I listen to Classical predominantly and currently use the Sennheiser HD1 for late night sessions. It does a fairly good job with Classical but I was wondering if there were others that would work better.
My top closed headphone for classical is the now-discontinued Oppo PM-3. Terrific soundstage, range, impact and just did everything right.
Runnerup would probably be the Beyerdynamic DT660. A little on the bright side, but lots of presence and superb detail through and through, and they’re quite inexpensive. Certainly a great bang-for-the-buck choice.
I don’t have an HD1, so I can’t do a direct comparison.
I have many many HP’s. I find the 1 More Triple Driver Over Ear headphones to be excellent at just about any genre and specially Classical n Spanish guitars flamenco music. It’s the only headphones that I don’t need to use EQ at all. It plays everything I throw at it with ease. If I have to described the sound, it would be extremely silky smooth. It has real sub bass, mid bass, extremely smooth vocals and the highs are rendered like no other headphones I have. It plays well with a smartphone and even better when powered with a portable amp. I can’t put them down and are right now on sale for 179.00. and their website. I paid full price back than at 250.00.
For closed I’d say Mr. Speakers Alpha Prime (using the stock cable and of course with a powerful amp, because it takes a lot to drive these phones). I think it has the best trade-off of characteristics needed for both chamber and orchestral music. For open headphones, I’d say the Senn HD800S is best by far for orchestral music–you need the 800’s detail, separation and soundstage because there’s so much going on in symphonies and concertos (second choice would be Beyer T1). For chamber music, I like the Senn HD650. Their body, tone and overall musicality goes very, very well with any combination of piano, strings and woods. With both Senn’s, by the way, a Cardas Clear cable (although expensive) gives a quantum leap to the sound quality.
How was the DT660 build quality? Read that some had issues with the folding plastic hinge breaking.
In a prior post I recommended the Alpha Prime. Should have added that, for one closed headphone, and all types of classical music, I think Mr. Speakers Prime has the optimum blend of neutrality, detail, clarity, balance, weight, musicality and punch. I love my Prime’s and am glad I got them when they were still available…plus being custom modified and voiced by Dan’s staff, most of whom were also professional musicians.
I’ve had zero problems with the build quality on the DT660, and I’m not particularly careful with them (but I’m not using them as a dog chew toy, either).
What you want for this is excellent separation & imaging, I personally thing (biased) my H9i does this perfectly for orchestral.
Ive never heard imaging like I have on these headphones. However, it does have its downsides. Id prefer imaging while listening to classical any day.
For classical, I generally turn to my Beyerdynamic T5p Gen 2s. They’re the most revealing headphones I own, but they also have the sub-bass and instrument separation to sound grand with chamber music, full symphony, anything. Some might recommend the T1s, but I find them far too bright.
Thanks for all the suggestions. So many to choose from. I’ve just read a ton of reviews on the Shure 1540 which were very favorable. Some even said it sounded like a closed version of the HD650. If so that would be ideal.