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Bass for HD800 vs HD650 vs Q701 vs SRH940

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

Hey guys,

 

I'm planning on getting one of these headphones and was hoping for some help:

 

HD800 vs HD650 vs Q701 vs SRH940

 

Was wondering how the bass of them all compare to eachother? For open backs, I'm using the HD558's right now and it's got the least amount of bass among all my headphones. I'm no bass head, but it's the least amount of bass i'm willing to accept for a headphone. Was also wondering how the bass of the above 4 phones stack up with the hd558's as well as with eachother.

 

Any input would be greatly appreciated. 

 

Any other input on how you think these headphones stack up with eachother would be great.

 

I listen to pretty much everything from rock, classic rock, reggae, motown, soul, hip hop, rap, jazz, blues, classical and some opera as well if that helps.

 

Also using the FiiO E11 amp with a my sansa fuze+ with flac files. Although I'm open to the fact of upgrading to a better desktop amp if it's needed to run any of these new phones.

 

Thx for any help guys. 

 

post #2 of 24

Heya,

 

Those are very... different. The SRH940 and Q701 are quite similar, both bass shy, detailed, analytical, lots of mids. The HD650 is dark, it has rolled off treble, so it sounds like a bunch of bass and mids. The HD800 is pretty flat, but has very bright treble and a huge sound stage. It's a different league.

 

You'll likely need to upgrade source/amp to bother with a flagship highend headphone like the HD800.

 

Have you considered something like BeyerDynamic DT880? Hifiman HE-300? Sennheiser HD600?

 

Very best,

post #3 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric23 View Post

Hey guys,

 

I'm planning on getting one of these headphones and was hoping for some help:

 

HD800 vs HD650 vs Q701 vs SRH940

 

Was wondering how the bass of them all compare to eachother? For open backs, I'm using the HD558's right now and it's got the least amount of bass among all my headphones. I'm no bass head, but it's the least amount of bass i'm willing to accept for a headphone. Was also wondering how the bass of the above 4 phones stack up with the hd558's as well as with eachother.

 

Any input would be greatly appreciated. 

 

Any other input on how you think these headphones stack up with eachother would be great.

 

I listen to pretty much everything from rock, classic rock, reggae, motown, soul, hip hop, rap, jazz, blues, classical and some opera as well if that helps.

 

Also using the FiiO E11 amp with a my sansa fuze+ with flac files. Although I'm open to the fact of upgrading to a better desktop amp if it's needed to run any of these new phones.

 

Thx for any help guys. 

 


Scratch the HD 800 off your list - you will need to spend what they cost again in terms of obtaining a great quality

CD player or DAC plus an amp to do them justice - something like an SPL Phonitor, Auditor or a Violectric V100.

 

Your music taste is all over the place with contradicting priorities on what some headphones will excel with certain

genres. What 3 top genres from that list would you like to cover as best as possible?

 

They're all great headphones - I'd say the HD 650 would cover all bases if you like a darkish, warm sound with

tame treble and very reasonable bass quantity and quality.

 


Edited by Gwarmi - 10/5/11 at 5:42am
post #4 of 24

Denon D2000. Closed but good soundstage and frequency extension.

 

If you want to spend less, Creative Aurvana Live.  The 1001 manufactured by Foxtex/r at half the price.

 

regards


Edited by drummerman - 10/5/11 at 5:40am
post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 

haha. yeah.. i agree Mal, those headphones really are quite different indeed. I was actually just about to ask about the DT880's and those other headphones as well. I'm pretty much up for any suggestions. Although the hd800's in a different league, how would you rate the amount of bass on it compared to the other 3 headphones?

 

Anybody know how the bass of these 4 compare with the HD558's? I'd personally prefer a headphone with at least the amount of bass of the 558's or more. =D

 

I'm also thinking of getting a new amp to matchup with the new headphone if needed. However, I'd like to get an amp that can be portable as well, while still being able to run any of these flagship headphones well. Any suggestions? I believe Jude mentioned the SR-71B can drive them, including the hd800s, quite well? My biggest bummer at the moment is my Sansa Fuze+ doesn't have a lineout and I don't think it has a digital out I can use to an external DAC (not sure on this one). (Wasn't thinking I'd get so into this hobby when I first bought this dap and a pair of headphones a few months ago, lol) So I'm guessing i'm not getting the best quality from my sources at the moment by going from my fuze+'s headphone out to the e11. So I'm on the hunt for maybe a new dap as well that has a lineout and also a digital lineout incase I want to have an external DAC as well.  Any good suggestions on this one? I'm only listening to Flac so storage size is a bonus. Also pretty new on the whole portable DAC and amp thing. Ideally i'd like my system to be portable, but also drive headphones like the HD800/650 and Q701's well. Not sure if I'm asking for too much here. haha.

