Trouble picking new open back daily drivers


I’ve been looking into getting a new pair of daily driver open back headphones since my current ones are starting to show their age.

My biggest problem currently is that I’m spoiled for choice and do not know what to pick anymore.
I’ve looked at a lot of headphones for several months now.

To give an idea how many I looked at, here is my list

  • Beyerdynamic DT990
  • Beyerdynamic DT880
  • Beyerdynamic TYGR 300R
  • Beyerdynamic DT1990 PRO
  • HiFiMAN Sundara
  • HiFiMan HE400i
  • Sennheiser HD660s
  • Sennheiser HD600
  • Sennheiser HD650
  • Sennheiser HD560s
  • Mackie MC450
  • Harmonicdyne Zeus
  • SIVGA Phoenix

Anything from DROP is not an option for me due to I’m European and the shipping and import would make them a lot more expensive

My current setup:
Headphones: Sennheiser HD599
DAC: Topping E30
AMP: Topping L30

Movies, tv shows, gaming, music
Pretty much all around use as you can see
The music I listen most to is 60s-70s-80s pop/rock, Metal

Any help and insight to help me make the right choice would be very welcome because I don’t know anymore.

Just saying - sometimes even with shipping (which is 15USD I believe?) and tax it might still be cheaper than buying locally. At least that’s the case for the UK

Roughly calculated it would cost me around 310USD to get an HD6XX to give you an idea.
Is that still worth it?
If it is I guess DROP is an option.
Still don’t know what to pick though.
It just adds some more headphones to my list :stuck_out_tongue:

do you like an intimate sound stage or a wider venue?

do you like the tuning on the hd599, but want to improve on it? or looking to change it up?

That is a hard question for me.
I’m fairly new to all of this audio stuff so I don’t have much to compare them to.
I have owned these HD599s for years now and I still use them so I like them well enough.
The only thing I currently have to compare them to is a pair of DT770 80 Ohm’s that I use from time to time.
Compared to those the HD599s are very narrow sound stage wise, so I wouldn’t mind my new pick being wider.

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Here in the UK, second hand HD650 sells around the same price. New HD650 tends to be closer to £300

i would avoid more sennheiser. until you get to the hd800, there is no sound stage in sennheiser.

tuning wise, are you wanting to try something different sounding? do you like the way either of your headphones are tuned and want better versions?

just trying to narrow down your choices some, so you can hopefully come to a conclusion, or close to one, on your own.

I wouldn’t mind either way tuning wise.
Like I said before I also own a pair of DT770’s and I don’t like listening to some music with those.
They get a bit to sharp sometimes so I would like to avoid that if possible.

all good :slightly_smiling_face:

thats a common problem in beyers. their treble peakeness is real.

edit: hifiman is also known for their treble peakeness.

Well I guess I’m stuck again then.
I do have a general idea to avoid Beyer and hifiman if I want to avoid peakyness I guess.
That is progress.
Any brands I should take a look at that you can think of?

try this link. i think they ship to EU. emu teak. very good headphones.

also i like t60rp’s. argon mod is very optional on the 60’s. they are tuned slightly mild V shape. and with pad swapping, you can boost mids/bass/neutral. they take well to pad swapping to change the character some.

they are both planars with fairly wide soundstages. they both do well with classic rock/pop imo

that can give you a little insight on the emu’s. fostex x00 variants are also good, but only found used now.

also, don’t buy into all the hoopala about them being power hungry. they are not that efficient, don’t get me wrong, but they are not nearly as bad as some people make them out to be. i use my t60’s on an amp rated at 300mw and one rated at 5 watts. no real difference other then the natural differences in the amps.

I thought it was. :slight_smile: I still have a daily pair that i use and another one unboxed.
310 usd would be something 253€…ish. New pair of HD650 cost’s 330€ here so still cheaper.
Just to take in concern.

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I have been looking at Fostex since I made this post, but they aren’t really open back.
They are marketed here as ‘Semi Open’.
They also look very warm to me.
One of the things I love about my HD599’s is that they never get to hot to wear no matter the weather.
How are the T60RP to wear in warmer weather?
Also how ‘open/closed’ are they?

In my opinion the HD560s punch above their price category and are a nice replacement to your 599’s. I can name a few headphones i like more but they all prefer leather pads and those tend to feel warmer. If you want more soundstage and a more “fun” sound you can go for the Zeus instead.

they will get fairly hot in warm weather, i wont lie. they are not really open, but have wider soundstage then a healthy chunk of open in the price range.

I’ll take another look at those for sure.

With the Zeus I’m a bit afraid of how long they will last.
I’m planning to use the replacement of my 599s for several hours a day every day and the Zeus seems a bit on the cheap side when it comes to build quality.