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Ultrasone 900, Denon D2k or Ultrasone 650+amp

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by krown, Dec 27, 2012.
  1. krown
    This is my first post and it is really long...so be gentle [​IMG]
          So I have been doing a lot of research for the past week on deciding what cans to get and I have narrowed it down to either the Ultrasone Pro 900 or the Denon D2K. However, they are quite pricey and without any retailers in Vancouver to try out these cans, it is a real leap of faith. As a result, I am considering getting the Ultrasone 650 as I can get them for $200 USD. With the change left over, I can still afford to buy a decent amp such as the JDS Objective 2/C421, Digizoid ZO2, Audioengine D1, Fiio 9k, or Hifiman EF2A (what would you recommend?). 
          I may not be a full-fledged audiophile, but I do enjoy a quality audio experience. This begs the question, is the Ultrasone 900 leaps and bounds ahead of the 650? Are the differences discernible to a novice like me? I don't want to cheap out and regret buying the baby brother if the price difference is well warranted.
          Also, in your opinion, what would be the better set of cans the Ultrasone 650/900 or the Denon D2K? After all my research it really seems to be a toss up. However, the general concensus is that the Ultrasones' have better mid-bass and the Denons' have better sub-bass. Noob question, but in regards to sub-bass, are headphones able to produce that physical sensation (?) that something like a subwoofer would or is it more the ability to produce those low frequencies without sounding muddled? Obviously, it would be nowhere near the earthquake rumble of a sub.
          In regards to the 900 & D2K decision, many say that with the Keez mod, the harshness of the highs in the 900 are greatly reduced and it also produces better sub-bass. On the flip-side, people have stated that with an amp like the Digizoid ZO2, the mid-bass sounds much better; eliminating the main advantage the Ultrasones have over the D2K. However, people have stated that the drivers in the Ultrasone are better suited for electronic music as they fire faster than the D2K, or something like that. Are there any truth to these claims? Also, I may be able to get either the Denons or the Ultrasone for about $350 USD. With $100-150 what amp would you recommend? Would I need a DAC or is my soundcard enough (Asus Xonar DX)?
          To give more information about myself, my budget is $350-450 USD but if the need arises I can go a bit higher to $500-550 USD, but that is stretching it. My current headphones are the Monster Turbine Pro Copper (iem) and I really like how it sounds. Essentially, I am looking for their over-the-ear equivalent with better soundstage and bass. The headphones would be used %50 for gaming (FPS-Battlefield 3) and %50 for music. Lastly, the music I listen to is French/Disco House (%40) (Daft Punk/Justice/ Breakbot/Sebastian/etc.), various electronic music/genres (%40) (Deadmau5/Calvin Harris/Madeon/Wolfgang Gartner/Martin Solveig/etc.) a bit of Dubstep (%10) (Skrillex), and Hip-Hop (%10) (Kanye West/Roots/Mos Def/etc.). I will link a few Youtube videos in case you would like to hear the types of music I listen to.
    As you can see, there is a lot going on in my head and as a student it is not easy spending all this money. As a result, I have come here for advice.
    TL;DR: What would be the best choice for my situation ($350-450ish USD budget)? Ultrasone Pro 900, Denon D2K or Pro 650+amp and save the rest if the difference in sound quality is not noticeable/justified.
    PS. Please do not recommend me any other cans unless they are absolutely better suited for my needs as my mind cannot handle another week of research and self doubt [​IMG]
    Thanks in advance. 
    M4SONIC-Mashup- typical style of electro that I listen to. 
    Breakbot- Fantasy
    Wolfgang Gartner- illmerica
    Calvin Harris ft Example- We'll be coming back
    Martin Solveig- The Night Out
  2. MalVeauX
    I would get the D2000 if possible, hands down, for what you've described. No need for anything expensive to power it, a simple Fiio E10 would be great for home use (E7 or E17 for home and portable use perhaps).
    The PRO900 is a rather wonky headphone. It's not better than the HD650, it's just a different flavor. The PRO900 is a mid-bass cannon, with very spiked high treble, tons of mid-bass, good sub-bass, and the mids are lost in a dark distant damp hole. If all you want to hear is boom boom wub wub, it will work. Otherwise, I would honestly avoid this headphone. The HD650 is very dark by comparison, the treble is rolled off and it just sounds mellow and warm. It's not very bassy, this is a big over-statement I find, it's not much bassier than most neutral warm headphones, it just has a touch more bass (mid bass specifically), but it's not what I would consider bassy honestly. Just slightly warmer than neutral.
    Edit: Oops, maybe have confused the HD650 with the Ultrasone PRO 650. The PRO 650 is actually the more balanced of the PRO series by Ultrasone. It's not what I would call bassy or anything. Might not be something you're interested in at all. The PRO 750 would be more energized and a little more bassy while still being balanced.
    Now that said, depending on your budget, here's some other headphones to consider with good clear audio, great bass:
    AudioTechnica A900X
    Beyer Custom One Pro
    Beyer DT770 PRO
    Mr Speakers Mad Dogs (modded T50RPs)
    Very best,
  3. h4mm3r 0f th0r
    ^^ i think he was not talking about sennheiser hd650 but ultrasone pro 650(don't know if it exists)... anyhow, i second Malveaux, get the denon d2k... there is no sweeter subbass in that price range...
  4. krown
    Yes, I was talking about the ultrasone 650, maybe its a Canadian version of the 550(?) I saw it on amazon and eBay. Well unfortunately the D2k I was eyeing sold for 280 and the only ones I can find are $400-500. This is essentially maxing out my budget. Would you guys still recommend it? I can probably get the Pro 900 for about $350ish and the ultra some 650/550 for about $200.

