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NAD Viso HP50 : Another superb headphone from Paul Barton? - Page 131

post #1951 of 2892

Getting ready to fly to a wedding for several days an I'm going to take my HP50's with me. I've got some K545's that I like a little better than the HP50's, but they don't isolate as well.

post #1952 of 2892
Quote:
Originally Posted by diamondears View Post


Do they use the HD800 to hear the real thing, or to be able to hear every detail and just compensate/adjust for the added treble to come out with the real thing (or close to it)?

 

The HD800 has pretty close to a linear response with a narrow small peak ( in most but not all HD800) in the treble a particular narrow frequency range. That is not the same things as "added treble". That is quite similar to how near-field monitors reproduce sound. 

My understanding from both personal interaction as well as reading, is that to the sound engineer's and musicians, the HD800 sounds very close to what the natural sound and timbre of the instrument is. If you take the time to understand the HP50 room feel concept, you would be able to comprehend why that approach is detrimental to accurate reproduction of unamplified music. This is because room feel compensates for the highly directional quality of a tweeter, which as there is no tweeter in this case, is meaningless for unamplified music reproduction. Hope this helps clarify things!

post #1953 of 2892
Quote:
Originally Posted by shabta View Post

The HD800 has pretty close to a linear response with a narrow small peak ( in most but not all HD800) in the treble a particular narrow frequency range. That is not the same things as "added treble". That is quite similar to how near-field monitors reproduce sound. 
My understanding from both personal interaction as well as reading, is that to the sound engineer's and musicians, the HD800 sounds very close to what the natural sound and timbre of the instrument is. If you take the time to understand the HP50 room feel concept, you would be able to comprehend why that approach is detrimental to accurate reproduction of unamplified music. This is because room feel compensates for the highly directional quality of a tweeter, which as there is no tweeter in this case, is meaningless for unamplified music reproduction. Hope this helps clarify things!
Again, the point is that real music (i.e., live music without speakers amplifying the sound) sounds more like the Harman curve rather than a sea-level-flat frequency response.

This is why even the HD800 doesnt have a completely flat frequency response. Otherwise it would sound too bright, not just right bright...lol

The directionality characteristic doesn't depend on whether the driver is a tweeter, woofer or subwoofer, it's actually dependent on the frequency. The lower the frequency, the more all-directional the sound is, and the higher the frequency the more one-directional it is. Hence, the Harman curve.

The RoomFeel technology isn't related to the Harman curve, it's just a way to get closer to the sound of music from speakers in a room---soundstaging, imaging and 3D stuff. So you can have a Harman curve that sounds like music from speakers in a room; or, you can have a flat frequency response that also sounds like it's coming from speakers in a room, it's just that the sound would now sound bright, those speakers inside the room are just bright, like the HD800...lmao

That's why if one "resets" their ears by not listening to any speakers or headphone for a while, and just listen to live sound without amplification, like a jazz ensemble or classical orchestra, when you subsequently listen to a HP with flat frequency response, it would sound bright, very bright. IMHO, the NAD or any HP with Harman curve will not sound bright but just right compared to that live music, or at least as claimed by Paul Barton and Tyll Hertsens.
post #1954 of 2892
You realize Paul Barton has done decades of research on this? It's not like he decided to make an HP and push the Harman curve into our throats; he's been using anechoic chambers and listening to different sound frequencies inside it his whole life. I'd certainly give him a listen.
post #1955 of 2892

Here we go again... :deadhorse:

post #1956 of 2892
Any of you have the chance to own/hear and compare side by side the NAD HP50 and the PSB M4U1? Which one is the later model issued/released, the M4U1?
post #1957 of 2892
Quote:
Originally Posted by diamondears View Post

Any of you have the chance to own/hear and compare side by side the NAD HP50 and the PSB M4U1? Which one is the later model issued/released, the M4U1?


