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Shootout: 114 Portable Headphones Reviewed (Xiaomi Mi Headphones added 04/21/2015) - Page 82

post #1216 of 4545

I have to say that I disagree with one thing in your review which is HD-25 at the top of the list.  I know many people like them, but I wasn't really impressed with the sound at all. Also to me portable headphones should sound good without an amp which is not the case for HD-25. For the design I would give them score 0, I know you didn't measure it but I think you should. I never listened to Audio Technica but to me DENON AH-D1001 have much more overall refinement than HD 25 to be rated higher. They are not on your list at all but they should be I think. They look great, they are extremely light and super comfortable. When it comes to sound their bio cellulose driver (similar to the one used in the king of dynamic headphones SONY MDR-R10) on my opinion outperforms very long list of other headphones because of the speed, clarity and incredible smoothness. Listening fatigue is virtually non existent. Soundstage is much wider than HD 25 (few people confirmed it). It is truly the best portable headphone, the one I was looking for and I'm very happy that I found it. 

post #1217 of 4545

I am glad you are happy with your denon d1001, but if you look better you'll see that the Creative aurvana live! is in the list and it is the same as the denon d1001. Evaluating sound is a subjective thing and what may be the best to you is not for the others, as is the looks. 

There are people who love the hd25 for its look.

I had the hd25 and despite not liking it the only thing I would ask for was soundstage like you said.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ilia7777 View Post

I have to say that I disagree with one thing in your review which is HD-25 at the top of the list.  I know many people like them, but I wasn't really impressed with the sound at all. Also to me portable headphones should sound good without an amp which is not the case for HD-25. For the design I would give them score 0, I know you didn't measure it but I think you should. I never listened to Audio Technica but to me DENON AH-D1001 have much more overall refinement than HD 25 to be rated higher. They are not on your list at all but they should be I think. They look great, they are extremely light and super comfortable. When it comes to sound their bio cellulose driver (similar to the one used in the king of dynamic headphones SONY MDR-R10) on my opinion outperforms very long list of other headphones because of the speed, clarity and incredible smoothness. Listening fatigue is virtually non existent. Soundstage is much wider than HD 25 (few people confirmed it). It is truly the best portable headphone, the one I was looking for and I'm very happy that I found it. 

post #1218 of 4545

Well Creative Aurvana doesn't exactly sound like Denon cause its plastic while Denon has aluminum caps. Also the specs for freq. response are different.  If you look at Grado line for example SR 225 is plastic and SR 325 is aluminum which changes sound a lot especially sound stage btw. Therefore $100 price difference.

post #1219 of 4545

Read this, its from another forum. So ljokerl put HD 25 at the top and AT M-50 at second position. According to this review AH-D1001 tops M-50 both in terms of sound and comfort.

 

M50 versus D1001 (Ed Modified)
« on: December 07, 2010, 12:32:28 AM »
continued from Ed8 review...

I did not want to end this review by giving out the wrong impression that the D1001 is a bad headphone that is really veiled and flawed in the way it produces sound, etc. Do remember it is a sub-6k going up against something above 60k headphone. In this sense, it really was no match. Therefore to give the D1001 a fighting chance, I was lucky enough to borrow the M50 of Hanz and match them up side-by-side. I myself was a big fan of the M50 and chose it as my first headphone ever. I am very much still a fan and recommended Hanz himself to by it as well. There are downsides especially the v-curve sound presentation which in my opinion, is its biggest flaw. When I heard Ed's D1001 however in the CBTL meet, I was really impressed by the sound it churned out and thought it really had a lot going for it. Unfortunately, I brought the DT150 that day and not the M50 but finally, I am now able to compare them side-by-side. Though this review is scary because both are what I would consider very good entry level priced cans and I would also assume a lot of guys who are thinking of headphones would start with these, I did try my best to just describe both and summarized my preference in my opinion.

Audio Technica M50 - Php 5,400.00 with shipping from Amazon
Denon D1001 - Php 5,850.00 (plus modifications) from Listening Room

I had 10 songs selected but stopped after the 7th for reasons revealed below. It was a simple A/B switching sometimes M50 first then D1001 of the same track and sometimes the other way around.

