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HiFiman HE-500 (HE as in High End) Proving to be an enjoyable experience in listening. . - Page 701

post #10501 of 16158
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThurstonX View Post
 

I'm sure I'm a relative noob compared to most when it comes to comparing cans, but I've got a lot of music under my belt.  This concept of detail "extraction" (paging the Death Dentist ;-) is interesting.  One of my fav songwriters/guitarists/sometimes-one-man-bands is Nick Saloman (AKA, The Bevis Frond).  Great English psychedelic rock with occasional fits of trad. folkiness thrown in for good measure.  A lot of his stuff is self-recorded (and self-released), but his catalog is extensive.  Some of it has fine production values, while others are a bit on the thin, self-produced side.  North Circular is one in the latter category.  Some brilliant songs, but on certain cans it's... difficult to listen to.

 

I was comparing that album between Q701s (forget that schiit!), HE-500s (not bad, but lack of low-end in the recording is exposed; still, not as harsh as with the Qs), and the HD 650s.  The Senns tamed it a bit and give it a little oomph.  I think I was using '67 Orange Globes in my Lyr.

 

Now there are albums that lose the upper mids and overall energy with HD 650s, whereas they shine on HE-500s.  And to me, between those three cans, the HE-500s tend to find the happy middle ground between energy, detail and accuracy.  But in the end, they all have a place, even the 650s, about which I'm still on the fence, though sliding off onto the side of keeping them.

 

Haven't heard the HD 800s.  I'd be willing to test someone's out ;)

Don't you find that the treble response of the HD650's a little rolled off? That may be why you say, "Now there are albums that lose the upper mids and overall energy with HD 650s"

post #10502 of 16158
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

Back when I auditioned the HD800s, it just sounded like 50% treble, 30% mids, and 20% bass. It was very jarring next to all the Hifimans and Audezes at that session. I think HD800s really need modding or aggressive EQ to remove that treble emphasis.

Yeah I've definitely had that experience with my HD800s if I put them on immediately after the HE-500s, but it works both ways. Once my brain has burned in with the Sennheisers, I experience the sound as totally neutral and balanced, and nicely weighty when needed. If I then jump to the HE-500s the Hifimans sound congested and muffled in comparison. Ultimately I love them both.

The HE-500s have more instant appeal in my experience. I think the HD800s are more likely to need time to grow on you.
post #10503 of 16158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Okamoto View Post
 

I agree with David and prepoman. I don't give a **** if people consider HE-500 summit-fi or not. You guys should stop worrying about this stupid "labeling"


I personally don't care either because I know exactly how the HE500 stacks up against HD800 and other top end HPs.  IMO, tt's the putting down of the HE500 from people who often think their summit-fi HPs are way better.

post #10504 of 16158
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post
 

Back when I auditioned the HD800s, it just sounded like 50% treble, 30% mids, and 20% bass. It was very jarring next to all the Hifimans and Audezes at that session. I think HD800s really need modding or aggressive EQ to remove that treble emphasis.


That doesn't seem to be the case anymore, at least with my unit.  When I received my HD800 recently, I was hunting for the spiked treble and light bass specifically but failed.  I was pretty sure I didn't have "new toy" symptom.  Yesterday, I received the freq. response graph from Sein.  and the graph confirmed what I am hearing.  It's kind of really interesting.

 

post #10505 of 16158
Quote:
Originally Posted by koiloco View Post
 


That doesn't seem to be the case anymore, at least with my unit.  When I received my HD800 recently, I was hunting for the spiked treble and light bass specifically but failed.  I was pretty sure I didn't have "new toy" symptom.  Yesterday, I received the freq. response graph from Sein.  and the graph confirmed what I am hearing.  It's kind of really interesting.

 

That only looks flat (and has always been flat since HD800s were conceived) because Sennheiser uses its own compensation algorithm, in a way the HD800s are tuned specifically to look flat with that compensation.

 

Any third-party measurement (GoldenEars, InnerFidelity, a few others, which all have differing compensations mind you) reveals a drastically different FR, where there is a gentle hump between 20Hz and 2kHz centered around 400 Hz, then a big jump up around 3-4kHz, with a flat but considerable emphasis between 5kHz and mid-teens-kHz.

