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HD598 Upgrade Suggestions

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, I currently own a pair of HD598 and have used them for several years at this point and they are showing signs of fatigue so I thought it was due time for an upgrade especially since it's Black Friday/Cyber Monday time. I have almost no experience listening to other audiophile headphones besides my HD598 and my friend's M50x (which I was not impressed by). The things I really like about my HD598 are the sound signature and sound stage. I have no real cons about how they sound but my only gripe is they are very slightly uncomfortable when I wear glasses (I got glasses relatively recently). I currently have Magni/Modi (not 2) stack so I would like a pair that can be run decently from these. I mainly listen to Asian Pop/Rock music with female vocals but enjoy orchestral/piano music mainly when studying. I would not consider myself a bass head as I was overwhelmed by it when listening to my friend's M50x's. I would like an open pair as isolation is not an issue to me due to primarily using headphone at home in my room. My maximum budget is ~$300 USD (may go very slightly over if there's something that much worth it). I was initially eyeing the HD600, HE400i (saw it was on sale), and the Fidelio X2. However, when I asked for recommendations somewhere else I was pointed towards the AKG 7XX's by two people. I wanted to ask for some more opinions before pulling the trigger on a pair of cans though as $300 is a lot of money to a poor college student like me. :p

 

Thank you very much in advanced!


Edited by santokitoki - 11/24/15 at 9:54pm
post #2 of 10
I was in the same boat but not in college. Have the hd598. I narrowed it down to the he-400i and the x2. I ended ordering the 400i. Due to the sale. I money is tight there is nothing wrong with the 598s.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Sorry maybe I exaggerated a bit on how tight my financial situation is but it's not that tight that I can't afford to buy a pair now. I've been looking to get a new pair of headphones for a while now but apparently the HE400i sale is like ridiculous and it's that time of the year where wallets are loosest so I decided to join in the festivities. :p 

post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by santokitoki View Post
 

Sorry maybe I exaggerated a bit on how tight my financial situation is but it's not that tight that I can't afford to buy a pair now. I've been looking to get a new pair of headphones for a while now but apparently the HE400i sale is like ridiculous and it's that time of the year where wallets are loosest so I decided to join in the festivities. :p 

Welcome then!  Myself and a lot of other headfiers are coming into the 400i community this week.

 

400i should be a good upgrade path from your HD598.  I myself came from the HD595 which was the predecessor to the 598.  I upgraded to the HD650 and now have a 400i on the way.

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticstryk View Post
 

Welcome then!  Myself and a lot of other headfiers are coming into the 400i community this week.

 

400i should be a good upgrade path from your HD598.  I myself came from the HD595 which was the predecessor to the 598.  I upgraded to the HD650 and now have a 400i on the way.

Hey, thanks for the reply and welcome! Do you mind expanding on why you think the HE400i would be the upgrade to get? As I said in my OP, people on the other place I asked said that AKG's would fit my taste in music better than any of the other ones I had listed so they pointed me to the AKG 7xx's as the drop is on now.

post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by santokitoki View Post

Hey, thanks for the reply and welcome! Do you mind expanding on why you think the HE400i would be the upgrade to get? As I said in my OP, people on the other place I asked said that AKG's would fit my taste in music better than any of the other ones I had listed so they pointed me to the AKG 7xx's as the drop is on now.

My 400i just came in today, so I haven't given them a listen yet. My HD595 is a rather neutral phone. So is the 400i. I personally don't think the k7xx would compare favorably against the 400i in anything except maybe soundstage. Bass is going to be deeper than the k7xx, mids and highs will be smoother. This is based off others impressions and reviews. I'll be able to judge myself tonight though.

But, were trying to compare a $200 dynamic to a $500 planar. The HD600 is often recommended as an upgrade to the HD59x line and the 400i is supposed to be a little better than the 600, while having a similar sonic characteristic. Of course being a planar though, it should be much faster and able to handle complex music more.

I think both the k7xx and 400i are good choices for an upgrade path for you. I agree with them that the x2 is rather different from the hd598 and isn't the most logical choice unless you want that kind of sound signature.
Edited by mysticstryk - 11/25/15 at 4:38pm
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticstryk View Post


My 400i just came in today, so I haven't given them a listen yet. My HD595 is a rather neutral phone. So is the 400i. I personally don't think the k7xx would compare favorably against the 400i in anything except maybe soundstage. Bass is going to be deeper than the k7xx, mids and highs will be smoother. This is based off others impressions and reviews. I'll be able to judge myself tonight though.

But, were trying to compare a $200 dynamic to a $500 planar. The HD600 is often recommended as an upgrade to the HD59x line and the 400i is supposed to be a little better than the 600, while having a similar sonic characteristic. Of course being a planar though, it should be much faster and able to handle complex music more.

I think both the k7xx and 400i are good choices for an upgrade path for you. I agree with them that the x2 is rather different from the hd598 and isn't the most logical choice unless you want that kind of sound signature.

Hey, thanks for the update! When you take a listen would you mind posting your impressions? How is the sound stage on the 400i compared to the HD5XX? As long as its larger than the HD5XX I really wouldn't mind. Do you think my Schiit stack (original Magni/Modi) would be okay for the HE400i?


Edited by santokitoki - 11/25/15 at 4:55pm
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by santokitoki View Post

Hey, thanks for the update! When you take a listen would you mind posting your impressions? How is the sound stage on the 400i compared to the HD5XX? As long as its larger than the HD5XX I really wouldn't mind. Do you think my Schiit stack (original Magni/Modi) would be okay for the HE400i?

Magni/modi is more than enough for these. I just opened them up so I'll have impressions pre burn in shortly.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticstryk View Post


Magni/modi is more than enough for these. I just opened them up so I'll have impressions pre burn in shortly.

Thanks I'll be looking forward to it! Also, do you have experience with the AKG's to provide a comparison because the K7xx and the HE400i are the main two I'm considering at this point.

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by santokitoki View Post
 

Thanks I'll be looking forward to it! Also, do you have experience with the AKG's to provide a comparison because the K7xx and the HE400i are the main two I'm considering at this point.

 

Not beyond others impressions of the K7xx.  There are quite a few impressions and comparisons here on head-fi between the k7xx and many other popular headphones.

 

So far I am really enjoying the 400i.  Speed is definitely better than my hd650 and bass goes deeper.  Very similar sound signature overall, with maybe a bit more separation and detail up top.  Soundstage is good, about on par with my hd650.  Nothing spectacular like the X2, but still good.

 

I expect them to tighten up as I burn them in.

 

The k7xx is a bargain for $200, and the 400i is a steal at $300, which normally go for $500.  Overall performance is probably going to be better with the 400i.  When I was trying to decide between the k7xx and the hd650, most people who owned both generally recommended the hd650, and the 400i compares very favorably to the hd650.

 

Just one thing to keep in mind with hifiman, is their quality control can sometimes be lacking it seems, though buying from a reputable dealer should alleviate any problems if you have to get them exchanged.

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