The Closed-Back Headphone Thread (Plus Comparisons & Reviews)
Aug 14, 2020 at 3:29 AM Post #31 of 1,981

Nostoi

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 29, 2016
Posts
1,701
Likes
2,250
Location
Vienna
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.
You're going to love the WP900 for old school metal. I was listening to them last night against the AWAK and I gotta say, the WP900 hold their own. The energy and engagement is really top notch.
 
Aug 14, 2020 at 3:55 AM Post #32 of 1,981

Mhog55

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 29, 2017
Posts
3,391
Likes
1,077
Location
Evergreen State
You're going to love the WP900 for old school metal. I was listening to them last night against the AWAK and I gotta say, the WP900 hold their own. The energy and engagement is really top notch.
Excellent 😏
 
Aug 14, 2020 at 10:37 AM Post #33 of 1,981

MrPanda

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 15, 2014
Posts
364
Likes
257
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?


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!

It's marked as discontinued on the Headphones.com site. But I really like Elegia! It'll be interesting to see if Focal closes up that gap in their lineup. I love my Stellia's but they're really pricey...
 
Aug 14, 2020 at 2:01 PM Post #34 of 1,981

llamaluv

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 23, 2017
Posts
1,113
Likes
1,406
Location
New York City
FWIW, of the closed-back headphones I've owned --

Ether C Flow​
ZMF Eikon​
Denon D9200 (which I still do like a lot)​
Focal Stellia​

-- the only one I've ended up listening to my home system for any serious length of time when I would otherwise have the opportunity to listen to any open-backed headphone instead is the Stellia.
 
Aug 14, 2020 at 2:49 PM Post #35 of 1,981

Malevolent

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 18, 2011
Posts
5,242
Likes
3,895
Location
Singapore
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.
There are rumours of a closed-back LCD-1 on the horizon. That's something worth waiting for, IMO.

Plus, I love the PRO 900 myself. For some time, it was my top-end closed-back headphone. I love its "v-shaped" sound, although, I suspect that not many people enjoy that particular signature. It's definitely an acquired taste.
 
Aug 14, 2020 at 2:53 PM Post #36 of 1,981

Malevolent

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 18, 2011
Posts
5,242
Likes
3,895
Location
Singapore
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.
@Nostoi is the man best suited to provide a comparison between the AWAS and the AWKT; he already has the latter, and the AWAS will be arriving soon, I suppose. Along with the AP2000Ti and the WP900, he has 4 of the best closed-back headphones in Audio-Technica's current stable. I'm certainly looking forward to his 4-way shootout! :)
 
Aug 14, 2020 at 3:06 PM Post #37 of 1,981

Malevolent

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 18, 2011
Posts
5,242
Likes
3,895
Location
Singapore
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.
I will be getting my AEON 2 Closed tomorrow, and I'll put it through its paces once I get home. :)

FWIW, of the closed-back headphones I've owned --

Ether C Flow​
ZMF Eikon​
Denon D9200 (which I still do like a lot)​
Focal Stellia​

-- the only one I've ended up listening to my home system for any serious length of time when I would otherwise have the opportunity to listen to any open-backed headphone instead is the Stellia.
Out of curiosity, why did you sell the D9200? It's a stellar headphone, and one that, strangely, gets little fanfare on Head-Fi. Speaking from a basshead's perspective, the lows on the Denon are quite spectacular; in comparison, the Fostex TH900 Mk2 provides a more sizeable mid-bass hump, but the D9200 takes the edge in layering and texture.

In any case, I was (seriously) contemplating the Stellia for quite some time... until I heard the ZMF Vérité Closed. :wink:
 
Aug 14, 2020 at 3:07 PM Post #38 of 1,981

Nostoi

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 29, 2016
Posts
1,701
Likes
2,250
Location
Vienna
@Nostoi is the man best suited to provide a comparison between the AWAS and the AWKT; he already has the latter, and the AWAS will be arriving soon, I suppose. Along with the AP2000Ti and the WP900, he has 4 of the best closed-back headphones in Audio-Technica's current stable. I'm certainly looking forward to his 4-way shootout! :)
Presently working on my "review." Already over 2,500 words. Apologies in advance! AWAS should be here Tuesday, I'll upload my impressions thereafter.
 
Aug 14, 2020 at 3:10 PM Post #39 of 1,981

Malevolent

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 18, 2011
Posts
5,242
Likes
3,895
Location
Singapore
It's marked as discontinued on the Headphones.com site. But I really like Elegia! It'll be interesting to see if Focal closes up that gap in their lineup. I love my Stellia's but they're really pricey...
Ahh, I see. That's a seriously short lifespan for a relatively "high-end" headphone, though. The Utopia is at least twice as old, and it's still being sold. I know, that is a flagship, and one that has garnered a ton of accolades. Still, I haven't heard any major criticisms of the Elegia; by and large, it is a solid headphone in its price bracket.
 
Aug 14, 2020 at 3:13 PM Post #40 of 1,981

Malevolent

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 18, 2011
Posts
5,242
Likes
3,895
Location
Singapore
Presently working on my "review." Already over 2,500 words. Apologies in advance! AWAS should be here Tuesday, I'll upload my impressions thereafter.
There's no need to apologize, my friend. You'll be doing a great service to the community, so we should be thanking you instead. :)
 
Aug 14, 2020 at 6:48 PM Post #41 of 1,981

llamaluv

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 23, 2017
Posts
1,113
Likes
1,406
Location
New York City
Out of curiosity, why did you sell the D9200? It's a stellar headphone, and one that, strangely, gets little fanfare on Head-Fi. Speaking from a basshead's perspective, the lows on the Denon are quite spectacular; in comparison, the Fostex TH900 Mk2 provides a more sizeable mid-bass hump, but the D9200 takes the edge in layering and texture.

