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Disappointed with my Sennheiser HD598s. Thoughts about this.. - Page 2

post #16 of 67
Thread Starter 

Thank you, everyone, for your helpful replies, I really appreciate your opinions.  I am a lurker on this site, but I've spent many an hour browsing the forums.  MalVeaux, I've read many of your posts on here and respect your opinion, so I have noted all your suggestions.  I am aware of all the cans you listed, except the AD2000, MA900 and the Mad Dogs.  It's such a personal and subjective thing, this headphone malarkey and just over the last couple of days, between the madness of my gigs and school Christmas concerts, I have been giving the HD598s and really good listen at night when back at home.  My mind is changing again as they have, on a few occasions just recently, impressed me so much that I've felt guilty about writing my original post.  Just shuffling my hard drives music folder, things that have stood out have been tracks from Pink Floyd, Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds, many intimate acoustic/vocal things, solo piano and even an old Public Enemy tune, where the extension of the bass pleasantly surprised me!

I have noticed that, contrary to others opinions, I believe that these cans are not very forgiving of lesser quality mp3s.  This is surely the sign of a good headphone, if accurate reproduction is important to you?  Also, I got my twin brother to try a few things out, music and films clips.  He is not an audiophile, but he has a great ear and is neither easily impressed or disappointed regarding sound quality.  He loves music before sound quality.  His unanimous reaction to nearly everything I played was that they were amazing cans.  He thought they were a bit bright, but the lack of bass kick emphasised that too.  He said he hadn't heard detail like that before though in headphones and pointed out that he'd never realised a particular vocal was doubled before in a track he knows really well.

 

Still, I have to make my own mind up about this, but I'm definitely feeling somewhat emotionally connected to these now.  Plus, they are so comfortable and look like they mean business!

 

Not being disparaging to anyone on here in particular, but I have found it quite disappointing reading threads here on a few occasions, where the contributors have 1000s of posts and are Headphoneus Supremus status, discussing a high end set of cans, then posting some YouTube or SoundCloud ****ty sounding track of electronic/ambient/trance music for a real test of the cans.  I realise then, that what I want out of my headphone choices are in a different ballpark.  Electronically produced music can certainly test dynamic range, frequency response, imaging and all those other technical aspects of sound reproduction, but as an orchestral trumpeter who is attuned to what sounds realistic and lifelike, I have a need to accurately hear the overtones and harmonics of a sound reproduced as faithfully and evenly as possible so that sound is convincing and not artificial.  Of course, I don't only listen to orchestral music, my listening tastes are as broad as wide, but that's the clincher for me, and still these headphones lend a certain grain and congestion to the sound when the going gets tough, which disappoints me.  When the music is clear, with only a handful of discrete lines to follow, they are amazing, but they are unable to give me the dynamics, bloom and texture of a 125 piece symphony orchestra playing Also Sprach Zarathustra, without sounding coloured and even compressed.

post #17 of 67

I agree totally that heavy orchestral music is the best and toughest test of a headphone. Whether you like the music or not is irrelevant. If a headphone can reproduce this music convincingly and with low listener fatigue, then it's worth its weight.

post #18 of 67

Sorry to hear that. I love the Sennheiser sound. Too bad there are no meet-ups in your area, or stores where you can demo headphones. You really need to listen to them before buying.

post #19 of 67
Thread Starter 

Having done lots of reading since my last post, the DT880s and the HE-400s are settling as my major possible alternatives.  By all accounts, the HE-400 seem to be regarded as a step up in every way from the Beyers, but some say the DT880s may have that extra energy and sparkle that I may not get with the HE-400s!  I know it's so difficult to make a decision like this with auditioning the phones themselves, but despite me being able to most probably get a chance to try the DT880s somewhere, I doubt I'll find anywhere to try the HE-400s out before buying.  Obviously, the Beyers are considerably cheaper than the HE-400s, but will I be happy enough with them, or should I wait and save to get the HE-400s?  Will it be worth the wait/extra money in the long run, given that I will be driving them from my Xonar Essence STX?  Any more opinions would be valued, thank you! 

post #20 of 67
Thread Starter 

Also, I gather that I shouldn't disregard the HD600s either?  Just to add to the confusion!


Edited by amigomatt - 12/23/12 at 8:49am
post #21 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by amigomatt View Post

Also, I gather that I shouldn't disregard the HD600s either?  Just to add to the confusion!

