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Has anyone tried both the DT 770 Pro and Takstar pro 82?

SuperFastguy

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If you own or have ever tried both the DT 770 Pro and Takstar pro 82, which one do you think is more comfortable? I'm deciding between getting one of these two headphones and I plan to use it for long hours everyday, so I need headphones that are as comfortable as possible.

I hear they are both some of the best budget headphones for comfort. I'm sensitive to clamp force and I like ear cups that don't touch the ears. Do the DT 770 pro put clamp pressure on the head? Are the Takstar pro 82 ear cups too small? Right now I'm leaning more towards the pro 82. Do you have any suggestions?
 

Dunring

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I've had every Beyerdynamic except the dt660 and the DT770 250 ohm is extremely comfortable and your ears won't touch the drivers. On eBay there's a place selling them open box for $109.88 and you won't find a better value. I've had them many times for the business and the bass extends all the way down. Put some bass heavy tracks and you'll have so much fun. You can wear them all day long, clamp is normal even for large heads, no squeeze like the Sennheisers.
 
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SuperFastguy

SuperFastguy

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I've had every Beyerdynamic except the dt660 and the DT770 250 ohm is extremely comfortable and your ears won't touch the drivers. On eBay there's a place selling them open box for $109.88 and you won't find a better value. I've had them many times for the business and the bass extends all the way down. Put some bass heavy tracks and you'll have so much fun. You can wear them all day long, clamp is normal even for large heads, no squeeze like the Sennheisers.
Do you know if the DT 770 pro feels similar to any newer headphones (M50x, HD600 etc)? There is a shop nearby me that lets you demo headphones. They don't have the DT 770, but if I can try on a similar set, I can get the idea of how they would feel.
 

Hipster

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I own both - I've got two pairs of Takstar Pro 82 and one pair of 250 ohm DT770s. I A/B'd them earlier today because I got a pair of HE400se in to try out.

The DT770 have much greater clamping force, my ears touch the drivers, and the earpads are much stiffer. Even after stretching the DT770s out, they give me a headache after a few hours.

On the other side of the arena, the Pro 82 are the most comfortable headphones I have ever worn. I put them on when I got them out of the box in 2021 and they haven't left my head since. The Takstars are my absolute favorite headphones. Easy to listen to, fun sound signature and punch well above their $50 market price (I like the sound better than anything else I've tried.) The earcups do touch my ears, though I haven't been bothered by it and my ears don't rub against anything hard (like the DT770s' drivers.)

If you want big, comfy earcups, perhaps grabbing DT770s, stretching them out, and adding a set of aftermarket cups would be a solution? But that costs a lot more than grabbing a pair of Takstars, and unless you also find a way to tame their trademark sibilance, the 770s might get fatiguing fast.
 

hex168

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I own both - I've got two pairs of Takstar Pro 82 and one pair of 250 ohm DT770s. I A/B'd them earlier today because I got a pair of HE400se in to try out.

The DT770 have much greater clamping force, my ears touch the drivers, and the earpads are much stiffer. Even after stretching the DT770s out, they give me a headache after a few hours.

On the other side of the arena, the Pro 82 are the most comfortable headphones I have ever worn. I put them on when I got them out of the box in 2021 and they haven't left my head since. The Takstars are my absolute favorite headphones. Easy to listen to, fun sound signature and punch well above their $50 market price (I like the sound better than anything else I've tried.) The earcups do touch my ears, though I haven't been bothered by it and my ears don't rub against anything hard (like the DT770s' drivers.)

If you want big, comfy earcups, perhaps grabbing DT770s, stretching them out, and adding a set of aftermarket cups would be a solution? But that costs a lot more than grabbing a pair of Takstars, and unless you also find a way to tame their trademark sibilance, the 770s might get fatiguing fast.
While you're on the topic, can you describe how they compare to the HE400se?
 

Hipster

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While you're on the topic, can you describe how they compare to the HE400se?

