"Upgrading" hd595, for less than 350$. See my criterions.
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extrabigmehdi

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hi,
I've read ton of thread, this was driving mad about what should I  get
for my next headphone. So let's talk about first, what I  like/ don't like from my hd595.
 
 
* What I  like on my hd595:
- Great soundstage. Definitely, not much "sound on your face" feeling. You can relax while listening to "elevator music".
- Very natural vocals. Problem is that I listen mostly to instrumental stuff.
- Nice comfort.  Very soft  pads, I almost don't feel them.
- Thanks to the open design, my ears breath too, I almost never sweat on the pads,
at least when the air conditioner is running.
- Build quality: It seem to resists to moderate bad treatment.
From where I  live, I  cannot easily get/repair high end headphone. I'm relying on
friend that travel to usa, or France to get my headphones. So build quality is important for me.
Just consider I'm living on an island.
- The 6.5 mm jack plug. This might sound stupid, but I  had so many cheap headphone,
that broke at that part, I  feel a bit more secure with the 6.5 mm jack plug.

*  What I don't like  on my hd595:
- The clarity is not that great. Sometimes I have the impression to listen
things through a cloth. My cheap  k317 earbuds, provide more enjoyable  highs
(I don't know for accuracy). If I  could  reproduce the crystal sharp sound of
a breaking glass,  that would be soooooo nice.  Something that would
give interesting results, with the song "in the closet" by michael jackson.
I  remind how I  was excited , listening to that song with cheap AIWA earbuds.
- The bass is not that great either. I mean, I have some techno music on
my hard drive, and the hd595 is acting like a repellent with it.
When I listen techno from my cowon s9, with my senn ie7 & mach3bass setting,
it's as if I'm rediscovering such kind of music.
- but if I  had to choose between "better" clarity, and  bass,
I'd put the priority on clarity.
- limited "portability". I  do not need to use them "while" traveling,
but It 's not convenient if you want to put them on a bag etc...
- My portable air conditioner do quite some background noise,
so if my headphone could block partially such noise that would be so great...
This won't be an issue, when summer would be gone.
- I  was frustrated to not notice a significant improvement,
with the  amping of my xonar stx. Why did I  bought such expensive sound card ....

I've discarded lot of brands just because they have the stupid 3.5mm jack plug (and no replaceable cable).  Do they want me to break it easily, so that I  replace my headphone soon or what ?  So unfortunately, I'm discarding these interesting brands: audio-technica, beyerdynamics, grados,  denon.
I've also seen the seller at headphonic criticizing the built quality of
the ultrasones, and couldn't recommend them to the average consumer partly
because of that (but I  love the design of these ultrasone pro 900 , well
if it's only the look...).

Currently looking for the shr940 (a bit ugly it seems) , but I'm not sure  they would be an improvement
for my hd595 (considering my tastes ). I like mostly instrumental music, film scores / classical
, but occasionally techno/electronica/dark ambient too. I'm also attracted by the  "big rebates", and was wondering for instance if the sony MDR-SA5000 at 350$
was worth it. Or anything big, like big drivers,  big sound qual, big bang for the bucks,  or whatever that would provide the feeling
I'm not spending lot of money for nothing (already spending waaay too much time reading reviews here and elsewhere).

Thanks
 
 
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mikeaj

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Are you willing to reconsider headphones with a 3.5mm jack?  You can use a small extension cord 3.5mm F / 3.5 mm M and plug your headphones into the 3.5mm F side.  That way, if something breaks, it will be the 3.5mm M plug on the extension rather than the headphones.  Also, it is not too difficult to just reterminate a headphone cable if the plug is broken.
 
There may be some worthwhile options that would not be otherwise available, if you restrict yourself to only those with the 6.5mm jack.
 
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rsgladwin85

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Quote:
I've discarded lot of brands just because they have the stupid 3.5mm jack plug (and no replaceable cable).  Do they want me to break it easily, so that I  replace my headphone soon or what ?  So unfortunately, I'm discarding these interesting brands: audio-technica, beyerdynamics, grados,  denon.


I have to wonder how rough you are on your headphones.  You're throwing out a lot of good possibilities.
 
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Are you going to get a better amp? A portable one perhaps if you travel a bit?

Without amp:

Audio Technica AD900
Sennheiser HD598

With Amp:

Beyerdynamic DT880
AKG K702

All the headphones that I listed have been fairly popular choices because they have really large soundstages and great clarity. However the bass is lacking on most of them. The DT880 and HD598 have a little, but definitely not for bassheads.

The K702 also has a removable cable so that you be good for travelling. However, some find the headband irritating after a while because of the lumps.
 
