Headphone recommendations for under $600?
Oct 10, 2014 at 2:44 PM Post #16 of 30

jordannn15

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Because the 400i ( a Planar ) was mentioned earlier but removed from contention I thought I'd suggest you look at Mr. Speakers.



I just bought a set of Mr. Speakers Alpha Dogs which I love. List is $599 USD but with the Alpha Prime just announced ($999) many AD owners are selling as its unclear at this point whether the AD's can be upgraded to Alpha Prime's (as Mr. Speakers has done in the past). The AD's have been out for little over a year so it should not be hard to find lightly used versions for a great price. They are not the easiest to drive but with your $800 budget you do have some options. You could also look into the Mad Dogs with Alpha Pads which are considerably less expensive and have more bass than the ADs.


Okay, I may just be dumb or something lol but I can't even find a retailer and they aren't on ebay or amazon. Where can I find these mad dogs with alpha pads?
 
Oct 10, 2014 at 3:30 PM Post #17 of 30

Alphanewb

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Okay, I may just be dumb or something lol but I can't even find a retailer and they aren't on ebay or amazon. Where can I find these mad dogs with alpha pads?


Not dumb at all. I was in the same boat as you a couple months ago when I started visiting this site. I figured I'd end up with Sennheiser, Denon, Grado or Audio Technica but ended up with a brand I had never heard of before.
 
You can read the threads on this site or just go here...
 
https://mrspeakers.com/
 
Mr. Speakers specializes in modifying the "fostex t50rp" which costs a little over $125 IIRC. Other modified T50RPs are available... Paradox is one that immediately comes to mind and there are many DIY mods that just about anyone can do to the T50RP.
 
I was not comfortable about spending $600 on a "modified" headphone until I read the reviews. I may be wrong but I understand that the t50rp is the least expensive planar headphone on the market. This is a relatively mass produced product that has been available since the 90s so any development is amortized and economies of scale drive the low price for the t50rp so its a really good driver that is very inexpensive. With careful modifications and additions it sounds really great.
 
Oct 10, 2014 at 5:12 PM Post #18 of 30

jordannn15

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Not dumb at all. I was in the same boat as you a couple months ago when I started visiting this site. I figured I'd end up with Sennheiser, Denon, Grado or Audio Technica but ended up with a brand I had never heard of before.

You can read the threads on this site or just go here...

https://mrspeakers.com/

Mr. Speakers specializes in modifying the "fostex t50rp" which costs a little over $125 IIRC. Other modified T50RPs are available... Paradox is one that immediately comes to mind and there are many DIY mods that just about anyone can do to the T50RP.

I was not comfortable about spending $600 on a "modified" headphone until I read the reviews. I may be wrong but I understand that the t50rp is the least expensive planar headphone on the market. This is a relatively mass produced product that has been available since the 90s so any development is amortized and economies of scale drive the low price for the t50rp so its a really good driver that is very inexpensive. With careful modifications and additions it sounds really great.


So the website says the mad dog with alpha pads are a very blanced headphone, how is the bass? Also, how does the soundstage compare to an open headphone? Oh, and how is the comfort? I usually don't like to get headphones with leather pads because they make my ears really hot.
 
Oct 10, 2014 at 7:11 PM Post #19 of 30

Alphanewb

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So the website says the mad dog with alpha pads are a very blanced headphone, how is the bass? Also, how does the soundstage compare to an open headphone? Oh, and how is the comfort? I usually don't like to get headphones with leather pads because they make my ears really hot.


My alpha dogs with the alpha pads are extremely comfortable but I've listened at most for two hours at a time. My understanding is that while the Alpha dogs are more neutral and open sounding the mad dogs with alpha pads are more fun with slightly boosted bass. I have heard the alpha dogs are likely the most open sounding closed headphones but im not sure about the mad dogs. I don't have links handy but I've read several rave reviews of the Mr. Speakers products. I settled on the ADs because I wanted the isolation of a closed hp with a neutral signature and minimal compromise in soundstage but I was close to getting the mad dogs.
 
Oct 10, 2014 at 7:37 PM Post #20 of 30

jordannn15

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My alpha dogs with the alpha pads are extremely comfortable but I've listened at most for two hours at a time. My understanding is that while the Alpha dogs are more neutral and open sounding the mad dogs with alpha pads are more fun with slightly boosted bass. I have heard the alpha dogs are likely the most open sounding closed headphones but im not sure about the mad dogs. I don't have links handy but I've read several rave reviews of the Mr. Speakers products. I settled on the ADs because I wanted the isolation of a closed hp with a neutral signature and minimal compromise in soundstage but I was close to getting the mad dogs.


