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Shootout: 113 Portable Headphones Reviewed (Alpha Design Labs ADL H118 added 07/15/14) - Page 287

post #4291 of 4435

Ultra,

About how many hours, would you say, were on the MLs when you auditioned them?

Just curious.

 

A few comments:

(a) IMHE, the Mikros 90 take a LONG time to settle down, with midrange "bloom" and "integration" being two of the very last things to ripen.  Many regular ML users report appreciable changes over time across the frequency spectra, whether ascribable to actual driver "burn in" or to listener psycho-acoustic adaptation.

(b) Might be driver imbalance.  The earcup chamber volumes differ [less volume in the left earcup], but I am not sure whether that would translate to discernible differences in SPL.  Could be manufactring defect.  Personally, I have never perceived such an imbalance, nor have the decided majority of subscribers to the Mikros 90 thread.

(c) Granted, I am passionate about the Mikros 90, and I understand that they may not be everyone's fated favorites.  Maybe they have a polarizing effect on listeners, or at least it appears to be so.

(d) Almost everyone who has bought a pair of the MLs and checked in on our [lively, convivial and steadily growing] thread has been favorably impressed, at least to a degree, with the headphones--particularly those who were former skeptics, or who were previously biased from having read some thirdhand negative commentary.  That speaks volumes for the impact these fine headphones have had on the HF forums in general.

(e) I suppose I should be happy to be part of a really successful thread here on Head-Fi [i.e. the Mikros 90 thread].  And I am.  We can be both honest and friendly with each other on that thread, and have a lot of FUN with this hobby of ours!  Aside from their technical merit and likabiliy, which are obviously debatable, the Mikros 90 have at least been catalytic in getting a bunch of guys together under the ML banner and providing a prime example, socially, of what Head-Fi can be all about.

 

PAB


Edited by pataburd - 4/2/14 at 8:14am
post #4292 of 4435

Time for Joker to try the Mikros 90 and put it in his table :D

post #4293 of 4435
Quote:
Originally Posted by elvergun View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by ultrabike View Post
My intentions are not to exaggerate.

 

 

 

Really?

 

It's hard to take you seriously when you make the claims outlined bellow. 

 

They are worth $60 in parts?   Give me a break.   I still claim that your are either trying to make a point or...

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by ultrabike View Post
 

I was able to drive the Mikros 90 out of my Focusrite 2i2 w/o any problems. They sounded lean in the bass area, odd in the mids, and quite uneven in the treble region. No cable/amping/dac-ing combination I know so far can properly fix the SQ of these phones IMO. They are just too horrible for their MSRP. Even equalization might not completely solve the issues I had w these cans. The fit was less than optimal and quite uncomfortable. Very position sensitive.

 

Maybe these cans can be fixed by taking the driver out and placing it in a completely different enclosure. Maybe they are worth $60 in parts. For $50 something they might be K.

 

BTW. I heard two. The first one had a ~5 dB channel imbalance in the mids. Second one was better in that regard. The OPs recommendation is proly way better.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ultrabike View Post
Sure, the KSC-75 is not perfect. But IMO it owns the Micros 90.

 

 

You feel these are worth $300, parts alone proly > $60, HD448 < Mikros 90, and KSC-75 <<< Mikros 90. I don't.

 

I also explained my position by way of impressions and measurements of not one but two Mikros 90s.

 

As far as $50 something, in ljokerl's Tier B ($50 - $100) list there are some cans that IMO seem pretty respectable and interesting: Creative Aurvana Live!, Superlux HD668B, ...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pataburd View Post
 

Ultra,

About how many hours, would you say, were on the MLs when you auditioned them?

Just curious.

 

A few comments:

(a) IMHE, the Mikros 90 take a LONG time to settle down, with midrange "bloom" and "integration" being two of the very last things to ripen.  Many regular ML users report appreciable changes over time across the frequency spectra, whether ascribable to actual driver "burn in" or to listener psycho-acoustic adaptation.

(b) Might be driver imbalance.  The earcup chamber volumes differ [less volume in the left earcup], but I am not sure whether that would translate to discernible differences in SPL.  Could be manufactring defect.  Personally, I have never perceived such an imbalance, nor have the decided majority of subscribers to the Mikros 90 thread.

(c) Granted, I am passionate about the Mikros 90, and I understand that they may not be everyone's fated favorites.  Maybe they have a polarizing effect on listeners, or at least it appears to be so.

