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KRK KNS-6400 Review - Impressive $99 Giant Killer - Page 2

post #16 of 225
Thread Starter 

Well it depends on your preferred sound signature. There's so many different preferences around here. Some people love a lot of treble and bass and others love forward sounding mids. I want a fairly balanced signature with some engaging mids. I'm usually willing to give up a little treble for more bass or more forward mids. In the last year I've disliked closed headphones, but these actually have a good enough soundstage to make me not care if it's closed.

 

I don't want to give anyone the impression that these are bass heavy. They have very good bass extension (probably better than the M50), but the bass on them is definitely more controlled than that of the old M50 I had.

My first M50 had really bloated bass. Supposedly the newer M50s have less bass and more treble? That's what i've heard anyway. My M50 made the D2000 (when desktop amped) seem almost bass light in comparison!

 

The KNS-8400 is closer to the K702/K701 IMO. The treble on both can be a bit bothersome..at first. The treble on the 8400 smoothed out a tad after 3 days of burn-in. Maybe I just had a goofy pair and there is a possibility some pairs won't need any burn-in. My 6400 definitely did not.

 

My 6400 has a really smooth signature. I could listen to them for 8 hours without fatigue maybe. It depends on the recording. Some of my Jpop stuff is painful to listen to even on this headphone, but less so than say the K702 or even the K601. It's maybe a tad more energetic than the HD-598 I think. Comparing them is the last thing I want to do, but I think I like the KRK more in some ways. Just sounds a little more clear.

 

The 6400 is good at fooling me sometimes. Often it'll sound like crap and it's the recording. I wish I could say it's forgiving, but not as much as it could be. I still remember one day thinking the sound clarity was awful, but that's when I finally realized it was the song itself and not the headphone. I was so worried there for about 2 seconds. It really is amazing how many CDs there are that are so poorly mastered and they sound so bad. I have a Joe Hisashi CD that's nearly unlistenable due to the sound quality. This is ripped to FLAC or ALAC.

 

Basically these things to me are really quite accurate based on the recording itself. They don't really change anything. If anything they do maybe have slightly forward mids. Not as much as the HD-598 though.

 

My suggestion is to demo these at a local store if you can. If not, see if you can return them if you don't like them. I bought my pair at Guitar Center with a service plan for under $100. Got some coupon for giving them my email address.

 

I can't wait until a few more people have tried these. I'm not easily impressed with headphones. It seems these days I must only like about 10% of what I try confused_face%281%29.gif

 

To me $99 is a stupid good deal for these considering how good they sound.

 

BTW for your genres the KRK KNS-6400 would be a good match. It's one of the few headphones that's nearly good for every genre.

 

Also...I had the K702/K702 about oh...4 times before and even went out and bought a new amp for them TWICE. I can say for sure that music on these would be about 10x more engaging than on the K702. OK, maybe not classical, but the K702 has that advantage due to it's soundstage. I'd take this for female vocals over the K702 any day. I listen to a lot of female vocals, acoustic music, even asian pop.

 

Another good alternative to the M50 is the Koss Pro DJ100. I probably love it more than the KNS-6400, but it needs an amp at all times and it's best to change out it's stock pads for MDR-V6 pads. The DJ100 has even more forward mids and even more bass than the 6400. Female vocals are even better on the DJ100, but it's a harder headphone for people to like maybe. The DJ100's soundstage is very good, but the 6400's is even larger. The DJ100 is what made me sell the M50. There's a comparison I did in other threads. Even the HFI-680, MDR-V6, SRH-840 and ESW9a lost out to the DJ100.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BriBri View Post

I had decided on the Audio Technica M-50 but after  reading this thread I'm thinking about the KNS 6400. I'm now using the AKG 701, and the open phone realy,realy bothers others around me. I also find that the bass is thin on the 701 and they are too analytical and I get listening fatigue using them.  Im using a doge tube headphone amp and using FLAC files through a stand alone   DAC. I also have a momba portable amp for my sanza fuze. So  my question is which closed headphone the Audio Technica M-50 or the KNS 6400 would be most likely to keep me happy (for a while,anyhow)? Is there a different closedphone that would be better?

I listen to electronica,female jazz and some music from the 70's (Pink Floyd ect.)

 

thanks Bri



 


Edited by tdockweiler - 7/25/11 at 7:15pm
post #17 of 225
Thread Starter 


Ugh..that 8400 (it's not the one below) graph makes me mad every time I see it. I complained to Headroom about it once.

My only idea is that KRK changed them after I got my pair. Even Headroom's SRH-840 graph doesn't look right when it comes to the bass.

