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post #46 of 67

I'm not really that into metal any more, maybe I got bored of most everything following the same sub-genre formulas, and I have always had a wide taste in music. Basically everything besides mainstream rap/RNB/soul, monotonous dance music and "typical rock" (maybe saying that here is similar to going to meet your girlfriend's family wearing only a soiled adult diaper, but while I can agree that bands like U2, Coldplay and Dave Matthews Band produce well made music they don't really do much for me).

 

I don't like doing top 10s and listing "favorites", but I don't mind sharing interesting stuff so I'll list some albums and bands that come to mind in this context, starting with metal-related stuff and going on to other while trying to keep bass in mind. So...

 

Therion - Deggial. Death/doom metal gone seriously orchestral. Vovin was a great album as well.

 

My Dying Bride - The Angel and the Dark River. Hard to categorize, went from doom metal into something really ambient (in the lack of a better term) and misery-laden on this album.

 

The Crown - Deathrace King. Death/thrash in the harder vein of Swedish "West Coast" metal (basically the sound described by the term before it came to be defined by In Flames). Lives up to the title in intensity.

 

Diabolical Masquerade - Nightwork. A blend of technical black metal and epic progressive fantasy guitars. Mostly a studio project, as far as I know. Actually makes me wonder why so few metal albums have flute solos - besides the formulaic viking/folk metal crap, that is.

 

Librah - Inside the Black Balloon. Possibly something you could be into, and the bass player is an old friend, so I think I have to recommend this one.

 

Madrugada - Industrial Silence. Gloomy rock. Deep vocals. Twangy surf rock guitars along with plenty of bass and distinct drumming.

 

Ane Brun - It All Starts with One. One of my favorite voices ever. On this album in collaboration with a percussion group, resulting in an airy acoustic sound combined with some really deep kettle drumming and stuff. Her Live in Scandinavia album has great versions of songs from her earlier, more singer/songwriter oriented albums.

 

Blue Foundation. Mellow trip-hop stuff with pieces of jazz and funk. I like Sweep of Days and their first self titled album best.

 

Portishead - Third. I guess they don't need much of an introduction. Third is an amazing headphone album, but also one that can get unpleasant with bad sound.

 

Little Dragon - Machine Dreams. Mellow electronic pop. The opening track has some really great sub-bass stuff going on.

 

Asaf Avidan & The Mojos - The Reckoning. Album goes from acoustic into bluesy rock with near-Zeppelin intensity, and the guy has some amazing vocal abilities in that direction.

 

Lykke Li - Wounded Rhymes. Sweet voice singing about sadness. The best description, besides "indie", that I can come up with is "matured teenage music". Too well done to be cliché.

 

So, that's some stuff of to listen to. Much of it from my neck of the world, and in some cases obscure even here, so there's probably something new there.


Edited by anodyne - 1/17/13 at 9:26pm
post #47 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by anodyne View Post

I'm not really that into metal any more, maybe I got bored of most everything following the same sub-genre formulas, and I have always had a wide taste in music. Basically everything besides mainstream rap/RNB/soul, monotonous dance music and "typical rock" (maybe saying that here is similar to going to meet your girlfriend's family wearing only a soiled adult diaper, but while I can agree that bands like U2, Coldplay and Dave Matthews Band produce well made music they don't really do much for me).

 

I don't like doing top 10s and listing "favorites", but I don't mind sharing interesting stuff so I'll list some albums and bands that come to mind in this context, starting with metal-related stuff and going on to other while trying to keep bass in mind. So...

 

WOW THAT MUST'VE BEEN TORTUROUS I'M REALLY SORRY I know how painful it is ... but it is also my preferred way of getting recommendations since I am influenced by how someone personally likes something, and I tend to copy that on many things other than music.

 

I haven't explored the metal world for some time now myself, I just update myself on bands I already love so I'm clueless about any great new band.

 

The first two bands I know and love (Therion and My Dying Bride). Portishead I've been recommended to as a Tool/APC fan. The rest are not familiar.

