So as you guys know (hopefully) I am the Director of Marketing at Antlion Audio, the guys that make the ModMic and also a local Portland company near the new Tek Syndicate office.
Last week we combed the internet and found 12 trusted sources which listed their recommendations for headphones. We then checked which pairs appear most often as a way to generate a fairly unbiased list of the best headphones, rather than give our own personal opinions. Hopefully this helps some of you narrow down your research a bit.
The winner was the DT770 at 6 of 12. In second was the HD500 at 5 of 12, and the rest all appeared 4 times.
The results are below in price order: Creative Aurvana Live ~$52.99 Sony MDR-V6 ~$98.00 Sennheiser HD558 ~$99.99 Beyerdynamic DT770 ~$126.00 Beyerdynamic DT880 Pro ~$190.00 AKG Q701 ~$239.99 Sennheiser HD 600 ~$287.86
Interesting. Unfortunately I still think that this approach still gives a really shallow list.
99% of people looking for recommendations are people who are new to the audio world.
They don't have a lot of cash, and they are not looking for a complicated setup. So a lot of good quality headphones get replaced with lower quality and lower fuss headphones.
For instance the fostex t50-rp is a decent headphone for around the same price as the sony headphones. The fostex headphones actually sound better, but they require an amp, and they are kind of a bit funky to deal with.
The sonys are just plug and play. So even though they sound worse, they get "recommended" more often.
I am looking through the specs to find the input impedance of the amp.
I mean I have owned the HD600s in the past, and I have spent a lot of time putting them into different amps and just messing about with them in general. (I am very bored with a lot of time on my hands lol)
They are not super picky headphones, but their sound signature can definitely vary. Thats why I am highly suspicions that something is not setup correctly, or that marantz is just full of shit.
I bet you that if you took your headphones into any audio shop that would let you test different amps, you would get a whole new appreciation for the 600s.
Marantz being full of shit would be VERY strange. I got some much older amp (PM-80 mkII) made by them. I will hook that up, give me a second.
Update: PM-80 mkII is still perfectly working. I got a bit lost listening to "Kraftwerk - Stratovarious" and "Kraftwerk - Vom Himmel hoch" before I remembered what I wanted to do. Either Sennheiser fucked up on the HD 600s or AudioTechnica is as good with headphones as they are with pick-up systems (my record player got one of their higher end ones).
Plan for Saturday: Pay visit to local HiFi shop. Try HD 600s & HD 800s and AudioTechnica ATH-AD 500X & 2000X, maybe some others. I might spend money there.
I recently boaght the cheap Sennheiser HD202-II for arround €35,-. I have tested a couple in diffrent price ranges at the shop. But for headphones in the price range upto $50,- it was one of the best sounding they had in the shop at that price point imo. It doesnt have the best build quality i have to admit, but for that price i cannot complain.