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Headphones for digital piano and other uses
#2569314 09/07/16 11:03 AM
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I know there was topic about that but I wanted to asked some details about recommended headphones. On this forum most people recommended Sennheiser HD 598 but I've researched some more and there are 2 more models that are recommended in this price range and those are AKG K550 and AT ATH-AD700X. I wanted to ask if I will have problem with any audio distortion on digital piano(like I have on Creative Arvana Live) or they all will handle anything? Also obviously I would want to use those headphones for more than digital piano and I know that HD 598 do not work well without amplifier, how will those all headphones will work with PC, iPhone, iPad etc.?

Re: Headphones for digital piano and other uses
Nordomus #2569351 09/07/16 01:37 PM
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If the distortion is from your CALs then a new set of headphones may help. However, it may be the output from your piano that's distorted, so it might be worth checking that first by listening to piano recordings from your PC, phone, etc.

Also, HD 598 really shouldn't need an amp, they're pretty efficient.

Typically the best headphones for piano will also be the best for other general use as well; having not heard these three I cannot comment on specifics, but you can always check somewhere like head-fi.org for lots of discussion on those and many more models.


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Re: Headphones for digital piano and other uses
Nordomus #2569353 09/07/16 01:43 PM
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I had HD598 (50Ohm)- very comfortable for longer using and very wide stereo because are open but for me sounds like behind the curtain.
Also I had K550 (32Ohm)- much better, sound was closer to ears, stereo was very wide like for closed back headphones, nice and warm medium frequencies but a bit lack of lower frequencies for me.
Currently I own ATH-M50X 32Ohm) which are monitored kind of sound, I mean all frequencies are flat and sounds proper without any distortion.
I would recommend AudioTechnica but try also Bayerdynamic DT770.

Last edited by rychubil; 09/07/16 03:55 PM.

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Re: Headphones for digital piano and other uses
RichieBill #2569365 09/07/16 02:41 PM
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I reckon "trying" is a good word here. Where can you try these? Some major cities may have such facilities, but most towns in the UK would lack this.
Currys have a facillty with Dr Dre and other similarly pitched phones. I tested `em against my £15 set from Asda which sound ok but aren`t so comfortable, being made for an eight year old.
They didn`t sound better; in many cases, sounded worse.

Now, what did you lot do? JUst buy `em on reputation?


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Re: Headphones for digital piano and other uses
Nordomus #2569370 09/07/16 03:06 PM
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what about piano-makers headphones?

Is there any advantage of RH-300 for a Roland instrument etc?

Are they good deals? Or overpriced to increase mark-up on instruments?


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Re: Headphones for digital piano and other uses
Nordomus #2569374 09/07/16 03:24 PM
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I will try AT and Sennheiser this friday hopefully so I'll let you know. I'll also ask for Bayerdynamic if local shop has them.

Re: Headphones for digital piano and other uses
Nordomus #2569385 09/07/16 04:27 PM
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I use the Beyerdynamic DTX 910 with my Kawai CA 95. You get for ca 50 EUR very good headphones. I have tested these besides others for 150 to 200 EUR, and the DTX is only a little lower in sound quality. It works also very well with Ipods/ smartphones etc.

Re: Headphones for digital piano and other uses
peterws #2569386 09/07/16 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by peterws
my £15 set from Asda which sound ok but aren`t so comfortable, being made for an eight year old.


Thrift is one of the greatest virtues but this could be taking things too far. There is the world of difference between cheap headphones and ones costing over, say, £80. And it goes on dramatically improving into the low hundreds. Even on a budget, a pair of phones costing over £100 is well worth it. Sennheiser, AKG and Bayer make excellent phones in this range. But these ATs mentioned above look brilliant. I wonder how they sound.


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Re: Headphones for digital piano and other uses
Nordomus #2569390 09/07/16 04:42 PM
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You can choose by reading reviews and checking frequency response graphs but be careful. The headphones I own costed me 30€. I read mixed reviews, people at Head-Fi described it as bassy and this description matched the graph. In an Italian forum they described it as quite flat and balanced... which is not.
Totally worth the price for the sound quality, although I'd prefer a flatter signature. Not the best in terms of materials and build quality but I wouldn't say it is bad and with the headphones I got an extra pair of earpads, 3.5mm to 6.3mm adapter, an extra 3m cable.

