Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › SoundMAGIC HP100/HP150 Review and Impressions Thread
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

SoundMAGIC HP100/HP150 Review and Impressions Thread - Page 82

post #1216 of 1230

Yes Bgentry, you should definitely be able to hear a major improvement listening to your SoundMagic with the Schiit stack compared with your laptop directly. The bass should be faster and more refined sound overall with improved clarity.

 

If for no other reason, I recommend you getting an amp to gain the 'respected status' on head-fi... heck spend the extra $10 on the Vali over the Magni for that little extra bit of authority around here - because man I'm telling you I went from being the subject of home vandalism from snobby head-fi'ers to 'the authority'... HA HA LOL this paragraph was all a joke... but seriously does anybody else think that some of this 'gear = respect' thing on head-fi is at least half way true?

post #1217 of 1230
Quote:
Originally Posted by DecentLevi View Post
 

Yes Bgentry, you should definitely be able to hear a major improvement listening to your SoundMagic with the Schiit stack compared with your laptop directly. The bass should be faster and more refined sound overall with improved clarity.

 

If for no other reason, I recommend you getting an amp to gain the 'respected status' on head-fi... heck spend the extra $10 on the Vali over the Magni for that little extra bit of authority around here - because man I'm telling you I went from being the subject of home vandalism from snobby head-fi'ers to 'the authority'... HA HA LOL this paragraph was all a joke... but seriously does anybody else think that some of this 'gear = respect' thing on head-fi is at least half way true?

I don't think it is so much "gear equals respect" so much as "gear => probable experience and/or points of comparison => authority on the topic of personal audio"

post #1218 of 1230
post #1219 of 1230
PSA: HP150's on MassDrop this week L3000.gif
post #1220 of 1230
Quote:
Originally Posted by nmatheis View Post

PSA: HP150's on MassDrop this week L3000.gif

 

Be careful!  It'll shatter into a thousand razor-sharp shards of doom and misery if you look at it wrong.  Other than that, it's about the best $150 closed headphone you'll find.  ;)

post #1221 of 1230
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stillhart View Post
 

 

Be careful!  It'll shatter into a thousand razor-sharp shards of doom and misery if you look at it wrong.  Other than that, it's about the best $150 closed headphone you'll find.  ;)

Couldn't agree more - in fact they suit my ears better than cans three times the price.

My first HP100's right channel died after 3 weeks and I got a refund and bought another- that's still going strong after a lot of use. 

post #1222 of 1230
Edit: Never mind, someone already posted it lol
post #1223 of 1230
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgentry View Post
I'm still left with my original question:  Amp and DAC:  Will I be able to hear a difference between (for example) the Schiit Modi2/Vali and my Macbook Pro's built in headphone output?

 

After some assurance here, I decided to go with what I had been feeling like doing all along, which was to get a Modi 2 and a Magni 2.  Normal, not "U".

 

I've had both plugged in and playing for 2 or 3 hours now.  While waiting to get the equipment, I've been wondering if I'll be able to hear any difference at all.  Am I going to really hear anything different?  I initially got no sound at all, even from the operating system and spent about 3 minutes working on that until I found the issue.  The Power Switch.  You have to turn on the power to the Magni.  :)

 

The first song I heard wasn't familiar to me, so I switched over to my list of demo tracks:  Songs I know sound good.  I listened to "She's Gone" by Hall and Oates, which I previously picked because of the vocals being placed on the left and right.  I thought it sounded kind of "flat" previously, but interesting because of the distinct vocals.  This time it sounded very different.  It now seemed to have some depth.  It was also much more pleasant.  I found myself listening until the very end, which I don't normally do with this song in "demo mode".

 

Moving on to other songs I thought the bass sounded better.  It seems like the bass has tightened up, but it's hard to quantify that.  Seems more controlled.  The highs seem very different.  It's odd because I now hear more details than I remember hearing before, BUT the highs don't sound harsh.  The HP150s are kind of a bright headphone to start and they have a bit of a sharp, or biting character.  Songs with lots of highs kind of hurt my ears sometimes.  But now the highs just sound good.  I was reminded of the highs I've heard at high end audio shops demoing expensive amplifiers, DACs and speakers.  That separation of each instrument, and high frequency detail without any "ouch those highs hurt" feelings.  Detail without harshness.

 

I'm trying to not be too dramatic here because I'm really, really surprised at how much difference I think I hear.  The big deal for me is, I just keep listening to songs.  You hear people say this from time to time, but this is new for me.  I have a very long history with audio equipment and I've done a lot of demos at stores and in people's houses.  I normally get ear fatigue after a short time and I want to either move to other songs, or just stop demoing.  But with this setup, it just sounds GOOD.  Less fatiguing than before and just better.  ...and I keep listening.  Again, I'm trying to not be too exaggerated here.  It's quite a difference for *me*.

 

No, I did not do any back to back testing at ALL.  My setup makes it kind of a lot of work to try to switch between the Yamaha mixer and the Schiit stack.  The mixer is going into storage, as I don't think I need it at all right now.  So I'm open to the idea that this is all, or mostly, in my head.  But I don't think so.  I DO KNOW that I'm really enjoying it!  :)

 

Brian.

post #1224 of 1230

Congrats, that's the experience we're all looking for in our audio travels.  And the great thing is it gets even better should you decide to go further down the road.

