Overclock.net banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Overclocker
Joined
·
11,684 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Headphone overview

Alright I will try to write it up before I forget too much and even my paper notes won't help. Obviously take it with a grain of salt, sound and image perception are individual as well as matter of comfort, I will try to include details such as sources, shapes, etc. When some description is missing or I am not addressing some important part or issue I either didn't test it, don't remember it, it was non issue for me or I simply didn't know that was a thing/issue with that model. My head size is smaller but not tiny, comparable to say I don't know average female head size, teen head size or the smaller range of adult male head when it comes to head accessories.

I've returned the new BD DT 770 Pro 80 that I had at home for a few weeks and listened to as long as I could stand them. Shop offers free exchange for a different (same or higher price) headphone too with no additional (shipping) cost, didn't use that as I do not know yet what headphone to buy from what is available. As I found a shop, 1 in the whole country that has two places where one can listen to many headphones, I've decided to make the trip to one of these places, return the 770s in person to save on shipping costs etc. kill multiple birds with one stone so to speak.

At home I use ASRock Z97 Extreme 4, back green port line out with my 2006 Sennheiser HD 200 Master, it should be a Realtek 1150, separated physically from most other motherboard components and traces, there are very rare occasions when it may transfer some noise or maybe that's just because I'm hearing an audible noise from the case as that can happen for some maybe RAM intensive operations and VGA coilwhine at high frame rates. Before that I used these headphones with my laptop for 6+ years that had considerably worse internal audio with certain issues that these headphones were good enough to pick up (very faint "white" noise above specific volume level).

DT 770 Pro 80, Realtek 1150 on front panel audio same volume settings it plays louder than rear panel I/O port. When using 1/3rd volume for DT 770 Pro 80 I was told in Store #2 that my source should be fine for just about any headphone volume wise. So I guess the up to 600 Ohm is not just a marketing line.
Quote:
  • - 7.1 CH HD Audio with Content Protection (Realtek ALC1150 Audio Codec)
  • - Premium Blu-ray Audio support
  • - Supports Surge Protection (ASRock Full Spike Protection)
  • - Supports Purity Sound™ 2
  • - Nichicon Fine Gold Series Audio Caps
  • - 115dB SNR DAC with differential amplifier
  • - TI® NE5532 Premium Headset Amplifier (Supports up to 600 ohm headsets)
  • - Direct Drive Technology
  • - EMI shielding cover
  • - PCB isolate shielding
  • - Supports DTS Connect

Dictionary, in other words what I mean when I say something for describing a sound etc.
  • open, wide, big, airy = "better" wider soundstage, sounds come more from sides and less from center only/mostly
  • closed, narrow, tiny, "worse" narrower soundstage, sounds come more from center and less from sides
  • open headphone, back of the speaker is considerably ventilated in some way
  • semi-open headphone, back of the speaker is partially ventilated in some way
  • closed headphone, back of the speaker is closed and there may or may not be a small hole only on some models
  • shop guy, a person who works at a store, helps customers and sells them stuff, I don't know what or if there is a specific term for it in English at the moment
  • L large, M medium, S small
  • thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif
    below standard, poor = (my old cheap headphone does better and it did so when new as well); standard, normal;
    thumb.gif
    above standard, good
  • busy music, a sound with a lot of going on in it, loud, plenty bass, mid, high frequency sounds in it, tends to play muffled, imprecise, odd, lower clarity/resolution, overstrain a headphone
  • resolution, clarity, how well can different sounds be identified, bad = it's all mixed and mashed together, good = everything is nice and separated

Store #1, international music store (headphones, speakers, guitars, pianos, ...), returned DT 770 Pro 80 a little unusual company structure and handling of returns, needs "invoice" sent and can't look it up from their own system as stores and eshop seem separated internally in some way. Hopefully they pay me back promptly with no issues. The headphones were as new when returned you wouldn't be able to tell a difference from new box and what I returned, they were sitting for 2 weeks packaged unused waiting for me to drive there to return them, pads formed back to original full shape in the meantime. Completely foreign language speaking personnel as that is where this shop is from, unusual that a whole store would be like that and no locals working there when it comes to shop-customer contact, it's the same with eshop, foreign language replies only. Our languages are similar so it's ok for the most part.

Asked to listen to headphones similar to the DT 770 Pro 80, AKG, AT, they do not sell Sennheiser at all. They only had some (=almost nothing) at the store front, gave me AKG K612 Pro, when I asked where can I listen to them, do they have a player of some kind, I have CD/uSD/SD with me, none, nada, nothing, you can play something from your phone... well so I did but my phone is in no hardware shape to make any decent headphone a justice.

Source, my $200 or so old mediatek china phone, nothing impressive or good for good headphones

AKG K612 Pro

Condition, almost new
New, almost new, as new. Have been unpacked before.

Volume level, no problem on my phone

Construction, poor
metal? + plastic, AKG cup rotation, terrible terrible automatically adjusting headband, let me explain, there are two wires on which an automatic headband height system is sliding and all this is controlled by two miniture/tiny rubber strings, guess what happens over time... the strings fail, completely and all height adjustment is gone, the headphone will go down down below your ears, I give it two years tops, then the rubber strings give up their ghost just when the warranty ends, the more you use them the more they will weaken, a clear design fault point to force customers to buy new headphones

Weight, poor
Heavy. Poor stability.

Headband, poor
No padding, just stiff piece of leather, who the hell designed this never put the headphones on his head unless he was paid to put them on.
Do yourself a favor and if you love these headphones, stick a piece of foam on the bottom of the leather, I bet your head comfort will appreciate it a lot.

Pads, normal
Velour, nothing special, no good memory foam here.

Pad depth, possibly poor hard to remember may touch ears on the sides
Pad size L, poor, round, way too large, so large that when fit correctly around the ear the front of the pad goes to much forward on head almost invading the jaw joint, not suitable for smaller heads or children

Adjustment, normal
As far as I can remember it was normal, being an open headphone any issue with seal was not noticeable, height adjustment should fit smaller heads, women, possibly possibly children.
There is some 2D angle adjustment on the cups and the two wires also offer a bit of flex for horizontal angle adjustment. Don't expect much though.

Cable, poor
Attached non replaceable.

Sound, soundstage, ---
Response, depends what you prefer, ---
Long term listening comfort, ---
Cannot judge, poor source and testing environment (loud, people talking around and getting in my way literally).

Overall sound quality minus frequency response, worse than Audio Technica ATH-M50x that much I could tell from testing them both on my poor source (phone)

Next I tried Audio Technica ATH-M50x as you can find below. The environment in the shop was busy, I was standing at the pult/desk, my source a phone was poor for any decent headphone I could tell that much, as such I've abandoned asking them for the sealed AKG K712 Pro, being the worst headphone to drive for any device, open type HP with poor source in a busy loud shop no headphone especially this one could be "made justice", left and rushed to a Store #2 aka the Store to go to, period, and why I made the trip and spent third of the day in transport.

Store #2, local headphone distribution company with two brick stores made for listening to anything on anything you want, wall to wall headphones ready for you, couches, even a coffee machine for the addicts, friendly single person personnel that is there when you need it and isn't annoyingly going around pushing you stuff or being otherwise in the way as you may find in many other stores that try to push and turn products around to customers a bit too much. Near perfect, as good as it gets. Open 6 hours a day except weekends. I've been there around 4 hours as I arrived 1 hour after they opened and had to leave 1 hour before they close so I can catch a bus and spend 2h+ traveling back home.

Source, Astell & Kern AK380

They do list online all the options one can use when listening which is near limitless. MicroSD card it was and I was offered an expensive looking Astell & Kern AK380, yes this very expensive player, all taken care of. First one was black but it discharged to 10% giving a warning at 15% after a while, I can guess I've used around 20-30% of battery. Asked for a recharge or listen to CDs I brought with me, instead friendly shop guy took out a second Astell & Kern AK380 this time in copper, they are ready for everything.
  1. Astell & Kern AK380 Black
  2. Astell & Kern AK380 Copper
Both players produce considerable amount of heat, they are the same electronically as far as I can tell it's only a shell material difference. Copper is of course noticeably heavier but it did seem to dissipate/transfer heat better which resulted I think in lower surface temperature of the device. On the other hand Copper one had some issue with volume knob IMHO and it seemed looser as well as a tendency to scroll one step accidentally, it did not inspire confidence and I liked the one on Black version as in it was better and after getting used to the player the knob worked fine for me with nice steps and clicks in it, Copper one simply didn't have that same feel to it. Sound wise they were identical, I made sure by checking all the settings on both players as well as taking the DT 770 Pro 80 to verify that Copper one plays exactly the same as Black one and there isn't any noticeable difference, listening to many headphones I didn't want to introduce another variable so I was glad the two players played exactly the same both in quality and volume levels. I've used some 30%+ battery on the copper one again, they do seem to eat the battery which is no surprise when they produce this much heat and push various headphones
Both on low gain. When asked, high gain plays a little bit louder, the volume range is 0-150 with 100 being what I used for DT 770 Pro, on high gain it's about equivalent to 20-170 range or so they said, I had no need to test it, only asked.

The menu is not very intuitive, there is a "secret" home button on the bottom where the tiny dot is, it was near impossible for me to get it to recognize my finger presses, it worked sometimes but most of the time it didn't on the Copper sample. Screen was very sensitive, as in two layers of paper on the screen and it was picking up my finger near telepathically.

Would play FLAC, AAC/M4A, MP3, Vorbis/OGG but it did not play Opus/OGG luckily all my Opus I also had in AAC.

