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KRK KNS-8400 Review (Impressive $150 headphone) - Page 7

post #91 of 205
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greeni View Post



Hi Tdockweiler, Interesting you brough up the Q701, that was on my radar too. Judging from your experience with K550, would you say the Q701 which is a lower model present no signficant advantage over the KRK ? Thanks for introducing these great phones to us.

 


I think the Q701 is a step above the K550 and even the KRK KNS-8400 (not a huge step going from 8400 to Q701). The Q701 with my setup has a similar sound as my KRK KNS-8400. The Q701 just has a very slightly clearer sound, larger soundstage and more forward upper mids. Honestly it does feel like the Q701 has more bass than the 8400, but I will compare them side by side soon. The 8400 right now seems like it just has more mid-bass, but slightly.

 

Here's something that may be interesting for some. I was playing Skyrim today and used my KRK KNS-8400 instead of my usual Q701. I was very surprised that it sounded almost the same! It felt as if I was playing the game with a closed Q701! Here's what surprised me the most. The sound was much fuller sounding and it felt as if the KNS-8400 made it a little more immersive and realistic. Felt a bit warmer than my Q701, which was such a surprise. Everything definitely sounded like it has more texture to it. Despite the smaller soundstage it was still quite large. There's a few example of sound effects in Skyrim that sound so much better on the KRK. Stuff I never really noticed before.

 

Basically the KNS-8400 would be one of the best closed headphones I can think of for gaming that's fairly cheap, as long as you don't need tons of bass. I think both the Q701 and the KNS-8400 have a similar amount of detail. Both are detail monsters IMO.

 

Now to make matters worse, every K702 I had never sounded like this Q701, so I don't know if the 8400 I have will sound like the K702 or not. I always disliked the K702 for gaming due to it's goofy and not very accurate soundstage. Everything felt more distant than it really should be. I've owned 3 K702 before and they all sounded the same. I won't open a can of worms and compare the K702 to the Q701 any further biggrin.gif

 

EDIT:

BTW It seems these may be somewhat harder to drive than I thought! A clip can drive them quite well, but you have to max the volume. That thing drives my headphones better than my portable CD player, Fuze and possibly my Ipod Touch!

 

I was checking through all the graphs on innerfidelity and lists all the power requirements. If I'm reading it right, the 8400 is even harder to drive than even the K272HD! K272 is even harder to drive than the K271 MKII. Thought they shared the same driver but maybe not.

 

I actually didn't realize this requires a bit more power than the 6400.

 

 


Edited by tdockweiler - 12/20/11 at 3:21pm
post #92 of 205

It's not so black and white. On my voyager I seem to have to raise the volume a bit compared to my other phones, but when I plug them into my iPod classic, they are way loud. Can only keep the volume at 60% or so. Not sure about the output impedance of these devices, but I don't think it's just a matter of sensitivity.

post #93 of 205

I think compared to many people I am a very low volume listener -- I listen with my KRK KNS 6400s (with a -5dB gain to avoid EQ clipping)  set to 25% volume on my desktop without running an amp to them and I found them sufficiently loud. This might explain why I tend not to find much of a personal difference from amps.

post #94 of 205


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post


SOUND QUALITY

I'm a huge believer of burn-in. I wasn't at first until I noticed some major differences with my k240 Studio, DJ100 and k601 after burn-in. I've found that many headphones really don't need burn-in, but some do. I usually like to listen to them on the first day and then burn them in when I'm sleeping.
 


Thanks for the great review tdockweiler! Guess that probably explains why I found them much better sounding after about a week. I also had them plugged into high impedance jack which might have sped up the burn-in process (yeah still took a week since I didn't get to listen to them much =/).

 

These sound amazing now. Even bass is sufficient for my music preferences. I think the bass extension of the D100 is pretty good though (vs. my other sources) which helps.

 

I'm surprised these haven't become more popular yet.

 

post #95 of 205
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by megamagic View Post


 


Thanks for the great review tdockweiler! Guess that probably explains why I found them much better sounding after about a week. I also had them plugged into high impedance jack which might have sped up the burn-in process (yeah still took a week since I didn't get to listen to them much =/).

 

These sound amazing now. Even bass is sufficient for my music preferences. I think the bass extension of the D100 is pretty good though (vs. my other sources) which helps.

 

I'm surprised these haven't become more popular yet.

 

 

Yeah, it's funny. I say I'm a huge believer of burn in, but I don't burn in about 95% of my headphones. If they sound good out of the box I usually don't bother and do it all on my head. DJ100 and the 8400 got a ton of burn-in for sure. I don't think I ever burned in anything other than a K702 for more than 30 hours. I gave a K702 almost 100 hours and didn't hear any change.

