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KOSS ESP-950 Thread - Page 35

post #511 of 1418

I've been watching Amazon and WW Stereo, who also sells on Buy.com.  If Amazon drops below ~$625 or WWS goes back down to ~$658 that they were a couple of days ago, and Buy.com offers a Columbus day 8% or 10% bonus points deal... I will strike... but until then I am being the patient hunter, lying in wait for the quarry to get within range...

post #512 of 1418
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post

but until then I am being the patient hunter, lying in wait for the quarry to get within range...

HAHAHAHA!

Irwin Voice: "Watch as the Gary stalks its prey - the elusive Koss ESP; the rains have not come yet, so the Gary is very hungry now as it stalks the plains. Eventually, the ESP will come out to drink, and that is when the Gary will pounce..."
post #513 of 1418

Unless of course, the Gary is distracted by watching football or baseball or doing errands/yardwork... those ESPs are tricky little suckers, coming out into the open only when the hunter is otherwise occupied. 

post #514 of 1418

So, I found an alright deal for these locally, and have just purchased these... the curiousity got the better of me as I've never tried any electrostatic headphones before and they seem to be quite highly regarded for the most part... figured that they would be a decent entry into the 'stat world.

 

My current main headphones are HD800 and LCD-2... the sources are the Stello DA100 and ODAC. Obviously only with the bundled amp right now. At work right now, but will be giving them a listen throughout the night to see how I like 'em. smily_headphones1.gif

post #515 of 1418

While I don't exactly see a pair in my future anytime soon I'd still like to read this comparisson as I've owned both of those cans and would like to hear this can/amp combo fairs against 2 much higher priced cans (if you get the 950 for the right price, of course).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by K_19 View Post

So, I found an alright deal for these locally, and have just purchased these... the curiousity got the better of me as I've never tried any electrostatic headphones before and they seem to be quite highly regarded for the most part... figured that they would be a decent entry into the 'stat world.

 

My current main headphones are HD800 and LCD-2... the sources are the Stello DA100 and ODAC. Obviously only with the bundled amp right now. At work right now, but will be giving them a listen throughout the night to see how I like 'em. smily_headphones1.gif

post #516 of 1418

If it helps, I'm sending mine back.  They're nice, they have an ethereal sort of Stax presentation, warm, but without the weight of dynamics, wonderfully "flat" and non-offensive through out the midrange and.  Wait, I think it's fair to just stop at the midrange.  The lows and highs aren't very extended, present, nor impressive.

 

They're generally awesome, and they certainly belong in any serious "collection" but I can't get past that blunted presentation.  (I'm not a collector.)

 

I'm picking nits of course, but that's my 2 cents.

post #517 of 1418
Quote:
Originally Posted by sphinxvc View Post

If it helps, I'm sending mine back.  They're nice, they have an ethereal sort of Stax presentation, warm, but without the weight of dynamics, wonderfully "flat" and non-offensive through out the midrange and.  Wait, I think it's fair to just stop at the midrange.  The lows and highs aren't very extended, present, nor impressive.

They're generally awesome, and they certainly belong in any serious "collection" but I can't get past that blunted presentation.  (I'm not a collector.)

I'm picking nits of course, but that's my 2 cents.

Curious: what are you comparing them to, in saying they aren't "extended, present, nor impressive"? redface.gif
post #518 of 1418

i understand your points.

 

I can agree on the highs extension part but bass is fairly good, sure it doesnt extend as good as HE6, but still good, its a lot faster than both HE6 and HD650.

 

So now after HD800, HE6, ESP950 , which HP are you aiming at ?

 

even i haven't found the "one" . after going through, HE6, ESP950, LCD2, W5000. All have their strong points, but yeah i, want to keep just 2-3 HPs with me. not 5-6 i currently have.

post #519 of 1418

HD800s and HE-6s directly.  (Sorry my signature empty and profile not up to date, trying to clear out things so I'm using the space for ads.  I had the HE-6 till yesterday and still have the HD800s on hand, the ESPs too.)

