Home Genre Series The 11 Best Headphones for Jazz [In Depth Guide]

The 11 Best Headphones for Jazz [In Depth Guide]

by Stuart Charles Black
The best headphones for Jazz

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Hi friend and Welcome!

This is part 1 in a 7-part series on Genre, which takes a nostalgic look at some of my personal experiences with various types of music, games, and pop culture over the years. Check out the others if you would like! Suggestions for how to improve? Contact me or leave a comment below!

  1. The Best Headphones for Jazz (This article)
  2. The Best Headphones for Classical
  3. The Best Headphones for Rock
  4. The Best Headphones for Metal
  5. The Best Headphones for Pop
  6. The Best Headphones for Hip-Hop
  7. The Best Headphones For Folk

When it comes to finding the best headphones for jazz, certain things need to be taken into consideration. Before we get into things, grab a snack, sit back and relax because…

I’m Here to Help!!

The best headphones for Jazz

The best headphones for Jazz

What I will bring you in this article

  1. Introduction
  2. Considerations
  3. Closed Backs
  4. Entry Level
  5. Mid-Fi
  6. Hi-Fi
  7. Final Word

Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!

If you want a quick answer, my top pick for Jazz is

Introduction

Recently I’ve gotten a lot more into Jazz, and appreciate its relaxing qualities.

It benefits my mood, and productivity, and makes me feel at ease.

It has a great way of boosting concentration if you let it play for a while. Some artists I’ve been getting into:

  • Miles Davis
  • John Coltrane
  • Bill Evans
  • Thelonious Monk
  • Chet Baker
  • Dizzy Gillespie
  • Duke Ellington
  • Herbie Hancock

Great stuff.

Coltrane has such an exciting style, I remember when I first started listening back in July/August of 2015, I was groovin’ hard in my room! πŸ™‚ It evokes such a pleasure response in you that it’s easy to get lost in.

“Giant Steps” is still probably my favorite album from front to back. The energy, technicality, and raw talent that he displays are virtually unmatched.

If I’m feeling a bit more somber/reflective, of course, the go-to is “Kind of Blue” by Miles Davis. Timeless album. I’m sure if you’re reading this, you have some experience with Jazz (and maybe significantly more than me!).

I also enjoy Bill Evans’ “Time Remembered” as well.

Being such a noob to Jazz, I didn’t even realize he was the piano player for Miles Davis’ sextet until just recently. *blush*

Anywho, when it comes down to finding a good Jazz headphone, some considerations need to be made:


Considerations

Budget

What are you looking to spend? This article will outline some budget options as well as some higher-end offerings.

Are you looking for the absolute best?

This is highly subjective, but I’ve done quite a bit of research on the matter and I also have extensive experience with over 120 headphones.

A few models do come up quite often when people discuss the best.

I also have first-hand experience with all of these choices, and I have a good idea of what sound signatures pair best with this particular genre.

Portable vs. Studio

Do you want to be able to plug and play into a portable device, or use your headphones in a home studio environment? The headphones in this article are meant for use in an isolated studio/home environment.

You aren’t really going to want to wear open-back headphones in public, as they leak sound and disturb others.

Soundstage

This is an important determinant in deciding whether or not a headphone will fare well with Jazz. Why?

Because the genre tends to spread out the instrumentation from left to right.

A headphone with a good Soundstage tends to space things out considerably well and separates instruments nicely, allowing you to experience more of a live flavor in your listening sessions.

It also helps to highlight those cool lost and forgotten artifacts in a recording that can make all the difference in providing a more immersive experience for you.

Instead of feeling like the music is in your head, you may feel as though it’s happening in your space – a living room, bedroom, etc. When people talk about the 3-dimensional experience with headphones, this is generally what they are referring to.

Open-back headphones tend to do the best job of this but don’t expect miracles.

As mentioned earlier, I’ve demoed countless headphones, and have come to the conclusion that while Soundstage is a real phenomenon, it’s not as realistic as people would have you believe and has a lot to do with how the track was recorded, mixed, and mastered.

In other words, the producer plays a large part in deceiving you; by arranging the song in such a way that it magnifies and almost exaggerates the effect at times.

