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HE-5..initial musings - Page 101

post #1501 of 1668
haha no but i could hear them from about 30 ft away
post #1502 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nachkebia View Post
I love how every time hd800 gets compared with headphone it always loses and author always prefers the other can
Well, I don't know if I would say the HD800s lose. Personally, over long listening sessions, I prefer the HD800, but for short sessions and for genres that require an energetic presentation, I will reach for the HE-5. I don't want to veer this thread off-track so if you would like to know my thoughts, just read them here: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f4/hif...review-469246/
post #1503 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post
Well, I don't know if I would say the HD800s lose. Personally, over long listening sessions, I prefer the HD800, but for short sessions and for genres that require an energetic presentation, I will reach for the HE-5. I don't want to veer this thread off-track so if you would like to know my thoughts, just read them here: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f4/hif...review-469246/
Great review, thanks you.
post #1504 of 1668
Just want to let anyone that cares know that I got my replacement pads delivered today, and all is again well and good with the world.

I even got an extra backup pad as promised as I was sent a pair of pads when only one was defective, thanks again Fang !
post #1505 of 1668
I wanted to add to the whole conversation of the HE-5 vs. HD800 debate. I have actually owned both at the same time and ended up returning the HE-5 last week. Granted I was using a WA 6 SE, I didn't think that the HE-5 headphones deserved me investing in a brand new expensive amp just to run them on.

I guess I might be tainted from when I first unboxed my headphones. I know that everybody says they are a real bargain at $600, but they look like $100-150 homemade headphones when inspecting them. The way the headphone band stitching isn't straight, the metal grate doesn't meet the wood in a flush manner, the cable might be high quality but it looks like a joke with the shrinkwrap around the connectors, etc, etc. In retrospect, my HD600 or D5000 were a lot cheaper headphones (half price almost) and definately felt like luxury products that were solidly engineered. Part of my guess is that they are more mass produced than the HE-5s, but it feels like too many corners were cut, resulting in a headphone that doesn't feel anywhere near a $600 (luxury priced) headphone. I know that many are comparing this to the new trend of $1000+ headphones and see them as a bargain, but on their own, they just don't seem impressive.

Compare this to a pair of HD800 (yes yes, a bit more expensive), but the moment you unbox them and pull them out, you KNOW you are holding a marvelous piece of engineering. I don't know why ppl are bothered about plastic, it serves a very functional purpose and doesn't feel or look cheap in the slightest of ways. Every little detail, screw, connector, grill, etc. is extremely precisely put together and it feels like a great experience.

Now, for the sound....

Out of the box I was quite impressed by the HE-5 headphones, but I think it is because of the lack of distortion, which always made me play music too loud, resulting in early fatigue of my ears. Many songs had quite a bit of punch to them, meaning that they were very fun and quite colored headphones. As for dimensionality, to my ears they sounded like they lacked a sense of space and everything seemed compressed on one plane of music. Overall great headphones (if it wasn't for the horrendous quality), but to my taste I could live longer with a good pair of recabled HD650s which are a lot easier to listen to and just so incredibly smooth, unlike the gritty in your face presentation of the HE-5s.

As for the HD800s, I don't have much to add to the millions of posts on head-fi, but I definately concur about how impressive these are once you put them on. I think it is due to the huge size of the drivers (almost the size of your ears), which make the sound come out very differently than most other phones I've listened to. There is an incredible sense of space and an amazing bass to them that extends lower than anything I've ever heard. I'm not saying they are bassy in any way, but when the music intends to have bass, these headphones convey them sooo beautifully. As many others mentioned because they are a lot more neutral than the HE-5 with a lot more space, some songs felt a little less involving. Having a WA 6 SE though lets you swap tubes to accentuate different frequencies of the music, thus smothing out the highs and bringing the presentation forward. In my case the 6FD7 brought the punch back in the headphones while teh 6EW7 were a lot smoother, relaxed, and beautiful to listen to. My point is that I feel many people who complain about these don't have them properly amped or sourced. The HD800s have amazing huge drivers, extremely solid dampened construction, angled drivers, open soundspace around the ears, which to me is all the ingredients for a perfect headphone that can be kept for many years to come. Just like the HD650 that took a long time for people to find the perfect source / cable for people to appreciate, I feel that the appreciation of the HD800 will grow as more understand how to unleash the full potential of these headphones.

