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M-Audio Q40 or Ultrasone HFI-580?

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 

Which would you buy and why?  M-Audio Q40 for $120 or Ultrasone HFI-580 for $138.  How do these compare?  Thanks!

post #2 of 37

I would go for Q40 if you don't intend to use for portable use, with portable use HFI-580 has a more fitting design (ok well the Q40 fold which HFI-580 doesn't but the Q40 is also bigger while on the head and too big to keep it around the neck and also has the wires sticking out which may potentially get damaged by mistake on the go). Both are good soundwise, the Q40 is less aggressive (not as in-your-face treble) but definitely not lacking either, it's neutral. Basswise the Q40 is stronger and extends better but both have very controlled good quality bass but yea the noteworthy difference is the better extension on Q40. Mids on both should be quite neutral but because the HFI-580 has a very slight V-shape sound the mids may seem somewhat more recessed on HFI-580. Soundstage wise, unless doing any mods the HFI-580 should have a little larger stage but if you do simple modding to the shallow Q40 stock pads and stuff some paper or whatever underneath the pads to make the cups deeper, they are about the same. You can also buy BeyerDynamic DT770 pads for the Q40 which improves the sound (soundstage mostly) and comfort and the look/feel of it.


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 3/10/12 at 5:17am
post #3 of 37


My views exactly, i have tried the hfi-580 and the q40's with velours sound better for me, has a decent clamp but not too much to hurt, thats what i chose, i was in the same shoes as you and have never looked back from the q40's!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGWiZaRD View Post

I would go for Q40 if you don't intend to use for portable use, with portable use HFI-580 has a more fitting design (ok well the Q40 fold which HFI-580 doesn't but the Q40 is also bigger while on the head and too big to keep it around the neck and also has the wires sticking out which may potentially get damaged by mistake on the go). Both are good soundwise, the Q40 is less aggressive (not as in-your-face treble) but definitely not lacking either, it's neutral. Basswise the Q40 is stronger and extends better but both have very controlled good quality bass but yea the noteworthy difference is the better extension on Q40. Mids on both should be quite neutral but because the HFI-580 has a very slight V-shape sound the mids may seem somewhat more recessed on HFI-580. Soundstage wise, unless doing any mods the HFI-580 should have a little larger stage but if you do simple modding to the shallow Q40 stock pads and stuff some paper or whatever underneath the pads to make the cups deeper, they are about the same. You can also buy BeyerDynamic DT770 pads for the Q40 which improves the sound (soundstage mostly) and comfort and the look/feel of it.


 

 

post #4 of 37
Thread Starter 

Thank you!  Exactly the comparison that I was looking for.  I've ordered the Q40 :-)  Can't wait to get them!

post #5 of 37

Is it difficult to change the pads on the q40 cause i always break stuff easily,so i am worried about that and really want the Q40,but the comfort is something i miss with the Q40 so i need those other pads from the dt770 how much are they...? grtzzzz d^^b

post #6 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by dailysmoker View Post

Is it difficult to change the pads on the q40 cause i always break stuff easily,so i am worried about that and really want the Q40,but the comfort is something i miss with the Q40 so i need those other pads from the dt770 how much are they...? grtzzzz d^^b


I changed the pads easily. They just slide on.

 

The DT770 velour pads are $29~35+shipping directly from Beyer. Mine came from them within like 3~5 days. I got mine for cheaper, but the price seems to fluctuate. Here's alternative sites that have them: One, Two.

 

As for sound, the Ultrasones (closed backs) are more bright and don't clamp as much. The Q40 clamps more, and has less bright treble. I prefer the sound of the Q40 to the PRO900. Flame away PRO900 fans, but it is what it is. I get all the super bass cannon and earthquake shake, without the ear splitting treble and I don't have to use an equalizer, and it's for a third of the cost.

 

Q40_20.jpg

 

Q40_13.jpg

 

Very best,

post #7 of 37

Have been wanting to try the Q-40 since MalV told me about them a few weeks. Not sure that I can resist any longer. Best price on them?

 

Just checked amazon...$99 is that good?

post #8 of 37

Sorry that was not correct. When you add to cart they are $119 :-(

post #9 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post

Have been wanting to try the Q-40 since MalV told me about them a few weeks. Not sure that I can resist any longer. Best price on them?

 

Just checked amazon...$99 is that good?



You too ?

 

Are we sure MalV isn't a hidden M-Audio sales rep ?

 

Just kidding... but my Q40's are in the mail. 119$. Should get them tomorrow. Can't wait (oh, with the mandatory velour pads).

Q40's were very popular a little way back vs the infamous ATH-M50 I believe (used Search). To me, I'd wear them outside no problem (while being carefull) because even with their size I find them very good looking in pictures (I don't know why... but I do).

I can't wait to compare SRH750DJ vs Q40.

