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#331407 - 12/13/10 09:10 PM Headphones
Philippe Offline
local

Registered: 07/01/09
Posts: 282
I in search of a pair of headphone. I dont know much about them but look like there is a lot of headphone avalaible. I have around 300$ budget. I actually looking for a pair of AKG K701. Doesn't matter if in the use market.

Share me your experience.
Phil
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#331409 - 12/13/10 09:20 PM Re: Headphones [Re: Philippe]
BlueJays1 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 4116
Loc: Porch,enjoying Bombay Sapphire
Originally Posted By: Philippe
I in search of a pair of headphone. I dont know much about them but look like there is a lot of headphone avalaible. I have around 300$ budget. I actually looking for a pair of AKG K701. Doesn't matter if in the use market.

Share me your experience.
Phil


You can go closed or open. Closed style are good if your main listening is going to be in a loud environment or you do not want to disturb anyone with sound coming from the headphone. Open headphones are the opposite, they leak sound and allow outside noise in.

IMO quality open headphones tend to sound more natural and open/airy vs quality closed style headphones. Closed style headphones also tend to suffer from clamping/comfort issues.

That said, the open style AKG K701 would be a fantastic introduction to headphones as they are exceptional headphones. I won't sway you to any other options.


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#331410 - 12/13/10 09:21 PM Re: Headphones [Re: Philippe]
Wid Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/22/03
Posts: 6789
Loc: The Peoples Republic of Il.

Never owned the 701s but had the 501s, nice headphones. I am partial to the Grado sound. To me they (Grado) are more Axiom like in their sound than any other headphone I've tried.

I bet the 701s would be a great pair to have though.
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"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity." Sigmund Freud


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#331426 - 12/13/10 10:22 PM Re: Headphones [Re: Wid]
oldskoolboarder Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/25/03
Posts: 2181
Loc: Menlo Park, CA
Try headfi.org. They also have classifieds so you check out used headphones too.

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#331436 - 12/13/10 11:39 PM Re: Headphones [Re: oldskoolboarder]
danmagicman7 Offline
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Registered: 12/16/05
Posts: 1467
I wouldn't go with AKG 701's unless you plan on spending thousands on equipment to get the best of them (seriously). I really wasn't a fan of them when I heard them, but they have a big following and do sound good with certain types of music.

Most people will tell you to get an amp or DAC, which really restricts your budget.

As wid said, Grado headphones are similar to the Axioms in sound. Grado SR225's or SR325's or Allesandro MS2's (brother to Grado) will sound fantastic out of just about any source like a laptop or portable music player. They are open headphones, so best for home listening. They are cheap enough used ($150-300) that you might be able to buy a small portable amp, too. Headfi is a great place to find used equipment that is generally well cared for.

If you'd like some closed headphones that isolate you from the world (and others from hearing your music) you'll have to decide if you want them to be portable or not. There are lots of options in each.

What music do you listen to? That might be the most important smile

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#331444 - 12/14/10 12:12 AM Re: Headphones [Re: BlueJays1]
Henry66 Offline
local

Registered: 07/05/10
Posts: 233
Loc: New Hampshire, USA
Hey Dr.House, what are the headphones in your Avatar? They look very much like the Beyerdynamics DT990 that I have.

I have not been able to compare many headphones, but I had an open-backed Sennheiser before my DT990, and at work I have a closed-back Sennheiser. The DT990 is by far my favorite -- I think it sounds awesome.

Philippe, remember:
Open-backed = fresh air for your ears, but less bass, and people around you can hear the music too.
Closed-back = more bass, but sweaty ears, and people around you can't hear much.

My DT990 is open-backed, but it has slats making some people call it semi-closed. The bass is on-par with closed-back headphones, without the sweaty-ears feeling. Very comfortable. Sound does leak out like an open-backed headphone though.
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#331449 - 12/14/10 01:18 AM Re: Headphones [Re: Henry66]
oldskoolboarder Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/25/03
Posts: 2181
Loc: Menlo Park, CA
I've gone through DT770 250 ohms (needs a good amp), Grado 325i's (very close to Axiom sound), Shure 840's and Grado HF2's. I LOVE my HF2's and the 840's were a great value at $130. I sold the first 2 and kept the last 2.