Last edited by f3r; 09/07/16 04:46 PM.

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Re: Headphones for digital piano and other uses
toddy #2569398 09/07/16 05:12 PM
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With headphones, you definitely get what you pay for (if you avoid the 'fashion' names promoted by poppers and rockers and rappers) up to around $400/£300 or so.

I used to get 'budget' headphones ($20-$30) from big name manufacturers (Sennheiser, Sony etc) to use with my Walkman (yes, I mean the cassette-tape one wink ), and thought they were fine. Then I was given an AKG K217 Mk II free when I bought my DP, and discovered what I've been missing from my ancient cassette tapes all these decades in terms of extended frequency range and clean transients without any audible distortion - especially on piano sounds. (Acoustic) piano sounds with their sharp attack and transients (when recorded 'naturally' as on good classical CD recordings) show up poor sound reproduction like nothing else.

Then I bought a Grado SR325 a few years ago, and that was even better - again for everything from CD (via hi-fi system or ripped into my laptop's iTunes), digital radio to digital piano and even iPod (yes, I decided to join the world of digital music when my Walkman gave up the ghost.....). Recently, I had the opportunity to try the Sennheiser HD600, and found that it was just as good as the SR325 in terms of uncoloured, 'relaxed' neutral sound through from the lowest bass to the highest treble, and very clean sound. And it's about the same price too.

You'd have to pay much more to better these two. And I found I couldn't go back to using inferior headphones again, whether on my DP or any other high-quality sound source.

N.B. Despite my very advanced age, my hearing is still as good as a 20-year-old's in terms of frequency range wink on a hearing test - if your high frequency hearing is impaired, you'll likely not notice much difference between a cheap pair of headphones and an expensive pair.


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Re: Headphones for digital piano and other uses
Nordomus #2569400 09/07/16 05:16 PM
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This site has a review of closed-back headphones for general purpose use - (since the original post asked for uses other than just piano).

I like the detail-orientation of the author, perhaps some will find it useful.

https://marco.org/headphones-closed-portable

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Re: Headphones for digital piano and other uses
jackifus #2569407 09/07/16 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by jackifus
This site has a review of closed-back headphones for general purpose use - (since the original post asked for uses other than just piano).

I like the detail-orientation of the author, perhaps some will find it useful.

https://marco.org/headphones-closed-portable

cheers


I was going to say I like my Sennheiser HD 280 Pro, but that guy's review says they are bad ;0


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Re: Headphones for digital piano and other uses
Nordomus #2569421 09/07/16 07:30 PM
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I tried the 280's. Didn't like them at all. I don't like closed phones.

Conclusion: You can't get much from online advice. You have to judge for yourself.

Re: Headphones for digital piano and other uses
Nordomus #2569439 09/07/16 09:33 PM
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Is there a general rule of thumb for a typical consumer to have confidence that the headphones they get are a good match for the source to which they will be connected? Back in the day it was common that when getting speakers for a receiver, run of the mill speakers typically presented a load between 4 and 8 Ohms impedance and rule of thumb was, get speakers able to handle upwards to twice the power the receiver outputs to avoid burning out the speakers.

The SONYs I use with Kawai DP are rated at 63 ohms, I have not investigated the power/level/output of the Kawsi headphone jack , be this as it may, my opinion the SONYs have performed fine. Likewjse the HP2000s that came with Roland 508 sound okay to me and off the top of my head I don't know their impedance rating nor what levels the Roland outputs gor phones. One of the higher end models reviewed at the linked marco.org site (nice, thorough review btw) are spec'd at 250 ohms and somewhere in the hundreds of posts read the past few months I seem to recall headphones spec'd at higher imoedance.

Do modern DPs and other typical source electronics (receivers, smartphones, sound cards, amps, etc) have smarter circuitry (compared to audio gear from, say, 30 years ago) to auto-adjust output level depending on the load attached or are consumers expected to know/do the math & engineering prior to purchase ? Some people suggest that some headphone models may be best with the addition of seperate headphone amp, If I don't want to go that route and simply want to get decent headphones to use plugNplay mostly with a DP and do not want to deal with nitpicking specs and engineering the connection, what is the rule of thumb?