Hifiman 602 > Solid Copper IC > RSA Hornet > M50 / D1001 (Ed modified)

Anytime - Brian McKnight
M50 - more laid back. Bass is more but slightly shallow because of the recessed mids. Vocals sounding a bit metallic due to presence of highs but recessed mids. There is a sense of separation though. The D1001 was more engaging. Bass better, deeper, slightly tighter. More balanced on the M50 especially the mids. Sound is a bit more muddled and lesser air compared to M50. The presentation of the lows I prefer the M50 over the D1001. M50 also wins for at least better separation but at expense of recessed mids. The vocals therefore sound thinner

The isolation of the M50 however comes in as a big factor of making the sound more intimate. The D1001 is a bit more engaging due to drivers even closer to the ears but overall due to the bass quantity, I might give a really very slight edge to the M50. This however can easily become a debate on personal preference. This was the hardest track to decide on and I had to repeat it three times before giving a fair judgment. Even now, I still would want to have another go at listening to both but M50 is now gone!

Tears in Heaven - Eric Clapton
D1001 takes this due to the more neutral sound presentation. Nothing sounds overly bright. The detail on the mids and guitars are beautifully controlled and more elegantly presented compared to the M50. The D1001 is also smoother in its transitions and the vocals are beautiful and more engaging than the further back presentation of the M50. D1001 does however gets robbed a tad bit of details on highs. The M50 takes advantage of that aspect, again I would assume, due to recessed mids. The vocals on the M50 sounds like it is behind all the instruments which in the D1001, hits you all at the same time. The vocals are front and center but not too forward.

Feelings - Jerome Etnome
D1001 takes this one for musicality alone. The musicality is more engaging and the piano sounds more engaging. Again in defense, the M50 has separation taken again. It may be slight for this track that only has one piano working but because of this separation, the sound is less muddy compared to the D1001. Also the M50 has slightly more sibilance on the high notes compared to the D1001. The piano notes sounds fuller and more musical in the D1001 but perhaps the M50 is better on the piano notes played as a group. It however suffers due to a slightly darker therefore less engaging presentation. I will give this to the D1001.

Hallelujah - Paramore 
D1001 takes this track. Much more engaging. Sounds full. Beautiful electric guitar. Vocals are more natural. M50 again on better high note details but the vocals sounds thinner and too much of a recording. Even the bass on the drums are fuller and more powerful on the D1001. This is hands down to the D1001. It makes itself sound twice the price of the M50. Harmony is better overall and the presentation itself is more powerful and energetic that complements the song.

Teenage Dream - Katy Perry
Katy again sounding thin in the M50. The D1001 however is sounding darker in this track compared to the M50. The M50 sounds livelier with the vocals becoming the main problem. The D1001 however sounds too intimate for this song and a bit too closed. Switching between the two, the D1001 will sound darker but fuller. The M50 will sound thinner - and rescued only by the amount of lows it bring from the bass drums - but more spacious. There is more air but a bit more metallic. A balance in between by both headphones would really be perfect to be honest. I find this track very tricky actually and for me, the M50 beats even the DT150 in overall presentation of this song. For this one... between being darker but fuller versus thinner but livelier, I would go with the M50 because the emotion of the song jives better especially on the chorus when it is more of an "everyone go wild" kind of message.

Moon River
D1001 again hands down on this track. Vocals front, center, intimate, engaging, full with body. Cello are more controlled. Slightly tighter with more musicality as with the piano. Cymbals sounds elegant and soft. The D1001 this time makes the M50 look really really thin in its sound presentation. The air doesn't even come across as something positive on the M50 for this track. It simply made the M50 package sound like something cheaper. 

When You're Mad - Neyo
Again this one goes to the D1001. Better vocals, better lows, smoother, more full in presentation. And all these little improvements translate to a much better overall experience. I left this track at the last hoping the M50 would shine but I am really surprised by how the D1001 handled itself.

Conclusion
The M50 indeed has bass. I won't say loads of bass but I think it is still its strength. For me however, as I've learned in this review, bass does not tell the entire story for the sound presentation on the lows. The mids especially low mids have a significant effect on presentation of the lows including smooth transitions. For the M50, this also happens to be its greatest weakness. I was expecting this review on R&B tracks to be completely won over by the M50 but surprisingly, the D1001 presented itself a good enough contender and on some tracks even beat the M50 at its game. This was done not by churning out even more bass but by simply bringing out the mids and making it extend beautifully to the lows. Hence the overall experience of the lows becomes smoother, more powerful even and tighter.

