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post #8251 of 14945

I'm thinking about upgrading my HD650 to HE-500. Will it be a considerable improvement? Will the HRT Streamer II+ > O2 drive them well? I feel like I reached very close to the peak as far as headphones go, but I would like to be proven otherwise...


Edited by matti620 - 9/28/13 at 10:06am
post #8252 of 14945
Quote:
Originally Posted by matti620 View Post
 

I'm thinking about upgrading my HD650 to HE-500. Will it be a considerable improvement? Will the HRT Streamer II+ > O2 drive them well? I feel like I reached very close to the peak as far as headphones go, but I would like to be proven otherwise...

 

Depending on your tastes, it may be anything from a big improvement to a sidegrade. Perhaps if you consider the hd650 lacking in the treble, he500 is likely to be a good improvement.

I have not heard your upstream gear, but if it is nice for you with the hd650 I would guess it will likely be ok with the he500.


Edited by i019791 - 9/28/13 at 11:04am
post #8253 of 14945
Quote:
Originally Posted by i019791 View Post
 

 

Depending on your tastes, it may be anything from a big improvement to a sidegrade. Perhaps if you consider the hd650 lacking in the treble, he500 is likely to be a good improvement.

I have not heard your upstream gear, but if it is nice for you with the hd650 I would guess it will likely be ok with the he500.

 

 

+1 

 

up to you if you like the HE-500s sound. i personally think the HE-500 is another league over HD 650, even though i REALLY REALLY like the HD 650 and i owned it for a couple years.

 

 

but theres some people on here who think hd 600/650 are better. so its mostly up to you.

post #8254 of 14945
Quote:
Originally Posted by matti620 View Post
 

I'm thinking about upgrading my HD650 to HE-500. Will it be a considerable improvement? Will the HRT Streamer II+ > O2 drive them well? I feel like I reached very close to the peak as far as headphones go, but I would like to be proven otherwise...

 

I think you'll probably want something with a little more power than the o2 to drive the HE-500.  I have the o2 and it's a great amp for regular dynamic headphones.  Planars imo do better with more current than the o2 puts out.  The mini-x is a good cheap amp with plenty of power for the o2.  I haven't heard the magni/asgard II.  But I have seen them also recommended as amps with enough power in the lower price ranges.

post #8255 of 14945

Alright got some updates after another 24 hours of burn in.

 

Yesterday (24 hours burn in):

 

Today (48 hours burn in):

 

Not too much difference, but definitely smoother compared to yesterday. Overall more neutral from 125 to 16k Hz, and I think the roll offs in the sub bass and upper treble is just the hardware limitations of my phone's mic. I was hoping for the 1 kHz bump to fall more, but compared to day 0, I'd only have to EQ by -3 or -4 dB rather than the -10 dB on day 0. I definitely regret not measuring it straight out of the box now, as I'm sure it was look crooked especially with a large peak at 1 kHz. Sonically, it's a lot better too. I can listen to it without EQ on most songs, and it not fatiguing anymore. Some songs still require toning down at 1 kHz, but I'm beginning to think it's more a problem with a specific genre of music that the HE500 doesn't do well with.

 

I'll add one more image without the bottom menu bar and zoomed in further to highlight the peaks and valleys in more detail (take note of the Y axis and the dB scaling):

 

I guess only about 100 hours to go before the manufacturer recommended burn in period of 150 hours is done. I'll post results one more time after 150 hours.

post #8256 of 14945

I've had the HE-500 for a while, but does anyone think that it lacks a little bite? I feel like I was able to become more emotionally invested into the music (especially rock) more frequently with my old Denon D2000s, because they felt more energetic somehow. Obviously, the HE500 kick the D2000's ass in every single way, but I find it a little harder to just rock out with the HE500s.

post #8257 of 14945
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedonism View Post
 

I've had the HE-500 for a while, but does anyone think that it lacks a little bite? I feel like I was able to become more emotionally invested into the music (especially rock) more frequently with my old Denon D2000s, because they felt more energetic somehow. Obviously, the HE500 kick the D2000's ass in every single way, but I find it a little harder to just rock out with the HE500s.

it might be possible that the "smooth" and silky sound signature feels that way compared to a d2k... i also felt the more whispery sound of hd650 was more intimate and more involving that the liquidy sound of he500 but it is a matter of getting used to the sound signature and these things disappear after a week or two as you get more accustomed to the sound signature

post #8258 of 14945
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedonism View Post
 

I've had the HE-500 for a while, but does anyone think that it lacks a little bite? I feel like I was able to become more emotionally invested into the music (especially rock) more frequently with my old Denon D2000s, because they felt more energetic somehow. Obviously, the HE500 kick the D2000's ass in every single way, but I find it a little harder to just rock out with the HE500s.

 

IMO, the HE 500 will not be able to "rock you". I think the 400 is more energetic in comparison. Or, with the Schiit equipment you have, you could consider the LCD 2.2 to get the adrenalin going. Please note that I don't own any dynamic headphone (i have the TH 900 on the way) so my suggestions are restricted only to the planars.

post #8259 of 14945
Quote:
Originally Posted by matti620 View Post
 

I'm thinking about upgrading my HD650 to HE-500. Will it be a considerable improvement? Will the HRT Streamer II+ > O2 drive them well? I feel like I reached very close to the peak as far as headphones go, but I would like to be proven otherwise...

