Old School Trio: AKG K701, Beyerdynamics DT880, Sennheiser HD650

I still remember a few years ago when people used to wait for their turn to audition these “flagships” on a headphone meet. Back then, the headphone world was ruled by the trio consisting the AKG K701, the Beyerdynamic DT880, and the Sennheiser HD650. They were immensely popular back then, and everybody wants to have a piece of the three. Choosing the proper headphone become more than a simple decision. The headphone you choose ultimately would determine which “clan” you belong to, and you shall be prepared to defend the headphone’s reputation to the point of death. It wasn’t until Sennheiser introduced the $1,400 HD800 (and followed by the other manufacturer’s $1,000 offerings) that the trio quietly slides down into the background, compelled to give up their lordships.

These headphones may not command the same bragging rights they once had, and like everybody else, I too have moved to $1,000 headphones and $1,000 custom IEMs. And yet, I feel that I owe these guys a proper review, perhaps for sentimental or nostalgic reasons. Besides, what headphone site can be complete without a 701/880/650 review? Now that we actually have many other headphones that are better than them, it may be the best time to write an in-depth review of the three. After all, the new-toy syndrome and the subjective fanaticism should be long gone by now.

The landscape has changed considerably from the time when these headphones were still the “top-of-the-range” of the respective brands. Back then, headphone amplifiers were very scarce, and one of the problems that people had with these headphones is that they don’t run very well from an Ipod or a laptop’s headphone out. You’d often hear statements such as “without a proper amp, you cannot see the full potential of the headphones” and others like that. Now, we have more options on amplifiers than the actual headphones, and even entry level products such as the Matrix M-Stage or the Ibasso PB-1 can be used to drive these headphones with fairly good results. Additionally, good quality sources are also more common these days, making it easier to enjoy high quality hi-fi from these headphones.

Another change in the landscape is on the actual enthusiasts. I would say that the crowd is more mature and more learned these days. It’s common knowledge that the trio requires a good amp, and you almost never see these headphones being plugged into under-powered systems anymore. Finally, there is no denying that people’s preference on sound have changed. Three years ago, Grado was a big name among headphone enthusiasts. Perhaps one out of three headphone conversations would involve a Grado. These days, adjectives used to describe the Grado sound (i.e “bright”, “harsh”, or “piercing”) tend to reflect the negative vibes people have on the Grado brand. Many ex-Grado fans have actually turned to the Sennheiser HD650, which used to be the headphone they loathe. The phrase “Sennheiser veil” is less often used now, and people started to associate the HD650 with positive adjectives such as “smooth”, “pleasing”, and “refined”. The AKG K701 fan base has also been in decline, as the new detail-lovers seem to prefer the Beyerdynamic DT880 over the AKG. As I’m writing this article, I can probably say that the K701 have the smallest fan base today, compared to the DT880 and HD650.

A while ago, I wrote an article outlining the black and silver driver screen differences of the HD650. Today, I feel that the variations may be more complex than a simple black and silver version. Nonetheless, I am using the silver-screen version of the Sennheiser HD650 for this review. The Beyerdynamic DT880 that I’m reviewing is the newer version, since the older DT880 (2003) have been discontinued a long time ago. The newer DT880 comes in three impedance ratings: 32 Ohms, 250 Ohms, and 600 Ohms. The 600 Ohms is supposedly the most refined of the three, and that’s the version that I use here. The AKG K701 used is just a plain old K701. Although I heard rumors that the K701 also comes in two different variations, I’ve actually never heard of the “other” variants, and every K701/702 I’ve listened to sounds like the other.

A word of warning: this ends as a 4700 words article. If you are serious about these headphones, then you may be willing to read the whole thing, as every pages contain quite a deep evaluation about the headphones. If you don’t feel like going through six pages of content, you can skip all the pages and go straight to the last page for the conclusion. Then, if you don’t agree with the conclusion, you can go back to inspect the detailed report to see how I ended up with those conclusions.

  • Dragoonv

    oh and the V-shaped sound that people are complaining about the DT990 is not really there for the 600ohms.

  • Tim

    Hi Mike, thanks for the great review as always. It's good to see a good comparison between these headphones which would be as high end as most people would go.

    It would be interesting to see how the HD600/580, RS1i and AD2000 fit into all of this. It appears that the 3 headphones you reviewed all fit into playing more or less the same category with no headphone particularly suited to dance, hip hop or rock/metal.

