Best headphones for classical music
Jan 29, 2018 at 9:41 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 147

IkSak

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Hi

I absolutely love classical music and I would like to know your opinions about which open back headphones are best for classical. It doesn't matter if the headphones may not be the best for other genres, as long as it excels for classical. To limit the budget, I would say to be found (including second hand) for less than 900

I know the genre has lots of subdivisions, but I mostly listen to music from baroque, classical and romantic periods (all the well know big names of classical music fall in one of these periods)

Thanks in advance
 
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Jan 29, 2018 at 9:43 PM Post #2 of 147

gc335

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What is your budget? Do you want it just for home use or portable?
 
Jan 29, 2018 at 10:34 PM Post #4 of 147

gc335

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No problem! Do you have any headphones right now? Do have an amp?

Have you tried anything in the past that you’ve liked?
 
Jan 29, 2018 at 10:50 PM Post #5 of 147

gc335

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Here are two potential setups that in my experience are very good entry level setups for classical.

Assuming you’re using digital as a source:

Cheaper:
Schiit modi -> Schiit Vali -> Massdrop K7xx

More expensive:
Schiit modi -> Woo Audio WA6 -> Sennheiser HD700.

All these items are fairly easy to find used.
 
Jan 29, 2018 at 11:41 PM Post #6 of 147

baiyy1986

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My apologies for not being specific. I'm looking for an open back for home use.

For the budget, Let's discuss between 300 to 900, it can be a second hand one.

Edit: I updated the first post to account for this information
hd800 + O2+odac(or modi), O2 3.3 GIAN will handle most classical music.
 
Jan 31, 2018 at 8:57 PM Post #7 of 147

IkSak

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No problem! Do you have any headphones right now? Do have an amp?

Have you tried anything in the past that you’ve liked?
Right now I have a AFO, and Hifiman HE400S and a NAD Viso. I listen to them using a Cayin C5. Right now, I’m planning to order an Schitt Magni 3.

In the past, I had the chance to listen using a HiFiman Edition X V2 and I liked the sound, even when I could not drive them with a good amp, but directly from my cellphone. I’ve never had the chance to listen to an HD800 or an HD700. About the latter, I’ve heard that despite the 6KHz peak, they are pretty good for classical.
 
Jan 31, 2018 at 9:17 PM Post #8 of 147

gc335

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Classical is probably the one genre where that peak isn’t a huge issue. The magni trends to be bright. That might exacerbated that peak. An Asgard might be better. It’s warmer and smoother. It will compliment them well.
 
Feb 1, 2018 at 9:27 AM Post #9 of 147

Audioholic123

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Sennheiser headphones are a good choice for classical music though I don't much like them for anything else, i'm more of a Beyerdynamic and AKG fan now. I used to own the HD700 and HD600 and imo the HD700 is bright sounding and lacks bass compared to the HD600. I would recommend the HD600 instead of the HD700, but one other headphone you might like is the AKG K712. The K712 is more neutral than the HD700 and has more bass and depth to the sound and it scales better than the HD600.
 
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Feb 1, 2018 at 11:45 AM Post #12 of 147

arteom

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You can't go wrong with an HD-600!! Spend $200 on that (get one second-hand, they come up all the time), and spend the rest (~$400 used) on a good amp. This will also set you on a good upgrade path for the future.

Another option might be a second-hand HD-800, as they've only been getting cheaper and cheaper. I would also recommend an AKG-K712, solid choice there.

A more unconventional recommendation might by a Dharma DH-1000, which I picked up recently. It's original MSRP was around $1200, but they can be had for much less second-hand. One might argue that they are in same league as the HD-800, but they can be more easily amped.
 
Feb 2, 2018 at 11:59 PM Post #15 of 147

DiamondD

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If you truly love classical music - and I mean obsessively adore classical music; you only have one choice: AKG. NONE of the others accurately reproduces the tonal qualities of the instruments.

My classical setup is simple Cowon P1, iDSD black, AKG K702. (I set aside my Denon D5000, HD700, LCD3, iCan Pro amp, Shure KSE1500. Triple Fi 10, and SE500. None of these produces the true tone from violins). I'm a violinist. I know what a violin sounds like. At the risk of being arrogant, I know what a very, very nice Italian violin sounds like. I hear it everyday next to my ears. Then, I bought Itzhak Perlman's Complete WB works and played it on every speakers I own, every headphone, earbuds....etc.

When I heard Perlman from my AKG K702, I wanted to cry. It's nearly the exact sound I hear everyday next to my ears. (Better performed, of course) All the bright, clear, and sweetness of a the world's master violin makers represented in its truest form.

If you want to hear a violin, you can buy any headphone. If you want to hear a Stradivarius, Del Gesu, or Yo Yo Ma's 3 million dollar Montagnana cello, then you go buy AKG.

Personally, I'm considering dropping $900-1500 on the K812 if it's better than the K702, but I'm already enjoying the 702 so much I don't need better. You can also get the Massdrop version for $200. No brainer for classical music enthusiasts.
 

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