Took a while.. I wound up listening to all of my headphones back to back again. Hopefully this is a little useful, if a bit opinionated


TL;DR: Great bass for open-backs, great bass for any headphone I've sat on my head, really. Fun pick for electronic music. Veil on upper mids and highs cannot be defeated (well, not by me, over some hours this morning) and ruins my enjoyment of the headphones. Comfort is so-so - if you like how DT770s fit, you'll like these. I would say that in terms of preference I like Takstars better than the HE400se because of the sound signature (more fun), comfort and intimacy (no veil, doesn't feel 'distant'). The DT770s come second, ahead of the HE400se because they're (in my rather poor opinion) better at everything but bass extension and the width of the soundstage they present. Behind the Takstars because they're a bit less comfy, a bit less fun, and twice the price. The M50s are somewhere in there, but it doesn't really matter because they're worse Takstars as far as I'm concerned.

I don't really like or recommend the HE400se. They're okay, I guess, at some stuff, but I wouldn't want to use them for very long and definitely enjoyed putting my Takstars back on my noggin as I finished this up.


Essay warning (I tried to highlight the most important bits.. but this might be annoying to read. Sorry)


The Challengers
My reference are Dynaudio BM10 studio monitors on a Sansui AU-G77XII integrated amp. They set a very high bar. I'll try to avoid comparisons to them where it's not warranted.
I like the Takstar Pro 82s better than everything else because of their sense of intimacy and sound signature that closely matches my studio monitors. Detail is just "good enough," and the soundstage is very tight, but imaging is excellent. For the price, they mop up everything else as far as I'm concerned. I've tried Sivga SV01s (I think), the DT770s and M50s I own, some Senny open back (probably HD598s), HD 280 Pros, and some other stuff I forgot about. The Takstars are the closest thing to my studio monitors that I have found, and also are my favorite as far as comfort goes. But that means I've listened to them much, much more than anything else here, so take my thoughts with a grain of salt - I came into this knowing that I really, really like the Takstars. I gave the HE400se a solid try, but didn't really expect them to blow my world.
The Beyerdynamic DT770s are, I suppose, clinical. They sound like a tool, a $150 auditory scalpel, to be used to extract every ounce of sound from any given recording. They are inoffensive until you hit sibilance. Not intimate, but not particularly distant, either - again, a great tool. I don't really like them, but I can't really fault them for much, either. Soundstage is a bit better than the Takstars. Imaging is a bit worse. I don't find them particularly enjoyable to listen to, but they're very, very capable headphones and I keep them around as a reference because everyone and their brother has a pair. In my opinion, they handle everything you could possibly want to throw at them well enough. These were my main squeeze for about a year, before I got my first pair of Takstars.
The ATH M50s are meh. More intimate and more exciting than the DT770s, but technically quite bad. Bass blends together and everything still sounds a bit muddy. If I had to give them a derogatory title, I would call them "worse Takstars." Note that these are a 20 year old pair of original M50s, not M50x; this might not be applicable to newer models.
Amplifiers
I'm driving everything but the HE400se off a Schiit Magni Heresy and Modi 3+. I have a Sansui integrated amp (AU-G77XII) that I use for my speakers (Dynaudio BM10) and the HE400se. I use the same Modi and Magni (preamp outs on the Magni) as a source for the Sansui. I don't think it's very good at driving headphones, even though it delivers a lot of power to the headphone jack - the DT770s sound like a muddy mess - but the HE400se sound a good bit better (more "full") running off this amp than they do off my Magni (I don't think the Magni delivers quite enough juice; they sound a little too flat.)
Luckily, the 400se don't seem to suffer too much from being driven off the big integrated amp, unlike the DT770s. I drove them off both amps while writing this up to make sure I wasn't making an oopsie and writing up a big old rant about how these headphones are terrible when my amp is what really sucked - I'm confident in saying that they gain a bit of body at the expense of a bit of clarity, but it's a pretty moot tradeoff. I would expect that these planars sound better on a more powerful modern headphone amp.
My source is Spotify Premium. Yes, it sounds worse than FLAC files, and yes, I can tell, but I don't care that much. I usually play music in the background while working.