 

Just for my own curiosity I should burn this pair of 8400's in while I sleep and see if anything sounds different. They sounded absolutely perfect out of the box. Maybe KRK increased the burn in at the factory. Maybe they don't even do it. I don't know if ANY headphone maker does.

 

Based on the sound, comfort and dirt cheap price, I can't figure out why on earth these aren't more popular. Seriously, who else makes a studio monitor with memory foam pads?! Probably nobody. I remember once being so impressed with the KNS-8400 that I immediately went out and bought another old favorite the SRH-840 just to compare them! It turns out that the SRH-840 ended up being sold. Not even the SRH-940 or K550 was able to knock the KRKs off my list as a favorite studio monitor. I must be the only one here who thinks the SRH-940 and K550 are severely overpriced for the sound you get. All thanks to the KRK KNS-8400 and DJ100 biggrin.gif

 

I will probably sound like a jerk saying this, but it's amusing hearing the SRH-940 is as good as the HD-800, yet the lowly KRK KNS-8400 sounds better than the SRH-940 and is only $120 and not $250-$300!! I can perfectly understand all the love the SRH-940 gets..kind of. Still think it's overpriced normal_smile%20.gif

 

Sorry,starting to sound like a KRK fanboy now..

 

 


 

 

post #96 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post


 

 

Yeah, it's funny. I say I'm a huge believer of burn in, but I don't burn in about 95% of my headphones. If they sound good out of the box I usually don't bother and do it all on my head. DJ100 and the 8400 got a ton of burn-in for sure. I don't think I ever burned in anything other than a K702 for more than 30 hours. I gave a K702 almost 100 hours and didn't hear any change.

 

Just for my own curiosity I should burn this pair of 8400's in while I sleep and see if anything sounds different. They sounded absolutely perfect out of the box. Maybe KRK increased the burn in at the factory. Maybe they don't even do it. I don't know if ANY headphone maker does.

 

Based on the sound, comfort and dirt cheap price, I can't figure out why on earth these aren't more popular. Seriously, who else makes a studio monitor with memory foam pads?! Probably nobody. I remember once being so impressed with the KNS-8400 that I immediately went out and bought another old favorite the SRH-840 just to compare them! It turns out that the SRH-840 ended up being sold. Not even the SRH-940 or K550 was able to knock the KRKs off my list as a favorite studio monitor. I must be the only one here who thinks the SRH-940 and K550 are severely overpriced for the sound you get. All thanks to the KRK KNS-8400 and DJ100 biggrin.gif

 

I will probably sound like a jerk saying this, but it's amusing hearing the SRH-940 is as good as the HD-800, yet the lowly KRK KNS-8400 sounds better than the SRH-940 and is only $120 and not $250-$300!! I can perfectly understand all the love the SRH-940 gets..kind of. Still think it's overpriced normal_smile%20.gif

 

Sorry,starting to sound like a KRK fanboy now..

 

 


 

 


Yeah, I actually had the SRH-940 before the KRK's. They are really smooth sounding and detailed to me. But they don't sound as realistic and just not as enjoyable overall.

 

I'm hoping that I just haven't found the correct dac/amp combo for the Shures yet. Otherwise I might be getting rid of them in favor of the KRK's. Interestingly I found the lower end Shure 440 to be pretty good sounding although less detailed and refined, but good balance of sound. Still not nearly as realistic as the KRK though. Maybe I need to try the SRH-840 sometime...

post #97 of 205
Thread Starter 

Finally got a good chance to test these with my HRT Music Streamer II DAC. I can confirm it's a near perfect match. For some reason it seems these headphones benefit more from a nice DAC than an amp as long as it's properly driven. I decided to not use my desktop amp and instead see what kind of results I got with my portable amps. They definitely have the most treble with the E5. I prefer how they sound out of my Total Airhead.

 

The HRT really does seem to give you that last bit of detail on the KNS-8400. There's stuff in some of my recordings that can only heard with the KNS-8400, 6400, Koss A/250 and DT-880.

 

Sound is totally not thin or lacking at all. Fuller sounding mids than the Q701 I think. Not 100% sure on this yet. Even music that requires good bass is still perfect. Some of the really low bass is an issue, but not too bad. With the wrong music they can be fatiguing, but 100% not the headphones fault and I probably mentioned this 100 times normal_smile%20.gif

 

With the HRT the soundstage even gets larger. Pretty impressive.

 

Really liking these more than my Q701 right now. I think if I compare the 8400 to anything it will be against the Q701 for my own amusement. I'm liking this 8400 so much than I haven't even used my 6400 since getting them!

