Closed cans for classical - options
May 11, 2013 at 1:02 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 14

SoundsGood

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Looking to upgrade from my current pair: Denon D1001.  I know closed aren't preferable for classical, but I need to keep them closed to block external noises.  I use them mostly out of my MacBook listening to lossless files or streaming from MOG.
 
So far, I've been thinking about the following:
 
Audio Technica A900x
SoundMagic HP100
Beyerdynamic DT660
 
Are any of these preferable for classical over the others?  I know there was a big review stating the DT660s were the best for classical, but how do they compare to the other two?  I'm a little hesitant with the A900x due to possible comfort/fit issues - I wouldn't be able to try before I buy.
 
I listen to all kinds of orchestral music, but my preferences are Mahler, Bruckner, Wagner, Brahms, Strauss, etc.  So, the headphones need to be able to handle the full gamut.
 
Thoughts?  Or recommendations for a different closed can?  $200 is my limit.
 
Thanks!
 
May 11, 2013 at 2:45 PM Post #2 of 14

flatmap

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Also interested in what people recommend.  
 
Most of my classical listening is at home with my DAC, amps, and big, open style headphones. 
So I don't really have a helpful data point for conventional closed headphones in this price range.
 
I do listen to my ATH M50s at work, where I need a closed headphone.  Love them, but they tease 
apart the sound, more than integrate the sound, IMO.  Perhaps this is because the midrange -- and transition from midrange to bass -- is not sufficiently supported for big powerhouse orchestral works.  For Bruckner et al, I'd very much like more of the integrative and dramatic presentation.  Just my listening preference, of course.
 
May 11, 2013 at 7:54 PM Post #3 of 14

p a t r i c k

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Living, as I do, in the UK I don't know US prices, however as bit of research I just looked at the price of the AKG K550 headphones at Amazon.com and I see they are $269.95.
 
It is more than $200, but I suspect you will find that they will perform extremely well for you.
 
Your list of composers: Mahler, Bruckner, Wagner, Brahms, Strauss suggests you will want headphones that can handle large orchestras, and the K550s will do that extremely well indeed.
 
K550s will work from the amplifier in your MacBook, I use mine the the amplifier in my MacBook Pro and they sound great.
 
The isolation with the K550s is in my experience excellent. Isolation varies between closed headphones, so this is something to check for.
 
Something to be aware of is that some people find the K550s are too loose on their heads. I think this is a problem for people with smaller skulls. The headphone fit me very well and I have an average sized skull :)
 
 
 
 
 
 
May 11, 2013 at 8:07 PM Post #4 of 14

BillsonChang007

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Hello!

http://www.head-fi.org/t/559542/i-truly-believe-these-are-one-of-the-best-classical-music-headphones-ive-ever-heard not my review but his review always the very honest one!

Billson :)
 
May 11, 2013 at 8:07 PM Post #5 of 14

aristos_achaion

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I'd really recommend you look into the AKG K550. They're pretty much the only non-open headphones I actually like. It's a really open sound, and I've gotten no complaints about noise leakage, even listening to them next to my sleeping girlfriend.

Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 2
 
May 11, 2013 at 8:15 PM Post #6 of 14

Lorspeaker

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Yup...go for the k550 in the resale Mkt. Perfect.
 
May 12, 2013 at 10:32 AM Post #8 of 14

SoundsGood

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Thanks for the suggestions so far.  I had looked into the K550s for awhile and was very intrigued - they get generally great reviews, but thought they were a little out of my price range.  But, it does seem like I can get a used pair within my limit.
 
Some reviews have mentioned a possible fit issue with the clamping force pretty light.  Have any of you experienced problems?  I think I have a normal sized head...
confused_face_2.gif

 
May 12, 2013 at 11:55 AM Post #9 of 14

Lorspeaker

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 u can bend the headbands...and stuff the pads until its snugggg. 
tongue.gif

 
May 12, 2013 at 1:35 PM Post #10 of 14

GL1TCH3D

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The K550s are definitely interesting headphones.
I wish I had more time with them for testing and stuff (only had brief minutes at a time trying them).
At the moment for portable use I have the Audio Technica ESW11LTD.
I listen to a good amount of classical and really enjoy the ATs in this respect. Very natural sound and separation and clarity is good as well.
Not the greatest, but good.
Though, the ESW11LTD are over $600 atm ;P
 
May 12, 2013 at 9:17 PM Post #11 of 14

SoundsGood

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Still mulling things over, but came across this review comparing the AKG 550s to the ATH A900x.  It was an interesting read.  In terms of sound, he seemed to like the A900x much more and thought the K 550 got harsh in the highs with some sibilance.
 
http://www.head-fi.org/products/akg-k-550/reviews/8432
 
So, I'm maybe leaning towards the A900x.  Need to do some more thinking, though!
 
May 12, 2013 at 9:38 PM Post #12 of 14

Lorspeaker

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i heard the open version, ad900x, the sound presentation is very upfront, as if u are inside the orchestra...
k550 puts me further away from the orchestra, which i much prefer.
i stuck a round pc of felt right in the centre of the driver, took out some of the sharper highs.
 
May 13, 2013 at 6:35 PM Post #13 of 14

p a t r i c k

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Quote:
Still mulling things over, but came across this review comparing the AKG 550s to the ATH A900x.  It was an interesting read.  In terms of sound, he seemed to like the A900x much more and thought the K 550 got harsh in the highs with some sibilance.
 
http://www.head-fi.org/products/akg-k-550/reviews/8432
 
So, I'm maybe leaning towards the A900x.  Need to do some more thinking, though!

 
I haven't read the review you link but I will say that the AKG K550s in my experience are not harsh in the highs nor do they exhibit sibilance. I do use them with either the amp in my MacBook pro or a portable solid state amp or one of two not portable solid state amps and on none do they misbehave in the treble with sibilance or harshness.
 
In fact, if I have a complaint about the AKG K550s it is that they are just a bit well behaved and smooth in the treble.
 
I have never heard the A900x headphones, but I suspect it is all down to personal preferences and in fact I suspect you will be happy with either.
 
 
May 28, 2013 at 8:13 AM Post #14 of 14

bracko

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I am a little late into this thread but if you still haven't chosen a closed headphone I'd like to recommend Beyerdynamic DT660, a great can for classical music. See David Mahler's thread with 57 flagship headphones. 
 

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