Looking for a bit of help

thisispaul

Active member
Apr 1, 2022
6
6
25
Hello everyone.

I'd like to have a little upgrade headphone-wise, and needless to say, i don't have a lot of knowledge in the matter.

I've had a dt880 for years coupled with a xonar audio card, and i would like to get a little bit of an upgrade .

So basically what i'm looking for is:
-open/semi open
-circum aural
-very confortable, must be wearable for hours without much discomfort if any

My source would be my comuter using foobar2000 and flac files mostly.
I mostly listen to Idm/glitch/breakcore and classical with some trip hop so from what i've gathered i'd be rather looking for some rather neutral headphones as most of these genre use a wide spectrum?

After some research my choices would tend either to a dt1990, a sundara or a hd660s

Now from my experience with the dt880 i think some trebles are a bit too high to my taste but they are a comfortable wear (even though it could be a bit better with airpad width and depth)

My budged is around 500€, with a DAC and amp combo. Now knowing the price of the dt1990 for instance, i know that if choose this one i'd go a bit over my budget with the dac/amp and that's ok.

Any help apprciated, thanks in advance
 
Last edited:

Gray

Well-known member
Welcome Paul.
All I can say is that, amongst several others I've tried 880 and DT1990.....and have ended up with Sennheiser 560S fed balanced from a Topping A50S, with a decent £100 DAC into that.
You might assume that paying more for headphones will necessarily give you a better sound. Didn't work that way for me.
But it's all so personal, you must judge by listening.
560S meet your criteria as well as anything in terms of neutrality and comfort but the treble might be too much and the price too low for you 🤔.
Whatever you choose, buy with an option to return if you can't listen first.
Good luck.
 

thisispaul

Active member
Apr 1, 2022
6
6
25
Hey, thanks for your input, this headphone seems to be something to consider as well!

No price is too low for me, if i can get better or overall same result for cheaper than my budget, i'm all for it.
Beside i assume just switching from the audio card to a dac/amp would be an upgrade in itself even if i'd get a new dt880

And yes i'll definitly have to try before taking a decision, but as i have no specialised shop around and don't want to back and forth too many times to the post office in case of exchange i'd rather get some advice firsthand

thanks
 
  • Like
Reactions: EvShrug and Gray

EvShrug

Well-known member
Mar 4, 2022
36
22
45

I've had a dt880 for years coupled with an Asus Xonar audio card, and I would like to get a little bit of an upgrade.

So basically what i'm looking for is:
-open/semi open
-circum aural
-very confortable, must be wearable for hours without much discomfort if any

My source would be my comuter using foobar2000 and flac files mostly.
I mostly listen to Idm/glitch/breakcore and classical with some trip hop so from what i've gathered i'd be rather looking for some rather neutral headphones as most of these genre use a wide spectrum?

After some research my choices would tend either to a dt1990, a sundara or a hd660s.
Comfortable open circumaural headphones? My favorite category!

Obviously, my ears and your ears are going to be physically different. What’s less obvious is that this literally acts as a physical EQ and changes the tuning and emphasis we each hear from the same headphone. This means that tuning and EQ is both more important (if you find the DT 880 too “bright” and fatiguing, it makes sense to avoid headphones that measure the same) and less important than most people realize (a reviewer’s perfect EQ or a particular “target” compensation may not be the perfect EQ for you!). So, take what anyone likes or their impressions (including mine) with a grain of salt. However, frequency graphs just show how headphones respond to one note playing at a time, in a rising pitch sweep, so pay careful attention to what reviewers say about separation or notes bleeding over eachother, or roughness/smoothness in the highs as this may indicate distortion.

I bought and liked the build quality of the Beyerdynamic DT 880, but I found the highs too bright and the mids metallic and recessed, kind of like those tin can - string - can “phones” you might have played with in science class. These literally gave me my first experience with ringing ears. I returned them at the end of Amazon’s policy period, but despite giving them every chance I could, I think they may have sounded a bit better with a higher end desktop amp. I wonder how they would sound now that I have a better system and more understanding of what to listen for… but that’s just how things go. I do wish Beyer made a DT1880, for reasons I will go into in a sec.

Beyerdynamic DT1990’s improved on the DT990 in exactly the way I felt they needed to: they still had a punchy fun sound emphasizing bass and treble over the mids, but the DT1990 highs had less glare, more smoothness and refinement in the highs than the DT990. It was still a colored V-shaped sound meant to be more fun and energetic, but it was a bit easier to listen to long term, and multiple notes were able to be reproduced simultaneously with better separation than I had heard before. It sounds best on dedicated desktop gear, and okay on powerful portable DAPs. Beyer also has done a good job of balancing luxurious metal and velour with an overall light weight. However, I felt the stitching seams on the underside of the headband were noticeable, and they’re probably even more noticeable now as my hair continues to thin 😂

Played right after and then side by side with basically Beyerdynamic’s whole lineup at a trade show, and confirmed when I had Dekoni’s DT1990 and my own HD 660S at home, I felt like the Sennheiser had even better separation and a sense of “agility” in the driver, not to mention personally finding the tuning to really suit my tastes and be able to reproduce the timbre of different instruments distinctly and to my liking. I also find the HD 660S to have a bit more treble and immediate excitement than the HD 650 (which, as an aside, I think is the type of headphone you “sink into” and let your brain adjust before it beguiles you with relaxed yet charming sound). If the HD 650 is charming, then I find the HD 660S “Perky” while retaining the familial body and timbre of its predecessor, while being warmer and more well-rounded than the higher performing HD 800. The HD 650 and 660S sound their best on desktop gear, however the HD 660S has an easier time finding enough power and good synergy on portable gear than the HD 650. The Sennheisers are also exceptionally light weight, I love the headband padding and little divot to keep pressure off the peak of my head, and the oval shaped pads fit my ears while resting more evenly on MY skull than evenly circular shaped pads. It is worth noting that they have firm clamp and don’t reach “forget I’m wearing them” status… but they also don’t slip around while I’m wearing them, and they’re one of only three designs that I have been comfortable to wear for a full 8-hour work day. My HD 660S have the modern-mold design with more “angled” enclosure parts; while I felt like I had to stretch my “classic” HD 650 headband (with rounded enclosure parts) a bit to ease the clamp, I found the HD 660S firm but comfortable out-of-the-box (YMMV depending on head width).