 

I made a tiny  interconnect cable using some scraps of ALO silver plated copper. Sounds pretty neutral SOMEHOW. You'd think the silver would make things worse, but not really. Seems like a good match for the KRK.

 

Wow, I swear that with the HRT they sound more like an open headphone. Ok, maybe not, but it sure is close!

 

Kind of funny how I disliked most every minute of the K550 I just had, but with this "new" headphone it's like the complete opposite.

 

If I don't find anything to complain about with these in the next week I'm sure they'll surpass my DJ100 as my #1 favorite. I think KRK may have tweaked the sound a tad or fixed some issues with early pairs. If you check online reviews there's one guy who says his pair had slightly "scooped out mids" (a bit overkill!) and another said they were forward sounding. This pair has very, very engaging mids. Not too forward, but just about right.

 

BTW they have to be the near perfect closed headphone for ambient music. Sounds amazing on this headphone, but I don't know how many people listen to that. I especially like "Helios" and "Boards of Canada" on them.

 

 


Edited by tdockweiler - 12/21/11 at 10:25pm
post #98 of 205

Sometimes the soundstage is small, other times it's really wide. The subtleties of live concert recordings sound really well reproduced. It's like the whole atmosphere is recreated. I don't usually even listen to those songs on my other phones since they never sounded good on them...

 

I'm finding the soundstage recreation (with regard to the original recording) is more accurate than most other 'phones I've encountered.

post #99 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post

Finally got a good chance to test these with my HRT Music Streamer II DAC. I can confirm it's a near perfect match. For some reason it seems these headphones benefit more from a nice DAC than an amp as long as it's properly driven. I decided to not use my desktop amp and instead see what kind of results I got with my portable amps. They definitely have the most treble with the E5. I prefer how they sound out of my Total Airhead.

 

The HRT really does seem to give you that last bit of detail on the KNS-8400. There's stuff in some of my recordings that can only heard with the KNS-8400, 6400, Koss A/250 and DT-880.

 

Sound is totally not thin or lacking at all. Fuller sounding mids than the Q701 I think. Not 100% sure on this yet. Even music that requires good bass is still perfect. Some of the really low bass is an issue, but not too bad. With the wrong music they can be fatiguing, but 100% not the headphones fault and I probably mentioned this 100 times normal_smile%20.gif

 

With the HRT the soundstage even gets larger. Pretty impressive.

 

Really liking these more than my Q701 right now. I think if I compare the 8400 to anything it will be against the Q701 for my own amusement. I'm liking this 8400 so much than I haven't even used my 6400 since getting them!

 

I made a tiny  interconnect cable using some scraps of ALO silver plated copper. Sounds pretty neutral SOMEHOW. You'd think the silver would make things worse, but not really. Seems like a good match for the KRK.

 

Wow, I swear that with the HRT they sound more like an open headphone. Ok, maybe not, but it sure is close!

 

Kind of funny how I disliked most every minute of the K550 I just had, but with this "new" headphone it's like the complete opposite.

 

If I don't find anything to complain about with these in the next week I'm sure they'll surpass my DJ100 as my #1 favorite. I think KRK may have tweaked the sound a tad or fixed some issues with early pairs. If you check online reviews there's one guy who says his pair had slightly "scooped out mids" (a bit overkill!) and another said they were forward sounding. This pair has very, very engaging mids. Not too forward, but just about right.

 

BTW they have to be the near perfect closed headphone for ambient music. Sounds amazing on this headphone, but I don't know how many people listen to that. I especially like "Helios" and "Boards of Canada" on them.

 

 


What happens with the really low bass? A lack of definition? I listen to a lot of djent (Meshuggah, Animals As Leaders, Periphery) and they play some pretty low-register material.

 

post #100 of 205
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic Atrocity View Post


What happens with the really low bass? A lack of definition? I listen to a lot of djent (Meshuggah, Animals As Leaders, Periphery) and they play some pretty low-register material.

 


In some of the songs I've tried, there is just not much bass impact at all. As if something has just gone missing. Ok, it's still there, but not as present as it should. What I should do is compare it to 5 of my other headphones just to see how they hold up. I do notice that with my DAC the bass is a lot better. With some songs it's like there's amazing bass that has shown up out of nowhere?! Even when watching stupid bass heavy Youtube videos there's bass on the 8400 that seems to come out of nowhere!

 

I also compared my 8400 to the 6400 last night for about an hour. It's interesting how my impressions are pretty much the same. The 6400 with some songs, seemed like there was a tiny bit more bass impact. Now, this is really weird and makes no sense. I'll have to check out some bass frequency files and see how both compare when it comes to bass.