Okay - onto what I was actually asked about. The HE400se:
The first thing that jumped out at me is the bass. It's extremely good. The second thing that jumped out at me was just how good the HE400se are at ripping little details out of your file and shoving them all over your face (in a good way.) The "stealth magnets" that Hifiman seem to be so rightfully proud of are capable of munching right on through fast, technical sections and layered electronic basslines without allowing anything to blur together. Detail is brought to your attention and laid bare for your pleasure. A little whisper in a J-Pop song that's been in my rotation as of late that's barely perceptible on the Takstars, buried under the rest of the song (I didn't notice it until I went back looking for it), suddenly popped into existence when I gave that song a listen with the HE400se. In this way, they're like a better DT770.
A friend had me listen to some shoegaze. He's a Sundara owner, and it's one of his favorite genres - after listening with planars, I can appreciate it a lot more. The huge wall of instruments and vocals that hit me as one big mess on the Takstars are clearly distinct on the HE400se, in nice, layered waves that almost feel as if they're stacked vertically, and, though there's not a whole lot of accuracy in the placement, I'd go so far as to say that the HE400se as good as my speakers in terms of sheer technical clarity (I mean the ability of the driver to just play each individual detail in a song without struggling, ever.)
These plucky planars never get overwhelmed, never, never, never. I can pick apart the tracks in a way I've never been able to with a dynamic headphone. Electronic music is probably the genre these do best. Anything with lots of bass or layered detail showcases the HE400se's strengths. There's no veil over the fantastic sub-bass (I'll get to that first part later). The extension, deep and clear, is unmatched by any other pair of headphones I have (and these are open back!) And they EQ well, so you can go ahead and turn bass up to 10.5 if that's your thing. Amir's EQ profile is quite good and I found it more or less matched what I achieved via trial and error over five or six hours earlier today.
HE400se Assorted Negatives:
Unfortunately, I don't get along with these so well once we get out of the low-end area. On the topic of EQing stuff.. I don't like the sound signature much, and I haven't been able to prevent these from sounding 'muffled' with any combination of sliders, prayers, and swearing. I'd have to say that there's a pretty substantial, pretty permanent veil over the upper mids and highs. Amir's EQ profile is, again, about as good as mine was at scraping away a bit of that veil, but it's still clearly present. More power helped, too, but I don't have another amp that's more powerful than the Sansui.
I'm really struggling to pinpoint just what I don't like - the drivers respond plenty fast, there's just some sense of intimacy and presence that I'm totally missing. It feels like I'm watching a YouTube video of a concert on my phone, not listening to the concert.
The Takstars sound much richer and more 'full,' whatever that means. The guitars in Stone Temple Pilots' "Interstate Love Song" feel so much meatier playing back over the Takstars or my speakers than they do on the HE400se. The HE400se are also almost completely lacking a sense of intimacy ("being there") that I get from most other headphones, even the clinical DT770s, where you feel something like 'looking in on the music from behind the glass in a recording booth', have a much better sense of presence than the HE400se.
The unfortunate veil on highs makes it feel more like you're listening through a wall, or a few thick rugs. Vocals are quite noticeably veiled when compared to anything else. Female vocals really suffer; it sounds like they're singing through three or four thick cloth bags, maybe those reusable grocery ones. Highs take a bit of a beating. Male vocals get off a bit better but still don't sound quite right. Guitars can sound muffled and thin.
To compare, the Takstars do not sound veiled at all; they're a very intimate, almost in-your-face (maybe one or two steps back) experience. At points, music may lack clarity, but, for penance, the Takstars do a very good job at covering bad masters up (the DT770s, by comparison, do not - they make it blatantly clear that a master sucks. The HE400se are closer to the DT770s in this way - it will pick out the details, good and bad, like the extra "compression" you'll hear in grunge albums.) My monitors strike a great balance here (IMO) and make just about everything sound pretty good without the removal of detail the Takstars suffer from (I'd say they're as revealing as the DT770s, and almost as forgiving as the Takstars), but I don't expect anything I bought for $100 and stuck on my head to perform as well as a pair of huge $500 speakers that eat up half my desk space and demand an amp the size of a nightstand.