(d) Almost everyone who has bought a pair of the MLs and checked in on our [lively, convivial and steadily growing] thread has been favorably impressed, at least to a degree, with the headphones--particularly those who were former skeptics, or who were previously biased from having read some thirdhand negative commentary.  That speaks volumes for the impact these fine headphones have had on the HF forums in general.

(e) I suppose I should be happy to be part of a really successful thread here on Head-Fi [i.e. the Mikros 90 thread].  And I am.  We can be both honest and friendly with each other on that thread, and have a lot of FUN with this hobby of ours!  Aside from their technical merit and likabiliy, which are obviously debatable, the Mikros 90 have at least been catalytic in getting a bunch of guys together under the ML banner and providing a prime example, socially, of what Head-Fi can be all about.

 

PAB

 

I had the first Mikros 90 w channel imbalance for about half a week. The second I think I had it for just shy of a week.

 

I agree w you about the psycho-acoustic adaptation. These cans while IMO attenuated in the bass area do reproduce it. I found I was able to adapt to the sound signature after a while. However swapping with other cans made it clear that the bass and resolution where not an asset of these phones, but YMMV of course.

 

I also agree that the mids driver imbalance might have been a QA issue with the first part, though the second one had some imbalance in the treble area.

 

As far as the Mikros 90 thread, I also appreciate the friendly and fun exchanges there, even if I don't necessarily agree w the overly positive assessment.

post #4294 of 4435
Quote:
Originally Posted by ultrabike View Post
 

 

 

You feel these are worth $300, parts alone proly > $60, HD448 < Mikros 90, and KSC-75 <<< Mikros 90. I don't.

That does not make this a bad headphone.  You, and a couple of guys didn't like the Mikros...okay.  The vast majority of those who have heard them do like them.  The majority of those who heard them think they have more than enough bass.   The majority of those who own them do not report defects or imbalances.  

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by ultrabike View Post
 

I also explained my position by way of impressions and measurements of not one but two Mikros 90s.

 

 

I don't listen to measurements...and I only trust Tyll's measurements (he knows what he is doing).  Placement is very important with the Mikros -- a few centimeters from optimal placement starts to degrade the sound.  I'm not convinced your measurements are accurate.    Your impressions, however, are irrefutable -- we know you didn't like them.  

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by ultrabike View Post

 

As far as $50 something, in ljokerl's Tier B ($50 - $100) list there are some cans that IMO seem pretty respectable and interesting: Creative Aurvana Live!, Superlux HD668B, ...

 


And as far as joker's Tier A list, there are some cans that IMO don't hold a candle to the Mikros 90.

 

 

This is getting way off-topic.   I'm in the Mikros thread if you feel a need to respond.

post #4295 of 4435
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grayson73 View Post
 

Time for Joker to try the Mikros 90 and put it in his table :D

If only for this thread to be free of "my opinion is objectively right and yours is objectively false", yes please.

post #4296 of 4435
Quote:
Originally Posted by elvergun View Post
 

 

This is getting way off-topic.   I'm in the Mikros thread if you feel a need to respond.

 

Agreed, and no problem: Linky

post #4297 of 4435

Great Reviews here, I am new to this game, I have just orered the iBasso 50 can you recommend a good set of phones, no budget to worry about. Also can you advise what music you listen to when you do the reviews, is it always the same set tracks/albums? Regards, Nick

post #4298 of 4435
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Ryan View Post

Great Reviews here, I am new to this game, I have just orered the iBasso 50 can you recommend a good set of phones, no budget to worry about. Also can you advise what music you listen to when you do the reviews, is it always the same set tracks/albums? Regards, Nick

for good phones the
Audio technica es11
beyer dt1350
vModa XS
are some of my recomendations

as for songs i use the same 7 songs. pick music u like n music thats different from the other songs
post #4299 of 4435

Guys I have just found this amazing and comprehensive review however it raised a few questions in my head.

 

I am what you would probably call a newbie in this whole audio regard. I have tested few headphones including sennheiser hd800 (which was the best sounding headphone I have ever tested in my life, maybe it is not that good from a pro perspective, no idea) and used cx500 and koss portapro so far. After using Portapro and loving its sound signature and comfortable wear compared to in-ear phones I am right now willing to take a step up to an even better headphone.

