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New on the Head-fi field - Just received the Sennheiser 595's. Got some questions!

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Greetings to all you air-vibrating enthusiasts!

 

If you're not interested in my entry post, just skip the text until you go past the asterix line for the meat of the thread.

 

I'm quite new at this whole audio business. In recent years, I've come to appreciate sound and music in all forms of media. To that end, I've put a bit of money into some (sparse by comparison here) sound equipment. Actually, it's just some headphones, and that's it!

 

Being mostly a gamer, I fell into the pit that was the "Gamer headset" fad. Specifically, the Logitech G35's. They weren't bad for me per sé. I liked the design, the isolation it provided, and the vastly increased sound quality it gave relative to my previous 10 dollar investments. My pair sadly broke twice at the right ear cup hinge. Rather than going through the whole RMA process again, I decided to step it up a bit and go for some real earcans. After a bit of research and omitting the phrase "gaming" in any of my searches, I came up with the pair that would suit me most - The Sennheiser HD 595's. And after a long weekend and then some, they've finally arrived at my doorstep.

 

Having not much to compare them to, I just put 'em on and fired up some of my favorite Youtube songs.

 

Wow.

 

The sound was crystal clear for me. Hearing everything working together in a way that make me feel I was in the front row was an awesome feeling. Having listened to a somewhat wide variety of tracks, I do have some questions I'd like to get verified, if possible.

 

*************************************************************************

 

1. I know that these aren't the type of cans for major bass, as in Dubstep (wubububububub), and I'm not that type of listener. However, I do sometimes feel it's lacking a bit of punch when it needs to. It's kind of weird, because sometimes I'm not bothered by it at all, as if it's supposed to be like that. Whilst at other times I expect a big pound on the drums should work my ears up a bit, and then it doesn't. Case in point being http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHuTxNIpdeM ("My name is Lincoln")

Am I just being used to the G35's, and now I need to get used again at the 595's characteristics - and in turn - get used to what the music is supposed to sound like? Or is something else, like the youtube quality messing with it?

 

2. I've read a bit about burn-ins on headphones, pink noise and all that. How does this affect the 595's charactaristics? Does it take long to notice any difference, and if so, what difference? Unless it doesn't do anything at all, mind you!

 

3. As said at the very beginning, all I've got are these headphones and an anboard (Realtek) sound card. Nothing fancy, but I can't really justify shelling out the dough without it giving a really tangible return. Even then I'm hessitant. Anyway, I take it the 595's are good enough running on this standard equipment?

 

 

 

Finally, Head-fi was a big resource in seperating the gems from the lemons, and for that I wish to thank all you people for. I just hope I'm not breaking 23 rules with this thread and make my first post being the most yelled at for quite some time!

post #2 of 17

Start by getting off Youtube and getting yourself some FLAC or ALAC files, the biggest favor any audiophile can do themselves, get a good source (high quality music). I've never heard the HD 595 but chances are a combination of the two: You're getting used to quality and what the song is supposed to sound like, and Youtube is messing with the quality which refers me back to, get high quality music.

 

Most burn-in happens with 24 hours of listening to the headphones (if you believe in it at all), so if you've listened to them for that long or maybe even 12 hours... you've pretty much got what they're going to sound like. There are some exceptions when headphones take quite a while to burn in but as far as I'm aware, the HD 595 are not one of those exceptions.

 

Yes, they'll sound decent? I have no idea, I haven't experienced onboard sound in a while. If they sound good to you, they sound good. When the upgrade itch hits, think about it then.

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the first reply. I've got no qualms with the quality of the music yet, except the lack of punch in the bass that I did experience on my previous pair of headphones. Everything else is a big step above them, though, and I'm thoroughly enjoying them. Especially with tracks that are more orchestral based, like Howard Shore's "The fellowship". I'm not yet sure whether it's just the new type of headphones and its characteristics I need to get used to, or whether it's something else.


Edited by Wolvaras - 12/6/11 at 1:44pm
post #4 of 17

You should most certainly never listen to stuff on youtube ever again :)

That being said; I have the 595s myself.

They don't have a lot of bass, that's simply a fact I'm afraid. I personally do like the bass since it's tight, but especially at low volumes there's not a lot of it. There isn't anything wrong with your headphones if they 'lack' bass. ;)

I never noticed any burn-in with my pair.

With regards to the Realtek thing being sufficient. It wasn't for me.

I had always used a Creative X-Fi Music card on my desktop. When I went to uni and listened through my laptop there was definitely something missing from the sound.

