New Open backs for gaming and music

Looking for an all around pair of headphones for music, gaming and movies. I listen to all kinds of music but mainly electronic, metal, and I also like movie/game soundtracks. My budget is ~200USD and i already have a Syba Sonic AMP/Dac.

I use the SHP 9500 every day, i love them but i want to upgrade

My main options are:

Fidelio X2
T50RP with shure pads

What is your opinion ?

Thanks for the help. :slight_smile:

Want to say 990 out of all of those has the best imaging imo. Sure it’s bright and sharp. But has the bass and detail for an agressive sound when it wants to be and has air to support a sharp sound. The 4xx is great if you want to lean closer to the music end of things but both of them are both somewhat hard to drive and I would want something better and more powerful than a syba sonic to drive them. If you dont intend to upgrade your source I would go for a the 58x. For gaming mainly and is great for music. But if you want a can for music more the fidelios are the way to go.

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I would say the 58x would be the best choice if you don’t plan to upgrade your amp for overall gaming and music mix. If you plan to upgrade your amp the dt880 250 ohm or 4xx is going to be great

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Are the 58X an upgrade from SHP 9500?

Yes, they are more detailed with a different sound signature, but they might not be as comfortable

The AKG K712PRO could be a option as well, but i dont know how they are for EDM

They would be great for edm. Also a great all rounder albeit more expensive the the 58x

My main options right now are the 4XX, K712 or 58X

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I used the 4XX for basically everything for about 2 years, absolutely love them. You don’t need a fancy amp setup for them, my iphone could power them just fine so whatever you have should be good.

I think they might need a bit more power to get to their potential, but otherwise I recommend them wholeheartedly

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Don’t tell my mom, but I’m generally not fond of Beyerdynamic models.

Keep in mind, my ear canals are smaller (I always wear the smallest or second smallest eartip sizes); I recently learned that all ears have a resonant frequency that greatly amplifies a narrow range of frequencies (kinda like humming in the shower, and that one note is way louder, or the resonant frequency that can shatter a wine glass), and the Beyerdynamic DT 880 I owned for a month hit me in that resonance range with it’s “treble”, and almost all Beyers have a treble peak around the same spot. It’s technically in the high midrange, but the effect is that vocals and most instruments sound quieter, “cold,” and “thin,” which just isn’t very enjoyable for me. Furthermore, the highlighted part of the frequency curve on the 880 and 990 is a bit harsh even when I demo’d them more recently at a store with a super-expensive Questyle Gold Reference stack that should have removed any upstream bottlenecks. The 990 vs the 1990 (and 1770) have very similar frequency responses to my ear, except the 1990 is smoother and more controlled to take away that highs harshness. A small difference, yet one of those “makes all the difference” things.

At a CanJam though, if I go between the Beyer and Sennheiser booth, the HD 660S just made the smooth 1990 just sound just a tiny bit blunted, hazy, and “veiled” by comparison while the HD 660S had better transients and a fuller sound. I have an HD 660S at home now, as well as an HD 650 and HD 58X (bass light pre-release edition). The transient response and general technical ability improve with each price tier, but I would still recommend the HD 58X Jubilee over a DT 990 for a more balanced and full-bodied sound, and the regular-production HD 58X Jubilee has the sub bass extension to impress you for EDM and gaming while not being loose or too much bass to occasionally get some competitive “work” done while gaming >:) Comfortwise, the whole series is like a pair of jeans: a little tight at first, and you never quite forget you’re wearing them, but once you wear them in (and maybe stretch them a little) you can literally wear them indefinitely without developing a hot spot. Overall the HD 58X has my recommendation for you.

HE-4xx has it’s fans, and I borrowed an HE-400i in my home for a few months. If it was my only HiFi headphone experience, I’d enjoy it, and the bass impact has a special impact quality while not being louder than the HD 58X’s, but for me there was just something “off” about the midrange timbre that is an interesting flavor but just never quite realistic/transparent to me, a little funky like pistachio ice cream. I can’t make any solid SQ guarantees though: every HiFiman I’ve tried has had some noticeable variance within a model, even with the HE-1000 there were “good” samples and “better” samples. I prefer velour over leather/pleather, and the HiFiman pads are noticeably more itchy than Sennheiser or Beyer’s.