Yeah I'm not sure which I like more, my bass or the soundstage. I really like powerful and impactful bass but the soundstage that I heard on the fidelio x1's is very nice IMO. I wish they would have left the bass the same as the he-400 on the he-400i. The reason I'm against the he-400 is the pads, weight, and headband.

Tyll at innerfidelity reviewed the fidelio x1's and called them a basshead headphone but when I had them I definitely wouldn't have called them that. The only other basshead headphone that is open and has been suggested is the he-400. I don't know what to decide on at this point I have confused myself I think haha.
 
Oct 12, 2014 at 11:08 PM Post #21 of 30

jordannn15

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I have decided to go with the Fidelio X2's unfortunately they aren't available yet :frowning2:. I have ordered them and am eager to know when they will be available and shipped, hopefully not too long. I will post my opinions on them when they arrive.
 
Oct 20, 2014 at 9:26 PM Post #22 of 30

jordannn15

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I have decided after using the X5 dap and fidelio X1's I am just not going to be happy with portable and budget things so... I will be returning them (not to say I didn't like them but I am wanting more :p) and I would like suggestions for best overall sounding (bass, soundstage, mids, and highs) open headphones + amp + dac. Right now I am thinking about going with hd600/650 + schiit magni/vali + schiit modi and hooking them up to my laptop. Other suggestions would be nice my budget for everything is ~$700. Sorry for switching directions so much haha I am very indecisive as you can tell by now :D but thanks for all the help so far!
 
Nov 12, 2014 at 12:17 AM Post #23 of 30

jazzwave

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Discussion of basshead
http://www.head-fi.org/t/715697/the-audiophile-bass-lounge-basshead-club-part-ii
http://www.head-fi.org/t/716711/the-best-bass-headphones-are-the-extreme-bass-club


I have HD600, this cans (or HD650) not suitable for Hip hop, dance music, I use BeyerDynamic DT770/880 250 ohm or HE-400 when listen this kind of music.
Check Sony or Mr Speaker line, hopefully you can find suitable cans for you with big and good bass.

Note, check also cans impedance. You need to add amplifier to push >250ohm cans sing properly.


~ron~
 
Nov 12, 2014 at 3:51 PM Post #24 of 30

q2klepto

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So far I'm loving the HE-400i's - comfortable with a nice bass presence and great mids/highs. 
 
Only weakness (small) is the slightly narrower soundstage - which can probably be fixed with thicker pads (Audeze Vegan?).  To be honest the bass vs the HE-400 is very very close, i couldnt really tell and i was ABing the two for a weekend. 
 
Nov 14, 2014 at 12:22 PM Post #25 of 30

jordannn15

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  So far I'm loving the HE-400i's - comfortable with a nice bass presence and great mids/highs. 
 
Only weakness (small) is the slightly narrower soundstage - which can probably be fixed with thicker pads (Audeze Vegan?).  To be honest the bass vs the HE-400 is very very close, i couldnt really tell and i was ABing the two for a weekend. 

 
Hey thanks for this info, I currently have the Shure SRH1540's and their bass is very nice. Have you ever heard the SRH1540? If so it would be amazing if you could give me a comparison of the he-400/400i and the srh1540. 
 
Nov 14, 2014 at 1:15 PM Post #26 of 30

q2klepto

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I have no idea how the Sure 1540s sound :) sorry - but they are on my list of closed can upgrades (right now looking at the upcoming ATH-MSR7s) 
 
But if you look at the FR graphs from innerfidelity - http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/ShureSRH1540.pdf it looks like the Shures are quite a bit more bass heavy than the 400is
 
Both seem to roll off pretty hard < 50hz so extension might seem similiar 
 
The 400is are pretty even up to 1k then comes back around 5k with a slight bump at 9k, while the 1540s are recessed all the way through with a bump around 10k. 
 
