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Denon AH-C300 Urban Raver Impressions - Page 5

post #61 of 124

Hey guys, here is another frequency response graph.  The previous one is the "measured frequency response."  This one is the "perceived frequency response."

 

01.FRP_DENON_AH-C300.png

 

This is exactly how they sound to my ears.  I will only analyze the high frequencies at this time.  I will get to the mid and low frequencies later.

 

Highs are not good on the AH-C300, as presented in this graph.  There is a peak of sharp/piercing treble at 5kHz.  Eugguy was right when he wrote that the AH-C300 had sharp treble for his ears.  They do so, for my ears, too.  Also, they should have a peak around 10kHz reaching to 5dB or higher.  That is where the sweet treble is.   All this means, that without equalization, the treble is sharp and dry (not sweet).  That is awful.  Fortunately, the AH-C300 are quite responsive to equalization.  Just putting the 3kHz to 4kHz sliders (depending on the recording) to -2 dB and the 5kHz slider to -3 or -4dB (depending on the recording) and raising the sliders at and above 7kHz in an upward slope starting at about +4 to +6dB (depending on the recording), going through about +10 to +12 dB for 10kHz (depending on the recording) and a little above that for the higher frequencies sliders, the treble becomes a very good treble with very little or no sharpness and good sweetness (sssshhh).

 

I was wary of Eugguy's post about the sharp treble.  My experience with headphones is that when someone makes a negative comment, even if it disagrees with a vast majority of the impressions, I end up finding out that my ears perceive the flaw, just like the out of order negative commenter/reviewer did.  It has always happened and the AH-C300 are not the exception.  I am so glad that this flaw could be fixed with equalization.  WOW, the highs sound very good with the track that I am listening to while I type!

 

I wished portable players had 30+ frequency equalizers.  I am stuck to listening in my computer, because that is the only place where I can have a lot of frequencies to equalize.  I have 45 bands, using foobar2000.  But, I am thankful for having that.  So, no complaints here.

 

I will comment on the mids and lows later.


Edited by Alberto01 - 12/21/13 at 8:42pm
post #62 of 124

Took some time last night to do some A/Bing with the FXZ's, by the way- as it turns out they're fairly similar. 

Soundstage: 

 

JVC has a smaller depth/width compared to the C300. I noticed an interesting characteristic of the FXZ: notes in the higher registers have more air, sound further outside the head and are narrowly placed in their space. I perceive vocals typically as being softer and more distant(especially male ones). Instruments are in front of the singer where the C300 the instruments are more in line(equal). Bass is more in the background as well, unlike the C300 which fills the whole room. 

 

Bass:

 

Compared to the C300 the JVC's bass has less quantity overall(maybe 2-3db) with equal depth/impact in the sub-bass region. Due to this their signature is more balanced, comparatively speaking. Both are controlled, deep and have good texture though the C300 is slightly beefier in the bass/lower midbass area(which gives it a hint of warmth). Neither show any signs of bloat or muddiness- you can hear the lower frequencies effortlessly playing along simultaneously with the mids/highs(this is a strength I would attribute to the multi-driver designs being used). 

 

Mids:

 

JVCs are smooth, slightly less forward. C300 seems to project a bit more due to its larger stage(which seems to increase the apparent detail). Neither particularly stand out, though I find both are adequate for a basshead-oriented signature.  

 

Highs:

 

I'm not sensitive to peakiness in the treble so to my ears the C300 has more air and is just short of sibilant(which I prefer). FXZ is not sibilant at all and has a bit of sweetness to its highs. 


I'm not really an expert at describing sound so I'll probably be revising this post for a while- CKS and FX comparisons coming soon...

post #63 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Euphonik View Post
 

I'm not really an expert at describing sound so I'll probably be revising this post for a while- CKS and FX comparisons coming soon...