The M50 also has a thin sound experience in some tracks that is very noticeable even for a non-audiophile and this was also my biggest complaint with the M50 from my early days of owning it. As I have commented, manufacturers sometimes do this on purpose to create the illusion of space and a wider soundstage plus slightly more detailed highs - this one went overboard. The M50 compared to the D1001 also feels a bit less intimate (I won't say less engaging as this would depend on the song and how it was meant to engage the listener) and closer. For me my guess is simply because the drivers in the D1001 are just much closer to the ears as compared to the M50. This might be too close for some but when your ears settle, it really won't notice it at all. As far as engaging, both are exciting cans to listen to its just that the excitement is delivered differently. The M50 did win on one track (Teenage Dream) that I think up to now, even my DT150 or the Ed8 can't beat on overall presentation wise. I would go as far to say that the D1001 is still more exciting overall.

Not to rub more salt on the wound but for me, not only does the D1001 trump the M50 on sound quality, it also wins it over on comfort. The M50 may have better isolation but it feels heavy and bulky and of course, the pleathers heat up fast (like 15 mins fast). The D1001 pleathers will heat up but never as warm as the M50 and it always feels light on the head. Build wise, the M50 is more of a tank but can be folded (which is really a nice feature). I prefer the coiled cable but it is a bit heavy when you are walking. Ed's modified and sleeved cable is way too stiff though. The M50 also looks and feels much more durable than the D1001 which feels flimsy. So, do we go spend $27 more on the D1001 over the M50? Hanz upon hearing the D1001, said to me that it sounds like 10k phones. I agree. The M50 is a bargain to be honest at 5k but the D1001 for me is the 5k headphone that sounds like 10k. It really sounds at least twice better than the M50. On another topic however, (hehe), if you had 10k, go get the DT150 because unfortunately for the D1001, the DT150 is the 10k headphone that sounds like 20k (thoug I've never heard a 20k closed can I think).

PS: For all the loyal M50 fans, don't kill me yet!
« Last Edit: December 07, 2010, 12:43:15 AM by sherwino »
post #1220 of 4545

Indeed, i was not demanding anything, more like teasing Joker because he has been spoiling us with so much quality reviews. 

But i would really like to hear Joker's point of view in some of the full sets, like the AKG240 studio (which im currently loving/burning) and some Koss ProA** models because i've heard a few of the models in his shootout and i *think* I understand his reviews more than i do with random reviews. i dunno, just saying.

 

dont get mad at Bender dude.

post #1221 of 4545
Thread Starter 

Quote:

Originally Posted by mcnoiserdc View Post

lol. I don't think jamesmcprogger is demanding reviews... He is just stating he wants more reviews in a funny way, lol!

 

Yeah that's how I read it. No worries though I appreciate the concern.
 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by ilia7777 View Post

I have to say that I disagree with one thing in your review which is HD-25 at the top of the list.  I know many people like them, but I wasn't really impressed with the sound at all. Also to me portable headphones should sound good without an amp which is not the case for HD-25. For the design I would give them score 0, I know you didn't measure it but I think you should. I never listened to Audio Technica but to me DENON AH-D1001 have much more overall refinement than HD 25 to be rated higher. They are not on your list at all but they should be I think. They look great, they are extremely light and super comfortable. When it comes to sound their bio cellulose driver (similar to the one used in the king of dynamic headphones SONY MDR-R10) on my opinion outperforms very long list of other headphones because of the speed, clarity and incredible smoothness. Listening fatigue is virtually non existent. Soundstage is much wider than HD 25 (few people confirmed it). It is truly the best portable headphone, the one I was looking for and I'm very happy that I found it. 


I'm sorry but I cannot reconcile my reviews with everyone else's likes and dislikes. I've been using the HD25 unamped for well over a year and I'm happier with it then I've been with any other portable. The soundstage is terrible and the highs have a metallic tinge but I'd rather have that then the slightly wooly resolution and de-emphasized treble of the CAL!. Refinement is not just about smoothness - it is about dynamic range, texture, and microdetail. Otherwise you could call the Dr Dre beats refined - they gloss over so much detail that it's pretty much impossible to get fatigued.