I bought a FiiO E7 and all was well again :)

I'm not saying I'd recommend you to get one though. If you've been listening to music off of youtube up until this point then the first thing you should do is get proper music files on your harddrive. Preferably FLAC, but in most cases you won't notice a difference if you use v0 mp3s.

post #5 of 17

I paired my 595 with FiiO E7/9 combo and they worked well. 595 isn't bassy at all, and it took 2 months to fully open up. My pal got mine 595, and later notice an increase of bass by connecting the 595 to a well powered, full desktop sized amp. Yet 595 ain't meant to be bassy, 650 is.

post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 

Aye. I've got a 14 day return guarantee as they've been ordered online (consumer laws). I'll be trying them out for a week or so. The bass is indeed not punchy, but... more accurate and clear then I'm used to. I'm not entirely sure which I put first. Guess I'll see next week, eh?

post #7 of 17

The bass of the HD-595 just doesn't have the impact I wanted.  When I was looking to upgrade my headphones, I dropped the HD-650 from my options and went with a closed Denon D5000, because of my experience with the HD-595.  I am very happy now, as I believe I have the right headphones for me.  The HD-595 are great headphones for the money, but since you already mentioned your disappointment with the bass on some music, I would strongly advise you to return them and research a bit more with a focus on bass impact.  There must be some good alternatives that keep up with everything the HD-595s do wonderfully within a similar price range, while having increased bass slam/impact.

 

Also, give MOG music a try.  You can trial it for free, and on the computer you can listen in very good 320 kbps mp3 quality.  They have over 13 million songs available, and the quality is better than what you will find over YouTube.  If you like it, it only costs $0.17 a day to subscribe if you listen online with a computer.

post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonitus mirus View Post

The bass of the HD-595 just doesn't have the impact I wanted.  When I was looking to upgrade my headphones, I dropped the HD-650 from my options and went with a closed Denon D5000, because of my experience with the HD-595.  I am very happy now, as I believe I have the right headphones for me.  The HD-595 are great headphones for the money, but since you already mentioned your disappointment with the bass on some music, I would strongly advise you to return them and research a bit more with a focus on bass impact.  There must be some good alternatives that keep up with everything the HD-595s do wonderfully within a similar price range, while having increased bass slam/impact.

 

Also, give MOG music a try.  You can trial it for free, and on the computer you can listen in very good 320 kbps mp3 quality.  They have over 13 million songs available, and the quality is better than what you will find over YouTube.  If you like it, it only costs $0.17 a day to subscribe if you listen online with a computer.

Thanks a lot for the insight. It's like you said. I am very pleased with everything the HD 595's do, except the lack of punch in the bass. And even then I find the bass itself clear and focussed. The other alternative I was considering was the ATH-M50, which is about the same in terms of price. I've read a lot about them, but it's still not clear if/what I'll be giving up in quality should I choose them over the 595. I'll be keeping the 595 at least untill coming Monday (6 days total) to see if they grow on me. I wish I could try them out somewhere and compare the two to see which I like best. But I hope you guys could help me out on that.
 

 

post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 

Small bump.

post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 

Status update: I've decided to order the ATH-M50's as well, and compare them to the 595's when they arrive for a day or two. After that I can hopefully decide which one is best for me and send the other one back again. Good idea, or?

post #11 of 17

You might have to pay a restocking fee if you return either set of headphones, so just be careful and make sure you read the return to store policy.

 

While I also own a pair of ATH-50s headphones, I use them in a rather specific scenario that may not reflect on your planned usage.  I play FLAC, MOG 320 kbps mp3, or Spotify 160 kbps Ogg Vorbis Q5 songs using an iPod (WiFI) with an LOD cable to a HeadRoom Micro Amp that drives my ATH-50s phones. 

 

I listen in an office environment (cube farm), and these are very comfortable for extended listening sessions, while having excellent sound isolation.  I've been known to wear these phones without playing any music at all just to block out any background distractions.  Because the office is already mostly quiet, the added sound isolation allows me to play music at very low volume levels.  The natural sound signature of these headphones seems to be rather U-shaped if mapped to a traditional equalizer's settings.  The lows and highs are rather prominent, while the mids are quite soft, similar to how a LOUDNESS setting functions on a car or home stereo receiver.  For me, this is an ideal setting for very low-volume listening.  There is no fatigue, and I can still hear all of the music, and nobody has to shout at me to get my attention.  As a bonus to the sound isolation, I can play a song very loudly without bothering anyone around me.

