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post #14056 of 19739
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdrm360 View Post
 

 

Thanks for sharing!

 

Could you also share a quick comparison of the HD650 vs. K702 Annies?

 

Hmmm for the purposes of being fair... I will only compare them single-ended. The HD650 balanced are a different thing altogether... and I have not had opportunity to try the Annies balanced (yet... they may get modded in a year or so? :ph34r:)

 

Fit/Comfort, Design

 

Now I have a very VERY big head but I find both headphones to be very comfortable. I'm sure most of you reading here are extremely familiar with our beloved HD 650s. So I will move on. The Annies of course have the signature AKG headband that self-adjusts with the elastic cords. This headband design is actually very well implemented and convenient for when you share with other people to listen... no need to fiddle with adjustments, just stick them on and they will be the right size. The Annie clamp lighter than the 650s so I had no issue there, no need to stretch them. As well, the Annies earcups are a very very marshmellowy like memory foam... a complete joy to wear :o they are super soft and comfy and will mold to your head to provide a semi-seal. But if you're in a hot room/summer then I could imagine it getting too warm (I'm in Canada though... so no problem ;)). Overall build quality is very nice with good sturdy fit and finish... the Annies headband is genuine leather, and the gunmetal titan finish with blue trim is gorgeous! Detachable cable is also well made with a good plug... the mini-XLR goes in with a very satisfying click (not as scary as the first time i had to pull the HD650 connectors)... sadly, the XLR is 3-pin... not 4-pin, meaning it will require modification before it can go balanced. :(

 

Treble:

 

The Annies win out here... quite easily as a whole. The detailing, shine and shimmer are definitely more well defined here. Cymbals have more sparkle, violins have more bite, acoustic guitars have more of the live (yourself playing) sound... which I like as a humble acoustic guitar player. So for albums like Eric Clapton's Unplugged... I generally will prefer the Annies over the HD 650. Trebles in the Annies are not particularly harsh, and only in some more treble happy songs/albums will I find them fatiguing. The HD650 of course as all others here agree... have a nicely rolled off treble allowing for some seriously nice easy listening and as I'm treble sensitive, I generally appreciate this. However, the HD650 are not "lacking" treble... it can still be pretty bright for some songs, but just much more forgiving so sometimes it can seem to have less "shimmer/sparkle" than brighter cans.

 

Bottom Line: Annies have better treble overall

 

 

Mids:

 

Interestingly, it is here that I find the Annies to share some character that is reminiscent of the HD650s. The mids could be considered fairly neutral with just a slight tint to the darker side (compared to the brighter Q701). The sound is well balanced in this region... vocals have superb detailing and tone, piano keys have a good life-like timbre. Overall smooth transitions and relatively more forward sound with the vocals.  The HD650 has slightly smoother mids, sound is slightly brought back, and you don't get as much of that clarity in the micro-detail that the Annies show... it's not to say that the detail isn't there... it's just not demanding your attention like the Annies... you have to subtly look for them (like coffee or wine tasting). 

 

Bottom Line: I'd consider this a tie between the two... it's quite close IMHO

 

Mid Bass:

 

Now all of you KNOW I had to make a separate section for this :D. This is where ALL THE MAGIC HAPPENS!!! Truly, the region that makes the HD650 sing... providing that ultra buttery sound that gently floats you up in a euphonious wave of chocolate sounds. Have yet to hear any other headphone perform quite like the HD650s in this region... yes you may criticize and say this region is coloured... and you would not be wrong! But it is coloured oh so lusciously!!! Some hate the HD650s because of this... but for many others... it's simply one word: LOVE. Now... before I completely forget what I am doing here, back to the Annies: They actually do have some characteristic warmth in this region too which is why some others here in the forum will agree with me that the Annies do remind us of the HD 650. However, they certainly do not quite reach the level of colouration that is found in the Senns... the Annies are a bit more controlled... providing some smooth lubrication to the sound but not quite the richness of the HD650s. Some may actually prefer this if they find the HD650s too overly smooth (no real such thing in my book tho :tongue:).

 

Bottom Line: Do I even need to tell you??? :rolleyes:

 

Bass:

 

Here is where some may be deceived by initial A/B comparisons for the Annies and HD650. Depending on the track/music it is easy to say that the HD650 wins out for bass... mostly because it's just more obvious and easy to notice. BUT, if you test a variety of tracks and pay attention, then something quickly becomes apparent. Both cans are very capable of bass... but they do it slightly differently. The HD650 have a nice enveloping full sounding bass... it is well textured and has generous quantity without being boomy, but can be considered "slow" depending on the music/preferences. The Annies on the other hand, seem to have a less enveloping bass with that warmth that wraps around you... rather, it seems to have better lower extension with a nice visceral punch. So it's quick and snappy with good tight control and will come and go when needed... not staying long to hang out and chill. One way I like to see it... is the Annie delivers bass like a quick jab to the body... whereas the HD650 is more like a swinging haymaker.... more weight overall... but not as quick and controlled.

