MUSIC, AMBIENCE AND SOUND ART > Music Gearheads Tech Talk

Cans.....Whats on your head?

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Scott M2:
At the bottom end of the headphone scale... i recently bought a set of the current Apple iPhone earbuds to update the ones that came with my iPhone4S and they have a much more balanced response with less highend edge. A great $30 upgrade for portable listening if you have an older iPhone.

In the studio I still use the AKG K240 as it's a sound I like and know (and I don't like cans that rest on my ears). Always test on the buds too though. The headphone out on my RME Fireface UCX is quite good for a small interface that you can easily gig with.

El culto:
Being a DT 770 Pro (250 Ohm) user for many years, i was recently looking for a second headphone to double check mixes. So, I´ve ordered for a test:

:: Focal Spirit Pro

:: Shure SRH 940

The Focal looks very stable and HQ made but unfortunately it´s not an over-ear model. The ear-pressure of this closed HP is quite heavy and makes the wearing uncomfortable after 10 minutes already. Mid and high end are sounding very neutral to my ears but the bass definitely lacks power and definition. Spending an hour with this HP was enough to return it back.

The Shure is a closed over-ear model and very pleasant to wear (even for many hours). Though, it doesn´t look stable like the Focal and my DT…it feels more like a DJ HP with a lot of plastic and quite week in each day usage. In contrast to the Focal, the lower end is very precise and "full" sounding. The mids are VERY precise and easy to judge. So far so good if there wasn´t the high end…totally disappointing for me! Obviously there is (like on many speakers) an increasing made for the high end. When listening to jazz and especially classical music all sounds fake in this frequency region…violins are sounding like someone is cleaning a window (shrill and "plastic"). For spotting problems in the high end this HP might be a perfect solution but it can be very annoying for other purposes.

I´ve read here and there people complaining about the DT concerning the bass ("hyped") but when comparing it with this 2 models the DT is a real easing! Yes it pushes a tiny bit the bass but acoustic instruments (i.e cellos, violins) are sounding so real as they supposed to be. Another issue is the spatial issue..while the DT offers a "room" in the head the other tested models sounding just straight left-right.

I know, many people swear on AKG´s, but i never liked any of their models (construction, sound). BTW: My search was for an closed model only!

Julio Di Benedetto:
Hi Tomas...have you looked at these. Shure SRH1540.  They were on my audition list but I stayed with the Focal Spirit so never did hear them.  Not cheap but what is.

Julio Di Benedetto:
FYI my Focal Spirit Pro headphones cracked today within the swivel housing......so one side sort of hangs without pressure against the ear.  Not good and in less than a year.

Sound was good, as I think I said sort of boring which is ok for studio purposes but Im not going to replace them with the same so Im back in the can search.

First up is the shure's I suggested to Tomas above.....open to suggestions on closed backed headphones.

I still have my notoriously uncomfortable Grado SR325 open backs.... to date the best sounding cans Ive listened to (the discomfort fades when you hear the sound) but I need closed back as well.

mgriffin:
Last year I bought a pair of Fostex T50RP, after reading how they could be wonderfully improved by modification. I still haven't gotten around to modifying them yet. Has anyone else tried this?

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