An upgrade from HD25-1's
Jul 1, 2009 at 2:48 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 8


1000+ Head-Fier
Apr 23, 2008

I've grown bored of my HD25's as portables and I've started looking for a replacement.

What I want, is more musicality. Tonal accuracy and clear notes across the audio spectrum. The 25's are just too muffled in the bass-section, thin in the mid-range and also quite harsh and unnatural in the treble. (I've liked them so far, but when I listen to AD2000's fed properly, it's just amazing how big of a difference there is in terms of musical reproduction.)

Is the obvious upgrade the ESW9's or have I missed something in this price range? (I can stretch my pennies if it's a bigger improvement than esw10's to these) I'm drooling over Edition 8's, but I gotta eat and I'm not sure about the sound sig. I've heard the ESW10's and thought they indeed were an improvement over the 25's but having a bit too energetic treble too.. I've read that the ESW9's are more laid back.

If the hd25's can also be physically matched, I wouldn't argue. The ESW10's felt fragile in comparison..

Currently I'm feeding the 25's with an iPod+alo+GS Voyager -combination and it's not bad, but after noticing this beauty ( ) I'm probably upgrading the source too..

Thanks for any hints and speculation

Jul 1, 2009 at 2:54 PM Post #2 of 8
Wrong forum.

But you're not going to find another portable headphone with the durability of the HD25-1 anytime soon.

My personal experience with the Audio Technica ES series sound signature made it seem appealing but WAY different from that of the HD25-1.. I would make sure you give a good listen before you go that route. They're almost complete opposites IMHO.

This is probably not what you're looking for, but I moved up from the HD25-1 to the IE8 and couldn't be more pleased.
Jul 1, 2009 at 3:03 PM Post #4 of 8

Originally Posted by Pistachio /img/forum/go_quote.gif
DT250 are as durable and sound better.

Isn't the DT250 more finicky about how you drive them?
Jul 1, 2009 at 3:05 PM Post #5 of 8
Yes, they are the complete opposites. If you mean the ES7 and such?

I have Grado sr325i's and Audio Technica AD2000's as my main headphones and they are much more what I'm looking for, sound signature -wise.

Also, let's say durability wasn't an issue. Anything else? I guess IEM's wouldn't be too bad either, if they were comfortable. How do you like your IE8's? Are they more in the neutral line than the musical line? I've only listened to the cx300's, some Sony's around the same price range and the high end Shures, which I didn't fancy too much..

Sorry for posting in the wrong forum. I could only find "portable gear" and then "full-sized headphones" ... I think that would've been it :/

Jul 1, 2009 at 3:12 PM Post #6 of 8
The IE8 are more musical. They do everything more capably than the HD25-1 except isolate. They're much more airy, have a very impressive soundstage with imaging to match (whereas the HD25-1 had nearly nothing), and clarity that makes the HD25-1 seem positively muddy in comparison. They still have a sort of Sennheiser-ish sound to them.. I find them a linear upgrade from the HD25-1 without losing out in any way. I'm not sure how they scale with amping and an excellent source as I'm not in that game anymore. They're quite unforgiving of poor sources unlike the HD25-1.

Not sure how they compare to the Grado or AT sound.. but I'm thinking the mids won't be as forward as the former. There's nothing noticeably recessed in the ranges to me though many suggest that it has a bass and treble oriented frequency response where the mids aren't as attention-grabbing (compared to, say, the Shure SE530). They're nonetheless quite engaging, exciting, and musical.

They're really unlike other IEMs as they sound more like a full-size headphone what with the airiness and soundstage. They're also very distracting.. it's hard for me to do other things with these on because they pull me into the music.
Jul 1, 2009 at 3:20 PM Post #7 of 8
Hmm. Does sound interesting I have to say.

The SE530s were the ones I tried from Shure but didn't get too excited. They were my friend's, I may have used the wrong buds and it was a while ago; have to try again.

I'll definitely dig deeper in what IEM's have to offer.

Thank you very much for this initiative. If I can't find anything comfortable, I'll probably go for the ESW9's which seem to sound more like my AT AD2000's than any other closed headphone so far.

Jul 1, 2009 at 4:36 PM Post #8 of 8

Originally Posted by 3X0 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Isn't the DT250 more finicky about how you drive them?

I don't think so, but they really aren't as portable-friendly as the hd-25 - form-factor wise.

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