I happen to love trying out weird and different things, as evidenced by my setup a few years back which was a bit unusual to say the least. It included an Echofone which is a kind of super-tweeter for headphones as I described here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/278315/echofone-a-super-tweeter-for-headphone-users-or-the-hearing-impaired
A long time ago, I sold the Echofone as I found I did not need it with my MD5000 headphones. Now I am instead enjoying the full body and richness of the sound of my HD650s, but as I was sitting listening I suddenly had the desire to add the Echofone back to my system. The HD650s do not quite have the clarity and detail of the MD5000s and of course I want it all. But I am not about to buy another Echofone, expecially since it is not portable and I do not like to be limited to sitting near AC power.
Then I had a crazy idea. I use a DX100 as source with the line out feeding a Continental amp. But the DX100 of course also has headphone ouputs that function at the same time as the line out. I wondered if I put another set of headphones on my temples just like the Echofone, whether I could recreate the effect of the Echofone. It was as easy as grabbing my Sony MDR-XB500 headphones, plugging them in and putting them on top of my head with the pads resting on my temples instead of around my ears. This still transmits sound that I can hear, although just like the Echofone, the sound through my temples of the Sony's by themselves sounds like a bad telephone speaker. But I was also wearing the HD650s plugged into the Continental, and when I turned those up also, the sound of course filled in.
And it filled in very nicely. It was not like night and day, but there was a slight but enjoyable added depth and richness to the sound. Another strange thing is I liked it better with the left earpiece of the Sony on my right temple. I think that adds a bit more "crossfeed" to the effect by sending more left channel sound to my right ear and vice versa. So there was also more depth to the soundstage with both headphones on my head. The sound also shifts a little bit further forward and so is slightly more in front of me. One surprise is that I did not notice that much added detail which is what I was initially looking for, but I did discover something nice instead. Maybe a bit more detail, but not a lot. I am not sure the overall improvement is worth the bother, since it is only a slight upgrade in sound. I will have to play with it some more.
One drawback is that you look like a total goofball with two headphones on your head. Fortunately there is no one here but my wife, and she is used to me :)
Another concern is that in order to hear the effect I had to crank the DX100 volume all of the way which meant the Sony's were blasting sound at my temples (and they are very efficient headphones and the DX is very powerful). I did not hear it as very loud at all since they were not near my ears, but I wonder if the life of the Sony's would be dramatically shortened if I did this very often. They are not a huge investment so I am probably going to keep experimenting. And maybe there are some other headphones out there that would be more efficient at delivering the sound into the bones in my temples. The Sonys have big thick cusions that hold the speakers a bit away from my skin. Also they are bass heavy headphones which is kind of a waste since I can't really hear the bass through my temples.Anybody have a suggestion for some on the ear headphones that are extremely bright with a lot of treble? i figure on the ear headphones would bring the speaker diaphragms closer to my skin than the big around the ear cushions of the Sony's.
Have I lost my mind, or have I found my true calling in life as a mad inventor?
Edit added: It seems I can get by with a little less than full volume feeding the Sony's so maybe they will last longer than a few more hours of use I have the DX volume set at about 220 and then make up the difference with the volume control on the Continental for the sound feeding my HD650. Probably not good to use the DX100 at that level for long either.
Edit added: I found using Koss KSC75's which are on ear clip on headphones allows me to use less volume as described further down in this thread. However, I do not use them against my skin as I get more sound just hanging them off of a headband right in front of my HD650s.
Edited by Nirmalanow - 2/2/13 at 10:35am