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I don't think the HD650 need Dolby Headphone

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

can anyone agree with me?


I've done quite a bit of testing on the HD650's @ movie wise, and i just don't think they can handle 5.1 dolby headphone.   The soundstage seems to be way too narrow for it to actually be pulled off.


Granted, dolby headphone does give it that spacious on-your-head surround-sound effect, but the accuracy and speech recognition becomes more thick and chambered in.  


@ stereo wise, (without any 5.1 or any mixing effect) the voices are extremely natural, spot on, fantastic and feels just about right.  It's much easier to distinguish detail left to right instead of being mimiced with 5-6 channels.       


I think these headphone are only meant to be used stereo wise because they just don't have enough air to be used in dolby headphone. can anyone confirm? 

Edited by HariBhushan - 7/11/10 at 7:59am
post #2 of 7

I can only comment using Sennheiser IE8 as a comparison, which are supposed to sound very similar. To me, IE8 has such good sound separation that it doesn't benefit from dolby headphone. For example, if I watch a movie from my X-Fi sound card using Sennheiser 280 pros, dolby headphone makes a vast improvement and really opens up the 280 pros. However, when I'm using my Sennheiser IE8, turning it on doesn't improve it (just feels more artificial) because it is already excellent at sound separation. I've compared this many times and that's my conclusion.


I noticed another similar observation with my Cowon O2 pmp, which has excellent sound effects. One of these effects is a 3D surround effect. Before I bought my IE8 a year ago, I was using Denon c751 with my O2 and always had 3D set at +5. This really helped the Denons and made them sound more immersive as they didn't have very good sound separation on their own. One of the first things I noticed when I got IE8, is that I couldn't perceive any benefit whatsoever from using the 3D effect on my Cowon. After comparing with my O2 many times, I concluded that IE8 does such a great job of sound separation that the 3D effect only adds an artificial feel to it that does not improve it.


My 2 cents...

Edited by Sid-Fi - 7/11/10 at 8:45am
post #3 of 7

How can you get 5.1 on two speakers? The reason it sounds 'muddy' is because all they're doing is messing with the sound levels to try and fool your brain. So obviously they're not going to sound right no matter what headphones you use.

I own the HD650, and I can attest there are indeed only two speakers :P

post #4 of 7


yes i have senn hd 650s too, and using my xonar d2 settings, i tried dolby headphone from 6 and 8 channels, and the sound really sucked. i felt i was inside a sewer...
the beyer dt880 and dt990 600 ohm versions on the other hand are really good with dolby. the sound from movies is really engaging. sometimes i want to turn my head to look because of the surround sound effect. for games, its also the same: very good placement of sound :)
dolby and senn hd 650 do not really go together amicably...
post #5 of 7

I didn't buy my HD650s to watch movies. If you really want 5.1 Dolby sound, get/use speakers. Seriously.


But that's just my opinion.

post #6 of 7

Maybe dolby just doesn't agree with the HD650s?  I don't have anything with dolby hp to test it, but the HD650s work with my HRTF setup.  For a stereo source it goes; Dolby Pro Logic stereo to 5.1 upmix > ffdshow's headphone HTRF, and skips the first for sources that are already 5.1.  Those options are both built in to ffdshow.


It's just awesome.  So much better than plain stereo.  Even from a plain stereo source people are in front of you, traffic is behind you, and rain falls all around you.  I love it.  I don't mind "headstage" for music, but for movies I can't stand it.  I think better headphones actually make it worse, because they have better stereo separation and headstage.  What you see doesn't really match up to what you hear.  With cheap 'phones most things just blend into mono and I get used to the audio not coming from the picture, but good 'phones give my ears constantly changing cues which don't match what I'm seeing.

Originally Posted by Chef View Post

How can you get 5.1 on two speakers? The reason it sounds 'muddy' is because all they're doing is messing with the sound levels to try and fool your brain

Exactly the same way your head and ears mess with the sound to fool your brain in real life.  That usually works, at least for me. 

post #7 of 7

I have to say on my Yamaha receiver, I really prefer it in Direct mode.  All the sound mods are off and the sound isn't quite as big or loud, but I feel it's a bit more accurate in placement. 


Now on my Harmon Kardon, I think I prefer the DH setting a little more on than off.  Not sure why, it just seems to do a better job.  But I also prefer the sound through headphones more on my Yamaha, than my Harmon.  Didn't think that was going to happen, but it worked out that way.

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