Looking for Decent headphones, open/closed
Jul 30, 2008 at 10:42 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 24

RampantAndroid

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I currently own a pair of HD280s - and while I do like them, I'd like to use them at work, and get a new pair for at home.

At home, I use my headphones for gaming, some movies, and a wide range of music - ranging from classical, to stuff like Radiohead, Muse and some harder stuff. I'm willing to pay at most 200 USD, I'd prefer 150 or lower.

As for open vs closed - I like closed in that I don't have to hear the noise around me; however my HD280s can feel a bit uncomfortable if I'm wearing glasses instead of contacts.

I've been eyeing the HD555s, but the HD595s seem to cost extra for very little gain. I've seen the beyerdynamic 770s recommended, but how good are they in terms of sound, esp for stuff like classical music? Do they have TOO much bass? How are they fit wise? I've also seen the Grado SR60s recommended - how do they compare (they aren't circumaural though, right?)

What other recommendations might you guys have?

Thanks!
 
Jul 30, 2008 at 11:39 AM Post #2 of 24

googan

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Not an expert, but I have the 555s (my first decent pair of cans) and I really like them with all kinds of music + gaming (cs:s) + movies. It's good for pretty much everything IMO if sound leakage/no isolation isn't a problem. I've had them for about 2 years or so. They are super comfortable with or without glasses. I think you can get them for as low as $70 after rebate right now which is unbelievable.

I recently picked up a pair of Denon D1001 after doing some research here looking for a closed semi-portable. the amazon price for these dipped down to $80 so it was a bit of an impulse purchase. Really nice as well. Bassier than the 555s but less sound-stage and airiness.

People on this site talk about how comfortable d1000/d1001s are, but coming from 555s, they're just average in comfort to me. The 555s are about twice as comfortable, but it's to be expected , one being open/fullsize and the other closed/semi-portable (the 555s being 2 years old may also attribute to its comfort level). Still I can't complain about the d1001, even with a pair of glasses on, except they get kind of hot.

If I had to pick one of the two for just home use, it would definitely be the Senns. I can listen to these literally all day and not get ear fatigued, head-clamp fatigued or sweaty (unless it's really warm in the house). I can't say the same for closed phones in general because of clamping force, closed-cup sound pressure and closed-cup heat retention. Comfort vs. Isolation, for home use comfort wins for me. You may disagree as you are probably already used to some of these closed-can characteristics from your 280pros.

Either way at those prices you can't really go wrong. Good luck and have fun choosing
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Jul 30, 2008 at 11:57 PM Post #3 of 24

Double Dark Horse

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The DT 770's do have a lot of bass, but I don't find them overpowering. And they fit my big head very comfortably. When I put other cans on I can't wear them for very long because it feels like my brain is being squeezed out.
 
Aug 1, 2008 at 12:26 AM Post #4 of 24

RampantAndroid

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Hmm...I like closed cans for some reasons (I live in an apt, it can get a little noisy at times...) so that's why I hesitate on the 555s.

In your opinion, with music playing on the 555s, are you able to tune out a large portion of the ambient noise?
 
Aug 1, 2008 at 1:07 AM Post #7 of 24

nautikal

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Do you have an amplifier yet? If not you need to figure that into your budget. Also, what is your source?
 
Aug 1, 2008 at 1:48 AM Post #8 of 24

RampantAndroid

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Oxyjin /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I would recommend trying some circumaural headphones since you wear glasses. A good pair would be the sen HD555 or Hd595's, comfortable while wearing glasses.
k701smile.gif



The HD280s are circumaural, they just exert enough pressure on the arms of my glasses that they did in.

The source is my PC primarily, and may also include my TV (unsure how good the headphone output of my Sony LCD TV is though.)

As for an amp, my Logitech Z-2200s act as an amp; while I won't claim its the greatest amp ever, the output IS amplified and sounds good. I'd prefer to not end up with an audio amp tbh; while I may get one in the future, I don't really want one for right now. However - I can get the HD555s for ~100 USD, leaving me with around 100 USD to buy an amp; are there any good amps in that range, though? Would an amp show any tangible improvement over using my Z-2200 headphone output?

