Interest Check: Closed Back Headphones
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Hey guys,
We want to know what Closed Back Headphones all of you are into. We already source a variety of brands, types, and styles, but are always looking to stay in tune with the interests of the Audiophile Community.
· What do you look for in a closed-back headphone?
· What kind of strap/headband do you prefer?
· Are there particular brands you like?
Your suggestions and feedback are taken into account when we look for products to put on the site so tell us what you like, what you don’t like and any preferences you have in between.
Thanks!

Check out our past and current drops here: www.massdrop.com/audiophile/drops
thumb_uptrimatrasec, Zelig, and 63 others
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BillPemberton
31
Nov 6, 2019
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Dan Clark has just announced that MrSpeakers is changing to the name of Dan Clark Audio. He's announcing the Aeon 2. An update of the Flow that has a very nice folding headband making the cans way more portable. He's also updated the soundstage of both the closed and open back versions as seen on this Headfi video. https://youtu.be/0kOhiml7fCU

Nov 6, 2019
MartinTransporterLesch
19
May 15, 2019
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1st Focal Elegia ... I save up for this since months - it sounded perfect a few times with my own setup 2nd Mr Speakers Ether C Flow - heard these again a few days ago at Munich High End 2019 and had a chat with Dan. These and the AEON Flow Closed look best and have the best comfort. The big ones are not in my budget and the AEON Flow Closed are a step behind the Elegia. 3rd - Massdrop/Beyerdynamic 177x Go because i joined the drop and will sure be an update over my old 770 Pros for the moment until I saved up enough for the Elegia in general: enough base, forward mids and sparkling highs - not too dark - balanced sound good isolation - have enough good open backs so closed has to be really closed great comfort - I listen at office, on the go and at home on the couch next to my wife for hours strong buildquality - if it is expansive it should be build like Beyers not like Stax wide/deep soundstage - can be more wide than real microfibre or velours pads - love the leather pads from Mr Speakers but I sweat easy easy changeable pads - I sweat easy balanced cable - nothing super strange strong headband - nothing complicated, because I want to use them weight is not important foldable is ok but I want to listen to them and not hide away - flat is better than smaller can be harder to drive - prefer details and scaling with better dac/amps shipping in europe - I won´t pay extra taxes for a headphone that is something between 177x and Elegia budgetwise
(Edited)
May 15, 2019
stoametz
2
Apr 16, 2019
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Lightweight, full-size over ear, cushy faux leather padding, suspension strap, planar magnetic.
Apr 16, 2019
SpeleoFool
197
Feb 19, 2019
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Focal ElegiaX. Most of my collection is open-back, because I prefer an open sound with maximum detail resolution and a balanced / neutral voicing. The Focal Utopias are my current all-time favorites, but they are ridiculously open, which means I can't use them in the office. I own the Fostex TR-XOO in Ebony and Purpleheart, and I like them for what they are, but there's room for improvement. They don't stay put when I move my head, and the cable microphonics are pretty bad. They have good amount of detail and the bass is full and satisfying, but their voicing is not my personal favorite. I recently picked up the Focal Elegia because I wanted the "Focal house sound" in a closed-back design. OMG, they exceed my expectations in every way! The level of detail and sense of openness is simply unreasonably good for closed-back headphones!
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These are pretty much my ideal closed-back headphones. To give them the Massdrop treatment, start by replacing the stock cable (it sucks--too short and too stiff). I picked up a 2m black-and-silver KK cable from Amazon, terminated in a 2.5mm balanced connection, and it's perfect in every way--length is ideal for office use, the cable is light and flexible, there are NO microphonics at all, and the balanced termination gives me the option of using a short adapter to use either an XLR or 1/4" jack on my headphone amps (or the 2.5mm on my Astell&Kern DAP). Naturally, a color change would help to cement the Massdrop co-branding. You could reuse the same headband and yokes as the Elex and go for a similar subdued / blackened look and feel. The Elegia comes with Focal's excellent case and I would definitely recommend keeping it rather than ditching it to save costs. However, instead of the standard dark-grey color that comes with the Elegia, black it out to match the headphone colorway. Focal is bundling a color-matched case with Stellia, so I know they can do it, lol. I've been half tempted to attack one of their aftermarket cases with some RIT to make a blacked-out case for my Elex. :-) And whatever you do, tread lightly with the tuning. Elegia already sounds pretty much perfect to me, so I wouldn't spend too much effort trying to tweak / improve the sound.