Top notch player there is nothing more to say sound wise. Is it worth the price? No. Definitely not to me, it's 10x overpriced and targeted at a different customer than me.
Quote:
  • Dual AKM AK4490 DAC (Dual DAC)
  • Bit-to-Bit High Resolution PCM Audio Playback up to 32bit/384kHz
  • Native DSD (up to 11.2Mhz) Playback
  • Expandable Docking Connector
  • VCXO Clock (0.2ps)
  • 20 Band Parametric EQ
  • AK Connect
  • 256GB Internal Flash Memory + Single MicroSD Memory Card Slot (256GB)
  • Metal Touch Sensor

Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro 80

Condition, very used and broken in
Two models tested:
  1. completely new, unlimited (4 weeks possible) time at home
  2. very used, 10 years possible, hundreds even thousands of people might have had this on their head prior.
Volume level, normal, 100 on AK380, 32% on front port of my motherboard audio

Construction, normal
metal + plastic, flimsy unsatisfying joints but they do seem to survive over time, bulky especially the cups

Weight, poor
Heavy. Poor stability.

Headband, poor
Clamping force is high, way too high even with a small head. Walnut cracker high like feeling. They are almost impossible to soften up to lower the clamping force as headband internally is a piece steel sheet. When bent it returns back and to make a difference you would have to go real hardcore on the metal band to make a difference, if you've ever tried bending metal strip by hand before you will know how almost impossible it is as the moment you let go it goes right back where it was with no effect made. New: way too high clamping force.
When I arrived to the listening shop I picked up DT 770 Pro 80 they had there and immediately, WOW, and asked the friendly shop guy what did it take for the headband to get this nice and weak, "wishing" the new models would come with this lower clamping force. Well I started guessing years 2-3? And his reply was more in the terms of a lot, probably since we are open and that would make them 10 years old, they certainly looked like it, pads yellow discolored and softened, white paint name on the cups almost gone, etc. they have seen a lot of use. Also said that according to their technician it's near impossible to bend them to get them like this. IMHO meaning overall you can bend them as well as a thick strip of metal, very difficult and brute force required, I've tried it with the new ones I had in a non bruteforce way since I was returning them and it had no effect at all.
Also not enough padding on the headband at all, poor comfort.

Pads, poor
Too stiff and uncomfortable especially with the high clamping force, they do not adapt one bit when new and even on a severely used and abused model they are still not soft and comfy enough for long listening sessions. New also do not adapt to the head shape especially behind ears leaving open space = not sealing = all bass is gone. Definitely need to be swapped for the softer DT 990/880 type of pads that look exactly the same but are made from better softer more comfy and better contouring foam. The stock DT 770 Pro 80 pads are abominable, this may sound harsh to some, so let me explain, I look for comfortable headphones for long 8-12h use a day, yes a day, 8-12/365. For a brief listen of 30min sure the pads are fine and "comfy" if you don't know better and how proper nice pads feel.

Pad depth, poor is insufficient and they touch ears on the sides, uncomfy especially for the first few hours of 30min listening sessions as I could not stand them on for longer at once.
Pad size L, poor, round, way too large, so large that when fit correctly around the ear the front of the pad goes to much forward on head almost invading the jaw joint, annoying if you listen and eat as well as the high pressure and hard pad will block blood flow on these front and upper part of head where the pad touches. On a new model this is made even worse as the pads need to form, yes they deform over time and after use it takes them again a very long time to deform back entirely, it took me several days to wear them in at which point they finally seal as they should, several annoying days, that stiff and bad, where do these new stiff pads touch and put most pressure on? The front-top part of the pad making you listen to your own heartbeat.

Adjustment, poor
Poor. Very poor.
Height does not fit smaller heads. For me I would need 5mm more adjustment, then they sit around the ears higher, seal improves as well as a result. Not suited for anyone with smaller head especially height wise, women, teens, children especially.
To make it worse the angle adjustment horizontally is small, too small to seal well around the back of the ear with new unworn pads. Vertically too small caused by protruding plastic "pin" on the cups that serves IMHO a purpose of cable protection due to poor cable attachment placement. If you file the pins down you risk damaging the cable at higher allowed angles.
Absolutely outdated design with poor ergonomy and poor comfort. Not enough height and angle adjustments coupled with stiff pads. Many people praise DT line for comfort and indeed the 990/880s with softer pads are way better but these 770 Pro 80 with stiff velour pads are definitely a far cry from good comfort on any head unless your head is tall narrow with flat sides and flat ears.
Worst fit I've tried from any new headphone.

Cable, poor
Attached, BD after all these decades still can't be bothered to offer detachable, cable seems to last, it's on the thicker side, it's an acceptable cable but the fixed no connector attachment should be abolished. Literally everyone I've talked to dislikes the fixed attachment. There are people who mod it but it's not trivial, the best you can do is throw away warranty, cut the cable shorter and use an extension. One sided attachment to the cups, cable runs and somehow magically survives under the removable headband padding, the joints on headband are flimsy and the metal pieces inside can grind on each other, be very careful where and how you place the cable there otherwise you could grind, snip, damage the cable by these moving and rotating pieces of metal. Top rear of the cups has cable attachments going to headband and they can indeed be annoying if you want to relax and put hands behind your head, the cups are large and these top cables stick out especially on new headphones and get in the way of your hands the more you relax your elbows forward. The top cables can be repositioned to a certain degree or maybe tape/zip tie them out of the way.

Sound, soundstage, open
They don't sound as closed headphones compared to most other closed headphones. Nice and open really well done. Probably thanks to the deep cups, port hole and velour pads that do not seal well.
Sounds same as or even better than some open headphones but this may be only because of the mid treble peaks.

Response, depends what you prefer, poor for me
U shaped, exaggerated bass with mid treble peaks, dip around 3.5kHz, 8-10kHz peak a guess as I lost my frequency sweeper samples to tell you precisely.
Missing mids overall, bass, treble, where is the rest? Can sound almost muffled with some songs compared to other headphones especially when it comes to voices and anything in mid range. The bass and treble are overpowering the mids, you have to have to turn the volume down to not go deaf and as a result the mids are a touch too quiet.

Bass range
Bass amount depends very much on how well the pads seal, the more seal the more bass, also pushing them against the head adds more bass, annoyingly dependent on fit and seal, if they don't seal you get no bass, no joke, literally how much bass you will get is how well they are worn to your head and how well they fit your head overall, I had to wear them in for two days to get seal so that I can judge their sound at all, when I first put them on, new out of the box, I thought WTH they have no bass, reason was they didn't seal behind the bottom rear of ear. You have to have to wear them in so that the pads deform to your had over a couple days and then start judging the sound, unless of course you have a perfect exemplary Beyerdynamic test head and they seal and fit you perfectly from day 0.

low, great sub bass, exaggerated
mid, great bass but fatiguing for long term
high, great

Mid range
Overpowered overall by the strong bass and treble peaks. Lacking.

low, ok
mid, okish
high, could be better

Treble range
Exaggerated.

low, dip 3-3.5kHz, definitely needs EQ, it gets annoying at times
mid, peaks at top of mid around 8-10kHz if I have to guess
high, ok as ok can be for a headphone I guess

Long term listening comfort, poor
Fatiguing to listen to for longer periods of time from the exaggerated bass and sub bass as well as mid treble peaks. Getting deaf like feeling after using them a long time at once.

Overall sound quality minus frequency response, not good but great = better than good
No complaints, can handle busy music as far as I remember.
Resolution, good. Really a strong point for the BD DT 770 Pro 80 and 990 Pro 250, it will play anything decently.

Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro 250

Condition, used
Showroom model, didn't seem overly used as the 770, almost new in comparison.

Volume level, normal, 100 on AK380
Same as the 770 Pro 80 surprisingly. Different impedance by a lot but the same sensitivity.

Construction, normal
metal + plastic, flimsy unsatisfying joints but they do seem to survive over time, bulky especially the cups, decent design visually and a little more eye pleasing than the 770 Pro

Weight, poor
Heavy. Poor stability.

Headband, poor
Clamping force is high, way too high even with a small head. Walnut cracker high like feeling. They are almost impossible to soften up to lower the clamping force as headband internally is a piece steel sheet. When bent it returns back and to make a difference you would have to go real hardcore on the metal band to make a difference, if you've ever tried bending metal strip by hand before you will know how almost impossible it is as the moment you let go it goes right back where it was with no effect made. New: way too high clamping force.
From the use in showroom a bit softer probably than a new model.
Also not enough padding on the headband at all, poor comfort.

Pads, normal
Regular stiffness and more comfortable than the 770 pads that look exactly the same, even the extremely broken in 770 Pro had worse comfort than these softer 990 pads, period. They do not adapt as well as memory foam when new and will probably need to be broken in, overall a whole 1 level better comfort than the 770 Pro. And if the headband is small enough for you and you have a flat sided head especially flat ears then these will be reasonably comfortable. A seal here is not a problem as these are open headphones and I didn't notice any extreme changes to sound when lifting the cups a bit where as with 770 Pro 80 it would start to lose a lot of bass and when not sealed those lose all bass, it doesn't seem so with the 990 Pro 250 and they are more comfy with softer pads and lower if non existent sound quality dependence on precise fit.

Pad depth, poor is insufficient and they touch ears on the sides. Takes time getting used to but they do touch sides of my ears which can get irritating even painful hours later.
Pad size L, poor, round, way too large, so large that when fit correctly around the ear the front of the pad goes to much forward on head almost invading the jaw joint.