 

Thank you!  You are doing great at describing sound.  And it is wise to revise posts as earphones settle with our hearing.  I do it all the time.  Keep them coming!

post #64 of 124

Alright, thanks for the words of encouragement. Time to A/B the FX700! :)

 

Soundstage:

 

This is the main reason I'll never sell the FX700. JVC's wood housing and vented driver produces an enormous stage that is not only spacious, transparent and natural, it also has one of the best timbres I've ever heard in anything put in, on, or over my ears thus far. That being said the C300 does have very good width and depth(above average, even) in comparison- I don't see any real fault in its presentation.

 

Bass:

 

Sub-bass on FX700 seems to reach even lower here- it is more audible and has excellent texture and linearity all the way through the lower midbass region. C300's lower midbass is more prominent and takes on a character similar to a very well tuned, ported subwoofer. I don't find either of these IEMS are lacking or in this area- slightly different but no less desirable.  

 

Mids:

 

C300's are slightly warmer and more forward. In contrast the FX700's are delicate, lush, and organic, albeit being slightly recessed. Details are competent and intelligible in both. 

 

Highs:

 

Here the FX has a very nice sparkle. Compared to the C300 cymbals are more crisp and detailed. Female vocals are even better on the FX- not only this but its treble is more lifelike, airy, extended and has more presence. 

 

Overall: 

 

FX700 is more refined and immersive with its highly coherent signature; it is also more v-shaped Not necessarily a bad thing, and while I'm very much enjoying the more forward mids of the C300 it's hard not to notice all the great attributes of the FX700- it's a memorable sound and easily one of JVC's best offerings.


Edited by Euphonik - 12/20/13 at 7:04pm
post #65 of 124

WOW!  You surely are good at describing sound.  Is there any bassiness/muddiness on the FX700 mids?


Edited by Alberto01 - 12/20/13 at 6:37pm
post #66 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alberto01 View Post
 

Is there any bassiness/muddiness on the FX700 mids?

 

Definitely not- the midbass does not impinge at all on the midrange. Typically these problems present themselves in less refined, lower tier offerings but aren't an issue in any of these phones we're comparing. Only one possibly might(CKS77x since it has a noticeable midbass hump) but I think it only seems that way due to the sub-bass being of less quantity compared to the C300. I'll try to get that comparison done tomorrow if my gf doesn't come over, lol.

post #67 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Euphonik View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alberto01 View Post
 

Is there any bassiness/muddiness on the FX700 mids?

 

Definitely not- the midbass does not impinge at all on the midrange. Typically these problems present themselves in less refined, lower tier offerings but aren't an issue in any of these phones we're comparing. Only one possibly might(CKS77x since it has a noticeable midbass hump) but I think it only seems that way due to the sub-bass being of less quantity compared to the C300. I'll try to get that comparison done tomorrow if my gf doesn't come over, lol.

 

I have the ATH-CKS77.  Those have as much or more sub-bass than the AH-C300 and a little less mid-bass.  They have mud in the mids or bassy mids.  So, it seems like the reason for the muddy mids is the physical design of the drivers and/or their enclosures rather than the amount of sub or mid bass.

 

UPDATE on 2014-01-09:  I was wrong when saying that the ATH-CKS77 had less mid bass than the AH-C300.  The mid-bass (and also the sub-bass) is tighter on the ATH-CKS77.  The more spread out bass impact on the AH-C300 made me think that it had more mid-bass than the ATH-CKS77.  However, as the days went by, I was not getting the punch (hitting power) from the AH-C300 that I was getting with the ATH-CKS77.  Thinking that the AH-C300 has more mid-bass than the ATH-CKS77, I tried raising the EQ bands below 125Hz for the AH-C300, leaving the mid-bass region flat, just like I did with the ATH-CKS77.  That did not increase the punch.  Recently, I tried raising the EQ bands between 125Hz and 200Hz and the punching power got as good as it is with the ATH-CKS77.  For the CKS77, keeping the 125Hz-200Hz untouched was the way to go.  For the AH-C300 those frequencies must be raised to get equal bass punch.  That makes it obvious that the ATH-CKS77 has more mid-bass than the AH-C300.

