Something similar to Nightowls but with better 1.2 khz to 10 khz response
Jul 15, 2021 at 4:38 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 29

JCRG

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Looking to upgrade from my Audioquest Nightowls, cans with superb sound and sublime soundstage, but that factually suffer in the upper midrange (?) to lower treble regions.

Recently I tried the Ultrasone Signature Studio, but man, they were super harsh to my ears. I am returning them as I type.

I plead to head fi for some suggestions, notably seeking something with equal or better soundstage than the nightowls, whilst still being closed cans, since the isolation and minimum sound leakage are mandatory in my environment.

Thanks and best regards!
 
Jul 15, 2021 at 5:40 PM Post #2 of 29

Mhog55

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My recommendation would be the Ibasso SR2 for a semi open - they really don't leak as much as a typical open back, but offer a much greater out of the head experience than most closed backs.
For a closed back, you could research the E-mu Teak, Denon ah-d7200, and possibly the Beyerdynamic T5 3rd generation.
 
Jul 15, 2021 at 6:11 PM Post #3 of 29

JCRG

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My recommendation would be the Ibasso SR2 for a semi open - they really don't leak as much as a typical open back, but offer a much greater out of the head experience than most closed backs.
For a closed back, you could research the E-mu Teak, Denon ah-d7200, and possibly the Beyerdynamic T5 3rd generation.
Thanks for the input! How's the isolation with the iBasso SR2?

Also it's worth noting that when searching to upgrade from my old ATH-A900x, a lot of people recommended me the Teaks and a bunch of ZMFs, are those neutral by any chance? I searched for some FR graphs, and they seemed super coloured.
 
Jul 15, 2021 at 6:41 PM Post #4 of 29

Mightygrey

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Looking to upgrade from my Audioquest Nightowls, cans with superb sound and sublime soundstage, but that factually suffer in the upper midrange (?) to lower treble regions.

Recently I tried the Ultrasone Signature Studio, but man, they were super harsh to my ears. I am returning them as I type.

I plead to head fi for some suggestions, notably seeking something with equal or better soundstage than the nightowls, whilst still being closed cans, since the isolation and minimum sound leakage are mandatory in my environment.

Thanks and best regards!
The DCA Aeon 2/Noire have terrific soundstage and isolation for closed cans.
 
Jul 15, 2021 at 7:57 PM Post #6 of 29

Mightygrey

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I owned the first Aeon Closed and I was very underwhelmed by the skim bass, would the 2s be better in this regard?
Probably not to the degree that you're looking for. Take a look at the Beyerdynamic DT1770.
 
Jul 15, 2021 at 7:57 PM Post #7 of 29

Mhog55

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Thanks for the input! How's the isolation with the iBasso SR2?

Also it's worth noting that when searching to upgrade from my old ATH-A900x, a lot of people recommended me the Teaks and a bunch of ZMFs, are those neutral by any chance? I searched for some FR graphs, and they seemed super coloured.
Are you looking for something neutral, or something warm and dark like the NightOwl? The SR2 is not a closed back. Can you provide a little more information about what you're looking for in in terms of sound?
 
Jul 15, 2021 at 8:44 PM Post #8 of 29

JCRG

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Probably not to the degree that you're looking for. Take a look at the Beyerdynamic DT1770.
The treble spikes make me very weary of most Beyer cans, I just got a pretty bad experience from some Ultrasones described as "bright but not harsh"; I am beginning to think that I might just have very sensitive ears and/or most people around here can't hear things above 15 khz, or it could just be my autism.
 
Jul 15, 2021 at 8:46 PM Post #9 of 29

JCRG

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Are you looking for something neutral, or something warm and dark like the NightOwl? The SR2 is not a closed back. Can you provide a little more information about what you're looking for in in terms of sound?
The nightowls are not only dark, they are VERY dark imo, I really like them, but sometimes I struggle to hear vocals and certain instruments. I just want something with a little more mid-range/lower-trebble, but also isolating, and wide, as I mentioned.
 
