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Best cans for female vocals <$500 - Page 2

post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by laon View Post

Hifiman HE300? They're very warm and quite frankly, muffled sounding, especially compared to clearer phone like 840. IMO HD600 is significantly better for that kind of sound signature.

Though I heard there's a mod for HE300 if you're comfortable with opening up your cans.

Haven't heard T90 but I've heard DT trio and T1, they're all very impressive in regard to soundstage, imaging and detail retrieval, probably among the best dynamic for those.
MA900 is like a grainier HD650 with even bigger soundstage.

Yes that is the problem with HiFiMAN , revision consistency ...the one I have is having tremendous extension and  although they have rolled off bass (REV-3) they are still warm 

The detail and clarity that they have is unlike anything I've heard , I own the 650s (Not the 600s , which I know don't have the relaxed treble that the 650s have)  and yes they might be a better phone in general but in terms of Female Vocals the HE-300s hands down are better , wonderfully extended and bodied 

Used to have the ma900s too but the grain was bad , typical Japanese headphone sound 

 

Also the sense of air is fantastic due to the extension from the upper mids to the upper treble 


Edited by MrTechAgent - 4/8/14 at 5:16am
post #17 of 26
Thread Starter 

So, some of you say that the HE300 is 'muffled' while others say it has very good 'detail and clarity'.

And it probably comes down to which revision of HE300 I would get, if I understood it correctly?

 

I am now also considering HD650..

And also thinking about other beyers.

 

I am going to audition a number of headphones during the weekend and would need a list of candidates. Unfortunately I doubt I will be able to listen to HE300

post #18 of 26
You added closed and well rounded use, in addition to female vocals. Mr speaker mad dogs i think sounded great when i heard them with some enya at a HFmeet. They have a real "breath-ey" quality that really shines with flute, clarinet where i could clearly hear the tonal difference between wood reed resonance and the flute. Those qualities work great with female vocals without extra sibilant piercing SSS sounds. I havent heard the alpha dogs or any of the t50 RP offspring yet but i think those are worth a look too.

You very specifically mention detail retrieval as a top priority. As an owner of an HD600 thats been modded with HD650 cable + silver mesh drivers, neither of these cans have ever been my best at detail retrieval. Particularly in the upper midrange-lower treble tones where female vocals and solo instrumentation reside. In terms of detail retrieval in this frequency range my RS1, MS2 (while I owned it) and K701 were better. Its a double edged sword though. The Grado and AKG detail presentation is partially due to upper midrange resonance characteristics that can be off-putting at times. For those times, thats when I use the HD650 which has one of the cleanest-driest, resonant-free sounds above ~1000 Hz, with little-no harmonic overhang beyond ~1.5 ms.

Note the RS1 was measured with flat pads... not the standard OEM ones.




Coincidentally the K701 has a very clean CSD plot... which leads me to believe its upper-midrange coloration resides more in the realm of distortion characteristics than frequency+time domains.


Edited by kramer5150 - 4/8/14 at 9:13am
post #19 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kramer5150 View Post

You added closed and well rounded use, in addition to female vocals. Mr speaker mad dogs i think sounded great when i heard them with some enya at a HFmeet. They have a real "breath-ey" quality that really shines with flute, clarinet where i could clearly hear the tonal difference between wood reed resonance and the flute. Those qualities work great with female vocals without extra sibilant piercing SSS sounds. I havent heard the alpha dogs or any of the t50 RP offspring yet but i think those are worth a look too.

You very specifically mention detail retrieval as a top priority. As an owner of an HD600 thats been modded with HD650 cable + silver mesh drivers, neither of these cans have ever been my best at detail retrieval. Particularly in the upper midrange-lower treble tones where female vocals and solo instrumentation reside. In terms of detail retrieval in this frequency range my RS1, MS2 (while I owned it) and K701 were better. Its a double edged sword though. The Grado and AKG detail presentation is partially due to upper midrange resonance characteristics that can be off-putting at times. For those times, thats when I use the HD650 which has one of the cleanest-driest, resonant-free sounds above ~1000 Hz, with little-no harmonic overhang beyond ~1.5 ms.