Again, thanks, and I'll look into the M-Audios. Any other recommendations for headphones to try?
 
Aug 1, 2008 at 2:05 AM Post #9 of 24

catscratch

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This has been covered hundreds of times. The best recommendation I can make is to UTFSE. It's there for a reason.

But, if you want my opinion, you should look into something that's easy to drive and relatively forgiving of its source material as a stepping stone into hi-fi. I would suggest the Audio-Technica ATH-A900 if you want a closed headphone, and yes, the Sennheiser HD595 if you want an open one. Be careful though, there are 2 versions of the 595, a 120ohm version and a newer 50ohm version. Now, the newer version was introduced long enough ago by now that most likely all new 595s sold will be 50 ohms - but you want to make sure. If you're using them unamped, 120 ohms will be too much to handle.

Your z-2200s don't count as an amp when considering hard-to-drive headphones, i.e. HD600.

The DT770 is insanely comfortable, blocks out a lot of outside noise, and is completely unsuited to classical music. The bass really does overwhelm other frequencies. It's very good bass mind you, at least when properly driven, but classical music is not what this headphone is made for. It's used professionally most often to record and monitor bass-heavy material. Personally, I use it for gaming, where its amazing 3d positioning comes in handy.

If external noise is an issue, then using open headphones and cranking them up to drown the external noise out is a sure-fire recipe for getting permanent tinnitus and noise-induced hearing loss.
 
Aug 1, 2008 at 2:26 AM Post #10 of 24

Carter54

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I would have to +1 for the Audio-Technica ATH-A900. AT makes very comfortable headphones and they are good all around without the head pounding bass of the DT770's.

If the A900's are a little too much the A700's are nice as well but the A900's are worth the extra $.

A900 on Ebay:

Audio Technica ATH-A900 Art Monitor Headphones Retail @ - eBay (item 260268938315 end time Aug-05-08 20:31:03 PDT)

A700 on Ebay:

Audio Technica*ATH-A700 b*ATHA700 DJ Headphone WARRANTY - eBay (item 360074917731 end time Aug-04-08 21:17:04 PDT)

Carter
 
Aug 1, 2008 at 2:52 AM Post #11 of 24

EugeneK

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If you like rock, go with the grados, maybe alessandro too. (MS1 in your price range)

I've A/Bed a senn 595 and my current alessandro MS2.

Personally, I didn't like the dark senn house sound, most of my music is rock.
 
Aug 1, 2008 at 6:12 AM Post #12 of 24

RampantAndroid

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Carter54 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I would have to +1 for the Audio-Technica ATH-A900. AT makes very comfortable headphones and they are good all around without the head pounding bass of the DT770's.

If the A900's are a little too much the A700's are nice as well but the A900's are worth the extra $.

A900 on Ebay:

Audio Technica ATH-A900 Art Monitor Headphones Retail @ - eBay (item 260268938315 end time Aug-05-08 20:31:03 PDT)

A700 on Ebay:

Audio Technica*ATH-A700 b*ATHA700 DJ Headphone WARRANTY - eBay (item 360074917731 end time Aug-04-08 21:17:04 PDT)

Carter



What about the AD700s? From what I've read, they have a better sound stage than even the HD555s can offer - just with less bass. Do the AD700s have MUCH less bass, or just a little less (that I can EQ to sound better)?

Furthermore, I'm thinking I might just go above my price range I set, and consider the AD900s, as people seem to be saying they are worth it (and don't need an amp)

But again I ask: As I do not own open cans, how are they for noise? They obviously don't isolate you - I know that - but how are they once you get music (or a game) going? Do they produce enough volume to let you tune out all but the loudest noises around you? Or do you notice every noise coming from outside when you have a window open? That's really my deciding factor right now...if you do fine with some amount of ambient noise (say a fan blowing air into my apt from a window, or a PC) while wearing open cans, then I will be looking at cans like the AD700s and AD900s; if you find that ambient noise really destroys the experience, then it will be the A700s or A900s.