 

The 6400 for me seems to definitely have smoother treble. With some horribly bright recordings the 8400 was a bit more fatiguing (to my ears). It could be that the 6400 is "taming" them a bit and the 8400 is just telling me what they were supposed to be like without messing with the resulting sound. After this I decided to just let them burn in to see if this is the reason the treble on my 6400 was smoother and less fatiguing.

 

Seems like the 8400 has the more accurate and larger soundstage. I'd need to compare it some more. 8400 is also slightly more clear and detailed. Not a huge difference for me.

 

It's funny because I kept forgetting which one was on my head and was perfectly happy with how each one sounded! I never went to one and said "This one's much worse".

 

I think the mids on the 8400 may be more accurate and true to how they're supposed to be on the recording. It'll vary from being forward sounding vocals to sounding distant or even recessed. It'll be so easy for some to criticize the 8400 when it's just the recording. I was listening to some female vocals in Cantopop and they're so crystal clear on the 8400. Seriously they felt so lifelike and better than any other headphone I have almost.

 

If you look at the graphs of both, it looks like they have the same amounts of bass, but a slight hump on the 8400 just after 100hz. The 8400 does seems to have a more textured sound with more body on some instruments.

 

This is really confusing. I thought the 6400 might have more sub-bass, but maybe not. I'll compare them both. I just need to find more bass heavy music biggrin.gif

 

There is a good chance the bass improves and the treble of the 8400 smooths out after burn in. I plan to burn in the 8400 all this week when I sleep! It got another 15 hours of burn in since yesterday.

 

I know this sounds crazy, but one way to pick apart the differences is to compare them both in gaming. I'll do that tonight as well as compare the bass some more.

 

It's funny how comparing the HD-600 to the HD-650 is stupid easy, but this is a bit more tricky! Can't go wrong with either one really and all depends on preferences.

 

You'd think the 8400 would have more forward sounding mids than the 6400, but it doesn't seem like it. Despite that this newer 8400 is perhaps a bit more fun to listen to somehow.

 

What's funny is that it takes really specific music to determine the differences. With some really simple songs they sound identical.

 

Sorry...as if you couldn't tell..I'm really addicted to my NEW 8400.

 


Edited by tdockweiler - 12/22/11 at 6:42pm
post #101 of 205

Amazing isn't it, that the modest 8400 could compete against K550 or SRH940 and came out smiling.  Talking about David against the giant.

I wonder what KRK could come up with in the $300-500 ish price basket.

post #102 of 205

It's a definite lack of impact, no matter what you equalize. The bass volume is there, but it just doesn't "hit." It's more of a thump. They do extend deep and rumble well in sub-bass, though, once equalized. They're certainly not as good at sub-bass as the more bass heavy headphones like a DT770, but they still can pull off low frequencies. 

 

Just for comparison, I took another super bass light can, the ATH-AD700. Both of them were weak hitting, weak bass headphones before equalization. I equalized it up by 10dB at 20hz in a parametric EQ. The bass impact was significantly greater on the AD700s, they just slammed better with equalization. There's something special about the KRK KNS 6400 that makes it a low impact bass headphone, and the KRK KNS 8400 is likely in the same situation. I did feel like the KRK KNS 6400 resolved the details a bit better than the AD700, even though the AD700 was an open headphone. The soundstaging, though, was definitely superior on the AD700, which is its biggest strong point. 


Edited by SanjiWatsuki - 12/23/11 at 12:33am
post #103 of 205
Thread Starter 

I compared the KNS-6400 to the 8400 some more today. In games, both were good, but the 8400 has the edge. I won't go into detail about the differences for gaming.

 

Surprised to find out the 8400 DOES in fact have more sub-bass than the 6400. No contest here. Yet the graphs seems to make it look the same. It took me along time to figure this out. Sometimes it feels as if it's not very present, but yet it is all there. I did a test and reduced the upper mids and treble a tad and somehow the bass was more present. Don't ask me how. I guess it's some sort of balancing act.

 

8400 definitely sounds a little more clear. I don't know if it's just due to the extra treble of the 8400, but I don't think so. Not a huge difference. Some will like the improvements. It seems easier to spot with specific music. On some music you can't tell any difference.

 

Without a doubt the 6400 I have has much more mid-bass. I'm very surprised. I think this is what I compared the most. I actually don't really hear that much of a mid-bass hump on the 8400. Does anyone? It sure doesn't draw any attention to itself and I don't even think it exists. To get the mid-bass of the 8400 to match up with the 6400 I had to boost an EQ by almost two notches. Weird.

