Closed Headphone for $1000?
May 12, 2015 at 12:48 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 14

jordannn15

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Looking for suggestions on the best closed headphone for my music tastes and criteria for $1000 (if the headphone is less than this we can worry about an amp & dac later). I listen to 90% rap/hip-hop, 5% rock, and 5% everything else. 
 
 
Criteria:
 
-Bass that extends low and has really good impact
-Mids that aren't too forward or too laid back (I love the HD650 and LCD-2 mids, they could be a little less forward than these two headphones also but not much please)
-Highs that are not too bright but give good detail and have good extension
-Soundstage that is a decent size, just as long as it doesn't sound too closed in
-Good imaging
-Comfortable, earpads need to fit my ear completely inside of them (again HD650 and LCD-2 both do great jobs of this)
-Preferrably light, something less than or not too much over ~400g (not mandatory as long as the headphone is comfortable overall)
-Good isolation, I want a closed headphone for a reason. I don't want it to leak too much sound, a bit is okay but not a lot please
 
The way I describe the sound signature might make it sound like I want a V shaped or U shaped headphone, this isn't exactly the case. Best way I can describe the signature of the headphone I want is: bass = highs > mids. I don't want a withdrawn mid range but a somewhat laid back one (like the HD650) is okay. I want very good bass impact and good detail and clarity in the highs. 
 
May 15, 2015 at 5:39 PM Post #4 of 14

WraithApe

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How about Fostex TH-900? Or for a cheaper option, Shure SRH1540? I don't own either personally, but have auditioned both and was fairly impressed. Your sound signature preference sounds quite similar to my own and both these cans have good bass extension without compromising too much on detail. I found them both very comfortable as well.
 
May 15, 2015 at 5:51 PM Post #5 of 14

CrocCap

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th900 is a good choice, with some of the best extension in both the bass and the treble, and slightly recessed mids.
Bass hits pretty hard, and very deep notes.
Treble is extremely well extended, brighter than lcd2 or hd650, but not as bright as a dt880 or t1.
Soundstage is quite good for a closed headphone, not open like an lcd2 obviously, but very good for closed.
Comfort is among the best, not too heavy, large and soft earpads.
Isolation is not so great for a closed back, as there is a small gap between the cup and the driver housing area.  Much less leakage than a semi open design, like the t1, but not as great as other fully sealed phones.
 
Theres also the th600, which ive read is similar to the 900, but i havent heard one myself.
 
May 15, 2015 at 5:54 PM Post #6 of 14

jordannn15

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  How about Fostex TH-900? Or for a cheaper option, Shure SRH1540? I don't own either personally, but have auditioned both and was fairly impressed. Your sound signature preference sounds quite similar to my own and both these cans have good bass extension without compromising too much on detail. I found them both very comfortable as well.

 
I will look into the TH-900, thanks. I have owned the SRH1540's two times and I returned them because the bass bleeds into the lower mids a bit too much and the highs could be better extended. 
 
 
 
  th900 is a good choice, with some of the best extension in both the bass and the treble, and slightly recessed mids.
Bass hits pretty hard, and very deep notes.
Treble is extremely well extended, brighter than lcd2 or hd650, but not as bright as a dt880 or t1.
Soundstage is quite good for a closed headphone, not open like an lcd2 obviously, but very good for closed.
Comfort is among the best, not too heavy, large and soft earpads.
Isolation is not so great for a closed back, as there is a small gap between the cup and the driver housing area.  Much less leakage than a semi open design, like the t1, but not as great as other fully sealed phones.
 
Theres also the th600, which ive read is similar to the 900, but i havent heard one myself.

 
Thanks for the information!
 
May 15, 2015 at 5:57 PM Post #7 of 14

WraithApe

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I'm sure some will disagree, but I personally found the TH600 to be a significant step down from the 900 - it still has a good amount of body, like the 900, but the bass was boomier and less well controlled. I also found the treble somewhat sibilant.
 
May 15, 2015 at 6:14 PM Post #8 of 14

jordannn15

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  I'm sure some will disagree, but I personally found the TH600 to be a significant step down from the 900 - it still has a good amount of body, like the 900, but the bass was boomier and less well controlled. I also found the treble somewhat sibilant.

 
Something that I noticed about both of these headphones pretty quickly is that the cable isn't removable. $1000 headphone and you can't remove the cable, but it's not that important. Obviously I would like to have a removable cable just so it doesn't break the whole headphone if I were to yank on the cable on accident or something else where the cable should remove itself from the headphone but doesn't. 
 
May 15, 2015 at 6:20 PM Post #9 of 14

WraithApe

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Something that I noticed about both of these headphones pretty quickly is that the cable isn't removable. $1000 headphone and you can't remove the cable, but it's not that important. Obviously I would like to have a removable cable just so it doesn't break the whole headphone if I were to yank on the cable on accident or something else where the cable should remove itself from the headphone but doesn't. 

 
Yep, definitely a downside. I'm always a bit surprised when flagship headphones don't have a detachable cable. You can do a detachable mod pretty easily (as I did with my T1), but it does seem like a bit of an imposition when you're paying $1K+ for a pair of headphones.
 
May 15, 2015 at 6:23 PM Post #10 of 14

jordannn15

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Yep, definitely a downside. I'm always a bit surprised when flagship headphones don't have a detachable cable. You can do a detachable mod pretty easily (as I did with my T1), but it does seem like a bit of an imposition when you're paying $1K+ for a pair of headphones.

 
On a scale of 1-10 (1 being intimate, 10 being withdrawn), where would you put the th-900's mids in relation to the bass and treble? 
 
May 15, 2015 at 6:30 PM Post #11 of 14

WraithApe

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On a scale of 1-10 (1 being intimate, 10 being withdrawn), where would you put the th-900's mids in relation to the bass and treble? 

 
I don't like to rate things like that, but I would agree with @CrocCap that the mids are slightly recessed, although not to the extent of a can with a real V-shape signature. Sorry to sit on the fence - maybe CrocCap will quantify it with a mark out of 10. 
wink_face.gif
 
 
May 15, 2015 at 6:33 PM Post #12 of 14

jordannn15

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I don't like to rate things like that, but I would agree with @CrocCap that the mids are slightly recessed, although not to the extent of a can with a real V-shape signature. Sorry to sit on the fence - maybe CrocCap will quantify it with a mark out of 10. 
wink_face.gif
 

 
Okay, no problem. So you would say more of a U-shaped signature or even flatter than that?
 
May 15, 2015 at 8:23 PM Post #14 of 14

CrocCap

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for each, bass, mids, treble, scale of 1 to 10, with 5 being neutral.
bass - 8 or 9. it may seem like too much at first, unless you are coming from a bassy headphone.  takes a bit of getting used to a large quantity of bass like that. But it is very deeply extended.
mids - 4. slightly recessed, but not too vacant.  It can seem distant and hollow if you are used to a mid centric headphone, like the he-6/500. but a few songs later and you dont even notice.
treble - 6. some see the treble as bright, and it may be slightly.  But it is very well extended, clean and clear treble. Never seems to get harsh in the highs.
 

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