The Closed-Back Headphone Thread (Plus Comparisons & Reviews)
May 8, 2021 at 2:14 PM Post #1,876 of 1,987

bcaulf17

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I've had the Focal Radiance for about a week now and I absolutely love these. Compared to the TH900, these have a much better seal so the bass impact is fantastic. Also they have a slightly elevated mid-bass, which give them a really nice warm signature. Lastly the mids are great, unlike the TH900 the mids are not recessed at all. Any one looking for a new pair of closed back cans, I would highly recommend checking these out.
What a lovely combo!
 
May 8, 2021 at 4:17 PM Post #1,877 of 1,987

AudioDuck

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I second @khrist ‘s points- I traded my LCD-XCs for a pair of Radiances as I thought it would be a better all-around headphone for my tastes/my ears. If budget were not a consideration, I would have kept the LCD-XCs- there are some things they do exceptionally well.

Thankfully I was right- so I guess I’m a Focal fan boy now? 🤷‍♂️

Regardless, I’m set- though I might check out the amazing work Zach Mehrbach has been doing… 😂
 

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May 10, 2021 at 2:27 PM Post #1,879 of 1,987

Sp12er3

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Been reading this thread a lot after getting my Z1R, and about that Z7... i plan to travel in a couple days lets see whether putting a short cable on the Z7 and bring it around with a hardcase is a good enough remedy when i feel like missing my big Sony.

For now I feel I need to contribute a bit so: Audio Technica's closed backs, copied from my post on MSR7b thread.

I might be in minority for this, but I rank Audio Technica's entry to mid closed backs to be:
1. M70x: most detailed of them all. I think I'd be hard pressed to find any headphone as clear, clean and detailed as the M70x on its price range, on that aspect alone, it's comparable to summit fi headphone like HD800s and T1 IMO. all that without really sacrificing in other aspect as well, a tad bigger soundstage than the pure intimacy M50x and 40x offers, a good bass that focused more on the lower registers than its brothers, the mids is different, its leaner sounding for sure.... tho really that's subjective whether its good or bad, for me I prefer MSR7's mids more, one to be cautious is the treble presentation it has, it is not for everybody. For me it's pronounced, yes but it's not annoying, its not peaky, but instead feel like they are spread pretty evenly, albeit in a quite high fashion. It is, for me, a unique sound, and I love this best with acoustic music. I've owned them for a couple years now, never intend to sell it. One thing I don't like about it tho.. is the non standard mounting mechanism for the pads, it'd be harder to replace than other AT closed backs. Mine is holding up but its slightly more worrying than it should I guess.

2. MSR7: when i think of audio Technica's tuning, the MSR7 is the best rendition of them before going to their open back offering, aka the AD1000x' Air Series, At least form what i've tried as i never got my hands on an A1000z or A2000z, also curious about the esw990h and WP900 as well, but Woodies & Titanium AT are a different thing altogether and certainly are not entry or mid fi. So anyway back to MSR7, I like the tuning for music enjoyment and I know there's other version of these now, but still for me this is still the best of them.

3. MSR7B: basically the MSR7 but slightly more reined in, i like these just as much but the build kills it for me, it basically feels like what would come out if you give a team a job to copy all the physical characteristics of the MSR7, but make it cheaper to manufacture. This, build more like an MSR6 would be if it ever exist in the line, just a step down of the MSR7's build, and the only upside you get from it is that its much lighter and ah yes more comfortable, but that's more due to the lower clamp than the lighter build, which IMO just make it feel hollow on the hand really. Well on the other hand it is "kinda" cheaper than the MSR7 by a couple bucks locally so i guess barrier of entry just got lower for the MSR7... at least in the long run when msrp got cut down as much as the couple years old OG.
Basically, as you can see I like the M70x the most so of course I prefer the more raw MSR7 than the slightly smoother MSR7b. This feels like a case of Beyer T1 and T1.2 again, there's the original intention, and then there is the successor trying to be more accepted by the mass market. To me it loses the original essence a bit to gain the appeal.

