Best Audiophile Closed Over-ear Headphone with Good Bass (Around $1500) - Recommendation
Jul 20, 2020 at 12:30 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 19

FBSA

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Good day everyone.

As the title stated, I am interested in buying a closed-backed over-ear headphone with a budget of up to $1500 (+-$200). I am looking for a headphone that will work with my already existing set of DAC/amp and would be suitable for jazz, classic rock, rock/hard rock, indie, classical music, and movie/game soundtracks. Basically, I am looking for a headphone with good bass, well-built (my Beyerdynamic T1 leather headband wore off after a few years of use), and with decent isolation.

I already own a Beyerdynamic T1 for more than 5 years. I have also tried Sennheiser HD 800S. They provided great soundstage and were perfect for many things I listen to. Both, however, had a significant sound leakage (expected as both are open-backed headphones) and they lack bass. Both were weak in the bass department and is slightly disappointing when listening to jazz or rock music.


To summarize, what I am looking for:
- Full-sized closed over-ear headphones.
- Comfort is of utmost importance. Due to my work, I use my headphone for many hours.
- To have a good bass impact with decent isolation.
- Would work well with jazz, classic rock, hard rock, acoustic, indie music, classical music, and soundtrack music.
- Well built with preferably detachable cable (not a must, though).
- To be compatible with my current set of DAC/Amplifier.

Current set:
DAC (I own 2):
- Wyred 4 Sound DAC-1v2 (recent buy).
- Schiit Bifrost (will stop using it with my PC due to its issues with Windows 10).
Amplifier:
- Woo Audio WA2 (Tubes as follow: Tung Sol 5998 Tube, 6922 Amperex 'Gold Pins' Tube, and EZ80 Mullard Tubes).


Thank you for taking the time to read this thread.
What would you recommend?
 
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Jul 20, 2020 at 1:39 PM Post #2 of 19

gimmeheadroom

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I have no idea since I don't have much experience with closed headphones other than a lot of DJ stuff from the 70s/80s.

Given you're rockin' a WA2 you definitely want to go with dynamics and stay away from planars.

If you liked your Beyers you shouldn't dump them just because of the headband pad. Stuff you use all the time doesn't last forever but parts should be available. I hesitate to recommended it without having heard it but the Sennheiser 820 would be worth trying out on your amp since you liked the 800S. And ZMF makes beautiful headphones that would probably also sound great out of your Woo and are inside your price range.
 
Jul 20, 2020 at 2:03 PM Post #3 of 19

Bhk1004

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Eikons or atticus seems like a no brainers for you. I'd lean eikons personally.
 
Jul 20, 2020 at 2:28 PM Post #4 of 19

Monsterzero

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I'd also recommend ZMFs. They will sound very,very different than the HD800s and T1s of the world. Much more musical,warmer,more natural sounding,much more bass.
If you like gobs of midbass I'd go with the Atticus.
If you prefer a more neutral bass response but with deeper sub bass go with Eikon
If you want the best of the best and want to go straight to end-game get the Verite closed,which is the best headphone Ive yet to hear and has better isolation than either the Atticus or the Eikon. Sorry about your bank account.
All of the dynamic driver ZMFs will match well with the WA2.
 
Jul 20, 2020 at 8:59 PM Post #5 of 19

ThanatosVI

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Kennerton Gjallahorn could fit here.
I am not Sure how well they go with your WA2

Other than that I know only planars worth a recommendation, however those dont go well with the WA2
 
Jul 21, 2020 at 4:53 PM Post #6 of 19

FBSA

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I have no idea since I don't have much experience with closed headphones other than a lot of DJ stuff from the 70s/80s.

Given you're rockin' a WA2 you definitely want to go with dynamics and stay away from planars.

If you liked your Beyers you shouldn't dump them just because of the headband pad. Stuff you use all the time doesn't last forever but parts should be available. I hesitate to recommended it without having heard it but the Sennheiser 820 would be worth trying out on your amp since you liked the 800S. And ZMF makes beautiful headphones that would probably also sound great out of your Woo and are inside your price range.

I'll still definitely still use my T1. The point is to have two different headphones that would suit the music I listen to.
Sennheiser 820 looks great but is unfortunately above my budget.
ZMF headphones seem to be the winner so far.

Thanks for your reply and recommendation. I appreciate it.
 