    I'm actually looking for a pair for monitoring work for some electro house dance music production. Any suggestions at the moment? I was considering the M50 or DT880 but was also told that the HD600 might do the job.

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      Hi Tim,
      Initially I planned to include the 600/580, RS1, and AD2000 into the mix. But as you can see, it's already a very long article and so I'll try to write about them on a separate article. At least I have a 580/600/650 being prepared at the moment.

      Yep, unfortunately none of the trio fits dance, hip hop, or rock/metal. I don't think that the RS1, the HD600, or the AD2000 is good for dance and hip hop. They should do better for Rock and Metal though.

      I am not familiar with doing actual monitoring for a production, but you can try either the M-50 or the DT880. The DT880 is a bit light on bass quantity, so I don't know if that would make your mix a little excessive in the Bass. The M-50 has a better balanced frequency response and would be my first recommendation.

  • .Sup

    Tim

    HD600 is not good for electronic music, you need something faster. M-50 would be much better or something from AKG.

    Peter

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      Thanks Peter. Yes, the HD600 is not good for electronic music.

      I find the monitoring line from AKG (240, 271) to be too mid centric, with not enough bottom end punch and also a laid back treble. I still prefer the M-50 in that sense.

      • Tim

        Thanks Peter & Mike!

        It'll be used in conjunction with KRK Rokit monitors and my JH13pros (plus ipod earbuds…) so I'll have a good mix of speakers to compare to but for late night sessions the m50 would be my go to headphones.

        I'll give them all a try before buying but it's good to have a list of things to look out for when testing.

  • Zuqi

    Wow, that's the review I am now looking for, thanks Mike.

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      Thanks, Zuqi. Feels nostalgic, doesn’t it?

  • zsero

    Mike, it seems that you made a / problem with the images, their URL is wrong.

    They link like this:
    http://www.headfonia.com/old-school-trio-akg-k701

    (just started reading)

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      Thanks zsero. I’ll fix it after this.

  • Dragoonv

    I own DT880 DT990 250ohm and 600ohm, and HD650.

    Make this short. For the DT series always for the 600ohm ones.

    If you are into only classical or natural instruments go for HD650.

    If you are into all kinds of music go for beyer.

    For me DT990 is better than 880.

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      The problem with the DT880 for music listening is on all three areas of the frequency response:
      1. Treble: too much, too hot
      2. Mid: too little, too dry
      3. Bass: not enough weight.

      I don’t understand how you can recommend that kind of a frequency response for “all kinds of music”.

      I’ve never heard how the DT990 sounds, but a friend told me that it has an even sharper treble than the DT880.

      • Dragoonv

        I am not sure. I think it all comes down to personal preference.

        HD650 was like the favourite out of them, but after a long period of use. I found the sound signature of HD650 was tiring to listen to. (DEFINITELY NOT BAD SOUND)

        Thats say if the sound HD650 has the sweetness of honey. It's like having to eat honey all the time. One day, you will think it's just a bit too SWEET.

        The DT's has the sweetness of honey dew. It is not as sweet as the honey but you can always enjoy it for a long period of time.

        If you listen to the beyers for a long time, you will actually get used to it.

        I have a friend who really disliked my DT990 at first place compared to his HD650. He bought a second hand DT990 shortly after just for the cheap price sake. Now he actually spend more time on his Beyer than the Senns.

        He said he will only listen to the Senns if its classical or acoustics which I agrees with him. Totally.

        DT990 have much better better resoultion and sound stage compare to DT880. For the 600ohm 990. I think it is actually pretty balanced. Just the mid is still a bit recessed.

        I think thats why people usually use tubes with it.

        I think you should definitely get a pair of DT990 600ohms.

        By the way, the DTs takes freaking hard to burn in.

        Usually 1000+ is recommend. I have no idea why beyer would sell a phone that will only produce the best sound after maybe few month after purchase. zzz to that

        • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

          Very interesting. Especially on the 1000+ hours of burn in.

          • Dragoonv

            I know, I didn't believe it at the start. I think it something to do with a glue they put on the driver on the DT990s.

  • Niall

    Nice review. I really enjoyed the way you approached this and while there are relatively cheap Chinese amps that can drive these headphones reasonably well, many folks aren't convinced.

    Unfortunately this whole clan rubbish still exists and is something I don't understand at all :(.

