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Upgrading from the AKG K550

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

Hey guys,

 

I've been thinking of trying out a new headphone lately. I own the Sennheiser HD598, and AKG K550. My 598's don't get much action being open-backed and living with other people around, but I am quite fond of my K550. Both offer very different sound profiles and closed back is great for living with others. The only problem with the K550 is that it's an ergonomic nightmare in terms of a very loose fit, which is a very common complaint. I'm curious if I was to look into trying out another set at some point, where would I go from a K550 in terms of closed back designs? The newer, resized version (K545) look really interesting, but a lot of people are saying it doesn't sound the same (contrary to AKG's claims) and they've gone too far with the resize, and now it's smaller than the standard ear size and can get uncomfortable. 

 

Thoughts on both the K545, and/or what other headsets might interset me. Must be closed design, and under $300. 

post #2 of 27

IMHO You can get a different sound signature, but probably not much of an upgrade in terms of imagining by staying under 300 bucks. Expensive hobby aye?

post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by swiftW1nd View Post
 

IMHO You can get a different sound signature, but probably not much of an upgrade in terms of imagining by staying under 300 bucks. Expensive hobby aye?

Haha, well, I'm not looking for an upgrade as in, an entirely superior headset. I mean upgrade as in, a more well thought out piece of audio equipment. The K550 has a great sound for it's price, but it's ergonomics are painful. I'm looking for a headset that matches the sound quality, but offers a better engineered physical headset. 

post #4 of 27

PSB M4U 1

Senn Momentum

post #5 of 27

I wouldn't say the Sennheiser Momentums would be an upgrade, TBH. 

 

They're good, ya, but if you think the K545 might be smaller than a standard ear size, then the Momentums have the same problem. Yes, I'm talking about the over-ear version. I tried them in the stores and was disappointed with the fit. But then again, they are 'lifestyle' headphones, and are well built, pretty and portable. The K550 is not at all portable, even with the K551 'lifestyle' counterpart. But I'm perfectly happy with my K550 using them at home. So damn comfortable. 

 

If it has to be closed ... the only ones that come to mind are the Fostex T50rp, though I haven't tried them. If you mod them, I'm not sure they'd still be under $300 tho. 

post #6 of 27

Momentum = £100 headphone with £150 materials

 

Audio technica m50 = momentums

 

And the earpads are 100% definitely on ear not over, they are tiny in no universe could they be considered over ear.

 

I'd look at the beyer dynamic dt770 limited edition 30ohm bit of a slight diagonal upgrade but closed with better clamp

 

Have you thought about modding the 550 ? bigger deeper pads would provide a tighter clamp force right ?


Edited by c64 - 3/16/14 at 3:05pm
post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 

My local PC store is selling the Shure SRH940 for $299.00. Reading through this thread, http://www.head-fi.org/t/656317/curious-what-sounds-better-than-a-k550-for-sealed-headphones ,

another user claims these cans are significantly better than the K550s...any credance to this??

post #8 of 27

objectively speaking, maybe it suits his taste more. But if you are talking about in terms of definition, it's definitely not "significantly" better. Something significantly better would be along the lines of Senn HD600. For instance I personally think the 940 sound like crap because it doesnt have enough bass to make my music enjoyable. I listen to a lot of contemporary electronic genres. They are definitely nice headphones for people who prefer other genres of music :p


Edited by swiftW1nd - 3/16/14 at 6:17pm
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by GridIroN View Post
 

Haha, well, I'm not looking for an upgrade as in, an entirely superior headset. I mean upgrade as in, a more well thought out piece of audio equipment. The K550 has a great sound for it's price, but it's ergonomics are painful. I'm looking for a headset that matches the sound quality, but offers a better engineered physical headset. 

Audio Technica ATH-A900X (closed) headphones.

Hifiman Velour ear pads.

post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by GridIroN View Post

Haha, well, I'm not looking for an upgrade as in, an entirely superior headset. I mean upgrade as in, a more well thought out piece of audio equipment. The K550 has a great sound for it's price, but it's ergonomics are painful. I'm looking for a headset that matches the sound quality, but offers a better engineered physical headset. 