 

Bottom Line: A matter of preference IMO... HD650 has a bit more quantity and enveloping warmth... Annies have tighter lower punch

 

Soundstage: (again I must remind you it's through single ended... balanced HD650 is a different level and easily trumps HD650+Annies running SE)

 

The HD650s image fairly well... but overall the soundstage is a bit smaller, and the instruments can seem a bit more crowded together. Here the Annies win out with a greater sense of air... better precision imaging and a very wide soundstage. Oddly enough though, the Annies have a wide soundstage but not a very deep one (I had heard how these had amazing soundstage and had thought they would provide more depth).

 

Bottom Line: Annies win out with a wider soundstage, greater sense of air to the sound and more precise imaging.

 

Conclusion:

 

All in all, I really like the Annie because it's similar enough to the HD650 that it doens't wander far from my tastes, but yet it is lively enough with it's own character to complement the Senns well. If someone destroyed my beloved Senns and got rid of the rest of them (I would hunt them down KILL them later) the Annies would likely be my next candidate to live with after. All in all the Annie is a very solid headphone that I am proud to own.

 

Haha, I guess this wasn't so quick, hope this helps :popcorn:

post #14057 of 19739

Thanks for the awesome comparison, this makes me want to try the Annies :D

 

I would really be curious to see someone compare the Annies with the HD700...very curious indeed...

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by joebobbilly View Post
 
post #14058 of 19739

FYI if anyone is curious, for me it's:

 

Modded Q701 > HD-650 > Annie

 

If you like the HD-650 you'll probably love the modded Q701. Or maybe not.

 

Still don't have a clue why I like the HD-650 but not the Annie.

The Annie I heard had all the air sucked out of it. Sounded way too dark and congested. Guess I have bad luck.

 

My modded Q701 is now about as full sounding as my HD-650. Low bass presence is about the same. Maybe a tiny bit better. Neither have any large mid-bass hump or low mids that are too forward.

 

People say the Annie is a mix of the HD-650 and the Q701, but for me it's actually the modded Q701.

 

Modded Q701 is so much better than the Annie IMO.

 

BTW when I switch between tracks on the HD-650 and modded Q701 there isn't a dramatic difference. Obviously Q701 has a little more treble and is more airy sounding.

 

HD-650 isn't going anywhere though!

 

Don't forget that you can put Annie pads on the Q701 and switch between two different sounding headphones.


Edited by tdockweiler - 10/16/13 at 6:50pm
post #14059 of 19739
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfetan44 View Post
 

Post edited to reflect a 15-25% increase in soundstage.

 

LOL I get stupid impressions like this too and I believe you. I actually used an ALO SXC cable on my Q701 and it made everything sound too distant as if the soundstage was too huge. What? How?! Stock cable for me.

 

I have one of those DHC cables for my HD-650 but I had it made from someone on here in exchange for a used headphone. I still use stock for some reason. Actually I use an HD-600 cable on my HD-650, but there is not much of a difference.

I actually believe the HD-600 cable is better (lower capacitance too), but I won't go there.

 

When I got rid of my HRT MSII and switched to an ODAC/Modi I instantly couldn't hear an ounce of difference between cables unless it was high capacitance wire.

 

 

If I cared about cables now I would make an HD-650 cable with ALO SXC (bulk DIY) or any silver plated copper. Whatever is cheapest. $250 for a 1" Ipod LOD cable makes me sick. Must be hard to run a cable company and stay alive..or not. I wouldn't know.

 

I think the only reason I hear a difference is because of the cables capacitance rating and a combination of all my gear and the headphones.

 

I still wish someone would try to make an HD-650 cable with Monoprice Cat 6 :biggrin:

 

Best cable I ever bought was a Cardas 6' mini to mini cable for $30. Worth every penny! I also like Monoprice and Mogami W2893.

 

FYI for anyone that cares, I never heard more than a 2-3% difference with any cable. Biggest change was when I recabled my 598 with Mogami.

