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HD 380 Pro buyers remorse. Advice appreciated.

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I purchased a pair of HD 380 Pros about 2 weeks ago. At first I found the treble to be a bit harsh and I disliked them the first night. I begin to enjoy them over the next week and really thought they shined with artists like Neil Young, Cat Stevens, and even some Daft Punk. However I am now questioning my purchase and if I can get something better for $200 or under. I feel that sometimes they sound too harsh I guess you'd call it. These are my first major headphones so I'm unsure of how to describe it. It doesn't sound warm or inviting at times, sometimes it just feels too clear, too crisp. For example, the vocals on some Rush songs are horrid, and Led Zeppelin doesn't sound warm to me like I thought it used to. I'm a very critical and hard to please person so I may be searching for the right things forever. I listen to all sorts of music, I don't know if this means I need multiple pairs of headphones or what. I have used these mainly on my iPhone 5C, my iPod 5th gen w/rockbox and FLAC files, and I have a cheap stereo amplifier I've used these with. I have some very nice vintage receivers that these may sound better with but they are having some issues with the headphone jack so I'll be cleaning them this weekend with DeOxit. That's a whole other topic. Anyways, does anyone have suggestions for me in this price range and is this a feature of Sennheiser to be so critical? I've looked over tons of reviews here and everyone has such a varying opinion. I plan to visit Guitar Center but they're pretty small here and don't offer a real listening area so I might have to buy without listening which sucks. Thanks in advance for any advice, solutions, suggestions, everything really! =).

 

EDIT: Also, the vocals echo from time to time. Not a huge concern but it's interesting! Also is it of utmost importance with these to be amped? They're only 60 ohm I believe. I will be cleaning my Sansui G-9000 though to try it out with them this weekend.

post #2 of 7

Sounds like you like a darker sound. Moving up to the HD558/598 could probably be a good move.

post #3 of 7

there are several cans that IMO are much better than the 380's. some would be:

Shure SRH440: these have incredible imaging at the price of very slightly shy bass (Usd $99)

Denon Hp700: on par with the 440's in terms of imaging with good bass, however comfort is sub-optimal (Usd $99) 

Sennheiser hd439:my personal favorite because of overall flexible modding capabilities and very smooth response stock (Usd $79)

Beyerdynamic Dt250: studio headphones that sound pretty neutral and have decent imaging (USD $180~)

now these are all under 200 and are very much (once again IMO) better than the 380

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Ty I'll look into those. I've seen a lot of favorable opinions in these 598 models. Also one thing to mention when a song kind of climaxes, like all the instruments and vocals hit a higher volume the headphones make me cringe a bit. Not sure if that's them being too harsh or what.
post #5 of 7

I would avoid any kind of "monitor" headphones. They're all designed to have sharp highs for analytical listening rather than enjoyment. If you don't mind open headphones thats where you'll get the best sound from my experience. 598 is pretty popular open. For closed mdr-1r seems to be a popular warm headphone.

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahunatu View Post
 

I would avoid any kind of "monitor" headphones. They're all designed to have sharp highs for analytical listening rather than enjoyment. If you don't mind open headphones thats where you'll get the best sound from my experience. 598 is pretty popular open. For closed mdr-1r seems to be a popular warm headphone.

Ty! I was almost wondering if choosing monitors was my issue. I do like how detailed they can be but they do sound harsh in the highs. Just really sharp like you said.

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

Alright. I went to Guitar Center and returned the 380 Pros. They didn't have a huge selection whatsoever for my town, it is small though so I do understand. Anyways, out of the bit they did have I tried the AKG K240 Studio's and the Beyer Dynamics DT770 80 Ohm. I was using my iPod video 5th gen. with Rockbox and all FLAC files. The DT770 sounded REALLY nice and warm and a bit heavy ended in the bass department. I really loved the velour pads and the clamp force. The sound was good but not great, I felt the bass overpowered the vocals and instrumental areas a bit, not a lot, but enough to bug me. I then tried the AKG and found them the opposite, less bass but enough, excellent vocals and instruments but a bit laid back in general. The clamp force for those was nill, I felt like they were floating on my head, which I liked and disliked at the same time. So, I have decided I will have to order online without hearing since they just don't carry anything near me. I do however need a bit more advice. I have been lurking the forums and reading reviews and I'm nearly dead set on trying Grado SR80i's. The charts look good on them, very neutral for the most part. I've heard really mixed reviews on them. The reviews range from oh my god best thing ever but sub par construction to they fell apart immediately and I glued them together. It's a bit concerning. Could I get some opinions on Grados. I figure I will go cheapish with the headphones money wise and save for something reallly nice in the future. I also figure since I'm going a bit cheaper I might buy a small headphone amp, also need a suggestion on a decent but affordable amp for the Grados. Thanks everyone!

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