Best Closed Cans for Classical Music, $200 max.
May 18, 2015 at 1:23 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 54

DCofficehack

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I'm rephrasing an earlier post that I fear might have been overly specific, and I want to make sure I'm getting as broad a set of recommendations as possible before I pull the trigger. I wear listen to music constantly at the office and usually rely on my IEMs, but some recurrent ear issues have led me to conclude to move back to circumaural gear. While I listen to a broad range of music, 90% of the time it's classical. Sometimes something pure and simple like Bach solo cello suites, but sometimes big boomy things like Beethoven and Mahler symponies. I want the cello to sound like a cello. With the Beethoven, I want to feel the power but also be able to hear the detail and make sure that, say, the soloists during the 4th movement of the 9th don't get lost in the wall of sound. Bass has to be there when required, but boosted bass is anathema to me.
 
In that earlier thread the focus was on neutral cans, but really only because that's what I know. I want to open up to other possibilities.
 
Thanks.
 
May 18, 2015 at 3:07 PM Post #3 of 54

MrPanda

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They're not the fastest or most articulate headphones, but I think the Beyer 770 80 ohms could be a good choice.  They're easy to listen to, comfortable, isolate well, and sound great on all kinds of music.  I'm mostly a classical listener myself.
 
May 18, 2015 at 3:08 PM Post #4 of 54

H20Fidelity

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Any love for the SRH 840s?


SRH840 is in my opinion an excellent headphone. Detailed (almost if not as much as SRH940). You'll find plenty of reviews and threads on them. Just don't read too deeply or too long at once. This place can drive you stir crazy with differing opinions. I'd say go for it, I'd still have my 840 if they didn't hurt my neck whilst laying down. (how I listen mainly)
 
May 18, 2015 at 3:41 PM Post #5 of 54

396629

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DT150 for natural tone and soundstage. Wonderful for classical and just about anything else.
 
There's also an entire thread dedicated to the DT660s suitability for classical. Haven't tried them myself but judging by my experience with its open brother the 860 may be not to be in 150's class but easier to drive.
 
May 18, 2015 at 3:50 PM Post #6 of 54

DCofficehack

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  DT150 for natural tone and soundstage. Wonderful for classical and just about anything else.
 
There's also an entire thread dedicated to the DT660s suitability for classical. Haven't tried them myself but judging by my experience with its open brother the 860 may be not to be in 150's class but easier to drive.

That's what I'm looking for, new recs!
 
The DT150 and the DT660 are about the same price. What's the difference? I gather from your comment that the DT660 would be easier to run without an amp off a phone or MacBook.
 
May 18, 2015 at 3:58 PM Post #7 of 54

396629

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Yes the DT660 would be a better choice for that I think. Its highly rated for classical

http://www.head-fi.org/t/559542/i-truly-believe-these-are-one-of-the-best-classical-music-headphones-ive-ever-heard/0_30
 
May 19, 2015 at 9:29 AM Post #8 of 54

DCofficehack

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So, the choice seems to be, either I spend $100 (the NVX XPT100s) or $200, and if I go for $200, it's between the Shure SRH 840, the DT660, and the Soundmagic HP100. Thoughts, based on what I've read.
 
1. The DT660 seems to be great with some sub-genres and not so great with others. Almost a niche player.
2. The HP 100 seems strong, although there are few reviews, and what I've read suggests that it might not be so good without an AMP.
3. The Shure is emerging as perhaps the best all-around phone at the price point...It does well what the DT660 does well, plus everything else, and it seems to be fine without an AMP.
 
So I guess i"m leaning toward the XPT100 or the SRH 840, which comes down to whether or not I want to spend x or 2x when x gets me by all accounts a fine set of cans...
 
Am I  off the mark, here? The DT770's come up, but I don't know what to make of the bass...too much? Ok?
 
