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SoundMAGIC HP100/HP150 Review and Impressions Thread - Page 27

post #391 of 931

I don't suspect most will agree with me, but the HP100 was one of the most disappointing headphone purchases I've made in a while. Many claimed it was a fairly neutral headphone, which is why I purchased it. Yeah, it wasn't even close neutral...

 

My pair had bloated, overly emphasized bass. I'm also guessing it had pretty poor harmonic distortion in the lower regions (I'm wondering if the very rough looking response on the published FR graph hints at that as well). It certainly had much more bass than my Mad Dog 3.2 (which is subjectively and objectively much more neutral when it comes to bass). It was even worse than my old Denon D2000.

 

The HP100 also had a huge suckout in the midrange. Even the HP100 FR graph provided on the box shows a 25dB dip just before the 2KHz point. It was pretty nasty on my pair and made everything sound off. I verified it through SineGen, and it matched up with the provided measurements.

 

The only redeeming quality of the HP100 was that its treble wasn't awful and didn't hurt my ears. It wasn't smooth, and it sounded artificial, but at least it didn't hurt my ears (can't say that for a lot of headphones, even those costing much more). But, again, the HP100's published FR graph shows a fairly lumpy response from 3KHz-10KHz. Do note that the scale of the graph is misleading. There's about a +/-5dB variation with each measured lump in the sound, or about 10dB from the trough to the peak of each lump.

 

I got better results from the $30 Monoprice 8323 headphone after some fairly simple mods: internal damping, foam in front of the driver (to even out treble response), and HM5 pads. Even then, I still preferred the stock 8323 over the HP100. Neither are close to being neutral, but at least the 8323 is appropriately priced.

 

If you like the HP100, that's fine. I can see why someone would like it. But my pair was not neutral in the slightest, which defeated the initial purpose of me buying it. Even still, no matter how I try to frame the headphone, I don't see it as a competitive headphone given the price point OR the sound quality. The accessories don't make up for that fact either.


Edited by hans030390 - 7/31/13 at 12:51am
post #392 of 931

More bass than D2K? Did you A/B that or from memory? Looking at the headphone you currently own I understand how you think HP100 has exaggerated bass and major mid suck out. How long have you been having the phone?

post #393 of 931

That was from memory, but the D2000 sounded noticeably cleaner overall than the HP100 (and the D2000 isn't a super clean can in the bass). I know memory isn't infallible, but this is one of those situations where I have pretty distinct memories of how the D2000 sounded. I did A/B tests with the Mad Dog, though. I can't remember if I did A/B tests with the 8323, but that was a can I was regularly listening to and modding at the time. 

post #394 of 931

I have the chance to A/B HP100 with other headphone including LCD2, HD650, DT880/250 (2003 version), mad dog (not sure which version) and K550 (source: X-Sabre) and HP100 doesn't sound less clean than any of them, heck it even made K550 sounds a bit grainy when swap them back and forth. YMMV.

post #395 of 931

The D2000 is noticably more bassy with veiled or recessed mids in direct comparison. Actually i compared the D5000 but i have owned the D2000 before. I found the  whole Denon line to be terribly boring headphones but i'm a person which likes his upper mids and denons are recessed there.

 

It was rumored that there might be 2 revisions of the HP100, what happened to that claim? Hans what's the production date of your HP100? It's printed on the box.

post #396 of 931
Quote:
Originally Posted by GettingBuckets View Post

My Softskin pads will get here around Thursday or Friday, so I can get a good first impression by then. To answer the question above, I presume the zmf modified t50rps are the Mad Dogs, which I have not heard and don't attempt to hear anytime soon due to lack of funds. On the other hand, I still have my M50s, and the HP100s are a complete level above those IMO. M50s are overrated to me with the recessed mids, bad soundstage, loose bass, and overall muddled sound. Yet again, if you ask many other people, they swear by the M50s. I'm just not one of them.


The ZMF-modified T50RPs are not Mad Dogs.  Two different guys modifying the T50RPs in two different ways.

 

I definitely prefer the HP100s to the M50s.  The M50s sounded...lumpy to me.  Kind of pulpy bass, and not too clean or detailed to me.

post #397 of 931
Quote:
Originally Posted by bizkid View Post

It was rumored that there might be 2 revisions of the HP100, what happened to that claim? Hans what's the production date of your HP100? It's printed on the box.

 

I have no idea. My HP100 sounded so disappointing that I returned it within a few days. I remember looking at the production date, but I can't remember it.

 

I have considered that perhaps my HP100 was either defective, subject to unit variance and poor quality control (which can be a problem even for headphones considered TOTL), or a different revision.

