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Sennheiser HD800 vs. JH-13 Pro: Battle of the Titans - Page 5

post #61 of 97
I do love the soundstage of the HD800 and the accented treble detail really works for some music (acoustic guitar vocal folk) on my woo 6 but I prefer the jh13pro for most music and it's presentation for most part.

Because the jh13pro does everything right, my hd800 remains for now as luxury.
post #62 of 97
I don't own the JH13pro, but several things said about them make me wary.

First of all, they sound good out of an Ipod??
This means to me that they can not be very neutral, uncolored and reveiling.
I've allways thought a good headphone should allow one to hear that the source is bad.
Just like a good headphone means to me that badly mixed music sounds bad (as it's the way it sounds)

Second thing I don't like about the reviews is that it doesn't have a very good soundstage.
Soundstage is something that's in the music, recording of the room / hall or an artificial reverberator etc.
When a headphone can't reproduce this soundstage very well this means that it's not reproducing the music very well.

How can a heaphone that makes bad sources sound good and can't reproduce a good soundstage be considered audiophile and better than the HD800 on this forum??
post #63 of 97
I haven't actually hear the JH13Pro at all, but one thing to respond, slackman - the iPod is not actually THAT BAD a source, it just has a hard time driving basically any hard-to-drive headphones. If the JH13Pro headphones are quite easy to drive (which they apparently are) then they'll sound a lot better out of an iPod than a super-expensive large headphone that may be quite difficult to drive (i.e., has large voltage/current swing requirements).
post #64 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by slackman View Post
How can a heaphone that makes bad sources sound good and can't reproduce a good soundstage be considered audiophile and better than the HD800 on this forum??
How is an iPod a bad source? It can play lossless it just doesn't have enough power to drive many full-sized cans. IEMs are much easier to drive.
post #65 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by slackman View Post
I don't own the JH13pro, but several things said about them make me wary.

First of all, they sound good out of an Ipod??
This means to me that they can not be very neutral, uncolored and reveiling.
I've allways thought a good headphone should allow one to hear that the source is bad.
Just like a good headphone means to me that badly mixed music sounds bad (as it's the way it sounds)

Second thing I don't like about the reviews is that it doesn't have a very good soundstage.
Soundstage is something that's in the music, recording of the room / hall or an artificial reverberator etc.
When a headphone can't reproduce this soundstage very well this means that it's not reproducing the music very well.

How can a heaphone that makes bad sources sound good and can't reproduce a good soundstage be considered audiophile and better than the HD800 on this forum??
Where in the review did it say the JH13 doesn't have good soundstage? I read exactly the opposite. Did you notice the section about being transported to a smoky room with the musicians? That's what soundstage is all about.

Also, the iPod is not a bad source. The amp in it isn't particularly good, but since the JH13's are easy to drive, the amp doesn't need to be as good. And the review also states that it scales well with better amps.

I don't have JH13's either, but it seems like you read a different review than I did.
post #66 of 97
Ah no indeed, it wasn't said anywhere that the JH13 has a bad soundstage.
Only that the HD800 has a technically better soundstage and a much wider soundstage.
Wide soundstage without hole in the middle is a very good thing.

The iPod I think is a pretty bad source.
I'm not talking about it's amp, I would never use a headphone out of an iPod amp.
I ment the DAC, it has a lousy DAC and I expect a great headphone to make this audible.
If the headphone doesn't make the bad DAC audible how can I expect this same headphone to reveal all the true details of an amazing recording played through a great DAC and amp without masking anything?

Furthermore, one thing I really like in headphones is that they're usually single driver.
In this area headphones have allmost all speakers beat.
The JH13 has no less than 6 drivers and 2 crossover points. This has to affect audio, it does so in speakers and the best speakers have very large crossover filters.
How can JH13 pack all this in such a small package and then still beat the HD800?
Sounds near impossible to me.