4. MSR7SE: this feels a tad more subdued than both MSR7 and B version, also the bass is a more pronounced, just a tad tho. I like the looks and it even comes with similar case as the one that came with the M70x, but on pure sound i prefer the OG just a little more. not worth the extra cost, tho maybe as they're newer manufactured its an easier way to buy into MSR7 without the old quirks but don't want the diminished build of the B.

5. WS1100: these are more comfortable than the others solely due to its better pads, still less comfortable than both the MSR7b and M70x IMO due to its tight fit. on sound it doesnt impress me much, but it did offer more bass and soundstage than the others, albeit on a diffused manner, it's just not that good on instrument placement so you doesnt gain much from the extra space, especially as I feel it lose an edge on detail over the others for that, on the flipside its more relaxed too tho, so.... priorities. What I like is that this is the more "natural", more balanced-ish sounding of the bunch, not really much to brag about but its a safer "a good headphone" recommendation for newbie than the others. I guess this feels like trying to be a Sony headphone too much and failing at it for me... I prefer its IEM version CKS 1100 a lot more.

6. M50x: well the first AT I tried, I prefer it over the 40x because it sounds more alive for me.
6. SR5: I dont remember much of the one time i try these but its a portable audio technica that doesnt sound too different from 7, so i did think i liked it. so same rank as 50
7. M40x: basically the minimum i'd go IMO, 30 and 20 doesnt offer anything for me.

I really want to try M60x, but man, local jaben just never get them in stock it seems. :worried:
 
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May 10, 2021 at 6:56 PM Post #1,880 of 1,987

llysender

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Honeyview_AWKT D5000.jpg


Just got the D5000 to compliment my AWKT. Surprisingly first impressions is that unlike the EMU teak and Forstex biodynamics the D5000 is actually quite tastefully tuned in a U shape way. My only issue so far is that the treble can get a little spike happy and I'm guessing the uneveness is being caused by the degraded innner foam damping ring.

In that way I was abit disapointed in that I didnt get a bass cannon for cheap but I can really respect the tuning decisions of denon when making the D5000.
 
May 11, 2021 at 2:05 PM Post #1,881 of 1,987

Sp12er3

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Talking about a new version of Z1R.... I have a feeling we'd be seeing an open back 70mm rather than M2 of it, thinking of Sony's past flagship release, Sony doesnt like to "fix" their Halo product, instead, they choose to move forward... even the Z7, they had to supersede it first before putting M2 on it, and most of the change comes from Z1R too.
Well anyway, with new model, comes R&D period, and looking at the past, i wonder where this (prob) one and only Sony MDR Z7 prototype that Jude posted back then now, whether they still exist or not even..
6524195.jpg
 
May 12, 2021 at 3:46 PM Post #1,882 of 1,987

Malevolent

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Sooo... two open germans vs two closed japanese:

Foto-publicar.jpg


Who will win? Easy in this thread :L3000:
I'm normally a fan of bratwurst, but I'll take a plate of sushi for this one. :wink:
 
May 12, 2021 at 3:50 PM Post #1,883 of 1,987

Malevolent

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Been reading this thread a lot after getting my Z1R, and about that Z7... i plan to travel in a couple days lets see whether putting a short cable on the Z7 and bring it around with a hardcase is a good enough remedy when i feel like missing my big Sony.

For now I feel I need to contribute a bit so: Audio Technica's closed backs, copied from my post on MSR7b thread.

I might be in minority for this, but I rank Audio Technica's entry to mid closed backs to be:
1. M70x: most detailed of them all. I think I'd be hard pressed to find any headphone as clear, clean and detailed as the M70x on its price range, on that aspect alone, it's comparable to summit fi headphone like HD800s and T1 IMO. all that without really sacrificing in other aspect as well, a tad bigger soundstage than the pure intimacy M50x and 40x offers, a good bass that focused more on the lower registers than its brothers, the mids is different, its leaner sounding for sure.... tho really that's subjective whether its good or bad, for me I prefer MSR7's mids more, one to be cautious is the treble presentation it has, it is not for everybody. For me it's pronounced, yes but it's not annoying, its not peaky, but instead feel like they are spread pretty evenly, albeit in a quite high fashion. It is, for me, a unique sound, and I love this best with acoustic music. I've owned them for a couple years now, never intend to sell it. One thing I don't like about it tho.. is the non standard mounting mechanism for the pads, it'd be harder to replace than other AT closed backs. Mine is holding up but its slightly more worrying than it should I guess.