I asked KRK if the headroom's graph looked accurate and they didn't seem to say. The KRK people are nice though and they will give you some long emails (which is a plus).

I still have not found out why my 8400 seemed to have less bass than my 6400. When I get more money I may buy another 8400 to see if they sound different than my first pair.

Strangely, my 6400 seemed to have a larger soundstage than that of the 8400. Maybe they later angled the drivers? Doubt it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 200poundsofamp View Post

For sure, especially with how screwy the 8400s measured.

 

Looks like they got a weird pair of 6400s too or messed up measuring them, look at the channel imbalance:

 

iconGraph.php?graphID=2951

 

@ Katun Awesome!



 

post #18 of 225
Thread Starter 

I think I'm going to make a post with the subject "M50 Dethroned by...KRK" and within 6 months I'll be the most hated man on Head-fi after everyone buys the 8400 expecting a new bass monster or something. Kidding of course normal_smile%20.gif

 

Here is why graphs make me sick:

 

graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID[]=2961&graphID[]=2941

 

The 8400 DOES NOT have bass ANYTHING like that. Not even remotely.


Edited by tdockweiler - 7/25/11 at 7:52pm
post #19 of 225

I'm interested in the 6400.  They seem to have an awful lot in common with my beloved FA-003.  Like the 003s, I like the fact the KRK phones can be driven (well?) w/o an amp.  KRK's studio monitors have an excellent reputation, so it's nice to hear their phones are receiving some of that same praise.. and it's not entirely surprising.  $99 is making these very hard to not try too.

 

Tell me, what kind of tonality do these phones have? They're characterized as neutral/natural..with a slightly rolled of treble?  Are they warmer, thicker sounding phones, etc.?

post #20 of 225
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlySweep View Post

I'm interested in the 6400.  They seem to have an awful lot in common with my beloved FA-003.  Like the 003s, I like the fact the KRK phones can be driven (well?) w/o an amp.  KRK's studio monitors have an excellent reputation, so it's nice to hear their phones are receiving some of that same praise.. and it's not entirely surprising.  $99 is making these very hard to not try too.

 

Tell me, what kind of tonality do these phones have? They're characterized as neutral/natural..with a slightly rolled of treble?  Are they warmer, thicker sounding phones, etc.?


The tonality of them is very slightly warm (definitely much less than the SRH-840!) I think. Have you heard the SR-80? The tonality of them is somewhat similar to that of the SR-80 in it's mids (ONLY), but with a much clearer (and less grainy) sound. Total opposite of say the HD-600/650 like sound. It's kind of hard to describe. I generally hate a very warm sounding headphone.

 

It's overall signature (not tonality) reminds me of the K601 with more bass and slightly less treble. More engaging mids that's for sure. Some people say the K601 is "very warm", but I'm not hearing that. Instruments on the KRK sure seem to carry more weight than on the K601 with any amp I've tried. Not as much as the HD-598 or HD-600 though. The 6400 isn't as thin sounding as the DT-880/K601/K702 though.

 

Honestly, I don't think I could put the 6400 into the category of rolled off treble. I guess very, very slightly, but for $100 you can't have everything I guess. For comparison, the Sony ZX700 has WAY less treble extension based on what my ears heard. These are 100% not a dark sounding headphone. Any more treble and it seems to make them sound less natural somehow. Maybe that's why I like the 8400 a little less. Comparing the 6400 to the 8400 is like comparing the K601 to the K702 in some ways! The K601 has more forward (sounding) and engaging mids, just like the 6400 does. The 8400 has more treble extension just like the K701 does compared to the K601. I always found the K701 less natural sounding compared to the K601 as well.

 

Ugh, I don't want to even mention the AKG headphones. The KRK really doesn't sound anything like them, just have some similar signatures perhaps but with more bass.

 

post #21 of 225

I've just got a pair of 6400 yesterday, so I'm definitely not ready to give a detailed analysis of them but I agree with most of tdockweiler's observations. I have a few initial impressions though (based on listening to some English Beat, Bassnectar and Haydn).  It's certainly succeeds as a neutral phone.  At the same time, it's not overly analytical, just easy to listen to.  Volume struck me as being definitely a little lower than that of my other phones, though it's fine without an amp. I did run it Fuze>LOD>E11 for the most part yesterday. No area seems particularly forward.  Decent mids, nice bass extension but obviously not the bass impact that you'd get with the M50, treble well articulated though arguably somewhat muted at the top end.

