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Battle Of The Flagships (57 Headphones Compared)


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The best video review I have ever seen of a headphone, from a link from the same article.

 

When words fail you.  ;)

 

Ultraphone 10 listening experience by Innerfidelity . :blink:

Edited by Tweaky
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wow quite a review there indeed ! he's spot on in his assesments too I reckon, having owned the 580s, 650 and 800 series. apart from the 580s I sold off the rest though. and reckon one he should have checked out is the B&W p5s was quite suprised actually it is . and what use most of the time now :)

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An extremely comprehensive review. Whilst individual preferences may come up wth different results, overall I think he is quite balanced in his assessments. I find that my "go to" phones for closed lstening are the D7000s, and for open use the T1s. I think the W5000s are a much better phone when listening to female vocal and quieter music, and it is wth them that I probably disagree with his opinion the most - horses for courses I guess. Prior to the D7000s, DT770s were my favourite closed headphone, and are still much better value. K702s are incredibly transparent with the right amp, and I am vacillating whether to sell them or not.

 

In my opinion, if you want one high end headphone, and  can live with a bit of sound leakage, then the T1 is the best value bet, particularly second hand - caveat on that, I am yet to try HD800s for any length of time.

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The D7000's have a slight advantage over other closed headphones because they are not actually closed phones ---!! Am I right?

Last time I used them - about 20 minutes ago - they seemed pretty closed to me..... I have a pair of genuine leather Jmoney V2 earpads with mine, which I think are more comfortable and remove just the right amount of bass bloom, but both earpads and the wooden cups say closed to me.

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I have a Stax Lambda Pro diven by the classic SRM-1 MK2, my mission ATM is to audition a Stax 009 with a BHSE.  Not a fan of valves but so be it!

I have had a listen to the 407 on a 006 and a 323, these Stax amps are very different.

 

In orthos, the Beyer T90 will give the T1, HD800/650/600, LCD 2 a run for the dosh, if I had to get an ortho cans it will be a T90 with the Phonitor.  The HD800 is a real disappointment for the money, as the recording material has to be top notch to get the most out of the HD800, A Stax 307 with a 323 will be more musically involving than any Sennheiser, with greater speed.  The best closed can i've tried is a HD25 II, these are used by DJ thoughout the industry, you can go death listening to these!

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The D7000's have a slight advantage over other closed headphones because they are not actually closed phones ---!! Am I right?
Last time I used them - about 20 minutes ago - they seemed pretty closed to me..... earpads and the wooden cups say closed to me.

 

I thought I had better not make rubbish claims so I just did a bit of research -- it seems all the Denon Dx000 headphones have the cups separated from the frames with an air gap. Denon call it "Acoustic Optimiser" but it is just an air gap.

 

That makes them an open headphone I think. Their sound quality should be compared with other open headphones to be fair.

 

For closed use my picks are the Sennheiser 380 Pro and the AKG 550, maybe try them if you want closed use phones? I haven't tried the Beyerdynamic D770.

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As I remember it the Denon Dx000 were made by Fostex

Had the Fostex flagship !9000! On loan for a few days stunning SQ

Frightening price

Edit Fostex TH 900 little over $2k

Edited by djb
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I thought I had better not make rubbish claims so I just did a bit of research -- it seems all the Denon Dx000 headphones have the cups separated from the frames with an air gap. Denon call it "Acoustic Optimiser" but it is just an air gap.

 

That makes them an open headphone I think. Their sound quality should be compared with other open headphones to be fair.

 

For closed use my picks are the Sennheiser 380 Pro and the AKG 550, maybe try them if you want closed use phones? I haven't tried the Beyerdynamic D770.

I stand corrected - my apologies Newman. However, I will still think of them as closed as there is very little sound leakage externally, which for me is the main reason to use closed cans.

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I have a Stax Lambda Pro diven by the classic SRM-1 MK2, my mission ATM is to audition a Stax 009 with a BHSE.  Not a fan of valves but so be it!

I have had a listen to the 407 on a 006 and a 323, these Stax amps are very different.

