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post #1246 of 1413
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taowolf51 View Post
 

Quick update, I still really like these little headphones! They do a really good job with just about every genre I throw at it, they're a very good general headphone. I am still having headband comfort issues, though, but I did slightly fix it by pushing the headband forward a bit (which negatively impacts the ear comfort, but not by a lot). Because of the comfort concerns, I picked up a Focal Spirit Classic which will be battling it out with the NAD in a head-to-head comparison for my love. The Focal should arrive on Monday.

 

I've heard a few times that these headphones sound like an open headphone, and I have to agree! While they don't sound as open as some open headphones, they have wonderfully low distortion and quick decay, making them sound very open for a closed headphone.

Do tell me how u get on - I returned the focal spirit classics and picked up the NAD HP50s which I'm using at the moment.

 

My experience with the focals was good but I found the comfort unbearable.  If focal are going to use such small earcups they should at least make them as soft as those on the momentums, otherwise they're asking for trouble imo.

 

The NADs aren't perfect comfort-wise, but in my experience are far better than the focals.  Isolation is better on the focals but that's no surprise with the calliper pressure on them.

 

I think sound wise I'll give  the edge to the focals - they don't drive as easily as the NADs imo, but I preferred the immediacy of the focal's sound, with a wide soundstage where appropriate, and not all the time as with the NADs.  That's part of the reason electronic music really does not shine on the NADs -  listen to Papaoutai by Stromae on the NADs and you'll see what I mean.

 

I wouldn't travel with either of them.  The bag that comes with the focals is pathetic, the NADs are more delicate - both are just too big for travel.  This does leave me wondering...why be closed back at all?

 

However in the library both work well.

 

I'm keeping the NADs though - I did not like the momentums, couldn't put up with the focal's comfort levels, and want to spend more time enjoying my music than obsessively buying and returning headphones. 

 

Good luck!

post #1247 of 1413

I say give them a little time, I listen to a great deal of electronic music with the NAD and I find it very, very good. Try Adham Shaiki Sub Bubbles (Original Mix) from the Collectivity album. I don't find the sound stage all that wide on the NADs, if anything I don't really hear them as open sounding as it seems many others do.

post #1248 of 1413

I might be conflating soundstage with the roomfeel thing - have you tried the focals?

 

And overall my feelings are very positive towards this headphone - I should make this clear !

post #1249 of 1413
Quote:
Originally Posted by chaza01 View Post
 

Do tell me how u get on - I returned the focal spirit classics and picked up the NAD HP50s which I'm using at the moment.

 

My experience with the focals was good but I found the comfort unbearable.  If focal are going to use such small earcups they should at least make them as soft as those on the momentums, otherwise they're asking for trouble imo.

 

The NADs aren't perfect comfort-wise, but in my experience are far better than the focals.  Isolation is better on the focals but that's no surprise with the calliper pressure on them.

 

I think sound wise I'll give  the edge to the focals - they don't drive as easily as the NADs imo, but I preferred the immediacy of the focal's sound, with a wide soundstage where appropriate, and not all the time as with the NADs.  That's part of the reason electronic music really does not shine on the NADs -  listen to Papaoutai by Stromae on the NADs and you'll see what I mean.

 

I wouldn't travel with either of them.  The bag that comes with the focals is pathetic, the NADs are more delicate - both are just too big for travel.  This does leave me wondering...why be closed back at all?

 

However in the library both work well.

 

I'm keeping the NADs though - I did not like the momentums, couldn't put up with the focal's comfort levels, and want to spend more time enjoying my music than obsessively buying and returning headphones. 

 

Good luck!

Personally, I found the comfort better on the Focals than the NADs. The NADs are lighter and have somewhat larger earcups, but the headband causes a pretty decent pressure point on the top of my head, which gives me headaches (because of the squared off headband). If I move the headband forward, it cramps my ears (because they are more oval than circle). On the Focals, I can move the headband to the comfortable spot without any earcup issues, and the larger surface area contact makes them more comfortable on the top of my head than the NADs (even with their heavier weight and stronger clamp). The earcups are certainly smaller, though just as deep. With a little shimmy after putting them on, I can get my whole ear in the headphone and they're pretty comfortable that way, though they do have a minor pressure point on the lower part of the cup on my jaw area that the NADs didn't have, it will most likely be reduced with use as the clamp lessens.

 

Sound-wise, they're different flavors of the same sound. Both have very similar frequency responses (which are excellent, very few dips with a nice downward slope that sounds very natural but not recessed in any way). I think Sean Olive really did a damn good job on his new frequency compensation curve, and while Focal won't admit it, I'd be willing to bet that they used Olive's curve as well, it's far too close for it to be a coincidence.

