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HD595 wins Hi-Fi Choice Award (again). - Page 4

post #46 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post
I notice the Senn HD595 has won Hi-Fi Choice Best Headphone award this year, for the second time running. Which leads me to reflect yet again on why a headphone that has aroused such controversy here is so well praised elsewhere. Virtually every other comment on the Net, professional or consumer, is positive, yet here opinion seems to be split right down the middle, with some posters actually hating them.

I've had one now for nearly 3 years. I liked it right out of the box. It seemed to me easily Sennheiser's best headphone anywhere below HD650 level, and I'd listened to them all up to the HD600. (Interestingly Hi-Fi Choice claims the 595 almost achieves 650 level at half the price). I confidently expected the postings about it here to reflect my own delight in the product, but that was never the case from the beginning. Some posters, like Snufkin (who's gone on to damn the 595 elsewhere, particularly his own website) clearly couldn't get on with them at all. Others were lukewarm, considering them 'boring', or lacking bass or treble (but never midrange apparently). I found these comments puzzling as what I heard was an extremely well-balanced, neutral headphone that seemed ideal for matching into any system with any music style--a true all-rounder. The smoothest, most detailed phone ever? No, of course not, not at near budget prices, but a very fine compromise that should have disappointed nobody. However, that was not to be, and the controversy goes on to this day.

Lately I've become intrigued by postings about the Audio Technica AD900, and last week decided to order one just to see how it lines up again the 595. I may well be re-selling it, but first I want to know how it compares. I will of course post my impressions, and I think they'll be fair, as I've owned and enjoyed AT phones before, notably the 911. Meantime I'd be interested to read any thoughts on why this site in particular has been so hostile toward the 595, or even if indeed that's a fair statement.
The 595's are nice but nothing special.. Everything is upfront & furious.. But found them too superfical for me.. The 650/SA5000 easily beat them IMO..
post #47 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by kool bubba ice View Post
The 595's are nice but nothing special.. Everything is upfront & furious.. But found them too superfical for me.. The 650/SA5000 easily beat them IMO..
You cant compare headphones in two totally different leagues!

It's like comparing a $200 amp with a $2000 one.
post #48 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by penguindude View Post
whats the exact title of the CD?
The 595s can really reveal source material I've noticed.....so this CD is a must have for it The cover says Beethoven/ Mendelssohn Concertos: Heifetz (violin), Munch (conductor).

http://www.elusivedisc.com/prodinfo....er=RCASAM61391
post #49 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by mirumu View Post
I think it will still depend on tastes. I felt my HD595 was priced higher than it was worth and I don't agree it sounds good with every genre but that's based on my own tastes. If you're a person that's partial to that kind of sound signature, and there are
many that are, you're probably right. It's definitely not for everyone though.

8GB 2G Apple iPod Nano
60GB 4G Apple iPod Photo (I'd like to get this Red Wine modded)
Sony D-EJ626CK Discman
Sony MZ-R70 MD Walkman
Apple PowerMac G5

I looked at your signature and this is the list of your sources .... have you tried the headphone with a better source? I am asking because I use the 595 with a sacdmods 555es sacd/cd player and a Singlepower tube amp. I think the 595 scales extremely well and sounds absolutely awesome with this combo. I also own the senn 580 and 600 with upgraded cables + modded grados .... and I have previously owned the AKG 701, Beyer DT880, Senn 650, Grado RS-1, Sony CD3000 etc...

I feel the 595 at its best is the equal of any of these headphones. I prefer this headphone to both my recently departed 701 and the Senn 650. I definitely prefer this headphone to the flawed presentations of the DT880 and CD3000. I believe if you put this headphone in a synergistic setup the 595 can rock like a grado while adding soundstage, treble refinement and midrange liquidity. Furthermore, the comfort of this headphone is one of the best I have tried.

I am obviously in the camp that feels this headphone is very underrated. Give the 595 a trial in a more upscale setup, especially with a better source .... and you will likely be very surprised.
post #50 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by sacd lover View Post


I am obviously in the camp that feels this headphone is very underrated. Give the 595 a trial in a more upscale setup, especially with a better source .... and you will likely be very surprised.

Yes, it is. Most people believe that since the phones are 50ohm, there is no need for amping. They're wrong. Once paired with a well-matched amp, these babies will rock your world.
post #51 of 71
they sound very smooth with my aria connected to my pc. i enjoy them alot, but i can no longer use them. =[ pops owned me so i'm with my ksc75's now.
post #52 of 71
I really wonder why I haven't tried a Sennheiser headphone yet? They certainly have the snob appeal that people in my neighborhood crave, so I wouldn't feel brand envy. Yeah, like I would care... ha-ha-ha!