Open headphones aren't the best if you want it quiet for others. Unless you are willing to spend a lot of time doing return shipping, your best bet is to try as many before you buy. If you're lucky, you might find a local headphone meet on headfi. They had one in my area and I got to demo MANY headphones w/ different sources and amps. It's a pretty doable kind of equipment meet because they aren't as big as speakers.

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#331460 - 12/14/10 07:53 AM Re: Headphones [Re: oldskoolboarder]
BlueJays1 Offline
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Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 4116
Loc: Porch,enjoying Bombay Sapphire
Those would be the Beyerdynamic DT880 600ohm version. IMO the AKG's are in a different class than the Grado's and Alessandro which have a exaggerated frequency response in the midbass and high end and don't nearly have the bass extension of other headphones. If you are looking for a specific up front sound signature with a lot of sizzle, the Grado's/Alessandro would work. There are also a variety of different pad options for them and are easily moddable. As mentioned Grado/Alessandro are very easy to power on any device which might not be the case of the AKG's.

The great thing about a neutral headphone is that it is much easier to tailor the headphone to the sonic signature you desire than one that is coloured from the start.


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#331471 - 12/14/10 10:31 AM Re: Headphones [Re: BlueJays1]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
My at-the-office setup consists of Sennheiser HD650's and a LittleDot MKII Tube amp. They are fed a diet of lossless & 256kbs AAC and the occasional 192kb Pandora stream. In a word, heavenly.

I've had the setup for a couple of years, and I remain exceptionally satisfied with it. When I bought the HD650's, I also bought a pair of AKG701's. My budget would only allow one pair, so I spent a good couple of weeks agonizing over which to keep. I burned them in as best I could. The 701's are *great* headphones. They are exceptionally accurate in their sound. Crisp highs that will overblow on a brightly-mastered album, wonderfully accurate midrange, and tight bass. Very much like my Axiom speakers. But they *will not* sound very good if you try to drive them with the an iPod or some other MP3 player. They require a good, dedicated amplifier. Seriously. Otherwise, they sound feeble & scratchy. The HD's also need good amplification, but they are more forgiving from being powered by an iPod. The HD's have a slightly warmer midrange to my ears that really livens-up the kind of music I enjoy listening to. IMHO, it's a more 'intimate' sounding headphone than the 701's, and that was (and still is) appealing to me.

It was a very tough decision, but I chose the HD650's. I actually preferred the cosmetics of the 701's (they look 'special'), but the SQ won. Comfort was a wash - they were both great for multi-hour sessions. I wear glasses, so that is an issue. To me, the HD's just sounded better with the jazz & classical music that I enjoy listening to. I couldn't (and still can't) get over how rich and textured these cans sound. Sublime. I love my Axiom setup at home, and this HD650+LD pair gives me what I have at home but in a headphone experience. The soundstaging and dynamics are unlike anything I've ever heard in headphones. It's sinfully good, if I do say so myself.

It took a lot of courage for me to spend $500+ on a set of headphones and the amp (that's a lot of money!), but I can honestly say it's one of the best audio purchased I've ever made. Easily on par with my satisfaction of my Axiom speakers.

All that said, I also have a pair of Grado SR60's. They are great, and well worth their meager price. If the HD's ever break ( eek ) , I would definitely consider some of the upper-tier Grados as replacements, as I would imagine they are fantastic given how good the SR60's are.
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#331489 - 12/14/10 11:34 AM Re: Headphones [Re: PeterChenoweth]
BlueJays1 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 4116
Loc: Porch,enjoying Bombay Sapphire
If you do start looking at graphs of headphones you have to interpret them differently than speakers. Perceptual research into headphones shows that an ideal ruler flat frequency tends to be perceived as unnatural, bright and in some instances harsh. Since the drivers are touching the ear and are so close a gradual roll-off starting at 1khz-2khz is ideal.

If you look at a lot of high end cans like the 650's they have a lot of things in common - little to no bass roll-off, a slight rise between 100hz-400hz and a gradual roll-off starting at 1khz-2khz. This is sort of what is perceived as sounding "natural" in the headphone world.



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