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Best closed-back headphones for electronic music (psytrance) without bass boost?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hello, I'm looking for a natural sounding full-size closed headphone for home listening. I tried few headphones, but they all disappointed me in one way or another. What I'm looking for is an audiophile quality headphone that will not have any serious flaws (like bad comfort or sudden frequency response dips/peaks) and that will also have a good lows-mids-highs balance. The issue with closed headphones is that most of them have elevated bass to some extent, which obscures rest of the frequency range, especially in music that already has a lot of bass amount (psytrance). For me the most important part of music is mid and high range melodic synths, not just dull pounding bass. Also good comfort is top priority for me in headphones. Budget is not limited but I'd like to keep it rational (let's say up to $1000, but can go above if it can be really justified).

 

Headphones I owned:

- Sennheiser HD218 - my first real headphone, used them for about 5 years, after probably around 3 years the artificial leather on pads was completely gone, and I remember that one day I discovered there was much less bass and they were sounding very natural to me

- AKG K518DJ - at first I heard bass... but then I realized that there was nothing else, and returned them next day

- Beyerdynamic T70 - they were very comfortable (most comfortable headphone I ever tried) but bass on the other hand was a bit too thin, and there was frequency peak at around 9kHz which made unpleasant ringing noise in many tracks

- Sennheiser Momentum Over-Ear - headphone I currently own, comfort is very good and sound is pretty decent (very smooth across whole range), but the problem is they have a dark sound signature, i.e. they have a bit too much bass (sometimes I EQ down mid-bass by 3-5 dB) and lack in upper mids what makes them sound slow and lifeless

- Ultrasone PRO 750 - the overall sound signature was better than in Momentums (same amount of bass, but a lot more upper mids energy) but the comfort was very bad, earpads were hard and made my skin itch, so I returned them

 

I've read many GoldenEars reviews and I have found them to be accurate, their rating system is interesting (I wonder if they rate headphones just by looking on FR measurements or by listening). This is the GE rating of probably ideal headphone I'm seeking:

Transparency / Coloration: 5

Dynamics: 5

High resolution: 5

Treble relative to midrange: 0-1

Treble texture: 2 (not sure about this, I think that rougher treble makes music sound more realistic but less pleasant)

Bass relative to midrange: 0-1

Bass texture: 5

 

I'm currently considering buying Denon D2000, I know they are discontinued but they have a good rating on GoldenEars (close to my ideal), and they measure very well (flat from top to bottom, except dip around 3kHz in some measurements). But there are opinions that they lack in mids and have bloated sub-bass.

 

I also thought about getting Shure SRH-940, and modding them with Alpha or SRH-1540 pads as default ones look similar to those in PRO 750. They also have good GE rating, and great measurements (flat with some emphasis on lower and upper mids) except Beyer-like peak in treble, but it's better than peaks in bass. And I suppose they will also sound fast, caused by nice bass/upper mids ratio.

 

Also, if that's relevant, my current source is JDSLabs O2+ODAC combo.

 

There are some of my favorite songs that I would like to enjoy on new headphones:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7neUUgsxhc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Dh_DPHWy8U

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_HYJ3WUb24

 

Thanks in advance and sorry for my bad English, as it's not my native language :).

 

:happy_face1: 

post #2 of 4
He500. The lcd 2 is excellent as well but the he500 has an easier to like sound signature.

I think planars will have what you're looking for. They usually have well extended/deep but balanced bass and smooth, but present treble.

They tend to be on the heavier side, so headband pads might be necessary for some people. It really depends on the person.

http://graphs.headphone.com/graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID[]=3221&graphID[]=3241&scale=30

Edit: I derped and didn't see you need closed backs. The NAD hp50 or mrspeakers alpha dogs + doggie treats mod are probably why you're looking for. The ultimate headphone for your needs is probably the audeze lcdxc, but they're really expensive, and one of the heaviest headphones around.
Edited by b0000 - 3/10/14 at 4:01pm
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by b0000 View Post
 
 
He500. The lcd 2 is excellent as well but the he500 has an easier to like sound signature.

I think planars will have what you're looking for. They usually have well extended/deep but balanced bass and smooth, but present treble.

They tend to be on the heavier side, so headband pads might be necessary for some people. It really depends on the person.

http://graphs.headphone.com/graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID[]=3221&graphID[]=3241&scale=30

Edit: I derped and didn't see you need closed backs. The NAD hp50 or mrspeakers alpha dogs + doggie treats mod are probably why you're looking for. The ultimate headphone for your needs is probably the audeze lcdxc, but they're really expensive, and one of the heaviest headphones around.

 

Hey, thanks for response, the graphs are really impressive, bass/midrange ratio looks very good. I want closed backs because I don't want to annoy everyone in home as I like to listen music at high volume, but I can also consider open headphones if they are really good. You might be right, that planars are what I'm looking for. Do you think that LCD-XC would be better than HE500 or LCD2?

post #4 of 4
At this price point, diminishing returns hits really hard, so it's mostly about sound signature preferences.

The lcd2s upper midrange/treble is recessed compared to your typical HiFi headphone. I think it sounds extremely natural overall though.

The lcdxc is the closed version of the lcdx, meaning that it will be a bit brighter than the lcd2. The reason i suggested it is because it's the best and one of the extremely few closed planars. The only other one I know of is the fostex t50rp and all of its mods (thunder pants, mad dogs, alpha dogs)

The he500 is like an hd600 + sub bass extension. One of the best values in headphones. Summit fi sound without summit fi price.

This thread should be a good read it doesn't have the newer audezes though
http://www.head-fi.org/t/634201/battle-of-the-flagships-58-headphones-compared-update-audeze-lcd-2-revision-2-6-4-13#user_index2
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