Oct 9, 2018309 views

Help picking first audiophile headphones

As an intro to the audiophile world, I need a pair of headphones for at home music listening/gaming, i opted to go the modmic route for gaming, but idk which headphones to buy? Between the 7xx, he4xx, 6xx, and 58x, which will be best for long term use across a very wide variety of music genres and games?
thanks
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treon fisher and TeenageMutantNinjaSquirtle
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Update, since I wanted to play russian roulette, I went with the 4xx after all, will update this post when they arrive slapped with a 20% tax cuz...NL.
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The real trouble with 4XX is the sucked out mids if you don't play them loud. Their V shaped frequency response is even more pronounced at lower volumes. 6XX sounds about the same at any volume.
To be fair/honest, I do like the excess high end on 4XX for some genres though. Just nothing that has a lot of mids to miss.
Heefty
Fair points. I have an eclectic listening taste so I tend to gravitate towards cans that are more genre agnostic. I find the 4XX to be fun and work well with movies/games so maybe that's why I have a different perception of them. I admittedly use them very sparingly for music but they get a ton more use everywhere else. Even being fed from my Yamaha AVR, they perform admirably.
I have been unable to find a purpose for the 6XX in my current stable. I sadly just own a head/earphone that does what they do best without requiring a tube amp to wake them up. Mind you, I don't think the 6XX is bad, it just is not a flavor I enjoy. I feel the same way about the 58X now despite feeling like they were the improvement I wanted over the 6XX. I think being so deep with Focal now is making it harder to get away from their signature and go back to the Sennheiser house sound. Having the same problem with IEMs as Campfire apparently tunes all of their gear just for my ears as I find it hard going back to my Shures, Nobles, etc. Oddly enough, I'm finding myself fall out of love with BA IEMs and flock towards a single DD. But, I blame the Atlas and Lyra II for changing my perspective on that.
Just stay away from hifiman. They have very bad build quality.
I'm going to step outside the above box of cans, and suggest either the Philips X2HR if you have a quiet gaming area and don't need to be concerned about sound leakage, or the Audioquest NightOwl Carbon. I game with my Nightowl's on my XBOX one; my Xbox is in my fairly noisy, family living room.
Both sound spectacular, work well for gaming (modmic is needed for the X2HR), and both are extremely efficient drivers and need absolutely zero external amplification.
Oh, and they are both ridiculously comfortable right out of the box.
ohsigmachi
I use a pair of the original Fidelio X2's, they've become my most used set of cans for gaming and general use. You can actually use the V-moda BoomPro on the X2's for a great single cable solution, as Philips uses a standard 3.5mm for input.
What a great question! And not easy to answer. Each one of the headphones you mention, I own, and all are super. I've gravitated to two as my favorite, go-to headphones. The 6XX is what I listen to all day and absolutely love them. So much so that I bought a second set as a backup just to make sure I'm never without. Each evening I use the 7XX's by my bedside. They have a self-adjusting fit that makes them perfect for wearing while lying down. All sound good after break-in and I don't think you could go wrong with any.
I'd probably go with the 58X. Better for gaming, easier to drive so you won't need an amp, still very good for music, and it's the least expensive.
Can't really go wrong with either the 58X or 6XX though. 4XX is still solid, but you might not want to start with Planar. For the 7XX I've heard very mixed reviews, and most people who have heard them all have told me they're not as good as the other 3.
Absolutely loving my 6XX + iFi xDSD + Tidal MQA but I wouldn't necessarily recommend them for gaming. Many people complain the headclamp on the 6xx/650 is too tight and I have to agree as someone with a big noggin. Working on a mod for that now. Really, it comes down to what sounds good and is comfortable to you.
winterhalter
THe "mod" is to use a box or other item and leave them on it over night or few a few days to stretch them out.
https://www.popsci.com/sites/popsci.com/files/styles/1000_1x_/public/images/2018/05/4-stretch.jpg
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58X
What's your budget? Do you play on consoles or PC? I enjoy the 4XX while gaming since they're so dynamic and have the best bass out of the cans you listed. They do however, need some power to sound their best so an amping is highly suggested. The other best would be the 58X. The 7XX has the widest soundstage but it comes off as unnatural. The 4XX and 58X have smaller stages but better imaging and resolution of the sounds placed in that field. The 7XX is more diffuse where the others are smaller but much more focused. I play a lot of shooters and find a small and focused stage works the best when being competitive. I do prefer open for single player games where ambience matters but accuracy isn't as important.
I currently use either my Focal Elex or Fostex TR-X00 Ebony as my gaming cans just for context.
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For the most part, it's enough. I listen at loud volumes so I always want more but YMMV if you tend to listen at lower levels. It should be sufficient but you'll really want an amp or AVR eventually to really bring the 4XX to life and get that planar bass.
On my T50RP i have added a modmic and it works flawlessly.