Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Best "Starter" Headphones? - HiFiMan HE-400 / AKG K712 / Sennheiser HD650 / Sennheiser HD600
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Best "Starter" Headphones? - HiFiMan HE-400 / AKG K712 / Sennheiser HD650 / Sennheiser HD600 - Page 2

Poll Results: Which Option Would You Suggest?

 
  • 16% (20)
    HiFiMan HE-400
  • 17% (21)
    AKG K712
  • 13% (16)
    Sennheiser HD650
  • 45% (54)
    Sennheiser HD600
  • 5% (7)
    Other (Please List in Thread)
118 Total Votes  
post #16 of 39
Those are quite the list of "starter" headphones.

Most of us started with $50 headphones instead of $400 headphones.

I'll let the members who have actually heard those headphones help you decide. The best headphone to chose solely depends on what genre you listen to the most.
post #17 of 39

I would say the HD600 (warmer sounding) or Beyerdyanmic DT880 (more V-shaped).  He-400 would be quite a nice headphone if not for the ear-piercing treble. 

 

The best way to find out though is to audition them yourself;  Buy them from amazon and you would only lose out 7 dollars return shipping if you don't like them.

post #18 of 39

I'd go with the DT880 as they're more balanced, have a fast tight bass that goes deep, and also are much more comfortable than the HE-400. They're a great all-rounder overall, especially considering the price you can get them.

The HE-400 is also great, just different signagure. They're darker, have a linear bass response, also pretty fast, great imaging and good soundstage, but they have an annoying treble peak.

post #19 of 39

When I started Head-fi-ing a couple of years ago I got the Beyerdynamic DT990 pro which I loved all the way untill they broke after about a year. Such a fun headphone which I think resembles the HE400 in soundsignature a bit(Correct me if you feel I am wrong).

 

Then I got the HD650 which I found dissapointing playing from my Asus Xonar STX. ( They deserve a better amp and I think the HD600 does aswell)

 

A year later I lived abroad and did not bring any headphones except my V-moda M80 so I bought a pair of Grado SR225i which I liked since back then I was mostly trance and metal guy so the M80/Grado variation was quite good for that kind of music.

 

I bought a Matrix M-stage a couple of months in from hifimanrookie which I hitched a ride with to Dutch head-fi meet. Fantastic amplifier for that price and made my HD650,(which I gonne home to Sweden to retriev), alot more enjoyable but still the DT990 was my favourite headphone.

 

Now I am a bit close to a TOTL setup with my LCD-X and Auralic Taurus amplifier, (Which makes the HD650 get almost as much time as my LCD-X).

The point is picking out HD650 early with not so good amplifier makes them boring and I would stay away from them unless you intend to amp them well. Also heard them with the Bottlehead Crack but I did not think much of them with that one aswell.

I think the same goes for HD600 but I am not sure about that.

 

I have heard the AKG briefly and they are good but I would not recommend to buy or not to buy them.

 

I guess in conclusion the HE400 is what I would go for now that I have written a wall of text. 

post #20 of 39
Thread Starter 

Thanks a lot for all of the help. (By the way, aren't the Beyerdynamic headphones supposed to be known for their brightness? I actually was considering them but scratched them off the list after reading many people mentioning their fatiguing treble. Aside from those and the three brands mentioned above, I have no clue about any others that might be worth considering and know absolutely nothing about amps and dacs. haha)

 

I actually received my HE-400s + Schiit Magni and Modi combo a few days ago. I have been testing them out with movies, games, and every type of music I can think of. I'm extremely new to all of this so I'll try to explain it as best I can.

 

I'm not that crazy about these headphones so far. I have listened to them for probably 10-12 hours already. My impression is that they lack a lot in the mids making vocal reproduction quite lackluster which is probably the first thing I noticed. The separation of instruments is admirable but I feel like the overall sound is cluttered. Bass is present when it's supposed to be but I feel it lacks impact and control. As for the treble, as I feared it is too bright for my taste. It isn't always fatiguing but quite a few songs made it apparent then after several hours, I had a pretty gnarly headache and badly needed a break. My neck isn't weak but I can definitely feel the weight of the headphones after an hour or so and the difference between them and my Sennheiser Ones grows as time goes on. The comfort, with both the pleather and velour earpads, doesn't really do it for me. It's probably the weight making the most of the difference but my ears touch the sides of the cups, which is annoying, and the cans just feel huge and awkward on the side of my face. Does this sound like a decent description of them overall? lol I'm trying my best but I'm not sure how else to describe them.