    Its very hard to describe with words how you want something to sound. So with the best of my abilities...I essentially want punchy bass where you can feel those heavy kick drums, crystal clear highs that are well seperated from the mids, and if my understanding of sub bass is correct the nice smooth and responsive rumble from the bass line. In addition, I want the audio to sound " open" unlike my iems which sound compressed and narrow. And a nice bonus would be directional accuracy for gaming. That's what I would like, but obviously compromises will have to be made.

    Sorry for the long posts btw, I know its a pain in the *ss to read.
  5. krown
    If I can't get a hold of the Denton D2k, is the Pro 900 a worthy contender or should I avoid it like the plague ? From what I have heard, the keez mod and a decent DAC/amp can tame the harsh highs. It is 4am here, but I will read up om your recommendations in the morning.
  6. Lorspeaker
    Double post..:D
  7. Lorspeaker
    The pro 900 has better isolation. And it's a very hardy can...
    On the odd chance u wanna bring it into your library.
    If u are willing to tweak the can, it pays dividends.
  8. krown

    The cans will essentially be for home use so isolation is not a huge concern. As for tweaking I'm not adverse to it. IG depends on what you mean by that. Something like the keez mod (cover a few holes with felt tape) is simple enough for me.
  9. HeatFan12 Contributor
    There is a PRO650 and formerly an HFI-650 from the HFI series. The PRO650 as well as the HFI-680 are two very underrated cans in the Ultrasone line.
    I believe either of the three would fit the bill for you nicely.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  10. krown
    Unfortunately, it does not look likely that I will be able to get the Denton D2k as the prices are in the $450+ range. So w/o having a chance to look over Mall's recommendations due to a lack of time, it is currently a toss up between the Pro 650 or 900. Also, any advice and possible DAC/amp recommendations?
  11. HeatFan12 Contributor
    Hey krown,

    Pipe Man Mal is right on the money. I love 'em both and Skrillex is just sick with 'Sones. What is the price difference between the two?

    Nowadays many amps to choose from. You can jump on the Fiio, Schiit or O2 bandwagon. I ordered my first Fiio amp ever couple days ago (E07k) and should arrive today. Great price and features. Ultrasones will be plugged into it first to see if they love each other. Lol


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  12. Scyy
    If 400-500 is maxing your budget maybe look at the HiFiMan He-400 and an e17 dac/amp.  Will come out around $500 and will dominate the other phones mentioned here.  I've got the d2000's and the HE-400's shame them in most aspects, and I liked the d2000's.
  13. krown

    Currently, the prices are as follows, but may be subject to change. Ultrasone 650-$200+ tax, ultrasone 900-$350-400, D2k- currently out of stock possibly $500-600ish. For DAC/amp I'm leaning towards the fiio eo9 (?) The one with the large knob and docking bay or possibly The JDS o2, or based on feedback and availability, the digizoid zo2
  14. krown

    I am reading up more on the HiFiMan-400 and I like what I am seeing. It tends to lean towards the warm side, I'm not really looking g for neutral sounding. And if I'm correct in thinking open Air cans typically have better soundstage. However, how is the bass response for house/electronic/ edm? Is it good for gaming. Gaming is one of the reasons I decide to buy cans. I have decent speakers (swan mk2) so positioning would be a nice change for gaming.
  15. krown
    Sorry, I hate to drag this along for so long, but Canada sucks for audio gear and there are limited resources in terms of being able to sample some cans.You guys are my saviours :D

    In the higher frequency range, do the ultrasones get screechy? That is seeming to be the consensus. I think I am looking for cans that's have warmth and depth w/ a clear separation between the frequency ranges. The thing I don't like about my iems ( monster pro copper) is that the highs get piercing when you turn up the volume, the midss get drowned out,everything sounds very one directional, and there is little sub bass ?(that rumble feeling. However, mid bass is decent.

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