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Looking for open over ear open headphones around $200+ish. Reccomendations?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hi, im a new guy here but have been lurking around these forums for like years. I am definitely no audiophile nor do I think I will ever attain that level or "skill" to become one. But I do enjoy good sounding music and sound. I listen to most types of music except for rap.

 

I use a fiio X3 to drive most of my audio after my mp3 player broke and my motherboard sometimes has noise. I own a pair of SE215's, an AKG K81DJ, and a Creative gaming headset (Tactic Alpha).

 

So anyway I was looking for a pair of headphones that I would use at home. And because all my cans are closed I was wondering how open cans sounded. The Grado and Alessandro line looked interesting. Then there's the Philips Fidelio L1/L2. Or maybe a Sennheiser 558/598. The Alessandro line is cheaper because Grados cost 30% more here in japan than in america. My main concern is if the MS2 is worth getting over the MS1 ($90 vs $270). Or if I should get a Sennheiser instead (the 598 is $200 and the 558 $150). Like will I appreciate it, or is it not worth it because of my current system.

 

It would be nice if I could just audition them at some shop but the problem is, being in japan, I can try out are Audio Technica, Beyerdynamic, or Sony. Im just not a super big fan of those.

 

I'd appreciate any input and sorry if my post is bit messy and convoluted. XD

post #2 of 8

Do you like cake or pie?  Essentially that is what this question boils down to.

 

The Senns you are considering are both excellent cans in their class.  In a slightly veiled and somewhat polite Senn way, they do most everything that an open can is supposed to deliver and do it very well.  It's the safe and reliable choice.  You won't get burned.

 

On the other hand the Alessandros invite you to sit on stage with the band and get down with them.  They are outstanding cans for rock and electric blues.  They have slam that the Senns lack, but that also means that they have a smaller sound stage than the Senns.  Some folks find the Grado/Alessandros to be uncomfortable, while few people find that to be true with the Senns.  With the Alessandros (and maybe just a bit more with Grados), you might find that the sound signature and design are not for you.  On the other hand you could discover that they deliver your music in a way that burns down the house.

 

The MS-2i is, in my estimation, worth the extra money over the MS-1i--if you have it to spend.  There is certainly nothing wrong with the MS-1i.  If you like the sound signature, it punches above its weight class.  However, the MS-2i is a very special can.  It takes what the Grado SR 325is has to offer; smooths its treble (which many find to be very bright and even harsh); produces a more neutral--well at least more balanced--sound signature; and thus make it more versatile that its Grado cousin, as it handles more genres of music better than does the Grado.

 

Regardless of which you select, you will need to fix your computer.  Neither can fix a bad signal and/or source.

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply. Sorry for the late reply, I've been a bit busy.

 

I often hearing that open cans generally have better sounding because of the soundstage and I was also looking for an upgrade.

 

First I was interested in the grados at first, but I often hear it said that the "soundstage" isnt big. I really dont understand what soundstage is because all the headphones i have ever used were closed, except for a pair of Audio Technica ATH-AD700 I borrowed a long time ago.

 

I guess I have to make an educated guess here and just choose one and hope for the best. I'll probably go to a shop and audition some of the Audio Technicas and the byers to get a better understanding before i choose.

 

So I'm currently considering the Alessandro MS2, Senn 598, or AKG  K702 / Q702.

 

And oh, my computer isn't broken, I just need to disconnect the front USB ports from the mobo. But I rather just use my X3 as a USB DAC/AMP/DAP.

post #4 of 8

Soundstage is the the three dimensional presentation of your sound source--the accuracy with which your headphone (and system) conveys audible information about the size, shape, and acoustical characteristics of the original recording space and the placement of the performers within it.  This is especially important in modern home theater.  It is also very important to well recorded music--especially as the number of musical voices increases on the track.

 

Good luck with your quest.

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

I guess its not like the MS2 has no soundstage, its just small. They should sound more open than my Shure SE215 or AKG K91DJ? Oh one more thing I've been wondering, are the grados on ear or over ear?

post #6 of 8

I can only comment on the Senns, but I can definitely recommend the 558/598 as great all arounders.  They have a good soundstage, and  are fairly neutral except for  the mids that are a bit forward, making most music sound engaging.

 

The two are essentially identical, so don't feel bad saving the $50 by going with the 558, if you choose to go that route.

post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by poemichan View Post
 

I guess its not like the MS2 has no soundstage, its just small. They should sound more open than my Shure SE215 or AKG K91DJ? Oh one more thing I've been wondering, are the grados on ear or over ear?


The MS-1i has the smallest sound stage.  However, it is as large or larger than any closed can that I have heard currently under $600 street price.  The soundstage of the MS-2i is larger--not that much different from the HD 558, but smaller than the HD 598.

 

I am not familiar with either of your reference cans (Shure or AKG), although I am of other AKG (e.g. Q 701, K 240 Studio) & Shure (SRH 1840, 840 & 940) headphones.

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

I'm definitely leaning towards the alessandro ms2 now. I'll probably order one after my next paycheck unless I find something better at a local shop. Thanks for all the help.

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