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need advice on portable AMP zo2 vs e17

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

still not sure on the headphones im buying... senns 598 vs dt880 premium 250 ohm

 

listen to everything classical to metal and hip-hop

 

this is my first portable setup

post #2 of 8

I haven't heard either headphone, so I won't comment.

 

The Z02 is not really an amplifier, it is more of a physical EQ. The E17 is the way I would go, as it includes both a DAC and an amp in one portable package.

post #3 of 8

I know it's hard to make a choice if you haven't heard either of them. I'm in the same boat, I have a list of possible headphones but can't pick one of them. My best advice would be if you have the possibility go and listen to the headphones on your list. 

 

As it comes to amps the E17 is like tzjin said the way to go. The ZO2.3 isn't that great: http://www.head-fi.org/t/620775/the-sub-200-portable-amps-shootout-11-8-amps-compared at least not compared to the E17.


Edited by ChicaneBT - 8/4/12 at 3:59pm
post #4 of 8

i have the senn hd598 and i like m alot, maybe the lack of the bass is a little let down. dont get me wrong they have enough bass for most ppl, but if u like impactful bass this isnt the way to go. they sound very clear tho...

im also gonna buy the fiio e17 so ill post my review of that too in combo with the senn.

but i think u should go and listen to both headphones at the store before u make ur decision

post #5 of 8

E17 is a fantastic headphone amp/ dac from all the reviews I've read. I highly recommend it. Very good price value. 

 

The HD 598 is a superior headphone to the DT 880 imo, but for your genres like metal and hiphop, I think the DT 880 will have the proper speed. It also does have more bass. The 598's biggest weakness for me is its speed, not its bass. Faster than any of the other sennheisers - except the hd 800 -but slow for metal. 

 

But let me comment about the HD 598's bass. It has a punch, somewhat gentle, but it is a punch. You could always EQ it (3 db is good) and tighten it, giving it more impact. It doesn't extend that far without an amp so amps are vital. I agree for certain genres, the HD 598's bass might seem lacking. However, there is a reason for this: soundstage.

 

Open headphones that have more bass than the HD 598 have worse soundstage (HD 600, HD 650, DT 880/990, Denon 2000-5000, etc.). To me the HD 598 has the most realistic sense of soundstage of any headphones that I've heard. There are headphones that have a larger soundstage (AD700, Q701, K501, etc.) but those have bass with very weak impact. EQ cannot save those headphones because by design, they cannot hit hard enough. In addition, I find their soundstage to be a bit too big, interfering with their vocals and making it sound distant. 

 

If I had to describe the HD598 with one word, it's this: BALANCE. It compromises between calm and passion. It is the most energetic of all the Sennheiser phones but retains its non-fatiguing sound signature. The beyerdynamic series are far more fatiguing, mainly because of their treble. It compromises between soundstage and bass. I personally believe it has VERY good bass considering the width and height of its soundstage. Bass is certainly closer to neutral quantity rather than anemic quantity. 

 

Also consider the HD 598's strengths: midrange, treble, and soundstage. Soundstage makes it versatile for gaming, music, and many genres (classical, acoustics, modern pop, live music, etc.). The treble on the HD 598 is truly special and underrated, for most Sennheiser headphones roll off the treble (to reduce fatigue) but the HD 598 retains both energy and relaxed characteristics in its treble without doing so. This to me is the main reason why I prefer it over the HD 6xx series. Perhaps the most well known strength of the 598 is its midrange. Claimed to be slightly forward, well balanced with the bass and treble, and very neutral with a trifle warm tilt. Vocals are amazing on this headphone, and makes it very fun to listen to. 

 

Overall, even if one cannot live with the HD 598's bass (depending on the genre, this wouldn't be surprising), one cannot forgo the 598's strengths in other areas. It's hard to pinpoint a flaw with the HD 598. It's mostly neutral, excellent tonally, and versatile. And remember the more time you spend on these phones, the more your mind will psychologically adapt to the neutrality of its bass. Not trying to make these headphones sound like a pair of God's cans. They are sometimes a little too slow and are not as resolving as more expensive headphones. 

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NimbleTurtle View Post

E17 is a fantastic headphone amp/ dac from all the reviews I've read. I highly recommend it. Very good price value. 

 

The HD 598 is a superior headphone to the DT 880 imo, but for your genres like metal and hiphop, I think the DT 880 will have the proper speed. It also does have more bass. The 598's biggest weakness for me is its speed, not its bass. Faster than any of the other sennheisers - except the hd 800 -but slow for metal. 

 

But let me comment about the HD 598's bass. It has a punch, somewhat gentle, but it is a punch. You could always EQ it (3 db is good) and tighten it, giving it more impact. It doesn't extend that far without an amp so amps are vital. I agree for certain genres, the HD 598's bass might seem lacking. However, there is a reason for this: soundstage.

 

Open headphones that have more bass than the HD 598 have worse soundstage (HD 600, HD 650, DT 880/990, Denon 2000-5000, etc.). To me the HD 598 has the most realistic sense of soundstage of any headphones that I've heard. There are headphones that have a larger soundstage (AD700, Q701, K501, etc.) but those have bass with very weak impact. EQ cannot save those headphones because by design, they cannot hit hard enough. In addition, I find their soundstage to be a bit too big, interfering with their vocals and making it sound distant. 

 

If I had to describe the HD598 with one word, it's this: BALANCE. It compromises between calm and passion. It is the most energetic of all the Sennheiser phones but retains its non-fatiguing sound signature. The beyerdynamic series are far more fatiguing, mainly because of their treble. It compromises between soundstage and bass. I personally believe it has VERY good bass considering the width and height of its soundstage. Bass is certainly closer to neutral quantity rather than anemic quantity. 

 

Also consider the HD 598's strengths: midrange, treble, and soundstage. Soundstage makes it versatile for gaming, music, and many genres (classical, acoustics, modern pop, live music, etc.). The treble on the HD 598 is truly special and underrated, for most Sennheiser headphones roll off the treble (to reduce fatigue) but the HD 598 retains both energy and relaxed characteristics in its treble without doing so. This to me is the main reason why I prefer it over the HD 6xx series. Perhaps the most well known strength of the 598 is its midrange. Claimed to be slightly forward, well balanced with the bass and treble, and very neutral with a trifle warm tilt. Vocals are amazing on this headphone, and makes it very fun to listen to. 

 

Overall, even if one cannot live with the HD 598's bass (depending on the genre, this wouldn't be surprising), one cannot forgo the 598's strengths in other areas. It's hard to pinpoint a flaw with the HD 598. It's mostly neutral, excellent tonally, and versatile. And remember the more time you spend on these phones, the more your mind will psychologically adapt to the neutrality of its bass. Not trying to make these headphones sound like a pair of God's cans. They are sometimes a little too slow and are not as resolving as more expensive headphones. 

 

 

thx alot for that detailed post il will definatly help!

i plan to actually go in store and try a couple of phones but for now my big favorite is the 598 since i love the look and they will be the perfect all rounders... games and movies included

post #7 of 8

waw NimbleTurtle ... spot on review

i must admit that voices sound amazing on the sennheiser hd598...it's like you're there with the person singing ;)

im learning to appreciate more gernes in music because of this headset because it all sounds so great..


Edited by hummel - 8/5/12 at 11:29am
post #8 of 8
HD598 + E17 + Beatles = Bliss
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