I would think the 400i mids sound clearer and overall more neutral.  Since the 1540s are closed i would think the decay is a bit longer - so lower frequencies might rumble a bit more - which might be your preference.  I cant find CSD graphs for the 1540s  
 
They probably sound completely different heh
 
Nov 14, 2014 at 2:02 PM Post #27 of 30

jordannn15

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  I have no idea how the Sure 1540s sound :) sorry - but they are on my list of closed can upgrades (right now looking at the upcoming ATH-MSR7s) 
 
But if you look at the FR graphs from innerfidelity - http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/ShureSRH1540.pdf it looks like the Shures are quite a bit more bass heavy than the 400is
 
Both seem to roll off pretty hard < 50hz so extension might seem similiar 
 
The 400is are pretty even up to 1k then comes back around 5k with a slight bump at 9k, while the 1540s are recessed all the way through with a bump around 10k. 
 
I would think the 400i mids sound clearer and overall more neutral.  Since the 1540s are closed i would think the decay is a bit longer - so lower frequencies might rumble a bit more - which might be your preference.  I cant find CSD graphs for the 1540s  
 
They probably sound completely different heh

 
Is the bass on the 400's or 400i's more bass heavy and impactful than say an HD600/650 (maybe you have heard those)? A good reference for me would be those for an open headphone comparison and then if you have heard the audio technica ath-m50, how is the bass compared to those? To me the hd600/650's are bass light and the ath-m50's are okay I like more of a body to the bass than just a punchy bass. Sorry for the amount of questions I just want a good idea of them, I have gone through a million different pairs to get what I like. As I said I really like the bass and overall sound signature in the SRH1540's but would like an open pair with the same characteristics. 
 
Oh one more thing, do I need an amp to power the he-400's?
 
Nov 20, 2014 at 12:21 AM Post #28 of 30

jazzwave

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Is the bass on the 400's or 400i's more bass heavy and impactful than say an HD600/650 (maybe you have heard those)? A good reference for me would be those for an open headphone comparison and then if you have heard the audio technica ath-m50, how is the bass compared to those? To me the hd600/650's are bass light and the ath-m50's are okay I like more of a body to the bass than just a punchy bass. Sorry for the amount of questions I just want a good idea of them, I have gone through a million different pairs to get what I like. As I said I really like the bass and overall sound signature in the SRH1540's but would like an open pair with the same characteristics. 
 
Oh one more thing, do I need an amp to power the he-400's?

 


You can plug to DAP or PC direclty , but by add good amplifier you will get better bass, mid, hi

good luck
 
Nov 20, 2014 at 1:20 AM Post #29 of 30

Zoide

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You can get used HE-500s very cheaply nowadays: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/ol/B007ZSYHYU/ref=olp_tab_used?ie=UTF8&condition=used
 
Nov 20, 2014 at 12:31 PM Post #30 of 30

q2klepto

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Is the bass on the 400's or 400i's more bass heavy and impactful than say an HD600/650 (maybe you have heard those)? A good reference for me would be those for an open headphone comparison and then if you have heard the audio technica ath-m50, how is the bass compared to those? To me the hd600/650's are bass light and the ath-m50's are okay I like more of a body to the bass than just a punchy bass. Sorry for the amount of questions I just want a good idea of them, I have gone through a million different pairs to get what I like. As I said I really like the bass and overall sound signature in the SRH1540's but would like an open pair with the same characteristics. 
 
Oh one more thing, do I need an amp to power the he-400's?

 
I havent heard the HD6XX phones - but it seems like they are ultra neutral, maybe even dark and laid back. I also havent heard the M50s, but i do have the Logitech UE6000s which i think is on par or better than the M50s and the 400i's is definately a couple steps above them in sound quality. When it comes to bass (especially when the UE6000 is in active mode) then the 400/400i is definitely not to the same level when it comes to output or "visceral" impact - the UE6000 can pound. 

Bass detail/texture makes up for it though, by a lot. 
 
The 1540s have a big sub bass bump, and kinda gravitates downward through 1k, and a bit more with a slight bump at 10k - so it *might* sound a bit veiled/recessed compared to the 400i - but probably not by much
 
http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/ShureSRH1540.pdf
 
HE-400s will sound brighter at 10k for sure, and the 400i will sound bright as well but not as fatiguing as the 400s.
 
I'm guessing the 1540s will sound bassier, slightly veiled and a bit dark in comparison - maybe not as airy, more congested.  The bass output/impact will probably be the biggest difference while the mids/highs might only be noticeable if youre diong AB comparisons
 
I'm just guessing looking at FR graphs though, and that the 1540s are closed. 
 

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