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Full-size headphone for home use?

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by ayksha, May 5, 2013.
  1. Ayksha
    Hi, head fi!
    I'm fairly new to the world of headphones (and this forum!), but I'm looking for a pair of open-back headphones mainly intended for home use.
    Recently I bought a pair of HD 25's, and while I'm satisfied (and frankly amazed) by these headphones, the problem with these is that I find they get uncomfortable after a while, and have a very small soundstage.
    That's why I'm now looking for something that will complement these headphones a bit, by which I mean a pair of headphones that will sit very comfortably and have a large soundstage.
    Aside from that I am also looking for a headphone that sounds a bit more laid back, because sometimes I just want to relax while listening to music and the HD25 just won't let me. I mainly like the HD 25 for its presentation of rock/hard rock and electronic (even though it still sounds alright with everything but classical), and less for how it showcases jazz, blues, and soul
    So basically I am looking for a headphone that (and let me sum up everything I haven't mentioned yet here)
     - is open-back
     - is comfortable for long sessions
     - has a large(r) soundstage
     - has a laid-back sound
     - preferably doesn't cost more than $300 (excluding amp, if including one would make a noticeable difference, in which case what would you suggest?), but I can go up to $500 if you can convince me ^^
    (- works well with jazz, blues and soul (and maybe the calmer rock songs))
    (- Bass presence? I would like the headphone to have some bass presence (doesn't have to be rumbling or anything), since I listened to the HD 558 once and even though I loved the rest of the sound, I wasn't sure I liked the bass part. Not a requirement though, as I understand open-back cans aren't meant to have much bass emphasis, and the HD25 has this more than covered.)
    tl;dr: I am looking for the exact opposite of the HD 25. For about $300. Amp?
  2. torturechambers
    It sounds like you would enjoy Sennheiser HD598s, very laid-back sound with huge soundstage and good bass
    Easily driven but you might consider one of the FiiO amps (like E10 or E7) to really run these well.
    another can that could do well is the Audio-Technica AD900X
    Ayksha likes this.
  3. Ayksha
    Isn't the AD900X a closed-back headphone? Or does it have a large soundstage despite being closed?
    In any case, I will try the HD598 sometime, is there a big difference between the E7 and E10?
  4. torturechambers
    No, the A900X is the closed version

    I do not believe there are any substantial differences, however I recommend the E07k over those as it's more versatile
  5. BillsonChang007
    +1 for HD598 :D if you are bored of Sennheiser, AKG K550 :D both are one of my favorite headphone for your genre.
  6. laon
    AKG K550 is closed back. Imho AD900X is better than HD598, I do not think either of them has huge sound stage however.
  7. cel4145
    Based on all your requirements, give the AKG Q701 a listen if you can. I don't know if they will meet your bass requirement, but they have a very large enveloping sound stage with smooth mids and highs that is extremely immersive for the types of music you specified.
  8. Turkeybaster
    +1 Billson, I have the AKG 551's and though they are closed back they have a huge soundstage and are comfortable for long listening periods. 551's are the portable version of the 550's and might need an extension cable for home use but would be a great offer for your listening tastes. I have a pair i got as a door prize unopened if you are interested in taking them off my hands for a good price.  PM me if interested.
  9. lausar
    I see that the AT's are over $100 more expensive than the HD598's.
  10. Ayksha
    I should point out that the AD900X is not available in my country, or otherwise I can't find a place that sells it.
    (we don't have amazon where I live by the way)
    Well in that case, could you direct me to a pair of cans that you think do have a huge soundstage? Because that's kinda what I'm looking for.
    Oh I wish I could afford the Q701. They cost about $400 in my country. Are they really that good? Because I heard it sounds very similar to the K701, which cost $100 less and would still be in my price range. If they are that good I might consider upping my budget though.

  11. torturechambers
    From what I hear the k701s are very similar to k702s, probably not worth that kind of price difference
  12. cel4145

    I have not heard the K701, but I understand the sound is similar with the Q701 having a little more bass:

    Ayksha likes this.
  13. realityhas
    I was in the EXACT same position as you a month ago, had a pair of hd25 which i loved, wanted a laid back, bassy, opean headphone. After a long (LONG) research I bought Hifiman HE-400.
  14. Ayksha
    They cost around $500 here. Are they worth that much?
  15. realityhas
    Well i bought them for 400, so it was a bit cheaper.

    I was looking at Beyerdynamic's DT990 pro (which costs around 300s). I never tried them, but people seem to love it. Plus, their sound signature should be appealing to people with your taste (that is very similar to mine, based on your description).

    But HE400 looked like a bargain: being the first planar produced in volumes, it is the cheaper of its kind but its on pair with pricier models. Lots of people prefer them over the he500 ! Again, it is mostly a matter of taste, but based on FR graphs they had a really flat bass and have slightly recessed low-trebles: that is exactly what i was looking for.

    They were a bit too much for my budget, but I figured out that by buying the DT990 pro i was only delaying an inevitable future upgrade. Plus, i have been reading people saying the he400 dont need an amp to sound good, some people even plug them directly in their ipod (?!).
    There is a bit of controversy about this being true or not. On the other hand, 250Ohm DT990pro are impossible to drive without an amp. So I bought the he400, delaying the purchase of an amp to the far future. 

    And here I am.

    To be honest, I was a bit underwhelmed when listening to them plugged in my laptop. They were good, but I found them lacking punch when listening to hip hop or other bass-heavy genres. Most of my songs sounded flat. They were fine for gaming tough.  Anyway, I liked the hd25 better.
    Then, after almost a month, i tried to plug them on the headphone jack of my father's old AKAI speaker amp.
    MAN, only then I understood all the praise I was reading! They were awesome! Expressions like "black background" started to make sense... I dont wanna bore you with things you can read from other, more knowledgable sources; just know they are not exagerating :D

    SO, TL;DR: yes, they are worth every penny. But you will probably need and amp too. Right now I'm torn between getting the O2, the Magni, or simply stealing the Akai amp from my father (lol).
    Ayksha likes this.

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