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I took the first step. Please help me finish.

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by phoenix jackson, Jan 1, 2013.
  1. Phoenix Jackson
    This should be called "Newbie's first impressions" but I need help more than need someone to read my impressions.
    After so much research, I finally found at least two places to freely listen to display headphones (I'm in South Korea).  I didn't have my notes with me but I knew the models I'm interested listening to.
    The first shop in Yongsan (Headphone Shop, Ipark) had displays really used.  I thought that was good so I don't have to think about "burn in" and what not.  I don't have an amp and I only used Cowon J3.  I thought it's ridiculous to get an amp before owning a set of cans.  But then I won't be able to test the "harder to drive" ones.
    Despite the extensive reading and getting to know some terms used here, I had no idea what those really sound or feel like.
    Yongsan:  Headphone Shop
    Audio Technica ATH-M50 ($200).  I wanted to know what the fuss is all about with this particular model.  When I wore and adjusted multiple time, I thought it was comfortable.  It doesn't seem to be heavy, but this is the first ever headphone I wore (I only used cheap IEMs).  Cups were comfy until I took it off.  Holy cow I sweat quite a lot!  The sound seemed fine but coming from cheap IEMs, I thought there was some hindrance from the music I can't describe.  It's like listening from the next room or two.
    Audio Technica ATH-PRO700 mark 2 ($200).  I was really rooting for this guy due to the reviews I've read from Headfi.  I appreciate the bass and the clamping pressure, but I couldn't listen long enough to appreciate the rest of them.  The cups don't seem to fit and this is the time I understood what headfiers say about "ears getting warm."  I guess it's really for DJs.
    Skull Candy Aviator ($180).  Did I read somewhere this was supposed to be circumaural?  I find it halfway between circumaural and supraural.  I didn't listen 'cause the fit alone turned me off.
    Shure SRH8400 ($220).  I didn't read much of the reviews about this model.  But I liked what I'm hearing.  I finally hear the music pushing through the rooms compared to Audio Technica's.  If there's something I'd want a bit more, it's the "roundness" of music that I usually hear from my IEMs.  I don't know what that technically means.
    Shure SRH9400 ($320).  The time I placed this on my head, the fit was horrible 'cause the left cup was too bendy.  I found out the plastic part on the adjustment slide was broken.  I showed it to the attendant but he wasn't bothered by it.  This is very much an issue for me 'cause I'm very clumsy.  And SRH9400's broken slide, along with other posts here talking about other broken parts of this model, makes me doubt about SRH8400's durability.
    I asked for Beyerdynamic DT770 but they don't have one.  No AKG Tiesto either.  So I moved on to the other shop.
    Hyewa:  Earphone Shop
    Shure SRH940 ($300).  Finally one that isn't damaged.  I remember some reviews talking about comfort/looks/and positioning.  My ears aren't well trained so I don't hear much difference if I change position of the headband, nor the earcups.  It doesn't look too funny on my head either.  I don't know much about comfort in the long run but they felt okay.  It's the sound that I got a lot to say.  This is the first time I understand what sibilance sound like.  I love that I can hear a lot of stuff like the woodwind and even how it was blown.  The slap of tomtoms that I'd really love to hear the precise positioning of the hands.  But then came (or not came) the thump.  I don't hear much bass from this.  I tried to jump from one equalizer preset to another until I hit "XBass."  It was great pleasure, to say the least.  With so much details along with the roundness of the bass, I almost melted.  BUT the part where the hi-hats annoy me is still there.  I question this along with the fact that I had to go through such equalizing that I don't normally get to.  I equalize but I have my own presets.  So I don't think I'll go with this one, sadly.
    Beyerdynamic DT770 32 Ohms ($260) and DT770 Pro 80 Ohms ($320).  I was ever curious how these two aesthetically compares to each other.  The Premium clamp is not as strong which makes me feel like its headband is fragile.  A lot of people here seem to like the blue ring but I honestly like the finish and design of the Pro cups (except I like the Premium arms and blue ring).  I listened to both Pro (80 ohms) and Premium intently because DT770 was the model I really had my eye on.  I really like what I'm hearing.  But there's something in Shure SRH8400 that I'm missing.  Perhaps the leather percussion and woodwind.  Then again, it was the 250 Ohms that I wish I could audition.  It's not available for sampling.
