The Closed-Back Headphone Thread (Plus Comparisons & Reviews)
Jun 26, 2021 at 6:03 AM Post #2,011 of 2,508

MatW

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Appreciate the reply. Wow these headphones are beautiful
I agree. They have a very heavy low end. Too much for me, but sounds like what you're looking for.
 
Jun 26, 2021 at 12:49 PM Post #2,013 of 2,508

ardbeg1975

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Depends what kind of sound signature you're missing in your collection. Does it need to be closed? More interesting options in open back maybe, relative to what you've got. For closed I'm quite fond of the LCD XC and the Sony Z1R. Or maybe look into IEMs? But that's another rabbit hole entirely. :)
Very fair question. I like closed as I thought I had their typical deficiency of lack of open, wide sound stage covered by the Arya. I cannot hear above ~11/12 kHz and tend to be treble sensitive below that thus I like warm of neutral to very warm (or compensate via the tube amps). Thus, is there a pair which has more bass than the ones I have without being muddy or losing too much detail in the other frequency ranges? The closed are also more useful when I take a pair to/from home and office so as not to disturb others. IEMs are not to my tastes. All that said, your open comment is well made and a more warm / bass leaning open dynamic to complement the mid focus of the 6XX could also be an option.
 
Jun 26, 2021 at 1:42 PM Post #2,014 of 2,508

MatW

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Very fair question. I like closed as I thought I had their typical deficiency of lack of open, wide sound stage covered by the Arya. I cannot hear above ~11/12 kHz and tend to be treble sensitive below that thus I like warm of neutral to very warm (or compensate via the tube amps). Thus, is there a pair which has more bass than the ones I have without being muddy or losing too much detail in the other frequency ranges? The closed are also more useful when I take a pair to/from home and office so as not to disturb others. IEMs are not to my tastes. All that said, your open comment is well made and a more warm / bass leaning open dynamic to complement the mid focus of the 6XX could also be an option.
I think the Sony MDR-Z1R is worth exploring, based on what you're looking for.
 
Jun 26, 2021 at 2:08 PM Post #2,015 of 2,508

dougms3

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I have the Z7m2, was just curious how the Z1R sounds in comparison.
 
Jun 26, 2021 at 2:10 PM Post #2,016 of 2,508

vanez1985

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Very fair question. I like closed as I thought I had their typical deficiency of lack of open, wide sound stage covered by the Arya. I cannot hear above ~11/12 kHz and tend to be treble sensitive below that thus I like warm of neutral to very warm (or compensate via the tube amps). Thus, is there a pair which has more bass than the ones I have without being muddy or losing too much detail in the other frequency ranges? The closed are also more useful when I take a pair to/from home and office so as not to disturb others. IEMs are not to my tastes. All that said, your open comment is well made and a more warm / bass leaning open dynamic to complement the mid focus of the 6XX could also be an option.
Try Cascades. I prefer more mids/treble-centric HPs now so mine will go to local classifieds soon and help me get some funds for either Celestee, GH JM or D9200 (did not decide yet), but for bass-centric without losing details these are good.
 
Jun 26, 2021 at 4:20 PM Post #2,017 of 2,508

AudioDuck

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Very fair question. I like closed as I thought I had their typical deficiency of lack of open, wide sound stage covered by the Arya. I cannot hear above ~11/12 kHz and tend to be treble sensitive below that thus I like warm of neutral to very warm (or compensate via the tube amps). Thus, is there a pair which has more bass than the ones I have without being muddy or losing too much detail in the other frequency ranges? The closed are also more useful when I take a pair to/from home and office so as not to disturb others. IEMs are not to my tastes. All that said, your open comment is well made and a more warm / bass leaning open dynamic to complement the mid focus of the 6XX could also be an option.
There are great suggestions here, though one addition that might work for you is the Focal Radiance.

My listening/sound sig preferences are similar to yours, and while the Radiance *can* be a little on the bass-exaggerating end of the spectrum for me on very specific tracks, it is generally lush, yet detailed, with smooth treble that still retains detail well.

It also plays very, very nicely with both tube/OTL amplification as well as solid-state.

Of course, the build quality is top-notch and the comfort is very high as well. The only things I’d note to consider as potential blockers for you (presuming budget of ~$ 900+ preowned is in your range):
- The pads are very soft and the distance to the drivers is a bit limited. I’m a small person and have smaller ears, so not an issue for me, but I’ve seen reviews call it out.
- The stock cable is too short- OK for portable listening (!)- then again, I’ve found that good aftermarket cables are very worthwhile to my ears with a resolving setup.
- The above mentioned bass shelf.

Other than that, they are phenomenal cans and I plan to spend many happy years with mine. While I may splurge on a pair of ZMF Atticus at some point next year because they sound like an ideal fit for me, I’m really set otherwise.
 
