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HE-500 or T1? Advice needed

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Hi Guys,

 

I am looking to buy my first set of High-End HPs. I currently own Denon AH-D1000 and for last few days D7100 but they are going to be returned as they do not meet my expectations.

 

However still, the D7100 have opened my eyes (ears? ;) ) to what can be achieved with sound and obviously they left me wanting for more of this sound goodness but in more controlled and more neutral fashion.

 

So here I am facing the choice of either T1 or HE-500. The HP amp will be chosen, to fit best, chosen HPs as the next step. So AMP is open thing.

 

I am listening mostly to lossless quality audio in FLAC format, while slowly building my library of high resolution files.

 

I listen to most of genres across the board, with close to nothing, from classical (but I think this will be changing slowly as the quality of the HP is showing me the richness of this genre) and quite a lot from electronic end of spectrum with almost of everything in between with a substantial amount of indie rock in the middle but also all-time greats.


Thanks for all advice and views on subject !


Edited by sebna - 2/2/13 at 4:31pm
post #2 of 22

Judging by your preferred music styles and current headphone choices, I'm guessing you're wanting something with really good bass? If so, I don't think either the T1 or HE-500 are going to provide you with much better bass than the D7100's.  If the T1 is in your price range, I would suggest looking at some LCD-2's instead, as those have better bass (though, darker than the T1's and HE-500's).  Another decent choice if you just want to experiment with a different sound signature, would be the HE-400. But if you want to go all-out with something that is sure to provide solid bass, then the TH-900's are probably the most notable ones in that area, although quite pricey. I've heard good things about the Ultrasone Signature Pro's as well (relative to the TH-900's), and they're closer to the T1 in terms of price, so those might be another option to consider. I personally have no experience with Ultrasone cans myself though, so you might want to do a bit more research on those first.


Edited by oblique63 - 2/2/13 at 4:46pm
post #3 of 22

First, there's obviously quite a large price difference between the T1 and the HE-500, so if money is a concern than there may be some advantages to the HE-500s in terms of left-over funds for an amp and dac.

 

I recently demo'd the HE-500s for 3 days, and I listen to mostly classical and jazz (probably 75%) with the other 25% comprising pretty much all genres.  I loved the HE-500s for jazz, but prefer both my Beyer 880/600s and HD-650s for classical to the HE-500s.  The HE-500s just lacked "something" when it came to listening to most classical.  I go to the symphony often (15+ times a year) so my subjective judgement for listening to classical music is how much it sounds like the live music I listen to so often.  Soundstage is probably part of what I found lacking, but overall I would not recommend the HE-500s for classical listening (which you don't do much of, but hey, I can only write about what I heard, haha).

 

That said, the HE-500s were excellent for jazz, and readily replicated the intimate feeling of a small club, and the tightly controlled bass was a treat on many tracks.  They were similarly excellent for rock, metal, and some acoustic/bluegrass recordings. 

 

I've only been able to try the T1s in a shop for a few minutes, so I can't really speak to their sound, but I do love my Beyer DT 880s, for what it's worth.  To me, the T1s are a much more comfortable headphone than the HE-500s.  I have a fairly large head (har har), and the HE-500s were borderline uncomfortable in their clamping force.  I've read from a few other owners that you can bend the metal headphone band to make the fit a little more loose, but I did not want to do this on the demo pair obviously.  The HE-500s are also heavy, the T1s as I remember them are much lighter. 

 

Either pair are great headphones, and if you have any way of listening to either or both before buying I'd highly recommend it.

 

 

P.S. - Off topic a bit, but try ABXing your FLACs to 320 or even 192 MP3s, you might be surprised.  I used to spend a lot of money at HD Tracks, but after doing some testing I largely went back to Amazon MP3s/CDs and saved some money (which is of course now spent on other silly things related to this hobby).

post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 

Sorry I should me more precise - I am looking to return D7100 because of too much of the bass.... I am not bass head at all. I like bass but in balanced way with all other frequencies. Just the way it was meant by the author of the music.

 

I matched those two sets of HPs together as I can get both for exactly same money but really nothing more then that so we are talking around 700-1100$ as I need to buy a amp as well (in EU i can get them both for around 1100$).

 

Cant really listen to them before the purchase. It has to be solely based on written reviews.

 

Thanks


Edited by sebna - 2/2/13 at 6:28pm
post #5 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by sebna View Post

Sorry I should me more precise - I am looking to return D7100 because of too much of the bass.... I am not bass head at all. I like bass but in balanced way with all other frequencies. Just the way it was meant by the author of the music.