Adjustment, poor
Poor. Very poor.
Height does not fit smaller heads. For me I would need 5mm more adjustment, then they sit around the ears higher. Not suited for anyone with smaller head especially height wise, women, teens, children especially.
To make it worse the angle adjustment horizontally is small. Vertically too small caused by protruding plastic "pin" on the cups that serves IMHO a purpose of cable protection due to poor cable attachment placement. If you file the pins down you risk damaging the cable at higher allowed angles.
Absolutely outdated design with poor ergonomy and subpar comfort. Not enough height and angle adjustments coupled with non memory pads. Many people praise DT line for comfort and indeed the 990/880s with softer pads are way better than 770 pads.

Cable, poor
Attached, BD after all these decades still can't be bothered to offer detachable, cable seems to last, it's on the thicker side, it's an acceptable cable but the fixed no connector attachment should be abolished. Literally everyone I've talked to dislikes the fixed attachment. There are people who mod it but it's not trivial, the best you can do is throw away warranty, cut the cable shorter and use an extension. One sided attachment to the cups, cable runs and somehow magically survives under the removable headband padding, the joints on headband are flimsy and the metal pieces inside can grind on each other, be very careful where and how you place the cable there otherwise you could grind, snip, damage the cable by these moving and rotating pieces of metal. Top rear of the cups has cable attachments going to headband and they can indeed be annoying if you want to relax and put hands behind your head, the cups are large and these top cables stick out especially on new headphones and get in the way of your hands the more you relax your elbows forward. The top cables can be repositioned to a certain degree or maybe tape/zip tie them out of the way.

Sound, soundstage, open
Nice and open really well done, though it may be exaggerated by the crystal treble to give this feeling. Very similar to 770 Pro 80 which is a closed model and the difference between these two is in: isolation, frequency response and pad stiffness.
Sounds same as or even better than some open headphones but this may be only because of the high treble peaks.

Response, depends what you prefer, poor for me
U shaped, exaggerated bass with high treble peaks, can't talk about precise kHz peaks didn't have time to listen and analyze them that long, I did spend some 30min with them probably.
Missing mids overall, bass, crystal treble, where is the rest? Can sound almost muffled with some songs compared to other headphones especially when it comes to voices and anything in mid range. The bass and treble are overpowering the mids, you probably have to have to turn the volume down to not go deaf and as a result the mids are a touch too quiet. The U shape is even wider than on 770 Pro 80, strong bass very comparable but a little different than on 770 Pro 80, treble is crystal like peaks are higher which makes most songs even worse than on 770 Pro 80 as mids are missing and the U shape is too wide.

Bass range
Bass amount doesn't seem to depend on how well the pads seal. Good bass.

low, great sub bass, maybe weaker than 770
mid, great bass but fatiguing for long term probably
high, great probably a bit exaggerated

Mid range
Overpowered overall by the strong bass and high treble peaks. Lacking even more than 770 Pro 80.

low, ok?
mid, okish?
high, lacking

Treble range
Exaggerated.

low, probably some dips
mid, still ok
high, crystal, exaggerated

Long term listening comfort, poor
Most likely fatiguing to listen to for longer periods of time from the exaggerated bass and crystal treble peaks.

Overall sound quality minus frequency response, not good but great = better than good
No complaints, can handle busy music as far as I remember.
Resolution, good. Really a strong point for the BD DT 770 Pro 80 and 990 Pro 250, it will play anything decently.

Beyerdynamic DT 880 250

Condition, used
Showroom model, didn't seem overly used as the 770, almost new in comparison. Premium model version but it doesn't have that in shop's listing. Had the silver "clips" around height adjustment.

Volume level, normal, 100 on AK380
I think it was the same as 770 Pro 80 and 990 Pro 250.

Construction, normal
metal + plastic, better joints than the Pro line I think, they should survive over time, bulky especially the cups, a little odd visual design with the cups being all silver from the side

Weight, poor
Heavy. Poor stability.

Headband, poor
Clamping force is high, way too high even with a small head. Walnut cracker high like feeling. They are almost impossible to soften up to lower the clamping force as headband internally is a piece steel sheet. When bent it returns back and to make a difference you would have to go real hardcore on the metal band to make a difference, if you've ever tried bending metal strip by hand before you will know how almost impossible it is as the moment you let go it goes right back where it was with no effect made. New: way too high clamping force.
From the use in showroom a bit softer probably than a new model. Comparable with 990.
Also not enough padding on the headband at all even with this nonPro headband, poor comfort.

Pads, normal
Regular stiffness and more comfortable than the 770 pads that look exactly the same, even the extremely broken in 770 Pro had worse comfort than these softer 990/880 pads, period. They do not adapt as well as memory foam when new and will probably need to be broken in, overall a whole 1 level better comfort than the 770 Pro. And if the headband is small enough for you and you have a flat sided head especially flat ears then these will be reasonably comfortable. Can't say if seal affected sound quality, they are "semi-open" and seemed to seal fine since they were already broken in by previous use.

Pad depth, poor is insufficient and they touch ears on the sides. Takes time getting used to but they do touch sides of my ears which can get irritating even painful hours later.
Pad size L, poor, round, way too large, so large that when fit correctly around the ear the front of the pad goes to much forward on head almost invading the jaw joint.

Adjustment, poor
Poor. Very poor.
Height does not fit smaller heads. For me I would need 5mm more adjustment, then they sit around the ears higher. Not suited for anyone with smaller head especially height wise, women, teens, children especially.
To make it worse the angle adjustment horizontally is small. Vertically too small caused by protruding plastic "pin" on the cups that serves IMHO a purpose of cable protection due to poor cable attachment placement. If you file the pins down you risk damaging the cable at higher allowed angles.
Absolutely outdated design with poor ergonomy and subpar comfort. Not enough height and angle adjustments coupled with non memory pads. Many people praise DT line for comfort and indeed the 990/880s with softer pads are way better than 770 pads.

Cable, poor
Attached, BD after all these decades still can't be bothered to offer detachable, cable seems to last, it's on the thicker side, it's an acceptable cable but the fixed no connector attachment should be abolished. Literally everyone I've talked to dislikes the fixed attachment. There are people who mod it but it's not trivial, the best you can do is throw away warranty, cut the cable shorter and use an extension. One sided attachment to the cups, cable runs and somehow magically survives under the removable headband padding, the joints on headband are flimsy and the metal pieces inside can grind on each other, be very careful where and how you place the cable there otherwise you could grind, snip, damage the cable by these moving and rotating pieces of metal. Top rear of the cups has cable attachments going to headband and they can indeed be annoying if you want to relax and put hands behind your head, the cups are large and these top cables stick out especially on new headphones and get in the way of your hands the more you relax your elbows forward. The top cables can be repositioned to a certain degree or maybe tape/zip tie them out of the way.

Sound, soundstage, closed, narrow, tiny
Controlled, what seemed to me companies use for reference headphones, narrow, narrower than 770 and 990, felt like having closed headphones, the amazing space of BD DT 770/990 is gone here a real shame.
Very neutral and well controlled, no obvious exaggerated bass or treble peaks. Unfortunately all these changes made them sound quite boring, in fact the most boring of all first 10 or so headphones tested on this list (= first testing session).
Looking for flat studio reference, well this is probably. No idea why BD calls 770 studio oriented when the 880 should be, I guess BD means 770 studio oriented are for singers/players not for the sound technician.
Flat response, nothing wrong with that, but boring is bad for at home music pleasure.

Response, depends what you prefer, good for me
Flat as a pancake. No extreme sub bass or treble, well controlled overall, sort of similar to Sennheiser approach. I liked it, but I didn't like the narrow soundstage and boring sound.

Bass range
Good bass, controlled, not fatiguing I think.

low, ok, sub bass lacking but that's a good thing for comfort
mid, ok
high, ok

Mid range
Probably the best out of the 770/880/990 line up.

low, ok
mid, ok
high, ok

Treble range
Seemed controlled.

low, I think the dips of 770/990 not present here or noticeably less
mid, ok
high, no crystal here, controlled, nice and not fatiguing

Long term listening comfort, poor
Most likely good to listen to for longer periods of time. Controlled overall, sadly boring but after long time your ears and brain will adjust.

Overall sound quality minus frequency response, not good but great = better than good
No complaints, can handle busy music as far as I remember.
Resolution, good I think. Hard to tell much, they sound so flat, which I personally like but the lack of wideness/openness/space is disappointing and they were truly boring to listen to, I moved on to other headphones.
This is not to say no one likes these, I was listening to 770 Pro 80 and was asked by a couple if they could listen to them, so they did, in the end they ended up buying 880 Pro 250 which is a cheaper construction of this model. I was curious what they chose since they were interested in similar headphones as me.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

Condition, used
Showroom model, didn't seem overly abused.

Volume level, normal
I think it was similar maybe a little lower volume setting than used for the Beyerdynamics.

Construction, normal
Plastic upon plastic, I think they should survive over time, headband seem a bit out of proportion big compared to the tiny cups. Hard to tell each M?0x model apart. They look cheap but the construction with all these joints doesn't. Still to a common person they will look like cheap headphones.

Weight, poor
Hefty, poor stability.

Headband, poor
Clamping force don't remember. Not enough padding on the headband at all or shall I say where is the damn headband padding??? Poor comfort.

Pads, poor
Regular stiffness and nothing amazing, some fake leather or what it is, way too thin.

Pad depth, very poor is insufficient and they touch ears on the sides. Very thin fake leather crap pads, painful.
Pad size S, poor, oval like, way too small, so small that they touch ears no matter what.

Adjustment, normalish
Height does not fit smaller heads. For me I would need a tiny bit more adjustment and this is caused by the non existent headband padding. Not suited for anyone with smaller head.
There is some horizontal and vertical adjustment.

Cable, normal
Detachable with a lock.

Sound, soundstage, closed, narrow, tiny, awful, what else do you want me to say
A prime example of a closed cheapo headphone. The difference between M50x and DT 770 pro 80 is enormous. M50x sounds closed and narrow, 770 Pro 80 sounds open and wide.

