Headphones for replacing Sennheiser PX80/100


lepermessiah

Member
Disciple
Am looking for a replacement for my Sennheiser PX80/100.


This is my go-to regular use pair, but its plug has developed an issue and the audio gets cut intermittently. The usage pattern is watching movies, Netflix, games and casual music listening with an occasional call in between. I know that these aren't audiophile headphones, but I just love the sound signature on these- it's so much fun. The criteria for a replacement would be:
  1. Should be comfortable to wear for long periods. The PX80s were very comfortable for me. However, I was just as fine with an AKG K518DJ though it had an insane clamping force.
  2. Well built and durable, preferably with replaceable cables. I want this to be a reliable beater that can last for a long time.
  3. A fun and interesting sound signature. Flexible in this area.
  4. No particular preference for open back or closed back earphones or any brands in particular.
  5. No particular preference for on-ears or circum aurals.
Had shortlisted the following based on no particular order of preference:
  1. Audio Technica M50x (new or lightly used)
  2. Beyerdynamic DT range (probably used)
  3. Beyerdynamic Custom range (ditto)
  4. Sennheiser HD280 pro (not sure whether they have removable cables, but they seem built well)
  5. Superlux HD668B (new or used)
  6. Sennheiser HD 598 SR or SE (probably used)
  7. Koss Porta Pro (new, but I am sure that their cables would also break pretty easily)
  8. Used AKG K518 DJs. I used to have those and loved them, but I lost them. Sadly, these are not in production anymore.
  9. Curious about AKG K52-s. (probably new)
  10. Change the plug for the PX80 and call it a day. If so, could any one suggest me any place in Bangalore where I could do this?
Usage scenario would mostly be netflix, movies, games and casual music listening. I am not too hung up on audio accuracy since I already have a pair Westone 4-s for critical listening. Main requirement is that the replacements are comfortable and fun to listen to and provide that kind of enjoyment the PX80-s did even though they were not particularly Hi-Fi, if this makes any sense.
Sources:
  1. Music: LG V20, lossless 16/24 bit flac. Genres: Classic Rock, Heavy metal, Prog. I don't stream music.
  2. Movies and Netflix: iPad Air.
  3. Gaming: Acer Predator Helios 300. No amps or DAC-s, straight out of the headphone jack.
Have a feeling that the M50x can fulfill that role pretty well and it seems pretty reliable. Not considering M40x since it doesn't have replaceable cables. I wonder whether the V20 can drive these well. Please help me out in making a decision on this apples, oranges and peaches dilemma.
 

red dragon

Justiceforall
Veteran
Sorry to say this , but the models in your shortlist is all over the place.
Remove the HD280 immediately ( you will hate it, just opposite of fun sound, it is cold, flat with harsh peaky highs, fantastic for tracking and mixing, becomes enjoyable with high quality tube amps)
Now M50X, coming from the smooth sounding PX80, you may love/hate the VERY HEAVY bass, piercing treble, very much recessed mids. Not at all suitable for casual listening. M40 is a much better and cheaper can.
COP/Studios are huge in size and overpriced. Look into the Custom Street, very nice sound with slightly treble happy, very nice sound for the price.
Since you liked 518s and didn`t mind the vice like clamp, you may love the M40X/Custom Streets. M40X comes with replacable cables. If you want to try open cans (you should) HD598 SE/SR is just amazing. It does have enough bass, beautiful soundstage , fairly detailed ( properly amped, these are 90 percent HD600, however runs good even without any amp)
Except the Superlux and the newer AKG I have heard all of them and probably still have them in the house.
I will humbly suggest you to stay away from M50 ( they are decent for tracking and monitoring) but not for listening (in my book they are the 1000 XM3s of wired headphones, extremely popular with very serious flaws)
 

Julian

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Veteran
Change the plug for the PX80 and call it a day. If so, could any one suggest me any place in Bangalore where I could do this?

Dunno about bangalore specifically but cable fixes are pretty easy. Ask around.

Unless you REALLY want new headphones...
 

red dragon

Justiceforall
Veteran
Digging up an old thread, if you're still looking for a fun sounding headphone, HD25 is available at an unbelievable price ( around 9k INR @ Amazon India)
I've never seen them at this price anywhere. I'm pretty sure nothing comes close to HD25 at this price point. NOTHING.
 

lepermessiah

Member
Disciple
Digging up an old thread, if you're still looking for a fun sounding headphone, HD25 is available at an unbelievable price ( around 9k INR @ Amazon India)
I've never seen them at this price anywhere. I'm pretty sure nothing comes close to HD25 at this price point. NOTHING.
I feel like kicking myself for buying the M50x-s (I bought them on June 23) before I saw your posts. While they are good headphones, I couldn't bring myself to like their sound signature either. Have put them up for sale.

