madpierre

Headphone advice please.

12 posts in this topic

Hi folks. Due to recent unfortunate events I am going to have to start using headphones again very shortly. I have a pair of the original Beyer Dynamics DT440's (must be 20 years old now) which seem to work ok although they need some new foam surronds.

My question is how do they stack up to modern competetion? If I were to want a significant improvement in sound what sort of price phones would I need to be looking at? I must admit to liking a good deep bass beat (Currently using some TDL transmission line speakers), which is the one area I feel the DT440's are a bit lacking.

Musical taste is anything from Pink floyd, dire straits, Enigma etc to DJ Tiesto, and the phones will be used directly into a Sony CDP337ES cd player or possibly a PC with MAudio 24/96 Audiophile card for digitally stored music.

Funds are fairly limited so hi end phones are probably out of my reach but how would something like Klipsh Image ones or Beats Solo compare to what I have?

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Can't honestly remember at what price point your Beyers were pitched at :? I do seem to recall decent reviews tho' . Around 25 years ago I had some pretty decent on ear (supra-aural) open back AT jobbies that I auditioned against some mid price Beyers & it was faiirly close as I recall & these were much preferred over the Senn's for the same money.

I currently have two sets of circum-aurals (over ear) >Senn hd595 (open Back) & AKG K-272hd (closed back) & proper decent :love: for home use & Senn px100 mk1&mk2 supra-aurals & cx300 in ears for i-pod/portable use. The reason I'm making mention of all the different types I have in use, is that for home use I would see the Dr Dre Solo as something of a compromise & that for similar money i.e. £120'ish you're likely to be able to get something far more capable from AKG, Beyer or AT, & Sennheiser or Grado may b worth a look too. If part of your reasoning at looking at the Beats is that you do want something for portable use as well as at home I'd suggest getting a set for main system use e.g. either the AKG K-242(open back) £75+£10 postage or the K-272 closed back@£86+£10 postage from here https://www.thomann.de/gb/search_dir.html?xsid=d3d728f71d24d0aa1334b88a7b8dbe2f&sw=akg+headphones&x=7&y=8 & getting a set of Senn px100mk2 (open back so do leak sound) or AKG K450 (closed back so less leaky than the Senns which is a plus for others)for use out & about. This could all be achieved for around the same money as you're proposing & a deal less if only needing one set for home use, than you propose spunking out on the Dre's. If only needing the one set I'd suggest seriously considering the K-242/K-272hd's < which I have & love....they're seriously comfortable too..tootarly cushty...much more so than me Senns which are actually comfy enough :^ & are rated highly by plenty of others too inc T.R. of this parrish (ncdrawl) :^, Superfi are seeing fit to charge £250 for em :roll:. Replacement ear pads are freely available too & reasonably priced.

If you could stretch a little more Thomann have the K701 for £157 including postage http://www.thomann.de/gb/akg_k701.htm which is pretty good. Ultimately you're not going to get the best out of the AKG's until you pair them with decent amplification mine sound decent thru' my Alva Nanoface(pro audio interface) but really shine with my M.F. x-can v8 , so I would suggest having an eye on getting one in the future....as funds allow, i.e. should you decide to sell any bits in the future there are a few decent budget dac/headphone amps available which are more than capable, the Matrix range springs to mind.

Sorry to hear of your recent travails, as discussed in t'other thread....there's always light at t'other end tho' & I'm sure that making decent sounds some sort of priority in your new abode will be a v. good move:stereo::^.

B.R.

Chris W :fly:

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Can't honestly remember at what price point your Beyers were pitched at :? I do seem to recall decent reviews tho' . Around 25 years ago I had some pretty decent on ear (supra-aural) open back AT jobbies that I auditioned against some mid price Beyers & it was faiirly close as I recall & these were much preferred over the Senn's for the same money.