Note the RS1 was measured with flat pads... not the standard OEM ones.


Coincidentally the K701 has a very clean CSD plot... which leads me to believe its upper-midrange coloration resides more in the realm of distortion characteristics than frequency+time domains.

 

 

AlphaDogs and MadDogs are certainly an option. However, AlphaDogs is a little too expensive for my (at least here in the uk) budget. MadDogs..well, I know if I got them, I would inevitably keep thinking about upgrading to AlphaDogs. I don't plan buying another pair of (expensive) headphones for at least a year.

 

I didn't know about these aspects of Grado and AKG. Or probably any other cans with this good detail retrieval in the upper range. Now, this got me thinking about my priorities.

 

I suppose it is impossible getting around the issue of actually auditioning at least some of these headphones.

post #20 of 26
If you're thinking Mad Dog, ZMF is a better choice for female vocals. It has slightly more prominent mids and noticeable better treble. But both leak a little so that might disturb the missus.
post #21 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post

If you're thinking Mad Dog, ZMF is a better choice for female vocals. It has slightly more prominent mids and noticeable better treble. But both leak a little so that might disturb the missus.

Unfortunately can't get them in the UK.

 

But now I am really considering Alpha Dog, I would just need to stretch my budget a little. 

Also I am strangely drawn towards the Hifiman ones.. They seem to be very suited for electronic music. I would definitely try HE500 if I had the budget for it, HE400, some people say that they are not really great for female vocals, they mention sibilance which I really really want to avoid. HE300 seems to be an option although a bit risky and then again not really the same category as HE400 or especially 500.

And yes, now I started considering open cans too :) Seems to open up a lot more options.

post #22 of 26

I recommend T90. It's a unique headphone, details are exceptional (weak gear not recommended because it detects ever flaw in recordings). And of course female vocals are great. Grado's are good for vocals but none of them can beat the T90. Also, bass quality is the best I've ever heard. Quantity-wise of course it's not like Beyer 770's, but definitely not weak.

post #23 of 26
Thread Starter 

I am actually considering the T90s now. During the weekend I will have the chance to audition SRH1540, T90 and HD600/650, but unfortunately not the HE500.

Also Alpha Dog is not an option as it would be quite difficult to take hold of them here in the UK for a reasonable price.

 

So now it comes down to:

 

- T90

- SRH1540

- HD600

- HE500

 

However, I am concerned that the upper mids are recessed on HE500 and they are better for male vocals rather than female ones.

 

I have included my current headphones (SRH840) for reference as I know that I do like their sound signature. Now the HE500 seems to have a lower frequency response in the upper middle/lower treble range. 

Should I be worried about that? Do they actually have recessed upper mids?

post #24 of 26

Your concern is porbably right. When I look at the Freq. Response, it's obvious. But I don't know if it makes a big difference or not. I never heard HE-500's. But I think if you go with T90's, you will be satisfied with female vocals. I listened All At Once from Whitney Houston on T90's, and I was blown away by the Whitney's voice. It was perfect.

 

The only downside of T90 is harsh treble. But it really gets better with some time. And of course you can always use some EQ or get a tube amp.

post #25 of 26

Aren't the T90s out of your budget?

post #26 of 26
Thread Starter 

Sort of out of my budget. Unfortunately.

 

Here in the UK they are around £500. While the SRH1540 is £400. Could also get HE500 for used for about £450.

I originally intended to spend tops £400, but if the beyers are better than I am willing to pay a little more.

 

Also, while my original question was really focused on female vocals, later I added the genres I listen to. I want a headphone which work especially well with Vocal Trance. HE500 is appealing that it probably has really fast response which might be good for this sort of music..

It is a difficult one though as it feels like vocal trance consists of polar opposite genres, so an ideal headphone needs to combine excellent vocal performance with other characteristics. And these are usually found on different headphones. I could get let's say a Grado if I wanted good vocals only, or for example get a Denon if I wanted it for other EDM.. but it is not that easy.

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