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Looking to Upgrade from CAL!s (~$300)

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

So, I had a pair of CAL!s which just broke.  I really enjoyed how comfortable they were, but didn't like how they leaked sound, made a buzzing noise, and had obvious durability issues.

 

I'd like to get an upgrade/replacement.  I have a maximum of $300 to spend, though would like to spend closer to $150-$200 unless the reason was overwhelmingly compelling.  I'm looking for mainly comfort, durability, and good sound.  Detachable components would be a plus, especially cables.  So far the ATH-M50 and Shure SRH840 came to mind.  I like listening to rock and j-pop, but will mainly be using them to watch anime.  Like the CAL!s, I'm looking for closed, over-the-ear headphones.

post #2 of 18

SRH840 is a much better choice with those genres than ATH-M50 as the treble on M50 is thin and metallic. Isolation and build quality are also good. But you might want more padding on the headband, so you can mod it with HD6x0 headband foam.

post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post
 

SRH840 is a much better choice with those genres than ATH-M50 as the treble on M50 is thin and metallic. Isolation and build quality are also good. But you might want more padding on the headband, so you can mod it with HD6x0 headband foam.

I only listed M50s and SRH840s because they were the only headphones I'd heard about - would the SRH840s be the best/most cost-effective choice for the above listed qualities?

post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slivortal View Post
 

I only listed M50s and SRH840s because they were the only headphones I'd heard about - would the SRH840s be the best/most cost-effective choice for the above listed qualities?

 

Another you might like even more is KNS8400, which has much less bass and more clarity. The thing about it is you'll probably need to replace the cable, which bears noises. I think the M50x, Q460, and K450 cables work; ask on the KNS thread if you're interested.

 

The main difference is that KNS8400 is cold sounding and a slightly bright and SRH840 is warm. I liked both.

 

But, under $200, I'd choose between KNS8400 and SRH840. Some would tell you to consider DT770-80 too, but I think it has too much bass for what you're listening to.

post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post
 

 

Another you might like even more is KNS8400, which has much less bass and more clarity. The thing about it is you'll probably need to replace the cable, which bears noises. I think the M50x, Q460, and K450 cables work; ask on the KNS thread if you're interested.

 

The main difference is that KNS8400 is cold sounding and a slightly bright and SRH840 is warm. I liked both.

 

But, under $200, I'd choose between KNS8400 and SRH840. Some would tell you to consider DT770-80 too, but I think it has too much bass for what you're listening to.

Do be clear, what do you mean by warm/cold-sounding?  (Sorry, I'm new.)  Which would do vocals better?  How about winds, strings, brass, and synths?

post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slivortal View Post

Do be clear, what do you mean by warm/cold-sounding?  (Sorry, I'm new.)  Which would do vocals better?  How about winds, strings, brass, and synths?

Cool and warm pertain to the effect of bass on the overall sound.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/220770/describing-sound-a-glossary

But I think they both did well. I didn't hear shrillness with either. A somewhat warmer sound, such as SRH840, can be easier to take. But I suspect that for the music you listen to, you'll prefer the crisper, more alert sound of KNS8400.
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post


Cool and warm pertain to the effect of bass on the overall sound.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/220770/describing-sound-a-glossary

But I think they both did well. I didn't hear shrillness with either. A somewhat warmer sound, such as SRH840, can be easier to take. But I suspect that for the music you listen to, you'll prefer the crisper, more alert sound of KNS8400.

Were the KNS's highs piercing/fatiguing?  Also, which of the two pairs were more comfortable (my ears are pretty sensitive)?

post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slivortal View Post
 

Were the KNS's highs piercing/fatiguing?  Also, which of the two pairs were more comfortable (my ears are pretty sensitive)?

 

I didn't find KNS piercing, but maybe a little fatiguing over several hours of listening . . . when I wasn't busy being wowed by their resolution.

 

SRH is above average in comfort, except for the headband, but KNS is even better.

post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post
 

 

I didn't find KNS piercing, but maybe a little fatiguing over several hours of listening . . . when I wasn't busy being wowed by their resolution.

 

SRH is above average in comfort, except for the headband, but KNS is even better.

Do the KNS have better resolution compared to the SRH?

post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slivortal View Post
 

Do the KNS have better resolution compared to the SRH?

 

Yes, without a doubt. It's remarkably resolving, like a closed K702. They also sound more open, though SRH has more accurate soundstage. (I know, nothing is the best at everything :o.)

 

But I would focus more on the difference between the cold, somewhat bass light sound of KNS and the warmth of SRH. If you're not sure about the difference, maybe try EQing the bass on some of your favorite songs to an upward curve between 0-500 that reaches +10 dB at 100 Hz. The chart for 840 below is more or less accurate, but their KNS chart is way off.

