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Battle Of The Flagships (58 Headphones Compared) UPDATE: AUDEZ'E LCD-2 Revision 2 (6/4/13) - Page 209

post #3121 of 4981

Well the HD650 is not really suited for rock style of music so i can understand your remarks about them being boring, they are supposed to be laidback sounding afterall.

And no i can't help you out with any of the questions there, haven't heard the PS500 myself sorryredface.gif

post #3122 of 4981
You mentioned that you heard them all out of the same amp? Did you level match the headphones? Human ears are pretty sensitive and even 1 dB difference will make the same headphone sound much better.

Also did you try them level matched at different SPLs? This is important because different SPLs have different effects on the signature of the headphones.

For example, my Senns don't really shine until I have them up pretty loud. But my SR225i owing to their brighter signature brings out the details enough for lower listening volumes.
post #3123 of 4981
Quote:
Originally Posted by streetdragon View Post

Well the HD650 is not really suited for rock style of music so i can understand your remarks about them being boring, they are supposed to be laidback sounding afterall.

And no i can't help you out with any of the questions there, haven't heard the PS500 myself sorryredface.gif

 

Yes, I tested with about 15 songs, all rock, two pop, and three hip hop. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AzN1337c0d3r View Post

You mentioned that you heard them all out of the same amp? Did you level match the headphones? Human ears are pretty sensitive and even 1 dB difference will make the same headphone sound much better.

Also did you try them level matched at different SPLs? This is important because different SPLs have different effects on the signature of the headphones.

For example, my Senns don't really shine until I have them up pretty loud. But my SR225i owing to their brighter signature brings out the details enough for lower listening volumes.

 

They were all connected to a single amp, so when you plugged in your sound source, all 30 headphones on the wall played the music at the same time. All were very similar in loudness, I didn't notice any differences in loudness between them.

 

I don't even know if I answered your question, because I have no idea what you're asking me. LOL That should give you an indication of my expertise --not much. 


Edited by kl237 - 3/14/13 at 9:56pm
post #3124 of 4981
Quote:

QUESTIONS FOR EVERYONE HERE:

 

1. Can you guys point out which headphones have a very similar sound to the PS500s? DON'T ANSWER THIS QUESTION if you haven't heard the PS500s. The RS2/325/PS1000 don't sound like this headphone and you wouldn't understand what I mean if you haven't listened to it. 

 

2. If I could create the "perfect" headphones for MYSELF, I would take the PS500, add the vocal quality from the HD700, and turn down the treble just a tad. Does a headphone out there exist like this?????

 

3. Any advice/tips of which headphones I should listen to before I commit to buying a pair? This will be my only pair of headphones, and I plan on keeping these headphones until they break (which means over 10 years).

 

 

Thanks again guys for the help. Don't take any negative comments I made above personally because I'm just a beginner with a very particular preference of sound. I SINCERELY APOLOGIZE!!!!!

 

I look forward to hearing what recommendations you guys have or advice/tips. I plan on giving the HD400/HD500s a listen tomorrow at another store since David recommended them. 

 

I would suggest that you go back to the original store after you check out the HE-400/500.  See if they'll let you plug the PS500 straight into your iPhone.  You may find (as others have) that the headphone out of the iPhone tames the treble slightly - I haven't tried that for myself with the PS500, but I did try others and felt that the treble rolled off a bit earlier.  That might solve your only complaint.  Having tried the PS500 and G/PS1000 among a few other Grados, I've found that I'm just not a big fan of any of their products (though I've yet to hear the RS2i or HP1000).  It's just a personal preference for me, and I certainly won't begrudge you yours.  You may find that you like the HE-400 or 500, but given that you seem to want something fairly easy to amp, they might not be the best fit for you either.  I will suggest that on different amplification you may very well prefer the HD800 or one of the others.  However, that would run completely counter-intuitive to finding something you can use with your iPhone.  