So yes, the sound does open up quite a bit, but you’re never going to actually “feel like you’re there.” That feeling is extremely rare, as I’ve only felt it on a couple of occasions.

Good Soundstage (in most cases) does not mimic surround sound speakers no matter what anyone tells you.

It simply provides tiny glimpses into what that’s like; perhaps for a split second or 2.

What you will experience is much better clarity, instrument separation, and depth.

The Soundstage will expand, but in most cases, you’ll experience it just outside shoulder width, and in rare cases beyond that.

There will be times when you feel like the sound might have come from inside the room with you, but it’s not a constant occurrence if that makes sense.

It’s a lot more subtle, but still also very enjoyable from a music-listening standpoint.

Video Discussion

I did a couple of videos on this. One is older and the second is more recent. Leave me some love! <3

Part II

 


How does Soundstage help?

A good Soundstage helps by creating space, width, and depth to the music.

With some closed-back headphones, you may feel as though the sound is boxed in and claustrophobic.

An open-back headphone has the opposite effect: It provides more air around the instruments, better separation, and more of a natural character.

There are some really great closed-back models that do an impressive job with Soundstage as well.

We’ll get into a few of those today.

A perfect example is the Status Audio CB-1.

The Best Headphones for Jazz

The CB-1 has great Soundstage for a closed back.

It’s open and airy, with a great deal of space.

Because of this, its detail retrieval is almost unmatched at this price point.

You’d be hard-pressed to find many budget headphones better for Jazz, as it reveals even the most subtle nuances of a track with relative ease.

Bass

The other consideration is bass response.

The models I’m about to mention all have a good, tight, and clean frequency, but it’s never overpowering.

With Jazz, you never want the bass to drown out the other instruments.

The last consideration is adequate amplification.

Some of the headphones I’m about to discuss need an amp, while others don’t.

If you need help on how to choose, check this article out: How to choose a headphone amp!

That said, we’ll take a look at some really good budget options starting with closed-backs.

Oftentimes,

an entry-level is all you’ll need.

I’ve found them to more than suffice for all of your Jazzy goodness!


Closed Back

Because there aren’t too many closed-backs out there that have a somewhat open sound conducive to Jazz, this list is going to be a bit short.

Status Audio CB-1

Price: Check Amazon! | Official Review: Here!

Status Audio CB-1 Review

As an entry-level with great Soundstage, this is about as good a headphone as you’ll find with regard to an open type of character in the budget range below $100.

The CB-1 works really well for nearly everything including Jazz, as it possesses an open sound signature and laid-back character that allows for long-term listening without fatigue.

One of my slight nitpicks with the CB-1 actually turns out to be an asset for Jazz.

What is the nitpick, you ask?

Well, the CB-1 sometimes has this dry, papery quality to it, but the catch is that it works incredibly well for Jazz because those subtle, feathery snare hits sound pretty awesome due to the CB-1’s open quality and propensity not to overemphasize everything.

Likewise, the bass, while certainly accentuated to an extent, ends up pairing very well with those punchy Jazz hits that you’re probably well accustomed to by now.

All in all, you can’t really go wrong with the CB-1 for around $69.

AKG K550/553

Price: Check Amazon! | Check Sweetwater! | Official Review: Here!

This is about as close to an open sound as you’ll get with a closed-back headphone in its price range.

I got an incredible sense of air and spacing with these, and because of their extremely balanced sound, they will also do exceptionally with Jazz.

Comfort is phenomenal as well, but do keep in mind that they are notorious for having a difficult-to-achieve seal.

This simply means you’ll have to finagle them a bit before getting a good fit on your head.

The K553 has been a long-time recommendation for many genres on this blog, and Jazz is no different.

The reason is that the 553’s resolution is really excellent; you’ll be able to hear all kinds of subtleties in the track and for Jazz, this is a must.

Sony MDR-Z1R

Price: Check Amazon! | Official Review: Here!

This is an extremely pricey offering, but well worth it in my opinion if you can get one at around $1700.

When these first came out, they were around $2,200-$2,300 if I remember correctly.

At that time,

I didn’t think that was quite worth it, but interestingly enough, they’ve since come down to around the exact price I mentioned years ago ($1700).

