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Need help deciding on a new set of cans

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Yeah, forgive me for another one of these threads. First off, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Pat, I'm from Ontario Canada, and I love all types of music, but find myself listening to more rock & alternative than anything else. I've been lurking around these forums for quite some time, and I've learned a lot. So thanks to everyone for being so helpful!

Some back story, now. About 4 years ago, I bought my first "decent" headphones (Shure SRH-750DJ) after dozens of cheapos. I finally decided that I love music too much to settle for crap anymore. I paired those cans with a Fiio E5, and fell in love with the sound immediately. After a few short months, the Shure's broke, and I replaced them with Sony MDR-V700DJ's, which I still use to this day, along with the same E5. Fast forward to today, and I feel it's time to upgrade once again.

Until now, I've used an assortment of iPod's and Android phones to listen to my music, and I think it's time to invest in a proper PMP. After some research, I decided on the Fiio X3, however it's come to my attention that the X5 is just around the corner, so I'll be patient and go for that when it's available. I've looked into my other options from Cowan and the like, but feel like the X5 is exactly what I need.

So now come the cans... First and foremost, closed-back is important to me, so I won't consider anything less. As someone who does a lot of travelling, I can't disturb anyone nearby, plus I don't want to be disturbed by any other noises around me. After reading around these forums and other places online, I've compiled a list of the headphones I'm considering:

Audio Technica ATH-M50
Audio Technica ATH-A900x
Shure SRH840
Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro (80 ohms)

The M50's are currently my top choice. I can't help but have my doubts, though. I want a nice balance of bass, mids, and highs. I'm not what you'd call a basshead, but I do enjoy bass that's noticeable, yet not overly exaggerated. I did own a pair of Sony XB500's a few years ago, and those were too bass heavy for me. As someone who's going to listen to all sorts of genres, a balanced EQ is more important. I like a wide soundstage, and I realize closed-backs aren't the best choice for that, but I can live with the drawbacks that closed-back offer. At the end of the day, I want something that is enjoyable to listen to just about anything, and could also be comfortable for hours of listening.

I've learned that the other three models on my list are good alternatives to the M50's, so with everything else I've mentioned (especially when coupled with a Fiio X5), which direction should I go? I'm very interested in the A900x as well, from what I've read about them. How about other alternatives from Sennheiser or AKG? I'm really in a limbo over which cans to get. If I could try them all out first, that would be very helpful, but there aren't any retailers in my area that specialize in this kind of equipment. I'll leave it to you pros to provide your feedback. Thanks so much in advanced. I'll answer any questions that may help in your recommendations.
post #2 of 24
Thread Starter 
By the way, any other alternatives should be within the same price range as what I've already mentioned. As much as I'd love HD800's, those are a bit too much for my wallet... :P
Edited by Bloodflame - 1/2/14 at 11:07pm
post #3 of 24

JVC HA-S680 folding on-ear headphones, $80

post #4 of 24

Hello,

 

First off, take note that the FiiO X3 cost $200 while the X5 cost around $400! If I were you , I would rather go for X3 for $200 and use the leftover money for AKG K550 or PSB M4U1.

 

The reason why I recommend you to spend more on headphone than on DAP is because headphone will make more differences IMO :)

 

Hope it helps,

Billson :)

post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

JVC HA-S680 folding on-ear headphones, $80


Interesting. Just read through this thread: http://www.head-fi.org/t/690493/the-jvc-ha-s680-s400s-and-s500s-big-brother-is-here/

I prefer over-ear rather than on-ear, and it seems they might be a little bassy for my tastes. Just wish I could listen to them before buying, as it seems these could be a decent second pair for travelling. I'll have to keep my eye on that thread for more impressions, as it seems most people are only just receiving theirs now. Thanks for the tip!

Little update though. I've spent the last couple hours reading more about the A900x's and I'm highly considering them now, even more so than the M50's. A bit at the high end of my budget though, around $240 shipped to Canada. By the time I get cans and the X5, I'm looking to spend about $600.

My options are still open though. I want to make sure my money is well spent wink.gif
post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BillsonChang007 View Post

Hello,

 

First off, take note that the FiiO X3 cost $200 while the X5 cost around $400! If I were you , I would rather go for X3 for $200 and use the leftover money for AKG K550 or PSB M4U1.

 

The reason why I recommend you to spend more on headphone than on DAP is because headphone will make more differences IMO :)

 

Hope it helps,

Billson :)


I definitely see where you're coming from, but the X5 absolutely improves all the shortcomings of the X3 (design, UI, navigation, more storage, etc). For something I plan to use for at least the next 5 years, I'm willing to spend a bit more on it. I'm pretty dead set on the player, and I have no doubt I can get decent cans for a couple hundred bucks.

A quick price search shows the K550's are within my price range (albeit, at the high end), so I'll do a bit more reading on them. I've seen them pop up a few times already in my research, so I'm willing to give them some consideration. Thanks!
Edited by Bloodflame - 1/3/14 at 2:40am
post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bloodflame View Post

I definitely see where you're coming from, but the X5 absolutely improves all the shortcomings of the X3 (design, UI, navigation, more storage, etc). For something I plan to use for at least the next 5 years, I'm willing to spend a bit more on it. I'm pretty dead set on the player, and I have no doubt I can get decent cans for a couple hundred bucks.

