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Ultrasone Headphones - Any Comments??

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hi guys, I,m looking at buying a pair of Ultrasone Headphones and after any comments from owners that may have them and how do they sound.

 

I'm looking at either the HFi 780 or the Pro 900.......both of these are Closed back designs and wondering if anybody knows how good they are at isolating sound....i.e do they leak sound very much?

 

I was looking at the Pro 650 but to be honest, I really don't like the colour of the headband, it seems to be blue...silly I know and shouldn't be a concern, but they just look horrible to me.

 

Any comments on the 780 or 900's

post #2 of 13


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason36 View Post

Hi guys, I,m looking at buying a pair of Ultrasone Headphones and after any comments from owners that may have them and how do they sound.

 

I'm looking at either the HFi 780 or the Pro 900.......both of these are Closed back designs and wondering if anybody knows how good they are at isolating sound....i.e do they leak sound very much?

 

I was looking at the Pro 650 but to be honest, I really don't like the colour of the headband, it seems to be blue...silly I know and shouldn't be a concern, but they just look horrible to me.

 

Any comments on the 780 or 900's


The pro 900 have a decent bass response which packs a punch ,the lower treble is the most prominent part of there sound ,which makes electric guitars really sing ,one of my favorites for electric guitar , vocals are also quite prominent but combined with the strong lower treble if the recording has any trace of vocal sibilance in it they will pick it out and amplify it and spit it back out at you with a vengeance .

 Sound stage is rather small for a full sized can but not confined to within your head and over all they sound really good with well mastered recordings.Isolation is fairly good and i find them very comfortable to wear for long sessions.

 

post #3 of 13

 

Quote:
vocals are also quite prominent but combined with the strong lower treble if the recording has any trace of vocal sibilance in it they will pick it out and amplify it and spit it back out at you with a vengeance .

 Sound stage is rather small for a full sized can but not confined to within your head and over all they sound really good with well mastered recordings.Isolation is fairly good and i find them very comfortable to wear for long sessions.

 

If i can give my opinion.

 

Pro900 has recessed mids and effectively some sibilance can be heard with some music. Even slightly harsh with some.

 

Soudstage is, imo, not small for a closed headphone but not huge. Good soundstage for a closed, for example, much better than M50.

 

Isolation is good, but not excellent 'cause of the velour pad, but comfortable.

 

 

Quote:
I'm looking at either the HFi 780 or the Pro 900.......both of these are Closed back designs and wondering if anybody knows how good they are at isolating sound....i.e do they leak sound very much?

 

Two different worlds.

 

HFi780 has a much better isolation than pro900. Pro900 SQ is overal better than HFi780, but 780 has more engaging mids, more forward, good soundstage, but lesser than Pro900. Bass are very good from the HFi780, but Pro900 bass are better in quality and quantity.

 

If you primarily like Hiphop/rap/EDM... Pro900 is the best choice, if you prefer rock, pop rock... HFi 780 ll be better imo.

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DVDRey View Post

Two different worlds.

 

HFi780 has a much better isolation than pro900. Pro900 SQ is overal better than HFi780, but 780 has more engaging mids, more forward, good soundstage, but lesser than Pro900. Bass are very good from the HFi780, but Pro900 bass are better in quality and quantity.

 

If you primarily like Hiphop/rap/EDM... Pro900 is the best choice, if you prefer rock, pop rock... HFi 780 ll be better imo.



No not into hip / hop / EDM.....I tend to listen to more rock type music and female vocals.....everything from Simon & Garfunkal, through Pink Floyd to kings of Lyon. It sounds like the HFi 780 may be a better option from that point and also the isolation.

post #5 of 13

If you like female vocal, HFi 780 is very good, but SRH940 or W1000x ll be better. Pro900 with female vocal isn't very good.

post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by DVDRey View Post

If you like female vocal, HFi 780 is very good, but SRH940 or W1000x ll be better. Pro900 with female vocal isn't very good.



What can you tell about HFi 580 vs Shure 440 vs HFi 780 vs Shure 840. I generally listen to pop. Comfort and SQ.

 

Is 780 worth paying more than 580 ( 440 vs 840)? I've read that Shures are not comfortable ( headband is flat).


