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Battle Of The Flagships (58 Headphones Compared) UPDATE: AUDEZ'E LCD-2 Revision 2 (6/4/13) - Page 59

post #871 of 4946
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnaud View Post


You mentionned about tinnitus, you don't suffer from hyperacousis? It's a condition that is the result of overexposure to loud sounds and thus may come along with tinnitus. Essentially, the threashold of discomfort and eventually pain is much lower than for healthy hearing, which will make one favor recessed phones in the most sensitive region of the hearing (e.g 1-4kHz range). Not saying you're deaf, but once you have any sign of hearing impairment (like tinnitus even if mild), it's worth to question its own hearing before claiming someone else prefers "brighter sound signatures".

 

I doubt I have hyperacousis as my dislike of bright phones pre-dates my tinnitus. It's probably more that I've always listened to heavy orchestral music and wanted to capture the "concert hall" sound, which is usually far from bright unless you're sitting in the front seats. As for the 1--4khz region, I would say I am particularly sensitive to that region, but that it's more to do with this being the critical region for orchestral strings; any accentuation here can make them unbearably schreechy. (I also don't agree that bright phones suit classical. Quite the opposite in my view).

 

Regarding your last sentence, I was simply pointing out that no review is of any use until you first identify where the reviewer's taste differs from your own and adjust accordingly. This is true of every review. As for questioning my hearing, I question it frequently ("You still there, Hearing?'); nevertheless it remains that a couple of the phones to which David was especially kind--DT880, HD800--are widely regarded, rightly or wrongly, as being bright and even a little peaky, so it can't be just my personal claim, especially as it's been brought up a couple of times already in this thread. The question is, once you're aware of it with regard to your own taste, does it matter?


Edited by pp312 - 11/14/12 at 3:26pm
post #872 of 4946
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by moviedave View Post

First, whether or not I agree with your findings, I have to bend me knee in respect of the effort this review took.  Awesome job.  Second, and this is nitpicking (sorry if someone else mentioned this), I think you mean the Complete Sibelius with Osmo Vanska and the Lahti Symphony orchestra.

Thank you! You are absolutely correct.  I was thinking of his Beethoven cycle when I typed that in.  Thanks a lot! I changed it:)

 

btw, both cyles are absolutely astonishing with regard to the sound quality.  The performances are wonderful too, but in this case, the sound quality even outshines it. Just putting it out there for people who are looking for well-recorded classical music.


Edited by DavidMahler - 11/14/12 at 3:01pm
post #873 of 4946
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

 

uumm...  If this were true all my amps should sound the same - correct???  All my amps are powerful enough and properly working..  Powerful enough for what anyway??  Are all my amps neutral?  I don't think so, although I could be wrong.  At the moment I have in house 3 balanced headphone amps with one more on the way.  

 

All have a different sound. I would label them like this from neutral to some what colored.  All balanced, working properly and powerful enough  GSX v2 (incoming), CK²III, βeta-22, M^3.  However, some may say they're all neutral.

 

One amp specifically (M^3) I'm currently working with a builder to find a good sound sig that I like by changing opamps.  So all powerful and properly working amps does not always yield the same results. 

 

All an amp is supposed to do is to strenghten the signal to be loud enough for you... This is how it should be. If your amp is suitable enough in volts, current, impedance, gain resistors and IS in reality neutral (and stable in all its specs), the result MUST be audibly the same. Otherwise, something is wrong in the design (or the designer didn't want it to be neutral and clear).


Edited by MHOE - 11/14/12 at 3:16pm
post #874 of 4946
Quote:
Originally Posted by MHOE View Post

 

All an amp is supposed to do is to strenghten the signal to be loud enough for you... This is how it should be. If your amp is suitable enough in volts, current, impedance, gain resistors and IS in reality neutral (and stable in all its specs), the result MUST be audibly the same. Otherwise, something is wrong in the design (or the designer didn't want it to be neutral and clear).

 

MHOE man are you serious.  