This Christmas, the family asked me what I wanted, and I said, "AKG K601 and Beyer DT880." Sennheiser never entered my mind once.

I've got to get around to giving them a go. I'll probably nut up and go for the 650 whenever I get around to it.
post #53 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by penguindude View Post
Yes, it is. Most people believe that since the phones are 50ohm, there is no need for amping. They're wrong. Once paired with a well-matched amp, these babies will rock your world.
Then pair them with my DAC1 or SACDlover's rig, they really take off

I think they are well balanced enough (as headphones go) to be used with most genres. I guess every headphone has its own character, but the 595s reveal more about your source then adding a color of its own. So it might be more likely to synergize with your system then a headphone that wasn't meant for you.

I personally like the 595 and 650 equally....the 595 is more upfront and less "live" sounding then the 650/ but more agressive for hard rock. Its good for referencing my music. SACDlover has recommended what tubes I should try when my SinglePower comes....will be interesting to see if the 595s can get a large soundstage with tubes. This is such a fun hobby
post #54 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by sacd lover View Post
8GB 2G Apple iPod Nano
60GB 4G Apple iPod Photo (I'd like to get this Red Wine modded)
Sony D-EJ626CK Discman
Sony MZ-R70 MD Walkman
Apple PowerMac G5

I looked at your signature and this is the list of your sources .... have you tried the headphone with a better source? I am asking because I use the 595 with a sacdmods 555es sacd/cd player and a Singlepower tube amp. I think the 595 scales extremely well and sounds absolutely awesome with this combo. I also own the senn 580 and 600 with upgraded cables + modded grados .... and I have previously owned the AKG 701, Beyer DT880, Senn 650, Grado RS-1, Sony CD3000 etc...

I feel the 595 at its best is the equal of any of these headphones. I prefer this headphone to both my recently departed 701 and the Senn 650. I definitely prefer this headphone to the flawed presentations of the DT880 and CD3000. I believe if you put this headphone in a synergistic setup the 595 can rock like a grado while adding soundstage, treble refinement and midrange liquidity. Furthermore, the comfort of this headphone is one of the best I have tried.

I am obviously in the camp that feels this headphone is very underrated. Give the 595 a trial in a more upscale setup, especially with a better source .... and you will likely be very surprised.
I've never even used the HD595 with half of those sources in my profile, they don't drive them properly and I wouldn't claim for a minute that they do. I do think my Xiang Sheng 708B amp does wonders with the HD595 and on occasions I really do think they sound very good but it can't manage it for all the music I listen to. I have tried it with better sources, dedicated CD players, etc although they are not up to the level of your setup. Having said that, I don't think the source and amp are as relevant to my impressions as you suggest because I have heard a number of both cheaper and more expensive headphones/amps that sound much better than the HD595 with the same or worse sources.

Even assuming that such a good source and amp do improve the HD595s at the level you describe, why would I want to go through the hassle of building a system around such a headphone? If you need a ~$1600 source and a ~$2000 amp to make a $150 headphone sound great then that's one very hard to drive headphone and a costly system. It also goes against the grain of much of the advice given here that says that the HD595 doesn't even need an amp. I agree with you, it does need and amp, it needs a good one and a good source too. They increase the soundstage, tighten the bass, smooth the midrange and add treble refinement much like you say but it doesn't change their overall character. They just don't seem to have the detail, timbre and soundstage I am looking for. I don't deny for a moment they can sound great like that but such as system is not what most people are going to be listening to them with. Personally, if I'm going to spend that kind of money on sources or amps for anything (and I am) it'll be my Omega 2s as they are more scalable.
post #55 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermitt View Post
Not often can you buy a $300+ headphone brand new for less than $130.
Look at the MSRP of Sennheiser's entire line, look at the MSRP of AKG's line, and Sony's, etc, they are all available for much, much less than the "MSRP". The only company I know of that keeps strict tabs on the pricing is Grado/Alessandro.


Quote:
Originally Posted by penguindude View Post
Yes, it is. Most people believe that since the phones are 50ohm, there is no need for amping. They're wrong. Once paired with a well-matched amp, these babies will rock your world.
The Little Dot II+ rocks your world?
post #56 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by mirumu View Post
I've never even used the HD595 with half of those sources in my profile, they don't drive them properly and I wouldn't claim for a minute that they do. I do think my Xiang Sheng 708B amp does wonders with the HD595 and on occasions I really do think they sound very good but it can't manage it for all the music I listen to. I have tried it with better sources, dedicated CD players, etc although they are not up to the level of your setup. Having said that, I don't think the source and amp are as relevant to my impressions as you suggest because I have heard a number of both cheaper and more expensive headphones/amps that sound much better than the HD595 with the same or worse sources.

