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My journey for a sub $150 all rounder

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by rlee777, Mar 27, 2008.
  1. rlee777
    Looking for a sub $150 all-rounder and tried first, the Audio Technica AD700. I like a neutral, smooth sound and I am particularly picky about the midrange -- esp vocals. My home system are modified (vertical w/upgraded xover) Magneplanar MMGs with a TC Sounds 12" sub -- I am familiar with detailed, smooth sound.

    The AD700 are very comfortable, except for the itchy earpads. Large phones that fit well on my large head. Great soundstage for cans. Now for the negatives: smooth treble, but lacking resolution (congested) and a strange lower mid coloration that affects vocals. Almost a nasal, honky coloration around the 500hz - 800hz range that surprised me since the phones are open. Bass is deep and fast, but weaker than the rest of the range. Because of the soundstage, I would have considered keeping these, but the nasal lower mids bothered me too much. Persisted even after 40+ hours of burn-in. The sound also shifted in tone significantly if I adjusted the AD700 on my head.

    Next up, the highly acclaimed Grado SR-60. Fit was fine, but definitely not as comfortable as the AD700. Here the vocals sound correct in comparison with the AD700 and fuller midbass. Problems: sibilant "s" sounds on all vocals, lack of soundstage even though cans are open, and very little sub-bass. The upper mid/lower treble peak gives a harshness that does not go away with burn-in and is downright annoying when the volume level goes up. The bright KSC75s have their peak higher up in the treble range, so it is much easier to live with. The cheap KSC75s also have a better soundstage and fair resolution. The Grados went back...

    Next, the Denon AH-D1000. Right off the bat, accurate midrange which makes vocals sound smooth and uncolored. Fast, dynamic sound that has impact even at softer volume levels. Efficient and very pleasant. Comfortable as well. Soundstage is adequate (which translates into excellent for closed cans). Sweet, detailed treble that is better than the AD700 and SR60. Nits would be the lack of bass definition and a slight lower mid depression that takes away "fullness" from vocals and punch from instruments. Definitely a keeper....for now[​IMG]
  2. donaldekelly Contributor
    Some of the better Sennheisers can be gotten used for under $150 - HD555, HD595 for example. Not the best Senns, maybe but pretty good.
  3. rlee777

    Originally Posted by donaldekelly /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    Some of the better Sennheisers can be gotten used for under $150 - HD555, HD595 for example. Not the best Senns, maybe but pretty good.

    I should try Sennheisers again. Once had the HD497 and it just did not have the resolution. Pleasant enough with boomy bass. I have heard good things about the HD595, but where can you get them for under $150?
  4. donaldekelly Contributor
    a few people in the 595 appreciation thread said they got one off ebay for $120-$140. Mine was about that price.

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