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Re: Headphones for digital piano and other uses
Nordomus #2569490 09/08/16 03:53 AM
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Yeah and my problem is that some people said that small audio distortion on my Creative Arvana Live headphones are caused by diffrence in impedance, that headphones have to small but those recommended headphones from Audio-Technica or AKG have similar to it, only 5 or so ohms more. I can test headphones in shop for sound quality but I can't test them with my digital piano and I'm afraid to have problems again. I just want to plug and play :]
BTW from the list earlier Audio-Technica ATH-M50x "sounds" interesting since it is in the price range I look at and this guy put them almost at the top.
BTW 2 This Marco guy clearly doesn't like Sennheiser. List only 2 models and marcs(c intended :)) them as bad

Last edited by Nordomus; 09/08/16 04:31 AM.
Re: Headphones for digital piano and other uses
Nordomus #2569561 09/08/16 12:43 PM
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Yup, it seems that headphones shopping is a microcosm of DP shopping ..... you can pour over specs, reviews and armchair forum advice days on end, or you can search for actual music shops that may have on hand a couple models of interest to try and find out in person if or how the practical reality compares with the virtual theory..... or maybe forget all of that and just mail it in and order something online, pretty much any way you do it you still have to wait to find out if the gear sounds agreeable after you get it home 🤔


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Re: Headphones for digital piano and other uses
Nordomus #2569566 09/08/16 01:05 PM
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Ok so I've been in store today instead of tomorrow and unfortunatelly they don't have Sennheiser now BUT the owner told be that i would do better with AKG or Audiotechnica anyway so... Today I've tested AKG K550 and Audio-Technica ATH-M50x. AKG was very comfortable but soundwise I was not impressed. Audio-Technica was not that comfortable but on the other hand sound has blown me away. First time in my live on headphones I trully would believe that I'm standing near concert stage if my eyes were closed. Very impressive. I didn't have enough time to test them properly but I will next week and probably choose one, for now answer seems obvious, although I still would like to test Sennheiser, so I'll try to do that as well and post my findings. Anyway for now I would agree with this Marco guy smile

Last edited by Nordomus; 09/08/16 01:06 PM.
Re: Headphones for digital piano and other uses
Nordomus #2569567 09/08/16 01:07 PM
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That's it exactly, drewr!

The shops I looked at (GC and Sam Ash) had mostly no-name headphones on the rack for trial. The only name brand was a Senn HD-280, which I didn't like at all ... closed phones don't suit me. The rest of the real phones were all locked up behind the counter.

Best Buy has a bunch of stuff for trial, but they're all Bose and Beats. Thump thump thump ... nope!

So I bought a pair of Sennheisers from Amazon. I didn't like them, but they took them back and even paid the return shipping!

I ended up with a pair of Beyerdynamics that I did like. (Good thing. They were a gift from my daughter.)

But try before you buy? I wish. It's just not possible around here.

Re: Headphones for digital piano and other uses
Nordomus #2569570 09/08/16 01:12 PM
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I will also try Beyerdynamics next week, which model did you get?

Re: Headphones for digital piano and other uses
toddy #2569571 09/08/16 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by toddy
Originally Posted by peterws
my £15 set from Asda which sound ok but aren`t so comfortable, being made for an eight year old.


Thrift is one of the greatest virtues but this could be taking things too far. There is the world of difference between cheap headphones and ones costing over, say, £80. And it goes on dramatically improving into the low hundreds. Even on a budget, a pair of phones costing over £100 is well worth it. Sennheiser, AKG and Bayer make excellent phones in this range. But these ATs mentioned above look brilliant. I wonder how they sound.


Even if you test cheaper hphones, you`ll notice a striking difference in quality and frequency range/emphasis which isn`t always related to price.

So, just WHAT d`ya get for your extra cash? Enhanced stereo? fequency range (should be flat, shouldn`t it?) Controls? That`d be a good idea. Only cheap ones have the inline vol slider to my knowledge.

I`ll wander over to the piano shop tomorrow to try out his AKG range. They look bloody awful, but who knows? I might . . just might get educated!


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