I currently have two sets of circum-aurals (over ear) >Senn hd595 (open Back) & AKG K-272hd (closed back) & proper decent :love: for home use & Senn px100 mk1&mk2 supra-aurals & cx300 in ears for i-pod/portable use. The reason I'm making mention of all the different types I have in use, is that for home use I would see the Dr Dre Solo as something of a compromise & that for similar money i.e. £120'ish you're likely to be able to get something far more capable from AKG, Beyer or AT, & Sennheiser or Grado may b worth a look too. If part of your reasoning at looking at the Beats is that you do want something for portable use as well as at home I'd suggest getting a set for main system use e.g. either the AKG K-242(open back) £75+£10 postage or the K-272 closed back@£86+£10 postage from here https://www.thomann.de/gb/search_dir.html?xsid=d3d728f71d24d0aa1334b88a7b8dbe2f&sw=akg+headphones&x=7&y=8 & getting a set of Senn px100mk2 (open back so do leak sound) or AKG K450 (closed back so less leaky than the Senns which is a plus for others)for use out & about. This could all be achieved for around the same money as you're proposing & a deal less if only needing one set for home use, than you propose spunking out on the Dre's. If only needing the one set I'd suggest seriously considering the K-242/K-272hd's < which I have & love....they're seriously comfortable too..tootarly cushty...much more so than me Senns which are actually comfy enough :^ & are rated highly by plenty of others too inc T.R. of this parrish (ncdrawl) :^, Superfi are seeing fit to charge £250 for em :roll:. Replacement ear pads are freely available too & reasonably priced.

If you could stretch a little more Thomann have the K701 for £157 including postage http://www.thomann.de/gb/akg_k701.htm which is pretty good. Ultimately you're not going to get the best out of the AKG's until you pair them with decent amplification mine sound decent thru' my Alva Nanoface(pro audio interface) but really shine with my M.F. x-can v8 , so I would suggest having an eye on getting one in the future....as funds allow, i.e. should you decide to sell any bits in the future there are a few decent budget dac/headphone amps available which are more than capable, the Matrix range springs to mind.

Sorry to hear of your recent travails, as discussed in t'other thread....there's always light at t'other end tho' & I'm sure that making decent sounds some sort of priority in your new abode will be a v. good move:stereo::^.

B.R.

Chris W :fly:

I have a pair of 15+ year old budget Beyers that would probably eat any of the above for breakfast if it's hi-fi you're after. The current best sellers are so far removed from proper high fidelity, choosing to compete instead on impressive (often lumpy) bass and very little midrange, and trendiness. I own one pair mentioned above (the px100s) which if used with bright equipment might just sound on the murky side of neutral - though they are very portable and comfortable. The only headphones I have heard so far in the sub £100 range that stacks up well are the Grado SR60s, which are open and natural sounding - but they are an open design that leaks sound. Though lacking in detail and a bit tight on the ears, a £23 pair of Sony headphones (?570) are a closed (sound isolating) design, which though fairly warm sounding, are as acceptable than any I have heard up to and including a £100 Bose design (Grados excepted). The Dr Dre's are better than some I've tried but hardly a hi-fi sensation. There are lots of headphones to choose from at all sorts of prices, but ones that give "high fidelity" are few and far between. Hi-fi headphones seem to be out of fashion - so try before you buy with YOUR music!

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My first choice would be the Audio Technica ATH M50

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"originally posted by fiftyplus>>

I have a pair of 15+ year old budget Beyers that would probably eat any of the above for breakfast if it's hi-fi you're after. The current best sellers are so far removed from proper high fidelity, choosing to compete instead on impressive (often lumpy) bass and very little midrange, and trendiness. I own one pair mentioned above (the px100s) which if used with bright equipment might just sound on the murky side of neutral - though they are very portable and comfortable. The only headphones I have heard so far in the sub £100 range that stacks up well are the Grado SR60s, which are open and natural sounding - but they are an open design that leaks sound. Though lacking in detail and a bit tight on the ears, a £23 pair of Sony headphones (?570) are a closed (sound isolating) design, which though fairly warm sounding, are as acceptable than any I have heard up to and including a £100 Bose design (Grados excepted). The Dr Dre's are better than some I've tried but hardly a hi-fi sensation. There are lots of headphones to choose from at all sorts of prices, but ones that give "high fidelity" are few and far between. Hi-fi headphones seem to be out of fashion - so try before you buy with YOUR music!

:?....errm have you actually heard any of the AKG STUDIO range I mentioned? Far from having lumpy bass they strongly veer towards accuracy & in fact some have initially described them as a little bass light before realizing that it's all present & correct, just that it's not overly prominent or "lumpy" as you describe...& yes I agree that this is often "engineered" in these days to sound impressive on first audition.:) With the AKG K450 portables I mentioned it's prolly an altogether different story I suspect as the portable market is awash with models sporting the "lumpy bass you rightly bemoan, & this is where this model is pitched....I haven't personally tried these but mentioned them as they've had fair reviews.

The Senn595's I have are much less capable than my K272hd's but are still fairly decent cans, as for the px100's they're only for portable use & are great for this. The Grado's you mention I would agree are decently capable...having tried them & the sr80's & 125's. However I've never found Grado's particularly comfortable, especially for extended periods, nor have I been impressed at the perceived build quality vs. the cost.

