Author Topic: Headphone dissatisfied: Time for planars?  (Read 777 times)

Offline Crankshaft

Headphone dissatisfied: Time for planars?
« on: January 30, 2021, 01:01:33 PM »
I tried AKG702, Beyer DT1770 and still something is missing.
Wondering if Audeze LCD2 or similar may be the answer.
With speakers my best sound was a pair of Quad ESL57.

Offline Hi-Phibian

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Re: Headphone dissatisfied: Time for planars?
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2021, 01:04:37 PM »
Perhaps more focus on what’s missing? Planars are different but they may have more or even less of what you think missing. 

Oh, and they need something firm to wake them up. 


 
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Analogue by birth, digital by design. Mostly a StereoType though known to enjoy some Mono too  http://www.croak.co.za https://instagram.com/croakaudio?igshid=1wzr83vlqtbyy

Offline Crankshaft

Re: Headphone dissatisfied: Time for planars?
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2021, 01:23:43 PM »
I'm after what I call transparency.
Vast and open soundstage.
Have an amp:  Nuforce HAP-100
Went closed back as I want to play loud without disturbing otters,  but I guess one can't have it all.

Offline Hi-Phibian

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Re: Headphone dissatisfied: Time for planars?
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2021, 01:42:56 PM »
Vast and open sound stage imo rare on closed back.  There are a few that apparently can.  Most spacious closed back I audition were the Fostex purple and mahogany from Drop. 

HD800 are the most spacious and clear I have.  (Vs baby Stax, sen HD600, H4xx Hifiman, DT880
600z Beyer and K702).  No headphone is as outside the head. 

Spacious as it gets without the cost of HD800 K702, clean and dynamic as it gets without the the cost of HD800 the DT880 but neither has as much or both as the HD800.   

Well run in, with a better wire than stock the H4xx are good.  They are quite even handed.   Maybe a fair midway between 880 and 702 but they only allow listening loud in the same house as another if not in the same room, or even same
open space. 


Audeze is mostly dark to me.  Too dark. 

Focal Elear is a good contender for not quite HD800 but better in most parameters than the others mentioned. 

None of these are closed. 



 
Croak Audio
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Headphone dissatisfied: Time for planars?
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2021, 01:44:23 PM »
.
Croak Audio
Analogue by birth, digital by design. Mostly a StereoType though known to enjoy some Mono too  http://www.croak.co.za https://instagram.com/croakaudio?igshid=1wzr83vlqtbyy

Offline kamikazi

Re: Headphone dissatisfied: Time for planars?
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2021, 02:23:58 PM »
Closest to Quad in the headphone world would probably be Hifiman, though I don't specifically know how the newer planar models sound? I believe they have changed their house sound somewhat over the years and the designer is trying to get them to sound more like electrostats with a focus on thin driver diaphragms to achieve that means. Don't know if one can still find the HE400i around, otherwise I'd say that would be worth a try (check Hifiman store on Amazon).

Audeze with something like the LCD2 would be very different sounding, but they are awesome in their own unique way. More liquid, seductive and intimate sounding with nicely textured bass. The Hifiman can output good bass with lots of power, but it a bit more more one-note sounding in the bass. I'd be cautious with Stax, though they are definitely the most and spacious headphones that I've heard and have a wonderful presentation and quickness of feet, but I can't look past the deficiencies in the bass department. If you'd go that route it have to be one of the TOTL in the series.

Only closed headphone that I've found spacious sounding is the Audio Technica MSR7, but it's not the best headphone to listen loud to as it has some peaks in the upper midrange, though a change of pads for me has since fixed that.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2021, 02:27:32 PM by kamikazi »

Offline gavinbirss

Re: Headphone dissatisfied: Time for planars?
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2021, 03:00:40 PM »
RAAL SR1a (and a schiit amp)
 :groovy:

Offline grumpybear

Re: Headphone dissatisfied: Time for planars?
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2021, 03:53:33 PM »
Open back would be first prize for "out of the head" staging but some closed backs are decent in this respect.  The closed back Audeze suffers from easily damaged diaphragms with a horrible cost to repair.