 

With all that in mind, I would prefer to have a pair of headphones with better vocals, cleaner sound with more detail, better bass response, and that are less bright & fatiguing. (In terms of bass, I'm not searching for basshead cans, just simply more impact & control that keep up with faster paced music. In rock or metal genre songs, it just always seemed to be a bit wrong for the job.) Would you guys still recommend the Sennheiser HD600s or are there other options that you would recommend for this? I wouldn't mind spending a bit more if it's going to make a worthwhile difference.

 

Will the HD600s be treated well by the Magni + Modi Combo or would a different Amp & Dac / different headphones with the Magni + Modi be a better choice? Aside from the stuff I have already mentioned, the only headphones I know above this price range that people generally love are the LCD-2s and HD800s, which both come in around $800-$1,000 it seems. Are these really worth the price difference? As for the Amp & Dac, aside from these Schiit models, the only others I know of are the higher tier Schiits such as the Asgard, Lyr, Bifrost, etc. and then the O2 and ODAC. Would investing more here make a huge difference or is it a situation where you only get marginal increases for a lot more money? I'm not looking for the 1% better option from my collection of a dozen headphones & amps, just simply a solid investment that provides excellent bang for the buck which keeps up with those more expensive options.

 

Thanks!


Edited by Melee - 4/12/14 at 12:09am
post #21 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melee View Post
 

Thanks a lot for all of the help. (By the way, aren't the Beyerdynamic headphones supposed to be known for their brightness? I actually was considering them but scratched them off the list after reading many people mentioning their fatiguing treble. Aside from those and the three brands mentioned above, I have no clue about any others that might be worth considering and know absolutely nothing about amps and dacs. haha)

 

I actually received my HE-400s + Schiit Magni and Modi combo a few days ago. I have been testing them out with movies, games, and every type of music I can think of. I'm extremely new to all of this so I'll try to explain it as best I can.

 

I'm not that crazy about these headphones so far. I have listened to them for probably 10-12 hours already. My impression is that they lack a lot in the mids making vocal reproduction quite lackluster which is probably the first thing I noticed. The separation of instruments is admirable but I feel like the overall sound is cluttered. Bass is present when it's supposed to be but I feel it lacks impact and control. As for the treble, as I feared it is too bright for my taste. It isn't always fatiguing but quite a few songs made it apparent then after several hours, I had a pretty gnarly headache and badly needed a break. My neck isn't weak but I can definitely feel the weight of the headphones after an hour or so and the difference between them and my Sennheiser Ones grows as time goes on. The comfort, with both the pleather and velour earpads, doesn't really do it for me. It's probably the weight making the most of the difference but my ears touch the sides of the cups, which is annoying, and the cans just feel huge and awkward on the side of my face. Does this sound like a decent description of them overall? lol I'm trying my best but I'm not sure how else to describe them.

 

With all that in mind, I would prefer to have a pair of headphones with better vocals, cleaner sound with more detail, better bass response, and that are less bright & fatiguing. (In terms of bass, I'm not searching for basshead cans, just simply more impact & control that keep up with faster paced music. In rock or metal genre songs, it just always seemed to be a bit wrong for the job.) Would you guys still recommend the Sennheiser HD600s or are there other options that you would recommend for this? I wouldn't mind spending a bit more if it's going to make a worthwhile difference.

 

Will the HD600s be treated well by the Magni + Modi Combo or would a different Amp & Dac / different headphones with the Magni + Modi be a better choice? Aside from the stuff I have already mentioned, the only headphones I know above this price range that people generally love are the LCD-2s and HD800s, which both come in around $800-$1,000 it seems. Are these really worth the price difference? As for the Amp & Dac, aside from these Schiit models, the only others I know of are the higher tier Schiits such as the Asgard, Lyr, Bifrost, etc. and then the O2 and ODAC. Would investing more here make a huge difference or is it a situation where you only get marginal increases for a lot more money? I'm not looking for the 1% better option from my collection of a dozen headphones & amps, just simply a solid investment that provides excellent bang for the buck which keeps up with those more expensive options.