Edited by mutabor - 12/24/11 at 10:49am
post #7 of 13

 

Quote:

What can you tell about HFi 580 vs Shure 440 vs HFi 780 vs Shure 840. I generally listen to pop. Comfort and SQ.

 

Is 780 worth paying more than 580 ( 440 vs 840)? I've read that Shures are not comfortable ( headband is flat).

 

The best in your list is HFi 780 and SRH840.

 

SRH840 is not comfortable for long cession.

 

Yes 780 is better than 580 but less bassy.

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

I think for my listening tastes the HFi 780 are the best bet then, especially if they have a good mid range, which I think will go well with female vocals such as Sophie Zelmani, Joni Mitchell, Laura Marling, Laura Veirs and similar.

 

I like to know the Bass is there but I don't like "in ya face" head rumbling bass. I am also used to Grado's (I'm currently modding my SR80i) so again like a headphone that is quiet forward and detailed in its presentation.

 

 

post #9 of 13

I would like to say that your choice of the HFi-780 is a good one. I own them and they sound absolutely amazing. The bass, as you like it, imho, isn't, "in ya face". Granted I haven't listened to the Pro 900's but I've heard they seem to be more comfortable and you can listen for longer lengths. Maybe I just have a small head but my 780's haven't caused me any head pain, and I've worn them for long lengths of time.


Edited by Redrider469 - 12/28/11 at 10:26am
post #10 of 13

I have the HFI-780 and the Pro 900.  I don't know how much research you've done, but it seems like what you're looking for is the Grado sound (incidentally, I also have the SR-80i which you also have, as well as an SR-325is) in a closed-form.  Ultrasones are sometimes referred to as "closed Grados," which is not far off, since both brands tend to have strong treble and an aggressive, forward sound. However, some of your other considerations make me think you might not want to be too set on an Ultrasone, at least not without more research or ideally, testing different headphones out.

 

The 900 has decent isolation, but the 780 is definitely significantly better at blocking outside sound.  In terms of leaking sound, neither does this very much, but 900 a little moreso.  It still wouldn't be very noticable unless you played them loudly in a quiet environment.

 

I don't really think either are the best you can find when it comes to female vocals.  Most people don't find them natural-sounding enough, and Ultrasones tend to be suited better to more synthetic genres of music.  Of the two, I prefer the 900 though, as the sound quality is more clear and detailed than the 780.  I'm perfectly fine listening to something like female vocal trance on the 900, but for more acoustic-based music I'm usually reaching for a can from a different manufacturer. 

 

Coming from the SR-80i, if you are concerned about the amount of bass, you may find both of them overpowering, especially the 900.  In that sense, you may be better off with something a little more neutral like the HFI-680, or even something from another brand like the the Shure SRH-840, Sennheiser HD 25-1 II,  Fischer-Audio FA-003, or even the new AKG K550. 


Edited by LithoJazoSphere - 12/28/11 at 12:18pm
post #11 of 13

To answer a few more of your questions, the Pro900 is one of the leakier closed headphones and I've seen people around here asking for mods to try and fix that, but the HFI-780 doesn't have leakage problems to my knowledge. Think semi-open type of leaking -- it'll leak and people will hear it if you like your music a bit louder, but it's not nearly as bad if you listen quietly. 

 

As for them having the Grado sound, they -kind of- have it, but the treble emphasis is in different places. Both have emphasized treble, but it's kind of different -- the Grados emphasize the vocals heavily and bring them forward, but the Ultrasones emphasize the upper treble even more, giving the music this kind of unnatural tone and gives me headaches to listen to them too long. Ultrasones do have significantly better bass than the Grados, though. 

 

Here is my general take on Ultrasone in general:

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by SanjiWatsuki View Post

This is very true. Ultrasones typically have emphasized bass and a very high energy treble with spiky peaks.

Emphasized bass, receded mids, high energy treble.

Emphasized bass, receded mids, high energy treble. 

More emphasized bass, receded mids, high energy treble.

Look at that mid-bass hump and high energy treble.

Pro900? VERY big bass emphasis with high energy treble. 