Furthermore I have only one experience with an in ear monitor.
It was several years ago when I bought an Etymotic ER4 based on reviews.
It sounded absolutely terrible to me (yes I had them plugged in deep enough).

With all of the above taken into account I'm very wary of reviews that say the JH13 is a HD800 killer.
I'm currently not buying it. Though hope I'll have a chance one day to try them out.
post #67 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by slackman View Post
Ah no indeed, it wasn't said anywhere that the JH13 has a bad soundstage.
Only that the HD800 has a technically better soundstage and a much wider soundstage.
Wide soundstage without hole in the middle is a very good thing.

The iPod I think is a pretty bad source.
I'm not talking about it's amp, I would never use a headphone out of an iPod amp.
I ment the DAC, it has a lousy DAC and I expect a great headphone to make this audible.
If the headphone doesn't make the bad DAC audible how can I expect this same headphone to reveal all the true details of an amazing recording played through a great DAC and amp without masking anything?

Furthermore, one thing I really like in headphones is that they're usually single driver.
In this area headphones have allmost all speakers beat.
The JH13 has no less than 6 drivers and 2 crossover points. This has to affect audio, it does so in speakers and the best speakers have very large crossover filters.
How can JH13 pack all this in such a small package and then still beat the HD800?
Sounds near impossible to me.

Furthermore I have only one experience with an in ear monitor.
It was several years ago when I bought an Etymotic ER4 based on reviews.
It sounded absolutely terrible to me (yes I had them plugged in deep enough).

With all of the above taken into account I'm very wary of reviews that say the KH13 is a HD800 killer.
I'm currently not buying it. Though hope I'll have a chance one day to try them out.
All your questions and concerns are valid. But really I could say hd800 was about 70 to 80% of the hype, depending on our taste of music. The jh13pro is I could honestly say 100% of the hype. Most headphones never live up to the hype but this one is a real thing. I know most experienced headfiers grow to be jaded but as rare and unbelievable as that, it lives up to it.
post #68 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by slackman View Post
Ah no indeed, it wasn't said anywhere that the JH13 has a bad soundstage.
Only that the HD800 has a technically better soundstage and a much wider soundstage.
Wide soundstage without hole in the middle is a very good thing.

The iPod I think is a pretty bad source.
I'm not talking about it's amp, I would never use a headphone out of an iPod amp.
I ment the DAC, it has a lousy DAC and I expect a great headphone to make this audible.
If the headphone doesn't make the bad DAC audible how can I expect this same headphone to reveal all the true details of an amazing recording played through a great DAC and amp without masking anything?

Furthermore, one thing I really like in headphones is that they're usually single driver.
In this area headphones have allmost all speakers beat.
The JH13 has no less than 6 drivers and 2 crossover points. This has to affect audio, it does so in speakers and the best speakers have very large crossover filters.
How can JH13 pack all this in such a small package and then still beat the HD800?
Sounds near impossible to me.

Furthermore I have only one experience with an in ear monitor.
It was several years ago when I bought an Etymotic ER4 based on reviews.
It sounded absolutely terrible to me (yes I had them plugged in deep enough).

With all of the above taken into account I'm very wary of reviews that say the JH13 is a HD800 killer.
I'm currently not buying it. Though hope I'll have a chance one day to try them out.
The JH-13s won't make bad recordings sound good out of an iPod, but you will get the best reproduction the iPod has to offer with the JH-13s.

Anyway, it sounds like you've convinced yourself that they're not for you. That's fine.
post #69 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by slackman View Post
Ah no indeed, it wasn't said anywhere that the JH13 has a bad soundstage.
Only that the HD800 has a technically better soundstage and a much wider soundstage.
Wide soundstage without hole in the middle is a very good thing.

The iPod I think is a pretty bad source.
I'm not talking about it's amp, I would never use a headphone out of an iPod amp.
I ment the DAC, it has a lousy DAC and I expect a great headphone to make this audible.
If the headphone doesn't make the bad DAC audible how can I expect this same headphone to reveal all the true details of an amazing recording played through a great DAC and amp without masking anything?