 

I feel Audeze's inhouse measurement plots are more true to what the FRs actually are. Sennheiser's are really, really off IMO, deceptively so.

post #10506 of 16158
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 

Don't you find that the treble response of the HD650's a little rolled off? That may be why you say, "Now there are albums that lose the upper mids and overall energy with HD 650s"

 

I do, and sometimes I don't like that, but as noted in my example, it's not always a bad thing, at least to my ears.  If it's too much, I've got the HE-500s and Q701s to go to.  Hell, even the Grados, hanging all alone on a wall ;)  I got the HD 650s specifically for their "mellow" approach.  They are pretty much what I expected.  I might end up on the other side of that fence and sell them, but I kinda doubt it.  Thankfully (I hear my wife cry! ;-) I think I'm done buying cans for a while.  Now, those OPPO planar magnetics... :eek:  Of course, they may sound like schiit ;)

post #10507 of 16158
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post
 

That only looks flat (and has always been flat since HD800s were conceived) because Sennheiser uses its own compensation algorithm, in a way the HD800s are tuned specifically to look flat with that compensation.

 

Any third-party measurement (GoldenEars, InnerFidelity, a few others, which all have differing compensations mind you) reveals a drastically different FR, where there is a gentle hump between 20Hz and 2kHz centered around 400 Hz, then a big jump up around 3-4kHz, with a flat but considerable emphasis between 5kHz and mid-teens-kHz.

 

I feel Audeze's inhouse measurement plots are more true to what the FRs actually are. Sennheiser's are really, really off IMO, deceptively so.

 

Good to know!  Below is a crude measurement done on my cell using AudioTool.  It does goes in line with what you are suggesting to some extent.  Thx Jerg.

 

post #10508 of 16158
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThurstonX View Post
 

 

I do, and sometimes I don't like that, but as noted in my example, it's not always a bad thing, at least to my ears.  If it's too much, I've got the HE-500s and Q701s to go to.  Hell, even the Grados, hanging all alone on a wall ;)  I got the HD 650s specifically for their "mellow" approach.  They are pretty much what I expected.  I might end up on the other side of that fence and sell them, but I kinda doubt it.  Thankfully (I hear my wife cry! ;-) I think I'm done buying cans for a while.  Now, those OPPO planar magnetics... :eek:  Of course, they may sound like schiit ;)

They may sound like schiit, but they do look nice, at least in the pictures. :D 

Sounds like your wife will not allow any more monkey business.

post #10509 of 16158
Quote:
Originally Posted by koiloco View Post
 

 

Good to know!  Below is a crude measurement done on my cell using AudioTool.  It does goes in line with what you are suggesting to some extent.  Thx Jerg.

 

What do you use for a microphone or for picking up from the cans? You have one of those plastic heads with mics in the ears? :basshead:

post #10510 of 16158
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 

They may sound like schiit, but they do look nice, at least in the pictures. :D 

Sounds like your wife will not allow any more monkey business.

 

Exactly.  Wonder how they'll price them.  They remind of a very nicely designed German car, for some reason.

 

LOL.  Only The Main Monkey Business (now you be a good boy and go listen to that Rush song! ;-)

post #10511 of 16158
Quote:
Originally Posted by koiloco View Post
 

 

Good to know!  Below is a crude measurement done on my cell using AudioTool.  It does goes in line with what you are suggesting to some extent.  Thx Jerg.

 

Is that raw data or have you applied a compensation curve?

post #10512 of 16158

tl:dr I can't handle the apparent lack of bass and piercing treble of my new HE-500s. What do I replace them with, or should everyone just point and laugh at me because of what I'm driving them with, or are my pair 'broken'?

 

For Christmas I thought I'd treat myself to a set of expensive-ish 'phones - always good, right? 2013 was crap, and I can't listen to music though speakers, so I need some good Head-Fi :)

 

Please note, these are my subjective opinions. I'm trying to describe my experiences, I'm not criticising you, your kit, your tastes or your ears :) I genuinely want to get to the bottom of my issues with the HE-500s...