 

I meant "not impressive" specifically talking about the low lows and the high highs.  Nothing wrong with most of the bands, which is really a feat in itself, and totally refreshing might I add, but upon direct comparison with the HD800 or HE-6, I found the frequency extremities lacking.  It was a presentation I would be afraid to get used to, you know?  And then one day I go to a meet and realize I've been listening to my music and worse, making decisions on what kind of music to listen to, based on the fact that 5-10% is shaved off the low end and 5-10% off the high end.  I hate that feeling, and it's happened before with other headphones.  I love my music, and I need wideband.  

post #520 of 1418

The above post is for obobskivich.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by singh View Post

i understand your points.

 

I can agree on the highs extension part but bass is fairly good, sure it doesnt extend as good as HE6, but still good, its a lot faster than both HE6 and HD650.

 

So now after HD800, HE6, ESP950 , which HP are you aiming at ?

 

even i haven't found the "one" . after going through, HE6, ESP950, LCD2, W5000. All have their strong points, but yeah i, want to keep just 2-3 HPs with me. not 5-6 i currently have.

 

Yeah, I agree with you on the speed part, and the extension part.  That's always the enjoyable thing with any stats.  

 

What headphones am I aiming at?  To be honest, I'm trying to clear out right now, sticking with my IEMs and rebuilding around speakers.  But my more immediate concern is going sky diving for the first time this weekend.  =]  

post #521 of 1418
Quote:
Originally Posted by sphinxvc View Post

HD800s and HE-6s directly.  (Sorry my signature empty and profile not up to date, trying to clear out things so I'm using the space for ads.  I had the HE-6 till yesterday and still have the HD800s on hand, the ESPs too.)

I meant "not impressive" specifically talking about the low lows and the high highs.  Nothing wrong with most of the bands, which is really a feat in itself, and totally refreshing might I add, but upon direct comparison with the HD800 or HE-6, I found the frequency extremities lacking.  It was a presentation I would be afraid to get used to, you know?  And then one day I go to a meet and realize I've been listening to my music and worse, making decisions on what kind of music to listen to, based on the fact that 5-10% is shaved off the low end and 5-10% off the high end.  I hate that feeling, and it's happened before with other headphones.  I love my music, and I need wideband.  

Interesting, to say the least. beerchug.gif
post #522 of 1418

So I tried these for about 4 hours last night. Thoughts..

 

Comfort wise, I'm afraid to say that they are actually a bit less comfortable than I expected. Major part of this problem is the lack of swivel mechanics... I have a very weird Jawline and without any swiveling, the pads leave a gap behind/under my ears (big reason why I prefer angled pads like LCD-2, Denons, etc, so that they fill this gap) and the front of the pads pressure greatly into my jawline... this is why these types of earcups have always given me comfort problems (such as HD600/650's... these swivel, but not nearly enough). Fortunately, they clamp much less than the Sennheisers and is thus bearable for an hour of two, which is usually the longest my listening sessions go anyway. The headband also has bit of that K701/M50 "pressure into top crown of my head" problem, which I am more sensitive to than others as I usually keep my head shaved, but is much less of an issue because they're so damn light for a headphone this size!. The vinyl pads are little too firm right now, but from my past experiences with pads of this type, they do break in, so I'm positive they'll get better on that front.

 

Build quality is... yeah, not great for cans at this price. The plastic itself feels solid enough, but my concerns are 1) the headband, which feels extremely fragile, and 2) the earcup locking mechanism, which IMO isn't nearly tight enough. I know they designed these as transportables, but they really should have made the locks stronger. The slide mechanism is also little too smooth and is quite difficult to keep it at the desired length. The amp is made of plastic, but feels very solid overall... more than the headphones at least. Gotta say I both like and dislike the multi-channel volume control... as I do have bit of a hearing imbalance these help to offset that, but I also switch volume to a different level often when listening to shuffle on my playlist, and adjusting both to the same levels constantly can be somewhat annoying.