I love the Ultrasone sound, I love my 580's and my Pro900s, but in no way is my soul sold to their sound signature even if it fits right with my tastes.  

 

 

 


Edited by rainblack - 3/13/12 at 11:54am
post #10 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by rainblack View Post


You too ?

 

Are we sure MalV isn't a hidden M-Audio sales rep ?

 

Just kidding... but my Q40's are in the mail. 119$. Should get them tomorrow. Can't wait (oh, with the mandatory velour pads).

Q40's were very popular a little way back vs the infamous ATH-M50 I believe (used Search). To me, I'd wear them outside no problem (while being carefull) because even with their size I find them very good looking in pictures (I don't know why... but I do).

I can't wait to compare SRH750DJ vs Q40.

I love the Ultrasone sound, I love my 580's and my Pro900s, but in no way is my soul sold to their sound signature even if it fits right with my tastes.  


Maybe he is and wants to get a salary hike! :D No but seriously I'm suprised how little was talked about Q40 until recently when I decided to pick em up, they are fantastic at the price point, especially bass response exceeds way its price point IMO and they are quite good allrounders, I actually like how these handle even acoustic music which isn't for example Ultrasone PRO900's strong point. The weaknesses being the stock pads and the quite poor soundstage with the stock pads (not suprising as they are very shallow and there's almost no room between the ears and the drivers so naturally there's no possibility to have a good soundstage unless you do like I did and modded the stock pads so I put extra stuffing beneath them to make the cups deeper, then the soundstage actually got from about average closed to very good soundstage for a closed headphone (still not quite Beyer DT770 standards but not far away) but instrument separation is excellent.

 

Q40 are so far the headphones that have had the closest to ideal response for my liking, I only touch the EQ very little... one notch up at 500Hz, 1kHz and 4kHz as I'm a fan of forward/in-your-face midrange which it gets whit that change, without it's just neutral and well balanced but I personally prefer a slight warm tilt (mids tiny bit higher elevated than highs for a fullier sound, you know that HE-500, LCD2 etc sound).

 


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 3/13/12 at 12:32pm
post #11 of 37
Thread Starter 

I received my Q40's today.  I only got about 20 minutes with them on my lunch break, but I'm able to say that I'm impressed!  I listened to a few FLACs and watched the strobe light shoot out scene from the movie kick ass. As Mal said... great bass, the treble didn't rip my head off, and I didn't have to mess with the EQ.  It's a great scene by the way...  for your enjoyment (the fun starts at 4:25):

 

 

Not sure if there's a need for a break in period, but I've got them running anyway.

 

I ordered a set of grey velour pads from Dale Pro Audio for $29.00 (free ship)

B&H Photo has them in black for $29.85 (free ship)

 

 


Edited by opinicus - 3/13/12 at 2:07pm
post #12 of 37

Please report when you get the velour pads if you notice any changes besides better soundstage, I haven't ordered any replacement pads as I'm satisfied with modding the stock pads and scared of what small changes to sound it would cause that I may possibly not appriciate with the Beyer pads and 25 EUR+shipping is a lot for a pair of pads. :P

 

BTW, what's with that ridiculously overpowered bass in that video, keeps almost constantly vibrating my ears when paired with ZO2 amp.


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 3/13/12 at 1:17pm
post #13 of 37
Thread Starter 

 

 

Quote:
what's with that ridiculously overpowered bass

 

That's you tube for ya, lol.  I watched it from bluray, and didn't check the audio quality of the you tube clip....  sorry.  I replaced the link with one that sounds a bit better...  still not as good at the source. 

 

I'll let you know what I think of the pads...   I should have them in a few days.

post #14 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by opinicus View Post

 

 

 

That's you tube for ya, lol.  I watched it from bluray, and didn't check the audio quality of the you tube clip....  sorry.  I replaced the link with one that sounds a bit better...  still not as good at the source. 

 

I'll let you know what I think of the pads...   I should have them in a few days.


Np, was wondering if it was supposed to have that much bass or not though. xD Sounds good now. :)

 

 

EDIT: Lately I've started using this EQ setting as I love especially a forward lower midrange:

 

Q40-newestEQ.png

31:   +1dB

62:     0

125:   0

250: +1dB

500: +3dB

1k:   +2dB

2k:   +1dB

4k:   +2dB

8k:     0

16k: +1dB

 

Without EQ it's slightly more neutral sounding and with this settings it's more warmer sounding with more in your face vocals but still keeping the same clarity (gives me shivers listening to some songs with good vocal performance with these settings). EQing works very well for this headphone so don't be afraid to play around with it even if does sound good without any EQ settings too. :P


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 3/13/12 at 2:57pm
post #15 of 37

Sweet thx man but everyone is getting them so cheap 119 $ is like 80 euro and i can not get them under 150 euro here so that is like double of what you guys pay......but  will get them anyway.....:)

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