Head-Fi.org › Forums › Summit-Fi (High-End Audio) › High-end Audio Forum › HifiMAN HE-6 Planar Magnetic Headphone
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

HifiMAN HE-6 Planar Magnetic Headphone - Page 62

post #916 of 13016

Wait, how are you connecting it to speaker terminals if you only have 4 pin XLR and 1/4 terminations?

 

edit: Nevermind, didn't read it right. You have a pig tail that goes from 4pin XLR to speaker taps?


Edited by Maxvla - 11/14/10 at 8:07pm
post #917 of 13016

First of all, I apologize as I'm a bit late with the comparison. Usually Sundays are dedicated family time for me so I didn't have the chance to sit down and properly flesh out my thoughts until late in the night.

 

LCD2 and HE6 comparison

 

I'm going to organize my thoughts in bullet points so it's easier to follow them. The primary gears used in this comparison are a balanced β22 used in SE mode so you can plug both headphones straight and a modified Grace M902. Meier Concerto, WooAudio WA6 and AMB γ2 make cameo appearances.  

 

- First of all, let's take about the ergonomics. In this area both headphones are quite heavy but the LCD2 takes an edge here as it does a better job distributing the weight so you don't feel as much pressure on your ears. The HE6 fits like a much heavier HD600/650 so the clamping force is more pronounced. Another potential issue lays for people who have large ear lobes as the construction of the velour earpads could prove to be too tight and hence causing your earlobes to constantly brush the edge of the earpads. This will get irritating after a while. Well, both headphones are no kings in term of ultimate comfort though as any full-sized Stax, T1 or HD800 are way more comfortable to wear.

 

- In terms of drivability, the LCD2 is quite easier to drive compared to the HE6. I have configured my γ2 to be able to drive headphones straight (via its γ1 output) and it has no problems driving the LCD2 and I was able to get the volume to ear-pricing loudness. The HE6 on the other hand is quite a monster to drive eventhough it's supposed to be more efficient than the prototype version. Both WooAudio WA6 (old, vanilla version) and Meier Concerto failed to bring the full potential of the HE6, the HE6 didn't even get loud enough with the WA6 while it missed the extension with the Concerto. The Matrix M-Stage does a much better job and the balanced β22 with 4x gain drives it quite effortlessly.

 

- Now let's get on with the sound and I'll start with the bass. Both headphones are able to represent that visceral bass thump although with some slight differences: the LCD2 represents bass in a linear fashion, kinda similar to the HD800, while the HE6 delivers a punchier and perhaps you can say a "funner" bass response. In terms of bass extension, the LCD2 extends just a tad lower than the HE6 while the latter has a slightly more pronounced midbass and upper bass. Well, I'm in the camp that a slightly exaggerated midbass can prove to be quite beneficial as evidenced in the venerable Jerry Harvey JH13 so I have no problems with it.

 

- Moving on to the midrange, this is where things get interesting. It is clear to me that these two headphones represent midrange in a different fashion: the LCD2 has a more relaxed and a slightly laid-back midrange compared to the HE6 whose midrange is quite forward, in the same vein of tradition as the HE5 and HE5LE. In terms of midrange details, I thought that the HE6 has an edge here which can be attributed to its rather forward and authoritative nature as it makes it easier to pick out details. Comparing both signatures, LCD2’s midrange can sound a tad congested as it slightly lacks air while the same frequency is quite effortless sounding in the HE6.

 

- The HE6 is a clear winner when we talk about the treble, no doubt about it. As I had mentioned earlier in this forum, the HE6's treble is as good as one can get in headphones with its extremely good detail retrieval, smoothness, presence and clarity. If you like treble then the HE6 is a clear choice for me. The LCD2's treble on the other hand sounds muted in comparison and it lacks the details and air that the HE6 imbues in this area. Clearly the treble (or the lack of it) is the LCD2's main weakness. Even the Stax O2 whose treble lacks the presence that the HE6 has, possesses more details in this area compared to the LCD2.

 

- If the HE6 is the clear victor when it comes to treble then the LCD2 knocks the HE6 silly in imaging, separation and soundstage accuracy. First of all, I always have a problem in hearing a proper center focus with the HE6 which is incidentally similar to the HE5LE. Imagine that the music lies in a straight line from your left to right ear; if the line is continuous and clear in the LCD2 then this very same line is blurred in the midpoint of the HE6. This fault is more clearly heard when you have vocal and instruments playing at the same time.  Aside from the central focus issue, HE6 also has an imaging problem as the instrument placements are kind of “confused” for the lack of better words and as the result, you cannot tell exactly where each sound is coming from. Expanding on this, HE6’s presentation also lacks depth compared to the LCD2. Instruments seem to lie in the same axis in the HE6 while you can tell how forward or backward teach of them sounds with the LCD2 despite its rather soft treble. HE6 has a problem in separating vocal and instruments while LCD2 does this effortlessly. All of these result in a rather disjointed sound from the HE6 and therefore, a lack of unity. Very interesting.

