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Alternative to Grado sr80i

MaxD

New member
Jun 15, 2014
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Don't get me wrong: I like this headphone, I own it and used with a lot of satisfaction from two years now then I look for an alternative.

Sometimes Grado do not suite my taste related with midrange frequency: I think it got the best bass and high frequency around, then - with some recordings (like vintage acoustics blues, for example) it doesn't completely suite my needs. Guitars sound with lack of midranbe dinamics and the same happen for harmonicas.

With this kind of music, my cheap then pretty good Sennheiser HD201 sound definitely better.

I don't want to spend more than € 200 for a new headphone, then I evaluate the possibility to buy a new headphone like the Grado one just with better midrange frequency reproduction. Closed or open type of headphones makes no difference to me, it just have to sound best.

Any idea to suggest I could try to listen before I buy?
 

ID.

New member
Feb 22, 2010
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Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

I own some SR80i (bought blind) and I was never really taken with them for the price. I think they are good value for what they retail at in the US, but a bit pricey outside the states. You might get more replies from the forum's more serious headphone experts if you posted in the headphone section.
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
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Currently the Audio Technica ATH-M50 is available in the uk for less than £100.

This is a fine all round headphone at what is now a very attractive price.

Headphones are intensely personal with regard to fit and sound, you have to try, I have not lived with this model as I much prefer open backed phones but it sounds great on a brief listen and has a fine reputation.

Note. The ATH-M50x is a newer deluxe version of the ATH-M50, sound signature is similar, so which you buy depends on the price available.
 

Fulci

New member
Feb 2, 2011
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Yamaha HPH-200. Way better, similar looks, under £50 if you can find them, bargain of the century and terribly underrated.
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
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Fulci said:
Yamaha HPH-200. Way better, similar looks, under £50 if you can find them, bargain of the century and terribly underrated.
Everyone has their own favourites, it's very personel.

I like big open phones, I use a cheap pair of Superlux, AKG lookalikes that sound like Beyers. Sensitive too, do not need an expensive head amp either.
 

jingo

New member
Apr 11, 2008
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Fulci said:
Yamaha HPH-200. Way better, similar looks, under £50 if you can find them, bargain of the century and terribly underrated.
where you get these at that price.
 

MaxD

New member
Jun 15, 2014
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0
davedotco said:
Everyone has their own favourites, it's very personel.

I like big open phones, I use a cheap pair of Superlux, AKG lookalikes that sound like Beyers. Sensitive too, do not need an expensive head amp either.
Hi, this Superlux are really low price. Do they work as expected? Reading some customers reviews on the Amazon, it seems they rated them as a € 150 bargain. Which one will you seggest me? HD668B seems to get the best rate for € 40, then there is HD669 for € 35. Which one should I buy in your opinion? Thank you.
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
20
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MaxD said:
davedotco said:
Everyone has their own favourites, it's very personel.

I like big open phones, I use a cheap pair of Superlux, AKG lookalikes that sound like Beyers. Sensitive too, do not need an expensive head amp either.
Hi, this Superlux are really low price. Do they work as expected? Reading some customers reviews on the Amazon, it seems they rated them as a € 150 bargain. Which one will you seggest me? HD668B seems to get the best rate for € 40, then there is HD669 for € 35. Which one should I buy in your opinion? Thank you.
OK.

Headphones are very personal and their response will vary with different head and ear characteristics. That said I do not find my experiences differ that much from other reviews on line.

I have the 668b, unusualy the b stands for 'balanced' not 'bass' so these are not over bassy, which would be a turn off for me. However I find their response very slightly 'hyped', ie a little boost in the bass and treble, but it is not overdone. Vocals can sound a little recessed and the high frequencies react quite poorly to bright recordings but that is not entirely their fault.

Put in context, the 668b is outrageous value for the price, even allowing for the extra cost of the AKG velour ear pads that I use they cost around £35 from Thomann in germany.

Be aware, they are quite large, the fit takes a while to get right and build quality is not in the £100+ category, though personally I think the sound is, entirely comparable to the Beyer DT990 for example.

The Superlux 669 is a closed design, similar but not identical characteristics to the 668b. If you want closed they should be fine, never used them though, so the usual caveats apply.
 

MaxD

New member
Jun 15, 2014
6
0
0
davedotco said:
MaxD said:
davedotco said:
Everyone has their own favourites, it's very personel.

I like big open phones, I use a cheap pair of Superlux, AKG lookalikes that sound like Beyers. Sensitive too, do not need an expensive head amp either.
Hi, this Superlux are really low price. Do they work as expected? Reading some customers reviews on the Amazon, it seems they rated them as a € 150 bargain. Which one will you seggest me? HD668B seems to get the best rate for € 40, then there is HD669 for € 35. Which one should I buy in your opinion? Thank you.
OK.

