The Closed-Back Headphone Thread (Plus Comparisons & Reviews)
Dec 4, 2021 at 7:49 AM Post #2,761 of 5,102

Terriero

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My audio stable has remained unchanged for two, yes two, years (with the exception of the Paw S1 last Christmas, but we'll ignore that). I'll just let the gasps settle down...

I've held official discussions with the wife, I even put on a tux for the occasion, and we're in agreement; I'm due a new headphone; 'tis the season to be jolly after all!

The shortlist consists of:

- Audeze LCD-XC 2021
- Denon 9200
- Kennerton Gjallerhorn
- Fostex TH-900
- Campfire Audio Cascade
- Heddphone (yeah they're open so a bit of a wildcard, but I'm intrigued)

I don't really know what sound I'm after, as the list suggests, but good bass is a must, and I believe all of the above to meet that particular criteria. The Sony Z1R and Liric would be on there but there is a price ceiling.

I hope to demo all of them over the next few weeks, although one or two might not be possible. I'll take the Dangerous Source for a desktop source, and the Paw S1 and Meridian Explorer 2 for portable device tests.

I'm genuinely excited to hear what these can offer over my Owls and Shure 1540s, but these will remain in the stable.

As an aside, how do you guys feel about auditioning equipment in places that you know you might end up purchasing elsewhere? I can't help but feel a bit... guilty... about it.
My friend... :beerchug: You have the Shure SHR 1540. I didn't know that. What do you think of them?

From the headphones you listed and what I think about them (from what I've read or the one I own, the 9200s):

- After tried the Beyer T 1.3 (which he owns), the Denon AH-D9200s or the Sendy Audio Peacock (both returned by him), my friend @albertmuc now is loving his new Audeze LCD-X. I don't know how different will be the X-C from the X, but maybe he knows and can help with your decision.

- The 9200s from a technical perspective is almost perfect. They are balanced with a very enjoyable bass and specially sub-bass, I find the voices very detailed with them, but sometimes -with some albums or genres/subgenres- I prefer the warmth of my Sony Z7s. Also, they are in the limit of what I find comfortable for extended periods comparing to the other cans I own.

- GH 50, difficult for me to judge them. The only thing that I don't like from what I've read about them is the cups, which some people find small. In case you are interested, you can valorate to go for the OG or the JM edition. Even, you can ship to John Massaria to upgrade to JM mk2, but I think that will be very expensive from Europe.

- About TH 900, I'm also interested in this model. Maybe you won't like the highs, because you are accustomed to your dark Owls. Also take into account the semi-open design.

- About Cascades, here you can find info about them from a guy that recently purchased them.

- The Heddphone will bring you to the physio after a long session with them :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

You should consider a Z1R second hand unit for 1175 GBP if you can go that high... I saw here, in the classifieds and it's just for UK.

I'm also feel that sensation (guiltiness) when I try other things .not headphones- in shops and I'm not going to buy there...

At the end, I hope that you enjoy a lot the headphones you choose from your list. Nice to see you again here and happy christmas :beerchug:
 
Dec 4, 2021 at 8:05 AM Post #2,762 of 5,102

plakat

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My audio stable has remained unchanged for two, yes two, years (with the exception of the Paw S1 last Christmas, but we'll ignore that). I'll just let the gasps settle down...

I've held official discussions with the wife, I even put on a tux for the occasion, and we're in agreement; I'm due a new headphone; 'tis the season to be jolly after all!

The shortlist consists of:

- Audeze LCD-XC 2021
- Denon 9200
- Kennerton Gjallerhorn
- Fostex TH-900
- Campfire Audio Cascade
- Heddphone (yeah they're open so a bit of a wildcard, but I'm intrigued)

I don't really know what sound I'm after, as the list suggests, but good bass is a must, and I believe all of the above to meet that particular criteria. The Sony Z1R and Liric would be on there but there is a price ceiling.

I hope to demo all of them over the next few weeks, although one or two might not be possible. I'll take the Dangerous Source for a desktop source, and the Paw S1 and Meridian Explorer 2 for portable device tests.