 

If anyone has any experience with the Sansa Fuze+, is there a certain volume level I can set it at, like say to max volume, where it starts to resemble a regular lineout? The dilemma though is I think maybe the E11 amp might sound it's best when it's own volume is set to 3 or above. If i have my fuze+ set to max, then i'll only be about volume level 2 for the amp. But if i set my dap to about 70 or 75% then i'll have the amp volume at around 3-4. Not sure which is best. haha.

 

But yeah, back to headphones.. lol.  Among the srh940 and q701, which would you guys recommend? I've heard some great things about the SRH940 recently and how it compares favorably to the Q701, which I'm surprised about since it's a closed headphone. I don't mind bass shy, but not sure how their bass levels compares with the HD558's. I like the HD558's a lot, however I do find myself just wanting a "little bit" more bass sometimes, but it's still very acceptable at the moment for me.

 

Hi Gwarmi, I agree, my musical taste is kind of all over the place. It's probably a part of the reason for my headphone dilemma now. lol. If I had to choose... I'd say classic rock, motown, rap and jazz are my most important genres. I find myself going from Hendrix to Sarah Maclachlan to Method Man and Redman to Nina Simone to  Red Hot Chili Peppers to The Four Tops and Miles Davis all in one sitting. Certain phones I find  better for each particular song. My HD25's are great for Red Hot Chili Peppers and Methodman. But it's faster pacing starts to get in the way when I start listening to something more slower and rythmic like when I start switching to Scott MacKenzie's San Francisco or Billie Jean I find the HD25's faster pacing on the bass ruins the feel of the bass riffs for the last two songs. That's when I switch to my 750DJ's (these ones have punchy bass as well, but they seem to still have good rythm and pacing) or M50's. Then for jazz and classical i find myself using the HD558's the most.

 

Any idea how the HD650's dark, but warm sound compares with the hd558's?

 

And thx Drummerman, I'll check out those headphones as well. Been hearing alot about the D2000's. =D

 

lol.. Never thought i'd get so deep into this hobby. I've always been a music and film freak and have always focussed more on large speakers and home systems. A few months ago I was just thinking of upgrading all my portable tracks to flac by buying a dap that can read it, and maybe buying some decent IEM's and be content with that, but now with my wallet a lot lighter than before I find myself with a portable amp and a bunch of full sized headphones. Didn't even know portable amps or DAC's existed until recently. lol

 

There's a local shop here that carries most of those headphones I mentioned for us to test out. I'll probably pop by tomorrow to do some testing, but I'm really curious as to what everyone else thinks.

 

Sorry for being all over the place with this msg, having trouble sleeping, so kinda still hazy at the moment. lol.

Thx for all your help guys. Really glad I found this community, although I have a feeling I'm gonna be quite broke very soon. lol.

 

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

post #6 of 24

Heya,

 

Based on your need for improved bass, I would definitely say the DT880 is a strong option for you while keeping a great neutral sound. It's semi-open. The D2000 is another great option here too, closed back. I think the SRH940 and K/Q701/2 will be too shy on bass based on what you're saying you want (coming from the HD558). I think the HD650 will have too much bass and not have the treble you're used to, it will sound very subdued. The HD800 is an obvious go-to if you can afford it, it's excellent, but kind of bright so if you're into that, you're good to go if you want a $1k+ headphone. If you're willing to go that far with budget, definitely look into the Hifiman HE-500 or the Tesla T1 by Beyer. If you want to stay in the mid-tier budget range, again, the DT880 and D2000 are excellent respectively.

 

Very best,

post #7 of 24

I can't tell you about the HD558 comparison but the HD800, Q701, SRH940 are not what you are looking for if you are looking for improved bass. They're all bass shy (they have great bass, the bass just doesn't have alot of impact). The HD650 on the other hand, when I listened to them, were not my cup of tea, I even found the bass intrusive half the time but that's just me. For you, if you like a warm sound, are not extremely critical when listening, the HD650 offers great sound, good bass presence, good mids, warmth, and won't you run $1400 to boot.

