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HD800's with software EQ - Sounds good man! - Page 2

post #16 of 30

Very interesting point. So many people here are against EQs. I used to be one of them. That's only because I bought into the hype that EQs are a no no. But they do exist for a reason. One thing that is important is the quality of EQ. A lot of them suck. I mean absolutely suck. And they do more harm than good. A good EQ does the same thing as someone replacing an amp because their current amp may not have enough bass, too much bass, too bright etc. Now an amp is suppose to be as neutral and transparant as possible. But in most instances that is not the case. And some amps are not a good match for some headphones. So instead of spending hundreds or even thousands on an amp/source to better match your headphones, in many cases a "good" EQ could achieve the same results. One example is my fisher X100C. It doesn't have a full EQ, but it does have analog bass and treble controls. Also a nice bonus is they have a their own tube preamp for the controls. All of my headphones sound drastically different, but with the controls I can tone down the highs on my bright cans, bring it up on my dull sounding cans, boost the bass on my bass shy cans, etc. And with the very high quality of the controls, the results sound completely natural without sounding processed or artificial. This really isn't a necessity for me since I like all of my cans the way they are, but it is a lot of fun experimenting with and getting different sound signatures with just one amp and one pair of cans.

post #17 of 30

What are the best equalizers for PC? My Cowon mp3 player has my favorite portable EQ, but the Cowon PC jetaudio player has a TERRIBLE EQ.

 

Windows player EQ has the worse phasing with the smallest db change. I've been using Itunes. So far, so good

post #18 of 30

A few parametric EQs for windows:
 

Electri-Q

Redline Equalizer

IZotope Ozone (the EQ is part of the whole package)

 

Most parametric EQ are in the 100$ range, but often have a limited edition just for audio playback which is either free or less expensive.

post #19 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by nierika View Post

Too bad they couldn't add more bass and reduce the sibilance while they were designing them.


For me, the HD800 balance is just fine with some genres.  However, it's not so with others.  To be truthful, I'm yet to put on a pair of cans that's genuinely well balanced to my ears, no matter what I listen to.  Invariably, I'll play an album where I'd prefer more bass or less bass, more treble or less treble, more mids or less mids.  I'd EQ more, if it weren't a hassle to be adjusting repeatedly.  

post #20 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post




 

There's something wrong with a setup when a $1400 pair of headphones needs EQ'ing of 6dB on the extremes like that...

 


Yes, but now that is Sennheiser's fault -isn't it :P.

 

In all seriousness, if thats what he needs to like them, and is happy spending that kind of cash its not that bad.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Chimera-se View Post

I agree with that statement. The HD 800 are notoriously "picky" about how they are amped, and source certainly can't be over looked either. That said, the headphones aren't the weakest link in the OP's rig, IMHO, so EQing is a quick and easy solution probably. Just my .02


Source and Amp changes also won't add 5db in the bass and take 5 db away from the highs lol. Looks like the OP managed to keep what he liked about the HD 800, and add what he though was missing... I say bravo!

post #21 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by khaos974 View Post

So what do you think of big studios EQing their 50000 $ monitors? smily_headphones1.gif
 



That's different (ie. for speakers) and they're professionals. I EQ my speakers too to correct for room resonance and peaks.

For headphones, I use minor EQ'ing (within 1dB) and only when necessary. Extreme changes to the frequency response like what you see in this thread smear the transients, subdue detail and make the sound diffused and fuzzy.

 

There are many things EQs will not give that component upgrades provide. EQs won't increase resolution, soundstage, imaging accuracy/sharpness or transient response, or add "liquidity" etc. Unless you're very good with EQs, you will always get the desired effect by compromising some other aspect of the sound.

 

My point to the OP was to upgrade his DAC and amp if he feels the need to administer such equalization. He said that he's planning on a Buffalo II and Beta22, so I'm happy and have nothing to add.

post #22 of 30
I don't think that many big studios EQ their main reference monitors, not the ones I've work at anyway. Good studios spend a lot of time and money on the design of the control room to get a flat frequency response rather then relying on EQs. Maybe you can EQ a pair of monitors to get a flat FR for a particular listening position, but then the person sitting a foot away from you would be hearing something completely different.

I personally would rather get a pair of headphones with the sound signature that I want than to EQ a pair to my reference, but I don't see anything wrong if someone wanting to use EQ on theirs.


Quote:
Originally Posted by khaos974 View Post

So what do you think of big studios EQing their 50000 $ monitors? smily_headphones1.gif
 


Edited by Danz03 - 10/25/10 at 3:07pm
post #23 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danz03 View Post

I personally would rather get a pair of headphones with the sound signature that I want than to EQ a pair to my reference, but I don't see anything wrong if someone wanting to use EQ on theirs.


