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The PANASONIC RP-HTF600-S headphones. More fun than the HD650? - Page 90

post #1336 of 2806
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post

Well, this morning I had a chance to compare the HTF600's to the Koss UR55's side-by-side. But first, a few remarks about the Panny's...

 

I was out of town on a business trip all last week and hadn't listened to the Panny's for probably 10 straight days. While on the road, I enjoyed some music with my iPod and Etymotic Research ER-6i's, which on the whole I consider a fairly neutral IEM. I think they lean a little bright and bass shy, but both of those traits are just small variations from neutral. Many people used to exaggerated bass (anyone under the age of 30 wink_face.gif) find them bass weak. I have to say that when I listened to the HTF600's for the first time again when I got home, I was surprised that they weren't as treble recessed (dark) as I remembered. Now my daughter has been using them so I can't say if it's just my memory or more break-in time, but whatever the reason, these now sound quite good to me. They have the typical bass hump as I remembered which does bleed a little into the mids giving that slight muddy sound, but it is not as prominent as I remember, and with a lot of music (80's rock/pop, electronic), it isn't very noticeable and often adds weight to bass that is weak in the recording.

 

With the velour pads, I don't detect any difference in sound whatsoever. When installed, the holes in the back of the Beyer pads touch the plastic that surrounds the drivers - there is no air moving through these holes so forget about that.

 

OK, on with the comparison. The Koss UR55's out of the box sounded very much like I remember the HTF600's sounding after unboxing. Bass was bloated and muddy and treble was quite recessed - basically horrible sounding. I let them play continuously for the past 2 days and they have changed quite a bit now to the point I think they are ready for evaluation. 

 

SOUND - they have the same basic signature as the Panny's. In fact, on casual A/B listening, I find it hard to tell the difference. Only when I repeat passages and focus carefully do the differences come out. The UR55's have a slightly larger bass hump which makes them hit a little harder and sound a little rounder in the mid-bass. With my jazz sample music, they sound more bloated than the Panny's. With 80's rock/pop (synth drums) and electronica, they just have more punch and slam. This added punch has a downside though. Since the mids of both phones seem almost identical to me, I think the slope from bass to mids is steeper on the UR55's, which results in the lower mids sounding a little thinner - not in a good way. Almost like there is a thin gap between them. It isn't very obvious, but to my ears, the Panny's sound a little smoother in transition from bass to mids. I think this is because the bass isn't boosted quite as high on the Panny's. The result is that with well recorded jazz and rock, the Panny's sound better - like neutral with a bass hump. On 80's rock/pop and electronic music, the UR55's sound better because the bass is more defined with a harder kick.

 

Treble with both phones is very close, which is to say just about neutral to my ears. If I had to find a difference, I would say the UR55 is a smidge brighter sounding, which I think also contributes to the impression of more definition in the bass (like turning up the sharpness control on your TV a little). Neither headphone will ever be mistaken for high-end. Neither benefits from an outboard amp - I couldn't detect any appreciable difference in sound quality between my amp and my iPod.

 

One important distinction between the Koss and Panasonic is comfort and quality. I find the UR55's somewhat uncomfortable after more than 30 minutes. They sit on parts of your ear and the pressure has me readjusting them occasionally to relieve pressure points. To Koss's credit, the UR55's are simpler and sturdily built and less likely to break than the Panny's, and since they have a shorter cord and the cups turn 90 degrees flat, they are better suited to tossing in a backpack and traveling. The Panny's on the other hand, surround the ear and feel quite comfortable. I actually think the pleather pads are softer now than when new, but really, for $18.50 the velour pads were a good buy - they transform the Panny's into an almost luxurious feeling headphone. The Panny's even look high end with the velour pads. However, the Panny's are definitely more fragile in build than the Koss's so I think they are more of a stay at home headphone.

 

In my opinion, grab the UR55's if you want a bass-heavy headphone to throw in your backpack and listen to when you're out and about. If you want an inexpensive bass-heavy headphone to keep at home and relax with, the HTF600 is a little more natural sounding and a lot more comfortable. If you listen to acoustic rock, jazz or classical music, look elsewhere.

Thanks for posting this comparison. I think I will just stay with my Pannys, RX700s and Ksc75s and not look any further. I do have a curiousity of the Koss ProDJ100 though..oh man this never gonna stop.rolleyes.gif....The HTF600s are sounding way better now especially when I boost the mids and highs. NICE!
 