 

I also don't see how the D1001 is more portable than the HD25. It's circumaural and doesn't isolate worth a dime in comparison. Looks I couldn't care less about. In the eye of the beholder etc etc. I've got a bunch of 'pretty' headphones and worry about scratching them or putting them away when going out while the HD25 is always ready to go.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by ilia7777 View Post

Well Creative Aurvana doesn't exactly sound like Denon cause its plastic while Denon has aluminum caps. Also the specs for freq. response are different.  If you look at Grado line for example SR 225 is plastic and SR 325 is aluminum which changes sound a lot especially sound stage btw. Therefore $100 price difference.


SR225 and SR325 also use different driver coating. I don't think there's a big difference in soundstage between the two - if anything the SR325 sounds more forward.



Quote:
Originally Posted by ilia7777 View Post

Read this, its from another forum. So ljokerl put HD 25 at the top and AT M-50 at second position. According to this review AH-D1001 tops M-50 both in terms of sound and comfort.


Honestly, I don't see what I should do with this info. Should I trust someone else's ears above my own? I am sure if you look hard enough you can find a review comparing the Bose AE to the M50 and coming to the uncouth conclusion. As for 'putting' something above something else, I don't do that - the numbers do. If the CAL! was built better or isolated maybe it would have topped the M50 but that's not the case.

post #1222 of 4545

Having had the M50 and D1001 the M50 outclasses the D1001 in every which way except length of the cable and comfort. The D1001 are one of the most comfortable headphones I've tried and don't clamp as hard as the M50. My thoughts on the Denons are quite similar to the review joker has on the CAL! so I'm guessing they would sound quite similar if one compared them.

 

I consider the Denons to be one that has a good amount of bass impact with a slight mid bass hump, slightly recessed mids and not much sparkle on top. I did get them for around $70 so it wasn't a too bad and it is older than the M50 iirc and I think they did get discontinued with the Denon D1100 or whatever model number out there unless I'm mistaken.

post #1223 of 4545


It's too bad they had to replace them with something worse. D1001 to the D1100. It's almost like they just wanted to make them bigger, charge more and add massive amounts of bass.

I wish I had bought the D1001 over the D1100 that I returned. I don't know how people can handle that much bass. Is there a headphone that actually has MORE bass than the D1100? Certainly not the M50, D2000 or DT-990!

 

I have very little doubts the M50 is better in many ways to most people. I think many would just prefer the D1001 over the M50 just because of how much smaller it is. M50 isn't very portable, but not too bad.

 

I guess I should try the D1001 out again while I still can. Only reason I got rid of them is because I had the SRH-840 at the time and didn't need a portable that badly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rawrster View Post

Having had the M50 and D1001 the M50 outclasses the D1001 in every which way except length of the cable and comfort. The D1001 are one of the most comfortable headphones I've tried and don't clamp as hard as the M50. My thoughts on the Denons are quite similar to the review joker has on the CAL! so I'm guessing they would sound quite similar if one compared them.

 

I consider the Denons to be one that has a good amount of bass impact with a slight mid bass hump, slightly recessed mids and not much sparkle on top. I did get them for around $70 so it wasn't a too bad and it is older than the M50 iirc and I think they did get discontinued with the Denon D1100 or whatever model number out there unless I'm mistaken.

post #1224 of 4545

I thought the Denon D1001 had plenty of bass for my tastes at least. If it has more bass I wouldn't even want to try it although I think some Apple stores near me should have one for an audition but those are never ideal places. One of those popular headphones such as the Monster beats or similar headphones may have more bass but that's pure speculation.