In any case, I was (seriously) contemplating the Stellia for quite some time... until I heard the ZMF Vérité Closed. :wink:

Ah yea, I like the D9200 a lot, it sounds highly detailed, organic, dynamic, and the tuning they've done in the subbass is very satisfying. Fun and yet still very much "hi-fi". I highly agree that it deserves to be taken seriously among the "summit" of closed-backs. For me though, they don't differentiate themselves from other closed-backs in terms of how "closed" they sound, which turns out to be pretty important for me. When circumstance permit and I find myself needing an "on the go" headphone again, it'll be on my shortlist again.

The Stellia, by contrast, somehow never reminds me of the fact that they're a "closed-back" while I'm listening to them. Probably due to a combination of factors, all of them positive. Also, they continue to impress with how well they scale when thrown at different (full-size) amps and headphone cables. I probably also just like the Focal sound.

I was a Verite early adopter and as pretty impressed at how badly tuned they sounded to my ears (!). I'll probably need to give them (and/or the VC) another shot.
 
Last edited:
Aug 14, 2020 at 6:57 PM Post #42 of 1,981

KPzypher

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 25, 2019
Posts
832
Likes
1,280
Location
US
Ah yea, I like the D9200 a lot, it sounds highly detailed, organic, dynamic, and the tuning they've done in the subbass is very satisfying. Fun and yet still very much "hi-fi". I highly agree that it deserves to be taken seriously among the "summit" of closed-backs. For me though, they don't differentiate themselves from other closed-backs in terms of how "closed" they sound, which turns out to be pretty important for me. When circumstance permit and I find myself needing an "on the go" headphone again, it'll be on my shortlist again.

The Stellia, by contrast, somehow never reminds me of the fact that they're a "closed-back" while I'm listening to them. Probably due to a combination of factors, all of them positive. Also, they continue to impress with how well they scale when thrown at different (full-size) amps and headphone cables. I probably also just like the Focal sound.

I was a Verite early adopter and as pretty impressed at how badly tuned they sounded to my ears (!). I'll probably need to give them (and/or the VC) another shot.

I'm the opposite. I love the tuning of Verite, which sounds organic to my ears, and hate the metallic tone of the Stellia. For me, it's just not a fun HP.
 
Aug 14, 2020 at 7:12 PM Post #43 of 1,981

MrPanda

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 15, 2014
Posts
364
Likes
257
Ah yea, I like the D9200 a lot, it sounds highly detailed, organic, dynamic, and the tuning they've done in the subbass is very satisfying. Fun and yet still very much "hi-fi". I highly agree that it deserves to be taken seriously among the "summit" of closed-backs. For me though, they don't differentiate themselves from other closed-backs in terms of how "closed" they sound, which turns out to be pretty important for me. When circumstance permit and I find myself needing an "on the go" headphone again, it'll be on my shortlist again.

The Stellia, by contrast, somehow never reminds me of the fact that they're a "closed-back" while I'm listening to them. Probably due to a combination of factors, all of them positive. Also, they continue to impress with how well they scale when thrown at different (full-size) amps and headphone cables. I probably also just like the Focal sound.

I was a Verite early adopter and as pretty impressed at how badly tuned they sounded to my ears (!). I'll probably need to give them (and/or the VC) another shot.
I'm with you there, Stellia is a better 'technical' performer than VC - I think it's cleaner, but it also doesn't have that 'cup reverb' that VC has. Maybe it's euphonic, maybe it's not depending on circumstances. They're both great phones. I don't think Stellia suffers from the spiky resonances that actually make metal diaphragms on a phones sound metallic - I think Focal did a great job overall on frequency response and balance. VC on tubes would be a terrific complement to Stellia on a high end solid state amp... I got Stellia for portability also, but it's really a very capable headphone.
 
Aug 15, 2020 at 4:19 AM Post #44 of 1,981

alekc

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Posts
347
Likes
223
Location
Poland
There are rumours of a closed-back LCD-1 on the horizon. That's something worth waiting for, IMO.

I know and I am looking forward to check those out when available. On the other hand I am not aware of any other open back competitor to LCD-1 when you come to size and comfort. Great little traveling companions those are. Hence closed ones could be indeed very interesting. Keep my fingers crossed.

Plus, I love the PRO 900 myself. For some time, it was my top-end closed-back headphone. I love its "v-shaped" sound, although, I suspect that not many people enjoy that particular signature. It's definitely an acquired taste.

Indeed - I guess there are not many fans of those as this is not so well known brand like others already mentioned. If only build material would be better but is't not bad comparing other products at the same price range I suppose. I found out that those are cans that I constantly coming back, but after long break. To hear this v-shaped sound and hear something different from other cans :wink: Still I would say not the best option for main cans in long term unless you love their sound signature and dislike others.

Still nothing can beat AudiQuests in terms of comfort. Brilliant for longer sessions.
 
Aug 15, 2020 at 5:25 AM Post #45 of 1,981

Kammerat Rebekka

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 27, 2017
Posts
987
Likes
1,542
Location
Denmark
I used to own the PRO900 too. That thing was just amazing when I wanted some ooomphh to my music. Still remember blasting The Prodigy’s Diesel Power over that sucker for the first time:L3000:

Oh and how about the SRH1540? As closedbacks go these were one of the best I’d ever tried. Up there with the D7200 and Aeon imho.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top