Response, depends what you prefer, poor for me
Bass heavy, lacking treble probably with treble dips all over.

Bass range
Exaggerated.

Mid range
Hanging in there, usable.

Treble range
What treble? You're hearing any? Simply lacking.

Long term listening comfort, poor
Most likely not good to listen to for longer periods of time, too much bass and nothing else.

Overall sound quality minus frequency response, normal
Normal and a touch better than M40x.
Resolution, normal I think. Hard to tell much, they sound so bassy and are quite uncomfortable as they are more of an on ear than around ear headphone with very thin pads, even if they sounded like million bucks I would not stand them on my ears more than 30 min due to poor comfort. Possibly not suited for busy music.
Moving on and not listening to them for long.

Audio-Technica ATH-M40x

Condition, used
Showroom model, didn't seem overly abused.

Volume level, normal
I think it was similar maybe a little lower volume setting than used for the Beyerdynamics.

Construction, normal
Plastic upon plastic, I think they should survive over time. Hard to tell each M?0x model apart. They look cheap but the construction with all these joints doesn't. Still to a common person they will look like cheap headphones.

Weight, poor
Hefty but a little less than M50x, poor stability.

Headband, poor
Clamping force don't remember. Not enough padding on the headband at all or shall I say where is the damn headband padding??? Poor comfort.

Pads, very poor
Harder stiffness and nothing amazing, some fake leather or what it is, way too thin, just poor or shall I say awful? Cheapo crap.

Pad depth, very poor is insufficient and they touch ears on the sides. Very thin fake leather crap pads, painful.
Pad size S, poor, oval like, way too small, so small that they touch ears no matter what.

Adjustment, poor
Height does not fit smaller heads. For me I would need a tiny bit more adjustment and this is caused by the non existent headband padding. Not suited for anyone with smaller head.
There is no horizontal adjustment if I remember right and vertical adjustment is same as on M50x. Simply put they don't want to rotate and adapt well around the ear front and back.

Cable, normal
Detachable with a lock.

Sound, soundstage, closed, narrow, tiny, awful, what else do you want me to say
A prime example of a closed cheapo headphone. The difference between M40x and DT 770 pro 80 is enormous. M40x sounds closed and narrow, 770 Pro 80 sounds open and wide.
It is even worse than M50x.

Response, depends what you prefer, poor for me
Bass heavy, lacking treble probably with treble dips all over.

Bass range
Exaggerated.

Mid range
Hanging in there, usable?

Treble range
What treble? You're hearing any? Simply lacking.

Long term listening comfort, poor
Most likely not good to listen to for longer periods of time, too much bass and nothing else.

Overall sound quality minus frequency response, normal
Even worse than M50x.
Resolution, normal I think. Hard to tell much, they sound so bassy and are quite uncomfortable as they are more of an on ear than around ear headphone with very thin pads, even if they sounded like million bucks I would not stand them on my ears more than 30 min due to poor comfort. Possibly not suited for busy music. A cheaper crappier version of M50x with no cup rotation.
Moving on and not listening to them for long.

AKG Q701 black

Condition, very used
Showroom model I asked for it wasn't on display, headband auto adjustment gone, totally gone, the soft very thin rubber strings were so soft they could not even move the headband back to it's original position and in no way to keep the headband from falling completely down when placed on head. Had to hold them with one hand height wise while listening.

Volume level, poor, 115 on AK380
Much higher volume setting needed than the Beyerdynamics. The hardest to drive of all tested (first session).

Construction, very poor
Plastic upon plastic with two metal? wires. I can tell you right away they do not survive over time as expected and as evidenced with my own eyes and hands. The height adjustment dies after a year or two probably when the warranty expires, forcing you to buy a new headphone. Terrible design choice by AKG on all of their headphones with this automatic height adjustment using rubber strings. What does rubber do when constantly stretched and over time? It degrades and loses all it's pull.

Weight, poor
Hefty but a little less than Beyerdynamics, poor stability.

Headband, very poor
Clamping force don't remember. No padding on the headband at all. Very poor comfort. There are only a few bumps on the leather headband. The rubber strings that automatically adjust height get destroyed over time and make the headphone completely unusable without disassembling it and replacing the rubber strings.

Pads, normal
Normal stiffness and nothing amazing, velour. No memory foam here, disappointing. 712 Pro is so much better with the memory foam pads.

Pad depth, possibly poor hard to remember may touch ears on the sides
Pad size L, poor, round, way too large, so large that when fit correctly around the ear the front of the pad goes to much forward on head almost invading the jaw joint, not suitable for smaller heads or children

Adjustment, normal
As far as I can remember it was normal, being an open headphone any issue with seal was not noticeable, height adjustment should fit smaller heads, women, possibly possibly children.
There is some 2D angle adjustment on the cups and the two wires also offer a bit of flex for horizontal angle adjustment. Don't expect much though.

Cable, normal
Detachable with a special connector.

Sound, soundstage, nice and open
Overall on the bright side, lacking sub bass and having a bit more treble. K712 Pro would be my preference here instead of Q701.

Response, depends what you prefer, normal for me

Bass range
Sub bass lacking, nowhere near 990 Pro 250 bass, the lowest end is rolled off. Overall lacking and I would probably prefer the 712 Pro here.

Mid range
Good.

Treble range
Good.

Long term listening comfort, normal
Most likely alright to listen to for longer periods of time.

Overall sound quality minus frequency response, funky, musical, very hard to describe you have to listen to them, period.
Probably the hardest if not the hardest headphone to describe. They sound good good good and then what was that? Same sounds again in a song, no where is it? It's changing and nothing seems identifiable precisely to figure where the oddity comes from. They sound funky, musical, odd, maybe it's some designed distortion or blending who knows. Definitely a headphone for some people only, people that listen to it and like it. I would very much forget Q701 and get K712 Pro, it is what I wanted to try as well but they only sell and had the Q701, nothing else.
Resolution, normal I think. Hard to tell much, they sound so funky and odd in the details. Model was older and headband height adjustment completely destroyed, not fun to listen to them while holding them up with one hand constantly, tiring. Sound wise they are good, just the frequency response is lacking bass and is on the bright side plus the whole tuning of it is funky and odd which in the end is a matter of taste.
Moving on and not listening to them for very long because of comfort issues, sound wise they are interesting to listen to.

After a bit of discussion about the size and pad shapes of different headphones I've asked for something that is as large as the AKG but instead of being round for it to be oval and velour if possible. Didn't give any other hints and I was trying to save the HD 569 for later but here it was being brought from back of the shop as it was not on display. Shop guy likes it more than the M50x and it is very comfortable.

Sennheiser HD 569

Condition, almost new, new
Two models tested:
  1. Showroom model that wasn't on display, almost new.
  2. New, unlimited test time at home
Volume level, good, 65? on AK380
Much lower volume setting needed than the Beyerdynamics. The easiest group of headphones to drive, 558/569/599/MSR7.

Construction, good
Plastic upon plastic. No problem here, sure headband softens over time but that is actually a good thing on all the Senns, I've had my HD200 Master for 11 years and they still work fine, all plastic super light build so I'm confident Sennheiser knows what they are doing with these all/mostly plastic headphone builds, it works, it lasts, it doesn't cost a fortune.

Weight, good
Kind of middle of the road weight, on the light side of most tested in first session. Good overall, not too heavy but also not overly light, an acceptable middle ground.
Very good stability.

Headband, very good
Clamping force wasn't an issue for me and as all Senns it will soften over time and be just fine even if as new it may be high for some.
The best headband padding, thick and soft, memory foam like, velour soft touch kind of material.
New model clamping force was reasonable, not too high and not too low at least not for my head. As all plastic Senns it will soften over time with wear.

Pads, awesome
Immediately after putting them on, OMG, these isolate! They actually isolate unlike the 770 Pro 80 and all other closed headphones I've tried, so much more isolation. And, OMG, the comfort, this is amazing all headphones should have memory foam pads and velour or other soft touch material. After a while, do I have them on? I can't feel anything, these sit so well with the memory foam pads and headband, awesome. There is no other word for it, just awesome, if you don't believe me, put these on and tell me I'm lying. Memory foam velour soft touch pads that are soft and deform freely quickly, hold their shape for a short while after letting go, amazing.

Pad depth, very good, deeper than all the other 5xx Senns and didn't touch my ears. Sadly the new unit I got at home had right pad with 2-3mm shallower depth than left pad and the hinge protrusion inside cup was touching my ear which can be painful after a long time since it presses the ear at a single sharp point. The pads are relatively soft memory foam and they do lose quite a bit of depth when on the head that's why they need to be as deep as possible.
Pad size M, good, oval, sized just right, goes around the ear unlike M50x and isn't way too large as Beyerdynamics and AKGs.

Adjustment, good
A bit of angle adjustment in both directions to fit any head shape, height adjustment is very generous and will fit smaller heads, women, even children. There could be a little more adjustment around the horizontal axis.
Sennheiser has the best ergonomy hands down no doubt.

Cable, normal
Detachable with a locking connector. Comes with two cables, normal longer and short one that also has a built in microphone, that's right, it comes with a cable that is suitable for mobile device use and it has a microphone in it.
Despite some pictures and shops showing 6.3 to 3.5mm adapter it does not come with it.

Sound, soundstage, closed
Classic closed sound that I know from other closed Sennheiser headphones, disappointing after the amazing 770 Pro 80 openness but it's better than the M50x if I remember right. Still it's a classic closed sound.