 

edit: I forgot to add:  Good luck with your search and have fun!

post #3125 of 4981
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzerdave View Post

 

I would suggest that you go back to the original store after you check out the HE-400/500.  See if they'll let you plug the PS500 straight into your iPhone.  You may find (as others have) that the headphone out of the iPhone tames the treble slightly - I haven't tried that for myself with the PS500, but I did try others and felt that the treble rolled off a bit earlier.  That might solve your only complaint.  Having tried the PS500 and G/PS1000 among a few other Grados, I've found that I'm just not a big fan of any of their products (though I've yet to hear the RS2i or HP1000).  It's just a personal preference for me, and I certainly won't begrudge you yours.  You may find that you like the HE-400 or 500, but given that you seem to want something fairly easy to amp, they might not be the best fit for you either.  I will suggest that on different amplification you may very well prefer the HD800 or one of the others.  However, that would run completely counter-intuitive to finding something you can use with your iPhone.  

 

edit: I forgot to add:  Good luck with your search and have fun!

 

 

Thanks! So the treble can be toned down a bit with the iphone you say. That would be ideal, I'll do some additional testing this week. :)

post #3126 of 4981
Quote:
Originally Posted by kl237 View Post

 

 

 

There's two profound things that I gathered after listening: 1. The grado PS500/RS2/325is clarity of treble/highs is ridiculously good by a large margin compared to the rest. 2. The HD700/800 vocals sound like the person singing is standing right there next to you. 

 

So this is what I realized: Music is about how it makes you feel. I didn't enjoy listening to music from the HD650s any more than I would listening to regular iPhone buds even though everyone loves them here. I just think they sound plain and boring. I have no idea how else to describe it. I understand now what people say when they mean the sound is "fun". The Grado PS500s were on a completely different level than all the other ones mentioned. Even compared to the RS2/PS1000 I felt they were very entertaining. The details on the highs and how you can hear every little guitar lick was incredible, plus the lows really captured that "warm room filling sound" I was looking for. I feel that the PS500's blew everything else minus the HD700/800s out of the water. On the flip side, the HD700/800s realistic sounding voices felt like you were standing in the recording studio. However, I noticed the highs were muffled and muted. The highs didn't sound anything like the PS500s and it felt there was a good chunk of music missing that the Grados were playing.

 

I found the HD650s and HD598 had a very similar sound, but it was not one that I liked, it was kind of dull and boring. I don't know how to describe it. The Q701 sounded thin which I did not like. The Beats were horrible --I thought people here were over exaggerating to prove a point, but they really are junk. 325iS sounded like the bass was missing, I did not like that. The PS1000 I disliked a lot, I'd rather have the 325iS over these --they sounded so different compared to the other Grados (it's as if an entirely different company made them). RS2s were great, just wish they had more low end like the PS500s, otherwise similar sounding, but much less bass.

 

 

CONCLUSION: At $650 the PS500s I felt were the best, the only concern I had was that the sound was too bright, and that anything over an hour of listening would start to become tiring. The HD700s at $1100 were the second best, but I didn't like that the highs are completely missing that the Grados had, but I now understand what "flat" means when referring to sound. Also, I understand why you can listen to music for hours on these whereas you can't on the PS500s.

 

VERDICT: Why would I consider buying anything else than the PS500? I can use all of these headphones at home, however the rest of these headphones are too big to walk with outside, and require an amp. Whereas the PS500s can be taken anywhere, hooked up to my iphone, and I won't look silly walking around with them with an amp in my pants. lol

 


QUESTIONS FOR EVERYONE HERE:

 

1. Can you guys point out which headphones have a very similar sound to the PS500s? DON'T ANSWER THIS QUESTION if you haven't heard the PS500s. The RS2/325/PS1000 don't sound like this headphone and you wouldn't understand what I mean if you haven't listened to it. 

 

2. If I could create the "perfect" headphones for MYSELF, I would take the PS500, add the vocal quality from the HD700, and turn down the treble just a tad. Does a headphone out there exist like this?????

 

3. Any advice/tips of which headphones I should listen to before I commit to buying a pair? This will be my only pair of headphones, and I plan on keeping these headphones until they break (which means over 10 years).

 

 

Thanks again guys for the help. Don't take any negative comments I made above personally because I'm just a beginner with a very particular preference of sound. I SINCERELY APOLOGIZE!!!!!

 

I look forward to hearing what recommendations you guys have or advice/tips. I plan on giving the Hifiman HE400/HE500s a listen tomorrow at another store since David recommended them. 