A quick price search shows the K550's are within my price range (albeit, at the high end), so I'll do a bit more reading on them. I've seen them pop up a few times already in my research, so I'm willing to give them some consideration. Thanks!

Take note that the iBasso DX90 is coming out soon on March and the price is about the same as X5 but just a little bit more smily_headphones1.gif
post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I'll keep that in mind. I was already looking at the DX50 smily_headphones1.gif
post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quick update: just sniped a pair of K550's for $236 shipped. Sale ended today, so I thought it would be best to grab them cheap while I still could.

I spent the last couple hours reading as much as possible about them, especially in comparison to the A900x. Definitely a hard decision, as both have pros and cons which were quite difficult to choose between. I believe of all my options, it was bound to come between these two. Ultimately, the deciding factor was price. I'm sure I would've been happy with either.

Thanks again for all the input. I've learned more in the last couple days than I expected to. Head-fi has been a huge help! smily_headphones1.gif
post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bloodflame View Post

Quick update: just sniped a pair of K550's for $236 shipped. Sale ended today, so I thought it would be best to grab them cheap while I still could.

I spent the last couple hours reading as much as possible about them, especially in comparison to the A900x. Definitely a hard decision, as both have pros and cons which were quite difficult to choose between. I believe of all my options, it was bound to come between these two. Ultimately, the deciding factor was price. I'm sure I would've been happy with either.

Thanks again for all the input. I've learned more in the last couple days than I expected to. Head-fi has been a huge help! smily_headphones1.gif

:eek:awww man if it is not too late I would cancel that order. Aslo that is not cheap for the k550 because of the k545 they have reduced to 220 on amazon shipped!!!!!. I would cancel asap  and go for the k545 at razordog for 199 with the 50 dollars off code... cheaper and better.

 

the k550 is bass light, has recessed mids and needs amping. 

 

The k545 suffers from none of the above and is cheaper at razordog. The only, and I mean only thing the k550 does better is have a larger soundstage but the k545 by no means sounds bass light and is not a bass head headphone either. It is really balanced if not a touch bright.


Edited by grizzlybeast - 1/4/14 at 9:41am
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by grizzlybeast View Post

eek.gif awww man if it is not too late I would cancel that order. Aslo that is not cheap for the k550 because of the k545 they have reduced to 220 on amazon shipped!!!!!. I would cancel asap  and go for the k545 at razordog for 199 with the 50 dollars off code... cheaper and better.

the k550 is bass light, has recessed mids and needs amping. 

The k545 suffers from none of the above and is cheaper at razordog. The only, and I mean only thing the k550 does better is have a larger soundstage but the k545 by no means sounds bass light and is not a bass head headphone either. It is really balanced if not a touch bright.
I respect your opinion but I disagree with you. The K550 does not have recessed mids nor are they bass light! They have the right amount of bass and it goes deep. Unless you get a bad seal then only I would recommend the K545 otherwise, the K550 is a great pair of headphone and if at all you want more warmth, you can always Eq it or pair it with a tube amp or E07K. IMO

To the OP,
Congrats on your purchase! Do report back on what you think about them biggrin.gif

Billson smily_headphones1.gif
post #12 of 24

yes please report back and if you are curious you can check both out at best buy..

 

I stand firm on my opinion though.

post #13 of 24
I can understand why. Listening is very subjective! Everyone can have their own opinion xD
post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 
I appreciate all the input. The K545 sure sounds interesting, especially since I do enjoy listening to music on-the-go as much as at home. But portability is never a huge issue for me, so I doubt the K550 will be a burden in that respect. Driving either shouldn't be an issue either with my Fiio E5, and later on with the X5.

I won't cancel my order just yet. I'll wait for them to arrive this week (being shipped UPS from less than 50 miles - I see no reason why I won't get them by Wednesday at the latest). I'll put them through an extensive burn-in for 40-50 hours, then try them out for a couple days and decide whether or not I want to keep them. I'm about 90% sure I'll keep them. Otherwise, I'll keep the K545 in mind.

In any case, I'll keep you guys updated with my impressions of the cans once they come in. Thanks again for all the help! It's going to be a long wait for the X5 to come out :P
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bloodflame View Post

I appreciate all the input. The K545 sure sounds interesting, especially since I do enjoy listening to music on-the-go as much as at home. But portability is never a huge issue for me, so I doubt the K550 will be a burden in that respect. Driving either shouldn't be an issue either with my Fiio E5, and later on with the X5.

I won't cancel my order just yet. I'll wait for them to arrive this week (being shipped UPS from less than 50 miles - I see no reason why I won't get them by Wednesday at the latest). I'll put them through an extensive burn-in for 40-50 hours, then try them out for a couple days and decide whether or not I want to keep them. I'm about 90% sure I'll keep them. Otherwise, I'll keep the K545 in mind.

In any case, I'll keep you guys updated with my impressions of the cans once they come in. Thanks again for all the help! It's going to be a long wait for the X5 to come out :P

Yes, do report back on what you think about them! xD

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