Jump to content
heady

Best headphones in the world?

Recommended Posts

Since the HE-90 isn't made anymore by Sennheiser, I suppose the Stax SR-009 can claim to be best. But if best means buying a 120-lb dual monoblock headphone amp, I'll pass on that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was having a conversation earlier today, not so much about which specific headphone is best, but which design approach is best, and which headphones are the ultimate realization of those designs. Mostly the conversation came down to which is best: The most accurate or the most musical. I will have to leave that to other people to explain, since I've heard some examples of both approaches, and I don't have a firm opinion myself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was having a conversation earlier today, not so much about which specific headphone is best, but which design approach is best, and which headphones are the ultimate realization of those designs. Mostly the conversation came down to which is best: The most accurate or the most musical. I will have to leave that to other people to explain, since I've heard some examples of both approaches, and I don't have a firm opinion myself.

You know which I'm going to point at DT48A 5ohms and DT48 25ohm, of course the highly regarded DT48 Nagras which are impossible to attain, lol. Accuracy is key for True Audiophiles, not musically colored. They blow the likes of DT480 and DT150 and most other cans in terms of detail and accuracy on all frequencies. Etymotic ER4S and the Phoneks PFE comes closest as IEMS.

Edited by Maniacal71

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All of the modern(!) DT-48 series are contenders for best, if they are equipped and driven identically. For example, there are postings still being made about DT-48's of ancient vintage that are no longer available, and some postings fail to specify the earpads used, which make a huge difference in the sound.

 

My current DT-48A 2011 edition has much better bass than my 2011 edition DT-48E, and there's only one reasonable explanation since I don't think Beyer maintains two production lines for a headphone that sells 10 units per year. The impedances are 5 and 25 ohms, and when driven from amps that are very sensitive to that difference, the result is a difference in bass response (using identical earpads).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All of the modern(!) DT-48 series are contenders for best, if they are equipped and driven identically. For example, there are postings still being made about DT-48's of ancient vintage that are no longer available, and some postings fail to specify the earpads used, which make a huge difference in the sound.

 

My current DT-48A 2011 edition has much better bass than my 2011 edition DT-48E, and there's only one reasonable explanation since I don't think Beyer maintains two production lines for a headphone that sells 10 units per year. The impedances are 5 and 25 ohms, and when driven from amps that are very sensitive to that difference, the result is a difference in bass response (using identical earpads).

 

I have to agree 100% that the DT48A matched with new DT48E model ear pads are the best combination, the older models are out of the question even though they sound as good or some even better cannot come into this equation as they are off the production, IMHO they sound better than electrostatics, they are not dead sounding, they exude life. Much more realistic than any can i've ever tried, that is why I own 4 now, even the legendary Nagra DT48S.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What do people think about the Sennheiser HD800 headphones ? I saw and heard a set at my local dealer in Hereford this weekend and was amazed by the sound and build quality.

Are you wiling to pay that type of money in the first place? I've heard that driven from the BCL amp. Well it still isn't better than the DT48A with the O2 amp, seriously. The cost of the latter is at most half of just the HD800 ampless.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The HD-800 has certain specific features that justify at least part of the money. Very large size but very comfortable. Larger soundstage due to larger earcups. The harmonics seem more extended than other headphones, but I've never seen an explanation for that. If someone offered me either the Sennheiser HD-800 or the Shure 1840 for free, I'd take the Shure because it has the same range, same smoothness, same comfort and build quality, slightly less soundstage, but less of the brightness and irritation.

 

Comparing then to the DT-48A with oval pads, the DT-48A requires some adjustment because of the tight fit, and also gets warm after awhile, but there is no long-term discomfort for me like I get with some headphones that are OK when I first put them on, but after awhile are uncomfortable. The bass is decent once you get a good earpad seal, which may take a minute. The result sound is probably the closest thing you can get to listening right through the microphones to the actual performance. For good quality recordings this is the ideal situation, and for low-quality recordings you get an even better idea of the quality problems. The DT-48A does not exaggerate anything for detail or whatever - it probably does less enhancement of the sound than any headphone, including the bass, which is why there is a widespread perception that its bass is lighter than normal.

 

Don't get a DT-48A if you mostly listen to music while doing other things such as working or gaming. This is a headphone you want to pay attention with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, coming from Dale and myself, the DT48A are for only for serious listeners, lol. You will be getting rid of all that thrashy sounding recordings once you have vetted them with these babies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Find the HD800 a little musical. Q701 is very precise. SRH1840 is a compromise between the HD800 and the Q701. However, if you are wearing it for extended hours, still prefer the Q701.

 

The Shure 1840 wins all comfort contests for me, since it has the same feel as the HD800 but half the weight. I have not tried the Q701, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×