Jan 14, 2018389 views

Hi-fi headphones without boosted treble up to $1000.

The only models I know of are the HD 650's or the LCD-2's and I have owned both. I prefer the HD 650's because I found the LCD-2's to be uncomfortable and overpriced compared to the HD 650's. Are there any other models I should try?

The Oppo PM-1 might be what u are looking for. But maybe u should be looking for a powerful amp instead to get the most out of the HD650s if u are happy with them.
My advice would be to be on the look out for a used HD 800. I auditioned the 600, 650, 800 and 800S in-store and found that the treble on the older 800 was surprisingly calmer than the new 800S. Seems like they mellow out a bit with time (Note: I haven't auditioned a new 800, but that's just the only way I can explain the 800 sounding less sibilant to my ears) and the 800 is going for cheap because people are upgrading to the 800S. They also made the 650 sound grainy and wrecked them in terms of soundstage so I decided to skip the 600 family altogether and just save up for a used 800 which I ended up swooping for around $650. (I'm in Korea and bought/tested them in person so YMMV)
Honestly I have no idea why people freak out about the peak. It doesn't even get sibilant compared to other phones. Usually I turn the sound down because the bass is too strong lol. But forreal, trust noone and always audition before you buy at this price point or buy from a place with a good return policy. There is so much hype and snake oil in the sub $1K audio territory.
AEONs seem like a good option but then again I found this review on the headphone list: " The Sennheiser HD800 (can be found for around $1,000 now.) is significantly clearer and airier. Of course, the soundstage dwarfs ÆON’s. I doubt anyone would be surprised to hear that. Resolution is also noticeably higher on HD800. There is a drier, more analytical quality, whereas ÆON is warmer and has that lushness. But get this, the HD800 has more bass. What the ****?! I know, but it’s true. HD800’s treble is just as extended, and brighter and more detailed. This is also arguably the most comfortable headphones in existence. Not even ÆON can compete. "
So yeah...
Source: http://theheadphonelist.com/from-the-fumes-of-myth-a-review-of-the-mr-speakers-aeon/2/
You may not be sensitive to it but the treble spike on the HD800 (unmodded) is real and noticeable to a ton of people. I don't find the "Beyer Spike" bothersome but I wouldn't recommend it to someone who said they wanted a lowered response in the treble region.
Closed headphones are inferior to open ones IMO.
Agreed, but closed work for environments where you simply can’t control all background noise. In hotel rooms I request high floors to get away from the road, away from elevators and ice/vending machines, will turn off noisy heat/AC,, but you can’t turn off all neighbors... At home I’m now looking at a fanless PC, to work together with open cans...
Good to see a borderline non-troll post from ya FHF
[This post is the result of an automatic troll response system, all sane people please do not feed trolls, they get feisty]
Oh and they aren't my cup of tea but the Audioquest Nighthawks fit that smooth but detailed vibe for some folks.
Well, a simple recommendation, that got a bit wordy:
These are not the fanciest lookers, Phonon SMB-2 DS-DAC, https://phonon-inc.com/portfolio/smb-02-ds-dac/?lang=en , I got them as travel cans for hotel room use, not airports/planes/trains/cars, along with the Korg DS-DAC-100m.
Yes, an overly used term, but simply a 'transparent' feeling with these... level, not over, not under. Reproducing what the artist heard in the studio, and said yes... 'that's it'... if you want color or emphasis; not these cans, got no 'boost'.
I liked them so much, I bough two sets, DAC/Cans, for my kids as Christmas presents. The fellow at Musical supply got these as a close-out buy, so limited stock for the matched DAC ones as well as the Korg 100m. They said that Phonon and Korg had a "falling out"; I would guess from a somewhat unsuccessful foray into the audiophile market. I like what they, Korg-Phonon did, it was really a marriage made for the musicians and singers, though also for us to share in.
laptop-Audiogate-Korg 100m-Phonon cans, my new escape kit when traveling. I first used them after a 14 hr flight in December, they exceeded expectations. The 4000 Phonon cans would also be nice I'm sure for easier travel, fold flat, but the package offer was priced right, and I was interested in the matched set.
I listen to the same music at home with HD700's that carry more emphasis in treble, or detail,, if you will.
A good example here is that listening to Nora Jones Come Away With Me, in DSD 2.8 from master tapes, with either set of cans, with the Korgs; I no longer hear the uninvited & unwanted guest to the party... 'Sibilance'. I like both better at home going through my little tube amp, but it is not needed to quell anything, just brings spatiality & warm fuzzies. I feel that the sibilant issue arises when the train of quality signal/data is broken and then any transducer will 'hiss'. My HD700's don't hiss, as I use them, w-or-w/o tubes.
Package deal, or just go to https://www.musicalsupplydirect.com/ and ask them to price combine the set, or just get the cans, but the package is the deal: https://www.amazon.com/Korg-Digital-Audio-Converter-Bundle/dp/B06X6N8XKW/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1516120589&sr=8-2&keywords=korg+phonon
Have you tried out heard a pair of ZMF Eikons or Beyerdynamics DT1990?
Eikons are >$1k (at least, the ones I've seen), and the DT1990 has that beyer spike in the treble. T5p.2 is better in this regard and also <$1k, but still has a bit of edge in the treble and a bit too much air.
I've auditioned most, if not all, of what the source av has in that price range. The main ones I would try are the aeons (particularly the open ones, which imo are a bit muddy with the default tuning pads). The hd660s is also pretty relaxed. LCD-2C is supposedly more comfortable with the suspension headband. Cheaper in the spectrum, there's the pm-3. And though it's been a long time since I heard them, I recall the meze 99s as being fairly dark. You can look at measurements on innerfidelity or diyaudioheaven to find others, I'm sure.
Audio Technica ATH-AD2000 - the deep bass looks even more rolled off than the HD 650's MrSpeakers Aeon Flow - those look interesting
I was searching for something similar a few years ago, and a number of people suggested that I try out the Audio Technica ATH-AD2000. After a bit of research and some conversations on head-if.org, I decided to buy it. I can see you’re not a fan of the site, but I found their forums quite helpful. Anyway, i absolutely love the sound signature which has detailed mids and highs, and slightly recessed lows (I don’t like overly prominent bass, so these are perfect). Don’t think I will ever get rid of these.
Currently looking for another pair as a step up, also under $1k, and I’ve been taking a serious look at the MrSpeakers Aeon Flow. Inner fidelity did a really good, and convincing, review of them.
Good luck!