Most Grado-like closed phones?
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luukas

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I though this topic might receive some attention, and really, I couldn't include all the characteristics I'm looking for.

Now, I bought the DT-770's for mostly gaming about a month ago, but they - interestingly enough - are too unexciting. I might list things that I like about them and the SR125:

DT770

+ Comfortable, I could use these for 24 hours straight.

+ Isolation is just perfect for me. If anything, it might be a tad less, more would result in unanswered calls


+ Positioning is... perfect. Far as I'm concerned at least.

+/- Bass extends very low, albeit it seems to echo sometimes which gives me a headache.

+/- Soundstage. I could fall asleep listening to these. Also they never have the impact Grado's did. Could also be due to the closed design, since I've never before used closed headphones. Contributes to some music.

+/- Size. Some may prefer larger headphones, but anything larger than these would seem overkill (though sacrifices can be made - I don't think I'd turn down a pair of CD3K's because of their size...)

- Unexciting for most parts. Possibly because of the very warm sound. Gunfire, for example, does not have the impact it should in games and movies.

And the SR125

+ Fast, impactful. I don't know of any better words to describe them.

+ Soundstage is very immediate, almost non-existant. I have to say I like it.

+/- Comfort is never excellent with these, but they weight so little that putting them on after using the DT770's makes me smile. Mind that I have the bowl pads - though they are almost flat now, since I've never replaced them.

- Positioning? Can extend behind and to the sides, but never in front. I'd not recommend these for a hardcore gamer.

I suppose that's about it. I am not sure which category (soundstage or positioning?) the way sound is perceived falls to though, so I'll just say that the DT770's are definately more speaker-like, with enveloping sound, and Grado's are literally in-your-head - which I don't mind. Too bad the positioning is very poor.

Bah, this turned out of be a mini-comparison. But it should give some idea what I'm trying to find. For now I'm interested in the DT-250/250.

Oh yeah - the phones must not be the type that would keep my head warm in Siberia. I guess this (if not the isolation part) rules out quite a lot of cans.
 
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pbirkett

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CD3000 possibly is the closest I can think of to what you describe, but also possibly consider the Beyer DT150, which is said to be pretty forward / rocks and sounds better than the DT770.

I have no experience with DT150, but with CD3000, it sounds much more exciting and better than the DT770 IMO. However, they do not isolate as well at the DT770, their isolation is only going to be in the 10 db level if I were to guess, that is, approximately a halving of ambient noise level.

Bass in the CD3000 slams harder than the DT770, but does not have as much volume, or overhang and does not go as deep (but still goes deep enough for the vast majority of music in almost all circumstances). Soundstage wise, well the CD3000 is one of the largest soundstages you will hear, so that part of the headphone will be more laid back than the Grado, but it makes up for it by having a very explicit, powerful treble, that is nevertheless smooth at the same time (although it will not hide harshness in a recording).

The CD3000s are huge headphones but nevertheless, are more comfortable than either the Grado or DT770. The DT770 gave me scalp burn which I found very unpleasant, and in their earlier days, the clamping force was too much. The Sony suffers none of these ills, having both in incredibly comfortable headband and pads.

The only drawback is the price. They are pricey, but you get what you pay for. Other than that, I'd suggest trying the DT250 (but you might find it even more laid back than the DT770, which most people would say definitely are not laid back).

I'd definitely recommend an audition of the DT150's mind, going off what I've heard.
 
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Chinchy

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If you like the soundstage of the Grados (I.e. you're on stage) you won't like the CD-3000's. I too am a fan of the Grados (check my profile) and their compression of soundstage due to the type of music I like to listen to. I heard the CD-3000's and they made me feel like how you felt with the DT-770's. The sound seemed so far away, the soundstage was huge, to the point of echo-y and very non-involving. If you want closed phones that sound almost exactly like the Grados, go the way I did, and get some HD-25-1's (not the HD-25-SP). Sound quality is excellent, it's a closed design, and soundstage is just like the Grados. However, it's a closed design that doesn't sound closed.

In fact, after I got them, the HD-25 beat out my SR100's for play time. Now I alternate back and forth depending on whether I want isolating or not. The earcups seem quite small, but they are quite comfortable and isolating; in fact, the comfort is greater on the HD-25 than on the Grados.

Given your +/-'s here's my list:

Grado SR100
+ Soundstage: just about nonexistent. You're up on stage with the music.
+ Tone: tipped toward the bass, very "warm"
+ Detail: very clear and detailed.
+/- Open air design. Lets in sounds that may disrupt your total listening pleasure. Not the best for noisy environments. However, the open air design gives the music fullness.
- Comfort: due to the supra-aural pads, sometimes the pressure on my ears can start getting a bit painful. Like maybe after 2-3 hours I have to take a break.
- Swivelling earcups: Good to lay down flat, but a pain if the earcups rotate 360 degrees because it's hard to find the original orientation so that the cables aren't kinked and twisted.

