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HD800 is hurting me! Sadly, I'm in love and unhappy

post #1 of 79
Thread Starter 

I'm in love with my HD800,their detail, subtle sound, the timbre they produce...

 

- but they are hurting my ears!!!!!!! - sonically, that is - they are very comortable.

 

The treble and high mids feel like they are penetrating my eardrums.

 

And I'm not playing very loud.

 

Changing to HD650  - same volume - no problem. Even tried the "put some cotton inside the earcup" easy mod by (JazZ), but it doesn't seem to help enough.. And I don't really like to spend even more money on a aftermarket cable if the problem will persist. 

 

Anyone with similar experiences? 

post #2 of 79

after market cable wont do anything but empty your wallet. if you have been using hd650s for a long time hd800s will be extremely bright back off the volume and give it a week for your ears to adjust to the brighter sound before you start wasting money.

post #3 of 79

What is rest of your rig? (source, amp) Depending on it, it can indeed sound harsh and painful sonically.  But with the right rig, it's quite possible to balance it out significantly.

 

Also, what volume are you listening to it at?  Where's your volume dial on your amp positioned?  I know you said low, but that can be relative after all.  Due to their peak in the region that you mentioned they do not make particularly good high volume headphones, especially without a good amp (since it will lack bass and you'd most likely raise the volume to compensate for it, but raising the mid/highs in the process). 


Edited by K_19 - 9/11/10 at 4:27pm
post #4 of 79

 

 

Get ready for all the upgrade your amp posts.

post #5 of 79

I won't harp on this too long...but have you considered investing in an equalizer?

 

If you haven't, download iTunes free and play around with MP3 samples, paying particular attention to EQ and the sound enhancer. Look at this as an opportunity to investigate exactly what your sound needs are. Clearly, you have several possible paths: (1) get an EQ, (2) see what kind of amp will complement your music and tastes, and/or (3) get new phones. Personally, upgrading your EQ will offer the most flexibility. It's solved my issues.

post #6 of 79
I'd recommend turning it down even more. At first, I listened around the same volume as the HD-650 and it hurt, too. But the HD-800 sounds great at lower levels, so turn the knob counterclockwise. You'll adjust. The HD-800 is so clear it's easy to turn them up too loud.

Skip the cable "upgrade," too. They don't change anything and keep in mind that some people who recommend cables get commissions from sales or free stuff from manufacturers.
post #7 of 79

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ford2 View Post

Get ready for all the upgrade your amp posts.


I wouldnt say upgrade amp by default, but certainly try them on a different system if the OP has any doubts as to the quality of his system.

 

The techniques for equalizing headphones in this thread make AMAZING changes to the headphone:

How to equalize your headphones a tutorial

post #8 of 79
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nikongod View Post

.... try them on a different system if the OP has any doubts as to the quality of his system.

 


Got a Naim DAC feeding a Naim Headline running on a very good power-supply. Have read raving reviews on Headline + HD800. Mayybe the experienced Head-Fiers are less sensible sonically (more deaf..:-)

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post

I'd recommend turning it down even more. At first, I listened around the same volume as the HD-650 and it hurt, too. But the HD-800 sounds great at lower levels, so turn the knob counterclockwise. You'll adjust. The HD-800 is so clear it's easy to turn them up too loud.

Skip the cable "upgrade," too. They don't change anything and keep in mind that some people who recommend cables get commissions from sales or free stuff from manufacturers.

 

 

Turning down makes it too low, the light percussion dominate too much

 

 

A am new to head-fi but not to hi-fi and speakers - and I'm definetly a cables guy - I have heard the difference a speaker cable can make, so why should the cabling to headphones be irrelevant? But cables might not be relevant enough for my problem..

 

EQ is of course an option. But then I'll have to buy an EQ-box or stars using my computer as a source, which I would like not to..

 

Aren't there any phones out there that are similar to hd800 and not painful?


Edited by ardilla - 9/12/10 at 6:27am
post #9 of 79

Hmmm. I just got through looking on eBay for graphic equalizers. A newer, top-rated 10-band unit goes for about $150; but you can also find more than a dozen at a nice price (as little as $20 or less). In other words, you can get an EQ very inexpensively covering a wide range of quality. Please note that EQs offer the biggest bang for the buck for your stereo - while directly addressing the issue that's at the root of your problem. At the very least, just about any decent EQ will markedly improve your sound.

 

Someone has even posted information here on how to properly equalize your stereo.

 

Why consider getting new headphones when you're so close to fixing your sound? Could it be that you're already thinking of selling your HD800s? If you've already invested $1400 on the HD800, what's stopping you from finally nailing the problem?


Edited by poikkeus - 9/12/10 at 10:35am
post #10 of 79
Thread Starter 

Got the HD800 slightly second hand - I could sell them on with little loss, thats why I'm considering selling them already.. The beyerdynamics t1 could be an alternative. Or HifiMan? Or I could just settle down with the 650s :-)

 

I am inexperienced with EQ. Thought they were very expensive and/or degraded the sound..

 

Any specific recommendations? 


Edited by ardilla - 9/12/10 at 12:05pm
post #11 of 79

Given your sensitivity to certain parts of the high register, it's very possible that the HD650 - noted for its opulent bass - will handle the "pain" you feel. However, you will sacrifice some of the detail you like in the HD800, so consider that to be part of the trade-off. You might want to look into the T1, which has more bass than the HD800, and the Audeze LCD-2 - the latter being the last word in accuracy.

 

P.S. Not many people are experienced with EQ, so join the club. But I can assure you - they'd hardly expensive (http://instruments.shop.ebay.com/Musical-Instruments-/619/i.html?_nkw=graphic+equalizer&_adv=1&_catref=1&_dmd=1&_fln=1&_fsct=&_in_kw=1&_ipg=50&_oexkw=&_okw=graphic+equalizer&_sop=12&_trksid=p3286.c0.m282&_udhi=&_udlo=), and if anything, a good EQ only enhances the quality of your music. Someone hasn't been giving you entirely accurate information. A good EQ will be half the price of a used HD650. But it's your money.


Edited by poikkeus - 9/12/10 at 1:22pm
post #12 of 79
I don't mean to ignite the cable holy war, but any aftermarket cable will let through the higher frequencies you don't want. It can be demonstrated with common test equipment, too. If you don't want to hear sounds above, say, 15kHz, it can be conclusively demonstrated that any cable marketed for the HD-800 will carry signals from 15-20kHz, and probably much higher. Even if you don't think that something like an oscilloscope gives you the whole picture, you can use one to show that cables are transmitting the frequencies you don't want to hear.

An equalizer is still your best bet if you want to keep the HD-800. You might also be able to build a filter that rolls off the highs and possibly blocks them above a certain frequency. It would be similar to a crossover for a speaker.
post #13 of 79

As another thought to the OP:

How long have you given them to settle into your own head? 

 

Give them a couple weeks of dedicated listening and then go back tot he HD650. You will probably have a thread "who made these veiled and dark headphones" in a few.

post #14 of 79

When in love and in pain, it's always best to just break up. It's easier that way, just cut your losses, lest you put more in it as it gets drawn out longer.   (A Dr.Phil post for a very Dr.Phil thread title  )

 

 

On a more serious note, do keep on listening and see if your ears adjust to it, or break in the drivers, if not both.

post #15 of 79

Sounds like just what I'm experiencing on my K701. I tried to throw money at them by getting a warm DAC and amp, but it was really just a waste in the end. Better just ditch the phones and get something you like better, or stick with those HD650.

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