I doubt anyone would not wish for a Headphone with a sound signature that they want.  However, there are many circumstances that can prevent this.  You may purchase one and it doesn't turn out to be quite the balance you prefer, though you love a lot about it.  You may then go for another can, only to find that the balance again is not quite what you'd want.  I haven't found one yet that's just for me either.  After a while, you don't feel for yet another can (see my inventory and I've sold others), so I EQ.  

post #24 of 30
You are absolutely right, I really like the HD800s apart from that 6k spike, was even considering trimming it out with an EQ, but then I discovered the LCD-2s, lucky enough was exactly what I was looking for.
So yes, I think EQ is a good, simple and economic option unless you're a purist. BTW, using EQs to do trims and cuts is supposed to cause less distortions than boosting.


Quote:
Originally Posted by aimlink View Post


I doubt anyone would not wish for a Headphone with a sound signature that they want.  However, there are many circumstances that can prevent this.  You may purchase one and it doesn't turn out to be quite the balance you prefer, though you love a lot about it.  You may then go for another can, only to find that the balance again is not quite what you'd want.  I haven't found one yet that's just for me either.  After a while, you don't feel for yet another can (see my inventory and I've sold others), so I EQ.  

post #25 of 30

 

Originally Posted by Danz03 View Post

You are absolutely right, I really like the HD800s apart from that 6k spike 

 

The funny thing is the bs graph they'll send you if you ask.

 

we all hear differently >1kHz, this graph is nonsense.


Edited by leeperry - 10/27/10 at 12:24am
post #26 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by nierika View Post

Too bad they couldn't add more bass and reduce the sibilance while they were designing them.


If they follow the HD600 -> HD650 trend, then the HD850 will be exactly that

post #27 of 30
I tried the same EQ settings with my HD 800.
Great, love it like that for some of my music!
post #28 of 30

haveblue,

 

thank you so much for posting this thread, I was originally in two mind when I was recently demoing the HD800 and Fostex TH900, I found the 900's to be closer to what I was looking for as the default sound was what I preferred coming off various amps and sources from a friends shop. But I also loved the clarity and openness of the HD800's, after a quick tweak on Foobar with wasapi and EQ (difference settings) the Senns are now sounding fuller and not lacking any bass, the mids and highs amazing as usual.

 

I know many out there seem to be against EQ but its worked out great in my case, only recently got back into my head-fi but pretty happy with the current results.

post #29 of 30

Just to confirm how much different the HD800 sounds with different amps.

I have the HD800/TH900. Had the LCD-3 but I just could not get it to be

comfortable enough. Too much weight and clamping pressure. I had pretty much given

up on my HD800's because of the lacking bass and irritating grainy highs it had on a lot

of recordings. But I loved the sound stage and clarity only they can provide.

The TH900 was my daily listener, with the HD800 relegated to occasional

listing on good hi rez recordings.

 

Now they are my favorites! I bought the HPA-21 to see what all the hubbub was

about with the SATRI circuit. And was quite surprised what that circuit does to the HD800.

It added bass presence that was tight and fast, and tamed the highs into smooth crisp silkiness.

It also seemed to lose just a bit of the huge sound stage, but that might just be the effect

of the increased bass or the fact the SATRI circuit brings all of the recessed tracks in a song

to the front with the rest of them.

 

It's like I now have all the good things from the HD800 and the TH900 combined into one phone!

Most happy now. So much so, that I am selling my TH900's, don't need them anymore.

post #30 of 30

The HD800 is SUPER SUPER picky about equipment as i have found out the hard way.

 

I was running the HD800 via a ALO Pan Am at first (with the built in DAC) and while the sound was not too shabby, i found it to be lacking in the mid bass. It was by no means disturbing to the ears but i felt that it could do better. (Even at this point, i constantly picked up my HD800 over my LCD2.2)

 

Next i got a Lehmann BCL. Source was Mostly flac fed to my Teac UD501. It sounded good at first. Amazingly fast, but as i listened further i found it disturbing that there was a serious lack of bass (even more so than the Alo Pan Am), and it could get rather hot on the highs (again, even more so than the Pan Am).

 

So away went the Lehmann.

 

My wallet was seriously hurting at this time and i was considering the Woo Audio WA2 but i started reading up on the Little Dot MK VIII, which supposedly powered higher impedance phones rather well. (read: T1, HD800 etc).

 

So i took a dive and ordered them.

 

Initial set up was Foobar -> Teac UD501 (Balanced ) -> Little Dot MKVIII -> Single ended HD800.

 

The sound was a marked improvement over the Lehmann. But still it lacked abit of bass. Then i read that the Little Dot was a fully balanced system and running them single ended was quite a waste.

 

My HD800 cables (a silver / copper diy mix) were sent for re-termination (Single ended to balanced), and what a difference it made. The bass is very, very fast and tight as before, but it goes way deeper now with beautiful texture and decay.

 

I could not listen to the LCD2.2 for long because i found that the bass at times overpowers the entire performance.

 

The HD800 is now almost perfect to my ears. They are still fairly neutral with still the right amount of warmth needed for vocals, with a supremely fast and articulate bass with lighting quick slam that doesn't leave me wanting for more. Oh, and the highs do not seem strident to me for one moment.

 

It's taken quite awhile, but the HD800s are worth the effort.

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