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extrabigmehdi

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@rsgladwin85
Quote:
I have to wonder how rough you are on your headphones.  You're throwing out a lot of good possibilities.
 
I  was quite rough on my cheap headphones, but would be obviously more careful on more expensive ones.  The point is that  I  don't understand why something as trivial as a 6.5 mm jack, is not in many of these expensive headphones, especially the ones requiring amping (and thus not good for portability, like beyerdynamics). For me , it's as if there was obvious thinking from the brands, about how to shorten the life span. 
 
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extrabigmehdi

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@greenwith
About the hd598, they seem overpriced, and why would I  get them if I  already have the hd595.
The ad900, seems interesting, but I  don't know if they bring the clarity & bass thump I'm looking for. And why the 3.5 mm jack plug.
But somehow I'm compelled by the 53 mm driver size announced.
 
The akg702, seems to not provide satisfying  result with the amp of a xonar stx. I  do not plan to get an amp in a short term. Even, if the amp of xonar stx was enough,  I  prefer something that do not require too much amping ( so that i can use it even without amp).
I'm not sure what "bass head" means, but I  think techno or other musics of that kind needs a minimum of bass impact to be enjoyable.
The keyword is impact, there must be a thumping feeling. Not necessarily a big bass quantity.
 
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ZARIM

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I think Sony Qualia SA5000 willbe big improvement over HD595 include soundstage, clarity, bass and instruments separation.
 
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Greenwith

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@greenwith
About the hd598, they seem overpriced, and why would I get them if I already have the hd595.
The ad900, seems interesting, but I don't know if they bring the clarity & bass thump I'm looking for. And why the 3.5 mm jack plug.
But somehow I'm compelled by the 53 mm driver size announced.

The akg702, seems to not provide satisfying result with the amp of a xonar stx. I do not plan to get an amp in a short term. Even, if the amp of xonar stx was enough, I prefer something that do not require too much amping ( so that i can use it even without amp).
I'm not sure what "bass head" means, but I think techno or other musics of that kind needs a minimum of bass impact to be enjoyable.
The keyword is impact, there must be a thumping feeling. Not necessarily a big bass quantity.

The Xonar STX will not be able to drive the K702 or DT880 sufficiently.

The HD598 is actually quite different from the HD595. Check out the overview on headfonia.com.

As far as open headphones in that price range go, I would suggest those. AD900s can be a little light on bass, so I suggest the HD598.

The SA5000 are not in the Qualia series. Aside from that, they are difficult to drive, I do not think the Xonar STX will suffice.
 
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extrabigmehdi

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@Greenwidth
Quote:
The Xonar STX will not be able to drive the K702 or DT880 sufficiently.
You mean even the 250 ohms version of DT880 ? Frankly I think getting the xonar stx for the built in amp is really not worth it.
 
Quote:
The HD598 is actually quite different from the HD595. Check out the overview on headfonia.com.
 There's a big comparison of hd598 vs hd600  (and not hd595 vs hd598) . And I already know that the hd595 is different to hd600 anyway.  I just want to change from Sennheiser,  it seems the brand is not that great in the clarity department.
 
Quote:
AD900s can be a little light on bass,
I'm not talking  of the quantity of bass. There must be a kind of "thumping" or "impact".
If you listen for instance to the song levanon b1 (see below); if you don't have the "thump", it's as if there's ambient bass with percussions, while the song is much more than that. Frankly the song sucks when I  compare with my senn IE7.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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rsgladwin85

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What type of audio files are you listening to?  I'm also wondering what parts of the music you feel the HD595 makes you "listen through a cloth"?  Vocals, instruments, all around?
 
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extrabigmehdi

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Quote:
  I'm also wondering what parts of the music you feel the HD595 makes you "listen through a cloth"? 
 
I guess some pop song are lacking aggressivity, especially  some from Micheal Jackson like "in the closet".
I  believe the high are too smoothed  to make it enjoyable.   
Maybe I'm exaggerating a little bit, but I  enjoyed it more elsewhere.
I  usually listen to lossless file.
 
 
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The SA5000 make the HD595 sound like little puny toys, MAJOR improvement in every way possible. I started with the HD595 myself and i was never really satisfied with them. They do nothing interstingly noteable IMO. The Sony's will make the glass effect you're refering to at "In The Closet" crytal clear, belive me. They are somewhat more demanding on amplification but can sound nice even out of a laptop, depends on the recording and data quality.
 
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extrabigmehdi

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From what I've seen the sa5000 have problems on bass. Anyway, I think I'll try the new srh940. I love the accessories provided with it.
 
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