May I ask what amp you're using? I sell the PS500's at the store I work at, so I know them very well; but for the highs to be more present/detailed than HD700/800's...? It's as if you're driving it from a portable device. The PS500's are probably the warmest sounding grado out there, the highs are present and never aggressive; but again, the Senn flagships should extract so much more information up top. Grado's are very easy to drive, maybe the amplification was not adequate, so the Grado performed very well whereas the Senns struggled/ started clipping.

 

It is very important for you to assess what you will be using your headphones with, and try the headphones with your own gear or something very similar. I can try them out today and compare for fun; we also have a wall of headphones being fed by a yamaha integrated; sounds  seems to be similar to what you demo'd.

 

Cheers


Edited by dleblanc343 - 3/15/13 at 5:28am
post #3127 of 4981

i can answer some of the questios regarding KI237's setup he listened to (BBR in toronto im pretty sure)

all the headphones he tried (except the hd800 which were driven with a bryston amp) are driven from a peachtree hybrid amp (nova or decco?) with the tube buffer on

they are not SPL matched as ive noticed some are louder then others when set at one volume position, it seems like all 30 ish headphones are connected to the amp but im not quite how that works out power wise as the amp easily drove the senns to ear-splitting levels

i found that the tube added quite a bit of warmth to the headphones, especially compared to solid state amps, and notably with the grados

last thing- since the open headphones are situated in the middle of the shop, i found the listening to the headphones a bit dissapointing as it is usually noisy in the store, so you may want to try listening to the headpones at low traffic times- maybe in the morning

post #3128 of 4981
Quote:
Originally Posted by kl237 View Post

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Opinions from a non-audiophile, this review is reflective of my personal tastes which is different from everyone else's. 

 

So I went to the high end audio shop and tested out these headphones, all connected to a high quality amp simultaneously so you can easily switch between headphones instantaneously. I tested them out with alternative/classic/modern rock, and hip hop on a number of songs. There were about 20 other headphones but I wasn't interested in listening to them. 

 

Sennheiser HD650

Sennheiser HD700

Sennheiser HD800

Sennheiser HD598

Sennheiser HD280

AKG Q701 Quincy Jones

Beats by Dre

Beats by Dre Pro

Grado PS1000

Grado PS500

Grado GS1000

Grado RS2i

Grado RS325is

 

This is the order I liked them in: 

 

PS500

HD700/800

------------------------ (this signifies large jump in how much I liked the headphones).

RS2i

RS325is

PS1000 

GS1000

HD650

HD598

Q701

Beats

 

 

There's two profound things that I gathered after listening: 1. The grado PS500/RS2/325is clarity of treble/highs is ridiculously good by a large margin compared to the rest. 2. The HD700/800 vocals sound like the person singing is standing right there next to you. 

 

So this is what I realized: Music is about how it makes you feel. I didn't enjoy listening to music from the HD650s any more than I would listening to regular iPhone buds even though everyone loves them here. I just think they sound plain and boring. I have no idea how else to describe it. I understand now what people say when they mean the sound is "fun". The Grado PS500s were on a completely different level than all the other ones mentioned. Even compared to the RS2/PS1000 I felt they were very entertaining. The details on the highs and how you can hear every little guitar lick was incredible, plus the lows really captured that "warm room filling sound" I was looking for. I feel that the PS500's blew everything else minus the HD700/800s out of the water. On the flip side, the HD700/800s realistic sounding voices felt like you were standing in the recording studio. However, I noticed the highs were muffled and muted. The highs didn't sound anything like the PS500s and it felt there was a good chunk of music missing that the Grados were playing.

 

I found the HD650s and HD598 had a very similar sound, but it was not one that I liked, it was kind of dull and boring. I don't know how to describe it. The Q701 sounded thin which I did not like. The Beats were horrible --I thought people here were over exaggerating to prove a point, but they really are junk. 325iS sounded like the bass was missing, I did not like that. The PS1000 I disliked a lot, I'd rather have the 325iS over these --they sounded so different compared to the other Grados (it's as if an entirely different company made them). RS2s were great, just wish they had more low end like the PS500s, otherwise similar sounding, but much less bass.

 

 

CONCLUSION: At $650 the PS500s I felt were the best, the only concern I had was that the sound was too bright, and that anything over an hour of listening would start to become tiring. The HD700s at $1100 were the second best, but I didn't like that the highs are completely missing that the Grados had, but I now understand what "flat" means when referring to sound. Also, I understand why you can listen to music for hours on these whereas you can't on the PS500s.