 

Thanks!

If you spend another 80, and don't mind used headphones. You could get a pair of HE-500's in the FS section

post #22 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by headphonatic View Post
 

If you spend another 80, and don't mind used headphones. You could get a pair of HE-500's in the FS section

I actually saw them and considered it for quite a while. (They are sold now.) However, I know they are actually heavier than the HE-400s while still having the same "basic" tonality plus needing additional amplification so I figured they probably weren't for me. Thank You for the heads up, though, I truly appreciate it. :beerchug: 

post #23 of 39
Thread Starter 

Bump.  :)

post #24 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melee View Post

 

I'm not that crazy about these headphones so far. I have listened to them for probably 10-12 hours already. My impression is that they lack a lot in the mids making vocal reproduction quite lackluster which is probably the first thing I noticed. The separation of instruments is admirable but I feel like the overall sound is cluttered. Bass is present when it's supposed to be but I feel it lacks impact and control. As for the treble, as I feared it is too bright for my taste. It isn't always fatiguing but quite a few songs made it apparent then after several hours, I had a pretty gnarly headache and badly needed a break. My neck isn't weak but I can definitely feel the weight of the headphones after an hour or so and the difference between them and my Sennheiser Ones grows as time goes on. The comfort, with both the pleather and velour earpads, doesn't really do it for me. It's probably the weight making the most of the difference but my ears touch the sides of the cups, which is annoying, and the cans just feel huge and awkward on the side of my face. Does this sound like a decent description of them overall? lol I'm trying my best but I'm not sure how else to describe them.

 

 

Thanks!


I had similar thoughts about the HE-400 when I first listened. Stock, they sound a little closed in and muffled. The culprit is the stock pleather pads. You'd be surprised at how much they affect the sound. Do you like the velours more? I strongly recommend making a pair of jergpads (just search jergpads to find the thread). 

To fix the glaring treble, you need to use EQ. I cut the 8 to 10 Khz by about 10 dB and that helps greatly. 

I'm surprised you say the bass lacks impact and control. To me, impact and control are one of the strong points of the HE-400... What kind of music are you listening to (FLAC, mp3, streaming, etc.)? Do you have any sound enhancements such as bass boost, virtual surround, loudness, etc. enabled in your audio settings? If so, try turning all that stuff off. 


Edited by manbear - 4/13/14 at 9:50am
post #25 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by manbear View Post
 


I had similar thoughts about the HE-400 when I first listened. Stock, they sound a little closed in and muffled. The culprit is the stock pleather pads. You'd be surprised at how much they affect the sound. Do you like the velours more? I strongly recommend making a pair of jergpads (just search jergpads to find the thread). 

To fix the glaring treble, you need to use EQ. I cut the 8 to 10 Khz by about 10 dB and that helps greatly. 

I'm surprised you say the bass lacks impact and control. To me, impact and control are one of the strong points of the HE-400... What kind of music are you listening to (FLAC, mp3, streaming, etc.)? Do you have any sound enhancements such as bass boost, virtual surround, loudness, etc. enabled in your audio settings? If so, try turning all that stuff off. 

 

Yes, I like the Velours much better than the Pleather pads. It doesn't completely fix the issues I had with the sound but it greatly improves the overall airiness and open type of sound with them.

 

How would I go about doing that? I'm assuming I would need to do it on my computer since the Magni/Modi don't give me that option.

 

I could be using the wrong terms. I know what I mean in my head but I'm quite inexperienced with this so I might not be translating it properly. The bass just seemed to get overshadowed by the treble to where it didn't sound right at all on tracks that I have listened to a million times and expected a certain amount or type of bass to be present. I tested them with literally every type of music but mostly rock (everything from alternative to metal), acoustic, country, and folk type stuff.  All of those sound altering options are turned off already. I listened to everything on Spotify, as I always have. I could try something else if it will make a difference.

 

Thanks for your help. I appreciate it. :)

 

EDIT:

 

The main problem I have, aside from the treble of course, is the vocal reproduction and midrange. I feel like that in order to achieve the volume and sound in the bass and mid range that I'm looking for, with the computer and spotify volume at full, I have to turn the Magni's knob to between 12 o'clock and 2'clock which further embellishes the treble spike and brightness that exists at lower levels to a point where it's unbearable.