The biggest difference between the two is in internal reflections and perceived transient response. The NADs have almost no internal reflections, which is friggin amazing for a closed headphone and gives it that quick transient response you get usually from open headphones. This gives it a more aggressive sound which I really like, but can get fatiguing. The Focals on the other hand have more reflections but still do a very good job with perceived transient response for a closed headphone. They sound more relaxed than the NADs, but certainly not relaxed in the grand scheme of things. They also kick harder than the NADs, which are more of a snap, even in the bass.

Personally, I think electronic music does a pretty good job with the NADs, better than most other genres. The quick snappy sound works well with electronic and can help keep things separated during very complex songs. The Focals also do a good job with electronic and are pretty fast with a nice kick (and a bit of smoothness to reduce fatigue that you can get with that music), and I think do a bit of a better job than the NADs with acoustic and classical music because of the extra warmth and smoothness.

 

Portability is back and forth for both headphones, they're a reasonable size, especially for transportability IMO (remember, I'm used to Denon D7000 and LCD-2 sized headphones). Personally, while they are a bit bigger than on-ear headphones, I think over-ears sound a lot better (these perform far better than my Sennheiser Amperiors) and these are on the smaller end of full size.

The NADs have a better case and fold flat, which is awesome, but the Focals feel a lot more durable and are more comfortable around the neck for when you're not listening to music when out and about. I really *really* hope that Focal decides to release the hard case for the Focal Spirit One S as a stand alone product, since it looks like the perfect case for the Classics. Also, Focal has no excuse for not allowing the headphones to fold flat. They had to add a blocker to the ball joint to prevent it and it just adds another way for the headphones to break.

There are some very important reasons to be large and closed back, especially for people who work in offices or rooms with other people where isolation and minimal leakage is important.

 

The Focals also feel nicer, they feel like more expensive headphones (because they are).

 

I prefer the Focals for my needs and preferences. They are more comfortable on my head and the bit of extra smoothness will allow me to listen to them for longer without fatigue (I work a lot, so I listen to music for long stretches at a time). The Focals remind me of a more portable less refined D7000, which is exactly what I wanted (since I absolutely love those headphones). Unfortunately, I will be returning both because the Focals came with a broken mobile cable (sound only through the left channel, listening to the Focals with the NAD cable right now). However, I will be buying a pair of Classics to replace the ones I am returning and they will be my new portable headphone. I may look at used options to try to save a bit of cash.

 

Really, both headphones are excellent and which you prefer will be down to head/ear shape, needs, and sonic preferences. I wouldn't say either one is better than the other, they're two different flavors of the same sound and trade blows in just about every aspect.


Edited by Taowolf51 - 7/10/14 at 2:08pm
post #1250 of 1413
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taowolf51 View Post
 

Personally, I found the comfort better on the Focals than the NADs. The NADs are lighter and have somewhat larger earcups, but the headband causes a pretty decent pressure point on the top of my head, which gives me headaches (because of the squared off headband). If I move the headband forward, it cramps my ears (because they are more oval than circle). On the Focals, I can move the headband to the comfortable spot without any earcup issues, and the larger surface area contact makes them more comfortable on the top of my head than the NADs (even with their heavier weight and stronger clamp). The earcups are certainly smaller, though just as deep. With a little shimmy after putting them on, I can get my whole ear in the headphone and they're pretty comfortable that way, though they do have a minor pressure point on the lower part of the cup on my jaw area that the NADs didn't have, it will most likely be reduced with use as the clamp lessens.

 

Sound-wise, they're different flavors of the same sound. Both have very similar frequency responses (which are excellent, very few dips with a nice downward slope that sounds very natural but not recessed in any way). I think Sean Olive really did a damn good job on his new frequency compensation curve, and while Focal won't admit it, I'd be willing to bet that they used Olive's curve as well, it's far too close for it to be a coincidence.

The biggest difference between the two is in internal reflections and perceived transient response. The NADs have almost no internal reflections, which is friggin amazing for a closed headphone and gives it that quick transient response you get usually from open headphones. This gives it a more aggressive sound which I really like, but can get fatiguing. The Focals on the other hand have more reflections but still do a very good job with perceived transient response for a closed headphone. They sound more relaxed than the NADs, but certainly not relaxed in the grand scheme of things. They also kick harder than the NADs, which are more of a snap, even in the bass.