 

They'll be good with just about any decent amp but some have said they're dramatically better when paired with good amps (Like Zana Deux or Beta22). For me that wasn't the case but for you it might be different.

 

On the other hand, if you are extreme analytical, go for the Q701 which I haven't heard, but I've read that they have a little more bass than K701s (really not saying much), but be warned some say that Q701s are K701s with a different paint job.

 

Final note: Chances, for your genres, warm sound is good and HD650 is also a great all-rounder and you'll probably be able to find it at a cheaper price on Ebay than Q701s.

post #8 of 24

While I haven't heard the 558s, I can say the HD650s are quite good and I believe they offer a very good all-around choice.  I can see why some people call them warm, but I feel that they are not as veiled and recessed as some people believe.  Of course, that depends largely on the amp you're using; they're quite "stuffy" when I connect them straight to my PC versus my amplifier.

post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePhoenix924S View Post

While I haven't heard the 558s, I can say the HD650s are quite good and I believe they offer a very good all-around choice.  I can see why some people call them warm, but I feel that they are not as veiled and recessed as some people believe.  Of course, that depends largely on the amp you're using; they're quite "stuffy" when I connect them straight to my PC versus my amplifier.



Exactly, it's a continuing 'source' of debate on here with the HD 650's biggrin.gif

 

I've heard them on a basic Onkyo receiver, using my own solid state and with a very competent rig consisting of a Burson 160 and Cambridge DacMagic.

 

The differences were very noticeable to me ~ the basic setup did make them sound a little veiled, stuffy and overly dark but they came alive when hooked

up to the Burson and DacMagic ~ they may be affordable especially second hand but they need a nice setup to really put out what they are capable of.

post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwarmi View Post

Exactly, it's a continuing 'source' of debate on here with the HD 650's biggrin.gif

 

I've heard them on a basic Onkyo receiver, using my own solid state and with a very competent rig consisting of a Burson 160 and Cambridge DacMagic.

 

The differences were very noticeable to me ~ the basic setup did make them sound a little veiled, stuffy and overly dark but they came alive when hooked

up to the Burson and DacMagic ~ they may be affordable especially second hand but they need a nice setup to really put out what they are capable of.

 

@Eric23

 

I've never heard the HD 558 so it's a little difficult to judge the bass quality and quantity you're after, but you have a 750DJ and HD25 in the collection

so that should suit your rap collection quite well. I'd keep the jazz, classical and rock for the Q701. Alternatively, pick up a Grado 225i or Alessandro

MS1i - these will gel with rock and jazz very well, reaching a level of quality you will not see coming. There's a reason why people on here have

5+ headphones, you're starting to find out why!


 

 

post #11 of 24

Just a thought..

 

The OP wanted our opinions of the bass for the headphones, and how they compared to each other... are we just assuming s/he is talking about bass impact?

 

I know the feelings of the Shure's bass is very mixed over on the SRH940 thread, but I am on the team that the bass is quite "good"... "good" meaning the quality of the tones and timbre is high and accurate.  I agree that the impact may be considered "low" to some people, but "low" is better described in relative terms I think... because I do not consider it a bass light headphone. Mid-bass recessed maybe, but only if you're used to a common emphasis in this area to begin with - I personally think it is quite natural and helps to suppress bloated bass that bleeds into and covers up some low mid texture.

 

I wish I had more for you (I have not heard the HD558, nor the Q701) and the two other headphones I currently own are the HD448 (different tier than the headphones you mentioned) and the CharterOak SP-1 (hardly known on head-fi it seems), but I can give you my two cents on the SRH940 bass.

 

I just brought up in another thread to someone inquiring about the 940 that I thought the 940 excelled at string bass better than electronic bass, but didn't necessarily disappoint in that department either.  I can comfortably say that I love them for jazz music, whether it be the muted trumpet sound of Miles Davis or a more old school driving sound of Coleman Hawkins.  Another thing to consider is what the 940 has to offer for your collection - if the HD558 is anything like the 595, it lacks in the bass department (both in impact and tonal control/timbre) but still sustains a darker, rich but less nimble midrange and pretty neutral highs...maybe even a little bit recessed or rolled off. The 940 will compliment this well, having more emphasis on the upper mids and housing a more nimble, detailed approach as opposed to rich.  Both the M50 and HD-25 are known for "punchy" low end, and the M50s have a slight recession in the midrange.  I am comfortable saying the 940 is mid-centric as both those who like it and those who do not prefer it still acknowledge this trait, and that will contrast the M50 well.  Of the headphones you mention you had, it presents the music a little differently and will broaden your collection better than the HD650 I feel.  SRH940 gets my vote, but take it for what it is--I haven't heard the Q701 or HD558.

post #12 of 24

For me, the HD800 sound great out of an iBasso D10 amp. I don't really listen at high volumes, though. I much prefer them over the HD650. The HD800 is far more versatile -- I particularly didn't find the 650 that great with Rock, while the 800 delivers  exceptional sound with just about every genre. Classical is its strongest suite, however. Bass on it is crisper than the 650. Depending on the recording, there is more impact too.