 

According to that sum-up table in the end, headphones below seem to combine the highest sound quality with lowest possible prices within their quality range. Now, I want the headphone to be more or less portable, even if not as much portable as Portapro, and if possible I would like the headphone to have a good-strong bass and I guess "punchy" is the word for Portapro's bass type. A bit agressive signature. Considering all that, which one of the below headphones should I buy? My limit is max 100 bucks, preferably below 85 though. Another question is, whether or not would I easily detect/realize the improved quality of any of these over Portapro's performance? Thanks in advance!!

 

Sony MDR-V6

Denon DN-HP700

Ultrasone HFI-450

Creative Aurvana Live!

Numark PHX Pro

Koss Pro DJ100

Superlux HD668B

AT ATH-M30x

 

Oh, also, genres I like vary a lot. Below is my order of preference.

Quote:
1) Trance-House-Minimal-Techno-Dubstep

2) Rock

3) Metal

4) Rap 

5) Country

6) New Age

7) Jazz

8) Pop 


Edited by srhnd - 4/9/14 at 4:02pm
post #4300 of 4435
Thread Starter 

From your list I would go for the Denon HP700 (for a brighter, more HD800-esque signature) or the CAL! for a warmer, bassier signature more akin to the PortaPro. The CAL! is more portable with its short cable but neither is as compact as the PortaPro. The PortaPro is pretty good but you'll notice the sound quality difference with either of these. Might not be as great as you expect, but that's another story, 

post #4301 of 4435
If portability was not really important and we included sub 100 USD alternatives from outside the ones reviewed here, would there be a better option?

And are the options within 100 USD range not really an upgrade over Portapro? The thing that bothers me with portapro is its thin cables that break so easily and its bass feels kinda muddy after 1 year of usage now. I could also have some isolation, portapro has none and a refined, deeper and tighter bass is always welcomed.

UPDATE: I ordered CAL!, shipping takes 1 month from Japan so I will probably forget that I even bought them by then tongue.gif

Koss Dj100 was for 38-40 bucks on Amazon btw, I hope I am not missing a possible candidate there.

BTW:

For those interested, I wrote Joker's data on an Excel sheet and used weighted average with sound quality impacting 70% of the average score to get a better reading for myself. For those who want to check it out or to put their own numbers and calculations in here is the excel file:

http://hidemyass.com/files/l1RQZ/

Credits go to Joker ofc!
Edited by srhnd - 4/10/14 at 9:36am
post #4302 of 4435
Quote:
Originally Posted by pataburd View Post
 

Any credible judgment should be suspended until about 200+ hours with the MLs.  That has been reiterated ad nauseum.

Readers here should go to the Mikros 90 thread and read impressions there, rather than subscribe to heresay, thirdhand, from the likes of poopsockky.

If you are forming your personal "judgments" from innuendo, rumor and heresay . . . well, your "judgments" will be invalid.

 

Funny thing: this is what poop posted on the ML thread:

"I haven't burned them in yet, so i won't write anything about the sound... but its not like im really qualified to write about..."

 

So, the poop is not qualified to post his impressions, sans burn-in, on the Mikros 90 thread, but he is somehow qualified to post his "unqualified" and highly generalized impressions on the "shootout" thread.  Hmmmm.  

 

I have mentioned it before and I will repeat it again: this thread should include the Martin Logan Mikros 90 as a valid entrant/contender.

 

IMHO, the Mikros 90 ARE worth their $300 MSRP.

 

Unlike the popular Head-Fi darling KEF M500 which, IMHO, ARE NOT worth their $300 MSRP [nor their current street price].

The Mikros 90, IMHE, are among the best headphones--portable or otherwise--that I have heard/owned to date.

 

See the equipment lists in my community profile and decide for yourselves whether I am "qualified" to assert such claims about the Mikros 90.  Or, better yet, get a pair of the MLs and decide for yourselves.  

 

But please, do not form an erroneous opinion based on a thirdhand account from someone who has not even spent a modicum of hours with the Mikros 90 [and has not identified the gear/sources matched with the MLs.].

 

However, if that is the formative "norm" of opinion on this thread, or others on H-F, then these forums have a lot of "growing up" to do.

post #4303 of 4435

Helpful...Thanks for sharing.

post #4304 of 4435

That's quite impressive; now I know Beyerdynamic can be trusted.

post #4305 of 4435

Here's a suggestion for a review: Accidentally Extraordinary 51st Studio

 

http://www.amazon.com/Studios-Stainless-Headphone-Accidentally-Extraordinary/dp/B00GP1AZBC

 

Wood housings for under $100, solid construction, and actually not that large.

 

Its been gathering positive reviews too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QL1G3ZgTdJQ

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