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Can somebody recommend a pair of cans that have great bass?

Discussion in 'Headphones, Earphones & Portable Music' started by ZeroEX, Oct 27, 2004.

  1. ZeroEX

    ZeroEX
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    As title really.

    Am willing to spend upto £200 max but would prefer to spend around £150 if possible.

    These are for use in the house only, so full portability isn't an issue. Comfort is however.

    Because I tend to listen to lots of bass orientated music and soundtracks I'm really looking for something that will offer the same type of lowend that a very good set of fullrange speakers can achieve. The midrange and treble also has to be upto speed but to be honest these are less of an issue.

    Thanks all
     
  2. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Sennheiser 600's have a surprisingly good bass for headphones,and really do go down well into the lower regions(!),but you will find that no matter how well extended a headphone's response is,you're never going to get the feel that a really good set of full range speakers would give.

    There are plenty of cheaper phones which will sound boomier,and to some,more satisfying,but I hope you're after something accurate and revealing.....some of the Grado's are also worth looking for,and if you like closed-back phones,take a look at the Beyer range also.

    For me,my money went on the Senn 600's,with a decent H/p amp etc.
     
  3. ZeroEX

    ZeroEX
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    Thanks Alex

    I've heard good things about the Sennheiser HD range the Grado's also sound very like a good buy but some suggest that they are uncomfortable. I usually listen or watch movies for extended periods so comfort is very important to me.

    I'll certainly look into the mentioned models and begin to build up a more complete picture. In the meantime any other suggestions are very much welcomed.

    Thanks
     
  4. extremelydodgy

    extremelydodgy
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    If Ask are still selling the discontinued Sony MDR-CD1700, I'd suggest you get them. (showing no stock though) They can get hot in summer and it depends on how your itch compatibility with velour goes but they're pretty good on the low ends, and have a nice smooth midrange. The HD600's aren't capable of 'boom' bass even with a great headphone amp (£1K and over). I've had a go when I wanted this kind of response and come away nonplussed.


    If you go to bluetin.com or audiocubes.com, you can order the Japan-only Audio-Technica ATH-A900 headphones for about £130 all in which I've found a comparable phone to the CD1700, but brighter and with a touch less bass and with a nice feeling of expanded soundstage. It's one of the few phones I've found which can be almost everything to everyone. Although the PVC earpads can get sweaty, they're very comfy home phones... and unlike the HD600, they don't use the lack of a high-priced amp as an excuse not to perform.
     
  5. AlecF

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    The Beyer Dynamic DT 770s are meant to have uniquely awesome bass!
    http://www.veronica.co.uk/dt770.htm

    I recommend Veronica, from whom I bought a pair of DTX 900s, and they have a couple of the newer flagship models, too, such as the DT880.
     
  6. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Boom as you've described isn't accurate bass,merely overemphasized upper bass,and whilst I evidently like the 600's,there are plenty of alternatives(especially amongst cheaper phones,if you should subscribe to the "boom" sound).

    My experience of the 600's is that you simply get what you put into them.

    The Beyers are excellent phones,and in many cases,also great value,and are widely used in the studio community for their robustness,and good quality,but also suffer from the closed-in feel(obviously!),and sweatiness in summer.

    What you need to do is to get as wide a range of candidates as possible,and try to listen to as many as possible before deciding on which to buy....what suits one person in terms of tonal balance(e.g.boom)may well sound fatiguing and inaccurate to another.
     
  7. ZeroEX

    ZeroEX
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    Alex I certainly do know what boom sounds like. Its one of the reason why I steer clear of budget floorstanders and go with standmounts instead. Personally I'd rather sacrifice some bass and have no boom rather than have more low end and a fat bloated sound to it.

    I'm definitely looking for a pair of phones that have a clean, even, extended and distortion free bass - aren't we all?

    So with that in mind which of the phones already suggested are in this category, also my budget has just increased to £250, I'd rather spend a little more on a great pair and not need to change for another 5 years or so.

    I've managed to find the HD650's for £216 from QED and these seem to have rave reviews all over the net and press.

    So at the moment I'm looking at:

    Sennheiser HD600/HD650
    Beyer DT880

    Any others I should have on my audiition shortlist at my revised budget of £250?
     
  8. AlecF

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    Between the HD650 and DT880 I don't think you could be missing anything in your budget :thumbsup: , except what is your source? Both these high-end cans are meant to require dedicated headphone amps to give their best :lesson:
     
  9. extremelydodgy

    extremelydodgy
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    The DT880's are comparatively thin but I like them over the HD600 as they're much more precise sounding (though not THAT much more detailed), especially for tube amps. Much brighter though, so could be fatiguing in certain situation. The same goes for the DT770 upper ends, only even more so. It has pounding bass and a friend of mine rates it as the only monitoring phones he's used which can semi-replace a pair of monitors, but quite fatiguing as they're very bright with a sucked-out midrange.


    If you're looking for a 'speaker-in-a-phone' you will want what I inaccurately or otherwise call 'boom'. I own the Stax Omega II's, HD650 and others and I do know all about accurate or inaccurate bass. The HD650's have some of that, but unless you have amplification which makes the most of them (such an amp would start IMHO at £250 for a headphone-only amp) there's not much point.