 

I matched those two sets of HPs together as I can get both for exactly same money but really nothing more then that so we are talking around 700-1100$ as I need to buy a amp as well (in EU i can get them both for around 1100$).

 

Cant really listen to them before the purchase. It has to be solely based on written reviews.

 

Thanks

The way the artist intended the bass to sound is still also a subjective matter, cause if they mixed their stuff with a good subwoofer, then you're gonna need phones with a slight boost in the bass to recreate that accurately; this goes especially for electronic music. And yes, bass quality is more important than quantity for me personally as well, but even then, I have yet to hear many phones that can even match the quality of the bass of my D600's (they're crap for everything else, but the bass is top-notch); hence I was unsure when recommending a step-up from the D7100's. But I digress...

If you can only pick from those two, I'd say the HE-500 is the more balanced one, and has decent bass when driven well. I'm not sure how much LCD-2's go for in the EU, but I would recommend those even more if they're not out of your price range, because those are pretty much just as balanced (though darker), but have better bass extension.

post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 

And would you not be bothered by the fact that after all the T1 are top of the line while HE-500 are close to it but not exactly a flagship? I mean in the sense of future pairing any of those HPs with some high end AMPs and DACs and possibly one of them reaching their limits earlier then other in terms of ultimate SQ in their specific sound signature? Also the official guidence for price range is a bit different and mismatched by far, which, at least in theory should warrant for better quality?

 

How would you compare your D600 to yours HiFi Mans and D2000 and Beyerdynamic? You mentioned that they are probably worse in anything but bass but by how much or would you reconsider ? :D

 

Very useful info here guys :) Keep it coming and thanks.


Edited by sebna - 2/2/13 at 7:37pm
post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by sebna View Post

And would you not be bothered by the fact that after all the T1 are top of the line while HE-500 are close to it but not exactly a flagship? I mean in the sense of future pairing any of those HPs with some high end AMPs and DACs and possibly one of them reaching their limits earlier then other in terms of ultimate SQ in their specific sound signature? Also the official guidence for price range is a bit different and mismatched by far, which, at least in theory should warrant for better quality?

Nope, can't say it would bother me.. once we get to those price levels, it's really more about sound signature preference than actual technical ability. I only demoed the T1's briefly, and it was at the same time that I was first demoing the HD800's, so my memory of them might be slightly skewed because of that (since I was totally blown away by the HD800's). Given that I had such a short period to try them, I can't really say how they would scale with different amps, especially compared to Hifimans which are known to scale really well with more power. But don't get me wrong, the T1's were definitely good, but they were basically just like a nicer version of my DT880's. This means that they were a tiny bit on the bright side to be neutral, the bass wasn't as extended as I would like, and the mids were just a tad bit recessed. Compare this to the hifimans, which are also very well balanced, but have tamer and more well extended treble, and great forward mids, plus punchier bass (though, still lacking in extension), then you can see why I would recommend them. The Beyers are more detailed, and have a nicer soundstage than the Hifimans, but I'm not sure if those are areas you care about?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sebna View Post
How would you compare your D600 to yours HiFi Mans and D2000 and Beyerdynamic? You mentioned that they are probably worse in anything but bass but by how much or would you reconsider ? :D

Well... apart from the two denons, those are all very different. I haven't actually listened to the D2000's, only my D5000's (both modded and stock), but compared to the D600's, they are certainly the more balanced phone due to the D600's [more deeply] recessed mids and lacking treble extension. That being said, if I'm to be totally, brutally honest... I've kinda taken a shine to the D600's despite their flaws, and like them just as much as the D5000's eek.gif. I certainly listen to them a lot more than my D5000's, that's for sure. I guess that since I have plenty of other phones to deliver 'balance' and 'neutrality', I don't really crave it when listening to bass-centric cans like the Denons. Compared to the Beyers, the Beyers are quite a bit more balanced than the Denons with their tamer treble and more forward mids, but the bass is still not as well extended. Despite being significantly more bass-shy than the Denons, I would say the quality of the bass on the DT880's might actually be a bit better than the stock D5000's (but not better than the D600's). The beyers are also definitely more detailed, and have great imaging that the Denons can't quite match.


As for the Hifimans, they are easily more neutral and balanced than the Denons, but I also find them to be a lot more neutral and detailed than my 880's (as described in the first part above). The bass however, still doesn't compare to the D600's, and I like my HD800's better for everything else (including bass texture, extension, and slam, surprisingly -- despite having less bass), so I don't use my Hifimans very much anymore. To clarify, I am mainly talking about my HE-5LE's here (which are supposedly closer to the HE-6's in sound), but I have tried the HE-500's and I would say pretty much all of what I've said so far applies to them just as well; the main difference being the level of detail that they both have. The HE-500's are a tad bit more lush and forgiving than the HE-5LE's, but I would have to listen to them again to be sure about how they compare vs the Beyers.