 

I've not heard the 558s, but if it's similar to the 555s, the bass on those phones sound anemic. The 580/600/650/800 are leagues ahead. 

 

One thing to note -- the HD650 have a rather dark sound. You can't change this unless you EQ or get a tube amp. The HD800 has a brighter sound signature, which exposes details more in my opinion. I wouldn't call it a bright headphone, but it is in comparison to the HD650.

 

I would say, if you have the money, get the HD800. Overall, it's not as big of a leap in sound quality from the 555 -> 650, but I don't regret it.


Edited by x3sphere - 10/5/11 at 10:20pm
post #13 of 24

For bass impact, I'm surprised no one's mentioned the DT990. Like the HD650 but without the Sennheiser "veil" (comparatively speaking). As bright as my AKG K701s.

post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 

Hey guys,

 

I really appreciate all the great feedbacks... And R-Audiohead your'e very right. I really should try to explain the type of bass i'm looking for more. As it really is all relative in terms of level of bass that's why I kept going back to the hd558 as my minimum acceptable level for bass impact. haha. I'm by no means a bass head. I prefer a more balanced sound that represents all the frequencies well. But I definately enjoy hearing the bass a bit too as I seem to naturally pay a lot of attention to the bass guitar in most songs, but I don't want it to drown out the other frequencies like those aweful Beats headphones. A funny story. I've always been a music freak and was more into speakers and such. Was never picky about my portable gear though. But one day my friend bought a $250 Beats HD solo headphone and started raving about it. During that time I didn't know anything about headphones so I was curious and tried his out. I always thought to myself i'd never pay so much for any headphones. I ended up hating those Beats Solo's  right away on listening because of their overblown bass and horribly recessed mids/high's. It pretty much ruined all my music. My friend was adamant that they were good stuff, but I didn't believe it. So I ended up buying a couple of headphones that were much cheaper than his and letted him compare to show him how off those Beats were. But then I guess everyone has their own preference when it comes to sound, so I shouldn't be too pushy trying to enforce my viewpoints. I just personally can't stand those Beats nor most Bose stuff.

 

As for the type of bass I'm talking about.. maybe I should first list my collection so far:

 

Sennheiser HD558
Sennheiser HD25-1 II Adidas
Audio Technica ATH-M50
Shure 750DJ
Allen & Heath Xone XD-53
Kicker HP541 DJ
Klipsch Image S4

 

Really not anything to brag about when compared to most of the vets here. haha. But if was to break down the above. My favorate bass among all of them are the 750DJ's because they're more punchy and less boomy. The bass I also find don't drown out the other frequencies because the mids seem quite prominent and forward on them as well. So the compliment eachother very well.  Another thing I really like about the 750 DJ's is that they have the clarity and detail level of many studio type headphones like the m50. Many DJ headphones I've experienced with their big bass ends up sounding muffled and not as clear like my Kickers and XD53's. However the 750DJ's have the unique quality of studio type clarity/detail, but with a bit of the DJ flare, punchy bass and good mids. I actually find these headphones to be quite versatile for a lot of genres because their bass actually doesn't completely drown out other frequences. If anything, I'd love to get something portable like the size of the hd25's, but with the sound of the 750DJ's. haha..

 

As for the M50's bass... I find it's more boomy and loose. And it can sometimes drown out the mids a bit too much especially since the mids already seem a bit recessed. it's highs are good and detailed though, but sometimes this makes it worse cause I end up just analyzing the details in the highs and lows and it doesn't feel like i'm listening to music anymore cause of the recessed mids. Still a great bargain for the price.