 

I'd looked at the threads on the Audeze LCD-3/2/X and the Senn HD-800, but the consensus (and some suggestions/recommendations from folks here) pointed me towards the HE-500s, based on the music I mostly listen to (guitars, indie/alternative/rock/folk, mix of male/female vocals - in no way the ultimate in 'fidelity'), plus my too-much-loud-music-as-a-youth screwed up hearing.

 

They arrived the day after Boxing Day (27th) and I eagerly strapped them on. Initial thoughts - 1. they're not as heavy/uncomfortable as I thought they might be. 2. these cables are *appalling* I can hear every single bit of contact they make with, well, anything and everything. 3. Where's the bass? Seriously, where's the bass? I *know* these tracks I'm listening to have drums and bass guitar on them, but I'm struggling to hear it. 4. The treble. Oh.My.God. It's actually making me wince. I can't listen to this.

 

So. I 'burn them in'. Four days straight of playing classical/operatic music at a decent volume through them while they're wrapped in a duvet. Let's call it 100 hours all in.

 

There's still no bass.The treble is still wince-inducing - too often tinny/metallic/sibilant/piercing/ or sounding like I'm listening with my head in a bucket. There's a track by a folk singer named Georgia Ruth called 'Week of Pines'. It's lovely, sweet, melodic, tuneful and with a good bass 'thump'. Until I listen to it through the '500s. I'd almost go as far as to say the treble hurts. I've now listened to a lot of stuff through them (Queen, Replacements, Blondie, Ezio, Beatles, My Bloody Valentine, even Sibelius, for example), and it pretty much all sounds subjectively less 'musical'/'enjoyable' than through my DX50/JDS C5/V-Moda M-80 portable kit. If I crank up the volume 'til I can hear some bass, the volume makes my ears ring.

 

Listening through my cheaper kit gets my foot tapping. Listening through the '500s puts my teeth on edge.

 

So here we are. Looks like someone in the UK is going to get a very good deal on a nearly-new pair of '500s in the classifieds. But what do I replace them with? It looks like I need something less 'accurate' than the '500s are. Less - - - and more \__, or maybe even |__, if that makes sense :)

 

Or do I just need to try and get them replaced as they seem to sound so different to how other people hear them?

 

(Bit of background - all music is FLAC, ripped by me from CD using EAC/AccurateRip. Music is stored on a NAS connected by wired ethernet to a Squeezbox Touch. Amps have included Schiit Asgard mk1, JDS Labs O2, Graham Slee Solo. I've got a Lake People G109-S on the way. If they sound this bad through that they're getting sold, no matter what. Other 'phones I've heard include M-80, HD600, UM3X, ATH-W1000X, Apple Earpods(!))

 

BTW, I have a feeling that the phrase 'Emotiva mini-X a-100' may be used at least once in any replies to this :). Please note that I'm not paying what will turn out to be >$400 for an amp that you can get for $169 in the US (postage+tax+customs+FedEx 'charges' for me over here in the UK). If the '500s are that sensitive to choice of amp then I'm selling them on principle - and serves me right.


Edited by Stonephace - 1/2/14 at 12:32pm
post #10513 of 16158

^ return your HE500 and get something else.  If they are not defective, they might not be for you and your sonic preference.  It's simple as that.

Gluck!

post #10514 of 16158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stonephace View Post

tl:dr I can't handle the apparent lack of bass and piercing treble of my new HE-500s. What do I replace them with, or should everyone just point and laugh at me because of what I'm driving them with, or are my pair 'broken'?

For Christmas I thought I'd treat myself to a set of expensive-ish 'phones - always good, right? 2013 was crap, and I can't listen to music though speakers, so I need some good Head-Fi smily_headphones1.gif

Please note, these are my subjective opinions. I'm trying to describe my experiences, I'm not criticising you, your kit, your tastes or your ears smily_headphones1.gif I genuinely want to get to the bottom of my issues with the HE-500s...

