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FIGHT THE BEATS HYPE (Ultrasone HFI-580/HFI 580 appreciation thread)

post #1 of 667
Thread Starter 

 

Hey guys, I feel like this pair of cans gets a lot of attention when seasoned audiophiles are asked for an affordable, viable alternative to the infamous Monster Beatsbydre cans- and it's one of the the four cans I've seen the most as Monster alternatives (DT770's, M50, SRH750- for a lower price range anyways). Consequently, they seem like gateway phones for bassheads entering audiophile territory. Therefore, I thought I'd start this thread, and see how far it would go. I just scored a pair, and I absolutely love them.

 

I'm very new to this, but here's what I think so far.

 

5D_CC_20110113_0008-2.jpg

 

BACKGROUND: I am a n00b. The journey to my 580's started with a particular dislike for the Beats hype (I actually DO think they're nifty cans, just not at their price point). In high school, I was a first chair trumpet. I also played guitar and made beats. Anyways-

 

AESTHETICS: They're no Edition-series pair, but they're definitely pretty. I'm really feeling the chrome/black scheme. Shiny but classy.

 

BUILD: They're plastic and pleather. No Ultrasone Edition-series materials here. To their credit, it is very durable feeling hard plastic. I haven't exactly handled high end phones, but they feel very solid. Nevertheless.. they ARE plastic and pleather.

 

COMFORT: These things have CLAMP. I wouldn't quite say "skull crushing," but there's a brutal amount of force initially. However, after a couple days, I either acclimated to them or they loosened; I'm guessing both. As my experience with higher end phones is limited, the Monster Beats (the circumaural ones) and the Bose QC15's are the only comparisons from which I can draw. Quite frankly, I don't think these are as comfortable as the aforementioned two. However, the only copies of the Monster and Bose pairs that I've tried are the worn ones in Apple stores (and my best friend's Monster Solo's), and I DO expect the HFI's to break in and feel more comfortable with time.

 

ISOLATION: They isolate pretty well. At median volumes, I hear nothing but the loudest outside sounds, and at my normal levels, I hear nothing outside of my cans

 

SOUND: AMAZING.

Again, these are my first pair of really good headphones, but I cannot get over how amazing they sound- and I've only heard them with little to no amplification so far =]. I'm not quite sure how the S-Logic "surround" is supposed to sound, but with gaming their positioning has been good to me so far (I'm not really an FPS gamer, but I do play shooter RPG's). I'm still trying to understand terms like "PRaT" or "soundstage," but, as a beatmaker, guitarist, ex-marching band trumpeter, here's what I do know.

 

    LOWS: They have incredible lows. Ridiculously powerful bass. Ridiculously powerful bass. Ridicul- anyways.. However, I don't feel like the bass encroaches on other frequencies. On Messy Marv's "Get on my Hype," more than enough bass shows up to make a basshead salivate. However, the rappers' lines come in clear, as do the synth work, claps, and hats. Although they're gifted in the lower frequencies, the 580's don't seem to be particularly bass heavy unless the song's mix calls for it. For example, these cans REALLY shine with the acoustic work of Dashboard Confessional, HE IS WE, Secondhand Serenade, and stuff along those lines. However, as they are recommended for bass, they do carry an incredible amount. I listen to hip-hop, R&B, dustup, rap, and pop- but where they really carry an image of depth is orchestral stuff for me. Stringed bass, cello, baritones, trombones, and the like have so much OMPH. It's amazing =]

 

    MIDS: I'm not sure how I'd describe mids, but I just feel like the sound out of these cans feels rich and full- not just the lows. Specifically, I would say that lot of the baritone, French horn, and strings work from the orchestral work of Hans Zimmer, James Dooley, and Steve Jablonsky sound really full and clear.

 

    HIGHS: I don't know if this relates, but sometimes sibilance shows up. I think they handle highs well. Details at higher frequencies are clearly rendered, but not in a harsh manner.

 

    CLARITY: I feel like some of the hate the Monster's get is for not rendering the lowest lows well. That is not an issue here. As aforementioned, the bass runs very low and powerfully so. However, the deepest frequencies do not muddy the lower mids. An incredible amount of detail is present. Things that I've never heard before show up. IZ  breathing in the ukelele intro in Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Previously unheard audio garnishes in certain tracks- a triangle here or a synth sound there. Even in bass heavy dubstep and hip hop, hi hats and snares come in loud and clear.

