Do all closed headphones sound hollow?
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SRV

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I have a pair of koss ur-20 headphones that i use to listen to music while i study. These phones are closed so i appreciate the isolation from the outside world while i study. The sound from these headphones, while not bad, are i am afraid lacking. It seems that the highs are there, and so are the lows, but in between something seems to be missing. These cans sound like they have a hole in the sound. I was wondering if this is a quality of all closed cans or just the koss.
 
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gloco

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its definitely just the koss.

If you ever try the beyer dt770's, your ears will pop open to a new delicious sound
 
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Snufkin

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The ur20s are definately not a good example of closed headphones, as gloco suggested - try a pair of Beyer DT770pros sometime

Or any closed Beyer for that matter
 
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dohminator

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Or the closed audio tecnica cans are very good as well
 
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Jeff Guidry

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well, the reflections and vibrations inherent in closed headphones color the sound. Good, thoughtful headphone designs take steps to reduce these reflections (like using a rounded sound chamber) and use stiffer, thicker plastic (or even metal) to reduce vibrations. The cheaper the headphone (i.e. the Koss UR20) the less likely the designers were able to incorporate some of these improvements, since they cost more. You get what you pay for...

I suspect that a rounded chamber is one of the first considerations that is necessary to make a closed headphone sound good. I further think that a major part of the reason that Tomcat et al like the Audio Technica w100 is because of the wooden enclousures, because though they resonate like any material, they do so less and when they do, create a more natural and tuneful resonance than plastic.

I am wondering why headphone manufacturers have not encorporated isolating rubber rings where the driver contacts the enclosure to better acoustically isolate the vibrations. Mod territory, anyone?
 
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Eagle_Driver

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My UR-30 doesn't ring as much as a lot of other cheap closed headphones (*cough* *MDR-CD180* *cough*). But the mids on it are still quite sucky. Which means that it's the fault of its drivers.

The resonances, on the other hand, manifest themselves in the artificially tinny, "ringing" sound, accompanied by that notorious artificial echoing sound (the echo wasn't originally on the recordings, but added by the headphone housings).
 
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Calanctus

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I prefer the sound of higher-end closed headphones to open ones, because the sound has more heft and bass performance seems better.
 
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Hirsch

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Matthew-Spaltro

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Quote:

Originally posted by Hirsch


They don't look too comfortable.
 
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Calanctus

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Quote:

Originally posted by Matthew-Spaltro


They don't look too comfortable.


My AT W100s are without question the most comfortable phones I have ever owned. The pictured pair may not be the W100s (I think Hirsch has a new pair of ATs) but AT seems to know how to mount headphones on a human head.
 
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Snufkin

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That picture looks like the Sony R10 to me, which are apparently extremely comfortable
 
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Hirsch

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The pictured headphone is indeed the Sony MDR-R10, and it is extremely comfortable.



It is also not hollow sounding in the least. IMO the chamber design of this headphone is absolutely critical. It appears to use the chamber to create the illusion of a real acoustic space. IMO this is the real potential of the closed design, and the R10 is the only closed (or open) headphone I've heard that has really pulled this off right.
 
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The Sony R10 and AT W2002 both have lambskin leather pads so they feel about like how I would imagine having a sheep's ******* planted right against each ear would feel...
...er I mean, they feel really comfortable. That suspension design they use is perfect--it really keeps the headphone seated in the right way.

The R10 and W2002 both have cantered drivers and both serve to pull the image out in front of you. Markl pointed out in his comparrison that the R10 did a better job of "completely" eliminating the blob in your head. I didn't have a good chance to experiment with the R10 using my Corda's crossfeed which I imagine would be perfect for really finishing the job since it so transparently blends the channels and has variable settings. Vertigo complained about a "reverby" effect using his R10 with the Maxed Out Home's crossfeed and I couldn't help but think it was partially because the cantered drivers and crossfeed were competing to do the same job--overkill. In either case, I do agree with Markl that the R10 does a slightly better job than the W2002 and that none of the other headphones I've heard do a remotely adequate job of that.

The W2002 sounded, to me, "echoey" only in the mid and lower bass. I gather that some people like this coloration. The R10, while not what I would call completely flat and neutral (sorry) does not at all sound echoey to me. It's very nice, actually.

So yes, you just need to upgrade your Koss to the Sony R10 and all will be well.
 
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Hirsch

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While there are headphones that I really like Headroom's crossfeed implementation with, the R10 isn't one of them. With crossfeed in place, using either MOH or Max, the sound collapses toward the center of the head, and the breadth of the R10 soundstage is lost.

I brought the R10 up, because while there really are inherent reverberations and reflections in a closed headphone (and open ones as well...see Grado for details
), they are not necessarily bad. In the case of the R10, I'd argue that they were essential for the full performance of the headphone.
 
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SRV

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well, as iam a poor college student, many of those phones are a bit out of my price range. I was thinking about uprgrading to a sony mdr- 7506 or v6. I've read good things about these phones, can anybody comment on what kind of midrange presence i'll be looking at?
 
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