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Audio Technica ATHM40fs better than AKGK240M

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
the audio technica is 60 ohm,as oposed to the 600 ohm AKGK240M.Does any body know what they sound like in comparison to the AKG(which is better)?
post #2 of 11
In theory, the lower the impedance, you can get good sound using smaller electrical signal, ie; it much more sensitive...

Acctually, sound quality are not measured using it's impedences, but it is all up to you. If you like the sound quality, then you don't have to care anything else.
post #3 of 11
Everything else being equal, lower-impedance headphones will have less damping than higher-impedance ones. Likewise for higher-efficiency headphones as opposed to lower-efficiency ones. Thus, a pair of low-impedance, high-efficiency headphones may sound good with gutless portable crap, but probably won't sound as good on well-designed high-end headphone amps than high-impedance, lower-efficiency ones (again, everything else being equal). On the other hand, high-impedance, low-efficiency headphones will generally sound good with high-end amps or tube amps, but their generally high damping factor will make them sound weak or thin on even mid-fi equipment.

Hope this decides things.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
did any of you two actually listen to the audio technica?
post #5 of 11
Unfortunately, Audio Technica doesn't market very many headphones in the U.S., so I can't comment on their performance. In fact, the Audio Technica model you're referring to may not be (officially) available in the U.S.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
it actually is availiable at zzsounds.com and hifi choice has a review of them on-line.Discribe them as benn very flat.
post #7 of 11
Jack (Head-Fi member and co-worker) actually has the Audio Technica ATHM40fs headphones, so I've listened to them. I didn't find them impressive at all. Jack has since purchased a pair of V6's, and, like me, totally digs them.
post #8 of 11

Beg to differ


Low impedance does not equal high efficiency. High impedance does not equal low efficiency.

1. If you look at sensitivity of Grado, you will find it close to 100 dB/mW. AKG K240 has 88dB/mW. They are both sensitive.

2. Efficiency has to with energy and power not with voltage. Yes, K240 require higher voltage swing. This has very little to do with efficiency since it requires extremely little current. (Power = V * I)

3. Amplifiers drive higher impedance headphones (~300ohms) more efficiently than low impedance cans. This prevents Class-AB (weighted to A) amps from operating in Class-A and go operate in Class-B.

Low impedance cans does NOT necessarily have better designs. Lower impedance headphones require higher current. This makes it harder to drive than high impedance headphones. To compensate for this lower impedance headphones have NO CHOICE but to unnaturally pump up sensitivity. When one do this, sound quality usually suffer. Personally, I will not like to sacrifice sound quality for mere lower voltage required. (But I need more current!)

Higher impedance cans have higher damping and low current requirement. This makes things easier for audio amp. It does not need massive current; it only needs clean voltage. Getting clean voltage is much simpler than getting both clean voltage and large clean current. Higher damping is always good. Control over sound is essential when monitoring or critical listening. Low damping results in loose sound.

Audiotechnica has developed Hi-Fi version of headphones. They were made of a special wood and they boasted that the special wood absorb resonances. They were priced around 500. I auditioned them and I was very disappointed. There are prominent resonances. Highs are unnatural etc etc. Considering the fact that their Hi-Fi 500 USD versions are very poor cans, I would not expect too much out of ATHM40fs.

post #9 of 11

I'll have to agree with you, Tomo. The seemingly low 88dB/mW sensitivity rating of the AKG K240M - and my AKG K240DF - headphones isn't really all that low; in fact, it is about average compared with other headphones when all of them are properly driven. In fact, I am listening to my Pink Floyd Dark Side Of The Moon CD on my K240DF's through my mediocre Sony carousel CDP and my low-fi component Pioneer receiver; the receiver's volume control needs only a slightly higher setting than with many of my "low-impedance, high-sensitivity" headphones for a given loudness level.

Also, I'll have to agree with you that many of the low-impedance headphones have artificially-inflated sensitivity ratings - most of the Sony headphones have loose overall bass response with almost no low-bass extension, recessed upper mids and/or resonance-laden honky highs. No wonder most Sony headphones other than MDR-V6/7506 are so screwed up in their sound; the V6/7506 has a higher impedance rating than other Sony headphones, and thus suffer less than most of its brandmates in the sound-quality regard.

My Sennheiser HD590 is just about as screwed-up as its HD570 brandmate - why did Sennheiser try to make its mid/high-end headphones over-sensitive just so that they could be used with gutless portable crap? The end result is overly tight bass, recessed upper mids and over-bright highs! If I were a Sennheiser engineer, and wanted to make a new "audiophile" headphone using that newer "bionetic" shell with a single-sided cord, I would have simply used the transducers from the acclaimed HD580/HD600 'phones and then slapped them into those newfangled shells.
post #10 of 11

Sony headphones have strange highs. It is not honky. It is tinny high. This is the result of resonant earcups. CD1600 and CD3000 does better job but does not do as well as decent open headphones available such as HD580.

Earcup designs are extremely hard. You cannot just swap transducers and expect the same performance. It is much more complex than one may expect.

V6 isn't so bad, but then it is not "the" headphones. You can do so much better at reasonable prices. I know V6 saves a heck of a lot money. But then you cannot expect it to sound like Etymotics, HD580 or even K240M.


P.S. I assume that you have good headphone amps or jacks. Otherwise, no headphone will sound good.
post #11 of 11
You're right, Tomo, the transducers will have to be re-tweaked for the new shell, and not simply slapped into it...

But "honky" is what I would describe the MDR-V600 I used to own. When I took a look at the graph that the forthcoming Headroom new site will have offered, I found a boost in the lower mids (that's right - the lower mids are noticeably louder than either the bass or the highs). And I should have used the word "honky" to describe the overall sound, not just the highs...

I still stand by my statement that Sennheiser's engineers screwed up somehow with its newer HD500, HD570 and HD590 headphones - the HD500 is too muddy and dark, while the HD570 and especially HD590 are too bright for their own good.

If I started out with nothing, and I have to spend way too much just to get even reasonable quality... I'm screwed! And as crappy as the headphone jacks of most portable audio equipment are, the cheap headphones that come packaged with them are EVEN WORSE!
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