Senn HD-25
+ Soundstage: also up on stage
+/- Tone: more towards neutral than the Grados (i.e. it's not tipped towards being bassy)
+ Detail: the isolation enhances the clarity of the Grados, and I found myself hearing things I had missed on the Grados. Quite a revelation.
+/- Closed Design: Keeps out external sounds, letting you hear more of the music.
+ Comfort: Quite comfortable. I can wear for much longer periods of time. In some people, may cause warm ears, but I am not one of them. Unlike cans like the CD-3000 which are more circumaural and encases your entire ear in perhaps suffocating warmth, the smallness of the HD-25 cups only serves to form a seal over your earhole.
+ Headband: The headband is really two headbands that you can pull away from each other. Thus you can go from single headband, to 2 headbands 30 degrees apart.
+ HIGH SPL. goes up to 120 dB.

Oh and no, bass is never boomy.
Oh #2 - try getting either the flat pads or the Senn bumblebee yellow replacement pads. MUCH better than bowls.
 
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luukas

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Ahh, I had forgotten about the HD25-1 completely. How much do they isolate? It seems strange that Sennheiser did not include isolation amount in their product specs.

Would you mind doing a little positioning test Chinchy? Listen to this binaural recording. I'd like to know how accurately the location can be perceived - not to mention I'm curious if the HD25 can do frontal localization instead of "center-of-your-brain" which was the case with SR125's


...and yes, I've been meaning to buy the Senn pads, but the Grado's haven't seen much use lately.
 
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Chinchy

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Yeah, I'm familiar with the matches recording. But I never heard it with the HD-25. I just listened to it, and you're going to be amazed. It resolves detail so much better than the Grados, probably because of the isolation. I could actually hear the guy breathing (sounds like he has a hard booger in his nose causing his inhales to "whistle"), his footsteps, everything. And for the first time, I could tell that the guy was walking in a circle around my head shaking the matches. It was quite eery. Previously when I listened with my Grados, it was straight side to side behind my head. But with the HD-25 you could tell he was clearly walking around me. Sounds to me he's holding the matches about a foot and a half in front of me, about 3-6 inches above my forehead. After this I tried the SR100 again, and now that I knew what i was listening for, I could convince myself and see that he was indeed walking in a circle.

I couldn't find details on the NRR for the HD-25, but it's probably on the order of 15-25 db. Definitely noticeable.

Also, not sure if you are interested but the earpads are 2 3/4 inch (or 7 cm) in diameter in a perfect circle. In comparison:

Senn yellow pad: 3 1/8" diameter
Bowl: 3"
Flat: 3"
Old comfies: 3 1/8"

Oh and I forgot to mention another small - for the HD-25. The cord does have a bit of microphonics in it, so if you're listening while walking around it may potentially get a little distracting.

Other than that, due to the frontal positioning, the HD-25 has just raised another notch in my book.
 
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luukas

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Thanks Chinchy!

I was almost ready to get pair of DT-250, but this thread changes everything. Not to mention the fact that I can use the HD25 with my MP3 player - currently all I have for portable use is a pair of EX51's


Too bad I can't audition the DT-150 anywhere, they could prove to be interesting. Except for the 4.5N clamping force that is...
 
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Snufkin

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If you're running the DT770s without an amp you're not hearing anywhere near what they're capable of - straight from a soundcard they sound rather dull IMHO.
 
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luukas

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Quote:

Originally posted by Snufkin
If you're running the DT770s without an amp you're not hearing anywhere near what they're capable of - straight from a soundcard they sound rather dull IMHO.


Technically, I don't have an amp. They're plugged into a Behringer UB502 mixer (*sound of fake audience laughing*). I haven't even tried to plug them into the soundcard, though. The cord would stretch so much that the force applied to the 3.5mm jack could be unhealthy.
 
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Snufkin

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It might be worth your while getting a small amp like a Pimeta or PPA before you ship the 770s off

If you still don't like the way they sound the amp would be worth keeping for any other headphones.
 
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luukas

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It's not my intention to sell them - at least not yet. I'll have to determine whether or not I can afford a proper amp, propably a full-blown PPA, in the near future.
 
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Chinchy

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That's the best thing about the HD-25's. No amp required, runs great straight from portables.

As people have mentioned before, amps are not special, magical boxes that do wonders and are the end-all/be-all. They're more for headphones that are difficult to drive. For low impedance headphones like the HD-25 and the Grados, they're not totally required. In fact, every time I unplug my Grados and HD-25 from my META42 amp and straight into the source, I marvel at the increase in aural pleasure. I find I prefer the unadulterated signal over the amped signal. Granted it's not the best piece of technology, and perhaps the IC's in the middle are restricting the sonics somewhat, but it's a matter of personal preference.

Just remember that once you start getting amps and whatnot, then you start moving into the world of complexity and poverty because now you have to invest in interconnects, Op-amps or tubes, power cables, adapters, doodads, doohickeys, and widget-a-ma-bobs.

Sometimes I regret it. Then I convince myself I need it.
 
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raif

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If you can find them, my old pair of Audio Technica ATH100Tis sounded almost exactly like a closed pair of sr80s. Lot of midrange, sounded like you were on stage, prevelant, yet not screechy, highs.
 
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