Closed cans, need help
Dec 5, 2010 at 3:31 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 16


Headphoneus Supremus
Nov 8, 2010
I'm still kind of new to the forum, this is just my 2nd thread. Now, I recently acquired the Koss PortaPro and kramer'ed them. After some burn-in and going out, I understand I really need some closed cans.
I mostly travel by bus/subway, and those can get very noisy. I have some Sony noise-cancelling in-ears that came with my A845 Walkman, and I know I will hardly ever get more noise isolation than that, but I'm still in need for some closed full-sized headphones.
What I am really looking for is a fairly balanced sound - thus why I'm considering the SRH440 - with some nice bass. I seriously hate distortion, but I listen at low volumes and do burn-in so I guess it won't be a problem. Clear highs are also a must, because when a violin steps into the equation, audio bliss ensures and I need to be able to hear it really well. So all in all, clear balanced audio, nice but-not-overpowering bass, and of course isolation
So far my options are:
Sennheiser HD555 (I know it's not closed)
Not a closed can, but from what I've read it could isolate nicely. Please tell me If I'm wrong. The sound quality seems really great, and meets my demands from what I can read.
Sennheiser HD438
I listened to this one on a retailer near by, the audio quality was nice, the bass was great, the thing is I can't really evaluate the isolation. And also, I couldn't change the music playing or the volume, so kind of hard to say.
Sennheiser HD448
Another one I have not tried. The price difference from the HD438 isn't much, and if the difference is noticeable, I would definitely consider it.
Shure SRH440
So this headphone seemed to meet all my requirements, but apparently even after burn-in the bass is weak, a lot of users wrote about this. The sound seems to be really neutral.
The only reason why I'm considering all these Senn's is because I live in Portugal, and we barely get anything good over here. So brands that aren't absolutely commercial only come through internet ordering, no retailers have them, and so I could never try anything like the Shure's or AKG.
Please feel free to add anything you think may be better to suit my needs!
Anything not much over 120$ would be great.
Thank you and please respond
Dec 5, 2010 at 3:39 PM Post #2 of 16
the hd555 and 595 don't isolate at all, though the sound leakage is surprisingly low.  also, if you're looking for a nice amount of bass, i'd skip the hd555/595. I found the hd595 to be fairly bass light with little impact, though they do have very clear highs.
Dec 6, 2010 at 10:41 AM Post #4 of 16
The HD448 do not have bass impact. Trust me, had them for six months, sold them, enjoyed them a lot, but they don't have any deep bass to speak of. Midbass is big and resonant, so whatever. FWIR, the Shures are somewhat similar.  I'd recommend the HD438 or some Sennheiser PX200-II.
Dec 6, 2010 at 6:21 PM Post #5 of 16
I understand, but the PX200-II are earpads, not really full-size. I was looking for something that covered my whole ear. Maybe just give up on the whole "closed-back" idea and get some HD555?
Oh I forgot to mention, I am getting a Fiio E5, which would hopefully improve the bass, do you think this would be enough?
I'm really lost here since I can barely try any decent cans in my country before buying them online. Help is needed =)
Dec 6, 2010 at 6:25 PM Post #6 of 16
From what I have seen, the FiiO E5 is great because its cheap and very small, buy you get what you pay for (20 dollars) so don't expect too much of the small amp
Dec 6, 2010 at 6:39 PM Post #7 of 16

From what I have seen, the FiiO E5 is great because its cheap and very small, buy you get what you pay for (20 dollars) so don't expect too much of the small amp

Yeah, you will notice a nice bass boost. 
The Shure headphones is a good option IMO. 
Dec 6, 2010 at 7:52 PM Post #9 of 16
Oh one more thing: I can get the Shure SRH750 DJ for less than 100€, and I tried them. The highs seemed pretty clean and outstanding for a DJ headphone. Not much experience on treble. The bass was not much emphasized, but this is a DJ can, so I have no doubt that will be cleared with a bit of burn-in.
What do you think? I can get the SRH440 and the 750DJ for about 90€ each, the difference between the 2 is minimal. Staying in the Shure family what would you suggest?
Dec 6, 2010 at 8:28 PM Post #10 of 16
How much do you enjoy bass?
I own the Sennheiser HD 448s, and while they don't have any bass impact, it hits the lows accurately.  Give them even a cheap amp or a little EQ from a source and you can wake these cans up a bit in the lows.  The rest of the spectrum is so beautiful for the price that I'd hate for you to pass them up so quickly.  Sorry to hinder your process of elimination, but it might be something to consider.  You can always invest in a better power source and bring the lows out later on if the lows bore you.
I did write a review on these if you want to check it out:
Dec 6, 2010 at 9:10 PM Post #12 of 16
Haha I was set on the SRH750 and your review made me wonder... now I can't go to sleep! But seriously, it was really well written, very objective.
I understand that they are really accurate headphones, and so I expected the bass to be very well reproduced - but considering that bass impact is kind of necessary for my listening experience, and not just bass quality, I would indeed need to amp them. The thing is, you amped them with a Fiio E7, and I'm ordering a Fiio E5, which I'm not sure is going to be enough to satisfy my bass cravings. I am no basshead, but when listening to Minute of Decay by Marylin Manson, that monotonous bass line is required to be thumping quite a bit.
All in all, what I'm saying is: I have no doubt that the HD448 are better headphones in terms of faithful reproduction of sound, but they lack some things that the SRH750 already have unamped. I'm still undecided, but whatever my choice is, as soon as I can I am getting the other one.
Oh, and btw, here I can get the HD448 for 60€ directly from a retailer so... yeah, I'll take that into consideration =D
Thank you for helping me chose (by making me wonder even more xD )
Dec 6, 2010 at 9:27 PM Post #13 of 16
I've owned the E5. Used it with a KSC75 or something. It functions like a bass boost button, not really an amp. Just made me want to buy a better amp. I haven't used the HD448 or SRH440.
Between the SRH440, HD448, and SRH750, depends on what type of sound you want to listen to. I wouldn't expect much from the E5. Your source will probably make more of a difference. I suggest searching those 3 headphones, and reading about how their sound is described from equipment similar to what you'll be using.
The SRH750 will have more bass and definitely more impact / punch to the sound - the kind that sends shock waves to your ears.   
Yeah I'm not expecting a huge difference in SQ, just a bit more widen soundstage and a bassboost. So, if coupled with the FiiO E5, what's your vote? HD448 or SRH440?

Dec 11, 2010 at 4:55 PM Post #15 of 16
Maybe you should look for a pair of used hfi-780 (or other ultrasone headphones). They make some good portables with very good isolation.

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