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Very nice review. Never tried the HD380's but the review makes me want to get a pair.
Hmm the HD380 seems perfect for me. I already have a hd595, but I need a closed headphone. I just ordered a pair and I will do a quick comparison between the two. After burn in ofc.
As a person going from normal stock ipod earphones, would the 380s provide a "wow" factor?
I just got a pair of HD380 too and after burn in, they are wonderful. Everything described was a correct, but after all, they are still consider a producer headphone, not a fun headphone. They sound some what "boring" and slow but never once was the headphone showed weakness. They provides a great seal and works great with glasses. I just find myself grabbing my modded and recabled creative aurvana live more often.
How do these stack up against KRK's 8400 series?
i 100% agree with the poster on the sound. My experience is very limited with different head phones as i've only owned/heard a couple headphones above 100$ whether it be my own pair or in a store.
In answer to the previous question in a post of if it will give a wow factor from a stock earphone i can say without a doubt yes
As a warning through it takes a bit getting use to. At first i would get a head ache because of all the instruments i could hear, i was use to hearing just a voice, a bump bass and some form of instrument barely, three sounds basically in your typical low end earphone, but with the hd 380 i could hear EVERYTHING. those high hat sounds that u hear as a screech like sound on some head phones actually sounds like a high hat and a symbol sounds like a symbol, voice sounds like someone actually singing rather than someone talking through a webcam if that makes sense?
any ways i'm not about to review the headphone on this review, but wanted to say that i concur with this reviewers opinion of the sound in general.
I agree. They're a great value for the price and stand up against pretty much anything I've compared them to.
I never understand comments like this about the headphones not being "fun". They sound great, which is "fun" to me. They're very balanced, have strong but not overpowering bass, clear treble and mids. They are always detailed without being overly analytical... I don't know I'm relatively now to the head-fi community and haven't heard as many headsets as many of you... maybe someone can educate me on a pair of HP's that are much more "fun" by comparison. My next purchase will be a pair of Denon D7000's btw. Would that headphone be for fun in comparison to the 380's? Thanks in advance.
Anyone want to chime in about what separates a "fun" headphone from a headphone like the 380? I'm really interested to find out.
A great example of "fun" sounding headphones are those from the famed manufacturer, Grado. The characteristic raised upper-mids and sharp highs, along with a fast attack and great transient response lead to a punchier sound signature. As Butter123 stated, the 380s' are not considered "fun" for the same reason that they are such accurate headphones; Their linear and very flat nature fails to lend excitement to genres that are not typically fast-paced or recordings that are not well pronounced throughout their dynamic range. As a hobbyist sound designer and electronica enthusiast, I find this "flat"-ness desirable, but many audiophiles here have tastes otherwise.
I had the HD-280 pro for a good long while, and auditioned the HD380 for several days. These simply can't compete with the $200 league, not at all. They and the V6 throw bunches at each other, but that's about it. I prefer my CAL! over the HD-380
I'm with you on enjoying the flatness. I find it to be a very accurate as well as enjoyable headphone. As an owner of the 380 it's a bit annoying that people dismiss it so easily, perhaps because of its low price. I think that saying it's not up to par with other $200 headphones is totally unfair.
To test them against some other quality 'phones, I took them to the local hi-fi shop and tested them out against the Q701 and the Grado PS500. Running a straight A/B comparison with the same source, song etc... I found the Q701 to be frankly, boring. I had the feeling that they were doing everything correctly, and yet I felt somehow disengaged from the music. The bass also seemed nonexistent compared to the 380, which leaves a huge gap in the feel of the music. I know that might sound nuts to some people... and I'm not saying the AKG is a bad headphone, because it's not. But I know that if I'd spent twice as much for the Q701, I would have enjoyed it less.
And the PS500... I'd heard the range of Grado's from the SR60 up to the 325, and I expected the PS500 to be better and it is better. The sound they produce is good, but it's not to my tastes. It is such a forward-sounding presentation that I feel like I'm having the music forced in on me, rather than just being able to listen. I'm not a huge fan of Grado to be honest. I appreciate that they produce a quality product, but I find them sibiliant and obnoxious. The soundstaging is also strangely artificial and I find it distracting. They're also uncomfortable. The Sennheisers and the AKG fit easily over your ears and produce the desired sound. the grados have to be constantly readjusted, and the foam padding doesn't really have a nice feel to it. Just not my thing.
So yeah, as the OP said on the previous page... even when compared to much more expensive headphones... in this case the ~$300 Q701 and the ~$600 PS500, I thought the 380 was the more enjoyable listen... although I'm sure they might not be 'technically' superior.
No offense to those who like the HD380s, but I owned them about 2 years ago and found them mediocre sounding at best. It is quite possible that I had a bad pair, because I did like the HD280 a lot. But my pair of 380s sounded nowhere near flat - the frequency response was really odd in fact with severely recessed upper highs, unnaturally emphasized mid/upper midrange and weak mid bass that just sounded plain wrong to me. The music through these had no power and no life at all. The soundstage was also very strange with great width, but no depth and in-your-face forwardness I couldn't stand. It was a very synthetic sounding headphone overall to my ears and not worth anywhere near the price. I got mine from Guitar Center in Buffalo, NY during a trip to the US. It's quite likely that my pair was bad because I can't imagine anyone preferring the ones I had over AKG K701/2/Q701 which are leagues ahead.
Worth what price? I got mine on sale for $165. To me, this is a great headphone at that price. I can't see anything synthetic about them... comments like this are perplexing, but to each his own I guess.
I'm not saying it's a perfect headphone but to me it sounds good... and it's not like I'm stopping with these. This is my entry-point to head-fi and it's done that job very well... gotten me curious bout the hd600/650, the denons, the beyers, etc.
I am really interested to know how HD380 up against Shure 940.