 

Soundstage is one aspect that hasn't struck me as being quite as impressive as tdockweiler found it to be. Above average perhaps, but not remotely close to being in the realm of an open phone, or something like a D2000. Don't know if we just have different ears or if there's a physical difference between my pair of 6400's and his.

 

The stock pads are similar to the pads on the MDR-V6, but with a narrower radius. I might well need to upgrade to the 8400 memory pads if I end up keeping the phones, but that seems to be $30 these days.

post #22 of 225
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zyzyx View Post

I've just got a pair of 6400 yesterday, so I'm definitely not ready to give a detailed analysis of them but I agree with most of tdockweiler's observations. I have a few initial impressions though (based on listening to some English Beat, Bassnectar and Haydn).  It's certainly succeeds as a neutral phone.  At the same time, it's not overly analytical, just easy to listen to.  Volume struck me as being definitely a little lower than that of my other phones, though it's fine without an amp. I did run it Fuze>LOD>E11 for the most part yesterday. No area seems particularly forward.  Decent mids, nice bass extension but obviously not the bass impact that you'd get with the M50, treble well articulated though arguably somewhat muted at the top end.

 

Soundstage is one aspect that hasn't struck me as being quite as impressive as tdockweiler found it to be. Above average perhaps, but not remotely close to being in the realm of an open phone, or something like a D2000. Don't know if we just have different ears or if there's a physical difference between my pair of 6400's and his.

 

The stock pads are similar to the pads on the MDR-V6, but with a narrower radius. I might well need to upgrade to the 8400 memory pads if I end up keeping the phones, but that seems to be $30 these days.

 

That's one thing I should just shut up about. I don't want to give people the impression that it's soundstage is as large as that of an open headphone..or even close. Sorry if I came across that way. I will admit there are a few songs where it had me fooled into thinking I had an open headphone on! Right now I do think it's very above average for a closed headphone. I haven't found a closed headphone's soundstage that's larger and not too expensive. The D2000's soundstage is very good and one of the best for being closed, but it cheats normal_smile%20.gif Kidding of course, but I think that has almost zero isolation from what I recall and it's gone back up in price. I wish they were still $200. It seems Amazon has them for $349..no thanks! The soundstage of most closed headphones under $200 is usually pretty terrible.

 

I think the soundstage of the 6400 is larger than that of the Semi-Open K240 Studio at least. People who get the 6400 expecting the soundstage of the AD700 are going to be extremely disappointed! I guess for me, it's good enough for me to now not mind closed headphones. They usually tend to have too small of a soundstage for some music. This gets my approval when it comes to soundstage. Because of this I even find it good enough for movies/games, but an open headphone is almost always better for that.

 

When I first got my 6400 it's as if it took one full day for my ears to get adjusted to the pads. I stretched them out slightly. This REALLY helps a ton. My first thought on day one was .."these are never going to be comfortable". By the time I ordered the memory foam pads they were already comfortable. It seems like the memory foam pads went up in price. I could have sworn I only had to pay under $24 shipped last time, but had to wait weeks for them to come into stock. Maybe these things are more popular than I think? Doubt it.

 

Overall I think the soundstage size is larger than the SRH-840, M50, Sextett and even the open SR-80. There are some vents on the top of them, so maybe that helps? Then there are the angled drivers.
 

 


Edited by tdockweiler - 7/26/11 at 12:19pm
post #23 of 225

I'm looking for a cheap, closed pair to just leave at the office, and I think this would be a good choice.

 

How do they sound unamped? And I listen to a lot of electronic music (mostly drum and bass). Do you think, unamped, they would sound good? If they have the bass like the HD 598, it's fine for me.

post #24 of 225
Thread Starter 

To me they sound perfectly fine unamped. About two seconds ago I was reading a review where they said an amp was needed, but I don't agree with this.

An amp always helps, but with this headphone I don't think it's required at all as long as it's not being driven by a very tiny mp3 player such as a Shuffle or Clip or whatever they have now.

I can say for sure that they are easily driven and quite well from my Ipod Touch 2G when needed.

 

I think they have more bass than the HD-598 in terms of quantity. I don't know if anyone would agree with me or not.

I was surprised at this when I was watching "The Day After Tomorrow" with my headphones the other day. The soundstage of the KNS-6400 is a joke compared to that of the HD-598, but this should be obvious normal_smile%20.gif

I bet a lot of people who love the HD-598 might like the 6400. I believe the mids are more forward on the HD-598 though, but seem less clear at times. Sadly I never had a Sennheiser headphone that sounded "crystal clear". Maybe some day.

