Most open/wide/large soundstage headphone?
Feb 17, 2018 at 7:38 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 17

vatch

New Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 17, 2011
Posts
14
Likes
4
Hi all. I love listening to my old trusty AD900's (not x). Before these I had the SR-60's which are open and awesome in their own right. The AD900's are the most expansive headphones I've heard. I needed open headphones initially as I was taking care of my grandpa and now I love them. I really like to be able to hear the outside world when I need to while still listening to music. They may not be the best headphones ever though they sound very good and I just really enjoy the basically neutral sound and large soundstage these headphones have.

What other headphones have as large and open a soundstage if any? I assume the AD700, AD1000 and AD5000 have a similarly large sound though I wouldn't think much different really. I have some open vintage phones though haven't heard any others this big.
 
Feb 17, 2018 at 8:06 PM Post #2 of 17

pbui44

Member of the Trade: Like-New Ears
Joined
Aug 20, 2013
Posts
3,070
Likes
1,077
It depends on your budget, what genres you prefer, and what you want in your soundstage. For instance, the Sennheiser HD800 has a huge soundstage, but instrument separation and imaging are highly dependent on your source and amplifier. The best genres are those with ensembles with the dynamic tonality and very large acoustical settings...though not the best in professional orchestras. The Stax SR-009 are best in professional orchestras, as the supreme instrument separation will definite specific parts to the whole song...and I mean being able to hear at least 40-50 specific instruments and styles in a recording, but with a Ayer QB-9 DAC and BHSE amp, totaling a cost around $10k. Listen to the most technical jazz ensembles? The JPS Labs Abyss series will match any tonal labrynith you can throw at it...but you will need a strong amp...especially a tube-based one, like one from Woo Audio.

So for any genres that are less demanding than ensembles and orchestras, your wallet is in better luck, but still depends on your amping and source. The Philips Fidelio X2 has been a well-known pop-all-rounder, provided you want a decent amount of warmth in your soundstage. For closed-backs, I heard the EM-U Teak has a very large soundstage, as well as the Fostex TH-xx0 or Denon AH-Dxx00, though you might have to earpad roll to get the best sound and comfort, like Dekoni Leather ear pads. Amps with XLR, or balanced, inputs and outputs are very reputable in widening soundstages and imaging, so something like a Schiit Jotenheim will work well, especially with DAC or phono-pre-amp (or vinyl players or turntables) add-on options.
 
Feb 19, 2018 at 4:38 PM Post #3 of 17

samvafaei

Head-Fier
Joined
May 4, 2016
Posts
66
Likes
27
HD 800 S would be hard to beat in terms of soundstage that is not created with the aid of DSP. We have just updated the soundstage test and ranking on our website, and although not perfect, should be a decent guide for evaluating soundstage.
 
Feb 19, 2018 at 5:20 PM Post #5 of 17

samvafaei

Head-Fier
Joined
May 4, 2016
Posts
66
Likes
27
I have measured/listened to the Edition X, and based on our measurements, it does better than 800 S in a couple of area. But the 800 S seems to provide some elevation cues as well (giving the sense of sounds coming from front and slightly above, rather than just in front), which could be the reason for its outstanding soundstage. This is by the way my current understanding of our soundstage results/graphs. It seems that if the center frequency of the 10KHz notch shifts up, the source will be perceived as elevated. With the 800 S the 10KHz notch happens around 12KHz. Our reference speaker at 30degree and 0 elevation has the notch at 9.5KHz.

Is there something in the HE 1000 V2 that improves the soundstage over the Edition X? I've heard there may be more angle to the driver/pads?
 
Feb 19, 2018 at 8:46 PM Post #6 of 17

Hifiearspeakers

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 7, 2017
Posts
2,585
Likes
3,020
Location
United States
I have measured/listened to the Edition X, and based on our measurements, it does better than 800 S in a couple of area. But the 800 S seems to provide some elevation cues as well (giving the sense of sounds coming from front and slightly above, rather than just in front), which could be the reason for its outstanding soundstage. This is by the way my current understanding of our soundstage results/graphs. It seems that if the center frequency of the 10KHz notch shifts up, the source will be perceived as elevated. With the 800 S the 10KHz notch happens around 12KHz. Our reference speaker at 30degree and 0 elevation has the notch at 9.5KHz.

Is there something in the HE 1000 V2 that improves the soundstage over the Edition X? I've heard there may be more angle to the driver/pads?

Yes. The HE1000 V2 has a more accurate and less elevated mid bass response, so the mids and highs are more clearly heard. In addition, it has a much better treble extension so the highs sound more airy and spaced out. And then it also has the nano diaphragm so the transients are faster.
 
Feb 19, 2018 at 11:31 PM Post #7 of 17

vatch

New Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 17, 2011
Posts
14
Likes
4
I've heard very good things about the HD800 though my amps aren't up to drive them. I have the Apogee Duet and the Leckerton. I feel that if I were to spend alot of money I'd go with Koss ESP950 even if it isn't renowned for it's soundstage as I like the company (they invented stereo headphones) and it comes with the amp, made in USA. I'm still loving the AD900 and my old stuff so all is well.)

Thanks for the good info! Nice soundstage chart.
 
Jun 13, 2019 at 8:17 AM Post #12 of 17

Wes S

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Oct 11, 2016
Posts
5,067
Likes
9,288
Location
There.
How about Argons or ZMF Classics? According to reviews they have massive soundstage.

Would appreciate if someone could compare those to HD 800, Ananda, or K712, soundstage-wise.
They are massive compared to a stock T50, but not compared to some of the other TOTL offerings.
 
Jun 13, 2019 at 11:20 AM Post #13 of 17

Kammerat Rebekka

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 27, 2017
Posts
1,116
Likes
1,965
Location
Denmark
This is madness!! A thread about grandeose soundstage and not a single mention of the one to rule them all: the K1000.
Fully opened up and you get the mountainous and beautiful almost waterfall-like stage.
 
Jun 13, 2019 at 1:20 PM Post #14 of 17

Wes S

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Oct 11, 2016
Posts
5,067
Likes
9,288
Location
There.
This is madness!! A thread about grandeose soundstage and not a single mention of the one to rule them all: the K1000.
Fully opened up and you get the mountainous and beautiful almost waterfall-like stage.
Seems more like ear speakers, than headphones. . .
 
Jun 14, 2019 at 10:43 PM Post #15 of 17

liampanto

New Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 12, 2018
Posts
46
Likes
7
Location
USA
This is madness!! A thread about grandeose soundstage and not a single mention of the one to rule them all: the K1000.
Fully opened up and you get the mountainous and beautiful almost waterfall-like stage.

The aging driver also hurts the soundstage image in a big way. Again, the spacious presentation of the K1000 tend to mislead here. However, an open and spacious sound is not the same as a good soundstage reproduction. The soundstage image is actually very flat. There is no depth, there is no three dimensionality, and there is no front and back with the K1000. Not only that, but the ambiance present on the recording is totally missing. In this aspect, you can take a closed headphone with a closed in sound, and still find that the soundstage image is much better than what you find on the K1000..
headphonia.com
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top