New headphone
Nov 22, 2021 at 8:17 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 30

iCupboard

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Hi all! I am used to closed back headphones. I really LOVED the AKG K550 despite it's bad seal. It always had a magical sound to my (untrained) ears. I am now looking for an open headphone though. My budget is max 400 euros (this is stretching a lot) but if there is a headphone that is 150 or less that would be the best for me. If this helps: I loved the sound of the AKG K550 but the AKGK371 is too warm for me.

What I listen to the most:
Classical
Jazz
Acapella.
Rock
Metal
Some Drum n Bass.

But classical, jazz and acapella the most.

What I love the most about headphones:

Realistic instruments and sounds. (the need to actually put down your headphones and listen if that sound come from your home or the headphones. lol)
Soundstage
Imaging.

I like my headphone to sound neutral, leaning a bit bright (sparkly treble but not too fatiguing!) while no recessed mids. (if that is possible lol)

I actually was thinking about planar headphones like the HifiMan HE400SE or the Sundara. How are these when taking a look at my preferences?
And also, the HD6xx!

I am living in Europe if that helps. If you have other headphones to recommend, shoot away!


Thanks!

Rob.
 
Nov 22, 2021 at 9:05 PM Post #2 of 30

IDrinkLava

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HD 6XX would be closest to what you're looking for in terms of audio fidelity.
I actually was thinking about planar headphones like the HifiMan HE400SE or the Sundara. How are these when taking a look at my preferences?
Planar magnetics and other exotic driver types aren't really any better or worse in terms of sound quality, they just present audio in different ways. Frequency response is more important.
 
Nov 22, 2021 at 10:46 PM Post #3 of 30

earmonger

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Another reference headphone, with (IMHO) more space and clearer highs than the Sennheisers is the Audio-Technica ATH-R70X, $350 US, which also happen to be incredibly light and comfortable. Definitely an outside-your-head experience. They've been out for a few years and there are a lot of reviews around.

They do better with an amp but they're fine from the computer. (Planars would need an amp too.)

I haven't heard them but if you already like AKG there are widely recommended open-backs like AKG 702 and AKG 712. List prices are high but check Ebay.
 
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Nov 23, 2021 at 2:12 AM Post #4 of 30

Monsterzero

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I like my headphone to sound neutral, leaning a bit bright (sparkly treble but not too fatiguing!) while no recessed mids. (if that is possible lol)

HD 6XX would be closest to what you're looking for in terms of audio fidelity.
If staging is a priority I would avoid the 6xx, as it has a quite small stage, though the mids and imaging are very nice.

For classical music headphones in your price range, you might consider the old AKG K601, or perhaps K701 or K702. All of those headphones will require an amp.

A headphone with a wide stage and some non-fatiguing sparkle up top is the Fidelio X series. As an added bonus it has +bass for your metal, rock and D&B, but its mids arent the greatest. It's very easy to drive, unlike the other headphones being discussed.
 
Nov 23, 2021 at 11:40 AM Post #5 of 30

ProtegeManiac

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Hi all! I am used to closed back headphones. I really LOVED the AKG K550 despite it's bad seal. It always had a magical sound to my (untrained) ears. I am now looking for an open headphone though. My budget is max 400 euros (this is stretching a lot) but if there is a headphone that is 150 or less that would be the best for me. If this helps: I loved the sound of the AKG K550 but the AKGK371 is too warm for me.

---

What I love the most about headphones:

Realistic instruments and sounds. (the need to actually put down your headphones and listen if that sound come from your home or the headphones. lol)
Soundstage
Imaging.


I like my headphone to sound neutral, leaning a bit bright (sparkly treble but not too fatiguing!) while no recessed mids. (if that is possible lol)

AKG K701 but unless you're in a very quiet room it may still sound like it has a fair bit less bass.
 
Nov 23, 2021 at 3:17 PM Post #6 of 30

CTR640

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Fidelio X2HR is also an amazing headphone, very affordable too.
 
Nov 23, 2021 at 7:43 PM Post #7 of 30

IDrinkLava

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If staging is a priority I would avoid the 6xx, as it has a quite small stage, though the mids and imaging are very nice.
The soundstage is just as wide as on "wide-soundstaging" headphones like the AKG K712 Pro, around 10 inches at the furthest points of the stereo image. I've measured them side-by-side with HD 800s. The whole "HD 6x0 can't do soundstage/imaging" thing is an urban legend that gets spread around.
 
Nov 23, 2021 at 11:37 PM Post #8 of 30

Monsterzero

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The soundstage is just as wide as on "wide-soundstaging" headphones like the AKG K712 Pro, around 10 inches at the furthest points of the stereo image. I've measured them side-by-side with HD 800s. The whole "HD 6x0 can't do soundstage/imaging" thing is an urban legend that gets spread around.
give-me-a-break-right.gif
 
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Nov 24, 2021 at 12:38 AM Post #9 of 30

earmonger

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I'm just going to re-up the suggestion of the Audio-Technica ATH-R70X. It has the soundstage and natural timbre for classical that the OP wants. And its bass goes low enough for EDM. If you want to see through the music but also get all the impact, it's your 'phones.
 
Nov 24, 2021 at 1:42 AM Post #10 of 30

ProtegeManiac

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The soundstage is just as wide as on "wide-soundstaging" headphones like the AKG K712 Pro, around 10 inches at the furthest points of the stereo image.

That might be true with the K712 Pro and your music...



I've measured them side-by-side with HD 800s. The whole "HD 6x0 can't do soundstage/imaging" thing is an urban legend that gets spread around.

...But not with the HD800, K702, and K701, which on my music image like this...
HF_03_HD800.jpg*


...by contrast my HD600 has a smaller, but still proportional soundstage.
HF_03_HD600.jpg
*

So technically, yes, people are wrong in that they can image a soundstage, just smaller and has less air between the instruments but again still proportional, if compared to something like the Grado Prestige series, where the sound feels like this.
HF_03_Prestige.jpg
*

*View of head, from top; circles - drums, rectangles - guitars and bass, diamond - vocals
 
Nov 24, 2021 at 8:25 PM Post #14 of 30

IDrinkLava

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[...] soundstage
What are you even talking about? The "soundstage" can only ever be as wide as how far apart the drivers are. The stereo image can't just magically go outside the boundaries of the drivers (outside of reflections) because drivers output directional sound that fires into your ears. Also, the K712 Pro uses the exact same driver capsule (DKK45) as the K701 and K702.
 
Nov 24, 2021 at 9:07 PM Post #15 of 30

earmonger

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What are you even talking about? The "soundstage" can only ever be as wide as how far apart the drivers are. The stereo image can't just magically go outside the boundaries of the drivers (outside of reflections) because drivers output directional sound that fires into your ears. Also, the K712 Pro uses the exact same driver capsule (DKK45) as the K701 and K702.
I've experienced some pretty convincing illusions that the sound is coming from well outside where the actual drivers are--including above me and behind me. I know it's just drivers on my left and right ears. But good production plus good headphone design manage to convey a lot more dimensionality.
 

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