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Hifiman hm 801 sound quality! - Page 3

post #31 of 56

Not sure if you have seen this, but it seems like a reasonable review: http://www.inearmatters.net/2010/12/review-hifiman-hm602-and-hm801.html.

 

In particular this excerpt from the article seems like a reasonable explanation to the roll off, and the reasons behind it:

 

"After HifiMan released, it has been met with a lot of doubts and criticisms. Some of the more noticeable one is the treble roll off (attenuation) between 10 kHz to 20 kHz. It is about -2.5dB on 15 kHz and roll down to about -5dB at 20 kHz. While some consider it as a defect in design, it is actually being done intentionally. There is always a low pass filter after the DAC stage (or integrated internally) to remove the high frequency component (> 20 kHz) in order to remove noise as well as the inaudible frequency. Human hearing is generally recognized as 20 Hz to 20 kHz, but in real life the full range is between 16 kHz for most adult and down to 80 Hz in bass (*anything below increasingly tends to be felt more by skin rather than heard by ears, which we often refer as  ‘chest pounding sound’). What HifiMan employed is called a Butterwoth filter (a.k.a. Maximally Flat filter). AS I have read, the characteristic of this filter is that the passband (the desired range) has a maximally flat response (no ripple in frequency response) as well as a more linear phase response (no uneven phase shift in individual frequency). The downside is that it doesn't roll-off quite as fast as other types of filters (which create the slope or ‘roll off’ in HifiMan’s upper treble). I think the consensus is that there is no such thing as one perfect filter for everything. Each type of filters has its own pros and cons and it is up to the implementation as well as what goal the designer wants to achieve to determine what is best for a certain design. In fact, quite a few well regarded high-end DAC and CD player also employs Butterwoth filter because it is considered more analog, musical sounding than other filters.  I think the problem of Butterwoth filter on HifiMan has less to do with actual performance, but whether some can accept that you don’t need absolute perfect flat line to create a player that sounds good. If you can’t, then you know what you won’t be buying. I am not an electronic or audio engineer that can tell you what should have been done that could yield a better result or whether a Butterwoth filter is indeed the right choice – but rather trying to interpret whether the end result sounds good to me or not"

 

The compromise here is an early roll off in order to get flat frequency response and linear phase bellow 10kHz. The roll off is close to -2.5dB at 15kHz which is just beyond my current hearing range so I don't think I will miss it.

 

Pay particular attention to the "Navigation and Format Support" section. Don't expect the navigation to be on par or as advanced as the one that comes with your iPod.

 

Another important point is that the HM 801 seems to be 18 ohms while the P5 is about 27 ohms (http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/BowersandWilkinsP5.pdf) It may not be a problem as the P5 seem to have a fairly flat impedance chart, but the two will likely interact and roll off the high frequencies of the P5 a little bit more. It has been shown to do so on certain headphones (http://rmaa.elektrokrishna.com/Comparisons/Hifiman%20HM-801%20-%20Impedances.htm)

 

More impressions here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/563735/hifiman-hm-801-sounds-no-better-than-my-ipod-touch-3g

(don't let some of the comments discourage you from it though. Measurements are good indicators of performance, but not the last word IMHO)


Edited by ultrabike - 11/26/12 at 12:21pm
post #32 of 56

If you like warmer sound, get the hifiman.

post #33 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fracocci9203 View Post

Some men tells me that sansa clip + sounds better than hifiman...is that real?

The Sansa players are cheap and very good sounding. I am not sure about better than the Hifiman.

 

If you want a great sounding player go with a minidisc player:) a Sharp DR80 is pretty sweet or one of the Hi-MD players. What I am trying to see is that better than is all about personal tast,. I like the sound signature of the old minidisc recorder and someone else prefers old tape decks.

 

Bottomline you are the only one who can say this is better than since your hearing is unique. For the 350$ you really can not go wrong and if you would give me a link to the place that sells it I would buy it myself.

post #34 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fracocci9203 View Post

I'haven't the possibility to try the hifiman...I only an opinion by an audiophile or an expert of audio...or someone that have tried the hifiman 801...
 


I was thinking about your comment above. Does the HM 801 vendor offer a decent return policy? I would be a little apprehensive about spending some good money on a player I have not experienced first hand without the possibility for a way out in case the player does not fulfill my expectations... Do you have a link to this vendor?

post #35 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by ultrabike View Post

The compromise here is an early roll off in order to get flat frequency response and linear phase bellow 10kHz. Another important point is that the HM 801 seems to be 18 ohms

The point is that the $800 HM-801 can't even do what a $40 Clip+ can do: a ruler flat frequency response with no roll-offs whatsoever, and a near zero ohm output impedance suitable for ALL kinds of headphones/IEMs. There's just no excuse, and it should make anyone really skeptical of a ridiculously overpriced brick that falls short of the standards set by an entry level DAP.
post #36 of 56
The Clip+ with Ultimate Ears TripleFi 10 IEMs:


The HM-801 with the same IEMs:


…yeaaaah. $40 DAP remains "Hi-Fi" even with the most difficult IEMs. $800 "audiophile" DAP fails miserably and distorts beyond repair. I rest my case.
post #37 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by skamp View Post

The Clip+ with Ultimate Ears TripleFi 10 IEMs:

The HM-801 with the same IEMs:

…yeaaaah. $40 DAP remains "Hi-Fi" even with the most difficult IEMs. $800 "audiophile" DAP fails miserably and distorts beyond repair. I rest my case.

post #38 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by skamp View Post


The point is that the $800 HM-801 can't even do what a $40 Clip+ can do: a ruler flat frequency response with no roll-offs whatsoever, and a near zero ohm output impedance suitable for ALL kinds of headphones/IEMs. There's just no excuse, and it should make anyone really skeptical of a ridiculously overpriced brick that falls short of the standards set by an entry level DAP.

That probably is because the HM-801 has a relatively high impedance and the Triple-Fi have a highly irregular low impedance. The Clip+ may be better suited for this and other low impedance IEMs. It may not be suited for high impedance headphones such as the HD600/650 and DT880/990 600 ohm. Furthermore, the DAC filter is always a compromise of flatness vs. roll-off (among other things like phase distortion, stop-band rejection...).

 

I don't know for certain that the P5 in particular will perform poorly with an HM-801. The HM-801 did not perform nearly as bad when paired with a V-Moda Vibe:

 


Edited by ultrabike - 11/26/12 at 2:12pm
post #39 of 56
To be honest I would take anything on a forum that vilifies one product (the clue is in the title) with a large pinch of salt. Likewise some of the most well regarded HiFi manufactures and reviewers will tell you that measurements are but one part of the experience. In fact when you start going in to the stratosphere market of high end HiFi pretty much every designer will tell you they measure but then tune by countless hours of listening. The measurements are just the start off point, the real art, what makes truly great components comes with the skill of the manufacturer then tuning them to sound musical and that last bit is important!

Forums tend to be inhabited by they type that crunches numbers over emotion, music is about emotion, about transcending logic and transporting us to a place where we can relax, absorb the music and feed our soul. If you want a numbers experience then I would recommend you head over to that forum and plug your headphones into a sine wave generator biggrin.gif


I am not sure if the OP has said but it would be helpful to let us know what type of music you enjoy, what makes you enjoy it, what does music do for you and mean for you as that can help us help you get the right product. If you like the sine wave type of stuff you will get one experience, if you like the more tube like sound you want something different. I personally, after many years of being in the analytical camp woke up one day to realize I was not actually listening to the performance but rather the technical details! This led to me not listening to music much anymore as it was not relaxing, not fun and I could not listen to music I like but was maybe not the best of recordings.

My set up now lets me have all the details but allows me to tap my feet and get in the grove of the music and feel the emotion and what the artist is trying to convey. Remember, music is an art form, not a science experiment!

Anyway, just some thoughts. I quite like the B&W's and actually think their warmer more romantic signature is quite a good match for straight out of an iPod. I agree with other comments here that I think the 801 would be more of the same as the headphone and may end up being not as resolving.

What files do you listen to? I don't want the hair shirt brigade jumping on this, stick to the SS forum, but honestly, try at least lossless or if you can wav as well, you won't hear anymore detail but you will get more emotion, at least that is what I have found, it costs nothing, only time to rip a CD to try it and see, if, like me you hear a difference then great, if not then no matter, nothing lost! Hope that helps!
Edited by ianmedium - 11/27/12 at 7:46am
post #40 of 56

Great comment ianmedium, you nailed it mate.....music is an art form all about emotion not only just numbers. Sure would like to try the 801 one day....

post #41 of 56
I sold ho
Quote:
Originally Posted by ultrabike View Post


I agree that the ultimate decision for selecting audio equipment comes down to our ears. But while not having the last word, measurements seem to be a decent indicator of performance. Have you been severely mislead in the past by measurements?
[/quote


I use to sell hi end Linn and Naim . Measurements were never even discussed . So I ignore them completely , Peter Walker never used them. I also learnt to ignore any professional review
post #42 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by ianmedium View Post

music is an art form, not a science experiment!

Music is art. Electronics are a science.
post #43 of 56

Wait. I am confused. Who cares about what those measurements are? Did you pay attention to the price that he mentioned? Buy it, if you hate it, sell it. At that price, you'll be able to MAKE money, so long as it's in good shape. In fact, I will buy it at that price. I don't know that I will keep it, but I would sure as hell snap it up.

post #44 of 56
Thread Starter 
Hi all...i finally decided to buy it...because at this price is a very bargain in my opinion...if not i will sell it at the seem price...however i think that my p5 aren t very good for it...i would a close headphone because i will listen to the hifiman in travel...my budget is 200/300 euros...but if i can save money i m happy...any advices?
post #45 of 56

@Fracocci9203: I would wait for the Hifiman and see how you like it. Compare it with your other gear (Sansa and Ipod) and post your impressions. I would be interested what you think about them with your P5s! smile.gif

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