Closed headphones that sound like Quad Electrostats, AKA my SoundMagics are broken
May 15, 2015 at 9:45 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 1


100+ Head-Fier
Nov 12, 2014
I've been using a pair of SoundMagic HP150s for several months and they just broke.  I've been very impressed with these headphones.  The overall sound is pleasing, though they are bright.  Not crazy, tear your head off bright, but rather bright never-the-less.  The bass is incredible, warm, tight and wonderful.  Midrange is very detailed, but a tad thin.  Some of this is correctable with EQ.  The thinness goes away with some midbass boost and the brightness can be tamed, but not entirely eliminated.
It occurs to me that what I REALLY want, is a headphone that sounds like a pair of Quad Electrostatic speakers.  The two big sound signatures of the QESL are:
1.  Extremely natural and believable midrange.  Very much a "you are there" experience.  Incredible in fact.
2.  You don't hear "tweeter".  They absolutely have highs, but you never notice that the highs are there.  They are just natural (as in #1 above).
I just tried a 23 year old pair of Grado SR60 that were laying around broken.  They have more of the laid back high frequency profile I'm after, but compared to the HP150s they are sort of honky and "closed" sounding, without anywhere near the detail.
I have a Schiit Magni 2, so I've got plenty of power for less efficient headphones; though it's "only" 1.2 Watts, so it's not going to power anything crazy.  But with my budget of under $200, I'm not going to get anything crazy anyway right?
Thanks for any suggestions.  I'm bummed that my headphones are dead.  Currently listening on my old Sennheiser HD280pros and they are very dull and disappointing by comparison.  I'm SUPER looking forward to getting some good cans again!

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