Jun 26, 2021 at 4:47 PM Post #2,018 of 2,508

arielext

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I've tried a few closed-backs this year:
- DCA æon flow 2 noire: Very portable and ingenious design. Above average noise isolation and to top it off a near perfect frequency response for me. Sent it back cause it's build for smaller heads then mine. It clamped like a vicious beast. DCA does know how to make closed-back headphones though
- DCA Ether C flow 1.1: Bigger is better, the Ether is damn near perfect in everything for me. Fit was way better and the overall sound compared to the æon 2 noire was a bit more mature. Ended up selling it due to a small but still present clamp just above my ears which resulted in a headache every single time :frowning2: Too bad bending doesn't help with these and their memory metal headband.
- LSA HP-2 Ultra: Hello horns! I love the Kennerton house-sound and I loved the Magni v3 I had last year. High hopes for the HP-2 but I always found it a bit shouty for my preference. To get the best sound you need an insane amount of clamp which made me sell these again. I've heard that the JM edition of the horn fixes the shoutiness I heard. If you are fine with a vice grip on your head please consider this headphone. The open-back Kennerton headphones with the new auto-adjust headbands are one of the most comfortable and best built headphones you can ever experience.
- Beyerdynamic/Drop DT 177X GO: Hard to find in the EU but worth getting them from the USA. The leather pads compliment the headphones perfectly and combined with the "amiron wireless" dampening pads it fixes all that I hated about the DT 1770 PRO. No more piercing highs. The bass is still prominent. So far I have not experienced the hot-spot I got with the DT 1770 PRO. I read that the clamp on the GO is less then on the PRO but I never had both at the same time. Soldering a balanced cable topped it off. At the moment the DT 177X GO is the closed-back for me. Portable, easily driven and versatile enough (single-ended and balanced, 2 different types of pads that have proven to work).

My dream closed-back is a DCA æon flow 2 noire that doesn't give me the feeling my head is stuck between the elevator doors :D which is why I know I need to save up the money for a Kennerton Rögnir :wink:
 
Jun 28, 2021 at 1:14 PM Post #2,019 of 2,508

noobphileXXL

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Can anyone here kindly measure the ear-cup size of any Beyerdynamic DT model (dt770 or higher)?
The ear-cup hinges are needed to be taken into account during measurement.

Just place your headphone’s one ear-cup on a white paper. Ear-cup’s outer side should be flat on the surface. Now draw two points marking two rotatory hinges of the ear-cup on the paper. Then measure the distance between the 2 points by a ruler or a measuring tape.

It may sound cumbersome, but it’s not actually. If any kind soul can do that for me.

Reason is I’m looking for a hard shell case for my Hifiman He400i 2020. Where I live, Beyer hard case is the only and cheaper option available. Hifiman’s official case is a lot pricier. He400i’s ear-cup measures to be 115mm. So the inner height of the case has to be more than 115mm for safety. Beyerdynamic officially states the case’s outer height to be 13mm, but nowhere I’ve found it’s inner height. If anyone can, please.

or if someone here owns both He400i 2020 and any Beyer dt model with the dt Hard case, please let me know if He400i fits in. Thanks in advance.
 
Jun 28, 2021 at 7:11 PM Post #2,020 of 2,508

dan3952

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Looking for a pair of entry closed-backs that offer amazing bass. Want a pair for some hip-hop music and other music with a heavier low end. Have little knowledge on closed backs.
I just got a used pair of Shure SRH-1540s, but the bass is not as clean as with any Audeze. I just don't use them in the house, and don't want to pay for the LCD-2 closed. The latter would be my first closed back if I had it to do over again.
 
Jun 28, 2021 at 8:42 PM Post #2,021 of 2,508

AudioDuck

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I just got a used pair of Shure SRH-1540s, but the bass is not as clean as with any Audeze. I just don't use them in the house, and don't want to pay for the LCD-2 closed. The latter would be my first closed back if I had it to do over again.
Agreed on both points- I have a 1540 as a work-hours “daily driver” due to weight and comfort, and while the Audezes have more detail and a cleaner bass (I had an LCD-XC previously), the weight can be a concern for many. I didn’t mind it for 1-2 hour listening sessions, but for others it is a major factor.

The Shures are a killer value if you find a pre-loved pair, and the only caution I’d note is that the headband can wear and flake over time, so you might need an aftermarket cover (~$ 15 on Amazon). The pads are AMAZING and made of Alcantara (with an extra backup pair in the box!) so they don’t have that issue. Of note, the 1540s also scale with an improved aftermarket cable if you want, and play nice with solid-state and tube amps both- they are not picky.
 