Feb 19, 2019
nick_t
160
Apr 30, 2019
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How rich are you ?
Apr 30, 2019
chesteryho
1
Feb 16, 2019
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I exclusively use ATH MSR7NC's right now (the noise cancelling model) and they're really amazing. It seems to me that the MSR7's may be the best closed back headphones within a certain price bracket. I consider them to be like a closed back counterpart to the HD600's, they have similar sound signatures and sound quality, though the Sennheiser is "softer" sounding.
Feb 16, 2019
GonePh1shing
1
Feb 9, 2019
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Not too many closed backs worth looking at IMHO. Only ones I'd ever recommend are, in increasing price order: ATH M40X (Brainwavs pads are basically mandatory though - A drop that came with a set would be cool), DT770 Pro (Massdrop version with removable cable and/or balanced would be dope!), and the T50RP (although the stock model basically needs to be modded to be an acceptable pair of cans - Made by Massdrop MKIII's?). As an extension of the latter, I'd love to see a drop of the newer T60RP's. From what I've heard they're as good as if not better than any of the modded T50's.
Feb 9, 2019
TronII
3
Feb 6, 2019
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I look for comfortable, isolating closed backs with really any type of headband. I've heard that Fostex, Audio Technica, and JBL make good stuff, but my real preference (since I don't have much experience with the forementioned brands) is the Status Audio CB-1.
Feb 6, 2019
Squee
144
Feb 5, 2019
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I've got some semi-open and closed back headphones. Fostex t50rp, EEMU Teak, Audeze Mobius, ATH-M40x, Sennheiser HD25 1 ii, PSB M4U1/M4U8 (own both). I had the TH900 for a bit, and loved them. · What do you look for in a closed-back headphone? I want the sound stage be bigger than I would expect from a closed back. I hate feeling claustrophobic in a pair of cans. Comfort should be good, too strong of a clamp hurts to wear too long, not enough clamp means I'm constantly worried how far I tilt or bow my head while reading. With open backs, I can forgive a bit of brightness because the sound pollution helps dilute it a bit, but with closed backs, I prefer a neutral-warm sound. PSB nailed the basic signature, but stage is tiny, imaging wasn't the best, and details weren't top notch. There was more I took issue with, but for the price, and efficiency, it was hard to dislike. OH. I want them to be efficient! Critical! I only use closed backs when I'm out and about. VERY VERY RARELY at home. I want that sound isolation while studying at a library or something. Needs to be performing at peak off of a DAP for me. · What kind of strap/headband do you prefer? I enjoy the suspension systems like on the newer Hifiman, The newer Fostex t50s, and the LCD2C. I can live with well or decently padded bands, like on the EEMU or th900, or cushioned segments like on the Sennheiser HD6xx. · Are there particular brands you like? For closed back? Fostex is my go-to, but I love LOVE the sound on MrSpeakers Aeon Flows (open and closed). I'm waiting on the Meze's, but the ones I tried for a short period at CanJam were pretty solid, just wish I had more options than WARM. I like some warmth, but a bit more balance. The Audio Technica closed-back I have has a decent balance, but the stage isn't the greatest, and the clamp is next level (same complaint for the Senn HD25).
Feb 5, 2019
Amostamra
0
Feb 4, 2019
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Yes!
Feb 4, 2019
DNGRDN
31
Feb 1, 2019
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I have two closed back over ear headphones. The Sennheiser HD569 and the Takstar Pro 82s. I almost always grab the Pro 82s when I need a closed back. Closed backs should fold flat at the very least. I recently took a trip to Vietnam and took the Takstars because not only do they sound better but they fold flat, thus taking up less room in a carry on bag.
Feb 1, 2019
DNGRDN
31
Feb 1, 2019
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Maybe not always fold flat as sometimes you just need something that won't bother your significant other - but it sure is nice when flying to be able to fold flat.
Feb 1, 2019
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