which headphones do you think?
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young

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i listen to a wide variety of music but i'm not a bass person. i definitely prefer clarity and accuracy of the sound. i listen to classical guitar music quite a bit.

i think i've narrowed the choices down to:
Sennheiser HD600 ($235)
AKG K501 ($215)
Audio-Technica ATH A900 ($195)
Audio-Technica ATH A1000 ($349 - is this worth the upgrade from the A900?)
Sony MCD3000 ($399 - best price i can find... someone tell me if i can do better please)

-
i was leaning towards the Sennheiser until i found this site and read good things about the other mentioned headphones. the $300+ is more than i want to spend... but, maybe if they're that much better, i will consider them.

i thank you for any suggestions and for your votes
 
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Taurui

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You'll only be satisfied with the sennheiser if you buy a replacement cable (50-200$) and a headphone amp (100$-open end), so I guess they're out of your budget. The CD3k also need a good amp and source to sound well ... so I guess you're left with the bass-less 501 or the Allround A900
 
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young

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yes, no amp, no cord upgrade. i will be hooking it up directly to my marantz cd/receiver.

--
ps is there a "search" function?
 
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saint.panda

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You should also consider the Beyerdynamic DT 880.

I personally wouldn't go for the Akg 501, just didn't like the sound when I auditioned them.

And if you are already considering the Sony CD3000 (expensive although you can get them cheaper if used) then you could also consider the Sennheiser HD 650 (which I am saving my money although I was planning to get some Beyer dt880 but then I'd always be thinking that there's something better out there for just a little bit more money
).
Of course, it also depends whether you have an amp or not - if not, go for the Audio Technica 900 as these are supposed to run well unamped. Don't buy the Sennheisers unless you plan to buy or have an amp already (and I don't think a 50$ cmoy will do it). I did the same mistake and got some Sennheiser 600 and they sounded ok without an amp but only ok. Only after I have sold them people started telling me that Sennheiser HD 580/600/650 really need an amp to shine.

Good luck
 
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fmplautus

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The AKG 501 is vastly underrated. The Sennheisers get all the press but I sold a pair of 600s to replace them with 501s, and I've never looked back. The Senn's have big bass but at the expense of air and upper mids and a shut in soundstage. Plus I could never hear much tonality in the upper bass where a lot of jazz, pop and rock music really moves. Deep bass sure, and if you like classical music or opera they may be the way to go. But with most music the AKG wins with it's liquid mids, speed and air for me.

The AKG 501 does need a good amp to drive it, as do the Sennheiser 600. The good news is that you can buy a new pair of AKG 501s for $149 online. That leaves you with lots of room for picking up a good headphone amp if you want to go that way.

The AKG 501 will reward you with a wide and airy sound stage. Tight, toneful bass, and a terrific midrange. They are the least fatiguing headphones I've had. (I also have the AKG K1000s -- a whole different kettle of fish, but outstanding for soundstage although not as relaxing to listen to for long periods as the 501s.)

Don't get me wrong. The Sennheisers 600 have their strengths, but for me they do the deep bass thing at the expense of the soundstage, midrange and highs. The AKG's have a much more musical balance.

Kevin
 
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Given that you have said no amp, like people have said, stay away from the Senn 600, CD3000 and ATH 1000. The A900 is reputed to work well without an amp. Given what fmplautus has said about the AKGs they might be worth auditioning if you can get hold of a pair from a store with a good return policy. I have AKG 271s which I quite like so it doesn't suprise me the 501s are good.
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by young
yes, no amp, no cord upgrade. i will be hooking it up directly to my marantz cd/receiver.

--
ps is there a "search" function?




Why exactly do you not want an amp?

Another option would be to get an amp and the Sennheiser hd580s
 
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Lostlamb

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I opted for K501s.

True to words, the K501s have a very sweet midrange, and therefore makes a lot of my music more enjoyable. I listen to a lot of acid jazz, jazz, electronica, and vocals (jazz to oldies). The K501s may seem to lack bass and it's not that in your face deep bass, but for me, it wasn't that big of a deal. I enjoy bass, and K501s delivered enough bass to satisfy me. The highs are sometimes grainy, but it seems to be with only certain recordings for me. Therefore, K501s require a good source. It'll reveal faults in recordings, and to the untrained ear, you might initially blame the headphones.

I do have one issue with it, I've started to notice that when I have these headphones on my head for long hours, my ears starts to get a bit warm.


With your budget, I believe the K501s will fit your bill, and with money left over, you can purchase a decent little amp.
 
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THe AKG K501's should be last on your list if you don't plan on getting a good amp.

Try to listen to the CD3000's. DOn't let their huge size intimidate you. THey are lightwiehgt for thie r size and are very comfortable.

-Ed
 
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TheMuffinMan_01

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if you get a good amp, and have a nice source, then get cd3000's, if not, get audiotechnica a900's. i don't know if the a1000's need an amp or not...
 
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Taurui

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The poll is making less and less sense....

I guess you could call it a hype-o-meter


-Taurui
 
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young

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Quote:

Originally Posted by zachary80
Why exactly do you not want an amp?

Another option would be to get an amp and the Sennheiser hd580s



partly b/c of the added cost (+$150?). partly b/c i just want a set of headphones and not another component to plug in. i like simplicity.

i don't listen to music loudly.

--
thanks for all the comments everyone.
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by young
partly b/c of the added cost (+$150?). partly b/c i just want a set of headphones and not another component to plug in. i like simplicity.

i don't listen to music loudly.

--
thanks for all the comments everyone.



An amp isn't to make the music really loud - it's to amplify all the frequencies of the audiable range equally. The problem with a lot of receivers is their headphone out has a cheap, low quality amplifier in it. A headphone amplifier will do a much better job.

Even without an amp, a suitable headphone will be a huge improvement. A900 is a good, high quality can that doesn't need an amp. If you decide to get an amp later they might sound a bit better, so they give you an upgrade path too
 
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fmplautus

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Using an amp with headphones is not necessarily a matter of volume. The AKG's have an impedence of 120 ohms and they're less efficient than a lot of portable phones. They sound subdued out of a portable cd player plugged directly into a mini jack. Same thing when I plug them directly into my pc. But with an amp that has a decent headphone channel (and that doesn't necessarily mean your home receiver/amp whatever doesn't have one) they really come to life -- the bass in particular, which so many complain of being missing in action on AKG 501s, is stellar with the right amp.

So while it's worth trying headphones before buying a dedicated amp, don't necessarily give up on them if they don't blossom. Try some other sources.

Kevin
 
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