Jul 21, 2020 at 5:04 PM Post #7 of 19

FBSA

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I'd also recommend ZMFs. They will sound very,very different than the HD800s and T1s of the world. Much more musical,warmer,more natural sounding,much more bass.
If you like gobs of midbass I'd go with the Atticus.
If you prefer a more neutral bass response but with deeper sub bass go with Eikon
If you want the best of the best and want to go straight to end-game get the Verite closed,which is the best headphone Ive yet to hear and has better isolation than either the Atticus or the Eikon. Sorry about your bank account.
All of the dynamic driver ZMFs will match well with the WA2.

Based on your description, I would lean towards Eikon more than Atticus. Although I heard great things about Verite, my bank account cannot handle Verite.

Thanks for your detailed reply. Did have a look at YouTube channel, too.


Eikons or atticus seems like a no brainers for you. I'd lean eikons personally.

I would appear so. It looks beautiful and would perfectly fit with my set. It looks very comfortable as well.
Appreciate your reply.

Kennerton Gjallahorn could fit here.
I am not Sure how well they go with your WA2

Other than that I know only planars worth a recommendation, however those dont go well with the WA2

Looks good. I'll have to look if it will go with my WA2.
How would they compare to ZMFs headphones?

Thanks for your reply.
 
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Jul 21, 2020 at 5:05 PM Post #8 of 19

canfabulous

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I'd also add a vote for ZMF Eikons... or go straight to the Verite Closed as monster suggested and save yourself a couple of months time and a bunch of hassle selling on the Eikons (or collecting lots of headphones!). They are all very comfortable, for hours at a time. You can also pad roll and tweak the sound signature a little.
 
Jul 21, 2020 at 5:12 PM Post #9 of 19

FBSA

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I'd also add a vote for ZMF Eikons... or go straight to the Verite Closed as monster suggested and save yourself a couple of months time and a bunch of hassle selling on the Eikons (or collecting lots of headphones!). They are all very comfortable, for hours at a time. You can also pad roll and tweak the sound signature a little.

How would Verite fair with my DAC/amp? Would it need a different and better DAC/amp to fully hear and experience its full potential?
 
Jul 21, 2020 at 7:11 PM Post #10 of 19

canfabulous

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I haven't tried your combo per se, but I do remember reading positive experiences from others (tubes dependant) on the WA2 being a nice match for the Verite. Despite their incredible performance (imho), I've found my VCs sound good even with something like the Mojo.
 
Jul 21, 2020 at 8:17 PM Post #11 of 19

Monsterzero

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How would Verite fair with my DAC/amp? Would it need a different and better DAC/amp to fully hear and experience its full potential?
TBH I'd shoot for the Verite closed as well. It is so damn good!
Ive been into this hobby for many years,well before my join date here on Head-Fi,and I was always looking to upgrade this or that. Never completely satisfied...until I got the VC.
Your amp should work well with the VC. The 5998s are great tubes and will give the VC (or any headphone actually) a brighter more spacious sound. The staging is silly on the 5998s.
I prefer 6BX7s in the power slot for the VC. I have no idea if the WA2 can take 6BX7s,and if it can,im pretty confident that some adapters will be needed. I would check in the Woo Owners Unite thread and see what tube types the WA2 can safely take with and w/o adapters.
I used to own the WA2,but I never bothered to tube roll so I cant advise. Regardless the WA2 is built for high impedance headphones and you will not find a better sounding HP anywhere high or low impedance than the VC.
 
Jul 21, 2020 at 9:38 PM Post #12 of 19

Seledor

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I hear the Fostex TH900 mk2 are really good for 1600$. closed back and great bass and treble. Fostex is the company that did the Drop Mahoganies, Ebonies and Purple Hearts that are critically acclaimed. If i had the money and wanted a closed back bassy headphone i'd get the TH900mk2.
 
Jul 21, 2020 at 10:00 PM Post #13 of 19

Mightygrey

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Campfire Cascade or Audio Technica WP900 would be interesting options to audition.
 
Jul 22, 2020 at 5:00 AM Post #14 of 19

Monsterzero

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I hear the Fostex TH900 mk2 are really good for 1600$. closed back and great bass and treble. Fostex is the company that did the Drop Mahoganies, Ebonies and Purple Hearts that are critically acclaimed. If i had the money and wanted a closed back bassy headphone i'd get the TH900mk2.
Campfire Cascade or Audio Technica WP900 would be interesting options to audition.
All three are low impedance which wont sound good from an OTL amp like the WA2.
 
Jul 22, 2020 at 5:28 AM Post #15 of 19

ScareDe2

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That's great but why you would buy an headphone that costs 10 times more than studio headphones and speakers.
 

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