Even assuming that such a good source and amp do improve the HD595s at the level you describe, why would I want to go through the hassle of building a system around such a headphone? If you need a ~$1600 source and a ~$2000 amp to make a $150 headphone sound great then that's one very hard to drive headphone and a costly system. It also goes against the grain of much of the advice given here that says that the HD595 doesn't even need an amp. I agree with you, it does need and amp, it needs a good one and a good source too. They increase the soundstage, tighten the bass, smooth the midrange and add treble refinement much like you say but it doesn't change their overall character. They just don't seem to have the detail, timbre and soundstage I am looking for. I don't deny for a moment they can sound great like that but such as system is not what most people are going to be listening to them with. Personally, if I'm going to spend that kind of money on sources or amps for anything (and I am) it'll be my Omega 2s as they are more scalable.
I didnt build my system around any particular headphone. I just did a trial and error with pretty much everything, starting with grados and solid state, until I came across the gear I found to be the best for me. The source and amp were determined long before I knew about the 595. I bought a used pair of senn 595's based on a friends recommendation. I never expected them to sound so good .... but they do.

At this point I find the 595 more involving and less flawed than a number of highly ranked headphones .... particularly the senn 650 .... and I seem to be a Senn man. I know the 595 doesnt have the 650's soundstage size .... but the 595 doesnt have the 650's slow, fat bass and overly dull high frequencies either. Overall, I find the 595's more involving despite the 650's reputation.

I guess my point is before you discount a product you need to see how the product performs in an optimal setting. To often I see people say how headphone X cant compare with headphone Y .... but they have not compared them on the same equipment .... or equipment of equal quality. They listen to headphone X on a suboptimal setup and assume the headphone cant scale when paired with better equipment .... and never give the headpone a chance to show what it can do. I ignored the 595 for a couple years based on opinions here the 580/600/650 were just in a higher class. But the few posts that stated the 595 was like a senn/ grado intrigued me. I finally tried the 595 after a friend of mine kept raving about them.

What did I discover? Just like the 580/600 .... put the 595 on a good tube amp with a good source and this headphone can play with the best. With rock and electric blues I prefer the 595 most of the time .... for less money and with greater comfort than even my prized, recabled senn 600's.

The 595 may not be your sound but I would not automatically assume the O2 will be decidely superior when each is optimized. I know I am not a fan of electrostatics as I owned some old Stax that were state of the art back in the late 1970's and I just never connected with them. In the end, to each his own, but the longer I delve into audio the more I understand you need to compare products fairly and to avoid assumptions of what you think a product can do. Put the 595's on a good tube amp with an upscale source sometime and see what you think. You may end up pleasantly surprised like I was
post #57 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by skyline889 View Post
Look at the MSRP of Sennheiser's entire line, look at the MSRP of AKG's line, and Sony's, etc, they are all available for much, much less than the "MSRP". The only company I know of that keeps strict tabs on the pricing is Grado/Alessandro.




The Little Dot II+ rocks your world?

You simply cant compare big companies like Sennheiser and Sony with smaller companies like Grado. I dont think we need a business lecture on how the flow and sales of products work in corporations, but it is pretty obvious that smaller companies tend to have more control on their pricing.

And yes, I absolutely adore the sound of my HD595 coupled with a LD2+. But that's only a $200 amp, think what will happen if i find a $800 one that matches well.

My point here is
A) HD595 has a lot of potential unamped and amping brings that potential out
B) At the current market price, HD595 seems like one of the best bang-for-the-buck all-rounders
C) We should not spread rumours about how HD595 or other headphones (ie A500) wont benefit from amping just because it has a low impedance, because it definitely does benefit from a well-matched amplifier
post #58 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by penguindude View Post
You cant compare headphones in two totally different leagues!

It's like comparing a $200 amp with a $2000 one.
You can't? People do it all the time.. Since I had the 595 with my 650/SA5000, how could I not compare them! It's human nature..
post #59 of 71
Sacd lover, I do take your point. I guess where I'm coming from that my source and amp combinations are more favorable to the HD595 than others and yet I still often prefer other headphones. I had been driving the Omega 2s through the most basic SRM-252A amp until I could get something better and despite this handicap I liked it better. Same with the HE60 and the HEV70 amp. I also preferred the W5000 on the same setup as the HD595 despite the system synergy with the W5000 not being that great. Maybe it just means the HD595s are not for me, but I do think they are good with the right music and my tube amp.
post #60 of 71
Two months ago I planed to upgrade my system (HD595 + DAC1) because it didn’t sound good enough for me. So I bought an HR-2 and a pair of HD650 and decided to sell the HD595 to help to cover the expenses. After I hooked the 595’s to the amplifier I was nicely surprised with their sound. For this I haven’t been able to sell them.
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