Upgrading Closed-Back Headphone for Work
Jul 20, 2015 at 5:50 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 17

aerosuffly

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Hello, I am trying to find a better headphone for work. I listen to a wide variety of music, including Japanese indies, electronic, rock, classical and jazz. Therefore, I switch between HD600 and DT990 600 Ohm for home use. Currently, I am using Audio-Technica A900X and AKG K553 at work. They are good, but I want something more natural and refine sounding, like HD600 and DT990. The problem is that they need to be closed as I am sharing an office with many people. I am thinking about replacing the K553 with something else that is good for classical and jazz for around $300. My dac/amp is iFi iDSD micro. Would the Oppo-PM3 be a good choice? Any other recommendations are welcome. I have not decided yet. Thank you.
 
Jul 20, 2015 at 1:56 PM Post #2 of 17
  Hello, I am trying to find a better headphone for work. I listen to a wide variety of music, including Japanese indies, electronic, rock, classical and jazz. Therefore, I switch between HD600 and DT990 600 Ohm for home use. Currently, I am using Audio-Technica A900X and AKG K553 at work. They are good, but I want something more natural and refine sounding, like HD600 and DT990. The problem is that they need to be closed as I am sharing an office with many people. I am thinking about replacing the K553 with something else that is good for classical and jazz for around $300. My dac/amp is iFi iDSD micro. Would the Oppo-PM3 be a good choice? Any other recommendations are welcome. I have not decided yet. Thank you.

 
Yes, the Oppo PM-3 is fantastic.  It's my work headphone of choice right now.  I bought it as an upgrade from the SoundMAGIC HP100 (replaced by the HP150), which is also a very capable headphone for the price.  Depending on your budget, I'd easily recommend either.
 
Pro tip:  Oppo sells refurbished PM-3's for $320 with full warranty.  It looks like white is in stock but black is sold out right now.
 
The only other closed headphones I'd recommend go up in price from there.
 
Jul 20, 2015 at 5:12 PM Post #3 of 17
Also look into the NAD HP50. Here is a review: http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/i-love-these-headphonesthe-nad-viso-hp50
 
Jul 20, 2015 at 6:29 PM Post #7 of 17
I heard the Focal Spirit Pro twice and both times it sounded muddy and unrefined.  Plus it has small earpads, which weren't the most comfy.  I haven't figured out why so many people like this headphone.  
confused_face(1).gif

 
Jul 20, 2015 at 6:30 PM Post #8 of 17
  I heard the Focal Spirit Pro twice and both times it sounded muddy and unrefined.  Plus it has small earpads, which weren't the most comfy.  I haven't figured out why so many people like this headphone.  
confused_face(1).gif


I had FS One, and it is indeed uncomfy, on-ear. Plain itchy after a while. But its price was affordable, on the marts.
 
Jul 20, 2015 at 6:39 PM Post #9 of 17
  I heard the Focal Spirit Pro twice and both times it sounded muddy and unrefined.  Plus it has small earpads, which weren't the most comfy.  I haven't figured out why so many people like this headphone.  
confused_face(1).gif

 
I guess it is because most of us, including professional reviewers, don't hear it that way.
 
Using it primarily as a long haul portable can with a DAP, I don't have any comfort issues with.  Of course headphone comfort/fit is a very individual thing.
 
Jul 20, 2015 at 6:42 PM Post #10 of 17
   
I guess it is because most of us, including professional reviewers, don't hear it that way.
 
Using it primarily as a long haul portable can with a DAP, I don't have any comfort issues with.  Of course headphone comfort/fit is a very individual thing.

 
Yeah, I mean clearly I'm missing something.  Seems unlikely it'd get so much praise and yet I'm hearing something not worthy of praise.  Maybe I heard a bad unit.  Or maybe I heard it right after listening to the HE-1000 or something.  *shrug*  Just giving my $0.02.
 
Jul 20, 2015 at 6:55 PM Post #11 of 17
  I heard the Focal Spirit Pro twice and both times it sounded muddy and unrefined.  Plus it has small earpads, which weren't the most comfy.  I haven't figured out why so many people like this headphone.  
confused_face(1).gif

 
I think the Yamaha HPH-MT220 is superior to the FSP in nearly every way, especially in terms of clarity. However, the FSP has plenty going for it. Its main problem is that it doesn't have enough mids and treble, so it can sound a little dark. The second FSP I owned sounded slightly darker due to softer ear pads.
 
Jul 20, 2015 at 7:09 PM Post #14 of 17
   
I think the Yamaha HPH-MT220 is superior to the FSP in nearly every way, especially in terms of clarity. However, the FSP has plenty going for it. Its main problem is that it doesn't have enough mids and treble, so it can sound a little dark. The second FSP I owned sounded slightly darker due to softer ear pads.

 
Hm, maybe that's it: too dark sounded muddy to me?  I'm going to have to try to sample them again at RMAF.
 
Jul 20, 2015 at 10:50 PM Post #15 of 17
Wow, you guys are very active.
 
Thank you for all comments. The NAD HP50 looks very interesting, and thanks for an info on the refurbished PM-3.
 
I am a little hesitant about the FSP One and the Yamaha HPH-MT220 because they are marketed as studio monitoring headphones. I understand that most closed-back headphones are for studio monitoring, and I own a couple of studio monitoring headphones, including the Sony MDR-CD900ST, which is used in pretty much every profession studio in Japan. They sounds great plugging into a digital piano or a guitar amp, but they are not very musical in my opinion.
 
What are your recommendations if I increase my budget to around $500? Would the closed-back Audeze EL-8  be better than the PM-3? How about Fostex TH-600. Thanks!
 

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