 

But, still, aside from the big, muddy bass, the sound more or less matched the FR graph on the box (which isn't even that good when you realize how much they squished down the scale to make it look like it measured flatter than it did).

 

laon, I am not surprised the HP100 made your K550 sound grainy. There is definitely unit variance going on with the K550 (verified by purrin - he did measurements of two different pairs). Many of the K550s have a large treble spike accompanied by somewhat high distortion. The K550 that measured decently for purrin still had a relatively rough response up top. The HP100's treble I heard was the only decent thing about the headphone's sound. It wasn't perfectly smooth, but it was more forgiving than many other headphones without losing too much detail. Still didn't sound fantastic, though...

 

Either way, the experience I had with the HP100 was enough to turn me off to it entirely. Even if it was defective or subject to poor quality control or unit variance, that's enough to turn me off to that headphone (and sometimes the company) entirely. If I'm buying a product, I want to make sure it's consistent with all units of it produced (keeping in mind that some level of variance is to be expected, but can be mitigated). I'm not paying hundreds of dollars to randomly pick from a box of chocolates (headphones).


Edited by hans030390 - 7/31/13 at 3:47am
post #398 of 931
Quote:
Originally Posted by hans030390 View Post

Either way, the experience I had with the HP100 was enough to turn me off to it entirely. Even if it was defective or subject to poor quality control or unit variance, that's enough to turn me off to that headphone (and sometimes the company) entirely. If I'm buying a product, I want to make sure it's consistent with all units of it produced (keeping in mind that some level of variance is to be expected, but can be mitigated). I'm not paying hundreds of dollars to randomly pick from a box of chocolates (headphones).

 

I agree. I actually started looking at the headroom measurements some time ago and look for left/right differences. Some headphones have more than others, and those are also the ones where you read about unit variance (k550). If a manufacturer can match drivers  very well their manufacturing is alot less likely to produce unit to unit variance.

 

Besides that I have to say that my HP100 doesn't sound much as the measurement on the box and i was actually surprised at that since i like to have my mids at 1-2khz. I have an allergy to recessed upper mids.

post #399 of 931

Well, I was not so much talking about channel variances but rather variances in the entire frequency response. Maybe you got my point and were just adding to it, but I wanted to clarify just in case. :)

post #400 of 931

No your post was clear. I was just adding that there's a relation with those two. If a manufacturer can build and match 2 drivers extremly close it's highly unlikely that a high variance in frequency response between 2 units will appear due to high manufacturing standards. Otherwise he wouldn't be able to build a matching driver (for the pair) withhin a very tight tolerance.


Edited by bizkid - 7/31/13 at 6:18am
post #401 of 931
Quote:
Originally Posted by GettingBuckets View Post

My Softskin pads will get here around Thursday or Friday, so I can get a good first impression by then. To answer the question above, I presume the zmf modified t50rps are the Mad Dogs, which I have not heard and don't attempt to hear anytime soon due to lack of funds. On the other hand, I still have my M50s, and the HP100s are a complete level above those IMO. M50s are overrated to me with the recessed mids, bad soundstage, loose bass, and overall muddled sound. Yet again, if you ask many other people, they swear by the M50s. I'm just not one of them.

What about the zachmehrbach modified zmf's?
post #402 of 931

Hans, you may have gotten a defective headphone especially considering that Soundmagic is a Chinese headphone maker, the quality control and care put into products varies a lot. For me, the bass was not overwhelming or muddled, and the sound overall seemed clean and pretty neutral.

post #403 of 931
Quote:
Originally Posted by GettingBuckets View Post

Hans, you may have gotten a defective headphone especially considering that Soundmagic is a Chinese headphone maker, the quality control and care put into products varies a lot. For me, the bass was not overwhelming or muddled, and the sound overall seemed clean and pretty neutral.


I'm no expert, but I agree with this assessment.  I haven't experienced anything like what Hans has, and I've had two different pairs of HP100s.

post #404 of 931

Got my Softskin pads in today, and first of all, I would like to mention how much of a pain in the A-- it is to put ear pads on. I don't have much experience so that part was frustrating. However, once I got them on, I have to say that I prefer them to the stock pads. They provide some much needed distance between my ears and the drivers, which in my opinion helped the sound out without altering it, since I did not feel like the music was pressed against my ears as much as they used to be. Comfortwise, the stock pads are softer and a little bit more comfortable, but in no way does that mean that the Beyer pads aren't soft and comfortable. The Beyer pads definitely are high quality and do not look like they will fall apart easily like some other pads.

post #405 of 931

So would you say that the difference between the stock pads and the softskin pads in terms of sound is negligible?  This is good news if so.

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