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Phones under 300USD similar to my speakers...?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I have been reading reviews and threads here recently.  I just joined and this is my first post--it is the obvious one, I suppose.

 

I owned some decent Sennheiser phones back in the 70's and 80's and have used a pair of Grado 80's (pre-80i) since.  I'm ready for a change and would like something more or less like my loudspeakers.  They are Dynaudio Contour 1.3 mkII and I like the signature Dynaudio sound (would have bought SE or Special 25 models if I could have afforded it).

 

reviews here may give some idea of the general sound: 

 

http://www.audioasylum.com/audio/speakers/messages/26/263793.html

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=dynaudio+contour+1.3+mkii&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

 

 

I listen to classical, acoustic jazz and po/rock from the 50's on--mostly 60's and 70's, I guess.  Overall I am looking for a very natural, realistic sound with nothing exaggerated beyond what the original engineers heard.  Or as close as I get on my budget.

 

All suggestions or ideas are greatly appreciated.  I am glad this site exists and grateful to be here. The information is vast and interesting and the tone is nearly entirely civil, which is all too rare.  I hope a few folks will help out a newbie in the new year.  Thanks!

post #2 of 15
Thread Starter 

Bump--two days and no replies...

 

I have found threads dealing with this subject.  I'm interested in particular to hear if any of those Dynaudio speaker owners were successful in finding a set of phones that gave them the sound they were after.

post #3 of 15
Well, I suspect that's the problem - how many Dynaudio owners will happen to see your post in this forum on this site? It's hard to answer a question this specific unless you happen to have heard the Dynaudio speakers - and I haven't.

My standard suggestion for relatively neutral, smooth $300 'phones is the Mr. Speakers Mad Dogs - but, there are many, many good choices at $300. I have an old pair of Sennheiser HD420 that I bought new in 1980. They still sound good - but the Mad Dogs are smoother and more detailed at all parts of the spectrum. However, the Sennheisers are still more comfortable - it's hard to beat those old "plastic fantastics" for the combination of lightweight and good sound.
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks--it is a problem.  Audiogon folks will tell me to come here, so it's a catch-22 of sorts.  Actually, I found out about this site from Audiogon.

 

Some (on other threads) recommend Sennheiser 600 or 650.  650 is definitely a budget-buster.  I'm considering AKG Q701 since it's supposed to be good for chamber/acoustic stuff.  Possibly Beyer 660 for the same reason.  Or maybe DT880.

post #5 of 15
What is your budget? Take a look at Hifiman's HE line and go from there.

Edit: Just saw your posts, guys. +1 DT880 600 ohms.
Edited by pbui44 - 1/9/14 at 8:26am
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 

As it says, trying to keep it under 300.

 

I should have mentioned I am also using an REL subwoofer to go below the 40Hz limit of the Dynaudios.  So I'm used to a bit deeper reach than the mkII's provide by themselves.

post #7 of 15
Well, you won't get subwoofer performance from any headphones - you just can't get the visceral SPL experience in your gut. The best you can do is either get musical extension (sort of like a decent sealed sub will do) or you get an elevated response from the midbass that can cause some boominess if not done correctly (like a poorly done ported sub)

I think you are on the right track with AKG, Beyer & Sennheiser. I think the HiFiMan HE400 are over your $300 limit, and the HE300 are completely different sounding. The Mr. Speakers Mad Dogs might be worth a look. The Mad Dogs are closed phones, with a very smooth, somewhat warm and detailed sound (at least to my ears) - but they might not give you the airyness you need.

HTH
post #8 of 15

Hi,

 

This is such a difficult task!
Each speaker (and headphone) has its own tonal balance, timbres, speed, resonances, etc. then it is quite difficult to match speakers and headphones to a certain degree to be sure that you will be satisfied with a paricular recomendation. I have some headphones and some speakers and while some of my headphones are closer to some of my speakers in terms of sound signature, they all sound pretty different.

 

I've heard Dynaudio Excite and 3/7.

 

HD600, AKG K7xx and DT880 are all neutral headphones. Maybe HD600 is the one that match your Dynaudio best but you can feel that they lack some bass.
HD650 have more bass, but it is a bit dark in comparison. AKG Q701 is also a good contender, but on the bright side of neutral.

 

Best Luck!

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 

I scored a set of HD600 Sennheisers from a friend in town after missing out on the online auction circuit.  And I got a good price, so all's well that ends well.

 

I'm still evaluating the phones but it seems that they are very accurate--inasmuch as poorly recorded material doesn't sound so great but well-recorded material sounds absolutely fantastic.  I had to make myself stop and go to bed last night.  I hope to do some more listening this evening.

 

Are these the closest to my Dynaudios?  Having not heard the HD650 model yet I can't say, but I really appreciate all the input from the forum members who chimed in.  I think I'll be happy with these for quite a while.  Oh yeah, I also got some AKG Q701's on ebay (they should arrive in a few days) so I'm not really "all in" with the Senns.  Really looking forward to comparing the two and maybe doing some more buying/selling in the time to come.  For now, though, very satisfied with the HD 600's.  Quite comfortable and a step up from my old, broken Grado SR 80 phones.  I'll never buy another phone without a detachable cable.

