Sennheiser HD700 vs. Aeon X?
Dec 15, 2020 at 11:19 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 14

Tayyab Pirzada

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So I've been looking for a pair of open-back headphones with good soundstage, ok sub-bass extension, great imaging, and above all - comfort to allow for multi-hour listening. Also, I listen to mainly the following genres: R&B, rap/hip-hop, pop, EDM, jazz, and (sometimes) orchestral scores. I've narrowed it down to the Aeon X's by Dan Clark Audio (available on Drop) and the Sennheiser HD700's (which I'd buy second-hand as they're discontinued). I know the HD700's get a bad rep due to the treble peak and somewhat low sub-bass but I can just EQ them. I also should mention that I'll be using a Schitt Vali 2 hybrid tube amp, and finding some ultra-warm tubes for use (recommendations for which tubes are welcome).

What do people think I should go for, between these 2 choices?
 
Dec 15, 2020 at 11:40 AM Post #2 of 14

gc335

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I had the HD700.. Twice. It's really good but I think if you are listening to EDM, R&B and hip-hop you're probably better off with the Aeon. I have the Aeon 2C and absolutely love it. I have not heard the X but I like everything I have tried from DCA.
 
Dec 15, 2020 at 11:45 AM Post #3 of 14

Tayyab Pirzada

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I had the HD700.. Twice. It's really good but I think if you are listening to EDM, R&B and hip-hop you're probably better off with the Aeon. I have the Aeon 2C and absolutely love it. I have not heard the X but I like everything I have tried from DCA.

How about in terms of comfort, how would you assess the 2? And why would you say Aeon is better for my musical tastes?
 
Dec 15, 2020 at 12:03 PM Post #4 of 14

sacguy231

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How about in terms of comfort, how would you assess the 2? And why would you say Aeon is better for my musical tastes?
I won't comment on sound since I only had a few minutes with the Aeon. But re: comfort: I felt the Aeon was pretty comfortable for me (ear pads had decent depth, clamp force was OK but a bit high for me). However, the HD700 is the most comfortable headphone I've ever owned or worn. It just disappears on my head like no other can I've ever tried.
 
Dec 15, 2020 at 12:11 PM Post #5 of 14

gc335

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How about in terms of comfort, how would you assess the 2? And why would you say Aeon is better for my musical tastes?
It's just a bit warmer as far as I know. For classical the HD700 is great but the X will probably play better with the other genres you listen to.

I won't comment on sound since I only had a few minutes with the Aeon. But re: comfort: I felt the Aeon was pretty comfortable for me (ear pads had decent depth, clamp force was OK but a bit high for me). However, the HD700 is the most comfortable headphone I've ever owned or worn. It just disappears on my head like no other can I've ever tried.
I agree! The HD700 is insane comfortable. The DCA headphones are comfortable. I have no issues with them. They have more clamp than the HD700 but are still comfortable.
 
Dec 15, 2020 at 12:14 PM Post #6 of 14

gc335

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Have you heard other planars before? There is just something about he sound that is so good. Guitar and other stringed instruments sound so good on planars.
The beginning and end of each note is more defined (transients). For most music, I prefer the planar sound.
 
Dec 15, 2020 at 12:18 PM Post #7 of 14

Tayyab Pirzada

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Have you heard other planars before? There is just something about he sound that is so good. Guitar and other stringed instruments sound so good on planars.
The beginning and end of each note is more defined (transients). For most music, I prefer the planar sound.
Never used planars before
 
Dec 15, 2020 at 12:26 PM Post #8 of 14

gc335

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Dec 15, 2020 at 12:35 PM Post #10 of 14

gc335

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For me I think comfort is the biggest factor
Try the HD700 especially if you are OK with eq! Worst case sell it and try the Aeon later. Again, they are both comfortable but the HD700 more so.
 