 

 

IMHO, the HE-500 is a step up on both sound quality and weight (it’s heavy), also you need a better amp.  If you like the HD650 sound signature, I think the LCD-2 is a better upgrade from HD650.

post #8260 of 14945
I had the 600 and 650 for a number. Of yrs I feel that the 500 with right amp kids their butts much more involving and enjoyable love them
post #8261 of 14945

I found the HE-500 to sound very energetic when I still had the Audiolab M-DAC and Lehmann Black Cube Linear, but I found it got fatiguing after a while. Personally I prefer the HE-500 with more musical and smoother sounding DACs, but my taste in music has changed quite a bit over the last couple of years from being completely rock/alternative dominated to listening to many genres nowadays where the HE-500 makes for a supreme allrounder.

post #8262 of 14945
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedonism View Post
 

I've had the HE-500 for a while, but does anyone think that it lacks a little bite? I feel like I was able to become more emotionally invested into the music (especially rock) more frequently with my old Denon D2000s, because they felt more energetic somehow. Obviously, the HE500 kick the D2000's ass in every single way, but I find it a little harder to just rock out with the HE500s.

i felt the exact way. got a pair of he-5le and got the kick i was looking for with a trade off of slightly less bass impact. it was worth it for me and i never looked back.

post #8263 of 14945

Got my HE-500 and here are my first impressions..

 

Looks - 

 

Smell - What, Smell? Yes you hear it right. . Well I don't know why, but you open the box and it smells cheap. I don't know. This is the smell that I associate with cheap toys and other cheap packaging. May be it is the foam pads. Not sure. The leather box looks tacky too.

Appearance - Well, this won't be China's official entry to beauty pageants. Still the headphone is more than presentable. Seem to be well made, but don't fancy the cable connections much.

 

Comfort -

 

Initial response was, well these are heavy but they are not uncomfortable. I wear glasses and it is not posing me any problems. At the end of my 4 hours listening, I feel the clamping to be a problem and the glasses do cause a problem. I need to something about the clamping.

 

Sound -

 

Well my current system is a speaker based system. I have Focal 826W and PSB Image T2 driven by a Denon 3312 and fed off PS3 and Dune HD D1. My audio sources are BD movies/concerts mainly followed by WAV/FLAC HD music etc. I am using the headphone jack on the Denon receiver, which may not be the ideal way to listen to this cns. I have no problem attaining high volumes though, but I have to dial up the volume more than I do for the speakers.

 

I listened to the first BD disk and I am disappointed. Well, my Focals can really sing. HE-500 is no slouch, but it sound less involving. I start going through my concert disks which ranges from rock concerts, Jazz, Musicals, classicals, Bollywood musicals, Flamego, Vocals etc.  

 

Bass.....The bass is not going to touch the 12" SVS woofer. I was not expecting it either. There is something to the visceral feeling of the bass from woofer compared to the honest imitations from a headphone. Unrealistic expectations, really. Subjectively, the mid bass has the slam that I have not heard in other headphones. So realistically speaking these phones make the bass sound, but they cannot do the bass feel the woofers are capable of. Again no one expects them to, right? LFE channel is going to show any headphone is poor light. I accept it. Still as the listening sessions progressed, I am amazed by the bass. The Focal sans the woofer might still still trump the HE-500 for bass, but HE-500 looks quite capable and has better separation and is more resolving. 

 

The treble...well these seems sibilant than the speakers on source bordering on sibilant. Often harshly so. Need to see how they fare with a matching amp. The Focal themselves get the tag or being bright, but their brightness is something I have come to accept and enjoy. They make some really nice tweeters. These cans perhaps need a warm amp. 

 

Mids - I was expecting to be blown off by the mids. Nothing wrong there. Nothing exciting there either. The speakers in full volume still sound a lot better. 

 

So whats good? Well the separation is really excellent. I can hear each and every instrument more clearly than I can with the speakers. With the classical music on 24/192 sources, the HE-500 clearly shows the advantage. In fact with classical BD, HE-500 is the clear winner. So not all is lost. HE-500 also conveys the atmosphere (concert hall etc.) far better than the speakers.

 

I give the BDs a break now. Probably the 2.1/5.1/7.1 sources are never mastered with a headphone in mind. I go to stereo sources now. I start listening the WAV/FLAC music inventory that has some 24/192 files.  Wow, the music that I could barely listen for more than 5 minutes now seems more intimate and immensely listenable. The bass is tight, mids flows like honey and treble so nice. Hmm. It is nearly 4 hours since I began and I am coming to like the sound. I wont call it that the cans have broken in, just that I am getting used to the cans. On the downside, the can feels uncomfortable now. The glass has started to pain and the vice like grip of the headphone clamping is getting a bit suffocating. I need to adjust the cans somehow. May be tomorrow. 

 

So all in all a mixed feeling review that ended in a positive note. 

 

I do wonder if the Denon can drive them loud enough, a dedicated DAC/AMP like Audio GD is going to sound hugely better.

 

More comments later. 

post #8264 of 14945
Quote:
Originally Posted by kothganesh View Post
 

 

IMO, the HE 500 will not be able to "rock you". I think the 400 is more energetic in comparison. Or, with the Schiit equipment you have, you could consider the LCD 2.2 to get the adrenalin going. Please note that I don't own any dynamic headphone (i have the TH 900 on the way) so my suggestions are restricted only to the planars.

 

Ah, would you say that the LCD-2 has that impact that I'm looking for which the HE-500 is missing?

post #8265 of 14945
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedonism View Post
 

 

Ah, would you say that the LCD-2 has that impact that I'm looking for which the HE-500 is missing?

 

It is not a missing in HE-500, but found LCD-2 thing that he he had in mind I guess. It is just that he is suggesting LCD-2 signature will more to your tune. 

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