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#1788618 - 11/14/11 07:48 AM Headphones for digital piano!
kenken Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/19/11
Posts: 1
Loc: Australia
I need to buy a new headphone for my CLP340 and I don't know which one to choose. I have Roland RH 200 which i have just bought 2 days ago and I DON'T LIKE THE SOUND!!!
Can anybody gives me suggestions?My max price range is around $200 laugh

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#1788624 - 11/14/11 08:01 AM Re: Headphones for digital piano! [Re: kenken]
Dave Horne Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5262
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
This is a topic that has been discussed here many times ... and also quite recently. smile

I bought the Sennheiser HD 598's a few months ago and am very happy with them. I also bought the AKG 240 MKII's which cost less and are just as good.

An important criteria to consider - easily replaceable cords and pads. I just recycled a few sets simply because a wire broke. The headphones I mentioned have replaceable cables and pads.

Whatever you buy, try them first. The stores that charge a little more will usually let you take them home for a few days to try. Borrow a set from a friend and test it out. Don't buy without first trying.
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#1788712 - 11/14/11 10:52 AM Re: Headphones for digital piano! [Re: kenken]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3474
Loc: Pennsylvania
Those two are great recommendations. I have the Sennheiser HD 595's and they are amazing. I'm beginning to believe that no speakers will ever sound as good as these headphones.

If I was to get a second pair I'd get the AKG 240 MK2's or maybe step up my game and get the AKG 701 or 702.

I'm not so sure about needing to try them out. I think you can buy any of these blind and you will be happy. They all sound great and it's not like a piano where you have to get used to the action. Personal feelings on the matter: buy at the cheapest place possible (probably Amazon).


Edited by gvfarns (11/14/11 10:54 AM)

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#1788754 - 11/14/11 12:21 PM Re: Headphones for digital piano! [Re: kenken]
kippesc Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 396
Loc: United States
You can buy them blind, so long as you can return them if they aren't to your liking. I've had to do that at least once with headphones. I will put in a vote for the "mid-priced" Sennheisers. I've had my HD 580s and HD 600s for more than a decade. Love the sound. Use them nearly every day. I assume the models that replace my headphones are as good, though I haven't tried them.


Edited by kippesc (11/14/11 12:23 PM)
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#1788815 - 11/14/11 01:52 PM Re: Headphones for digital piano! [Re: Dave Horne]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
This is a topic that has been discussed here many times ... and also quite recently. smile

I bought the Sennheiser HD 598's a few months ago and am very happy with them. I also bought the AKG 240 MKII's which cost less and are just as good



There are two basic kinds of headphone. First decide which you need.

1) "open" headphones like the K240 have the best sound for a given price point but they "leak" sound. that means they don't block a noisy TV set playing and also if you record sound from your headphones can leak into a nearby open Mic. But if it a quiet in your practice room and you don't have any mic's open you get the best sound for any budget

2) Closed. These block sound in both directions but cost more to make. The technical problem is that the back sides of the diaphragm have to deal with compressing air inside the ear cups.

This is how the open type K240 at $99 can sound as good as others that cost $250.

The K240 have become an industry standard for engineers in recording studios. I've owned a pair for about 30 years I'd get this first because of the low price and quality and the replaceable cord and earpads.

I use the K240 most of the time but when I need closed headphones I have a pair of cheap $50 closed ones. I use them for example if my daughter wants to record vocals, she can listen to the guide track and monitor and not have that feedback into the mic. We don't care about audiophile quality for that.

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#1788821 - 11/14/11 02:04 PM Re: Headphones for digital piano! [Re: kenken]
TheGlassPassenger Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/02/09
Posts: 34
Loc: UK
I use a pair of Sennheiser HD 555 open ear headphones. Because background noise is not a problem for me, I've found these to be absolutely wonderful.

When background noise IS a problem for me I pull out my trusty Shure 210 earphones.

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#1788838 - 11/14/11 02:16 PM Re: Headphones for digital piano! [Re: kippesc]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3677
Loc: North Carolina
kippesc said it all: You can buy them blind, so long as you can return them if they aren't to your liking.

