Can you throw some recommendations my way?
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GanChan

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Hello again. I’ve haven’t been in the market for headphones for a while, mainly because my wallet hates me, so I'm not up on the latest models, but I may start looking around again. I gave up on IEMs because they irritate my ear canals, but most of the time I have to wear closed-design phones due to noisy neighbors. I quite like my HD280s for this purpose, but once in a while it would be great to break out some nice open-backed phones for a more realistic soundstage, maybe when the numbskulls upstairs are asleep.
 
Maybe you could point me toward a good choice for my needs….
 
  1. These open-backed phones would be mostly used for listening to classical music, plugged into low-powered sources like a computer audio jack. I don’t have a headphone amp.
  2. I prefer a relatively “flat” or uncolored sound signature. 
  3. Budget-wise, I’m probably stuck in the budget-fi to mid-fi range, however you care to define that.
  4. Comfortable, washable/replaceable pads would be a plus. 
 
I used the Sennheiser HD590s for years until they eventually fell apart. The 555-595 series might be an OK choice but they just a little “stuffy” to me. My next thought was to try the Audiotechnica ADxxx series -- I liked their closed-design equivalents a lot, but they developed a crack in one of the (rather delicate) earpiece holders, and I worry about that occurring again….
 
Any thoughts?

 
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MalVeauX

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Heya,
 
(noting you're not going to have an amp, thus it limits selection)
 
Fischer Audio FA-002 or DT880 32ohm.
 
And get this to compliment.
 
Alternative headphones:
 
Sennheiser HD598
AudioTechnica AD900
 
Very best,
 
 
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GanChan

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Thanks. If the Audiotechnicas can avoid breaking on me this time, I may go for them. Two questions:
 
1.Does the ADxxx series have replaceable pads?
2. Is there a huge sonic difference between the AD900 and the AD700, considering that my source is nothing fabulous?
 
 
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GanChan

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My recollections there are mostly of the HD555s, which I had longer than the others. Stuffy as in very slightly veiled or rolled off on top, in what seems to be a nod to Sennheiser's traditional house sound (the HD280 being a notable exception). 
 
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koolkat

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If I'm not mistaken, the hifiman hm-101 USB Amp/dac doesn't have an internal battery so you won't be able to use it with your portable media player. 
 
 
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The AD900's seems like a great choice. It does everything better than the AD700's. 
 
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MalVeauX

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Quote:
If I'm not mistaken, the hifiman hm-101 USB Amp/dac doesn't have an internal battery so you won't be able to use it with your portable media player.
 
 
Note:
Quote:
plugged into low-powered sources like a computer audio jack. I don’t have a headphone amp.
 
Very best,
 
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Gwarmi

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Second vote for - Sennheiser HD 598
 
They will run nicely out of a soundcard or motherboard headphone out.
Although with the jack, you might get unwanted line noise and a tinny
sound. Most on-board sound is terrible.
 
If you're prepared to look into a basic DAC/Amp then I recommend
the AKG K-Series - either a 2nd hand Quincy Jones Q701 or K601.
 
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