The sound signature is warm, open, and exciting.

The Z1R is another example of a closed-back headphone that sounds very open.

In fact, out of all the headphones I’ve personally heard, this one comes the closest to sounding like a true open-back.


Open Back – Entry Level

Philips SHP9500

Price: Check Amazon! | Check B&H! | Official Review: Here!

Philips SHP9500 vs. 9600

The years keep going by and the 9500 still remains relevant; oftentimes a best seller on Amazon and B&H and truly a remarkable achievement under $100.

What makes this a great headphone for Jazz is its Soundstage and detail retrieval, despite what some elitist snobs would have you believe.

In listening to John Coltrane’s Blue Train, I’m frequently experiencing that out-of-your-head sensation, where you pause to make sure the sound isn’t coming from the outside.

They have a consistent knack for keeping you on your toes.

Much like the 60e, the transient response is very good; attack, sustain, and decay are all above average and they do a fantastic job of keeping up.

They also have the perfect bass response for Jazz; It’s lean, textured, and nuanced.

You can actually hear individual notes which makes for a better overall listening experience.

The other thing I noticed is how much more true to life the instruments are.

After switching to the 9500 from something like an HD600, I’m finding the sound to be a lot more fully fleshed out and exposed.

The HD600, by contrast, tends to sound kind of clammy and boxed in. There’s more intricacy here with regard to, well everything.

AKG K240

Price: Check Amazon! | Check Sweetwater! | Check B&H! | Official Review: Here!

AKG K240 Review

You absolutely could almost never go wrong in purchasing a 240 for like, anything really.

The bass here is probably leaner than a 9500, but the mid-range is what really shines with these headphones.

Everything sounds extremely lifelike and natural, to the point of me wanting to go back and listen to songs I’ve long since forgotten about.

There’s a bump here around 5k, and then the treble kind of rolls off and sounds really smooth and effortless.

I wrote extensively about my excitement over these here: AKG K240 vs. Samson SR850.

It does well for Jazz because it’s open, spacious, incredibly detailed, and doesn’t overemphasize those delicate Jazz instruments which again, is key for a superb listening experience.


Mid-Fi

HIFIMAN HE400se

Price: Check Amazon! | Check Apos Audio! | Official Review: Here!

HIFIMAN HE400se Review

I wasn’t going to add this to the list until I fired up Bill Evans’s “Time Remembered” album from 1963 and got to the track called “What is this thing called Love?”

About halfway through I got up and started punching the air out of sheer excitement because let me tell you, folks, with the right source files, the 400se is another gem for Jazz.

Everything is light but still has lushness and impact.

The drum hits sound correct, the bass lines are fleshed out and hit just right, and the treble mostly stays in line.

The one issue I’ve always had with the 400se (and all 400 series headphones, really) is that gradual decline after 1kHz.

Interestingly enough, it still doesn’t cause the Piano to sound too pushed back due to the fact that Pianos typically cover a wide range of the frequency response – anywhere from 5 Hz at the lowest registers, to 500 Hz in the middle, up to around 4kHz.

Perhaps the 400se’s biggest claim to fame is its instrument Timbre, resolution, and superior tonality to most dynamics.

This, in addition to its price, is why I’m always recommending it and will continue to until something better comes along.

Everything sounds mostly correct here, Soundstage is above average, and for $109 it’s a crime that the 400se is this cheap.

I mean, they’re basically giving them away!

In other words, these are basically mid-fi headphones plus at a budget price.

Sennheiser HD560S

Price: Check Amazon! | Check Sweetwater! | Check B&H! | Official Review: Here!

Sennheiser HD560S Review

As much as I bag on this headphone for sounding a bit boring, I still think it works incredibly well for Jazz because of neutrality alone.

Are you noticing a running theme in this article?

Most headphones that fare well for Jazz don’t really place too much emphasis on any one particular frequency.

This is because Jazz musicians typically don’t overpower one another, although there are some exceptions.

The 560S is another example of keeping in line with that mostly positive trend, although it does deviate slightly from the original 500 series line in that the sub-bass has now been given a slight boost + the overall sound is just a bit better and more refined.

