Otherwise flat headphones with hefty bass (Spirit/Listen Pro, PM-3, MDR1A?)
post-14379335
Thread Starter
Post #1 of 2

Markdude

New Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 22, 2014
Messages
12
Reaction score
10
Joined
Aug 22, 2014
Posts
12
Likes
10
Website
theguitargentleman.com
I'm looking for pretty flat headphones that have a really good bass extension/response (so perhaps some bloating there is OK) but also don't have a very steep treble rolloff (I don't want to trade more bass for an overall darker sound signature). I plan on using Sonarworks and likely fine-tuning the bass response with the tilt and bass boost controls since perhaps their target curve isn't exactly what I'm looking for as far as bass goes, but my Audeze LCD-2 (with custom Sonarworks calibration file) seems to prove that those controls don't help much if there's not a lot of frequency content there to begin with and thus that's why I'm looking for something new.

After a lot of time analyzing measurements from various sites and reading reviews, I think I've narrowed my search down to:

-Focal Spirit Pro
-Focal Listen Pro
-Oppo PM-3
-Sony MDR-1A
-Shure SRH1840

The SRH1840 may seem like the odd one out being open-back, and I'm a bit confused about them -- the Sonarworks average frequency response shows them as having a great bass extension/response (beating some others in the list), but some other measurements show them as having a much more subdued bass response which is more in line with what I'd expect from open-back cans. Any thoughts? I'm wary of going open-back now that I've realized I'm a bit of a basshead.

Speaking of contradictory measurements, I'm really not sure what to believe about relative bass and treble levels. Some measurements show the Focal Spirit Pros as having deeper and more plentiful bass than the Oppo PM-3, while some measurements show the opposite. I've also heard some describe the PM-3 as 'bass light'. Either way, I'm concerned that the PM-3 has too steep of a treble rolloff for my liking.

My gut feeling is pushing me to the Focal Spirit Pro, but it would be a plus to go for the Focal Listen Pro since I can buy them directly from Sonarworks with a custom calibration file, and from what I've read the comfort and durability has been greatly improved (presumably no more cracking headbands). However, the Sonarworks average measurements look a bit worse than the Spirit Pro, particularly a bit less bass and a significant dip in the mids. I know that the entire point of Sonarworks is to try to address those deviations, but I figure that the less severe the EQ needed, the better the result. Can anyone comment on how they compare to the Spirit Pro?

I'm open to other recommendations as well but would greatly prefer headphones that Sonarworks already has average calibration files for.
 
     Share This Post       
post-14379412
Post #2 of 2

megabigeye

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 24, 2009
Messages
1,174
Reaction score
515
Location
Hither, Thither, Yon
Joined
Feb 24, 2009
Location
Hither, Thither, Yon
Posts
1,174
Likes
515
Hi there,
I can't comment on any of the headphones but the PM-3.
First of all, are you aware that Oppo Digital is no longer in business? You'll either have to find them used or be willing to pay exorbitant prices (or maybe both, if you're lucky!).
My personal experience with them is that they have a fair amount of bass, but that they're very dependent upon the seal. If you wear glasses or sunglasses, the bass becomes more or less nonexistent. My guess is that people that complain about lack of bass aren't able to get a proper seal. Maybe their ears are too big? Maybe their jawline interferes with the seal? Maybe their head is too wide/narrow? I don't know for a certainty, but it's my guess.
I find the treble to be very relaxed, even more than the HD 650 (which is known for having a very relaxed treble). Personally, I like a bit more sparkle. Many others disagree.
Also, (and this is the part that I think people will really disagree with me, but whatever) I find that some part of the mids is slightly recessed, which is what really gives them their dark signature. To my ears, it makes vocals, etc., sound slightly recessed.

As for measurements... I wouldn't put too much stock in them unless you're fairly experienced with reading them. There are just too many variables-- different techniques, levels of experience, consistency, etc. Not to say that you shouldn't look at them and that they can't (ideally) be a good jumping off point, but that they should generally be taken with a great big spoon of salt.
Again, this is all my experience.
 
     Share This Post       
  • Like
Reactions: Markdude

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top