The m4u2 was the first one they released, the m4u1 was released a year later and the hp50 is their most recent headphone.

post #1958 of 2892
Quote:
Originally Posted by chailee80 View Post


The m4u2 was the first one they released, the m4u1 was released a year later and the hp50 is their most recent headphone.
Thanks. I read somewhere the M4U1 came later than the HP50, that's why I'm wondering. So the HP50 may be the slightly "improved" version.

Have you had the chance to compare the two?
post #1959 of 2892

Tyll never really liked the PSB cans, but never said much about them.  He preferred the NAD enough to review it fully and rate it highly.  The PSB doesn't get the "respect" it deserves.

 

The release order was M4U-2, M4U-1, then HP50.  I had the M4U-1 and then the HP50.  Very similar sound, of course.  The HP50 had a bit more sparkle at the top, but for me the M4U-1 had a better bottom end (but not by much).  The midrange was just about identical.  Both are neutral with a cohesive response and have typical closed-can soundstaging.  The HP50 wasn't as comfortable for me as the M4U-1, because of the shape of the headband and the size/angle of the ear pads.  Neither is what you'd call attractive; they're kind of clunky headphones, with a precarious-feeling fit, and the PSB is rather large and bulky mostly because of that plastic headband.  Both tended to make my ears hot.  Sold them, and much prefer the Oppo PM-3.  But the PSB and NAD are excellent, as so many have noted.

 

I hate to say this, given Paul Barton's incredible audio design credentials, but IMHO the next generation of his headphones would benefit from better ergonomic design, a more svelte appearance, and more adjustability.  Closer fit, loss of bulk, and more attention to the way headphones feel when they're worn (not just how they sound).  

post #1960 of 2892
Quote:
Originally Posted by JML View Post

Tyll never really liked the PSB cans, but never said much about them.  He preferred the NAD enough to review it fully and rate it highly.  The PSB doesn't get the "respect" it deserves.

The release order was M4U-2, M4U-1, then HP50.  I had the M4U-1 and then the HP50.  Very similar sound, of course.  The HP50 had a bit more sparkle at the top, but for me the M4U-1 had a better bottom end (but not by much).  The midrange was just about identical.  Both are neutral with a cohesive response and have typical closed-can soundstaging.  The HP50 wasn't as comfortable for me as the M4U-1, because of the shape of the headband and the size/angle of the ear pads.  Neither is what you'd call attractive; they're kind of clunky headphones, with a precarious-feeling fit, and the PSB is rather large and bulky mostly because of that plastic headband.  Both tended to make my ears hot.  Sold them, and much prefer the Oppo PM-3.  But the PSB and NAD are excellent, as so many have noted.

I hate to say this, given Paul Barton's incredible audio design credentials, but IMHO the next generation of his headphones would benefit from better ergonomic design, a more svelte appearance, and more adjustability.  Closer fit, loss of bulk and more attention to the way headphones feel when they're worn (not just how they sound).  
Thanks Prof. Exactly what I'm looking for. Also thought the NAD had the more accurate sparkle (more) and sibilance (less) vs the PSB.
post #1961 of 2892

I've been using the HP50s for a few weeks now and I totally agree with you. They sound amazing but look odd and would surely benefit from a bit more design thought applied to their next iteration. It's a shame that so many headphones fall over at the design stage, conversely there's some really nicely designed cans that just don't have the SQ chops. Who's actually managed to get the 'Goldilocks' nailed? Are the PM-3s the way to go? Interesting to hear your thoughts on a comparison between the PM-3 and HP50...

post #1962 of 2892
Quote:
Originally Posted by JML View Post
 

Tyll never really liked the PSB cans, but never said much about them.  He preferred the NAD enough to review it fully and rate it highly.  The PSB doesn't get the "respect" it deserves.

