buying advice Sony ZX-700 , ATH AD700 ,seinheiser HD449,HD518
May 30, 2013 at 5:04 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 5


New Head-Fier
May 30, 2013
I need some buying advice for getting a pair of cans near $100 price range 95% for music.I mostly listen to classic rock,blues guitar,phsychedelic rock,female vocals  mostly things without a lot of bass with occasional pop  song.I have limited option as most cans are overpriced here.I don't want to buy  an amp right now and these are the  ones available around these prices
HD 449 for $90
ATH AD500 $70
ATH AD700 $130
sony zx700 $90
grado sr80i $180
Some negative reviews are putting me off from buying any of these.Are these good for these  prices?
I am open for suggestions.Primary concern is soundstage and clarity .
May 30, 2013 at 5:37 PM Post #2 of 5
The HD449 is quite dark sounding and for my ears is bass weighted. The funny thing is that I have seen reports saying that they are bass light. Not for me!!
AD500 isn't too shabby. Not as crystal in the top end as the ones further up. AT headphones are quite nice but don't contain deep bass.
the SR80i is also a good headphone, but again, they don't actually go that deep into the bass. They sound full and are for some people, a little too toppy. Poor soundstage is a curse on Grados.
The Sony ZX is less familiar to me. If it is anything like many other Sonys' it may be quite strong at the top end (at least strong sounding but perhaps not really that extended) and contain a raised mid bass to give the impression of bass. (Like Grados)
AD700 can be prone to sibilance and is described by many as a bit bass light.
Those are some of the negatives of them for you to try and spot the lesser of the evils!!
My own preference is for the ad700. It can have some sibilance but it can also sound incredibly natural and has a good soundstage. (for a headphone) It's easily driven and is quite even handed in the way that it plays music.  HD518 isn't bad either. Warm sound.
Comfort on the head is also important. The most comfortable, I'd say are the Ad 500 and 700. HD449 isn't bad as long as you can get the flaps of your ears into the cups. (Quite small) The Grados are 'on ear' type and can be a bit annoying after a while for some people.
For clarity, the AD700 again is pretty good. It's not what I'd call a 'rock' headphone though.
Classical - AD700, maybe  HD518.
Rock - HD449, Grado.
All rounder? Hard one ..... HD518 is a good, average sounding type and is quite well behaved. However, I still gravitate towards the AD700.
I've had all of these headphones except the Sonys.
Hope my criticisms are useful.
Jun 1, 2013 at 3:07 AM Post #4 of 5
I guess the less clamping force, the better if you wear glasses. The Grados are 'on ear' so might miss the arms of your glasses. I don"t find them as comfortable as 'over ears' though.

AT"s are less tight and so don't press so hard.

If I have to wear my glasses, I tilt them so the arms are at the top of the earpieces. It can make you look a bit weird though!

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