Jul 15, 2021 at 8:53 PM Post #10 of 29

JCRG

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I did some reading on the Final Audio Design Sonorous II & III, and the (very) few reviews mention them as slightly U shaped, warm, but spacious. I just wish there was more info about them regarding their distortion, isolation, and microdynamics. Another option that seems very alluring are the Fostex TH610, but it seems their soundstage might be a downgrade from the Nightowls? I would like to kindly ask if anyone would shine some light as to how good would imaging and position would be in these latter cans, for example, in the context of First Person Shooters and instrument separation.
 
Jul 16, 2021 at 2:19 AM Post #11 of 29

Mhog55

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I did some reading on the Final Audio Design Sonorous II & III, and the (very) few reviews mention them as slightly U shaped, warm, but spacious. I just wish there was more info about them regarding their distortion, isolation, and microdynamics. Another option that seems very alluring are the Fostex TH610, but it seems their soundstage might be a downgrade from the Nightowls? I would like to kindly ask if anyone would shine some light as to how good would imaging and position would be in these latter cans, for example, in the context of First Person Shooters and instrument separation.
The 610 is pretty bright, quite a bit of treble energy. You'd be better off with the Teaks, which are more neutral, yet retain the dynamic character. None of the Fostex models isolate great. As for isolation, the Denon ah-d9200 will be better. It also has better resolution and greater detailing. Another option in the 9200 price range is the Kennerton Gallahorn, which I believe would be a good fit for what you're after. Below that is the Magni which I liked quite a bit, but the upper mids could be a bit much for me at times. From what I've read and been told, the Gallahorn is more chill up top. Maybe read through some of these dedicated threads.
 
Jul 16, 2021 at 2:40 AM Post #12 of 29

JCRG

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The 610 is pretty bright, quite a bit of treble energy. You'd be better off with the Teaks, which are more neutral, yet retain the dynamic character. None of the Fostex models isolate great. As for isolation, the Denon ah-d9200 will be better. It also has better resolution and greater detailing. Another option in the 9200 price range is the Kennerton Gallahorn, which I believe would be a good fit for what you're after. Below that is the Magni which I liked quite a bit, but the upper mids could be a bit much for me at times. From what I've read and been told, the Gallahorn is more chill up top. Maybe read through some of these dedicated threads.
Thanks a lot for your input! But i totally forgot to specify my budget, which is around 500 usd, those dennons and most kennerton cans aren't something i can't afford atm sadly, would you by any chance know anything about the ZMF iterations? I've hears they're good with soundstage and isolation, and I might be able to afford a used pair perhaps.
 
Jul 16, 2021 at 11:57 AM Post #13 of 29

Mhog55

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Thanks a lot for your input! But i totally forgot to specify my budget, which is around 500 usd, those dennons and most kennerton cans aren't something i can't afford atm sadly, would you by any chance know anything about the ZMF iterations? I've hears they're good with soundstage and isolation, and I might be able to afford a used pair perhaps.
Never owned anything from ZMF. These exceed your budget.
 
Jul 16, 2021 at 4:42 PM Post #15 of 29

JCRG

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You might also like the Sony mdr-z7s.Only second hand now,but with the build quality most used look brand new.
The Denon ah-d5200s might also be worth listening to.
Back in the day, I almost went for the denons, but shipping costs made them unobtainable for me, now that I'm looking at some graphs, there seems to be a lot of inconsistencies in measurements across the board, but apparently there's a bit of a dip in the mid range with some spikes at the treble, but at least on paper it seems nowhere near as bad as Beyers.

Probably the cans that seem to fit the most too are the shure 1540, which I've previously owned, but that midbass hump does tend to get a little intrusive, I wish there would be a way to tame that, or perhaps someone might know a pair of cans very similar but more balanced in the mid bass.
 

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