So after spending the last few days going through the suggestions posted on the thread (and by the way, thanks to everyone!) and reading reviews in the forums, I decided I'll get the Magni amp and the HD 600, later down the road I might get the Modi DAC but at the moment I'm in no rush. For a moment I was considering the Beyerdynamic DT 880 but apparently the general consensus is that the HD 600 is superior in most aspects and it's worth the price. Before I pull the trigger on the HD 600, I want to confirm this is true since there's a + $150 difference between the two, so I want to make sure I'm making the right choice.
In a nutshell:
Pros: neutral, forward mids, all rounder, transparent, easy to drive
Cons: lacks detail, the infamous "Sennheiser veil", soundstage is not as wide as in other models
Pros: neutral, pure sounding mids, all rounder, good soundstage, extended bass, very comfortable
Cons: lacks transparency, lacks detail and imaging and can be fatiguing at times
Can anyone that has tried both confirm this?
I have both.
They both have their strengths, and both deserve to be on similar tiers as far as ranking goes.
- They are both neutral. The HD600 is slightly more natural sounding - I think it has better timbre and tone. HD600 does have a slight boost in the mid-bass, and the mid range is slightly forward. The DT880 is more neutral (as in flat - nothing boosted), but does have a brighter overall tonality.
- Both are all rounders.
- DT880 appears to have slightly faster transients - HD600 has a little more decay - at times making it appear slower.
- Both have very good detail. Anyone saying that HD600 lacks detail is either comparing it to much higher tier cans, or is not amping it properly. The detail is all present - it just doesn't have a spotlight shone on it as some other cans have.
- Both have similar soundstage. It's not huge - but it is by no means small or intimate. The best thing is that it is realistic - unlike some cans which are too left/right and center blob. More importantly, both cans image very well within their price brackets.
- Both are extremely comfortable for long term listening - the Beyers may have a slight advantage.
- IMO the "Sennheiser veil" is a myth that became popular as flagships slowly became brighter and brighter in frequency response. There is nothing veiled about my HD600. Perhaps people have forgotten what a real concert sounds like now?
- The DT880 has a little more audible extension at both ends - it gives a little more audible sub-bass, and a little more emphasis on the upper mids and treble.
- If you are treble sensitive, you may prefer the HD600 more - as the DT880 can be a little too bright for some.
I love both. They compliment each other. Your choice between the two will ultimately depend on your preference for presentation.
And BTW - there is nothing wrong with an iPod Touch G4 as a source. It's very clean, very linear. If you want a portable rig to be able to drive full sized cans - add a LOD and Fiio E12 amplifier - and you're good to go. If you wnat smaller form factor - my recommendation would be the Arrow (I loved mine when I had it). Other option is to just get an X5 (DAP), and it can be used as portable DAP + DAC for your Mac as well if you prefer.
You'll get comments saying the iPod Touches and Macs are bad compared to higher value sources. I'd imagine that in a properly volume matched blind test - a lot of people may find the differences very small between these and more expensive set-ups.