2. MSR7: when i think of audio Technica's tuning, the MSR7 is the best rendition of them before going to their open back offering, aka the AD1000x' Air Series, At least form what i've tried as i never got my hands on an A1000z or A2000z, also curious about the esw990h and WP900 as well, but Woodies & Titanium AT are a different thing altogether and certainly are not entry or mid fi. So anyway back to MSR7, I like the tuning for music enjoyment and I know there's other version of these now, but still for me this is still the best of them.

3. MSR7B: basically the MSR7 but slightly more reined in, i like these just as much but the build kills it for me, it basically feels like what would come out if you give a team a job to copy all the physical characteristics of the MSR7, but make it cheaper to manufacture. This, build more like an MSR6 would be if it ever exist in the line, just a step down of the MSR7's build, and the only upside you get from it is that its much lighter and ah yes more comfortable, but that's more due to the lower clamp than the lighter build, which IMO just make it feel hollow on the hand really. Well on the other hand it is "kinda" cheaper than the MSR7 by a couple bucks locally so i guess barrier of entry just got lower for the MSR7... at least in the long run when msrp got cut down as much as the couple years old OG.
Basically, as you can see I like the M70x the most so of course I prefer the more raw MSR7 than the slightly smoother MSR7b. This feels like a case of Beyer T1 and T1.2 again, there's the original intention, and then there is the successor trying to be more accepted by the mass market. To me it loses the original essence a bit to gain the appeal.

4. MSR7SE: this feels a tad more subdued than both MSR7 and B version, also the bass is a more pronounced, just a tad tho. I like the looks and it even comes with similar case as the one that came with the M70x, but on pure sound i prefer the OG just a little more. not worth the extra cost, tho maybe as they're newer manufactured its an easier way to buy into MSR7 without the old quirks but don't want the diminished build of the B.

5. WS1100: these are more comfortable than the others solely due to its better pads, still less comfortable than both the MSR7b and M70x IMO due to its tight fit. on sound it doesnt impress me much, but it did offer more bass and soundstage than the others, albeit on a diffused manner, it's just not that good on instrument placement so you doesnt gain much from the extra space, especially as I feel it lose an edge on detail over the others for that, on the flipside its more relaxed too tho, so.... priorities. What I like is that this is the more "natural", more balanced-ish sounding of the bunch, not really much to brag about but its a safer "a good headphone" recommendation for newbie than the others. I guess this feels like trying to be a Sony headphone too much and failing at it for me... I prefer its IEM version CKS 1100 a lot more.

6. M50x: well the first AT I tried, I prefer it over the 40x because it sounds more alive for me.
6. SR5: I dont remember much of the one time i try these but its a portable audio technica that doesnt sound too different from 7, so i did think i liked it. so same rank as 50
7. M40x: basically the minimum i'd go IMO, 30 and 20 doesnt offer anything for me.

I really want to try M60x, but man, local jaben just never get them in stock it seems. :worried:
Nice impressions, thanks for sharing! Can't say I disagree with them, especially in relation to your top pick - the ATH-M70x is indeed a resolving beast, especially in its price range. It's not my usual cup of tea, but it's a worthwhile purchase.
 
May 12, 2021 at 3:53 PM Post #1,884 of 1,987

Malevolent

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Honeyview_AWKT D5000.jpg

Just got the D5000 to compliment my AWKT. Surprisingly first impressions is that unlike the EMU teak and Forstex biodynamics the D5000 is actually quite tastefully tuned in a U shape way. My only issue so far is that the treble can get a little spike happy and I'm guessing the uneveness is being caused by the degraded innner foam damping ring.

