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Haven't found it yet

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hey gang, like I mentioned in another recent thread, I'm just making the switch over from being a 2 channel stereo guy to headphones. I thought I'd be much easier to please with headphones, but that is proving to not be the case. I'm finding huge faults with the 3 pairs of headphones I've tried in the $100ish range. 

 

I'm using the Apogee Duet 2 as my DAC and Headamp from my Macbook Pro, and I haven't found what I want out of a pair of headphones yet. 

 

Here's what I've tried: 

 

AKG K240 MKII (own) 

Sony MDR-7506 (own)

Audio-Technica ATH-M50 (friends)

 

I have a pair of studio monitors (Emotiva Airmotiv 4) in my desktop rig and the folded ribbon tweeters are just perfect, smooth & detailed. The mid-bass is, again, just perfect. The have a sweet punch/kick to them which isn't overbearing like the ATH-M50. Imaging is great. There is nothing about them that I find lacking. If I can get a sound like this out of a pair of headphones, I'd be set. 

 

The AKG's just don't do it for me. They aren't as "tight" as I'd like and are just slightly sharp in the highs. I wouldn't say fatiguing, just not smooth. The low end is unacceptable as it's hardly there. I'm listening to them as I type this and another thing I notice is that they're "thin" sounding. The Sony's are just dull and fatiguing. Don't need to say much more. The Audio-Technica's sound compressed to me (maybe grainy sounding) and emphasize the low end (I love me some nice clean low end too). None of them sound natural and easy going. 

 

I'd love some direction. I think the options around $100 aren't working much like a pair of stereo speakers under $500 generally don't work for me. It looks like I'm going to have to spend $500+ to get a pair of headphones that do it for me. 

post #2 of 13

M-Audio Q40's. I own them.

 

Here's what a very respectable person has to say about them.  I agree with this review.

 

http://www.head-fi.org/products/m-audio-studiophile-q40-closed-back-dynamic-headphones/reviews/6430

post #3 of 13
Beyerdynamics?

Sent from my SM-N9005
post #4 of 13

For headphones the $200-300 range is the sweeet spot. You can almost definitely find something there that suits you unless you already have golden audiophile ears. if you don't like the AKG (tho the K550 is a solid performer it is bass-light), I would suggest trying the Sennheiser Momentum Over-Ears $300 on sale from razerdogaudio (retail $350). It is very technically adept, very smooth, and has a slight bass boost. Usually people coming from lower end headphones find it to be amazing. If that isn't good enough, you would most likely need to make the jump out of mid-fi into the next price bracket.

 

Jumping up from that would be the entry hi-fi headphones would be things like the HE400 ($400) vs Sennheiser HD600/650. After that it is the $500+ offerings like the TH600 or HE500. Then there is the $1000+ headphones. lol.


Edited by money4me247 - 12/18/13 at 12:24am
post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiocr381ve View Post
 

The AKG's just don't do it for me. They aren't as "tight" as I'd like and are just slightly sharp in the highs. I wouldn't say fatiguing, just not smooth. The low end is unacceptable as it's hardly there. I'm listening to them as I type this and another thing I notice is that they're "thin" sounding. The Sony's are just dull and fatiguing. Don't need to say much more. The Audio-Technica's sound compressed to me (maybe grainy sounding) and emphasize the low end (I love me some nice clean low end too). None of them sound natural and easy going.

Quote:

Originally Posted by money4me247 View Post
 

For headphones the $200-300 range is the sweeet spot...I would suggest trying the Sennheiser Momentum Over-Ears $300 on sale from razerdogaudio (retail $350). It is very technically adept, very smooth, and has a slight bass boost.

 

For $300 from Razordog, as long as it doesn't have to be portable, I'd rather get the HD600 refurb if available.

post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtegeManiac View Post
 

 

For $300 from Razordog, as long as it doesn't have to be portable, I'd rather get the HD600 refurb if available.

hahaah i agree. tho i haven't tried the hd600, i spend my $300 on a pair of HE400 during black friday & i'm loving it

post #7 of 13

Sennheiser HD558/598 might be what you like in SQ.

post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by money4me247 View Post
 

hahaah i agree. tho i haven't tried the hd600, i spend my $300 on a pair of HE400 during black friday & i'm loving it

 

Not too bad a choice, although I haven't really spent a lot of time on the HE400. Best I remember last year was that there's a lot of treble extension but depending on the upstream components it can get a little overbearing. Worked fine on my Cantate.2 though.

post #9 of 13

Try the Martin Logan Mikros 90.  They are under $100 right now and probably one of the best set of headphones I have ever heard.  (I currently own/enjoy the HifiMAN HE-6, but the MLs are still getting more than their fair share of my head time.)  Don't let the fact that the MLs are closed portables deter you.  They have exceeded my expectations in nearly every department, and they continue to surprise and delight.  

 

The KEF M500 (closed portables) are getting good press.  They have the midbass push that you describe and are fairly balanced otherwise.

 

POSTSCRIPT:

Just re-read your OP.  The MLs are not mid-bassy, but resolve more deep bass than most.  They have bass punch, but it originates from further below.  

 

The HD-600 and HD-650 are worthy contenders, but need--at least I think--good, well-matched amplification to reach their potential.  


Edited by pataburd - 12/20/13 at 4:02am
post #10 of 13

I second pukemon's recommendation to try Beyerdynamics. The DT770 Pro 250ohms are VERY flat and clean, good soundstage, and very comfortable for long term wear.

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schonen View Post
 

Sennheiser HD558/598 might be what you like in SQ.

Just heard the HD598 and directly afterward the Momentums. The Momentums were much better. I liked the Momentums but they were just a tad to laid back for my tastes. 

 

I bought a pair of Grado SR80i's and these were extremely fun to hear. They were just incredible with strings and acoustic music but fatigued pretty bad with a lot of my collection, enough for me to return them already. 

 

I really wish there were a pair of phones that had the imaging and tone of the Grado's but were a touch smoother up top and not fatiguing at all. The Grado's did so much better than the AKG's for me. 

 

At least now I'm starting to understand what I like and do not like in a pair of headphones. I may give Beyerdynamic a try in the next few days here. I'm wanting to spend no more than $350. I'd love more suggestions! 

post #12 of 13

I listened to Momentums same day I bought 558 and they are not better, just different sound signature (warmer, more bass and far less comfortable), 558 has better mids and far better comfort for those of us with big ears. :)

post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiocr381ve View Post
 

Just heard the HD598 and directly afterward the Momentums. The Momentums were much better. I liked the Momentums but they were just a tad to laid back for my tastes. 

 

I bought a pair of Grado SR80i's and these were extremely fun to hear. They were just incredible with strings and acoustic music but fatigued pretty bad with a lot of my collection, enough for me to return them already. 

 

I really wish there were a pair of phones that had the imaging and tone of the Grado's but were a touch smoother up top and not fatiguing at all. The Grado's did so much better than the AKG's for me. 

 

At least now I'm starting to understand what I like and do not like in a pair of headphones. I may give Beyerdynamic a try in the next few days here. I'm wanting to spend no more than $350. I'd love more suggestions! 

 

Look at the DT880s. They are open backed and have a pretty nice image and are relatively flat response curve wise. If you want more treble and bass then the 990s have that.

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