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Sennheiser HD700 Review - Page 4

post #46 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asr View Post

 

Just a correction here, but LFF was on the CanJam 2009 team (even mentioned in his account subtitle) in Los Angeles, along with jp11801 (lead organizer), Iron_Dreamer, Edwood, and a couple of others I don't recall right now. 2010 was in Chicago.

 

Also, having attended my own share of meets, I'd dissent with your first sentence there and argue that meets are actually one of the worst ways to know how a headphone really sounds, due to meet noise, unless of course you're referring to mini- or micro-meets. Even then, I'd probably still argue that any type of meet isn't an ideal setting to hear headphones. The only way to "get to know" a headphone, as you put it, can be done only in the quiet conditions of normal at-home listening, without distractions, so 100% mental focus can be put towards listening, IMO.


Thanks for the correction...even I missed that!

 

Also, the point about the meets was to simply state that we meet many people there who become close friends. Through networking, we have been able to get our fair share of headphones for private, extended listening. I agree with you completely....meets are not ideal circumstances. Micro meets can be though if you pick the right company. wink_face.gif

post #47 of 203
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asr View Post

 

Just a correction here, but LFF was on the CanJam 2009 team (even mentioned in his account subtitle) in Los Angeles, along with jp11801 (lead organizer), Iron_Dreamer, Edwood, and a couple of others I don't recall right now. 2010 was in Chicago.

 

Also, having attended my own share of meets, I'd dissent with your first sentence there and argue that meets are actually one of the worst ways to know how a headphone really sounds, due to meet noise, unless of course you're referring to mini- or micro-meets. Even then, I'd probably still argue that any type of meet isn't an ideal setting to hear headphones. The only way to "get to know" a headphone, as you put it, can be done only in the quiet conditions of normal at-home listening, without distractions, so 100% mental focus can be put towards listening, IMO.

 

Thanks for the correction DOH!

 

In my mind, I was referring to the fruits which come from attending meets: making new friends, attending follow up mini and micro meets, trading gear with friends, etc. So that we can listen in our own homes without distractions.

 

But I'm not of the school of needing the utmost best conditions to get a good idea of whether a headphone is suitable for me or not. A five minute listen of two tracks of my own choosing is enough for me (and LFF) to figure out whether a headphone is worth further consideration to discover its more subtle qualities. Sometimes it takes only a matter of seconds. The errors that headphones make are gross, not subtle.


Edited by purrin - 6/12/12 at 11:12am
post #48 of 203
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by spacey View Post

I also find it quite amusing how people like to comment on sound quality yet they don't mention a comparative or the equipment used to make the final opinion on how they sound; makes some people look a little bitter that they can't afford to drop $1000 on some cans duggehsmile.png. I find them to sound stunning; just as good as my main speakers.

 

My system is: Resonessence Labs Invicta DAC/Weiss DAC202u - ATC SCM25A Pros. FLAC digits are supplied via USB from JRiver MC17 :)

 

I don't know if you are referring to me, but I've updated the post with the equipment used in the review. In terms of comparative reference systems, my review references are the Ultimate Ears In Ear Reference Monitors, my electrostatic rig (see my profile) and my own custom built desktop near-field monitors:

 

photo.JPG

 

These monitors utilize an Usher 9950 tweeter and Seas W15CY magnesium woofer. The port is tuned to 58Hz. The transducers are bi-amped and actively crossed over LR24 at 1.6kHz with a modified DCX2496 digital crossover (PS caps replaced, output stage replaced, etc.) The woofer is powered by a Crest Audio CA2 and the tweeter is powered by a TEAC AL700P. No surgical EQ correction was made other than at the crossover point. J River MC17 is used to feed FLAC (or sometimes 400bps AAC) to a Roland M1000 digital mixer / re-clocker via coax which is in turn fed to the DCX2496. This system's main weakness is that the monitors do not extend low in half-space (just the table.) This was an intentional design decision - to omit bass rather than have it be reproduced with a high level of distortion. Here is a near-field measurement of one of the monitors compared to the HD700.

 

dd38bbf6_monitors.gif

 

I've heard that ATC midrange driver and it's pretty awesome (and extremely expensive). One day I would hope to utilize that driver in one of my speaker projects. I haven't heard the ATC SCM25A Pro's, but I would certainly hope the HD700s don't sound anything like them, at least in terms of frequency response.


