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Sennheiser HD700 Review - Page 11

post #151 of 214
To my mind, this is an excellent review, but it overly emphasizes the sound signature. Whenever I receive new headphones, I listen to them with a flat EQ, then, using a number of reference recordings, tune them according to how they should sound (I used to be a semi-professional classical musician--professional, had I not received a scholarship in another field to which I was equally devoted--and have a pretty good idea of how a wide range of instruments should sound). I would imagine few here just accept the sound signature of the manufacturer without making a few adjustments--after all, if you're interested in audiophile headphones, chances are, you've got a pretty good ear, not to mention personal quirks of taste. This isn't to say I haven't had to return headphones, or return them for repair, because of their sound signature. I've had to return HD-600s and HD-650s because I had to perform what I would consider extraordinary EQ manipulation to get the headphones sounding half-way decent (in every case, Sennheiser has confirmed I was correct, that the headphones didn't fall within the range of acceptable sound signatures). So, one question for me is, can the sound signature of the HD-700 be reasonably adjusted? Also, what, separate from the sound signature, is the quality of the audio?
I've been auditioning the HD-700s for about 100 hours now. They're the most comfortable headphone I've ever used and the build quality is quite good (much, much better than the HD-600/HD-650, and without any clamping force--which happens even when the headphones are adjusted--at the jaw and glands). When I first received the headphones, I found them far too bright. There wasn't just frequent sibilance, but after a few hours of listening, my ears felt like they were bleeding. The spike at 20khz was pretty unbearable, which was surprising, since I didn't realize I could hear that frequency (I'm 44, so expected I lost my ears with age, or blasted away that part of my ear in my late teens). The headphones were far too analytical for my taste: there's a point at which a headphone's analytical ability challenges or even entirely subverts my ability to enjoy the music. Fortunately, that peak mellowed considerably, as did the lower treble spike that caused the sibilance. 50 hours in, the headphones require minimal EQ adjustments: they need a little bit at 20khz, and a bit more for sub- and mid-bass, and a couple other very minor adjustments.
As for the quality of the audio, it beats the HD-650 hands down. There's zero mudiness in the bass; the bass is controlled and, on the whole, pretty remarkable. The mids are clear and gorgeous: guitars, violins, and voices are just beautiful. The treble is where the headphone runs into trouble, but any defects can easily be compensated for. Once that's done, the treble whoops the HD-650. Overall, the sound is just better, making it clear the HD-700 is in a different class. I do not agree with those who have asserted choosing between the HD-650 and HD-700 is simply a question of taste. It's not. Yes, they have different sound signatures, which are definitely a question of taste. But the audio quality is far better on the HD-700--just as it should be. What's more, the soundstage is far superior on the HD-700s--really, there's no comparison between the two headphones on this score. The question for me isn't "do I enjoy the factory sound signature on the HD-700s more?" (in fact, I rather prefer the darker default sound signature on the HD-650s), or is the HD-700 a better headphone than the HD-650 (it is in just about every measurable way), but rather, is the HD-700 worth two HD-650s? Is it $500 better than the HD-650? I haven't quite decided yet. The soundstage alone makes the HD-700 worth more than the HD-650. But, ultimately, I'd feel more confident, even triumphant, with the purchase if the HD-700s were priced at $800 rather than $1,000.
post #152 of 214

Having these headphones on my head for... about 40 minutes now...

 

 

I'm a new audiophile

 

Yes...

 

:O

post #153 of 214
Quote:
Originally Posted by XVampireX View Post

Having these headphones on my head for... about 40 minutes now...

 

 

I'm a new audiophile

 

Yes...

 

:O

 

this is just wrong on so many levels :D

post #154 of 214

I've also been able to spend a lot of time with a demo HD 700 thanks to Justin at Headamp. And as an owner of the HD 650 and HE-400, I must say that I have very much enojoyed them and have definitely surpased my expectations.

 

My first impression of the build quality was met with skepticism (especially for a $1000 headphone) but once they were on, my skepticism disappeared. I used to think Mr. Speakers Mad Dogs were the most comfortable, but the HD 700 knocks that theory right out. They are the HD 800's lighter, smaller cousin and also happen to be the most comfortable headphones I've ever tried on. Thanks to the HD 700, now when I put on my HE-400 it feels like I have two paint cans pressed up to my ears. I had the HD 700 on for nearly two and a half hours in one sitting and I only had to adjust them one time. You could easily forget they are even on your head at times.

The soft nylon cable is a nice touch, and feels very sturdy. Unfortunately the y-split and 1/4" plug, while solid, have a rather cheap look to them.

 

The treble on the HD 700 was odd sounding at first, almost metallic, but after my ears adjusted I fell for the vibrant, detailed sound sig. It is certainly a brighter headphone than the HD 650, but from my memory of the HD 800, I'd have to say the HD 700 seems less bright to me. Of course it could definitely be dependent on the equipment.

The bass is very good, tight and lots of detail, I agree it does make the HD 650 bass sound slow and muddy in comparison. Imaging is fantastic here and with the right track, you can feel like you're standing in the studio with the musicians. Detail is also very impressive...not micro detailed, but detailed enough to hear a lot of stuff you will have missed previously. Guitars sound amazing on the HD 700. I also really enjoyed male and female vocals, and it's easy to pick up on every breath and lip-smack.

 

Soundstage is good, but lacks the airiness of the HE-400. If you're expecting the HD 700 soundstage to be closer to that of say the HD 800, you'll be sorely disappointed. It's actually a lot closer to the HD 650 in terms of soundstage. This is actually the one area that is most averge.