If you could just step up into the HD650s. I believe the HD600s are discontinued, but should be easily found at some very good prices. Maybe even consider the HD700s.

post #22 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by amigomatt View Post

Having done lots of reading since my last post, the DT880s and the HE-400s are settling as my major possible alternatives.  By all accounts, the HE-400 seem to be regarded as a step up in every way from the Beyers, but some say the DT880s may have that extra energy and sparkle that I may not get with the HE-400s!  I know it's so difficult to make a decision like this with auditioning the phones themselves, but despite me being able to most probably get a chance to try the DT880s somewhere, I doubt I'll find anywhere to try the HE-400s out before buying.  Obviously, the Beyers are considerably cheaper than the HE-400s, but will I be happy enough with them, or should I wait and save to get the HE-400s?  Will it be worth the wait/extra money in the long run, given that I will be driving them from my Xonar Essence STX?  Any more opinions would be valued, thank you! 

The HE400s (at least the current version) is bright enough up top, so your worry about them being dim is completely null. They are pretty much the last stop headphones applicable for entry-level amps, which means if you aren't planning to burn a lot of money (something at or over the cost of a HE400) on upgrading the upstream setup, the HE400s will be bang-for-the-buck in terms of technical performance.

post #23 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasatch View Post

If you could just step up into the HD650s. I believe the HD600s are discontinued, but should be easily found at some very good prices. Maybe even consider the HD700s.

Thank you for your input, but I gather that the HD650s are more laid back than the HD600 and have a more recessed treble?  If that's the case, it's the HD600 sound signature that would suit my tastes more, I imagine.  I think the HD700s may be out of my price range, and I also only have the Asus Xonar Essence STX or Fiio E11 to drive them.

post #24 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

The HE400s (at least the current version) is bright enough up top, so your worry about them being dim is completely null. They are pretty much the last stop headphones applicable for entry-level amps, which means if you aren't planning to burn a lot of money (something at or over the cost of a HE400) on upgrading the upstream setup, the HE400s will be bang-for-the-buck in terms of technical performance.

Thanks, jerg.  Another vote for the HE400s!

post #25 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by amigomatt View Post

Thank you for your input, but I gather that the HD650s are more laid back than the HD600 and have a more recessed treble?  If that's the case, it's the HD600 sound signature that would suit my tastes more, I imagine.  I think the HD700s may be out of my price range, and I also only have the Asus Xonar Essence STX or Fiio E11 to drive them.

Maybe get a new amp.

post #26 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasatch View Post

Maybe get a new amp.

I believe the dedicated headphone amp on the STX is sufficient for these ranges of cans.  It's very clean and powerful and drives anything up to 600ohms impedance..  I don't for a second believe the issues I'm having with the HD598s are anything to do with them not being driven well enough.

post #27 of 67

When I tried the HE-400 for the second time, I also had a pair of HD-600's for comparisons. Here are some impressions I had.

 

The HE-400's bass extends much deeper and is flatter than the HD-600's. Flat bass is technically neutral, but the slightly mound-shaped bass extension of the HD-600 adds a bit of warmth to the sound that is nice. I like the bass on both, and I think it just depends on how much you value sub-bass versus mid-bass. For EDM, the HE-400's bass excels over the HD-600's bass. For most other genres, I rather liked the HD-600's bass which was just slightly warmer than neutral.

A comparison of HE-400 mids and HD-600 mids is tricky. I had a hard time deciding which headphones' mids were "better", because the presentation of the mids on both headphones is so different. The HE-400 mids are really laid back, whereas the HD-600 mids are more forward. Maybe slightly more forward than neutral. Because of this, I vastly preferred the HD-600 mids. They're more involved in the music, whereas the HE-400's mids aren't the main attraction. Vocals and guitars were so much more engaging to me on the HD-600. Your mileage may vary.

 

HE-400's treble is interesting. Probably because its brightness is juxtaposed to its laid-back mids. That combination sounds really strange to me, but many seem to like it. I thought the HD-600's treble was great. And that's coming from a Grado-fan. I expected it to be more laid-back than it was, but it really sounds neutral to my ears, nice and smooth, and gels well with the other frequencies.

