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My HD212pro died, XB700 didn't satisfy -> What to try next?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

i was quite pleased with my HD212pro til now, but sadly it broke lately. First i bought the PortaPro hoping that maybe it was enough for my needs. But after two weeks or so i was missing some differentiation in the mids etc, i realised the limits of this phone. I then tried the Sony XB-700 as i am more on the "aggressive music" side (electronica mainly). But while i liked the Bass power for electronica and liked the better resolution, diffentiation etc, i found the (sub-)bass too dominant in everything else, from normal pop/rock music to movies/games. The constant subwoofer-like booming was too fatiguing and a litte bit annoying after a while. Also i thought the Kicks were a bit "too late", as if the phone were too slow or something.

So i'm looking for a phone that is able to produce an aggressive, shattering, precise bass where the song obviously emphasizes it without overemphasizing the sub-bass in every song.  Does something like this even exist in the sub-200$ class? The new version of the M50 doesn't seem to be the right choice as it is less bassy from what i read here.


Edited by journeyy - 11/26/12 at 3:54pm
post #2 of 18

M-Audio Q40. Excellent control despite being quite emphasized in both subbass (less than XB700) and midbass (more than XB700). Quantity wise it fits quite in between HD212 and XB700 but with GREATLY superior control compared to both those headphones, neither of those are controlled in the bass, fairly boomy & loose (the XB700 has more loose subbass than HD212 for sure but the HD212's bass quality leaves things to be desired, very bad midbass quality that greatly lacks texture compared to something like Q40). Get also an amp for it like FiiO E11 as it sounds much better amped (more controlled and punchy bass and more forward midrange). 

 

Q40 + E11 is the best option I think for you for around $200.

 

PS, HD212pro was also my first "somewhat decent headphone". But by today's standards I can't stand listening to it haha, sounds so artificial to me now in the sound, lack of resolution and microdetail and just has an unnatural sound to it, particularly the midrange.


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 11/26/12 at 4:03pm
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 

Okay thanks, i will see if i can hear them in a store somewhere, otherwise i will order them. I can still get a decent impression of it without an amp, right? Btw, how do you think about the CAL? These go for 50 Euro here in Germany, which i guess is quite a lot bang for the buck considering they don't seem to need an amp. On the other hand i could get the Q40 + E6 (should be sufficient for a midrange phone?) for about 100 Euro at the moment


Edited by journeyy - 11/26/12 at 5:28pm
post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by journeyy View Post

Okay thanks, i will see if i can hear them in a store somewhere, otherwise i will order them. I can still get a decent impression of it without an amp, right? Btw, how do you think about the CAL? These go for 50 Euro here in Germany, which i guess is quite a lot bang for the buck considering they don't seem to need an amp. On the other hand i could get the Q40 + E6 (should be sufficient for a midrange phone?) for about 100 Euro at the moment

 

Yea CALs are great for 50 EUR (that's low for these) but you'd probably think they lack bass compared to HD212pro or XB700 but then again I don't know how much bass you're looking for, the CALs are some of the best balanced/neutral sounding headphones you could buy for 50 EUR probably (aside from Sony V6 which is a bit on the bright side of neutral though). The CALs have a sliiiight bass bump but the HD212pro and XB700 are quite bass monsters in comparision.

 

About the amping for Q40, for me they go from not that enjoyable ampless to very enjoyable amped. They just engage you with the music a lot better amped, ampless it lacks detail, dynamicness and midrange seems too hollow for my taste which it very much isn't if amped. I don't know how well E6 works with it if it can bring any noticable bump in quality or not however the E6 comes with quite useful EQ settings, I think one of them bumped mids also a bit (the blue one) which I'd think works well with Q40 depending on how it's configured (a bump in the lower mids would probably work well as Q40 is very slightly emphasized in the upper-mids but quite neutral in the lower mids).


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 11/27/12 at 10:33pm
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 

I ordered a pair of q40s for 80 with shipping, if i like the general sound i will add an amp, otherwise i go for the CAL unamped :)

 

Thanks for the help, i will report back then!

post #6 of 18
Dude just order the ATH WS55 it is a beast and much better then the xb700,or you can wait a little while and get the new ATH WS99.....d^_^b
post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by journeyy View Post

I ordered a pair of q40s for 80 with shipping, if i like the general sound i will add an amp, otherwise i go for the CAL unamped :)

 

Thanks for the help, i will report back then!

 

Well that's the thing, they sound very different amped, I don't like Q40 ampless. :P

post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGWiZaRD View Post

 

Yea CALs are great for 50 EUR (that's low for these) but you'd probably think they lack bass compared to HD212pro or XB700 but then again I don't know how much bass you're looking for, the CALs are some of the best balanced/neutral sounding headphones you could buy for 50 EUR probably (aside from Sony V6 which is a bit on the bright side of neutral though). The CALs have a sliiiight bass bump but the HD212pro and XB700 are quite bass monsters in comparision.