Some vendors online are generous in this respect. Others not.

You could try buying in a store, but good luck with ...
- Limited selection of phones
or
- Lots of phones, but only a few can be tried ... with the rest locked up out of reach

- Limited equipment with which to test the phones, possibly limited to a Muzak kiosk

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#1788840 - 11/14/11 02:19 PM Re: Headphones for digital piano! [Re: kenken]
Brent H Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/11
Posts: 843
Most mail-order places exclude headphones from their usual return privileges. Just as well, I'm happier knowing the ones I buy haven't been worn by someone with cooties.
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#1788855 - 11/14/11 02:36 PM Re: Headphones for digital piano! [Re: kenken]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3677
Loc: North Carolina
Amazon let me return phones. They even pre-paid the return shipping.
B&H in New York, likewise.
Anyway, returns cannot be re-sold as new.

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#1789296 - 11/15/11 05:27 AM Re: Headphones for digital piano! [Re: kenken]
bennevis Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 4431
I bought my second pair (for my DP) 'blind' based purely on reviews and recommendations (- and the fact it was offered at half-price), the Grado SR 325is, and it's now superseded my AKG K271 MkII which I'd been using with my DP since I bought it (it was given thrown in free with the DP).

I've just discovered that the Grado 325 has won the HiFi magazine award for 'Best Headphones 2011'......

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#1789308 - 11/15/11 06:20 AM Re: Headphones for digital piano! [Re: kenken]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 1815
Loc: Rocky Mountains
You should bear in mind that many of the newer headphones are colored. This is to make people happy. Most prevalent is boosted bass. The K240 MKII's I had heard were like this. The K240's...not MKII are not this way. I bought a pair of the plain K240's. I'm happy with them. Seem to be close to flat. Real...
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#1789312 - 11/15/11 06:36 AM Re: Headphones for digital piano! [Re: bennevis]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2333
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: bennevis
I've just discovered that the Grado 325 has won the HiFi magazine award for 'Best Headphones 2011'......


Grados are very good, but I find them a little bit savage in the upper frequencies - too bright for my taste. The 325 is quite a way up their range and is better in this respect. Many of the Grados sit right on your ears and they are excruciating after 20 mins or so.

Sennheiser HD 600 (very good) or 650 (better) or AKG-701 (what I use) are very much more comfortable than Grados for longer listening.
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#1789535 - 11/15/11 03:24 PM Re: Headphones for digital piano! [Re: kenken]
DeTrun Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/12/11
Posts: 2
Loc: Belgium
Audio-Technica AD700 would be the usual recommendation, it doesn't require an external amp.

I'd also recommend the Superlux HD668b, they're quite cheap (30 euro's in Europe), but sound quality is on par with AD700 and other $100-headphones (AKG k240) + it has a detachable cable. It sounds relatively balanced too. Haven't heard the HD598, but from what I've read, it seems to be a nice option.

Also, deciding between closed or open headphones is important (see ChrisA's post). AD700 = open, HD668b = semi-open.

Going the AKG k701/Sennheiser HD650/Beyer DT880-route would require an external amp.

Grado's for piano? They're known for their aggressive sound (aggressive high freq), so I'd think they're not suitable for piano, but I haven't heard them.

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#1789538 - 11/15/11 03:34 PM Re: Headphones for digital piano! [Re: kenken]
lechuan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/17/10
Posts: 180
I bought the Sennheiser HD 598's based on recommendations here. Very comfortable and I love the open sound (first pair of open headphones). They're very comfortable and have a nice flat response. B&H sells them in your price range once you add them to cart.

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#1789546 - 11/15/11 03:41 PM Re: Headphones for digital piano! [Re: kenken]
Brent H Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/11
Posts: 843
I'm a big Sennheiser fan. The '598 was my "gateway drug" and more recently I'm a HD650 addict. They sound very fine with Garritan Steinway from my MIDI keyboard but listening to well recorded piano music from a real artist on them is just exquisite.