Personally I'm quite a fan of Beyer cans If you notice I state in the first para. of my previous post that it was between a set of Beyers & the AT's I eventually settled on many years ago & I went on to state that I thought their current range were worth investigating....I would though add the caveat that many of their more capable current models are a bit of a tricky load to drive i.e. DT770/880/990 all 250ohm although there is an 80ohm variant of the DT770pro which would be an easier load for less capable h/phone stages but still far from ideal for portable i.e i-pod use.

I largely use my AKG272's for recording/monitoring/editing purposes using a fairly high resolution recording rig....tonal accuracy & detail are important to me.:^ T.R. (ncdrawl) who uses cans frequently as a recording engineer rates the AKG studio range v highly owning a couple of sets & has stated a preference for these over the Senn 600/650's which I also believe he owns:?...either way the Senns are also highly thought of. I suspect you either haven't heard the AKG's or if you have you haven't spent any time with them or possibly only heard them with sub optimal partnering equipment, although I suppose personal choice may come into it. :) From what you say though the sonic strengths you look out for don't actually seem far removed from my own preferences so I'm a little puzzled :?:) B.t.w. I listen to a wide range of music, Jazz/Blues/Indy/Americana/low-fi, various Folk/Acoustic...Female vocals Latin/Bossa & many other genres/sub genres, & my equipment & cans I use seem to be capable re whatever music I seem to throw at them.:)

vacdac oooooot

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Thanks for the suggestions folks but could anyone give me some idea of where my DT440s would be priced nowadays?

I think I paid £45 for them many many years ago when a Linn LP12 was about £250 new. They wernt used for that long before I got my own place and bought some nice big speakers and they got passed to one side.

I am not looking to replace them just for the sake of it, but am trying to gauge what I would need to spend in order to improve on what I already have.

I dont know what type they would be classed as because they are full size over ear but the back isnt fully covered, there is like a sunray pattern of slots in the metal back.

As for use they will be for home use in a flat, so as long as they dont disturb the neighbours, it doesnt matter if they leak a bit of sound. They are highly unlikely to be used portable so that isnt really a factor.

Anybody else still got a pair of these and maybe some current(ish) others to give a comparison?

If not i may have to bite the bullet, order some replacement foams and then go find a good dealer to try them against thier modern equivelents.

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If they're the same as the current version here...http://www.iheadphones.co.uk/beyerdynamic-dt440.html?gclid=CNeLr7msobECFTMhtAodtXxmqg or here >http://www.thomann.de/gb/beyerdynamic_dt440_edition_2007.htm?sid=7f94f8013e2f4f7931281722a4315155 , then they're pretty much direct price competitors for the AKG 240/272hd but pitched lower than the the K701's Amazon do sell the Beyers but not the earpads....Thomann have em for £15-55p per set http://www.thomann.de/gb/beyerdynamic_dt_440_ohrpolster.htm

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Beyer DT990 Pros are about £125. They're maybe a touch fat on the bass, but are much more involving than my HD600s and overall not far off my Denon AH-D2000s, both of which are about double the price.

Pete

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Hi, no, the current version is quite different (at least in apearance) to what I have. Dont know about sonically as I havent heard the new ones. I was going to upload a pic but there doesnt seem to be anyway to do it that I can see?

Looks like I will have to buy some new pads and then try to find a decent dealer in the North east to audition some modern ones against my own. I've been out of the loop for so long any advice on a good dealer up here? I used to go to a couple in York and one in Gateshead if I remember correctly,but that was 20 years ago so dont know if they are still there or what they are like now.

Anyone any experience of Polar Audio- they have the required ear foams listed as 'back order expected soon' but they have been like that for the last month or so and im wary of paying for something that might never arrive.

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Yes thanks tim1750, just had a phone conversation with the uk Beyer importers re some replacement foam pads - they suggested the current dt440's are similar to what I have and that to get an improvement in the bass with the same mid-high end quality my 440's have, I would need to get some 880's, but not the pro version apparantly.

Looks like I will have to see what funds are available after the move as the 880's are a lot more than i'm used to spending on heaphones so some serious auditioning will be required.

Thanks for the advice folks.

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Good luck. Many an old earbit-thing is fine, esp. if e.g deteriorated foamy-bits are replaced (you can do this for nothing by cutting out/shaping suitably modern free more durable durable foam from wherever).

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