 

- Finally, I would talk about the overall signature of each of these modern Orthodynamics to conclude this comparison. They are rather markedly different as you would guess. The HE6 represents a very clean and clear window to your music with no hints of hardness quite unlike the HD800. People are not kidding when the LCD2 is compared to the Omega2 as their sound signatures are rather similar: both can be relatively dark, euphonic and rich-sounding. HE6 is brighter, leaner and more transparent while the LCD2 is more natural, cohesive and accurate. I rather like both signatures to be honest with. 

 

And so here we are presented with two very able $1000-ish headphones. For me the ideal result is if somehow I can cross mate the LCD2 and HE6 to produce one headphone to rule them all but sadly it is not that easy in this reality. All things considered, they are equal in performance and therefore, your preference will be the final factor in your decision. If you like a cleaner and brighter then go for the HE6. On the other hand, if you like a richer and a more cohesive sound, go for the LCD2. QED. 


Edited by K3cT - 11/14/10 at 11:02pm
post #918 of 13016

Nice little comparison, well done :) Thanks for taking the time!

post #919 of 13016

K3cT, do you have the JH13s? If so would you be able to do a similar comparison?

 

Thanks for that review, by the way. I kind of figured what the result would be, however.

post #920 of 13016
Thread Starter 


Thanks for an ample set of organised and accurate thoughts Brian.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by K3cT View Post

- If the HE6 is the clear victor when it comes to treble then the LCD2 knocks the HE6 silly in imaging, separation and soundstage accuracy. First of all, I always have a problem in hearing a proper center focus with the HE6 which is incidentally similar to the HE5LE. Imagine that the music lies in a straight line from your left to right ear; if the line is continuous and clear in the LCD2 then this very same line is blurred in the midpoint of the HE6. This fault is more clearly heard when you have vocal and instruments playing at the same time.  Aside from the central focus issue, HE6 also has an imaging problem as the instrument placements are kind of “confused” for the lack of better words and as the result, you cannot tell exactly where each sound is coming from. Expanding on this, HE6’s presentation also lacks depth compared to the LCD2. Instruments seem to lie in the same axis in the HE6 while you can tell how forward or backward teach of them sounds with the LCD2 despite its rather soft treble. HE6 has a problem in separating vocal and instruments while LCD2 does this effortlessly. All of these result in a rather disjointed sound from the HE6 and therefore, a lack of unity. Very interesting.

 

 

The problem persisted as I feared. When I was using the HE5 this was the main issue I had with it, as I have told you before. That characteristic of a "voice without the singer" seems to me like a great lack of refinement when much less expensive headphones like the K701 or HD600 are more cohesive in that matter. If you sit down to evaluate solely on pure tones and bandwidths of low, mid and high frequencies the HE5 and the rest of the family might seem great, but when you are dealing with music the cohesion between all frequencies becomes something like a "wall of sound". I know it is daring and beyond subjectiveness of me to say that the HE6 has this problem without even listening to it, but having heard the HE5 and having been told by many trusted ears that the problem persists, I dare, and subject.


Edited by JIGF - 11/14/10 at 9:40pm
post #921 of 13016

One thing the HE-6 does not have is a wall of sound. When I'm listening to it I have a sensation of multiple layers in front of me. The sounds aren't pinpoint accurate, but the layers are there. I don't get this sensation when listening to my HD600. While the HD600 are more precise, the complexity and layering of sound simply doesn't exist. They have somewhat of a wall of sound, certainly more than the HE-6.

 

You could think of it like this, the HD600 is trying to focus your mental image on a tree 10 feet away, while the HE-6 is trying to focus on a forest spanning a mile into the distance.


Edited by Maxvla - 11/14/10 at 9:46pm
post #922 of 13016
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post

You could think of it like this, the HD600 is trying to focus your mental image on a tree 10 feet away, while the HE-6 is trying to focus on a forest spanning a mile into the distance.


Great analogy. Expanding on it, would you say that if you were in a forest the HE6 would only express the zonifications that surround you but not its predominant and minor species?

 

Edit: or that it would only express the predominant and minor species but not the zonifications?


Edited by JIGF - 11/14/10 at 10:02pm
post #923 of 13016
Quote:
Originally Posted by JIGF View Post

I use the LCD2 with the HA 160 and has be very good. The Burson is the best amp I have had so far. The Meier Concerto is worth mentioning too, but I am not into their sound.


