My good people of hifiguides…I have a dilemma…or a problem…most likely both.
My current daily driver headphones (Sony MDR-1A’s) are literally held together by glue and zip ties at this point. I’m looking to replace them with a very bassy set of closed backs. My current Dac/Amp is an XD-05 Plus. I knew I liked bass, but after trying SEVERAL headphones over the last 2 months, I’m starting to think I may like bass too much for closed backs, they’re semi necessary unfortunately. I have a pair of Fostex Th-X00 Purple Hearts, and with the bass boost on my XD-05 plus, they are honestly nearly perfect, just a tad too sharp (I’m sensitive to high end, but unfortunately also crave detail, its a curse) but where I’m confused is, I’ve been trying headphones that allegedly have a “bassier” profile, but somehow none seem to be able to compare to the bass output those have.
So far I have tried the following headphones
Dan Clark Closed X - was probably the most disappointed by these, I’ve always heard amazing things about mr speakers and DCA but these sounded like they had no bass at all. That and the Highs were too sharp for me
Meze 99 Noir & Neo - Tried both, both had very decent bass, but still couldn’t compete with the TH-X00’s I had. Both we’re just a smidge sharper than I’d like but not bad either.
Sony MDR-1AM2 - Definitely getting closer, but sharp highs, and not enough sub bass, and as much as I like their sound profile, they’re kind of cheap feeling and it shows when you turn up the volume.
so…I admit I feel a bit lost now, and I really don’t want to keep buying and returning headphones, if anyone has suggestions on headphones to look into, I’m all ears. I’d just keep the Fostex and run with em, but I already sold them to a good buddy who’s let me keep them until I’ve settled on a new set of headphones. Are argons potentially a good option? I was considering them as well, but after trying the DCA’s and the Meze’s I’ve come to the conclusion that I really can’t just trust Frequency response
The DCA sets are a bad rec for a basshead headphone so I’m not surprised you were disappointed. If you want that Fostex bass with tamer highs check out the Emu Teaks. They use a very similar biodynamic driver to the Fostex models (some say identical), but the highs are smoother and more relaxed. The bass is deep and punchy. They’re my go to bassy set.
I believe the Campfire Cascade is very bass heavy, haven’t heard them personally.
DCA headphones might not have the biggest bass boost but have really low distortion which means that you can easily boost the bass with EQ
I like but dont really use my campfire cascade, if you want more bass and soundstage get argons, or mdr z7 the og though not number 2, that one sucks
@ShaneD really likes his Cascades. I know he’s recovering from surgery so I’m not sure if he’s around, but he might be able to speak to that if he is.
@big_brother is right with the Argons being another good bass heavy set. Along these same lines another T50RP mod with big bass, or so I hear, is the Mayflower Electronics V3. A friend of mine that owns the Argons and the V3s says the V3s go just as deep, but have more punch and rumble. I haven’t heard them so I’m just passing on knowledge from a dude who’s opinions I generally find ti be accurate.
As for other recs you might be able to find the Denon D5200s in your price range and they are known for having nice, slammy bass and they’re another headphone that uses biodynamic drivers like the Fostex models you enjoyed though again they are thought by some to not be as peaky in the treble as the Fostex cans.
What else am I going to do? It hurts to walk at all.
I LOVE my Cascades! They are Very bassy and just a ton of fun. Unlike some people I notice little bleed into the mids. Never leaving the house.
I had the T60 Argon’s for quite a while I didn’t find they had a lot of bass at all. However, they will take all the base boost/bass EQ that you push at them.
After putting them head to head for several months I sold the Argon’s. The Cascade’s are Never leaving!
See, thoughtful and complete responses like that are exactly why I tagged you. So there you have it OP, the Cascades seem like they should be solid option.
BTW, thanks ShaneD. I appreciate you taking the time to answer and I hope you heal up and get back on your feet ASAP.
I like the Argon mk3 for bassy closed back.
Wide soundstage, absolutely never any sibilance.
Only real negative is they’re hard to drive. They sounded terrible on a topping L30, but I upgraded to an A30PRO and the bass was massively improved. Definitely need that power.
Dont get me wrong, the Cascades are great, I dont use them, cause I need the bigger pads and because I got Myspheres.
I only have Argons mk2 and they have great bass, if you give them a strong Amp and I would definitely choose the balanced conversion. They sounded best on the Cayin ha1a or little dot ld 3 se
If you can use iems the new z colab seeaudio rinko is the best bass I’ve heard for $100. I can not recommend these enough for bassheads.