May 19, 2015 at 9:52 AM Post #9 of 54

MrPanda

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I don't think there's too much bass at all in the DT770's, in fact, they excel at cello, organ, and have enough detail to resolve a complex string section.
DT770-80 is a popular studio headphone, and can often be had for a very reasonable price.  They're a wonderful headphone, and very well-built and reliable, with good isolation. They're my
'hide in the office and get some work done' phone, but they're also excellent for serious listening.  They have more bass extension below 60 than say, an open phone, but IMHO they don't exaggerate the lower register, they reproduce it.  It's not a fake bass effect from overemphasizing the next octave up, it's real bass.  For that reason, I think they're a great choice, since many orchestral instruments have significant energy and impact down there.
 
May 19, 2015 at 10:27 AM Post #10 of 54

DCofficehack

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  I don't think there's too much bass at all in the DT770's, in fact, they excel at cello, organ, and have enough detail to resolve a complex string section.
DT770-80 is a popular studio headphone, and can often be had for a very reasonable price.  They're a wonderful headphone, and very well-built and reliable, with good isolation. They're my
'hide in the office and get some work done' phone, but they're also excellent for serious listening.  They have more bass extension below 60 than say, an open phone, but IMHO they don't exaggerate the lower register, they reproduce it.  It's not a fake bass effect from overemphasizing the next octave up, it's real bass.  For that reason, I think they're a great choice, since many orchestral instruments have significant energy and impact down there.

Can they be driven w/o an amp? I've noticed that Beyerdynamic sometimes sells multiple models of the same cans but with different resistance ratings...I fear making a misstep out of ignorance.
 
If the DT770s are so good, why does the DT660 get so much attention?
 
edit: I just read that the DT770 definitely needs an amp.
 
May 19, 2015 at 10:34 AM Post #11 of 54

MrPanda

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There's a 32 ohm version of the DT770 also that's made for use with portable equipment.  There are two higher impedance models out there that would benefit from amping.  I usually use the DT770-80 with a FiiO E17.
 
DT660 has a different headband - looks like it might be more rugged if you need something more portable.  From what I've heard the lower impedance Beyers don't sound that much different than there higher-resistance siblings, although the impedance influences the kinds of amps that are best for them. What are you listening from?
 
May 19, 2015 at 11:14 AM Post #12 of 54

CJG888

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You might also want to consider the DT250 (available in 80 and 250 ohm versions - the 250 ohm version needs an amp!).
 
May 19, 2015 at 11:47 AM Post #13 of 54

DCofficehack

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The DT250/80 gets good reviews. Hmmm....one thing I like about it and the Shure is the detachable cords and general replacability of the parts. Both clearly are not built to be disposable.
 
By the way, I notice in reviews of the FA-003 and their clones that some criticize the sound for being 'hollow.' What on earth does that mean?
 
May 19, 2015 at 1:25 PM Post #14 of 54

Shaffer

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The DT250 is the only headphone I sent back. It sounded congested, undynamic, veiled, lacked resolution and detail, and virtually no extension at the frequency extremes. Very disappointing, especially after reading all the accolades on the forum.

OP, what sort of tonal balance do you prefer? Given your the content of your post, I'd be inclined to recommend an AKG 70X variant, but if you prefer a relatively warm presentation they wouldn't be right for your taste.
 
May 19, 2015 at 1:52 PM Post #15 of 54

DCofficehack

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Are you certain the 250s simply didn't need to be burned in?
 
Regretably my tonal taste suffers from a lack of experience. I've owned three listening devices:
 
A POS $30 Sony thing that I credit for teaching me about the hazards of bass boost. It put bass where it didn't belong and all the rest just sucked.
An HD 448 that was radically superior to the Sony and opened my eyes (ears) to what good gear can do, but I found it flat and uninteresting and ended up screwing around with the EQ. It arguably had a touch too little bass.
Fischer DBA-002 IEMs. I've been using these constantly and really like them. I'd be ok with a similar sound profile but am open to other options. So, I'm inclined to default to neutral because that's what I know and am ok with, but perhaps there's more out there...
 
I know I want detail..I want to be able to identify specific things in ensemble classical music; I want a appropriate amount of bass when it should be there. Cello should sound like cello, but I also want to get the power of a chorus, pick out the soloists, and also feel the deep ground notes of an organ. And yeah, I want it to handle rock, too, but nailing classical is the priority. Hence my interest in the DT660s, the XPT 100, and the Shure's. Those are all regarded as neutral phones that do classical quite well.
 

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