I'm genuinely excited to hear what these can offer over my Owls and Shure 1540s, but these will remain in the stable.

As an aside, how do you guys feel about auditioning equipment in places that you know you might end up purchasing elsewhere? I can't help but feel a bit... guilty... about it.

The sounds like a very special time indeed. Being on the hunt with higher blessing must be... wonderful in itself. Almost regardless of outcome... but if you manage to optimize that as well -- anyway. Glad you can indulge in the fun activity of selecting a new toy, and I hope you can enjoy the hunt. I think longer abstinence makes it much more interesting than a constant feed of new purchases.

Out of those listed I own the D9200 and I once owned the original TH-900. The latter was a bit too stressful to me, especially its treble, which can border on harsh for my taste. The bass is of course impressive. My D9200 was resting for several months and I plan to get it out tomorrow -- and I'm looking forward to that very much. It's quite balanced with still fun bass, clear, deep reaching and powerful, but not generating stress (I really dislike upper bass emphasi, which the TH-900 had more than the D9200 does).

I've listened to the Cascade once (a friend owns one), but it did nothing for me. It's some time ago, and I cannot even remember any specific traits... yes, it was rather heavy, both in weight and upped bass, but that's about all I can say.

Obviously not in the same class, but still my goto headphone for a really fun bass implementation is the V-Moda M-100... but only the original model, which is increasingly hard to come by nowadays. The Master lost most of that fun signature, the M-200 is tuned completely different. The CF2W Codex is OK as well. But if you're looking for an overall high class performance, my pick would be the D9200. Beautiful build, reasonable price, great sound quality and high comfort.

Edit: That part about testing and knowing that buying will happen elsewhere... I understand that price is a factor, of course. I still try to support local shops, i.e. I prefer to buy where I test and I try to order from local shops if I can't go there (as with my new Hi-X60). If there's a large difference in price, I'd talk to them about this difference upfront and accept a bit higher price due to additional service. Otherwise I'd put the onus on the web shop, i.e. they'll have to carry the risk of me sending something back: after all they're having lower overhead than the local shop and I don't want the local shop to have a disadvantage. But its a hard question...
 
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Dec 4, 2021 at 9:45 AM Post #2,763 of 5,102

n05ey

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Time.

My audio stable has remained unchanged for two, yes two, years (with the exception of the Paw S1 last Christmas, but we'll ignore that). I'll just let the gasps settle down...

I've held official discussions with the wife, I even put on a tux for the occasion, and we're in agreement; I'm due a new headphone; 'tis the season to be jolly after all!

The shortlist consists of:

- Audeze LCD-XC 2021
- Denon 9200
- Kennerton Gjallerhorn
- Fostex TH-900
- Campfire Audio Cascade
- Heddphone (yeah they're open so a bit of a wildcard, but I'm intrigued)

I don't really know what sound I'm after, as the list suggests, but good bass is a must, and I believe all of the above to meet that particular criteria. The Sony Z1R and Liric would be on there but there is a price ceiling.

I hope to demo all of them over the next few weeks, although one or two might not be possible. I'll take the Dangerous Source for a desktop source, and the Paw S1 and Meridian Explorer 2 for portable device tests.

I'm genuinely excited to hear what these can offer over my Owls and Shure 1540s, but these will remain in the stable.

As an aside, how do you guys feel about auditioning equipment in places that you know you might end up purchasing elsewhere? I can't help but feel a bit... guilty... about it.
This is without a doubt my favourite post I have read in a long while. Apart from sharing a lot of headphone history, even more I can relate to the satisfaction of sitting down with the blessing of the other half.

My best advice is that you will know which way to go when you go through the journey. Personally I went through a similar journey a couple of months ago with similar blessing only to walk out of the shops even more confused than previous.