500 series headphones like the original HD598 suffered from some distortion at higher volumes and didn’t have a very good transient response. 

This is just another reason to consider the slightly more refined-than-its-counterparts HD560S for Jazz.

In addition to all that, the Soundstage remains one of its hallmark achievements and comfort is simply splendid as always.

AKG K702

Price: Check Amazon! | Check Sweetwater! | Check B&H! | Official Review: Here!

AKG K702 vs. Sennheiser HD600

I’ve written a ton about these headphones and have owned a pair since 2019.

As the years go by and I try more and more products, I nearly always come back to the K702 because it’s essentially a perfect sound signature.

Slightly rolled off below 40Hz, flat mid-bass, a bit of emphasis around the presence regions (2-3kHz), and a bright-ish treble that doesn’t sound too out of line.

Not only that but it’s got a marvelous Soundstage and nearly always spaces instruments and sounds apart with relative ease.

Yes, the K702, like the HD600 is one of the only headphones still talked about, reviewed, and adored decades after its release.

It’s comfortable, built well, and sounds almost perfect for Jazz.

Brush hits, bass plucks, snare rolls, and the Saxophone itself all sound marvelous, to the point where sometimes I wonder if the K702 is indeed the best mid-fi has to offer. 


Hi-Fi ($500-$600+ And Beyond)

Let me start out by saying that generally speaking, anything over $500 is considered Hi-Fi to me.

This is because after demoing 120+ headphones I know from personal experience that the law of diminishing returns sets in around this price range – perhaps slightly below or above depending on who you are.

Just know that around this area is generally where I’d tell you that VERY few headphones are worth the asking retail price.

For that reason, we’ll keep it simple.

HIFIMAN Ananda

Price: Check Apos Audio! | Check Amazon!

HIFIMAN Ananda vs. Edition X

Note: I’m currently demoing and comparing the Ananda to the newer (and cheaper) Edition XS, and I think it’s ultimately a better value.

One of the problems with delving into “higher-fi” territory so to speak, is that there’s no going back.

Let’s say you’re listening to an Ananda or Edition XS, and go back down to something like a sub-$100 Monitor 60 (which I was testing for Jazz today before updating this article).

99% of the time the lower-end model is going to sound like poop in comparison – which is exactly what happened in the case of the M60 even though I really like the headphones!

The Ananda simply provides a better, more open sound, with superior timbre and resolution to even something in the Mid-Fi range.

For Jazz? You can’t do much better if money is a concern (which it is for most people).

That is to say that if you’re looking for something a bit better than the headphones we just discussed (in the Mid-Fi category), The Ananda is probably what you’ll want to consider first.

It’s more open than a 400se and strikes all the right chords with me (no pun intended).

The bass is articulate, deep, and rolls wonderfully (there’s a nice sense of rumble), and the mid-range doesn’t roll off here.

The treble also has some nice sparkle and zip, if a tad Sibilant at times. 

Still, it’s a minor nitpick to an otherwise excellent overall sound signature.

What really sets the Ananda apart from the others is its spacing – something monumentally important with Jazz.

Everything is given more room to breathe and pulsate, as you’ll notice decay is especially noteworthy here.

Instruments trail off beautifully and sound more fully fleshed out – certainly one of these headphones’ best overall qualities and one you’ll find absent in many cheaper offerings.

Audeze LCD-2

Price: Check Amazon! | Official Review: Here!

The Best Headphones for Jazz

The OG LCD-2.

The LCD-2 is pretty much the only other headphone in this price range that I would consider, and just so happens to be an excellent choice for Jazz.

Like the Ananda, it’s got superior timbre and resolution vs. headphones in the lower-tiered categories and also excels wonderfully with spacing and Soundstage.

In fact, the LCD line comes pretty close to being as good as the next headphone on this list, and it’s one of the main reasons I’m keeping it here even despite the mid-range issue.

In other words,

I will caution you that an Audeze is not for everyone and you may not like its laid-back vibe.

I include it because its tonality is right up there with the best I’ve heard, and for that reason alone it will always stick out in my mind as a moment I remember vividly with the Black Label.

Focal Utopia

Price: Check Amazon! Check Sweetwater! | Check B&H! | Official Review: Here!

