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These HD600's are terrible, and so are ALL headphones! I give up!!

post #1 of 325
Thread Starter 
I just received a pair of HD600's the other day, and I'm extremely disappointed, to say the least. I've also realized that there's no such thing as a headphone that's anywhere near accurate. These HD600's are no exception. I bought them as a result of YEARS of browsing the net (mainly this forum). I just knew they'd be the headphone for me. However, their frequency response is so terrible I find them tough to listen to, sometimes unbearable. They're beyond EQ'ing (even with Electri-Q VST plugin, which I had to use for years to make my worn out HD497's the least bit tolerable) because the response is so peaky in so many areas. By the time you've removed the most troublesome areas, there's nothing left. Upon using a combination of pink noise and a software based sinewave generator, I've observed the following: a broadband peak centered around 3.8 KHz (quickly begins rising at 2.5 KHz), a peak centered around 5.2 KHz, a peak at 6 KHz, another at 7 KHz, rising response at 10 KHz, and a huge peak at 12 KHz, along with much of the remaining highs being too much, until it very quickly drops off very steeply to almost nothing at 15 KHz. On top of the usual upper-midrange and treble mess, there's also a broadband increase in response somewhere around 1-1.5 KHz, maybe 500 Hz, 100 Hz (which I find particularly bothersome, and it also seems to be very common among full-size headphones. I think this is the result of the headphone driver's Fs [free-air resonant frequency, or the resonant freq of the headphone as a whole if it's a closed headphone]).. it's somewhat difficult to tell because the entire midbass is boosted about 4-5 dB (which also seems to be the case with almost ALL headphones). Below this, the lower frequencies quickly become less and less until they steeply fall off below 30 Hz. All of these things I've mentioned are only the most problematic areas, the entire response is a complete mess. It's extremely difficult to even pinpoint them because there's too many of them too close together.

I also want to make it clear once again that ALL headphones are like this, just in different areas. In fact, most seem to be even more bothersome than the HD600's. Like I said, it seems as though there's no such thing as a decent headphone. All the music you're hearing from your 'cans' is simply a mixture of so many peaks and dips that it often becomes unnoticable to the vast majority of consumers. However, I notice every bit of it, with every note that comes through these headphones, or any pair. My old HD497's were like this (highs were untolerable and most noticeable), and the same goes with AKG K701's, K601's, Beyerdynamic DT770's (disgusting!.. bass was unbearable), some older Koss, etc etc.. eveything I've ever tried. Therefore, I think it'd be very reasonable to assume that there's no such thing as a headphone with decent accuracy. They're ALL extremely "colored".

I realize that most of this forum will probably be tempted to flame me and tell me I'm crazy or that I don't know what I'm talking about. However, I'll just go ahead and say that I've been into loudspeaker design for decades, and an audio fanatic since before I was old enough to walk. Audio reproduction is an obsession I've always had, ever since I can remember (2 years old?). I've owned much more than my fair share of audio equipment, designed several pairs of loudspeakers, built a couple of amplifiers, spent tens of thousands of dollars over the years, etc. I know what I'm doing, and what I've said is true. I also think this is very valuable information, and I can only wish it would have been explained to me long ago, as it obviously would have saved me a lot of money and trouble. This headphone thing is a bit of a joke. You've all fallen for it, and so did I. The only difference is that I recognized it immediately, and you don't notice it like I do. When I first came across this forum, the first thing I noticed was that most people here aren't very knowledgeable about audio reproduction in general (even all the regulars who own dozens of pairs of headphones). All I can say is.. instead of being so quick to say I'm wrong about anything I've said here, you should all be VERY glad that you're all so unaware, and that your headphones don't bother you like they bother me.

I might have a go at IEM's, but I'm not holding my breath. It's my only hope though. And no, it's not my equipment, lol. While there are noticeable differences between DAC's and amplification, it's not huge, although differences do seem to be more apparent with headphones than loudspeakers. Also, output impedance seems to vary quite a bit between headphone amplifiers. But no, equipment isn't my problem. And if you've been tempted to say that it is, you've obviously only fallen victim to that BS as well..

Enjoy yourselves. I give up.
post #2 of 325

So what speakers fit your definition of "accurate"?
post #3 of 325
Sorry it didn't work out....
post #4 of 325
see ya
post #5 of 325
Originally Posted by BHTX View Post
I realize that most of this forum will probably be tempted to flame me and tell me I'm crazy or that I don't know what I'm talking about.
To me, it seems like you are telling us that we are all crazy or that we don't know what we're talking about....

But, I still understand that you were disappointed and sorry that you couldn't find a joy in headphones that you tried.

EDIT: To me, too much accuracy in music production isn't always better.
post #6 of 325
Honestly, I believe that you may be right. I know next to nothing about audio, especially headphones. What I do know is that I like them, I like the way they sound and make me feel, I like the privacy they afford me, and I know that this is a fun hobby. It's almost as fun as music itself. And listening on headphones gives me a sense of intimacy and involvement with the recording that speakers cannot even begin to match. It makes me feel alive and free. I'm sorry you can't experience this because of your heightened senses, but I can see how that would happen.
post #7 of 325
Listening via measurements, or is this some form of OCD, and, pray tell, have you tried orthos or electrostats?

Finally -No flame at all, but I'm enjoying some new Cowboy Junkies just now, and, just perhaps I'll be able to sleep tonight knowing I love my flawed headphones. Were that other tragically flawed things in life were as enjoyable.
post #8 of 325
I think we all have our own unique ideas on sound. We all have different ears. I actually really appreciate your opinion BHTX.

Let's not bash this guy - we can all have our views. As long as we all find the elusive sound that we are looking for it doesn't matter whether it is headphone or loudspeaker. Solid state or tube. Digital or analog.
post #9 of 325
post #10 of 325
Maybe he needs to try a stax system?
post #11 of 325
If he does he should be looking at an Omega 2 with KGSS/717 or higher... or maybe one of the earlier Lambda models? The SR-404 has an unpleasant treble peak...

But he definitely sounds like he prefers loudspeakers. In that case I am not sure if he should invest heavily in the presentation that headphones provide.
post #12 of 325
Who gives a **** about accuracy?

It's about enjoyment.
post #13 of 325
Maybe the HD600 aren't your kind of headphone, i dont know. But I think you are really exaggerating calling them awful. If you had them amped properly you would be able to see them as a very fine headphone.

PS all sound reproduction is colored. I've never heard a headphone that didn't possess some sort of coloration just as I never heard a speaker not have coloration.

I've never heard a concert hall or an arena not add coloration either. What you're looking for in my opinion doesn't exist and can never exist.
post #14 of 325
N/m... opinions are a dime a dozen.
post #15 of 325
Originally Posted by pabbi1 View Post
Get real - when someone comes in guns blazing saying this is all a joke, and all head-fi is in on it, doesn't that sound like someone asking for a mercy killing?

That said, it is the basis of the argument that is suspect - like he can hear specific things, or he's reading a frequency chart?

Point taken - not worth responding to.
I'm not saying that he is right. On the contrary, it seems that headphones have its place in high-end audio. Headphones certainly provide a unique perspective of sound.

I'm just saying that when someone "comes in guns blazing" that one should take what value it has and move on. Perhaps he has a point in that headphones have limits (same thing for loudspeakers)... headphones, for instance, don't provide that physical feeling of the sound frequencies resonating with the body. We all knew that, of course, but I just don't think it is necessary to let this post upset any of us.
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