Furthermore, one thing I really like in headphones is that they're usually single driver.
In this area headphones have allmost all speakers beat.
The JH13 has no less than 6 drivers and 2 crossover points. This has to affect audio, it does so in speakers and the best speakers have very large crossover filters.
How can JH13 pack all this in such a small package and then still beat the HD800?
Sounds near impossible to me.

Furthermore I have only one experience with an in ear monitor.
It was several years ago when I bought an Etymotic ER4 based on reviews.
It sounded absolutely terrible to me (yes I had them plugged in deep enough).

With all of the above taken into account I'm very wary of reviews that say the JH13 is a HD800 killer.
I'm currently not buying it. Though hope I'll have a chance one day to try them out.
I really disagree that a truly good headphone will sound bad out of an ipod because of the DAC. The DAC in the ipod is good enough that a balanced headphone should not sound bad. I think you are just used to the kind of heapdhones that are very popular around here, ,that have peaks which bring out details that are supposed to be reproduced subtlely in the recording, and which also make a bad recording/bad source sound worse than it actually should.

People complain about something like an SA5000 making an ipod DAC sound bad. But the SA5000 is not really revealing problems, it's magnifying them, making the ipod sound worse than it actually should. The HP1000 is the hallmark neutral headphone (the JH13 is the only other that can contend with it, IMO) and it sounds great out of an ipod as well (though it shows the faults of the ipod, and sounds much better out of nicer equipment).
post #70 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by slackman View Post
I don't own the JH13pro, but several things said about them make me wary.

First of all, they sound good out of an Ipod??
This means to me that they can not be very neutral, uncolored and reveiling.
I've allways thought a good headphone should allow one to hear that the source is bad.
Just like a good headphone means to me that badly mixed music sounds bad (as it's the way it sounds)

Second thing I don't like about the reviews is that it doesn't have a very good soundstage.
Soundstage is something that's in the music, recording of the room / hall or an artificial reverberator etc.
When a headphone can't reproduce this soundstage very well this means that it's not reproducing the music very well.

How can a heaphone that makes bad sources sound good and can't reproduce a good soundstage be considered audiophile and better than the HD800 on this forum??
Quote:
Originally Posted by slackman View Post
Ah no indeed, it wasn't said anywhere that the JH13 has a bad soundstage.
Only that the HD800 has a technically better soundstage and a much wider soundstage.
Wide soundstage without hole in the middle is a very good thing.

The iPod I think is a pretty bad source.
I'm not talking about it's amp, I would never use a headphone out of an iPod amp.
I ment the DAC, it has a lousy DAC and I expect a great headphone to make this audible.
If the headphone doesn't make the bad DAC audible how can I expect this same headphone to reveal all the true details of an amazing recording played through a great DAC and amp without masking anything?

Furthermore, one thing I really like in headphones is that they're usually single driver.
In this area headphones have allmost all speakers beat.
The JH13 has no less than 6 drivers and 2 crossover points. This has to affect audio, it does so in speakers and the best speakers have very large crossover filters.
How can JH13 pack all this in such a small package and then still beat the HD800?
Sounds near impossible to me.

Furthermore I have only one experience with an in ear monitor.
It was several years ago when I bought an Etymotic ER4 based on reviews.
It sounded absolutely terrible to me (yes I had them plugged in deep enough).

With all of the above taken into account I'm very wary of reviews that say the JH13 is a HD800 killer.
I'm currently not buying it. Though hope I'll have a chance one day to try them out.
You have some valid concerns.

In my opinion there are different levels of good sound - I can enjoy an HD600 on an EF2 amp ($450 total) and say it sounds good. But that doesn't mean that it's as good as my HD800 on a ZDT amp ($4000 total) that I also think sounds good. So in a similar fashion, if the JH13Pro can be entertaining on an iPod and not suck but rather sound enjoyable instead, that doesn't mean the JH13Pro are glossing over anything - it just means the JH13Pro do a better job of reproducing the music than other headphones.

