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Is the Sennheiser HD 205 louder than the HD 438?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone, I'm new to these forums and to the world of headphones in general so I'm sorry if I may seem a bit noobish.
After browsing the forums and searching various reviews I only found one post that related to my question:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by swbf2cheater View Post

If you are dead set on the Hd448 or 438, your best option is to get the HD448 and buy the replacement HD438 velor earpads direct from sennheiser.  

 

The 438 is not as good as the 448 despite what people say, its simply untrue.  Unless my hd 438 was broken?  Which it wasnt :\   I compared side by side and almost immediately sold my 438.  

Its noticeably less clear and the sound stage is not as large.  Bass and ohmage ratings are a flat out lie.  Both the HD485 and the HD438 are said to be 32ohm or something, identical specs.  Using a sansa fuze fully charged and without changing any settings, the HD 438 is much harder to drive and less loud.  

I initially purchased the HD 205 but then I found them, even after 3 nights of stretching, too tight for me to use. I decided on trying to buy the HD 438, but when I tried it at the store I found it's volume significantly lower than the  HD 205's. You'll notice that the quoted post above mentions that the HD 438's Ohmage rating on the box is questionable. I'm going to use these headphones for casual listening to Vocaloid music, Techno and Rock.

Here are the specs I think significant to this question:

 

HD 205:


Frequency Response: 14 Hz - 20 kHz
Sensitivity: 112 dB
Impedance: 32 ohm

Hd 438:

 

Frequency Response: 17 Hz - 22,500 kHz
Sensitivity: 112 dB
Impedance: 32 ohm

Edited by SabreFury - 8/25/12 at 11:14am
post #2 of 10

probably what swbf meant was when he tried the 438 with the same volume as with the 485 it is less louder, in a way that you can crank up the volume a little more to get a good level of listening volume. it just shows how specs can be misleading sometimes. but no matter how, an audio player can almost always certainly drive a headphone rated at around 32ohm.

 

so whether the 205 is louder or not, I dont know, but I'm sure that both are easily driven straight out of a dap but with different volume adjusment.

 

cheers,

post #3 of 10

SabreFury, the specs aren't lying (most likely not).

 

Sensitivity ratings are usually based on measurements at only one point along the audible frequency spectrum (typically 1kHz).  To explain why there is a perceived "volume difference" would require a much more technically-oriented discussion about impedance and sensitivity - not to mention overall frequency response levels and such.  You'll find a bunch of threads and posts dealing with the topic if you do a seach for "impedance sensitivity" here.  Maybe a fellow Head-Fier, like obobskivich, can jump in here and write up a simple but eloquent explanation, but I am way too tired at the moment.  Plus, that's probably not your number one concern right now anyway.

 

Lets try this, what did you like about the HD 205's sound?  Maybe we can suggest something different for you that doesn't clamp as much.  I just happen to own the HD 205 so I "might* be able to suggest a few alternatives.

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

Well, just for comparison, when I set my portable MP3's volume to maximum on the HD 205 my ears would start to hurt from the volume. On the other hand, I could only find the HD 438 acceptable at maximum volume.

 

But anyway, the HD 205 is my very first pair of good headphones, everything else I've used before were cheap in comparison so I might not be able to properly quantify what I like about the HD 205's, but I'll try. 

What I really like about the 205's is their clear and bassy sound. No matter what music I listen to, I love good yet not overpowering bass. 


Edited by SabreFury - 8/26/12 at 5:53pm
post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by SabreFury View Post

Well, just for comparison, when I set my portable MP3's volume to maximum on the HD 205 my ears would start to hurt from the volume. On the other hand, I could only find the HD 438 acceptable at maximum volume.

 

Lol, no I totally believe you and I know what you mean.  I'm just saying that even with identical impedance and sensitivity specs, it's possible for headphones to sound completely different in terms of perceived volume.  In other words, the specs aren't lying - but they're also not particularly useful for determining overall levels.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SabreFury View Post

But anyway, the HD 205 is my very first pair of good headphones, everything else I've used before were cheap in comparison so I might not be able to properly quantify what I like about the HD 205's, but I'll try. 


What I really like about the 205's is their clear and bassy sound. No matter what music I listen to, I love good yet not overpowering bass. 

 

Well, I find that I need to keep my HD 205s stretched out constantly in order to avoid discomfort.  In other words, it's not just a one time deal.  The night before, I have to remember to throw them around some books or else I'm gonna hate them the day after.

 

If you're totally tired of doing that - and I can understand if you are - I'd suggest getting a pair of Amperiors (assuming your budget allows for it as they can be a bit steep).  They have the sound signature you want, and will make your HD 205 sound absolutely terrible by comparison.

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

The Amperiors are nice, but what I originally wanted was Around the Ear Headphones. Are there any good ones you can recommend within the $150 or below range?
I also found the Panasonic RP-HTF600 to be a potentially good replacement at an affordable price. Can I ask for your thoughts?

 


Edited by SabreFury - 8/27/12 at 1:17am
post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by SabreFury View Post

The Amperiors are nice, but what I originally wanted was Around the Ear Headphones. Are there any good ones you can recommend within the $150 or below range?
I also found the Panasonic RP-HTF600 to be a potentially good replacement at an affordable price. Can I ask for your thoughts?

 

Yeah, for only $30, the RP-HTF600 is very good.  I personally wish it had the bass extended a little deeper than it does as i like a decent about of sub-bass.  But even as-is, it's fairly good (and very good for it's price).  Another budget-friendly headphone is the Monoprice 8323.  It actually sounds similar to the Panasonic in many ways.  If I had to pick one of the above, I'd personally pick the Monoprice.  i know that sounds weird because Panasonic is a major brand.  But IMO, the Monoprice just plain sounds better and more balanced while not sacrificing lows.  In fact, you could get both.  Leave the Panasonic at home, and take the Monoprice on the road as a portable.

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

After various searches i've narrowed down my choices to the Monoprice 8323, Superlux HD-668 B, and Panasonic RP-HTF600. They all seem like pretty good deals and have lots of good reviews, but can an MP3 player drive them? That is probably my last and final concern.

post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by SabreFury View Post

After various searches i've narrowed down my choices to the Monoprice 8323, Superlux HD-668 B, and Panasonic RP-HTF600. They all seem like pretty good deals and have lots of good reviews, but can an MP3 player drive them? That is probably my last and final concern.

 

Both the Panasonic RP-HTF600 and the Monoprice 8323 will be just fine with an MP3 player alone.  I auditioned both of them using nothing more than my Zune 30 - no amp required.  The Superlux HD-668B is going to be a different story for you.  While I tend to listen at lower volumes and it's adequate for me, I think you would want to pair that Superlux with a basic and cheap amp (like the Fiio E6) to get the levels you prefer.

 

Also - and this may or may not be a deal breaker for you - but the Superlux HD-668B is semi-open, which means that isolation will be low.  You are going to hear the outside world, and the outside world is going to hear what you are listening to.  If you're only going to be listening to these at home, it shouldn't be a problem.  Just FYI.

post #10 of 10

note: the treble boost eq setting on the Fiio E6 will be much lower than the bass boost, mid boost and the gain boost setting though, so low that it doesn't increase the amplitude of the sound pretty much

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