 

Notice how the treble is level with the mids? Even the "super bright, super emphasized treble" Grados have reduced upper treble compared to the Ultrasones -- not just the Pro900, but every single Ultrasone. High energy treble is the calling card of the Ultrasone. Bass emphasis shows up on probably 50-75% of their models.

 

If the M50 is supposed to have receded mids, just imagine the difference compared to how much the mids drop off on the Pro900. Receded mids. 

 

Here's a big topic complaining about the receded mids on the Pro900.

Here's a nice little post about the receded mids and unnaturally high energy treble. 

 

But let's move onto other Ultrasones. Let's look at your HFI-780.

 

To present why I suggest against them, let's start with the objective. They have abnormally high distortion into the lower frequencies for a headphone of its price point.  The significantly higher distortion at 100dB compared to 90dB implies that they have poor power handling. They have below average isolation for a closed headphone at -10dBr. For reference, the difference between that and the CAL! is 2dB. The KRK KNS 8400 has -16dBr of isolation -- an above average isolationReviews on Head-Fi show that the comfort is below average on the Ultrasone HFI-780 -- 2.5 stars for comfort is the worst number I've ever seen on a headphone with more than 1 review. 

 

As for my personal experience with Ultrasones, I hate them. They are one of my least favorite headphone companies because I find their headphones to offer the most unnatural treble I've ever heard in a full-sized headphone. The bass is nice, I will admit, but I dislike the presentation of the mids and the treble with a passion. I know from reading on this forum that I'm not the only one who thinks that the Ultrasone brand has one of the weirdest timbres and most unnatural sounding presentation. Some people like this style of presentation with very high upper treble emphasis, but it's incredibly love it or hate it. I think this is part of the reason why Ultrasone is a brand with poor ratings in the Head-Fi reviews section in general, but has a few very vehement fans. 

 

 

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the advice guys......I really do have doubts as to whether the Ultrasone will fit my requirements now.....shure's have been mentioned here a fair bit.....it's just a shame I find their headphones so dam ugly and plasticky looking!!

 

As an interim I have recently purchased a pair of AKG K271 MkII, which so far seem to be hitting the spot......these have bee bought with a view to saving some more money and buying the Audio Technica W1000's in 2012.

 

post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by LithoJazoSphere View Post

I have the HFI-780 and the Pro 900.  I don't know how much research you've done, but it seems like what you're looking for is the Grado sound (incidentally, I also have the SR-80i which you also have, as well as an SR-325is) in a closed-form.  Ultrasones are sometimes referred to as "closed Grados," which is not far off, since both brands tend to have strong treble and an aggressive, forward sound. However, some of your other considerations make me think you might not want to be too set on an Ultrasone, at least not without more research or ideally, testing different headphones out.

 

The 900 has decent isolation, but the 780 is definitely significantly better at blocking outside sound.  In terms of leaking sound, neither does this very much, but 900 a little moreso.  It still wouldn't be very noticable unless you played them loudly in a quiet environment.

 

I don't really think either are the best you can find when it comes to female vocals.  Most people don't find them natural-sounding enough, and Ultrasones tend to be suited better to more synthetic genres of music.  Of the two, I prefer the 900 though, as the sound quality is more clear and detailed than the 780.  I'm perfectly fine listening to something like female vocal trance on the 900, but for more acoustic-based music I'm usually reaching for a can from a different manufacturer. 

 

Coming from the SR-80i, if you are concerned about the amount of bass, you may find both of them overpowering, especially the 900.  In that sense, you may be better off with something a little more neutral like the HFI-680, or even something from another brand like the the Shure SRH-840, Sennheiser HD 25-1 II,  Fischer-Audio FA-003, or even the new AKG K550. 

I've had the Grado 80, 125, 225, 325is, and greatly enjoy the Grado sound.

Currently, I have the 225i which are my favorites of all those listed.

 

I also have the HFI 780, among various others from different manufacturers.

 

 

This post captures my impressions of the headphones it mentions, and does so better than I could.

It's very thoughtful, accurate, and nuanced.

 

Based on what the OP has posted, I think he should be looking to a manufacturer other than Ultrasone.

I like listening to my 780's, almost exclusively for electronic music. They're a blast, but I know they don't sound "real".

 

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