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hd650 vs k701 vs dt880 + intro

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hello all.  This is my first post so bear with me.  I caught the audiophile bug a while ago but im still pretty new to the hobby. 

Im looking into getting my third pair of (noteworthy) headphones.  Im up in the air between the sennheiser  hd650s, the AKG k701s, and the beyerdynamic dt880s.  I mostly listen to progressive metal/rock, jazz, and some classical.  I currently have a pair of Grado sr325is and a pair of beyerdynamic dt990s.  I really like them both but im looking for something with a more neutral response and was wondering other member opinons and them were.  Im currently using a teac ud h01 as an amp and dac (looking to geta better amp as well, but for another time.)

post #2 of 7

Hi - welcome to Head-Fi

 

Your thread title peaked my interest, as I'm a former owner of the HD600, DT880 and K701 (still have the HD600 and DT880), and I also used to own the SR325i.

 

This may help a little - it's an impression I wrote a year ago .....

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post
 

I am a reasonably long-time owner of all 3 headphones DT880 (mine are 600ohm), K701, and HD600.  I would encourage you (rather than quickly swapping the headphones) to actually spend a day with each - and then see if your ideas on the sound of each actually change.

 

You may find that after spending longer time with a headphone like the HD600, and only the HD600 - then switching to the Beyer or AKG - that you will then change your mind on which is most balanced.  Instead of the HD600 being overly warm and lacking energy - you may find that they Beyers / AKGs instead sound overly bright.  It's an interesting exercise.  Our brains adjust to what they are used to - then compare other sounds to that base.  As the base changes - so do our impressions of a particular headphone.

 

Anyway - it's a good idea for a thread - I'll also throw in my quick impressions of all 3.  My set-up is Foobar (PC) > optical out to an Audio-gd NFB-12, then either direct to the headphones or via my LD MKIV (the amp doesn't change the contrast, nor my impression of each).

 

DT880.

Quite flat  - but with elevated high-end.  Bass extends pretty well and is nicely defined.  Mids appear slightly further back in the spectrum - particularly compared to the highs.  For me - it is the most detailed (like shining a spotlight on the music).  Has the smallest sound-stage of the 3 - but still great for almost any genre.  Very, very comfortable.  Definitely brighter than 'normal' sound.

 

K701
Again reasonably flat response - but with more emphasis on mid-range and highs.  Bass is recessed compared to mid-range and highs - but what is there is well defined, and IMO sounds really good.  Definitely the most bass-light of the 3.  Does a beautiful job of the mid-range - particularly acoustic and stringed instruments in general.  Widest soundstage of the 3 - by quite a margin.  Imaging is OK - sometimes struggles with center stage (not sure if that is particular recordings though).  Handles fast paced music pretty well.  Appears very detailed - but IMO the Beyer shows more actual detail in comparison.  Comfort because of the bumps in the headband is not great.  Because of this, I removed the bumps, added a small layer of foam, and then finished it with a soft lamb-skin leather layer.  It is now extremely comfortable.

 

HD600

Whilst I wouldn't call it exactly flat - I would say it gives (to my ears) the most natural presentation of the three.  It is the most life-like and has really good resolution and timbre.  Sound stage is close to the Beyers (marginally larger), but the imaging is better than both to me.  Has a little mid-bass bump, and gives the impression of slightly forward mids.   Appears slower than both the Beyer and AKG.  Appearance of less detail is often misleading - the detail is all there  - it just doesn't have a spotlight shone on it like the others.  Comfort is pretty good - although a bit clampy at times.  Over time they have become more comfortable for me - and sit between the Beyer and my (now modified) AKG.

 

Of the three headphones - with a good (well recorded) live performance - all three headphones sound superb - but the HD600 is the only one (if I close my eyes) that can actually give me the feeling that I am actually sitting in the audience - their tone, timbre and imaging really is superb.

 

Short summary (just my view):

Bass (quantity) - HD600 > DT880 > K701

Bass (quality) - DT880 > HD600 = K701 (just different presentation between the Senn and AKG)

Mid-range - HD600 > K701 > DT880

Highs (quantity) - DT880 > K701 > HD600

 

Sound-stage (size) - K701 > HD600 > DT880

Imaging - HD600 > DT880 =/> K701 (tough to call depends on recording)

Naturalness - HD600 >>>> K701 > DT880

Comfort - DT880 > HD600 > K701

 

I love all 3 headphones, and I probably spend equal time with each - depends on my mood.  They are all stellar performers for their price.

 

The Senns are a little slower than the other two - and I'm really not sure if they'd have the pace to handle metal - but they are wonderful with jazz and classical (HD600).  Definitely the most natural.

 

DT880 are faster - great with most genres, a little on the bright side - very neutral.

 

K701 bridge the gap between the two IMO - but need decent amping to reach most potential.

 

If you're looking for something similar to HD600 - but faster, less mid-bass hump, and flatter overall - I'd also consider the SRH1840 if you could get them for a decent price.

 

Hope this helps. 

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks brooko.  I hadnt consider the shures.  Ill look into them some more but just at a glance they do look like something i may be interested in.  How are they for dynamics compared to the others or the grados?  also if you have any experience with the shr1440s, how do they compare?


Edited by Mking93 - 5/16/14 at 4:50am
post #4 of 7

I haven't heard the 1440's - there a few on the forums who've heard both though - search function is your friend:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/606734/a-shure-shootout-srh-940-vs-srh-1440-vs-srh-1840

 

This might help (great description of the 1840s) - http://www.head-fi.org/t/634201/battle-of-the-flagships-58-headphones-compared-update-audeze-lcd-2-revision-2-6-4-13#user_SRH1840

It was graded B based on a 699 price.  Considering nowadays you can pick them up for $400 used - they are quite the bargain.  I'm even tempted to repurchase them again.

 

Here's David Solomon's pair - they'll be immaculate ...... http://www.head-fi.org/t/711341/flagship-gear-sale-selling-most-of-my-stuff

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Ended up getting he 650s.  Really happy with them.  not as dark as i was expecting and a lot more bass hit than i was expecting,  They sound fantastic with jazz and classical.  a lot of metal too.  and for the ones that it doesnt then i still have my grados and beyers.

post #6 of 7

Nice.  Enjoy them !

post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mking93 View Post
 

Ended up getting he 650s.  Really happy with them.  not as dark as i was expecting and a lot more bass hit than i was expecting,  They sound fantastic with jazz and classical.  a lot of metal too.  and for the ones that it doesnt then i still have my grados and beyers.


great choice! they're absolutely not as dark as some people say. :)

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