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The KRK KNS-8400: you can have it all. - Page 2

post #16 of 451
Quote:
Originally Posted by electropop View Post

Of course you are right about the subjectivity. (Kind of eats away from this site though regular_smile%20.gif) I might find negatives later on, but it was quite apparent to me by my standards, which was the better one. I'm more confident I'll get used to the minor differences to my current reference, the K272. 

 

3-4% might be about right for tonal issues. I wouldn't be able to comment on that, my hearing is not that good... Or I just listen to different things :)

 

The 8400, as I said, was the clear winner. Let me quote myself: "disregarding voicing preferences, tonal balance, FR and the such." Objectively, they simply were better at distinguishing notes, especially the brass and bass I got to hear from the Nucleus albums. With the 6400, I could not hear the bass groove nearly as well as with either my K272 or the 8400. The tonality was good and I had no problems with that. But it was weird how much they differed in the aforementioned aspect... For a musician who seeks to be able to tab notes, for instance, the 8400 just win hands down. I don't think I need to spend any more time with the 6400, since I don't care about sound itself, but the musical accuracy a headphone delivers. By this I simply mean: to distinguish variations in pitch. I've noticed that if a headphone does this right, it excels in many other parts as well. 

 

I didn't pay attention to the forwardness or soundstaging of the mids, but the 8400 were cleaner and more clear, were it indeed guitar, drums, trumpet, saxophone or oboe. For simpler music, without as much melodic layers, tracks, harmonics and modality, the 6400 might do just as good and I'd be much more hard pressed to tell the difference. Put on some Zappa, Miles Davis or indeed Ian Carr's Nucleus (more groovy) and the difference in performance speaks for itself. normal_smile%20.gif

 

Anyways, can't wait to get them. They were highly comfortable as well. Very light, felt kind of cheap and hollow with the plastic, but not too breakable. Expected more from the memory foam, but it did the job and was at least better from the 6400 pads.


I think I got that impression too. Especially when taking them out of the box! They're holding up very,very well though.

With your comments, it does make a lot more sense now why you'd prefer the 8400. It's good to know at least that it MIGHT be able to compete with the K272HD.

 

 

 

post #17 of 451

Not just might. It sure does and from initial impressions seemed to do many things even better! I'm never scared to admit something's better if I come across something that truly is :)

 

But given the limited time and test material, no way to tell for sure which I'll prefer in the long run. Might've been that I just heard more into the bass-grooves due to the slight boost (compared to the K272HD). I don't mind that though, since while commuting the bus-engines seem to eat away the bass-frequencies a bit anyway...

 

Though the brass was pretty amazing as well. It sounded different, even more, dare I say "real" than the 272, while maintaining the ability to distinct even the slightest differences in pitch. Always nice to be able to interpret a musician even further than you thought you had done.

 

Big thank you though! If it weren't for you and that other guy (ummmmmmmm..?), I don't think I would've set my eyes on these. 

 

But, enough for excitement. We'll see soon enough :)

post #18 of 451

The 8400's have burned in now for a fairly significant amount of time.. close to fifty hours.

 

Wow.

 

If I had to describe the sound now:  gorgeous, clean, controlled, and dynamic.  The bass has excellent presence now.. it's still monitor like in sound and impact, but it does not leave me wanting when taking into account how the phones sound as a whole.  Bottom line, it's not an issue any more for me.

 

I don't know if this is simply my ears getting used to the phone, them improving with burn in, or spending some time away from them to let my ears recalibrate.. a combination of all of the above, or something else.. but the soundstage is really excellent on these now.  Quite impressive for a closed phone actually.  The soundstage extends at least 180 degrees wide from left to right, depth is average.  I consider it a non-issue cause imaging & instrument placement is simply superb.  Easily some of the best use of soundstage I've heard in a phone.  Overall, the soundstage has actually come to be one of the more impressive aspects of this closed phone.  Sweet irony considering it was a point of contention early on.

