Head to Head: ATH-A500 v. HD-280 Pro
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TheBigDu

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Hey all,

I'm definitely beating a dead horse now, but I figured I'd go ahead with this anyway.


Though I'm really close, my hesitation to splurge on the A500 results from three things:
=> HD-280 is a bit cheaper (when you consider Audiocubes' $16 shipping fee).
=> I can return the HD-280 if not satisfied.
=> I STILL HEAR SOME GOOD THINGS ABOUT HD-280'S.

So this is the final post I will make regarding this issue, I promise.


What I'd like is, assuming you have something to base your opinions on, for whoever reads this to rate BOTH the HD-280 and the A500 on a scale of 1-5 for the following categories (post burn-in):

1) Comfort
2) Bass
3) Mids
4) Highs
5) Overall sound for rock music

This might sound a little harsh, but I'd appreciate it if you guys would just scale both phones 1-5 for each category and not say anytyhing else, because I think that would make it easy to make my decision. I don't care about size/portability anymore, just so you know. Also, please rate BOTH (I guess this post only applies to those who have heard both phones.) Thanks again for all the help.
 
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slimer

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The first pair of phones I purchased were the 280's. I returned them within 3 days and ended up going with the a500's. I couldn't have made a better decision. I can pretty much gurantee that you will be happier with the a500's (comparing them to the 280's that is).
 
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kugino

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i started a rather heated thread last year when i ordered the 280s, gave them a listen, and promptly packed them up and sold them. i thought they were anemic-sounding, had no bass whatsoever, and were too big and bulky. the title of my thread was something on the lines of "the 280 stinks"...well, most replies to this thread stressed how accurate the 280s are and how they needed a lot of time to burn in. so, that's my take on the 280. never heard the AT, but want to try the w1000 someday...
 
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lindrone

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See how when you ask people not to comment, they still comment a whole lot? You can't shut us up!!... You don't have the power!


Quote:

the title of my thread was something on the lines of "the 280 stinks"...


After about 200 hours of burn-in or so.. they don't stink, but they're not great either. Just barely acceptible if you're into that sort of analytical, high-end, lean sound. If you're looking for high-end definition, they're good... if you're looking for a full sound, they're not it. Anyway, enough rambling:

Rated 1-5 (with 5 being the better):

HD280:

Comfort - 2 (after 20 hours of stretching, otherwise -2)
Bass - 2
Mids - 4
Highs - 3
Overall sound for rock music - 1

A500

Comfort - 5
Bass - 4
Mids - 4
Highs - 4
Overall sound for rock music - 4
 
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TheBigDu

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Thanks lindrone, I did mean 5 being the best, sorry bout that...

I think I'm very certain about the A500 now. The only problem is that I'm waiting till HeadRoom gets my Beyer DT231's back (returned them) before I buy the A500. I can't wait anymore....I THINK I'M GOING TO BUY THEM TONIGHT!?!?!?!? (and then wait over a week to get them--that's the worst part
.)

Audiocubes, here I come...
 
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Buster Sword

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so ath a900 would be 5 for all? hehe lindrone pretty please rate my next hp purchase a900. You have convinced me.
1-5 stars 5 best

same questions for a900 though, thanks! and while we are rating would hd580 or hd555 ratings be too ot? haha if you can.. (buying those too )
 
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lindrone

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Hrm... I think we need to expand the scale from 1~100 if I need to rate all those headphones too... 1~5 is too limiting
If I rate A900 5's... what am I going to rate CD3000 or R10? Also, all the below rating assumes that all the headphones were properly driven to an acceptible degree. Improperly driven headphones are too hard to rate. I'm also going to add in soundstage and sound imaging... Of course, remember, all these ratings are completely arbituary, so YMMV.

HD280:
Comfort - 25 (5 pre-stretch)
Bass - 15
Mids - 40
Highs - 38
Soundstage - 40
Sound Imaging - 25
Overall sound for rock music - 29

Grado SR-225:
Comfort - 30~50 (depending on pads)
Bass - 85
Mids - 78
Highs - 78
Soundstage - 5
Sound Imaging - 15
Overall sound for rock music - 75

Grado HP-1000:
Comfort - 30~50 (depending on pads)
Bass - 90
Mids - 89
Highs - 85
Soundstage - 20
Sound Imaging - 35
Overall sound for rock music - 80

A500:
Comfort - 90
Bass - 67
Mids - 60
Highs - 58
Soundstage - 60
Sound Imaging - 68
Overall sound for rock music - 55