 

VERDICT: Why would I consider buying anything else than the PS500? I can use all of these headphones at home, however the rest of these headphones are too big to walk with outside, and require an amp. Whereas the PS500s can be taken anywhere, hooked up to my iphone, and I won't look silly walking around with them with an amp in my pants. lol

 


QUESTIONS FOR EVERYONE HERE:

 

1. Can you guys point out which headphones have a very similar sound to the PS500s? DON'T ANSWER THIS QUESTION if you haven't heard the PS500s. The RS2/325/PS1000 don't sound like this headphone and you wouldn't understand what I mean if you haven't listened to it. 

 

2. If I could create the "perfect" headphones for MYSELF, I would take the PS500, add the vocal quality from the HD700, and turn down the treble just a tad. Does a headphone out there exist like this?????

 

3. Any advice/tips of which headphones I should listen to before I commit to buying a pair? This will be my only pair of headphones, and I plan on keeping these headphones until they break (which means over 10 years).

 

 

Thanks again guys for the help. Don't take any negative comments I made above personally because I'm just a beginner with a very particular preference of sound. I SINCERELY APOLOGIZE!!!!!

 

I look forward to hearing what recommendations you guys have or advice/tips. I plan on giving the Hifiman HE400/HE500s a listen tomorrow at another store since David recommended them. 

Sorry to quote such a long post. but jumping from headphone to headphone in such a short period of time, is the absolute worst way to review anything. You need so spend atleast a few days with just 1 headphone and make your judgement, granted rubbish like beats is going to sound crap straight away, so disregard those peices of ****. 

 

But to use the two headphones I own......HD 650, and Alessandro MS-Pros. If I have change from the MS-Pros to the HD-650s, the 650's seem dull and boring....but If i listen to them for a few days they sound amazing, if I am listening to the HD-650s and switch to the MS-Pros they seems harsh and too bright, If you get where Im going here.........I love them both for different reasons, but switching from headphone to headphone is a not going to do you any favours. 

post #3129 of 4981
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidMahler View Post


They are actually very different in their tone.  If you have both, I can't tell you if it is worth it, because that is a personal decision.  But if you are considering acquiring one and already have the other, it may be something that you'll enjoy. If you enjoy the sound signature of one of them, but are looking for a different tone to compliment it, I think its a good choice!

 

Thanks for the advice David. I'll probably get the HE-500 soon.

post #3130 of 4981

David, did you get the change to listen to LCD2 Rev 2 yet? biggrin.gif Just curios about your impressions.

post #3131 of 4981
Please can anyone tell me the site, where you hear 2 tones and have to know, which one is higher?
I could not find it anymore in the last 3000 posts. Thank you! David also did test his ears on this site.
post #3132 of 4981
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flognuts View Post

Sorry to quote such a long post. but jumping from headphone to headphone in such a short period of time, is the absolute worst way to review anything. You need so spend atleast a few days with just 1 headphone and make your judgement, granted rubbish like beats is going to sound crap straight away, so disregard those peices of ****. 

But to use the two headphones I own......HD 650, and Alessandro MS-Pros. If I have change from the MS-Pros to the HD-650s, the 650's seem dull and boring....but If i listen to them for a few days they sound amazing, if I am listening to the HD-650s and switch to the MS-Pros they seems harsh and too bright, If you get where Im going here.........I love them both for different reasons, but switching from headphone to headphone is a not going to do you any favours. 
I understand you, for me switching between the MS1i and HD558 rapidly makes each of them sound bad. (eqing lessens the effect though)
post #3133 of 4981
Quote:
Originally Posted by kl237 View Post

 

 

Thanks! So the treble can be toned down a bit with the iphone you say. That would be ideal, I'll do some additional testing this week. :)

I've had similar experience. Once changing the source to iPod, toned down the treble in my W5000. 

post #3134 of 4981
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kl237 View Post

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Opinions from a non-audiophile, this review is reflective of my personal tastes which is different from everyone else's. 

 

So I went to the high end audio shop and tested out these headphones, all connected to a high quality amp simultaneously so you can easily switch between headphones instantaneously. I tested them out with alternative/classic/modern rock, and hip hop on a number of songs. There were about 20 other headphones but I wasn't interested in listening to them. 