 

The treble has smoothed considerably since out of the box.. still richly detailed but smoother and more in line with the rest of the fq spectrum.  I'd still consider the 8400 ever so slightly brighter sounding.. but they sound much more natural, tonally speaking, now then they did initially.

 

This needs to be stated again: for a "studio monitor", these sound impressively lush & musical.  When I think of studio monitor: I think of thin, lifeless, clinical mids (but clean & accurate).  The 8400's mids are far from it.. very engaging and weighted just enough to give notes and instruments a rounded, natural sound.  The detailing and clarity wow me every single time I put on these phones, regardless of what I listen to.  The control they show when fed complex, dynamic pieces makes me shake my head in appreciation.  Unamped from the iPhone 4, they sound excellent... but will use up some juice since they volume is at close to 90% to reach average to above average listening levels.  What impressed me was that they still sounded very clean and dynamic.. a testament to the phones as well as the iPhone's audio architecture.

 

If I had to compare them to an IEM, I'd say they remind me of a well-amped RE0.. with a wider soundstage, lusher mids, and a little more bass punch.

 

I hope these get more exposure cause they're really excellent phones that deserve to be heard by more people.


Edited by FlySweep - 9/13/11 at 12:39am
post #19 of 451
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlySweep View Post

The 8400's have burned in now for a fairly significant amount of time.. close to fifty hours.

 

Wow.

 

If I had to describe the sound now:  gorgeous, clean, controlled, and dynamic.  The bass has excellent presence now.. it's still monitor like in sound and impact, but it does not leave me wanting when taking into account how the phones sound as a whole.  Bottom line, it's not an issue any more for me.

 

I don't know if this is simply my ears getting used to the phone, them improving with burn in, or spending some time away from them to let my ears recalibrate.. a combination of all of the above, or something else.. but the soundstage is really excellent on these now.  Quite impressive for a closed phone actually.  The soundstage extends at least 180 degrees wide from left to right, depth is average.  I consider it a non-issue cause imaging & instrument placement is simply superb.  Easily some of the best use of soundstage I've heard in a phone.  Overall, the soundstage has actually come to be one of the more impressive aspects of this closed phone.  Sweet irony considering it was a point of contention early on.

 

The treble has smoothed considerably since out of the box.. still richly detailed but smoother and more in line with the rest of the fq spectrum.  I'd still consider the 8400 ever so slightly brighter sounding.. but they sound much more natural, tonally speaking, now then they did initially.

 

This needs to be stated again: for a "studio monitor", these sound impressively lush & musical.  The detailing and clarity wow me every single time I put on these phones, regardless of what I listen to.  The control they show when fed complex, dynamic pieces makes me shake my head.  Unamped from the iPhone 4, they sound excellent... but will use up some juice since they volume is at close to 90% to reach average to above average listening levels.  What impressed me was that they still sounded very clean and dynamic.. a testament to the phones as well as the iPhone's audio architecture.

 

If I had to compare them to an IEM, I'd say they remind me of a well-amped RE0.. with a wider soundstage, lusher mids, and more a little more bass.

 

I hope these get more exposure cause they're really excellent phones that deserve to be heard by more people.


Thanks for that short review! With all the 8400 impressions, it almost makes me wish I had kept the 2nd 8400 for longer than I did. I'm sure I would have found enough about them to keep them along with the 6400. Keeping both just didn't make sense for me. I always felt like the KRKs are good enough to replace a harder to drive open headphone. My KRK KNS-6400 (despite being un-musical to some) is that good to me. I love mine. Maybe I'm addicted to it's detail and sound clarity. normal_smile%20.gif

 

I burned in my 2nd 8400 for around 2 days I believe, but it now makes me wonder if the mids come forward a bit with burn-in a tad. Now this might be impossible, but I read from a post earlier today that the mids on the D2000 do improve after lots of burn in. Maybe the 8400's mids change a bit too. Maybe the 8400 is more accurate to how the song was recorded than the 6400. This is especially noticeable when I upgrade to better cables on headphones. The soundstage often seem a lot more accurate. You even sometimes would get the impression of more distant mids, but that's just how the song itself is. Vocals or specific instruments would sound more distant etc.

