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Cans! (Headphone thread inspired by Dolly Parton)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2017 at 09:13
Originally posted by AEProgman AEProgman wrote:

Nice opening of a thread, perhaps these are Dolly's favorite...
Image result for dolly parton headphones

My current headphones of choice (and budget) are Audio Technica ATH-M40X for home use (very satisfied with them as they are neutral so I can hear the way it was recorded and then adjust the equalizer if want it to sound more this way or that).  

For on the go, I have an on ear Sennheiser PX100-II, has that classic Sennheiser sound but light weight, they are open back also.  I find myself listening to these at home more now.  I never really liked the in ear buds even though the M6-Pro by MeElectronics studio monitor buds I have sound quite good, just prefer on or over the ear style cans.

Been thinking about an open back set of cans and those Hifiman HE-400s look awesome!  Also want to get the classic Senns HD280s just because.....

My first experience with good cans was when I was a youngling and got a pair of Koss Pro 4aa headphones, damn were they awesome!  Edgar Winter's - They Only Come Out at Night album was full of sounds that I had not heard before, damn Frakenstein was a monster on those cans via a junky 8-track no less...

PS-may have to suffer many times through captcha since I am posting a photo.

Thanks Jim - I quite like the Dolly pic as well. Methinks she'd be a great little mascot to have pop up throughout this thread.

I did follow your headphone journey on the the other thread, which partly was why I took the plunge myself.
Heh...I was actually thinking about buying those Koss at the time. They were a little over 100$ and come with a lifetime guaranty.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2017 at 09:24
Originally posted by Larkstongue41 Larkstongue41 wrote:

I've been using the ATH-M40X for a week now and I'm very pleased. I fear these are only a first step to a long trip down the rabbit hole. The sound clarity is amazing. I can definitely pick out some new details in songs I've listened to for years. I tried my old gear again and was wondering how I could listen to so much music with such poor sound.

I'm now looking for a good set of open headphones ideally within the same price range. There seems to be a wide array of options but for some reason almost all I've seen have nondetachable cables. The detachable cable is really a must for me. I ruled out the K240s because apparently they require proper amplification so I'm left with two options: Superlux HD668B and Philips SHP9500(S). Both are very cheap so that's nice but I feel like having something of better quality unless I have to pay $500. So how do these models compare (soundstage-wise especially) and what are some other options for open-back headphones with detachable cables under $300?

I'd go for the Superluxes and save up your money for what you REALLY want. For the sound alone they should be thrice their price...but they're not.
Grado sr80 is also highly recommended. I tried a pair not too long ago and they were brilliant. Definitely a great bang for your buck. (Arrrgh non-detachable cable)

Top recommendation for an open headphone for under 300$? The AKG K712 pro. https://www.amazon.com/AKG-Pro-Audio-Reference-Headphones/dp/B00DCXWXEI
Wtf?!??? The price must've gone up in the States. Here in Denmark it's definitely within your budget.
Either way, this headphone made me think about selling my even more expensive Hifimans. They're that good. Maybe Ebay's got a couple of used ones for about a 120$? They do pop up on the secondhad market and most people who buy these kinds of cans tend to look after them.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Larkstongue41 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2017 at 17:10
I'm still looking around and your insight is much appreciated as always. Since I'm searching for open-back headphones I've stumbled on several AKG models but I have ruled all of them out because I read that they are hard to drive. But now I think that buying a DAC or an amp would really be worth it so I'll look into those K712s.

For the past week I've been checking out the Hifiman HE400S and they seem pretty great (around 400 CDN$). I think the HE400i is the higher-end version and I've just seen they are sold at a 50% discount on the Hifiman website (around 350 CDN$). That's really tempting. I'll report back when there is further development.

By the way, I've been using the VE Monk earbuds for two weeks now and I must say I am impressed. All this praise all over the internet was not just a marketing technique; they really do annihilate the competition when it comes to 5$ earbuds. The sound quality is better with those than with the 100$+ Monster (Embarrassed) earbuds I had in the past. Really amazing. I'd go as far as to say that they rival the M40X strictly in terms of sound quality (I'm pushing it a bit far here). They are built like standard earbuds with a flimsy wire so I don't think they'll last me over a year but what do you expect for 5$. I'm definitely going to order a dozen pairs soon to save on shipping and to never have to buy f**king earbuds again.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 25 2017 at 04:29
My Hifimans are the older version of the one you're looking at. No discernable sound difference but you do get a detachable cable that doesn't end up in these weird screws. Big step up imo.
If you can them at that price I'd go ahead and snap them up...like right away! Next level sound right there. Feels like being smacked over the head with pure euphoria and a diamond encrusted jog strap. Beautiful.