I'd looked at the threads on the Audeze LCD-3/2/X and the Senn HD-800, but the consensus (and some suggestions/recommendations from folks here) pointed me towards the HE-500s, based on the music I mostly listen to (guitars, indie/alternative/rock/folk, mix of male/female vocals - in no way the ultimate in 'fidelity'), plus my too-much-loud-music-as-a-youth screwed up hearing.

They arrived the day after Boxing Day (27th) and I eagerly strapped them on. Initial thoughts - 1. they're not as heavy/uncomfortable as I thought they might be. 2. these cables are *appalling* I can hear every single bit of contact they make with, well, anything and everything. 3. Where's the bass? Seriously, where's the bass? I *know* these tracks I'm listening to have drums and bass guitar on them, but I'm struggling to hear it. 4. The treble. Oh.My.God. It's actually making me wince. I can't listen to this.

So. I 'burn them in'. Four days straight of playing classical/operatic music at a decent volume through them while they're wrapped in a duvet. Let's call it 100 hours all in.

There's still no bass.The treble is still wince-inducing - too often tinny/metallic/sibilant/piercing/ or sounding like I'm listening with my head in a bucket. There's a track by a folk singer named Georgia Ruth called 'Week of Pines'. It's lovely, sweet, melodic, tuneful and with a good bass 'thump'. Until I listen to it through the '500s. I'd almost go as far as to say the treble hurts. I've now listened to a lot of stuff through them (Queen, Replacements, Blondie, Ezio, Beatles, My Bloody Valentine, even Sibelius, for example), and it pretty much all sounds subjectively less 'musical'/'enjoyable' than through my DX50/JDS C5/V-Moda M-80 portable kit. If I crank up the volume 'til I can hear some bass, the volume makes my ears ring.

Listening through my cheaper kit gets my foot tapping. Listening through the '500s puts my teeth on edge.

So here we are. Looks like someone in the UK is going to get a very good deal on a nearly-new pair of '500s in the classifieds. But what do I replace them with? It looks like I need something less 'accurate' than the '500s are. Less - - - and more \__, or maybe even |__, if that makes sense smily_headphones1.gif

Or do I just need to try and get them replaced as they seem to sound so different to how other people hear them?

(Bit of background - all music is FLAC, ripped by me from CD using EAC/AccurateRip. Music is stored on a NAS connected by wired ethernet to a Squeezbox Touch. Amps have included Schiit Asgard mk1, JDS Labs O2, Graham Slee Solo. I've got a Lake People G109-S on the way. If they sound this bad through that they're getting sold, no matter what. Other 'phones I've heard include M-80, HD600, UM3X, ATH-W1000X, Apple Earpods(!))

BTW, I have a feeling that the phrase 'Emotiva mini-X a-100' may be used at least once in any replies to this smily_headphones1.gif. Please note that I'm not paying what will turn out to be >$400 for an amp that you can get for $169 in the US (postage+tax+customs+FedEx 'charges' for me over here in the UK). If the '500s are that sensitive to choice of amp then I'm selling them on principle - and serves me right.
Am sorry to hear that..but am afraid ur in bad luck ur not willing to buy an amp overseas or from china (and the extra costs included).. The only amp i know of being sold here in europe and affordable able to drive the he500 is the hifiman EF5.. Toxic cables in ur UK is dealer for all the hifiman stuff in ur country...maybe u can try to contact them?
As its a shame ur letting this really wonderful headphone because of amp issues and principle..this headphone is really punching way above its pricepoint..and the bass is very good..not as deep as a dr. Beats or the audezes. But i feel this phone is more balanced..imho ofcourse.

Good luck with it.
post #10515 of 16158
Quote:
Originally Posted by koiloco View Post
 

^ return your HE500 and get something else.  If they are not defective, they might not be for you and your sonic preference.  It's simple as that.

Gluck!

 

Yeah. That's pretty much the decision I've already made. If I wait for the G109-S, which should, by all accounts drive them with room to spare and therefore not 'compromise' their sound quality, I'll probably miss the window for returning them to the retailer.

 

Decisions, decisions... :(

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