 

Soundstage size and accuracy seems much better on the 8400. Don't ask me how or why! When using the 6400 in Skyrim it felt as if the mids were much more forward sounding in comparison to the 8400. This can be a negative to some. Remember, not like forward enough to not be neutral sounding, but just compared to the 8400. As mentioned before, I think the 8400 just has everything sounding more accurate and true to the recording. Not a huge difference. Not sure how the soundstage can seem to sound so different. I guess 8400 is just more accurate to how it is in the recording itself.

 

I removed all the effects and background music in a game and female dialogue sounds much more clear on the 8400. Basically crystal clear in the game and in music. With male vocals they sound a bit better in some ways on the 6400, but could be due to the mid-bass. Perhaps not as clear as on the 8400. I need to listen to more male vocals and test some more.

 

The 8400 most definitely has more treble. I've found the 6400's treble to be a little bit easier on the ears, but again the 8400 is probably more accurate and less forgiving of how bad some recordings are. It's like comparing the treble of the K601 against the K702.

 

IMO the 6400 isn't really a downgrade, just a bit different.

 

BTW I was also testing the 6400 with a song from Ali Farka Toure(Acoustic Guitar music). It's a weird song that can be killed by any random Sennheiser, a very warm headphone or anything with way too much mid-bass. This is a song that somehow has a little bit of sub-bass and if the mid-bass is too much, the Guitar seems way less clear and you can't pick apart all the tiny details. Something just goes missing. It also requires decent treble and soundstage.

 

On the 6400 this song is noticeably less clear than the 8400. It got much better when I reduced the mid-bass. I tested this with both my Micro Amp (Desktop) and an E5 and un-amped. This is one song that is basically ruined on the HD-650. Best i've ever heard it was on the Audio Technica ATH-AD2000. Wonder why? Only thing that has come close is the Q701. The song sounds similar on both the q701 and the KNS-8400.

 

If you want a nice CD for the 8400, check into "In the Heart of the Moon". Not even my usual music, but I use it as a test CD a lot. Sounds good on headphones.

 

I hate to say it, but bass heavy music sounds almost better on the 6400. I don't think anyone is crazy enough to buy the KRKs specifically for bass heavy music though normal_smile%20.gif

 

I will say that anyone who thinks any of the KRKs can't produce very low bass are wrong! I tested it myself and it's all there for sure. Found a nice frequency generator. Glad I didn't blow up my headphones.

 

Yeah...listening to bassy music on these for fun and not trying to analyze it would kind of make me sad frown.gif I'm actually glad they're not bassy. They do very much remind me of how the AKG presents bass. Not much bass impact there as well. Bass heavy music on the KRKs wasn't that bad really and quite good. Just different for sure. Perfectly acceptable for even movies. I'm going to test out Jurassic Park and "U-571" tomorrow for testing some low bass in movies. Might get interesting.

 

 


Edited by tdockweiler - 12/23/11 at 12:55am
post #104 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post

 


In some of the songs I've tried, there is just not much bass impact at all. As if something has just gone missing. Ok, it's still there, but not as present as it should. What I should do is compare it to 5 of my other headphones just to see how they hold up. I do notice that with my DAC the bass is a lot better. With some songs it's like there's amazing bass that has shown up out of nowhere?! Even when watching stupid bass heavy Youtube videos there's bass on the 8400 that seems to come out of nowhere!

 

 


I think its either

 

1) There is a spike in some bass frequency of the bass in the KRK graph. So if the particular song has bass around the frequency spike, then the overall bass is much emphasized. If it falls in another frequency that is not in the spike, then there might (seem to?) be a lack of bass.

 

OR 

 

2) The KRK reproduces bass as it should be heard, ie. flatter bass response curve. So if you usually listen to headphones that have a boost in mid bass, it would seem that the KRKs lack bass. This would especially be the case if the songs that you listen to had more mid bass than lower/deep? bass. But when you listen to a song with lower bass, then KRKs would have much more bass than the headphones that boost mid bass especially if they have a big bass rolloff at the lower end.

 

or both, or some combination with the DAC, or cables...or any other factors.

 

Clearly I need more headphones to compare these with <_<

post #105 of 205

tdockweiler,

 

Can you describe,what are exactly the sound changes,when you use 8400 pads on the 6400's?

 

Take your time,don't hurry to answer me,because i want to know exactly what are the changes in sound,because i tested the 6400 and i found it to be very good for the price,I liked the sound signature but I didn't like the quality of the stock pads (cheapish).

 

 

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