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Full Size Over Ear Recommendation

Poll Results: Which headphones do you think will be best suited to the needs described?

 
  • 25% (1)
    HiFiMan HE-400
  • 50% (2)
    Beyerdynamic DT880
  • 25% (1)
    Other (please specify in comments)
4 Total Votes  
post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I'm looking to finally get into the world of higher end headphones.  Problem is, I don't have access to "test drive" very many headphones in my area.  So, I'm coming to the denizens of head-fi for suggestions on a pair of good over-ear headphones that will suit my musical taste.  So here's my situation:

 

First, I've already picked up an O2+ODAC combo to replace my lackluster onboard audio which has given me issues with background noise, so amplification shouldn't be an issue for most headphones. 

 

Second, I listen to a LOT of bass heavy music, but not the genres that the average Joe typically associates with bass-heavy.  What I'm talking about is lots of Doom Metal and Sludge Metal.  Down-tuned guitars, down-tuned basses, basically down-tuned everything.  So for that, a lot of presence is appreciated but I'd like it to be CLEAN.  When trying out my friends' ATH-M50's, I noticed that the bass range was very clean which definitely made me happy, but there wasn't as much presence as I'd like, especially compared to my current cans (Sony MDR-MA300's, which, while providing a lot of bass presence, are not the cleanest sounding in the world.)  I would definitely like a SLIGHT boost in the bass section as long as it doesn't come at the cost of reduced clarity.

 

I also don't care too strongly with headphones with peaks in the treble, so neutral or even slightly recessed highs would be perfect.  Mids would ideally be fairly neutral.

 

These are going to be for home use, so open headphones are perfectly fine (and actually a little bit preferred, but not required).

 

With that out of the way, my budget is limited to about $350-$400, and I've been eying a few sets of cans pretty closely for a little while.  To name a few, I've been intensely interested in the HiFiMan HE-400's as well as the Beyerdynamic DT880's.  I'm definitely leaning towards the HE-400's because the sound signature sounds like it's pretty near perfect for what I'm looking for and the idea of Planar Magnetic headphones sounds like a good improvement over dynamic drivers (although I've never heard planars before).  The 880's also sound like they'd tickle my fancy, but I am a bit worried about some of the descriptions about the enhanced treble. 

 

So, now I turn to you.  Do the HE-400's or the DT880's sound like they'd be suitable to my needs, or is there a better option out there (in my price range) that I may not be aware of?

post #2 of 10

From my experience, and being that well over fifty percent of my listening is stoner/doom, no headphone I've heard comes close to Grado for presenting those genres.  I personally use the 225i's, with electrical tape wrapped around the cup, when listening to that kind of music.

 

The problem with Grado is that there is not a lot of energy below 40 Hz.  Decent peaks at around 50 to 60Hz, so they're not bass-shy by any means. Also, the 'presence' in bass is usually above 80 Hz, which the Grado's excel in.

 

Now, Grado has a big hate/love opinion base out there.  I happen to be in the 'love' category. It's something you have to experience for yourself, and a lot of the guys on the Grado Fanclub thread listen to heavy music.  Certainly worth a listen...

 

For recessed highs, the Sennheiser  HD 600's would also be a solid contender as well. 

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Yeah, I've noticed that Grado seems to be a very polarizing brand.  For that reason, I was thinking about the possibility of picking up the SR-80i's somewhere down the line.  I figure at about $80-100, it's not that big of a deal if I don't like them.

 

Thanks for the recommendation!

post #4 of 10
Make sure you get the 250 ohm version of the DT880. The 32 ohm is bad IMO and the 600 ohm would probably require a stronger amp. I love my DT880 and good luck. It's easy to get lost in all the choices.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Byrnie View Post

Make sure you get the 250 ohm version of the DT880. The 32 ohm is bad IMO and the 600 ohm would probably require a stronger amp. I love my DT880 and good luck. It's easy to get lost in all the choices.


The O2 should be more than capable of the 600 ohm version, seeing as nwavguy designed the O2 to be capable of handling loads from ~10 ohms to ~600 ohms.

post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by kuhchuk View Post
 

The O2 should be more than capable of the 600 ohm version, seeing as nwavguy designed the O2 to be capable of handling loads from ~10 ohms to ~600 ohms.

+1, the O2 is made for high impedance, high sensitivity loads. 

 

However, if you listen to bass heavy music, I'd suggest the HE-400 before I suggested the DT880. Of course, the HE-400 is a planar, meaning the O2 won't be the best match for it. Not saying it'll sound bad, but it won't be as good as it has the potential to be. Given your current setup the DT880 600 ohm is a better choice, however it can be pretty bright at times so beware.


Edited by takato14 - 2/17/14 at 7:43pm
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

I've been leaning towards the HE-400's anyways since I'm not a huge fan of bright headphones.  Any amp you'd suggest that might pair better?

post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by kuhchuk View Post
 

I've been leaning towards the HE-400's anyways since I'm not a huge fan of bright headphones.  Any amp you'd suggest that might pair better?

Something current-oriented like the mini Schiit stack (Magni + Modi) would be great for the HE-400.

 

An A1 clone (available on eBay) would probably be a good pairing too, but you'd still need a DAC. The Schiit stack is prettier and smaller, so I'd just go with that.

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by takato14 View Post
 

Something current-oriented like the mini Schiit stack (Magni + Modi) would be great for the HE-400.

 

An A1 clone (available on eBay) would probably be a good pairing too, but you'd still need a DAC. Plus the Schiit stack is prettier and smaller, so I'd just go with that.


I was thinking about picking up a Schiit Stack to compare to the O2+ODAC anyways, so I guess I might as well.  Gonna have to wait a bit for that, but it'll be interesting.

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by kuhchuk View Post
 


The O2 should be more than capable of the 600 ohm version, seeing as nwavguy designed the O2 to be capable of handling loads from ~10 ohms to ~600 ohms.

Good to know :D

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