Cans for Classical
Apr 30, 2017 at 12:44 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 13

VasilyTheRed

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Budget is $200 max (which may be overkill, given what I will be plugging them into). I don’t plan on using an amp; just plug it into my iPhone 6 or computer and go. What I have been looking at are:

Beyerdynamic DT 990 Premium (32 ohm)
Sennheiser HD 598
Grado SR80e

I’ll be using the new headphones at home in a quite environment. I listen to all kinds of music, but I guess I would prefer the headphones to be very good for classical music (although that runs the gamut from Bach solo piano pieces to Mahler symphonies, so that is pretty broad). I do game quite a bit, but it is entirely single player stuff. I can go for hours at time with the headphones on, so comfort is big priority.

Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated!
 
Apr 30, 2017 at 1:05 AM Post #2 of 13

viralcow

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If comfort is important, you can go ahead and take the SR80e (and any Grado for that matter) off the list.
The DT990 is a polarizing headphone. Lots of bass and lots of treble.
The HD598 is probably the best choice of the three.
 
Apr 30, 2017 at 12:56 PM Post #4 of 13

Malfunkt

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Also look into the Beyerdynamic DT660 32 ohm, well-regarded for it signature suitable to classical. I haven't heard these myself, but since you mentioned the DT990 thought I'd point it out.

Personally, I feel the HD598, is a bit too sweetened on the upper-range, with an overall performance more suited for pop and contemporary music productions. The HD598 might still be a great choice though. You can always make small adjustments with EQ if you feel you need to (reducing overall volume gain if increasing any bands).

The HD598 will be very very comfortable, and you are right, this is so important.

On the other hand, see if you can swing an HD600, you may luck out. You'll get a can that is overall more refined and while best with an amp will still be powered out of most computer / phone amps if they are somewhat decent.

Source: classical music listener and gaming fan. iphone 6 owner
 
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Apr 30, 2017 at 1:51 PM Post #5 of 13

buke9

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To me the lack of much of a soundstage for the 600's doesn't lend itself to classical too much. The need for a amp to make them really shine also would put me off. They are so much livelier with a bit of power like most headphones I think. The DT990 is a bright headphone to say the least for some it can be a little too much. The 880 is not as bright and a little closer to the HD-650 which I prefer over the 600 but not by much. If it were me I would try to find something that would be powered from a phone or computer well and not something that would be better with a amp.
 
Apr 30, 2017 at 2:22 PM Post #6 of 13

serman005

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Truthfully, to me, the best option for you is the HE400S. Easily driven by a phone or DAP, extremely comfortable, and nearly ideal for classical. You would need to stretch and save up a bit in order to get it as it is out of budget ($298.68 on amazon today). You might read about it and see what you think. It might work for you.
 
Apr 30, 2017 at 2:49 PM Post #7 of 13

VasilyTheRed

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Thanks for all of the responses! I will definitely research the additional recommendations. Buke hit the nail on the head with what I am looking for, though: Straight out of the box performance when paired with my phone with no need for an amp.
 
Apr 30, 2017 at 5:07 PM Post #8 of 13

buke9

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Well went to Tidal and found some Bach Piano solo "J.S. Bach : Works for Solo Piano " by Valdimir Feltsman. I have to say the HE-400S did well with it straight out of my iPhone 6s Plus. I have another headphone that I tried to see if the 400S were doing justice to it and they confirmed it for me. I was listening to a pair of closed backs that have good soundstage and are waaay out of your stated budget just to see if the 400's are on point. They are. The HE-400S is something to look at I'm sure you can find them used for about your budget if not save up or go another route. These are just my opinions and YMMV. Good Luck
 
Apr 30, 2017 at 5:18 PM Post #9 of 13

Mshenay

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It's all going to depend on preference, but I liked my DT 990 with classical! Comfort wise, Beyers will be the best, if your looking at the DT 880 it's also another good option, and honestly I'd get a 32 Ohm DT 880 Premium if I were in your shoes

I enjoyed it's presentation more than the HD 600 when I had it, and the DT 880 pads are so comfy that I still use them today with my Hifiman HE 4,

I also like Hifiman Headphones, you may be able to grab the Hifiman 400s second hand for around $200, Additionally the Superlux HD 668B is a great choice for classical, and it's only $40, some people don't find them to be comfortable, I don't have any issue with mine. An as far as sounds goes, the SuperLux HD 668B can use a few different pads, and the ear pads will improve comfort and change the sound depending on what you want, but in stock form the sound very similar to the DT 990
 
May 13, 2017 at 12:09 PM Post #12 of 13

VasilyTheRed

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Got sidetracked by life, so I am still researching. The HE-400s looks to be the one to get, but a small wrinkle in all this is that I usually prefer on-ear headphones. Just curious if anyone has any thoughts about what might work in that category. Thanks again for everyone's help!
 
May 13, 2017 at 9:06 PM Post #13 of 13

mysticstryk

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Got sidetracked by life, so I am still researching. The HE-400s looks to be the one to get, but a small wrinkle in all this is that I usually prefer on-ear headphones. Just curious if anyone has any thoughts about what might work in that category. Thanks again for everyone's help!

You said you were at home in a quiet environment, what makes you gravitate towards on-ears? Comfort and sound quality will be much higher with an over-ear (I'd definitely recommend the DT880 or 400S). Not a whole lot of options with on-ear that could match that performance. Stay away from Grados, they are a glorified fashion accessory in 2017 unless your just buying a cheap SR-60.
 
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