Honestly, I'm still getting used to the changes, so I will report back in a couple more days with the cable. This is my first aftermarket cable, and I really am surprised. No wonder, since the HD650 cable is horrendous(have you seen the inside wire?! Enamel covered sh*t!)

post #14060 of 19739
Quote:
Originally Posted by joebobbilly View Post
 

 

Hmmm for the purposes of being fair... I will only compare them single-ended. The HD650 balanced are a different thing altogether... and I have not had opportunity to try the Annies balanced (yet... they may get modded in a year or so? :ph34r:)

 

Fit/Comfort, Design

 

Now I have a very VERY big head but I find both headphones to be very comfortable. I'm sure most of you reading here are extremely familiar with our beloved HD 650s. So I will move on. The Annies of course have the signature AKG headband that self-adjusts with the elastic cords. This headband design is actually very well implemented and convenient for when you share with other people to listen... no need to fiddle with adjustments, just stick them on and they will be the right size. The Annie clamp lighter than the 650s so I had no issue there, no need to stretch them. As well, the Annies earcups are a very very marshmellowy like memory foam... a complete joy to wear :o they are super soft and comfy and will mold to your head to provide a semi-seal. But if you're in a hot room/summer then I could imagine it getting too warm (I'm in Canada though... so no problem ;)). Overall build quality is very nice with good sturdy fit and finish... the Annies headband is genuine leather, and the gunmetal titan finish with blue trim is gorgeous! Detachable cable is also well made with a good plug... the mini-XLR goes in with a very satisfying click (not as scary as the first time i had to pull the HD650 connectors)... sadly, the XLR is 3-pin... not 4-pin, meaning it will require modification before it can go balanced. :(

 

Treble:

 

The Annies win out here... quite easily as a whole. The detailing, shine and shimmer are definitely more well defined here. Cymbals have more sparkle, violins have more bite, acoustic guitars have more of the live (yourself playing) sound... which I like as a humble acoustic guitar player. So for albums like Eric Clapton's Unplugged... I generally will prefer the Annies over the HD 650. Trebles in the Annies are not particularly harsh, and only in some more treble happy songs/albums will I find them fatiguing. The HD650 of course as all others here agree... have a nicely rolled off treble allowing for some seriously nice easy listening and as I'm treble sensitive, I generally appreciate this. However, the HD650 are not "lacking" treble... it can still be pretty bright for some songs, but just much more forgiving so sometimes it can seem to have less "shimmer/sparkle" than brighter cans.

 

Bottom Line: Annies have better treble overall

 

 

Mids:

 

Interestingly, it is here that I find the Annies to share some character that is reminiscent of the HD650s. The mids could be considered fairly neutral with just a slight tint to the darker side (compared to the brighter Q701). The sound is well balanced in this region... vocals have superb detailing and tone, piano keys have a good life-like timbre. Overall smooth transitions and relatively more forward sound with the vocals.  The HD650 has slightly smoother mids, sound is slightly brought back, and you don't get as much of that clarity in the micro-detail that the Annies show... it's not to say that the detail isn't there... it's just not demanding your attention like the Annies... you have to subtly look for them (like coffee or wine tasting). 

 

Bottom Line: I'd consider this a tie between the two... it's quite close IMHO

 

Mid Bass:

 

Now all of you KNOW I had to make a separate section for this :D. This is where ALL THE MAGIC HAPPENS!!! Truly, the region that makes the HD650 sing... providing that ultra buttery sound that gently floats you up in a euphonious wave of chocolate sounds. Have yet to hear any other headphone perform quite like the HD650s in this region... yes you may criticize and say this region is coloured... and you would not be wrong! But it is coloured oh so lusciously!!! Some hate the HD650s because of this... but for many others... it's simply one word: LOVE. Now... before I completely forget what I am doing here, back to the Annies: They actually do have some characteristic warmth in this region too which is why some others here in the forum will agree with me that the Annies do remind us of the HD 650. However, they certainly do not quite reach the level of colouration that is found in the Senns... the Annies are a bit more controlled... providing some smooth lubrication to the sound but not quite the richness of the HD650s. Some may actually prefer this if they find the HD650s too overly smooth (no real such thing in my book tho :tongue:).

 

Bottom Line: Do I even need to tell you??? :rolleyes:

 

Bass:

 

Here is where some may be deceived by initial A/B comparisons for the Annies and HD650. Depending on the track/music it is easy to say that the HD650 wins out for bass... mostly because it's just more obvious and easy to notice. BUT, if you test a variety of tracks and pay attention, then something quickly becomes apparent. Both cans are very capable of bass... but they do it slightly differently. The HD650 have a nice enveloping full sounding bass... it is well textured and has generous quantity without being boomy, but can be considered "slow" depending on the music/preferences. The Annies on the other hand, seem to have a less enveloping bass with that warmth that wraps around you... rather, it seems to have better lower extension with a nice visceral punch. So it's quick and snappy with good tight control and will come and go when needed... not staying long to hang out and chill. One way I like to see it... is the Annie delivers bass like a quick jab to the body... whereas the HD650 is more like a swinging haymaker.... more weight overall... but not as quick and controlled.