Dec 16, 2020 at 4:46 PM Post #11 of 14

LanceSaintPaul

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Tayyab:

I am currently using the HD700's with the Vali2+ (also have used them with the Vali2) running the stock tube at the moment (Taiwan 6BZ7 - the only Taiwanese manufactured tube I have ever seen). They work well together. Very.

Source as of now is a Sony NW-45 with Mr. Walkman's latest firmware upgrade. (Yes!) Also use with Carver FM Tuner & Sony SACD player.

I haven't ever heard the Aeon's so I have no idea about them.

You may have to ride the volume carefully for recordings that have a hot top end with the HD700's.

Just today I compared several HD700 mods.

First up were Dekoni Defenstered Leather replacement ear cushions. These did the most to change the sound. Tamed top end. Provided a better sense of body. But soundstage a bit more distant. I liked these the least. However I can see that many would prefer them. I certainly could live with them & will keep them as an interesting alternative. To me it's just a bit too much change from stock sound signature. Treble down just a wee bit more than I'd like. Sounds luxurious I would say. Stock sounds more monitor-like. Very comfortable, but physically warmer than stock. Still comfortable - plush. On a hot day in summer, maybe too hot. But with a recording with a hot top end - very nice....

Next was the Mod House Audio HD700 kit. @ $15 well worth a try. This was more like it. A nice place between the stock & the Dekoni's. Could live with this. But a little loss of soaring to a soprano's voice....

So I removed the felt pads that run around the circumference of the ear pads, but left the thin felt rings around the drivers. Best yet. Will leave these in place for a while. Probably for good. But I would have no trouble with removing them and reverting to stock configuration. These do the least change to stock - and may be permanent for me.

There's nothing to fear with the stock HD700's - which is how I have been using them until today (I have had them since May of this year.) I am a bit surprised by the negative reviews they have gotten. At this point they are at the top of my fleet (HD700 > HD6XX > HD580 [modded with HD600 grills] > Focal Listen Pros [modded by removing foam rings around their drivers].)

Good luck!

Lance
 
Dec 16, 2020 at 4:55 PM Post #12 of 14

Tayyab Pirzada

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Tayyab:

I am currently using the HD700's with the Vali2+ (also have used them with the Vali2) running the stock tube at the moment (Taiwan 6BZ7 - the only Taiwanese manufactured tube I have ever seen). They work well together. Very.

Source as of now is a Sony NW-45 with Mr. Walkman's latest firmware upgrade. (Yes!) Also use with Carver FM Tuner & Sony SACD player.

I haven't ever heard the Aeon's so I have no idea about them.

You may have to ride the volume carefully for recordings that have a hot top end with the HD700's.

Just today I compared several HD700 mods.

First up were Dekoni Defenstered Leather replacement ear cushions. These did the most to change the sound. Tamed top end. Provided a better sense of body. But soundstage a bit more distant. I liked these the least. However I can see that many would prefer them. I certainly could live with them & will keep them as an interesting alternative. To me it's just a bit too much change from stock sound signature. Treble down just a wee bit more than I'd like. Sounds luxurious I would say. Stock sounds more monitor-like. Very comfortable, but physically warmer than stock. Still comfortable - plush. On a hot day in summer, maybe too hot. But with a recording with a hot top end - very nice....

Next was the Mod House Audio HD700 kit. @ $15 well worth a try. This was more like it. A nice place between the stock & the Dekoni's. Could live with this. But a little loss of soaring to a soprano's voice....

So I removed the felt pads that run around the circumference of the ear pads, but left the thin felt rings around the drivers. Best yet. Will leave these in place for a while. Probably for good. But I would have no trouble with removing them and reverting to stock configuration. These do the least change to stock - and may be permanent for me.

There's nothing to fear with the stock HD700's - which is how I have been using them until today (I have had them since May of this year.) I am a bit surprised by the negative reviews they have gotten. At this point they are at the top of my fleet (HD700 > HD6XX > HD580 [modded with HD600 grills] > Focal Listen Pros [modded by removing foam rings around their drivers].)

Good luck!

Lance

Thanks for this thorough review
 

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