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Open back headphones #2789753
12/10/18 12:19 PM
12/10/18 12:19 PM
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Crocus Offline OP
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Hi - Can anybody recommend a set of open back headphones to use with my Roland RD-800 ? I've been using a set of closed back ones and find they get uncomfortable and hot after a while. Something under $500 or so, not the high end ones. Would be interested to hear any thoughts before I go out and purchase …..

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Re: Open back headphones [Re: Crocus] #2789758
12/10/18 12:26 PM
12/10/18 12:26 PM
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Ontario, Canada
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halherta Offline
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I use the Sennheiser HD6XX. Basically the same version as the Sennheiser HD650. It goes for $200 on massdrop. Great headphones. I also use the Schitt Magni ($99) headphone amplifier along with it. This setup works very well for me.



Yamaha P-125, Pianoteq 6, Ravenscroft 275 VST, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4
Re: Open back headphones [Re: halherta] #2789765
12/10/18 12:41 PM
12/10/18 12:41 PM
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Crocus Offline OP
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Thanks ! I'll take a look at them ….

Re: Open back headphones [Re: Crocus] #2789767
12/10/18 12:58 PM
12/10/18 12:58 PM
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Posts: 9,265
Raleigh, North Carolina
MacMacMac Offline
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Also, have a look at this headphones spreadsheet.

Re: Open back headphones [Re: MacMacMac] #2789772
12/10/18 01:09 PM
12/10/18 01:09 PM
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Romania
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Ovidiu M Offline
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Hey! I have Sennheiser HD 599 paired with a Fiio portable amplifier and its absolutly great sounding. Its extremely confortable as well, much more so than other headphones i had higher in class and price.

Re: Open back headphones [Re: halherta] #2789775
12/10/18 01:22 PM
12/10/18 01:22 PM
Joined: Oct 2018
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UK
thickfingers Offline
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Originally Posted by halherta
I also use the Schitt Magni ($99) headphone amplifier along with it. This setup works very well for me.


Schitt? Are we sure they're a good recommend?

Re: Open back headphones [Re: thickfingers] #2789777
12/10/18 01:29 PM
12/10/18 01:29 PM
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Tyrone Slothrop Online content
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Originally Posted by thickfingers
Originally Posted by halherta
I also use the Schitt Magni ($99) headphone amplifier along with it. This setup works very well for me.


Schitt? Are we sure they're a good recommend?

I've read reviews that suggest that lower end Schiit equipment is very good. There is some controversy over some of the high end equipment, such as the Yggdrasil, but I've only seen good things about the lower end equipment such as the Magni.
And it is "Schiit," not "Schitt," as the manufacturer says, pronounced like, "that's some good schiit, man!"

BTW, even the Absolute Sound, which happens to be a bit "rarefied" and prone to ratings based on price, had great things to say about the Magni.


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Open back headphones [Re: MacMacMac] #2789782
12/10/18 01:39 PM
12/10/18 01:39 PM
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Crocus Offline OP
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Also, have a look at this headphones spreadsheet.


Thanks, I did look at the spreadsheet. A good tool but a bewildering list of models. There's still nothing like hearing from people who have actually used some of these.

Re: Open back headphones [Re: Crocus] #2789791
12/10/18 01:51 PM
12/10/18 01:51 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
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Raleigh, North Carolina
MacMacMac Offline
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Well, I partly agree.

Use this list above, or any other, to help with style (open/closed), impedance, availability, price, etc.
And use the descriptions provided by others to judge the physical attributes.

But as for sound quality ... one person's gold is another person's crud.
And, aside from the subjective nature of sound, there's the ambiguity of the descriptive terms used.
So what can another person's description tell you? No much, I think.

The only person whose judgement matters is YOU.
Ya gotta try 'em for yourself.

Re: Open back headphones [Re: Crocus] #2789888
12/10/18 06:48 PM
12/10/18 06:48 PM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 3,164
Sydney, Australia
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sullivang Offline
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My Grado SR80e's are open back, and I am very happy with the sound. They are also suitable for use with smartphones without having to use an amp. They are on-ear though, so may not be comfortable for long sessions.

Greg.

Re: Open back headphones [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2790092
12/11/18 11:16 AM
12/11/18 11:16 AM
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 311
Ontario, Canada
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halherta Offline
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by thickfingers
Originally Posted by halherta
I also use the Schitt Magni ($99) headphone amplifier along with it. This setup works very well for me.


Schitt? Are we sure they're a good recommend?

I've read reviews that suggest that lower end Schiit equipment is very good. There is some controversy over some of the high end equipment, such as the Yggdrasil, but I've only seen good things about the lower end equipment such as the Magni.
And it is "Schiit," not "Schitt," as the manufacturer says, pronounced like, "that's some good schiit, man!"

BTW, even the Absolute Sound, which happens to be a bit "rarefied" and prone to ratings based on price, had great things to say about the Magni.


Hah! thanks for the correction. The "Schiit" Magni is very good for the price. I'm a big fan.



