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AKG Q701 vs Hifiman he-400 - Page 4

post #46 of 55

i own a pair of grado 325s which i love, but i have bad case of upgrade itis, a couple of weeks ago i ordered a pair of he-500s. i felt really guilty about putting these on my card, but said to myself, if  i don't love them (all $700 worth ) i'll send them back. now i have to tell you that i am addicted to the detailed mids of the grados. i covered the pads with a cloth (sock) which did wonders for the brassy highs, and firmed up the bass. anyway the 500s arrive and they are beautiful, built like a tank, and weigh a ton.( really too heavy), and squeezed my head like a vice. i thought the cables looked kind of cheap for $700, (you could tow a car with grado cables) i knew they would get caught in a pillow cushion,and tear off, as i like to lay on the couch while im listening. i thought they had a great low end, and i only burned them in for a day, but the detail of the mids were missing, and i knew i wasn't going to find them even after  200 hrs. as for the highs... there were none compared to the grados. i have to say that there was something special about the sound, an inviting warmth that is lacking on my grados, as i A/Bd them with live jazz, even though i could hear everything up close as if i was sitting on stage with the musicians with the grados , with the 500s, i felt the warmth in the room, a coziness that was very inviting. they were both great in their own right. as i kept switching back and forth, i just couldn't justify spending  the money on a headphone with congested mids, and toned down highs.and yes grado mids  are very detailed, and make many of the others sound congested. they DO spoil you. i think it's hard to get everything you like in one package. i'm still trying though, looking at the 701s thinking that the larger drivers would give me some of the richness of the 500s. i do agree there are something special about the sound of planers.

post #47 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by rommy View Post

i own a pair of grado 325s which i love, but i have bad case of upgrade itis, a couple of weeks ago i ordered a pair of he-500s. i felt really guilty about putting these on my card, but said to myself, if  i don't love them (all $700 worth ) i'll send them back. now i have to tell you that i am addicted to the detailed mids of the grados. i covered the pads with a cloth (sock) which did wonders for the brassy highs, and firmed up the bass. anyway the 500s arrive and they are beautiful, built like a tank, and weigh a ton.( really too heavy), and squeezed my head like a vice. i thought the cables looked kind of cheap for $700, (you could tow a car with grado cables) i knew they would get caught in a pillow cushion,and tear off, as i like to lay on the couch while im listening. i thought they had a great low end, and i only burned them in for a day, but the detail of the mids were missing, and i knew i wasn't going to find them even after  200 hrs. as for the highs... there were none compared to the grados. i have to say that there was something special about the sound, an inviting warmth that is lacking on my grados, as i A/Bd them with live jazz, even though i could hear everything up close as if i was sitting on stage with the musicians with the grados , with the 500s, i felt the warmth in the room, a coziness that was very inviting. they were both great in their own right. as i kept switching back and forth, i just couldn't justify spending  the money on a headphone with congested mids, and toned down highs.and yes grado mids  are very detailed, and make many of the others sound congested. they DO spoil you. i think it's hard to get everything you like in one package. i'm still trying though, looking at the 701s thinking that the larger drivers would give me some of the richness of the 500s. i do agree there are something special about the sound of planers.

 

Typically it's not fair to rush a comparison a fairly neutral response sound signature to a coloured sound, when you are accustomed to the latter. Neutrality is ALWAYS boring at first, but timbre and nuance that is otherwise absent in coloured headphones always shows through in the long run.

 

I would suggest that you give them more head-time.

 

In the end though, if energy and "fun" factor in music is more important than transparency and natural tonality, you will always favour the coloured sound more; that might be a cue for you to refund the HE500s and to not touch a neutral (or close-to-neutral) headphone ever again. Instead pick up a pair of HE400s and be done with it.

post #48 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by rommy View Post

i own a pair of grado 325s which i love, but i have bad case of upgrade itis, a couple of weeks ago i ordered a pair of he-500s. i felt really guilty about putting these on my card, but said to myself, if  i don't love them (all $700 worth ) i'll send them back. now i have to tell you that i am addicted to the detailed mids of the grados. i covered the pads with a cloth (sock) which did wonders for the brassy highs, and firmed up the bass. anyway the 500s arrive and they are beautiful, built like a tank, and weigh a ton.( really too heavy), and squeezed my head like a vice. i thought the cables looked kind of cheap for $700, (you could tow a car with grado cables) i knew they would get caught in a pillow cushion,and tear off, as i like to lay on the couch while im listening. i thought they had a great low end, and i only burned them in for a day, but the detail of the mids were missing, and i knew i wasn't going to find them even after  200 hrs. as for the highs... there were none compared to the grados. i have to say that there was something special about the sound, an inviting warmth that is lacking on my grados, as i A/Bd them with live jazz, even though i could hear everything up close as if i was sitting on stage with the musicians with the grados , with the 500s, i felt the warmth in the room, a coziness that was very inviting. they were both great in their own right. as i kept switching back and forth, i just couldn't justify spending  the money on a headphone with congested mids, and toned down highs.and yes grado mids  are very detailed, and make many of the others sound congested. they DO spoil you. i think it's hard to get everything you like in one package. i'm still trying though, looking at the 701s thinking that the larger drivers would give me some of the richness of the 500s. i do agree there are something special about the sound of planers.