I have been eyeing the HD-25-s for nearly a decade. I haven't seen them priced this close anywhere either. From what I read on this review (https://theheadphonelist.com/headphone-review/sennheiser-hd25-1-ii/), I was pretty sure that these are what I wanted. Wanted your views on the same too.

Thanks for bringing this to my notice- I am buying this soon.
 

red dragon

Justiceforall
Veteran
Yes, get them fast. This is a superb deal. It's discounted everywhere! Sennheiser possibly will drop it permanently!!
I am very much tempted to buy another one as mine is in really bad shape and that's the one headphone I really wanna keep forever.
There are plenty of headphones nowadays better than their hd6** series.
But this thing is very very special. Feed them with more power they will get even better everytime...
 
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Julian

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Veteran
I'm curious why you guys are getting so excited about these on-ear headphones when you have awesome circumaural ones. Is it because they're small, light and portable? Or something else?
 

lepermessiah

Member
Disciple
I'm curious why you guys are getting so excited about these on-ear headphones when you have awesome circumaural ones. Is it because they're small, light and portable? Or something else?
Nice question.. As for me, I am not a huge fan of circumaurals. They are bulky, quite irritating when the climate is hot (and if the ear pads are pleather) and not exactly go-to. The good ones win in soundstage, I believe.

To be honest, all the on ears I’ve owned (Senn Px80/100, AKG K518) had made me more happy than full size cans. The HD25 is a legend, though. I’ve heard that they are proper giant killers. Seems that they would be pretty awesome for my genres. Since red dragon has owned one, I’ll let him tell more about it.
 

Julian

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Veteran
The last pair of supraaurals i've had were the panasonic dj100. All the others were circumaural. And while i agree about the heat issue, even supras can get quite irritating, maybe 75% as much as circums. Supras can get pretty loud, but that's not really a factor. For some reason i've always felt they lack the presence and soundstage of bigger ones. Also, atmosphere and pure punch/power is much less. Dunno if it's the larger drivers or the isolation and completely enclosing the ears.

Also, when i got my dt770s, i also got some covers, which take care of the sweat issue to a certain extent. The dt770 pads themselves are velour, but i didn't wanna screw em up like all my previous headphones. It's kinda retarded i know, like putting a rexine cover on a brand new car seat but whatever.
 

red dragon

Justiceforall
Veteran
I'm curious why you guys are getting so excited about these on-ear headphones when you have awesome circumaural ones. Is it because they're small, light and portable? Or something else?
Very good question. You must have noticed almost people interested in headphones have at least one pair of the cheapest Grado (SR60/80). And the Grados are very fragile, needs earpad replacement every year or so, do not isolate at all, have no bass. Yet, everyone has one.
Now imagine a low end Grado with exceptional build quality ( which can take on a Rottweiler`s attack), replaceable cable, fantastic passive isolation and a very fast layered bass (which never ever sound bloated) and EXCEPTIONAL vocals ( so good that almost all broadcasting studios use them as default)
Or take a HD600, remove the infamous veil, add some lower end without messing up the mids and add a lot of energy...that is the HD25 in brief. It is not a fancy headphone, certainly not for bass-heads (though has abundant bass, incredibly fast and layered bass), has a narrow but extremely precise sound stage (useless for gamers).
People who are used to (and like) the sound of M50X, 1000XM3 will possibly hate it. But people who love their Grados and HD6** series headphones but wish there were little more low end, will love it. DT770/880/990 users will also love it (better mids than 770, more energy than 880, less treble than 990....but the soundstage is narrow)
Sorry for this confusing post. I really love the HD25 and never understood why people compared it with M50X.
It has always been expensive in India and Europe before Sennheiser`s 75th anniversary but now at this current pricing, it absolutely destroys everything within INR 10K.
@Julian, I won`t suggest it for you buddy because of your tinnitus. It is a very sharp sounding headphone and can induce tinnitus after prolonged listening sessions ( it happened to me)
 
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Julian

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Veteran
That's a pretty interesting explanation. I thought all the pros (studio/music production etc.) use some circumaural or the other. Not supraaurals.
 