    I don't know what you've got to drive the phones from, but I'd re-recommend the phones I listed if you don't have dedicated amplification for your phones. They aren't that exaggerated in the low ends and both are easily powered by whatever, and I mean whatever you have.
     
  10. ZeroEX

    ZeroEX
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    Forget to mention the other components in the system.

    I have a Creek OBH21 headphone amp connected to a Marantz CD7300 cd player for music and a Marantz DV6400 DVD player for movies.

    Are these components significant enough to exploit the advantages of a decent set of cans such as the HD650 and DT880. I suppose even if they aren't I could always upgrade the weakest link in the system later on and that would be the Creek headphone amp IMO.

    Any more thoughts with these added comments?

    Thanks again to all who have offered advice.
     
  11. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Hi....the following are worth looking at for information etc

    www.head-fi.org (very useful US based headphone forum)
    www.headphone.com (useful for manufacturers,and some useful info)

    The Creek actually isn't at all bad.....in the lower price range it's probably the best in it's range,although from there up you have the MF X-cans,Slee,Earmax and loads of others.
    If there are any problems associated with tube based headphone amps,it's mainly in the way you can vary the tonal balance of the amp by changing the tubes,and neither the X-Cans nor the Earmax have any issues with reliability or longevity.

    The other route is to go with a set of electrostatics,and dispense with the headphone amp,but even the lower priced Stax's would exceed your budget,but the overall reproduction can be superb,and I am sure that extremelydodgy may well agree with that....(on that score,I do like the terminology of a "speaker in a phone".....describes the overall sound of boomy phones very nicely!).
     
  12. extremelydodgy

    extremelydodgy
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    Maybe. The OBH-21 would have been prototyped with the HD580/600 in mind so they should be compatible on an electrical basis. The DT880 has quite an 'etched' sound with pronounced highs, lacks impact in the lows althogh the bass is precise. A comparatively flat and fast sounding phone with good extension at both ends. It is the tougher phone to drive IMO in a comparison between it and the 650.


    The HD650 has a fatter and laid back tone, feeling less immediate but much more comfortable. Detail is on a par with the DT880. Highs are not so prominent and it has a pronounced low end compared to the DT880. I like these a lot for £240 (which is what I got it for). Lots of people advocate adding aftermarket cables to open up the sound further and make it more 'full-range' and I have a couple of such cables, but for what you'd have to pay I remain unconvinced.


    I'm using the HD650 mainly out of a new amplifier (£300ish) created by the designer of the OBH-21 and I like the combination a lot for all purpose use, although it's not my favourite set-up.
     
  13. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Thats actually a very good point about how easy some of these are to drive....certainly the 580's I had were an easy set to drive quite hard,but changing to the 600's,whilst a great increase in quality,showed up the age of the tubes in my Earmax,as they were beginning to compress and clip at higher levels.....changed those,and then upgraded all the interconnects as well.

    I also agree with your point about aftermarket cables,having had a lengthy "discussion" with the UK end of a well known US company,and his views on other people's cables...I didnt buy his by the way.....which ones did you buy,if you dont mind my asking?...as to your Omega II's...do you use the tube energiser?
     
  14. extremelydodgy

    extremelydodgy
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    I think the HD650 is less needy of arfermarket cables than the 600. I have the Zu and Cardas right now and I prefer using the stock cable normally as it's more practical. I'm thinking about getting the Oehlbach as it seems to be made out of similar stuff as the stock cable and it is supposed to be better. Oh, and I do use the 007t.
     
  15. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Thanks....I'd considered the Kimber,but amongst other things( a set of Quad ESL's etc) I hadnt got round to it,and my discussion with the agent for Cardas rather put me off buying his wares.

    Also not surprised you went for the tubed energiser....havent listened to Stax's for quite some tme,but I do remember the tubed energisers being much nicer.
     
  16. WhyAyeMan

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    I agree on the Beyerdynamic DT770 (80 ohm Pro version is best) or DT990. Also, Sony CD1700 are very bass light IMHO so I wouldnt choose those.
     
  17. AlecF

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    So does the designer of the Creek sell his own new designs?
    Any linkage?
     
  18. extremelydodgy

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  19. AlecF

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    Looks basic! But intriguing. Can you compare it anything? What do you use it with? How did you find out about it?
     
  20. ipodstudio

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    extremelydodgy, in my system the stock cable just won't hack it. I've tried the Zu and the Cardas and the Cardas is the one the has worked best so far. It's all about system synergy, of course, and on my system the stock cable really sounds lousy, at least to my ears. The Zu was just too much as combined with my already very detailed source and amp, this combo just analysed the music and left me fatigued and gasping for air...;)
    The Cardas work well but the soundstage is a little far removed for my tastes; I prefer the Zu in this respect.

    I want to try the SD and Headphile cables next and see what I get from those.

    Back on topic, the HD 650s are great cans with a decent bass. An amp will be important with these, however, if you want to drive them properly.
     

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