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Was the Ultrasone 8 edition defective or is this how it's supposed to sound?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

Recently I posted about getting a pair of the ultrasone edition 8. Seems like a number of 'professional' and 'non-professional' reviews had them as having superb quality. And I was really set on getting them. For a while my local audio store didn't have any as they were constantly sold out so I could never try them out. But luckily I stopped by yesterday and they had one (brand new) in which was going to be a floor model. I was the first person to try out a brand new ultrasone 8

 

Normally when I'm listening with my Westone 4 I have the volume on my iphone set at 30% volume. So with the ultrasone and their '40% reduction of sound pressure level' I figure 30% volume would be quite loud. At 30% with the Ultrasone I can barely hear anything, it was like a whisper. I had to turn the volume up to about 50-60% depending on the song that's playing. That's a 2x increase in volume. As for the noise isolation, I have small ears so the headphones fit really well but it doesn't isolate that well. I asked the sales person at the store to see if there were any gaps between the phone and my head and there weren't any. So it can't be leakage that's letting me hear outside noise. So I'm not sure what's going on there as there are reviews where people say with the ultrasone on they can barely hear any outside noise.

 

Comfort is great but the sound quality is soft, really soft. At first I thought maybe I needed an amp. So I pulled out my Fiio E7 (the same one I use with my westone 4). Normally it's at about a 3-4 in volume but with the ultrasone I had to go up to a 9 or 10 in volume. I can't even focus on the quality of the phones since I'm always fiddling around with the volume.  

 

Was this ultrasone 8 defective? I can't believe a $1000K headphone act like this

post #2 of 24
Thread Starter 

people who've used the ultrasone please respond.

post #3 of 24

The Ultrasone 8 is harder to drive. Therefore, you will want an amp if this bugs you. I recommend the FiiO E11 with a LOD cable.

post #4 of 24

I think you should try plugging them to a different source, a Fiio E7 amp is not making them justice (amp section is not very good)

A stronger amp perhaps? 

post #5 of 24
The Edition 8s are A LOT less sensitive than the Westones which would easily account for the difference in volume setting =/

You're obviously too used to IEMs which are generally MUCH easier to drive.

The Ed8s are full-sized headphones and much harder to drive, especially when you don't have a dedicated amp.
Edited by GL1TCH3D - 10/18/12 at 6:36pm
post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 

So basically i will need to up the volume more to hear them. I'm worried about hearing loss lol. But essentially the problem here is that the ultrasone needs more power to drive vs the westone 4 and it's not defective? I do use my westone 4 alot which is why I wanted to get a non IEM so I can swap between the 2

post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrconfuse View Post

So basically i will need to up the volume more to hear them. I'm worried about hearing loss lol. But essentially the problem here is that the ultrasone needs more power to drive vs the westone 4 and it's not defective? I do use my westone 4 alot which is why I wanted to get a non IEM so I can swap between the 2

It's not that the Ultrasone puts out a sound that's at the same "energy" level but just sounds "quieter" subjectively.  It just literally needs more power to put out the same decibels as the westone.  So nah, you won't get any hearing loss.

post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 

ahh okay so it's not defective then. Okay, I'll go back and play with it some more then tomorrow

post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amorgan View Post

I think you should try plugging them to a different source, a Fiio E7 amp is not making them justice (amp section is not very good)

A stronger amp perhaps? 

 

Definitely.

post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 

that's only amp I have at the moment. I usually listen on my pc at home and I do notice that on a pc my westone 4 sound way way better than when it's on the Fiio amp. Unfortunately I can't borrow the phones home with me

post #11 of 24
Thread Starter 

but i thought the ultrasone 8 was supposesd to be for portable use right out of an ipod/iphone. So kinda confuses why the phone doesn't work awesome without an amp

post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrconfuse View Post

ahh okay so it's not defective then. Okay, I'll go back and play with it some more then tomorrow

Why would you get hearing loss if the music is at the same level? Just because the volume is higher on the source doesn't mean it's that loud on the headphone.

post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrconfuse View Post

but i thought the ultrasone 8 was supposesd to be for portable use right out of an ipod/iphone. So kinda confuses why the phone doesn't work awesome without an amp

What high end audio is meant to be driven by an ipod?
Anyway, when they say it can be driven by portable sources, it means it's borderline good but scales up with better equipment.

The Beyer T5p were the same way. You could drive them from your phone to reasonable/loud listening levels but did much better with an amp.
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by GL1TCH3D View Post


What high end audio is meant to be driven by an ipod?
Anyway, when they say it can be driven by portable sources, it means it's borderline good but scales up with better equipment.
The Beyer T5p were the same way. You could drive them from your phone to reasonable/loud listening levels but did much better with an amp.

 

Exactly.

 

Just because headphones are loud, that doesn't mean they are being driven properly.

post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 

i see

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