For sensitive ears...
Jul 27, 2008 at 11:39 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 16

wonderwall

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I recently purchased a pair of Creative Aurvana Live! cans on the recommendation of a user here, and as my first foray into audiophile phones, I was impressed. Especially with the amazing bass response, which can be felt physically but does not overpower the rest of the frequencies. I'd be perfectly happy but for one (actually two but I'll get to that) thing.

They kind of hurt my ears. When I first pop them on they are nice and comfy. But after 20-30 minutes, I really want to take them off. My ears (lobe and carteledge) are very sensitive and cannot deal with any amount of pressure for very long. Even though these aren't that tight, I do own more comfortable cans (Bose Triport [hey, they gotta be good for something], Senn. HD-201s) and all the great sound quality in the world isn't enough to torture my poor ears.

So question 1: is this tightness true of the Aurvana's 'cousin'/progenitor, the Dennon ADH-D1001? From what I have gathered they are identical in all but design and cable and I figure tightness falls into the design category. In all honesty though, it's not so much the force with which it clamps as the pads themselves. If they were large enough to go around my ear completely, it'd be fine. But as plush as the pads are, the force of the band is still going directly to my upper ear. If the D-1001s pads are larger, I'll just shell out the extra ten bucks, no second thoughts.

Question 2: If neither of these cans will work for my ears, what will? From what I have seen, it does seem as though the HD-555 would be perfect, not touching my ears at all. The open design and overall different sound (namely the large difference in bass response) puts them in a whole different race really but.. comfort does come first. And as far as isolation goes, these Aurvanas do NOT block out any outside noise at all. My brother decided to do some major cleaning today and I could hear every noise + the ac. So don't worry about isolation I guess..

Two last things: I've heard a lot of good word about the HD-580. It's been around for well over a decade and is still held in high regard, with some even higher than newer models. I could get a pair new for $100 but as it is a close-out, there can be no returns. Also, being discontinued, I imagine Sennheiser won't be doing me any repairs if something happens. And if a nice amp is truly required (outside of my integrated amp/receiver), it's probably out.

And lastly, after only a few days I already have some rattle going on with these cans. My hair's not really long but not short either and I shed pretty bad in the summer, so I'm pretty sure that's it. So can you take apart all cans and does this void warrant or the ability to return them within the specified period?
 
Jul 27, 2008 at 11:55 PM Post #2 of 16

Enthusia

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I just briefly read through that essay you typed and I think the hd555's would be great for you. I have rather large ears and the hd555's do not even touch them, supremely comfortable. As for the hd580's they do require a rather powerful headphone amplifier but if you think your integrated amp can handle it, then I would say go for the hd580's over the hd555's.
 
Jul 28, 2008 at 6:55 AM Post #3 of 16

HFat

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Quote:

Originally Posted by wonderwall /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Question 2: If neither of these cans will work for my ears, what will?


Any number of truely circumaural cans. There really are very many of those. I don't find the HD201 roomy enough to be comfy for reference so it looks like I'm more picky then you and I found a number of Senns, AKGs, Beyers, Philips and so on to be comfy. Although they often are, such headphones need no be open.

Quote:

Originally Posted by wonderwall /img/forum/go_quote.gif
And if a nice amp is truly required (outside of my integrated amp/receiver), it's probably out.


I'm not sure what you call a nice amp, but plenty of integrated amps (though not all!) would do the trick. The thing is, what's good enough for one isn't necessarily good enough for the other...
I wouldn't worry about it too much considering HD580s (unlike Staxen for instance) aren't designed to need a dedicated amp.

Quote:

Originally Posted by wonderwall /img/forum/go_quote.gif
So can you take apart all cans and does this void warrant or the ability to return them within the specified period?


I don't know about the warranty but some cans are easier to take apart than others. HD580s are among the easiest to take apart. It's not as easy to remove hairs from Beyers for instance.
 
Jul 28, 2008 at 7:35 AM Post #4 of 16

REB

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I'd try the open AKGs, they're circumaural and really comfortable. After a while, you don't notice them anymore.
 
Jul 28, 2008 at 7:41 AM Post #5 of 16

Matcha

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The beyerdynamic DT770/80 are very comfortable and will run all right unamped (not as well as with an amp, but quite passable, especially if you haven't run headphones from an amp before).
 
Jul 28, 2008 at 11:29 AM Post #6 of 16

wonderwall

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Given my budget and ease of repair, I am thinking the 580s sound like the best bet so far. But if there is a problem I can't fix, do Sennheiser still stand behind those?

Thanks for the other suggestions too, guys. The Beyers are a bit too expensive, especially for a brand I have no experience with and is apparently hard to remove hair from. And the AKGs are.. aesthetically awkward for me, haha. I know that's a bad reason but I'm being honest. ^^;

555s are still in the running. I hear they are more colored than 580s which means certain frequencies are slightly enhanced, correct? Whereas the 580s are very balanced and neutral but 'veiled', which is a term I am still a bit iffy on.
 
