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Best headphones for film scores/jazz/ambient/classical?

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by zxc00, Jan 22, 2012.
  1. zxc00
    I listen to a lot of these genres and was wondering what my best bet would be. I have a budget of around $350 give or take. I'm considering the Sennheiser HD 600, HD 598, HD 650, Beyerdynamic DT880 (250 or 600), Audio Technica ATH-AD900, HiFiman HE-300 or the Sennheiser HD 650 if Amazon puts them on sale again but I think I may favor the more neutral HD 600's. Anyways, am I on the right track and does one pair stand out over the others for the genre's I'm interested in.
  2. nikp


    -I have heard the ones in bold-
    I listen to a lot of classical, jazz and film scores so I'm assuming our tastes are similar. The HD650 has a fun, laid back and dark (muddy) sound signature, not my cup of tea. 
    You're right, the HD600 is one of the best - even the HD800 is not as neutral as the HD600 in my experience. The DT880 is also a good choice - it has a slightly larger soundstage than the HD600 but the timbre lacks a bit (sounds smoother).
  3. chicolom
    I like those genres too, and I like them through the Q701s.  Those genres deserve a good soundstage.  I haven't heard the HD6xx, though...
  4. lejaz
    HD600 gets my vote, though I haven't heard all the others, only the k702. I haven't listened to much opera in recent years, but  the first time I tried some Puccini with the hd580(same drivers as the hd600) I was won over. They're the closest to sitting right there in the opera house of any phone I've ever heard....stunning realism/fidelity.
  5. DVDRey
    I prefer the HD650 (silver) to the HD600 for clasical/jazz..., these genre of music require more bass (mid and sub bass) imo, like the piano, contrabass (?)...where the HD600 can be sometimes more liveless for these genres imo.
  6. Acix
  7. PurpleAngel Contributor
    Four of the headphones listed will need a fairly decent headphone amplifier, so total price would be over your budget, $400 or more.
    The Senn HD-598 (50-Ohm), Audio Technica ATH-AD900 (40-Ohm) and Hifiman HE-300 (50-Ohm) would work well with lower cost headphone amplifiers.
    So with these three you could come in under your budget (Headphone and amp).
    The Beyerdynamic DT880 Pro 250-Ohm with headphone amplifier would be around your $350 budget.
  8. Dubstep Girl
    another vote for hd 650 or hd 600 depending on what sound signature you want.
    im gonna say the hd 600 will probably suit you better though, supposed to be one of the better cans for classical.
  9. zxc00


    Right, thanks for pointing that out that was a typo on my part, I meant that $350 was the budget on the headphones themselves and I realized I would have to have a proper amp to power them not that the $350 was my entire budget for both. You're right I can see how someone would think that and I will fix it to avoid more confusion.
    I was kinda leaning towards the HD 600 but going on Amazon it looks as if Amazon is sold out and now it's $399, hopefully they get more in soon at the $315 price point. I guess I'll hold off for a little while and wait to see if they come back otherwise I'll go for the DT 880. BTW, what's a good amp for the 880? I heard from a few people say the Asgard isn't a good match for them, my budget for the amp would probably be around $250-300. Also is the 600ohms significantly harder to drive then the 250ohm counterpart? I have read a few posts saying the 600ohm version is the way to go but I'm kinda worried they will be a lot harder to drive.
  10. PurpleAngel Contributor


    Theoretically, the DT880 250-Ohm version will be almost as good as the DT880 600-Ohm version.
    If you were willing to spend $400-$500 for a headphone amplifier, I can see spending the extra $80 for 600-Ohm headphones.
    But stay with the DT880 250-Ohm for now, you can always "reward" yourself with the 600-Ohm in the future.
    I'm assuming your plugging the headphones into a computer?
    One low cost way to power the headphones.
    Low cost single tube headphone amplifier, sold on eBay, make in China, takes ten days for shipping.
    Good ones are selling for $90-$120.
    The get a Fiio D3 or D5 USB/DAC, they go for around $25
    Or a Fiio E9, with the D3 or D5.
    DT880 250, single tube (or solid state) headphone amp, DAC, total around $380.
  11. zxc00


    Thanks, lots of good information there.
    As for what I'm gonna use I'm still trying to decide. Originally I was thinking about an iPod but since these will be mainly for home use I don't see why I shouldn't use my laptop either that or just use a CD player (I have a rather large CD collection) and wouldn't mind getting back into CD's. Do I need a DAC in conjunction with a CD player? If I'm not mistaken I have seen some people with one when using a CD player/amp but not 100% sure. Thanks for the help.
  12. Dubstep Girl
    600 ohm beyers are pretty hard to drive imo
  13. PurpleAngel Contributor

    The CD player would have a DAC built in, but I'm guessing modern CD players also come with digital output (USB, coaxial, optical, etc.)
    People are hook up a better quality DAC (external) to their CD players.
    Most of the DVD players can play music and can have digital outputs.

  14. Coolteach3rdG
    What do you guys think of Grado headphones? I listen to Classical, Jazz and then some rock too! 

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