 

Really liked the bonuses the Koss included in the package. The battery pack I'm sure may come in useful someday, the leather(pleather?) bag is very nicely made, and though they're cheapos, it's really nice of them to include THREE sets of different interconnects... RCA-RCA, RCA-mini, and mini-mini. I thought the cables that came with the headphones were way too short, before I realized that they also include a extension cord. :)

 

The rough sound signature balance they immediately reminded me of was the ESW10JPN, except that the ESP's did everything better. They definitely have forward midrange which has absolutely NO sibilance or grain to them (quite a feat!), treble is refined but never sharp, and the bass is very tight and clean. The two shares similar degree of warmth from what I hear. The ESP's of course retrieve MUCH more detail and is overall much cleaner as well. I've been looking for a fullsize version of the ESW10JPN for a long time, and thus far this is the closest that I've gotten to it (ESW10JPN's bass reverb is the key difference between the two... and that's because the ESW's are a closed back). I really love my ESW10's so that's quite a praise!  IIRC someone has said that they are like improved version of the HD600's; I can relate to that as well. They sound quite similar, except that the ESP's are a bit more forward IMO.

 

As for the comparisons to the LCD-2's and the HD800's... how should I say this... I'd say they actually sound like bit of a hybrid of the two, without as much refinement in the extreme ends. The ESP's have forward, liquid, grainless mids like the LCD-2's yet they have the speed and detail of the HD800's.  On the downside, they don't extend as well in the highs as the HD800's or in the lows as the LCD's, nor does it sound as open as the HD800's in soundstage (they're closer to LCD's in that regard). However, they manage to sound as fast and detailed as the HD800's while keeping a intimate and involving LCD-like midrange, which makes it a very fun yet detailed phone at the same time. Their highs, while not as extended as the HD's, sound extremely refined and inoffensive; HD's have the tendency to become way too aggressive in the highs in certain recordings and become sibilant in vocals, but not so with the ESP's.  The bass is also tight, refined and layered very well like the LCD's and the 800's, just lacking that last 5~10% extension of the two dynamics.  The midrange IMO is equal to my LCD-2 rev 1's; forward, intimate, liquid, smooth. Those who hate forward midranges though probably may want to stay away, though; I do think they're bit more forward than neutral, and that for those who don't like forward vocals they may sound "shouty".  I feel that they do best on acoustic and rock genres, where forward midrange really helps.

 

Overall, I do feel that LCD-2's are HD800's are techically better headphones than the ESP's in extreme ends, and are of much, much higher quality build, but sonically those differences are definitely not as big as the price difference. Discounting the extreme ends, the rest of the frequency range actually feels like the mix of the two.  I'd say this Koss system can EASILY be someone's end rig. They're that good. For those who are looking for a HD800's detail and speed yet want an involving forward midrange and warmth like the LCD-2's at the same time (with some sacrifices in the extreme ends), these will be an excellent choice.


Edited by K_19 - 10/10/12 at 9:37am
post #523 of 1418

Nice write-up.  

post #524 of 1418
I agree about the mids (forward and perfect), and regarding the ESW10 - very interesting. I find that I end up using the same EQ/DSP presets for my ESW9 as I do for the ESP/950 (and they're very interchangeable). Any comment on how similar ESW10 and ESW9 are? (I've heard similar but ESW10 is more refined, but it immediately struck me as curious that the ESW9 and ESP/950 are a lot more similar than I expected given how different they are).

The bag is leather - the pads are not, it's a weird deal (I think it's probably to keep replacement costs down, but honestly for $1000, I'd be fine with >$5 replacement pads if they were real leather). I forget if the headband is real leather or synthetic, but it's separate from the other two materials too. confused_face.gif

To sphinx:

I think the biggest distinction here is that I'm a big fan of "n-curve" sound, and I think the 950s are probably the epitome of that (not as dramatic as the ESW9 or MDR-F1 though); mids are their "big deal" at the expense of the extreme ends. They certainly function as "end game" imho, based on that. Best of luck finding your nirvana. smily_headphones1.gif
post #525 of 1418

What I have heard from some of the AT fans here is that the latest versions of ESW9's sound quite similar to the ESW10's. I have no way of verifying that myself however, as I've only demoed ESW9 for short periods, and a long time ago.

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