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Just got HFI-580s...defective???

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 

Hey all.  First time poster, short time lurker.  I'm hoping I can draw on the experience of some of you to figure out what I have going on.  First a back story:


I'm into HT and all types of music, and I love a good rumble (low-end Velodyne sub in a small room).  My wife, however, doesn't.  Also, we have two young boys, and it seems like the only time I have to watch movies or listen to music is when they're sleeping.  So you see the problem.


I've been wanting a decent set of closed headphones to solve this problem for a while, and the wife delivered for Christmas this year.  Problem is, she bought wireless Sonys (can't recall the model), and they were nothing but static.  Not blaming the phones per se...I do have a lot of wireless crap going on in here.  Just didn't work out.


I returned them and hopped over to Costco to pick up the V-Moda Crossfire LPs they had on sale for $80.  They looked awesome and were pretty comfy, but the bass was really overpowering and sloppy.  My bass tastes have always leaned toward the sealed-box, controlled, tight flavors, and these weren't it.  I read a bunch of opinions here that seemed congruent with what I was hearing.  So back to Costco they went.


I poked around here a little more and kept seeing the Ultrasone HFI-580s mentioned favorably.  A quick Google search led me to B&H Photo where they had them for $119 shipped, which is the top of my budget, so I ordered them.  They arrived today, and I was psyched to try them, but let down when I did.  The bass is just not there.  With the V-Modas I had to lower the bass to -2 (range is -6 to +6) just to listen.  With the 580s, +6 still isn't enough.  It's there, but anemic.  Tight, and controlled, but just lacking in a major way.  Eminem was completely unimpressive.  I hoped Maroon Five's Moves Like Jagger would rattle my head.  Nothing.  Zac Brown is good for some upright bass - another letdown.  Also, the high mids seem shrill and annoying - Sugarland's Stuck on You sounded ok at first, but when Nettles gets into her power vocals, it was like someone was stabbing my eardrums.  


They're plugged into a Pioneer VSX-517 HT receiver, and I'm listening to CDs played by a Panny BD-85 blu-ray player.  To reiterate - The V-Modas had to be dialed WAY down on the bass to make them listenable, but when they were they sounded decent (with sloppy bass), so it's not a receiver / player setting or lack of driving ability, it would seem.  


I've requested a replacement pair from B&H.  I can only hope that I got a defect / dud.  Most people call these basshead phones, but I have read a couple people say they thought the 580s had no bass, so maybe a few bad eggs make it out...?  Any thoughts?

Edited by brick - 12/28/11 at 6:09pm
post #2 of 35

Maybe a defective HFi580, but strange.


AV receiver are generally bad with dynamic, but...


I don't know if the HFi580 is for basshead, but HFi580 has good punchy bass, this isn't normal that you don't hear them.

post #3 of 35

My 580s needed some pretty serious burn-in before they started to shine. You might wanna wait until they have a few hundred hours on them before you pass judgement.

post #4 of 35
Thread Starter 

A few hundred hours?  Damn...seems like a pretty big commitment. I don't think B&H would take them back after a couple weeks. Maybe I'll try it if the replacement set sounds the same...or maybe I'll just give up on these and try something else. So many rave reviews right out of the box, and mine sounded terrible. I just don't see it being anything other than a bad set. 

post #5 of 35

Try them from a different source like a laptop or something and get back to us? Just to see if they didn't take well to your set up. Also, a couple hundred hours seems a bit eccentric to me. Even some hardcore headphones will settle down a decent amount after 24 hours....

post #6 of 35

It's funny that you don't hear the bass, considering they market these for bass players. That does lead me to believe that your product could be defective. As for burn in time, 200+hrs is crazy! I've never heard of the 580s taking that long to burn in.


I know you said that your budget is $120 but I recommend you save an extra $30 and buy the Ultrasone HFi-780. They are specifically tuned for movies and gaming. No amp required either. You might consider stretching them out over a box a night or two so they don't squeeze your head too hard. (If you you happen to have a larger head)

post #7 of 35

Yeah, the 780s are more balanced sounding than the 580s from what I hear and serve a wider purpose.

post #8 of 35

They are. Some will argue otherwise but to me they are balanced nicely . They also have that good sound stage which will make you feel as if you're in the movie.


Since you have control over the EQ from your receiver, maybe look at the 680s, the most balanced of all, and adjust it specifically to how you like it. Idk how well that would work or if the bass would be too little. Anyone own the 680s to give an opinion?

post #9 of 35
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the input. I did try them with my desktop (CSB x-fi card) with the same result. Even googled some dubstep expecting to be deafened. Nope. 


Something I thought of this morning - could ambient temperature have caused te problem?  They were shipped from NY to CT, and it's cold here. They were inside for a few hours...probably six hours at my last check. Might they need longer to warm up?  They didn't feel cold on my head...


I'm planning to go thru with the exchange and cross my fingers. If the replacement sounds the same I'll give them a couple days on repeat, and if they still don't perform I'll be looking for something else. 

post #10 of 35

Could be the temperature but I doubt it. My 780's were outside for a while at 35º and they sounded great out of the box. How cold was it outside?

post #11 of 35

Well headphones are a combination of electronics and mechanics(I think.......) but the thing about electronics is that the colder the better, only heat will do them in really. So I doubt cold is the issue but condensation could mess them up. I'd still send them back honestly. The 580s are a bassy headphone by nature.

post #12 of 35
Thread Starter 

It was probably in the mid 20s yesterday afternoon...I'm definitely swapping them. Fingers crossed for the second pair. smily_headphones1.gif

post #13 of 35

That's not cold enough, even for a full mechanical product. I highly doubt the cold did anything to them, especially in a box.

post #14 of 35


I know you said that your budget is $120 but I recommend you save an extra $30 and buy the Ultrasone HFi-780.


If he must get +6 with the HFi580, he ll get +10 for HFi780,lol.




I highly doubt the cold did anything to them, especially in a box.


Always leave an electrical/electronic device a while at ambient temperature of your room for preventing condensation, before use it. Move too quickly from cold to heat is never good for electronic device and materials that comprise a driver are mostly very sensitive.


post #15 of 35
That is true but even then, the risk is low. If you opened the son of a mother and start using it immediately then I can imagine that happening but something like a hard drive and a headphone where it will be sitting around for at least ten to twenty minutes before direct use, you will be fine. As long as your room isnt really cold.
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