Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › [Review] Brainwavz HM5, A New Neutral Champ
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

[Review] Brainwavz HM5, A New Neutral Champ - Page 88

post #1306 of 1680

That'd work great, if they were selling them anymore.

post #1307 of 1680

HM5s are $99.50 on pre-order at MP4Nation. Looks like the Zirconia stand comes with it for free. 

post #1308 of 1680

Been using my HM5's for a few weeks now since I got them from Amazon. I'm coming from the Sennheiser HD-555. Absolutely love them after burn in. As many said, the clasping force is pretty tight but now they feel perfectly fine. Not sure if my head adjusted or if they loosened up, but I can wear them for hours now without issue. Definitely get these for that $99.00 price from MP4nation, cause I paid $140.00 for mine. I totally recommend picking up a Xonar DG (or DGX if you have a newer motherboard), because onboard audio is trash compared to those sound cards. Unless of course, you're not going to use these on your PC. I love Dolby Headphone on these things, along with 24-bit ASIO audio through the Xonar DGX. biggrin.gif


Edited by FourWude - 9/13/12 at 3:15pm
post #1309 of 1680

I noticed that my old review for these was still up. Since my views later changed rather dramatically, I went back and edited it to reflect this both in this thread and on the product page.

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/585281/review-brainwavz-hm5-a-new-neutral-champ/375#post_8031882

 

Apologies in advance for being a negative nancy. redface.gif

post #1310 of 1680

No apologies necessary, although if you dont mind, I'd like to pick your brain regarding your observations..

Personally, I never really felt the midrange had the same euphoric detail that a headphone like the HD598's seem to posess, but at the same time, I didnt think it was necessarily missing either. The midrange has more of a mildly stale note, where it isnt quite as crisp and transparent as some of my other headphones can play it out. Overall, it is satisfactory to me, although I'm not crazy about its uncanny ability to sound unnecessarily "loud" at times.

I find the bass has a very "dry" quality to it. I'm having a bit of a struggle, trying to pick up on muddy tones you mention. If I had to describe the bass, I'd say its tuned more to have a prominent impact, than a looming warmth. Unfortunately, I cant say it executes with palpable texture; bass tones do feel a bit one-noted to me.

Treble, yep, totally agree with you. Personally, I like the roll-off. If its one thing I came to deeply appreciate while owning a pair of IE8's, its having smooth, coherent treble. Before then, I had drawn to the conclusion that you needed insane treble to get all the detail out of a track; mind blown.

 

I do wonder, however, how much our observations could be source, volume, or wear dependent? I mean, for one, the signature seems variably affected by the closeness of the drivers; perhaps your pads have allowed the drivers to sit too close? Also, a bit on the loud midrange, my listening levels are usually below 10% volume, when playing directly out of my sound card(or ~25% software with the fiio e9 volume turned up a quarter way. With those settings, I find the drivers do very well, and to me, sound quite level. Cranking it to enthusiastic rock-out mode makes the drivers a bit too screamy(hence the "loud" quality), and cant help but feel the drivers are being brought to a point of strain.

 

Considering you have a sound engineering background, I'm genuinely interested to know how you came about your impression. For all I know, my ears may need a calibration biggrin.gif

post #1311 of 1680
Quote:
Originally Posted by aleki View Post

 

I've heard that between these, the FA-003, and maybe some of the other rebrands, there are some differences in the pads which could certainly make a difference.

 

This is just conjecture based on subjective experience on my part, but I think these may be rather sensitive to impedance matching with amps. Out of a Roland Octacapture interface which IIRC has an output impedance of 68ohms, the muddiness and overall lack of clarity was quite bad. Out of a different 10ohm interface I had at home and my Cowon, it never sounded like it did out of that Roland. The dark muddiness aspect was still there as I think that was just part of the sound signature of the headphones, but it wasn't near as bad. Again, I'm hypothesizing.

 

To clarify, I hope my wording didn't come off as too stark in my little re-review. The veil/mud was not extreme or super terrible or anything, but it was enough to be noticeable and bothersome. I did mean to express my overall dissatisfaction with these in any case. At least they weren't as bad as the TMA-1s. That was truly "one note bass," and rolled off to boot, haha.

 

I liked and disliked the treble at the same time. I thought the quality was remarkably good and there was no giant treble spike of death, the quantity was just a bit low for me and had a tendency to get a little overshadowed by the bass. It still was the most accurate tonality of cymbals I've heard to date (not that I've heard tons of headphones), and actually I think this was probably due at least in part to the smoothness/roll-off. Not necessarily because that's the ideal response for reproducing the natural sound of cymbals, but a majority of recordings I've heard have the cymbals EQ'd way to bright and sparkly, so the HM5s ending up kind of compensating for that. I'm a drummer for reference.

 

I'm not sure about the whole volume thing. Honestly I never listen at very loud levels, so I didn't really notice anything.

 

I felt like I heard real potential in the drivers and I can see why people have said a lot of what they have said about these. I think it might be due to badly designed cups/enclosure which caused a lot of the issues I felt I was hearing, especially the whole "echo" thing. I listened to these open-backed once just for fun. While the sound became 10x muddier, if you ignored that the mids greatly improved (and in isolation I already thought they were pretty good). I think this may be akin to the "euphoric detail" as you described it. It's something I've only experienced with open headphones so far. The soundstage got better as well. It was a long time ago and just a short impression though, so don't quote me, haha. I wonder if the various mods which came out shortly after I sold them might have helped.

 

Wow really rambling with the long posts today...

