Looking for the right HiFi Headphones
Jun 30, 2015 at 3:36 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 22

Ventace

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So I'm looking for new Headphones and I'm sort of a picky, unknowledgable guy outside of gaming peripherals, so I need recommendations.
I'm only looking into over-ear headphones
My budget is around $295-$375
The main use is for listening to music, since I have HyperX Clouds for gaming
The DAC I'm using is an Audioengine D1, but I also have a Xonar U7 (sadly there's loads of crackling idk why)
I have this incredible need for leather or pleather EarPads, as velour causes too much heat and itchiness
I'd also like the headphones to be closed, as I'd dislike sound leaning everywhere for others
Preferable THD+N would be around <0.2%
I have a large head so those small round headphones from like Grado are no good for me
I'd rather have oval shaped earcups than those perfectly round ones, because no human actually has circle shaped ears and it wouldn't be the best fit.
Large drivers are probably a given?
I'm also insane when it comes to a carrying case.
I hate when there are thin fabric cases, or when there's none at all.
I bring my headphones to places so a hard case would be a great option.

As for the sound signature,
I really dislike extremely bass heavy headphones, and headphones that are just dominated by the lows.
You can also never hear piano or actual voices if you had bass-dominating headphones.
I listen to lots of JPop and some piano, and I want a general balance.
I don't mind bass if it's tight and not dominating the highs.
If I were to give a percentage, it's be like 28% highs, 37% mids, and 35% lows or something.
I'm not sure what's up with everyone else seeming to have like 15% highs, 35% mids, and 50% lows.
I'm also not sure why every 'self proclaimed audiophile' I've chatted with listens to morning but dub step and other bass heavy songs.
For some references of what I listen, there's a piano-focused jazz album called Logistic Function.
Other reference songs include:
-Shirushi - LiSA
-Endless Tears, Love is a Beautiful Pain - Cliff Edge
-Nanairo Symphony - Goose House
-Kibou no Uta - Ultra Tower

Those are basically the kinds of songs I listen to.
Listen to each one as I was sure to choose those 4 over hundreds XD
I'd really like something that sounds like the HD 598.

Basically I want the sound signature of the HD 598 with the build of the HD8 DJ but it doesn't seem to exist anywhere.

Oh also I've been curious in how to check THD+N % on AKG headphones as I never find it listen in specs
Any recommendations please?
And thank you in advance.
 
Jun 30, 2015 at 1:01 PM Post #2 of 22

cel4145

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Not sure which headphone will tick all your boxes given you want HD598 kind of sound with non-velour pads and a particular shape.

However, this CASEBUDi will fit very large headphones like the HE-400 and AKG Q701 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ENO322C. Slappa makes some smaller headphone cases that work with smaller sized headphones. So don't let the lack of a good case supplied by the manufacturer get in the way of choosing headphones to suit you :)
 
Jun 30, 2015 at 5:29 PM Post #3 of 22

Ventace

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Not sure which headphone will tick all your boxes given you want HD598 kind of sound with non-velour pads and a particular shape.

However, this CASEBUDi will fit very large headphones like the HE-400 and AKG Q701 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ENO322C. Slappa makes some smaller headphone cases that work with smaller sized headphones. So don't let the lack of a good case supplied by the manufacturer get in the way of choosing headphones to suit you :)



Thanks I'll look into that case and company you mentioned.
Cases aren't a must, but I just love the inclusion of nice hard cases that fit nicely.
 
Jun 30, 2015 at 7:54 PM Post #4 of 22

davidsh

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Regarding THD and frequency response such measurements can be found. Take a look at innerfidelity for example. Just don't obsess too much over it and feel free to ask further questions in that regard.
You ever tried proper velour pads?
 
Jun 30, 2015 at 9:23 PM Post #5 of 22

Beyakusenn

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I have this incredible need for leather or pleather EarPads, as velour causes too much heat and itchiness

Usually leather and pleather ear pads are hotter than velour. Velour is usually not itchy. Alcantara is the best material imo, but not many headphones have that.
 
Preferable THD+N would be around >0.2%

I think you mean <0.2% Less distortion is always better for audio, right?
 
Looking at the measurements from innerfidelity, I'd say headphones with TDH+N below 0.2% are very rare. Only electrostatics come near the 0.1%
 
I'm also not sure why every 'self proclaimed audiophile' I've chatted with listens to morning but dub step and other bass heavy songs.

There is nothing wrong with bassy music. It might sometimes be musically uninspiring, but there are also many great songs that are at least as complicated and layered as any J-pop track.
 
I am no basshead at all and I enjoy J-pop as well, but good drum & bass can also be very nice to listen to.
 
 
My recommendation would be the AKG K553. It has a detailed, nautralish sound signature  that slightly enhances the bass and doesn't emphasize the treble more than it should. It is closed back, has very comfortable, large pleather ear pads, sounds quite 'open' despite being a closed headphone, it is well within your budget even if you add the costs of a carrying case.
Downsides: not very portable, 3m cable, round ear cups.
 
