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Mad Lust Envy's Headphone Gaming Guide: (3/18/2016: MrSpeakers Ether C 1.1 Added) - Page 1075

post #16111 of 37870
Originally Posted by Fegefeuer View Post

Any idea for a cable? Want to avoid something custom that takes many weeks and costs 100+. Somebody recommended a spiral cable but to me they are the worst kind of cable you could get. confused_face.gif


AKG sells a coiled cable through their parts dept.

post #16112 of 37870
Originally Posted by Change is Good View Post


AKG sells a coiled cable through their parts dept.


Yeah, that's what I meant with spiral. biggrin.gif

post #16113 of 37870
Originally Posted by Fegefeuer View Post


Yeah, that's what I meant with spiral. biggrin.gif


Sorry, didn't pay full attention.


Option2: I have two stock 10ft cables and had a female friend braid one of them to have a shorter one for my desk. You can just buy an extra cable and do the same if it works for you. I can post a pic later if you like.

Edited by Change is Good - 8/26/13 at 5:40pm
post #16114 of 37870

Do I need a mixamp with the AKG Annie? the guy from the store said that I most likely would not need it due to my soundcard. I asked him about if I put it on with my kindle or other device and he said since its not a high ohm headphone I should be ok. Not sure how the miniamps work with headphones but I saw there was one for $125 or the astroamp about the same price.

post #16115 of 37870

If your not playing on a CONSOLE, don't get a mixamp - get a soundcard.  You already have a soundcard though.


The AKGs aren't particularly high ohm, but they're low sensitivity and aren't the easiest to drive.

post #16116 of 37870
Originally Posted by Fegefeuer View Post

The SONY Pulse Elite Headset is getting very favorable user reviews. I wonder how they fare in their price range or vs. PC360.


Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

Open vs closed. Pleather vs velour. Probably balanced vs bassy, large soundstage vs small soundstage.

I'm just not a fan of closed headsets, at least in terms of comparisons to open ones.

I'm sure I'd prefer the Pulse for music though.

I'd love to listen to them though. It has it's own form of virtual surround. I wonder how it fares vs DH and THX TS.


Originally Posted by Fegefeuer View Post

That Pulse tech supposedly gives tacticle bass feedback, some form of vibration/rumble. 



Sony sent me a review unit of the Pulse many months ago (late last year) before it was launched and to be quite honest,it's a mixed bag. Bad in wireless mode, but actually quite decent in wired mode and for $120... something like the CAL may be a better choice instead.


The Pulse is rather similar to the CAL on all fronts including the soundstage and positional cues, except its bass doesn't extend quite as deep. I'll get to its gimmicky BassImpact in a bit, but with BI disabled the bass on the Pulse is a lot more shy that I'd expect from a closed can. It's not very bassy, in fact I needed to up the bass boost on my DSS through wired mode (another point I will get to later) to get it to sound warm enough.


The reason for this is because of the offset Sony has done so that BassImpact doesn't distorts the Pulse when it is enabled. You can control how much BI you want on the headset itself, but here in lies the problem — the vibration motors gets so loud that you can actually HEAR it when it hits the low frequencies. Anything more than the 4th-5th notch on the BI control and it'll be so irritating that I see no reason for it.


The idea of BI is that the motors will give a haptic feedback everytime a mid-bass frequency is hit, so just go imagine it rumbling like "grrrrr grrr groooo" when an explosion happens on screen. The vibrators are louder than the explosion itself. It's not the sort of subtle thumps you'll get from the X1 or any other bassy headphones.


Then there's the battery, do a search on Google and see how many dead batteries has the Pulse faced over the last few months. It's ridiculous.

My review unit got its battery dead within a month, it's non-user replaceable and the worse thing is? Sony couldn't even replace them because they had no stocks for it when I returned it to them. They had to send me a new unit instead.


Then there's the issue with the Pulse in wireless mode, even at max volume everything sounded way too rolled off. Not enough volume basically, I don't know if Sony purposely limited the volume on the Pulse so that it can conserve as much battery as possible (of which lasts a miserable 4 1/2 hours in the first place) or what, but it's very undesireable to use in wireless mode.


