Jun 27, 2018192 views

Best headphone with enough soundstage

I am looking for a great sounding budget open headphone with an outstanding soundstage. Of course I hate sibilant highs and boomy lows. Rather I care clear bass guitar notes and pronounced mid (for female vocals specially). The question is - should I go for HD6XX or wait for HE4XX? Or, anything else?
Of course I am not an audiophile. But I'm gradually appreciating better quality of music. I don't have very good amp (only FiiO Q1 MK II (portable)). Among good headphones, I already have OPPO PM3 that I really like and my MD+ is on the way and I am waiting with huge excitement. Among mediocre IEM, I own 1More Triple, F9 PRO, Primo8, and UM PRO 10 (new), and among headphones, WH-1000XM2 and Momentum 2.0. So, now I would like to have the taste of open sound.
A question for MD people - if I do not buy HD6XX now, is there any possibility that I could get a drop few months later or next year?
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HD6XX hands down. It'll scale with any upgrades as well.
Hi there

If it's soundstage you are looking for maybe have a look at the fidelio x2 they have a much larger soundstage than the hd650/6xx that I have owned and have also tested against an HE500. sound quality is comparable to the hd650 imo. They are slightly bassy compared to the hd650s but detail is roughly the same. Hd650 is laid back where the x2 is much more forward and to my ears more of a fun listen.
I own both the 4XX and the 6XX, as well. Both are great. I agree with a previous post that the 6XX has the superior soundstage, i.e. you hear the music around you rather than in your head. Nevertheless I hear details deep in the soundstage using the 4XX that are not as audible with any other headphone I own.
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Neither does layering well. But frankly, I've never personally owned, let alone heard, headphones with good layering. For me, headphone soundstage relates to how well the sound seems to be coming from outside my head versus between my ears. And in my experience, the 6XX does this better, though the 4XX is still good in this regard. But yes, I hear details, subtle things, like small percussion instruments being tapped in the background, better through the 4XX. It's all still seems to be coming from two bubbles around my ears and not from in front of me, but that's my experience, yours may vary.
LongLiveRock
I see... it is enough convincing. Thanks again.
Hmm, I don't know anything about the HE4XX, but the HD6XX has a very good sound stage. The HD6whatever series is sort of an industry standard so that is pretty much the safe bet,
fhood
Yeah, that's a good point. Being industry standard is something not anyone can easily achieve.
The sound stage king in this price range is either the AKG K7xx or K701/K702. Maybe the Beyerdynamic DT 990 as well but that is super bright with recessed mids.
Rhamnetin
Thank you for the opinion. But as you mentioned and also read from other places, the "super bright" can be "harsh" for me. So, right now cannot consider that.
I own both the 4XX and the 6XX. Both are excellent, and each has its own characteristics. They both enter the quality realm where taste is the deciding factor, like BMW vs Lexus. You can't go wrong with either. However, if soundstage is your primary criteria, I'd recommend the 6XX. It's more spacious to my ears, by a fair bit.
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A researcher after my own heart - love that you're really trying to understand!

I have a few thoughts - first, I'm not sure you can compare the 4XX to the 400i in the same 1:1 way that you rightly can with the 6XX and the 650. It's been a long time since I bought mine (first run), but I seem to remember them saying that it wasn't quite the same as either the 400s or the 400i. It's been a while though, so check that.

Second, I love Rtings approach - trying to bring objective measurements to the forefront of reviews. In fact they were a major deciding factor in my purchase of my LG OLED tv last year. They rated it as the number one option for consumers at the time, and I found that everything they said about TVs was pretty much spot on when I tested them. However, that hasn't been my experience with their headphone reviews. In fact, I've had a lot of "Huh?" moments in looking at their reviews compared to my subjective experience. Doesn't mean they are wrong, or that you shouldn't consider them - that's just my experience.

Ultimately, I think it comes down to the much broader variance in individuals' subjective acoustic experience, vs. say video. In short, I'd say it comes down to the fact that the artificial head they are using looks nothing like mine, and isn't going to interact with sound the same way mine will. I'm just not sure their approach works in the real world. Still, I applaud their effort, and you should give their opinion its due weight.

Last but not least, there are so many variables that I could never fully articulate - the test songs I use , the variance in what's driving the headphones (usually a Valhalla 2 for the 6XX and a Magni 2 for the 4XX), the shape of my head, my age, etc. Think of me - or any reviewer - as one data point, nothing more. I stand by my experience, but doesn't mean it will be the same as yours.

Finally, it's worth mentioning that neither of those two headphones are really standouts on soundstage, and not even the best headphones can compare to decent speakers, set up correctly, on that front. There are much cheaper headphones (e.g., my HD558 and Philips SHP9500s) that I think are better on the soundstage front (though not overall).

Hope that helps, and remember that I don't think you can go wrong with either choice!
GunsOfBrixton
Thank you so much for your elaborate response and I'm sorry for late reply. I understood your point. First, I know that MD models are not same as their base model but I assume they are close. Since I've no option for testing them, I've to decide taking acceptable range of +/- into consideration. And I'm fine with that.

Secondly, Rtings's results also raise a lot of "Huh!" to me. Especially their pointing system seems to be a bit confusing. Anyway, I don't know a second system that analyzes headphones that much in depth objectively. For example, Innerfidelity doesn't analyze soundstage if I'm not missing it.

Lastly, I followed your advice if my understanding is correct and moved to HD58X finally. The choice is because it is told to be close to HD650 and HD600 or at least in their class. Soundstage is important but not everything. Thanks once again.
Love my DT990, but you’ll need an amp.
ohsigmachi
Do you think the soundstage is very good or better than HE4XX?
phaysaal
I haven’t had a chance to A/B them since the last drop still hasn’t shipped yet (looking at you MD). However, the sound stage on the DT990 is very good.

I drive mine from a Darkvoice 336se with some very warm tubes and it pair well. Some people say the highs are bright, but I think of them as “analytical.”
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