 

So based on what I've heard, the 8400 is more lush and musical than the 6400 to some. One thing that was fairly easy to notice is that the soundstage of the 8400 did seem a bit more accurate and larger perhaps. I'm not quite sure how this could be, but it was rather interesting.

 

I think Head-Fi would really appreciate the internal design of the KRKs. It looks as if they had planned out EVERYTHING on the inside extremely well. There's even dampening material on the driver. The driver itself is even enclosed in a tiny shell of it's own. There must be a reason for everything they did for this design. Even the drivers are angled. In the plastic driver enclosure behind the air hole, there is what looks like a tiny maze. Sounds weird I know. I'm still trying to figure out why there is one more vent hole on the right cup. I don't know why I care. Sure the heck doesn't seem like KRK came up with a quick design overnight.

 

Strangely enough I also just realized how high I had to crank the volume on my Ipod Touch with them. Around 90% too. I do use them with an amp, but it's not really required.

 

With the soundstage, when I'm watching a movie I'm seriously often fooled into thinking I have an open headphone on. Sure it's not like the HD-598, but quite impressive for a closed headphone. Probably a combination of the angled drivers, the vents and a lot of other things. For me, they're perfectly acceptable for gaming and movies despite being closed.

 

I had the RE0 in the past and I think you're basically spot on with the comparison. Definitely a little extra bass for sure.

 

I've been raving about these (and the DJ100) for a long time and definitely more people need to try them. Of course people who love lots of bass with lots of bass impact should maybe skip them. I'm perfectly happy with the bass on both of them.

 

post #20 of 451

On the 8400's mids coming forward.. you might be right.. I was hearing that too, in fact.. but it could have more to do with the fact the treble settled down.  I should perhaps retract my statement claiming these are ever so slightly bright.  If anything, the 8400's are a little mid forward with a touch of warmth and smoothness at this point.  I'm still kind of in shock from how bright they were out of the box, to how smooth and balanced they are now.  The mids and treble have this fantastic crisp, airy, clear, smoothness to them.  LOL.  I don't know how else to describe it.

 

I would certainly believe (and appreciate) KRK put time & thought into designing the cups/housing.. it partially explains why these phones sound so controlled and clean.  I'm getting ready to dig into the T50RP so I'm going to learn a lot about how housing design & dampening improves headphone acoustics.

 

I have the 598's, recabled in fact.. they might have a bigger, more airy soundstage.. but I find the 8400's soundstage and imaging more accurate and better spaced.  When I hear sweeps of sounds from left to right on the 8400's, my jaw drops at the clarity & accuracy they afford me to spatially pinpoint the sound as it shifts.

 

I've run a wide variety of music through the 8400's and they've failed to disappoint on any of them.  Electric jazz/funk/fusion in particular sounds awesome on these (i.e. The Beastie Boys' "The Mix-Up").  If there was a touch more lower mid/upper bass presence, male vocals would benefit from a little more depth, they sound.. but it's nitpicking really.  The bass heads after gobs of inaccurate, bloated, quantity alone can skip these indeed.. if you want quality, extended bass that has an excellent punch of the balanced variety.. these will not disappoint.

 

Heck, I'm listening to 2Pac's "All Eyez on Me" right now.. an album with no shortage of subterranean bass. and I'm simply LOVING it on the 8400's.. unamped at that too.


Edited by FlySweep - 9/13/11 at 12:31am
post #21 of 451

Listening to some deep house with the 8400 (Kevin Yost // One Starry Night.. a classic) = sublime!

 

I've never heard this album in such a detailed manner.  What a lot of phones miss are the "edges" of the music.. the sounds at the end notes as they trail off or echo.. not so with the 8400s.. I feel like I hear every single sound as if I'm in the studio while this was getting mixed.  The thumping bass is so tight, but punchy and well textured.  The mids and treble sound very lively & perfectly weighted.. not thin/"monitor"-like in the least.

