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So I just got my Ultrasone PRO 550's...

post #1 of 73
Thread Starter 

..and I have to say they're very good, though not quite exactly what I thought they would be; I have a few gripes.

Been listening for about 2 hours now, I'll do a quick mini-review (I don't consider myself an audiophile by any reach):

 

Pros:

  • Well-defined, clear highs (can get quite bright at times, which I think I like)
  • Well-defined, very slightly recessed mids
  • Well-defined, suprisingly clear bass
  • Fantastic soundstage & 3D positioning (tested both in gaming & music)
  • Comfortable
  • Detachable cables
  • Useful case
  • Extra Pads

 

Cons:

  • Bass not as punchy as hoped
  • Poor isolation (I can still hear others fairly well WITH music playing, and other can hear the music as well)

 

 

These are quite a fantastic set. The soundstage is great; the music does seems as if it's slightly close to you, though that doesn't take away from the experience for me. Throughout the Ultrasone CD there were times where they added background vocal, and I seriously thought that my roommates had people over that I wasn't aware of, looking around the corners the times I heard a voices, I was impressed.

 

My main gripe is that while the bass is very defined, it's not as punchy as I hoped. I was looking forward to feeling some thumps/vibration on my ears, some impact; while I don't feel the thump of the bass, I do feel sometimes feel the very low vibration (as if I feel the need for my ears to pop, kind of like experiencing change in air pressure)..if that makes sense. The isolation was extremely disappointing, I can clearly hear others when listening to music; and they can hear the music I'm playing fairly well (from the next room over). If I wanted headphones to leak like this, I could've just gotten open-air and widened the soundstage alltogether.

 

I doubt that the lack of thumpyness is due to running un-amped as the set can get painfully loud at times. Would waiting for burn-in help with these cans? and would buying pads of a different material help isolation(and possibly bass?) as I do really admire them. Or would I be better off going with HFI-580/Denon D1100's? Though I'm not sure how the PRO 550 would compare to the HFI-580, as the PRO is claimed to be the identical, though "enhanced" version of the 580.

post #2 of 73

The 580 is by no means identical. The bass can definitely get punchier in the 580 and it's also a more upfront soundstage. I find that the PRO 550 can be very punchy, but I achieved it through very good equalizers. I found that the 580 is a very different headphone.

 

I'm sorry you're not satisfied with the bass impact, but please try a good EQ before considering what you are doing. I had specifically chosen the PRO 550 and HFI 580 before for their potential for bass impact. I have never heard an audiophile headphone that could give basshead-level thumps without EQ. The PRO 550 and HFI 580 were the best in that regard. Largest potential for bass impact and greater detail than the rest.


Edited by wind016 - 1/7/11 at 4:22pm
post #3 of 73

Yea the HFI-580 and Pro 550 looks to be a bit different, headphone.com has a FR graph of both: 

 

graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID[]=1723&graphID[]=1973

 

The 580 seem to have slightly better isolation overall:

 

graphCompare.php?graphType=6&graphID[]=1723&graphID[]=1973

 

Looks like HFI-580 would be a better match for you and in my eyes looks like the better sounding one based on FR graph alone. D1100 probably also would but the bass doesn't go as deep and is less forward sounding than the Ultrasones with a greater distance to the sound (the soundstage centered position is further away) and mids are more recessed.

 

(wind016> then you haven't heard XB500 - definitely no EQ boost needed to give you head thumping bass :p)


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 1/7/11 at 4:39pm
post #4 of 73

@RPGWIZARD- I've owned the XB500 and XB700. The HFI-580 was no doubt better than both detail-wise and was trumped in bass impact. Good EQ made the bass impact of the HFI 580 rival that of the XB series EQed or non-EQed. Eitherway, the XB series can not match the detail of the HFI 580 EQed or not. However, the sound sig is a bit different between the hfi and XB. XB is warmer and the HFI is brighter.  I tend to like brighter sound sigs so your experience may vary.

post #5 of 73
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wind016 View Post

The 580 is by no means identical. The bass can definitely get punchier in the 580 and it's also a more upfront soundstage. I find that the PRO 550 can be very punchy, but I achieved it through very good equalizers. I found that the 580 is a very different headphone.

 

I'm sorry you're not satisfied with the bass impact, but please try a good EQ before considering what you are doing. I had specifically chosen the PRO 550 and HFI 580 before for their potential for bass impact. I have never heard an audiophile headphone that could give basshead-level thumps without EQ. The PRO 550 and HFI 580 were the best in that regard. Largest potential for bass impact and greater detail than the rest.

 


I apologize, I just went by the PRO550's item description thinking they related to the 580: "The PRO 550 (formerly the PROline 550) builds on the immensely popular HFI-580 (formerly the HFI-550) to create..."

 

I'd like to try them with the EQ settings you spoke of, would you be able to advice software/EQ settings? the iTunes one doesn't seem to really do anything -.-

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGWiZaRD View Post

Yea the HFI-580 and Pro 550 looks to be a bit different, headphone.com has a FR graph of both: 

 

graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID[]=1723&graphID[]=1973

 

The 580 seem to have slightly better isolation overall:

 

graphCompare.php?graphType=6&graphID[]=1723&graphID[]=1973

 

Looks like HFI-580 would be a better match for you and in my eyes looks like the better sounding one based on FR graph alone. D1100 probably also would but the bass doesn't go as deep and is less forward sounding than the Ultrasones with a greater distance to the sound (the soundstage centered position is further away) and mids are more recessed.

