Any sealed cans better than AT-ATH900? AKG, Beyer?
post-1450716
Thread Starter
Post #1 of 8

bixby

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Nov 11, 2004
Messages
2,810
Reaction score
230
Joined
Nov 11, 2004
Posts
2,810
Likes
230
I own the Audio Technica AT- ATH900 cans and use them primarily when traveling with my Ipod and Evanescu Amp. Much better detail and balance than my Senn HD 280 Pros, and not that much more geeky looking. My challenge is to identify a pair of headphones that are not too much more money, if at all, that gives me better mids and highs. My complaint with the ATs is that mids are recessed and laid back without the body I used to get listening to my now sold Grado SR-125s. This is most apparent with female vocalists. I like the forward detail of the Grados, but they miss the bass entirely and of course, they are not sealed. I also think the ATH-900 can stand some improvement on treble detail. Light and airly and extended as they are they miss the fullness of a real cymbal. I want to hear the brassy fullness of a real cymbal.

Any ideas for a sealed circumaural headphone that might fit the bill? I was thinking of trying to get a used pair of Beyers but heard about some QC issues mentioned here on some sealed pairs. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Apple losseless>Ipod gen 4- 20 GB>Sik Din>Evanescu CMOY > ATH-900

cheers
Bixby
 
     Share This Post       
post-1450719
Post #2 of 8

philodox

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 12, 2003
Messages
10,244
Reaction score
16
Joined
Dec 12, 2003
Posts
10,244
Likes
16
The AKG K271 Studio is a far superior headphone in my opinion, but it really depends on personal preference. If you click on the 'portable bliss' link in my signature and then on the 'akg' link at the top of that thread you will find some of my impressions of the K271S along with comparisons to the A900, HD600 and K240S.
 
     Share This Post       
post-1450791
Post #3 of 8

Nak Man

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Aug 6, 2004
Messages
2,245
Reaction score
11
Joined
Aug 6, 2004
Posts
2,245
Likes
11
Quote:

Originally Posted by bixby
I also think the ATH-900 can stand some improvement on treble detail. Light and airly and extended as they are they miss the fullness of a real cymbal. I want to hear the brassy fullness of a real cymbal.

Any ideas for a sealed circumaural headphone that might fit the bill? I was thinking of trying to get a used pair of Beyers but heard about some QC issues mentioned here on some sealed pairs.



Ouch, the ATH and HD280 are as bright as I can stand. Can't think of anything sealed with better treble. However, DT770 is said to have good bass and treble with no QC issues as DT250, maybe you'd like to audition a pair.

Since you can't have it all - especially with budget constraint - my bet for bass + treble are ATH or DT770, for mids: DT250 or K271s (or ultrasone 650 for even 'darker' presentation).
 
     Share This Post       
post-1450836
Post #4 of 8

saint.panda

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 23, 2004
Messages
4,307
Reaction score
24
Location
Berlin
Joined
Jan 23, 2004
Location
Berlin
Posts
4,307
Likes
24
I find the AKG 271 to be more of a side step from the A900 although the AKG might be nice if you prefer the midrange a bit more forward and ethereal. It doesn't have the A900's bass depth and impact though, nor does it have the A900's soundstage. Having owned both headphones for several months, I'd rate both on roughly the same level. I didn't really like the A900 in the beginning but they evetually grew on me somehow.

You might want to try the Beyerdynamic DT 770-80 as well, which has lots of bass. Mid and upper treble are a bit recessed but the midrange is pretty good even though the lower midrange may lack a bit creating a slightly uneven transition from bass to midrange. Decent soundstage and detailing although not quite as good as the aforementioned two. Definately a fun sounding headphone.

You might also look into the Sony CD3000 and higher end Audio Technicas.
 
     Share This Post       
post-1450918
Post #5 of 8

philodox

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 12, 2003
Messages
10,244
Reaction score
16
Joined
Dec 12, 2003
Posts
10,244
Likes
16
Quote:

Originally Posted by Nak Man
Ouch, the ATH and HD280 are as bright as I can stand.


I couldnt agree more, but... Quote:

Originally Posted by bixby
Light and airly and extended as they are they miss the fullness of a real cymbal. I want to hear the brassy fullness of a real cymbal.


...I think that it might be more in the midrange that Bixby is finding the A900's lacking. The AKG K271 Studio has a wonderfull midrange. This is the main reason that I prefer them over the A900's. That and I'm not a big fan of sibilance and boomy bass.
Quote:

Originally Posted by saint.panda
It doesn't have the A900's bass depth and impact though, nor does it have the A900's soundstage.


I actually prefer the soundstage of the K271S and while I agree there is not as much bass and it does not have the A900's impact, the bass goes just as deep and is better defined from what I heard.
 
     Share This Post       
post-1451020
Post #7 of 8

catscratch

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Sep 29, 2004
Messages
3,817
Reaction score
286
Joined
Sep 29, 2004
Posts
3,817
Likes
286
The DT770, K271, DT250, or whatever have you, are more of a step sideways than a step upwards from the A900. If you find their particular sound signature more to your liking, then you will probably feel that they are superior, however, overall, it is a pretty close call. I find that these phones are in the same league.

I don't know if the CD3000 is considered a fully closed phone, but it is one possible alternative, though it does require very careful amp matching. It should beat the A900 in the mids and highs, but bass is another matter; here you'll need a warm, punchy amp with good bass extension and a soft treble to give them a more balanced sound.

These are out of production, but you should be able to ebay a pair for not too much more than you bought your A900's for.

Of course, there are megabucks closed phones like the ATH-L3000 which will beat the pants off the A900, but that's more in the realm of theory rather than practice, unless of course you want to spend that much on headphones
 
     Share This Post       
post-1452034
Post #8 of 8

bixby

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Nov 11, 2004
Messages
2,810
Reaction score
230
Joined
Nov 11, 2004
Posts
2,810
Likes
230
A few comments seem to hit the nail on the head in categorizing my concern with the ATH-900s.

"Ouch, the ATH and HD280 are as bright as I can stand. Can't think of anything sealed with better treble."

"I think that it might be more in the midrange that Bixby is finding the A900's lacking. The AKG K271 Studio has a wonderfull midrange. This is the main reason that I prefer them over the A900's. That and I'm not a big fan of sibilance and boomy bassI think that it might be more in the midrange that Bixby is finding the A900's lacking. The AKG K271 Studio has a wonderfull midrange. This is the main reason that I prefer them over the A900's. That and I'm not a big fan of sibilance and boomy bass."


I was listening to a Patty Larkin Cd on my ipod on the plane and her voice had an unpleasant edge to it. Upper mids perhaps or lower treble depending on your definition. And now I am listening to Miles Davis "Round About Midnight" CD. Cymbals have that splash quality that reminds Philodox of sibilance. It is a problem that is a bit more noticeable on my Evanescu cmoy than my Grado amp. But the CMoy is more open and less veiled. All of the chain can contribute to what I am hearing. I went through much of the same in getting my bedroom system up to snuff. Finally the right CD player and dac combo smoothed things out. Yet the ATH-900 still suffers in the highs and in the mids IMHO. I guess a different flavor is in order.

I like the suggestions from all on the Beyer 250-250 and the AKG 271 S. I will have to do some serious searching of the archives to see what folks have matched to them. One thought might be to replace the op amp in the cmoy with something with a more smooth top end presentation. But I don't want to give up the mids even more. Any ideas down that path?

While I am in Dallas for few days any dealers for Beyer or AKG here?
 
     Share This Post       

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top