"best" headphones mainly for classical and under $300
Oct 28, 2012 at 10:03 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 14

alexsj

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So the title says what I'm looking for.  I listen mainly to classical.  I am currently using the Beyerdynamic DT 880s (250 ohm).  I use an audio gd dac/amp which can drive most headphones I think.  This is my desktop set up at home and the music is on my laptop.
 
So I know that the AKG Q701s are considered very good for classical and I'm leaning towards buying them.  But I haven't kept up with all the new headphones out there so I was hoping to get some ideas.  I listen to all kinds of music but I mainly want the cans for classical.
 
Oct 28, 2012 at 10:32 AM Post #2 of 14

LCfiner

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I recently got a Q701 and I'm having a hard time thinking of one better suited for classical specifically in your price range. I'm using them now as my main cans as I've sent the MrSpeakers Mad Dogs out to get a pad upgrade.
 
I prefer the bass response of the Mad Dogs (it doesn't roll off like the Q701 and there's more impact for drums) and feel they have some of the best imaging I've heard in sub $1000 cans, but the overall size of the soundstage isn't as big as the Q701. so if soundstage size is really important to you, the Q701 are probably better. But if a stronger bass response is important, I'd recommend the Mad Dogs. I also feel the Mad Dogs sound is cleaner - no grain to the sound at all.
 
The biggest issue I had with the Q701 sound when I first got them is a spike around 2 kHz that adds a bit of bite or glare. I use a slight -2dB EQ at that frequency to even things out. I also boost the bass 2dB from 100 Hz downward but I don't think that's as important as lowering that upper mids spike. If you're not against EQ, I think the Q701 are pretty good.
 
I've heard good things about the cheaper Hifiman cans. the HE-300 and 400. those might be options to consider, too. 
 
Oct 28, 2012 at 2:51 PM Post #3 of 14

yepimonfire

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Q701's or AD900. AD900 has a larger soundstage, Q701 has more low end. I have owned both and they both did exceptionally well with classical. Depending on your setup, you may need an amp. Q701's are hard to get a lot of volume out of unless you have something with a decent amount of power. You also need something with a low output impedance due to the varying impedance of these headphones. Going from something with an output impedance of 10ohms to near 0 ohms will completely change the frequency response of them for the worse. They sounded weird on the former.
 
EDIT: nvm didn't see the mention of the audio-gd amp in your post.
 
 
Oct 28, 2012 at 4:19 PM Post #4 of 14

ZARIM

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The Hifiman HE400, Sony SA5000, Sony MA900, HD600 and AD1000 are very good for classical music genres.
 
Oct 28, 2012 at 7:59 PM Post #5 of 14

alexsj

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@Zarim: thanks for the ideas.  Some of the cans are over my budget (I like Senns a lot but the HD600s are probably more than I want to spend).  I'll have to look into the AD 1000s, though, and the others you mentioned.
 
@yep: good call on the AD900s.  I forgot about those.  I used to own a pair of AD700s and like them a lot so those would be an upgrade (and be a nice contrast to the Beyer DT880s that I currently own and use).
 
@LCfiner: I've been been wanting to buy a pair of the AKG 701s for a long time.  I was ready to buy a pair until I made the mistake of asking for advice on this website.  Now I'll have to do some more research, 
biggrin.gif

 
Too bad I can't audition them all.
 
Oct 28, 2012 at 9:46 PM Post #6 of 14

PanamaHat

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Have you considered the Ultrasone HFI-2400? It has an overall smaller soundstage than the q701 but much better imaging. I think the soundstage of the hfi-2400 is up there with the dt880.but with more depth.
 
Oct 28, 2012 at 11:16 PM Post #7 of 14

noway

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[quote="alexsj]
...@LCfiner: I've been been wanting to buy a pair of the AKG 701s for a long time.  I was ready to buy a pair until I made the mistake of asking for advice on this website.  Now I'll have to do some more research, :D...


[/quote]


Forget the research and get out the credit card while the black Q701s are $224.53 @ B&H Photo with free USA shipping. I used to have DT990 pros although not at same time. I like the Q701s better.
 
Oct 28, 2012 at 11:23 PM Post #8 of 14

thecourier

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Quote:
Forget the research and get out the credit card while the black Q701s are $224.53 @ B&H Photo with free USA shipping. I used to have DT990 pros although not at same time. I like the Q701s better.

 
X2
its a great place to buy headphones btw, they ship fast..and you have the headphones in less than a week. 
 
Oct 29, 2012 at 12:48 PM Post #10 of 14

ZARIM

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The AKG K701 are great headphones with wide soundstage and shows overall great details in musuic, definately recommended over DT880 (250 Ohm).
 
Oct 29, 2012 at 1:08 PM Post #11 of 14

ostewart

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The new Soundmagic HP200, excellent sound for classical, super comfy. Amazing value for money
 
Nov 6, 2012 at 9:53 PM Post #12 of 14

hifimanrookie

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The Hifiman HE400, Sony SA5000, Sony MA900, HD600 and AD1000 are very good for classical music genres.

He400 is 399 so thats above the budget..but..try the he300..its dynamic..and will surprise u big time..it did for me..especially in combo with a also cheap matrix m-stage..that combo can go head on against much more expensive combos..i know..i just recently bought the only can i think is actually a step up in sq..the he500...i tried others..but for my ears..if the he500 didnt exist..the he300 would still be my favorite budget can..but as i wanna point out..hearin experiences is personal..but from my opinion..for 249 u wont find better can period!
 
Nov 13, 2012 at 4:58 PM Post #13 of 14

PanamaHat

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The new Soundmagic HP200, excellent sound for classical, super comfy. Amazing value for money

I heard rumors about a HP300 coming soon 
ph34r.gif

 
Nov 13, 2012 at 5:24 PM Post #14 of 14

MalVeauX

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Heya,
 
Classical is all about having sound stage and imaging. The DT880's are great, I'm surprised you're wanting to side-grade, as $300 doesn't really take you anywhere beyond where you already are, but simply gives you a different headphone in the same tier basically.
 
I would suggest the Sony MA900 primarily. Then the AKG K701 or Q701 depending on preference. Lastly the Sennheiser HD598 (or 595).
 
Very best,
 

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