Is it worth getting an entry level audiophile headphone…
Apr 6, 2020 at 9:17 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 11

earick

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…if I own a Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro (250) ?

I'm satisfied with the beyerdynamic, but I want to know whats beyond that. I like them a lot but have to say that they "sound like headphones". But therwise I have heard that open backs can lack a little bit in upper bass freq, and I don't really want to sacrifice bass for sub bass. I know that totally depends on the model.

Recommendations welcome. :)
 
Apr 6, 2020 at 9:39 AM Post #2 of 11

Johnny Golden

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As you've said this sound signature totally depends on model.

In a closed back it is possible to use lots of different materials inside to affect the way the sound bounces around. This could lead to increased mid bass, mids, highs or any number of other things. Open backs are similar however it requires more tuning of the driver rather than other internal reasons since there is less for the sound to bounce off.

If you want to simply experience the open back difference the DT990's may be the way to go as they are essentially the open backed versions of the DT770's and will allow you the hear exactly what the open back difference is, however, if you are serious about getting into this hobby then something like the Sennheiser HD58X or Hifiman HE4XX both from Drop.com, both excellent sounding headphones, and both dirt cheap, could be a good option for you.

Hifiman HE4XX's would be my pick for you given it sounds like you want something with more soundstage that makes it sound like the music is around you rather than just in your head. In that case the HE4XX's have a wide soundstage, a warm sound signature and overall very good detail retrieval. The AKG K7XX also have a larger soundstage but I like there sound signature a bit less and they are more expensive.

Do you own a headphone amp and what is your source?
 
Apr 6, 2020 at 12:34 PM Post #3 of 11

Cruelhand Luke

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The answer is yes. You have a closed back headphone, which has it's benefits, but an open backed headphone would be a nice compliment. An inexpensive headphone with great soundstage that doesn't sacrifice bass is the Fidelio X2. You might want to check them out, they sound fantastic, especially when you consider how much they have dropped in price.
 
Apr 7, 2020 at 9:18 AM Post #4 of 11

earick

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great replies. Thank you a lot.

Im a little bit afraid of planar magnetic, because it looks like the bass freq drops off at some point. I really don't want less bass than the DT770 Pro. Otherwise I am very curious and the Hifiman HE4XX is truly a steal. Im also not looking for super analytical hights, more for a wide soundstage. I want to enjoy listening to music for long periods of time.

Why don't you like the AKGs sound signature?

Im using the headphone out of my Roland Quad Capure, no idea what kind of amp and DAC is in there.
 
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Apr 7, 2020 at 9:40 AM Post #5 of 11

Johnny Golden

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Generally Planar magnetic's are of the better group of open backs in terms of bass in fact on head-fi you'll often see the term planar bass as planar magnetic headphones contain quick and large drivers that often produce very solid bass. Closed back and open back headphones will never sound the same however the he4xx's have some of the cleanest and quickest bass of anything in their price range. If you are still worried about this have a look at this frequency comparison of the HE4XX vs the more expensive dynamic HD6XX
1586266107759.png

As for the AKG K7XX's I don't dislike their sound signature just find them unremarkable in comparison to the cheaper massdrop cans like the HE4XX and HD58X. As I said they do have good sound stage, exceptionally so but sometimes I found the sound lacks either the fun or detail of the other two headphones I've mentioned.

The answer is yes. You have a closed back headphone, which has it's benefits, but an open backed headphone would be a nice compliment. An inexpensive headphone with great sound stage that doesn't sacrifice bass is the Fidelio X2. You might want to check them out, they sound fantastic, especially when you consider how much they have dropped in price.

The Fidelio X2's that Cruelhand Luke has mentioned are excellent headphones however again I don't believe them to be as good a value proposition as the Hifiman HE4XX's.

My picks for your would be

1. Hifiman HE4XX
2. Fidelio X2
3. AKG K7XX/K712

My only concern with the Hifimans is whether you'll have enough power to drive them as in my experience they do need a fair amount of wattage to sound their best.
 
Apr 7, 2020 at 10:28 AM Post #7 of 11

Johnny Golden

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I guess I could drive the Hifimans. With the DT770 (250 ohm) I still have a little bit of headroom. and the Hifiman HE4XX are 35 ohm?

Unfortunately it doesn't work exactly like that with planar headphones as they require a lot of wattage. 250 ohm headphones use very little current but more voltage where as 32 ohm planars are current hungry. It's the reason they don't work very well off tube amps. You also have to take into account sensitivity. HE4XX is much lower at 93db whereas DT770's have been measured as 107db a big difference

It's also important to take into account the fact that enough volume does not necessarily mean enough power. My O2 headphone amp can drive my HE4XX's to an acceptable volume but it can't keep up with their power demand and the quality of the sound starts to fall apart whereas my 2 watt per channel Burson plays them excellently at any volume even all the way which I completed as a test.

My focusrite 2i4 would have a similar amplifier to your roland and while I can get the volume on it there is a noticeable loss of soundstage and bass and the addition of sibilance. In all fairness the sound isn't bad, it's just bad in comparison to my other dedicated amps, the same would go for your dt770. You should still be able to hear the open back difference and enjoy them for what they are just know that with all higher end headphones you'll be missing a lot without a decent dedicated amplifier. Something to add to the list for further down the road.

For reference i'm listening to Billy Joel's 52nd street on my Hifiman HE4XX's through my focusrite and it's more than loud enough and i'm enjoying the hell out of it it's more to do with the fact that I own other amps and I know the difference they make.

Is the Roland Quad Capture powered by USB?
 
Apr 7, 2020 at 10:58 AM Post #9 of 11

Johnny Golden

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I think you''ll be quite happy with them. Impossible to beat for the current price.

In the future should you want to get an amp I recommend the Drop O2 again, unbeatable for the price. Having listened to mine with my Focusrite I think you should still be quite happy without the amp.

Please tell us if you do end up going the Hifiman's
 
Apr 9, 2020 at 12:30 PM Post #10 of 11

HBen

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You actually already own an "entry level audiophile headphone" :)

If you want to improve on that my recommendation is to go to a shop with high end headphones, go to a head-fi meeting or some other place where you can try and test several headphones and equipment.

In Vienna there is a guy called Andreas Pohnitzer, who is a very kind guy and has a great knowledge about headphones, owning a headphone shop in the City
https://kopfhoererboutique.com/

I once bought something there and can highly recommend him. PS: I'm not affiliated in any way

Good luck and have fun :)

Best regards from your neighbour country ^^
 
Feb 17, 2021 at 5:31 AM Post #11 of 11

earick

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I think you''ll be quite happy with them. Impossible to beat for the current price.

In the future should you want to get an amp I recommend the Drop O2 again, unbeatable for the price. Having listened to mine with my Focusrite I think you should still be quite happy without the amp.

Please tell us if you do end up going the Hifiman's

Hey there! So I went with the Hifiman's and I have to say that I am very happy with them. Im using them almost a year now, went through various lockdowns with them! The sound is fantastic for longer listening periods, so is the fit and comfort. I was positifely surprised by the "planar magnetic bass". Whats crazy is that I can actually drive them pretty loud from my Macbook- most of the time Im using the udio interfaces headphone out tho. Sometimes I like to add a little EQ in order to make them "flat", does that affect the driver negatively or so?
 

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