 

Also, I don't really have a background in sound engineering, but it is one of my interests. tongue.gif I don't have any professional experience or specific formal education or anything. I'm just a student with a few aspirations and I record and mix my own band. There are people on these forums who know and have experienced 100x more than me, but these are my honest thoughts.


Edited by manveru - 9/14/12 at 12:56am
post #1312 of 1680

My first night listening to these. Not completely sure what I think of them so far.

 

The clamping force on my version is very light, which is ironic, because I prefer a tight clamp...

 

 

post #1313 of 1680
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

HM5s are $99.50 on pre-order at MP4Nation. Looks like the Zirconia stand comes with it for free. 

That's a really good deal, cannot wait to get mine.
post #1314 of 1680

Unless these REALLY transform with additional burn-in (I've got about 30-40 hours on them so far), then I've finally placed my finger on what bothers me about these. The treble is overly flattering, to the point of being very inaccurate.

 

When I hear a hard cymbal hit on my Shures it sounds about like a cymbal in real life does. Harsh and bright? Yes. Just like a cymbal in real life. The SRH840's greatest fault is that it doesn't hide things like that, so you get a teeth-cringer here and there if the volume is too loud. Bad live recordings can be agonizing.

 

On the HM5s (or my version, the XPT100s), cymbals sound no brighter than snares. This is cool in my K 240s which I use for fun listening rather than recording, but I ordered the HM5 clones for overdubbing and detail checking in my home studio just like my Shures. Knowing that the treble is "pleasant" makes me a lot less confident about them in that setting.

 

The Shures are undoubtedly more transparent. Kick drums and bass guitars sound like kick drums and bass guitars (low and boomy). Cymbals sound like cymbals (harsh and bright). Vocal nuances are revealed. Everything is at the pitch it would be at a live performance. When you listen to a genuinely pleasant well-done recording, everything sounds tight and balanced, but only when the recording is actually tight and balanced.

 

On the HM5 clones, the bass is always present, never absent nor excessive (contrast to the Shure's which sound bassless on bassless mixes and bassy on bassy mixes).

The mid-range and human vocals sound distant and, again, pleasant (contrast to the Shures, with which I can almost tell how far the singer was from the mic).

The treble is smooth and never allowed to shriek. Excellent recordings and fair recordings both merely sound pleasant (contrast to the Shures which allow you to hear the sparkle of an acoustic guitar but also the pain of a too-closely-mic'd drumset).

 

I wouldn't say I'm disappointed because they do sound good and they're extremely comfortable (the XPT100s include upgraded pads from the other clones and pretty much feel like a pillow on your ears). I'm just not sure how all of these other Head-Fiers are hearing these as the king of neutrality/transparency/accuracy/etc. They're not even close. They're just really pleasant non-fatiguing headphones with a reasonably balanced sound signature, similar to many of the higher-end Sennheisers, but for less money. The sound is way more on the recreational side of things than the studio/analytical side of things.


Edited by machoboy - 9/16/12 at 1:55am
post #1315 of 1680
Quote:
Originally Posted by machoboy View Post

 

When I hear a hard cymbal hit on my Shures it sounds about like a cymbal in real life does. Harsh and bright? Yes. Just like a cymbal in real life. The SRH840's greatest fault is that it doesn't hide things like that, so you get a teeth-cringer here and there if the volume is too loud. Bad live recordings can be agonizing.

 

I'm just not sure how all of these other Head-Fiers are hearing these as the king of neutrality/transparency/accuracy/etc. They're not even close. They're just really pleasant non-fatiguing headphones with a reasonably balanced sound signature, similar to many of the higher-end Sennheisers, but for less money. The sound is way more on the recreational side of things than the studio/analytical side of things.

 

Interesting. This is the exact opposite about what I thought. I didn't like them overall, but the one thing I have to tip my hat to the HM5s for was having the most accurate timbre for cymbals that I've ever heard, precisely because of how polite and non-bright the treble was. It didn't have what I consider to be that nasty and colorful 9kHz mountain a majority of headphones seem to possess. I've been a drummer since I was 8, and I wouldn't say that cymbals sound "harsh and bright" in real life, especially if they're non-brilliant finish cymbals. Not at all like the way they do in recordings anyway. There are exceptions of course, but a large percentage of recordings I find have cymbals mixed way too bright and shiny to the point of being very unrealistic, especially when listened to on headphones like the Shures with a giant treble spike coloring the highs and making them harsh and edgy. The politeness of the HM5 treble probably would be too much on the rarer recording with the cymbals mixed rather darkly or with little treble boost. Things like jazz recordings where the cymbals were mixed very natural and neither dark nor overemphasized bright sounded good on the HM5 when considered in isolation, but the treble kind of got buried under the mid/upper bass because of the overall darkish sound signature, IME.

 

Totally agree on the bolded part.

post #1316 of 1680

I've had HM5 cans since the summer and I just noticed that the aluminium(?) sheet from the other phone is starting to come off. Does anyone know if it's only a decoration (so I can wait it to fall off and glue back again) or the actual back wall of the can?

post #1317 of 1680

Seems like they're back in stock at MP4 Nation. Mine was marked as "shipped" todaysmily_headphones1.gif
 

post #1318 of 1680

They are again in stock and shipping.

post #1319 of 1680

99.50 with free shipping and headphone stand. I bit

post #1320 of 1680

Mine are supposed to get to my house today... cannot wait.  These are my first "decent" pair of headphones.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › [Review] Brainwavz HM5, A New Neutral Champ