 

Please explain why some amps are warm, some amps are bright, some amps are transparent, some amps sound muddy?

post #875 of 4946
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

MHOE man are you serious.  

 

Please explain why some amps are warm, some amps are bright, some amps are transparent, some amps sound muddy?

 

I don't know all the amps in the world but the most possible case with warmness/brightness is that the manufacturer just designed them to sound this way. For example simple Fiio E11 has emphasis on bass even though you are not using bass switch on it. Fiio E9 is for sure more neutral but lacks transparency. Xonar Essence ST is behaving strange with higher gain settings, being too much distorted... Tube amps are also the case with their harmonic distortion.

 

Another thing is suitability... Low impedance phones require a lot of current which not every amplifier is able to deliver. Also, amps' outputs are very often of higher impedance than ideal which can cause muddiness in bass and higher level of overal distortion with some phones.

 

Also, if you do not use ideal gain resistors for every particular headphone, you are loosing transparency and adding distortion. An ideal gain for one pair of headphones is the one where you get loud enough + little more on full volume. Good amp needs to be audibly transparent even when turning the volume knob towards the max.

 

Stability also plays role... Majority of amps could have good measurements but are starting to perform worse in special conditions (for example with low impedance phones as mentioned before). Also, they are phones which have stable impedance across the frequency spectrum, and there are ones with more diverse graphs (see Sennheisers). This can of course cause problems... Amps powered by batteries are also going to perform weaker in certain categories.

 

I am sure enough I didn't mentioned all the options that can happen... But the simple outcome from all of this would be that you should only use transparent, neutral and stable performing amp to achieve the best results (read working as it should).


Edited by MHOE - 11/14/12 at 3:44pm
post #876 of 4946
Thread Starter 

I think MHOE is meaning to say simply that in his opinion, a well built amp functions simply as a device that enables a headphone to be heard at a desired volume.  I take away from his comments that he's saying that a well-built amp (for him) functions as a somewhat invisible component in the setup.  

 

If I am correct to assume this is what he means, I understand where he is coming from and there are some who share this take.  I personally do not share this view, and I personally feel that an amp this invisible can only exist in theory.  I also think some (the majority) of headphones do not benefit from this degree of near-invisibility.  However, if my understanding of MHOE's comments is sort of what he meant, I do not dispute his view, except to say that's its one perspective in which to value the build quality of an amp, but not the only perspective (and I don't believe he suggests it as the only perspective - at least not intentionally). 


Edited by DavidMahler - 11/14/12 at 3:45pm
post #877 of 4946
Quote:
Originally Posted by MHOE View Post

You should only use transparent, neutral and stable performing amp only to achieve the best results.

 

Not necessarily true I don't want all my amps the same way.  I don't really enjoy my HD800s on a neutral, transparent, resolving amp.  I like a little color while being a little forgiving as well with those.

post #878 of 4946
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidMahler View Post

I think MHOE is meaning to say simply that in his opinion, a well built amp functions simply as a device that enables a headphone to be heard at a desired volume.  I take away from his comments that he's saying that a well-built amp (for him) functions as a somewhat invisible component in the setup.  

 

If I am correct to assume this is what he means, I understand where he is coming from and there are some who share this take.  I personally do not share this view, and I personally feel that an amp this invisible can only exist in theory.  I also think some (the majority) of headphones do not benefit from this degree of near-invisibility.  However, if my understanding of MHOE's comments is sort of what he meant, I do not dispute his view, except to say that's its one perspective in which to value the build quality of an amp, but not the only perspective (and I don't believe he suggests it as the only perspective - at least not intentionally). 

 

Yes, my opinion is based on my approach to achieve the truest-to-the-source sound... I am not saying it is wrong to use tube amps or more distorted amp if it sounds nice to you. The same goes with headphones and pretty much everything.

 

The important thing is to know what you want and go for it... But you have to develop this idea yourself, and do not rely only on opinions of the other people here.


