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Open (or Half-open) headphones for music, movies and gaming

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 



I know the title of this thread sounds extremely generic, but I really did a lot of research considering this matter seeing numerous divergent opinions about various headphones, and so I am confused now.

One thing I would like to say first is that I do not in fact have a chance to listen (in real life :) ) to most of the models I considered, because the city I live in simply cannot provide places with such possibility.

So basically I would like to ask for advice in choosing appropriate headphones for music, movies and gaming, consequently they should have e.g. a really profound soundstage, balanced frequencies. I currently own Sennheiser HD202 and I would like to reach out for something better. I have already read many reviews of the following:

- Sennheiser HD558

- Sennheiser HD598

- Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro

- AKG K501

These were also the models I wanted to buy, but I am open to other offers.

I would also like to buy a sound card (or DAC/amp) for the model I choose and I was thinking about Asus Xonar U7, mainly because I cannot spend much money on it.


Would really appreciate some help in this matter :)

post #2 of 3
There is a simple mod involving removing tape inside the cups that will make the HD558 very similar to the HD598 because they use the same drivers: http://www.headfonia.com/sennheisers-new-hd558-and-hd598/3/

DT990s will give you a lot more bass emphasis and treble emphasis. Since you want balanced, I'd lean more toward the HD558/598.

I have no experience with the Xonar U7. But plenty of discussion here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/669127/asus-xonar-u7-dac-amp-appreciation-impressions-thread
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

Thank you for early response :)
Yes, I have read about the HD558 modding, however, there is always a great deal of subjectivism in headphones listening even when eliding the psychological aspect. I somehow find it hard to trust that removing a black tape would improve the quality of sound to the one of HD598 which is so praised (for this budget class). Is Sennheiser really so mean that they produced a nearly exactly same headphones model, but with an ugly color and without a black tape thing inside?
In a way I feel there could be a nuance that would make either the HD598 or modded HD558 better for me. The problem is I cannot listen to them myself.
Additionally, I listen to two types of music - progressive metal and classical.
I know that the Sennheiser headphones are really good for classical music, but I did not hear any flattering opinions about how they behave in metal.

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