Response, depends what you prefer, poor for me

Bass range
Sub bass lacking a little compared to Beyerdynamics, in other words the sub bass is controlled and not exaggerated, a bit missing if you ask me.
Good bass otherwise, it's there and it's not too much. Depends on fit and seal unfortunately.

Mid range
Upper mid range, low treble is exaggerated and cannot even be EQed out really, it's too forward, loud, shouting, borderline painful and annoying for any music/sound that has it, especially brighter female voices, instruments, samples, special effects. Disappointing. Didn't notice it to be so forward in the shop but at home it gets apparent rather quickly as one starts to listen to more varying music and sources, I will be adding some to my test sounds collection. Where the DT 770 Pro 80 had a dip, HD 569 has an annoying peak, 3.5kHz is too loud and it slowly reduces in loudness all the way to some 5-5.5kHz. Some sounds are painful, some sound annoyingly different.

Treble range
Decent, no sparkling, no crystal, controlled. A bit recessed at the end but that's good for long session listening.

Long term listening comfort, very good
Most likely very good to listen to for longer periods of time, no insane sub bass or exaggerated treble to blow out and tire your ears.

Overall sound quality minus frequency response, normal
A little bit dull, closed compared to BD DT 770/990, classic Sennheiser IMHO and what some like to call a veil. Why is it like that? The sound is well controlled with no exaggerated sub bass or treble, where as in comparison DT 770/990 have exaggerated sub bass and annoying treble peaks and dips. Sennheiser I think tunes these for long listening time = comfort of listening, and not for 30-60 min listening only for audiophiles that will either stop listening after 1 CD or pick a different headphone for each CD they play.
Resolution, normal I would say.
May have trouble with busy music, I will have to test more if I get the chance. This is probably caused by the low impedance unfortunately. Probably not.

HD 569 is very comfortable to listen to music with and isolates very well, I've walked around the store close to talking people to check how well it isolates and it's truly so much better than most other closed headphones. They didn't seem to warm up my ears much either which is good. Literally had to return them so that I can test more headphones otherwise I would just listen to these to no end, so comfy. Asked for HD 559, none available but the older 558 was which shop guy said is similar when asked about differences.
At home, the upper mids, low treble are borderline painful, exaggerated making many things sound odd and some even not listenable at all without EQ to reduce the pain. For that it's a return for me. Comfort is good if you get deep enough pads, exchange them until you do, they do exist. Sound wise, I can't recommend them unless you prefer the exaggeration or are not so sensitive to it.

Sennheiser HD 558 East

Condition, used
Showroom model that wasn't on display, I asked for it, it was in quite a used condition as most other showroom models.

Volume level, good, 65? on AK380
Much lower volume setting needed than the Beyerdynamics. The easiest group of headphones to drive, 558/569/599/MSR7.

Construction, good
Plastic upon plastic. No problem here, sure headband softens over time but that is actually a good thing on all the Senns, I've had my HD200 Master for 11 years and they still work fine, all plastic super light build so I'm confident Sennheiser knows what they are doing with these all/mostly plastic headphone builds, it works, it lasts, it doesn't cost a fortune.

Weight, good
Kind of middle of the road weight, on the light side of most tested in first session. Good overall, not too heavy but also not overly light, an acceptable middle ground.
Good stability.

Headband, good
Clamping force wasn't an issue for me and as all Senns it will soften over time and be just fine even if as new it may be high for some.
Good headband padding, thick and soft, not memory foam like, velour soft material.

Pads, normal
Velour pads, just normal, soft but not memory foam. Maybe a little stiffer than HD 599.
Definitely a step down from the HD 569 memory foam pads.

Pad depth, borderline, could touch ears later on as pads get softer over time, not as deep as memory foam pads on HD 569.
Pad size M, good, oval, sized just right, goes around the ear unlike M50x and isn't way too large as Beyerdynamics and AKGs.

Adjustment, good
A bit of angle adjustment in both directions to fit any head shape, height adjustment is very generous and will fit smaller heads, women, even children.
Sennheiser has the best ergonomy hands down no doubt.

Cable, normal
Detachable with a locking connector.

Sound, soundstage, openish but rather narrow
Disappointing, sounds almost closed, a little more open than HD 569 but not by much.

Response, depends what you prefer, normal for me

Bass range
Sub bass is controlled and not exaggerated.
Ok bass otherwise for an open headphone, it's there but it's not overly strong.

Mid range
Ok.

Treble range
Ok, controlled.

Long term listening comfort, very good
Most likely very good to listen to for longer periods of time, no insane sub bass or exaggerated treble to blow out and tire your ears. Though the sound quality may annoy you if you're used to expensive headphones, why buy these then, don't.

Overall sound quality minus frequency response, normal
A little bit dull, closed compared to BD DT 770/990, classic Sennheiser IMHO and what some like to call a veil. Why is it like that? The sound is well controlled with no exaggerated sub bass or treble, where as in comparison DT 770/990 have exaggerated sub bass and annoying treble peaks and dips. Sennheiser I think tunes these for long listening time = comfort of listening, and not for 30-60 min listening only for audiophiles that will either stop listening after 1 CD or pick a different headphone for each CD they play.
Resolution, normal I would say.
Should not have trouble with busy music, I would have to test more to verify.
A little more open sound than HD 569 but otherwise disappointing.

Sennheiser HD 599

Condition, used
Showroom model, has seen it's share of use.

Volume level, good, 65? on AK380
Much lower volume setting needed than the Beyerdynamics. The easiest group of headphones to drive, 558/569/599/MSR7.

Construction, good
Plastic upon plastic. No problem here, sure headband softens over time but that is actually a good thing on all the Senns, I've had my HD200 Master for 11 years and they still work fine, all plastic super light build so I'm confident Sennheiser knows what they are doing with these all/mostly plastic headphone builds, it works, it lasts, it doesn't cost a fortune.

Weight, good
Kind of middle of the road weight, on the light side of most tested in first session. Good overall, not too heavy but also not overly light, an acceptable middle ground.
Good stability.

Headband, poor
Clamping force wasn't an issue for me and as all Senns it will soften over time and be just fine even if as new it may be high for some.
Poor headband padding, thin and soft, not memory foam like, some fake leater, just pathetic padding on the headband it may just as well not be there at all, it's there sure but it is very little unfortunately.

Pads, normal
Velour pads, just normal, soft but not memory foam.
Definitely a step down from the HD 569 memory foam pads.

Pad depth, borderline, could touch ears later on as pads get softer over time, not as deep as memory foam pads on HD 569.
Pad size M, good, oval, sized just right, goes around the ear unlike M50x and isn't way too large as Beyerdynamics and AKGs.

Adjustment, good
A bit of angle adjustment in both directions to fit any head shape, height adjustment is not as generous as HD 558/569, it will fit smaller heads, women, even children but the lack of headband padding really cuts into the height adjustment a bit.
Sennheiser has the best ergonomy hands down no doubt.

Cable, normal
Detachable with a locking connector.

Sound, soundstage, open but still rather narrow, wanted more open
Disappointing a bit, expected to be way better than the 558 but it's not.

Response, depends what you prefer, normal for me
A bit bright on the treble. Especially compared to HD 558.

Bass range
Sub bass is controlled and not exaggerated.
Ok bass otherwise for an open headphone, it's there but it's not overly strong like DT 990 Pro 250.

Mid range
Ok.

Treble range
Ok, controlled, a little bright metallic like.

Long term listening comfort, very good
Most likely very good to listen to for longer periods of time, no insane sub bass or exaggerated treble to blow out and tire your ears. A bit of bright treble but nowhere near Beyerdynamics ear piercing like.

Overall sound quality minus frequency response, good
Narrower compared to BD DT 990/AKG Q701/HD 600, classic Sennheiser IMHO and what some like to call a veil. Why is it like that? The sound is well controlled with no exaggerated sub bass or treble, where as in comparison DT 770/990 have exaggerated sub bass and annoying treble peaks and dips. Sennheiser I think tunes these for long listening time = comfort of listening, and not for 30-60 min listening only for audiophiles that will either stop listening after 1 CD or pick a different headphone for each CD they play.
Resolution, good I would say.
Should not have trouble with busy music, I would have to test more to verify.
A little more open sound than HD 558 and finally getting into an acceptable territory for an open headphone.

Sennheiser HD 600

Condition, used
Showroom model, has seen it's share of use.

Volume level, good, 75? on AK380
Lower volume setting needed than the Beyerdynamics.

Construction, good
Plastic with a metal band. No problem here except this is getting into very expensive territory and look doesn't seem to reflect the price.

Weight, good
Kind of middle of the road weight, on the light side of most tested in first session. Good overall, not too heavy but also not overly light, an acceptable middle ground.
Good stability.

Headband, good
Clamping force wasn't an issue for me and as all Senns it will soften over time and be just fine even if as new it may be high for some.
Reasonable if a little odd headband padding, not memory foam like, some textile.

Pads, normal
Velour pads, just normal, soft but not memory foam.
Definitely a step down from the HD 569 memory foam pads.

Pad depth, insufficient, could touch ears as pads get softer over time, not as deep as memory foam pads on HD 569, after listening to them a while as they were reasonably comfortable and I wanted to know what people rave about with the HD 600 they did seem to touch my ears, this is probably caused by the larger than 5xx pads that are about the same borderline thickness as on 599 except on 600 it's getting worse and they do touch.
Pad size M, good, oval, sized I would say a little bigger than 5xx, goes around the ear no problem and isn't way too large as Beyerdynamics and AKGs.

Adjustment, normal
Vertical adjustment is there but horizontal might not be very good, height adjustment seemed alright it should fit smaller heads, women, but possibly not children as the headphone cups seem bulkier than 5xx.

