Headphones

Ninjastix

The Fat Mamba
Site Donor
Joined
Aug 27, 2008
Location
Raleigh
@Ninjastix should I go with the Sonys or the Marshalls?
Sonys gon' be higher fidelity with more capability. Marshalls are pretty fucking fantastic and I kinda adore their tuning. I really like using them with the Xduoo Link dongle as well and they sounded so good on my Zen DAC with the TrueBass on that I almost made sweet love to them right there and then. But alas no consent so I refrained.

What I know now I would say the Sonys because they're likely going to be more comfortable with a better range of options. If it was between the Sony XBs and the Marshalls I'd say Marshalls. But the WH has some very pleasant mids and highs, along with the ability to tweak the EQ.

Again, and I can't say this enough, the biggest decider should be staging. Do you want sound that sounds up close to you or like you're sitting on a couch with speakers in front of you? The Marshalls have great sound but the staging is up close. As a result they sound "fun". The Sonys are likely to push that stage back making them more relaxed and enjoyable for listening sessions.

So my advice would be -> Sonys but only the WH.
Post automatically merged:

@ILJO


 
Last edited:

ILJO

Member
Site Donor
Joined
Aug 27, 2008
Location
The Streets!
Sonys gon' be higher fidelity with more capability. Marshalls are pretty fucking fantastic and I kinda adore their tuning. I really like using them with the Xduoo Link dongle as well and they sounded so good on my Zen DAC with the TrueBass on that I almost made sweet love to them right there and then. But alas no consent so I refrained.

What I know now I would say the Sonys because they're likely going to be more comfortable with a better range of options. If it was between the Sony XBs and the Marshalls I'd say Marshalls. But the WH has some very pleasant mids and highs, along with the ability to tweak the EQ.

Again, and I can't say this enough, the biggest decider should be staging. Do you want sound that sounds up close to you or like you're sitting on a couch with speakers in front of you? The Marshalls have great sound but the staging is up close. As a result they sound "fun". The Sonys are likely to push that stage back making them more relaxed and enjoyable for listening sessions.

So my advice would be -> Sonys but only the WH.
Post automatically merged:

@ILJO


Thanks. I watched all that and then some.

I went ahead and purchased the Sennheisers just a moment ago. As much as I wanted to go with the px7's, it just didn't seem like it was the right sound signature (or sound profile or whatever the fuck the right word is) for me. I'm bummed because the sound staging seems to be amazing for those, but I'm hoping that good sound direction and clarity with the Sennheisers will be somewhat good enough compensation in that regard.

We shall see. But in the end I simply went with what appeared to have the best quality of sound in the most well balanced way (albeit possibly not with the stock default settings).
 

Ninjastix

The Fat Mamba
Site Donor
Joined
Aug 27, 2008
Location
Raleigh
The Momentum 3s probably going to win across the board for comfort given the materials. And from what all reviewers seem to say, it's the most sound focused headphone.

I push the PX7 because yes, great sound staging and separation will make you think differently about your music. It's an investment worth chasing BUT..

Not necessarily with a BT headphone. You can still get that sort of experience from cheaper wired options and go with a DAC/amp stack down the line. That's where I'm at today, that's where a sound lover is eventually going to land.

I think you made a good choice if only for the sheep skin leather.
 

ILJO

Member
Site Donor
Joined
Aug 27, 2008
Location
The Streets!
Not necessarily with a BT headphone. You can still get that sort of experience from cheaper wired options and go with a DAC/amp stack down the line. That's where I'm at today, that's where a sound lover is eventually going to land
Yeah I'm definitely still considering those 6xx's as well....

That planar magnetic shits got me curious as well. Apparently there's also electrostatic?
 

Ninjastix

The Fat Mamba
Site Donor
Joined
Aug 27, 2008
Location
Raleigh
Yeah I'm definitely still considering those 6xx's as well....