The HD 560S punches above its price class and has a lot to offer, however despite a few advantages I still find the HD 660S superior. Both are extremely light, with that perfect “divot” headband with no exposed stitching, no hotspots (and while I also think the HD 560S has firm clamp, I liked it right out of the box too). I don’t feel my ears touch anything in the headphone, unless I position my ears against the back of the cups. The earpads diameter and even the opening for the ear is slightly larger on the HD 560S than the HD 660S, but there’s not much functional benefit to one or the other there unless one happens to settle more comfortably into the contours of your head. The HD 560S drivers are angled, to match the angle of your ears, and I felt like the sense of sound directions (“imaging”) was a bit better on the HD 560S, also the HD 560S also has more sub-bass extension than the HD 660S. The HD 660S still stands ahead in note separation, low-distortion smoothness, has more mid-bass that will make its presence known in a wider range of music, and overall just sounds more “HiFi” to me in a way that’s hard for me to put into more words. Tonal preference may still decide the day for you: the HD 560S has a more “studio monitor” linear sound, while the HD 660S has a bit more of a colored “home Hi-Fi speaker” or “acoustic” sound. Both are well-rounded to play most music, with different approaches. It’s fair to point out that the HD 560S is substantially lower cost, and it’s high sensitivity sounds really good on both portable and desktop gear.

I haven’t heard the Sundara, so I can’t describe it. HiFiman has been a mixed bag for me; I feel like the Edition X, Edition X v2, and Edition XS had great transient response, solid impact, and pleasing 2nd order harmonics, however the HE-400, HE-400i, and HE-560 were overly smooth and the timbre was a bit “off” to my ears, and overall I felt milquetoast about these models I see as the predecessors to the Sundara. The Sundara might be great; I just don’t know 🤷‍♂️
 
  • Like
Reactions: thisispaul and Gray

thisispaul

Active member
Apr 1, 2022
6
6
25
Comfortable open circumaural headphones? My favorite category!
Hey! Thanks for your precious feedback and the time you took to write all of this.

You raised a very good point that i didn't mention in my original post, clamping.


Compared to the dt880, how would you describe these models in terms of clamping?
 
  • Like
Reactions: EvShrug

Gray

Well-known member
560S clamp was a bit higher than I like when new, but it was soon improved by some careful overnight stretching.
You only need to leave clampy headphones on something a fair bit wider than head size (within reason with plastic headbands to avoid breakage).
 
  • Like
Reactions: EvShrug

EvShrug

Well-known member
Mar 4, 2022
36
22
45
Yeah, I didn’t even stretch my HD 560S, I just wore it and enjoyed it. It’s funny, but “firm clamp” is its own kind of comfort. “Light as a cloud/forget you’re wearing headphones” is a grand goal for comfort, but the firm clamp of the HD 560S feels secure and ergonomic.

Like a cushy armchair vs an ergonomic office chair.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Gray

Gray

Well-known member
Yeah, I didn’t even stretch my HD 560S, I just wore it and enjoyed it. It’s funny, but “firm clamp” is its own kind of comfort. “Light as a cloud/forget you’re wearing headphones” is a grand goal for comfort, but the firm clamp of the HD 560S feels secure and ergonomic.

Like a cushy armchair vs an ergonomic office chair.
Trouble is, I'd got too accustomed to my decades old HD590.
Just as lightweight as the 560 but with lovely clamp and considerably softer pads.
And with my homemade headband, hard to imagine a more comfortable headphone. But, good though it is, the sound is also a bit on the comfortable side , whereas the 560S gets it right.IMG_20220404_194306~2.jpg
 

EvShrug

Well-known member
Mar 4, 2022
36
22
45
Hmm, I have to admit, the HD 590 is unfamiliar to me (before my time?), but if it's part of the same series as the HD 595 and HD598, the pads might have the same mount as the HD 560S. I can put my brown HD 599 pads and HD 599 short cable on my HD 560S, lol!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Gray

thisispaul

Active member
Apr 1, 2022
6
6
25
Hello everyone, reporting a month later.

I've finally went for the dt1990 as i had a good deal on them( and had good experience with DT so far) and a topping dx3+

Had to tweak a bit for the clamping at start but i can now tell it's a delight to wear and listen to

Thanks for the help and recommandations! (y)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Gray and Al ears
May 24, 2022
2
0
20
Trouble is, I'd got too accustomed to my decades old HD590.
Just as lightweight as the 560 but with lovely clamp and considerably softer pads.
And with my homemade headband, hard to imagine a more comfortable headphone. But, good though it is, the sound is also a bit on the comfortable side , whereas the 560S gets it right.View attachment 3435
HD560 is really a great headset, I have them in my collection but I rarely use them as I am allergic to wire hanging around my neck
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts