Open Cans Opinions? ($200-$400)
Jun 10, 2013 at 11:58 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 3

Trunks159

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Well Head-Fi, I have nothing better to do but to make a thread.  I'm in school (11th grade) right now after finals and the teachers aren't doing much, so I've decided to make a new thread, similar to my other thread about closed portables.
 
This is an are I don't know much about, since I've only actually owned two open headphones.  Sure I know about them but I have no experience with them.
 
Basically, I'm trying to get to know the sound signatures of the headphones in this price range.  I only have the SR80i and MA900 to go off of.  Well, I have the Fidelio L1 too.
 
Here's a list of what cans I know of:
 
AKG Q701/K701/K702 ($250)
 
 
Audio Technica ATH AD900x ($170)
Audio Technica ATH AD1000x ($350)
Beyerdynamic DT880 ($230-$330)
Beyerdynamic DT990 ($200-$340)
 
 
Hifiman HE300 ($250)
Hifiman HE400 ($400)
Grado SR225i ($200)
Grado SR325i ($300)
Philips Fidelio L1 ($200)
Philips Fidelio X1 ($350-$400)
Sennheiser HD598 ($250)
Sennheiser HD600 ($400)
Sennheiser HD650 ($500)
Sony MDR MA900 ($190)
 
Any that I'm missing?
 
I would review the three I have now (MA900, L1, SR80i) but I don't have the time, or the motivation.
 
I'll add a poll later.
 
So do you guys have any opinions or thoughts about the sound signatures of any of these headphones?
 
Jun 10, 2013 at 3:08 PM Post #2 of 3

NA Blur

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AKG K701/701/Q701 are all a tad bright making trumpets and some other treble sensitive instruments piercing.  They are very comfortable, but the headband is a tad hard.  They all lack bass even the Q701.
 
The Grado SR-225i/325i are even brighter than the AKG headphones.  They are not comfortable and frankly the technology used in them is antiquated at best.  I have owned the SR-80 up to the RS-1i and non were comfortable and all were way too bright.
 
The Sennheiser headphones you list are all pretty laid back headphones.  They do sound a bit veiled at low volumes so if you do a ton of quiet listening you may want to opt for a different headphone like the AKG K550 ( closed ).  These headphones are also somewhat amp picky as they have frequency dependent impedance curves meaning the impedance changes with frequency.  This dependence makes them hard to control so if the source driving them is not ideal ( low voltage / low current ) then the sound quality will suffer.
 
For the price vs sound quality ratio the Audio Technica AT-AD900 sure receive great reviews.
http://www.head-fi.org/t/634201/battle-of-the-flagships-58-headphones-compared-update-audeze-lcd-2-revision-2-6-4-13
 
A few caveats about open headphones is that the bass will not be able to rumble your ears as much as a closed headphone.  The bass may extend deeper on an open headphone, but in most cases an open headphone will sound bass light.
 
Open headphones tend to leak sound into the outside environment so if you need to keep your neighbors free of your personal music I suggest looking at a closed headphone.
 
Lastly, an open headphone like the Audeze LCD-3 is a headphone many consider to be the best for under $2500.  They measure extremely flat in frequency response, they are super quick making instruments sound real, and they contain a sense of open and airy sound reproduction not found in many headphones.
 
Jun 10, 2013 at 3:41 PM Post #3 of 3

Trunks159

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I find that eq fixes any bass problems I have, but the ma900 has the perfect amount of bass for me, while the sr80i was too bass light. I don't mind bright headphones though.

Thanks for the info. That has given me a clearer image on the sound.
 

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