That planar magnetic shits got me curious as well. Apparently there's also electrostatic?
You don't want electrostatics. You breathe on them and they crumble. But to bring them alive you need not only power but the exact right amount of power. I think Koss as a Drop exclusive electrostatic combo. Otherwise it's Stax. From Japan. Good luck with that.

You may like Planars though. A good entry point to Planars are the HiFiman 4xxs. They were made for Massdrop but you can get them on Amazon too. Tube amps and Planars are supposed to be where it's at. I don't know nothing about tubes and I have no rich friends with disposable incomes to find out.

For any Planar you'll need power. Otherwise they're going to sound very narrow and thin. You could go with a Dac/amp combo for simplicity or a stack. JDS stacks and Schiit stacks are quite popular.

If you want easy-peasy electrostatic-lite, order a pair of Shouer Tapes. They're an IEM with a mini electrostatic tweeder. They're probably my favorite IEM for 90s hip-hop.
 
Last edited:

Ninjastix

The Fat Mamba
Site Donor
Joined
Aug 27, 2008
Location
Raleigh
These completed their funding on Drop so they're not on sale yet but something you may want to consider putting a pin in. Bluetooth headphones with built-in THX amps.

Post automatically merged:

I've had a pair of AKG Qs for six years. They are the best headphones I have ever had.
Hold onto your shiz. Apparently AKG QC isn't what it used to be:

 
Last edited:

ILJO

Member
Site Donor
Joined
Aug 27, 2008
Location
The Streets!
@Ninjastix I'm thinking about the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 pro's. Thoughts?

I was thinking about the hifiman Sundara as an entry level planar for me instead, but size wise I dont think they'll be a good fit for my big head and ears, unfortunately.
 

Ninjastix

The Fat Mamba
Site Donor
Joined
Aug 27, 2008
Location
Raleigh
I'm not a studio headphone advocate unless you're doing stuff in the studio. The DT line in general is neutral\bright from what I can recollect and you'll need power to drive them. I also don't advocate for 300+ dollar headphones until you have a general idea of what brand you like. Especially when it comes to build. If you were going to start with any Beyerdynamic, start with the 990s. More money doesn't mean better sound. In fact it can sometimes mean quite the opposite; it depends on what your usage will be.

Personally, I don't want reference for music listening. Even if I invest in a standalone tone control, I still want to hear a tuned sound signature.

If you want clear, 'true' sound you're looking at the Sennheiser 6xx or 650s. The money you save on the headphones -> you re-purpose into a THX amp. Why these Sennhesiers specifically? Because the build is vetted. It's the stuff of legend at this point. If you want clarity and detail then a THX amp is going to be the way to go. Again, we're at somewhat opposite ends of the spectrum here. I'd go with a Schiit Multi-bit and a Dark Voice probably or a JDS stack over THX because that's my preference.

The one thing you can say for Beyer is that everyone seems to love their build quality. But you can say the same for Neumann's. However these: www.amazon.com/Neumann-Headphones-NDH-Closed-Back-Monitoring/dp/B07M6RVR1Y/ref=psdc_9059094011_t1_B07Z5BL23F are professional headphones.

Are you doing mixing or mastering? Or do you just want clear/neutral headphones? To me it doesn't make sense to go with the Beyer or the Neumann's if you don't own a pair of Sennheiser 600s. My recommendation would be the 6xxs and a THX amp and a cheap ass DAC. Call it a life. And before you'd pay for a Planar go and listen to one.

Like.. I want a pair of Klipsch HP3s. But I wouldn't buy a pair without hearing them first and having a power stack capable of bringing out what they could do. And I'd probably recommend listening to Focal at some point as well.
 
Last edited:

ILJO

Member
Site Donor
Joined
Aug 27, 2008
Location
The Streets!
Yeah I guess I need to just go to a store and try out a lot of headphones, but you can't really do that right now can you?


