Upgrading my HD-25: $1000 budget, moderate portability
May 31, 2015 at 11:29 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 8

mglk

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First time poster here, so hello first of all!
 
I have had this HD-25 II for about 4 years and must say they are the best pair of headphones I have personally listened to. I always found it's clarity, accuracy and it's overall quality of being extremely not muddy to be very pleasing and have enjoyed it's decent instrument separation. I have found its bass to be, at times lacking, both in the punchy high bass and deep sub bass, although it's more apparent in the low bass. I find that these headphones work amazing with metal, jazz and any band with vocals and a limited number of acoustic instruments but find it underwhelming for electronic and classic music.

I know that the HD-25 is a great pair of headphones, but I think I would like to have an upgrade. I have found that most of the upgrades I can consider require heavy amplification and a very high quality DAC to make a worthwhile difference, whereas I want a pair of cans/IEMs that can work with a portable amp and can be powered adequately by an ipod classic. I know that expecting anything above the HD-25 without amps to sound good is a folly, but I'd rather not spend as much money on a cumbersome amp as the cans themselves.
 
I also have tinnitus, so I am looking for something that sounds good on lower volumes and has decent isolation. I have thought of westone 4r, fostex th600, hifiman he400, vmoda h100. I have listened to beats studiıo pro and found it very muddy, so it shouldn't sound like that. I also do not have the option to try these headphones as I live in Turkey, where there is little, if at all of an audiophile market. My combined budget is around $1000.

Thank you already :)
 
Jun 1, 2015 at 6:12 AM Post #3 of 8

inthere

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Audeze EL-8 (closed back) is calling you.
 
They were made to be portable; they sound great on an iPod without amplification, cost about $700 US.
 
Fostex TH-600 and HE-400 both need a headphone amp. I haven't heard the Westone 4
 
Jun 1, 2015 at 9:49 AM Post #4 of 8

mglk

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I see. After a bit of research, I saw that their bass is also lackluster. I don't need sony xb levels or anything, but something better than my current ones would be nice. How do they compare, should I EQ?
 
Jun 1, 2015 at 10:12 AM Post #5 of 8

Beyakusenn

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There are three alternatives I think you should consider:
Shure SRH-1540 (if it's not too large for you)
Denon AH-MM400
Oppo PM-3
 
Beyerdynamic also has some 'portable' options that are easy to drive, but those are mostly large and have uncommon sound signatures like the T70p with it's huge treble peak. The T5p has quite some fans, but not everyone is as enthusiastic about it's sound, so I'd say try before you buy.
 
In general it's better if you can listen to headphones before buying them, but I understand that is not always an option.
 
Jun 2, 2015 at 5:22 AM Post #6 of 8

mglk

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And what if I consider getting a portable fiio e7? I will almost always listen while sitting, just in a number of different places so an amp should be ok as long as it's carriable. Would my options change in that case?
 
Jun 2, 2015 at 6:45 AM Post #7 of 8

Beyakusenn

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With your budget I'd say MrSpeakers Alpha Dog + Fiio E12 because the Alphas are power hungry and the E7 might not be enough. These headphones are quite large though. Larger and heavier than the SRH-1540.
 
I can imagine you'd like to keep using your iPod Classsic, but have you also considered a dedicated DAP like the Fiio X1? That might be easier than the iPod together with an amp.
 
Jun 2, 2015 at 2:58 PM Post #8 of 8

mglk

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The e12 does look good as an amp suitable for me. Due to a change of events, I'll have to buy these a couple of months later, which riases my budget by $500. The other criteria stand.
 

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