 

Concerning muddy mids, after the added mid-bass quantity the AH-C300 mids remain as clean as they were before the addition.  Opposite to that effect, the ATH-CKS77 mids mud did not go away by lowering the mid-bass with equalization.  So, the perception that the muddy mids or lack thereof, is due to the physical design of the drivers (like having two instead of one on the AH-C300) and/or their enclosures rather than the amount of sub or mid-bass, remains about the same.

 

One thing that I have noticed over time with different headphones, is that whatever changes in sound that I get with equalization, do not affect the SQ of other frequencies much or at all.  When the sound that I end up getting with equalization, already comes with the headphones with a flat EQ, then the imbalance always affects (colors) the other frequencies in a negative way.  So, the ideal headphones would be those that sound neutral (analytical) with a flat EQ, but are extremely responsive to EQ changes to the point that the user can tailor the sound to his liking with an equalizer.  That is what equalizers are supposed to be able to do.  They are supposed to make the sound of the source equal to what you want to hear!


Edited by Alberto01 - 1/9/14 at 1:30pm
post #68 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alberto01 View Post
 

 

I have the ATH-CKS77.  Those have as much or more sub bass than the AH-C300 and a little less mid bass.  They have mud in the mids or bassy mids.  So, it seems like the reason for the muddy mids is the physical design of the drivers and/or their enclosures rather than the amount of sub or mid bass.

Interesting- I'm guessing the 77x isn't much different than its predecessor. With regards to the muddy mids I'll have to do some more listening to see if my impressions mirror yours. I might spend the weekend A/Bing and do the impressions on Monday then the CKS1000 on Tuesday. In the meantime enjoy your Urban Ravers : )

post #69 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Euphonik View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alberto01 View Post
 

 

I have the ATH-CKS77.  Those have as much or more sub bass than the AH-C300 and a little less mid bass.  They have mud in the mids or bassy mids.  So, it seems like the reason for the muddy mids is the physical design of the drivers and/or their enclosures rather than the amount of sub or mid bass.

Interesting- I'm guessing the 77x isn't much different than its predecessor. With regards to the muddy mids I'll have to do some more listening to see if my impressions mirror yours. I might spend the weekend A/Bing and do the impressions on Monday then the CKS1000 on Tuesday. In the meantime enjoy your Urban Ravers : )

 

OK.  I will do so.

 

To help you understand that I am not demanding too much clarity from the CKS77 and that they are indeed muddy, I should tell you that I find the AH-C300 mids very clean or perhaps completely clean from mud/bass.  That is something that I had to be sure about, before getting the AH-C300.  Thanks to ShooterMacG's answers to my questions, I got convinced that the C300s mids were clean before I got them, and they are indeed clean.


Edited by Alberto01 - 12/21/13 at 11:55am
post #70 of 124

CKS77x vs. Denon C300: now is the time. Off we go!

 

Soundstage:

 

Smaller than the C300 but not by much. Presentation of the C300 is airier (which you'd expect with its slightly larger stage). Width is very good but not as deep- still very acceptable, IMO; depending on your preferences it could also be viewed as more intimate than the C300. Instruments on the 77x are closer together- I'd describe it as being consumer-oriented with a hint of Audio Technica's upper tier offerings. 

 

Bass:

 

CKS77x  has less sub-bass impact though texture is still good. Bass/lower mids are more emphasized in comparison to the C300(which has roughly equal parts of each and is maybe 3-4 db greater in quantity). 77xs are more balanced in this range- it's still satisfying but not as meaty as the Denons.   

 

Mids:

 

Not as clear as the C300 though detail is very good- I don't have too much trouble picking out nuances. Instead of mids/treble being closer(C300) the tilt is more toward mids/bass on the CK77x. Also, I'd like to note that "Muddy" would be a rather harsh description here as I consider the tuning to be pretty good, just different(maybe others can chime in here). Male vocals(along less nasal female ones) are more prominent with the AT as the 77x has slightly more warmth. 

 

Highs:

 

Both are quality in this regard. Neither are sibilant but come close to the edge of detail without sounding harsh to my ears. I find both to be fairly exciting(more so with the C300). Female vocals are on par with the C300(if not slightly smoother). 

