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New Headphones, Money No Object!

Discussion in 'Headphones, Earphones & Portable Music' started by Dancan, Jul 1, 2005.

  1. Dancan

    Dancan
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    I've finally got the money to buy some top quality studio headphones, i'm looking for some so good as to last me for years in the future. I'm told that i shouldn't have to spend more than about £200 but i would be willing to if they remain fairly good value...

    These are the ones recommended me by Soundcontrol:

    Beyerdynamic:
    DT100(industry standard)
    DT250
    DT150

    Sennheiser HD25

    AKG:
    K171s
    K271

    Grado SR325i

    The HD25'S and Grado SR325i have been recommended me by several people...If someone could briefly summerise the pro's and con's of the main contenders, and possibly add a couple to the list that would be very helpful to my search, i will be reading some reviews now. Remember, money is practically no object, i just want incredibibly accurate sound representation.
     
  2. extremelydodgy

    extremelydodgy
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    Hmmm... £200 is nowhere near a money no object limit, but if accurate reproduction is your aim then take a look at the Beyerdynamic DT880. You will need a good headphone amp to drive it, but even out of a (good) receiver headphone socket or an average mixer, the 880 will give out bags of detail.


    If you are willing to go further, then I can recommend the Sennheiser HD650 for £50 or so more as a very agreeable, slightly dark but nevertheless very detailed phones.
     
  3. ipodstudio

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    Depends what you want from your cans and what kind of music you will listen to via which system. Also comfort during long listening times should be thought of.
    I would also recommend the HD650s as good alround cans and use them myself. If money is really no object then these babies will set you back another £7k or so.... :D
     
  4. extremelydodgy

    extremelydodgy
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  5. ipodstudio

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  6. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    If you are looking for studio headphones then the Sennheiser HD25s are up there with the best, absolutely superb can for studio monitoring and DJing.
     
  7. Dancan

    Dancan
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    They will be almost exclusively used for playing guitar when my parents have gone to bed and afterwards recording it. I might also use them for online gaming but i have some sennheiser HD457's for that purpose. Like i said, i would be willing to go beyond £200 by at least a hundred as required. I want some with a very good balance between the bass, middle, and treble. Elimination of outside sound is not such an issue, but would be appreciated at times. What do you actually get for your money with the top of the line senn 650's? Like i say, i need ones that have a type of sound especially suits for recording guitar...

    Apparently the HD25's are what you hear is what you get style headphones, while other's taint the music in some way...what do you think would suit me best? Is there a particular type of taint to the sound which complements guitar?
     
  8. extremelydodgy

    extremelydodgy
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    I think you'll have to make a clearer distinction about your requirement for isolation: You take a hit in sound quality for isolation or semi-isolation in most cases.


    The HD25's are definitely not neutral or any sort of reference headphone... they're tipped up in the highs and lows and offer quite a pronounced bass. Good for DJing, not so good for more refined mixing uses. They're good for portable use (one of the better ones in absolute terms I think, easily beating out more expensive 'canalphones') with the good combination of high isolation, good efficiency, good sound and robust/compact design, but sonically you don't get as much bang for the buck as a home phone, especially in comparison to the likes of the DT880. It's definitely not my primary headphone, but it is my primary portable headphone when I need isolation.


    The HD650 has a very unfatiguing, low-key sound. It is much more detailed than most other phones, while not shoving that detail in your face. The alternative would be the DT880 which probably has superior technical ability but doesn't sound as agreeable as is, with more emphasis on treble and a leaner bass. But which is more 'reference'? I'd say the 880.


    To get the most out of guitar recordings, you need something with a reasonable capability in terms of midrange transient speed. Both the 880 and the 650 will provide that, with the 880 sounding more incisive in this regard. Going electrostatic with the entry-level Stax (cost incl. dedicated amp) might provide the ultimate guitar experience for your approximate budget, but it's definitely not a portable set-up and neither does it isolate.
     
  9. extremelydodgy

    extremelydodgy
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    As ever, thanks for the links of no substance :p
     
  10. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    If we're really in "money no object" territory then yes, we should also mention some of the Stax electrostatic systems. The top-of-the-line system costs £2500.

