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Hifiman HE-500 versus Sennheiser HD650 - Page 2

post #16 of 68
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsplice View Post

Also, I have the HE-500s on demo right now, and I do prefer my HD650s over the HE-500s.  I don't know if my demo set is defective or what, but I was very underwhelmed by their sound, especially when compared to the LCD-2.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jsplice View Post

I have to disagree with your assessment that the HD650s have a more extended treble than the LCD-2s.  I own both, and can say with utmost certainty that the LCD-2 is clearly superior in almost all aspects to the HD650; treble extension, transparency, detail retrieval, bass extension (as you noted), and just overall fluidity to the sound.  The only area where I can say that HD650s may beat the LCD-2s is soundstage width.  Are you using rev 1 or rev 2?  If you're on rev 1, you may want to consider upgrading to rev 2.

Wow, our opinions are 180 degrees out of phase, but okay... what kind of music do you usually listen to? (for me, acoustic classical)

 

I think I have rev 2 of the LCD-2, according to my serial number (531...)

 

We could agree in one sense. For a moment consider the distinction I make between "bright" and "extended." Extended means you are getting real information in the upper octave; that you are getting sound that enhances the colors of the tonal palette. Something that is not extended can still be "bright" by having a peak somewhere.

 

Okay, so to me the HD650 are brighter than the LCD-2. If I wrote earlier they are more "extended" I'm not sure about that-- I'm not sure they are really giving me any useful information in the top octave. But no doubt they are brighter. I don't know how anyone could hear it otherwise.

 

The LCD-2 is a dark sound that is missing the top octave, mostly, something confirmed by FR plots but also the ears of a number of my friends who are more into speakers and have a good ear for tonal balance.

 

The HE-500 stomp all over the HD650 and in fact, for me, beat the LCD-2 in overall performance (although LCD-2 wins in bass performance). The HD650 just has a rough transient sound, a lack of definition in leading edges -- once you hear that definition in planar drivers like the LCD-2 and Hifiman, there is no going back. The HE-500 is a tradeoff with the LCD-2---missing the LCD-2's bottom octave but possessing a nice top octave. It presents transients differently. At the moment I prefer the HE-500 but I'm not certain -- I need to give it more time -- it may be a slight overemphasis, not sure.

 

Oh, the HE-500 has more precise and expansive imaging than the LCD-2, which may be mostly due to its upper-range extension (a lot of those placement cues come in the top octave). And I'm not even using with my favorite cable right now.

post #17 of 68

Does the HE500 have a more 3D like soundstage than the LCD2?
 

post #18 of 68
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by silversurfer616 View Post

Does the HE500 have a more 3D like soundstage than the LCD2?
 

 

x


Edited by mike1127 - 8/1/13 at 10:55am
post #19 of 68

Thanks for your impressions,Mike.

I am looking for that cavernous 3D soundstage and actually like the occasional sound/instrument coming disconcertingly from "outside"!

A lot of Genesis stuff has cues/is mixed like that.

But you are right,there should still be coherence.
 

post #20 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike1127 View Post

 

Wow, our opinions are 180 degrees out of phase, but okay... what kind of music do you usually listen to? (for me, acoustic classical)

 

I listen to a fairly wide range of stuff.  Classical, rock, electronic, some jazz, etc.

 

Okay, so to me the HD650 are brighter than the LCD-2. If I wrote earlier they are more "extended" I'm not sure about that-- I'm not sure they are really giving me any useful information in the top octave. But no doubt they are brighter. I don't know how anyone could hear it otherwise.

 

My take on "bright" sound is a sound signature that may have peaks, but is really just the overall sum of treble information being higher than what one would consider "natural" or flat; one single small spike may not completely constitute "bright" sound overall.  In my listening, the LCD-2s are definitely "brighter" than the HD650s.  This does not mean that I'm saying the LCD-2s are bright by any means.  But I do believe they convey much more treble information than the HD650s, and I think many others will share that opinion.

 

The HE-500 stomp all over the HD650 and in fact, for me, beat the LCD-2 in overall performance (although LCD-2 wins in bass performance). The HD650 just has a rough transient sound, a lack of definition in leading edges -- once you hear that definition in planar drivers like the LCD-2 and Hifiman, there is no going back. The HE-500 is a tradeoff with the LCD-2---missing the LCD-2's bottom octave but possessing a nice top octave. It presents transients differently. At the moment I prefer the HE-500 but I'm not certain -- I need to give it more time -- it may be a slight overemphasis, not sure.

 

I'm actually still wondering if there is something wrong with the demo pair of HE-500s I received, because they don't sound anything like all the descriptions I've read.  They most definitely have an emphasis in the bass similar to the HD650s, although it's more controlled than the HD650s.

 

Oh, the HE-500 has more precise and expansive imaging than the LCD-2, which may be mostly due to its upper-range extension (a lot of those placement cues come in the top octave). And I'm not even using with my favorite cable right now.

 

This may be true, but my demo pair shipped with the pleather pads, which from what I understand, tend to kill the imaging and treble response.

post #21 of 68
Thread Starter 

I just discovered that my HE-500 came with the pleather pads installed and that the spare pair in the box are a different type (velour?) so I will have to try the spare pair.

