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Testing headphones before buying with unexpected results

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone,


I've been following the head-fi forums for the last few weeks trying to attempt to get up to speed with you guys. 


I've had a Kef sound system for a few years and an onkyo 875 for a few years, I've had to move away and leave it behind and finding it hard to cope without hearing decent music so I've been looking to get an amp and headphones to fill in for it.


I've went for the Woo Audio WA7 fireflies. Mainly since I'm not at home it's hard to have lots of components lying around, DAC + amp built in and if I want to upgrade later then maybe just use it as a DAC and plug a better amp on the end.


The main reason I'm posting is I'm struggling with the headphones, I tested in store and had some unexpected results.


After reading a lot of your posts and trying to compare to what I look for from audio the choices were:


Beyerdynamic T1




I read through the battle of the flagships thread on your forum and everyone's personal opinions but the general response was go and test for yourself as we all want something different from the music. I tried them all out and the result wasn't as straight forward as I hoped.



In theory I was set on the T1 as it's described as an all rounder so it seemed like the best idea, ok price (compared to HD800) and decent bass. Initially it was the hd800 but the amp included started to seem like too much.


When I tested the T1 and HD800 they do sound amazing in their own right but I found both really uncomfortable to listen to my type of music, it didn't make sense considering these are some of the market leaders. The music I was testing it on was mainly D&B, dubstep, deep house and general electronic ambient chill out. 


The high frequencies, the hi hats and the letter "S" in vocals was going right through me, it was really uncomfortable and I could only handle medium volumes at best. They sounded like when the treble and tone are too high and the sound becomes tinny. The shop owner was blaming it on my samples of music but I've never had the issue on my kef sound system with far higher volumes. 


Then I tried the LCD2 and it sounded great although not as highly reviewed as the T1 and HD800. It sounded like it improved all the music and no issues with high frequencies and no issues with words with S. 


Could it be the amp that it was being tested on or is it something unique to me? I took a note of it, a Meirer Audio Corda Classic.


I was kind of hoping it would be blatantly obvious or at least rely on the threads here as you guys know far more about it than I do.


Any thoughts on this would be appreciated



post #2 of 4

its the music

ive tested them and imho the dont have enough bass quantity for electronic

orthos would be better for what you listen to i think

post #3 of 4

Well, the LCD2 is known to be pretty good for those genres. Not sure if the HD800 likes that amp, but the HD800 is very picky with its amps..

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

Appreciate the quick response!


Thats good to know it wasn't just me doing something wrong. I'll bring in other genres to test the next time. 


I'm basically looking for powerful bass thats smooth and not muddy without affecting mid tones if possible. I always find that good bass gives the music more depth. I think the term is dark looking through the audio glossary of terms.


I'm going to lose all respect for admitting this but my current headphones are beats (don't ban me!) it was purely a bored in duty free and feeling the need to buy anything at all impulse buy. They've done the job till now but no longer good enough as my only way of listening to music at the moment.


Going from the KEF sound system to the beats is pretty awful, the lack of clarity isn't just marginal but blatant. The KEF speakers retain the heavy bass without affecting the mid tones and sound so clear the audio just sounds perfectly clean in comparison.

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