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Looking to upgrade headphones - have Sennheiser HD 439

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I use headphones every day for movies, shows, music, skype calls, gaming, everything. I used to always have $2 apple ipod headphones (lol..) and when I bought my Sennheiser HD439's like 1-2 years ago, it was like being opened up to a whole new world of sound. It was really incredible, I had no idea how much I was missing - how much more you could hear in a song.

 

I want to experience that again! What is a good upgrade from Sennheiser HD439's in terms of incredible sound quality and noise-cancelling capabilities? I want to be able to put them on and just completely zone out and listen for hours with incredible sound quality.

 

I've been looking at Sennheiser HD-598's and they seem to be pretty good/popular. What else do you think would be good for me?

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 7
Traditional greeting...

Welcome to head-fi, sorry about your wallet...

The HD598 is a significant upgrade over the HD439. If you like the Sennheiser sound, that would be an excellent choice for you. Another option for you to consider might be the AKG Q701.
post #3 of 7
HD558?
post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyInnerWorld View Post
 

I want to experience that again! What is a good upgrade from Sennheiser HD439's in terms of incredible sound quality and noise-cancelling capabilities? I want to be able to put them on and just completely zone out and listen for hours with incredible sound quality.

 

 

You have correctly identified the HD 598's as a suitable upgrade - meaning they are appreciably better than the already excellent HD 439's. By noise-cancelling I assume you mean noise-isolation i.e. the blocking of outside noise rather than active noise cancellation. For the best noise isolation you would need to go for a closed back pair of headphones - like your HD 439. Closed means the earcup surrounding each headphone driver is closed (like cupping your hands over your ears) and blocks the noise from outside. The HD 598's are an open headphone meaning the backs of the drivers are open allowing sound to escape and to come in. The plus side of that is the open, broad soundstage and the spacious sound but the downside is that any noise in your listening environment can be hear over the music. Also the HD 598's are harder to drive than the HD 439's - meaning they wouldn't be suitable for use with an iPod or similar as these devices simply don't generate enough power to drive headphones like the HD 598 to decent volume levels - however this isn't usually a problem as you wouldn't use the HD 598's with a mobile device due to the open nature of the ear cups.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MyInnerWorld View Post

 

I've been looking at Sennheiser HD-598's and they seem to be pretty good/popular. What else do you think would be good for me?

 

 

If the open nature of the HD 598 isn't a problem for you then they are a superb headphone - the best of Sennheiser's open-backed, consumer-orientated headphones (you need to go to the HD 600 and above for improvement on the HD 598's but these need a headphone amp to truly shine).

 

Also consider the Sennhesier Momentum and the HD 25. Both of these are closed back headphones, the Momentum being Sennheiser's most recent headphone. It has a very consumer-friendly sound but is also easy to drive so would be perfect for an mp3 player for example.

 

The HD 25 would be my upgrade choice as it is in fact the model I use. It's the most tuneful, rhythmic headphone I have ever heard, it has a very open sound (for a closed back headphone), it is built to last, spare parts are plentiful and if you hunt around for the Adidas branded version ("HD 25 Originals" like mine) you might get a bargain as this particular variant has been discontinued. The vocals are so transparent, great soundstage and the bass has the best definition I have ever heard. Best of all they are closed (like your HD 439's) so no sound leakage and the noise isolation is fantastic - wear them and the outside world disappears!

 

If you want any further advice on Sennhesier headphones I have heard most of them so just ask!

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Southak View Post

 

Also consider the Sennhesier Momentum and the HD 25. Both of these are closed back headphones, the Momentum being Sennheiser's most recent headphone. It has a very consumer-friendly sound but is also easy to drive so would be perfect for an mp3 player for example.

 

The HD 25 would be my upgrade choice as it is in fact the model I use. It's the most tuneful, rhythmic headphone I have ever heard, it has a very open sound (for a closed back headphone), it is built to last, spare parts are plentiful and if you hunt around for the Adidas branded version ("HD 25 Originals" like mine) you might get a bargain as this particular variant has been discontinued. The vocals are so transparent, great soundstage and the bass has the best definition I have ever heard. Best of all they are closed (like your HD 439's) so no sound leakage and the noise isolation is fantastic - wear them and the outside world disappears!

 

I'll be needing closed-back noise isolation headphones because my family is loud and annoying, and I want to use them in car/on train etc. I briefly looked up the Momentum and HD 25's.. how different do you think these headphones are? The Momentum are more expensive so I assume are better, but I don't really want to be paying ~$300 for headphones. :o The HD 25's seem a bit more affordable.

post #6 of 7

The Momentum's are more expensive, and this reflects the work gone into the design and the fact they are the newest (HD 25's have been around for a lot longer). The best way to describe the sound is smooth, detailed and more consumer oriented, meaning they are more forgiving of mp3 players and tablets and things. Don't get me wrong, they sound fabulous, check the reviews online. The low impedance means they are more suited to mobile devices but they are good enough to sit well with high quality music files on your home hifi or PC.

 

HD 25's are a DJ headphone essentially. They have a very industrial design and a higher impedance meaning they will not go quite as loud with a mobile device than the Momentum's, but in practice this is not an issue (at least not for me) as the noise isolation they offer is superb. Sound wise they have a richer, more detailed low end. With the HD 25's I have listened to very familiar tracks and heard distinct detail in the bass I never heard before. In fact for the first time I can say that I can clearly hear the difference between the bass guitar and the bass drum on rock tracks. The have a fairly neutral mid range and treble. They are not the prettiest to look at but they are virtually indestructible - I know DJ's who have used them for years virtually every day and they would never use anything else. 

 

There is no wrong choice here they are both very good headphones. If you plumped for the HD 25's based on cost I don't think anyone here would criticise you - you would be getting a great headphone. 

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks heaps for the replies! I won't be able to afford a good pair of headphones for at least a few weeks I think, so I'm going to spend more time researching. Just to double check since I'm not 100% on music terminology - 

 

Mid-range is frequencies most recognised by human ear so it'd be like vocals/voices in music?

Bass is deep/low sounds

Treble is high notes

 

I use my current HD 439's for listening to everything - movies, gaming and music and basically all kinds of music. Though I consider the vocals/bass most important. And I'd be using mostly my desktop computer and iPhone 4 to listen with, no amps or anything like that.

 

I searched HD 25's and Momentum's on ebay and I think most of them coming up were on-ear headphones, not over-ear. I want better sound quality and noise isolation, so over-ear would be what I want right?

 

When I decide what I want I'll probably go into jb hifi to see if they're on display so I can have a listen, but on the jb hifi website the Momentum's seem to be really expensive (and I couldn't find any HD 25's), at least compared to what I saw on ebay.


Edited by MyInnerWorld - 1/19/14 at 11:22pm
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