Audiophile Headphones

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Alexa9
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Audiophile Headphones

Post by Alexa9 » Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:06 pm

Looking at the Sennheiser HD650. Any others to consider in the <$500 range and any reason to go above this range? Thanks.
I liked the Hifiman HE400S but reviews said they are fragile.

BHUser27
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Re: Audiophile Headphones

Post by BHUser27 » Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:11 pm

Alexa9 wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:06 pm
Looking at the Sennheiser HD650. Any others to consider in the <$500 range and any reason to go above this range? Thanks.
I liked the Hifiman HE400S but reviews said they are fragile.
How are you using them? (Home office?, Travel?, Studio? Other?)
Is 'around-the-ear' a must-have for you?
Is noise -cancelling a consideration?

I like Grado Prestige Series on-ear headphones for critical listening in a quiet environment.

sid hartha
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Re: Audiophile Headphones

Post by sid hartha » Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:18 pm

I have the HD600 which to me didn't sound much different than the more expensive HD650

lack_ey
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Re: Audiophile Headphones

Post by lack_ey » Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:42 pm

Hm, you missed a relatively recent Massdrop offering for the HD 6XX at $200, which is just a Sennheiser HD 650 with a slightly different color and cable. With a group buy platform like that and thousands shipped they can get a discount. I think regular price for the HD 650 is more like around $300, though, these days. No doubt it'll be back later, but probably in months.

In any case, this is a rather wide question, and the answer depends what you're looking for exactly and willing to pay.

acanthurus
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Re: Audiophile Headphones

Post by acanthurus » Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:49 pm

I've had various wired Sennheiser over-ears for years. If you like them then anything in the HD-5xx or HD-6xx series would probably be fine. The ones I've had have all been easy to drive and comfortable and I have a hard time justifying the more expensive ones vs. their cheaper brethren.

tigermilk
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Re: Audiophile Headphones

Post by tigermilk » Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:04 pm

I've got an old pair of Senns HD-580s that sound nice and warm. The only complaint I have with them is that they are open ear. While that's great for the sound quality, you get all the ambient noise come though. Nothing like hearing my dogs and cats while trying to listen to music. I honestly don't listen to them much at all as my primary headphones are my electrostatics. I have an older pair of Stax 404s and a purple of pairs of Stax in-ear 001s. The latter, with a dedicated solid state amp, can be had for around $500. Stats sound fantastic, but the Tax cans, like the Senna, are open ear.

As another poster mentioned, take a look at the 600s. They are the direct successor of the 580s.

KlangFool
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Re: Audiophile Headphones

Post by KlangFool » Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:08 pm

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss ... phones+MDR

OP,

Any Sony Studio Monitor Headphone

MDR-75XX series

KlangFool

WhiteMaxima
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Re: Audiophile Headphones

Post by WhiteMaxima » Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:11 pm

Sennheiser HD600 or HD650 ($300-$400), Audeze LCD-2 ($999). I like LCD-2 among these three. last year blackfriday bought refurbished one for $499. Or you can get a budget Byendynamic 990 or 880 around $200, still very good. make sure you have good amp and source also. A good DAC/amp combo is necessary. Schiit, iFiDSD, FiiO, OPPO. If you like tube sound, get a tube amp. Streaming Tidal 24bit/192kHz or play DSD64, 128 are must.

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Alexa9
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Re: Audiophile Headphones

Post by Alexa9 » Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:41 pm

BHUser27 wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:11 pm

How are you using them? (Home office?, Travel?, Studio? Other?)
Is 'around-the-ear' a must-have for you?
Is noise -cancelling a consideration?