Edited by purrin - 6/12/12 at 12:20pm
post #49 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asr View Post

 

Just a correction here, but LFF was on the CanJam 2009 team (even mentioned in his account subtitle) in Los Angeles, along with jp11801 (lead organizer), Iron_Dreamer, Edwood, and a couple of others I don't recall right now. 2010 was in Chicago.

 

Also, having attended my own share of meets, I'd dissent with your first sentence there and argue that meets are actually one of the worst ways to know how a headphone really sounds, due to meet noise, unless of course you're referring to mini- or micro-meets. Even then, I'd probably still argue that any type of meet isn't an ideal setting to hear headphones. The only way to "get to know" a headphone, as you put it, can be done only in the quiet conditions of normal at-home listening, without distractions, so 100% mental focus can be put towards listening, IMO.


I'll second the notion that the only real way to get to know what a headphone is capable of is perhaps not ideally a meet but a quiet environment.  I also do not give credibility to those who look for scientific answers, such as FR graphs, to explain the inert abilities of a headphone but I do appreciate the Thread Originator for his time to seek the "Truth" and will add that to attempt to scientifically prove a headphone's complexities is futile.

post #50 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumonron View Post


I'll second the notion that the only real way to get to know what a headphone is capable of is perhaps not ideally a meet but a quiet environment.  I also do not give credibility to those who look for scientific answers, such as FR graphs, to explain the inert abilities of a headphone but I do appreciate the Thread Originator for his time to seek the "Truth" and will add that to attempt to scientifically prove a headphone's complexities is futile.

 

I think reality is between.  No I don't think graphs are the be-all end-all in determining minute differences between audio equipment, and sometimes there can be an attribute that does not show on a graph for various reasons.  Differences between cables, amps, and similar headphones easily show that there can be subtle differences beyond what is represented by similar looking FR curves.  On the other hand something that does show up significantly on an FR curve also does not lie.  Major spikes are very much audible and very much determine the sound of a headphone, and in this case, the FR chart backs up the awful treble spikes Magick Man heard before the FR curves were available from Purrin. 

 

HE-400 is one of the few places where the graphs don't always match reality, however there's speculation of serious batch variances on them too. Reports by Tyll that they are bright seem to match the floating FR chart, but don't match the experience of some.  I don't expect Sennheiser to have the same kind of batch QC variances that HiFiMan may have.

post #51 of 203
Thread Starter 

The review stands as it is - it really doesn't need the measurements. I could easily replace references to specific frequencies such as 5kHz with terms such as upper midrange. But that leads to other issues, e.g. Stereophile reviewers (who don't use the same definitions as those in pro audio) consider upper midrange around 1kHz, people will complain about lack of precision and vagueness, etc. Trust me, I've been down this road before. I'm damned if I do and I'm damned if I don't.

 

The measurements were provided because a few people requested a drier more objective review with less subjective hyperbole. The frequency response, cumulative spectral decay, and full spectrum non-linear distortion plots in the review each provide a different story. But as I said in the review, measurements only provide limited information. Anyone should feel free to completely disregard the measurements. Again, they are supplementary to the review and not integral. 

 

The only thing I would have to say is that measurements are a good means of keeping us honest and providing a little bit more information, especially when things are so subjective. For example: one reviewer on the Internet proclaimed this about the Ultrasone ED8:

 

The Ultrasone are the flattest sounding, most extended headphones I have ever heard. No headphone I know of will equal them from top to bottom for evenness of performance... I have never heard or thought I would hear headphones this extended and flat in both directions in my lifetime, but here they are.

 

Another reviewer said this: 

 

The Denon AH-D7100 full-size, over-the-ear headphones were simply stunning... and the sound was seriously transparent. I've reviewed some of the best Denon headphones over the years, but the AH-D7100 was vastly better-sounding. 
 

Or I could have described the HD700 like this:

****.png
 
And someone else could have just as easily related the HD700 to this:
00001f.jpg
 
There's nothing wrong with any of the above personal subjective statements, but oftentimes they do leave people puzzled leading to more questions. 
 