 

THANK YOU I really appreciate the detailed introductions too!

 

Right now, well ... my biggest criterion for music selection is the visual hallucination a song induces in me. If somebody is trying to express emotions passionately in whatever medium I'm usually sold. I wish I could give you my own Top 10 Favorite Bands of My Heart Today but I'm not really in the mood for pain right now lol

 

I'm going to listen to Vader - Wings and Strapping Young Lad - OMG now.

post #48 of 67

I would argue that I'd have to reject this type of testing on the basis of it being the same as saying one car is in all ways better than another, because it has a higher top speed, and you have chronic scalp dermatitis so you value the wind blowing through your hair above all other factors that make up a vehicle.

 

It begs the comparison that getting shot out of a cannon would be the ideal form of transportation for you.

post #49 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by soundstige View Post

I would argue that I'd have to reject this type of testing on the basis of it being the same as saying one car is in all ways better than another, because it has a higher top speed, and you have chronic scalp dermatitis so you value the wind blowing through your hair above all other factors that make up a vehicle.

 

It begs the comparison that getting shot out of a cannon would be the ideal form of transportation for you.

 

Personal opinions are tricky, but in this case I think PocketSmiley has established what those personal opinions are based on in an excellent (and entertaining) way, and that I find makes the opinions useful even if I don't have the same preference for bassy sound signatures.

 

Perception of sound is personal, so I'd rather compare it to wine tasting notes by someone who has an expressed preference for Bordeaux wines. That would be out of place in a magazine, but perfectly fine on a discussion forum.

post #50 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by soundstige View Post

I would argue that I'd have to reject this type of testing on the basis of it being the same as saying one car is in all ways better than another, because it has a higher top speed, and you have chronic scalp dermatitis so you value the wind blowing through your hair above all other factors that make up a vehicle.

 

It begs the comparison that getting shot out of a cannon would be the ideal form of transportation for you.

 

So you missed the point. That makes about a dozen of you (:

 

I never wrote anywhere in the article that one headphone is "in all ways better than another" because of its ability to drive bass to MY preferred loudness level.

 

The CORRECT analogy is that I want to go 200mph on a straight line but some car with the best maneuverability and comfort and so on could not give me that speed.

 

It was a simple test of a real-world demand--my demand. And many headphones failed them. Simple as that.

post #51 of 67

No, I didn't miss the point. The idea of making a thread for this method of comparison implies value in the testing method. I'm dismissing that value. If you were to say it solely is a test of a small segment of bass response, and nothing more, it may have merit; but your verbiage and attempt at depth go against that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PocketSmiley View Post

 

So you missed the point. That makes about a dozen of you (:

 

I never wrote anywhere in the article that one headphone is "in all ways better than another" because of its ability to drive bass to MY preferred loudness level.

 

The CORRECT analogy is that I want to go 200mph on a straight line but some car with the best maneuverability and comfort and so on could not give me that speed.

 

It was a simple test of a real-world demand--my demand. And many headphones failed them. Simple as that.

post #52 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by soundstige View Post

No, I didn't miss the point. The idea of making a thread for this method of comparison implies value in the testing method. I'm dismissing that value. If you were to say it solely is a test of a small segment of bass response, and nothing more, it may have merit; but your verbiage and attempt at depth go against that.

 

"The idea of making a thread for this method of comparison implies value in the testing method." This is a duh-ly thing to say.

 

The value in the testing method is derived from a real-world personal demand as an extreme basshead. To dismiss this simple demand for a higher intensity of bass--thus the demand for a capable pair of headphones that can drive that--is to express your right to your own value system.

 

But you made a wrong analogy.

 

And to dismiss the value of this testing method in determining the headphones that can satisfy my demand is a mistake as well.

 

Do you have other tests to determine the headphones for my stated need?

 

If I were to say that it is "solely ... a test of a small segment of bass response, and nothing more" then I didn't have to record the approximate timbre of the bass nor test for "muddiness" and so on. It is also quite an idiotic thing to say since why would I test something for no reason, to do something that I do not value?