 

Once again, thanks to all who responded.

post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by tostadosunidos View Post
 

I scored a set of HD600 Sennheisers from a friend in town after missing out on the online auction circuit.  And I got a good price, so all's well that ends well.

 

I'm still evaluating the phones but it seems that they are very accurate--inasmuch as poorly recorded material doesn't sound so great but well-recorded material sounds absolutely fantastic.  I had to make myself stop and go to bed last night.  I hope to do some more listening this evening.

 

Are these the closest to my Dynaudios?  Having not heard the HD650 model yet I can't say, but I really appreciate all the input from the forum members who chimed in.  I think I'll be happy with these for quite a while.  Oh yeah, I also got some AKG Q701's on ebay (they should arrive in a few days) so I'm not really "all in" with the Senns.  Really looking forward to comparing the two and maybe doing some more buying/selling in the time to come.  For now, though, very satisfied with the HD 600's.  Quite comfortable and a step up from my old, broken Grado SR 80 phones.  I'll never buy another phone without a detachable cable.

 

Once again, thanks to all who responded.

Can you make a short sound signature comparison between your Dynaudios and your HD600?

post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 

I sure will, as soon as I am able--with a sister-in-law visiting and a mother-in-law living here it's suddenly nearly impossible to find speaker time, hence the move to headphones.  So far I've only experienced the HD600 set through my old JVC rig.  I look forward to hearing them through my new NAD 516BEE CD player and NAD326BEE amp.  At that time I can do a direct A/B comparison with the speakers and will be happy to discuss.

 

That said, I consider the Dyna Mk II's to be fairly uncolored and accurate but musical and engaging speakers.  I liked them in my old house but in the new place I think they sound nothing short of wonderful.  I wouldn't comment on the HD600 till I've done a lot more listening to them.  I feel I haven't really gotten to know them yet.

 

More later, hopefully soon.


Edited by tostadosunidos - 1/19/14 at 3:36pm
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 

Me x3,

 

I can certainly describe the speakers in relation to the headphones as warm and full and yet with a lot of detail, though possibly not as much detail as the phones.  The space they're in contributes to a total sound which is far beyond the headphones, but the HD600 set is certainly satisfying.  I guess I can't realistically expect to get the same experience from phones as from the speakers.

 

In the meanwhile I've also acquired a set of AKG Q701's.  There are already threads comparing them to the Senns so I'll be brief.  So far I prefer the Q701's for classical small ensembles.  For jazz, bluegrass, etc. acoustic music I prefer the roundness and warmth of the HD600's.  For some things either set is fine and with others I prefer one to the other--I just have to check the track to know for sure.  Sometimes it's a toss-up because I might, say, prefer the bass on the HD600's but the drums on the same track with the Q701's.  I could have worse problems, that's for sure.  I got a good deal (used) on each set so overall I'm quite satisfied.

post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 

One more thing--sometimes with the Senn's I'll tweak the high end EQ to "lift the veil" a bit and add some air. 

post #14 of 15
It sounds like you are right on the mark with your evaluation of the HD600 & Q701 - what you said is pretty much exactly what I would have predicted for those two excellent 'phones. BTW, it really wasn't that long ago that the HD600 were Sennheiser's flagship and we all had a hard time thinking there could be anything better. Now, of course, they are considered "mid-range" headphones! tongue.gif
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jun02/articles/sennheiserhd600.asp
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by tostadosunidos View Post
 

Me x3,

 

I can certainly describe the speakers in relation to the headphones as warm and full and yet with a lot of detail, though possibly not as much detail as the phones.  The space they're in contributes to a total sound which is far beyond the headphones, but the HD600 set is certainly satisfying.  I guess I can't realistically expect to get the same experience from phones as from the speakers.

 

In the meanwhile I've also acquired a set of AKG Q701's.  There are already threads comparing them to the Senns so I'll be brief.  So far I prefer the Q701's for classical small ensembles.  For jazz, bluegrass, etc. acoustic music I prefer the roundness and warmth of the HD600's.  For some things either set is fine and with others I prefer one to the other--I just have to check the track to know for sure.  Sometimes it's a toss-up because I might, say, prefer the bass on the HD600's but the drums on the same track with the Q701's.  I could have worse problems, that's for sure.  I got a good deal (used) on each set so overall I'm quite satisfied.


Thanks for sharing your views!

 

I agree with you in the fact that speakers in a proper room provide a sound experience that is quite far beyond headphones. I find the sound of my Focal Chorus 706V to be "bigger" and also more palpable in comparison with my Beyers. Instrument positioning is also in other level. That being said, with the best recordings (such as Arne Domnerus - Sometimes I feel like a motherless child - FIM), DT990s sound impressive to my ears, for sure, the closest speaker-like experience I've got from headphones so far. (I would like to try Sennheiser HD800 some day to see how they compare).

 

For sure, Beyers sound signature has nothing to do with Danish speakers.

 

I can also find some slight similarities between my Fidelio L1 and my Dali Zensor 1 speakers, both have interesting sub bass (let's say, under 75Hz), overall laid back sound with just a little of extra energy around 2,5Khz and soft highs, but Dalis sound much more balanced, detailed and sweet in comparison.

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