good reputation on this board though :)

Edited by ubs28 - 12/6/13 at 7:58am
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 

i looked up the shures and they seem very interesting. I talked to my brother about them and he seemed skeptical. seeing how shure really just makes great IEM. now im pretty much looking at LCD 2's. if im willing to spend in the 600-800 range, might as well go up to 1k. but the reviews on the Shures was enuff to convince me, we'll just have to wait and see what i go with in the end.

post #11 of 14
Originally Posted by Tall Sounds View Post

if im willing to spend in the 600-800 range, might as well go up to 1k.


You don't have to spend even the $600 you started off with. It doesn't get much better than HD600 and K70x, except for HD800 (or maybe Stax).


If you're willing to spend $800 or more, buying several $200-400 headphones for different subgenres is a much more sensible investment.


I can't recommend any Hifiman for classical; HE400 is my pick for jazz.

post #12 of 14

Grado GS1000's for 600 bucks. That's $400 bucks off the normal $1000.00 price tag.


Right here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/685948/lcd-3-gs1000-dt990-600ohm-pro-digizoid-zo-2-jds-mccoy-little-dot-mkiii


End your search for classical music cans and buy them. 


The HD650's are decent all around cans but by no means would I say they are great for classical (too dark, to veiled). Great rock cans and very forgiving all the way around ... but not incredible classical cans.


Similarly, the GS1000's aren't the best cans for brightly recorded rock music. For well balanced, well produced rock music they are awesome .. but if the rock track is recorded hot in the treble, then the GS1K's aren't the best.


But for classical, jazz, chamber, opera, latin (think Marta Gomez) ... they are insanely good. Huge, spooky soundstage, crazy detail ... 


Just a friendly FYI.



Edited by s1rrah - 12/7/13 at 1:01pm
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 

thank you for the feedback guys, quickly learning.

post #14 of 14
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