I like Grado Prestige Series on-ear headphones for critical listening in a quiet environment.
Home office, around ear is not a must, I do not want noise cancelling, prefer open ear.

rgs92
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Re: Audiophile Headphones

Post by rgs92 » Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:56 pm

I love ZMF headphones (especially the Atticus; a fine balance between musicality/non-fatiguing-sound and real reach and insight and detail).
They are actually quite a bargain in the audiophile headphone arena, where prices can go into the thousands easily.
The ZMF is state of the art IHMO to my ears.

http://www.zmfheadphones.com

While there has been a trend to mag-planar drivers in headphones over the last decade (flat surfaces as opposed to traditional cone drivers as in speakers), I find the traditional headphones still rule for sweetness and palpability. (Traditional headphones are knows as "dynamics).
The ZMF phones I mentioned (the Atticus) is a traditional dynamic. The ZMF Eikon is another fine dynamic, with a somewhat stronger signature than the Atticus.

Hifiman and Audeze are all mag-planars. The tend to need more power from an amp.

Just my 2 cents from my listening experiences.

If you want a name brand, the Sony MDRZ1R is nice, but it's more expensive and not necessarily better than the ZMFs.

Note that Sennheiser, after about 15 years, just now introduced what seems to be successor to the legendary HD650, the HD660 for $500. I have not heard it and I'm not sure if it is a replacement.

Be aware that the Senns HD6xx series have a serious clamp on your ears, so make sure you find it comfortable.
https://www.head-fi.org/threads/sennhei ... 50.862308/

McCharley
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Re: Audiophile Headphones

Post by McCharley » Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:41 pm

klangfool has it right.

I went through the same buying research years ago and ended up with Sony MDR-7506 headphones, which he linked to.

I think these represent the best bang for the buck. Mine are still great years later, although I did have to replace the ear-pads (easy).

youngin87
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Re: Audiophile Headphones

Post by youngin87 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:01 am

I would wait until black fri to see what deals you can get. I received a new LCD-2 for $500. They were supposed to give out refurbished ones but because they ran out, they started giving new ones.

TareNeko
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Re: Audiophile Headphones

Post by TareNeko » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:02 am

Another vote for Sony MDR 7506. These are the go to headphones in professional studios.

OP: What music system do you have? And what is the format of the music?

McCharley wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:41 pm
klangfool has it right.

I went through the same buying research years ago and ended up with Sony MDR-7506 headphones, which he linked to.

I think these represent the best bang for the buck. Mine are still great years later, although I did have to replace the ear-pads (easy).

Oreamnos
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Re: Audiophile Headphones

Post by Oreamnos » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:26 am

Alexa9 wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:06 pm
Looking at the Sennheiser HD650. Any others to consider in the <$500 range and any reason to go above this range? Thanks.
I liked the Hifiman HE400S but reviews said they are fragile.
I'm a bit surprised by the belief that the HE400 (any variant) are fragile. I have a set of the HE400i, and they don't strike me as "fragile" in any way, especially for use in a normal at-home setting. They're paired with the Schiit Lyr2 amp. Definitely benefit from the extra oomph.

alfaspider
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Re: Audiophile Headphones

Post by alfaspider » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:00 am

Alexa9 wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:06 pm
Looking at the Sennheiser HD650. Any others to consider in the <$500 range and any reason to go above this range? Thanks.
I liked the Hifiman HE400S but reviews said they are fragile.
I'd ask what your background is in audiophile headphones at first. HD650s can be a bit polarizing. You might also consider the AKG 701/2- which have a nice open and airy feeling. I'd also consider whether you really need that level, or if you would be equally happy with some of the better cans in the $100 range. I find that you have to really be in critical listening mode to notice a benefit above that $100 level. You are also going to have to get into amplifiers for cans like the HD650- which is a whole 'nother discussion and investment.

Check out head-fi.org if you haven't already. They are a wealth of information on high-end headphones.

