Best-sounding open & closed headphones... with no EQ-ing or mods!
Jul 1, 2020 at 6:19 AM Post #61 of 86

kman1211

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I like your post - but the Harman Target un


After I wrote that I checked a bunch of reviews and lists. Nothing I saw among the ones I have heard changes my mind (AT 50? ...please). Its true I wasn't into EQ when I heard Beyers, and the tuning on the ones I heard was indeed awful. DT 480? A remake of the fairly famous DT 48, both seem very scarce used. Name a more recent version that's obtainable and I might take it on.

AT 50? I did name a more recent version, the DT 150 which is currently made and easily obtainable, it's one of the few Beyers Tyll seemed to of liked. The DT 480 is a scarce headphone and it is related to the DT 48, the DT 48 driver was never really tuned ideally or it was tuned for very specific usage but it has a lot of potential.

https://www.innerfidelity.com/content/innerfidelity-may-2015-update
https://www.innerfidelity.com/images/BeyerdynamicDT150250Ohm.pdf
 
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Jul 1, 2020 at 6:23 AM Post #62 of 86

bagwell359

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AT 50? No idea what that is. I did name a more recent version, the DT 150 which is currently made and easily obtainable, it's one of the few Beyers Tyll seemed to of liked. The DT 480 is a scarce headphone and it is related to the DT 48, the DT 48 driver was never really tuned ideally but it has a lot of potential.

https://www.innerfidelity.com/content/innerfidelity-may-2015-update
https://www.innerfidelity.com/images/BeyerdynamicDT150250Ohm.pdf

Audio Technica ATH-M50.

oops missed the 150 reference, thanks

Do you run then SE or balanced?
 
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Jul 1, 2020 at 6:40 AM Post #63 of 86

kman1211

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Audio Technica ATH-M50.

oops missed the 150 reference, thanks

Oh the M50, I hated that headphone, it represents everything wrong with closed-backs to me. No problem, the DT 150 was one of the few stock closed-backs I actually thought sounded good and about the only closed-back I heard I thought was worth bothering with in the sub-$200 category. I haven't heard the K371 that I often see mentioned and there are a few other closed backs I want to listen to sometime such as the MDR-CD900ST, MDR-M1ST, DT 250, DT 177X Go, NDH-20, Focal Elegia/Stellia, etc.

Oh I run my dynamic headphones SE as I don't currently have a balanced amp. The balanced outputs of my DAC go to my estat system. The DT 100/150/480 can be run balanced it seems but I think you have to custom-make the cable. The detachable cables are 6-pin as some versions of the headphones are headsets with boom mics.
 
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Jul 1, 2020 at 6:57 AM Post #64 of 86

bagwell359

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Oh the M50, I hated that headphone, it represents everything wrong with closed-backs to me. No problem, the DT 150 was one of the few stock closed-backs I actually thought sounded good and about the only closed-back I heard I thought was worth bothering with in the sub-$200 category. I haven't heard the K371 that I often see mentioned and there are a few other closed backs I want to listen to sometime such as the MDR-CD900ST, MDR-M1ST, DT 250, DT 177X Go, NDH-20, Focal Elegia/Stellia, etc.

Oh I run my dynamic headphones SE as I don't currently have a balanced amp. The balanced outputs of my DAC go to my estat system. The DT 100/150/480 can be run balanced it seems but I think you have to custom-make the cable.

Good, that M50 is really a mess. Several folks have written that the 150 is among the best Beyers w/o EQ. Not a fan of the Stellia. Yes that long cable isn't my cuppa, liable to make one in the 4.5-5' range with an XLR. estat system? Do tell.
 
Jul 1, 2020 at 7:03 AM Post #65 of 86

kman1211

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Good, that M50 is really a mess. Several folks have written that the 150 is among the best Beyers w/o EQ. Not a fan of the Stellia. Yes that long cable isn't my cuppa, liable to make one in the 4.5-5' range with an XLR. estat system? Do tell.

Yeah I never understood why it became popular. The DT 150 is generally well liked among people who like the HD 6xx family tuning. I've heard mixed impressions on the Stellia but it's a headphone I would like to listen to. I have an RR 1 Conquest that I use on a STAX SRM-353X and a Bifrost 2 as the DAC.
 
