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Closed headphone recommendation


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Just after some thoughts on the best pair around the $1k mark. By way of narrowing it down:

Closed design
Decent bass but not bloaty (fwiw i find something like the sundara lacking in bass).
Nice clear mids
low sibilance, i dont particularly care for a sparkly top end.
Relatively easy to drive - I am running off an integrated with a seperate headphone amp section but its still not as a good as a decent stand alone headphone amp.

Thank you!

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The Focal Celestee might fit the Bill. They list at $1,400 and are a 35 Ohm load so not too difficult to drive. A couple of pairs have shown up second hand on SNA at your price point. Good meaty bass , dynamic, beautiful in the flesh and personally I found them the most satisfying I tried at that price point.

 

I ended up getting the Sony Z1R’s but they are a more expensive proposition and harder to drive. They have a much more relaxed presentation.

 

Good luck on your search. If buying new a visit to A2A should let you try out most of the major players.

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Thank you, I did have my eye on those. Would they be noticeably better than the Elegia?
I suppose I can also consider open back. I have some Sennheiser HD598 open backs, so was thinking closed just for something different, but I suppose that might be a bit silly.

 

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3 minutes ago, Andre28 said:

Thank you, I did have my eye on those. Would they be noticeably better than the Elegia?
I suppose I can also consider open back. I have some Sennheiser HD598 open backs, so was thinking closed just for something different, but I suppose that might be a bit silly.

 

In my opinion definitely yes. I remember listening to the Eligia , wanted to love them because they were on sale but I was rather underwhelmed. As always it all comes down to personal taste. If you are able it would certainly worth a visit to A2A or similar  to compare, only way to know for sure. 

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Thank you. Yes that is where I went to audition the Sundaras and the HD660s. I bought my HD598 in to compare against, and ultimately I could not justify the spend on either pair as they were just not that much better. So in the end I decided to go back to the drawing board and look for a pair that certainly would be an upgrade.

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Very wise mate. People can waste big sums of money moving sideways, then do it again six months later because they have failed to improve their musical enjoyment.  Far better to be patient, even if this requires waiting longer to save up the required funds to make a real positive improvement.

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2 hours ago, Andre28 said:

was thinking closed just for something different, but I suppose that might be a bit silly

 

Closed back are good for noise control in and isolation control out, or for big bass. Open are usually better in every other way.

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The 

On 24/06/2022 at 9:11 PM, Gerbi said:

I'm very happy with my Audio-Technica ATH-WP900

 

This appears a good choice to meet your criteria and a beautiful looking headphone to boot.

 

The Beyerdynamic T5P would also be a good choice however you might want to audition to ensure the top end is not too bright for you . Second gen T5P is still available on sale at Minidisc for $999. Minidisc also recently had the gen 3 T5P for sale at $999. Both 2nd and 3rd gens were well reviewed by 'What Hifi?'

 

As you're located in Sydney, perhaps you could get to Minidisc in Chatswood and audition AT, Beyer and Focals?

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On 23/06/2022 at 5:23 PM, Ooogh said:

I ended up getting the Sony Z1R’s but they are a more expensive proposition and harder to drive. They have a much more relaxed presentation.

 

 

I had the Sony Z1Rs and I concur that they'd probably fit your needs.

 

Large cups that stick out like perky breasts and resemble the compound eyes of an insect. (Never thought I would write that sentence.) Comfy and lightweight apart from the bulk. They also isolate well and sound pretty spacious for a closed back. 

 

The sound signature was too laid back for me, so I parted ways with them. Killer bass, though. If they were a song/artist/mood, they'd be something like latter day Leonard Cohen: 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dc9nYpWDR08

 

The Z1Rs pop up here on the forums regularly for half their RRP or under--sometimes substantially less than that: I don't think I sold mine until I dropped the price to around a grand (mine were third-hand and well out of warranty, though).   

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On 23/06/2022 at 8:00 PM, Nada said:

 

Closed back are good for noise control in and isolation control out, or for big bass. Open are usually better in every other way.

 

I think this is a good rule of thumb. You get occasional exceptions--many prefer the ZMF Verite Closed over its Open counterpart, for instance, and other forum members can find others--but those seem rare.

 

For me, closed backs are all about your use case. If you use headphones mostly in environments with audible ambient noise from computer fans, heating ducts, washing machines, and the like, then the passive isolation is a God-send. Damping that noise down could more than compensate for whatever deficiencies your closed back cans might have. 

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