red dragon

Justiceforall
Veteran
HD25 is not a giant killer, it's a giant itself ( more like a dinosaur)
Now it has some flaws:
1. Not very comfortable
2. Dual split headband is polarising
3. Sibilance: specially if not powered properly
4. Very narrow sound stage, not great for games, movies.
5. Though replaceable, cable replacement, specially if it's torn, is not very easy.
6.Non collapsible, doesn't come with hard case
 

lepermessiah

Member
Disciple
Very good question. You must have noticed almost people interested in headphones have at least one pair of the cheapest Grado (SR60/80). And the Grados are very fragile, needs earpad replacement every year or so, do not isolate at all, have no bass. Yet, everyone has one.
What a coincidence. My first pair of headphones is a Grado SR60- still working and still on the stock earpads. I love those since they are perfect for listening to rock and heavy metal (my preferred genres). Guitars sound really, really good on those. As you said, those are kind of fragile. I baby them and keep them stored in a dust free box.
Now imagine a low end Grado with exceptional build quality ( which can take on a Rottweiler`s attack), replaceable cable, fantastic passive isolation and a very fast layered bass (which never ever sound bloated) and EXCEPTIONAL vocals ( so good that almost all broadcasting studios use them as default)
Can't tell you how much I wanted something like this. The only reason why my Grados were taken out only for occasional use was due to their fragility. I've heard that HD25s were built like tanks and that almost every part of it is modular in some way or the other.
People who are used to (and like) the sound of M50X, 1000XM3 will possibly hate it. But people who love their Grados and HD6** series headphones but wish there were little more low end, will love it.
For me it was the other way around. No wonder I did not like the M50x. I always liked my Grados for music (and the PX80/100 for everything else, if that makes any sense).

DT770/880/990 users will also love it (better mids than 770, more energy than 880, less treble than 990....but the soundstage is narrow)
@red dragon and @Julian : Was always curious about the Beyers. How do they compare to the M50 and the HD25?
Sorry for this confusing post. I really love the HD25 and never understood why people compared it with M50X.
Helps lost folks like me who doesn't have an opportunity to try them.
It has always been expensive in India and Europe before Sennheiser`s 75th anniversary but now at this current pricing, it absolutely destroys everything within INR 10K.
I got it for 8K.. There was an additional discount of 500 bucks by using an HDFC card.
That's a pretty interesting explanation. I thought all the pros (studio/music production etc.) use some circumaural or the other. Not supraaurals.
The HD25s are very much used in broadcasting. Most probably because it's so durable and if their sound signature is like what @red dragon said about Grados, vocals would be quite clear.
HD25 is not a giant killer, it's a giant itself ( more like a dinosaur)
Now it has some flaws:
1. Not very comfortable
Oops. Hope it's better than full sized cans.
3. Sibilance: specially if not powered properly
What amp do you suggest for it? (portable & otherwise)
 

Julian

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Veteran
My previous headphones were the jvc-harx700 and these are my first 'audiophile' headphones so i can't really compare. I guess the mids were a little more pronounced in the jvcs, but the dt770 are fantastic. Very neutral, but i have no qualms in adjusting source EQ to get a bit more bass, and this is no beats bass, clean punchy and it just expands the atmosphere like anything. Amazing headphones. Can't imagine better sound than this. Sadly they're packed up since the last 3 months or so and i can't bring myself to sell them.

@red dragon i was just asking for curiousity's sake, i don't know if I'll ever be able to use headphones again. Even the speakers at low volume aggravate the hyperacusis depending on some frequencies. So even thinking about open-backs or anything is kinda moot at this point.

I would have imagined for studio/mastering you would want as much isolation as possible to hear only the track and not background sound like equipment/aircon etc. Which is why i was wondering about supra vs circum in that environment.
 

red dragon

Justiceforall
Veteran
HD25 isolates very very well. Before ANC cans, I used them for long flights. For rock and metal HD25 is perfect!!! You do not need an amp, but with cheap FiiO/ Topping NX1S/3S they should sound better. The sibilance goes away completely. But you do not need an amp with modern phones. 8k is indeed a fantastic deal. Must resist my temptation...just need a cable replacement, not the whole headphone...**** it...ordering one
 

lepermessiah

Member
Disciple
Can confirm to this. Got the HD25-s today and have been enjoying them with my LG V20. They trigger the high impedance mode in the DAC and the phone can easily drive these well. The HD25-s are definitely keepers! Thanks a lot for your advice- you’ve made another brother happy today!
 

lepermessiah

Member
Disciple
Just some of the older LG models like mine.. They had really nice DACs that were well implemented. There were also others like the Marshall London, but they weren’t mainstream.
 

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