I've seen quite a few favorable comparisons between the Soundmagic HP100 and the K550. Might be worth a look into.
Quote:
Originally Posted by swiftW1nd View Post

objectively speaking, maybe it suits his taste more. But if you are talking about in terms of definition, it's definitely not "significantly" better. Something significantly better would be along the lines of Senn HD600. For instance I personally think the 940 sound like crap because it doesnt have enough bass to make my music enjoyable. I listen to a lot of contemporary electronic genres. They are definitely nice headphones for people who prefer other genres of music tongue.gif

I agree. In the <$300 range, you won't find anything that clearly outclasses the K550, although it's certainly possible you might find a headphone you like better because of the different sound.
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

Audio Technica ATH-A900X (closed) headphones.

Hifiman Velour ear pads.

I own the K550 and the A900x. I agree that the A900x are more firm on the head, at least for me. They have a little bit less separation and clarity but only barely, and are very satisfying as they have a bit more bass to them without feeling bloated or boomy, just a bit warmer. I love both of them but generally lean a bit towards the A900x for pleasure listening, and the K550 for analysis. A lot of my friends who are more traditional/mainstream and bass-head types prefer the A900x because they find the K550 to be anemic, whereas I find it to be revealing. The A900x is a good mid-ground for us - as they appreciate the the breadth of the sound stage, the comfort and the presentation while it still isn't a Sol Republic V12 or a Custom One Pro (on second most open or most open) in terms of signature (which they prefer).  

post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by chocolatewol View Post

I own the K550 and the A900x. I agree that the A900x are more firm on the head, at least for me. They have a little bit less separation and clarity but only barely, and are very satisfying as they have a bit more bass to them without feeling bloated or boomy, just a bit warmer. I love both of them but generally lean a bit towards the A900x for pleasure listening, and the K550 for analysis. . . .

I had both, and got rid of the A900X. I think they are pretty similar in class--both equally good. What I liked better was the soundstage of the K550. I think it would be pretty hard for anybody to decide between these two without hearing them.
post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


I had both, and got rid of the A900X. I think they are pretty similar in class--both equally good. What I liked better was the soundstage of the K550. I think it would be pretty hard for anybody to decide between these two without hearing them.

Ha! The A900x were my first 'real' headphone, so I'm attached - and likely wouldn't get rid of them. When looking at/for the K550 (I had always been an AKG fan via their portables) I was having a crisis - am I going to be a person who has more than one headphone when he only will use one at a time, or will I have two even if they are redundant? It took me 9 days while visiting a friend in Iowa, going in to PeachBudz, to try and try and try but mostly to figure out what I wanted to do. 

 

I was equally afraid of immediately superceding my current headphones as well as just having something that was redundant. I don't know if I feel they are completely redundant - but they are for all practical purposes fairly much so. K550 has a slightly more airy soundstage, while the A900x seem to be a bit more 'huge speakers attached to your head' traditional in-room sound for classic rock and alternative, I find. I love both, but I probably don't need both. I use both, but for not necessarily any clear reason than whimsy, as they do nearly do the same thing for me. Both are incredibly detailed for the price. Great separation!

 

I am interested in what the Hifiman velour pads would do for them, though, as was mentioned a while back.

post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by chocolatewol View Post

Ha! The A900x were my first 'real' headphone, so I'm attached - and likely wouldn't get rid of them. When looking at/for the K550 (I had always been an AKG fan via their portables) I was having a crisis - am I going to be a person who has more than one headphone when he only will use one at a time, or will I have two even if they are redundant? It took me 9 days while visiting a friend in Iowa, going in to PeachBudz, to try and try and try but mostly to figure out what I wanted to do. 

I was equally afraid of immediately superceding my current headphones as well as just having something that was redundant. I don't know if I feel they are completely redundant - but they are for all practical purposes fairly much so. K550 has a slightly more airy soundstage, while the A900x seem to be a bit more 'huge speakers attached to your head' traditional in-room sound for classic rock and alternative, I find. I love both, but I probably don't need both. I use both, but for not necessarily any clear reason than whimsy, as they do nearly do the same thing for me. Both are incredibly detailed for the price. Great separation!

I am interested in what the Hifiman velour pads would do for them, though, as was mentioned a while back.

Well, then you need to get the Soundmagic HP100s, too. Those got a lot of AKG K550 fans excited. Then you'll have three to choose from smily_headphones1.gif
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


Well, then you need to get the Soundmagic HP100s, too. Those got a lot of AKG K550 fans excited. Then you'll have three to choose from smily_headphones1.gif

Nooooo - It's hard enough as it is! 

I don't really need more near-redundancy. 

 

... I don't know what I need, or want. 

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