Cool you picked up on the v monks. I've got a bunch of friends who swore by them up until recently, where I had the audacity to recommend them the Superlux hd381. At a little over a 20$ they're much pricier but those of my friends who tried them almost instantly ordered a pair.
But in terms of sheer bang for your buck it is hard to beat the v monks. I dig the sound but after purchasing my Shure se215 I honestly haven't looked back.

Edited by Guldbamsen - July 25 2017 at 06:33
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 25 2017 at 14:06
Just thought of another way to get near the sound of the K712 pros without having to dish out 350 bucks. Be warned though. This will involve tinkering.
Get the K701s instead. They're about a 120$ methinks. Now a lot of people complain about the lack of bass in these (myself included) and maybe that isn't that strange seeing as the bassport is sealed up by this annoying little plastic sticker. It's not even a part of the headphone design to begin with - meaning some smo actually put it there to 'doctor' the sound. Idiocy if you ask me...aaaaaaanyway it is very easy to open up the headphone cups and remove the sticker and whambamthankyoumam you now got an open headphone that sounds like it should cost at least twice the money (I secretly suspect AKG are well aware of this little conundrum which is why their pricier 700 series come in new and exciting colours....to lead you away from the fact that they only really left out a plastic sticker to upgrade the sound probably more to it than that but I heard the modded 701s and they sound truly wondrous.).
Here's a link to the mod (all you need is a screwdriver): https://www.head-fi.org/f/threads/reversible-akg-k701-bass-mod.660408/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 21 2017 at 05:42
I now own a pair of used AKG K701 with bassport mod Yup this thread helped me talk myself into buying them. To be fair they were very cheap which is odd seeing as they look and perform like brand new. So yeah now I've got two open headphones. They sound very different from one another which is what I like.

Also recently got an iem upgrade. Bought myself a pair of secondhand Audiofly AF1120 and they're just about the most comfortable in ears I've ever worn. The sound is equally impressive.

Anyone had the pleasure of listening to the recent Sennheiser flagship the Orpheus? 55.000$ well spent
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Meltdowner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 21 2017 at 07:48
^ That's cool, especially for the price. I always found the elastic band of the headphones quite unconfortable though, which is basically all the AKG brand.

I never tried them but from the reviews I read and the description of the sound I think the Sennheiser HD 650 might be the cans I'm looking for.


Edited by Meltdowner - September 21 2017 at 07:48
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Quinino Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 21 2017 at 08:04
^ Stay with HD600 - they are superb and much more affordable, what else can we desire Ermm (I've owned them for maybe 4 years now - think may still be on the market... )
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 21 2017 at 08:14
They pretty much cost the same these days plus minus 30$. At least if you go by thomann.
I've actually had a chance to a/b test them not long ago and find them both brilliant in each their own way. Hd650 is a little warmer tuned.
I know Simon (Mascodagama) owns both and is damn well pleased with them.

Ever considered a pair of planar magnetic Samuel?

One thing though, which was something I was fairly surprised by, none of these cans have any soundstage to them - at least not by open headphone standards.

Edited by Guldbamsen - September 21 2017 at 08:18
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 21 2017 at 08:16
Oh and I happen to think the ooooooold AKG headband design is one of the most comfortable out there. It's only my Denon's that trumps them in comfort but that's most likely down to the pads.
Different heads and shapes eh.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Meltdowner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 21 2017 at 08:25
The HD600 are only 11€ cheaper on Thomann and I like my music a little warmer Wink

What's a planar magnetic?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 21 2017 at 08:32
Heh...well instead of a driver the sound is created between two large magnets on a microthin piece of fabric. My Hifiman he400 is planar magnetic. There is of course all kinds of mumbojumbo written about how much faster and agilely they create sound, but I will just go ahead and say that they 'wowed me' like no other can I'd tried.

https://www.innerfidelity.com/content/how-planar-magnetic-headphones-work

Edited by Guldbamsen - September 21 2017 at 08:34
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Darious Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 22 2017 at 03:33
I'm still with my trusty, over-ear, reference AKG-K550 headphones. Pity they don't have any detachable cable, as I would like to experiment a bit, once in a while, with different wires. But, on the other hand, the already supplied cable is indeed very good. I am considering getting open-back headphones too (i.e. AKG K702), for those longer, undisturbed auditions at night, with better ear ventilation.