    AKG Q701 ($600+).  I was never interested on this model.  It's annoyingly expensive and annoying large and annoyingly green.  But it was there for sampling so I might as well try it.  Despite the annoyances, the sound was amazing.  The brief moment I listened, everything was crystal clear.  But I only listened briefly 'cause I don't want to get attracted to it.
    Now came Beyerdynamic DT1350 ($420).  OMG!  It was such a beautiful experience.  I feel like I was listening to an equalized Shure SRH9400 but without the sibilance.  I was anticipating and expecting sibilance at those crucial parts but I don't hear any.  It was so clean.  I also liked the bass as the thump was there but not so much.  I am in love with this model and will surely consider saving for it for summer use.  But right now, I really wish it was full sized.
    It's a good thing I saw Sennheiser HD25 amperior 'cause this was always compared to DT1350 (especially price wise).  It sounded different.  And there was something I heard that I didn't know was missing from DT1350.  There's the complete "roundness" of woodwind that I really like.  Is this what headfiers call "warmth?"  There's also a part on the bass where I could hear the deep deep baritone.  I could almost feel the vibration of the piano's strings.  And there were some parts of the music that prolonged where on DT1350, it was cut a bit short.  I don't know what you guys technically call that one.
    All-in-all I still prefer DT1350 from HD Amperior.  If only that "roundness" part could be achieved with the former.  But I really wish there's a circumaural version of DT1350 (closed back).  If there's one at the price of about $350 ('cause that means about $400 to $500 here in Korea), I'd be glad to save more for it (along with an amp if required).
    If there's one thing I learned, it's what headfiers keep saying over and over.  It's pays so much to actually listen to these before purchasing.  I was dead set on buying Beterdynamic DT770 Pro 250 Ohm, until I heard the others.  And thanks to Headfi, I now understand what sound signatures are like.  Thank you headfiers.
    Now I'd like to ask, is there a circumaural version of DT1350 that I don't know of?  Closed back?  I wouldn't mind buying an amp if it's required.  'Cause right now, I'm looking for a way to audition DT700 250 Ohm with an amp.
  2. viralcow
    The Beyerdynamic T1. Aha... I got a chance to demo them in the summer and when I got my DT1350s it distinctly reminded me of the sound signature of the T1. Someone correct me if my impressions are mistaken.
    I cannot believe the prices over there. The Q701 for $600+? DT1350 for $400+? Makes me appreciate living in the states so much...
  3. Phoenix Jackson
    AKG Q701's price was from the display in LotteMart.  Checking at the prices from local online stores, the cheapest is $380, but those are ones they'll order straight from outside the country... wherever that is. That means no guarantee of a fixed price and warranty.
    This is why I'm a bit shy of mentioning my budget 'cause what others think is a $300 headphone, is about $400+ in my country.
    Unfortunately, T1 is really really far from what I can afford right now.  It's about $1,250.
  4. asdfghjkzxcvbnm
    wow these prices
  5. viralcow
    I was joking lol.
  6. asdfghjkzxcvbnm
    Hmm.. If the T1 is out of your price range perhaps have a look at HD800?
  7. Phoenix Jackson
    Sennheiser HD800 has such reputation but I could only dream of buying it since it's $1,700 in my country.  Besides, it's also open-back design, which defeats my use of it at work and outdoors.
    I'm sorry if I didn't express as much but my budget would be somewhere near $300.  It'll be my first headphone so please understand if I'm not so willing to spend as much as most members aiming for audiophile Nirvana.  At least, not yet, for me.  I might stretch my budget a bit further, provided I audition it and find it is close to how DT1350 sounds like.  I will not forget that experience I had.
    Are there really no close-back, circumaural, portable (portable amps required is okay), headphones within that price range?
  8. asdfghjkzxcvbnm
    How much Is Custom One Pro around there?
  9. Phoenix Jackson
    I asked the shops about COP but they didn't know about that model.  None of them are available on local shops that I know of.  From local online stores, they're about $270 and above.  The thing is, they will be importing them (that's why they're cheap but it's a tentative price) from overseas.  That means, the price will still go up for taxes and customs and shipping and whatever excuse they have.  But most importantly, the lack of warranty.
    Sennheiser Momentum is $500 here and there's no auditioning since it's a new product.  Understanding now that Beyerdynamic's and Sennheiser's sound signature are very different, it's pretty scary to take the plunge and just buy Momentum without listening to it.

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