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      Thanks, Niall. The clan thing still exists? Are you KIDDING, man? :D

  • Jose

    Wow that was long, although not your longest. Thanks for such a comprehensive evaluation. Of the three the least I like is the HD650, with the K701 my favourite, maybe I am to accustomed to their sound. I am neutral on the DT880.

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      Thanks for the kind words, Jose. Wonder how your view on the K701 is after reading the article.

      • Jose

        I am with you in most parts about the K701, they remain as one of the best for classical. The HA160 is a match made in heaven for them by the way, what do you think? Where I differ is with the HD650, which I do not like at all, nothing about it makes me smile, ugh! I guess I am an AKG fanboy. Even after using the HD800 and LCD2 I can still enjoy the K701 very much, specially with chamber music.

        • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

          Having the HD800 and LCD-2 in your resume does look good. I can pardon the AKG fanboyism. ;)

          I can imagine the midrange of the K701 would be sweet for chamber music.

  • Jazz1

    Great comparisons! As a fan of the HD-650 (and HD-600) I really liked confirmation of what I thought about my headphone tastes. Your treatment of all three headphones should help people gravitate towards what should work best for them. My tribe approves ;)

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      Lol@Jazz1. A Sennie fanboy, huh. ;)

  • TheMiddleSky

    Great review mike! :)

    Yeah I agree with you about “lack of focus” in K701, but also with the same reason, that’s what make me like the K701 for live rock recording and new age songs. :)

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      Thanks, MiddleSky!

      Doesn’t see too many new age music fan lately, especially not in our forum where everyone seems to be into Rock and Progresive.

  • Eric

    Very interesting comparison. As an owner of recabled HD600's and recabled K701's, and a previous owner of stock cable K701's, I can see why you feel that the K701 has less detail than the HD650. The stock wiring on the K701 is quite bad (it utilizes the steel wires in the headband for part of the signal path), and masks a lot of potential detail from ever reaching the K701's drivers. When I compare my Cable Pro Panorama recabled HD600's with my Equinox recabled K701's, I notice that the K701 sounds a touch more detailed in the micro detail area and is also cleaner and more precise overall than the HD600's especially in the treble regions. The rest of my system is comprised of an Apogee ONE recording interface hooked to my iMac going into my Corda Stepdance headphone amp via a Cable Pro Earcandy Lite mini to mini interconnect. It would be very interesting to see what you thought of the headphones in recabled form, and to see if there were any shifts in your opinion on the performance of each headphone. Anyway, great job on the review. I'm sure it will be helpful to many people in the midrange headphone market.

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      Thanks Eric. The single entry cable compromises the signal a little. But the difference is quite big, and I’m not sure if a recable can turn that around. Have to listen to you your recabled K701 one day.

  • Brendon

    This was a very engaging read ! Only problem is that I have an HD650 and since you say it scales up so well with a better amp I am going to have to lessen my already abused wallet and buy something better.

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      Thanks Brendon. The HD650 will suck you up into a circle of never ending upgrade circle. It would be better for you to give it as a gift to someone you don’t like. ;)

  • iyayy

    i couldnt really figure out what was missing on k701.. it just sounded plain boring.. learned something new. thx. :)

    • Mike

      Thanks, iyayy. :)

  • Mampus

    Speechless, what a GOOD review from Headfonia :D

    Well done Mike, i guess you’ve prepared this for a long time… :D

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      Did you even read the review? I wasn’t particularly kind to you Beyer there. :D

      But now I know that you are a true gentlemen. Readers like you keep this site going.

      • Mampus

        Read it word by word Mike. No prob. :D

        IMO, it's so much fun reading review from every site (especially audio forum), even our 'hero' isn't appreciated by the reviewer :D

  • jimmy

    Hi Mike, actually I am interesting in Beyer. How do you conclude the difference between dt880 and dt770 ?
    thanks

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      Well, one is open and the other is closed.
      Generally the sound signature is very similar, with a strong treble presence and not too much midrange body. I haven’t been listening to the 770 very much, and so I should stop my comments there.

  • glac1er

    Thanks for the review, Mike. Definitely one of my most enjoyable read here. The article has a nostalgic feel to it especially if you get into this hobby when those three are pretty much top-of-the-line headphones. I particularly agree that these headphones have a very specific soundsig that won't cover all genres equally well, unlike say, a HE5LE with the right amp.

    I actually feel that the HD650 is too rich-sounding through your beta22 for my preference and music listening, which is simple pop/rock/dance, etc. It sounded really visceral with organ music though. I am interested on what you will write about the HD580/600/650.