 

I'm curious if any K702 owners have had a chance to hear these & their thoughts.. I'd guess the 8400s can give the AKGs a serious run for its money.

post #22 of 451

Always felt the 8400 had a lot of similarities to the K702. 8400 seemed like it had better bass extension and less forward upper mids.

Of course the 8400 seems to fix the slightly artificial sounding K702 soundstage (well duh, it's closed regular_smile%20.gif). I actually heard things in the 8400 that could NOT even be heard on the K702.

I have no doubts the 8400 has more detail, but I've never found that the more expensive the headphone is, the more detail you get! Sometimes it does.

The treble on the K702 was a little more fatiguing than the 8400 after burn in. 8400 is just so much smoother sounding.

 

I don't know why, but the K702 often felt like it had a recession in the mids somewhere. I think most people won't say this, but it just sounded like it. On any amp i've tried.

Does have that peak in the upper mids though. All the problems of the K702 were fixed with the K501 IMO. It's mids, fatiguing treble and goofy soundstage. I do still like the K702.

 

I always felt like the K601/K501 reminded me of the 6400 and the K702 like the 8400. I don't know why, but I always felt that maybe the KRK developers were maybe fans of the K702? Maybe not.

 

Now what would be really interesting is to see how the sound clarity is between the K702 and 8400. Pretty close from what I remember.

 

I bet a full blown 8400 vs K702 review from a person owning them for studio use would be very, very interesting.

 

BTW the music I REALLY love on the KRKs is any ambient music. Stuff like Boards of Canada. I'm new to ambient music and the KRKs have made me addicted to it.

Even for those that hate Itunes, there's a ton of samples to try out to find new stuff to buy on CD. Ambient music is also pretty impressive on the DT-880. Even more so than the K702.

post #23 of 451

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post

I think as a studio monitor, I don't think KRK would want this. Maybe somewhat, but to a point. I don't think the 6400 is too thin sounding though and still quite musical to my ears.

I think people expecting the tonality of say an HD-600, would be majorly disappointed normal_smile%20.gif To me, this is a good thing and  I liked the HD-600..somewhat.

 

No the 6400 is not thin sounding. I described them above as "transparent, detailed but lacking in tone". For me tone is not on the same continum as thin / thick. You know, we are trying to describe sound and different terminology may meant different things to different people.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by electropop View Post

 

The 8400, as I said, was the clear winner...

 

Judging from the impressions of Marximus and yourself I would bet that it is so. Certainly the way you two described it is not just 3% better.

 

 

post #24 of 451

It certainly was clear to me. And they didn't lack in tone, as the 6400 might have. Might be that we are speaking of the same thing... Brass and guitar seemed to have more "tone" as well. How to describe, ummm... Well not only were notes more distinct from each other, but the slight reverberations seemed to be more clear as well. They were fuller, but at the same time faster and in no way slush or syrupy, and much more distinct from different instruments as well. I think this is something I was missing with the K272. The K272 played notes to the pitch and made following modal music a breeze, but these seemed to add a more life-like presence to the music, which indeed is a bonus. 

 

But, as I said, only listened to Ian Carr's Nucleus for half an hour and a bit of George Duke, both 70's stuff. That's where 80% of the music I listen comes from. In other words, take it with a grain of salt... Might well be that this "bonus" was just due to coloration. But, anyway, they were as musical as my K272 in the sense that bass grooves were clear (a good headphone in this sense lets you appreciate more players in a whole new dimension), mid-range was clear with each toms well separated and brass section nicely accompanying the lead guitarist on Nucleus' 'Elastic Rock' and treble dynamics were better, meaning while smooth, I could hear subtle differences in technique and discern the drummer hitting the crash cymbal in different parts of it. In other words, I could hear music in its pureness, which many, MANY headphones do not let me enjoy. 