 

post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post
 

 

Yes, without a doubt. It's remarkably resolving, like a closed K702. They also sound more open, though SRH has more accurate soundstage. (I know, nothing is the best at everything :o.)

 

But I would focus more on the difference between the cold, somewhat bass light sound of KNS and the warmth of SRH. If you're not sure about the difference, maybe try EQing the bass on some of your favorite songs to an upward curve between 0-500 that reaches +10 dB at 100 Hz. The chart for 840 below is more or less accurate, but their KNS chart is way off.

 

Thanks, that helps.  Out of curiosity, how would 7506s and HD25s compare to these phones for the selected genres?  It's so hard choosing headphones when you don't have the opportunity to demo any of them.  Right now I'm kind of leaning toward the Shures just because I've never heard anyone mention KRK outside these forums, but a more accurate set of cans is really tempting as well.

post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slivortal View Post

Thanks, that helps.  Out of curiosity, how would 7506s and HD25s compare to these phones for the selected genres?  It's so hard choosing headphones when you don't have the opportunity to demo any of them.  Right now I'm kind of leaning toward the Shures just because I've never heard anyone mention KRK outside these forums, but a more accurate set of cans is really tempting as well.

KRK makes monitoring speakers. They started making headphones only in the past few years, and you're right that they're not so well known as Shure--the second-oldest firm. So have a look at the appreciation thread to get a better sense.

The Sonys are bright and overall unexceptional. Moreover, they're uncomfortable: the thin earpads and shallow earcups make them more on ear than over ear.

HD25-1 is pretty clear sounding, but I have mixed impressions of it so I'm not the best guy to ask. The isolation is excellent but it comes at the price of hard clamping on the ears.
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post


KRK makes monitoring speakers. They started making headphones only in the past few years, and you're right that they're not so well known as Shure--the second-oldest firm. So have a look at the appreciation thread to get a better sense.

The Sonys are bright and overall unexceptional. Moreover, they're uncomfortable: the thin earpads and shallow earcups make them more on ear than over ear.

HD25-1 is pretty clear sounding, but I have mixed impressions of it so I'm not the best guy to ask. The isolation is excellent but it comes at the price of hard clamping on the ears.

Yeah, thanks again for all the help.  I'm definitely going for the SRH840s or the KNS8400s (right now the KNSs are pretty tempting for $50 less).  Just how bad are the stock cables that come with the KNS?  What kind of replacement would I be looking to get?

 

Also, I listen to a smattering of classical music from time to time (couldn't help but notice you listed that in your sig).  Which would be better for classical?

post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slivortal View Post

Yeah, thanks again for all the help.  I'm definitely going for the SRH840s or the KNS8400s (right now the KNSs are pretty tempting for $50 less).  Just how bad are the stock cables that come with the KNS?  What kind of replacement would I be looking to get?

Also, I listen to a smattering of classical music from time to time (couldn't help but notice you listed that in your sig).  Which would be better for classical?

Sure. If I know about the topic, I'm happy to help.

The stock cable on mine was a disaster. It bore even minute noises straight into the left earcup. Other members have complained about it to some extent or other.

I believe that the Q460 and K450 cables will fit. Recently, Audio Technica released the M50x, an M50 with a detachable cable and I read that the M50x cable works too. You should ask on the KRK appreciation thread. in order to be sure. Neither model is perfect as is. Both need a little modding: the cable vs. the headband.

I think they're both good for classical and would choose based on what sound (cold or warm) you like more. I prefer a cooler sound, so I would choose KNS if I wanted to own only one. I decided not to keep it as it sounds too much like my K702.
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post


Sure. If I know about the topic, I'm happy to help.

The stock cable on mine was a disaster. It bore even minute noises straight into the left earcup. Other members have complained about it to some extent or other.

I believe that the Q460 and K450 cables will fit. Recently, Audio Technica released the M50x, an M50 with a detachable cable and I read that the M50x cable works too. You should ask on the KRK appreciation thread. in order to be sure. Neither model is perfect as is. Both need a little modding: the cable vs. the headband.

I think they're both good for classical and would choose based on what sound (cold or warm) you like more. I prefer a cooler sound, so I would choose KNS if I wanted to own only one. I decided not to keep it as it sounds too much like my K702.

Thanks, I'll probably check out the respective threads.  I'm not a huge fan of modding though, so I may lean towards getting the SRH840.  One last question: I generally don't amp either.  Are these low-impedence enough that I can just play them with my laptop and/or mobile device?

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