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#259409 - 05/05/09 03:28 PM reference level headphones
Golden Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/28/09
Posts: 138
Loc: Baltimore, MD
Hi All,

I am curious what reference level headphones you all suggest. Specifically, I have been thinking of getting a pair of Sennheiser 650, 600 or 595's to compliment the system I am setting up. For the numerous times that my girlfriend and I are "sharing" the living room couch.

I have heard the Sennhaiser 650's and was very impressed. That said, they are also significantly pricier than both the 600 and 595. Has anyone here compared the three models, and willing to comment on if the 650 is worth the extra money?

Are there other brands you would suggest as well, in the similar price and quality range ($300-$500)? I admittedly know very little about headphones.

Thanks,
Sam
_________________________
M60x2, VP150, M22x2
Sennheiser HD-595
Onkyo TX-SR507, PS3 (40gb)

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#259421 - 05/05/09 04:31 PM Re: reference level headphones [Re: Golden]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17781
Loc: NoVA
Be warned, open air headphones are just that--she'll be able to hear what you're listening to, I guarantee it.
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I am the Doctor, and THIS... is my SPOON!

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#259431 - 05/05/09 05:25 PM Re: reference level headphones [Re: Ken.C]
Zimm Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 1361
Loc: New Orleans
 Originally Posted By: kcarlile
Be warned, open air headphones are just that--she'll be able to hear what you're listening to, I guarantee it.

Agreed. I like my Grados but the person next to you thinks it is blaring as it sounds 25% as loud outside the phone as inside.
_________________________
Panny 3000 PJ, 118" Carada, Denon 3300, PS3, Axiom QS8, PSB 5T, B&W sub, levitating speaker wire

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#259432 - 05/05/09 05:31 PM Re: reference level headphones [Re: Ken.C]
danmagicman7 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/16/05
Posts: 1467
Sennheiser 595's are good headphones if you don't have a dedicated headphone amp. However, after switching to the 650's, they tend to have a little too much emphasis on the mid-high end. 650's are more accurate in all forms of presentation.

If you're not willing to pay for a separate headphone amp, then don't get the 600's or 650's. The 650's are revealing enough where you'll want to upgrade your source, dac, and amp...so it's a bad road :D.

Open headphones are "open" they mean that there is nothing separating your ear (and the speakers) from the outside world. So people can hear you and you can hear others.

I encourage you to look on head-fi.org. A huge wealth of information over there...so start searching \:D

Some models you could look into would be Grado MS2i's (about your price range and don't need an amp) and Denon D2000's. D5000's are the same thing except with a few tweaks...no change in the driver. If you look into the Denon D2000's, you can do a mod called the markl mod.

That should get you started!
_________________________

M22s|VP100|QS4s|HSU STF2

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#259433 - 05/05/09 06:15 PM Re: reference level headphones [Re: danmagicman7]
Wid Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/22/03
Posts: 6720
Loc: The Peoples Republic of Il.
Grado MS2i's ???? Grado 325i's.
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"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity." Sigmund Freud


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#259434 - 05/05/09 06:17 PM Re: reference level headphones [Re: danmagicman7]
danmagicman7 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/16/05
Posts: 1467
Not Grado MS2i's, those are Allesandro MS2i's. Grado 325's would be great. Allesandro is a different "flavor" of grado cans.
_________________________

M22s|VP100|QS4s|HSU STF2

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#259435 - 05/05/09 06:19 PM Re: reference level headphones [Re: danmagicman7]
BlueJays1 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 4079
Loc: Porch,enjoying Bombay Sapphire
For reference style headphones I would look at Sennheiser, Alessandro, Grado and AKG. I recently purchased a pair of Alessandro MS1 (they are an open style) and I am very impressed with the sound quality and the neutral presentation that they offer. For $100 USD approx they are of excellent value. They are easy to power as well and do not need a heaphone amp.
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#259449 - 05/05/09 10:08 PM Re: reference level headphones [Re: Golden]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10395
Sam, if annoyance to someone sitting near you is a major factor, as it appears to be, you might, as Dr. Horse's friend might say, "reflect". As has already been mentioned, it would be quite apparent to someone there when using open-backed phones. Although they vary somewhat, when I tested with my SPL meter at about 1"(not precise, but in the ballpark)using a level of about 80dB, which is loud, but not dangerously so, the level from the open back was nearly the same at 1". Of course, it falls greatly with distance, but at about 3' it was around 20dB lower, which is very clearly audible, considering that typical speech is around 60-65dB.

If you're still going to use open-backed phones, I'd suggest the AKG K701s, listing around $500 but available as low as $250. Better bang for the buck comes with the Grado SR60i, for around $65-$70.
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Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#259450 - 05/05/09 10:15 PM Re: reference level headphones [Re: JohnK]
danmagicman7 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/16/05
Posts: 1467
I wasn't really wowed at all with the AKG 701s, but that's just my opinion. Senns just have a fuller sound to me.

If you're really concerned about sound leakage, doing the "markl" mods to a Denon D2000 set of cans will most likely be your best bet. You can often buy them used from people on the for sale section on head-fi, even with the mod done. Just make sure it was done right.
_________________________

M22s|VP100|QS4s|HSU STF2

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#259456 - 05/05/09 11:18 PM Re: reference level headphones [Re: danmagicman7]
Golden Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/28/09
Posts: 138
Loc: Baltimore, MD
Oh crap. So much for a productive work day tomorrow... Thanks for all the input! In terms of a separate amp, I pretty much intend to use the headphones directly outputing from the headphone jack on my Onkyo 606. Would this act in the same way, or is there a unique headphone amp you are talking about? Total rookie, I know...

Regardless, I think if I stick with the Sennheiser I will probably go with the 595's since this is really a secondary pursuit (at the moment anyhow... audio hobbies seem to have a way of collecting), and I'd rather put the money saved towards my future towers. She can deal with any leakage... I hope.

It will be fun researching these other brands though, thanks for the push in their direction.

- Sam
_________________________
M60x2, VP150, M22x2
Sennheiser HD-595
Onkyo TX-SR507, PS3 (40gb)

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