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Is there a consensus headphone choice?

laxu

Power User
I have Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro 250 ohm and Sennheiser HD6XX (HD650 variant sold by Drop.com) as well as few others here and to me the Sennheiser HD6XX/HD650 has been a very good option that does not necessarily need global EQ adjustments from the box (even though it can also benefit from them).

The DT 990s absolutely need correction. I find them slightly more comfortable than the HD6XX but their sound signature has way excessive high end to the point that if you are used to them, everything else will sound dark. That's how I felt when I applied correction but after getting used to it just realised that I had gotten used to overly bright tones.

I don't think you will find the perfect headphones but maybe something that fits your budget and needs. Headphones do need to be treated as their own thing rather than a replacement for studio monitors. The two sound very different. To me playing through speakers is a lot more fun.
 

Bob Koehler

New Member
Yes, my consensus is: Audeze LCD-2
I'm extending my gratitude to those here who steered me towards Audeze. While I eventually got a slightly higher model (LCD-XC 2021 ver.), the long wait to receive them direct from mfr. was worth every min.
 

strabes

Inspired
Ollo S4X are by far the best headphones I’ve ever used for this purpose. They even beat the $1k Audeze LCD-X for me in terms of accuracy, clarity and tightness in the bass, etc. Here’s the frequency response of my particular pair:

89BFFA53-CDF0-4829-BC04-4CDB73473573.jpeg

A distant second are Sennheiser HD600. Everything else under $500 I’ve tried competes for a very distant third (ATH, beyerdynamic, etc). I am able to successfully dial in tones for live and studio use with these cans. Music is unbelievably clear, the clarity in the bass is incredible where it's just a wall of flubby mud in other cans. After dropping them several times because I’m clumsy, one of the drivers was damaged and even though I bought them second hand they covered the shipping and repair all the way to Slovenia from the USA with a total turnaround time of ~2 weeks.

Cannot recommend this company highly enough.
 
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skolacki

Experienced
This is precisecly what full-res IRs was for. Just add a couple of fullres IRs and pan them left/right et voila, nice spacious amp in the room sound.

Well I’m happy with my headphone tones now. I have the FM3. It can run ultrares IR lengths. It’s not clear to me whether or not I have any of those. The FM3 does have some IRs labeled left and right. If anyone can clear this up that would be great but my main malfunction was forgetting I had disabled stereo. So my Drop 58x sounds great. I’m sure not as good as others and that’s fine with me. I’ll look into the IR stuff some more but I’m a happy mofo right now!
 

Sashman

Experienced
Ollo S4X are by far the best headphones I’ve ever used for this purpose. They even beat the $1k Audeze LCD-X for me in terms of accuracy. Here’s the frequency response of my particular pair:

View attachment 95000

A distant second are Sennheiser HD600. Everything else under $500 I’ve tried competes for a very distant third (ATH, beyerdynamic, etc). I am able to successfully dial in tones for live and studio use with these cans. Music is unbelievably clear. After dropping them several times because I’m a clumsy idiot, one of the drivers was damaged and even though I bought them second hand they covered the shipping and repair all the way to Slovenia from the USA with a total turnaround time of ~2 weeks.

Cannot recommend this company highly enough.
This!
I absolutely fell in love since I have them.
They gave me a full new hearing experience with details I had never heard before.
Thank you for recommending them to me.
Cheers
Sash
 
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Greg Ferguson

Fractal Fanatic
If I try a preset with the phones at decent volume it does get me in the ballpark. It never really sounds great to me though. Too sterile and dry. Maybe I just need to bump up the reverb and enhancer. Are you guys doing anything to make phones sound bigger? I have the Drop Sennheiser 58x. Also have the ATH-M50s.

I use my Waza Air phones the most. Nowhere close to being accurate but they sound huge. Like you’re playing in a big room. Lot of fun. I get some good tones out of the Wazas themselves but also run the fractal into them. Wouldn’t recommend them for mixing but for late night jamming these are great.
Again, read https://wiki.fractalaudio.com/wiki/index.php?title=Headphones_and_IEM.
 

Greg Ferguson

Fractal Fanatic
Consensus is, you shouldn't rely on headphones only when tweaking. :)
They give no good impression about how much oomph and bass there is and how hard it punches in the mids.
You can tweak to a certain point, yes, but then you need to reaudition on some bigger monitors.
It’s not bigger monitors, it’s louder volume. The acoustic coupling is what makes the difference and volume is a key component of that. Bigger speakers help, but they must be turned up enough to start to shake the guitar. Even 8” speakers loud are better than 12” quiet.

https://wiki.fractalaudio.com/wiki/index.php?title=Headphones_and_IEM
 

Joshua Benton

New Member
It's been discussed a lot, but I wouldn't say there's a consensus.