Focal Utopia Review

Out of the 120+ headphones demoed at the time of this writing, the Utopia is still the best I’ve heard and it’s really not even close.

Everything about this beauty exhibits class: from the materials to the build, to the effortlessly graceful sound signature, to the perfect comfort, and everything in between.

It works for Jazz because of its open Soundstage and propensity to deliver even the most minuscule, minute, and insignificant of details.

It does this in a way that never really feels cold, clinical, or lifeless; instead, it comes across in the most transparent of ways imaginable.

I frequently refer to this sound as “Door 3.”

While Door 2 (Mid-Fi) reveals most of what you’ll hear in a Tier-2 audiophile type of headphone, the Utopia shatters that by providing even more subtle nuance that you never knew was there.

I still vividly remember demoing these at Audio Advice’s “Music Matters” show in 2018.

At the time, it was around my 3rd or 4th demo.

Before putting them on my head, I thought to myself “Surely these aren’t as good as I made them out to be”.

No, they weren’t as good.

THEY WERE BETTER.

That’s right you heard me correctly.

I simply couldn’t believe it. It was one of the few times in my audio journey that I felt truly shocked and bewildered. Almost betrayed by my own being. My own memories. I couldn’t even trust myself anymore.

As if I was just hit in the face with a brick.

I looked to the Focal rep and said out loud “They sound better every time I hear them.” He just smiled and nodded. He knew, and most people know.

The Utopia is the best dynamic driver headphone on the planet and could be the best overall PERIOD. It’s that good.

If you can get these for around $1000-$2000, I’d say pull the trigger immediately.

$4000 is a bit high, but man, I still may fork over the money one day and never touch another headphone ever again.

Final Word

So with that in mind, which of these do I personally recommend? That’s a tough one.

Overall I think you’re going to find the sound of the AKG K702 or HD560S to be perfectly in line with what a headphone should deliver in terms of Soundstage and for Jazz specifically (when considering the Mid-Fi category).

Both are excellent headphones that provide dynamic width and spacing between instruments, which really comes in handy for Jazz and how it kind of pans instruments hard left and right.

Overall, the K702 is probably the best Jazz headphone for most people and will work well in the majority of listening situations you may encounter.

Learn More:

 

If you’re looking for the best of the best, the Utopia wins by a landslide and I think I’ve done a good job of explaining why πŸ™‚

Learn More:

 

 


Well, that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this article on the best headphones for jazz, and have a better idea of what you should consider.

Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Let me know in the comments or contact me!!

Which of these headphones are you most likely to purchase? Who is your favorite Jazz composer? I would love to hear from you!

Until next time, all the best and God bless..

 

 

-Stu

[Xtr@Ba$eHitZ]

Can’t decide which headphones to purchase? Interested in a complete buyers guide outlining over 40 of the best options on the market? Click on over to the best audiophile headphones to learn more!!

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16 comments

Christine March 21, 2016 - 3:16 am

I have had the Sennheiser HD 600 for only a couple of weeks and believe that it is the best headphones I have ever owned. I agree with you about the bass and the K701. I am thinking of purchasing it as well just to have a different sound from time to time.

Miles Davis is the best jazz artist around as far as I am concerned.
Christine.

Reply
Stu March 25, 2016 - 3:34 am

Ahh thank you much for the recommendation! If I may suggest, go with the Q701 over the K701 as it’s sound-stage has been much improved, with more bass and a more natural sound. The big gripe with the K701 was it’s abnormally large sound-stage and non-existent bass. But, all that said it works extremely well for jazz and mixing because there’s less of a demand for a thumping low end in jazz recordings, and they’re very honest, which allows them to work great as an in studio reference monitor.

Thanks for stopping by!

-Stu

Reply
Raymond March 21, 2016 - 3:33 am

Well I got to say, I have never heard of open back headphones. It’s quite interesting how headphones have developed. I bet what you’re experiencing with headphones you have reviewed have sharpened your judgement of picking out subtle sounds.

Most of the time when people buy headphones, they want to get the one that gives good bass because it gives the impact. Well our music today has really become more interested in that in my opinion. More flare but not much meaning and substance.

You’re article is really cool and interesting. Thanks for sharing. Cheers!