Soundstage (+) & Imaging (-)
Back to the HE400se. Soundstage is wide, much better than anything else I have that isn't a speaker. But the imaging isn't great - it feels like I've got left, right, center, and nothing else (though maybe that's a bit of hyperbole.) Listening to one of those gimmicky "8D audio" videos on YouTube on the Takstars, I feel like there's a source somewhere in a ~3 ft radius around my head. The HE400se turn that into 3ft out to the left, 3ft out to the right, right in front (not out in front, like, right off your nose), and maybe right behind you… but when noise is moving behind me, it really sounds like it just fades between the left and right, which is odd and annoying. I've never had this with any headphone before. In "real music," not 8D YouTube crap, this lack of imaging makes it much harder to place instruments, and I imagine if I attempted to play CS with these, I would get quite frustrated after dying a few times to someone I thought was somewhere else.
Perhaps it's that the HE400se are too detached (in pursuit of soundstage) for their own good? It almost feels like the HE400se presents sound "compressed" into a flat plane that extends about three feet out from each ear and maybe three inches up and down from each driver. The soundstage feels wide, but it's almost as if it's been artificially widened, stretched, like a square JPEG stuck on a website's banner. I don't enjoy the wide soundstage, it annoys me a bit. I can't quite put my finger on the feeling, but it doesn't quite sound like the music is three-dimensional. It's muffled, but still precise, the soundstage is wide but everything feels very narrow. I suppose I feel like it's a bit of a contradictory headphone. Wide, but without imaging good enough to take advantage of it. Detailed, but the veiled mids and highs make it unpleasant to listen to, so the detail doesn't matter.
That's the meat of it over with.
Comfort
Comfort on the Hifiman cans is so-so. They're maybe a little better than the DT770s thanks to pads that aren't quite so hard. Wearing them feels very similar to wearing DT770s. The DT770s did a number to the tips of my ears after a while, so I expect the HE400se would as well. My ears touch the drivers in both the DT770s and HE400se, which, I take, is not common.. so maybe I just have big ears.
The M50s have actual rocks taken off the ground (with a hole drilled through the middle) and then slapped on. The rocks also do not cover your ears, just sit atop them. I don't like the M50s' rocks. They hurt my ears, like you'd expect of rocks. The headphones are light, so I suppose if you replaced the rocks with not-rocks, the M50s would be plenty comfortable. Part of this is probably because they are vintage rocks that shipped on an original M50.
Takstars readily win this - they weigh almost half as much and have nice big marshmallows, not rocks, for earcups. My huge ears do touch the edges of the Takstar pads, but it's not painful or irritating. My ears do get a little hot because the Takstars surround your ears with big pleather pads, and, as light as they are, the Takstars don't compare to IEMs as far as not having stuff on your head goes.
Conclusion
Overall, the HE400se are nearly a fun, compelling pair of headphones, but I feel like they're let down by those subdued highs and the very lacklustre imaging performance it puts on. If the Sundara is these, with highs and imaging, I can certainly tell why they're so well regarded. I'm going to have to cop a listen to a pair somehow.. I think I know how.
I've probably made a few typos, or left some silly statement in that big block of text, even though I looked it over a few times. Please call me out on my crap, I'd like to correct anything that's not useful. Of course, I need to reiterate that all of this is my opinion and not Audiophile Fact™. I do not expect everyone (or, even, anyone) to agree with me.


Pros and Cons
HE400se pros:
  • Great bass extension, especially for an open-back
  • Huge EQ potential
  • Detail retrieval superpowers
  • Decent soundstage
  • $110 at time of purchase for planars
HE400se mehs:
  • Average comfort
  • Medium-high weight
  • QC is a bit of a ?
HE400se cons:
  • Veiled mids and highs spoil enjoyment
  • Imaging sucks
  • Sound signature isn't really for me
 

hex168

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Thank you for taking the time to write that thorough subjective review. It is interesting trying to pin down why something sounds the way it does. Your effort is appreciated.
 
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