 

Only complaint is the price. While personally, I do think they are overall a better headphone than the HD 650, I don't think they are $500-$600 better. It's at an odd place in Sennheiser's lineup, and for a grand, I'd rather just save a bit more and go for the HD 800. If it were in the $500-$600 range I would own them and sell the HD 650 (and maybe even the HE-400) without remorse. But at $1000 dollars I would have to agree that there are other options out there that would certainly fit the bill more for certain people's tastes.


Edited by dxanex - 7/1/13 at 11:12am
post #155 of 214

double post.

post #156 of 214

Found this review quite spot on. I had similar impressions of the headphone when I listened to it for a demo at my local hifi store. The bass is good though and perhaps one area I feel it betters the HE-500. The mids was a bit of oddity though and I didn't like it for classical music. But it was interesting that the headphone was a bit of chameleon, alternating between sounding warm and bright depending on the recording and this part I definitely agree with the review. I didn't quite feel the connection with the Grado RS1i though. I guess that is probably because of the more open sound and sound stage of HD700, the RS1i is much more intimate and it a different kind of colouration that sounds a bit more musical to my ears. If the HD800 is brighter than the HD700 headphone then it'll definitely never be one my shopping list in the future. My hifi store had the HD700 available though at the incredible price of $680... Hmmmm...

post #157 of 214

Anyone compared the T1 to the HD700?

post #158 of 214
Quote:
Originally Posted by derbigpr View Post

Anyone compared the T1 to the HD700?
Never directly, but I have a lot of experience with both. The T1 is a touch better imo, but not by much. The Senn's treble is the main problem (unlike the HD800's). Comfort and I'd also say build quality goes to the HD700 over the beyer though.

I'd get the t1 or save a up a few more and get the HD800's; you would not regret it unless you mainly listen to rock/metal/pop
post #159 of 214
Quote:
Originally Posted by dleblanc343 View Post


Never directly, but I have a lot of experience with both. The T1 is a touch better imo, but not by much. The Senn's treble is the main problem (unlike the HD800's). Comfort and I'd also say build quality goes to the HD700 over the beyer though.

I'd get the t1 or save a up a few more and get the HD800's; you would not regret it unless you mainly listen to rock/metal/pop

 

 

I already have the T1, but don't find them very impressive or considerably better than HD650 / K701, at least not better enough to justify such a big jump in price. They're good cans, but just a bit too boring to listen to. I can see them being perfect for studio or professional use, but they just don't make me love listening to music in a way HD650's or K701's for example do.  My current amp isnt the best for T1 though...so it might be because of that.  I'm currently in a position to decide whether to keep the T1, wait a few months to save up enough money for a good amp,  or simply ditch them now and replace them for some HD700...or even HD800's.  However, the more I listen to these headphones, more my mind about hi-fi headphones in general is changing.  I'm also getting strongly pulled towards the LCD2's,  I'm starting to not care about neutrality or precision of sound that much, I want something musical, warm and pleasant to listen to for long periods of time.

post #160 of 214
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by derbigpr View Post

Anyone compared the T1 to the HD700?

 

What deblanc said. There are some mid-treble hotness issues with the T1, but overall the mids aren't so sucked out. The good thing is that doesn't have that very strange HD700 tonal balance. How the T1 treble affects the experience will depend upon the recording. Also, the dozen or so T1s I've heard (and three I've measured) were very inconsistent sounding. Some were a thin treble mess. The good ones sounded decent.

 

The HD800s are slightly overall brighter than the HD700, but the treble is smoother and the midrange isn't so sucked out. On a good setup, the HD800 are exceptional in certain ways. Still too bright for my tastes unless Anax 2.0 modded.

post #161 of 214

Listened briefly to the HD-700 today. Impressions: Sounds like new generation Sennheiser HD-headphones (HD-598, HD-700, HD-800) where it's brighter than older generation(HD-580, HD-600, HD-650), more soundstage, less veil. It is a good headphone, but not as good as HD-800. Imo it's like 70%-75% the potential of the HD-800. Compared to older generation where HD-600 is my favorite it is kind of hard to pick a winner. I think I would pick the HD-600 by a slight margin because it works great with so many music genres. Winner of them all is HD-800 as it excels at all parts of sound and performance imo.

post #162 of 214
Do you still have the 600 for a side by side? I found the 700 to have much more depth and low level resolution than 600. HD600's soundstage sounded small in comparison.
Reply
post #163 of 214
"People who have grown to appreciate neutrality, naturalness, smoothness, and evenness of frequency response should stay away from this headphone." - Agree 100%. The HD700 was not to my taste at all. The 5k peak, while giving an exaggerated sense of clarity and detail, created an unnatural timbre to my ears, especially for vocals. I prefer the neutral, natural, smooth sound of the HD600, despite the smaller soundstage. I personally see no reason to get the HD700 - if you're going to spend $1000+tax on a headphone, a used HD800 at the same price would make much more sense.
post #164 of 214
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiGuy528 View Post

Do you still have the 600 for a side by side? I found the 700 to have much more depth and low level resolution than 600. HD600's soundstage sounded small in comparison.

 

I have all of the ones I mentioned. You're right about the soundstage, but that is the way it is on 580, 600 and 650. I believe it is the angeled driver on 598, 700 and 800 that makes up some for the soundstage and also different treble presentation. I also agree about more bass detail, yet there is something about the 700 that sounds a little artificial to me and I don't find that with the HD-600 and HD-800.

post #165 of 214

I've also had the HD580 and it definitely doesn't have the sound stage that the HD700 does, but the HD580 sounded pretty natural and well balanced to me, whereas the HD700 just sounded strange. I am sure those impressions could change with more burn in of that particular HD700 and I suppose one gets used to the sound after a while. I have had trouble with tinnitus on the Grado RS1i due to its peaky nature and I feel the HD700 could give one the same problems. I was very careful of the volume I listened to on the Grado RS1i as a result of that before I eventually sold them.

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