Next pair of cans

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  1. Grado Diesel
    I’m about a year and a half in to being a lite-audiophile. Although kinda new to this, I’ve owned Grado SR-60s for over 20 years and 80i’s for about 5. Last year when I took the plunge officially, I bought a FiiO X3 ii, Schiit Vali 2, Genelex Golden Lion 12ax7 and a pair of HIFIMAN HE-400i’s.

    Although I’m loving the HIFIMANs and don’t find myself dabbling with Grado’s too much anymore because of the piercing highs, I’m wonder what are the next must-have cans I should add to my collection. I keep seeing the popular AKG K7XX and Sennheiser HD-650s (HD-6XX on Massdrop) in my searches. Would one of those more so than the other be the way to go?
  2. cossix
    I've never heard the AKG but I've seen plenty of threads regarding those two headphones and I think either would be perfect for you! I have the 650 and it's an absolutely amazing headphone for the price. There is a reason it is one of the most famous headphones in the world. According to many people, the 600 is a better deal because it is essentially just as good as the 650, just different, and less expensive. Zeos says that in an ideal world, the 650 and 600 would cost the same and people would just buy the one that fits their preferred tone. There doesn't seem to be any big reason why the 650 costs more.

    I've heard the 650 scales very nicely with better gear so that's a plus if you ever upgrade, but it also sounds pretty damn good on entry level stuff as long as you put some power into it. Vali 2 is perfect for them, and the Bottlehead Crack is apparently one of the best amps to pair with it, if you get the urge to upgrade the amp.

    Of course I can only speak on behalf of the 650 and not the AKG, but I would think either is a fine pick. If I remember correctly, the AKG is much better for gaming if that's important to you
  3. biggbenn74
    ^^^ He's right. I've owned both the 701's and the 650's, and here is my verdict:

    If you like analytical sounding headphones, get the 650

    If you like fun sounding headphones, get the 701

    I prefer headphones that sound fun, so naturally, I sold my 650's, kept the 701's, but everyone has different tastes. Hope this helps!
  4. cossix
    That's the first time I've heard the 650 described as analytical! The 700 and 800 are definitely analytical, the 650 sounds relaxed and smooth to me. It has more emotion than the 700 by far but isn't as detailed. The 650 is one of those headphones that you put on and relax, and fade into the music. I think exciting VS relaxed is a better set of words to describe them, instead of analytical VS fun. Just my .02
    Oscar-HiFi likes this.
  5. Oscar-HiFi
    Mirrors what I hear too, the HD650 is warm and laid back, needs careful amp matching otherwise it can be a bit boring and dark sounding.

    The HD600 is more linear and more to my liking anyway
    cossix likes this.
  6. cossix
    The 650 is definitely sexier IMO :wink:
  7. Oscar-HiFi
    Just get the new HD660s :wink:

    FastAndClean likes this.
  8. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    Does it have to be a collection? I'd just sit back and spend my spare time listening to what I have (HD600) or what you have (HE400i) than agonize over what else is out there. It's not like you're starting from a bad headphone or one you really do not like.
  9. biggbenn74
    Hey, I'll agree with you on that. There is definitely a reason why my profile pic remains the HD650...

    But anyway, perhaps I used the wrong terminology, my apologies. They are definitely more laid back, but the 701's have a more "fun" sound to them, if that makes sense. The 650's remain neutral. And don't get me wrong, they sound GREAT, just not to my personal taste.
    cossix likes this.
  10. cossix
    I'd agree, the 400i seems to be a great headphone and the 600/650 wouldn't really be an upgrade as much as a side grade. If it were me, I'd expand to a good closed back to go a more practical route. It's just my preference but I value more diversity in function than a diversity in strictly sound. For example, I'd rather have my LCD2 and a ZMF Atticus (open and closed) than, perhaps, my LCD2, HD800, and Beyerdynamic T1 (all open). And yes I know the ZMF isn't truly closed but you get the point.
  11. Grado Diesel
    I also recently picked up a Schiit Magni 3. Think the HD-650’s would go nice with that?
  12. cossix
    Magni 3 is great for the 650. It has plenty of power for them
  13. Grado Diesel
    And this was something I was pondering too. I use the 400i’s in a cube in an office and sometimes they just downright entertain and/or piss off my neighbors. I was wondering what would be a good closed back alternative?
  14. YJX94
    The 650 does indeed have analytical properties but this if the first time I've ever seen someone say that the K701 is fun, imo it's too bass anemic to be fun although the treble is emphasised a lot and it has a wide as hell but artificial sounding soundstage.

    I'd say 600/650/6XX = just music of any type for days
    K7XX/K712 = music, movies, gaming, all-round
  15. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    I'd get the Focal Spirit Pro. Wrinked plastic finish is also less vulnerable to scratches and less likely to show any vs polished surfaces like the MDR-1A or any other smooth finish like the K550 (which also has cups that get sticky over time for some reason, although I've only seen it happen here, which can be because of the humidity and heat, plus changes in humidity and temperature between ambient outdoor and A/C areas like offices).
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2017
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