 

BTW if you want a CD that sounds great on the KNS-6400, try "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides"

post #25 of 225

Great. I might pull the trigger on the 6400. I found it online for 88 eur, and if they're anything like the HD 598, it's a steal.

 

I'll use them pluged directly into the soundcard of a Mac Pro (the desktop, not Macbook Pro), so I guess it will be fine, right?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post

To me they sound perfectly fine unamped. About two seconds ago I was reading a review where they said an amp was needed, but I don't agree with this.

An amp always helps, but with this headphone I don't think it's required at all as long as it's not being driven by a very tiny mp3 player such as a Shuffle or Clip or whatever they have now.

I can say for sure that they are easily driven and quite well from my Ipod Touch 2G when needed.

 

I think they have more bass than the HD-598 in terms of quantity. I don't know if anyone would agree with me or not.

I was surprised at this when I was watching "The Day After Tomorrow" with my headphones the other day. The soundstage of the KNS-6400 is a joke compared to that of the HD-598, but this should be obvious normal_smile%20.gif

I bet a lot of people who love the HD-598 might like the 6400. I believe the mids are more forward on the HD-598 though, but seem less clear at times. Sadly I never had a Sennheiser headphone that sounded "crystal clear". Maybe some day.

 

BTW if you want a CD that sounds great on the KNS-6400, try "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides"



 

post #26 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post


That's one thing I should just shut up about. I don't want to give people the impression that it's soundstage is as large as that of an open headphone..or even close. Sorry if I came across that way. I will admit there are a few songs where it had me fooled into thinking I had an open headphone on! Right now I do think it's very above average for a closed headphone.

 

<snip>

 

When I first got my 6400 it's as if it took one full day for my ears to get adjusted to the pads. I stretched them out slightly. This REALLY helps a ton. My first thought on day one was .."these are never going to be comfortable". By the time I ordered the memory foam pads they were already comfortable. It seems like the memory foam pads went up in price. I could have sworn I only had to pay under $24 shipped last time, but had to wait weeks for them to come into stock. Maybe these things are more popular than I think? Doubt it.

 

 

No worries - I factored in your obvious exuberance regarding these before making my decision!  Wasn't expecting a giant soundstage, though I wouldn't have complained if I stumbled across one.
 

I'll play around with the pads as you suggest. I'll probably order the memory pads anyway in a few days.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by flavouz View Post

I'm looking for a cheap, closed pair to just leave at the office, and I think this would be a good choice.

 

How do they sound unamped? And I listen to a lot of electronic music (mostly drum and bass). Do you think, unamped, they would sound good? If they have the bass like the HD 598, it's fine for me.


I've listened to Bassnectar and the Chemical Brothers with them unamped and both sounded nice. For sure there's no booming bass so it definitely sounds a little thin compared to something like my D2000, but it does a good job for a relatively inexpensive, neutral phone. Haha, ironically - given your location - I'm listening to Edith Piaf of all artists, on them right now.

post #27 of 225

Too many headphones available... I don't know which to try. 

Thanks for an awesome review!

post #28 of 225

Haha, and how does Edith Piaf sound on them? I don't listen to Edith Piaf specifically, but sometimes I listen to some music like that as well biggrin.gif
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zyzyx View Post


I've listened to Bassnectar and the Chemical Brothers with them unamped and both sounded nice. For sure there's no booming bass so it definitely sounds a little thin compared to something like my D2000, but it does a good job for a relatively inexpensive, neutral phone. Haha, ironically - given your location - I'm listening to Edith Piaf of all artists, on them right now.


 

post #29 of 225

How portable are these cans-- in comparison to the m50?

 

Been looking at the m50 but I really need something portable and light while commuting.

post #30 of 225
Thread Starter 

The cups can lay flat, but they do not fold up. I would say they're more portable than the M50. Mostly because they're smaller and much lighter.

 

The cord though is quite long but it's not coiled. It's 8 feet but easy to put in my pocket. The only negative for me is that they do look a bit goofy on my head. I think KRK tried very hard to make them comfortable for huge heads.

When I wear them there is maybe 1 to1 1/2 inches of space on each side next to the headband near the top. They almost look as bad as the Shure SRH-840 on my head, but at least they don't feel like a brick on my head.

These don't move around much on my head, but those with a big head might have a more secure fit. For example, the only time they would fall off is if I'd listen to them in bed or something.

 

Best thing though is that they're quite light. For commuting, probably not the best option.

Quote:
Originally Posted by op891 View Post

How portable are these cans-- in comparison to the m50?

 

Been looking at the m50 but I really need something portable and light while commuting.



 

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