Ok, enough about my ranting / raving, but I just wanted to give my honest and sincere opinion about my experience with these two great headphones...
post #1506 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by monsieurguzel View Post
unlike the gritty in your face presentation of the HE-5s.
This is exactly what makes them a special and unique headphone. You either like it or you don't.
post #1507 of 1668
Monsieurguzel,

I think the HD800 will always have the benefit of craftsmanship, just look at the company, it is Sennheiser we are talking about... Now compare that to a developing company like Head-Direct, and the HE-5's... Obviously you are simply never going to match the quality and finish of the HD800's, David vs Goliath... IMO what I love most about the HE-5's finish, is that it feels like a custom handmade headphone, even with its subtle flaws like you mentioned...
I am not going to speak about the sound since this has been discussed so many times over again... Now like you mentioned " a bit more expensive" lets see 600 vs. 1400... wow that seems like a massive difference, thats roughly 2.3 times more expensive... The direct point is in that last statement, when it comes to the privileged few that money is not much of a concern and can drop that amount, then yes, maybe it would be justified. But comparing those two price values, I can't see how there should be that big of a price gap, even more so when it comes to performance... Some even say they prefer the HE-5's... There is no doubt that the HD800 is the superior can in my view, though by just how much... and at what price... Just my 2 cents, Cheers
post #1508 of 1668
monsieurguzel: Just wondering, how much time did you spend with the HE-5?
I actually thought the build, although not perfect, was decent. Personally, I thought they were a real bargain for the price and their soundstage is much better than you described it (but that varied a lot with source).

I tried both the HE-5 out of several amps (tube/SS) and several DACs (tube/SS) and I thought they weren't far behind the HD800 overall. They even managed to do some things better than the HD800 I felt.
post #1509 of 1668
I had the HE-5s for 2-3 weeks of on and off listening before deciding to return them. As for the price, yes there is quite a difference in price, but when you start factoring in the price of a replacement cable (which most will eventually do since the current one is so short), then you can add a couple hundred dollars more on top. To me that gets awfully close to the likes of a Beyerdynamic T1
post #1510 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by monsieurguzel View Post
I had the HE-5s for 2-3 weeks of on and off listening before deciding to return them.
Your Woo amp puts out about 1 watt. The HE-5 needs at least two. So basically you under amped these and never gave them a proper break-in. Not much of a level playing field here.
post #1511 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post
monsieurguzel: Just wondering, how much time did you spend with the HE-5?
I actually thought the build, although not perfect, was decent. Personally, I thought they were a real bargain for the price and their soundstage is much better than you described it (but that varied a lot with source).

I tried both the HE-5 out of several amps (tube/SS) and several DACs (tube/SS) and I thought they weren't far behind the HD800 overall. They even managed to do some things better than the HD800 I felt.
Not only that, but you really have to look hard to find any plastic in the HE-5s, unlike the HD800s which use as many "advanced polymers" as they possibly can in their build. If you have an out-of-warranty build problem, metal and wood are much easier to deal with yourself. With plastic, you are limited to super-glue and/or replacement part$.

There's a few other top-tier cans I would love to try out including the HD800s, but for right now at least I am very comfortable with the HE-5s being my personal flagship headphones
post #1512 of 1668
Just wanted to comment about the EF-5. And those of you who are using it as a combo. Do not neglect the op-amp. The OP275 is old and far surpassed by newer designs. EF-5 sounds much better with AD797 or AD825. Or any number of other options.
post #1513 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeW View Post
Just wanted to comment about the EF-5. And those of you who are using it as a combo. Do not neglect the op-amp. The OP275 is old and far surpassed by newer designs. EF-5 sounds much better with AD797 or AD825. Or any number of other options.
How difficult is it to change op-amps? Sorry, I've never done that before on an amp due to being new at the hobby but I'm seriously considering the EF5
post #1514 of 1668
Easy on the EF-5. They are socketed, so all you need to do is remove the plexi cover and pull them straight out, then pop the new one in. See the EF-5 thread for more details.
post #1515 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankCooter View Post
Your Woo amp puts out about 1 watt. The HE-5 needs at least two. So basically you under amped these and never gave them a proper break-in. Not much of a level playing field here.
HE-5's don't take anywhere near 2 watts or even one watt. Its rated 87db at 1 mw. 90db = 2mw / 93db = 4mw / 96 = 8mw / 99 = 16 mw.

Even K1000's only take 400mw for 100db. How on earth do you think the HE-5 takes 2 watts?
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