I'd wait until you get accustomed to the sound. You may have a completely different impression later on. Your brain right now is thinking, "the sound Grado produces is what it should sound like". Of course you are not literally thinking this but this is unconscious. The human mind naturally creates references. In this case, the Grado sound has become a reference inside your head. Grados are very bright headphones, and reproduces music much brighter than they are in "real life".

 

HE-500 is far closer to what the artist intended. I don't believe this BS about a "fun" sound signature. Research shows that neutral speakers are universally preferred over colored speakers. This is why I think if people do not like a neutral-ish headphone, they dislike it not because it is neutral but for other reasons that's hard to explain in words. 

 

Personally I found the Grados to be extremely fatiguing. Ringing in your ear is not a good thing. The HE-500, though I've never heard it, manages to reproduce treble quite realistically. And a realistic treble does not fatigue. 

post #49 of 55
I had the k702 for 2yrs find the he400 a much more exciting headphone
post #50 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Voldemort View Post

HE-500 is far closer to what the artist intended. I don't believe this BS about a "fun" sound signature. Research shows that neutral speakers are universally preferred over colored speakers. This is why I think if people do not like a neutral-ish headphone, they dislike it not because it is neutral but for other reasons that's hard to explain in words. 

 

Just curious but can you cite the research article showing neutral is preferred to colored sound? I find it hard to believe that studies could have conclusively proved that.  If there actually is a study, I'm quite interested in reading it.  Otherwise, it seems like a gross and erroneous statement just to support your opinion.

post #51 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by wippo808 View Post

Just curious but can you cite the research article showing neutral is preferred to colored sound? I find it hard to believe that studies could have conclusively proved that.  If there actually is a study, I'm quite interested in reading it.  Otherwise, it seems like a gross and erroneous statement just to support your opinion.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/632286/aes-2012-paper-relationship-between-perception-and-measurement-of-headphone-sound-quality

post #52 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinQY View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by wippo808 View Post

Just curious but can you cite the research article showing neutral is preferred to colored sound? I find it hard to believe that studies could have conclusively proved that.  If there actually is a study, I'm quite interested in reading it.  Otherwise, it seems like a gross and erroneous statement just to support your opinion.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/632286/aes-2012-paper-relationship-between-perception-and-measurement-of-headphone-sound-quality

 

Thanks for the link.  Seems to make logical sense that neutral is the preferred FR in general, though at the same time, considering that the research was ultimately subjective and the sample size of headphones was small, it's a bit of a leap to state that such results are conclusive and "universal."  It should just be taken with a caveat or two.

 

Anyways, this is getting really off topic so I say just leave it there.

post #53 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Voldemort View Post

I'd wait until you get accustomed to the sound. You may have a completely different impression later on. Your brain right now is thinking, "the sound Grado produces is what it should sound like". Of course you are not literally thinking this but this is unconscious. The human mind naturally creates references. In this case, the Grado sound has become a reference inside your head. Grados are very bright headphones, and reproduces music much brighter than they are in "real life".

HE-500 is far closer to what the artist intended. I don't believe this BS about a "fun" sound signature. Research shows that neutral speakers are universally preferred over colored speakers. This is why I think if people do not like a neutral-ish headphone, they dislike it not because it is neutral but for other reasons that's hard to explain in words. 