If the budget stretches you could consider the latest Gen 3 version of the Beyerdynamic T5.  Se review on this link https://majorhifi.com/beyerdynamic-t5-third-gen-review/

With the important part being

"Soundstage

Though it doesn’t offer the blissful, spatial pleasures of its open-back counterpart, the T5 still supports a fair and accurate soundstage that excels in positioning and accuracy. The image sits in its natural place in the mix, while the T5 reproduces each sound element naturally. The T5 exhibits a lot of spatial information with tight positioning, and they have a wide resonance that plays well in the stage."

Offline Crankshaft

Re: Headphone dissatisfied: Time for planars?
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2021, 04:14:55 PM »
Thank you for the great replies.
From what I've read, the DT1770 are not that disimilar to the T5.
I didn't realise the the Audeze was that dark - I like a little sparkle.
Perhaps I must try and audition some Hifiman to get some perspective.
The sound that remember most vividly was my old pair of HD600 hooked up to a Woo Audio headamp.

Offline Reshen

Re: Headphone dissatisfied: Time for planars?
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2021, 04:53:28 PM »
The Hifiman Arya might meet your spec.

I haven't heard them but some reviewers refer to them as the planar HD800.

Take that with a pinch of salt...

Offline neilh

Re: Headphone dissatisfied: Time for planars?
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2021, 06:37:05 PM »
Sort of in the same boat as you

Have my eyes on Fostex T60/T50RP, Sivga Phoenix and Drop Hifiman Planars

MSR7's and Sennheiser Momentum On Ears with a pad swap are my dailys, good enough for the daily drudge but not quite there for just listening and appreciating the music

Offline dingeth

Re: Headphone dissatisfied: Time for planars?
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2021, 03:37:31 PM »
I can provide some feedback regarding the Audeze line of planars as I own a few. My LCD2C is definitely on the darker side, but that speaks to the Audeze house sound and it's the reason many people prefer them in the first place as they make for easy listening with no fatigue. The bass is something you won't easily find in a dynamic headphone, or many other planars for that matter. Audeze just does bass properly. The weight is something you need to prepare yourself for though, as at 550g they aren't exactly light...

It is worth noting that not all Audeze headphones are dark. The Sine on-ear actually has quite a nicely present treble region (at least compared to the LCD2C's).

Audio Noob

Offline Curlycat

Re: Headphone dissatisfied: Time for planars?
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2021, 07:25:49 PM »
I'm after what I call transparency.
Vast and open soundstage.
Have an amp:  Nuforce HAP-100
Went closed back as I want to play loud without disturbing otters,  but I guess one can't have it all.

Perhaps you are just not a headphone guy?

I have been down the same road you seem to be taking now. I have tried open back, closed, over-ear, on-ear, planar, etc -just did not work for me, especially the vast and open soundstage.

“I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is.”  Alan Watts

Offline Crankshaft

Re: Headphone dissatisfied: Time for planars?
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2021, 09:03:33 PM »
Maybe you are right.  I am after all trying to re-create that feeling I had when I would listen to my Sony Walkman at top volume and it sounded just amazing.


Perhaps you are just not a headphone guy?

I have been down the same road you seem to be taking now. I have tried open back, closed, over-ear, on-ear, planar, etc -just did not work for me, especially the vast and open soundstage.

Offline EddieB

Re: Headphone dissatisfied: Time for planars?
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2021, 10:12:07 PM »
Maybe you are right.  I am after all trying to re-create that feeling I had when I would listen to my Sony Walkman at top volume and it sounded just amazing.

I remember many years ago back-packing through South America with my sony walkman equivalent, sitting on a bus or train, looking at the incredible scenery while being blown away by Joni Mitchell, Led Zeppelin, Captain Beefheart, Jimi, Van the Man, Bob Dylan of course ... music never sounded better. (right time, right place, right age, right music). But I've also never really been a headphone guy. Late last year I took the plunge and bought the Soekris DAC/headphone amp from gavinbirss and a set of Hifiman Sundaras - mainly for use when working on the computer. I'm very happy (the Soekris-Sundaras are probably not the best match, but that's another story), but when I really want to enjoy and share (important for me), it's off to the hifi. That's just my preference.