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Headphones advice and Open/Closed question, Which headphone set is the best for my needs?
post Nov 20 2012, 03:55
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tldr; Sennheiser 650, Ultrasone Pro 900, or other at similar cost for someone who likes rock/alt/pop/metal/ etc. but who doesn't need to be portable and who gets headaches pretty easily? Also amp pairing suggestions? total budget. ~$750

Hello, I'm new to this forum and and to high end headphones in general. However I have some experience with high end stereo systems and am a performing musician, so I hope I can provide enough information to ask my question adequately. I recently changed living circumstances and it has become much more difficult to listen to my home audio system, so I am looking into getting a nice set of headphones with an amplifier/dac in order to improve my daily listening experience. In general, in audio equipment I would say that I'm less concerned with purchasing a product which perfectly reproduces the source material and more concerned with something I can really enjoy listening to and in this case which is good about audio fatigue and headaches (I'm using software crossfeed at the moment which helps some but I frequently get headaches with my current headphones, a Koss ProDJ100 set that is fairly good overall but uncomfortable and with sound quality obviously reflective of its more budget price range). As I've done some searching, I seem to be split between my desire for something easy to listen to and something which sounds really great for aggressive music, and in my price range the Sennheiser 650 seems to be ideal for the former and the Ultrasone Pro 900 for the latter.

Obviously the 650 is open, which seems like it would be really nice (some audio bleed is no big deal), but many people seem to think it isn't well suited for the music I listen to most frequently, and I am a little concerned about the 300 ohm impedence, meaning I would have to drive them pretty hard for a really nice sound? I'd prefer not to do that on a regular basis (I listen to music while I work and also alone for relaxation/whatnot and I'm trying not to absolutely destroy my ears).

On the other hand, the Ultrasone Pro 900 seems to be great for a fun listening experience for edgier music, but its closed back and some people even specifically claim it is more fatiguing than most. It does have an interesting technology which claims to broaden the soundstage and to reduce effective decibel pressures, which seems nice, but I don't really know how it works firsthand.

Unfortunately its extremely impractical for me to hear any of these headphones before I purchase them sad.gif Any suggestions? Thanks so much and I hope I'm following forum guidelines correctly!
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post Nov 20 2012, 10:44
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I have a Sennheiser 555 and it's been absolutely wonderful.

some people even specifically claim it is more fatiguing than most.

Given that I find headphones almost intrinsically non-fatiguing (provided they sit comfortably around my ears!), crossfade a muffling tool of the devil, and that loose speakers in a room are guaranteed to give me slight discomfort after an hour or two, you can see that these things are so subjective that I personally wouldn't put any stock whatsoever in claims like the above.

You could opt for the 650 because A) the padding is the same as the 555 and I promise you that you will be able to wear that baby for hours and not feel a thing B) it looks $#! awesome.

This post has been edited by dhromed: Nov 20 2012, 10:50
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