 

post #1337 of 2806
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post

Well, this morning I had a chance to compare the HTF600's to the Koss UR55's side-by-side. But first, a few remarks about the Panny's...

 

I was out of town on a business trip all last week and hadn't listened to the Panny's for probably 10 straight days. While on the road, I enjoyed some music with my iPod and Etymotic Research ER-6i's, which on the whole I consider a fairly neutral IEM. I think they lean a little bright and bass shy, but both of those traits are just small variations from neutral. Many people used to exaggerated bass (anyone under the age of 30 wink_face.gif) find them bass weak. I have to say that when I listened to the HTF600's for the first time again when I got home, I was surprised that they weren't as treble recessed (dark) as I remembered. Now my daughter has been using them so I can't say if it's just my memory or more break-in time, but whatever the reason, these now sound quite good to me. They have the typical bass hump as I remembered which does bleed a little into the mids giving that slight muddy sound, but it is not as prominent as I remember, and with a lot of music (80's rock/pop, electronic), it isn't very noticeable and often adds weight to bass that is weak in the recording.

 

With the velour pads, I don't detect any difference in sound whatsoever. When installed, the holes in the back of the Beyer pads touch the plastic that surrounds the drivers - there is no air moving through these holes so forget about that.

 

 

 


Nice comparo, It might not seem like you are hearing any difference but you just commented on the highs not being as dark as you remembered..I think the reason why I say the velours add to the highs a bit is because of the holes underneath... The air is only felt during gaming and not so much music..If you want to hear that bit of darkness to the highs, you might want to throw back your original pair of pads and see if you can get that darkness in the highs again..I do know one thing, it might not be too detectable on a flat eQ but if you have your eQ a bit boosted on the highs which I did and then throw on the velours you will notice even more highs from using the velours vs the pleather..There isn't a huge difference but I immediately detected sharper more cleaner highs when I installed the velours but I think it was due to the fact that I did have my eQ adjusted at the time. 

 

The UR55 seems like a another good budget can. I think guys that want something a bit more portable might look into them. How is the sound isolation on them?

 

post #1338 of 2806
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dsnuts View Post

 

The UR55 seems like a another good budget can. I think guys that want something a bit more portable might look into them. How is the sound isolation on them?

 



It's pretty poor. The UR-55 is semi-open. It's grill is wide open except for a thick piece of felt covering it. I removed it and it really improves the sound. Unfortunately for most, the UR-55 is supra-aural.

 

I think the soundstage of the UR-55 would probably be much better than that of the Panasonic, but only because it's semi-open. UR-55 would make a decent budget gaming headphone I think due to this.

 

I owned two pairs of UR-55 a year ago and was able to compare modded and non modded versions. My only complaint about the UR-55 is that the sound isn't as clear as that of say a SR-80, but that's expecting too much! Sound clarity is like a 7/10. I wonder if the UR-55 uses a Porta Pro driver? For me the DJ100 was a nice upgrade.

 

If the Panasonic has the UR-55 beat when it comes to sound clarity, then it might just be worth buying for me. I generally hate bass heavy headphones though.

post #1339 of 2806

I don't use any EQ when I listen to music. I'm not interested in "chasing" a certain type of sound, which is why I own a pair of Sennheiser HD 600's - they sound very good with pretty much everything I listen to.

 

If I starting using EQ, I think I'd go nuts tweaking frequencies for every album and every song I listen to. For example, two albums I used to listen to these headphones actually change in signature from song to song as you progress through the album (they're so good I just forgot to analyse the sound and got caught up in the music). Nothing fancy either - Crosby Stills Nash and Young "So Far" has some songs that sound muddy and bloated and others that sound more neutral. Same with Fleetwood Mac "Rumours" - some songs are punchy and bright and some are more bassy and muddy. I just accept that the artists and engineers intended for each song to sound a certain way and don't worry about boosting here and trimming there.

 

Regarding the pads, I put the stock pads back on just to see if I was missing something and did not hear any difference again. Back to the velours and still no change.

post #1340 of 2806

If you use the optimal EQ settings everything you play will sound good, all recordings might not have to sound 100% perfect but close and it's the golden middlepath that is the optimal setting. I'd never change EQ settings I use for different genres or recording, I know when the optimal settings are found it sounds great with everything I throw at it but it may require some time you spend fineadjusting to get there to that "middlepath" that works great with everything. Classical/orchestra or smooth acoustic ballands or rock or electronica, everything sounds great here the way I want them to sound like.