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      Quite nostalgic for a reason, huh? I agree though, the HE5LE with a good amp would cover far more genres than the trio. Fortunately, the HE5LE works very well with inexpensive amps such as the Matrix M-Stage or the EF5.

  • David

    Very good review… as usual :)

    This may help a bit on people deciding which phone to get… But, nothing replacing the experiencing yourself…

    If possible, get all what you want to listen… Like Mike, he got all the three, then listen to all of them… If you don't like it, then sell it (that's the sacrifice, but you will never got the feel just by reading or relying on someone else opinion)

    I did that with HF2, K701 and HD580 (supposed to sound close to HD600)… at least for my taste now, HF2 is my choice. There's something about K701 that makes me keep it. But I found out that HD580 is not for my taste… (hey… maybe I don't have the right amp for HD580… but I cannot fork my wallet further..)

    Maybe someday I'll get HD650 and DT880/990 to try…

    • Brian

      Sir, clan Grado represents yo!

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      Thanks, David. Definitely, nothing beats trying the headphones at home with your own music and set up.

      It's nice now that we have a big community interested in headphones, as that makes it easier to unload any gears that you don't like. This makes trying out different stuff much easier.

  • donunus

    This has got to be one of the best if not the best review of these three cans that I've read. Ive owned the dt880 and the k701 and heard the hd650 briefly.

    I and am only holding back from getting the hd650 because I currently can't afford the sources and amps that I want/or want to try to get that perfect synergy to get them to sound their best.

    As for the K701s, I hated their dry and airless sound and also agree with you about their soundstage performance. I also used the term plasticky a lot with the k701s and have been bashed for it LOL. The lack of air and plasticky sound in the k701 is probably just due to the brightness in the lower treble and abrupt roll off above that making that tshhht sound instead of making a smooth tishhh and psssss sound of a natural attack and decay of real instruments… but this is the dealbreaker for me with these cans. The bass can be improved too but its hard to analyze the bass when something else annoys me so much more :)

    As for the dt880s, they had a fun tight bass but ultimately the mids were too sterile and the highs were too fatiguing for me.

    Do you have an hd800 vs hd650 review here somewhere? From reading your descriptions of cans that I've already heard, I think I can already predict if I will like the hd800s by reading your comparisons.

    Cheers

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      Donunus, the T-amp that David lent me may just be the answer for affordable HD650 amping. :) No, it's not the cheap chinese stuff you get on eBay.

      Actually I don't have a HD800 vs HD650 review (doh). I don't know, the price point seems to make a review irrelevant. Briefly:
      - HD650 more musical, HD800 more neutral
      - HD800 far better technically, on every aspect, and not just the bigger soundstage and less veil often reported.
      - HD800 actually less demanding on amp power, but has even higher scalability than the HD650 (it improves even further with the good amps).
      - HD800 very critical of source
      - HD800 less bassy, but also weaker PRaT than HD650.

      • donunus

        Ahh thanks for that Mike. It seems like something that personal taste will play a big role with. Sometimes the technically better can isn't always the best thing for the everyday music lover out there.

  • Professor00179

    Ok, Mike, you probably new what I was going to ask. You know – the stuff about choosing one headphone for the rest of your life with a high-end system and which one would it be… etc. But you pretty much anwered that in the review and it seems like you have more love to the HD650 than to the other two.

    Seems like it's gonna be my next step in the headphone journey.

    I have a question about how well balanced beta22 (you got it balanced, right?) worked. People often say that HD650 benefit really a lot from a fully balanced setup. What I would like to know is whether you think that having ~ $2500 for a high-end rig it is worth to go fully balanced or a very good high-end single-ended AMP of the same class would be just as good.

    I am also going to finally create a profile on headfonia forum. Seems like you have a plenty of interesting discussions here.:D

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      Thanks, Professor.

      The balanced Beta22 is a magnificent amp that happens to pair wonderfully with the HD650 and the HD800. However, it is not exactly the perfect amp pairing for every headphone out there. I find my Zana Deux to have a better and wider match with other headphones than the Beta22. The Beta22 is more capable technically, but the Zana is easier to get to sound right. The Beta22 is more transparent of the source, where the Zana is more forgiving. For instance, I can enjoy old analog recordings very well on the Zana, where the Beta will show every problems on old/bad recordings. This is true regardless of you having a balanced or single ended version of the Beta22, as the character of the sound is the same, only the balanced drive will improve some things.

