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Audiophile quality headphones for BASSheads?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hello Head-Fi,

 

I am wondering if there are any audiophile quality cans for bassheads. I currently own three different pairs of headphones and find the deep bass extension to be lacking on all of them.

 

I am looking for something that reaches to 20hz with authority, over ear style, and doesn't have bright/sibilant highs. Portability is not a concern, as I will never use them on the go.

 

For reference of what my tastes are: I LOVE the sound of Senn HD-650, and plan to get a pair, but I haven't spent enough time with them to know how deep and powerful their bass is. I Have the 598 now, but find them a bit bright with some stuff (modern/compressed recordings especially) and severely lacking in deep bass extension and "bass authority", if that makes sense. If there is something that has a nice laid back sound signature, but with deeper, better bass, I will consider that over the 650. Also for reference, I am not a fan of the M50, as I find them too bright for my ears. Admittedly, I am not really a fan of the "smile" eq curve that some 'phones have. Perhaps a bit of boosted bass is ok, but certainly not elevated highs. I am ultra sensitive to high frequencies for some reason...

 

All models must be current production/available new as well.

 

Cliffs for wants in no particular order:

 

Authoritative bass to at least 20hz

Over ear design

Audiophile grade SQ

Laid back sound signature

Available new

 

 

Any ideas guys? I plan to buy these for music listening and movie watching.


Edited by painted klown - 1/14/14 at 9:46pm
post #2 of 14

Price range can be anywhere from $free-$500ish <--- free, haha, we not Santa =p

 

http://en-us.sennheiser.com/monitoring-headphone-studio-professional-audio-hd-380-pro

 

$140 

http://www.amazon.com/Sennheiser-380-Pro-Collapsible-Professional/dp/B001UE6I0G

 

I'm a music hobbyist so I got the HD380 last year. The bass goes really, really, really freaking low. It's not that the bass is eq'ed to be louder than the mids or highs. So basically it's like a subwoofer in your headphones. This is good addition for movie watching, but obviously only stereo sound.

 

If it does have a smiley face eq curve, then maybe 1db difference max. I don't know how sensitive you are to high frequencies but given the low price, why not give it a shot?

 

Shoot me a reply if you have questions.

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

$140 isn't bad at all. Obviously, I like the Senn brand. I have actually seen these in the store before (couldn't listen to them though).

 

I have spent a little time with the (very popular in the recording world) HD280 pro and found the bass to be SEVERELY lacking. Because of that, I had essentially skipped over the 380 pro.

 

I have also listened to Senn 429 and 449 and found their bass to be plentiful (as far as volume/quantity is concerned) but didn't really have a way to test how deep it actually extended. When I researched those models on here, it seemed that everyone said the 4X9 series didn't reach all that deep.

 

Have you compared the HD-380 to any of these three models?

 

Thanks for your help. :)

 

EDIT: For clarity


Edited by painted klown - 1/14/14 at 9:59pm
post #4 of 14

I haven't.

 

Did you mean you want the bass to not only go low, but also be louder than the mid/hi freq? like the Beats are designed to be but audiophile quality? Then the HD380's are considered generally flat. The kick on tracks like Usher's DJ Got Us Fallin' and other dance-pop/kick heavy songs is generally very punchy when I listened to them with the HD380's, unless the producers/mixing engineers did a shtty job then no headphones will make up for that =p.

 

If you get an amp with bass boost option, the HD380's might get what you're looking for.

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jz9chen View Post
 

Did you mean you want the bass to not only go low, but also be louder than the mid/hi freq? like the Beats are designed to be but audiophile quality? Then the HD380's are considered generally flat.

Elevated bass is ok with me, but not to the point where the bass is all you hear. I like good mid-range and highs (been into home audio/HT for several years now) but sometimes I just crave that bass boom. For me, deep bass extension (want that subsonic bass) is more important than an ultra boosted bass level.

 

What I am trying to avoid is cans with loud bass and poor everything else. I also want deep extension, for stuff like modern action films, dance, dubstep, rap, electronic music. The problem with a lot of modern music from those genres is that they are mastered with the highs being way too "sizzly"/sibilant, so I would like to find something pretty laid back sounding to help correct the problem a bit, if possible....

 

I am guessing there probably aren't any audiophile grade 'phones with Beats like bass, as then they would be way too colored to fall into the "audiophile" category.