 

The HD25's i find is the most different sounding headphone of my lot. It's got good clarity overall for a DJ type phone. However, I'm not sure if it's cause the drivers are a bit dated, but i still find the m50's, 750DJ's and my senn hd558's to be a bit more detailed. Or it could just be the very forward and aggressive sound that makes it seem so. The aggressive, forward nature of it's sound is very good for hip hop/rap and fast or hard rock. I do like it's punchy bass as it's quite similar to the 750 DJ's. However, I don't know if it's just me, but I feel the bass response of the hd25's seem faster than my other headphones. It could be just the way it's frequencies are, but songs feel faster on it, especially on the bass end. It works ok for hip hop and hard rock. But once I start shifting to anything a bit slower and more rythmic or soulful like Billie Jean or San Francisco I find the quickened pace in the bass tends to ruin the song a bit for me.

 

the XD53's, huge, quality bass. I got it for fun.  But overall I find myself never using it at all because I find it's not as clear or detailed as the other headphones I use. Could be a byproduct of it's strong bass. 

 

Kickers, imo, very good for the price of $50. I just got them cause I was curious. I would say they're very "musical" and the overall tone is very balanced, especially the bass and mids are nicely balanced. However it isn't nearly as clear as my other headphones too. Maybe a tad muffled. But if someone's not as picky with the details I find it's signature quite musical. An interesting listen for the price. But I don't use it much too.

 

Sennheiser HD558's. It's got the least amount of bass by far among my collection. However I really enjoy it's audiophile, balanced type sound. It's mids are more forward than the m50's, which I like. And it's soundstage is the best among my headphones, which isn't a surprise. As for the bass. Although it's the least amount of bass I have, but I find it still very acceptable because of it's more neutral, audiophile type presentation, which I like as well. However I'd consider it the minimum amount of bass I'd require for any headphone. 

 

Overall I know my next pair of headhones would be more of the audiophile type of sound. So I don't really require big bass like the xd53's, Kickers or 750 DJ's. I pretty much don't mind the bass level of the HD558's for highend headphones. And even more bass is welcome so long as it doesn't drown out the other frequencies. That's why when I heard ppl saying the Q701's, HD800 and the srh940's are shy/light in bass, I'm wondering how it is compared to the hd558's. Because if they're around the same level or even a bit more "impact" of the hd558's bass then I'm totally fine with that. The same goes when ppl say the HD650's are more dark or veiled. I wonder how dark/veiled it is when compared to the HD558's. because I know sennheisers in general sound like that. And if the HD650's darkness is the same as the hd558's I'm ok with that too. So i guess it's all relative in the end.

 

lol.. sorry guys... sounds like I'm just wagontraining here. haha.. 

 

Another thing is my set up. like my DAP and amp. I'm just using a Fiio E11 amp with a Sansa Fuze+ running only flac. Problem is my Fuze+ doesn't have a true lineout so I'm just using the headphone out. Not sure if changing to a new dap with a lineout will have a big improvement in quality? Also if I buy one of the new headphones i mentioned, I'm guessing I should also get a new amp to drive them properly? If i do get a new amp I'm hoping to get something within 600 or 700 bucks max. I'd prefer to get another portable one if I can so I can take it out too. But not sure if it's possible to have a portable amp that can drive the flagship/high end headphones like the HD800, Q701, etc well?

 

haha.. thx again for all the help everyone. This is actually really fun. I'm gonna stop by a local shop tomorrow that has most of the headphones I mentioned for testing. Will see how I like them soon. =D

 

 

 

 

post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by x3sphere View Post

For me, the HD800 sound great out of an iBasso D10 amp. I don't really listen at high volumes, though. I much prefer them over the HD650. The HD800 is far more versatile -- I particularly didn't find the 650 that great with Rock, while the 800 delivers  exceptional sound with just about every genre. Classical is its strongest suite, however. Bass on it is crisper than the 650. Depending on the recording, there is more impact too.

 

I've not heard the 558s, but if it's similar to the 555s, the bass on those phones sound anemic. The 580/600/650/800 are leagues ahead. 

 

One thing to note -- the HD650 have a rather dark sound. You can't change this unless you EQ or get a tube amp. The HD800 has a brighter sound signature, which exposes details more in my opinion. I wouldn't call it a bright headphone, but it is in comparison to the HD650.

 

I would say, if you have the money, get the HD800. Overall, it's not as big of a leap in sound quality from the 555 -> 650, but I don't regret it.



Hmm, perhaps your lukewarm assessment of the HD650 comes from pairing it with the D10?  From what I've read, the HD650 can sound slow and veiled when underamped needing quality amplification to show its true sonic qualities.  Though,  it is a darker more laid-back sounding headphone.

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