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Alexa9
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Re: Audiophile Headphones

Post by Alexa9 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:57 am

alfaspider wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:00 am
Alexa9 wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:06 pm
Looking at the Sennheiser HD650. Any others to consider in the <$500 range and any reason to go above this range? Thanks.
I liked the Hifiman HE400S but reviews said they are fragile.
I'd ask what your background is in audiophile headphones at first. HD650s can be a bit polarizing. You might also consider the AKG 701/2- which have a nice open and airy feeling. I'd also consider whether you really need that level, or if you would be equally happy with some of the better cans in the $100 range. I find that you have to really be in critical listening mode to notice a benefit above that $100 level. You are also going to have to get into amplifiers for cans like the HD650- which is a whole 'nother discussion and investment.

Check out head-fi.org if you haven't already. They are a wealth of information on high-end headphones.
I have an amp but also use my computer for music. I prefer speakers but other people in the house don't :) so I am looking at some nice headphones. Definitely would prefer some in the $100 range. I saw these Sonys got great reviews:

https://www.amazon.com/Sony-MDR7506-Pro ... headphones

Which I see were recommended above as well
Last edited by Alexa9 on Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:13 am, edited 2 times in total.

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JupiterJones
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Re: Audiophile Headphones

Post by JupiterJones » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:00 am

Yet another vote for the Sonys. I have the MDR-V6 model myself, which is nearly the same as the 7506 (same drivers, etc.) but supposedly a bit warmer.
Stay on target...

alfaspider
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Re: Audiophile Headphones

Post by alfaspider » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:05 am

Alexa9 wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:57 am
alfaspider wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:00 am
Alexa9 wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:06 pm
Looking at the Sennheiser HD650. Any others to consider in the <$500 range and any reason to go above this range? Thanks.
I liked the Hifiman HE400S but reviews said they are fragile.
I'd ask what your background is in audiophile headphones at first. HD650s can be a bit polarizing. You might also consider the AKG 701/2- which have a nice open and airy feeling. I'd also consider whether you really need that level, or if you would be equally happy with some of the better cans in the $100 range. I find that you have to really be in critical listening mode to notice a benefit above that $100 level. You are also going to have to get into amplifiers for cans like the HD650- which is a whole 'nother discussion and investment.

Check out head-fi.org if you haven't already. They are a wealth of information on high-end headphones.
Definitely would prefer some in the $100 range. I saw these Sonys got great reviews:

https://www.amazon.com/Sony-MDR7506-Pro ... headphones
Another to consider is the Audio Technica M-50.

knightrider
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Re: Audiophile Headphones

Post by knightrider » Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:41 pm

Check out headphones by Grado . I have the SR80-e which is $99. I would avoid anything by Sony. Most audiophiles look down on those kind of popular brands...

KlangFool
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Re: Audiophile Headphones

Post by KlangFool » Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:02 pm

knightrider wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:41 pm
Check out headphones by Grado . I have the SR80-e which is $99. I would avoid anything by Sony. Most audiophiles look down on those kind of popular brands...
knightrider,

My friend's son is a sound engineer. He uses the Sony MDR series for sound editing work.

KlangFool

knightrider
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Re: Audiophile Headphones

Post by knightrider » Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:07 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:02 pm
knightrider,

My friend's son is a sound engineer. He uses the Sony MDR series for sound editing work.

KlangFool
I am sure lots of sound engineers use Sony products. But I doubt you will find any famous ones using them. As I said before, they do not have a good reputation in the audiophile community...

It's like saying because one is a financial advisor then they are an expert in finances ! If so, none of us would be on this forum..

KlangFool
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Re: Audiophile Headphones

Post by KlangFool » Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:16 pm

knightrider wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:07 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:02 pm
knightrider,

My friend's son is a sound engineer. He uses the Sony MDR series for sound editing work.

KlangFool
I am sure lots of sound engineers use Sony products. But I doubt you will find any famous ones using them. As I said before, they do not have a good reputation in the audiophile community...

It's like saying because one is a financial advisor then they are an expert in finances ! If so, none of us would be on this forum..
knightrider,

I sang in a choir. I was a tenor. I use my MDR-7506/MDR-7510 to listen to my audiophile music CDs. I can hear all the nuances associated with singing. It is good enough for me. So, before somebody spends a lot more on a headphone, they should try it out and check whether they can hear the difference.

