Simple question regarding the HD580 and K501
Mar 21, 2006 at 4:43 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 7

VR6ofpain

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Keeping in mind neither would ever be used to reproduce classical, which would be a better overall headphone?

We know the K501 is hard to drive, but would the 580 be considered easy to drive?
 
Mar 21, 2006 at 5:08 AM Post #2 of 7

atx

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580 is the better overall headphone. They sound somewhat lackluster without a good amp, but still very decent sounding. I don't see the difference between a headphone that's hard to drive and a crappy amp
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Mar 21, 2006 at 5:20 AM Post #3 of 7

kramer5150

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HD580 was my choice. It doesn't need an expensive amp to sound useably good. Just an aggressive OP amp and buffers. I like mine with my mint and pimeta. Of course those who scale up the amplification will be rewarded proportionally.

The K501 lack of bass made it a snoozer with much of the music I listen to. I demo'd it with a headroom micro stack.
 
Mar 21, 2006 at 5:36 AM Post #4 of 7

VR6ofpain

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would you say the 580 is 'bad' used without an amp? like out of either a portable or home stereo's jack (I assume it would fare better with the home stereo)?
 
Mar 21, 2006 at 6:11 AM Post #5 of 7

Ferbose

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If not for classical, HD580 is better.
But HD580 sounds really distorted when underpowered.
K501, on the other hand, sounds OK when underpowered but really shines with very powerful amps.
My old PCDP could not drive HD580 at all but sounded OK with K501.
This thread has some useful info:
http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showthread.php?t=77702
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 2:26 AM Post #6 of 7

fewtch

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Quote:

Originally Posted by atx
580 is the better overall headphone.


I disagree. The HD580 has more bass and is a bit more dynamic, but the K501 (to my ears) is more coherent, has better midrange/treble and is more detailed/revealing.

In the end it's something of a wash, IMO -- they're both in the same class of sound. I sold my HD580 and kept the K501, because I prefer its sound and comfort.

The HD580 is definitely the better "all-rounder" though, so keep this under consideration. K501 is just not good with some recordings, particularly if they're bass-light.
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 5:04 AM Post #7 of 7

jagorev

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I listen exclusively to classical, and have owned both the HD 600 and K501. HD 580 (same drivers as 600) is definitely a better headphone for classical. You never feel like you're missing out on any low-level detail with the 580/600. It has the impact and warmth needed to convey a full orchestra. 501 is very good, but it's not just as satisfying as the Senn.

As for being hard to drive: choosing between unamped 580 and unamped 501 is....a terrible choice that would leave me unhappy either way. I would take an unamped 555 or A500 over either. Neither of these headphones (501/580) shine when run from a portable. They both sound pretty disappointing and weak without amplification, even though they are significantly better than the 555 or A500 when you add an amp.
 

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