 

I made a simple test, designed to meet a real-world demand, and it was simple enough since the headphones either cracked or could not audibly make it. Intensity is the easiest thing to measure in headphones. The results speak for themselves.

post #53 of 67

I never said it didn't have value to you. I'm dismissing the value it could have to nearly anyone but you, especially given the way you're going about the writing/comparisons/descriptions. Essentially, you're misrepresenting what your data means. It doesn't even scratch the surface of what most bassheads would say encompass the idea of being a basshead. It's so narrow and linear as to have nearly zero value or possibility of application to others. I'm suggesting your time is better spent either making this narrow slice of testing a lot more direct and simply presented; or, testing for more pieces of information and continuing the detailed style of presentation.

 

I also don't think it's useful to throw around insults while misrepresenting the person you're trying to insult.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PocketSmiley View Post

 It is also quite an idiotic thing to say since why would I test something for no reason, to do something that I do not value?

 


Edited by soundstige - 1/18/13 at 4:16am
post #54 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by soundstige View Post

I never said it didn't have value to you. I'm dismissing the value it could have to nearly anyone but you, especially given the way you're going about the writing/comparisons/descriptions. Essentially, you're misrepresenting what your data means. It doesn't even scratch the surface of what most bassheads would say encompass the idea of being a basshead. It's so narrow and linear as to have nearly zero value or possibility of application to others. I'm suggesting your time is better spent either making this narrow slice of testing a lot more direct and simply presented; or, testing for more pieces of information and continuing the detailed style of presentation.

 

I also don't think it's useful to throw around insults while misrepresenting the person you're trying to insult.

 

 

It wasn't an insult thrown at you, it was an insult that I interpreted coming from you. You assume that I should have said something idiotic like that because you think that that's what it is.

 

So your main argument then is this:

  • my demand does not apply to many others so I dismiss its value

 

Then your determinant of your argument is based largely on speculation.

 

My test is linear and narrow, as defined by the word "simple". It is the priority, but not all of it. If the pair of headphones did not make the cut-off then it fails.

 

Anyway, I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who is crazy about bass at this extreme level. The test is not technical, but it is practical and efficient.

 

Can you suggest other ways of testing bass? I will try to implement it. Thanks.

post #55 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by anodyne View Post

Entertaining thread. All reviews around here should be updated with onomatopoetic descriptions as soon as possible. :)

 

Maybe try some death metal as well? Vader - Wings is one of those tracks from my long-haired days that I like to dig out and listen to. Quite "technical" sound production, and the vocalist uses a more hardcore like "HUH-HUH" style rather than the normal deep gurgle.

 

If you want to try definition go for Strapping Young Lad - Oh My ******* God. The section after the break is one of the most massive amounts of sound squeezed into a recording ever. Don't listen to it on YouTube... the thing eats lossy codecs for breakfast.

 

Okay, I tried both songs in lossless. I had to tone down the bass A LOT for Strapping Young Lad - OMFG so I just left everything flat except for DSP Manager. This song is "denser" and more cacophonic than most black metal songs I've listened to haha. I only listened with the MH1-C, the CX870, and the CXL400. Since the CX870 has double the impedance (32 ohms) of the other two, it sounded weaker at the same volume so it seemed like it had less definition. The MH1-C, by comparison, seemed like the superior headphone at first given its "clarity" and "open" soundstage. Then I tried the CXL400, which has a "superstereo" cramped feel after using a more open one, but I can swear I hear the details in OMFG clearer, even the radio interference sample in the intro has more "definition" (and it's supposed to be noise right) and in this section you speak of after the break, I can hear a faint whistle(?). I'm not sure how to test for lost details reliably. For the CX870 I just had to turn the volume up higher than the rest. I honestly can't say I'm qualified to speak of details/definition in sound at the level I am right now.