 

The release order was M4U-2, M4U-1, then HP50.  I had the M4U-1 and then the HP50.  Very similar sound, of course.  The HP50 had a bit more sparkle at the top, but for me the M4U-1 had a better bottom end (but not by much).  The midrange was just about identical.  Both are neutral with a cohesive response and have typical closed-can soundstaging.  The HP50 wasn't as comfortable for me as the M4U-1, because of the shape of the headband and the size/angle of the ear pads.  Neither is what you'd call attractive; they're kind of clunky headphones, with a precarious-feeling fit, and the PSB is rather large and bulky mostly because of that plastic headband.  Both tended to make my ears hot.  Sold them, and much prefer the Oppo PM-3.  But the PSB and NAD are excellent, as so many have noted.

 

I hate to say this, given Paul Barton's incredible audio design credentials, but IMHO the next generation of his headphones would benefit from better ergonomic design, a more svelte appearance, and more adjustability.  Closer fit, loss of bulk, and more attention to the way headphones feel when they're worn (not just how they sound).  

Please share your thoughts on why the PM-3 is better. 

A local store was advertising the PM-3 on there website, so I dropped by. I brought the HP50s to compare. Unfortunately they said you can only order a pair of PM3s, for now they aren't planning to have a floor sample.

 

I did compare with the PM1s, my french is only so-so and I think the saleman got all excited about what he thought was me being interested in 1400 euro cans. He left me alone in a quiet room for an hour, I drove both out of my galaxy note 4.

 

The PM1s were better, partly because being open they had a wider soundstage with more air. Also, they were so silky smooth in the presentation. Not enough detail compared to other headphones in the same category, but more of the subtle stuff than the HP50. The highs on the PM1 though pretty relaxed has more sparkle than the HP50s The biggest difference was the bass. I find the HP50s slightly tilted towards the bass, but the PM1s dug deeper. Also the PM1s were more comfortable, surprising since they are heavier, but they are the first orthos that didn't give me neck pain. HP50s were definitely a darker headphone than the PM1s, which some people might prefer. What is amazing though is how good the HP50s sounded next to these super expensive (and overpriced) headphones, even if they didn't sound quite to the same level as the PM1s. 

 

Here is some of the music I tried: Beck The Golden Age, Miles Davis Kind of Blue, Steven Isserlis Beethoven Cello and Piano Sonatas, Steven Wilson Hand Cannot Erase.

 

If the PM3 has similar comfort and sound, wow.

post #1963 of 2892
Quote:
Originally Posted by diamondears View Post


Thanks. I read somewhere the M4U1 came later than the HP50, that's why I'm wondering. So the HP50 may be the slightly "improved" version.

Have you had the chance to compare the two?


Its been a while since i listened to both side by side, the biggest difference i remember is the m4u1 sounded more energetic and up-front sounding where as the hp50 is more laid back. The m4u1 had the same issue as the hp50 where the earcups did not reach down far enough to cover my ears properly but the headband is more curved than the hp50 so i didn't get a hotspot on the top of my head.


Edited by chailee80 - 4/16/15 at 4:09am
post #1964 of 2892
Quote:
Originally Posted by chailee80 View Post


Its been a while since i listened to both side by side, the biggest difference i remember is the m4u1 sounded more energetic and up-front sounding where as the hp50 is more laid back. The m4u1 had the same issue as the hp50 where the earcups did not reach down far enough to cover my ears properly but the headband is more curved than the hp50 so i didn't get a hotspot on the top of my head.
Thanks. I have same problem as yours exactly. I can't wait for Barton's next HP50. I'm sure he's working mainly on the comfort/ergonomics.
post #1965 of 2892
Quote:
Originally Posted by diamondears View Post


... I'm sure he's working mainly on the comfort/ergonomics.

 

That is a MUST, for me it doesn't matter how the headphone sounds good, if it not comfortable (at least 1 hour usage) then I give 0/10 score, pretty much useless to keep them.

Audezes and HP50 are ones that are useless and I value them $0. I really hope Paul listen to consumers. I can't wait for the next successor of HP50. :)

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