 

Bottom Line: A matter of preference IMO... HD650 has a bit more quantity and enveloping warmth... Annies have tighter lower punch

 

Soundstage: (again I must remind you it's through single ended... balanced HD650 is a different level and easily trumps HD650+Annies running SE)

 

The HD650s image fairly well... but overall the soundstage is a bit smaller, and the instruments can seem a bit more crowded together. Here the Annies win out with a greater sense of air... better precision imaging and a very wide soundstage. Oddly enough though, the Annies have a wide soundstage but not a very deep one (I had heard how these had amazing soundstage and had thought they would provide more depth).

 

Bottom Line: Annies win out with a wider soundstage, greater sense of air to the sound and more precise imaging.

 

Conclusion:

 

All in all, I really like the Annie because it's similar enough to the HD650 that it doens't wander far from my tastes, but yet it is lively enough with it's own character to complement the Senns well. If someone destroyed my beloved Senns and got rid of the rest of them (I would hunt them down KILL them later) the Annies would likely be my next candidate to live with after. All in all the Annie is a very solid headphone that I am proud to own.

 

Haha, I guess this wasn't so quick, hope this helps :popcorn:

 

Awesome, thanks!

post #14061 of 19739

Hi All, 

 

  Just received my HD650s today and still deciding on an amp/DAC setup, but I listened to some FLAC files on my laptop through the headphone out and I am already impressed!  Of course it was lacking in power, bass, and "oomph", but I can just imagine how great they will sound with a DAC and amp.  The anticipation is killing me!  My current frontrunners are Schiit Bifrost/Lyr, Schiit Bifrost/Valhalla or Woo Audio WA7.  Was thinking Lyr as preparation for an ortho setup in the future.  Thoughts?  (Link to my other thread below for reference....MalVeauX had some great feeback for me.)

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/686092/help-selecting-amp-and-dac-for-sennheiser-hd650-1000-budget

 

Thanks!

M76NYC

post #14062 of 19739

My vote would go for the Bifrost/Lyr. I really like the HD650 with that combo. 

post #14063 of 19739
Quote:
Originally Posted by asmoday View Post
 

My vote would go for the Bifrost/Lyr. I really like the HD650 with that combo. 

 

Wonderful combo with the 650. Substitute the A2 for a less expensive solution. 

post #14064 of 19739
Quote:
Originally Posted by M76NYC View Post
 

Hi All, 

 

  Just received my HD650s today and still deciding on an amp/DAC setup, but I listened to some FLAC files on my laptop through the headphone out and I am already impressed!  Of course it was lacking in power, bass, and "oomph", but I can just imagine how great they will sound with a DAC and amp.  The anticipation is killing me!  My current frontrunners are Schiit Bifrost/Lyr, Schiit Bifrost/Valhalla or Woo Audio WA7.  Was thinking Lyr as preparation for an ortho setup in the future.  Thoughts?  (Link to my other thread below for reference....MalVeauX had some great feeback for me.)

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/686092/help-selecting-amp-and-dac-for-sennheiser-hd650-1000-budget

 

Thanks!

M76NYC

 

Just get an O2 + ODAC/Modi. Spend your extra money on more headphones.

 

Best amp i've heard with the HD-650 is the Headroom Micro Amp + upgraded power supply. Nobody even knows that headphone amp exists and that it's better than most other similarly priced amps, especially the Schiit SS amps (IMO).

It's very very transparent so I guess some don't want that :confused_face_2: The Micro DAC goes with it but i'm still testing that. Modi or ODAC is comparable though.

 

Some will say the O2 isn't enough for the HD-650, but that's nuts IMO.

 

I need to hunt down some Bifrost and ODAC comparisons just to get an idea what to expect from the Bifrost. It's on my radar somewhat.

post #14065 of 19739
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post
 

 

Just get an O2 + ODAC/Modi.

 

 Your opinion respected and acknowledged , but to my ears, that is an emotionless combo that would make me not like the HD650. But hey, we all hear different.

post #14066 of 19739
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fearless1 View Post
 

 Your opinion respected and acknowledged , but to my ears, that is an emotionless combo that would make me not like the HD650. But hey, we all hear different.

 

Oh, so you obviously like a very colored sound. I get it.

 

Just kidding. I really can't understand this though and it makes no sense.

