Open phones under $100 to complement my closed Ultrasones?
Apr 1, 2010 at 5:22 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 26

froasier

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I've never tried a good pair of open phones, and since the weather is getting warmer and I'm not broke, it seems like a good time to do it
smily_headphones1.gif


I have the newer Ultrasone DJ1 (same as HFI-580, almost same as HFI-550/older DJ1), and I love the sound, except for me they have an unpleasant peak around 8 kHz. They are fairly comfortable, but the pressure and heat can be fatiguing after a while, and they could be roomier.

So, ideally, I'm looking for something with a similar frequency response, but smoother around 8 kHz. Most importantly, they should be very comfortable and airy, and should demonstrate the advantages of open design (and be a contrast from my Ultrasones in these and perhaps other aspects). They will be for at-home listening from my computer. Amping is an option, but they should be decent un-amped. Since I'll most likely be buying without hearing them first, and since they won't get as much use as my Ultrasones (for which I paid $140 new), I don't want to spend a lot. $100 is an arbitrary maximum. I'm fine buying used, and open to modding.

Options I'm considering so far:
Sennheiser HD555 ($99 new)
Philips HP910 ($50 new)

Please question/comment/suggest anything that comes to mind.
 
Apr 1, 2010 at 5:59 AM Post #2 of 26

bikertrash

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I'm not into the graphs and such, but I can say my Grado SR60i phones are really good. If you want to spend the whole hundred go for the SR80i, but I believe the 60s have a more comfortable earpad by what other posters here have said. I think my Grados really rock but then they're the most expensive phone I ever had. You won't have to amp them either as they're only 35 ohms.
 
Apr 1, 2010 at 6:25 AM Post #4 of 26

froasier

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Quote:

Originally Posted by bikertrash /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I'm not into the graphs and such, but I can say my Grado SR60i phones are really good. If you want to spend the whole hundred go for the SR80i, but I believe the 60s have a more comfortable earpad by what other posters here have said. I think my Grados really rock but then they're the most expensive phone I ever had. You won't have to amp them either as they're only 35 ohms.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but from what I've read, Grado headphones tend not to have very full bass and are mainly suited to rock music. I listen to most types of music, but primarily house/trance, and I like an uncolored sound. Hence I haven't really been considering Grado.
 
Apr 1, 2010 at 7:08 AM Post #6 of 26

Negakinu

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ATH-AD700 is pretty nice if you like soundstage and detail. Properly burned-in and amped they even show some bass! Could come in handy for your trance-thingy.
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Apr 1, 2010 at 7:14 AM Post #7 of 26

Roger Strummer

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Going by the comment of a contrast to the closed phones sound, I second the AD700 suggestion, great soundstage for the price, and very airy, although their weak point is the bass. The HD555 you are considering is another great option, and you can easily turn it into the 595 with a fairly simple mod.
 
Apr 1, 2010 at 3:48 PM Post #9 of 26

froasier

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I had seen the AD700 (which led me to the HP910, see thread quoted below), but as someone who thinks the Ultrasone DJ1/580/550 has just the right amount of bass, my concern is that the AD700 would be too lacking in that department. Judging by the graphs, I'm leaning towards the HD555, unless you can steer me otherwise
smily_headphones1.gif


graphCompare.php


Quote:

Originally Posted by 1Time /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I remember reading about your mod and how it makes the HP910 sound like the AD700 but with more bass.


 
Apr 1, 2010 at 5:34 PM Post #10 of 26

Roger Strummer

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Quote:

Originally Posted by froasier /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I had seen the AD700 (which led me to the HP910, see thread quoted below), but as someone who thinks the Ultrasone DJ1/580/550 has just the right amount of bass, my concern is that the AD700 would be too lacking in that department. Judging by the graphs, I'm leaning towards the HD555, unless you can steer me otherwise
smily_headphones1.gif




If bass is particularly important then I would take the 555 over the AD700 (actually it is what I did when I bought my first pair of full size cans, well a 595 anyways).
 
Apr 1, 2010 at 6:27 PM Post #11 of 26

nickchen

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Before buying crap like the HD555/595 or some broken-within-2-months-Philips, you should consider the AKG K530. Don't know what it costs over there, in old Europe we get it for 60ish. A 2nd hand K401 would be also a very good choice.
 
Apr 1, 2010 at 7:19 PM Post #12 of 26

bikertrash

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Quote:

Originally Posted by froasier /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Correct me if I'm wrong, but from what I've read, Grado headphones tend not to have very full bass and are mainly suited to rock music. I listen to most types of music, but primarily house/trance, and I like an uncolored sound. Hence I haven't really been considering Grado.


That's my understanding, I've read the same threads as you. The bass on the SR60i after burn in isn't what I'd call weak, but very defined. However bassheads wouild probably be better served with something else. Not familiar with trance music but assuming it's heavy on bass,you probably don't want Grado.
 
Apr 1, 2010 at 10:22 PM Post #13 of 26

froasier

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Quote:

Originally Posted by nickchen /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Before buying crap like the HD555/595 or some broken-within-2-months-Philips, you should consider the AKG K530. Don't know what it costs over there, in old Europe we get it for 60ish. A 2nd hand K401 would be also a very good choice.


According to AKG, the K 530 "offers perfect sound reproduction over the entire frequency range"
k701smile.gif
lol
...but I can't find them (nor the 401) for sale anywhere.
 
Apr 1, 2010 at 10:46 PM Post #15 of 26

froasier

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Quote:

Originally Posted by bikertrash /img/forum/go_quote.gif
That's my understanding, I've read the same threads as you. The bass on the SR60i after burn in isn't what I'd call weak, but very defined. However bassheads wouild probably be better served with something else. Not familiar with trance music but assuming it's heavy on bass,you probably don't want Grado.


Trance can be listened to without heavy bass, depending on the trance and your preference/mood, but some trance (and almost all house) really relies on bass presence. For this, and just in general, I prefer the frequency response extends down to 30 Hz or lower, and is as flat as possible up through 16 kHz or higher. Any headphone that is generally referred to as "colored" will probably not be up my alley.
 

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