What I found decisive when using headphones though, is the headphone amplifier. It would be perfect to utilise a separate, stand-alone box with some independent power supply (i.e. Rupert Neve design with Russ Andrews power supply), but there also are very nice headphone amplifiers already built into integrated amplifiers. I first used my K550 with Marantz PM6005 integrated, and the outcome was poor, to say the least. Then I connected them AKGs to Cyrus high quality built-in headphone amplifier and suddenly I had totally different set of cans in use. Different in a positive way.

I also sometimes use my K550 connected to Red Dragonfly (the USB headphone amplifier from Audioquest), also with excellent results.

I read a lot of good feedback on planar Oppos and HiFiMans, but I mainly use floorstanding loudspeakers for listening to music, rather than headphones, and when using headphones - those K550s are still pretty, pretty good, thus I don't feel quite inclined to replace them yet.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mascodagama Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 22 2017 at 04:02
Originally posted by Meltdowner Meltdowner wrote:

The HD600 are only 11€ cheaper on Thomann and I like my music a little warmer Wink


You wouldn't be making a mistake with either, but for a difference of 11 Euro I'd probably go for the 650s.  Like David said, they seem a little warmer, though the difference won't kick you in the face.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 22 2017 at 04:16
Originally posted by Darious Darious wrote:

I'm still with my trusty, over-ear, reference AKG-K550 headphones. Pity they don't have any detachable cable, as I would like to experiment a bit, once in a while, with different wires. But, on the other hand, the already supplied cable is indeed very good. I am considering getting open-back headphones too (i.e. AKG K702), for those longer, undisturbed auditions at night, with better ear ventilation.

What I found decisive when using headphones though, is the headphone amplifier. It would be perfect to utilise a separate, stand-alone box with some independent power supply (i.e. Rupert Neve design with Russ Andrews power supply), but there also are very nice headphone amplifiers already built into integrated amplifiers. I first used my K550 with Marantz PM6005 integrated, and the outcome was poor, to say the least. Then I connected them AKGs to Cyrus high quality built-in headphone amplifier and suddenly I had totally different set of cans in use. Different in a positive way.

I also sometimes use my K550 connected to Red Dragonfly (the USB headphone amplifier from Audioquest), also with excellent results.

I read a lot of good feedback on planar Oppos and HiFiMans, but I mainly use floorstanding loudspeakers for listening to music, rather than headphones, and when using headphones - those K550s are still pretty, pretty good, thus I don't feel quite inclined to replace them yet.

I've only listened to the massdrop version of those AKGs - K553 I believe their called - and they were very good and indeed display that traditional AKG sound where especially the mids sound heavenly. I imagine the 550s are pretty close in sound signature.
One thing Darious seeing as you yourself brought up the amp question; if you do go ahead and invest in a pair of K701/2 (they're basically the same only the 702 comes in grey and with a detachable cable) you will need a proper amp do drive them. That goes for most of the open backs I've tried, they do tend to need a bit more juice than the closed ones.

If you're interested in planars, that don't break the bank, I'd definitely look into Monoprice. Chinese company that has set out to make high end audio gear that both sounds brilliant but also is affordable.
These two come highly recommended from yours truly (the M560 is without a doubt one of the best bangs for ya buck you can get headphone-wise imo and an extremely cheap entry into planars):
https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=16051

This is the M1060 (the big brother): https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=16050



Edited by Guldbamsen - September 22 2017 at 04:29
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Meltdowner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 22 2017 at 04:45
Originally posted by Guldbamsen Guldbamsen wrote:

Heh...well instead of a driver the sound is created between two large magnets on a microthin piece of fabric. My Hifiman he400 is planar magnetic. There is of course all kinds of mumbojumbo written about how much faster and agilely they create sound, but I will just go ahead and say that they 'wowed me' like no other can I'd tried. 

https://www.innerfidelity.com/content/how-planar-magnetic-headphones-work
It's interesting how a technology that has been around for decades just surfaced more recently. I see one of Hifiman's dealers is like 5 minutes away on foot from my brother's house, I might pay him a visit Tongue