Edited by oblique63 - 2/2/13 at 9:07pm
post #8 of 22

T1 should be great for your needs. Deep extending bass that doesn't rumble, and a VERY large, open sound stage. Sublime imaging as well. As much as I love my D7000, I've never been wow'd like with the T1 since the D5000.

post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by LinkPro View Post

T1 should be great for your needs. Deep extending bass that doesn't rumble, and a VERY large, open sound stage. Sublime imaging as well. As much as I love my D7000, I've never been wow'd like with the T1 since the D5000.

Doesn't answer OP's question though.

 

Edit: actually OP has already decided on HE500 (in another thread), I just realized.

post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

Doesn't answer OP's question though.

 

Edit: actually OP has already decided on HE500 (in another thread), I just realized.

He asked T1 or HE-500, I suggested T1, not sure what else he asked though, only read the first post...I hate reading.

post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by LinkPro View Post

He asked T1 or HE-500, I suggested T1, not sure what else he asked though, only read the first post...I hate reading.

That's the thing though, these threads where people ask about what is best between two choices, comparative opinions between those two specific choices will help them decide, not absolute ones. 

 

 

 

"A or B, which is better for me?"

 

"B is good!"

 

"If it isn't good, then I wouldn't even be considering it. I need to know if it is better or worse than A."

 

 

See what I mean?


Edited by jerg - 2/2/13 at 11:54pm
post #12 of 22

I'm basing my suggestion in comparison with the D7100 and the D7000. Does that make it any better? I didn't say anything about the HE-500 simply for the reason that I have not tried it, but if you must, based on what I read the HE-500 seems like another bassy ortho, which may or may not be the best choice in this case.

 

I don't think we have a lot of people who have both headphones, let alone able to form credible opinions about them.

post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by LinkPro View Post

I'm basing my suggestion in comparison with the D7100 and the D7000. Does that make it any better? I didn't say anything about the HE-500 simply for the reason that I have not tried it, but if you must, based on what I read the HE-500 seems like another bassy ortho, which may or may not be the best choice in this case.

 

I don't think we have a lot of people who have both headphones, let alone able to form credible opinions about them.


Sorry, I don't mean to pick on you, but I'm gonna have to side with jerg on this one; that description is definitely not what I would use to describe the HE-500 at all... In any case, I'm sure a thorough/detailed comparison of the T1 vs D7100 would've still been useful for the OP if he hadn't already made up his mind.

post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 

Well you know how it is guys. I made up my mind yesterday but today is another day :D and as long as I did not pay my money then the case is open and question will be lurking.

 

I made up my mind based on opinions from HE-500 thread (thank you guys for help and input!) but I will always welcome new opinions and views on subject especially if someone can make a comparison of any, or all of, the three for me (D7100 - D600, T1, HE-500).

 

I bought D7100 at very good promo price (less than half of listing) and even though I knew about their shortcomings - I looked at them as a bonus actually, because they are like no other in a way and because of that they will always be something of worthy companion in the collection.

 

However at the same time they are my first High-End HPs and I am not sure if for the same limiting experience because of their pros and cons they should be my first and only ones for the moment even considering the tempting price tag (55% discount).

 

If they would be my 2nd HPs I would keep them for sure, but they are my first ones :( and maybe I should go for something more neutral and versatile because of it. Especially that I dont know either when or if I will be able to buy additional high-end pair ever again.

 

D7100 are very detailed to me (no comparison to any other High-End) and I like it a lot and would like not to lose it when switching to HE-500.

 

Could any of you guys compare D7100 or even D600 details to other headphones possibly to any of in my interest range - are they detailed a lot in comapre to rest of high-end or just common? would they be more detailed then HE-500 and how in compare to T1?

 

But basically any comparison on any level is welcomed as it just might get my closer to making this, hard, final decision and make me forget about the whole story and enjoy waiting for the moment when I can order :) (yeah as if this would ever happen, I will keep reading to try to answer the question with the whole certainty which is impossible to do without listening  - but with every answer, and advice I am getting closer to it which is very helpful)

 

Thanks to all contributors

post #15 of 22

Sebna : What source are you using ? (you mention amp and DAC but didn't state what you're using)

Depending on that you may choose one or the other.

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