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What's the deal with mid-tier closed headphones?

RHO

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#61
Fostex t-series lack lower bass, often there is a substantial channel imbalance between the drivers. They have rolled of upper treble.
Fortunately they are highly modifiable and react well to EQ. Once EQ'ed they sound great.
I think @Dan Clark made a wise decision to develop his own drivers instead of continuing to use the Fostex drivers/headphones.
Dan turned them into something 'better' (so did other companies) but there is so only much that can be done with physical mods.

The list I gave is incomplete. It's just what I hung onto. Didn't hang on to DT770 despite owning them twice.
To me it has a resonant and 'one-note' bass while others never hear(d) that. The treble peak needs some attention as well.
For the money it is a good headphone, the prof versions are sturdy as hell. The pads are well... need some attention now and then.
When it comes to cheaper good sounding closed headphones K371 and DT770 are about it.
Also the Takstar Pro82 is not a bad choice as well as the M50X and with some EQ the HD280Pro

There are probably some more but have no experience with those.
In your experience, in what way does the DCA Aeon RT closed improve upon the K371?
I own the K371 and I'm considering an upgrade. (I'm not 100% glued to the Harman target regarding tonality, but the headphones need to sound "balanced") Value is a bit personal so I'm trying to decide if they are worth it for me.
 

solderdude

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#62
Build quality, comfort... but K371 needs less EQ and is much easier to drive.
The DCA is not 'neutral' (3k dip is audible) but does sound good out of the box (a bit laid-back, somewhat lacking in clarity) .
Both need good seal.
 

RHO

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#64
Build quality, comfort... but K371 needs less EQ and is much easier to drive.
The DCA is not 'neutral' (3k dip is audible) but does sound good out of the box (a bit laid-back, somewhat lacking in clarity) .
Both need good seal.
I tend to not use EQ. I do have Peace installed and have different EQ settings for the sets I own, but I enjoy the differences between headphones less when I EQ them.
From what you are describing ... the Aeon is maybe not what I'm looking for. Mainly the "lacking in clarity" is putting me off. I don't see this as the same things as "laid back". So I hope we are talking about the same thing. :)
 

acbarn

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#65
I will highly recommend Meze 99 classics. I have certainly worn them for 8+ hours and the comfort for me is exceptional. I can only compare them to BD DT 990 80ohm, Focal Listen, Focal Elegia and ATH-M50s. Let me know if you'd like more info.
The Meze 99 are comfortable and good looking, but I found the sound quality to be subpar. The massive mid/lower-treble dip and bloated bass made them unlistenable for me. This was somewhat correctable in EQ, but not fully. YMMV of course.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/ph7mas4rr3addi9/Meze 99 Classics.pdf?dl=0
 

solderdude

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#66
I tend to not use EQ. I do have Peace installed and have different EQ settings for the sets I own, but I enjoy the differences between headphones less when I EQ them.
From what you are describing ... the Aeon is maybe not what I'm looking for. Mainly the "lacking in clarity" is putting me off. I don't see this as the same things as "laid back". So I hope we are talking about the same thing. :)
The AEON is a very enjoyable headphone out of the box with clearly present and not elevated smooth treble and tastefully pleasant mids.
When you have recordings that sound 'bright/shouty' on the K371 they will sound more 'right' on the DCA.
It has impressive yet not bloated bass.

When money were not an issue and had to pick either K371 and DCA and would have to use them for many years the DCA is by far the better choice.
When on a budget or wanting to use it portable from a phone the K371 is a no-brainer.
Horses for courses.
 

RHO

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#67
The AEON is a very enjoyable headphone out of the box with clearly present and not elevated smooth treble and tastefully pleasant mids.
When you have recordings that sound 'bright/shouty' on the K371 they will sound more 'right' on the DCA.
It has impressive yet not bloated bass.

When money were not an issue and had to pick either K371 and DCA and would have to use them for many years the DCA is by far the better choice.
When on a budget or wanting to use it portable from a phone the K371 is a no-brainer.
Horses for courses.
I want to use it when returning back to the office (so it has to be the closed version) but also while working from home. So always inside at a desk.
I think what I'm mainly looking for is something that sound a bit different from the K371 but still sounds very good. So a departure from the Harman target but still a very agreeable tuning.
The DCA could be a good one for when I listen to some (death/trash/black) metal, but maybe also for when I listen to some jazz for relaxing in the evening?
... OK, it's back on the shortlist. :D
 

Iglo

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#68
If used in the office I wouldn't discount the price difference. If someone would "mistakenly" take your headphones from your desk I would much rather lose the K371 vs the DCA Aeon RT. I don't know if the differences in sound quality would make up for this difference in risk, but just saying.
 

RHO

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#69
If used in the office I wouldn't discount the price difference. If someone would "mistakenly" take your headphones from your desk I would much rather lose the K371 vs the DCA Aeon RT. I don't know if the differences in sound quality would make up for this difference in risk, but just saying.
I'm happy to report that the chance of that happening in the company where I work is very, very small. :)
 
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#70
If used in the office I wouldn't discount the price difference. If someone would "mistakenly" take your headphones from your desk I would much rather lose the K371 vs the DCA Aeon RT. I don't know if the differences in sound quality would make up for this difference in risk, but just saying.
I've had a multitude of multi-kilobuck headphone systems (my best had about $5k invested, the headphones were ATH-L3000 "leatherheads") in various office spaces for about a decade... I would only would put the headphones away when I left the office for the evening, otherwise they were always out on a stand. Never had anything walk away. Except for some Apple buds, go figure.
 

Thomas_A

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#71
I've had the Beyerdynamic dt150 for a few days. Initial impression was that they're dull sounding but a touch of eq helped. Very open sounding for a closed back. In fact if I didn't know before putting them on I'd guess they're open back. Initially I found them uncomfortable (especially compared to my ultra comfortable Nightowls), and still find the pad feel unpleasant, but they are light weight and Ive been able to listen for hours with my ears getting somewhat hot but otherwise not bad. They do clamp tight though. Cable seems like cheap crap but it does the job so far. Seem to need a fair amount of power and sound better to me at louder volumes. I think I'll keep them for their open sound, which is impressive since they leak very little and block a lot of the external environment.
They are indeed dark and bass heavy with the original pads. And I agree that they are not the most comfy ones I have tried, even with modified with the DT100 pads. With the DT100 pads, the bass leaks a bit more and they get more neutral. Also they may also not be as "isolating" using the DT100 pads due to there bass leaky character.

I think however I will try to buy the other DT100 pads available since there are two variants, one that seems to a bit softer to the ears. To me however the current DT100 pads makes my ears not too "hot" compared with the original pads.
 
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#73
I love my DT770's (250ohm). but out of the box they're too sharp for my preference. I modded them with the simple expedient of putting a few ply of kitchen towel paper over the drivers.
 

A Crabb

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#74
I love these headphones. I’m listening to them right now. I also understand the dilemma of finding a good sounding closed back, especially a planar. I have no regrets buying The Dan Clarke Audio Aeon RT Closed. Drop offers them now for less than $500, but I would rather buy them directly from DCA. They can be challenging to properly drive from a portable device; I made myself some cables for them that terminate to 2.5mm 4 pin. The E1DA 9038S drives them well, but they sound the best on my desktop amp.

Open backs are rarely practical for me. I own the 6xx and that is good enough. Even when I am alone, I would still rather listen to the Aeon RT Closed. I heavily modded some T50rp and these are my next best to the Aeons; they don’t sound nearly as good to me though ( and they are also hard to drive).
 

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