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Differences between Ultrasone HFI 580, 680, 780 - Please help

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Please help me choose which of the three will suit me best.  I listen to mostly electronic and alternative music with some rap/hip hop.  I read that the bass on all three is pretty good so that shouldn't be an issue.  Mids are also pretty important to me as I like to hear vocals clearly without it being recessed.  Which of these has the best soundstage and how do they compare to Senn HD280s?  I currently own a pair of 280s and am looking to upgrade so would the Ultrasone's be better than the Senns?  Any help would be greatly appreciated as I am going on a trip soon where I will be spending several hours on a plane so I am looking to buy them asap.

post #2 of 14

Higher you go the better


post #3 of 14

Here you go:


Originally Posted by HeatFan12 View Post

This is true. Each Ultrasone has its own unique sound. Some may be better, given certain model #s, some are personal preference.

I own the HFI-580, 680 and 780 (2 pairs). The 580s have more bass than the 680s but less than the 780s and are not as detailed as the 680s or 780s. Still a fun can. The most balanced sound among the three is the 680.
I also own the HFI-700 and it too is balanced in the spectrum, with more bass than the 680 but less than the 780.

IMO, all Ultrasones have bass, that is not their weakness. The 780s also have very piercing highs that make your eyes water, out of the box, along with great deeeeeep bass. The highs and lows seemed detached from each other while still being prominent. Burn-in and a re-cable took care of that.


The HFI-680s don't have forward vocals, but they don't get lost in the mix or crowded out by the bass either, they should out work for you. Still if you want vocals that really stand out in something portable you might want to check out Koss PRODJ, they're supposed to be good for that.

post #4 of 14



HFI 580's - Very bassy, easy to drive (32ohm, 101dB/mW sensitivity), closed, range 10hz to 22khz. $130.


HFI 680's - Bassy, harder to drive (75ohm, 99dB/mW sensitivity), closed, range 15hz to 25khz. $140.


HFI 780's - Less bassy, easy to drive (35ohm, 96dB/mW sensitivity), closed, range 10hz to 26khz. $220.


Basically you get the 580's if you want a bassy easy to drive headphone. You get the 780's if you want a more refined version of the headphone. I wouldn't even look at the 680, but that's just me. The 780 is less bassy, it has a -10dB and -5dB difference compared to the 580's on the low end. So the 780 is not as bassy from 10hz to around 200hz. They match in the mids. The 780 is then more laid back in the highs. So the 780 is less bassy, less bright. So as said, it's a more refined 580 essentially. But most people get the 580 because of it's bass and overall good sound for it's price point.


I'll save you the money and hassle of the climb, and just tell you, bite it and get the Ultrasone Pro 900's (closed) or the Ultrasone 2900's (open) and call it.


Very best,

Edited by MalVeauX - 8/10/11 at 8:43pm
post #5 of 14

Hold up, the 680 has more bass than the 780?

Edited by 200poundsofamp - 8/10/11 at 8:46pm
post #6 of 14



580 has most bass and 680 has the least.

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

given the 680 has the least bass of the three, does it have more/better bass than the senn 280s?

post #8 of 14

I never really liked the bass of the Senn 280. It extends low, but lacks impact and just sounds off to me. The HFI-680 has good bass impact and I'd say is pretty flat to the mid 30s. 

post #9 of 14

All have the same soundstage which is about average for closed phones. The type of music you listen to soundstage wouldn't be a factor (you couldn't tell much of a difference anyway).


If you have a Sony walkman player then turn the 1khz and 2.5khz up a notch in the equalizer. The midrange will improve so dramatically that you will swear you are hearing a very expensive clear midrange phone.


With that said, the 780 is the best. It is more refined than the 580 and has a little more bass than the 680.

It is more expensive than both for a reason.


But note: All of these phones needs tremendous burn in time. Their sound changes dramatically after many hours of burn in. They sound better and better and better the more you burn them in.

post #10 of 14

Can I drive the hfi 680 off of a cell phone without a portable amp?

post #11 of 14

Can I drive the hfi 680 off of a cell phone without a portable amp?

post #12 of 14
Originally Posted by jamesc View Post

Can I drive the hfi 680 off of a cell phone without a portable amp?


Yeah they work fine unamped.

post #13 of 14

Thanks for the quick reply on New Years Day, I appreciate the help.  I think I'll go ahead and order a pair.

post #14 of 14

are the cables replaceable on both the 680 and 780? 

reason i ask is i read NO on all the reviews, but i emailed ultrasone and they said yes. in their accessories, they even sell a shorter double male cable that has a larger thread on one end to screw into the headphones. how do i know this, BECAUSE I BOUGHT THE EXTRA CABLE on the assumption i may have to switch out the cables. (waiting for my 680's)

Edited by miltk - 2/2/13 at 12:37am
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