For the good news, the Pulse is at least a versatile headset. Because it can work in both wireless and wired mode, connecting the Pulse to an amp + DAC opens it up to a whole new level of sound quality that I wonder if I was still listening onto the same headset. With an amp, gone is the need to conserve battery (which I assume for the low volumes), blast the Pulse loud if you want and there's almost no distortion regardless of what you throw at it. Clean, smooth sound and with the bass boost on the DSS, it made the Pulse sounded like the CAL. Fun and warm, you can even set the BI to the 4th notch to get the subtle thumps and without actually hearing the motors rumbling.


It's crazy how different the Pulse works both in wired and wireless mode to be honest. Even running the Pulse wired from its USB receiver without going through an amp or a DAC made it sound better than it was in wireless.


The VSS on the Pulse is fairly "meh". There's no distinction in the rear cues, only a wide soundstage that envelopes the entire headset. Nothing spectacular. Dolby Headphones still does a better job IMO.

post #16117 of 37870
Thread Starter 
The more I use the MA900, the more I'm seeing it as the best alternative to the K702 Annies if you can't afford them. Half the price too. The Annie has more balance and a broader range in the bass, but the MA900 has added mid bass, is faster, and the soundstage is larger than even the X1.

They're both warm and smooth (MA900/Annie), both fun and all purpose/all rounders, with both having stellars mids (seriously, the MA900 has fantastic mids), and both are very comfy. The MA900 is seriously the most comfortable full sized headphone I've owned aside the Steelseries Siberia V1, and makes even the X1 seem too hot on the ears and heavy.

Is it better than the Annie? No. But it holds up very well for half the price, and can be worn for longer periods, and isn't picky with amping.

For those who want the Annie but can't afford them, I couldn't recommend anything else more than the MA900. Not even the Q701 which while being a more refined/superior headphone, doesn't come close in comfort, is picky with amping, lacks some bass for true all purpose use, and has some fatiguing upper mids at times.

If you can afford the Annie, you know that's my favorite well balanced headphone. If you can't, try the MA900 if you feel the X1 might be too bassy or don't wanna deal with the non-replaceable pads issue.

It's to the point that I'm comparing the X1 and MA900 directly, and while I do prefer the X1 (I mean that is an ideal headphone sound-wise for my preference), I find myself reaching for the MA900 90% of the time due to it's lightweight, breathable comfort, great balance, and huge soundstage.

It's really hard for me to have more than one great home headphone, because I start ignoring the others.

Again, if you own the Annie/Q701, the MA900 is redundant. You do have your trade offs in the bass between the MA900 and Q701 (the MA900 is definitely more fun), and the Q701 is a more detailed headphone, while being a lot more demanding amp-wise. The Annie and MA900 probably cater to the same things, with the Annie being superior in basically all fronts except speed, though at double the cost.

If you own the X1, it does bass and clarity better, while the MA900 does mids better. Either way, it may also be redundant to own the MA900 as the X1 is more fun, and more detailed, though not as rich in the mids, and not as comfy.

So AGAIN, I'll say get the MA900 if you can't spring for the Annie or are just curious about a great under $200 headphone with no real downsides to it.

I think even if i owned the Annies, I'd still reach for the MA900 the vast majority of the time due to the added comfort. It's a damn good headphone to have.

I was going to sell it, but now... I can't see myself without it. if I were able to afford a D7000, i would prefer selling the X1. Seriously.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 8/27/13 at 3:29am
post #16118 of 37870
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post
They're both warm and smooth (MA900/Annie), both fun and all purpose/all rounders, with both having stellar mids (seriously, the MA900 has fantastic mids), and both are very comfy.


Are you trying to get me to spend even more money on headphones here? Seriously, it's you on one end with the MDR-MA900, and DefQon on the other end with the SR-Omega (which my wallet dearly hopes I never, ever encounter)...


I still have no Q701 or K702 65th experience to draw from, but even pushing that aside, you make the MA900 sound like the perfect can to take with me to places I wouldn't dare risk my SR-Lambda + SRM-T1 combo (which is basically "anywhere outside of my house", but I may make special exceptions here and there).

post #16119 of 37870

The MA900 has more mid bass than the Q701, but has less sub bass than the Q701.  The MA900s mid-bass is probably somewhere around the Anniversaries

The MA900 has more pure mid quantity than Anniversary (and definitely the X1), but they're a less refined mids.  The Q701 is more refined and has better extension, but at the same time the mids are thinner and drier - so the MA900 is less fatiguing to listen to.  The MA900 has more body than the Q701 The MA900 sound slightly "n" shaped to me, as the bass and treble roll off some while the mids are pretty strong.  It usually sounds a bit too mid-range-y to me after listening to the Anniversaires with their fuller balance.  The MA900 sounds thinner and less grounded next to them. 