    Some of the cheaper ones actually aren't bad value. At first glance they seem far more expensive than comparable dynamic 'phones, but that's because the system price includes the "energiser" needed to drive them. It is thus fairer to compare the whole system to a combination of a good pair of 'phones with a good headphone amp, and, by that criterion, some of the Stax setups aren't so pricey.

    I'm another fan of the Sennheiser HD650 - used with my Graham Slee Projects "Solo" headphone amp it's sometimes possible to forget that I'm wearing headphones at all for a while. "Detailed" is a good description - they're low distortion, low noise, fairly wide response range - they let you hear everything, basically. They're also very good value, IMO: there are better things out there, but I think you'd have to pay close to double the price of the HD650 to get them.

    As has already been mentioned, they don't give especially good isolation, though. It's possible that you'd be better off with something close-backed or even sealed-in-ear to screen out outside sound (and make what you're listening to less audible to others).
     
  11. Dancan

    Dancan
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    Thank you, especially to extremely dodgy. I was vaguely aware of how much information there is concerning the different features headphones have to offer. I can confirm now that if isolation affects sound quality, even slightly to the negative, then it is no issue whatsoever. No one is going to woken up by the noise from headphones in the attic...

    I found the DT880's for as little as £170, so i'm suprised you didn't recommend me the top of the range DT990-pro's instead.

    'the DT990 had to my opinion marginally better clarity, but suffered from the loose magnets.' This was rectofied with the release of the DT990-pro's. I'm sure they are only very slightly better than the DT880's, but i have the cash to blow here, and they don't seem to be much more expensive.

    Are there any significant changes made to the DT990-pro's which i should know about?

    Otherwise, i'm set to buy them here! I just need a bit of professional recommendation...
     
  12. extremelydodgy

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    The 880 was squarely pitched by Beyerdynamic at the 'Audiophile' end, in that they were aiming for people who wanted a reference state of sound quality as well as excellent technical capability. As I understand it, the 880 is actually Beyerdynamic's flagship. And as you say, they can be had for well under £200 and I think they're an absolute freakin' bargain based on their capabilities. The only issue is whether you like the way they sound. Very... well... Swiss. Somewhat neutral, unless it's persuaded otherwise by vast amounts of money on expensive back-ends or EQ's, and rather pedantic at times :D


    The 990's are the top of the line 'working' headphones, and I've never tried them. The 880 I did have for a while, and I compared both it and the HD650 which I also had on headphone-orientated systems ranging from £250 to £30,000. The impression I got was that the 880 is what I would choose if I was paying technical attention to the music, and the HD650 is what I would choose if I wanted to chill out.


    Both HD650 and DT880 are very comparable in terms of overall sound quality, but the 880 just edges out the 650 in terms of ultimate capability (i.e. if you're prepared to invest a high four-figure / low five-figure sum on just your CD player, let alone the headphone amp). However the HD650 has a lovely mellow tone without going overboard into 'lushness' and just does everything very nicely.


    Both however pale next to my Sony Qualia 010 (in the DT880 role) and Stax Omega II (in the HD650 role) :D
     
  13. diverse

    diverse
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    HD25's for on head style headphones

    Shure E5's for inner ear and which have amazing bass response, more so than the HD25's which i never thought possible!

    :thumbsup:
     
  14. Steven

    Steven
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    wrong section :D £200 is higher mid range price. I've seen £500+ for serious cans. Try the head hi-fi forum (US site) they are a knowledgeable lot if a little eager for people to spend all their savings!
     
  15. doonhamerhimsel

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    The thing you need to watch out for if you are planning to use these headphones with home audio/visual and professional/music equipment is the headphones impedance. Home audio equipment, i think has quite low impedance over the headphone output and professional gear has a far higher impedance. I managed to blow a headphone amp in a studio I was working a few years ago by using domestic headphones. If you will mainly be using them for monitoring whilst recording guitar then go with the dt100s. It will not sound any better on more expensive headphones. dt100s should I think have a flat response, meaning what you hear through them is exactly what is going into them. They don't have any frequency boosts. Also all parts of the dt's are replacable so if the left can goes through time, just buy a new one. Also guitars will always sound naff through headphones when you are recording.
     
  16. extremelydodgy

    extremelydodgy
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    Sorry... but that's absolute BS.
     
  17. ipodstudio

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    LOL, hey dodgy, we agree again!! doonhamerhimsel, you might want to do some research.. :D
     

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