In that way I was abit disapointed in that I didnt get a bass cannon for cheap but I can really respect the tuning decisions of denon when making the D5000.
It's been some time since I've heard the AH-D5000; I have the AH-D2000, though. The difference between the 2 is the choice of cups; the bigger brother uses wood (obviously). The older Denon trio, including the legendary AH-D7000, is quite impressive from a tuning perspective. They're at once musical yet detailed enough to satisfy all but the most discerning of detail-heads.

It could just be the nostalgia speaking, but I really love the AH-D7000. :)
 
May 12, 2021 at 5:15 PM Post #1,885 of 1,987

ADUHF

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I also have an opportunity to get the AKG K371. And was hoping just to get kind of a quick up or down vote from some of the other fans of closed backs here.

Also, is there anything else new in the same price range (sub-$250) that's worth considering, with a reasonably neutral or neutral-bassy response, and decent bass extension? As noted in my sig, I already have the Beyer DT-770, which is also well-extended in the bass, but on the brighter side in the treble. And the AT M50x. And have also previously used the AKG K553, which appears to have the same extended-frequency titanium drivers as the K371. So the sound on these is similar. (Though the K371 has more sub-bass.)

I have listened to some of the closed backs at Best Buy's Magnolia stores as well, which are a little more expensive, more in the $300-400 range. And am not really convinced that they deliver a better or much different sound than some of the better studio models in the $100-$200 range. So it's hard for me to justify spending that much. Maybe my ears just aren't good enough to hear the difference though.

I would love to try a free-edge model, like the Denon D5200, or something similar, for more bass impact. But don't think I can stretch my budget that far, unless Denon does another deep discount like they did over the holidays (which may have been a mistake?).
 
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May 12, 2021 at 6:36 PM Post #1,886 of 1,987

Sonic Defender

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I have an as new D5200 on hand that I'm supposed to sell for a friend. Maybe I should give it a try myself and see?
 
May 12, 2021 at 6:43 PM Post #1,887 of 1,987

Chris Kaoss

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I have an as new D5200 on hand that I'm supposed to sell for a friend. Maybe I should give it a try myself and see?
Please share your thoughts about in regard to the SEM5. :) :)
 
May 12, 2021 at 7:47 PM Post #1,888 of 1,987

ADUHF

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I have an as new D5200 on hand that I'm supposed to sell for a friend. Maybe I should give it a try myself and see?

Based on the graphs, the sound signature on the D5200 is not perfect, and would probably need a little bit of tweaking here and there with an EQ to better suit my preference. And there also appears to be a slight imbalance in the volume of its drivers, which could probably also be easily rectified with a L/R balance control. It is in the neutral ballpark though. And I suspect it could be a pretty decent sounding headphone with maybe just few tweaks here and there to better even out its sound, particularly in the midrange and bass.

This is a graph of the raw frequency response from Crinacle's graphing tool that I posted around the holidays fwiw.

 
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May 12, 2021 at 8:04 PM Post #1,889 of 1,987

ADUHF

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The AKG K371's I'm considering are new in the box for around $130 btw. There are actually several available in my area at the moment, as well as some K553 MkII's (which also have detachable cables) for $160.

I have been looking at, listening to, and considering the K371 for quite a few months. So I'm aware of most of the issues on these, including the hinge issues. And I'm mostly just lookin for some gut reactions from others who may also have tried or considered these. Because I'm still not totally sure where I stand on them. :)

This is the first time I've seen any K371's in my area for months though. Hence my current dilemma.
 
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May 12, 2021 at 11:15 PM Post #1,890 of 1,987

Sonic Defender

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Please share your thoughts about in regard to the SEM5. :) :)
I wish that I could, and I should have updated my signature, but about 5 months ago I liquidated my entire headphone collection (that was very hard to do) as I had decided to spend some time back with speakers and I needed funds. Sigh, really miss my headphones and I am now trying to determine what headphone to get back into things with. Going by memory the SEM5 is more dynamic, but the D5200 (at last listen) is tuned a little closer to fun with bigger bass. I would love to directly compare them as sadly, audio memory is really not at all accurate. I hope somebody else can offer you some better feedback.
 

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