A900:
Comfort - 93
Bass - 78
Mids - 78
Highs - 78
Soundstage - 80
Sound Imaging - 80
Overall sound for rock music - 70

CD780:
Comfort - 89
Bass - 70
Mids - 62
Highs - 50
Soundstage - 63
Sound Imaging - 55
Overall sound for rock music - 58

CD3000:
Comfort - 95
Bass - 88
Mids - 90
Highs - 87
Soundstage - 95
Sound Imaging - 95
Overall sound for rock music - 90

HD580 (w/ Zu Mobius):
Comfort - 98 (90 pre-stretch)
Bass - 80
Mids - 78
Highs - 75
Soundstage - 90
Sound Imaging - 80
Overall sound for rock music - 68

HD590 (w/ Vision 1):
Comfort - 98 (90 pre-stretch)
Bass - 75
Mids - 60
Highs - 67
Soundstage - 87
Sound Imaging - 78
Overall sound for rock music - 72

HD650 (w/ Zu Mobius):
Comfort - 98 (90 pre-stretch)
Bass - 93
Mids - 89
Highs - 89
Soundstage - 88
Sound Imaging - 87
Overall sound for rock music - 85

Ety ER-4:
Comfort - 60~80 (depends on individual fittings an experiences)
Bass - 40
Mids - 90
Highs - 90
Soundstage - 70
Sound Imaging - 65
Overall sound for rock music - 50

Shure E5c:
Comfort - 70~90 (depends on individual fittings and experiences)
Bass - 90
Mids - 88
Highs - 80
Soundstage - 65
Sound Imaging - 80
Overall sound for rock music - 90

ProPhonic 2X-S:
Comfort - 98 (hey, they're custom)
Bass - 97
Mids - 95
Highs - 95
Soundstage - 67
Sound Imaging - 90
Overall sound for rock music - 95
 
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marvie

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Care adding Sony CD780s to that list?
 
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Buster Sword

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good lord lindrone! you have exceeded my highest expectations, you rated all the phones you heard, must mean hd555 was not on the experience list.
Good work, now I see hd580 and a900 are pretty good hps and have just about the same rating
Funny how great SONY is for pros, but poor on the consumer section. Why cant the do better speakers? midrange is empty in consumer speakers, v700 is a joke for hps
 
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Erukian

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If your comparing each can to how good they are to rock music, i dont see any grado's in there :p
 
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lindrone

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Okay, sure.. added Grados to that list.. I'm personally biased against the Grados in most respects.. take that with a grain of salt as well. Reason why I don't like them, because their soundstage is... well, what soundstage? The two I've had the most experience with are the 225 and HP-1.. not bothering with rating the rest.

Couple of interesting things:

- I didn't rate anything higher than 95.. a bit of top room, perhaps. It's too hard to think anything is higher than that, given there's still plenty of very high end headphones out there that I've never heard.

- HP-1 is especially hard to rate, because it is one of the most tranparent, netural headphone I've ever heard. Also because of that, nothing really stands out about it as being truly special and super awesome. However, it is the most transparent headphone I've ever experienced.

- No canalphones will have a great soundstage... they're all inside your head, thus hard to rate or compare. I wouldn't rate any canalphone above 70-ish though.

- Of course, the "rockability" rating of the headphone has nothing to do with its individual characteristic, but just a synergy with the genre.
 
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TheBigDu

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lindrone, you are truly a headphone god!

just one question,

Is the Sony CD-780 an open-air design? Because if it's closed, I'm just wondering why nobody ever mentioned them instead of the A500 when I was asking. Thanks.
 
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lindrone

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Quote:

Originally posted by TheBigDu
lindrone, you are truly a headphone god!

just one question,

Is the Sony CD-780 an open-air design? Because if it's closed, I'm just wondering why nobody ever mentioned them instead of the A500 when I was asking. Thanks.


Hmm.. it's just one man's opinion, I'm sure other people would rate these headphones differently than me.. so no, please don't call me a god of any sort.. hehehe.


CD-780 is open-air, thus it is not mentioned when you need a recommendation for closed headphone
It's around the same performance as the A500. It's a little warmer, a little more bassiness. I thought they were more comfortable than A900 at first, but only now did I realize (since it's getting warmer by the days), that CD780's pad may feel like pillows, but they heat up like pillows as well. So even though they're open-air, they build up a good amount of heat when you wear them for a long time... even faster than A500/A900 on a hot day.
 
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Buster Sword

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So Lindrone, why do you own both a500 and a900? Is it cause you want to have the best authority in reviews?

as myself, I would return the other since they are so much the same and one is better. Anyway, you are a great test guinea pig lol
 
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