Closed back headphones

Just thinking out loud here but the headphones are 249€, the connectors to make the adpaters will probably work out around 60€ (buying from somewhere in the US plus shipping etc. then add the XLR4 and the time) which is probably more than I would lose if I just buy the headphones, chop off the plug and sell them used like that if I don’t like them :smiley:

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I just got a pair of Thinksound ON2 on ear closed backs. So far they look good, feel good and sound good. To be more precise:

  1. The wood cups look a little bit special and the plastic and metal frame is good enough.

  2. Clamp is just right and the plush pads make the on ear fit tolerable. The loose gimbals initially made it difficult to find a secure fit but once I did they stayed in place pretty well.

  3. The tuning is unobjectionable. Mids and treble sound quite neutral. Bass is elevated but not to the point of becoming muddy. So far I haven’t found any problematic peaks or troughs.

On a side note… Conventional wisdom holds that one can’t judge headphones until one’s acclimated to the signature. So far I’ve found that if I don’t like headphones on the first listen, I won’t like them on the 10th or 100th.

I do like the ON2.

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Nice to read your review. I ordered these for my wife today. I have never seen a headphone this cheap get so many good reviews.
My wife is not super fussy and will love the look.

Easter is now taken care of.

ShaneD

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That is fair, I’m probably in the middle of this… I.E. I probably won’t like it in the long run, but I also know that like anything mood/life/experience/time/ etc color everything I do, and to combat that I’ll give things such as headphones a longer window of evaluation, knowing that I might not be listening in the right frame of mind.

Good example are the CA Cascade, I’m constantly, falling in and out of love with them lol.

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Have you written a review on your Cascades? I started reading about them in December and looked far and wide for a Boxing Week sale on them. They seem to be a love it or hate it headphone. I would like to have one set of killer bass headphones. I would love to have a Big Three:

  1. My best open back - Grado GH2
  2. My best closed back - Beyer T5p.2
  3. My best bass 'phones - D7200/TH610/TH900/Cascades/???

My 99’s win for best looking, great sounding, most portable, best value, etc. My choice for “on the go”.:blush:

Shane D

There you go

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Thank you!!

ShaneD

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Since I’ve never seen measurements for the Thinksound ON2, I’m sharing some here. It was very difficult to get good looking measurements because the bass response is highly dependent on seal achieved through clamping, but my MiniDSP is narrower than a typical human head and has relatively inflexible ears. Long story short, to get decent measurements, I ended up manually pressing the cup into the ear to achieve a good seal.

The result (with Harman-like HEQ compensation) …

This shows me that they were clearly going for the Harman target in tuning these.

Here’s the distortion …

Looks very nice above 150 Hz, but the bass region has more distortion than I like to see. Granted, I’m spoiled by the LCD2C :slight_smile:

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Does anybody have any experience with the Monoprice M565c??

I heard they weren’t that good. I had the 1060c. Great lush sound and comfortable pads. They are big and have awkward headband so aren’t that mobile. Beautiful and good quality sound for the price

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I had the M565 openbacks for a short period of time and then returned it. The open back version was extremely dark, but it had a lot of potential. Closing it in would have made treble go up which may help it. I was going to try to mod it to make it sound brighter, but it happened to coincide with the time when the HE560 dropped from $900 to $350 in the US, and I jumped on that deal and returned the M565.

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Thanks @boxster233 & @antdroid , I haven’t found much about them to be honest on the web at all. There are very few reviews.

The reason I ask is that I was about to order the MSR7b and came across these here on Amazon (we don’t get much Monoprice stuff here) for 180€ ($200), which is 70€ less than the MSR7b. I had been thinking about getting a pair of T50rp to play around at modding but was wondering if these would be worth while instead.

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The few people that I’ve seen talk about them weren’t favorable. The 1060c are really good and can be had for $200-$240 usd on sales and used.

Thanks for reminding me about the Thinksound ON2. I kept waiting for them to drop again. However I was able to get them from Amazon for 86 bucks with my cash back.

These are very pleasant and isolate very well. While I work, the ac vents (too small) can be distracting with open phones. Nice to have background silence while listening while I work.

My ears have gotten used to the pressure, no more discomfort, even with glasses.

At one point, they seemed to be too much, with the bass seeming to bounce back and forth between my ears and the phones. I actually felt too much pressure from the music and it became fatiguing. That has disappeared and I have found that I can mitigate it more with different heights (top of the ear,bottom of the ear)

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Mine just shipped today. I am buying them for my wife. Tons of great reviews and pretty cheap. I am sure she will be THRILLED with them. I am curious to see how they fare against some big boys.

ShaneD

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I’ll have to just say tonight’s the first time in many months I’ve actually listened to my MDR V6… and holy smokes I always question why I’ve kept it and tonight I’ve got my answer

A little dry sure but with my HM601 it’s super handy while I’m getting everything else set back up

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3 posts were merged into an existing topic: About the Purchase Advice category

That’s where you lost me. Good luck!

I stand corrected. PM3s. Yup.

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I’ll toss my experience with closed-backs into the mix as well, though like most here, I prefer open-backs when the situation permits.

