Hunting for headphones

Continuing the discussion from Poll Syndicate:

(Maybe a mod could move the posts? Did not expect it to get so much attention)

Long story short:
Coming from the ATH-AD500X, I am looking for a new pair of headphones.
Question is: Wich one? AKG K702 or K712Pro, Beyerdynamic DT-990 Pro’s or go all out and get ATH-R70X’s?

Setup: Onboard and Soundcard output into a powered desktop mixer, so I can drive everything that has a 6.3mm jack (2x mono or stereo).

Long Story

Way back when, I went from el-cheapo plastic headphones to gaming headset. A failed investment and an uncomfortable (because heavy) one at that.
After that I went to the ATH-AD500X because that was the money I was willing to spend and the system (openback over ear) I wanted.

3 or so years later, the 500x’s are still good cans. Could use new pads, but they are still good. Except they tend to sag a bit in long sessions. My interest in working with audio gear lead me into all kinds of directions…
Right now my headphones are powered from a desktop mixer that gets it´s signal from onboard sound and the soundcard. Depending on requirements (and money) I am could put an amplifier after the mixer to power whatever headphones I go for.

Could have put some description, but I don´t want to skew results:

  • Stay with ATH-AD500x’s and be happy with what you got
  • Buy AKG K702
  • Buy AKG K-712 Pro
  • Safe up for ATH-R70x’s you cheap fuck!
  • Give in and get DT-990 Pro’s already!

0 voters

My hearing is fucked going on two years. :cry:

But if I had to pick. It would be the grado sr225i with the large grado ear cushion.

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thats a tough one, depends on what you look for in audio, im a person who loves a bit of overkill treble with my hard bass and warm mids; so my taste might be different from you. also guessing this is just for PC use or an everything type of headphone?

In terms of comfort the K712 are way ahead of the K702. The headband alone is a huge difference as on the K702 it feels like something like stiff cardboard, rather than the nice leather (even if it’s maybe pleather) on the K712. They also don’t have the nice memory foam earpads.

The subjective difference - sound: the K712 have a bit more bass and are less sharp on the highs.

To me those differences were big enough to send the K702 back and get the K712, and I don’t regret that decision at all.

No idea about the DT-990s, only from what I’ve read/heard in videos. Apparently Beyerdynamics = trebble².

any DAC/AMPs with your setup right now or will you get those later on? Depending on what DAC/AMP you get; the sound can vary (warm, neutral, wide), so make sure you pair your headphones with an appropriate DAC/AMP that compliments its sound)
Im sitting with a (what Ive heard) amazing pair of headphones, but running it with my onboard audio is not doing it justice, gonna get a Dac/Amp Combo when I upgrade my PC in the future.

If you’re going to wear them a lot: worth it. The stiff “cardboard” headband is just not comfortable at all.
Again, sound is subjective but after a while the sharp highs were getting a bit painful too.
You could solve the headband issue with some soft foam glued to it.

I own both the DT990 and K712 and the K712 gets my vote hands down, no contest. More comfortable, removable cable, cleaner sound, and a better sound signature IMO. DT990s are heavy on the bass and treble, K712s are much more balanced.

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The Grados would definitely be for you.

If I messed up and forgot any or grabed the wrong ones or anything like that. Let me know. :smiley:

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Onboard and Soundcard output to desktop mixer, from there it goes to headphones.

Having the balance of the AKGs would be nice. Some reviews say their soundstage feels very open (almost like beeing on stage).

The bass&treble thing makes the DT990s intersting for gaming (I would like to believe).

Anything instrumental (like soundtracks) and genres that don#t depend on some “oomph” is where they shine.
tbh, rock/metal/electronic is more “fun” with my HD589 SR. Haven’t looked into some open cans for those genres yet.

Depends on what you are aiming for. The DT990s are more “fun”, although the treble hurts my ears after a while, whereas the K712s have a wide open soundstage and are as clear as the air.

An alternative (assuming you can get them in Deutschland) would be the Massdrop x Sennheiser HD6XX headphones. They’re strike a very good balance between soundstage, clarity, and fun. Not quite as detailed and wide as the K712s, but slightly warmer in tone and overall a really pleasant experience. Also shares parts with the HD650, so plenty of replacement parts if you want to make them more personal.

Short story short, respect the poll, get the DT990s

If it was easy to decide, I would not have asked in the first place.

I am going to sleep it over, let it sit for a week and toss a coin.

Man I love buying headphones :money_mouth_face:

I’d personally go with the 990’s. But I like “lively” sounding headphones like Grados. Very good for music and gaming IMO.

Does your mixer have an amp? Cause there are a few versions of the DT-XX0s - 32, 250 and 600 Ohm.


Worst case I use my fathers old Marantz Amp until I get a dedicated headphone amp.

Your own dedicated DAC/Amp doesn’t need to be expensive. I got the SMSL M3 for 85€ from Amazon and they drive my K712 just fine (also no more audio issues caused by Winderp). With higher end/higher impedance headphones (like the HD660) I’d probably get something more powerful, as the amp inside is only rated for ~300 Ohm.

Got interested in the DT 990 now too but when I watched Z Reviews’ video about them I got discouraged cause he said the highs are very sharp. I’m very sensitive to highs, one of the things I like about the K712 over the K702, as they tone them down a bit.

Well, Beyerdynamic and treble go hand in hand I guess.