Cable, normal
Detachable with a 3.5mm jack that looks the same as on my 11 year old HD 200 Master, way to go Sennheiser a premium headphone with the same simple jack as cheap old models.

Sound, soundstage, open and finally what open should be
Better than 599 again by a little bit, to me it seems as Sennheiser is trying to create a stack of open headphones that increase in openness as price goes up, 600 > 599 > 558.
A little sad one has to pay this much with Sennheiser to get decent openness.

Response, depends what you prefer, poor for me
Warm, enhanced bass, not overly but it's there, with the treble being a bit too controlled especially compared to 599 crisper treble.

Bass range
Good deep bass.

Mid range
Ok.

Treble range
Controlled, recessed I would say.

Long term listening comfort, good
Most likely good to listen to for longer periods of time as long as the bass isn't annoying you.

Overall sound quality minus frequency response, very good
Finally well open and plays just that one step better than 599 though the difference between the two can in the end come to frequency response preference and comfort. Again it's rather warm, bassy and it lacks IMHO a bit of treble volume. Good, it plays well, it's just the response that isn't for everyone. Overall it sounds as a bigger headphone so to speak compared to 599, more capable, less strained. Better but not +50% price difference better.
Resolution, good I would say.
Should not have trouble with busy music, I would have to test more to verify but it seemed more capable than 599 so it should be no problem for HD 600 and I didn't notice any issues with busy music as I remember.
A little more open sound than HD 599 and finally an open headphone.

Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7 BK

Condition, used
Showroom model, has seen it's share of use.

Volume level, good, 65? on AK380
Lower volume setting needed than the Beyerdynamics. Very sensitive.

Construction, good
Finally a decently looking Audio Technica headphone unlike the M?0x series. Seems sturdy. Plastic and metal. Looks possibly the best out of the first listening session headphones.
Problem is the horizontal angle adjustment is swapped and if you "fold" them 90 degrees they will be facing your body not away from it when put around neck, annoying and it also makes fit around the back of ears harder to achieve as the opposite direction adjustment is pretty small.

Weight, poor
Heavy.

Headband, poor
Thin headband with almost no padding, what else do you want me to say, quite poor. Fake leather or something. Again same old crappy Audio Technica design.

Pads, normal
Just normal, I think they fit well but the material is not velour, soft for sure memory foam like but the leather like material hides that. If they are big and deep enough for you then no complaints here.

Pad depth, insufficient, would touch ears as pads are not deep enough, not as deep as memory foam pads on HD 569.
Pad size M/S, poor, oval, sized insufficiently and will touch ears.

Adjustment, normal
Vertical adjustment is there but horizontal might not be very good, height adjustment seemed alright it should fit smaller heads, women and children.

Cable, normal
Detachable. Comes with multiple I believe.

Sound, soundstage, closed but good
This is the last headphone that I've tried and at the end I couldn't listen to it anymore and had to run for bus, literally. Still here is what I noted down or remember:
It sounds as a closed headphone, so it's worse than 770 Pro 80 but IMHO I think it was better than the HD 569 and possibly comparable/closer to DT 880 and HD 600. Still it's a closed headphone so keep that in mind, the nice highs help it sound more open and airy as is the case with Beyerdynamics I think. Good soundstage I would say.

Response, depends what you prefer, very good for me
Nice and balanced with crisp pleasant highs and good bass, when I had to give them up and go, I literally said to the shop guy these play really good and they really do. If only all headphones could play this well.

Bass range
Good bass.

Mid range
Good, they play so well, it's there and I like it, might be the best of the first listening session round of headphones. I can't stand headphones with recessed/muffled mids.

Treble range
Crisp, clean, I'm not sure even the 599 come close to this. The two are different and I liked the MSR7 treble, it was there it was not lost or muffled.

Long term listening comfort, good probably
Most likely good to listen to for longer periods of time as long as you don't blast your ears out as they are very sensitive headphones. They play bass, mids, treble, all of it nice and nothing seems missing, meaning you should not feel like using higher volume so you can hear the missing mids as on Beyerdynamics which in turn tires your ears etc.

Overall sound quality minus frequency response, very good
Possibly the best closed headphone I've heard yet.
Finally a closed headphone that has it all sound wise and does make you like the sound and how well it plays.
Resolution, good I would say, hard to tell.
But this is the one headphone I've put into my memory as possibly truly having an issue with busy music, I would have to test more to verify and I will if I get the chance but it seemed this one struggles with busy complex music that has it all at once and at volume. Possibly a result of it's very high sensitivity and low impedance. A shame as otherwise it's damn good.

---

Surprising sound quality and openness for the money
Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro 80, 990 Pro 250, really nice except the fit and comfort are decades outdated compared to every other decent brand, AKG, AT, Senn, ... and their response is U shaped and tiring, other than that, they play quite well or damn well for the money.

Best overall sound for me
Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7 plays really good, looks good but doesn't fit good and comfort suffers especially headband and the smaller pads. Pads need to be bigger and deeper, headband needs actual memory foam on it. Together with the HD 569 it may suffer with busy music.
Sennheiser HD 599, decently balanced but still could sound more open and again headband has almost no padding and pads are a little bit not deep enough plus for the money it should have memory foam, come on memory foam is cheap.

Best comfort and isolation
Comfort, hands down, Sennheiser HD 569, memory foam pads on cups that are deep enough plus the headband is well padded, light construction, put them on and you will forget you even have them on except when a honking garbage truck drives you nearly over as they isolate so well you will not hear it.
The MSR7 possibly isolate well as well, the 770 Pro 80 would be my last choice in terms of isolation.

Someone make me MSR7 with HD 569 comfort for HD 569 price and with the resolution/capabilities of Beyerdynamic 770/990, AKG K712 Pro, Sennheiser HD 600, ... so it can handle busy music and doesn't start to give up.

What music did I mostly use?
FLAC [1979] Vangelis - China
The whole album, listened to it whole on some headphones, really good range and variety of things to listen for in different songs, different classical instruments, electronic synthesized sounds, male voices, bass, treble, well made, porn for the ears as long as the headphones can keep up.
FLAC [2007] Vangelis - Blade Runner Trilogy, 25th Anniversary CD1
And various other hand picked songs from other albums, Pulstar, Alpha, La petite fille de la mer, Chariots of fire, I'll find my my way home, Italian Song, Conquest of Paradise, State of Independence, I hear you now.
AAC Meiko Kaji - Flower of Carnage - Shura No Hana - 1973
AAC Taylor Swift - Red Acoustic live, specific version for checking S sounds, also multiple singers, female and male at the same time
Vorbis Virtual Barber Shop, Opus wouldn't play on AK380
Vorbis Ulrich Schnauss - Never Be the Same
MP3-320 Orbital - Halcyon And On And On
And some other MP3-320 occasionally after the comparing was done to see how it fares with newer year music and sadly often worse mastered and poorer sources. As I say they don't make them as good as they used to. Lower dynamic range and most modern songs sound the same "crappy" bloated, blended on any headphone not really being useful for comparing anything.

The "busy/destruction" series:
FLAC Kousaki Satoru - Rainy Devil
AAC Juno Reactor - Giant

"Got bass and sub bass? Then play it!"/"bass destruction" series:
These sound very different on different headphones and Beyerdynamic 770/990 probably have the most sub bass with these. You can clearly hear when a headphone has or doesn't have bass and when bass is there but sub bass is controlled/recessed. If a headphone lacks sub/bass you are wondering, and when it has what it takes to play you're like hell yeah! Or ouch my ears that's too much, depending on how much you want.
MP3 Alcatraz - Giv Me Luv (Nicole Moudaber Remix)
AAC Enrico Sommer - In Die Fresse Techno!!! (Enrico Sommer B Side) [Oxytech Records]
AAC Florian Meindl - Mental Atmosphere
MP3 Paul Ritch - Run Baby Run (Original Mix)
AAC Qlimax 2016 - Project One - Life beyond earth
AAC Awolnation - Sail
MP3 Sam Paganini - Mega - Drumcode - DC162

What music did I find not useful?
FLAC Vangelis - Memories of green, quiet and has to be listened to as whole to judge by it
AAC Fatboy Slim - Everybody Loves a Carnival, too quiet and IMHO poor source would need a FLAC for this
And most modern songs that are a "mash up", low dynamic range, poor mastering by who knows who on a laptop, ... too messy to hear individual instruments or sounds as it's all already blended and mashed up in the source.

And I lost most of my music collection over the years thanks to HDDs. So it is what it is and what I have available now. CDs I had several with me but no time to listen to them and try a different source than the AK380, maybe next time.

Having way too good headphones and overall good sound system also has it's negatives, it will not hide the modern atrocities done to music.

Conclusion of part 1 of unknown:
Definitely want oval shaped pads that are big and deep enough at best with memory foam. Such as the HD 569.
Open or closed don't care, leakage is a non issue and exaggerated by some people, I've held open headphones, at volumes I listened, as if someone was sitting on a couch next to me and the sounds were so faint with all the open headphones that leakage is a non issue. In public transport sure, people will play louder volumes probably, but then they will also not take open headphones and will want isolation to silence the transportation noise.
Sennheisers tend to be controlled so that there is not crazy sub bass like Beyerdynamic 770/990 and the treble isn't piercing ears as again Beyerdynamic 770/990 can to some people.
MSR7 and HD 599 overall decently balanced sound. And I would probably take either if they were comfortable, which they aren't unfortunately without modding/swapping the pads.
HD 569, seems to be a good value, memory foam pads = amazing comfort that the more expensive headphones can only dream of.
AKG is best to be avoided for anything but K712 Pro, bulky with terrible headband design and comfort.