Reply
Stu March 25, 2016 - 3:27 am

Yes Raymond I would agree. A friend of mine today was trying to tell me that his Power beats ear buds were better than my M50’s. I just had to laugh. His weren’t bad headphones or anything, in fact I gave them roughly a 4/5. But The M50’s are the standard right now for an excellent closed back consumer grade model (not for jazz however). The numbers don’t lie! Thanks for stopping by!

-Stu

Reply
Yifei Gong April 29, 2016 - 12:44 pm

Great article! I’d say the Sennheiser HD598s are also great for jazz especially if you don’t have budget for an decent amp.

Besides, could you please recommend a few IEMs that are great for jazz? I would like to use them on my iPhone.

Bud Powell is IMO the most talented jazz pianist and it’s a shame he had a rather tragic life.
Yifei

Reply
Stu April 30, 2016 - 12:37 am

Hey man!

It’s funny you mention that. With as many times as I’ve recommended the 598’s, you’d think I would have remembered to include them in this list! Lol. Thanks for the reminder, I will have to add those in. They are phenomenal for jazz as well, while serving as a very flat and even sounding headphone. The bass is lean, but overall they are a joy to listen with.
After some digging on IEM’s that are great for jazz, I came across a lot of options! Let me know your budget and what kind of sound signature you like and I can narrow it down further. You can contact me! I will try and narrow down my search quickly here though. The ones that came up most were: The VSONIC GR07, GR01, Etymotic HF5, Shure SE535, the Sony EX1000, and the Sony MDR XB90EX. Check out this article as well from Tyll at Inner Fidelity. InnerFidelity’s “Wall of Fame” In Ear Monitors. He goes into some affordable options as well as more expensive ones.

I appreciate you stopping by! Any other questions just holler.

Blessings,
-Stu

Reply
Geoff July 7, 2017 - 6:23 am

Hey Stu,

Great post but had a couple of questions.

I’m still very much an amateur, and your post gave me a lot of information to research. I currently have AKG240 MKII and absolutely love them if it wasn’t for the very small ear enclosure it provides. These cans have produced the most astonishing sound quality I’ve heard especially for Jazz and are under $100. I’ve been comparing countless headphones on HeadRoom and even the S600’s, AKG701, Q701, but none produce as distinct of a curve in the mids which afaik is the main frequency used in Jazz. You mentioned in a review on the Senn 600’s that the mids are flat — this frightens me a bit as the graph somewhat shows a much gentler slope and this is counter-intuitive with my knowledge thus far. Any thoughts?

Reply
Stu July 7, 2017 - 2:06 pm

Hey Geoff!

Could you show me where I said that specifically? I’m looking at my review and don’t see it. The mid-range on the 600 is actually a bit forward, which I mention a few times in the article. But as for what you’ve said, I love the K240’s as well! Great headphone, but I agree wholeheartedly about the fit. The ear-cups are too shallow, and I’m glad you pointed that out because I need to go back and mention that in my review.

As for Jazz, all of these are good but something with a big Soundstage and lots of air (room for the sound to breathe) is what you’re after. I would probably go with the K701/702 or Q701, though the Q has a bit of a deeper bass response. A great budget headphone for Jazz would be the Sennheiser HD558. I’ve found that this handles bass extraordinarily well because it’s more balanced than most headphones, but also has a lot of air. You’ll definitely want a phone that’s kind of bass lean as well, as anything above that kind of muddies things up. You’d be surprised how easily Jazz can get that way. I presume it’s because most of the bass notes are actually not that low. Something that articulates sound and detail is ideal.

Let me know if that helps!

-Stu

Reply
Sebastian Malleza September 6, 2017 - 6:53 pm

Hey, great post! I am trying to decide between the 598 and 600. Should I spend the extra money if I can’t afford a nice amp or is it just not worth it? Cheers

Reply
Stu September 6, 2017 - 7:00 pm

Hey Sebastian!

It’s not worth the purchase if you don’t plan on getting an amp/DAC to go with the 600’s. I would just wait until you have the funds, and go with the Schiit Magni/Modi combo + HD600. That’s not to say the 598’s are bad, but there’s a huge leap in sound. You’ll thank me later. πŸ™‚

Let me know what you decide!

