Have your say & ask the experts!

headphones for home listening?

9 replies [Last post]
kid4today's picture
Offline
Joined: 6 Aug 2013
Posts: 2

I'm looking for some headphones for at home listening around the £150 price bracket. I just bought some AKG K550's and to be honest I'm very disappointed with them and will be returning them. whilst i found the sound detailed it seemed to be all high and mid range with virtually no bass at all. I also found them to be very quiet, i tried them on 2 systems as well as my iMac and iPhone and each time had to have the volume on max to get a decent sound out of them. I even found my nocs ns400 in ear phones to provide a better sound than the 550's and they have no volume problem either. 

I see the grado 80i seems to be popular, would i be better off with those? sound leakage is not an issue as they'll be strictly for at home use. i listen to almost entirely electronic music, mostly of the 'IDM' genre (aphex twin, boards of canada etc). 

i understand that at this price i cant have everything, but surely you can get better volume and bass than the 550's provide. 

dalethorn's picture
Offline
Joined: 7 Dec 2011
Posts: 1078
RE: headphones for home listening?

The Grado brings together discomfort and less than stellar sound at the same time. Getting good personal advice in that price range will be extremely difficult, and you could post on several boards hoping to get lucky, but it's probably too risky insofar as getting accurate advice. Headfonia is one place I go for independent, accurate, and consistent reviews.

__________________

MrSpeakers Alpha Dog, FAD Pandora IV/VI, Beyer DT1350/T51p, v-moda M100/XS, Beyer A200p/Microstreamer/FiiO E07k DAC/amps, PA2V2 amp.

OneBoxSystem's picture
Offline
Joined: 10 Jul 2012
Posts: 392
RE: headphones for home listening?

kid4today wrote:

I'm looking for some headphones for at home listening around the £150 price bracket. I just bought some AKG K550's and to be honest I'm very disappointed with them and will be returning them. whilst i found the sound detailed it seemed to be all high and mid range with virtually no bass at all. I also found them to be very quiet, i tried them on 2 systems as well as my iMac and iPhone and each time had to have the volume on max to get a decent sound out of them. I even found my nocs ns400 in ear phones to provide a better sound than the 550's and they have no volume problem either. 

I see the grado 80i seems to be popular, would i be better off with those? sound leakage is not an issue as they'll be strictly for at home use. i listen to almost entirely electronic music, mostly of the 'IDM' genre (aphex twin, boards of canada etc). 

i understand that at this price i cant have everything, but surely you can get better volume and bass than the 550's provide. 

Always pays to do some research first! I think you should buy some Wesc Chambers RZA Premiums (short cable though) at £50 instead of £250. It will save you £100. They will sound superb with your electronic music. Great volume too at only 32ohms. Hope this helps and do report in when you decide.

quadpatch's picture
Offline
Joined: 28 Mar 2011
Posts: 866
RE: headphones for home listening?

The K550 is a bit of an aquired taste it seems. I wonder about the variance in the sound between units given some people's opinions of them, but a lot is down to the fit too.

I do worry a little about volume, since I seem to remember the K550 being pretty easy to drive. Also the iMac and iPhone both kick out quite high powered output so I wonder whether any full size headphone will be OK for you. Obviously IEMs are far easier to drive so this makes me wonder whether you'll require a headphone amp to be happy with a full size set, but be careful because if this is the case you are at high risk of damaging your hearing.

__________________

Hifi: Audiolab M-DAC Audiolab 8200P Tannoy DC6T SE 

Headphone: Q701HP100HE500, M80TH900Mad DogD7000DT880M100K550TH600 

DAC: E7U100rPACModi/Magni120DsHP-A8DAC2 HGC, BDP 105EUEHP 02DiDAC 

kid4today's picture
Offline
Joined: 6 Aug 2013
Posts: 2
RE: headphones for home listening?

That's exactly what I did, decided to keep the K550's and bought a Fiio E17 mini amp to go with them. The K550's have had some burn in time now, and along with the mini amp, are giving a really great sound. I take back any negative things I said about them......they're awesome!

tom2b's picture
Offline
Joined: 7 May 2012
Posts: 37
RE: headphones for home listening?

Interesting point about the E17. 

I too have the AKG550, and share the same observations as yourself. After a lenghty burn in, I totally admire the soundquality and soundstage. But it lacks in Bass .. However hard I try to'enjoy'them, there is just that something that is missing..

I use them on my M-CR603, maybe your solution is something I can consider....

dalethorn's picture
Offline
Joined: 7 Dec 2011
Posts: 1078
RE: headphones for home listening?

It's extremely rare that a light bass can be corrected with a bass boost. In headphones that is. Nearly all attempts I've made have failed. One possibility for i-device users is the Accudio Pro app, which has many excellent curves.

__________________

MrSpeakers Alpha Dog, FAD Pandora IV/VI, Beyer DT1350/T51p, v-moda M100/XS, Beyer A200p/Microstreamer/FiiO E07k DAC/amps, PA2V2 amp.

quadpatch's picture
Offline
Joined: 28 Mar 2011
Posts: 866
RE: headphones for home listening?

I agree with Dale, bass boost is tricky thing. Ideally you should hunt for headphones that have a tonality close to what you're looking for. The best way to boost bass that I have found so far is with the Ifi iCan headphone amplifier. I'm not sure that I would advise the iCan as a solution to your problem though.

__________________

Hifi: Audiolab M-DAC Audiolab 8200P Tannoy DC6T SE 

Headphone: Q701HP100HE500, M80TH900Mad DogD7000DT880M100K550TH600 

DAC: E7U100rPACModi/Magni120DsHP-A8DAC2 HGC, BDP 105EUEHP 02DiDAC 

BigH's picture
Offline
Joined: 29 Dec 2012
Posts: 3301
RE: headphones for home listening?

I have read a few reviews as looking myself for some around this price, the AKG K550s are bass light, some of the Audio Technicas have more bass, try the Audio Technica ATH-A500x.

tomolo's picture
Offline
Joined: 5 Aug 2013
Posts: 14
RE: headphones for home listening?

since you just use it for home use, I recommend this  avantree bluetooth stereo headphones

35$, not expensive.

I am currently use this pair, i have already bought those for 2 months, still love it.