 

    CONCLUSION: I'm in love, and if you're a bashed that wants something better than the hyped Monster cans for about half the price (of the big ones), you can be too =] 

post #2 of 667

Great thread! I don't have one anymore simply because my audio goals and funds didn't allow me to keep it. However, these were the best basshead headphones I've owned! HUGE potential to really hit hard and never gets muddy. 

post #3 of 667
Thread Starter 

Thanks, wind!!

post #4 of 667
Thread Starter 

Hey Wind, any advice for my first portable or desktop amp? I'm not a hardcore basshead, but I do like hip hop, rap, r&b, dubstep..

post #5 of 667
Thread Starter 

EDIT: MIDS 

 

MIDS: As the burn in process and listening has continued, I've noticed a certain lack of fullness in the mids when listening to certain songs (Somewhere in the more mainstream rock genre - Cartel, Boyslikegirls, old Blink, Anberlin, My American Heart, The Ataris, etc.) Although these are still spectacular phones, I specifically notice this weakness when I listen to Paramore. It seems to be particularly effective in songs foundationally built on power chords. On the other hand, the problem seems to be somewhat remedied depending on the original song's mix; The Ataris - Boys of the Summer and This Providence's Beautiful sound fine. Ultimately, as I am running my HFI's straight out of either my MB or iPhone 4, hopefully my later purchase of an iBasso D4 amp/DAC will remedy this issue. 

 

On a sidenote, this issue doesn't affect how AMAZING Hans Zimmer sounds on my cans =]

post #6 of 667

Hey Farelistic,

 

I might not be able to help you much. I only have an Ibasso D10 (not the greatest amp there is) and the Woo Audio 6SE (which I don't feel Ultrasones match very well.) I do have the opinion that Ultrasones will pair very well with a good solid state, but maybe someone else could guide you better.

 

I primarily used the HFI 580 with my Cowon J3. They are highly efficient headphones so almost anything will drive them well. I suggest you try a Cowon or Samsung DAP with this headphones. The BBE offered in those DAPs can REALLY push these headphones to have the bass punch that they could really have. They are sleeping dragons XD
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Farelistic View Post

Hey Wind, any advice for my first portable or desktop amp? I'm not a hardcore basshead, but I do like hip hop, rap, r&b, dubstep..

post #7 of 667

Fantastic thread, many people looking for a beats alternative should look here x]

 

I myself am most likely going to be buying a pair of these cans soon, just a matter of time.

post #8 of 667

Finally, a thread for the hfi-580's. smily_headphones1.gif These are my first (and so far only) cans. I'm running them out of my computer and clip+, but I'll be getting a ibasso D4 soon. Anybody here notice any difference between the 580's amped and unamped?

post #9 of 667

Based on my reading, the HFI-580 performs about 80-85% its potential when unamped.

 

So it is easily driven but as always, amps are said to improve any headphone.

post #10 of 667
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 5370H55V View Post

Finally, a thread for the hfi-580's. smily_headphones1.gif These are my first (and so far only) cans. I'm running them out of my computer and clip+, but I'll be getting a ibasso D4 soon. Anybody here notice any difference between the 580's amped and unamped?



Duuuude, I'm saving up for those. Let me know how they go!!

 

I just have a Fiio E5. It doesn't add too much, but the extra "OMPH" it adds makes it amazing.

 

Unamped, they still rock. You just gotta EQ it right. 

post #11 of 667

I love my HFI-580. will have pics of them soon*broken camera makes me sad*

post #12 of 667

Don't forget the Alienware Ozma 5, which is a rebranded HFI-550 / HFI-580 and looks stylish!!

post #13 of 667
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinesekiwi View Post

Don't forget the Alienware Ozma 5, which is a rebranded HFI-550 / HFI-580 and looks stylish!!


 

 I think they look cheep and like alienware stamped their name on it.

post #14 of 667

Also the Ozma 7 which is the HFi-700 rebrand, yea whitecow when I orginal saw them. Before I knew who ultrasone was. I thought they was over price gaming headphones. Hidden Gems can happen when a company whch is known for over price gaming stuff. Stamps there logo  on really good audio gear. The people that see it wouldnt know til they actually use it.

post #15 of 667
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinesekiwi View Post


Don't forget the Alienware Ozma 5, which is a rebranded HFI-550 / HFI-580 and looks stylish!!




 



Sorry Chinese, I'm gonna go with Crow on this. Although I think they're great value, they're essentially not-so-pretty rebranded HFI-550's. On a side note, to my knowledge the HFI-580's don't seem to simply be rebadged HFI-550's: two distinctly separate (yet related) phones.
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