Blessings,
-Stu

Reply
Michael Contreras August 20, 2020 - 8:59 am

Wow man, I saw u on YouTube like a week ago talking about dragonflys, I bought the black in 40 eu because of you. Now I’m here going through the net searching for a good invest in 7 years ( I have been using audiotechnica’s A900x ). The chain will be my computer or phone to Aune T1 tube DAC or dragonfly black to the one I have to choose. I study music, playing piano and percussion. 80% of what I listen is jazz, 50% is piano -namely Bill Evans Trio’s, Keith solo’s, Tigran Hamasyan, etc-, 20% is trumpet (and here relays lot of my problems in the past with equipment ) like Chet bakers Holland era, dizzys cuban stuff, Christian Scott, etc.
So, from what I have watched in your articles and in the headfi threads of jazz I can buy right now second hand in mint condition and cheap the K 702, the K 601, the grado’s sr80e the Senn HD 598, and the Bey DT 880.
What would you say for jazz and classical?
Thank you so much for your article and your knowledge.
Mike

Reply
Stuart Charles Black August 20, 2020 - 9:11 pm

Hey Mike, my pleasure!

Love Bill Evans Trio and Chet Baker. My mom and her friend were over the other day and he loves Chet and Stan Getz. We were listening via BT with my receiver through some Andrew Jones Pioneers. Gosh his music is so calming and peaceful right? Timeless. It really takes me back.

Jazz is a pretty hard genre to replicate effectively, but Classical even more so. My favorites in the genre are definitely Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy. There’s something about their compositions that just really strike a chord within my soul, to the point of tears most days.

I’ve found that the K612 and K702 do very well with Jazz and Classical. K612 probably better with the latter because it’s a bit more warmed over. Classical tends to go from quiet to loud in hurry! And most combinations have trouble because they sort of pierce your ears and you quickly find yourself reaching for the volume knob. I’ve found that this is in unfortunate fact of life when it comes to Classical.

HD598 will also do very well for both, as well as a DT880. The 880 tends to be very bright though, maybe not as good.

I have both the K612 and 702. I mostly use the 612 for Classical and in my living room when I’m watching Netflix, and the K702 with Jazz and Gaming. I find it’s more crisp and lively, with better articulation and spacing for Gaming, though I’m not opposed to using a K612 for that.

So my final pick for you and Jazz is the K702. For Classical, K612 but you can still listen with a 702 with Classical. It just won’t be quite as ideal.

Hope that helps! Let me know man πŸ™‚

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Martin March 22, 2023 - 6:08 am

i tested 6 high end headphones, Susvara, Emoyreans Elites, Expanse D8000, Utopia, no, hey aren’t the best headphones in the world, i out them 5th in this list of 6 and there are at least 6 others, the 1266, Bravura, HE1, Shangri la Sr Apeiro, and Stax x9000 that are better, you should try those, especially the Susvaras that are my favorites for Jazz under 30000 dollars or so

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Stuart Charles Black March 22, 2023 - 3:01 pm

Cool, thanks! Maybe I will demo those at some point. I will keep you posted.

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Paulok May 16, 2023 - 2:30 pm

Hope your thriving mate I went to see a full orchestra for the first time ever at the weekend and wow! Amazing was sitting right up close with my head almost on the glokenspiel and in the percussion area. So much more appealing in the midst of the resonance. First half was Gershwin which is kind of both classical and jazz all in one.

Anyway Im here for the closed back recomendations.

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Stuart Charles Black May 24, 2023 - 11:20 am

Mate!

So great to hear from you. I haven’t uploaded in a while but I hope you comment on my video when it comes out this Saturday (5/27).

In any event, that’s awesome to hear you had such a great time. I want to attend one soon. LMAO. You always make me laugh with your “matter-of-fact” way of talking about things (Glockenspiel on your head). XD

Gershwin is one of my favorites! In fact, I sampled one of his works a while back. Let me know what you think. I’m also a huge fan of Debussy, Ravel, Holst, Edvard Grieg, etc.

Anyways, thanks for reaching out and supporting the blog and channel for so long!

-Stu

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