However once the right opportunity came across my path it was pretty clear. In hindsight, I appreciated the sessions in stores that I went to and they ( at least it seemed) to enjoy being a part of the journey. So enjoy the audiophile community, be honest and we look forward to hearing what the end result ends up as :) we are all a little crazy but in the best way possible :)
 
Dec 4, 2021 at 12:11 PM Post #2,764 of 5,102

adrianm

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As an aside, how do you guys feel about auditioning equipment in places that you know you might end up purchasing elsewhere? I can't help but feel a bit... guilty... about it.
I've done the same thing when i got my Z1R. Auditioned at my local dealer, bought off amazon because...it was 500$ cheaper due to some weird pricing issue close to launch. I've even told them about it, there were no hard feelings anyway but i've since made up for it with ..everything else in my signature for great prices :)
I won't spam my love for the Z1R anymore , comparison with Liric is a few pages back.
 
Dec 4, 2021 at 12:21 PM Post #2,765 of 5,102

CTR640

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how do you guys feel about auditioning equipment in places that you know you might end up purchasing elsewhere? I can't help but feel a bit... guilty... about it.
I did that some months ago to see how the LG 48C1 looks in person. I was very lucky to have a new TV store here so close. That store doesn't have a good reputation so I used it to see that tv in person and then buy it from a very reputable web/store. However, I delayed it because LG 42C2.

Sometimes I do feel guilty too yes but if that store has a crappy reputation, then no :p
 
Dec 4, 2021 at 1:14 PM Post #2,766 of 5,102

catom

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Watch out for weight if you've been using the Audioquest as a daily driver.

After picking up the Nightowls a few weeks ago I was immediately impressed by how lightweight they were. Incredibly comfortable.

But I was using Hifiman and Meze (also comfy) before hand. They were heavier. Then I got the Elegia. Much heavier.

But NOT as heavy as those LCD-X closed apparently. So I'd be mindful of that for what it's worth.

Audeze is absolutely on my bucket list. I don't know when, but I'll likely get one in the future...but the weight may be a bigger factor than I thought for after comparing some others recently.

I read good things about the Denon and the Fostex. I haven't looked into weight or anything much there.
 
Dec 4, 2021 at 2:19 PM Post #2,767 of 5,102

dougms3

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Just thought I'd share my experience with the Final Audio Sonorous III. In case anyone might be interested in a more budget friendly headphone that is highly capable with mods.

Bought this headphone about a month ago because it was on sale and thought I'd try it out and return it if I didn't like it. MSRP is about $300.

Initially, I noticed the ear pads have almost no depth about 5mm. Extremely uncomfortable, as I have big ears and it fits like an on ear headphone. The treble was extremely sharp, not surprising since the driver is basically up against the ear. I saw that the pads were easily interchangeable and decided to test out some of the pads I have in my inventory. This improved the headphones immensely. Bass and soundstage were improved dramatically and the treble was no longer piercing, the mids took a bit of step back however.

This headphone has an unusual tuning. After the earpad swap, its warm, has sub bass roll off with heavy bass bleeding into the mids a little. Mids slope down unusually at the lowest point around the 1k region which makes them sound recessed, especially vocals. Treble is bright and hits a peak around 10-11k, but brings an vast amount of shimmer and sparkle. It has good treble extension giving it nice air up top.

The build quality is excellent except for the plastic ring around the earcups which is cheap thin plastic, overall for what I paid for the headphone, I can't complain much though. Comfort is superb, just about as comfy as my Sony z7m2. Weight doesn't bother me but I would say its on the heavier side, a bit heavier than my Sonys. Comes with only a SE cable with proprietary locking connectors on the headphone jacks.

I saw that the driver was highly capable but the headphone suffers from poor tuning so I thought I'd take a stab at modding it. I swapped earpads, used fo.q tape to dampen it and also used a rotary tool to grind off the plastic tabs so I can use a balanced cable. For the details I will link the mods done here.

After all said and done this headphone has become my daily driver. My modded Sony's still reign as king of sub bass but the Sonorous IIIs have more regular bass and mid bass. Out of my collection, it has the most soundstage, is the most resolving and has a shimmer and sparkle that is highly addictive.
 