Personally, I think electronic music does a pretty good job with the NADs, better than most other genres. The quick snappy sound works well with electronic and can help keep things separated during very complex songs. The Focals also do a good job with electronic and are pretty fast with a nice kick (and a bit of smoothness to reduce fatigue that you can get with that music), and I think do a bit of a better job than the NADs with acoustic and classical music because of the extra warmth and smoothness.

 

Portability is back and forth for both headphones, they're a reasonable size, especially for transportability IMO (remember, I'm used to Denon D7000 and LCD-2 sized headphones). Personally, while they are a bit bigger than on-ear headphones, I think over-ears sound a lot better (these perform far better than my Sennheiser Amperiors) and these are on the smaller end of full size.

The NADs have a better case and fold flat, which is awesome, but the Focals feel a lot more durable and are more comfortable around the neck for when you're not listening to music when out and about. I really *really* hope that Focal decides to release the hard case for the Focal Spirit One S as a stand alone product, since it looks like the perfect case for the Classics. Also, Focal has no excuse for not allowing the headphones to fold flat. They had to add a blocker to the ball joint to prevent it and it just adds another way for the headphones to break.

There are some very important reasons to be large and closed back, especially for people who work in offices or rooms with other people where isolation and minimal leakage is important.

 

The Focals also feel nicer, they feel like more expensive headphones (because they are).

 

I prefer the Focals for my needs and preferences. They are more comfortable on my head and the bit of extra smoothness will allow me to listen to them for longer without fatigue (I work a lot, so I listen to music for long stretches at a time). The Focals remind me of a more portable less refined D7000, which is exactly what I wanted (since I absolutely love those headphones). Unfortunately, I will be returning both because the Focals came with a broken mobile cable (sound only through the left channel, listening to the Focals with the NAD cable right now). However, I will be buying a pair of Classics to replace the ones I am returning and they will be my new portable headphone. I may look at used options to try to save a bit of cash.

 

Really, both headphones are excellent and which you prefer will be down to head/ear shape, needs, and sonic preferences. I wouldn't say either one is better than the other, they're two different flavors of the same sound and trade blows in just about every aspect.

i would trial the focals for a while comfort wise.  How long have you had them?  I used them for 27 days before sending back to Amazon.  For the first few days they felt fine - in fact very comfortable.   After a while though, the headband really caused me issues (perhaps more so than the ear cups), even after the caliper pressure reduced significantly (and it does reduce with time).

The comfort issue with the headband i experienced with the focals is the same thing u experienced with the NADs, a very very noticeable pressure on the top of my head that actually began to hurt.  I got to the stage where I simply would not put them on for this reason.  

 

Be sure to really trial the focals due to the comfort thing - it got really unbearable for me.  I didn't get 'headaches' though in the traditional sense, just a kind of intense sort of rubbing feel from the pressure on the top of my head.  I do have a slight rift at the top, this may be to blame.

 

Comfort will vary on head and ear size of course.

 

But yeah, give it a while - trust me on this! I will too with the NADs.

 

I only picked up the NADs last week so may still experience the same problem, and due to the shape of the headband it seems more likely to cause a problem than the focals - so far is hasn't for whatever reason.  

 

 

I never had both headphones at the same time - this affects my ability to compare them sonically (relying on unreliable memory) I should have made that clear earlier.

 

Do you find the NADs drive better of smart phone etc?  Or am I mistaken on that front?

 

kind regards,

 

charlie 

 

EDIT - on build, the NADs are inferior to the Focals in terms of build materials, though both felt fragile to me.  This is mainly due to the Focals stupid hinge system you refer too.  


Edited by chaza01 - 7/10/14 at 3:44pm
post #1251 of 1413
Quote:
Originally Posted by chaza01 View Post
 

i would trial the focals for a while comfort wise.  How long have you had them?  I used them for 27 days before sending back to Amazon.  For the first few days they felt fine - in fact very comfortable.   After a while though, the headband really caused me issues (perhaps more so than the ear cups), even after the caliper pressure reduced significantly (and it does reduce with time).

The comfort issue with the headband i experienced with the focals is the same thing u experienced with the NADs, a very very noticeable pressure on the top of my head that actually began to hurt.  I got to the stage where I simply would not put them on for this reason.  

 

Be sure to really trial the focals due to the comfort thing - it got really unbearable for me.  I didn't get 'headaches' though in the traditional sense, just a kind of intense sort of rubbing feel from the pressure on the top of my head.  I do have a slight rift at the top, this may be to blame.

 

Comfort will vary on head and ear size of course.

 

But yeah, give it a while - trust me on this! I will too with the NADs.

 

I only picked up the NADs last week so may still experience the same problem, and due to the shape of the headband it seems more likely to cause a problem than the focals - so far is hasn't for whatever reason.  