 

For Vader - Wings, when you say technical, does it mean the instruments are recorded with different microphones in various places? I was browsing for a good microphone to use for my amateur spectrum analysis, and I ended up reading about industry studio recording--proper placement of mics and so on. Honest honest honestly, I may have been so used with technical sound production that I take it for granted. I liken Vader's vocalist to Slayer's. For the production, I did notice the same quality in Chuck Schuldiner's death metal band Death (you'd think a band named "Death" would be so banal but they have managed to earn the namesake). If you haven't listened to the epic classic "Voice of the Soul", an a cappella of three guitars, I will be forced to remind you to do so until you do yeah. That song at least is what comes to my mind about the term "technical production".

 

I'm embedding a YouTube video of Death - Voice of the Soul just to give you an idea how the song goes:

 

post #56 of 67
Thread Starter 

_UPDATES_:

 

[2013/01/19]

added Klipsch S4, Creative EP-630i, clarified target audience of thread

 

[2013/01/17]

added Black Metal music for testing sibilance; reverted negative Sony MH1/MH1-C review to favorable after testing with Black Metal; retracted recommendation of JVC HA-FX101 for Black Metal

 

[2013/01/15]

rewrote everything; added Fake Sennheiser IE8, Luda SL99

 

 

_Target Audience_:

 

Whenever a new member asks for headphones with "the most amount of quality bass" at head-fi, the poor inquirer becomes prey to audiophile recommendations that completely sidestep the demand at hand. While such feedback might be well-intentioned and could introduce the listener to a world of high-fidelity that she never thought she would've wanted, I say just give her the bass she wants. Tons of it. (You'll often see HiFiMan RE0 being solicited for bass, and just as frequently regretful threads are started because of it.) This compromise from the initial criterion is a "weighting mistake" prevalent in decision-making.

 

 

 

Fake Sennheiser IE8 ($27 from aliexpress.com)

 

FAILED at higher volumes, but passed up to near my loudness threshold.

Bass timbre: "TUUD"

Recommended for normal listeners.

 

If I had $400 I'd get the Sennheiser IE80. I recently got my fake IE8 (I bought them knowing they're fake) and I was pleasantly surprised how genuine they look when put to the authenticity test (especially the red wires and the functioning bass dial). Even the sound signature is spot-on. They sound close to my authentic Sennheisers, but not quite at the dangerous volumes I normally listen to. They could've fooled me for sure.

 

 

 

SL99 by Ludacris ($49.90 from staples)

 

PASSED beyond loudness threshold.

Bass timbre: "TOUG"

Recommended for some bassheads who like that bass sound.

 

Before I added the SL99 to this list, I concluded that the Klipsch S4 is number one on my to-buy list. Since I love challenging convenient notions such as that celebrity endorsed products are bound to be poor, and due to the raving reviews at bestbuy.com swearing that they're better than the Klipsch S4, I decided to keep an eye on the SL99. Suddenly, the SL99 was put on clearance for half the price so I bit. I also love Ludacris.

 

The timbre of the bass is not deep at all. While the top of my list, the CXL400, sounds like a large, deep "TUUD", the SL99 sounds like "TOUG". The "TUUD" sound is a controlled low frequency response that is maintained at higher intensities, while the "TOUG" sound is a bloated midtohigh-bass. It is however capable of driving that bass sound beyond my loudness threshold. But I don't really like that bass tone quality. And I agree that the SL99 keeps the mid and high frequency details intact just like the CX400.

The WORST thing about the SL99 surprised me: The metal mesh that covers the tube came off easily! You'd think it was built like a full metal weapon of war but no; I simply tried changing the buds from medium to small--WHICH WAS HARD TO DO BECAUSE THE TUBES WERE RATHER THICK as if someone was trying to insinuate something--and when I removed the rubber tip the tip rubbed the mesh and came off with it. The metal mesh was so thin as well.

It is worth noting even if it is readily deducible from the previous paragraph that the fit hurts like rape.