 

Difficult to comment on the overall coherence based on just one band, but more to come for certain normal_smile%20.gif

 

Modal music brings the best and worst from a headphone. As I said earlier, listening to more mellow music, vocal, pop, poorly mixed (monotonic) jazz or even compressed crap, the differences between the 6400 and 8400 might be more subtle. 

 


Edited by electropop - 9/14/11 at 12:56pm
post #25 of 451
Thread Starter 

I really liked my K601s, but in the course of looking to finance something else, I've sold them.  They were far more comfortable than the KRKs, but I think the 8400s are more versatile.  And they will serve me will in my future job.

post #26 of 451

One thing I noticed is that you need to let these phones "settle" on your ears (20-30 seconds) to hear the bass response they're capable of.  It must have something to do with the memory foam expanding fully to seal your ear cause right when you put them on and listen to something with bass, the impact is light and lacks punch.  After 15 seconds or so, the bass fills in and you get the impact your are expecting.

 

Again.. terrific phones.. couldn't be happier with the purchase.

post #27 of 451
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlySweep View Post

One thing I noticed is that you need to let these phones "settle" on your ears (20-30 seconds) to hear the bass response they're capable of.  It must have something to do with the memory foam expanding fully to seal your ear cause right when you put them on and listen to something with bass, the impact is light and lacks punch.  After 15 seconds or so, the bass fills in and you get the impact your are expecting.

 

Again.. terrific phones.. couldn't be happier with the purchase.


Never noticed this before. I use the memory foam pads on my 6400 and have no problems with the bass quantity. I know many people here are not fans of Ipods, but these sound great with an Ipod Touch and an amp. They have noticeably less bass when I use them with another source. My only idea is that the Ipod Touch is fairly bassy, but I've always heard they're supposed to be neutral, but maybe not the 2G I have. I bet the Fiio E11 would be a good match, but too bad I returned that and didn't get a chance to try it.

 

I had my 6400 out on loan and i've missed it, so it'll be nice to hear it again.

 

 

 

post #28 of 451
Thread Starter 

I really like the 8400s, but I was still bothered by the uncomfortable headband.  The ear cushions are nice because of the memory foam-type stuff, but the headband is just dense foam (as I found out).  So I decided to take matters into my own hands:  I made my own headband.  Pictures here:

I think it turned out very well, considering I didn't really have a good idea of what I was doing:).  I used a polyester fiber fill that simulates down, and it seems to have done the trick.
post #29 of 451

Got mine today. I'm letting them burn in for one song, after that it's on. :) 

 

Have the Graham Slee Voyager (for a bit of breathing room) plugged into an iPod classic and will be using that as the setup. 

 

Anyway, happy listening for me. I'll report some musings along the way for the kicks. 

 

Edit: Holy **** these have bass. Listening to Frank Zappa's 'Inca roads', which is a pretty bassy track. Kind of monotonic, but that's the recording, at least partly... Doesn't seem as taut as the K272HD. Guitar solo's good. I don't know about the headphone's rendering, no extra value so far, but everything is as it should, I suppose. Changing the positioning on my ears and it makes quite the difference: pulling them back a little (ears closer to the front) or keeping them at least in the middle works best for me. Seems to remove some sort of an echo character. 

Detailed. Treble harmonics are better than with the K272. Have more character. 

Put on some Italian progressive rock (Alphataurus: their debut, excellent piece). Acoustic guitar at the opening has body and notes are clear. Vocals seemed to mask the acoustic guitar a bit: need to check whether that's due to the recording on my speakers. Recording seems better balanced than the Zappa album (One size fits all). 

 

Overall so far: less excited than I was at the shop trying them out with Nucleus. Well, I'll give them some time and then switch back to K272 to see if they fall under in any regard. 


Edited by electropop - 10/3/11 at 3:51am
post #30 of 451

Getting used to FR-differences. Definitely a keeper and an upgrade. Mid-range is quite not as linear as on K272, but clearer with every instrument.

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