The details about what the sound is like counts more than saying simply it is good or not. But the iPod is not the best tool to review the JH13Pro - so I didn't focus on the details of what the iPod sounds like vs using the better amps or desktop rig. In my review I glossed over the details of how they sound with the iPods in order to focus on whether they are a decent match or not in terms of frequency response, or whether there is a lack of synergy that puts the frequency balance all out of whack. I covered the JH13Pro's best sound using my best rig, not my iPods. If I wanted to review several iPods, the JH13Pro would be a good tool to review the iPod.

I did go on about a little of that - I have said that the JH13pro reveal my 4G Nano to be bright which it is with other phones, and that I enjoy the JH13pro more on my iPhone 3G/GS which I have said many times are one of the best sounding iPods ever made. I recently tried the JH13Pro on my daughter's 2G Touch, and they are bright on the touch as well as all other headphones I tried with the Touch. The 5.5G video is actually slightly better with the JH13Pro than the 4G Nano or 2G touch, but not as transparent and balanced sounding with them as the iPhone 3G/GS. But then even though enjoyable on the iPhone 3G/GS, if I switch to my RSA P-51 amp off the line out of the iPhone or 5.5G video (iMod) the sound improves more. And, if I move up to my desktop rig, it improves even more. It's what we call scaling up. But certainly the JH13Pro will reveal a bad source, DAP or amp - I just didn't go out of my way to find a bad one.

As for soundstage - it's never been in question that speakers do it best, and headphones have a more "in-head" soundstage called headstage, with some illusion of being out of the head in addition to that. The JH13Pro actually have a pretty good soundstage for an IEM, despite not having the pinna of the ear to interact with the soundwaves or having some external crosstalk from the back of one driver into the opposite ear - both of which help localize the sound. Soundstage is not everything, timbre and tone, and detail, and air and ambience all play a roll in how it sounds. My K1000 have a bigger soundstage than my HD800 and yet I like the HD800 better because I don't get the detail and impact with the K1000 like I do with the HD800.

Your experience with the Etymotic ER4 is classic - the majority of people who have tried them feel the ER4P without an amp are not very impressive, like when used out of an iPod headphone out. I had that impression with my old ER6i and IM716 which uses Ety drivers (stock and after de-podding). That is the biggest reason I stayed away from the ER4.
post #71 of 97
Slackman, impressive. Good observations, good questions, good thinking. I've been skeptical of in-ear 'phones and couldn't fathom how they could compete against full-sized reference cans, but reviews of the JH-13 Pro have made me rethink my assumptions. You've asked the kinds of questions I would have asked. The responses, too, from this JH-13 crowd, have been gracious and not at all defensive. Now I'm curious to hear these little wonders. Thanks all, for a great thread!

Quote:
Originally Posted by slackman View Post
I don't own the JH13pro, but several things said about them make me wary.

First of all, they sound good out of an Ipod??
This means to me that they can not be very neutral, uncolored and reveiling.
I've allways thought a good headphone should allow one to hear that the source is bad.
Just like a good headphone means to me that badly mixed music sounds bad (as it's the way it sounds)

Second thing I don't like about the reviews is that it doesn't have a very good soundstage.
Soundstage is something that's in the music, recording of the room / hall or an artificial reverberator etc.
When a headphone can't reproduce this soundstage very well this means that it's not reproducing the music very well.

How can a heaphone that makes bad sources sound good and can't reproduce a good soundstage be considered audiophile and better than the HD800 on this forum??
Quote:
Originally Posted by slackman View Post
Ah no indeed, it wasn't said anywhere that the JH13 has a bad soundstage.
Only that the HD800 has a technically better soundstage and a much wider soundstage.
Wide soundstage without hole in the middle is a very good thing.