Yamaha P-125, Pianoteq 6, Ravenscroft 275 VST, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4
Re: Open back headphones [Re: Crocus] #2790343
12/12/18 02:43 AM
12/12/18 02:43 AM
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 87
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fofig Offline
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I also wanted the Magni, but it was difficult to find in Europe.

Finally I went for beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO 250Ohm + FIIO E10k Olympus 2

I got a very good price for headphones on amazon 113euros. THe FIIO is said to be able to drive up to 150ohm but it is fine.

I chose the DT990 because of the very soft earcups that go very smooth on my glasses.

I loved them also for music and you can really wear them for hours!
It was a great choice to pass to open headphones

Ps. I use this hooked to my mac+pianoteq and I use Roland FP30 as a midi input.



[Linked Image]
Re: Open back headphones [Re: fofig] #2790369
12/12/18 05:57 AM
12/12/18 05:57 AM
Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 614
UK
thickfingers Offline
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Originally Posted by fofig
Ps. I use this hooked to my mac+pianoteq and I use Roland FP30 as a midi input.

Oh, interesting (to go off topic momentarily). That's four detected so far (including me if it pans out (test imminent)), of Pianoteq'ers using the FP30 as controller: Fofig, Quasi and Tyrone the others.
Maybe we can compare notes at some point, and mull velocity curves etc.

OK--back on topic! Headphones. Personally, my criterion is a good sound in my environment, bouncing off the walls, etc. If I can achieve that, headphone performance will be good enough. Only use them when I have to. So long as nothing actually jars that will suffice, for me. (Don't like jarring. Like bongoes, for example...)

Last edited by thickfingers; 12/12/18 06:05 AM.
Re: Open back headphones [Re: Crocus] #2790385
12/12/18 07:09 AM
12/12/18 07:09 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 6,444
Vught, The Netherlands
Dave Horne Offline
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Dave Horne  Offline
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I use the Sennheiser HD 598 on a daily basis and am very happy with them.

One piece of advice, having destroyed several headphones throughout my life, consider buying headphones where the cable itself can be removed and easily replaced. You'll typically see this feature on more expensive headphones.

If you've ever tried soldering headphone cable you know it's a losing battle.


website | mp3 files | Yamaha AvantGrand N3 | Roland RD 2000 | Sennheiser HD 598 headphones
Re: Open back headphones [Re: Dave Horne] #2790432
12/12/18 11:38 AM
12/12/18 11:38 AM
Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 614
UK
thickfingers Offline
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thickfingers  Offline
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UK
Originally Posted by Dave Horne
One piece of advice, having destroyed several headphones....
If you've ever tried soldering headphone cable you know it's a losing battle.

Always catching the flimsy wires (whatever happened to curly cords!? Too expensive. Oh, I see.) underfoot on my bundle phones...only a matter of time before one gets yanked out, probably.
Soldering? Never done headphone wires (IIRC), but yes mikes etc (same skinny signal wires)--right pain to solder, with hardly any copper there and oftentimes fortifying STRING to negotiate, it's not fun.

Re: Open back headphones [Re: Crocus] #2790433
12/12/18 11:43 AM
12/12/18 11:43 AM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 9,265
Raleigh, North Carolina
MacMacMac Offline
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MacMacMac  Offline
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Raleigh, North Carolina
Detachable cords wouldn't help me. The only wiring failures I've had were in the plug at the end (easy to repair or replace) and inside the earcup (hard to fix, and not preventable by a detachable cord).

Re: Open back headphones [Re: thickfingers] #2790437
12/12/18 11:49 AM
12/12/18 11:49 AM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 6,308
Tyrone Slothrop Online content
Tyrone Slothrop  Online Content

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Posts: 6,308
Originally Posted by thickfingers
Originally Posted by Dave Horne
One piece of advice, having destroyed several headphones....
If you've ever tried soldering headphone cable you know it's a losing battle.

Always catching the flimsy wires (whatever happened to curly cords!? Too expensive. Oh, I see.) underfoot on my bundle phones...only a matter of time before one gets yanked out, probably.

I always buy my headphones with a new Cardas / FURUTECH cable. Incredibly tight braided sheath. Never any problems. In fact, the 15m one for my HD800s outlasted the headphones themselves (sigh), and will probably outlast my next ones :
[Linked Image]


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Open back headphones [Re: Crocus] #2790447
12/12/18 12:25 PM
12/12/18 12:25 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 9,265
Raleigh, North Carolina
MacMacMac Offline
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Cardas? Really? REALLY? Their web pages make it quite clear that they're fraudsters. Have a look at some of their mumbledy-muck. Pure nonsense ...
Quote
Cable geometry problems are resolved in the cable’s design, not after the fact with filters. George introduced the concept of Golden Section Constant "Q" Stranding to high-end audio, but Golden Ratio, 1.6180339887... : 1 is as old as nature itself. Golden Ratio is the mathematical proportion of life itself, the heart of musical scales and chords. "Discovered" by the Greeks, but used by the Egyptians in the Great Pyramid centuries before, man has employed Golden Ratio to create his most beautiful and naturally pleasing works of art and architecture.

