Introduction/first post and opinions on K550/HP200/Fidelio X1/HD650 for classical
Sep 7, 2013 at 12:38 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 7


New Head-Fier
Sep 7, 2013
Hello everyone,
I have been visiting the site for some time now and I thought that it only makes sense for me to register. So, this is me introducing myself.
I am currently in Cyprus but me and my wife will be moving back to London next month and therefore I will not be able to listen to music 'properly' for some time. Having said that, my set-up here is considered 'budget' but I do love it. Rotel RA-04, Project Debut, my ancient pioneer PD-Z84M and a pair of B&W 601 S3 speakers.
Headphone-wise, I have B&W P3 set to use with my iPod classic. Since I will be moving next month, I will be investing in over-ears so I can still enjoy music privately (we will be staying in a crowded house to start with).
So...I have done some research, read some reviews, checked some prices and compiled a short-list:
AKG K550, Soundmagic HP200, Sennheiser HD650 and Philips Fidelio X1
I listen to a variety of music genres, but I want the headphones to excel when I listen to classical music. Mahler's symphonies for example, or Arvo Part's Tabula Rasa,
Most likely I will be using a FiiO E17 (connected to a laptop or to my iPod).
The K550 can be bought for £125-£130. Are the rest worth the price difference? Is the treble on the K550 that harsh? Would you buy the HP200s if you can have the X1s for less money? Are the HD650s as good as it gets for the money?
Sorry if this was a long first post :)
Thank you in advance for all your help. 
Sep 7, 2013 at 2:10 PM Post #2 of 7
I like the Beyer Dynamic Dt 990 DT pro 250 ohm my self for Classical, 
The K550 was also good, but I prefered the bigger sound stage and layering of the Dt 990 over anything actually 
Sep 8, 2013 at 4:05 AM Post #4 of 7
  I like the Beyer Dynamic Dt 990 DT pro 250 ohm my self for Classical, 

I don't listen to classical, but for what its worth choosign between HD 600 / 650 (can't remember which one I tried) and DT990 was a very close call. Seing that the 990 pro sells for half the price of a 650 I think its an incredible value, they can be found for about €160 online.
Note though that I have a big head and the 990pro squuezed my head like a vise. After a year of using it must have squeezed my head into an acceptable size since they feel very comfortable now, and I do like their sound.
Sep 8, 2013 at 4:08 AM Post #5 of 7
Thanks Mshenay. I'll definitely have a look at the 990s. How does the built/comfort feel?

They are built like tanks, I've sat on mine, I've dropped mine [more than a few times] I've stepped on mine [Not proud to even be saying all of this] but despite my abuse they look good as new and have little sign of any wear at all
and they are very comfy, any of the DT Pro series [I own 2] can be worn [by myself] for hours on end. Pulled a 7 hour homework run yesterday [with the 990s] 
So they are super duper comfy and built very well 
Jan 26, 2014 at 6:36 AM Post #6 of 7
Have both the Philips Fidelio X1 and the AKG 550, and I admit that for classical music they are both excellent, in my opinion, and cannot decide which is the better honestly.
The only disadvantage about the Philips Fidelio X1, for me, is that its earpads are not replaceable, at least to date. A plus is that the cable is detachable and easily replaced. The AKG 550 needs to be properly set up to not allow any leaks in its seal on your head, as the sound depends enormously on a good seal - if not, its performance is significantly reduced.
Ultimately, I love both headphones and am not able to say that one is better than the other, as I am satisfied with both!
Jan 26, 2014 at 1:06 PM Post #7 of 7
HD600 is more neutral and more comfortable than HD650, and it's cheaper too. K70x is another to consider. Some have complained about the bumps on the K70x headband; the current (8-bump) model doesn't bother me. I prefer DT880 to DT990 for classical, which is in line with a preference for more neutral sound such as HD600 and K70x. I would focus on those three: all very good, neutral open models.

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