Another Headphone Recommendation?
Sep 15, 2009 at 12:53 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 6

Chromyne

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Hello Everyone!

I've been lurking around Head-Fi since the beginning of the year, and it's been great to read what everyone has to say. Actually, Head-Fi led me to make my first IEM purchase (Audeo PFEs) back in March, so thank you!

So now I'm thinking of delving into the full-size can domain, and I've had my eyes on a few headphones over the past few months. I'm a big fan of the PFE's ever since I got them, and I would describe them as (grey filters) fairly neutral, detailed, and if anything may have a slightly recessed bass. (Of course, I have very little to compare them to.)

I listen to a variety of genres, such as classical, jazz, indie rock, pop/R&B, but mostly piano/small ensemble/orchestral/rock; never anything too heavy.

These headphones will be for home use only out of my IBM Lenovo Thinkpad (some integrated SoundMax card). I don't have dedicated DAC or Amp, and I'm not exactly sure to what extent I'll neither either one, but I'm willing to get them if needed. I will also be purchasing a digital piano sometime in the next few months (anybody waiting for the Yamaha S90XS?), so I would also like to use the headphones for playing on that as well. I live in a house with roommates, so I guess if the headphones are open it depends on how much it leaks (especially if I'm listening in the middle of the night in the next room).

After browsing around the forums, I've read up on many recommended headphones such as the following: K240MKII, K501, K701/2?, DT48, DT150?, DT880/600, Ultrasone Pro900. Unfortunately, none of music stores I've visited so far have these headphones =( so I may have to buy blindly (though that's not too big a deal for me because believe anything that I buy at this point will sound pretty good, or at least tide me until I finish school).

With a budget of < $400 (for headphones) I'm leaning towards the DT880/600's just because of the comments and diverse praise it has received on these boards. I also understand that most of these headphones will require an Amp of some sort, and I'm willing to drop < $300 (hopefully less!) for a decent one.

I am still very new to the audiophile scene, and so this is a bit of a new adventure for me, but I think it's going to be fun regardless of what happens.

I hope I didn't miss anything! Thank you in advance for your advice and comments!
 
Sep 17, 2009 at 6:22 AM Post #4 of 6

Uncle Erik

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How come the Sennheiser HD-600 and HD-650 aren't on your list? The HD-600 plays well with pretty much anything and you can get used ones for $200-$225 or so. That would leave you with about $500 to spend on an amp. $500 would get you a Gilmore Lite, M^3, CK2III, EC/SS, Presonus CentralStation, or a number of other quality offerings.

I like the rest of the headphones you mention, too, except for the K-701. Vocals on the K-701 sound "off" to me, though I did like the K-601 and the rest of AKG's offerings. The K-501 and DT48 are both excellent, but they're much better suited to vocals and acoustic music. Though you might be able to swing one of them and a used HD-600. It's OK to have more than one headphone (
wink.gif
) and you'd have a lot of fun mixing up between two pairs. The DT880 is also terrific and would make a good primary headphone.

Still, I'd have to recommend a HD-600 for starters. You won't lose much selling a used one, and everyone seems to like them. They're also the best baseline. Once you know how a HD-600 sounds, you'll be able to find comparisons to pretty much every headphone ever made.
 
Sep 17, 2009 at 6:53 AM Post #5 of 6

Menisk

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Uncle Erik /img/forum/go_quote.gif
How come the Sennheiser HD-600 and HD-650 aren't on your list? The HD-600 plays well with pretty much anything and you can get used ones for $200-$225 or so. That would leave you with about $500 to spend on an amp. $500 would get you a Gilmore Lite, M^3, CK2III, EC/SS, Presonus CentralStation, or a number of other quality offerings.

I like the rest of the headphones you mention, too, except for the K-701. Vocals on the K-701 sound "off" to me, though I did like the K-601 and the rest of AKG's offerings. The K-501 and DT48 are both excellent, but they're much better suited to vocals and acoustic music. Though you might be able to swing one of them and a used HD-600. It's OK to have more than one headphone (
wink.gif
) and you'd have a lot of fun mixing up between two pairs. The DT880 is also terrific and would make a good primary headphone.

Still, I'd have to recommend a HD-600 for starters. You won't lose much selling a used one, and everyone seems to like them. They're also the best baseline. Once you know how a HD-600 sounds, you'll be able to find comparisons to pretty much every headphone ever made.



X2

They're also really easy to dismantle so that if something breaks in a few years or you find a second hand one with a dented grill etc. You can change that really quickly and easily. If you get into headphones enough to want a recable it's dead easy with the Senns too. But as Unkle Erik said, they're a baseline around here and there's a good reason for it. They're a damn nice pair of headphones. I'd recommend 600s over 650s, I think they've got a better balance of detail and musicality. Alot of people seem to think they do much better with lower end gear than the 650s too. Ultimately your best option would be to go and listen to all the headphones you're thinking of including the Senns and choose the one(s) that stands out as being the best to your ears.
 
Sep 17, 2009 at 2:40 PM Post #6 of 6

Chromyne

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Thank you for the replies. For some reason, the Senns never popped into my mind. I don't know how rational this is, but I just have a paranoia of getting things used. There is just this drop in assurance that it [still] is a quality product, and there may be no transfer in warrant. Not sure what you would have to say about it, but I hope it's not justified so that I can get them for less money!

Will any of these headphones leak to the point where someone in a adjacent room could hear?

You all are making it so much harder haha. I was thinking of just one headphone, but now I'm considering more than one! If I were to get just one headphone, I would want it to decently handle the less classical/acoustic side of the spectrum as well.

Should I be thinking about a dedicated DAC right now (would it make a comparable difference), or would a headphone/amp combination suffice for the time being?
 

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