 

In orthos, the Beyer T90 will give the T1, HD800/650/600, LCD 2 a run for the dosh, if I had to get an ortho cans it will be a T90 with the Phonitor.  The HD800 is a real disappointment for the money, as the recording material has to be top notch to get the most out of the HD800, A Stax 307 with a 323 will be more musically involving than any Sennheiser, with greater speed.  The best closed can i've tried is a HD25 II, these are used by DJ thoughout the industry, you can go death listening to these!

 

I am contemplating a 407/stax amp setup - very interested in the 323 and 006 combos you listened to and your impressions!

 

Is the extra $ worth it for the 006 over the 323?

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I am contemplating a 407/stax amp setup - very interested in the 323 and 006 combos you listened to and your impressions!

 

Is the extra $ worth it for the 006 over the 323?

The 323 is a very different beast compared to the 006, the 006 is warm and lose in the bass, it is not a neutral amp, it is more tilted to loose warm to dark, the 323 was neutral, has the SS presence, everything is there but extremely compressed. I was extremely disappointed in both, which is why I would not buy blind. I haven't compared to my vintage SRM1 MK2, but from what I have digested out of the Stax Thread in head fi is that Stax current range of amps are not the best. The components used are also a little to be desired and that also reflect in there choices of opamps used in the bottom end. As you well know the company has been bought out by Edifier, there R and D in amp development has to take a step forward as there choices of discrete devices become obsolete.

The 407 is a very transparent device, I am seriously looking at getting the either the 407 or the 507, depending on price and availabilty after I get a change to audition a 009 and the 007.

2ndly, I would seiously give the Beyerdynamic T90 and the Phonitor consideration, this combo can easily best the Stax offering you are considering in neutral and dynamics, but it won't in transient and speed.

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When I auditioned the stax range I was astounded at the difference between the 009's and the rest. I know its a disgusting amount of money to spend but the 009's are very special. All I can say is don't listen to them!! Your wallet will suffer.

Bugger, if the srm 007 amp isn't up to scratch I would love to hear these cans on something better :thumb: .  

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Thanks for the comments and opinions!

 

Has anyone tried a SRM-1 Mk2 with the 407 or 507?

 

A used unit seems like a pretty reasonable price proposition if indeed it will deliver as good or better performance than either the 323 or 006 with a 407.

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Thanks for the comments and opinions!

 

Has anyone tried a SRM-1 Mk2 with the 407 or 507?

 

A used unit seems like a pretty reasonable price proposition if indeed it will deliver as good or better performance than either the 323 or 006 with a 407.

The SRM-1MK2 is almost 30yrs old, nearly all the transistors and the Jfet are obsolete, any of these that go and you either kiss it goodbye or use it as spare parts. There are at least 3 versions of it and via the Stax thread all 3 are differently constructed with different resistors and heatsink employed. If you are seriously thinking of one make sure it has a full recap and that some of the glass diodes are replaced and that it is for 240v. As for the later range of Stax SS amps they employ SS made in Japan and now they are becoming obsolete, thats why they really need to the some R&D to look for other options and possible why they allowed themselves to be acquired. In the latest low end Stax amp they use an AD833, this is a dirt cheap garden variety opamp with slow slew rate, not worth the dosh considering.

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..... Denon call it "Acoustic Optimiser" but it is just an air gap.

 

That makes them an open headphone I think. Their sound quality should be compared with other open headphones to be fair.

 

Open headphones being open leak. D7000 dont leak so I rate them as closed and dam fine.

 

HD800 are open and they leak so bad they have annoyed light sleepers behind closed doors. Amazing cans with the correct tubed amp. Totally trounce the D7000 in most aspects. I rate them as open and extra fine.

 

On another topic the HD650 headband woes respond to the simple Nada ruler and tape mod - just tape plastic ruler splints to the top of the headband - two or three layers does the trick, saves the headband from chipping and looks fabulous.

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Open headphones being open leak. D7000 dont leak so I rate them as closed and dam fine.

 

HD800 are open and they leak so bad .... I rate them as open and extra fine.

 

OK but compared to an actual closed headphone like the AKG 550, the D7000 leak almost the same as the HD800.

 

So I would not rate the D7000 as closed for any practical purpose. Maybe its looks are deceiving a few of us?

 

And of course none of them are in the league of a decent in-ear like the Shure SE series for isolation.

 

 

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