"Smooth" sound, circumaural, soundstage; <$200 used or new
Apr 2, 2008 at 5:27 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 5


100+ Head-Fier
May 3, 2005
I have owned {HD595, K240S, SR60, RP15-MC}.
-the Sennheisers were too "boring"/perfectly neutral
-the AKGs had "muddy" bass
-the Grados felt too "shrill" (made me concerned about hearing loss)
-the RP15-MC were not comfortably circumaural on my ears and the sound just felt sort of "cheap."

I can't spend more than $200 on these headphones, but I am thinking I probably should go for mid-high end phones, used, based on my past experiences with my various headphones thus far. I am looking to purchase a pair of primary headphones, which I will use for all my music. Currently I use PX100s and they're just not cutting it.

Comfort is a major priority; if not at the same level as sound quality, then slightly above. What I know from my past selection of headphones is that circumaural is a must. After that, a wide "soundstage" is a big plus - that's what I really liked about the HD595s.

I like bass, but it needs to be fairly clean/tight, but not too bright either - think "rich," "full," "dark" but not "muddy" or "thick/heavy." I loved the Grados for rock music, but the highs were so shrill that I felt ringing after a few hours of listening, even at moderately low volume (probably not low enough, though.) I would describe my ideal sound as being "smooth" / "liquid."

I listen to a wide variety of music, and since these will be my main vehicle for listening, I would want them to be "well-rounded." My main genres include post-rock {ISIS, Cult of Luna, ...}, ???? {Explosions in the Sky, Mono, ...}, classical {Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Mussourgsky, ...}, and guitar-harpsichord baroque-pop fusion {Kac/Cohen}.

As a final note, portability is nice. I also would like the headphones to not look particularly valuable, if possible (this isn't so important however.)

I've fluctuated between "open" and "closed." My preference tends to be towards "open" for safety reasons (increased awareness when outside in urban areas), but I think I'm now leaning toward "closed" for isolation and a better overall experience in a wider variety of environments.

These are some headphones I've been considering: {Ultrasone 750, Ultrasone HFI-780?, Sennheiser HD25-1?, RP21?}

I have no amp, and would not be purchasing one (if ever) for at least a year, so the headphones should be satisfiable unamped.

What do you guys think? Am I considering the right selection of headphones for my needs? Any suggestions I've overlooked? Which ones would you recommend?
Apr 2, 2008 at 11:55 AM Post #2 of 5
The Denon D200 is a great alll around headphone. It is definitely not boring. The have a great bass impact as well. Do a search and you will be pleasently surprised. The only downfall is they are a little expensive, btu Amazon has them on sale for $221.88 shipped currently (usually $250). Even at $250 they are wll worth it.

Denon D2000
Apr 2, 2008 at 12:38 PM Post #4 of 5
I hadn't thought about Denons (I think you mean the D2000, right?) I will have to do some searching to read more about them, but I'll take your suggestion to heart. The price fits fair enough into my range - easily, if I find a used pair.

So... thanks for the suggestion, I will look into this. I'll also look into the K501's - thanks Shoewreck. However I don't think that any K240's will suit my needs, especially since I won't have an amp.

EDIT: so I looked into the Denons and I don't think they will be good for me. I'm concerned about their ability to portray female vocals.

That leaves the selection mainly between the 750s, the RP21s, and the K501s, I suppose. I'm heavily leaning towards the 750s, although only if I can get them used (might go for a pair of "B-stock" from UltrasoneUSA.)
Apr 2, 2008 at 3:20 PM Post #5 of 5
Check out the ATH-ES7. I to own PX100's and recently upgraded them to the ATH-ES7's. Some people complain about their comfort and some don't. I myself have no problems with them and I really love their sound.

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