KlangFool

TareNeko
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Re: Audiophile Headphones

Post by TareNeko » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:27 pm

Well, that's partly because audiophile community likes to spend $500 on a power cable. So a headphone at $100 or any widely known brand cannot be good for an audiophile...
:sharebeer
knightrider wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:07 pm
I am sure lots of sound engineers use Sony products. But I doubt you will find any famous ones using them. As I said before, they do not have a good reputation in the audiophile community...

It's like saying because one is a financial advisor then they are an expert in finances ! If so, none of us would be on this forum..

rgs92
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Re: Audiophile Headphones

Post by rgs92 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:53 pm

knightrider wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:41 pm
Check out headphones by Grado . I have the SR80-e which is $99. I would avoid anything by Sony. Most audiophiles look down on those kind of popular brands...
The Sony MDR-Z1R, although having a relatively unique sound signature, is loved by many. There are also those who are not fans of it. I think it is very special. Sony built a legendary headphone in the 1990s called the MDR-R10 that costs a great deal on the used market and is a collectors item.
I would recommend that anyone who wants good headphones try to audition the Z1R if possible, although it is not in the OP's price range.

It's a nice headphone because to my ears it can deal with any kind of music and not assault your ears, but is very resolving and also has a big, profound sound similar to speakers.

Just my 2 cents here since Sony doesn't promote the Z1R much and most people have not heard of it.

WhiteMaxima
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Re: Audiophile Headphones

Post by WhiteMaxima » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:05 pm

Sony made decent SACD CD players, You need to look at their ES line. Earphone is not their professionals.

supalong52
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Re: Audiophile Headphones

Post by supalong52 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:17 pm

Alexa9 wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:06 pm
Looking at the Sennheiser HD650. Any others to consider in the <$500 range and any reason to go above this range? Thanks.
I liked the Hifiman HE400S but reviews said they are fragile.
What setup are you going to use with the headphones? Do you have a high-end DAC, quality amps, lossless audio files? I bought nicer headphones years ago and they sounded worse than my $30 Sonys because of all the noise from my system that the headphones were faithfully reproducing.

WhiteMaxima
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Re: Audiophile Headphones

Post by WhiteMaxima » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:06 pm

Massdop has HD6XX which is basically same as Sennhaiser HD650.

Frisco Kid
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Re: Audiophile Headphones

Post by Frisco Kid » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:31 pm

As others have mentioned, the rest of your equipment matters. I listen to Grado GS1000i's with their matching dedicated headphone amp and they do reproduce EVERYTHING. Unless a person plans to listen seriously through a minimum of mid quality stereo equipment and good source material, you probably won't benefit from a $500 pair of headphones IMHO.................

djdube525
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Re: Audiophile Headphones

Post by djdube525 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:20 am

Alexa9 wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:41 pm
BHUser27 wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:11 pm

How are you using them? (Home office?, Travel?, Studio? Other?)
Is 'around-the-ear' a must-have for you?
Is noise -cancelling a consideration?

I like Grado Prestige Series on-ear headphones for critical listening in a quiet environment.
Home office, around ear is not a must, I do not want noise cancelling, prefer open ear.
I listened to a number of the phones mentioned at Rocky Mountain Audio Fest this past year...

For Open Cans, and given the above, and you are looking for a "warmer" headphone based on the 650...

I would throw in the Philips SHP9500 if you want to keep cost low (can be found on sale for $50) or the X2 (Around $200).

Philips must be coming out w/a new version of the X2 as the are increasingly getting hard to find.

If you think you would be wanting closed at any point in time, I'd consider the Oppo PM-3. Much easier to drive then the Senns, and sound wonderful. From an iPhone with Tidal HiFi, I thought the PM-3 easily trumped the 650/600. They are a little more... $400.

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