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Open Headphones under $500 to Complement MD2000

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

I've got a pair of MarkL modded D2000s that I've had for a while now and love, and I'm thinking of getting an open headphone to complement them.  Budget is $500.

 

My music tastes are pretty varied, from classical to punk to indie/alternative to metal to folk.  I'll be running them out of my Mini-i, with potentially an Asgard or similar down the road.


Sonic tastes: I love the D2000s and their bass to death, but I also really like my DT1350s and GR07s, which are much more balanced (though still with great bass extension).  So I guess I like my bass deep, but not necessarily huge.  I don't like Grados in the least.  The treble is just too harsh for me.  I like vocals a lot, so smooth mids are important.

 

Some things on the list: HD650 (worried they'll be too similar to the D2000s), HE400 (same worry as HD650, but intriguing because orthos), K/Q701/702/712 (haven't had a chance to hear them, and they seem to be really polarizing; not sure if they'll be to my taste - are the 712s any different?), DT880 (will the treble be too bright for me?).  

 

I've heard the HD650 and HD600, and preferred the 650, so the HD600 is out, I think.  Then again, it's been a couple years, so who knows.  Anything else I should have on here?


Edited by LimeANite - 2/20/14 at 9:14pm
post #2 of 25

Wait for HE-400i perhaps?

post #3 of 25

Can't speak for the HD650 vs D2000, but rest assured that the HE-400 and HD650 are VERY different with their sound presentation.

post #4 of 25

Some amps will make the DT880s brighter but others like the Schiit Audio Asgard 2 won't (as it didn't with my DT880s).  I also have the HD650 and the D2000 and i would say the ones I use the least are the D2000's.  I use the HD650s the most out of the three.  They're all very different to me so I rotate them in and out for usage.

post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post
 

Wait for HE-400i perhaps?

Definitely an option as I'm not really in any rush.  Have there been any estimates of a release date yet?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RebelRising View Post
 

Can't speak for the HD650 vs D2000, but rest assured that the HE-400 and HD650 are VERY different with their sound presentation.

Could you elaborate on the differences?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Byrnie View Post
 

Some amps will make the DT880s brighter but others like the Schiit Audio Asgard 2 won't (as it didn't with my DT880s).  I also have the HD650 and the D2000 and i would say the ones I use the least are the D2000's.  I use the HD650s the most out of the three.  They're all very different to me so I rotate them in and out for usage.

Could you compare them - what makes you pick one over the others?


Edited by LimeANite - 2/21/14 at 10:27am
post #6 of 25
He400i is delayed, will probs be out in may or so..
post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by LimeANite View Post

 

Could you elaborate on the differences?

 

In terms of pure clarity, extraction of detail, and soundstage, the HE-400 are superior (partly just due to their planar magnetic design). Speedy in the sense that it'll feel like the phones are slicing through music like a sword through water. That said, you may feel a sort of V-shaped sound signature to them (deep bass, just a touch of recessed mids, and outstanding highs). 

 

HD650 doesn't have the same effortless speed, but it makes up for it with some of the best, lifelike mids on the market today. Overall a very neutral sound. 

In other words, think "fun" vs. "natural". Which one is more important to you?

 

Also, it doesn't take much in terms of AMP+DAC to bring out the best of the HE-400. It runs fine off of a Schiit M&M stack. The HD650 has the capability of scaling INCREDIBLY well the more you invest in those components.

post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by LimeANite View Post
 

Could you compare them - what makes you pick one over the others?

Sure!  I prefer the D2000s for movies and gaming but when listening to music I always felt less engaged in the song than with the HD650s (I'm telling you this from memory given it's been a while since I've done a comparison on just these 3 cans).  The DT880s I like for rap/rock and EDM, a great headphone but it can be a pain the ass to amp.  You want to get a warm amp with the DT880s or else the treble can be bright, IMO.  The HD650s were my favorite all-around headphone for music (especially acoustic recordings) but that's changed with recent purchase haha.  I hope this was helpful!  I felt all 3 of these were close in comfort too.

post #9 of 25

Couldn't find the edit button fast enough but here's something else I wanted to add:

 

You can't go wrong with either of these headphones.

post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the comparisons.  I think I'm going to hold off until the HE-400i comes out and see what the reviews look like - leaning towards that or the HD650 at this point.

post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by LimeANite View Post
 

Thanks for the comparisons.  I think I'm going to hold off until the HE-400i comes out and see what the reviews look like - leaning towards that or the HD650 at this point.

That's a smart move.  I think regardless of your decision you've narrowed it down to two winners.

post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 

Hm...also contemplating the K712s.  I think they might be a better complement to the D2ks than the HD650.


Edited by LimeANite - 2/23/14 at 8:19am
post #13 of 25

By "complement," do you mean a) similar but open or b) polar opposite, except for the bass, and open? I've seen members use it both ways. E.g., someone will want to balance a bright model with the darker HD650. But I'm supposing you mean the former, so consider DT990 for its bass and its well-integrated sound.

post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 

By "complement" I meant "cover bases that the D2k doesn't" - so open, flat-ish frequency response, nice mids, maybe a tad more analytical.  I'm not too fussed about the bass so long as it's there and goes deep.

 

I'm not looking for a polar opposite necessarily - I can't stand super-bright, super-revealing headphones (see my dislike of Grados and the Mikros 90) - but I definitely don't want something that sounds too much like the D2ks as I'm not looking to replace them.  I'm leaning more towards a neutral-ish headphone.  I've pretty much been ignoring the DT990s because they've got a similar v-shaped signature to the D2k and their highs are often described as piercing and sibilant.

post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by LimeANite View Post
 

By "complement" I meant "cover bases that the D2k doesn't" - so open, flat-ish frequency response, nice mids, maybe a tad more analytical.  I'm not too fussed about the bass so long as it's there and goes deep.

 

I'm not looking for a polar opposite necessarily - I can't stand super-bright, super-revealing headphones (see my dislike of Grados and the Mikros 90) - but I definitely don't want something that sounds too much like the D2ks as I'm not looking to replace them.  I'm leaning more towards a neutral-ish headphone.  I've pretty much been ignoring the DT990s because they've got a similar v-shaped signature to the D2k and their highs are often described as piercing and sibilant.

 

Right. I suggested DT990 when I thought you meant the other meaning.

 

For neutral, see if there's a bass mod for HD600. I know there's one for Q701, so that might be worth considering too. It should balance the overall crispness of that series. Otherwise, HD650 is an obvious choice.

 

I don't hear HE400 as neutral, but I like it anyway for jazz. I couldn't be bothered to analyze it as I was enjoying it so much. Some of the Fostex mods I haven't gotten to yet strive for neutrality, such as BMF and LFF, but they're probably round 3/4ths closed.


Edited by Claritas - 2/23/14 at 12:27am
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