 

Basically when I used this combo it still sounds like my HD-650. Am I missing something here? Why would I want to change my HD-650's stock sound if it's already perfect?

 

My other amp is a little better, but no dramatic transformation of the HD-650  into something it's not.

post #14067 of 19739
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post
 

 

Oh, so you obviously like a very colored sound. I get it.

 

I guess I do:wink: . I do like the O2 with some cans (D7k, W1000x, and etc.) but just detest it with the HD650/600.

 

I do like Headroom amps though, love the HD650 out of the HUDA, so it is not just a tube thing, I just do not like the synergy with the O2/650. 

post #14068 of 19739
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fearless1 View Post
 

I guess I do:wink: . I do like the O2 with some cans (D7k, W1000x, and etc.) but just detest it with the HD650/600.

 

I do like Headroom amps though, love the HD650 out of the HUDA, so it is not just a tube thing, I just do not like the synergy with the O2/650. 

 

No, i'll admit that I probably wouldn't pick the O2 with my Q701 as my main amp. I don't really believe it's the world's most transparent amp. It actually had a little hint of brightness with some headphones that's not normally there. Not like the Magni though.

I also don't seem to like the HD-650 with any amp that has a low mids emphasis or that's too warm. I'm really picky with the HD-650. I actually loved the HD-650 with the O2 somehow. I would say that my Micro Amp sounds pretty similar, but smoother/more detailed. Perhaps it's a little fuller sounding. Even better for brighter headphones than the O2.

 

Haha, I do hate it when people say that if you don't like the O2 you must like colored gear. So annoying :biggrin: My Micro Amp is better for more headphones than the O2 and is smoother in the treble. Must be more colored!

 

Someday i'll find an amp that has some nice coloration I actually like. Going to try the Vali when it comes out. I always wanted to try a hybrid tube amp.

 

BTW I would like to find other amps under $600 that are MORE transparent than even the O2. I think they really exist. There is no reason why the O2 shouldn't be perfect with very bright headphones if it was really as transparent as they say. Maybe it's only 97% transparent :biggrin: Maybe some of the Burson stuff is similar to the O2 but even better/more transparent.


Edited by tdockweiler - 10/17/13 at 10:00am
post #14069 of 19739
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fearless1 View Post
 

I guess I do:wink: . I do like the O2 with some cans (D7k, W1000x, and etc.) but just detest it with the HD650/600.

 

I do like Headroom amps though, love the HD650 out of the HUDA, so it is not just a tube thing, I just do not like the synergy with the O2/650. 

 

I feel the same way.  I like my bedside odac -> o2 quite well with my fostex, dt880's, and at 1x gain with my w4's, but for whatever reason, the o2 just doesn't seem to turn me on when paired with my hd650's.   I absolutely love the hd650's with my crack though.   

 

I think the divergent opinions regarding the o2 and hd650's probably arise out of the o2's use of heavy global negative feedback to hit its target specs.  In many respects, global feedback appears to improve amp performance - reducing noise and distortion, lowering output impedance, etc.  But there is also evidence that suggests that, subject to its implementation, global feedback can reduce low order harmonics without a proportionate reduction, or in certain instances, causing an increase in higher order harmonics (which are less pleasing to many of us).  See, eg: http://www.stereophile.com/news/10065/    

This seems to be the best explanation for the complaints some folks have made regarding the o2's presentation of trebles.  What I haven't puzzled out is why this seems to be more of an issue for me with hd650's than with many of my other phones.   

post #14070 of 19739

 Just got my HD650s today. And it would just so happen that the power tubes in my Little Dot MK III died 2 days ago. DOH! (Hey they were only 5~6 years old, cant slight them for that.) So they're currently hooked up to the 1/8" jack on the back of my PC (using Realtek ALC892 on an ASUS P8Z77-V). Compared to my old HD580s everything seems to have greater detail to it. The bass has a lot more impact/muscle to it but by no means overwhelming to the rest of the music. Not a bad thing at all just not something I was expecting, simply an unexpected surprise. The highs and mids are more refined/detailed as well, but not as shockingly surprising as the bass. I found them to be pretty decent with the HD580 through the Little Dot MK III already. (This is the HD650 running JUST through a PC audio jack though.) 

 

So I have a couple of dilemmas now. 1.) Do I buy 2 matched 6N6P-IR power tubes for the Little Dot MK III, or do I hold out a couple of more weeks for Schiit's Vali while I try to decide on and save up for a hi-fi (not entry like the LD MK III) amp? 2.) What hi-fi amp am I going to get. Ah the life of an audiophile, haha. :)

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