 

I'll mention that DAC's make a much bigger difference than people think... certainly more than I thought when I was getting started.  Songs or recordings that I thought were too trebley or too harsh sometimes aren't...sometimes it's our equipment messing with us.  I'd never call the HP100 bright or harsh at all, since I've owned the Q701 and the HE-4.  If you were hearing it that way, it could definitely indicate a problem with your source chain.  It seems that upgrading your chain helped cure that problem.  

 

One other suggestion for a cheap upgrade:  I've heard the Schiit Wyrd can make the Modi sound even better.  Might be worth checking out.  

 

Anyhow, gratz!  Sorry about your wallet!  :-D  :beerchug:

post #1225 of 1230

I have read from people testing this that the Modi 2 does not need the Wyrd to preform better; the Wyrd does help add clarity to the Modi 1 (and my system is a testiment to that), but the Modi 2 already has some sort of signal improvements that maked USB signal comes through cleaner so there was said to have no audible improvement on the #2. A nice upgrade to your chain would perhaps be the HD 650 headphone - I think its' sound signature would be a good compliment for anybody who likes the SoundMagics 


Edited by DecentLevi - 5/7/15 at 11:11pm
post #1226 of 1230
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stillhart View Post
I'll mention that DAC's make a much bigger difference than people think... certainly more than I thought when I was getting started.  Songs or recordings that I thought were too trebley or too harsh sometimes aren't...sometimes it's our equipment messing with us.  I'd never call the HP100 bright or harsh at all, since I've owned the Q701 and the HE-4.

 

A DAC certainly seems to have helped here, though it certainly hasn't changed the tonal balance.  It's hard to describe this properly because I can still hear the emphasis on the upper frequencies, but it sounds different.

 

On the subject of the tonal balance, my next post is going to be about EQing the HP150s.

 

Thanks,

 

Brian.

post #1227 of 1230

If you've searched for reviews on the HP150 (or many other headphones) you've probably seen reviews and impressions by Dale Thorne.  He seems to be a very experienced head-fi-er.  His great review of the HP150s is qualified with one big thing though:  He uses an iOS app to apply equalization to them, which he says makes them now one of his favorites.

 

He hasn't published his exact EQ settings, due to how the app works, but we've corresponded a little bit and he sent me a baseline to start with.  I applied these in JRiver Media Center and found they made an enormous difference in the character of the headphones.  His settings weren't exactly correct for me, which is no surprise since he said his settings weren't an exact match.  The biggest thing is that his app uses some kind of proprietary filter (unconfirmed) and JRiver uses a standard parametric EQ.

 

After making some alterations of my own I now hear:

 

1.  The lower range of male voices is now more full.  In fact voices overall sound less thin and have more body.

2.  The upper treble that was extremely biting on some sources is mostly tamed now.  There's still LOTS of highs in this headphone; they're just less "in your face" now.

 

In the interest of discussion and development, I'm going to share my exact settings.  These are all applied in JRiver's "Parametric Equalizer 1".   I'm sure I could do some more sophisticated filters, but for now, the Q of all of the filters is the same:  It's the default Q of 1.  EQ filter list:

 

1.  200 Hz +6 dB

2.  311 Hz -2 dB

3.  2000 Hz -2 dB

4.  3000 Hz -1 dB

5.  4000 Hz -3 dB

6.  5000 Hz +1.5 dB

7.  6000 Hz +1.5 dB

8.  8000 Hz -2 dB

9.  9000 Hz -2.5 dB

10.  10000 Hz -1.5 dB

11.  11000 Hz -1 dB

12.  12000 Hz -1 dB

 

Keep in mind, my normal approach to audio is "do not use equalization".  I'm a firm believer that EQ can cause lots of problems and really lead people to changing the EQ between different songs.  This is a sure sign that you have it wrong by the way!  So I was VERY surprised at how much of a positive difference these settings made for me.  I've been living with them, mostly unaltered for something like 6 weeks now.

 

Give them a try and see what YOU think.

 

Thanks,

 

Brian.

post #1228 of 1230

While reading through this thread I found the posts by a few people about the plastic holding the headphones together breaking and thought that kinda sucked, but it didn't seem to be *all* that widespread.

 

I've been coincidentally really enjoying my HP150s with my new Schiit Modi 2 and Magni 2.  It really, REALLY brought these to life.  Quite the surprising difference actually.

 

Then about an hour ago I took my headphones off and a round plastic cover popped off and rolled under my desk.  Then I realized that the entire left cup was broken loose from the band, nearly exactly like has been reported by others.  A picture is worth at least 150 words here (  :wink_face:  ) to here we go:

 

 

I use these at my desk exclusively and don't do anything more than just put them on and take them off.  I have occasionally gotten a little snag on the cable when standing up, so the cable has been tugged on sorta medium hard, but nothing violent.  Nothing like yanking my head over as I stood up or anything.

 

Anyway, Amazon amazingly is taking care of me on this.  The headphones have a 1 year warranty and Amazon is crediting me for them.

 

I'm disappointed to not have these nice headphones to listen to for a few days, but at least I'll get new ones of some sort.  I haven't decided if I'm going to get HP150s again or not.   This breakage has me just a little paranoid, as I've had them for just under 6 months.

 

Brian.

post #1229 of 1230
Not cool, man. Not cool...

I hope the pair of HP200 I just purchased don't fall victim to this eek.gif
post #1230 of 1230

someone should try to bring this issue up with soundmagic. 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › SoundMAGIC HP100/HP150 Review and Impressions Thread