Originally posted by Mascodagama Mascodagama wrote:

You wouldn't be making a mistake with either, but for a difference of 11 Euro I'd probably go for the 650s.  Like David said, they seem a little warmer, though the difference won't kick you in the face.
That's good to know, thanks.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 22 2017 at 04:54
What??!?! That is cheating
No one ever tries on a pair of Hifimans before purchasing, that is unheard of! But yeah be sure to drop by and test out a couple of cans. I guarantee you will be able to hear a big difference between your old Sennheisers and a planar model.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mascodagama Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 22 2017 at 05:10
Originally posted by Guldbamsen Guldbamsen wrote:

Heh...well instead of a driver the sound is created between two large magnets on a microthin piece of fabric. My Hifiman he400 is planar magnetic. There is of course all kinds of mumbojumbo written about how much faster and agilely they create sound, but I will just go ahead and say that they 'wowed me' like no other can I'd tried.

https://www.innerfidelity.com/content/how-planar-magnetic-headphones-work

I've never heard a pair of planar magnetic cans and now I want to.

You probably know this but the concept originated with high-end loudspeakers that I think were first developed by a US company called Magnepan at the beginning of the seventies. Back when I was more involved in things 'audiophile' there were plenty of hi-fi nuts who were still hanging onto their thirty+ year old Maggies. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 22 2017 at 11:03
I have heard about Magnepan speakers before, but I have honestly never made the connection. Thanks for connecting dots.

Seeing as you only got 2 headphones I think it'd be quite safe to maybe buy a pair of used Hifimans over whatever trustworthy media you've got in your neck of the woods I currently own the Denon AH-D600 (closed but with a HUGE sound that rivals openbacks. Listening to music through these is like an event), the Hifiman HE400 (like being there), the AKG K701 (icy clear elegance that goes oh so well with folk and RPI), the AKG Y50 (great sound on the go plus the fact they're yellow) plus two iems: one for sports and one for everyday use.
Yes I have a problem
Nahh I just like to have the ability to change my listening experience according to my mood and some cans really do sound better for certain genres of music.
I do plan on selling my Y50s though as I don't fancy the on-ear approach. Too clampy and too little noisecancelling for outdoors usage, which is where they belong imo. Listening to music at home should preferably be with a nice comfortable set of over ears (fully engulfed thank you!) or by way of speakers. I don't get on-ears for that purpose which also is why I don't get a brand like Grado. Huge WW2 like design and nondetachable wire - meaning stay home baby - and then they give you on-ears?
Sorta like attending a great restaurant but you have to sit on lego.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mascodagama Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 22 2017 at 12:52
Originally posted by Guldbamsen Guldbamsen wrote:

I have heard about Magnepan speakers before, but I have honestly never made the connection. Thanks for connecting dots.

Seeing as you only got 2 headphones I think it'd be quite safe to maybe buy a pair of used Hifimans over whatever trustworthy media you've got in your neck of the woods  

I've also got some wireless cans for the train (Sony MDR-1000X). But the temptation is definitely there...

Originally posted by Guldbamsen Guldbamsen wrote:

I currently own the Denon AH-D600 (closed but with a HUGE sound that rivals openbacks. Listening to music through these is like an event), the Hifiman HE400 (like being there), the AKG K701 (icy clear elegance that goes oh so well with folk and RPI), the AKG Y50 (great sound on the go plus the fact they're yellow) plus two iems: one for sports and one for everyday use.
Yes I have a problem  

You just need to grow a few extra heads to justify the collection LOL

Hey, it's all relative. Some guys have twenty fishing rods.

Originally posted by Guldbamsen Guldbamsen wrote:

Nahh I just like to have the ability to change my listening experience according to my mood and some cans really do sound better for certain genres of music.
I do plan on selling my Y50s though as I don't fancy the on-ear approach. Too clampy and too little noisecancelling for outdoors usage, which is where they belong imo. Listening to music at home should preferably be with a nice comfortable set of over ears (fully engulfed thank you!) or by way of speakers. I don't get on-ears for that purpose which also is why I don't get a brand like Grado. Huge WW2 like design and nondetachable wire - meaning stay home baby - and then they give you on-ears?
Sorta like attending a great restaurant but you have to sit on lego.


Circumaural all the way, baby. Couldn't agree more.


Edited by Mascodagama - September 22 2017 at 14:37
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