 

Overall:

 

Denon knew exactly what they were going for when marketing the C300 as "Urban Ravers"- they satisfy the need for an EDM- oriented sound more than anything else I've tried thus far. CKS77x is warmer, smoother and richer sounding than the C300 but retains many of the same qualities that make both very enjoyable. I fully believe either is a very good choice(depending on your preferences, of course). 

 

My impressions are mostly complete, though I'll probably edit this post a few times to add a few more details :)


Edited by Euphonik - 12/22/13 at 11:49am
post #71 of 124
I purchased the urban ravers after finding an incredible deal that got me them for $80. While they sound great, I HATE the fit. They're giant, and because of they're worn at an angle even the smallest movements cause them to fall out. I have small ear canals, and getting the right fit was a lot of trial and error. But keeping them in and seated correctly is so difficult that I have to return them.

Also, the iPhone controls on the headphones is terrible. They tried to be too slick and integrate the controls in the headphone piece itself.... But like I mentioned its so difficult to find the right seating for sound that you can't move or risk losing the seating, so adjusting the earpiece to adjust sound or next/prev makes them fall out too.

I'd love to find a true competitor to these headphones that have a similar sound (I listen to a lot of hip hop and EDM) and have iPhone controls but have a better design.
post #72 of 124

I love the 300s, really love them, but I've started to prefer their big brothers the ah-c400s, they also can be got for next to nothing these days. When I first got them, my first impression was...were's the base? But this has emerged after 40 or hours of burn-in to the point that I'd actually consider their bass to be brilliant.

There was a lot of talk about them distorting base at super high volumes, I did notice this at the start, but they seem to have settled now and I'm not noticing this issue any more. I absolutely love these now and I'd consider them my go-to IEMS for every genre.

You get a hell of a lot of IEM for your money!

post #73 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thetek9 View Post

I purchased the urban ravers after finding an incredible deal that got me them for $80. While they sound great, I HATE the fit. They're giant, and because of they're worn at an angle even the smallest movements cause them to fall out. I have small ear canals, and getting the right fit was a lot of trial and error. But keeping them in and seated correctly is so difficult that I have to return them.

 

Sorry to hear that- I agree, these would be much better if Denon didn't integrate smartphone controls into the earpieces. I don't mind the play/pause button but I'll never bother trying to adjust volume with that dial, it's kinda tedious. In-line controls on most of these IEMs seem to be an afterthought as well.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShooterMacG View Post
 

My first impression was...where's the bass?

 

Now there's something no one will ask when listening to the C300 :P

post #74 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thetek9 View Post

I purchased the urban ravers after finding an incredible deal that got me them for $80. While they sound great, I HATE the fit. They're giant, and because of they're worn at an angle even the smallest movements cause them to fall out. I have small ear canals, and getting the right fit was a lot of trial and error. But keeping them in and seated correctly is so difficult that I have to return them.

Also, the iPhone controls on the headphones is terrible. They tried to be too slick and integrate the controls in the headphone piece itself.... But like I mentioned its so difficult to find the right seating for sound that you can't move or risk losing the seating, so adjusting the earpiece to adjust sound or next/prev makes them fall out too.

I'd love to find a true competitor to these headphones that have a similar sound (I listen to a lot of hip hop and EDM) and have iPhone controls but have a better design.

 

Did you try or have you tried using them without the ear stabilizers?  I am not sure that I could have gotten a good fit with the stabilizers.

post #75 of 124

Hello Im new with this forum ,but I have been read many threads and suggestions from here, so I hope some of you  can help me with my question. I got the AH C300 and used it over 2 weeks; I have no concern about its sound quality, especially the bass, but it doesn't fit me so well; I dont use the stabilizer at all. In general, I feel it too big, so it doesn't stay on my ears while I walk. My question is do we have any in ear headphone with similar sound quality and under 200$? especially the bass, I feel so bad; AH C300 has superb bass, but I have to return it. Currently, I have Monster copper Miles Davis trumpet, Gratitude and Inspiration. I love MTPC and its bass, but C300 has stronger bass. Im thinking about solid bass version of Audio Tech (ATH CKS1000), any other option? Thank you for your suggestions.

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