The idea of having the purest reproduction is what's most appealing to me. I don't like the thought of artificially boosted/tuned/altered sound to make things more "warm" or pleasant for mass consumption.... I want to hear how the shit is supposed to actually sound.

For whatever it's worth, I grew up on, and still use the sony mdr 7506's (also studio headphones) as my home headphones, and I think that's why I prefer my sound the way I do. Thats why it was difficult for me to choose between all these bass or mid boosted wireless headphones.

But now that I've bought the wireless one and shifted my attention to wired, the pureness and clarity of studio headphones definitely appeal to me. Thats also why I'm looking into planars, and the Sundara seems to be the best sub-500 pair...

The 6xx's also appeal to me, don't get me wrong, but from what I understand the DT 1990s seem to beat them out in sound staging and overall clarity/crispness.

But I admit I don't fully understand what I'm talking about lol. I'd like to think Im an audiophile or a purest or whatever, but maybe I'd just be disappointed hearing the flaws of unenhanced audio. Although I am very accustomed to these mdr 7506s....
Post automatically merged:

Oh, and could you please discuss open vs closed back, in terms of the effect on sound and overall listening experience?
 
Last edited:

Ninjastix

The Fat Mamba
Site Donor
Joined
Aug 27, 2008
Location
Raleigh
You don't have to spend big money to get that kind of sound. Studio monitors or reference monitors don't really cost more than 150-200. When the price starts to get up there the return on your investment should be part build quality, part comfort, and part sound engineering. Enjoying faithful reproductions of music really, really is going to come down to the recording and masterings. That a whole separate rabbit hole from the hardware element which include DAC, Amps, linear power supplies, streamers, power cleaners, tone controllers, and fucking ear pads.

So taking that all into account my advice would be to spend less money initially and build a foundation of entry-level equipment to discover what you do or don't like, sound-wise. Especially if your library is MP3s. That's not to shit on MP3s but analytical listening of MP3s doesn't need to break the bank and you don't need expensive equipment to accomplish it. This is why I recommended IEMs with the caveat that be careful what you wish for because the more analytical your headphone/earpiece the less your source can hide its flaws.

In terms of open vs. closed, just think of it as sound presentation. There's listening to music in a cafe or bar and listening to music in an amphitheater. In one setting sound literally bounces off the walls and in another it spreads out. That's the basic idea, a closed headphone is going to put the sound much closer to you spatially. An open-back will present the sound with more space but you lose the ambient noise reduction of enclosing the sound.

There's pros and cons to both like anything it just depends on what you want to hear and where you want to hear it. If you have open-backs the sound comes through both sides of the headphone so.. people can hear you and you can hear them. You'd likely want a nice quiet place and some power to expand the sound. Closed backs are for portability and isolation. You'll never hit the same sort of expansive sound staging but some closed cans sound borderline open. All comes down to the engineering and a lot of the time the pads.
Post automatically merged:

I recommend this dude for getting a foot hold on audio and audio products:

 
Last edited:

Ninjastix

The Fat Mamba
Site Donor
Joined
Aug 27, 2008
Location
Raleigh
After a bit of time with the Marshall IIIs they're my favorite Bluetooth device. I had to slightly (very gently) bend the headband to reduce the pressure on-ear clamp. It was just too strong but I also have a watermelon-sized head. With the clamp reduction and pretty much zero compensation to the sound, these are the best dynamic sounding headphone I own.

If you do not like a dynamic sound then obviously these would not be a suggestion. If you don't like on-ear anything, these would also not be a suggestion but as someone who gets hot ears and wears glasses, I'm willing to deal with the annoyance because the sound is tremendous, whether via Bluetooth or amplified through cabling. I think the build quality is exceptional for the cost. I find them extremely comfortable with the aforementioned caveats noted.