Edited by MHOE - 11/14/12 at 3:55pm
post #879 of 4946
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

Not necessarily true I don't want all my amps the same way.  I don't really enjoy my HD800s on a neutral, transparent, resolving amp.  I like a little color while being a little forgiving as well with those.

I agree,  I think the HD800 benefits from this as well.

post #880 of 4946
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

Not necessarily true I don't want all my amps the same way.  I don't really enjoy my HD800s on a neutral, transparent, resolving amp.  I like a little color while being a little forgiving as well with those.

 

Best = working as it should (from the theoretical point of view). Please do not think I am telling you what you should want your amps to sound like :-) I enjoy my Fiio E11 even though it's nowhere near O2 in its specs... But only for casual listening, of course.


Edited by MHOE - 11/14/12 at 4:03pm
post #881 of 4946
This review list is beautiful. Quality review in every aspect of the sound, and a lot of details in what and why you placed them in their current places. Even though you have not had enough time with the HD 598s, would you position them anywhere at the 30s or 40s, or strike them hard at one of the worse you have heard? You should also add Beats Pro reviews just to troll the viewers (and hey, even make it #1 :P). Great read, thanks for posting this.
post #882 of 4946
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sycho View Post

This review list is beautiful. Quality review in every aspect of the sound, and a lot of details in what and why you placed them in their current places. Even though you have not had enough time with the HD 598s, would you position them anywhere at the 30s or 40s, or strike them hard at one of the worse you have heard? You should also add Beats Pro reviews just to troll the viewers (and hey, even make it #1 :P). Great read, thanks for posting this.

 

From this measurements, they do not seem to be bad (don't know their pricing): http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/MonsterBeatsPro.pdf

 

For sure not stunning but still I am quite surprised...

post #883 of 4946
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sycho View Post

This review list is beautiful. Quality review in every aspect of the sound, and a lot of details in what and why you placed them in their current places. Even though you have not had enough time with the HD 598s, would you position them anywhere at the 30s or 40s, or strike them hard at one of the worse you have heard? You should also add Beats Pro reviews just to troll the viewers (and hey, even make it #1 :P). Great read, thanks for posting this.

I really wouldn't want to assign a number to a headphone which  I don't own and haven't spent a lot of time with.  However,  I think the HD598 is a very good headphone for the price.

 

It would be really funny to include Beats in the review, eh?  I think people outside the audiophile community would anticipate a Beats By Dre headphone as being in the top spot (or top 5).  If the review ever somehow found a wider audience than the Head-fi community, I may in fact include a Beats headphone for reference.  It wouldn't rank particularly well in this list though:)

post #884 of 4946
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidMahler View Post

I really wouldn't want to assign a number to a headphone which  I don't own and haven't spent a lot of time with.  However,  I think the HD598 is a very good headphone for the price.

 

It would be really funny to include Beats in the review, eh?  I think people outside the audiophile community would anticipate a Beats By Dre headphone as being in the top spot (or top 5).  If the review ever somehow found a wider audience than the Head-fi community, I may in fact include a Beats headphone for reference.  It wouldn't rank particularly well in this list though:)


lol that would be hillarious.

post #885 of 4946
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MHOE View Post

 

From this measurements, they do not seem to be bad (don't know their pricing): http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/MonsterBeatsPro.pdf

 

For sure not stunning but still I am quite surprised...

I think I'm remembering correctly when I say that for that graph, Tyll measured a pair we had lying around at the Headphones.com office. So my experience with the Beats Pro is based specifically on the model measured in that chart.   I used it frequently as a reference,  when comparing other consumer-oriented headphones.  It truly wasn't bad, but by audiophile standards it doesn't offer the type of presentation that one would typically find compelling.  In its class and for its specific consumer type, I found it to be a decent enough offering - too expensive for the quality of sound - but not bad sounding.... not as bad as I actually thought they would have sounded.

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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Battle Of The Flagships (58 Headphones Compared) UPDATE: AUDEZ'E LCD-2 Revision 2 (6/4/13)