Jul 28, 2008 at 11:50 AM Post #7 of 16

Jingo Lingo

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If you're worried about serviceability keep in mind that Sennheiser still produce the HD600 which uses the same drivers as the 580 if I'm not mistaken. So if something goes wrong with those they can be replaced, also a lot of parts like the cable and grills are interchangeable within the Senn HD580/HD6XX series.
 
Jul 28, 2008 at 12:17 PM Post #8 of 16

HFat

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Quote:

Originally Posted by wonderwall /img/forum/go_quote.gif
555s are still in the running. I hear they are more colored than 580s which means certain frequencies are slightly enhanced, correct? Whereas the 580s are very balanced and neutral but 'veiled', which is a term I am still a bit iffy on.


I don't know that this stuff is all that relevant unless you know exactly what you're looking for. They sound quite similar to the people who aren't into splitting hairs.
What's more important in my opinion is that the 580s are simply better, especially when it comes to build quality and serviceability. The main differences you'll notice in daily use are that the 580s clamp on the sides of your head although you can lessen the force by bending the metal in the headband. Note that the cable does not go through the headband which is somewhat annoying but that's a more straightforward design (again, easier to fix).
Depending on how sensitive you are to this stuff, you might notice that the sound seem to come from different places because the chambers are built differently. I don't like much the design of the 580s but that's just a subjective opinion... from an objective standpoint, I have to say they're very good headphones. I think they're not aiming at the best fidelity though but rather at making listening pleasant.
 
Jul 28, 2008 at 12:34 PM Post #9 of 16

wonderwall

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Jingo Lingo /img/forum/go_quote.gif
If you're worried about serviceability keep in mind that Sennheiser still produce the HD600 which uses the same drivers as the 580 if I'm not mistaken. So if something goes wrong with those they can be replaced, also a lot of parts like the cable and grills are interchangeable within the Senn HD580/HD6XX series.


Thanks, that's very re-assuring.
smily_headphones1.gif


HFat, thanks for the perspective. I'd be a little iffy on bending the metal band just in case by some freak accident I actually broke it. :x The easier fixability of the cabling is a perk but it also raises another question.. from the pics I have seen, the 555's cable seems much sturdier. The 580's, at least the parts coming down from the cups, looked very flimsy. I don't know jack about cables though so that might not mean much. As for where the sound is coming from, I've heard good things about the 555's soundstage and reflection. Hmm..

Off-topic but very integral: Does the current Sennheiser rebate apply to the 595s as well? Since they seem to be an upgrade to the 555s..
 
Jul 28, 2008 at 12:42 PM Post #10 of 16

HFat

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The HD555 cable is heavier and looks sturdier... but I don't know if it actually is. In any case, the HD580 cable is more flexible, 1/8 terminated and easily replaceable so I'd say the HD580 is a clear winner cable-wise.

EDIT: breaking metal by mistake is a lot harder than breaking plastic.
 
Jul 28, 2008 at 12:54 PM Post #11 of 16

wonderwall

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Quote:

Originally Posted by HFat /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The HD555 cable is heavier and looks sturdier... but I don't know if it actually is. In any case, the HD580 cable is more flexible, 1/8 terminated and easily replaceable so I'd say the HD580 is a clear winner cable-wise.

EDIT: breaking metal by mistake is a lot harder than breaking plastic.



Haha, true.. Very true. When you say the 580 is easily replaceable, do you mean as in less work or less expensive? More flexible would imply less noise if it moves around and that's a plus.

Really the only thing still making this decision hard for me is the fact that the 580s are non-returnable. So perhaps I should try the 555s first from Amazon? And hope that the 580s are still there if I decide to go back and get them.
 
Jul 28, 2008 at 3:49 PM Post #13 of 16

moogoob

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I second (third? sixth?) the HD555s. Comfy, nice cans. And versatile, too!
 
Jul 28, 2008 at 3:58 PM Post #14 of 16

wonderwall

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Oyyy... this just keeps getting more difficult. But this pdf, which can be found on Sennheiser's 555 page, show that there is no soldering required. http://www.sennheiser.com/sennheiser/products.nsf/resources/55D807FA7CA301A7C12574330042F1C3/$File/HD%205x5%20Kabelmontage_eng.pdf And I assume they send you the cable for free if they don't sell it. :x

A little off-topic but Richmond, VA is a really ****ty place for a headphones enthusiast. None of the stores listed under home audio in yellowpages.com carried Sennheisers (only one carried headphones at all and those were Grados), most of them didn't even do home audio at all, and 9/10 of them were rude and practically mocked me. GUH. So yeah, the whole try before I buy thing is out.
 

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