The Closed-Back Headphone Thread (Plus Comparisons & Reviews)
Aug 13, 2020 at 3:34 PM Post #16 of 1,973

arielext

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I enjoy a good closed back and have had quite a few. From dt770 to the focal stellia and back to mmx300.2 the closed back is also the one I switch the most. Right now the beyerdynamic t5p ticks the boxes ... Until :)
 
Aug 13, 2020 at 3:42 PM Post #17 of 1,973

GREQ

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To cover headphones I've heard but not owned...

Stellia is fantastic.
Probably the best all-round closed-back I've ever heard. Didn't take more than a short audition to understand that.
I quite liked the Pioneer Monitor 5, but there was a slight tonal 'flaw' in the upper mids that just wasn't quite perfect.
Still one of the best looking production headphones today :)
I know it's totally polarizing, but I also love the Beyer DT1770. Insane thunderous sub-bass on that thing... almost one of a kind.

Would love to own all three, but there are so many other great closed backs I've never heard.
 
Aug 13, 2020 at 3:45 PM Post #18 of 1,973

easo91

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I just picked up the Audeze EL-8C for less than $350 new, so I’m pretty excited to get my hands on it. I won’t ever be shopping in the LCD-3 price range again, so I’m curious what the little brother sounds like.
 
Aug 13, 2020 at 4:00 PM Post #19 of 1,973

Curtisvill

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Great post. I have my first pair of closed cans on order now, I have a pair of the ZMF Verite in the build queue. Considering how much I have been enjoying my IEMs as of late, I am looking forward to listening to them and comparing them to my go to Focal Clear. I will follow along with this thread to learn more about closed back cans.
 
Aug 13, 2020 at 4:28 PM Post #20 of 1,973

Malevolent

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I wonder what Focal is up to with the Elegia discontinued
Are there are any rumors about this? The Elegia is still marketed on Focal's official website. Of course, I'd welcome a new closed-back from Focal anytime, but isn't it a little too early to discontinue the Elegia? They are only 2 years old, right?

Exactly what happened to me. I'm currently rocking the Aeon 2 closed and I love them.
I had a second round with the AEON 2 Closed recently, and I was sufficiently impressed enough to purchase one on the spot. It's in the same bracket as the LCD-2 Closed Back, so I'm eager to compare the 2 (when it arrives). What's really interesting is the weight difference, though - the LCD-2 Closed Back weighs almost twice as much as the AEON 2 Closed!
 
Aug 13, 2020 at 4:33 PM Post #21 of 1,973

Malevolent

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I would say the NightOwl is a good analoque turntable, the MDR-Z7 is a good analogue tape deck.
Overall the Owls resolve better and their soundstage is more coherent and consistent. The Z7s at times sound like a 'spatial' button is pressed. In the 80s and 90s this was a common sound enhance button on portable radio/cassette players. And at times the instrument seperation on the Z7s sound like a multi-miked recording, as if not all the instruments/instrument groups are recorded in the same space at the same time, but later put together. Hard to describe, but the Owls sound more natural in 'soundstaging; .
I love both, the Owls are superior for natural recordings, like classical, jazz etc. The Z7s are superior for 60s and 70s pop/rock recordings.
Interesting analogy. I'm a child of the CD era, but I was exposed to tapes when I was younger. I can't honestly remember how it sounded vis-à-vis a CD, though.

In any case, I did enjoy the NightOwl during my audition sometime back. It was at full MSRP at that point in time, so I was a little hesitant to pull the trigger. With the recent decline in prices, I might just order one.
 
Aug 13, 2020 at 4:40 PM Post #22 of 1,973

Malevolent

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I would love to audition them first... I don't think I would dislike them considering I like the sound of most of the really good stuff they made in the past, but it's a lot of money to throw at yet another headphone I don't need :D
There's far too few impressions and way too much import tax to consider this toy seriously at the moment.
And not even a single FR graph.

The wooden drivers are highly alluring, I was very tempted to buy the SW02 a few times.
I do keep my eyes peeled for 2nd hand copies in Europe, however unlikely it would be for one to turn up.
These headphones appear to be limited to the East Asian market, so it will be a challenge to purchase one outside of the Far East, let alone audition one.

In any case, the "Wood Dome" drivers are intriguing.

By the way, if you take a look at this post, it appears that JVC has rebranded the SW01 and SW02 for markets outside of East Asia.
 
Aug 13, 2020 at 4:44 PM Post #23 of 1,973

Malevolent

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I enjoy a good closed back and have had quite a few. From dt770 to the focal stellia and back to mmx300.2 the closed back is also the one I switch the most. Right now the beyerdynamic t5p ticks the boxes ... Until :)
I love the T5p, too. I have a 2nd Generation model myself, and it's one of my most-used headphones. The "v-shaped" signature is perfect for dance music. :)

Anyway, the 3rd Generation of the T5p might be arriving within the next few months, if rumors are true. That's something to look forward to!
 