 

I accept that not every1's into EQing or got a high enough quality EQ for it to be worth it but when done right with a good EQ it can be such a great aid.

post #1341 of 2806
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post


If the Panasonic has the UR-55 beat when it comes to sound clarity, then it might just be worth buying for me. I generally hate bass heavy headphones though.

They're both about the same WRT clarity. Which is to say, not great.
 

 

post #1342 of 2806
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGWiZaRD View Post

If you use the optimal EQ settings everything you play will sound good, all recordings might not have to sound 100% perfect but close and it's the golden middlepath that is the optimal setting. I'd never change EQ settings I use for different genres or recording, I know when the optimal settings are found it sounds great with everything I throw at it but it may require some time you spend fineadjusting to get there to that "middlepath" that works great with everything. Classical/orchestra or smooth acoustic ballands or rock or electronica, everything sounds great here the way I want them to sound like.

 

I accept that not every1's into EQing or got a high enough quality EQ for it to be worth it but when done right with a good EQ it can be such a great aid.


Personally, I think choosing a headphone that sounds optimal to you is better than using EQ to try and improve a headphone that isn't optimal. With EQ you can certainly trim the frequency response (which, by ear alone, is an inexact science at best) and maybe even give the illusion of increased detail and ambience (by boosting treble for example), but EQ does not directly affect any other sound/music reproduction characteristics (imaging, soundstage, detail retrieval, dynamics, etc.). These qualities come out from the design/engineering of the headphone (driver, cup shape, dampening, airflow, etc.).

 

No EQ will turn a Sennheiser into a Grado. A Denon into an AKG.

 

post #1343 of 2806

Detail retrieval (if it's poorly balanced) and dynamics you can often improve, soundstage, imaging not. Yes it's probably best to buy what sounds like you want to out of box but for me there's no such headphone that I wouldn't apply any tweaks to, it just doesn't exist. It's like 1/10000000 chance that a manufacturer would manage to create a headphone with the exact sound signature in all aspects as I'd optimally want, that's my view of it as there's almost as many different tastes around that there lives people on this planet.

 

Sometimes also a $50 may be very close to what you're looking for while the next step may be $250, then it's questionable if paying that $250 for that headphone is worth it over tweaking of the $50 headphone, well sure the $250 could be more satisfying but how much? after you applied all the tweaks to $50, could become quite close and depending on your budget may or may not be worth it for the relatively small improvement depending how high you value your money.


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 11/6/11 at 8:58am
post #1344 of 2806
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGWiZaRD View Post

Detail retrieval (if it's poorly balanced) and dynamics you can often improve, soundstage, imaging not. Yes it's probably best to buy what sounds like you want to out of box but for me there's no such headphone that I wouldn't apply any tweaks to, it just doesn't exist. It's like 1/10000000 chance that a manufacturer would manage to create a headphone with the exact sound signature in all aspects as I'd optimally want, that's my view of it as there's almost as many different tastes around that there lives people on this planet.

 

Sometimes also a $50 may be very close to what you're looking for while the next step may be $250, then it's questionable if paying that $250 for that headphone is worth it over tweaking of the $50 headphone, well sure the $250 could be more satisfying but how much? after you applied all the tweaks to $50, could become quite close and depending on your budget may or may not be worth it for the relatively small improvement depending how high you value your money.


I guess we just disagree. As it is with soundstage and imaging, so it is with detail and dynamics. Either a headphone can reproduce them, or it can't. Period. Sliding little sliders up and down may reveal some sounds that are "buried" low in the mix or covered by other frequencies that are too dominant and create the illusion of more detail, but EQ cannot speed up the transient response of a driver or magically reveal frequencies or subtleties that a headphone cannot reproduce.