Headphones are very personal and their response will vary with different head and ear characteristics. That said I do not find my experiences differ that much from other reviews on line.

I have the 668b, unusualy the b stands for 'balanced' not 'bass' so these are not over bassy, which would be a turn off for me. However I find their response very slightly 'hyped', ie a little boost in the bass and treble, but it is not overdone. Vocals can sound a little recessed and the high frequencies react quite poorly to bright recordings but that is not entirely their fault.

Put in context, the 668b is outrageous value for the price, even allowing for the extra cost of the AKG velour ear pads that I use they cost around £35 from Thomann in germany.

Be aware, they are quite large, the fit takes a while to get right and build quality is not in the £100+ category, though personally I think the sound is, entirely comparable to the Beyer DT990 for example.

The Superlux 669 is a closed design, similar but not identical characteristics to the 668b. If you want closed they should be fine, never used them though, so the usual caveats apply.
Oh well, thank you for the detailed review. At this price I think I can give HD668B a try, considering the Amazon return policy I can easily return them if I do not like them, and try something other, like the ATH, considering I read very nice review and they seems well balanced. I'm a bit worried, from your review, HD668B sounds a bit like my actual Grado SR80i, lack of midrange frequency so poor quality on acoustics and bottlenecks guitars, then I hope to be wrong.
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
20
0
0
MaxD said:
davedotco said:
MaxD said:
davedotco said:
Everyone has their own favourites, it's very personel.

I like big open phones, I use a cheap pair of Superlux, AKG lookalikes that sound like Beyers. Sensitive too, do not need an expensive head amp either.
Hi, this Superlux are really low price. Do they work as expected? Reading some customers reviews on the Amazon, it seems they rated them as a € 150 bargain. Which one will you seggest me? HD668B seems to get the best rate for € 40, then there is HD669 for € 35. Which one should I buy in your opinion? Thank you.
OK.

Headphones are very personal and their response will vary with different head and ear characteristics. That said I do not find my experiences differ that much from other reviews on line.

I have the 668b, unusualy the b stands for 'balanced' not 'bass' so these are not over bassy, which would be a turn off for me. However I find their response very slightly 'hyped', ie a little boost in the bass and treble, but it is not overdone. Vocals can sound a little recessed and the high frequencies react quite poorly to bright recordings but that is not entirely their fault.

Put in context, the 668b is outrageous value for the price, even allowing for the extra cost of the AKG velour ear pads that I use they cost around £35 from Thomann in germany.

Be aware, they are quite large, the fit takes a while to get right and build quality is not in the £100+ category, though personally I think the sound is, entirely comparable to the Beyer DT990 for example.

The Superlux 669 is a closed design, similar but not identical characteristics to the 668b. If you want closed they should be fine, never used them though, so the usual caveats apply.
Oh well, thank you for the detailed review. At this price I think I can give HD668B a try, considering the Amazon return policy I can easily return them if I do not like them, and try something other, like the ATH, considering I read very nice review and they seems well balanced. I'm a bit worried, from your review, HD668B sounds a bit like my actual Grado SR80i, lack of midrange frequency so poor quality on acoustics and bottlenecks guitars, then I hope to be wrong.
They sound nothing like the Grados, I used to have SR60s. They are way, way better, the characteristics I mentioned are tiny in comparison to the Grados boom and tizz.

Their are some suggestions that a little cut around 7-8khz can be beneficial, but I do not really have an issue, if a recording sounds bright on these cans it is bright, that's the way it is.

Build quality aside these are £100+ phones, sound quality wise. I prefer them to the Sennheiser HD600 for example, the Senns sound closed in and dark in comparison. The Beyer DT990 is closer, they and the 668B have similar qualities.
 

Fulci

New member
Feb 2, 2011
14
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0
I found the Yamaha's at my local MediaMarkt for €50, here in Portugal. I've seen online for around £50 but I guess they are hard to find for under £80 nowadays. Still bargain.

I have a pair of Superlux, can't remember the model (maybe HD661, I think they are a clone of a Sony classic) and are incredible value for money. Thomann's postage is a bit expensive, which takes a bit of it's value, so you can get them on ebay or amazon for better prices, if you look around. I got them from a seller I think from Spain and was here in a few days. Very good headphones, sound very good for €40 delivered. The problem is you can't try them before you buy, but if you can get a good return policy, it's a great set of headphones for beer money.
 

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