Some initial impressions (literally the first few hours spent with these). With Audioengine D1 + Matrix M-Stage, mostly FLACs played in Foobar. So yes not the greatest source/chain ever, but if these babies scale up even better with higher-end DACs/amps I'm looking forward to that experience one day. For now I feel these are my first real hifi headphones so I'm pretty happy right now. So, sorry if its a bit rambly.
Isolation - better than open headphones at least! Significantly dampens CPU cooler (Corsair H100) sound, and mechanical keyboard typing sound (not completely depending on music volume, but its nice to still have some of that audible & tactile feedback together).
Comfort - WOW - I had really become accustomed to the big heavy HE400. Its a massive weight off my shoulders/head wearing these, they feel light as a feather for their size and construction quality. Pads are very comfortable and I can see myself wearing these all day with ease, although could get a bit sweaty on a hot summers day compared to velour. The clamping force is less than I'm used to as well and perfect for someone with glasses (again I am used to HE400 and DT1350 as portables, both pretty clampy).
The soundstage blows me away for 'closed' headphones. More on that in the track impressions below...
Foals - Inhaler http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJ_PMvjmC6M
I'm hearing instrument detail and subtle timbre characteristics i never heard before. Guitars sound a lot clearer and more lifelike than I remember with HE400. With the high note guitar pluck at around the 4:10 mark, the position incredible, it sounded like it was behind me! It also came in very gradually and I feel I was able to hear it start at super low volume, about 2 bars earlier than I remember on other headphones.
Massive Attack - Safe from Harm http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKtTmZnVhhI
Great track to give headphones a vocal workout, having both a male and a female vocalists. I feel like I'm in the room with them, and really appreciate the audio mix here. All vocals and instruments (electronic and acoustic) have their own space, subtle panning placing them around the room. This track doesn't have massive bass in the mix, just a constant funky rolling bassline which is obvious and present yet never overpowering anything else; I feel these headphones represent the intended quantity perfectly and every note is clean. A dub style MA track like "Karmacoma" feels like it has just the right level of chest rattling sub bass (if played on a big speaker system), a nice ear massage at least, without distracting from anything else.
James Blake - Limit To Your Love http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOT2-OTebx0
Amazing impact/attack and clarity to the deep sub bass notes, and crisp percussion/highs. A nice minimal test track (especially for bass), with only vocals really in the mids, and Blake's voice sounds better than ever to me. Test passed!
Kilowatts - Mobius Cakes
An album I listen to a lot. Surprisingly the 'smoothest' this track has sounded to me, but individual sounds/detail still all super present.. beautiful stereo width to the spread-out synth at 2:30ish.. Great weight to the sub bass.
Kilowatts - End of the Year http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnPAbrwUvQg
This tune builds and crescendos from 4min to the end and is a supreme example of how emotive and beautiful electronic music can be. It gets quite complex with four or five different synth lines fighting for attention and coming in and out of the mix. Never sounded better or more emotive to me than on these headphones.
Trentemoller - Still on Fire http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mfIkMMyHcs
Have listened to this masterful album and track a few times on my DT1350 and once with HE400s. Its a whole other story with the TH600. The panning and position of instruments is so much more noticeable and so enjoyable to hear. Low end is again nice and meaty, yet the mids and various instruments are all very present and clear and the highs are crisp yet never too bright. Most importantly, I'm really FEELING the music and nodding my head.
I highly recommend this new Trentemoller album for anyone that appreciates top notch electronica, and many of the tracks have beautiful guest vocals. 'Trails' is another moody instrumental masterpiece though, which has a simple yet powerful bassline, energetic guitar riffs and nuanced drums throughout.
If these TH600s get even better after 100-200 hours use as I have heard...I'm speechless. I'm not going to lust after the TH900 because I prefer the matte black and understatement of these, and a spare $1000 in my pocket to eventually spend on something like the WA7 to pair with them.
Now back to going back through my music collection... Bonobo album up next I think.. At some point I might do some AB comparisons with HE400 but I hardly think its fair. I still dig the signature of the HE400s and their mid bass punch, and that unique planar sound. They might stick around for a while at least as my open pair for when my ears need to breathe..
Edited by designbykai - 10/6/13 at 2:39am