More comfortable/lighter open-back alternatives for the Philips Fidelio X2HR
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Yappadappadu

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Hi there,

I'm looking for a pair of open-back headphones under 400$, primarily movie watching and a bit of gaming, and currently have for testing the Philips Fidelio X2HR and the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Edition, using a SBX G6.
My problem is that while I prefer the, what feels to me, clearer soundstage of the Fidelio for movie watching, they're pretty heavy and uncomfortable with the headband putting too much pressure on my head while the light 990 are a perfect fit for my (small) head even after several hours of playing Doom Eternal.

I'm considering the AKG 712 Pro and Sennheiser HD 598 as alternatives and would be interested to hear what you folks think about the idea.

Thanks!
 
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The AKGs are a good choice, they're lighter than the X2s, comfortable and their soundstage is definitely spacious
 
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If you end up not liking the AKGs consider the Koss x Drop ESP/95X.
 
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Yappadappadu

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After trying the AKG 712 my first impression is that the headband is not putting as much pressure on my head as the X2, so the 712 are more comfortable than the X2, but I think I'm just not a fan of headphones with self adjusting headbands in general as even the slightest pressure feels annoying. Also, my ears are touching the insides of the 712, maybe because they're so big. And the inside material isn't as soft as the velour of the DT 990.
Sound wise the AKG 712 are good and a decent replacement for the X2, clear sound and bass is good enough for me, so I'll see in the next few days if I'll be able to get used to them, but it's unlikely after another multiple hours session of The Last of Us II with the DT 990 that fit perfectly.
I was surprised by how much bass heavier the DT 990 sounded to me compared to AKG 712, but I get the impression that voices/vocals might sound muffled, possibly due to the Beyerpeak nature of the DT 990?
 
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If even the K712 ends up not light enough for you, the ATH-R70X are by far the lightest full size over ears I've ever seen.
 
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After trying the AKG 712 my first impression is that the headband is not putting as much pressure on my head as the X2, so the 712 are more comfortable than the X2, but I think I'm just not a fan of headphones with self adjusting headbands in general as even the slightest pressure feels annoying. Also, my ears are touching the insides of the 712, maybe because they're so big. And the inside material isn't as soft as the velour of the DT 990.
Sound wise the AKG 712 are good and a decent replacement for the X2, clear sound and bass is good enough for me, so I'll see in the next few days if I'll be able to get used to them, but it's unlikely after another multiple hours session of The Last of Us II with the DT 990 that fit perfectly.
I was surprised by how much bass heavier the DT 990 sounded to me compared to AKG 712, but I get the impression that voices/vocals might sound muffled, possibly due to the Beyerpeak nature of the DT 990?
Vocals sound muffled on the DT 990 because it is V shaped meaning it has recessed mids compared to the bass and treble, this can somewhat be remedied with EQ. As for the headband on the K712, mine used to dig into the top of my head and hurt but the thing is you have to let it break in, I do not feel the headband of my K712 at all anymore and the earpads are like cloud pillows, most comortable pair of headphones I've ever worn. If you like the comfort of the DT 990 the best then tweak it with EQ to get the sound signature you want and then you can just keep those and not need the X2 or the K712.
 
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Koss x Drop ESP/95X
Thanks for the suggestions, but electrostatic headphones?
That design sure is something. Not sure whether those are a good choice as first "proper" home headphones.
I don't know anything about those kinds of headphones and the mfg and they don't seem to be easily available at the usual online shops, so I'm hesitant...

If even the K712 ends up not light enough for you, the ATH-R70X are by far the lightest full size over ears I've ever seen.
Thanks, Audio-Technica is certainly among the headphone makers I considered when I started to read about open-back headphones a couple of weeks ago...