Denon AH-D5000
Perhaps the best Christmas present my wife has ever bought. These are the 1st-gen, probably bought about 15 years ago at this point. Virtually no clamp force, certainly the most supple earpads I think you could find at the time (this was before the heyday of guys like Brainwavz and Dekoni…what you got was all there really was). Unapologetically V-shaped, the D5000 are an excellent can for listeners of bass-heavy music. A far cry from what I’d consider a detail-oriented can, I think they kinda set the standard for what you’d think a wood-cup pair of cans would sound like.

Sony MDR-V700DJ
Sony is cool, man. They even say DJ on the side so you know they’ve got the kickin’ bass. These were bought back in 2005, well before I was gifted the Denons. It’s consumer tuning, but without being exceptionally boomy. For its intended purpose as a DJ can, I kinda like how it presents bass; makes it easy to beatmatch and cue up the next track when you’re mixing since the bass pops more than it booms. Earpads are nothing to write home about, comfort’s not that great, and the plastic build doesn’t lend itself well to constantly swiveling the earcups. I’ve been lucky that mine have stayed intact for as much as they’ve been abused. At this point, they only really get brought out when I’m doing needledrops since it’s easier to hear when I need to set my trackpoints in Vinyl Studio during post-processing.

Sennheiser HD280 Pro
On a budget, they do fairly well. They seem to hug the boundary between analytical and fun and, should you enjoy having a compressed soundstage or need that in the studio, will find yourself quite pleased. That being said, there’s better alternatives out there for simply enjoying your music. Despite the tight clamp and cheap-feeling earpads, I don’t find that to be the source of discomfort; sound-wise they just cause fatigue early. While that’s something that lends itself well to cutting through a mix, their tuning still isn’t neutral and the learning curve for learning how they translate to other systems is steep (though not impossible to overcome). But I still have them around. They tend to share time with the V700DJ for needledrops since I’m not having to strain to pick up on any fade ins/fade outs. Speaking from an enthusiast’s standpoint, though, they do make a solid transition piece for people who’ve been born and bred on consumer tuning.

Meze 99 Classics
And on the topic of consumer tuning, seems like you can’t not bring up the 99 Classics these days. The praise is well deserved…so is the ire. I can see both sides of the argument. Tuning is definitely on the “fun” side with its bass punch and overall warmth, but Antonio has also managed to tune these in a way that doesn’t cause the top-end sparkle to completely disappear. In a word, I’d say they’re romantic, but still energetic enough to keep up with modern music. Pad-rolling can cause significant changes in FR and, the more you look into these, the more you’ll see people covet the original pads (which were shallow and narrow, but didn’t cause issues with bloom in the mids). Haven’t had a pair of them to test myself, but people have also claimed success using Yaxi’s pads designed for the Sony 7506 on the Classics for taming some of that low end. Personally, I love them the way they are and think they’re capable of being diverse enough to be someone’s sole pair if they don’t have an expansive budget and absolutely must have closed-backs. Breaking into the open-back territory, well, I think we can all figure out what happens there.

Bose QC35
Another gift from the wife, these are my go-to pair for taking on planes. Sound signature is what I’d classify as “Bose Plus,” meaning the typical Bose pedigree of sucking out information from the upper mids is still easily identifiable, but overall tuning is a nice departure from what Bose had been doing for many years prior. I found them ridiculously comfortable for long-term use, though they do suffer from a little sweatiness in hotter/more humid climates. Having a printed L and R inside the earcup is also a major plus as the QC35’s “none more black” motif otherwise makes it pretty tough to identify proper sides at a glance. Not surprisingly, the best use I’ve found for them is when flying, though depending on how close your seat is to the turbines, causes some nasty interference during takeoff and landing. These days, I take full advantage of the standard-setting ANC, but (and I can’t help but laugh as I type this) have taken it upon myself to put on a pair of IEMs under the QC35 for enjoyable listening in the air. Chuckle you might, try it you should. You might be surprised at how effective it works.

MrSpeakers Ether Flow Closed
Sadly, I’ve never owned these, but I did get an extended audition at the Schiitr (Schiit showroom in Valencia, CA) over multiple pieces of equipment. Much like @Torq’s impressions of the AFC, the EFC redefined for me what a closed-back pair of cans was capable of. Instantly smitten with them, I think they ended up on my head more than any other pair in the showroom and equally as many amps and DACs. The theme seemed to be neutral with a small tilt towards fun, blatantly analytical yet not boring. Long story short, I walked away from that audition believing they were worth every penny of Dan’s asking price. That was until…

MrSpeakers Aeon Flow Closed
…the AFC arrived. Touted by many as a closed-back, planar HD600, these continue the EFC’s analytical trend. Maybe not as fun overall, but the new earcup shape makes it effortless to find a good seal and the earpads (oh Mylanta, those earpads) are to die for. If the 6XX is an open-backed pair that can stay on your head all day once the clamp has loosened up, the AFC more than fit the bill in Camp Closed. Bass is unabashedly planar, but the closed-back nature helps a bit with the energy. Most first-time listeners will call them boring and I could see why, but they positively grow on you. They’re also the first pair of headphones that gave me a legitimate aha moment where I could be convinced that burn-in is a real thing. Much like my beloved 6XX and Audeze LCD2C, I don’t think I can ever bring myself to part with them. They’re current-hungry suckers, though, so reliable amplification is a must IMO.

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Love these impressions. I’ve never felt the need for closed backs. Hence I have never tried any. Nowhere near me to try any either. But I haven’t looked hard to be honest. It’s nice to see what they bring to the table though. Thanks.