Whether people want to believe it or not, good FR/CSD measurements seem to have strong correlation to good sound, and bad FR/CSD measurements have a strong correlation with bad sound, but with more variance. Stereophile of all places stated something to this effect or wrote an article on it decades ago. I've almost completed a study which reaffirms this hypothesis.

 


Edited by purrin - 6/12/12 at 2:51pm
post #52 of 203

Very good guys.  Now put some foam in there and do it all over again.  biggrin.gif

post #53 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post

And someone else could have just as easily related the HD700 to this:
00001f.jpg
 

 

A chair?

post #54 of 203

A very different opinion from a long term user/demo: http://www.headfonia.com/the-sennheiser-hd700-journal/2/


Edited by spacey - 6/12/12 at 2:56pm
post #55 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by spacey View Post

A very different opinion from a long term user/demo: http://www.headfonia.com/the-sennheiser-hd700-journal/2/

Yeah, everybody knows Mike's miraculous pairing w/ the Darkstar making it the greatest headphone EVAH!!  Too bad he doesn't play baseball because bating .400 would make him a ton of money.

 

Reading his review that the Continental was better than the RX3 was equally insane.


Edited by Anaxilus - 6/12/12 at 3:00pm
post #56 of 203
Thread Starter 

And yet another one by reviewers who appear to be less beholden to the manufacturers or have special relationships with them: http://www.bestheadphonesguide.com/2012/06/hd700-review/

 

These types of games can be played back and forth forever.

post #57 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post

And yet another one by reviewers who appear to be less beholden to the manufacturers or have special relationships with them: http://www.bestheadphonesguide.com/2012/06/hd700-review/

 

These types of games can be played back and forth forever.


LOL....love the rating system. biggrin.gif

post #58 of 203

Purrin, All I'm saying is reviews with measurements don't inform anyone how they'll actually sound. I'm on pinkfishmedia (an avid poster (over 11K post) on there and quite a few other forums) and we've had the objectivist 'v' subjectivisit discussions; even the most stanch objectivist review and reviewers still makes the final judgment in the subjective domain. It’s how things sound, not how they measure that counts.

Measurements can only categorise something it cannot define it. The designer who put all the time and R&D work and budget into the HD700’s has made the decisions and would have tested and measured things in a very different way and with different equipment to what you may have used. Its all relative to a monetary reference point.

 

PS, i agree the ATC's are awsome biggrin.gif, the 25A' pros are the new midfield monitors: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150505281245830.469299.81476080829&type=3


Edited by spacey - 6/12/12 at 3:11pm
post #59 of 203

It's amazing to me that anyone would consider this an Objectivist review.  Post some pretty colors and subjectivists cry.  Post listening impressions and objectivists whine.  Both can go to h*ll where they were meant for each other.

 

Btw, it's how they measure when you hear something wrong that counts.  Or why someone might not hear anything wrong at all that should be considered!

 

Every headphone and ancillary device I've heard has had something wrong with it.  The lack of critical listening impressions is suspicious to me and something of a disservice IMHO.  Having technical reasons and data to explain these problems is a good thing.  


Edited by Anaxilus - 6/12/12 at 3:22pm
post #60 of 203
Thread Starter 

As you are new to HF, you may not be familiar with my process, but for me, measurements always come after listening impressions. I strictly adhere to this "rule" to make sure I am not unduly influenced by measurements before I actually listen to the headphone. I also get a kick to see how well I can predict how a headphone will measure. In addition, the more astute people have noticed that some of the measurements on my site have slightly changed over time. This is because my measurement methods are constantly being refined through feedback from subjective impressions, additional data points, and continual comparison with reference headphones and speakers.

 

Measurements have refined, but have never changed the substance of my subjective observations. And although I answered "no", after thinking for a second, in response to a question at T.H.E SHOW regarding if there was ever a headphone that measured badly which I liked, there are actually two such headphones.

 

With the HD700, my own subjective thoughts and ultimate conclusion are well known. But I've chosen a different path for this review. Heck, my wife loved the HD700 upon initial listen... until she heard something better, and then she had a hard time going back. (I also know she has hearing damage at 6kHz in one ear.)

 

Anax brings up a good point in his above post. Audiophile headphones tend to have much more serious deviations from linearity than audiophile speakers.


Edited by purrin - 6/12/12 at 3:40pm
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