Edited by Melee - 4/13/14 at 11:04am
post #26 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melee View Post
 

 

Yes, I like the Velours much better than the Pleather pads. It doesn't completely fix the issues I had with the sound but it greatly improves the overall airiness and open type of sound with them.

 

How would I go about doing that? I'm assuming I would need to do it on my computer since the Magni/Modi don't give me that option.

 

I could be using the wrong terms. I know what I mean in my head but I'm quite inexperienced with this so I might not be translating it properly. The bass just seemed to get overshadowed by the treble to where it didn't sound right at all on tracks that I have listened to a million times and expected a certain amount or type of bass to be present. I tested them with literally every type of music but mostly rock (everything from alternative to metal), acoustic, country, and folk type stuff.  All of those sound altering options are turned off already. I listened to everything on Spotify, as I always have. I could try something else if it will make a difference.

 

Thanks for your help. I appreciate it. :)

 

EDIT:

 

The main problem I have, aside from the treble of course, is the vocal reproduction and midrange. I feel like that in order to achieve the volume and sound in the bass and mid range that I'm looking for, with the computer and spotify volume at full, I have to turn the Magni's knob to between 12 o'clock and 2'clock which further embellishes the treble spike and brightness that exists at lower levels to a point where it's unbearable.


OK, it sounds like the treble is the main problem here. I can't stand the treble spike, but the sound becomes much more balanced once you get rid of it. EQ is really essential to getting the most out of the HE-400. There is a lot of discussion of EQ programs and EQ settings in the HE-400 appreciation thread, but the key is to lower the 8Khz to 10Khz region significantly, at least 6 to 12 dB. Play around with it a little too -- like lowering 7 Khz and 11khz for example. I don't use Spotify, but I found a few articles that explain how to use EQ with it. 

 

http://www.equalify.me/

http://lifehacker.com/5993636/how-to-equalize-your-computer-for-itunes-spotify-and-everything-else

post #27 of 39

Give some time them to burn-in ...its v.early to judge them..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melee View Post
 

 

Yes, I like the Velours much better than the Pleather pads. It doesn't completely fix the issues I had with the sound but it greatly improves the overall airiness and open type of sound with them.

 

How would I go about doing that? I'm assuming I would need to do it on my computer since the Magni/Modi don't give me that option.

 

I could be using the wrong terms. I know what I mean in my head but I'm quite inexperienced with this so I might not be translating it properly. The bass just seemed to get overshadowed by the treble to where it didn't sound right at all on tracks that I have listened to a million times and expected a certain amount or type of bass to be present. I tested them with literally every type of music but mostly rock (everything from alternative to metal), acoustic, country, and folk type stuff.  All of those sound altering options are turned off already. I listened to everything on Spotify, as I always have. I could try something else if it will make a difference.

 

Thanks for your help. I appreciate it. :)

 

EDIT:

 

The main problem I have, aside from the treble of course, is the vocal reproduction and midrange. I feel like that in order to achieve the volume and sound in the bass and mid range that I'm looking for, with the computer and spotify volume at full, I have to turn the Magni's knob to between 12 o'clock and 2'clock which further embellishes the treble spike and brightness that exists at lower levels to a point where it's unbearable.

Give some time them to burn-in ...its v.early to judge them..

post #28 of 39

Right now you can buy the Sennheiser HD 600 headphones for 260.00 with free shipping and no tax here:

 

http://slickdeals.net/f/7508400-sennheiser-hd600-audiophile-dynamic-headphones-260-free-shipping

 

I like mine a whole lot and think they are a very good value, especially at this price point.

post #29 of 39

I would recommend that you give the HE-400i's a try... Razordog sells them open box for $395. I have ordered open box items from them and they are indistinguishable from new...

 

The 400i's address many of the complaints you have about the 400's sound and they are FAR more comfortable.

post #30 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeysixtysix View Post
 

I would recommend that you give the HE-400i's a try... Razordog sells them open box for $395. I have ordered open box items from them and they are indistinguishable from new...

 

The 400i's address many of the complaints you have about the 400's sound and they are FAR more comfortable.


+1 if you're not sold on the HD600.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Best "Starter" Headphones? - HiFiMan HE-400 / AKG K712 / Sennheiser HD650 / Sennheiser HD600