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Dec 4, 2021 at 3:00 PM Post #2,768 of 5,102

plakat

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Following @Nostoi s suggestion I may copy over my short first impressions of the Austrian Audio Hi-X60 vs. the Beyerdynamic DT700 from the X60 thread
https://www.head-fi.org/threads/austrian-audio-hi-x60-closed-back-studio-headphone.960947/

------
I'll have a bit more time tomorrow (though then I'll get out my D9200 from its months long rest...), but as a short comparison I'd add the following points:
* Both are very comfortable, with the X60 having more spacious pads (just like the X55) but the ear pillows of the DT700 are just so comfortable... yet they offer less space (not a problem with my ears). The X60 has an indentation at the mid of the headband, which makes this a bit more comfortable than the straight headband of the DT700. It also spreads out more with two stripes.
* Isolation seems on a comparable level for both, although I only checked with my son as an external noise source.
* Leakage is low according to my wife sitting 2m away.
* The DT700 sounds more direct, with much less distance between driver and ear. It also has more sculpted sound, with stronger bass and a bit emphasized mids. It puts musical engagement first I'd say.
* The X60 seems more even, a bit more distanced and more committed to transporting the music as is than trying to actively engage.
* The X60 sounds more spacious, the greater distance between drivers and ears makes itself heard.
* Both have stable imaging, with the X60 showing a wider stage and the DT700 sounding more intimate.
* Both offer a god level of details, with the X60 a bit ahead I'd say.
* Voices sound a bit more natural to me on the X60
* The X60 is obviously much more compact
* I prefer the mini-XLR on the DT700 over the 2,5mm jack on the X60 (although it is well protected and locks).
* Both have easily exchangeable pads and headband, for both replacements are not yet available. Complete sets of headband, 2 pads plus 2 driver covers for the X55 cost about 60€, ear pads for the DT770 cost about 25,-. Beyerdynamic normally makes all parts available for repair, including drivers... I don't know how Austrian Audio handles this, bit I guess I'll simply ask them about this topic. I consider this really important for the longevity of a product, especially for headphones targeting the professional segment.

Hope this helps a bit :)
 
Dec 4, 2021 at 4:46 PM Post #2,770 of 5,102

Joaquin Dinero

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My audio stable has remained unchanged for two, yes two, years (with the exception of the Paw S1 last Christmas, but we'll ignore that). I'll just let the gasps settle down...

I've held official discussions with the wife, I even put on a tux for the occasion, and we're in agreement; I'm due a new headphone
Can you teach me?


* Mashes the SUBSCRIBE button frantically *
 
Dec 4, 2021 at 5:33 PM Post #2,772 of 5,102

Terriero

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I've done the same thing when i got my Z1R. Auditioned at my local dealer, bought off amazon because...it was 500$ cheaper due to some weird pricing issue close to launch. I've even told them about it, there were no hard feelings anyway but i've since made up for it with ..everything else in my signature for great prices :)
I won't spam my love for the Z1R anymore , comparison with Liric is a few pages back.
The only european shop I know that sell the Z1R (besides the Sony store that sell them for 2200 € :rolling_eyes: ) is this austrian shop. Do you know any other european shop that has the Z1Rs available? In Spain, I checked all the on-line shops I know and they are not available (even don't listed). Last year amazon uk have them listed but no longer...

I'm considering to go with a second hand unit...
 
Dec 4, 2021 at 5:49 PM Post #2,773 of 5,102

adrianm

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The only european shop I know that sell the Z1R (besides the Sony store that sell them for 2200 € :rolling_eyes: ) is this austrian shop. Do you know any other european shop that has the Z1Rs available? In Spain, I checked all the on-line shops I know and they are not available (even don't listed). Last year amazon uk have them listed but no longer...

I'm considering to go with a second hand unit...
You can try your luck with these stores :
https://geizhals.eu/sony-mdr-z1r-a1502013.html

This one maybe?
https://www.elektroshopkoeck.com/webshop/common/ProductDetail.aspx?ref=gz&pid=108955
They only deliver to Austria but maybe if you e-mail them they can make an exception. Really good deal.
 
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