Their tuning however is what sets them apart. This is what Beats should be imo. These headphones prove you do not have to drown sound in bass. You can recess other frequencies to better present or emphasis the bass. This reduces distortion and allows the drivers to present the sound more cleanly while remaining full. The bass is impactful but the depth of sound, especially with the highs is the best part about the listening experience.

Highs are clean and crisp but most importantly, full and rich. I ADORE the highs on these fucking things. I'm currently debating on whether to get the HiFiman Deva wired (you save about 70 bucks not getting the Bluetooth dongle) but the thing about dynamic drivers is that fullness. I'm not sure Planars are going to meet my expectations for what I want from the low end translation.

I would love to see Marshall translate their construction of the Major IIIs into an over-ear cup. Same exact design, same driver, same material, but an over-ear cup. I think it would be much easier to recommend these to everyone as the absolute de facto headphone to own.
Post automatically merged:

@ILJO

 
Last edited:

ILJO

Member
Site Donor
Joined
Aug 27, 2008
Location
The Streets!
Lol, I hope that guy gets all the bitches.

FYI, there is a problem with the forum where people don't receive alerts from merged posts, so I had no idea you tagged me and am only now seeing this post. This should be something that everyone is aware of.... (@Poindexter)


I might have to check out those Philips SHP9500 as they apparently beat out my go to MDR 7506's, and I very much trust this guy without reservation.
 

Ninjastix

The Fat Mamba
Site Donor
Joined
Aug 27, 2008
Location
Raleigh
I ordered the Devas (wired) and reached out to him in YT comments on his review of them. He seems like a down to Earth fella. I quite enjoy his channel.

Currawong is another channel I've been loving. One of his recents breaks down good to know information for starting out:

 

Ninjastix

The Fat Mamba
Site Donor
Joined
Aug 27, 2008
Location
Raleigh
I purchased the Devas. The wired version because open-back planar magnetic Bluetooth headphones make no kind of sense to me.

I'm happy to report they sound (easily) double their price tag of $219. Easy. They're my second best sounding headphone behind the Elegias. I just got them delivered a little bit ago so I'm going to test them out for gaming for a few. But my initial listening impressions are overwhelmingly positive. The bass is fantastic. Super clean and full, I wasn't expecting that. The mids are recessed a bit but the vocals take center stage, almost quite literally. These are very vocal-forward headphones and both male and female vocals sound AMAZING.

The sound stage isn't as expansive as I thought it would be but this is offset by the sound being far more dynamic than I expected. I expected something quasi-clinical and neutral and oh no no no, these have some serious life and energy to them.

I really like my Fidelios but without question if you were in the market for a starter open back -> DEVAS. All day every day. They weigh nothing and sit completely over my ear without touching. Comfortable (extremely) even with glasses.
 

Ninjastix

The Fat Mamba
Site Donor
Joined
Aug 27, 2008
Location
Raleigh
You son of a bitch. Didn't you talk me out of the Sundara?
I don't think so but I wouldn't pick up the Sundaras at 350 without already having a DAC and amp to pair them with. I'd also research the QC on the Sundaras. HiFiman has had many quality control issues, it's why I've avoided them until the Devas where they've apparently addressed their build issues. People do say great things about the Sundaras but I'm not sure in what context.

I will say the Devas are amazeballs however. But if you go that route make sure you at least have a dongle or an amp. I think I may eventually get the Soundblaster G6 for gaming but I believe you can use it for mobile. There's also what I use for my phone which is the Xduoo Link or the DragonFly Red if you need more power. Oh, and there's a portable version of my DAC/amp, the ifi Hip DAC which is supposedly awesome.
Post automatically merged:

Yeah, I can't recommend the Devas enough. I like them enough to check out a future iteration of the Sundara or a potential replacement model down the line. I'm still skiddish about Hifiman's legacy build quality. Apparently they've had some of their stock removed from audio shops as a result of inconsistent manufacturing.