Thanks again.

Sidenote: The reason I created a new thread as opposed to searching is simple: every time this type of thread is created, the response is slightly different. To find the answers to my questions by only searching, I need to read through hundreds of threads; If I instead post my own thread and ask the specific questions I have, I instead get a response tailored around my questions.

Don't get me wrong, I AM reading plenty of threads on head-fi and other forums, but I still have plenty of questions.
 
Aug 1, 2008 at 6:52 AM Post #13 of 24

catscratch

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Quote:

Originally Posted by RampantAndroid /img/forum/go_quote.gif
But again I ask: As I do not own open cans, how are they for noise? They obviously don't isolate you - I know that - but how are they once you get music (or a game) going? Do they produce enough volume to let you tune out all but the loudest noises around you? Or do you notice every noise coming from outside when you have a window open? That's really my deciding factor right now...if you do fine with some amount of ambient noise (say a fan blowing air into my apt from a window, or a PC) while wearing open cans, then I will be looking at cans like the AD700s and AD900s; if you find that ambient noise really destroys the experience, then it will be the A700s or A900s.

Thanks again.



It depends largely on the music, and on the volume. I find classical music to be unlistenable on open cans when there's background noise. More pounding stuff like rock or psytrance can drown out outside noise, especially if it's quiet, but it's still a distraction.

If you can listen to speakers and not be bothered by outside noise, then you're probably going to be fine with open headphones.

I use open headphones for critical listening, and I can't have my PC on at the same time. Granted, my PC sounds like a jet engine and is probably way louder than most. Air conditioning noise doesn't bother me, however, as well as other similarly loud noises.

Quote:

Sidenote: The reason I created a new thread as opposed to searching is simple: every time this type of thread is created, the response is slightly different. To find the answers to my questions by only searching, I need to read through hundreds of threads; If I instead post my own thread and ask the specific questions I have, I instead get a response tailored around my questions.

Don't get me wrong, I AM reading plenty of threads on head-fi and other forums, but I still have plenty of questions.


Eh, it's not so much that responses are custom-tailored, it's more about who's online at any given time. People have different tastes and tend to recommend stuff they like regardless of what the actual situation is.

Ultimately, I'd say use your own ears. Audition what you intend to buy. When you're new to audio, you don't really know what sound signature you prefer, and it takes personal experience with many different headphones and different sound signatures to work that out. It took me two years to zero in on the sound that I wanted, and I went through quite a few headphones throughout that time. Auditioning will save you time and money in the long run.
 
Aug 1, 2008 at 3:40 PM Post #14 of 24

Drag0n

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Quote:

Originally Posted by catscratch /img/forum/go_quote.gif
This has been covered hundreds of times. The best recommendation I can make is to UTFSE. It's there for a reason.


Hes new and probably doesnt know what the heck you mean by UTFSE, and neither to I.
I dont know what to do with the E.
Use the For Sale "E"?
I cant see Search Function fitting either.
What is UTFSE???
confused_face(1).gif
 
Aug 1, 2008 at 4:44 PM Post #15 of 24

Tiemen

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Quote:

Originally Posted by catscratch /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The DT770 is insanely comfortable, blocks out a lot of outside noise, and is completely unsuited to classical music. The bass really does overwhelm other frequencies. It's very good bass mind you, at least when properly driven, but classical music is not what this headphone is made for. It's used professionally most often to record and monitor bass-heavy material. Personally, I use it for gaming, where its amazing 3d positioning comes in handy.

If external noise is an issue, then using open headphones and cranking them up to drown the external noise out is a sure-fire recipe for getting permanent tinnitus and noise-induced hearing loss.



Depends on which DT770 you take. The Pro's have an insane bass.
But the 2005 consumer edition doesn't. Their bass is quite good actuelly.
I found the overall tone of the DT770/2005 a little too bright, but bass and mids are very good.
 

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