Edited by painted klown - 1/14/14 at 10:17pm
post #6 of 14

deep bass extension (want that subsonic bass) is more important than an ultra boosted bass level <--- HD380 has lots of subsonic bass, it's also easy to drive so you can try it with your portable at a local store even if you don't have a portable amp

 

regarding the mids and hi's, they're also quite good . by no means am I comparing them to more expensive cans as I have never listened to any other than HD598 which I sold a year ago.

 

considering the price of 140 I think they're great. also comes with replaceable coiled cable, hard carrying case not bag, and great durability. I think the HD380 are probably $200 quality headphones. If they looked nicer (ie. not just black plastic) then maybe $250 or more. but since they're an aging model obviously can't price them too high.

.


Edited by jz9chen - 1/14/14 at 10:36pm
post #7 of 14

by default it uses 3.5mm jack no the 6.3mm so you dont have the awkward boner in sweatpants situation if you decide to use the 3.5mm

 

to add to that, there are negatives

 

1. gets sweaty if you in a relatively hot enviornment, but only if you where them for like hours 

2. personally I don't like the material of the earcup/headband pads, they feel like "paper". i think they're similar to the hd280's in that regard. but then given the low price, can't argue too much

post #8 of 14

Hi,

 

You should consider AudioTechnica ATH-WS99 and Philips Fidelio L1.

 

I own Philips Fidelio L1 and it goes really deep in the bass, it is a really warm sounding headphone and also has pretty dark highs. To me L1s lack air but if you want a laid back sound with great sub bass presence and forgiving of over bright and compressed recordings they are maybe your cup of tea. They are also really well built: aluminium cups and headband, memory foam earpads, detacheable cables, etc.

You can also read about Fidelio X1, I think they can also reach sub bass with some authority.

 

Best Luck!

post #9 of 14

I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned the HE-400 yet. Hands down killer quality bass. Extension, speed, control, these have it all. Not bloated or exaggerated in the least, just effortlessly powerful. However, they aren't very laid back. Out of the box, they have a pretty aggressive treble. If you are willing to tone down the treble using EQ, you can mostly fix this problem. 

Fidelio X1 is supposed to have great bass as well. 

Maybe a used Fostex TH600 if you can stretch your budget. 

post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by painted klown View Post
 

I have spent a little time with the (very popular in the recording world) HD280 pro and found the bass to be SEVERELY lacking. Because of that, I had essentially skipped over the 380 pro.

 

Well if you find the HD280 pros lacking in bass then we've got a problem. The HD280Pros go right down to 10hz, and with a fair bit of extra volume in the bass than a flat headphone like a MDR 7520 etc.

 

Graph

 

While I find the HD280's bass to be a bit muddy, it's not lacking in volume etc. OTOH, my Beyerdynamic DT770 Pros have much better low end bass IMHO, much tighter and cleaner.

post #11 of 14
HD380 pro or ATH-WS99
Reply
post #12 of 14

A lot of folks like the VModa M-100 and Shure SRH-840 for extra bass in a decent sounding headphone.

post #13 of 14

The Sennheiser 4x8 and 4x9 series headphones are pretty easy to mod for increased bass. HD 428/429 are relatively cheap at ~$50 so you could experiment.

post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thank you for all of the great recommendations all. They really are appreciated, and give me a great place to start looking. That Philips Fidelio L1 looks great, as do the V-Modas and Sennheisers.

 

Sxooetr, I looked at  that graph you posted of the HD280pro and about swore out loud at work!!! When looking at that frequency response, it looks like the perfect headphone to fit the bill. I had a pair of these on loan from a friend for about a week (he loved them and used them in his studio) and I have to say that I was disappointed, especially with the bass. However, the only thing I had to run them from (at that time) was the headphone out on my Yamaha RX-V667 receiver. I am now seriously wondering if the headamp in there was just so crappy that I didn't even come close to hearing what the 280pro sounds like?

 

In all honesty, it makes me want to give them another audition. Sadly, my friend had now moved to Nashville, so I never see him anymore, so I don't really have a way to try them out again. Before I had heard the 280pro, I wanted a pair so bad it wasn't funny. They are VERY popular in the recording world, and I thought they would be amazing. Sadly, they fell far from my expectations. Still though, I can't help but think it had to have been the way I was powering them.

 

Anyway, sorry about the long tangent there. Thanks again for the recommendations!  :)

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