The build quality on the Devas seems to be exceptional. I've yet to stumble across any QC issues with reviewers after time. So right now they look like a winner when it comes to form factor. If Hifiman has learned its lesson and they scale up this specific model.. I'd be all in.

If you want an open back that can be driven by a phone then these are they. They sound exquisite. I'd recommend a dongle dac if you don't have a 3.5 on your phone. Xduoo link, iKKo Zerda, or a Dragon Fly. If nothing else they'll clean the single out of your phone.
 
Last edited:

Poindexter

Reputation: ∞
Staff member
Joined
Aug 26, 2008
Location
NYC
I'm torn between the Marshall's and the Sony's mainly because of two competing reasons. 1. I have a big head as well. 2. Budgetary constraints.
 

Ninjastix

The Fat Mamba
Site Donor
Joined
Aug 27, 2008
Location
Raleigh
I'm torn between the Marshall's and the Sony's mainly because of two competing reasons. 1. I have a big head as well. 2. Budgetary constraints.
So there's a lot to consider before you even get to price. I would a hazard a guess that no one on the board, other than Problematic, has a bigger head than me and I wear the Major IIIs comfortably. I did very gently bend the headband to reduce the clamp so they're a wider headband arch now. And while they are very comfortable, and getting more comfortable as the pads wear in, they're still on-ear.

This means your ears will get hot and if you wear glasses, you can't have the stems of the glasses behind your ear. I HATE having hot ears. But to me it's tolerable because I love the sound tuning and it works with my EQ setting perfectly.

The Sonys are more money but also have more features to tweak the sound, making them more applicable to more listening situations, whether home listening, wired, or travel with the ANC. You also get the LDAC codec if you use phones or laptops that will support it. Apple doesn't as a FYI but they'll still work with AAC.

I think both more than justify their cost. Sonys may go on sale with the forthcoming release of the mark IV WH1000s, so that's worth bearing in mind.
 

Poindexter

Reputation: ∞
Staff member
Joined
Aug 26, 2008
Location
NYC
So there's a lot to consider before you even get to price. I would a hazard a guess that no one on the board, other than Problematic, has a bigger head than me and I wear the Major IIIs comfortably. I did very gently bend the headband to reduce the clamp so they're a wider headband arch now. And while they are very comfortable, and getting more comfortable as the pads wear in, they're still on-ear.

This means your ears will get hot and if you wear glasses, you can't have the stems of the glasses behind your ear. I HATE having hot ears. But to me it's tolerable because I love the sound tuning and it works with my EQ setting perfectly.

The Sonys are more money but also have more features to tweak the sound, making them more applicable to more listening situations, whether home listening, wired, or travel with the ANC. You also get the LDAC codec if you use phones or laptops that will support it. Apple doesn't as a FYI but they'll still work with AAC.

I think both more than justify their cost. Sonys may go on sale with the forthcoming release of the mark IV WH1000s, so that's worth bearing in mind.
Thanks man. I think I will pull the trigger soon while I have money in the bank. Who knows what shit storm's gonna hit next?
 

Ninjastix

The Fat Mamba
Site Donor
Joined
Aug 27, 2008
Location
Raleigh
If the Marshalls fit differently I would definitely be more willing to recommend them. On-ear is a compromise. I just wish more dynamic headphones were tuned like the Major IIIs cause it's pretty much perfect with my tastes.

Also, here's a great explanation on soundstaging and imaging:




And one on timbre:

 
Last edited:

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 0)

Members online

Latest profile posts

Battalion Five raise your hands. You are the all important first attack wave, code named: Operation Human Shield!
An owner who hits a male or female slave in the eye and destroys it must let the slave go free to compensate for the eye.
If 2020 was a math problem: if you're going down river at 2MPH and your canoe loses a wheel, how much pancake mix would you need to re-shingle your roof?
4-5 Playoff games a day <3

Forum statistics

Threads
41,832
Messages
1,069,377
Members
2,305
Latest member
SmithCracks
Top Bottom