579/599 with 569 pads, I would take that. Or MSR7 at significantly lower price with bigger and deeper memory foam pads, maybe the BrainWavz pads but those are near impossible to buy for me it would cost a fortune to swap pads on MSR7.

Will see, might do a session #2 next month, bought the HD 569 in the meantime but will be returning it as well due to poor sound for me.
 

·
Overclocked
Joined
·
2,003 Posts
Thats quite an interesting evaluation you have there, I have both the ATH-M50X and the ATH-MSR7, whilst I agree with you regarding the lack of soundstage on the M50X in every other way I feel the M50X is a great sounding pair of headphones overall for the price, I dont find the bass particularly heavy as such but there is a slight V curve to the signature. The MSR7 on the other hand has a smoother sound overall than the M50X but does lack bass on certain genre's. Some headphones do sonically pair better with certain equipment and some people are more sensitive to certain frequencies than others
smile.gif
 

·
Overclocker
Joined
·
11,684 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I don't like a V curve, U curve (beyers), or having just bass and less treble (HD 600), it sure depends what one listens to and on what and preference as always. I've tried listing it all and even how hard I had to push volume on the player.
Wasn't impressed with M50x, they just aren't for me, I can see someone use them when singing to listen to the instruments etc. but at home for music, I think there are better options. MSR7 in comparison is miles better to me indeed. I do not need the extreme Beyer bass, it's too much for me, the HD 600 is probably the bassiest I would tolerate and I would still probably choose 599 over 600.

Also tried some other AT headphones with the 3d headband or what it is, the way you put it on head is the way it stays, Audio-Technica ATH-A550Z or Audio-Technica ATH-AD500x but didn't listen to them, only checking for comfort while talking with shop guy.

Good night, I gotta sleep
biggrin.gif
This took a long time to write up. If you spot some obvious mistakes let me know, I did a lot of copy paste to keep the same structure but hopefully I rewrote everything that needed to be.
 

·
Overclocked
Joined
·
2,003 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackCY View Post

I don't like a V curve, U curve (beyers), or having just bass and less treble (HD 600), it sure depends what one listens to and on what and preference as always. I've tried listing it all and even how hard I had to push volume on the player.
Wasn't impressed with M50x, they just aren't for me, I can see someone use them when singing to listen to the instruments etc. but at home for music, I think there are better options. MSR7 in comparison is miles better to me indeed. I do not need the extreme Beyer bass, it's too much for me, the HD 600 is probably the bassiest I would tolerate and I would still probably choose 599 over 600.

Also tried some other AT headphones with the 3d headband or what it is, the way you put it on head is the way it stays, Audio-Technica ATH-A550Z or Audio-Technica ATH-AD500x but didn't listen to them, only checking for comfort while talking with shop guy.

Good night, I gotta sleep
biggrin.gif
This took a long time to write up. If you spot some obvious mistakes let me know, I did a lot of copy paste to keep the same structure but hopefully I rewrote everything that needed to be.
Cool appreciated
smile.gif
 

·
Overclocker
Joined
·
11,684 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Sennheiser HD 569, at home, will be returning
frown.gif


Right pad is some 2-3mm lower depth than left one, it can be seen even by eye and inside of the cup touches my right ear as a result.
Sound wise, it's meh, my old Senn plays better, is lighter, seals better, ... no idea what Sennheiser is doing but I'm not too impressed with the 5xx series beside 599/598 which I would say are usable. There is a peak around 3.5kHz all the way to some 5.5kHz, making especially female vocals too loud. Sounds too much in your face, too forward/loud/shouting in this upper mid range though often referred as low treble instead. One can also find it on the RAA frequency response chart.



So where DT 770 Pro 80 had an annoying dip and lacking mid range, this does the complete opposite... once could learn to live with the lacking sub bass etc. but the 3.5kHz is borderline hurtful and changes how things sound too much, to a point of feeling it's butchered times.

Comfort is OK as long as you get a piece with deep enough pads. No 6.3 to 3.5mm adapter comes with it despite many pictures even listing at shops mentioning it, it doesn't, the Sennheiser official summary of the 559/569/579/599 is what is correct, the rest are lying, factory sealed box, verified genuine, no adapter. At least the short cable is Apple wired and can be used with classic 3 pole connections unlike Android ones.

I've even tried EQ, making 3.5kHz at least -3dB helps, at best -6dB at 3.5 and -2dB at 5kHz, to figure out more precisely what's so messed up.

Compared to my old Sennheiser HD 200 Master, HD 569 is heavier, worse seal, disappointing bass mainly due to lack of sub bass, annoyingly loud low treble around female voices 3.5kHz all the way slowly falling to 5kHz is elevated, I would even go as far as saying they are less clear for music, it's a touch too mixed mashed together. The pads are nice, memory foam, not impressive foam but good enough, headband is not memory foam but it's soft and you will not even know it's touching your head, excellent there. Clamping force at first is a bit on the too much side but as always this goes away after a short while of use with these plastic Sennheisers. The angle adjustment around horizontal axis for the cups is not very good. They isolate from outside noise quite decently, more than the HD 200 Master. Despite their higher weight they don't wiggle too much on the head or feel heavy.

At first I liked them in a way, but more and more time passes listening to them, dislike them more and more as I listen to more things and hear the oddities in frequency response. That's not to say the HD 200 Master is flat as a pancake, but from what I head in sweeps, nothing was hurting my ears and while there were occasional dips and peaks they were very short and brief where as with the HD 569 that low treble is too loud borderline hurtful. Pressing them against the ears definitely improves sub bass and bass, annoying for any closed headphone to be that sensitive for fit/seal. Sure pressed down for a while to seal and memory foam fit, EQed out the 3.5-5kHz mess they sound OK and finally get the bit of missing sub bass and bass while the annoying low treble is kept in check. But come on, why buy new headphones if it requires such "drastic" measures.

Might just sit on the headphones I have and wait until something more decent hits the market again. The only options I can think of are the MSR7 and K 712 Pro, MSR7 will touch my ears and are even heavier than HD 569. K 712 Pro might fit better with the memory foam pads than other AKGs but still wouldn't expect them to feel very secure on the head.

If only the Beyers had mids and better ergonomy. Cups bigger than HD 5xx series are quite pointless except most headphones have way too shallow pad depth. That protrusion in HD 5xx cups is from the hinge mechanism and what will most likely touch ears, they should have made the hinge different to not protrude into the ear space, then the HD 5xx would be deep enough even with the shallower pads.

OMG, female vocals, I don't know if this is the case with all HD 569s but without EQ it's murdering my ears. I just upped the reduction a bit so I can watch an YT video with a woman talking. The 3.5kHz is that bad=high=loud on my unit.

Even "Kousaki Satoru - Rainy Devil" after EQ is way too loud and forward shortly after the intro, same volume level HD 200 Master no problem. What did Sennheiser do to the HD 569 I don't know but they quite messed up the upper mids, lower treble to being too forward/loud/shouty and no amount of EQ seems to help beyond going crazy with it, it's something in the driver or some resonance who knows. If someone wants overly forward/shouty mids/low treble sure get the HD 569, otherwise avoid. Comfort is good if you get deep enough pads on your unit but the sound... nah.

Simple check: 200-300-450-675-1012-1519-2278-3417-5126-7689Hz
from http://www.audiocheck.net/soundtests_nonlinear.php
HD 200 Master all sound relatively the same loudness
HD 569 3417-5126Hz is much louder, annoyingly so compared to all the rest
 

·
Overclocker
Joined
·
11,684 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Visited the listening shop for a short time again last month decided Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7 might not be for me. Again liked AKG Q701, a touch bit weak on bass but seemed more "open" and "exciting" than the Sennheiser options.

Trying AKG K712 Pro at home now, although I received an unwrapped box which has me a little worried since I've seen AKG K712 Pro new box wrapped, maybe Amazon is being shady and selling open box or used stuff as new.

Sound wise they seem fine so far, nothing killing my ears, they are a bit bright but it's not "too much", bass is there but sub bass is simply not Beyerdynamic level. Definitely open, I can hear myself typing on keyboard etc. which is a little strange at first. Though I can't say the difference between old closed Senn and this newer open AKG K712 Pro is that big when it comes to soundstage and feeling of openness. Maybe the Q701 are more "fun" and open, can't compare. The pads/cups are so big I can see them in my peripheral vision and positioning on head does matter otherwise it starts to lose treble. Clamping force is OK but the headband seems weak it really should keep the headphones higher to prevent them slipping down, they are reasonably comfy otherwise although the memory foam pads are not super soft as one might expect. They seem as hard to drive as the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro 80. They do warm up the ears a little.

I don't know what kind of rubbery cable the orange 3m is but when one presses it with fingers on any part of it fingers then feel kind of sticky afterward, probably some plastics softener that leaks over time. Coiled cable seems plastic like and probably won't ever change it's shape it has from being stuck in packaging. The 3m straight cable does straighten out reasonably.

So far my ears don't hurt from the headphones so comfort isn't that bad but it's nowhere near effortless fit and comfort as the old Senns. It certainly presses on the jaw etc. which is odd, caused by the oversized round cups that should rather be oval shaped as Sennheiser does it with their headphones. When placed correctly on ears K712 goes too much forward on side of one's head, put them back too much and it loses treble noticeably.
Headband seems comfy, can't really notice it but it's quite weak in it's force.

Oh yeah these have treble compared to my old closed Senns, will see how my ears adjust later. There is a peak in the treble somewhere that can be heard with some songs but it's not too much hopefully. Overall they don't seem crazy out of whack in frequency response as some of the other headphones can, familiar sounds are a little brighter thanks to more treble but not weird/odd/messed up as other headphones can make them.

Reasonably light but bulky overall size wise.

