advice please

Discussion in 'Ask The Experts' started by kinega, Dec 11, 2011.

  1. kinega

    kinega New Member

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    I currently have some Sennheiser HD435's & Goldring NS1000's. The Sennheisers are getting a bit tired & I find the Goldrings uncomfortable, the cup is a bit small around my ears.
    I use them with Creative Vision M & iPhone 4. Prefer the sound of the Zen over the iPhone. They are only used at home, I don't wear them commuting. I listen to all sorts but faves are Sting, Dire Straits, Simply Red etc.
    Looking to spend apx £150 on new set of headphones. Because I listen at home I get grief from the wife if she can hear my music leaking out so I guess closed would be the best. Equally if open type headphones were obviously better sounding at the same price I would consider them.
    I am thinking of either on or over ear types. I wear glasses so on ear is easier but can manage with over ear. Would also consider buying headphone amp if this is a quantum leap in sound quality. (something like the FiiO E11?)
    In my shortlist are:
    open
    Audio-Technica ATH-AD700
    Sennheiser HD595
    Sennheiser HD558
    BeyerDynamic DT990
    AKG K-240 mk ii

    closed
    BeyerDynamic DT770pro
    AudioTechnica ATH-A700
    AKG K-271 mk ii

    What are your thoughts on these & anything else I should consider?
    many thanks
     
  2. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

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    Hi kinega

    The Audio-Technica ATH-AD700 and BeyerDynamic DT990 are really fantastic headphones, they are really quite different though.

    The AD700 has an incredibly light fit on the head, this makes it hard to perform any movements or walk about in them, they are definitely a companion for your favourite chair:). They are easy to drive and have a light airy sound, which is not about accuracy but has a charming feel of its own.

    The DT990 are a lot more solidly placed on the head, they have a fit which allows lots of body movement but they do not clamp and are comfy. They do however need amplification which will add to the cost unless you already have an amp. The sound is accurate but natural and airy.

    Both are great!

    From the second list I consider the DT770 to be easily the best. They have an excellent combination of isolation, build quality, value for money and really perform for a closed back. It isn't that I disliked the others, I just really rate the DT770 - Again, even the 80ohm variant may require an amp.

    Hope that helps!:D
     
  3. kinega

    kinega New Member

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    Thanks for your reply.
    Interesting that none of the Sennheisers got recommended, the HD558's are the only ones I have tried & found them to sound good & be comfy.
    I would consider purchasing an amp to partner the DT990's, would the FiiO E11 suit, couldn't really justify spending more than £50 on an amp at this stage.
    Also, do you have any comments on how much sound leakage there is from any of these models? Are any worse than the other?

    thanks in advance again.
     
  4. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

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    All open backs will leak noise like crazy - a few might be a little quieter but expect any open back to get you real evil looks on the train or the bus. They are, in the main, similar to the level of noise created by kids playing their phones out loud in public. Sennheisers HD600 and HD650 are pretty well respected but most people don't rate the current models below this. Historically they have made a few great headphones in this price range but the cupboard seems bare at the moment.
     
  5. kinega

    kinega New Member

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    Thanks for your advice
     
  6. kinega

    kinega New Member

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    Been to the sound & vision show in Bristol today, managed to listen to a few headphones but not unfortunatley the DT770s.
    First ones to try were Grado. Listened to the SR80's, not bad. Then tried the SR325's. Much better & made the 80's sound a bit harsh. Found them quite comfortable but build quality didn't appear great. Source was NAD VISO 3 which was very nice but I had volume on max & it wassn't that loud.
    Then tried Audio-Technica ATH 700 & 900s. Comfortable & light. Sounded OK but didn't make me think wow! Source was my iPhone 4
    Tried the B&W headphones & was very underwhelmed by these.
    Onto the Sennheiser stand & tried 595, 598, 600 & 650. As expected they did sound progressively better but still nothing to really inspire me.
    Then I entered the Bryston room, listened to their headphone amp, digital music player & DAC through Sennheieser HD800's. OMG! it was mind-blowing. Crystal clear, spacious sound. Truly effortless performance & supremely comfortable headphones. Could have stayed listening to this all day. Only downside was it cost apx £3500 + the headphones.
    Hope to place an order soon for something..........
     
  7. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    Headphones

    The Sennheiser 800 is truly amazing, and with the right amp, even more amazing. From my own personal stash of headphones that I've reviewed here, my best substitutes for an HD800 system are: Shure 1840 - open-back, will sound great from a music player, but volume could be a problem with some tracks. Grado PS-500 - open-back, sounds great with anything. German Maestro 8.35D - closed-back, a real sleeper. Not many people have heard it, so without the chance to hear it in person you don't have much to go on besides one review. But by far the best value of anything I've heard.
     
  8. kinega

    kinega New Member

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    German Maestros may be good but they look awful.
    All the reviews I have seen & advice here point me to the DT770's. Can't find any stockists local to Bristol to try them though.
     
  9. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    German Maestro

    The 8.35D looks not great in your hand, but when they are on your head they look much better than the bulky Beyers, just a FYI.
     
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