 

Sennheiser HD650

Sennheiser HD700

Sennheiser HD800

Sennheiser HD598

Sennheiser HD280

AKG Q701 Quincy Jones

Beats by Dre

Beats by Dre Pro

Grado PS1000

Grado PS500

Grado GS1000

Grado RS2i

Grado RS325is

 

This is the order I liked them in: 

 

PS500

HD700/800

------------------------ (this signifies large jump in how much I liked the headphones).

RS2i

RS325is

PS1000 

GS1000

HD650

HD598

Q701

Beats

 

 

There's two profound things that I gathered after listening: 1. The grado PS500/RS2/325is clarity of treble/highs is ridiculously good by a large margin compared to the rest. 2. The HD700/800 vocals sound like the person singing is standing right there next to you. 

 

So this is what I realized: Music is about how it makes you feel. I didn't enjoy listening to music from the HD650s any more than I would listening to regular iPhone buds even though everyone loves them here. I just think they sound plain and boring. I have no idea how else to describe it. I understand now what people say when they mean the sound is "fun". The Grado PS500s were on a completely different level than all the other ones mentioned. Even compared to the RS2/PS1000 I felt they were very entertaining. The details on the highs and how you can hear every little guitar lick was incredible, plus the lows really captured that "warm room filling sound" I was looking for. I feel that the PS500's blew everything else minus the HD700/800s out of the water. On the flip side, the HD700/800s realistic sounding voices felt like you were standing in the recording studio. However, I noticed the highs were muffled and muted. The highs didn't sound anything like the PS500s and it felt there was a good chunk of music missing that the Grados were playing.

 

I found the HD650s and HD598 had a very similar sound, but it was not one that I liked, it was kind of dull and boring. I don't know how to describe it. The Q701 sounded thin which I did not like. The Beats were horrible --I thought people here were over exaggerating to prove a point, but they really are junk. 325iS sounded like the bass was missing, I did not like that. The PS1000 I disliked a lot, I'd rather have the 325iS over these --they sounded so different compared to the other Grados (it's as if an entirely different company made them). RS2s were great, just wish they had more low end like the PS500s, otherwise similar sounding, but much less bass.

 

 

CONCLUSION: At $650 the PS500s I felt were the best, the only concern I had was that the sound was too bright, and that anything over an hour of listening would start to become tiring. The HD700s at $1100 were the second best, but I didn't like that the highs are completely missing that the Grados had, but I now understand what "flat" means when referring to sound. Also, I understand why you can listen to music for hours on these whereas you can't on the PS500s.

 

VERDICT: Why would I consider buying anything else than the PS500? I can use all of these headphones at home, however the rest of these headphones are too big to walk with outside, and require an amp. Whereas the PS500s can be taken anywhere, hooked up to my iphone, and I won't look silly walking around with them with an amp in my pants. lol

 


QUESTIONS FOR EVERYONE HERE:

 

1. Can you guys point out which headphones have a very similar sound to the PS500s? DON'T ANSWER THIS QUESTION if you haven't heard the PS500s. The RS2/325/PS1000 don't sound like this headphone and you wouldn't understand what I mean if you haven't listened to it. 

 

2. If I could create the "perfect" headphones for MYSELF, I would take the PS500, add the vocal quality from the HD700, and turn down the treble just a tad. Does a headphone out there exist like this?????

 

3. Any advice/tips of which headphones I should listen to before I commit to buying a pair? This will be my only pair of headphones, and I plan on keeping these headphones until they break (which means over 10 years).

 

 

Thanks again guys for the help. Don't take any negative comments I made above personally because I'm just a beginner with a very particular preference of sound. I SINCERELY APOLOGIZE!!!!!

 

I look forward to hearing what recommendations you guys have or advice/tips. I plan on giving the Hifiman HE400/HE500s a listen tomorrow at another store since David recommended them. 

wonderful post! Everyone is entitled their own opinion.  Audio is as much as art as it is a science and that's why personal preferences can never represent anything factual :)

post #3135 of 4981
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by streetdragon View Post

Well the HD650 is not really suited for rock style of music so i can understand your remarks about them being boring, they are supposed to be laidback sounding afterall.

And no i can't help you out with any of the questions there, haven't heard the PS500 myself sorryredface.gif

See, but for me the HD650 is a wonderful rock headphone, one of my favorites for rock.... so it shows again that perception is everything.

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