Personally I found the Grados to be extremely fatiguing. Ringing in your ear is not a good thing. The HE-500, though I've never heard it, manages to reproduce treble quite realistically. And a realistic treble does not fatigue. 
I don't know how you can comment on a headphone you never heard. Instruments and vocals sound more realistic through a set of grado, and that's what I thought everyone wanted.anytime you're listening to headphones or speakers, just zero in on one instrument and ask yourself does it sound true? Most of the time it does not.
post #54 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by iamthem View Post
 

The point I am trying to get across is that objectively, the K701 is a great performer. Objective measurements tell you how close a headphone is to neutral. Subjective opinions tell you how much a person will like a headphone. The problem is, subjective analysis is clouded by bias, placebo and personal preference and so when discussing a headphone, it is useful to make objective measurements to keep us honest. The K701 outperforms the HE-400 on the high end of the frequency spectrum, in the treble and detail. The HE-400 outperforms the K701 on the low end of the spectrum, in the bass, the tactile low notes. You can see this in the measurements, whilst the K701 doesn't have a chance with keeping the texture of bass (in the 30hz square wave response), the HE-400 punches with planar authority, and yet in the 300hz response the K701 can keep up with transients almost to the level of the HD800. When technicalities are mentioned, I am referring to the overall detail which is much more plentiful in the treble region. The K701 has the ability to break down music to a microscopic level of detail like no other headphone in this price range, but it sacrifices the low end texture found in the HE-400. It is a worthy compromise for me but perhaps it is not your cup of tea. I'm not going to try to convince you otherwise.

 

@Lord V: If anyone wishes to read my subjective review, it is here. I'm not going to post a detailed description on the sound when anyone can just click on the link and read it. http://www.head-fi.org/products/akg-k701-studio-headphones/reviews/7088.

"My goal here is to help the TC out with various problems that me and others have encountered with the Q/K701 series, and helping him pick the safer choice." I can see you, and many others, have had problems with the K701. Personally, I enjoy them, and there's no reason why you should question what I think. I am not a hypocrite. I simply stated that I disagreed with your opinion of the K701 as an overpriced gaming headphone, I did not question how you found the headphones to sound. I did not state that your opinions were worthless. That is your experience and I'm not going to try convince you otherwise. I think the K701 is a detailed, slightly analytical headphone. Read any review (such as the highly regarded mega IEM reviews) and you'll find analytical refers to a headphone with sightly emphasized mids and highs with excellent detail. The K701 fits this description, and by adding the word tilt I meant to say that it still has some degree of warmth. It's a great all rounder because it doesn't have any serious flaws to me.


Either way, I think more people would prefer the HE-400 because it is more fun. That was the point I was trying to get across. I don't think it's necessary to write an essay on the sound when a simple paragraph explaining why is enough.

Your point on cables: there's an almost negligible difference in electronic properties between two cables. On the other hand, headphones CAN be measured. And the K701 measures very well.

 

 

 

Well bring into notices the diff. b.w the two (also including Quincy Jones model of AKG) :

 

Better Clarity -->HE-400

 

Better Instrument Separation --> HE-400 (though AKG ones have much bigger and better SoundStage...Magic of Orthos)

 

Better Positioning --> Positioning also refers to Directionality capabilities of a HP which will look better on Thin-Sounding Headphones. HE-400 is Thicker whereas Annie/Quincy are much Thinner.

But also Instrument Separation and Positioning goes hand-by-hand but heard Annie/Quincy has better positioning where as Instrument Separation is much better on HE-400....A point to Discuss (Enlighten Me!!)

 

Better Over-all Presentation -->HE-400 as it is more Engaging & listening to them after coming back from other Headphones seems that some Energy was lost in music in those Headphones.

Better Treble --> AKG K702 Annie/Q701

Better Mids -->HE-400  (Tough Competition there but Keeping such Gr8 Lows with Mids being Intact is just Phenomenal!!)

Better Bass --> HE-400

Comfort --> Annie & Quincy

Amplification --->HE-400

Looks--> All Good, Matter of Personal Choice ;) 

 

Price to Value Ration -->  K702 65th Anniversary & HE-400 are almost same but if AKG Q701 (being a lower price model) is almost identical to K702 Annie then How it fairs up against HE-400 is a question as HE-400 Low End is comparable to some v.good High-End Headphones & its Mids are ALWAYS intact which happen v.less for a Headphone having Superb Low end though being at 400$...    (Readers in Need of all yours comment for the same )


Edited by gab840 - 1/13/14 at 2:12pm
post #55 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by wippo808 View Post
 

Just curious but can you cite the research article showing neutral is preferred to colored sound? I find it hard to believe that studies could have conclusively proved that.  If there actually is a study, I'm quite interested in reading it.  Otherwise, it seems like a gross and erroneous statement just to support your opinion.

 

 

  I don't remember the link but I read an interesting blind study on this subject using speakers. many of the people used were in college and from the USA and japan. the overall results were the same,most preferred a neutral sound. I remember an expensive set of martin logans that were put to shame in that study by less expensive speakers.

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