 

 

I never had both headphones at the same time - this affects my ability to compare them sonically (relying on unreliable memory) I should have made that clear earlier.

 

Do you find the NADs drive better of smart phone etc?  Or am I mistaken on that front?

 

kind regards,

 

charlie 

 

I did take time to wear both headphones for long periods. The NADs would give me a headache within an hour, but I could deal with wearing them for a couple hours. The focals I could wear for 8 hour stretches with reasonable comfort (ears touching the baffle in less deep cups causes a bit of pain in the ear, but rubbing it every couple hours makes it pretty manageable, same issue with NADs. Regardless, the NADs are really a no-go unfortunately (because of the headband pressure point, and it's a shame since they sound absolutely excellent). What do you think caused your comfort issues with the Focals over time? They do have that odd design that a lot of headphones seem to have where they have more padding on the top of the headband than on the part of the headband that actually touches your head. I never understood why some companies did that. One thing I do with a lot of headphones is buy an HD650 headband pad and affix it with some double sided tape to give some added comfort, which I could do with the Focals but cannot do with the NADs (because of their tube-shaped non-flat headband). I will keep your headband discomfort issues in mind, though, and I may instead opt to buy new instead of used in the future to give myself a 30 day return option (I'm still going to return them because of the broken cable they came with).

 

I can see where the comfort issues would come from, the way the Focal cup mechanism was designed removes the ability for the clamp to reduce the weight on the top of the head (force directed down and in rather than in in horizontally) and causes a pressure point in the jaw area. I did recently have an idea regarding that, and placing a small piece of adhesive foam in the right spot under the metal piece with the focal logo on it (the part that connects the cup to the headband) seems to somewhat alleviate that problem and fix some comfort issues. 

 

The NADs and Focals are pretty similar, both were easily able to be driven by my S3, and volume differences were pretty minor (NADs being a little easier to drive). According to Innerfidelity, the NADs take 0.04mW to reach 90db and the Focals take 0.05mW to reach the same volume.

post #1252 of 1413
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lohb View Post
 


Is there not links to long TRRS cables already in this thread ?


The HP50 does not require TRRS cables. The Monoprice cables are TRS, as are the VMODA cables that work fine. Just for clarification.

I am not sure why one end of the stock cable (with no switch)  is TRRS, but the other end is TRS!

post #1253 of 1413

RED HP50


Replaced factory cable with Norne Audio "Skoll" with Oyaide 3.5 mm collar connector.

Performance is superb, ergonomics and texture awesome.

post #1254 of 1413
I ordered the red HP50 on Wednesday. biggrin.gif I can't wait!

Also those replacement cables look great with the red. I'll definitely be buying one if those.
EDIT: I checked the price of the cables and will not be ordering them anytime soon :/

Would the FiiO RC-MH1 be a good upgrade from the stock cable that the NAD comes with?
Edited by Hi-Fi Guy - 7/11/14 at 2:52pm
post #1255 of 1413

Seriously doubt cables themselves make a huge difference. save some money and see what you think with stock before spending money on cables. Now those red cables look beautiful for sure so from that perspective I could see wanting them, but if you had to spend $100 or something I would think twice, but that's just me. I did order from Monoprice some 10' cables (you can get red, but not as sexy) for very cheap and according to a member here they fit the NAD and sound as good as the stock.

post #1256 of 1413

Hi everyone, 

 

I just purchased these headphones not long ago from a member here, and I'm searching a longer replaceable cable for the short stock one. Some people have pointed out the Monoprice flat cables are usable with these cans.

 

Are they the ones you're talking about ? 

 

http://www.monoprice.com/Product?p_id=11513

 

Many thanks.

post #1257 of 1413
Quote:
Originally Posted by kokono View Post
 

Hi everyone, 

 

I just purchased these headphones not long ago from a member here, and I'm searching a longer replaceable cable for the short stock one. Some people have pointed out the Monoprice flat cables are usable with these cans.

 

Are they the ones you're talking about ? 

 

http://www.monoprice.com/Product?p_id=11513

 

Many thanks.


Yes those are the ones I ordered (haven't received them yet). The other member who posted about those cables said they fit his HP50 fine so I think for the very reasonable price you can take the gamble and order them. Cheers.

post #1258 of 1413

My red ones finally arrived :biggrin:
 

post #1259 of 1413
got mine, just a week ago.
and i finally say, i have found the golden headphone that is a keeper.
i think im gonna have to sell my p3 and my CL now. smily_headphones1.gif
post #1260 of 1413

I agree these are the best headphones i have ever heard.

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