If you can find one, a Philipps X1 basically does the fun V-shaped frequency response of the DT990 but better, very nice build quality though you will want to replace the stock cable almost right away (the V-Moda cable is a popular choice, the stock Philipps one is just a bad bottleneck). The X2 and X2HR are less v-shaped and more neutral, I don’t have much experience with them though. I don’t think you can get replacement pads? Or at least I heard something about the pads being glued on.

AKG were my old bae, and the K701 belong up there with the HD 650 (and HD 6XX) and DT 880 as the “classic trio.” The K712 (and K7XX) has more bass and softer memory foam than the foam in the K701 pads, and I found it to present details a little clearer, firmer, and smoother than my older Q701 (which actually developed into quite the rumble canons, very cool with thunder effects in Destiny’s “Vault of Glass” raid!). Probably my second recommendation after the HD 58X Jubilee, get these AKG if you prefer a larger soundstage over the more rich and full-bodied sound of the Sennheiser. I would also recommend the AKG if you were one of the rare few that thought the HD 650 midrange was “shouty” (I have a feeling it’s something physical like my aversion to Beyer treble, or maybe someone who is just used to thinner midrange). Another AKG that is sadly often overlooked is the K612 Pro… if the DT880 is the flatter and more neutral DT990, then the K612 Pro is also the flatter and more neutral K712 Pro, also it has a bit higher impedance (for less amp-marching problems) for about the same volume senstitivity as the K7XX/K712. I sold my K712 after I got my K612 for $130 a few years ago. AKGs also sound real nice with tube amps, if you ever felt like exploring that.

Hope this story and impressions helped (and maybe entertained?) you! Keep in mind I have a good, powerful, possibly overkill amp at home to drive my current headphones (HDV 820) and some other great amps in the past (Cavalli Liquid Carbon, and a SET Tube Hybrid amp).

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K712 is a great all rounder. Good bass for an open back, massive soundstage and really comfortable. Bear in mind the mini xlr connection though as a boompro mic won’t fit, you’ll have to use the awful modmic for gaming.

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Certain people are sensitive to treble, so it would make sense why you dislike the Beyer’s and prefer the smoother and more rolled off Sennheiser sound. I am surprised you thought the 1990 was veiled compared to the 660 though, because imo it’s the opposite

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I honestly thought they would be on par, but I tried them back to back and at last year’s CanJam RMAF and the HD 660S sounded noticeably clearer. I wouldn’t necessarily say the HD 660S was rolled off either. But when I’m saying the DT 1990 was a bit less clear, I mean it had a slower transient response… it was still plenty detailed (and treble emphasized). Dull was probably the wrong word choice, but less sharp in the optical/camera sense? Even if it’s signature is not for me, it’s still a very good, high performing headphone, and I could still see someone choosing it.

HD 650 < DT1990 < HD 660S transient response.

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I think it’s because the difference in frequency response that would give a perceived difference in clarity imo. The 660s is not as flat and has more of a crafted sound then the 1990, which could make some music more clear sounding on the 660. I do agree that it does have a slightly slower transient, but not by much imo. Flatter frequency response headphones tend to sound more dull or less “clear” compared to a more tuned sound

Also since you mentioned the 650, what’s your option on them vs the 660s? I’ll share my opinions after :wink:

By flat do you mean closer to neutral or closer to a sort of straight-line graph like an Audeze planar?

Comparing Tyll’s impulse response measurements of the 650 and 660 to the only one I’ve ever seen for the 1990, which sadly is amateur, I’d say that’s very good hearing. But both the 660 and the 1990 appear to have very little ringing after the initial pulse.

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Yeah, pretty much negligible for most people. By flat I mean closer to a flat line. Not necessarily neutral (as you can debate what neutral means where a flat response is actually flat)

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Thought so. That makes perfect sense out of your comments. Thing that confused me is there seems to be this long-standing use of the word flat to = neutral or FR accurate that presumably comes from the 2-channel world where the equation makes some sense. Perhaps it’s just me, but I’d thought it was common for headphoners to also equate flat with accurate.

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Also I just realized I screwed up, as I meant to say that the 1990 has better treble transients because of the faster driver.

Yeah, the idea of neutral is a pretty difficult to define, especially since the perceived neutrality can differ from person to person. And I don’t want to get into stuff like the harman target or diffuse field etc. Personally I would classify something as neutral if it sounds natural, accurate timbre to real life, and pretty much just sounds realistic compared to the real world.

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