Looking to step up from My Sennheiser HD518s
Jun 15, 2015 at 6:10 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 22

414353

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I’m looking to upgrade from my Sennheiser HD518s or looking to get a different sound or both or whatever the case is.
The HD518s are good, but tend to lack a little detail in the mid-highs. I’m looking for something more balanced with good staging without being shrill or tinny or too boomy in the lows. I like clean detailed bass at the perfect level. I need a pair of cans that will perform well with all types of music (example: prog rock, classic rock, classical, folk, jazz, blues, etc.  not into rap, hip hop, today’s pop and such).
 
I’m open to various brands except Beats, Skull Candy, Sony and I am leery about AKG. I’ve already experienced their customer service and am wondering if they were bought by Comcast or something equally bad.
 
I need them to be the over-the-ear type. No on-ear or IEMs or anything else. Also do not want any leather or vinyl on the ear pads. I need them to be cloth or velour or whatever. If the pads are replaceable with OEM cloth ones, that’s fine as well.
 
I’m not looking for expensive or investment headphones. Nothing wrong with that if one is really into headphones as their primary listening experience. I’m not though. I rarely use them. I’m working on something soon where headphones may make things easier or a little better….and maybe not. I also never use headphones during warm weather.
 
My budget is no more than $300 max for headphones with less being better. I’m not concerned whether they require a separate amp or not, if one is required. There are plenty of headphone amps out there in all price ranges, if need be. I’m also not concerned whether they are open or closed model. While I prefer open, but I don’t want to limit choices too much. I wear glasses, if that is a factor.
 
There is literally no place that physically carries headphones where one can demo them. Is there a place that offers in-home trials of headphones without re-stocking fees and excessive shipping?
 
Thank you
 
Jun 16, 2015 at 10:53 AM Post #4 of 22

cel4145

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I'm sure they sound good. Those are unobtainium though. I even contacted AKG and they claim to have no knowledge of such a model. 
I'm looking for headphones that are supported by the manufacture and available for purchase.


Yes. You'd have to buy them used on the trade forums here. They are a special edition headphone that was available on Massdrop this past year.

The Beyerdynamic DT880 are a popular neutral headphone. You might like them.
 
Jun 16, 2015 at 12:15 PM Post #5 of 22

414353

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Yes. You'd have to buy them used on the trade forums here. They are a special edition headphone that was available on Massdrop this past year.

The Beyerdynamic DT880 are a popular neutral headphone. You might like them.

Oh, I see. No thanks on the used route...at least on those anyway.
Ok, now, how would I go about trying the Beyerdynamic DT880? Any suggestions? (I'm not into buying and selling, it's far too much hassle for me, not to mention very expensive).
 
Thank you
 
Jun 16, 2015 at 9:56 PM Post #7 of 22

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Amazon or fulfilled by Amazon has a good RMA process if you can't find them locally

There are no headphones in my quality range locally. Amazon has excellent RMA, but you can only do it once. I can't try say 3 headphones and return them all.
 
I'm getting to the point of just forgetting the whole thing. Headphones are harder to purchase than cars, homes and other things that require a process and a lot of hunting. At least those other things are available. 
 
Jun 16, 2015 at 10:25 PM Post #9 of 22

cel4145

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There are no headphones in my quality range locally. Amazon has excellent RMA, but you can only do it once. I can't try say 3 headphones and return them all.


Well, you narrow it down to 2 keep the one you like best. I've returned several headphones to Amazon, but I always order with the intention of keeping one (in fairness to Amazon). You could also order from B&H Photo or Crutchfield.

The other alternative is to see if there is a head-fi GTG in your area: http://www.head-fi.org/f/24/local-regional-head-fi-meets-parties-get-togethers
 
Jun 16, 2015 at 10:42 PM Post #10 of 22

Me x3

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   Headphones are harder to purchase than cars, homes and other things that require a process and a lot of hunting. At least those other things are available. 

 
That's the case if you're very picky.
 
