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Best headphones in the world?


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#1 heady

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 04:06 PM

Best headphones in the world?

drool.gif drool.gif

Edited by heady, 24 October 2011 - 04:07 PM.

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#2 dalethorn

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 04:49 AM

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.
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#3 dalethorn

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 09:23 AM

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.
Blue Mic Ella, B&O H4, V-MODA Wireless2, Fischer FA011-AE, Senal SMH1200, DragonFly Red/Oppo HA2 DAC/amps, Lehmann Traveler amp.

#4 Maniacal71

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 09:34 PM

QUOTE(dalethorn @ 27 Oct 2011, 09:23 AM) View Post

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, 13 November 2011 - 10:05 PM.


#5 dalethorn

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 12:32 AM

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).
Blue Mic Ella, B&O H4, V-MODA Wireless2, Fischer FA011-AE, Senal SMH1200, DragonFly Red/Oppo HA2 DAC/amps, Lehmann Traveler amp.

#6 Maniacal71

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 12:38 AM

QUOTE(dalethorn @ 4 Dec 2011, 12:32 AM) View Post

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.

#7 Jake

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 03:25 AM

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.

#8 Maniacal71

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 03:33 AM

QUOTE(Jake @ 17 Apr 2012, 03:25 AM) View Post

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.

#9 dalethorn

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 04:51 AM

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.
Blue Mic Ella, B&O H4, V-MODA Wireless2, Fischer FA011-AE, Senal SMH1200, DragonFly Red/Oppo HA2 DAC/amps, Lehmann Traveler amp.

#10 Maniacal71

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 01:33 AM

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.

#11 nekatrall

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 11:08 PM

is there anyway of getting dt48a in sg?
current rig
(portable rig) cowon s9 + tf10, monoprice 8320
(portable amps) 18v cmoy, O2 amp

(home rig) thinkpad w520 > ssmh > headphones
custom mod headphones in beats body, pioneer se305, goldring dr150 (all 3 with interchangeable wires)
ath-es7 modded 18awg spc, skull candy aviators, creative aurvana live(denon ahd1001 modded), DT48A
with loads of diy wires

(clip on)
Ksc 75, em7, dunu cx 60-II

past love
d2 modded to d2+
fiio e11, a47 amp, creative usb x-fi 5.1
sf5p, tf10p + hand made mil-spec spc,meelec m9, ba200, CIEM (tf10+sf5p)(missing)

#12 dalethorn

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 11:59 PM

QUOTE(nekatrall @ 8 May 2012, 07:08 AM) View Post
is there anyway of getting dt48a in sg?


PM sent.

Edited by dalethorn, 09 May 2012 - 11:57 AM.

Blue Mic Ella, B&O H4, V-MODA Wireless2, Fischer FA011-AE, Senal SMH1200, DragonFly Red/Oppo HA2 DAC/amps, Lehmann Traveler amp.

#13 E1 Personal Audio Sg

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 07:55 PM

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.

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#14 dalethorn

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 09:51 PM

QUOTE(E1 Personal Audio Sg @ 14 Jun 2012, 03:55 AM) View Post
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.
Blue Mic Ella, B&O H4, V-MODA Wireless2, Fischer FA011-AE, Senal SMH1200, DragonFly Red/Oppo HA2 DAC/amps, Lehmann Traveler amp.

#15 nekatrall

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 02:37 AM

did not receive ur pm regarding dt48a bro dalethorn
current rig
(portable rig) cowon s9 + tf10, monoprice 8320
(portable amps) 18v cmoy, O2 amp

(home rig) thinkpad w520 > ssmh > headphones
custom mod headphones in beats body, pioneer se305, goldring dr150 (all 3 with interchangeable wires)
ath-es7 modded 18awg spc, skull candy aviators, creative aurvana live(denon ahd1001 modded), DT48A
with loads of diy wires

(clip on)
Ksc 75, em7, dunu cx 60-II

past love
d2 modded to d2+
fiio e11, a47 amp, creative usb x-fi 5.1
sf5p, tf10p + hand made mil-spec spc,meelec m9, ba200, CIEM (tf10+sf5p)(missing)