I wouldn't call the CALs neutral at all. I've only given them a quick listen out of the box, but they seem really pretty bassy to me. Kinda hope it settles down after a couple days burn in, reminds me unfavourably of the current Denon portable range. I do agree that it has nothing on the XB700.

post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tangster View Post

I wouldn't call the CALs neutral at all. I've only given them a quick listen out of the box, but they seem really pretty bassy to me. Kinda hope it settles down after a couple days burn in, reminds me unfavourably of the current Denon portable range. I do agree that it has nothing on the XB700.

 

Well it measures about 4dB boost which is still what sounds neutral to most people's ears I'd say, possibly more so than what a zero boost on the FR graph would do if doing blindtests with 100 different people. Tyll seems to agree on this point that about 3~4dB or so boost on the FR graph sounds pretty neutral that most expensier highend headphones have as well (well ~3dB boost or so usually)

 

 

But yea for 50 EUR that is one exceptionally nicely measuring FR response if one is looking for a more neutral balance. In comparision Q40 looks like this:

 

 

1000

 

Both have very nicely balanced mid and highrange (good tonal balance). Obviously Q40 bigger bass but nothing compared to XB700 which goes up to +15dB boost while Q40 is more like +7.5dB.


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 11/28/12 at 7:08am
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGWiZaRD View Post

 

Well it measures about 4dB boost which is still what sounds neutral to most people's ears I'd say, possibly more so than what a zero boost on the FR graph would do if doing blindtests with 100 different people. Tyll seems to agree on this point that about 3~4dB or so boost on the FR graph sounds pretty neutral that most expensier highend headphones have as well (well ~3dB boost or so usually)

 

-snip-

But yea for 50 EUR that is one exceptionally nicely measuring FR response if one is looking for a more neutral balance.

Do you have a graph for the Koss Pro DJ100? Those sound much closer to neutral to me and only cost £10 more. Thanks for the FR graph, the Aurvanas sound much better with that bump EQed away. I think the CALs just need time to settle down. I'll give them a proper listen after a couple days. 


Edited by Tangster - 11/28/12 at 7:10am
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tangster View Post

Do you have a graph for the Koss Pro DJ100? Those sound much closer to neutral to me and only cost £10 more. Thanks for the FR graph, the Aurvanas sound much better with that bump EQed away. I think the CALs just need time to settle down. I'll give them a proper listen after a couple days. 

 

Yea that's another suprisingly neutral headphone, forgot about it, goldenears doesn't have a measurement but the site that I always keep forgetting the name of measured this and while it's not from the same test equipment/method etc in my experience these sites have quite comparable results in presenting the graphs (straight line in the measurement sounds pretty neutral, while for example in innerfidelity's test this wouldn't be the case, a straight line would be brighter than neutral):

 

 

1000

 

Only the peak at 3kHz and 5kHz is a bit of an issue for an experienced listener in the Koss headphones, it has some quite big resonance spike/ringing going there which I know would personally bother me a lot when I had issues with the same thing in a headphone with less resonance spikes in this area. Ie. in particular with certain female vocals it can give some nasty sibilance/unnatural bothersome coloring, I call it the "80's radio effect" when midrange often sounds nasal and distorted due to heavy resonances going on at those frequencies as seen here

 

 

1000

 

If the Koss didn't have this issue it would be a very nice headphone for the price, well it still is but for more serious audiophiles this can be very bothersome when you start to become more picky about the sound.


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 11/28/12 at 7:57am
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 

I'm a little worried about the build quality of the Q40 as you find some reports on broken cables. What do you think about that RPGWizard? Is it possible to replace it with a different cable, despite the unusual screw-in design?

post #13 of 18

There's quite a few cable that will work with the Q40. The V-Moda for example will fit right in with out screwing.

post #14 of 18

Yea I swapped the cable (to the thinner cable that comes with the Monoprice 8323 DJ headphones) but that was cuz I found out using another cable it sounded a little clearer and less smeared. :P It also got slightly louder so I'm expecting the thick standard cable has unusually high impedance or something.

 

I did also tried with the LP2 cable which I happened to have then as well and it fits just fine but I found the highs to become about 1dB more silent using this cable, on the Realtek onboard chip's EQ it was a matter of bumping up 1 step which should correspond to like 1dB change on the 8 and 16kHz slider to get roughly the same sparkle as with the stock cable so therefore I never started using that V-Moda cable. The LP2 is also a particular dark sounding headphone so I guess the cable also contributed to it.

 

I'm mastering a lot of hardstyle music tracks these days and have done lots of EQing in my years so 1dB difference on EQ I will spot the difference rather easily, however I wouldn't expect the average listener to notice as much difference but yea the Monoprice 8323 and the short cable that came with the Digizoid amp sounded best to me so picked the Monoprice cable then.


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 11/28/12 at 10:42am
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 

I got my Q40 today :) Quite happy till now, the Bass is just right and Mids/Highs are clear and present without adding a specific "sound", as i would expect from a Studio Headphone. I do think the midrange, especially some vocals could be even more forward like they are on the PortaPro, i'm running it unamped though for now. Thanks for the recommendation RPGWizard!

 

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