A cut and paste from Head-Fi. They have a large closed back thread over there. I chose this thread as it seems related. It is a long post.
Well I dedicated my whole long weekend to my closed back headphones. I just now put them away and am starting to watch a double header (Toronto vs Baltimore).
I was debating whether to post this or not. These are my personal opinions and I am NOT an audiophile. And it ended up being LONG!
- The HiFiman HE-R9’s are basshead headphones! These things really boom when called upon. Vocals are good, but the higher end is lacking a bit. Not detail monsters but pretty good separation. They do not sound very open at all, which I suppose is related to the limited high end. They are Very easy to drive and also a great bargain at $369.00.
The comfort is awesome. They are very light and I am using a one sided balanced Hart cable, which I already had for the T60 Argon’s.
There are now my bass champs and a lot of fun. Definitely do not need ANY bass boost.
- T60 Argon’s. These need a fair amount of power (mid gain on my iFi). Also, really needs bass boost. IMO, T60 Argon’s are not bassy headphones, but are bass prone. They will take all the bass boost or bass eq’ing you can give them. The sound is pretty good and they have a nice size soundstage.
Comfort is pretty good with fat suede pads and a one sided cable.
While these are nice headphones, I think I will probably move these on. They need power and EQ which limits their usefulness.
- LSA HP-2’s. Nice looking headphone and also very light and comfortable. I do find them bass light though. I enjoy the mids,treble and overall detail though. The separation and the precision are amazing. I would kind of compare these headphones to the Grado sound. Lots of detail and bass light.
Very easy to drive and beautiful to look at. Also, probably my most open sounding closed backs. I will be moving these on as they are not what I am looking for in a closed back.
Focal Elegia. These were a surprise this weekend. I remembered them as being my most “balanced” closed backs with decent bass and good clarity.
In reality there is not much bass, the clarity is not great and they don’t sound very open. I was underwhelmed and used them for a day and a half. After a while I adjusted, but these are not the shoo-ins I thought they would be.
They would be a good headphone to take to work. Solid sound and not too flashy. They do need some power and bass boost though. Makes me wonder about the Radiance purchase. I LOVE my Elex’s, but feel a little indifferent about these.
Last up is the CFA Cascades. Since I have owned them I have always liked them and thought of them as a “one trick pony”. Well that title now belongs to my HiFiman HE-R9’s.
These are now my favourite all round closed back. Great bass, very good mids and the top end is not bad. Pretty good overall detail. Many people feel that the bass bleeds over into the mids. I don’t find that, but maybe it does and I don’t mind it?
I find these very easy to drive and, for me, they don’t require EQ. I also find them pretty open sounding.
The downside is, IMO, the worst headband in the industry. It does not fit a normal head, it requires Nuggets to stop the pain and you can’t get a good clamp. You can tighten the headband and have a tight clamp for an hour or two and then it relaxes. If I could get a Senn or Focal headband on these it would be just about perfect closed back, for me.
Chain used for the weekend was Laptop to BF2 to iFi Pro iCAN.
Before the ball game started, I did an isolation test with my wife. I listen at a max of 75Db’s, so I am a quiet listener. She sits about five feet from me (lazyboy, then table, then lazyboy couch). I ran through my favourite songs at my personal max volume. She could not hear the music from ANY headphones. On two of them she though she heard a sound, but could not even identify it as music. And that includes the HE-R9’s, which really surprised me.