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Philips X1 woes. Looking for something different.

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Recently acquired a Philips Fidelio X1 as something I felt would be a compromise between my Denon D2000 abd Grado SR80i and they kind of are. Nice open airy sound, good bass response while being reasonably fast. Decent treble but definitely lacking in quantity compared to the other 2 headphones I mentioned. They're great, don't get me wrong but honestly too close to the Denons to justify keeping.


Of the IEMs I have the 2 that I like the most are my Triple Fi 10s and Senn. IE80s with my personal preference leaning toward the signature of the TF10 if that helps give you an idea of what I like. I listen to a lot of metal/rock/alternative but listen to everything from Radiohead/Massive attack to RIchard Bona, Bela Fleck (Jazz).I dig the response and quickness of the Grados and TF10s. I'm looking for something That provides detail while maintaining speed. I find that I'm not a basshead and prefer a tight controlled bass over quantity.


I primarily go from my MacBook Pro => itunes library through bitperfect=> Optical out to Fiio E17 => Grado SR80i, Denon D2000 or Philips X1.


I want something with good resolution, doesn't need to be bass heavy but prefer a brighter treble response as I believe I'm slowly going deaf due to my job. I'm considering the Sennheiser HD600/650s as I dig my IE80s but also dig the aggressive nature of my SR80s and may lean toward the RS2.


I know that "buy both" would be a legit answer but would like some input. I'll likely be selling the X1s as my Denons do pretty much the same thing but more to my liking.

post #2 of 7
If I am understanding you correctly, the D2000 cover the bassy end and the Grados cover the mids and highs, and you are looking for something in between, correct?

Interesting question - "neutral" is getting harder to find in the $200 price bracket (Thank you Monster and Dr. Dre rolleyes.gif )... Hmm...
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Yes. The Denons have impact and are pretty lively. Both the Philips X1 and Denon would be considered "fun" sounding and are pretty similar although the Denons edge them out in almost everything but general air and openness but I imagine that's a design factor.


I feel that the definition and resolution that I think I hear in the SR80 is just mids and treble. 


I'm looking for something that provides good resolution and detail ( especially in the higher frequencies) with controlled bass as opposed to boomy. Looking to spend around $300 but willing to go higher.


IMO the SR80i have great definition in the low end with distinction between the kick drum and the bass guitar being evident. On the X1 these lower elements are a bit muddled. The SR80s drown this in upper registry, what I would call noise. My Triple Fi 10s are pretty prefect excluding the feeling of spaciousness if that helps. Clear top, not a basshead phone while extending well into the upper registers. I prefer an open an vocal midrange... don't lean toward a "V" shape over a neutral, well balanced sound.

Edited by benthughes - 2/2/14 at 1:36am
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

Leaning toward HD600, HE400/500(?), AKG 702 or Grado RS2i.

post #5 of 7
The rs2 is similar overall to the sr80 with the same kind of tonal balance, just more refined. The hd600 is not as bright as the grades but has a fairly neutral treble response neither elevated or seriously dark. Midrange on them is to discuss for and is emphasized. The bass is controlled and well defined but not that powerful. It is not fast though as a headphone. The he400 is both bright and dark in a way. The upper mids are receeded but the treble is elevated and can be sibilant. The bass is very well controlled and very deep but slightly elevated. Most similar to the d2000 out of all of them. He500 is similar in ways to the hd600 but faster, more detailed IMO, deeper bass. The dt880 is weaker in the bass than hd600 and is brighter overall. It has a very high detail level. Bigger soundstage. I have not heard the akgs.

I'd say more if I was not on my phone
Edited by Eternal Schism - 2/2/14 at 2:01am
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thank you. Enlightening but feel free to post more info as time allows.

post #7 of 7
Ultimately I liked the he500 and 400 out of that lot the most for metal music. The he500 being the ultimate choice, but the treble is not that bright its actually laid back. They would blow away both headphones you have in detail, imagining, smoothness, bass tightness, soundstage, clarity, speed and other categories. I like to describe them as having one of the best balances in terms of being neutral while not trending into having treble spikes or bass roll off. The treble is fairly smooth and is detailed but not the kind of way a dt880 is. They do superbly for rock and metal and do most other genres well. I'd say they are a good all round err. There are better in higher price brackets.

The other one worth looking at is thee Mr speakers alpha dog as it is fairly similar but brighter ultimately which might suit you. It has very tight low extending bass and is fantastic for rock to my ears. Ymmv

I suggest searching David mahlers 58 flagships thread and googling comparisons to find head I threads.

Unfortunately over found myself computer less so I will not be able to post extensive comparison + it wouldn't be fair as I don't own some of the models now for years.
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