      So, I do think that balanced is not ultimately better. Some headphones just don't improve from going balanced very much. So, I wouldn't put too much weight on it. The necessity of having a fully balanced source is also a big limitation, as many great sounding sources only come in single ended versions. Ultimately, building a top-end single ended rig is much easier, and will sound just as good, or even better due to synergy, than a balanced rig.

      • Professor00179

        That is quite a bit what I expected. Also the Zana should pair nicely with HD650 since it was designed using these headphones… I think.:D

        • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

          Yes. The Zana pairs very nicely with the HD600, 650, 800, and also Grados.

  • Eswar Santhosh

    Excellent review, Mike. I've been looking at these three for a long time, but was always drawn towards HD600 for some inexplicable reason. Now, I'll wait for your 600/650 comparison to confirm whether 580/600 is the headphone I'm after.

  • Daniel

    Another great review Mike. When I had my AKG 702 and Grace M902 the sound though super detailed always left me wanting more. I've then eventually came to realize what I wanted was musicality and naturalness to the tonality of the presentation. I was simply not getting that with the AKG 702. To me, the AKG 702 is like taking a microscope to the music. The sound was too clinical and sterile for me. The AKG 702's are really best to just monitor music, it is the perfect headphone for music producers. After selling my AKG 702 I've then taken the custom IEM route ( Westone ES5, JH13 Pro ) and have gotten what I've always wanted: Detail, Clarity and Musicality. I can finally now close my eyes and let the music do it's…thing. =)

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      Sounds like a good musical journey, Daniel. I'm waiting for Westone to send me a sample of the ES5. :) Will compare it to the JH customs. :)

  • Brian

    I was looking for something to read to make me fall asleep quicker before I chanced upon this article. Well Mike, thanks for making me stay awake longer as this article is a very fun read!

    Man… this brings back a lot of nostalgia when people swear that you have to recable the HD600/650 to get "maximum" performance or when people swear that you have to get the NOS 2003 version of Beyerdynamics DT880 600 Ohm to hear the true "Beyer" house sound! We sure have come a long time, folks.

    Well, I have nothing to say to your conclusion as I pretty much agree on all counts. Perhaps there are more similarities than differences in both of our tastes after all and I have to say that this is probably your best article to date.

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      Thanks Brian, for the kind words. I know you have something better coming your way. ;)

  • Budi

    I think you sum it quite on the spot with K701, its a headphone with no characteristic, its a boring headphone. Don't get me wrong, it's a great headphone that present you an experience of say between upper mid-fi to entry high-fi depending on components used. If a right components (amp,dac) are used, it will give you an instant huge wow factor (soundstage, neutrality) BUT once you go beyond it, there's nothing more to be discovered.

    It's not a fun headphone and not making you wanted to really bother to think ( the next time you listen to a different headphone and tracks ) "wonders how would this sound with 701"……I dont know about you but I dont bother. This is one of the main reason I parted with my 701

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      Thanks, Budi, for the comments. Quite an upgrade there from the K701 to the Omega2. :)

      Let me know when your BHSE have arrived. :)

      • Budi

        Wont be till next year…..lately i have not made any payment except my initial down payment to Justin. Just made a major purchase (non audio related) so gotta hold back on spending. Maybe I will pay one more installment by December then sometime on Feb then wait and hope for the best

    • David

      I think, that's the original intention of K701 made… it is not intended for home use… but for studio use… it should not make record engineer dancing or taping with the music.. (they should keep monitoring the music content/material)

      just people that start using it for home listening that make it live in wrong world…

      I guess, the same intention is for what Beyer DT880 created…

      HD650, on the other hand, is admitedly stated by Sennheiser that it is created to please the listener… thus home audio user…

      look, going to extreme, I honestly sometimes enjoying music more when some songs played on my mid-fi car audio… because even with my far-from-detail-freak HF2, I keep hearing information that does not add usefulness to the music… (for example, on a track with acoustic piano, hearing the clucking/clacking sound of hammer hitting the string, IMO, is disturbing rather then useful.. )

      • Mike

        Yes, definitely that's very true. It's very clear that the AKG and the Beyer is developed for studio use. I think that as the manufacturers see that there is a potential customer market for their flagship *monitoring* headphones, they decided to push sales to that segment.