Jul 1, 2020 at 8:07 AM Post #66 of 86

Kammerat Rebekka

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I forgot about the K245!
Seriously this headphone is wildly overlooked by the headphone crowd. I can’t imagine anyone out there that owns and loves a K371 who wouldn’t be mad about the K245.
It is basically an openback tuned to the Harman response...and I have personally never encountered an open dynamic driver headphone that doesn’t seem to roll off in the lowest of lows.
It’s cheap as chips, well constructed and easy to drive. The only stuff holding it back? It’s got smallish round pads unlike the smallish oval pads of the K371...and methinks the price tag perhaps is a tad too cheap in order to wheel in the fishes:p
 
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Jul 1, 2020 at 8:39 AM Post #67 of 86

Malevolent

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Yeah I never understood why it became popular. The DT 150 is generally well liked among people who like the HD 6xx family tuning. I've heard mixed impressions on the Stellia but it's a headphone I would like to listen to. I have an RR 1 Conquest that I use on a STAX SRM-353X and a Bifrost 2 as the DAC.
Probably because it has a relatively fun-sounding signature? I've since moved on to better headphones, but I don't find myself shying away from the M50x. I still listen to it from time to time.
 
Jul 1, 2020 at 8:55 AM Post #68 of 86

kman1211

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Probably because it has a relatively fun-sounding signature? I've since moved on to better headphones, but I don't find myself shying away from the M50x. I still listen to it from time to time.

Honestly I just found its fidelity just isn’t good enough and it caused me a lot of fatigue. I like fun headphones. I quite enjoyed the DT 1770 Pro despite it having some issues because I found it very fun and enjoyable with EDM and other aggressive genres and it didn’t fatigue me.
 
Jul 1, 2020 at 9:11 AM Post #69 of 86

ruinedx

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I see a lot of love for the HD600 and HD650 but I felt for not too much more money the HD700 absolutely destroyed both of these out of the box with zero EQ. HD700 I felt offered radically superior soundstage and overall more engaging sound. HD600/HD650 I found pedestrian and boring sounding in comparison with muddled bass and veiled highs. HD700 is more equipment sensitive, although I've only run into 1piece of gear it sounded bad on (the Oppo HA-1, too bright) - HD700 even sounds great with my LG phone & its ESS Sabre DAC+HPA.

HD700 suffered from "not the HD800" syndrome and complaints about it being too bright and peaky (odd, since I found the HD800 FAR more bright and peaky no matter what I paired it with to the degree I that I sold it), so HD700 ended up getting discontinued as it was likely too expensive to make for the discount price it was eventually being sold at. In retrospect, the HD700 offered a great middle ground between the HD650 and HD800's sound. Thus, HD700 remains my favorite sounding headphone with zero EQ under $1000 - and while not part of the original question, also the most comfortable full size headphone under $1000.
 
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Jul 1, 2020 at 9:24 AM Post #70 of 86

Malevolent

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Honestly I just found its fidelity just isn’t good enough and it caused me a lot of fatigue. I like fun headphones. I quite enjoyed the DT 1770 Pro despite it having some issues because I found it very fun and enjoyable with EDM and other aggressive genres and it didn’t fatigue me.
I've never really had issues with the M50's treble; they are somewhat bright and can be a little uncontrolled, but for the most part, they are enjoyable, at least to my ears.

For fans of a more balanced sound, they are definitely not a "go-to" can.

You're right, though the DT 1770 PRO is much better headphone; however, it is also 2-3 times more expensive, so that's a factor to consider. Either way, for fans of the M50's sound, the Beyerdynamic is a good and solid upgrade.
 
Jul 1, 2020 at 11:14 AM Post #71 of 86

kman1211

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I've never really had issues with the M50's treble; they are somewhat bright and can be a little uncontrolled, but for the most part, they are enjoyable, at least to my ears.

For fans of a more balanced sound, they are definitely not a "go-to" can.

You're right, though the DT 1770 PRO is much better headphone; however, it is also 2-3 times more expensive, so that's a factor to consider. Either way, for fans of the M50's sound, the Beyerdynamic is a good and solid upgrade.

It’s not just the treble that fatigued me but the overall the sound including its bass. Due to having fatigue issues with so many headphones including the HD 6xx series I learned to listen for different things in headphones than many people may. That may be why my impressions may be different than most people. Lack of fatigue is a big reason I gravitated towards Beyers and some select other headphones. As long as I tone down the upper regions on some models I have zero fatigue from them.
 
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Jul 1, 2020 at 11:19 AM Post #72 of 86

Malevolent

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It’s not just the treble that fatigued me but the overall the sound including its bass. Due to having fatigue issues with so many headphones including the HD 6xx series I learned to listen for different things in headphones than many people may. That may be why my impressions may be different than most peoples. Lack of fatigue is a big reason I gravitated towards Beyers and some select other headphones. As long as I tone down the upper regions on some models I have zero fatigue from them.
I see. The M50 has a modest bass boost, but that's coming from an unabashed basshead.