Some of Richard Goode's recordings of Chopin and Beethoven are favorites of mine and I deeply love the Mozart piano concertos that Goode recorded with the Orpheus.
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#1789568 - 11/15/11 04:28 PM Re: Headphones for digital piano! [Re: Brent H]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3474
Loc: Pennsylvania
BrentH, I take it from your wording that you find the HD650 substantially better sounding than the '598, then?

I've kink of been wondering about this and whether you actually get any extra value for the extra money or whether it's just "different" rather than better.


Edited by gvfarns (11/15/11 04:29 PM)

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#1789576 - 11/15/11 04:42 PM Re: Headphones for digital piano! [Re: kenken]
Brent H Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/11
Posts: 843
Mine are actually the HD595 but I doubt they're totally different than the '598. The HD650 is much more "real" sounding on things like piano or orchestra or jazz music. Not sure exactly what that entails but I never really lost track of the fact the music was coming through headphones with the HD595. After a couple minutes the HD650 just disappears and it feels like being there. Really, really.

That said, the brighter presentation with the '595 does give at least the sensation of hearing more detail. If by "detail" we're talking sibilance and mechanical piano noises and such. But I think I could get that detail with the HD650 by just cranking up the treble knob a bit. But I like the slightly darker balance of the higher end Sennheiser headphones, personally.

It really is apples and oranges. Over on the headphone forums you'll occasionally see someone who like the 595/598 type of tonal balance better than the 600/650 "veil". I can see how someone might like that but not me.
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#1789577 - 11/15/11 04:43 PM Re: Headphones for digital piano! [Re: kenken]
Hideki Matsui Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 787
650s are my all time favorite, and I owned the Qualias, AKG K1000s and several other notable cans. They do, however, require proper amping. I used to run them in balanced mode on a Ray Samuels balanced amp.

My current headphones, and definitely my favorite closed headphones, are the Sony MDR 7520s.


Edited by Hideki Matsui (11/15/11 05:17 PM)
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#1789586 - 11/15/11 04:59 PM Re: Headphones for digital piano! [Re: kenken]
Brent H Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/11
Posts: 843
Yeah the headphone jack on my laptop literally makes the HD650 sound like a blown speaker. I use a pretty basic Asgard headamp.
_________________________
Current Life+Music Philosophy: Less Thinking, More Foot Tapping

Ars Longa, Vita Brevis

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#1789600 - 11/15/11 05:20 PM Re: Headphones for digital piano! [Re: kenken]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2333
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
HD 650s are very nice 'phones.
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Yamaha CP1

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#1789728 - 11/15/11 09:47 PM Re: Headphones for digital piano! [Re: Brent H]
DeTrun Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/12/11
Posts: 2
Loc: Belgium
Originally Posted By: Brent H
Mine are actually the HD595 but I doubt they're totally different than the '598. The HD650 is much more "real" sounding on things like piano or orchestra or jazz music. Not sure exactly what that entails but I never really lost track of the fact the music was coming through headphones with the HD595. After a couple minutes the HD650 just disappears and it feels like being there. Really, really.

That said, the brighter presentation with the '595 does give at least the sensation of hearing more detail. If by "detail" we're talking sibilance and mechanical piano noises and such. But I think I could get that detail with the HD650 by just cranking up the treble knob a bit. But I like the slightly darker balance of the higher end Sennheiser headphones, personally.

It really is apples and oranges. Over on the headphone forums you'll occasionally see someone who like the 595/598 type of tonal balance better than the 600/650 "veil". I can see how someone might like that but not me.

Just wanted to say:
- Sennheiser is known to have a quite (too) dark sound signature. The HD555/HD595/HD650 are pretty much dark in comparison to, for example, Grado's/most headphones. This does make it easier for long term listening.
- The HD598 is the newer version, an "upgrade" of HD595. It has been said that they are less dark than the usual Sennheiser signature, being more balanced.

So if you're considering the HD555/HD595, I'd go with HD598.

Oh, and the Alessandro MS1 is also an option.

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