 

And although frequency response is important to the sound quality of a headphone, it isn't the only (or even most important) quality. What separates a $50 headphone from a $250 headphone? Well, micro details to name one thing. It's not whether or not you can hear the percussionist tapping the high hat, it's being able to tell what kind of wood his drum stick is made out of. For example, on one of my Diana Krall albums, I can't even hear the gentle snare drum wire brush strokes with the HTF600 or UR55's. With my IEM's, I can hear them, but they sound like somebody walking over dried leaves. Now boosting the treble with EQ might bring the sound out, but only with a high-quality headphone do they sound like real steel wires grazing across the drum surface.

 

These Panasonic's are terrific $30 headphones (heck, they're terrific headphones - period!) and applying some EQ can certainly tailor them more to your liking. Believe it or not, I use "Bass Booster" on my iPod when I listen to it with my IEM's because I prefer it that way. But this isn't "improving" the sound - just coloring it more to my liking. No amount of tweaking can make a cheap headphone sound "quite close" to a high-end headphone.

 

EDIT: I think this discussion about EQ is somewhat off-topic for the thread. This thread should be about the HTF-600. I'm afraid that I have contributed to a detour about high fidelity and the merits/cons of EQ and I'm sorry for that. I think posting EQ settings is great for describing the sound you like and sharing it with others. However, when talking about the sound of the HTF600 - especially when comparing them to other headphones - I don't think EQ should be part of the discussion. That's just my opinion though. I'm not saying I'm right, I'm just expressing it.


Edited by palmfish - 11/6/11 at 11:35am
post #1345 of 2806
Quote:
Originally Posted by oyster View Post

 

Shure 750 DJ have mediocre isolation but do not leak very much sound. If you like bass 750DJ wont disappoint you a bit. The midbass is not as strong as Panasonic htf600s, but the sub bass hits VERY strong & overall bass definition is very good. Soundstage is ok but imaging is quite sharp.

The pads are not very comfortable & become quite hard & develop cracks with usage.I've elevated the pads using double sided tape so as to increase comfort. As a bonus it also resulted in forward mids & overall MUCH CLEARER sound over stock!

 

06112011556.jpg06112011560.jpg
 



 




Thank you Oyster!

 

I will wait until I receive my M50's. Everybody praises the sound of the SRH750DJs but comfort and durability seem like an issue. I want the phones to be very comfortable, the Panny's and the CAL!s have me spoiled!

post #1346 of 2806

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SobbingWallet View Post

The songs you listen to definitely have an impact on your impressions.  I've been really enjoying these headphones today, and a few minutes ago I was having trouble remembering why I was so critical of the highs yesterday.

 

In truth, doing a non-volume matched comparison between the stock sound and boosted highs was not my only mistake...when I did it, I paid most of my attention to the Kasumi's Stolen Memory track off the Mass Effect 2 soundtrack.  That was probably the worst track I could think of for doing an such a comparison, because it opens up with a very soft, quiet piano passage which is meant to be slightly muffled by background ambience in the first place.  Tracks with a delicate balance like that are naturally going to be the ones most affected by coloration in the headphones.  Obviously, boosting the highs made it much clearer (and the biggest contributing factor was the significantly increased loudness), but is it really supposed to be that clear in the first place?  The more I think about it, I've gotten so used to listening to that piece on my treble-happy [stock] car speakers that my reference for a "balanced" sound is very skewed when it comes to that particular track.

 

There's no denying these headphones are warm and somewhat dark with rolled off highs...but the more varied music I listen to, the more I think I might have exaggerated the imbalance yesterday.  (Then again, the burn-in process could actually be bringing the highs out more too.)  If a piece of violin music is dominated by brilliant highs, the HTF600's presentation of it is still appropriately dominated by brilliant highs.  Right now, my equalizer settings are much closer to RPGWizard's recommendations (although volume-matched) than the across-the-board 5dB treble boost I was using before...and the difference can be subtle.

 

I'll have to try out the album you linked to. smile.gif


Yeah, that's the issue I have with knowing if something truly sounds "neutral" or not. The closest I can think of to getting something neutral-sounding is to make sure that the whole spectrum sounds equally loud in SineGen, but there's always the chance that what I think is "neutral" is actually a bit off the mark.

 

Also, I've noticed how, even without changing the EQ, perceived neutrality seems to vary by volume. IIRC, there are charts detailing that sort of thing at different SPLs. I've found that even the Lambda has a surprising amount of impact at the low end at certain volume levels WITHOUT any EQ applied.