What do you dislike about the Concerto?  Have you tried it with the HE-6 or just with the LCD-2?

post #924 of 13016
Quote:
Originally Posted by JIGF View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post

You could think of it like this, the HD600 is trying to focus your mental image on a tree 10 feet away, while the HE-6 is trying to focus on a forest spanning a mile into the distance.


Great analogy. Expanding on it, would you say that if you were in a forest the HE6 would only express the zonifications that surround you but not its predominant and minor species?

 

Edit: or that it would only express the predominant and minor species but not the zonifications?


Got any other terms to express that question in? Dictionary.com has nothing for zonification. And can you clarify what you are trying to say about major and minor species?


Edited by Maxvla - 11/14/10 at 10:43pm
post #925 of 13016

Nice thanks for the detailed comparison K3cT.

post #926 of 13016
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoide View Post

What do you dislike about the Concerto?  Have you tried it with the HE-6 or just with the LCD-2?


I was a little to polite for me. Sorry, only got to try it with a K701. Maybe it will work well with either the LCD2 or HE6, I think Skylab uses it with his, maybe you could ask him for his opinion.

post #927 of 13016
Quote:
Originally Posted by K3cT View Post

- The HE6 is a clear winner when we talk about the treble, no doubt about it. As I had mentioned earlier in this forum, the HE6's treble is as good as one can get in headphones with its extremely good detail retrieval, smoothness, presence and clarity. If you like treble then the HE6 is a clear choice for me. The LCD2's treble on the other hand sounds muted in comparison and it lacks the details and air that the HE6 imbues in this area. Clearly the treble (or the lack of it) is the LCD2's main weakness. Even the Stax O2 whose treble lacks the presence that the HE6 has, possesses more details in this area compared to the LCD2.

 


 If the HE6 is the clear victor when it comes to treble then the LCD2 knocks the HE6 silly in imaging, separation and soundstage accuracy. First of all, I always have a problem in hearing a proper center focus with the HE6 which is incidentally similar to the HE5LE. Imagine that the music lies in a straight line from your left to right ear; if the line is continuous and clear in the LCD2 then this very same line is blurred in the midpoint of the HE6. This fault is more clearly heard when you have vocal and instruments playing at the same time.  Aside from the central focus issue, HE6 also has an imaging problem as the instrument placements are kind of “confused” for the lack of better words and as the result, you cannot tell exactly where each sound is coming from. Expanding on this, HE6’s presentation also lacks depth compared to the LCD2. Instruments seem to lie in the same axis in the HE6 while you can tell how forward or backward teach of them sounds with the LCD2 despite its rather soft treble. HE6 has a problem in separating vocal and instruments while LCD2 does this effortlessly. All of these result in a rather disjointed sound from the HE6 and therefore, a lack of unity. Very interesting.


High freq is extremely important when talking about orientability of a sound signal. I was very confused when I saw these two paragraphs close to each other. I don't understand any muddy high freq headphones can really do anything about soundstage: normally these headphones have an extremely close soundstage. Actually too close soundstage = no soundstage.


Edited by Nankai - 11/14/10 at 11:21pm
Reply
post #928 of 13016
Thread Starter 

That new quoting system is a little annoying.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post


Got any other terms to express that question in? Dictionary.com has nothing for zonification. And can you clarify what you are trying to say about major and minor species?

 

Guess I went to overboard with biological terms.

 

What I mean is if the HE6 defines all layers but does not separate each instrument on them (be it predominant or minor), or that it separates each instrument but the layers are not well defined.

 

My writing is not that clear though.

post #929 of 13016

Thanks for the comparison, K3cT! I think I'm going to go with the LCD2 though the way you describe the HE6s treble really has me conflicted. Any idea how the GLite does with the HE6?

post #930 of 13016
Quote:
Originally Posted by JIGF View Post

That new quoting system is a little annoying.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post


Got any other terms to express that question in? Dictionary.com has nothing for zonification. And can you clarify what you are trying to say about major and minor species?

 

Guess I went to overboard with biological terms.

 

What I mean is if the HE6 defines all layers but does not separate each instrument on them (be it predominant or minor), or that it separates each instrument but the layers are not well defined.

 

My writing is not that clear though.


To me it seems like all instruments are separate layers, but not well defined. It's kind of a mystical void that the music comes from. It's not really a negative and because this is the first phone I've ever experienced this with it's actually kind of interesting.

 

To continue with the forest theme, if a camera were trying to focus on a deep field shot of trees, it wouldn't be able to focus on all the trees at once. This is similar to how I feel the HE-6 produces depth in it's sound.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: High-end Audio Forum
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Summit-Fi (High-End Audio) › High-end Audio Forum › HifiMAN HE-6 Planar Magnetic Headphone