Overall the X1 and Anniversary are still on another level as the MA900 just doesn't have the extension, the body, or the refinement that they have.  It doesn't sound like a $300+ headphone, but it's not meant to.  I wouldn't reach for it over the X1 or Anniversary, but I would reach for it over the Q701 for a lot of things.  And I would pick it over the DT990, and probably the HD5x8 (I'd have to hear the soundstage again to be sure).

If I kept the MA900, it would function more like my KSC35s as a quick go-to headphone for normal listening.  I would still bust out the X1 or AKGs for serious music/gaming/movie listening.  So it's hard for me justify keeping them just for that type of use...


Edited by chicolom - 8/27/13 at 5:55am
post #16120 of 37870
Thread Starter 
Nameless, just hold out a bit, I'll send them to you soon enough.

They're definitely not gonna touch Stax, but for $180 and being an amp slut (as in it more than likely will sound good off any amp), I think the MA900 deserves some hype.

Chico, I dunno what you're plugging them into, but the MA900 has some very good mid bass here. Definitely not far off from the X1 to me, and you know I like my bass. The X1 does extend a bit lower and has a broder range (as well as the Annies), but for a lot of music, the focus on mid bass isn't lost on the MA-900 and is at LEAST on par with everything else in the sound spectrum (just as it's shown on the graphs). The mid bass is actually the most prominent part of the MA900's sound looking at this graph. I don't disagree, as it sounds plenty lively.

For reference again:

and the X1

That is not far off from how the X1's bass to mids are.

And that's how I'm hearing the mids to treble. Very linear, and non-fatiguing. Definitely less treble than the X1, but smooth and balanced to me.

But it also depends on your music. I listen to EDM, and the MA-900 has plenty of bass to me. Yes, the sub bass is definitely not a strength, but mid bass is great.

I'm consitantly comparing the two, and the bass is no slouch even next to the X1, when a track is bass heavy.

I'm not hearing an n shaped signature at all. I'm hearing relatively even response, with a lack of the lowest octaves. definitely, and undeniably one of the most well balanced headphones I have ever heard.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 8/27/13 at 4:50am
post #16121 of 37870

I compared it to the Anniversaries and the bass is actually pretty similar, until you get to the sub bass.


Last time I was comparing the MA900 to the X1, I always had to use the iCans bass boost to get it closer to the X1.  confused.gif



I'm not gonna lie though, I'm not the best man at judging bass.   tongue_smile.gif 

Edited by chicolom - 8/27/13 at 5:52am
post #16122 of 37870
Thread Starter 
It's really good bass, man. I mean I dunno what kind of music you listen to, but I listen to genres which rely on bass, and the MA900 does genres very well. You know I value my bass. I'm not saying the MA900 is a basshead can (the X1 is definitely more prominent), but like the Annie, the MA900's bass is well presented and full (other than sub bass). Sub bass isn't a strength on the X1 either (I believe the Annie has more IIRC, though the X1 has more mid bass than the Annie), so I don't find the MA900 to be that much different from the X1 in terms of bass, though the X1 definitely leads on emphasis.

The mids are MA900 all day, every day compared to the X1, and the X1 wins on sparkle vs both the MA900 and Annie, though it can also be more fatiguing than both. This is why I say the MA900 makes a great alternative to those who can't afford the Annie. It has similar strengths overall. The Annie is overall fuller sounding, while the MA900 is fuller and smoother than the X1 overall (other than the bass being fuller on the X1).
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 8/27/13 at 6:06am
post #16123 of 37870
Right on.

Sometimes i wish I could skip over the bass section a bit when I write a review because I'm usually not concerned with it enough to listen closely and extract the fine details.
Edited by chicolom - 8/27/13 at 6:13am
post #16124 of 37870
Man, my phone is weak at driving headphones. I can max out the volume and still not get the MA900 to where I normally listen.
post #16125 of 37870
Thread Starter 
That's crazy. the MA900 is very easy to drive. It demands less than the X1, Slyr, and HP800.
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