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Stuck choosing new headphones

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
Greetings

I'm having a dilemma. I'm trying to choose some new headphones and I keep flipping back and forth between a few different models. I'd appreciate some input. Budget is ~$200 give or take (one of my choices is $250, not really looking to go higher; lower would be fine).

Here's the ones I'm stuck on:

Grado SR225i - These may be what I end up with, I'm going to audition them this afternoon.

Sennheiser HD 558 - Not sure on these, I didn't like my last Sennheisers (though they were cheap ones, HD 202, I think)

HiFiMAN HE-300 - Relatively new to my choice list. I know the HE-400 and HE-500s are highly recommended, and the HE-300s are on the OCN list, but I can't seem to find any actual user reviews.

Any others? I'm looking for open headphones (in case that wasn't already apparent smile.gif ). I'd like something that has some bass (Rock, Power/Symphonic Metal mostly, occasionally Rap, Classical, Classic Rock). I'm willing to mod the headphones if that's what it takes (if I can make the Grado SR80i or even the SR60i have a significant sound improvement, I'd go there instead).

Trying to do my research, and the HE-300s are the only ones on my list that I can't audition locally (unless someone knows something I don't), but I am open to other suggestions. Local Tempe/Chandler/Ahwatukee area stores or almost anywhere online would be fine.

I currently own DT770s and AKG K240s (the K240s are likely going to be sold soon, though).

Edit: These will be 100% for music (with the occasional tv episode or movie; no games).
Edited by liquidzoo - 4/9/13 at 10:21am
post #2 of 36
I just sold my Grado SR325i and Sennheiser HD558. the Grado SR225i is a good headphone. the Sennheiser HD558 was so dark and neutral which is great for movies and games but lacked any kind of musicality.
    
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post #3 of 36
Thread Starter 
I know that they're good, but they sounded off when I listened to them. Maybe I didn't have them placed properly, or maybe it was due to the fact that they were essentially brand new and the cushions had no give to them, I don't know.

They sounded veiled to me. That's the best way I can describe it. Like they didn't have enough volume or something was obstructing the drivers or something. Hard to explain.

Now I'm not sure what to do. I was also not a huge fan of the Sennheisers either.
post #4 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by liquidzoo View Post

I know that they're good, but they sounded off when I listened to them. Maybe I didn't have them placed properly, or maybe it was due to the fact that they were essentially brand new and the cushions had no give to them, I don't know.

They sounded veiled to me. That's the best way I can describe it. Like they didn't have enough volume or something was obstructing the drivers or something. Hard to explain.

Now I'm not sure what to do. I was also not a huge fan of the Sennheisers either.

Mmmmmm there is a good chance you are biased to the DT770s. The only weird thing is that normally if you come from the Dt770s to something that is open, they first thing people hear is the lack of bass. The fact that you think they sound veiled is strange indeed. I have the exact same issue with hi-fiman products, and I have not gotten over the issue. I can't say that it will be the same thing for you, but I can say that sometimes, certain headphones are just totally incompatible with your ears.

As for sennheiser, ehhhhh. The fact is that the HD598s are wayyy better than the crummy 202s, but you are going to be sort of exposing yourself to some serious culture shock in terms of audio. The 598s sound sort of flat and anemic. If you were going to edit music, they are great, but for listening to music......ehhhhhh they are ok, but not what you are looking for.

That being said. You can find some used HD580s which are more closely related to the sennheiser HD600s and 650s. They are going to have a bit more bass than the 598s and will be a bit cheaper too.

The other option is used HD 600s but it might be out of your price range. I know that razerdog is having a sale on new HD600s for 300 after sale code which is a fantastic deal, but again it is out of your price range. http://www.razordogaudio.com/collections/frontpage/products/sennheiser-hd-600-audiophile-headphones-hd600

Of course if you are willing to do mods, then the fostex T50RP is always a classic favorite for the DIYer. It has plenty of DIY threads on head-fi and is super easy to mod. Best part is it is normally about 100 bucks, so it leaves you with some money for mods.

If you really want to get into mods though. The cheapest an best way to make some killer headphones (and I am not kidding) is to make your own. Audio technica sells their drivers. I got some ath-ad900x drivers for like 63 bucks with tax and shipping. I made a baffle out of some CDs and I made a head band frame out of a coat hanger, and a head band that is similar to the stax headphones. I didn't even use ear pads. I cut some foam and glued it to the band so that the drivers would be separated from my ears and sort of ended up making a Frankenstein AKG K1000 for under 70 bucks, and they sound better than my AKG Q701s that cost me 3 times as much.
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post #5 of 36
Thread Starter 
Don't get wrong, I really do like the SR60i and SR80i, and I love the overall open sound of Grados, I just wasn't a fan of at the very least the 225s I listened to. (On further contemplation, it may have been the adapter rather than the headphones as the 125s using the same adapter also sounded off)

I listened to the HD558s today as well, and was left underwhelmed. Same could be said for the ATH-A900(x, I think) too, though that could be due to the "headphone stand" that Best Buy had them on stretching out the headband and deforming the pads.

The quest continues. I've seen a couple of cheap open headphones from Beyerdynamic today on Amazon too, but no reviews. They're cheap enough, though, that I may go for them just to see and use them for modding practice if I don't end up liking them.

That, or the DT990s are about 200 on Amazon right now too. Decisions, decisions.
Edited by liquidzoo - 4/9/13 at 10:52pm
post #6 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by liquidzoo View Post

Don't get wrong, I really do like the SR60i and SR80i, and I love the overall open sound of Grados, I just wasn't a fan of at the very least the 225s I listened to. (On further contemplation, it may have been the adapter rather than the headphones as the 125s using the same adapter also sounded off)

I listened to the HD558s today as well, and was left underwhelmed. Same could be said for the ATH-A900(x, I think) too, though that could be due to the "headphone stand" that Best Buy had them on stretching out the headband and deforming the pads.

The quest continues. I've seen a couple of cheap open headphones from Beyerdynamic today on Amazon too, but no reviews. They're cheap enough, though, that I may go for them just to see and use them for modding practice if I don't end up liking them.

That, or the DT990s are about 200 on Amazon right now too. Decisions, decisions.

The DT770s are bass heavy and stuffy IMO. It sounds like you have some serious system bias.
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post #7 of 36
I think all the Beyerdynamic headphones are too slow, too recessed, too boomy or too bright for heavy metal. the HD600 has the speed and resolution the HD650 lacks but you can warm it up and take the edge off with tubes.
Edited by bumblebee1980 - 4/10/13 at 4:12am
    
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post #8 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumblebee1980 View Post

I think all the Beyerdynamic headphones are too slow, too recessed, too boomy or too bright for heavy metal.

Totally agree, although I have never heard them as being too bright.
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post #9 of 36
it's been a while since I listened to Beyerdynamic headphones but at least with the DT880 and DT990 the treble is right up there.
    
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post #10 of 36
my headphone quest is pretty much over and found the slower headphones like the Denon AH-D5000, Denon AH-D7000 (the new Fostex TH-600 probably falls somewhere in this category) and Sennheiser HD650 really good with rock and slower metal.

the Sennheiser HD600, HiFiMAN HE-500 and Audeze LCD-2 is better at handling the more complex passages of death metal, black metal, rock, metal, alternative, etc specially the planar magnetics.

to be honest with any of these headphones you can't go wrong.
    
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