 

You know, I think I may have never finished burning-in the HD650 before making a judgement about its tonal balance. Maybe it gets less bright.

 

I would agree based on my listening to the (not burned in?) HD650 that it doesn't give you a lot of information in the top octave, while the LCD-2 does have that potential when used with the right amp. I finally started feeling like I was getting some extension when I changed the 12AUY7 tube brand in my highly modified Hifiman EF5. I'm now using the Radiotechnique 12AU7.


Edited by mike1127 - 9/3/12 at 7:11pm
post #22 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by silversurfer616 View Post

Does the HE500 have a more 3D like soundstage than the LCD2?
 

In my experience with both, I'd say that the LCD2's have more of the 3d like imaging, the sound is deeper while the HE500's are clearly wider. The HE500's bass and treble seem to come across as more seperate to the whole (only in comparison to the LCD's) and this gives an impression of a more airy soundstage. But on closer scrutinising the LCD2's actually have a more natural image and instruments imo are more clearly defined.

 

Must say I love them both and think they complement each other very well, I consider myself very fortunate to be able to keep both. I did however sell my 650's RS1's and K702's to be able to do this.. The 650's though still a top tier headphone and one of the best dynamics ever made, simply can't compete with either of those plannars apart from comfort imo. The only thing that I can think of why peeps may enjoy the 650's over the plannars is because of the softer, airy, very musical way they do music which is non fatiguing and great for long listening sessions.      

post #23 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike1127 View Post

I just discovered that my HE-500 came with the pleather pads installed and that the spare pair in the box are a different type (velour?) so I will have to try the spare pair.

 

You know, I think I may have never finished burning-in the HD650 before making a judgement about its tonal balance. Maybe it gets less bright.

 

I would agree based on my listening to the (not burned in?) HD650 that it doesn't give you a lot of information in the top octave, while the LCD-2 does have that potential when used with the right amp. I finally started feeling like I was getting some extension when I changed the 12AUY7 tube brand in my highly modified Hifiman EF5. I'm now using the Radiotechnique 12AU7.

Put the Velour's on immediately!! they are more open sounding with them and tend to be the prefered choice

post #24 of 68
Thread Starter 

Done. Velour pads on. I didn't pay attention to the sound, not yet.

 

By the way, if you want "non-fatiguing" I find the LCD-2 is about as non-fatiguing as anything. I've been indulging myself by cranking the volume for long sessions. Although I try not to do that often.

 

Mike

post #25 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike1127 View Post

Done. Velour pads on. I didn't pay attention to the sound, not yet.

 

By the way, if you want "non-fatiguing" I find the LCD-2 is about as non-fatiguing as anything. I've been indulging myself by cranking the volume for long sessions. Although I try not to do that often.

 

Mike

I agree, although some may say that the bass can be tiring with certain music. I love them with Jazz, but sometimes the double bass can be a little overpowering depending on the recording (being very fickle here)   

post #26 of 68
I had he500s and lcd2s and sold the he500s. Not as natural and bass quality wasn't as excellent as the lcd2s. There is a price difference though.
post #27 of 68

It's possible that one of you could have the silver driver HD650 and the other with the black driver alongside with one owning the rev. 1 lcd-2s and the other owning the rev.2?

post #28 of 68

If you love your 650s, I would stay with them.  They are best with copper cables.  My preference is for copper Litz on most "conventional" headphones.  That said, the 650s are a bit too romantic for me, but I have heard them often.  None of the new big bucks cans(Audeze, hifiman, etc.) match the sonic presentation of the 650s, if you are a 650-lover.  To my ears, they have no romance.  They aren't coherent.  They are not engaging.  They are at their best with highly compressed pop music, which already sounds awful due to the compression.  If you enjoy jazz, chamber music, acoustic guitar, solo instrument music in general, or even symphonic music...I think you get what I am driving at...i'd stay with what you have, the 650s.  The 800s are very good, too, but far more neutral and you might not like that.  I have not heard the 700s, but from what I have read they are in the same class as the 800s: neutral, coherent, lively, great detail and inner resolution.  

 

There are a lot of people that prefer "conventional" headphones from many mfrs. to the modern ones that have popped up in the last few years.  We are generally branded as sonically-challenged by Audeze and Hifiman owners, but I think the differences lie in our preferences for sound and the kind of music we listen to, as do their preferences, plus the pull of a strong bandwagon effect.

 

I hope you have a nice tube OTL amp, presumably 6SN7-based.  These bring out the best in the 650s for me and in a lot of other conventional headphones, even those with fairly low impedance, like the 701s, which are my favorites, strange as it may seem.  Otherwise, I might buy the 800s and 700s, but right now my new equipment buying priorities lie in the area of SET speaker equipment/systems, and I use my headphones for bed-time listening with a 6SN7GT tube OTL amp and a Mac + small USB Dac digital front end. 

post #29 of 68


 


Edited by silversurfer616 - 9/16/12 at 1:17am
post #30 of 68

Simply... HE-500 > HD650.  The HD650 is (slightly muddy in my case) muddy as you suggested even with good amplification...

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