 

The HE-400's soundstage, instrument separation, and imaging trumped the HD-600's by quite a bit I think. The HE-400's decay sounded quicker than the HD-600's. But, I really like the HD-600's overall tonality much better than the HE-400's. Tonality can be adjusted through EQ though, and I was able to EQ the HE-400's to sound much more to my liking by bumping up the mids and taming the treble. It sounded rather like the HD-600 at that point with all the goodness of planar magnetic quickness and separation.

Unfortunately I can't comment as to how either sounds with classical. I did like acoustic genres more on the HD-600, but I don't know if anything can be extrapolated from that concerning classical. I do know that the soundstage sounds more vast and open on the HE-400, whereas the HD-600 sounds almost congested and narrow by comparison.

I can't comment on the DT-880 =/

Hope some of this helps.

post #28 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Biscuitz View Post

When I tried the HE-400 for the second time, I also had a pair of HD-600's for comparisons. Here are some impressions I had.

 

The HE-400's bass extends much deeper and is flatter than the HD-600's. Flat bass is technically neutral, but the slightly mound-shaped bass extension of the HD-600 adds a bit of warmth to the sound that is nice. I like the bass on both, and I think it just depends on how much you value sub-bass versus mid-bass. For EDM, the HE-400's bass excels over the HD-600's bass. For most other genres, I rather liked the HD-600's bass which was just slightly warmer than neutral.

A comparison of HE-400 mids and HD-600 mids is tricky. I had a hard time deciding which headphones' mids were "better", because the presentation of the mids on both headphones is so different. The HE-400 mids are really laid back, whereas the HD-600 mids are more forward. Maybe slightly more forward than neutral. Because of this, I vastly preferred the HD-600 mids. They're more involved in the music, whereas the HE-400's mids aren't the main attraction. Vocals and guitars were so much more engaging to me on the HD-600. Your mileage may vary.

 

HE-400's treble is interesting. Probably because its brightness is juxtaposed to its laid-back mids. That combination sounds really strange to me, but many seem to like it. I thought the HD-600's treble was great. And that's coming from a Grado-fan. I expected it to be more laid-back than it was, but it really sounds neutral to my ears, nice and smooth, and gels well with the other frequencies.

 

The HE-400's soundstage, instrument separation, and imaging trumped the HD-600's by quite a bit I think. The HE-400's decay sounded quicker than the HD-600's. But, I really like the HD-600's overall tonality much better than the HE-400's. Tonality can be adjusted through EQ though, and I was able to EQ the HE-400's to sound much more to my liking by bumping up the mids and taming the treble. It sounded rather like the HD-600 at that point with all the goodness of planar magnetic quickness and separation.

Unfortunately I can't comment as to how either sounds with classical. I did like acoustic genres more on the HD-600, but I don't know if anything can be extrapolated from that concerning classical. I do know that the soundstage sounds more vast and open on the HE-400, whereas the HD-600 sounds almost congested and narrow by comparison.

I can't comment on the DT-880 =/

Hope some of this helps.

Thank you, that's all very helpful.  I've got to admit, though, as I was reading through it, I was thinking, 'yes, definitely the HD600s.....yes, def the HD600s (cheaper option, too...)", then on the very last remark about soundstage and congestion, I was like, damn!  HE-400s then!

post #29 of 67

Some cd songs are just bad recordings...

i do compile a playlist out of my cd collections of the best renditions, n test my new cans on those.

Otherwise i can get unduly discouraged over a new purchase quite fast.

 

Another thing i might do if i have the 598, is to take out the foam covering the driver/ replace with a pantyhose..:P

Its like taking out the baffle off your home speakers...and give it a listen.

I just wanna know how clear the drivers are. 

If they are not clear enough for classical music/ in my case, i will likely return the can.

If the drivers are very clear, n sounded too bright, then i put back the foam.

 

(Some might not believe in cables, but seinheissers are great candidates for aftermarket cables..

so many options out there.. when i had one side by side with the stockcable, i stopped using the stock cable.

CLeaner, better extention...watever.....its another one of those headfi tweaks :PPPPP  )

 

Another way out is to sell all the cans u have...aggregate the monies n shoot for ONE "better" can.

 

beerchug.gif

post #30 of 67

The HE-400 sounds way better with proper amping IMO. I like 'em with tubes. WIth the fiio e17 they just sound a bit flat and uninspiring compared to my Musical Fidelity x-cann v8p. I would not be satisfied with the HE-400 and a fiio e17 as the end station, whilst the HE-400 with proper amping would be just about sufficient. ATM i have the HE-500

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