Replacing my headphones

Stuart.W.D

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I have run a pair of B&O H6 since 2014, my pads are now finished and I cannot get replacement pads. Before that, I used a pair of Sennheiser HD600 which I liked very much. The midrange was perfect 👌🏻 I primarily use headphones through my laptop with an iFi Zen Dac. I was wondering if anyone could direct me to an affordable headphone to add to my list. My budget is €350,00 I want pads that are easily accessible and relatively easy to drive, but still benefit from a headphone amp. Preferably headphones with a balance cable. Looking for a short cable not Sennheiser standards - too long. 🤣

Sound Quality: Detailed tight bass, midrange focus with some sparkle in the treble. Any suggestions from the forum. 🤔
 

leemccann1

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Can’t recommend enough looking at the clearance stuff on some sites, ssav and peter Tyson have some great deals and usually still have the same warranty
 
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Stuart.W.D

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Wow, an incredible value and a great discovery. Just the one question is pads easy to pick up for the Amiron? I can't get caught like I did with the Bang & Olufsen's.
 

Gray

Well-known member
Scrolling down on that link, I see that they're also knocking £470 off some Focals!
Pricing often seems such a nominal thing - serving to annoy those that pay full price.

I don't think there would be any problem (well into the future) obtaining Beyer spares, though (genuine) pads for higher range models are not exactly cheap.
 

Gray

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....I used a pair of Sennheiser HD600 which I liked very much.

Sound Quality: Detailed tight bass, midrange focus with some sparkle in the treble. Any suggestions from the forum. 🤔
Having tried the HD600, in my opinion the 560S would be a closer match to your SQ requirement (which I also found to be a better buy than Beyer 1990 Pro and AKG K712 Pro).

I realise you've got the budget and those Amirons are nicely discounted, but I wouldn't rule out the 560S for your type of sound (especially worth a try at the refurbished price currently highlighted in the other thread).
...and shorter balanced and unbalanced cables are (cheaply) readily available for the 560S.

Bottom line: I've got no doubt that the Amirons would look and feel a more expensive product but, strange though it may seem, I think you would prefer the 560S sound (based on what you've said).
Maybe you can try both ...
 
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ThisIsJimmy

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I'm with Gray on this. As an owner of the Amirons as well as other headphones, I would be giving the Amirons a considerably wide berth. Focal Elegias for £379 is an absolute no brainer. You can probably get them for cheaper in Europe if that's where you are based.

The Amirons have a bloated bass which messes up the lower mid range, no sub bass extension. Depending on your amp/dac combo the high end may also come out as sibilant. Unfortunately changing pads although changed the sound didn't work for me. Due to their design they don't EQ as well either to get them closer to the Harmon Curve. You get so much more for the Elegias for your money and they can be very effectively EQ'd to get even more out of them.

If you have a local audio shop near you (Richer Sounds I have found to be very good in the UK) go and audition headphones before you buy.
 
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Stuart.W.D

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[QUOTE="Gray, post: 1279877

Having tried the HD600, in my opinion the 560S would be a closer match to your SQ requirements

...and shorter balanced and unbalanced cables are (cheaply) readily available for the 560S.

[/QUOTE]

Hey Gray, I appreciate the alternative. Some solid points as I do really like the Sennheiser sound. If I can get a shorter balance cable, I'll certainly put the 560s on my list. Do you happen to have links to a good balance cable for the Sennheiser?

In terms of build quality, comfort and mid-range, how would you compare the 560 with the HD600?

I appreciate all the information you can provide.
 

Stuart.W.D

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I would be giving the Amirons a considerably wide berth. Focal Elegias for £379 is an absolute no brainer. You can probably get them for cheaper in Europe if that's where you are based.

The Amirons have a bloated bass which messes up the lower mid range

If you have a local audio shop near you (Richer Sounds I have found to be very good in the UK) go and audition headphones before you buy.

I appreciate your input, The Amirons bloated bass messing up the lower midrange. That's a deal breaker for me.

The Focal are tremendous looking headphones with exceptional value. Reading the What Hi Fi review of the Elegias i'm not sure these are for me they seem to lack a tighter bass which i prefer.

I'm nearer the Dublin area. I live in the Republic of Ireland, the nearest Richer Sounds is Belfast. I'm nearer to Dublin. I order from the British retailers whenever I can't buy a brand-specific model in Ireland.
 

Gray

Well-known member
...how would you compare the 560 with the HD600?
Well Stuart, in terms of build the 560S is, like all their 5xx range, somewhat inferior to any of the 6xx models - whilst still being adequately durable.

Comfort: Fairly similar clamping force on both (a bit too much for my liking - to start with).
Pads possibly slightly firmer on the 560S (I've seen plenty of praise for the 560S comfort, but they and the 600 don't come close to my old HD590 with its light clamping and softer pads).

Sound: Extremely personal, as you know but I found the 560S to have more treble sparkle and better quality bass than the 600.
Midrange on the 560S is unhindered by any bleed from the bass - which helps give it a neutral, well balanced sound. From memory (and most people seem to agree) the 600 is not as spacious as the 560S, but it might just have the edge in (more accurate) tonality - though not the sort of difference you'd notice without listening hard.

Depends on the source of course, but balanced out of the Zen will no doubt be great.
(I use the 560 direct out of a laptop and balanced from a Topping A50S).