I, too, have fatigue issues, but that's mostly from listening to either treble-froward or mid-forward signatures. I can neither tolerate overly bright and strident headphones, nor honky-sounding ones. Like you, I don't fancy the HD6XX series of headphones.

Anyway, that's why this hobby is fantastic. There's always one headphone for everyone. It just takes some searching to get there, though.
 
Jul 1, 2020 at 12:10 PM Post #73 of 86

kman1211

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I see. The M50 has a modest bass boost, but that's coming from an unabashed basshead.

I, too, have fatigue issues, but that's mostly from listening to either treble-froward or mid-forward signatures. I can neither tolerate overly bright and strident headphones, nor honky-sounding ones. Like you, I don't fancy the HD6XX series of headphones.

Anyway, that's why this hobby is fantastic. There's always one headphone for everyone. It just takes some searching to get there, though.

I understand, I started this hobby as a bass head and I do have some bass head tendencies here and there, generally don’t like bright and lean headphones, there are some exceptions though.

I used to believe the fatigue was caused mostly by the FR response but then I came across headphones that didn’t cause fatigue despite their tuning. I believe the culprit of the fatigue is some sort of distortion or maybe it’s related to the transient response. Still haven’t figured it out exactly but I have noticed an excellent transient response tends to be less fatiguing.

I generally like the HD 6xx series tuning, but it’s some of its other characteristics that bother me some, I liked the HD 660 S a lot more than the HD 600/650 as it wasn’t boring to me but it fatigued me quite a bit and in a sneaky way as it wasn’t an audible obvious fatigue like the HD 600/650’s upper midrange, K701/2’s lower treble, or the upper treble of a DT 990.

That is the interesting thing about this hobby and honestly there are many things that can work out for different people. You never really know what may work out for you, it’s not always what you expect. It’s been an interesting journey, sometimes a single thing or experience can completely change how you view things.
 
Jul 2, 2020 at 6:34 AM Post #74 of 86

Malevolent

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I understand, I started this hobby as a bass head and I do have some bass head tendencies here and there, generally don’t like bright and lean headphones, there are some exceptions though.

I used to believe the fatigue was caused mostly by the FR response but then I came across headphones that didn’t cause fatigue despite their tuning. I believe the culprit of the fatigue is some sort of distortion or maybe it’s related to the transient response. Still haven’t figured it out exactly but I have noticed an excellent transient response tends to be less fatiguing.

I generally like the HD 6xx series tuning, but it’s some of its other characteristics that bother me some, I liked the HD 660 S a lot more than the HD 600/650 as it wasn’t boring to me but it fatigued me quite a bit and in a sneaky way as it wasn’t an audible obvious fatigue like the HD 600/650’s upper midrange, K701/2’s lower treble, or the upper treble of a DT 990.

That is the interesting thing about this hobby and honestly there are many things that can work out for different people. You never really know what may work out for you, it’s not always what you expect. It’s been an interesting journey, sometimes a single thing or experience can completely change how you view things.
I'd agree wholeheartedly here. In my experience, the journey has been the most enjoyable phase. Of course, it's great when you finally find a pair of IEMs or headphones that you really love, and you can enjoy your music, in relative peace (at least for a while). However, the road to the destination is a lot more thrilling and educational - I've found so many things about audio (and myself) throughout this 9-year odd journey.

For example, I came to realize, after some time, that I very much prefer coloration to a neutral sound, and a "fun" signature to a balanced one.
 
Jul 2, 2020 at 11:01 AM Post #75 of 86

SilverEars

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I'd agree wholeheartedly here. In my experience, the journey has been the most enjoyable phase. Of course, it's great when you finally find a pair of IEMs or headphones that you really love, and you can enjoy your music, in relative peace (at least for a while). However, the road to the destination is a lot more thrilling and educational - I've found so many things about audio (and myself) throughout this 9-year odd journey.

For example, I came to realize, after some time, that I very much prefer coloration to a neutral sound, and a "fun" signature to a balanced one.
My journey told me that a lot of hyped up crap were flavor of the months and this cycle continues, but now with at a much greater magnitude price points.

If we also look back, we can see a lot of mistake hypes that had crappy responses and tonality in a audiophile forum with people with supposed finer tastes in audio, and this doesn't actually apply.

There's a lot of gearphiles probably have no awareness of sound and thus no real reason than about getting the latest hype and showing off. In truth, it makes no reasonable sense to purchase something of obsurd price to care about looks, given it's all too simple function. Function is too simple at it obsurd price, and thus not very reasonable.
 
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