 

I do agree that the Denons are more portable compared to the M50. It has a more manageable cable, is lighter and smaller although the Denons can't fold which does limit it's storage options when going portable but most of the time they were around my neck when I took them out. I don't consider either truly portable but I don't think any headphone is truly portable.

post #1225 of 4545

I really need to try out the D1001 or CAL. Aside from the recent DJ additions, I've owned or heard the majority of his top listings with the notable exception of the D1001/CAL. I didn't like the M50, though the HD25 was ok.

post #1226 of 4545

ljokerl sound preferences are extremely subjective. I respect what you have done, I'm just voicing my opinion. It is your review :) If it was my review there wouldn't be a single Sennheiser on the list, every one I listened to I didn't like.  I've never listened to HD800 though. I'm not sure why you call D1001 treble de-emphasized, to me HD25 had less treble, at least off my iphone. One of the reasons I love D1001 is because it has just right amount of treble to be able to listen to it for hours without getting tired. I always preffered bright sound, so if it didn't have enough treble I wouldn't like it. My HFI 780 has more detail than D1001 and still I prefer D1001 over it. Even though HFI 780 just keeps getting better and better with burn in. It turns out that it really needs some 300+ hours of burn in for treble calm down and for mids to improve.

Actually you rated D1001 very highly, the only reason it didn't make it to the top of the list is because you gave it 8.5 for sound vs 9 for audio technica and 5.5 for sound isolation. I think it deserves slightly higher mark for sound isolation cause even though its worse than say HFi 780 its not that bad. They do isolate much better than their older brothers(D2000 and D5000). However its virtually impossible to have both comfort unmatched by any other headphone and great isolation. So if you ask me I choose comfort.

 

Quoting from your review:

 

the CAL!s are bass-heavy headphones with a very rich-sounding midrange and a warm tonality. However, the Creatives boast better clarity in the (far less forward) midrange and a more dimensional sound - the soundstage has some depth in addition to the width. They are more laid back and balanced and at the same time a little faster when the music calls for it. The bass is textured, fairly well-controlled, and surprisingly deep (capable of dropping below 30Hz). The low-end response can be excessive at times - these are most definitely not monitoring headphones – but it’s hard to beat them for an enjoyable and relaxed listening experience with plenty of subwoofer bass.

Value (9/10). (MSRP: $99.99, Street Price: $70). I like these, I really do. They are extremely comfortable, reasonably portable, and they sound oh-so-good. Granted, the sound isn’t quite as neutral as some may prefer and the isolation could be better. But they are just so very fun to listen to.

 

Two more comments: driven directly from ipod, iphone low end never gets excessive, they are actually perfect for iphone and ipod with its weak signal. The second thing is you can't have deep and wide soundstage without caps getting to a certain size therefore affecting portability. You just can have it all in portable headphones period, isolation affects the comfort, portability (small size) affects the soundstage etc.


Edited by ilia7777 - 12/22/10 at 7:39am
post #1227 of 4545

Guys i found Philips SHP5401/00 in pixmania for 23 euros. (30$). Although as joker suggested me, this is a great price. I contacted them and asked them if their 2 year warranty covers the possible cable failure that happens in many headphones as you know. (and especially budget philips iems i've owned).

They replied to me, that cable failures at any product are not covered by any manufacturer.

That is not true, many earphones shops, like mp4nation, i know they do.

 

What do you think?


Edited by Angelopsaro - 12/24/10 at 5:13am
post #1228 of 4545
Quote:
Originally Posted by Angelopsaro View Post

Guys i found Philips SHP5401/00 in pixmania for 23 euros. (30$). Although as joker suggested me, this is a great price. I contacted them and asked them if their 2 year warranty covers the possible cable failure that happens in many headphones as you know. (and especially budget philips iems i've owned).

They replied to me, that cable failures at any product are not covered by any manufacturer.

That is not true, many earphones shops, like mp4nation, i know they do.

 

What do you think?


that seems cheap to me. for that, every headphone should have a detachable/replaceable  cord. and this is actually the reason im giving my first steps in cable building wink.gif

post #1229 of 4545

I have SHP 5401, cable is indeed its weak spot and from what I read many people had issues. Its a great headphone probably the best in this price range, but for this money you can't expect good detachable cable etc. I don't care about the cable problem cause I have a pair of iGrado that I destroyed trying to do a mod, so something happens to it I will just replace the cable. iGrado cable seems to be much higher quality too. Initially I thought I will put iGrado drivers in these, but they are so good on their own so I changed my mind.

post #1230 of 4545

That is why i am asking for the warranty. They should provide warranty for cable.

Btw there communication sucks. so hard to find a proper form or email address to speak with them. Maybe i pass out.

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