Greetings all, I'm a newbie in the world of stereophile in search of wise guidances. Recently been planning to upgrade my cans but can't decide between two choices: AKG K601 and Grado SR80I. I mostly listen to MP3/AAC files from my laptop/MP3 player and my only headphone amp currently is the budget Fiio E5 (will try to upgrade this to Graham Slee Voyager when my budget allowed...). Any suggestions would be most appreciated. Thanks
Welcome to the "world of Stereophile". While headphone based systems can deliver outstanding performance and stirring musical experiences, the system you describe offers many opportunities for improved fidelity. The two headphones you're considering would be offer good improvement, but the first step I'd recommend would be to go to lossless compression for your music files. You could probably get sound improvement at least equal to a new set of cans at no cost by moving to FLAC, WMA Lossless or ALAC file format. You didn't mention the type of 'phones you're currently using, but either of the two you're considering would give a lot more satisfying experience with lossless files.
Thanks, CharlyD. My current cans is Sennheiser HD437 which I've been using for over a year now. A decent pair of cans but can't seems to handle the dynamics of piano rhythms very well and details are muddle sometimes. Will try to convert some of my collections into lossless formats from now on. Heaven know why I convert all my stuff into AAC/MP3 in the past few years...
I would go for the AKGs even though they are about twice the price of the Grados. I own the 80's and like them, but they are uncomfortable for long periods, and if you have excellent hearing, can sound a little bright. For an old guy like me they are what I NEED.
I am looking to replace them this fall with the AKG 702's, and I will be buying a second pair of Sony 7506 closed back phones for my recording work. The = to those is the Sennheiser HD 280 for $99 or the newer HD 380 for $199.
I like the Sony's as much as the Grado 80s and they are much more substantial and way more comfortable. Just not as bright, but with good bass.
Ah man..heck with it!
save up the cheddar and get the AKG 701s or 702s, and youll have no need to upgrade!!!
buy nice. buy once!
Thanks guys. I think I will go for the AKG, even though it is said to be a bit tough to drive. The K701 is my dream cans but my current 'finance' just can't manage ...
Thanks for the info, Jim. 50% discount off K701 & K702 . Now must find out if they will ship to UK