The signal used by your system, be it digital or analog, through tube or solid state, is always alternating current. The cyclic effect of alternating current vibrates the wire in your system like the strumming of a guitar string. The beating of the capacitive, inductive and mechanical elements in audio cable is set in motion by the transient energy of the audio signal, just as the guitar string is set into motion by the strike of a pick. This form of vibration or resonance distorts the audio signal and produces many sound anomalies, from colored bass to glare. Every interconnect, every speaker cable, every chassis and speaker wire has its own resonant signature. Like the mass, tension and hardness of the guitar string, the mass, tension and hardness of the conductor, coupled with its inductance and resistance, and the capacitance of the cable, determine what sound is made. Each strand in a cable has its own note or beat. Conductor strands interact with other same sized, near unison, and multiplistic sized strands creating beats the same way a cube listening room would, or one with multiplistic dimensions like 8’ x 16’ x 32.

Stereo systems depend on the purity of the audio signal. When the cable linking all components together imparts its own sound, the audio signal is corrupted. Cardas created a conductor that absorbs or cancels the noise released by the current fluxuation, by progressively layering strands that share no common resonant multiple. This conductor uses the same mathematical proportioning seen in the worlds greatest concert halls for essentially the same reasons. The infinite indivisibility of the Fibonacci Sequence or Golden Section is a key to controlling resonance. The ratio of ø (Phi), or 1 to 1.6180339887... to (infinity), is the Golden Mean, called Golden Ratio or Golden Proportion.

In Golden Section Stranding, individual strands are arranged so each strand is coupled to another, whose note or beat is irrational with its own, thus nulling interstrand resonance. This is the famous "Silent Conductor". It is the silence of Cardas conductors that allows them to be so uniquely musical and pure.

At the heart of cable oscillation is delayed or stored energy. This energy results from the lowered internal "Q", or resonant point, of conventional conductors. Cardas cables employ a unique stranding method where strands diminish in size towards the interior of the conductor. This design is called Constant Q Stranding and it allows each strand of the cable to share the load equally. It is a very effective method of reducing the Non-linearity seen in conventional conductors, without compromising the symmetry of the conductor or the capacitance of the cable.

This kind of nonsense has been all over the web, but has been quite absent from PW ... until now. frown

Re: Open back headphones [Re: Crocus] #2790449
12/12/18 12:28 PM
12/12/18 12:28 PM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,432
Cheshire, United Kingdom
Doug M. Offline
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Originally Posted by Crocus
Hi - Can anybody recommend a set of open back headphones to use with my Roland RD-800 ? I've been using a set of closed back ones and find they get uncomfortable and hot after a while. Something under $500 or so, not the high end ones. Would be interested to hear any thoughts before I go out and purchase …..


If you like neutral cans, for open back the Sennheiser HD600 are still the cans to beat. They are the most comfortable of all the Sennheiser headphones due to having 4 pads instead of two in the cross piece. They are considered by audiophiles on YouTube to be perhaps one of the most comfortable OTE headphones available. A similar option (but cheaper) is the closed cans: Audio Technica MSR7's that delivery a neutral sound for less money. However, they are not as comfortable and the headband needs some fettering.

For more bass, you could try the Philips X2 fidelio's.

If you buy the HD600s, you will need a headphone amp to get the most out of them. Maybe they will sound ok without though.
HD598's and HD599's solid options on a budget.

The HD650's are a bit more bass led than the HD600s (neutral cans). The HD660s are sort of between the two. Nice cans, but if you like neutral, probably HD600's are better. If you like bass, the Phillips X2 fidelio's probably compete quite well.

The HD800 could be brought second hand. I know that you can get a mod kit for the HD800 to improve them up to the standard of the HD800S. Some say this mod kit makes them slightly better than the HD800S, it is that good a modification. With these, you'll definitely need a headphone amp. No point in buying a Ferrari and using low grade oil.

I tested the HD800S in a store and they were good but I doubt there is the added value that the price difference represents. In some ways, when you include the amp., decent headphones start to cost as much as a good entry level piano. Maybe it's better to go with lower impedance OTE headphones from a value-for-money perspective.

If I was buying now, I'd probably go to Amazon.com and buy a headphone amp (such as the Schiit" Magni) and also the HD600's, HD660's and Philips X2's on Amazon, test them and return the losers.

If you go onto YouTube, there are some great reviewers whose videos are worth consulting prior to making a purchase.


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7; Past - Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Re: Open back headphones [Re: MacMacMac] #2790451
12/12/18 12:36 PM
12/12/18 12:36 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 6,308
Tyrone Slothrop Online content
Tyrone Slothrop  Online Content

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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
This kind of nonsense has been all over the web, but has been quite absent from PW ... until now. frown

I only mention it because of it's nice sheath. It doesn't fall apart. Now that is not nonsense.

I made no claims about it carrying electrons any better. You are mentioning that. I just think it is a nice tight sheath and the cable has outlasted my headphones they were attached to (unfortunately).


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
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