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Bowers & Wilkins P7 or similarly priced open backed headphone for home use?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hey guys new member here. I'm looking to get a pair of these but I'm wondering if I could get more bang for my buck by going with an open backed set of headphones around the same price i.e. Philips Fidelio X1. I have the L1's already but I'm looking for an upgrade. I will primarily use them at home in quiet environments and leakage is not such an issue. Is it pointless and kind of a waste of money to use the P7's primarily at home and not as a portable "lifestyle" headphone as they were intended? Thanks.

post #2 of 15

Personally I use my P7 at home mainly as I think they're slightly bulky for use as portables but yea, I think many people would advise that you can get more value for your money if you use a good set of open headphones.

 

I think it would also depend on the music genre you usually listen to, I would imagine that most modern genres (pop/EDM) work equally well on closed headphones.

post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
I listen to a strange mix of alternative, soundtrack, and classical. Occasional EDM. Right now I have the L1s. They were my intro into nice headphones now I'm hooked.
post #4 of 15
Hi!

You should consider Hifiman HE400.

Best Luck!
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
What are the amplification needs for the HE400. Couple reviews have differing opinions on that. For now I don't have an amp and just running straight out of iMac and iPhone.
post #6 of 15

Surely HD600 must be considered?

post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by pheerix View Post

What are the amplification needs for the HE400. Couple reviews have differing opinions on that. For now I don't have an amp and just running straight out of iMac and iPhone.


Hifiman HE-400 are pretty easy to drive. Based on innerfidelity measurements they need 0.129Vrms to reach 90dB while my Fidelio L1 needs 0.139Vrms. (And Fidelios are definitely portable)

 

AKG K701 on the other hand are quite hard to drive and need 0.320Vrms to reach 90dB.

 

HIFIMAN web page says that HE-400 can be driven by virtually anything including an iPod.

 

For sure, they will improve paired with good quality DAC and Amp as most high quality headphones do.

post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hmm seems like the HE400 needs to be modded a little before enjoying to the fullest. I see people replacing the ear cups and cable. Also is planar magnetic technology pretty mature and reliable? I'm not familiar with it.

post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by pheerix View Post
 

Hmm seems like the HE400 needs to be modded a little before enjoying to the fullest. I see people replacing the ear cups and cable. Also is planar magnetic technology pretty mature and reliable? I'm not familiar with it.

 

Keep in mind that even if it's true that the HE400 require modding to be enjoyed to their fullest, that doesn't mean that how they sound in their stock form isn't still better than the P7s. Personally I love the P7s, I love their fun, impactful, coloured sound - even though it feels a bit artificial it sounds great with a lot of well recorded music to my ears. But despite this I've heard open headphones that cost less than the P7s that I prefer not only in terms of detail retrieval and instrument separation but also the sense of soundstage. If I were in your spot and I truly didn't need portable or a lack of leakage I would spend the same amount of money on an open can + amp (if necessary) combo.

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Could you recommend an open hp/amp combo for around $400?
post #11 of 15
You should also consider Yamaha HPH-200 and Fiio E17.
Big step up over my L1s in terms of soundstage, separation, timbre and detail.
This headphones sound very good with most of the genres you've listed.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Ok super newbie question but would there be any substantial benefit from getting a cheap desktop amp (I.e. Fiio E10) for use with a iMac and a pair of open headphones?
post #13 of 15
E10 is slightly better than a Laptop. E17 is slightly better than E10.
post #14 of 15

I've been using my P7's for a couple weeks now and though I also own the HE-400 and 500's I've been using the P7's more (in my office and at home) due to not only the comfort level they provide by being lighter, but also because they sound great (MUCH better then I expected). I've also found that the P7's sound quality will continue to improve with the use of better source gear...use a better DAC/amp combo, and they'll sound better.

post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Well pulled the trigger on a pair of P7s yesterday and sure glad I did. Only have my L1s to compare to but the clarity, bass, pretty much everything is drastically better.
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