 

Listening to Heart - "Magic Man" with a pair of Grado sr-80i's, Ann's vocals are prominent, and the centerpiece of the music.  When listening to the same song with the exact same setup using the AH-50s, the driving bass guitar is featured, and the vocals and the rest of the music takes a back seat.  Like a 1970's station wagon "way back" seat.   The HD-595 was the most neutral sounding of the 3 when listening to that song.   While a test using Arlo Guthrie's - "City of New Orleans" finally had the boost to the bass that always seemed to be missing on the Sennheisers, as with the ATH-50s it sounded very close to how I remember it sounding on vinyl with the volume cranked up on my home stereo. 

 

 In an immediate comparison such as this, it is quite obvious that the headphones have very different characteristics.  I'm sure you will find similar songs that showcase the differences between the HD-595's and the ATH-50's. 

 

Stuff from Noisia, Bassnectar, Skynet, Ed Rush, and Black Sun Empire sound absolutely fantastic with the closed-design ATH-50s.  Listening with HD-595's you might wonder what anyone would ever find appealing about that type of music.  The song Jupiter, from Holst, is another great song that I enjoy with the 50's.  And if you've never had the opportunity to listen to anything from Shpongle, I think that is some of the best music to test out new headphones.

 

If you happen to prefer the ATH-50, the money saved could go toward an amp/dac, perhaps something in the FiiO lineup?

 

Make sure you won't get burned by the retailer in case you are not happy and want to return the product, but I would say go for it.  Although I don't have any direct experience with Beyerdynamics, from everything that I have read, which is quite a lot, one of their models could be a perfect fit for you.  In other words, I've read that they have a flat response compared to the ATH-50s, with an increase in bass impact over the HD-595s.  Having tested the HD-595s and soon the ATH-50, you will have a nice foundation to work with to find comparisons if you are not fully satisfied with either pair. 

 

There is just so much information out there.  I have to connect with a user/reviewer in some way that I can relate to as being credible for my needs and experiences.  A good place to start is to compare readers' comments that are using the same equipment that you happen to be using.  When you find a person that seems to describe what they hear as being very similar to what you hear, that is the person you might follow around to see what they might think about other gear they may have had the opportunity to try.  If you approach your research in a manner where you simply look up information on a potential purchase, you are likely to find drastic conflicts in opinions.

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 

In my country, if you purchase something online the owner is, by law, obliged to give you a 14 day trial run. In that time, you can contact them and return the product with no reason given, and they have to give your money back within 30 days. Let's hope I don't have to juggle between headphones using that method, as I'm quite uncomfortable with it. I don't think I'll be trying out anything further except these 2, untill the time has come to get a new pair in the future.

post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 

Greetings again. Sorry to keep bumping this thread, but I'd rather keep it all together than to make a new one every time something new pops up.

 

So. Today I've received my M50's, and I've been comparing them to the 595's for a bit now. Whilst I'm not completely convinced, I'm inclined to favor the Sennheisers for my ears.

 

Anyways, that brings me onto this. Is there a possibility that a cheap amp could increase my Sennheiser's sound quality? The bass is rather good, but I'm curious what improvements it could get. I'm specifically looking at the FiiO E5/E6 for 30 euro's (40 dollars) as I can't afford to spend much more currently. It also has the perk of acting as a way to keep the heavy plug converter from wrecking my plug-in.

post #14 of 17

Using a FiiO E7 or E7 + E9 with my 595s had no real impact on the bass quantity I'm afraid.

A DAC will increase the sound quality, whereas an amp literally made no audible difference.

 

After three years of using my 595s I've resorted to replacing them with a set of 650s... :)

post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thank you very much everyone, for replying to and putting up with my newb questions. To save some time and rambling, I've decided to stick with the 595's. I've also just managed to shake off the upgrade-itis bug this site gave me, by reading more about the 595 and their user's opinion. On this site as well, strangely.

 

I may scrounge up some cash dedicated to really run these cans at their best. Something that doesn't break the bank relative to the price of these cans, but gives the best bang for buck ratio. I've found out that I don't even have a Realtek onboard soundcard, but something called "VT1708B 8 -Channel High Definition Audio CODEC" according to the motherboard specs (ASUS M3A78). I've got no idea how good they are, but it doesn't exactly fill me with confidence.

 

I'm still vey much in the dark on what's out there and how much of a difference it will make with these headphones. Looking forward to any suggestions you guys can scrounge up!

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