I use Beyerdynamic DT880 Pro 250 Ohm with a Global EQ correction curve to better flatten the frequency response of those particular cans, and I can say the presets I like the sound of through them, sound fantastic when run through speakers (w/o the EQ engaged), even though I don't have FRFR. And the factory presets that I like for the style of music I play, either need no tweaking, or very little.

As an example, using the 880's with that EQ curve engaged, when I play the opening notes to Limelight using the Limelight preset, I can't believe how close to the original recording it sounds. So close that I'd say the minor difference is because the guitar I'm using isn't the same. But I still wouldn't be surprised if it needed some adjustments for a live sound.

Keep in mind, any preset you dial in to sound like what you want in your home environment, may very well still need to be adjusted, either at rehearsal, or the venue, due to the other variables, e.g., different dB, playing in a mix, the room, the type & quality of the PA, etc.
Would you say the soundstage on the DT880 Pro are large? I have the Sennheiser HD58X and they sound fantastic, but the soundstage is soooo narrow and it drives me crazy for stereo effects
 

fractalz

Power User
It's been discussed a lot, but I wouldn't say there's a consensus.

I use Beyerdynamic DT880 Pro 250 Ohm with a Global EQ correction curve to better flatten the frequency response of those particular cans, and I can say the presets I like the sound of through them, sound fantastic when run through speakers (w/o the EQ engaged), even though I don't have FRFR. And the factory presets that I like for the style of music I play, either need no tweaking, or very little.

As an example, using the 880's with that EQ curve engaged, when I play the opening notes to Limelight using the Limelight preset, I can't believe how close to the original recording it sounds. So close that I'd say the minor difference is because the guitar I'm using isn't the same. But I still wouldn't be surprised if it needed some adjustments for a live sound.

Keep in mind, any preset you dial in to sound like what you want in your home environment, may very well still need to be adjusted, either at rehearsal, or the venue, due to the other variables, e.g., different dB, playing in a mix, the room, the type & quality of the PA, etc.
DT770 and DT880 are well balanced.
 

SteveZ

Member
Everything Axe is relative to your personal reality… deep huh?
so, fwiw

Blue Mo-fi
Blue Mix-fi
Audio-Technica M50

i use the Mix-fi most, translates my “Axe reality“ close to what I hear in my IEM, JBL studio monitors…I’m full FRFR,
recordings of band/me in real-time support this…
AudioTechnica ‘seem’ to have pronounced spikes - 70 hz ish, 8k hz ish. … to me.

and that‘s nit-picking.

Again, FWIW.
 

giantslayer

Inspired
I used Sennheiser HD-580s for years and they were good enough to be usable, but they were a bit mid heavy and muffled in the highs, requiring some adjustment for FOH (but not too much).

I switched to Audeze LCD-2s recently and they are much better. Tones translate well to FOH.

Is warning on the LCD-X: impedance is too low for the Axe Fx’s built in headphone amp, so you’ll need an external amp to use them. In hindsight, it wasn’t a big enough deal to warrant returning the LCD-X, but I’ve been happy with the LCD-2’s I got in their stead.
 

skolacki

Experienced
Would you say the soundstage on the DT880 Pro are large? I have the Sennheiser HD58X and they sound fantastic, but the soundstage is soooo narrow and it drives me crazy for stereo effects

I’m happy with the 58x overall. Don’t plan on upgrading anytime soon. For the most part, if a preset sounds good on them it will be just minor tweaks away from FRFR good. Don’t know about the soundstage. Haven’t experienced any true audiophile phones in my life.
 

Eliju

Experienced
It's been discussed a lot, but I wouldn't say there's a consensus.

I use Beyerdynamic DT880 Pro 250 Ohm with a Global EQ correction curve to better flatten the frequency response of those particular cans, and I can say the presets I like the sound of through them, sound fantastic when run through speakers (w/o the EQ engaged), even though I don't have FRFR. And the factory presets that I like for the style of music I play, either need no tweaking, or very little.

As an example, using the 880's with that EQ curve engaged, when I play the opening notes to Limelight using the Limelight preset, I can't believe how close to the original recording it sounds. So close that I'd say the minor difference is because the guitar I'm using isn't the same. But I still wouldn't be surprised if it needed some adjustments for a live sound.

Keep in mind, any preset you dial in to sound like what you want in your home environment, may very well still need to be adjusted, either at rehearsal, or the venue, due to the other variables, e.g., different dB, playing in a mix, the room, the type & quality of the PA, etc.
what correction curve do you use for the DT880?
 
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