Jun 30, 2015 at 10:53 PM Post #6 of 22

Ventace

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Regarding THD and frequency response such measurements can be found. Take a look at innerfidelity for example. Just don't obsess too much over it and feel free to ask further questions in that regard.
You ever tried proper velour pads?

Yeah, as long as the so called Velour earpads on the HyperX Clouds are 'proper', then I think so.
 
Jun 30, 2015 at 10:58 PM Post #7 of 22

Ventace

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  Usually leather and pleather ear pads are hotter than velour. Velour is usually not itchy. Alcantara is the best material imo, but not many headphones have that.
 
I think you mean <0.2% Less distortion is always better for audio, right?
 
Looking at the measurements from innerfidelity, I'd say headphones with TDH+N below 0.2% are very rare. Only electrostatics come near the 0.1%
 
There is nothing wrong with bassy music. It might sometimes be musically uninspiring, but there are also many great songs that are at least as complicated and layered as any J-pop track.
 
I am no basshead at all and I enjoy J-pop as well, but good drum & bass can also be very nice to listen to.
 
 
My recommendation would be the AKG K553. It has a detailed, nautralish sound signature  that slightly enhances the bass and doesn't emphasize the treble more than it should. It is closed back, has very comfortable, large pleather ear pads, sounds quite 'open' despite being a closed headphone, it is well within your budget even if you add the costs of a carrying case.
Downsides: not very portable, 3m cable, round ear cups.

Well for me I just have very oversensitive skin, as I'm the kind of person that would find an American Eagle T-shirt to be extremely itchy.
Yeah I meant <0.2%
I actually never find headphones over <0.2% around that price range except for trash like Beats.
I just generally dislike bassy music XD There's nothing wrong with bassy music but if it ever comes to an instrumental, I'd be listening to a classical instrument, and if there's any sing I'd rather hear the 'voices'.

Thanks, I'll look into that recommendation.
 
Jul 1, 2015 at 6:13 AM Post #8 of 22

davidsh

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To be honest THD in headphones isn't as important as the frequency response in most cases. And only very few high end headphones can do <0.2% THD 20-20kHz
 
Jul 1, 2015 at 10:35 PM Post #9 of 22

Ventace

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To be honest THD in headphones isn't as important as the frequency response in most cases. And only very few high end headphones can do <0.2% THD 20-20kHz

Oh I didn't know. I dumped hours a day for a few months into things like gaming peripherals, but Hi-Fi headphones have been more difficult to figure out the important points. 
I haven't really been able to grasp the important points, and which stats actually represent 'clarity' unlike in sound cards where they just list the THD and SNR :/
 
Jul 2, 2015 at 6:55 AM Post #10 of 22

davidsh

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The only specs that hint you anything about the actual sound is measurements done by a third party. Learning to understand those measurements isn't easy, and still they are only rough guidelines. Feel free to ask questions..
 
Jul 2, 2015 at 7:20 AM Post #11 of 22

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From what you said NAD Viso HP50 would be good: balanced sound, not bass heavy, closed back, oval shaped, leather feeling (not sure if it's real leather) pads, decently large, fits in your budget at ~300$ (and they are considered one of the best for the price).
The only con for you might be it doesn't come with a hard case (but it does come with nice leather case (or leather like)), but it's not thin fabric pouch by any means.
 
Jul 2, 2015 at 4:42 PM Post #13 of 22

Ventace

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The only specs that hint you anything about the actual sound is measurements done by a third party. Learning to understand those measurements isn't easy, and still they are only rough guidelines. Feel free to ask questions..

Lol thanks. I found it painful having to find every last trusted review from CNET to Kitguru to PCmag to TrustedReviews XD
 
  From what you said NAD Viso HP50 would be good: balanced sound, not bass heavy, closed back, oval shaped, leather feeling (not sure if it's real leather) pads, decently large, fits in your budget at ~300$ (and they are considered one of the best for the price).
The only con for you might be it doesn't come with a hard case (but it does come with nice leather case (or leather like)), but it's not thin fabric pouch by any means.

Thanks for the recommendation, I'll look into them as well.
 
  Have you tried the Audio Technica M50?
These are great sounding headphone at that price point and is hard to beat. Highly recommended.

I've seen them before but reviews say that one of its few cons is that it's bass heavy, and it has recessive mids. A friend of mine has those but he suggested I stay away from them because he was the kind of guy that really loved dubstep XD
If I find the limited edition ATH M50xDG then I'd maybe get them because they look so cool :O
I probably won't go for them but thanks for the recommendation
 
Jul 2, 2015 at 5:26 PM Post #14 of 22

inthere

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B&O H6 may be what you're looking for if you can go $20 over budget:
 
http://www.amazon.com/PLAY-by-Bang-Olufsen-1642003/dp/B00C4VFYRC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1435872271&sr=8-1&keywords=beoplay+h6
 
Jul 3, 2015 at 8:07 PM Post #15 of 22

Ventace

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Thanks for all the suggestions, but I think I've made a decision for headphones~
Sorry for all those people who had put up all those recommendations that I didn't end up getting in the end
But thanks~
After a buttload of time, I think it's the ATH M70x for me. I went it a bit over budget but it tics all the checks for me~
 

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