Jun 28, 2021 at 11:20 PM Post #2,022 of 2,508

dan3952

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Agreed on both points- I have a 1540 as a work-hours “daily driver” due to weight and comfort, and while the Audezes have more detail and a cleaner bass (I had an LCD-XC previously), the weight can be a concern for many. I didn’t mind it for 1-2 hour listening sessions, but for others it is a major factor.

The Shures are a killer value if you find a pre-loved pair, and the only caution I’d note is that the headband can wear and flake over time, so you might need an aftermarket cover (~$ 15 on Amazon). The pads are AMAZING and made of Alcantara (with an extra backup pair in the box!) so they don’t have that issue. Of note, the 1540s also scale with an improved aftermarket cable if you want, and play nice with solid-state and tube amps both- they are not picky.
I did notice that they had tried to reduce the weight of the -XC, by providing only the carbon fiber cups model. Have always wondered why some other manufacturers produce such needlessly heavy products; Shure had really put their product on a diet. I had gotten rid of my LCD-3s, because my speakers out-resolve them. I didn't understand how that would be possible with headphones having a $1945 MSRP, and it had made me mad (the prospect of paying more for the Rossons or the LCD-4s). My main purpose of using headphones at this time is hushing outside noise, and IEMs far outperform the Shures, in that regard (like using 3M yellow earplugs). Bass is noticeably cleaner with the LCD-3s, than my servo enabled subwoofer can manage; also with the Shures to a lesser extent; I can tell notes apart on either pair of headphones that are blurred together on my speakers.

I'm not much of a cable roller, and couldn't tell the fancy one apart from the OEM one (the 789 THX has multiple jacks). I now have Brainwavz pads (four days old) and Dekoni pads (arrived today), both sheepskin. Adorama may have had some old stock, the latter item is no longer on the Dekoni site, and I may not keep them unless they're thicker than the Brainwavz ones. The seal isn't as tight as with some other headphones I've had, which I can do little about, and had wondered if this would cause a looser bass sound. I have a negative low shelf active from about 150 Hz down (was trying to match them match to the Harman curve). Not sure it's worth pad rolling at all, as the alcantara ones are lined with leatherette inside.

Happy with my THX 789 to run the Shures, and wouldn't attempt a tube amp, as I know their Mylar drivers sound warmer than the sometimes fatiguing Al/Mg ones that Focal uses in their Clears (which were my first pair of good headphones).
 
Jun 29, 2021 at 7:10 AM Post #2,023 of 2,508

CJG888

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Still in the process of discovering just how good the ATH-W1000Z are!

Surprisingly, there is little discussion of the „big“ Audio-Technicas these days…
 
Jun 29, 2021 at 7:14 AM Post #2,024 of 2,508

Nostoi

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Still in the process of discovering just how good the ATH-W1000Z are!

Surprisingly, there is little discussion of the „big“ Audio-Technicas these days…
I would like to get some of these at some point. I was listening to my ATH-AWKT yesterday and reminded of how excellent they are. Definitely not tuned for the average consumer (no mid-bass bump), but if you're sympathetic to Japanese tuning and to some extent Japanese aesthetics - as I am - then they're amazing.

You're right, Audio-Technica tend to fly under the radar. I remain keen to explore the older generation of AT woodies at some point.
 
Jun 29, 2021 at 4:21 PM Post #2,025 of 2,508

Shane D

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I haven't posted here in a while, but the closed back hunt has gone on, with some success and a few failures along the way.
I bought the Fostex TH-610's and gave them a Lawton tune-up. Better, but not what I wanted. Many people had said I should grab Lawton cups. Two sets of cups would have doubled the price of the headphones and I still may not have been happy.
Sold them on.

Got a 10% discount on Cascades and decided to jump on it. WOW! So happy with these. However, the headband is crap. But the sound!! These are a keeper, but not for the road or even work.

Bought the Audio Technica WP900's. Beautiful, light, comfortable, etc. However, they are VERY V-shaped. Too much for me. Currently for sale.

I was unhappy with a recent purchase (LCD-2 Classic's) and found somebody that felt the same way about their headphones. I traded them straight up for Beyer T5's, 3rd gen.
Great, full sound and no annoying treble (I had the 2nd gens and had to EQ them to death). The bass seemed OK and then I put on a Deftones playlist (Deftones, Crosses and a few Team Sleep). There is a Crosses song, I forget the name, and the bass is so low that it is a rumble. Wow, that was impressive. I then went to my test list and picked out some bass tracks and was rewarded. There is NO unnecessary bass in these 'phones. But when called on, it is, to me, very nice. :L3000:
The isolation is amazing, but the clamp is tough. I am guessing the two are probably related. These will be my on the go/at work closed backs.

I have a set of T60 Argons due in this week. I am really curious about these. I really liked the T60RP's, but was Very curious about the Argon world. Including shipping it has been 15 weeks so far.:astonished:

I think I am about finished with my closed back hunting for now. Of course, never say never.
 
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