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Beginner audiophile headphones (Open back)

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siddy

New Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
6
Points
1
Location
Mumbai
Hi guys, I'm looking for good beginner audiophile headphones, preferably Open back. I have the following options - can you please let me know your feedback or suggest alternates?
  • Sennheiser HD 599: So far, I'm leaning towards these as they have the best reviews and the SE edition is usually at a discount on Amazon, regular edition is currently 14999
  • Sennheiser HD 579: 11999 on Amazon. Has anyone tried these or compared the with the 599s? Some reviews online seemed to suggest that there is very little difference in the sound and some even preferred the neutral/less bass-y sound of the 579s
  • Beyerdynamic 990T Pro: 13999 on HeadphoneZone. I originally wanted to get these, but I see that they really need an amp to work well and I don't have the budget to get a good amp
  • Grado SR80E (currently sold out): Has anyone tried these? Some say it's too "bright"
Lastly, if I can't find a good Open back, I might go for the usual Audio Technica M50X (how does the sound compare to the above models?). I know the best way to decide is to get into a shop and try them, but with the ongoing Covid crisis I don't know if I'll be able to do that for a long time.

Thanks in advance!
 

Santhosh_Chari

New Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2020
Messages
4
Points
3
Location
Germany
Hi guys, I'm looking for good beginner audiophile headphones, preferably Open back. I have the following options - can you please let me know your feedback or suggest alternates?
  • Sennheiser HD 599: So far, I'm leaning towards these as they have the best reviews and the SE edition is usually at a discount on Amazon, regular edition is currently 14999
  • Sennheiser HD 579: 11999 on Amazon. Has anyone tried these or compared the with the 599s? Some reviews online seemed to suggest that there is very little difference in the sound and some even preferred the neutral/less bass-y sound of the 579s
  • Beyerdynamic 990T Pro: 13999 on HeadphoneZone. I originally wanted to get these, but I see that they really need an amp to work well and I don't have the budget to get a good amp
  • Grado SR80E (currently sold out): Has anyone tried these? Some say it's too "bright"
Lastly, if I can't find a good Open back, I might go for the usual Audio Technica M50X (how does the sound compare to the above models?). I know the best way to decide is to get into a shop and try them, but with the ongoing Covid crisis I don't know if I'll be able to do that for a long time.

Thanks in advance!
.
I have tried the Sennheisers, and they are nice :) but I was more pleased with Koss porta Pro for their laid back and warm sound (they are really cheap and they have a retro look). I know that’s not what you have asked for, but just sharing my thoughts :)
 

Jupiter

New Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
Messages
21
Points
3
Location
Delhi
Hi guys, I'm looking for good beginner audiophile headphones, preferably Open back. I have the following options - can you please let me know your feedback or suggest alternates?
  • Sennheiser HD 599: So far, I'm leaning towards these as they have the best reviews and the SE edition is usually at a discount on Amazon, regular edition is currently 14999
  • Sennheiser HD 579: 11999 on Amazon. Has anyone tried these or compared the with the 599s? Some reviews online seemed to suggest that there is very little difference in the sound and some even preferred the neutral/less bass-y sound of the 579s
  • Beyerdynamic 990T Pro: 13999 on HeadphoneZone. I originally wanted to get these, but I see that they really need an amp to work well and I don't have the budget to get a good amp
  • Grado SR80E (currently sold out): Has anyone tried these? Some say it's too "bright"
Lastly, if I can't find a good Open back, I might go for the usual Audio Technica M50X (how does the sound compare to the above models?). I know the best way to decide is to get into a shop and try them, but with the ongoing Covid crisis I don't know if I'll be able to do that for a long time.

Thanks in advance!
Have one for sale with me Sennheiser hd599se in brand new condition if interested pm me
 

Marakk

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 13, 2019
Messages
1,240
Points
113
Location
Mumbai
Hi guys, I'm looking for good beginner audiophile headphones, preferably Open back. I have the following options - can you please let me know your feedback or suggest alternates?
  • Sennheiser HD 599: So far, I'm leaning towards these as they have the best reviews and the SE edition is usually at a discount on Amazon, regular edition is currently 14999
  • Sennheiser HD 579: 11999 on Amazon. Has anyone tried these or compared the with the 599s? Some reviews online seemed to suggest that there is very little difference in the sound and some even preferred the neutral/less bass-y sound of the 579s
  • Beyerdynamic 990T Pro: 13999 on HeadphoneZone. I originally wanted to get these, but I see that they really need an amp to work well and I don't have the budget to get a good amp
  • Grado SR80E (currently sold out): Has anyone tried these? Some say it's too "bright"
Lastly, if I can't find a good Open back, I might go for the usual Audio Technica M50X (how does the sound compare to the above models?). I know the best way to decide is to get into a shop and try them, but with the ongoing Covid crisis I don't know if I'll be able to do that for a long time.

