Classical Music Headphones for Entry Level (ATH-M50, HD598, DT880 250ohm, AKG Q701)
Jan 14, 2017 at 2:31 PM Post #16 of 21

zschwartz

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Hey all,
 
So I ended up holding off on sending back the HD598's because I just couldn't give up on them so fast with so many good reviews about them. 
 
It's been a few weeks of testing the 598s vs DT880's and I have to take back some of my strong opinions above. I went to the philharmonic last night and really tried to pay attention to the natural sound so that I can compare this morning to the headphones. Overall my conclusion is that the HD598's win in terms of depth of sound, as well as their natural sounding bass. Nonetheless, the sound is too recessed to sound live. I suspect it's their mid range that lacks luster for me - is it the dip at 1000hz? As I mentioned before, its like listening behind a curtain.   
 
However, the DT88s, despite the delightful clarity of its treble, is tilted too far towards the higher frequencies. They have a wonderful exciting bright detailed sound, but it's missing an equally exciting lower range to sound like a true orchestra. 
 
Bottom line: DT880's sounds like your there in the hall, but someone has filtered out the lower range. It takes away the depth of the sound. Meanwhile, the HD598's have great depth and are well balanced on both sides of the spectrum - but the sound is recessed. You do lose significant volume on the DT880s 250ohm without an amp. Overall, I must concede that HD598 might be the winner on average. They just aren't what I hoped they would be. 
 
Jan 14, 2017 at 3:29 PM Post #17 of 21

serman005

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  Hey all,
 
So I ended up holding off on sending back the HD598's because I just couldn't give up on them so fast with so many good reviews about them. 
 
It's been a few weeks of testing the 598s vs DT880's and I have to take back some of my strong opinions above. I went to the philharmonic last night and really tried to pay attention to the natural sound so that I can compare this morning to the headphones. Overall my conclusion is that the HD598's win in terms of depth of sound, as well as their natural sounding bass. Nonetheless, the sound is too recessed to sound live. I suspect it's their mid range that lacks luster for me - is it the dip at 1000hz? As I mentioned before, its like listening behind a curtain.   
 
However, the DT88s, despite the delightful clarity of its treble, is tilted too far towards the higher frequencies. They have a wonderful exciting bright detailed sound, but it's missing an equally exciting lower range to sound like a true orchestra. 
 
Bottom line: DT880's sounds like your there in the hall, but someone has filtered out the lower range. It takes away the depth of the sound. Meanwhile, the HD598's have great depth and are well balanced on both sides of the spectrum - but the sound is recessed. You do lose significant volume on the DT880s 250ohm without an amp. Overall, I must concede that HD598 might be the winner on average. They just aren't what I hoped they would be. 

What is your budget?
 
Jan 14, 2017 at 3:49 PM Post #18 of 21

musikevan

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Spent half my life as classical musician, I got good results with dt770 80 ohm and tiny little topping nx1 amp...such a small amp not much of a sacrifice to carry around and costs very little. They pair up magically, and you get good acoustical isolation from sealed design. I have not yet heard the dt880 or m50x
 
Jan 14, 2017 at 4:12 PM Post #19 of 21

zschwartz

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I wanted to get the best headphones under $200, without spending part of the budget on an amp. Figured I'm better off buying better headphones with that money, than poorer headphones but with an amp. Spent $160 on HD598, $140 on the DT880s - I'll likely be sending back the DT880s afterall
 
Feb 16, 2017 at 5:22 AM Post #20 of 21

thelonious58

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DT 990 for classical music? With its recessed mids it can't do justice to classical music. Great for rock and movies though

Well DT880 is much better than HD598 for quality recordings, and it's also a better match for a speaker amp.
If you want something that's DT880-like but more punchy in the bass (and also brighter) check DT990.
I guess you'll enjoy both more than HD598.

Keep in mind DT880 is a tad too flat in the bass, and DT990 is overly bright for some recordings.

AKG K702 could serve you very well for classical music and jazz but it needs a quality dedicated headphone amplifier to show its goods in my experience.

There's always a trade off when picking a headphone but we are talking about quality revealing headphones here, if that's what you want I guess you'll enjoy any of these.

HD598 is better suited for modern / less than ideal recordings in my view.
For people wanting a softer and more laid back presentation.
 
Feb 16, 2017 at 9:27 PM Post #21 of 21

Kodhifi

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Mid range presence seems to be 2-5khz. Headphones I own with a dip sound veiled for vocals. Headphones I own with a bump there tend to be highly regarded for vocals.
 
6-8khz is where a lot of harshness can exist because of bad recordings or HRTF so it can make the difference between vocals that pop, and vocals that scratch on your nerves. Then 9-11khz is your extreme vocal range where the sharpness of a female vocalists voice lives, where pops, clicks, lip smacks, sound true to life. Many microphones have a bump built in at that point to make vocals pop more in a mix.
 
Hope that helps .
 

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