Vocals sound muffled on the DT 990 because it is V shaped meaning it has recessed mids compared to the bass and treble, this can somewhat be remedied with EQ. As for the headband on the K712, mine used to dig into the top of my head and hurt but the thing is you have to let it break in, I do not feel the headband of my K712 at all anymore and the earpads are like cloud pillows, most comortable pair of headphones I've ever worn. If you like the comfort of the DT 990 the best then tweak it with EQ to get the sound signature you want and then you can just keep those and not need the X2 or the K712.
So as I feared, huh? There are a couple of scenes in John Wick 2 that I'll use to do some further comparisons, but if it really turns out that I notice the difference in mids that much, then yeah, that would suck. :frowning2:
As for the 712, I only had them for 4 days and the return policy says 30 days, so I'll give them enough time to convince me. I hope they do.
Not sure yet what to do with the X2 with the returns period ending this week.
 
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Thanks for the suggestions, but electrostatic headphones?
That design sure is something. Not sure whether those are a good choice as first "proper" home headphones.
I don't know anything about those kinds of headphones and the mfg and they don't seem to be easily available at the usual online shops, so I'm hesitant...


Thanks, Audio-Technica is certainly among the headphone makers I considered when I started to read about open-back headphones a couple of weeks ago...


So as I feared, huh? There are a couple of scenes in John Wick 2 that I'll use to do some further comparisons, but if it really turns out that I notice the difference in mids that much, then yeah, that would suck. :frowning2:
As for the 712, I only had them for 4 days and the return policy says 30 days, so I'll give them enough time to convince me. I hope they do.
Not sure yet what to do with the X2 with the returns period ending this week.
I used to own the X2 and the K712 were a direct upgrade to them and I borrowed a DT 990 off a friend and used that for a couple of days as well. To my ears it goes like this:-

Bass Quantity: X2 > DT 990 > K712
Bass Quality: DT 990 = K712 > X2
Mids: K712 > DT 990 > X2
Treble: DT 990 > K712 > X2
Soundstage: K712 > X2 > DT 990
Imaging: K712 = DT 990 > X2

Overall: K712 > DT 990 > X2

I found the K712 to be the best one overall and to be one of the best all rounders at their price range, I don't see a direct upgrade to the K712 aside from the HD800/HD800S from Sennheiser. I know the K712 is the most bass light of these 3 but that can easily be remedied with EQ, use oratory1990's EQ for the K712 and they become a pair of pretty badass headphones for the price, they respond incredibly well to EQ and their bass response is fantastic for an open back dynamic headphone. I do all my gaming with my K712 and DOOM Eternal sounded phenomenal on them, the soundstage along with that incredible soundtrack was an experience. I would recommend to EQ both the DT 990 and the K712 and keep the one you like best, as for the X2, I do like them but they are a bit overhyped with some grain in the treble, boomy bass and imaging that doesn't compare to the other 2.
 
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Yappadappadu

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I think the more subdued bass of the 712 doesn't bother me too much, the mids are more important, especially for a lot of the anime stuff that I like to watch.
 
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The most comfortable headphones I've owned was the beyerdynamic amiron home. It also has a wide soundstage that worked really well with both movies and gaming.
 
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The German Maestro GMP400 has comparable or even better comfort than your Beyer. The sound lies somewhere between an K712 and an HD600. Might not be easy to find in the US, though.
 
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Well, that would't pose any problems considering that I'm from Germany.

The most comfortable headphones I've owned was the beyerdynamic amiron home. It also has a wide soundstage that worked really well with both movies and gaming.
Very interesting, although the price is a bit more than I would like to spend, but if it's worth it, who knows....
I did some googling and it looks like compared to the DT 990 they "fixed" the mids, though the Amiron still seem to have a "Beyerpeak" with accentuated highs. Form factor is the same perfect one as the DT 990, but they're about 50g heavier. Are the ear pads the same size or bigger sized? Did you do any comparisons with the DT 990?

I'll definitely keep them in mind and might test them if I'm not able to get used to any of the other mfg headphones comfort wise. There's even a wireless BT version.
 
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It's so frustrating, but my ears hurt too much from touching the drivers of the AKG 712, so I'll probably have to return them as well. Wish the ear pads were deeper.
I did some reading these past days and I think I'll have to try the DT 880 Edition/250 Ohm.
I would have preferred to have them in black, but apparently the Black Special Edition sounds different from the normal grey one.
 
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