Thanks in advance!
Head over to Rtings for measurements.
 

Goldenears

Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
75
Points
8
Location
Bangalore
Hi Siddy,
in case you decide to widen your list/search, look for Meze 99 classics. Comfortable, non fatiguing and enjoyable sound.
 

Passive_audio_enthusiast

Active Member
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
198
Points
28
Location
Kerala
Out of the list you have mentioned, dt 990 is the one which sounds most open. It’s not a neutral sound, but it’s the one which lets you have the “open back” feel more than the others. Also they are very comfortable.
if you don’t have an amp get the 32 ohm version.
 

fLUX

Active Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2012
Messages
183
Points
43
Location
Bangalore
Skip the grado unless you listen to lot of rock and roll music. I had a SR80i and did not prefer the sound signature for other genres. I have tried the HD598 which were good but did not have a very engaging sound. The Beyerdynamic 990 Pro have been preferred by many at this budget , other alternatives at this budget would be
i) Ultrasone Performance 820 (has got good user reviews) - Closed back
ii) Hifiman HE 4XX
iii) Meze 99 Classics - Closed back
iv) Sennheiser HD6XX

If you are open to buying used stuff , you can put a WTB request in the Wanted thread here and also join Pre Loved Gear For Sale group in FB and you will come across nice deals for different gears.
 

siddy

New Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
6
Points
1
Location
Mumbai
Thanks for all the info guys! I actually found a good deal on a barely used Senn HD 599 so am gonna go for that one for now but want to continue looking for another set with a different sound signature (I've grown quite comfortable with Sennheiser over the past several years, so need to venture out into something new as well) :D

I see that the Hifiman HE 4XX is listed at $169 on the drop website, but I assume with customs and shipping it'll go into the $200+ territory.
I was really interested in the DT 990 as well, but I couldn't find the 32 Ohm version available anywhere, perhaps will post a request as fLUX suggested and see how that goes :)

Also, are the 6XX a big step up from the 599, sound wise? Will keep an eye out for them in the future,
 

Weathered

Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2009
Messages
77
Points
18
Location
Bengaluru
Don't know about 599 vs 6XX. However, 6XX is 300 ohm impedance cans, so to bring the best out of them you'll definitely need a good amp.

58X jubilee is the cheaper alternative to 6XX and is more value for money. It's 150 ohm impedance with sensitivity of 104db, so can be just managed without an amp, though you'll eventually end up with an amp! :)
 

fLUX

Active Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2012
Messages
183
Points
43
Location
Bangalore
Thanks for all the info guys! I actually found a good deal on a barely used Senn HD 599 so am gonna go for that one for now but want to continue looking for another set with a different sound signature (I've grown quite comfortable with Sennheiser over the past several years, so need to venture out into something new as well) :D

I see that the Hifiman HE 4XX is listed at $169 on the drop website, but I assume with customs and shipping it'll go into the $200+ territory.
I was really interested in the DT 990 as well, but I couldn't find the 32 Ohm version available anywhere, perhaps will post a request as fLUX suggested and see how that goes :)

Also, are the 6XX a big step up from the 599, sound wise? Will keep an eye out for them in the future,
HD 6XX are quiet a step up over 599 but the problem is that they are not easily driveable. They are known to scale phenomenaly with better amps, but at a minimum you will need to buy a Aune B1S/JDS Labs Atom/Schitt Amp to spot the difference. If you are looking to buy a complementing set would suggest you to join the PLGS group, there are numerous enthusiasts (not dealers) selling and buying stuff.

I personally prefer planar headphones (Hifiman series) over Sennheiser HD6XX and they are both complementary.
 
Last edited:

chander

Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2009
Messages
70
Points
18
Location
Benaulim, GOA
looking at your choices, I am guessing you are looking at something sub 15K.
Beyerdynamic go for the 32ohm version if you dont have an amp
Sennheiser 599 are very good indeed.
ATH M50x is not a bad choice either but they are not neutral at all and aren't open back either. One thing like about them is that you can buy a fiio BT adapter with them for convenience, allows you to have them on BT when you want to go to the loo for example or quarantine cooking ;). They do everything decent, not great but decent.
Meze 99 and LCD 1 perhaps out of your budget - but maybe.
 

swami69

Active Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2009
Messages
160
Points
43
Location
Chennai
I have both Sennheiser HD598 and Audio Technica 50X. Both are great.

Comfort - Sennheiser open back. Nice cushions and lighter on the head. AT is not bad, but little uncomfortable and tighter.

Sound - both are different. Sennheiser is open and wide. AT is closed and tight.

I personally prefer Sennheiser HD598 over AT 50X

I bought both from Amazon several months back

swami
 
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