 

(wind016> then you haven't heard XB500 - definitely no EQ boost needed to give you head thumping bass :p)



If the EQ settings don't seem to fix the problem, I'll definitely consider the HFI-580. I'm just slightly concerned over the comfort of those.

 

 

 

Also, should I look into the Kees mod? or would that not help the bass. And in regards to isolation, would different ear pads help?

post #6 of 73

I heard the Kees mod reduces the bass and brings out the mids.

 

As for EQ, I used my Cowon MP3 player's BBE which is insanely good. I haven't used many computer EQs. Jetaudio has a computer player with EQ that has the same effects as those in their MP3 player's BBE, but the program doesn't seem to have a preamp. I assume they expect you to use the windows volume bar as a preamp? I'm not sure but the lack of preamp was a bad design on their part.

 

Try some programs, since it is an easy fix and the PROs can sound great. I would be interested with what you find too as I've been looking for a good software EQ.

post #7 of 73
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wind016 View Post

I heard the Kees mod reduces the bass and brings out the mids.

 

As for EQ, I used my Cowon MP3 player's BBE which is insanely good. I haven't used many computer EQs. Jetaudio has a computer player with EQ that has the same effects as those in their MP3 player's BBE, but the program doesn't seem to have a preamp. I assume they expect you to use the windows volume bar as a preamp? I'm not sure but the lack of preamp was a bad design on their part.

 

Try some programs, since it is an easy fix and the PROs can sound great. I would be interested with what you find too as I've been looking for a good software EQ.


Screwww that.

 

I'll start looking around for a good EQ x]

post #8 of 73
Thread Starter 

I e-mailed Ultrasone directly asking about S-Logic and S-Logic PLUS (As the HFI-580 is listed with PLUS, and the PRO 550 is not), and got this as a response:

 

"Thank you so much for your great question. The HFI-580 incorporates the S-Logic PLUS because it is a newer model. All the newer models have S-Logic PLUS. 


Here is some more useful information. The packaging of the Pro 550 is an improvement over the HFI-580 inasmuch it has easily removable ear pads (it comes with an extra pair), the Pro 550 also has removable cable (it comes with 2 sets- 1 straight and 1 coiled), as well as a very nice sturdy travel box. The HFI-580 does not have easily removable ears pairs and has a permanent cable. It does have S-Logic Plus which is an improvement in the soundstage over the Standard S-Logic.

Sorry for the long winded answer but I wanted to make sure I answer every part of your question. "

 

 

So the HFI-580 has a better soundstage?

post #9 of 73

I'd say some break-in will help, I have some Ultrasone Hfi-700 (Alienware OZMA) and I get great bass, just the right amount....its not thumpin bass unless I want it to be. 

post #10 of 73

I don't have the headphones currently, but I NEVER thought the 580 had better soundstage. It was very upfront and I was positive the PRO 550 had better instrument/vocal separation. I don't know if the person typing the e-mail was listening to them side-by-side, but he may have just been saying a generalization of the Plus being better than standard. For me, it is without a doubt that the PRO series always had better soundstage than the HFI.

post #11 of 73

So HFI-580 is very up-front sounding like you'd be ON the stage rather than sitting in the crowd when listening to a concert? That's what I'm personally looking for.

post #12 of 73
Thread Starter 

EDIT: Nevermind.

 

I'm still struggling deciding between returning the PRO550's for HFI-580's.

 

I do enjoy the soundstage of the PRO550's, perfect for gaming, and the clarity of highs/mids is exceptional. I'm just disappointed by bass impact(as in I want to feel it) & isolation, isolation being very important to me; and I have read that the HFI-580's are much easier to drive. I have tried EQing as suggested, that however made the bass (and highs/mids) sound a bit less detailed, with really no change to the impact.


Edited by Scytus - 1/8/11 at 4:51pm
post #13 of 73

OK, hold up. Let me try my JetAudio and see if the update has a preamp. I'll get back to you and RPGWizard
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scytus View Post

EDIT: Nevermind.

 

I'm still struggling deciding between returning the PRO550's for HFI-580's.

 

I do enjoy the soundstage of the PRO550's, perfect for gaming, and the clarity of highs/mids is exceptional. I'm just disappointed by bass impact(as in I want to feel it) & isolation, isolation being very important to me; and I have read that the HFI-580's are much easier to drive. I have tried EQing as suggested, that however made the bass (and highs/mids) sound a bit less detailed, with really no change to the impact.

post #14 of 73
Keeping my eye on this thread...
post #15 of 73

There are extremely good reports of the Pro 900's bass in the Pro 900 review thread. It seems like everything you are looking for. On the other hand, I have seen it mentioned that the HFI-580 has just a little more bass and impact than the Pro 900s because of the bigger drivers but are inferior otherwise. I also don't know if the Pro 900s are in your budget, as their cheapest price new is $320. But if you want really quick, deep, impactful, dynamic, and linear bass with amazing qualities elsewhere in the sound, I would try out the Pro 900s. I am probably going to get them soon, and if I do, I will let you know my impressions. 

 

For a final analysis, I would say go with the HFI-580s first because they are much less inexpensive and are regarded as bass monsters. Look on Ebay, you can get them new for $125 there. If they don;t satisfy, I would suggest trying the Pro 900s.

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