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StigErik 11th June 2012 12:12 PM

I'm looking for a pair of really good headphones, but it seems to me that most of them does not measure or sound neutral.... the all seems to have their own kind of flavour.

The most "high-end" headphone I have is Sennheiser HD600. Its nice, but lacks bass in my opinion, and there is a little too much around 4 kHz.

Actually, I like my Beyerdynamic DT770 better, because the bass is more solid.

I've heard:
HD650.... didnt like it, the top end of the HD600 is better.
Grado GS1000i. Horrible tonal balance ... yuck
20 year old Beyerdynamic DT990. Quite nice.. a little sag in the midrange maybe, and peaky treble.

Any recommendations?

theAnonymous1 11th June 2012 12:18 PM

What are you driving the headphones with?

StigErik 11th June 2012 12:24 PM

What does that have to do with anything, as long the as output impedance of the source is low? It wont change the tonal balance of the headphone itself.

But yeah, I use anything from a laptop computer to my pro audio DAC (DAD AX24).

qusp 14th June 2012 01:49 PM

HD600 lacking bass? I work in the headphone audio area and have done for years, I have heard and owned many headphones, I currently own 7 pairs (oops 6, sold the denons)and often get sent them to recable for balanced systems. after all of that, I still own and love my HD600. When driven properly, lacking bass is not a word I would use, not even close, tiny bit rolled top octave, but bass? not a chance, you have an issue somewhere else in the chain.

if you just want more bass, thats cool, but anything more than they already have is not neutral.

what is your budget? its possible to get the bass you want you will have to go with sealed, are you ready for the smaller soundstage this will provide? HE6 are excellent, but expensive and require a fair chunk of current to drive, the rare sony R1, or DX1000 are bass beasts.

if you can give me a price range i'm sure I can help you out and yeah if you could describe exactly what it is about the hd600 bass you find lacking that would help me to understand

agreed about the gs1000 and PS1000, those things are a joke for a supposed reference headphone, the only grados i've enjoyed have been the MS pro and I still found the top end too hot/fatiguing for any length of time

any particular favored music genre you listen to a lot? or a bit of everything?

StigErik 14th June 2012 02:11 PM


In my world, this is rolled-off bass.

vacuphile 14th June 2012 02:33 PM

I didn't realize that even good earphones measure so badly. A pair of speakers that measured like this would immediately land on the scrapheap, at least as far as I am concerned.

lolo 19th June 2012 03:39 PM

Hi Stig Erik,

I know for a fact that very few, if not NO headphone will give a "reference level" without being equalized. Have you tried that with the Hd600? I like them, open, clear, not boomy. Might buy the AKG702, they do have the reputation of being very flat.


jcx 19th June 2012 03:51 PM

only IEMs give good seal for "real bass" - and even that is somewhat unsatisfying - more than just the ears get involved for the lowest octaves - "butt kickers" may be crude but they do add some of the needed body clues for deepest bass

headphones are often "diffuse field" EQed by construction - perfectly flat sounds wrong with recordings intended for loudspeaker/room playback

the Smyth SVS Realizer is an interesting way to get loudspeaker/room sound from headphones

SimpleMind 19th June 2012 03:55 PM

Just as you, I also use the DT770Pro, which is a marvel, when it comes to closed headphones. Though it is definitely "sounded" and not really neutral. I find my old DT880 Studio (600 Ohms) much more neutral and ofcourse with a broader soundstage and more open highs. I compared it with several current Sennheisers, including the HD800 and cannot find a reason for replacement. And the DT990 never came near the 880Studio, in my opinion.
Another option to consider are the Stax headphones. I use the cheapest old SR40 modell on the lowly Stax adaptor, driven with a little T-amp and these sound great, considering their cheap secondhand price. But there bass won't be strong enough foryour liking, I think.

One of the better, more current Staxes would be the only contender (for me, at least) to once replace the DT880Studio, because the Staxes are simply stunningly fast.

Just my 2Cents...

StigErik 19th June 2012 06:03 PM

Thanks, I'll check out the DT880's. :)

As mentioned above, the "ideal" frequency response is not flat, but rather sloping down in a linear fashion about 10 dB from 20 to 20k Hz.

I dont want to use EQ here, it makes things more complicated.

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