The iPod I think is a pretty bad source.
I'm not talking about it's amp, I would never use a headphone out of an iPod amp.
I ment the DAC, it has a lousy DAC and I expect a great headphone to make this audible.
If the headphone doesn't make the bad DAC audible how can I expect this same headphone to reveal all the true details of an amazing recording played through a great DAC and amp without masking anything?

Furthermore, one thing I really like in headphones is that they're usually single driver.
In this area headphones have allmost all speakers beat.
The JH13 has no less than 6 drivers and 2 crossover points. This has to affect audio, it does so in speakers and the best speakers have very large crossover filters.
How can JH13 pack all this in such a small package and then still beat the HD800?
Sounds near impossible to me.

Furthermore I have only one experience with an in ear monitor.
It was several years ago when I bought an Etymotic ER4 based on reviews.
It sounded absolutely terrible to me (yes I had them plugged in deep enough).

With all of the above taken into account I'm very wary of reviews that say the JH13 is a HD800 killer.
I'm currently not buying it. Though hope I'll have a chance one day to try them out.
post #72 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by slackman View Post
I don't own the JH13pro, but several things said about them make me wary.

First of all, they sound good out of an Ipod??
This means to me that they can not be very neutral, uncolored and reveiling.
I've allways thought a good headphone should allow one to hear that the source is bad.
Just like a good headphone means to me that badly mixed music sounds bad (as it's the way it sounds)

Second thing I don't like about the reviews is that it doesn't have a very good soundstage.
Soundstage is something that's in the music, recording of the room / hall or an artificial reverberator etc.
When a headphone can't reproduce this soundstage very well this means that it's not reproducing the music very well.

How can a heaphone that makes bad sources sound good and can't reproduce a good soundstage be considered audiophile and better than the HD800 on this forum??
The fact that someone said these sound good through a ipod is very unsubstantial evidence to accurate measure the strength of any headphones. The ipod may sound "bad" compared to some other players or setups, but nobody is going to buy a $1100 IEM/headphone/speakers to only listen to an ipod. Read the part where the JH13 owners' impressions, including HPA's review, elaborated on how they sound with different setups.

"Soundstage is something that's in the music, recording of the room / hall or an artificial reverberator etc.
When a headphone can't reproduce this soundstage very well this means that it's not reproducing the music very well."

This one is totally your own personal taste with music. It seems you place a very heavy emphasis on soundstage. In this case, even if you had a chance to listen to a custom JH13, you might still prefer the sound of the HD800 or speakers.

"How can a heaphone that makes bad sources sound good and can't reproduce a good soundstage be considered audiophile and better than the HD800 on this forum??"

Nobody is saying that the JH13 is "better." People who have heard/owned both are just stating their preferences. And it seems, most of them are preferring their JH13's. I haven't seen anyone say they like the HD800 better, but maybe that'll change. And certainly, no one said that the JH13 can't reproduce good soundstage...except you.
post #73 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by boomana View Post
Yup, as almost all polls on this site, sadly, are. I do, however, think the op's question is a good one.
Agreed. It's not the OPs fault.

~~

Face it kids, the JH13 is no longer limited to IEM competition. Hats off to Jerry. I know preference and all that, but I've never see so many experienced (non biased) members have such a high opinion of anything. - Looks like headphone manufacturers now need to find a way to catch up to an IEM.

It seems like a paradigm shift here has taken place.
post #74 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by jnewman View Post
Do you own a decent set of speakers? Chances are your speakers have at least a 2-way or 3-way crossover also. Go tell a speaker audiophile that the crossovers in his speakers are going to mess up his sound because it's basically EQ and see what the response is.
Um, they'll probably agree. Crossover distortion is a big deal among "speaker audiophiles". Whole cults have developed around trying to solve it. There's the single-driver loudspeaker cult, the active DSP crossover cult, and so on.
post #75 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by robm321 View Post
I know preference and all that, but I've never see so many experienced (non biased) members have such a high opinion of anything.
Experienced means unbiased? You can't possibly believe that, so I'll chalk that one up to poor choice of words.
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