 

Musical preferences also have something to do with it for sure, as you say. My tastes are pretty eclectic, but my favorite genres aren't particularly bass-centric. That doesn't mean they can't have a nice bass line, though. Case in point:

 

post #1347 of 2806

palmfish> I bet you've never had experience with a high quality EQ though, I'm personality speaking from experience of what I've heard with my own ears as I've EQ'd for many years. For example how would the science explain the more detailed instruments SmartVektor brings in this demo despite the stronger bass response etc:

 

http://www.digizoid.com/invest/smartvektor_recording_demo.mp3 (SmartVektor is turned on/off every 10 secs)

 

A similar sound as the SmartVektor brings in the ZO amp can be had if you take a good quality EQ (otherwise it just results in horrible distortion/clipping issues like 95% software EQs around) and boost the whole range by like perhaps 5~10dB (varies from headphone to headphone) without lowering preamp and then you volume match afterwards on your volume control to not get tricked by the higher output volume. This results in a more forward and dynamic sound like I'd describe what SmartVektor brings in above sample. There's no science that explains this kind of stuff why this technique improves microdetail and such AFAIK, I'm just pointing out not everything can be known without having experienced it yourself. It's hard for you to believe in something which isn't explained in the book and requires certain equipment to be able to achieve it.

 

But yea I will stop discussing this for now as it belongs in the sound science section, not in the HTF600 thread.

 


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 11/6/11 at 2:02pm
post #1348 of 2806

What have i learned after getting the HTF600. My Klipsch image ONE suck and my sound card does to. Very disappointed in my imageOnes and Very happy with the Pannys

post #1349 of 2806
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pituvision View Post

What have i learned after getting the HTF600. My Klipsch image ONE suck and my sound card does to. Very disappointed in my imageOnes and Very happy with the Pannys



Ya, I think the price to performance ratio has to be one of the best if not the best I have so far..You know what guys, I have been playing BF3 for the last several days using the HTF600s, I know my SR850s are what I consider my best gaming HP. I don't miss it at all.. The explosions, the bullets, just too awesome..The sound design for BF3 is something to marvel at..I can tell they took bullet sounds entering a dead body or a dead animal to make the sounds of when you get hit. I can imagine that is the exact sound you would hear. It literally sounds like bullets entering flesh.


Edited by Dsnuts - 11/6/11 at 2:16pm
post #1350 of 2806
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGWiZaRD View Post

palmfish> I bet you've never had experience with a high quality EQ though, I'm personality speaking from experience of what I've heard with my own ears as I've EQ'd for many years. For example how would the science explain the more detailed instruments SmartVektor brings in this demo despite the stronger bass response etc:

 

http://www.digizoid.com/invest/smartvektor_recording_demo.mp3 (SmartVektor is turned on/off every 10 secs)

 

A similar sound as the SmartVektor brings in the ZO amp can be had if you take a good quality EQ and boost the whole range by like perhaps 5~10dB (varies from headphone to headphone) without lowering preamp and then you volume match afterwards on your volume control to not get tricked by the higher output volume. This results in a more forward and dynamic sound like I'd describe what SmartVektor brings in above sample. There's no science that explains this kind of stuff why this technique improves microdetail and such AFAIK, I'm just pointing out not everything can be known without having experienced it yourself. It's hard for you to believe in something which isn't explained in the book and requires certain equipment to be able to achieve it.

 




It's true I don't have a lot of experience with high quality EQ. I'm also not trying to doubt or disparage what you enjoy - I am truly glad you get such performance from your tweaks and gear and that that you enjoy it so much. We should all be so lucky. dt880smile.png

 

Just call me a hopeless skeptic. Audio reproduction is ALL science. There are no secrets about it. Unlike the mysteries of the universe that have existed since before the dawn of man that we will spend eternity attempting to unravel, analog and digital audio was INVENTED by man and we completely understand everything about it. I got into high-end audio back in the 70's and have seen a lot of gear come and go. Equalizers, spacializers, hologram generators, etc. all took 2-channel sound and tweaked it to make it "better." But look around, none of that stuff is around anymore. Why? Because it isn't high fidelity.

 

Your demo of the flat lifeless music turning into vibrant dynamic music doesn't prove the ability to create more detail with EQ. It proves the ability to add emphasis to details that are already present to change the way it sounds. It may sound better to you (or me, for that matter), but that doesn't make it high fidelity.

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