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Recommendations for both open and closed headphones. HD-650 vs HE-500/460i & B&W P7 vs NAD HP50,...

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone,

 

Long time stalker, first time posting.

 

I'm looking for some advice for a few diff options please for both open and closed cans, both full sized, over ear. Apologize for noob terminology - still learning. Found this posting format sensible (with the required info from reddit, so thought it may help)

 

I'll separate my questions, but just a quick overview. I have a variety of headphones, but am ready to move up to a more refined setup for both home and work. I'm not on a strict budget necessarily, but considering my relative inexperience it makes sense to stick to a budget of $1,000 or so for everything. I'll sell off the M50 and possibly the 598s, so that helps buffer things.

 

Open full-sized headphones:

 

Budget: around $500

Source: Currently FiiO e17. Still looking at desktop amp options, so recommendations here are also welcome. Looking at o2, Schiit M&M. Hope to stay under $300 or at least that for the amp.

Currently using: Senn HD-598, V-Moda M-80, ATH-M50, UE Triple Fi 5 Pro (cable has broken 2x)

Preferred tonal balance: Prefer clarity, detailed but full sound, wide soundstage. The 598's are excellent for these factors but seem to lack in some way - can't quite put my finger on it. I know they're a bit bass light (could that be a factor?). I'm not a basshead by any means. The M80s have plenty for example. They sound great for classical and jazz but perhaps are a bit too light/thin? (again, apologize for my lack of terminology). Think HD-800 with more bass?

Currently looking at: HE-500 but may make sense to wait for 460i?, HD-650.

Preferred Music: Classical, jazz, soundtracks, rock (Arcade Fire, The National, Radiohead, NIN, etc), downtempo/trip-hop, ambient, 

 

Would these options make sense? I briefly tried the HE-400 but found it to be quite clamping after trying the HD-650 - still haven't tried HE-500, but if comfort is the same, that may be a turn-off after being spoiled by Senns. Then again, the upcoming 460i may be better in that area. I loved the HD-800's soundstage, but won't shell out that kind of $ at this stage and realize it'd be foolish without a serious amp behind it. From the days/weeks of pouring over forums, it seems as though the HD-650 and HiFiMan would be a good option. I'm not ready to shell out tons for amps, but realize my E17 won't push these cans, so I am willing to upgrade to a desktop amp and/or run the DAC of the E17 through an amp. Looking at the M&M for now just to get my feet wet, but would go a bit higher if need be - would rather put the coin into the cans for now and scale up for dac/amp later down the road.

 

I'm going to again give these all a good listen soon, but as I'm in Asia (a 30-something American living in Asia), I can't always have access to them all. Will be in the US all summer, so will likely purchase there. Am not opposed to buying used if that's a recommended route (ebay/Amazon or hifi all ok?).

 

My priority is the open cans over closed. Wondering if it's foolish to upgrade both or just stick to better open and stick with IEM, M80 for portable/work?

 

 

Closed full-sized headphones:

 

Budget: around $400 or less

Source: Currently FiiO e17. (same as above)

Currently using: Same as above

Preferred tonal balance: Same as above

Currently looking at: B&W P7, NAD HP50, others?

 

Am I being naive to think a full sized closed can would be much better than my M80's (and less portable?). The M80's are great, but wanted something more refined and comfortable for work, while home can be open. Would the P7/NAD be much better/different than the M80's other than comfort?

 

The B&Ws have received quite good reviews. I realize innerfidelity rates the NADs a bit better value, but man the P7's look stunning (I used to be an industrial designer).

 

I have not yet tried either of these options but will definitely try to do so before making a decision. In the meantime, any experience or opinions is highly welcome.

 

Again, I appreciate the help and if I can provide more info to help narrow things down please let me know.

post #2 of 2
Thread Starter 
Was my question too long? Should I have separated the closed and open questions?
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