If not, can't go wrong with:
 
Beyerdynamic DT880 250 Ohm version
Sennheiser HD600
Philips Fidelio X2
 
The Beyer is slightly brighter and colder, but not too much. It's a more detailed / analytical headphone.
The Senn is warmer and more forgiving of sibilant recordings
The Fidelio has more bass, so it's less neutral but more 'fun' for some
 
Three very good headphones within your price range.
 
Sennheiser HD598 and AudioTechnica AD900x should work as well.
 
All good sounding headphones.
 
Jun 16, 2015 at 11:01 PM Post #11 of 22

KG Jag

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   Headphones are harder to purchase than cars, homes and other things that require a process and a lot of hunting. At least those other things are available. 

 
That's the case if you're very picky.
 
If not, can't go wrong with:
 
Beyerdynamic DT880 250 Ohm version
Sennheiser HD600
Philips Fidelio X2
 
The Beyer is slightly brighter and colder, but not too much. It's a more detailed / analytical headphone.
The Senn is warmer and more forgiving of sibilant recordings
The Fidelio has more bass, so it's less neutral but more 'fun' for some
 
Three very good headphones within your price range.
 
Sennheiser HD598 and AudioTechnica AD900x should work as well.
 
All good sounding headphones.

 
With no amp (OP has not yet said what is driving and feeding these cans), he could go quite wrong with at least a couple of these options.
 
Jun 17, 2015 at 12:01 PM Post #12 of 22

414353

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  Where do you live?  Are their no local audio shops in your area that carry quality headphones?
 
You also have not mentioned what are powering and feeding these cans.

Southern California. I have a Frys (does not carry headphones beyond cheap walkman stuff) and 3 BestBuy/Magnolia Centers whom I recently found out no longer carry headphones except for Beats and other crap. One can still order certain Sennheiser models from BestBuy, but why? They are the highest priced around. So, no place to demo.
 
As for plugging in. I just plug them into the receiver. I know the HD518s are high efficiency so one can do that, but I'm open to getting an amp for other headphones if they require it, provided I find any headphones. 
 
Jun 17, 2015 at 12:07 PM Post #13 of 22

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Not so sure I would like the Beyers
I'm leaning towards the HD598s, but I think that may be a lateral move and a waste being no different from the 518s.
No, I need to try before buy, no way around that.
 
Jun 17, 2015 at 12:19 PM Post #14 of 22

Me x3

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  Not so sure I would like the Beyers
I'm leaning towards the HD598s, but I think that may be a lateral move and a waste being no different from the 518s.
No, I need to try before buy, no way around that.

 
The HD598 is a tad more balanced and clear, but these low impedance headphones are not a good match for a receiver.
 
Most of the times, the headphone jack present on receivers has a really high output impedance, when you plug a low impedance headphone like yours (or HD598) the frequency response (ie, the sound) of the headphone is altered, there's a boost in the mid-bass that also appears less controlled or even boomy.
 
Little DAC/Amp like the Schiit Fulla or Fiio E10K are perfect match for this kind of headphones.
 
In my experience, the Beyerdynamic DT880/250 is one of the best headphones to plug into recivers with high output impedance.
 
Jun 17, 2015 at 12:48 PM Post #15 of 22

KG Jag

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  Where do you live?  Are their no local audio shops in your area that carry quality headphones?
 
You also have not mentioned what are powering and feeding these cans.

Southern California. I have a Frys (does not carry headphones beyond cheap walkman stuff) and 3 BestBuy/Magnolia Centers whom I recently found out no longer carry headphones except for Beats and other crap. One can still order certain Sennheiser models from BestBuy, but why? They are the highest priced around. So, no place to demo.
 
As for plugging in. I just plug them into the receiver. I know the HD518s are high efficiency so one can do that, but I'm open to getting an amp for other headphones if they require it, provided I find any headphones. 

 
You have many high end audio dealers with quality cans available for listening in So Cal.  We even have some here in "little" Austin.  You just have to take some time and look for them.
 
Meanwhile start with your local Guitar Center.
 

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