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Will open-back headphones work well with EDM, trance, pop and hip-hop?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I have never heard any open back headphones and would like to try them. But after reading hundreds of posts on this forum I started wondering whether soundstage and airiness would be involved in the majority of music I listen to. I was trying to decide between open or closed (or both!). Is it worth it to have a pair of open phones? I have been looking at the HD 558 or 518 but keep wondering if I would be dissapointed with "thin"sound. Anyone out there care to comment on personal experience with open phones and EDM, trance, pop and hip hop?

My source is laptop or Nook with a EO7k or Vali/Modi stack.

Thanks for any insights you have.
post #2 of 22

The only headphones that comes to mind are either the Beyerdynamic DT880 or the Philips X1.  The X1's are easier to drive though.

post #3 of 22

I listen to mostly EDM and chillstep/liquid dubstep stuff. I have a pair of HD558 and they do okay with this music. The bass is a little to slow and light for this type of music however, the slightly recessed mids and smooth high favor well. These headphones take very well to EQ'ing, straight out of my HTC one running poweramp with the 31 62 and 125 frequencies boosted about 4 dB and the upper mids 1k 2k and 4k boosted about 3 Db I can get very enjoyable and easy to listen to sound. Compared to my m100's they are simply outclassed in bass quantity and quality but still a very enjoyable headphone.

post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
dj - Thanks for chiming in. That's very helpful to know. I'm leaning towards trying them out anyway and you helped with my decision.
post #5 of 22
I too listen to alot of EDM. Closed headphones like the Denon D600 or the V-Moda MM-100 work the best for EDM, IMO. But as I stated above those are the only 2 open headphones that work well with EDM. Good luck in your search.
post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by squeakez View Post

dj - Thanks for chiming in. That's very helpful to know. I'm leaning towards trying them out anyway and you helped with my decision.

you will not regret the purchase one bit, I absolutely love my 558's, they are one of if not the best and most well rounded open headphone you can get for reasonable money. The only issue I found was the cable being really long and terminating in a 1/4 jack. Now that issue is very easy to solve with the fiio ugrade cable found here http://www.fiio.com.cn/products/index.aspx?ID=100000046488446&MenuID=105026014

post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 

Byrnie - Thanks for the suggestions. I already have 2 pairs of decent closed phones - HTF600  which are cheap but are fantastic when paired with my Nook in particular and the XB500's which are OK, not great. My question was really only about what open backed phones would be like for the the music I listen to. Thanks for responding though.

post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by dj1001 View Post

you will not regret the purchase one bit, I absolutely love my 558's, they are one of if not the best and most well rounded open headphone you can get for reasonable money. The only issue I found was the cable being really long and terminating in a 1/4 jack. Now that issue is very easy to solve with the fiio ugrade cable found here http://www.fiio.com.cn/products/index.aspx?ID=100000046488446&MenuID=105026014
There's also a mod for them that makes them sound very close to the HD598.
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 

dj - I am really looking forward to hearing them. Thanks for the tip on the cable - I was able to find a "like new" pair on Amazon that already comes with that cable for about $100. I do occasionally get out my CD collection and listen to classical, jazz and new age so I bet these will really shine with those. Thanks again for your response.

post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 

Byrnie - Yes! I was looking at that mod and it looks pretty easy to do, so I will definitely be doing that. Thanks!

post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by squeakez View Post

Byrnie - Thanks for the suggestions. I already have 2 pairs of decent closed phones - HTF600  which are cheap but are fantastic when paired with my Nook in particular and the XB500's which are OK, not great. My question was really only about what open backed phones would be like for the the music I listen to. Thanks for responding though.

Well each headphone sounds different so there's really no answer to that. An open headphone will less bass and punch but it'll usually sound better in highs.
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 

Byrnie - You're right. Every pair of headphones is going to sound different and also sound different to each pair of ears listening to it. I was just trying to get a general idea of what people's experiences have been with open headphones with EDM, etc. Was it worth trying? And, in particular, the HD 558s or 518s because they look really comfortable. I have had a really difficult time choosing headphones based on reviews and impressions. Within the past 2 months I have purchased 6 pairs of headphones and returned 4 of them:

 

t50rp ZMF's (tried both V1 and V2) - too tinny sounding, crashy, sibilant (with my sources) - really bad with streaming Internet music - great with cds but I don't listen to them much

 

Fidelio L1 - felt like someone was pouring warm oatmeal in my ears

 

Sony Pulse Wireless - saw a YouTube video saying these were the best basshead headphones - very uncomfortable and the music sounded very unremarkable - bass unnatural

 

Skullcandy Crushers - read several comments on this forum saying they were great - also uncomfortable and everything but bass didn't sound good. The bass enhancer  felt unrealistic to me.

 

The 2 best phones that I have kept were the cheap ones - The Panasonic HTF600 - fantastic although a little uncomfortable. Bass is deep but not bloated and the mids and highs are clear and separated to my ears. Love them! The other phone was the Superlux 668b. Bass is a little thin but the clarity is impressive. They are really uncomfortable though, even with the velour pads that I purchased.

 

I figure I will give the 558s a try and return them if I don't like them and put the money into a high quality pair of closed phones. If that's the case I will definitely take a close look at your suggestions.

post #13 of 22

What's your price range?  You never listed.  The reason I ask is I think you will enjoy the X1's over any of the headphones listed here (they're going for $238 right now on Amazon.  I have the 558s but I never considered them that great of a pair of headphones especially for EDM but as you can see I've been in this hobby for more 10 years now so the bar might be higher for me but to each his own of course.


Edited by Byrnie - 2/17/14 at 12:19pm
post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 

I'm not sure what my price range is at this point. My wife is getting the 558s for my birthday next week and I will see how I like them. I haven't been using the Modi/Vali combo but may change my mind if they make the 558s shine. I've only been using the FiiO EO7K and really like it with my present headphones. If the 558s don't work out, I will return them and sell my Modi/Vali and then will have close to $300 to spend on closed phones. I will be checking out the X1s for sure, especially since you say they are easy to drive. They sound perfect. Thanks for the suggestion.

post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 

Oh, and, as you can see, my bar hasn't been set very high yet so I may be easier to please at this point :).

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