Looking for a sound description

Hi all,

So this is a rather vague post maybe, but please bear with me for a sec. One thing I really appreciate in music are guitar solo’s of the Pink Floyd and Queen kind, the one’s that can really get under your skin. Now I have had cheap in-ears in the past which didn’t sound good overall, but could really give me goosebumps on certain songs. Pink Floyd’s “Shine on you crazy diamond pt 1-5” @07:33 comes to mind.
I though want I needed was a bright neutral headphones with emphasis on the mids, and I thought the DT880’s are just that. I really like the DT880’s, but so far they haven’t given me goosebumps yet.
Question is: What am I looking for? Not necessarily which headphones, but what description of sound is it that I’m after?

Bonus question: Since my DT880’s might be dead, what are headphones that you would advice for me? I mostly listen to progressive / classic rock, after that I listen to everything from Leonard Cohen to bbno$ and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
I was looking at: Hifiman HE-400i (2020), Sennheiser HD560s, getting the DT880 again or pushing my budget to a pair of Sundara’s.

Thanks :slight_smile:

You are looking more for clear highs to get that detail, but a vocal emphasis. Honestly, have you thought about something like a 6xx/660? Should be nice and intimate in that range. Kinda right in your face

many laud the Grado’s for how they do guitar so well.


What were the IEMs you were using before that gave you goosebumps? Psychoacoustics are a funny thing. Could be any combination of things that would bring on the goosebumps feeling, but if we know the basic signature of the gear you were using before, that might help us narrow things down.


Grado’s really do excell in this area. I HATE my Grado cable and I occasionally entertain the thought of getting rid of them. Then I listen to rock or blues with guitar front and center. And then I realize I could never give them up.
I started out with SR325e’s which I liked, but found bright. I moved up to the GH2’s.

There are lots of Grado dealers around. Maybe you drop by and try some out? Or order online and return if you need to. Grado’s seem to be Very love it or hate it.


Tin P1’s driven by an iFi amp/dac with X-Bass and good fitting tips will make that shit rock :+1:…HP’s more :dollar: for sure.


I have, but the 660s are pretty expensive and drop items would be very expensive due to import taxes. However, once corona is finally gone, there is an audio shop where I could demo the HD660s. It’s just far away and closed right now.

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Well I had a pair of Sony’s, I believe they are the XB50AP, which I didn’t like except for those goosebumps I’d sometimes get.

I have been curious about Grado’s for a while. Unfortunately most places with good return policies don’t sell them here so it’d be a bit of a gamble. The sr60e and sr80e are pretty obtainable. I’m a bit afraid of the comfort though, are they as uncomfortable as they look?

I was very curious about those, but I’m kinda off IEMs unless I’m in bed or on my bike at the moment due to some eczema stuff in my ears.

From what I gather the headphones I listed are not very strong contenders then… Hmm that’ll be quite the mission if my DT880s are beyond repair.

If you’re in UK then I’d be happy to send you a pair to try?..you’ll need to sort the tips though :+1:

Grado’s can be uncomfortable, depending on the pads. My GH2’s came with the “L-cush” pads, the small round ones. For some reason they Killed my right ear. I tried buying some generic G-cush pads (large, oversize pads), but didn’t like the sound. I ended up buying Beautiful Audio pads from New Zealand. Expensive, but Great.

Would be awesome if you could order online with a return policy. You would know about the fit and comfort in one weekend. And of course, the sound.

That’s really nice, thanks for offering! However I do not live in the UK and I don’t want to get invested in IEMs too much because, saving you the graphical details, me + wearing IEMs for a long time = very bad and honestly quite disgusting. I want something I can wear for hours on end during work.

Hmm if my DT880s are fried I’ll see if I can do that. I did just find out the (currently closed) store that I know has these and the headphones I mentioned in my original post so I should be able to demo them hopefully.

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The SR60/80e are worth a try if you don’t have any way to demo a higher end pair or return an online order. I specifically love my SR80e and Hemps for Queen. They are defiantly the way to go for the kind of music you mentioned. The comfort is fine with the S-cush pads. Its the same as something like the porta pros or kph30i. The L-cush can be alright if you adjust the clamp and are ok with on-ears in general, but many find them uncomfortable.

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Planar gets my vote for this.

Hmm I love my Koss but I don’t love them for all-day listening due to comfort actually. I wear my headphones for about 6-8 hrs a day so comfort is pretty important.

From what I can find my best options would be:

  • Hifiman HE400i (2020): €200
  • Sennheiser HD560s: €200
  • Sennheiser HD600: €309
  • Hifiman Sundara: €350

(I mostly look at this shop because they have the biggest collection afaik https://www.wifimedia.eu/en/)

My experience has been the Sundara’s are very comfortable, but loose fitting.

With Sennheiser there is initial clamp pressure but it eases off. Two pairs of used HD600’s were super comfortable. New HD660’s were pretty tight for a few weeks, but I can now wear them all day.


That’s fair. I would still say give the SR60/80 a shot since they are only $100 or less and Amazon returns are always an option, but if the comfort is too much of a deal breaker then the others headphones you listed might do the trick (no personal experience with those models).

I do wish that Grado would put better headbands on their plastic cup models. The headband has literally no padding. The S-cush pads are actually very comfy if you aren’t prone to itchy ears. The foam is thick and cushy and the headband is easy to manipulate for more or less clamp.

I’m sorry but I can’t resist in adding my +1 to Grado SR60 for guitar and/or the Tin P1 for the same. I have owned/listened to various other sets and they’re all good at something, but when it comes to to guitar you can’t fault these.

Listening to guitar on my 58x does absolutely nothing for me (bit of a snooze fest). Grados on the other hand have that mid/treble hump and magic tuning that Zings!

If you prefer warm/dark - don’t go near them. If bass is more a priority consider something else, also. Comfort wise they don’t bother me as much as the clamp force of the 58x, but the on ear nature of the pads gets warmer than you might like.


Well there were already on my wishlist, and now they’ll get bumped a position. I was actually planning to get them but I’m at the moment a bit afraid my DT880s haven’t fully survived the mod (or I’m just going crazy which is a very realistic possibility) so I need to first get the headphones I’ll be wearing all day every day.
I just can’t figure out whether my DT880s sound the same as before, maybe I’m just paranoid.

@A_COC0NUT @leafmulch
How would the GW100 compare to the SR60 and SR80? It’s on sale and I like the idea of not having the wire on my desk permanently when stored. Plus Bluetooth is sometimes nice to have, when I go shopping or something.