Open Back Headphones

Discussion in 'Ask The Experts' started by kelvinmunson, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. kelvinmunson

    kelvinmunson New Member

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    For some time I have been using the Sennheiser HD 280 PRO at home in the main living room; one big attraction of these was the great isolation......... I could listen to music while my partner watched TV and we didn't interfere with each other's enjoyment........ and they sounded OK.

    Next I tried the AKG 240 MKII, semi open........... which I was really impressed with. Great soundstage, in comparison to previous phones I'd used...... and we're starting to get a bit closer to the sound of a decent pair of speakers This made me think that it would be worth going for a set of open back phones to use in my listening room......... away from the TV etc, where isolation isn't going to be a problem. The room is a bit small and overcrowded for optimum placement of my floorstanding speakers....... so good phones would be ideal. I listen to a wide variety of music from Jazz, Fusion through Rock, Prog. Electronic, Ambient and Classical.......... I use a Marantz PM66SE integrated amplifier......... mainly on vinyl and sometimes on CD

    I am currently considering a set of AKG K601s....... as these can be found at a very reasonable price at present. I was also looking at a pair of AKG K701s, but these would set me back another £60 or so.......... The question is, what would I get for the extra cost, the K601s seem to receive very good reviews Has anybody compared the two and can advise on relative merits and the benefit of investing in the more expensive K701s ?
     
  2. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

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    Hi Kelvin

    There is no surprise her for how the K601 and K701 fit into the range - they sound very similar and have similar properties, for me the most notable is you have to pick the headphone amp (and these really need a headphone amp!) really carefully as for some reason these seem to express incredible different characteristics depending on what is driving them.

    K701s are cleaner and clearer with a bit more detail due to better extension at the top and the same story at the bottom end - better voicing of more controlled bass. I know the price difference could be budget stretching but if you are going to like the K601s then you will most likely enjoy the K701s even more.

    Hope that helps:)
     
  3. kelvinmunson

    kelvinmunson New Member

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    Thanks for info Robin, that's very helpful, so it seems the K701 is probably worth going for then........ now I'm certainly thinking along the lines of a pair of K701/K702. I am also considering moving from the Marantz to a decent headphone amplifier. You say that the characteristics of these phones depend very much on what's being used to drive them; so I guess it's important to actually try some different amps. Any in particular you would recommend ?
     
  4. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

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    They work well with the current Graham Slee Solo and Solo Ultra linear version which we have not quite got on to the website yet. The amp needs to be very clean clear and precise, I have had best results with Solid State Headphone amps.

    Also the excellent Fidelity Audio HPA 100 / HPA 200
    Fidelity Audio Products - headphone amps , power supplies , filters , phono stages

    I'm sure there are many amps which have a bright, clean and powerful feel that would work easily as well but these are the ones I have tried with really positive results.
     
  5. kelvinmunson

    kelvinmunson New Member

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    Thanks for the info Robin, I'll check those out to start with...
     
  6. kelvinmunson

    kelvinmunson New Member

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    Akg k701

    Hi again Robin

    Just to close this thread out......... after some listening trials I eventually went for the AKG K702s.......... and I am absolutely delighted with them......... even straight out of the box.

    Their detail and accuracy exceeds any expectations I have had of using headphones...... even though I am still using them with my Marantz PM66-SE.

    Next on the shopping list is a good headphone amp to pair with them...... I am currently considering various products, incuding those suggested by yourself.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2011
  7. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

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    I am glad to hear you are so pleased Kelvin! They are great headphones - let me know if you have any more questions on amps:)
     
  8. kelvinmunson

    kelvinmunson New Member

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    The Final Word.......... While looking into the various Headphone Amplifiers on offer, including those suggested by Robin, I couldn't resist a very hefty discount I was offerred on a Creek Audio OBH 21SE............. which is currently on-it's-way.........

    I am told these have good synergy with the AKGs; can't wait to find out !
     
  9. stevengamel

    stevengamel New Member

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    I'd have to agree about the 702's. They're awesome. So did your amp arrive yet?
     
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