Personally, I prefer single-sided cable to dual entry headphones.
I wanted all options of cable, long, short, balanced and not - with 3.5 and 6.35mm plugs.
I stuck a pentaconn plug (and socket) near the end of the supplied cable - but it could be made as short as you like as part of a conversion to balanced.
The brown one is a 1.2 metre balanced:
IMG_20220922_163004_MP~2.jpg
Here's a link to the one I bought:
 
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Gray

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The Focal are tremendous looking headphones with exceptional value. Reading the What Hi Fi review of the Elegias i'm not sure these are for me they seem to lack a tighter bass which i prefer.
As much as I like the 560S bass quality - based solely on price, I'd be amazed if the bass quality of those Focals was worse....though I wouldn't like to bet on it :unsure:
 

ThisIsJimmy

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I haven't listened to the 560S to be able to do a direct comparison on that. Although I found the bass to be ok out of the box with the Focal Elegia, deploying EQ has made it much more impressive.
 
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Friesiansam

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Elegias do indeed benefit from a little EQ, including a small boost for bass. In my experience bass is well controlled, reaches very deep and, beefy when it needs to be but, never overdone.

I used the recommendation in this video as the basis for Elegia EQ. It was recommended by Anort3, our old headphone expert.
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqi54jd83uM
 
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Stuart.W.D

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Thanks for the video link.

The slam and punch he depicts is exactly the opposite of what I want. I do not think, according to the reviews I have read, that the Focal is suitable for my use case. I have the impression that these Focal can not do treble or the midrange to the level that I like.

I can appreciate from a build quality and comfort standpoint the Focal is in another league to anything within my budget. I am currently looking at the Sennheiser HD 6xx it could be an option, and other alternatives from forum members are welcome.
 

Friesiansam

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Thanks for the video link.

The slam and punch he depicts is exactly the opposite of what I want. I do not think, according to the reviews I have read, that the Focal is suitable for my use case. I have the impression that these Focal can not do treble or the midrange to the level that I like.

I can appreciate from a build quality and comfort standpoint the Focal is in another league to anything within my budget. I am currently looking at the Sennheiser HD 6xx it could be an option, and other alternatives from forum members are welcome.
The Elegias suit me perfectly but, I mainly listen to prog and psychedelic rock, with which they perform very well.

No headphone is right for everyone.
 
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Stuart.W.D

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Update:

I have re-purchased the Sennheiser HD600. I prefer the new design instead of the marble I had with the originals. The traditional headband for the HD600 is now replaced with the HD650 headband. The most significant change since the introduction of the new HD600 in 2019 was Sennheiser's departure from the Irish warehouse to Romania. My headphones arrived yesterday and on the box and inside of the left headphone it's stamped in Ireland. So it seems that Sennheiser's six series 🎧 have now returned to Ireland. I have ordered a custom balance cable for the headphones.
 

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podknocker

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I bought a pair of Sennheiser HD600 headphones about 21 years ago. They were new and half price, at £150 from Superfi and I'm listening to them right now, plugged into my Dell laptop. They sound better than my £2k system and if I can't find a pair of speakers, for my Audiolab Omnia, which sound as good as my cans, then I'm going to stick to listening to everything through my laptop. The accuracy and detail, are fabulous. It's the balance that I also find amazing. There's no leaden, warm, or bloated bass and there's a great edge to sounds. I can listen to these for 10 hours, with no fatigue and I sometimes forget I'm wearing them, as they are so comfortable. I don't mind the marbling in the headband. It's quite attractive and if you are wearing a pair, you can't see this anyway. They are superb quality and I would buy another pair, if my current pair failed. They have gone up in price recently, like many things and are now £329 as Scan: https://www.scan.co.uk/products/sennheiser-hd-600-open-back-audiophile-headphones
 
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podknocker

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...yet so far there's been no mention of them on the 'define a classic component' thread.
Yes, that is a surprise. I've bought so much kit over the last 35 years and if one item has stood out for me, it's these headphones. They have been such a pleasure to listen to and they must have been a popular choice, since their release, all the back in 1997 Wow. How time flies.
 
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Stuart.W.D

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Sep 29, 2013
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I bought a pair of Sennheiser HD600 headphones about 21 years ago. They were new and half price, at £150 from Superfi and I'm listening to them right now, plugged into my Dell laptop. They sound better than my £2k system and if I can't find a pair of speakers, for my Audiolab Omnia, which sound as good as my cans, then I'm going to stick to listening to everything through my laptop. The accuracy and detail, are fabulous. It's the balance that I also find amazing. There's no leaden, warm, or bloated bass and there's a great edge to sounds. I can listen to these for 10 hours, with no fatigue and I sometimes forget I'm wearing them, as they are so comfortable. I don't mind the marbling in the headband. It's quite attractive and if you are wearing a pair, you can't see this anyway. They are superb quality and I would buy another pair, if my current pair failed. They have gone up in price recently, like many things and are now £329 as Scan: https://www.scan.co.uk/products/sennheiser-hd-600-open-back-audiophile-headphones
That's one of the rare regrets I had with my hi-fi was the sale of the original Sennheiser HD600. I'm glad I re-purchased the HD600 such a well balanced headphone. The details of musical instruments are very good. The mid-range is perfect and the high end feels just right to my ears. I agree with the comfort levels I had a deadline to get my business assignment uploaded tonight. The HD600 was connected to my Zen Dac and laptop for eight hours with no discomfort. I paid €279 with free delivery. With inflation rates, I can't complain about the cost.

That's an excellent deal you got from Superfi from back in the day. Well done. And it's great that you still enjoy the headphones all those years later, which speaks volumes about the HD600.
 
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Gray

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I've still got the 590 model that I've owned for over 30 years.
Someone said they used the same drivers as the (original) 600.
I'm not sure about that, but they don't sound bad.

The earpads are the softest I've known on any make / model. Together with my DIY headband padding and featherweight clamp force - can't imagine a more comfortable headphone.
If I could combine their comfort with the (more neutral) sound of the 560S, I'd have my perfect headphone:
IMG_20220404_194306~2.jpg
 

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