ATH-M50 or HFI-580
Oct 19, 2012 at 3:35 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 16

kabooshy

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Before someone links me another thread, I have done my research on both of these headphones.
The reason I am asking is because despite the HFI-580 being generally agreed to have better audio quality and is a better all round headphone, I will be wearing these for long periods of time.
My question is, how much more comfortable is the ATH-M50 over the HFI-580? Is it worth the tradeoff in terms of audio? Which would you wear if you would be spending a long session with them on?
Also a side question, would it be recommended I get a sound card as an upgrade from onboard sound for these? I would probably have a budget of around $100 for the sound card.
 
Oct 19, 2012 at 11:34 AM Post #2 of 16

gugman

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[size=12pt]i have evga x58 motherboard with [/size]Realtek ALC 889 HD Audio and oh man that sucks so much !!! 25$ xonar DG with headphone amp gives you a huge difference already, not to mention creative x-fi titanium hd, i own both cards and hfi 580, so i what i am saying is from my own experience 
 
Oct 19, 2012 at 12:06 PM Post #3 of 16

Roller

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I would pick the HFI-580, for the SQ improvements are enough to warrant going with them, and I personally don't find the HFI-580 uncomfortable, have done long listening sessions without discomfort.
 
About soundcard recommendations, it depends on what you do. Do you listen to music, play games (competitive or immersive gaming), watch movies?
 
Oct 19, 2012 at 12:37 PM Post #4 of 16

cel4145

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I wouldn't say that the HFI-580 is a better overall headphone than the M50. They are quite different. To me, the 580 has more bass emphasis, more impact, but the high end is more aggressive, even a little fatiguing. The M50s are more demure headphones, with some decent bass presence over neutral phones, but without the feeling of the bass hitting as hard. Then there is the difference in the soundstage due to the S Logic Plus in the 580 vs the rather lack of soundstage in the M50. 
 
For me, the 580s sound more like you've stepped into a club, with an energizing sound that pulls you into the music. They demand to be heard, to be experienced The M50s are more like sitting on the couch listening to a good home audio system but in a more relaxing kind of way. For this reason, I have my M50s at work because I can use them for background music. But my Ultrasones (I now have the 780s), make me want to crank up the volume and listen to them. Cannot use them when working. I can't ignore them 
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Oct 20, 2012 at 3:01 AM Post #5 of 16

kabooshy

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Quote:
I wouldn't say that the HFI-580 is a better overall headphone than the M50. They are quite different. To me, the 580 has more bass emphasis, more impact, but the high end is more aggressive, even a little fatiguing. The M50s are more demure headphones, with some decent bass presence over neutral phones, but without the feeling of the bass hitting as hard. Then there is the difference in the soundstage due to the S Logic Plus in the 580 vs the rather lack of soundstage in the M50. 
 
For me, the 580s sound more like you've stepped into a club, with an energizing sound that pulls you into the music. They demand to be heard, to be experienced The M50s are more like sitting on the couch listening to a good home audio system but in a more relaxing kind of way. For this reason, I have my M50s at work because I can use them for background music. But my Ultrasones (I now have the 780s), make me want to crank up the volume and listen to them. Cannot use them when working. I can't ignore them 
biggrin.gif

 
Thanks! I'll keep that in mind when picking, would you say that the M50 is slightly more multi-situational then?
 
Quote:
I would pick the HFI-580, for the SQ improvements are enough to warrant going with them, and I personally don't find the HFI-580 uncomfortable, have done long listening sessions without discomfort.
 
About soundcard recommendations, it depends on what you do. Do you listen to music, play games (competitive or immersive gaming), watch movies?

 
Mostly games and music, both in which my tastes are pretty diverse and broad but I do enjoy a fair amount of electronica and such. 
 
Oct 20, 2012 at 4:44 AM Post #6 of 16

Boullion

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Mostly games and music, both in which my tastes are pretty diverse and broad but I do enjoy a fair amount of electronica and such. 

The Ultrasones are known for being great with EDM and bassier genres. They should have a more "club"-type sound.
I have the ATH-M50 but I plan on getting rid of it soon. I thought it sounded decent, but it is the most uncomfortable headphone I've ever worn. Even cheap Skullcandy headphones are more comfortable. Because of this issue alone, I tend to discourage people from buying the ATH-M50.
 
Oct 20, 2012 at 11:05 AM Post #8 of 16

cel4145

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Quote:
 
Thanks! I'll keep that in mind when picking, would you say that the M50 is slightly more multi-situational then?

 
For me, yes. But that's so much dependent on personal taste. Even your question about the headband is the same way. Both are fine to me. I don't find the 580 headband any more uncomfortable than the M50, but my sense of what is comfortable is likely different than yours. And  my head is probably shaped differently, too 
smile.gif

 
All this kind of feedback on Head-fi can do is get you 85% of the way there. The only way to be fairly certain which will be best for you is to try both. Really, your best bet is to plan on spending an extra $10 and buy them both from Amazon or Fulfilled by Amazon (but NOT a third party vendor on Amazon who does their own shipping). Keep the phones and the packaging in perfect shape, and do a little comparison testing at home. Return one after a few days. Pretty easy to file a return RMA through Amazon. They generate a return mailing slip for you to print, and charge you return shipping against the credit they give. If you have room on your credit card, it's worth doing to be sure. 
 
Oct 20, 2012 at 11:41 AM Post #9 of 16

Roller

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Different people have different thoughts on HFI-580's comfort. I personally have no issues with it and can use them during lenghty listening sessions.

Like mentioned above, the HFI-580 handle EDM and bass emphasized genres very well, and provide quite good immersive gaming as well.

Considering your soundcard budget, and the fact that you game, I'd recommend you get a refurbished Creative X-Fi Titanium and a PA2V2 or a Fiio E11. The soundcard plus headphone amp will fit your budget and provide you enough driving power for the HFI-580.
 
Oct 21, 2012 at 4:37 AM Post #11 of 16

kabooshy

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Wow I just realised that Addicted to Audio (advertising on this website) are just up the road from me, looks like I'll be visiting them some time next week :) hopefully I can try out both.
 
Oct 21, 2012 at 5:52 AM Post #12 of 16

H20Fidelity

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Wow I just realised that Addicted to Audio (advertising on this website) are just up the road from me, looks like I'll be visiting them some time next week :) hopefully I can try out both.


You'll never be the same after going inside. Run while you can. :devil_face:
 
Oct 21, 2012 at 9:47 AM Post #15 of 16

cel4145

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Quote:
Wow I just realised that Addicted to Audio (advertising on this website) are just up the road from me, looks like I'll be visiting them some time next week :) hopefully I can try out both.

 
If they have lots of demo phones, you definitely ought to be able to find something you like there 
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