  • donunus

    Actually Budi the K701 does have a characteristic. Its called Artificial and Sterile LOL. Sorry AKG for the bashing but it would have been less prone to this criticism if it wasn't called a reference headphone :)

    • Budi

      Lots of people talk about artificial but I cannot sensed the artificial-ness of it. Its just that most of the times when I listen to 701, its just present the music in its own (boring) way. I cannot wear too long this headphone, not because its fatigue but simply because I feel I need to stop. Maybe this is what people called artificial ??

      • donunus

        Well, the two terms Artificial and sterile are interrelated IMO. Artificial meaning the instruments/acoustic space don't really sound believable or like they would sound in real life. I know its hard to also get that exact realism with cans in this price range but some other cans have a better "suspension of disbelief" factor making you feel more like you are listening to some real musicians playing in a real space. Also when I call something sterile its a way of saying that it is boring. But more than that, boring because of its inherent coloration. I know this is a subjective thing when we talk about certain house sounds being more enjoyable than others but I guess some sounds just trigger something in the brain that fools it more than others into thinking that something sounds more real even though you are listening to reproduced sound.

        • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

          Good explanation, donunus.

        • ghost2031 S23

          i’ve never heard the K701 but i can definitely confirm that my AKG K501 have that feeling of being in the same room with the musicians. actually thats what my father said when he was listening to them, i always just thought they sounded “real”.
          but yeah another thing that i see is, the K701 getting a lot of hate. and i mean hate and bashing.  fanboyism exist not only in the videogame world.

  • Mampus

    @Brian:

    As i know there isn’t DT880/600 2003. The 600 ohm Beyer only exist in 1980 (M and S version) and 2005 version :D

    Peace :D

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      Dude, you are the master of Beyers! :D

  • Rasmus

    Hi Mike, I've read a few of your HD650 reviews, and, you've convinced me! They are now om my christmas wishlist, and if I don't get them, I'll just by them myself :D

    But in all the reviews you mention that a high quality amp is necessary to get everything out of thesm, so my question is now: ARe internal PC-soundcards, with build-in amplifiers, good enough to get the max out of the HD650's? (I'm thinking specifically of the Asus Xonar Essence STX)

    Thanks in advance :)

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      Hi Rasmus, the amplifiers I was talking about were more to the likes of the Beta22 and the Zana Deux, both sold commercially for $2,000+ :) The soundcard should do okay, but far from what I'd consider optimal. This is one of the practical problems of the HD650.

  • Chris

    Great review as always! I wonder though, it isn’t a fair comparison, although neither is the HD 800 being compared to these, how would the Audio Technica AD700 stack up to these 3? At $90, it seems like an interesting comparison to these headphones. The bass is weak, but everything else should make an interesting comparison.

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      Hi Chris, yes the AD700 is a great headphone. However, the AD1000PRM and AD2000 models would be more appropriate to be compared to the 701/880/650. Unfortunately, we had to keep limit the review to the trio.

  • Earfonia

    Very nice comparison for the old school trio from Europe :) Any chance for the Asian cans? :D

  • BBS

    I love the condescending attitude of this article and the comment about geners everyone should listen to (sarcasm). The vast majority of audiophiles aren't interested or cannot afford $1000 dollar headphones. . . . Anyway, I love my HD 650s for a variety of music, they are drastically underrated on head-fi. I'd love to try the DT 880s one day though.

    • Mike

      not sure I understand the sarcasm there. o.0

  • Eric

    This review is awesome, Mike! It reflects my experience with K701 and HD650

    Regarding your reply to Tim’s comment, would there be any article that incorporate the ATH-AD2000 and Grado RS1? I guess that would be an interesting article.

    Keep up the good work buddy!

    • Mike

      Thanks, Eric. I've been having difficulty getting an ATH AD2000. Without it, I don't think the RS1i will have a proper comparison.

      I initially thought to make this article a five-way shootout, but after discussing it with Hadi, we agree that it'll be best to do only the trio. The main reason is depth. I wanted to write a fairly in-depth comparison, and three is the maximum number for that. If we had included the RS1 (and even we could've included the DT990), then it wouldn't be as thorough as this one.

      But an AD2000 and RS1 comparison certainly would be fun in the future. Perhaps even throw the HE-5 into the mix.

      • Eric

        That would be an exciting article, Mike. It would be the "Ultimate Rock Cans Showdown" :)
        Look forward into it buddy! Thanks.

        • Headfonia

          Lol.. the T1, the LCD-2 and the HE-6 has taken over the title. :D