The FX101 and the SL99 sound similar at higher volumes, and this is possibly because of the vents. But if I cover the vents on the SL99 I get a deeper bass sound while the FX101 crackles when covered. The FX101 however has a superior fit.

 

 

 

Creative EP-630i (genuine, $15 sold by Amazon.com)

 

PASSED

Bass timbre: "TUUD"

Recommended

 

I can confirm that the Creative EP-630i sounds exactly the same as the original Sennheiser CX300. See CX300 review.

 

 

 

Klipsch S4 (genuine, $42 sold by Amazon.com)

 

PASSED. FAILED at higher volumes.

Bass timbre: "TUUD" "Tuud"

Not recommended over the CX300/EP-630.

 

I'm used to being disappointed at this point, although I didn't expect the Klipsch S4--touted as bass kings by many--to lag behind be decimated by the CX300. Compared to the latter, the S4 bass significantly lacks punch, feels much smaller, and can't be driven to louder intensities. I was expecting it to be similar to the CXL400 since the frequency response graph of the S4 is almost identical to that of the CX500, and the CXL400 is reportedly the CX500 without the volume control. If this were true, then the CX400 has a bigger, deeper, louder, and tighter bass sound than the CX500. But I have yet to confirm that. One peculiarly rad thing about the S4 is that it is the IEM that has reached furthest into my ear canals. The fit of the double-flanged earbuds is perfect and comfortable, and the seal is complete especially with my abnormally small macaroni ears. That said, even with the perfect fit and seal the bass is definitely not the royalty it was elected to be. So this thread about the S4 VS CX300 isn't all lies after all.


Edited by PocketSmiley - 1/19/13 at 10:54am
post #57 of 67

If possible you should try to get hold of the EP-660, I find it similar to the EP-630, but with more bass.

post #58 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by xrM View Post

If possible you should try to get hold of the EP-660, I find it similar to the EP-630, but with more bass.

 

THANK YOU xrM! I was wondering about that between the EP-660 and the EP-630. Actually I'm very, very curious how far this rebranding goes between the Creative EP and Sennheiser CX lines. I want to know if the CX400 and CX500 have counterparts in Creative.

post #59 of 67
Thread Starter 

_UPDATES_:

 

[2013/01/19]

reverted passing grade for Klipsch S4 to fail; changed bass timbre of Klipsch S4 and Sony MH1/MH1-C; revised final comments

 

I forgot to test the Klipsch S4 bass up to my loudness threshold. I thought it simply had less bass than the CX300--compared to the latter, the S4 bass significantly lacks punch and feels much smaller; but the S4 also could not drive the bass to higher levels! The maximum amount of bass it can offer falls short of satisfactory, like-wise with bass quality.

 

For normal listening volumes, I recommend the JVC HA-FX101 for bass except for music with harsh high frequencies such as black metal, and the Sony MH1-C (the MH1 requires an adapter for mp3 players) for everything else. If you have bass cravings at louder intensities, the FX101 and MH1-C will fail you whereas the Sennheiser CX300/Creative EP-630 can absolutely satisfy.

post #60 of 67

YO, Thanks for this review Pocket! I, like yourself, enjoy my bass. I am not one for the neutral/analytical/"balanced" phones out there. Though I have some, and only use them when I occasionally feel like listening to genre's other than Hip Hop (which is 85% of my listening)

 

I got my HA-FX101s in the mail just yesterday.. I wasn't sure what level of Greatness to expect since my primary buds before that were the Apple Earbuds (lol)

 

Ever seen dynamite blow up a small building/structure in real life? That's my mind, yesterday at approximately 3:30pm when the mailman delivered me my future. Just want to let YOU know that I appreciate this damn thread/review that you put together. And I look forward to future reviews from you. BASSSSSS <3

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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › [W/ PICS] Basshead Budget-fi Headphones Comparative Test, with Comparison to Expensive Audiophile Gear (Sony MH1, JVC HA-FX101, Philips SHE3580, Soundmagic E10, Sennheiser HD555, HD598, CX300, CX870, HiFiMan RE0 etc.)