And on the bad stuff starts I guess, 4.5 - 5.5kHz peak with 5.5kHz the loudest, now comes finding out my ears respond this way: 7kHz plays noticeably left side, 8kHz noticeably right side, just checked with my old headphones and they don't do it, turned the K712 around left-right and it's the same, it's my ears.

Construction feels quite cheap, even the orange headband wires move a little in and out of the cups. Added zip ties to stop headband adjustment dropping the headphones too low, a simple removable elegant fix for a shortcoming AKG has on their headphones for decades... The sticky cable, I can definitely see now why all used K712 have dirty cable, it makes dirt stick to it. The overall fitment and use of some materials is cheap and dated with clear known weak points.

Padding depth is not big enough on these flat memory foam pads to stop inside of cup to touch ears, it's soft but after a few hours one notices the pressure and it starts to hurt eventually.

They do seem to sound toward muddy, probably a touch too loud in 200-800Hz where as having that sort of boost would be better to have in sub 100Hz, pretty common on most headphones from AKG, Sennheiser etc. lacks sub bass a little.
Still burning them in as much as I can, letting them play while I'm away. Certainly not a "pop" headphone as the overly V shaped Beyerdynamics etc. The extension to low Hz seems OK but probably not loud enough, the highs over 10kHz do have some "peaks" but not too strong or annoying really and it extends fairly well to limit of human hearing and recordings around 15kHz.

Aaaand when the headband is a little stiffer so the headphones don't fall down so much it starts to dig into one's head and gets uncomfy because there is no padding at all on the leather, while this one has the flat leather band the bumpy ones are potentially even worse with their attempt at padding. Disappointed, the headband needs to be padded with some soft material to spread the load across larger surface area. So either you let it drop down as much as it wants to or you deal with pain and have to pad it yourself...

Can't say I like them so far for gaming much either, wider/bigger sound stage but also seems like some sounds are exaggerated probably the 5kHz range and this sound stage width can make it difficult to notice some sounds quickly with ease.

And of course sometimes the cups can creak when they move in their adjustment, nothing better than to listen to creaking plastic every time one puts the headphones on/off or moves a little. The build quality certainly doesn't reflect price.

They definitely tend to portrait sounds a little too much rearward and this gets only worse as headphones slip toward back of the head over time, the drivers are centered and one has to put the cups on as forward as possible to get the driver centered over ear.

The openness is not bad but hurts immersion and a sense of being "in there", instead one tends to feel as a distant observer. This is not so bad for music but for movies and games it can be disappointing.

The drivers and headphones seem good, so good that I can hear issues of my own ears, I can hear the treble movement left-right on some frequencies some more distinct some faint and it's the same when I turn the headphones around, it's my ears. Other than that the flatness and extension of response is OKish. There is enough bass and it's not too much as the DT 770/990.

Comfort, couple hours it's OK I guess but give it 8h+ and when the inside of cup touches your ear because they didn't make the pads angled as it is on Q701, you will feel the pain, it's similar to having a winter hat on all day that flattens your ears. They are comfortable otherwise, miles ahead of the Beyerdynamics, way more adjustable to head shape in all the angles, reasonably light weight just a little too large because again they are round cups instead of tear drop shaped or at least oval shaped which would contour the ear much better.

I don't have the need to put them down after 30min as I had with the DT 770 Pro 80 because it would hurt my head or because the sound was so awfully exaggerated in some frequencies that it would be hurting my ears as the HD 569. Still the fit is far from perfect.

Not much a believer in burn in but these do seem to sound a little better and better day by day despite their other shortcomings.

A new product should arrive sealed in a thin clear plastic wrap as that is how it leaves the factory, just verified with AKG and how I saw it in a brick store as well. Clearly then Amazon.de sold an open box as new. And K712 should still be made in Slovakia according to AKG German distributor of them, before 2014 they were made in Austria. Of course who knows if they don't just assembly it in Slovakia from imported parts made in China, not sure the law requires them so say Assembled in Slovakia instead of Made in Slovakia, some products tend to say Assembled.

Will be trying something else for more comfort and comparison, probably return the K712 especially since Amazon.de sells open box as new and I would probably need to mod the AKGs with angled pads or even the headband with padding at which point I might as well wait and grab K712 or Q701 on 2nd hand market.

The K712 seem genuine, distributor verified they sent this exact model to Amazon last year.

A 1 inch thick piece of open cell foam under the headband seems to resolve comfort and fitment rather well, headphones no longer drop a little low at times when one moves more and the headband is no longer putting a small pressure point on the head.

This is just porn for ears now and I'm not talking about comfort. With the 1 inch foam to hold it in place indefinitely, it doesn't slide rearward and none of the treble is lost. With FLAC from CDs it's impressive, the detail and accuracy while nothing is too subdued nor overpowered. There is enough base and it does go to 20Hz even, on the top end 10-15kHz is there and not recessed as on many headphones. Comfort wise it still touches my ears as pads are not angled nor deep enough, tolerable though to some degree.
 

·
Old School OCNer
Joined
·
1,903 Posts
Good amount of info and I own a lot of the same headphones. But, you are doing all this on your onboard sound? What is your output impedance of that bad boy, what you losing a 1/3 of your sound?
 

·
Overclocker
Joined
·
11,684 Posts
Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
This is the output if you want to nitpick: http://www.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/ne5532.pdf
I've yet to hear any difference between ALC1150/1220 with headphone amp compared to A&K AK380 and the like overpriced portable players. I'm sure there are quality differences and what not but a well done onboard soundcard is indistinguishable from anything that you will plug into PCIe or even over USB.

I'm not updating this anymore, too many things to keep up.

The AKG K712 is nice but there is a certain lottery for build quality and sound depending batch you get.
AKG K702 is a better deal for 131 EUR compared to 217 EUR of K712, it has angled deeper pads, proper soundstage and the one unit I got sounds almost flat to me from 3kHz+ with a 2.5dB peak around 5.3kHz but nothing one hears easily, 7kHz+ the typical up/down starts but it's not too bad and some is also caused by my ears.

Will not touch again any of the Sennheiser HD5 series headphones, maybe the older ones are better 595/598 but 569/579/599 are overpriced junk to me with the exaggerations and messed up tuning Sennheiser did on them, plus their comfort and build is poor + flimsy. I liked my old Senns. but the newer headphones they are making are subpar for their price.
 

·
Overclocker
Joined
·
11,684 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Made another visit in spare time to a listening shop, to listen to HD660S, thought oh damn that's gonna be 10-15min and I have an hour and half to burn. Well there were some music recording folks (2-4) testing "all" (worth a damn to bother with) headphones. Surprisingly they had their AKG K701 as reference with them. Right off the bat, they liked AKG K7 line, the listening shop does not (I don't know why other then some vague bass quality difference, not amount, quality).
Seeing their reactions when trying different headphones was priceless, you could very well guess what they are going to say about the headphone sometime from very first moment. Such as we all disliked (to put it politely) Grado upper line up headphones.

Focal Clear and Clear Professional, though I can't say much about them as they played all music loud way too loud for me, you can imagine what a challenge it is having 1 amp, 2 outputs and 3-5 hungry heads wanting to try something and set volume using 1 volume knob. So I just borrowed what I wanted to hear and try it on an AK380 copper.

HD600 with HD650 (or even better cable) > HD650/660S, universally agreed upon

Sure I was skeptical about cable change but I did read the HD600 cable is crap from factory, but I didn't expect it to be this different. Seriously, anyone using HD600 stock cable, take it and throw it in the garbage, get HD650 replacement cable, we had some other but the shop keeper/seller says HD650 cable is 95% of that for cheap. And it's known online people do swap for the HD650 cable fairly often. HD600 cable, I don't know if it's the connectors that barely hold or cable itself but the difference is there and clear as night and day.

ATH R70X, decent
DT880, decent but they still sound like they miss something, play well but still in a way uninterestingly
K701, K712, decent

HD800, trash, elevated treble and that's for the 2-3 of us that are used to AKG K7 kind of treble, I think the shop keeper called them: "headphones for 70 year olds that do not hear treble anymore" or that was about the Grados.
HD700, to me seemed OKish
HD600 with better cable is decent, if you like the Sennheiser sound

Yeah sure most of the HD6+ sens play well but the frequency responses are out of whack.

I think the HD599 came off as quickly as they came onto listeners head. Not good at all. Same for me as shared before.

Hifiman Sundara, all of us missed mids. (but then, you know, AKG K7)

LCD-2 Classic, universally: who ever designed the pads should be shot, you put them on and it seals causing pressure on the ear, move them away it make a vacuum, it's annoying, uncomfortable, yeah it's a nice material and all but that seal... bleh, for an open headphone... how does it seal... don't know, probably not open as advertised and the driver seals it so what they mean by open is that other side of driver is not sealed but the air between driver and ear is sealed and that's what's making the annoying pressure

Was interesting to see when I told them you can swap pads between K701 and K712 and that the pads make a difference, they didn't expect this big a difference and I think at least one liked the K712 with angled K701 pads. Which for the money might have been the best bang/buck right there on the table of all headphones.

It's pretty hard to justify insane prices of headphones especially when often the higher they went in price the worse the headphones got :/ That's not to say there are not exceptions, there are, but they do seem to be exceptions from a norm.

They've used Chord Hugo https://chordelectronics.co.uk/product/hugo/ and I played most headphones also on borrowed AK380 Copper. For those nitpicking about sources, amps and what not.
This was no scientific or long quiet home comparison as such they won't be publishing their more detailed notes, I don't remember what site they are from but I've seen that amplifier on some local site before.

As always you should borrow or buy headphones and test them yourself at home with your equipment and music. If it's good enough for you then it's good enough for you and what you do.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top