Upgrade from HD558's
Jan 14, 2014 at 8:46 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 29

Fuzziekiwi

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The search begins. Basically looking for an open headphone, an upgrade to my HD558's. I love them, but I want a bigger sound stage, and maybe even more natural sounding. The bass of the 558's is plenty for me. My ears are pretty sensitive to treble heavy headphones. I have the HD600/Q701 on my mind but my problem is driving them properly; I own an ASUS Xonar DG, but if I need to get an amp I guess I will have to.
 
I listen to many genres, but mainly Post-Hardcore, Electropop/Synthpop/Indie (Imogen Heap, Ladyhawke, La Roux, Tegan and Sara), alternative (music similar to Fiona Apple), a little classical.
 
Maybe it will help if I post which headphones bother me and which don't; so then you can look at the frequency response charts and compare.
 
Koss TBSE - These get very fatiguing after a while, I believe there is a peak in the upper mids that just drives me nuts after about an hour of listening.
MDR-V6 - These headphones are more bright, but the treble is not as bothersome for long listening periods. My only problem is the nasty, grainy, unnatural sound that comes out of these.
PortaPro/HD558 - Don't bother me at all. Could listen to them all day. PortaPro is really muddy though. 
 
Phone's I've demoed:
Amperior - Right on the border of what my ears can handle.  
HD 598 - Treble does not bother me.
 
Jan 15, 2014 at 6:10 AM Post #3 of 29

Fuzziekiwi

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I think I could get a magni. As long as it's under $100. Do you think there are better headphone choices, and which would be better for me?

Kind of thinking now if I HAVE to get an amp, I might as well buy the O2.
 
Jan 15, 2014 at 9:28 AM Post #4 of 29

kraken2109

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Magni/O2 and K702/Q701/HD600 are my recommendations.
 
Jan 15, 2014 at 1:12 PM Post #6 of 29

Fuzziekiwi

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Jan 15, 2014 at 1:18 PM Post #7 of 29

MalVeauX

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Heya,
 
Phillips Fidelio X1 - Will run from your DG fine.
AudioTechnica AD900X - Will run from your DG fine.
Hifiman HE-300 revision 2 (just get a new one and you're set) - Will run from your DG fine.
 
If you do however want to move towards a desktop amp, you don't need one mind you, I would go with the Schiit setup in the Magni or Vali. The O2 and the Magni are equivalents and frankly the Magni is just a nicer device to deal with (the O2 is ugly, uses 1/8th connection, and all wires come out of the front of the thing, it's hideous--I say that as someone with an O2). Your DG can continue to serve as a DAC and simply use the line output to a desktop amp of your choice.
 
Very best,
 
Jan 15, 2014 at 2:29 PM Post #8 of 29

Trunks159

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  I don't really like the Sony House sound. I've tried the MDR-1R, and some others. 

I'm not sure what the Sony "house sound" is.  For companies like Grado and Sennheiser its fairly obvious but Sony's different.  The MA900 sounds completely different than the 1r, MDR 7506, XBA 3, and MDR 7520. I thought the HD558 and MA900 sounded pretty similar sound signature wise (with the MA900 being slightly warmer).  Maybe just me.
 
In that case, the AD900x should be considered.
 
Jan 15, 2014 at 3:30 PM Post #9 of 29

Fuzziekiwi

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Thanks for the recommendation. Does anyone know if the Q701 would be too bright for me? Also looks like it's 60ohms, doesn't need a really powerful amp I'm guessing. 
 
Jan 15, 2014 at 9:28 PM Post #10 of 29

billybob_jcv

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I'm not sure anyone can tell you that - you need to hear it for yourself. I can tell you that I didn't find the Q701 overly bright - it's just that the bass is not boosted, so the treble can actually be heard. However, I haven't heard the other 'phones you thought were too bright, so I can't offer that comparison.
 
Jan 16, 2014 at 7:18 AM Post #11 of 29

kraken2109

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  Thanks for the recommendation. Does anyone know if the Q701 would be too bright for me? Also looks like it's 60ohms, doesn't need a really powerful amp I'm guessing. 


From what i've read people seem to say it needs a decent amp.
 
Jan 16, 2014 at 7:33 AM Post #12 of 29

Fuzziekiwi

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According to specs;
 
HD558
  1. Impedance @ 1kHz: 50 Ohms
  2. Sensitivity: 112dB

Q701
 
  1. Impedance @ 1kHz: 62 Ohms
  2. Sensitivity: 105 dB

My Xonar DG on the max option for amping using my 558's, I listen to music at volume level 3-10. 
 
Jan 16, 2014 at 8:20 AM Post #14 of 29

Fuzziekiwi

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I've heard that the Q701 is an anomaly. Though I'd guess that a Fiio E10 would provide enough power.

My friend may be getting the Q701 soon since it dropped to $199 on Amazon. 
 
Jan 16, 2014 at 11:13 AM Post #15 of 29

HiVLTAGE

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MDR-MA900 is the best choice, you won't have to buy an amp since they are just 12ohm. They also sound pretty great, wide open soundstage, quite airy.
 
I would choose those, or Q701 with a Fiio E10 (or Schiit Magni if you have some more cash)
 

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