Aug 13, 2020 at 4:54 PM Post #24 of 1,973

Mink

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Interesting analogy. I'm a child of the CD era, but I was exposed to tapes when I was younger. I can't honestly remember how it sounded vis-à-vis a CD, though.

In any case, I did enjoy the NightOwl during my audition sometime back. It was at full MSRP at that point in time, so I was a little hesitant to pull the trigger. With the recent decline in prices, I might just order one.
Well to make a quick comparison between CD and tape as I experienced it when I got my first CD player in the late 80s: with cassette tape I had to turn the treble on my amp completely open, to the right (obviously my tape deck was of poor quality and with a dirty tape head), Playing the CD player I had to turn the treble knob on my amp to the left, it was too bright.
With the tape deck there was more bloom in the sound and bass was bigger and softer, treble was severely rolled-off. CD tightend the bass up, but soundstage and instrument seperation became more apparant. I wasn't used to that. I reckon the Z7s to be like a good tape deck, with clean heads and the correct bias for the cassette tapes. But still with a softer, warmer and less clean sound as CD.
 
Aug 13, 2020 at 7:27 PM Post #25 of 1,973

alekc

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For starters I am not fan of closed back headphone. I am fan of headphones with great SQ while still providing comfort during listening.

However I've noticed a pattern: when I've been comparing Sennheiser HD 600 and HD 650 to Ultrasone PRO 900i I went with Ultrasone finally.

When I've been choosing between AudioQuest NightOwl Carbon and NightHawk Carbon - which wasn't easy btw - I finally decided I like NightOwls better.

Being said so, I am now travelling with LCD-1 due to their compact size and good comfort and I am happy too. I wish I haven't bought NightHawks together with NightOwls. Both are great headphones providing ultimate comfort.
 
Aug 13, 2020 at 7:37 PM Post #26 of 1,973

EQlizer

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I would love to audition them first... I don't think I would dislike them considering I like the sound of most of the really good stuff they made in the past, but it's a lot of money to throw at yet another headphone I don't need :D
There's far too few impressions and way too much import tax to consider this toy seriously at the moment.
And not even a single FR graph.

The wooden drivers are highly alluring, I was very tempted to buy the SW02 a few times.
I do keep my eyes peeled for 2nd hand copies in Europe, however unlikely it would be for one to turn up.
 
Aug 14, 2020 at 12:34 AM Post #28 of 1,973

KPzypher

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Here's a thread for fans of closed-back headphones.

To start off, I love closed-back cans. Since I started my journey a little under 10 years ago, I have always preferred closed headphones to open ones. The sense of intimacy, the 'in your head' sound; these are some of the characteristics that I desire in my headphones, something that open-backs cannot satisfy.

Plus, I listen to a lot of EDM (~70% of my music collection). I simply cannot get the bass that I crave, the bass that dance music needs, with open-back headphones.

So here's a thread for those of us who prefer the closed side of things. :)

Plus, I am interested in doing a comparison of the top-end closed-back headphones available on the market today. At present, these are the major closed cans in my collection -
  • Audeze LCD-2 Closed Back
  • Audeze LCD-XC
  • Beyerdynamic T5p (2nd Generation)
  • Campfire Audio Cascade
  • Dan Clark Audio AEON 2 Closed (on its way)
  • Denon AH-D9200
  • Focal Elegia
  • Fostex TH900 Mk2
  • Sony MDR-Z1R
  • Sony MDR-Z7M2
  • ZMF Vérité Closed (on its way)
I also have access to the following closed headphones -
  • Audio-Technica ATH-AWAS
  • Audio-Technica ATH-AWKT
  • Focal Stellia
  • Sennheiser HD820
Once I get the final pieces of the puzzle, the AEON 2 Closed and the Vérité Closed, I will compare all of these closed-back headphones in my collection, and I will include the others, too, if possible.

So anyway, let's get started discussing our favorite closed-back headphones!

Great thread. Although I much prefer open back headphones, I do have frequent needs for a closed back. Currently, Focal Stellia is the only closed back in my stable, although I have MDR-Z1R in mind as my next purchase. I am very curious and look forward to the two ATH impressions. With that being said, I'll probably go with the ADX5000 instead of the AWAS/AWKT, if given the choice.
 
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Aug 14, 2020 at 3:19 AM Post #29 of 1,973

Nostoi

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I'm also looking forward to your comparison of the heavy hitters in your growing Audio-Technica stable! :)
Let me wait until the AWAS comes in next week and I'll do a 4 way deathmatch with all the recent AT models. Who will reign supreme? I'll post the results on this thread with the decisive outcome....:gs1000smile:
 
Aug 14, 2020 at 3:27 AM Post #30 of 1,973

Mhog55

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I haven't found many open backs that give me the same rush with adrenaline pumping Rock N Roll, as I do with closed cans. I have the ath-wp900 coming soon. After that, I'm a bit hung between the T5p 2nd and the Aeon Flow closed 2nd. I'll be curious to hear your comparisons between the two.
 

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