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What do you think the new Sennheiser flagship will be? - Page 5

post #61 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by GL1TCH3D View Post

I've heard rumors here and there about a new senn electrostat as well.
Wondering if I should save up for this considering their past models being so valued now

From what I have heard, and I hope that is true, it will be a production model, not a 300 limited batch like orpheus. 

post #62 of 88

Why not a planar? That would really shake things up.

post #63 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
 

Why not a planar? That would really shake things up.

Indeed, it would, but they have experience with orpheus. I would prefer it to be in dynamics world, as I wouldn't need to change my amp, and get into the very expensive world of electrostat amps... 

post #64 of 88
Planars are too heavy. They sound great, but that problem is just never going to go away.

The companies with the big R&D budgets would spend their time better on perfecting dynamics (which are the most convenient variety) or electrostatics, which are already close to perfect as it is.

EDIT

Just wanted to expand on this point and as no one has posted since, I'll just edit this instead....

To my personal taste, electrostatic headphones currently sound best. My entire top five of headphones is comprised of electrostatic models, so it is exciting to me that Sennheiser may be developing a new ‘stat. That said, I do truly believe that the future of headphones is in dynamic drivers.

You have to think about headphone engineering and manufacture, at the high end anyway, as being a drive towards perfection in all aspects.

Sound quality should certainly be the number one priority, but comfort, weight, visual design, durability and convenience all have to be considered too. If a type of headphone has a barrier to flawlessness that is inherent in its technology, then it will never reach perfection.

Right now it seems –

Electrostatic
Pros – Right now, they have the best sound quality on aggregate (IMO), are light weight and can be comfortable
Cons – Need specialist, and very expensive gear to drive them, lack or portability

Planar Magnetic
Pros – Great sound quality, can be driven with conventional gear
Cons – Way too heavy to be considered ideal for wearing on your head, often very hard to drive and need specialist amps

Dynamic
Pros – Light weight and can be comfortable, can be driven by conventional gear, can be portable
Cons – So far, I have not found a dynamic headphone that really competes sound quality-wise with the best Electrostatic and Planar Magnetic Models

The reason I think that dynamic headphones are the future is that sound quality is always improving, while the ‘Cons’ of Planar Magnetic and Electrostatic headphones aren’t likely to be going anywhere. Electrostatic headphones will always need complicated set ups of specialist gear. Planar Magnetics will always be too heavy compared to the other kinds of headphones. When/if dynamic headphones can catch up sound quality-wise, then what reason would anyone have to choose another type of technology?

The perfect headphone (and it may never happen) would –

Sound absolutely perfect in every aspect
Be lightweight, comfortable and cool to wear
Be portable and driven by anything

Some may disagree, but I would add completely isolating outside sound to that too. If a type of headphone cannot ever conceivably meet all of those criteria, it is not the future of headphones. Only dynamic headphones really can.

A bit of a tangent, but I feel the same way about IEMs – that universal fits are the future and not custom moulds.

The only reason custom moulds have gained popularity in the past is that the sound quality threshold for universals topped out at mid-fi. I have been really puzzled by people saying about the new universals aiming for high end (such as Sennheiser and AKG’s new high end offerings in that market) “you could get customs for that price!”, as though the process of getting custom headphones made was actually desirable.

There is actually nothing convenient or ideal about needing to pay and take time to get impressions made, sending them off, wait weeks for custom shells to be made and being left with something only you can use with a drastically tanked re-sale value.

If universal IEMs get to the point where they sound as good, are as comfortable, and isolate sound as well as a custom, then why would anyone chose a custom?

Same goes for dynamic full size cans. If they sounded as good as electrostatics, then why would you bother with the huge expense and limited utility of a 'stat set up?

Honest question.
Edited by EddieE - 3/21/14 at 7:23am
post #65 of 88
This has been much discussed on the K812 thread (too much at one point). There might still be a sketch up of the driver. Maybe it was a planar; I don't remember because I was trying to ignore it there. Do a search for nomax if you're interested. Only please don't post about it there.
Edited by Claritas - 3/23/14 at 4:48am
post #66 of 88

It would make sense for them to make a planar headphone just for the simple reason that it seems to be the Fad nowadays. A good chance to make some money and diversify their product line.

post #67 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matrixnobu View Post

It would make sense for them to make a planar headphone just for the simple reason that it seems to be the Fad nowadays. A good chance to make some money and diversify their product line.

Well they didn't jump on the last ortho fad of the late seventies, or the multiple balanced armature IEM fad of the past few years.

Sennheiser aren't a "fad" kind of company, especially not at the high end division. They have their own ideas of what is right and wrong and ignore the broader market.

An electrostatic at least makes sense from a sound quality point of view, but why a Planar? They don't top stats for sound quality, dynamics for convenience. They really are a passing fad imo, and would be a diversion for Sennheiser.
post #68 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieE View Post

Planars are too heavy. They sound great, but that problem is just never going to go away.

The companies with the big R&D budgets would spend their time better on perfecting dynamics (which are the most convenient variety) or electrostatics, which are already close to perfect as it is.

EDIT

Just wanted to expand on this point and as no one has posted since, I'll just edit this instead....

To my personal taste, electrostatic headphones currently sound best. My entire top five of headphones is comprised of electrostatic models, so it is exciting to me that Sennheiser may be developing a new ‘stat. That said, I do truly believe that the future of headphones is in dynamic drivers.

You have to think about headphone engineering and manufacture, at the high end anyway, as being a drive towards perfection in all aspects.

Sound quality should certainly be the number one priority, but comfort, weight, visual design, durability and convenience all have to be considered too. If a type of headphone has a barrier to flawlessness that is inherent in its technology, then it will never reach perfection.

Right now it seems –

Electrostatic
Pros – Right now, they have the best sound quality on aggregate (IMO), are light weight and can be comfortable
Cons – Need specialist, and very expensive gear to drive them, lack or portability

Planar Magnetic
Pros – Great sound quality, can be driven with conventional gear
Cons – Way too heavy to be considered ideal for wearing on your head, often very hard to drive and need specialist amps

Dynamic
Pros – Light weight and can be comfortable, can be driven by conventional gear, can be portable
Cons – So far, I have not found a dynamic headphone that really competes sound quality-wise with the best Electrostatic and Planar Magnetic Models

The reason I think that dynamic headphones are the future is that sound quality is always improving, while the ‘Cons’ of Planar Magnetic and Electrostatic headphones aren’t likely to be going anywhere. Electrostatic headphones will always need complicated set ups of specialist gear. Planar Magnetics will always be too heavy compared to the other kinds of headphones. When/if dynamic headphones can catch up sound quality-wise, then what reason would anyone have to choose another type of technology?

The perfect headphone (and it may never happen) would –

Sound absolutely perfect in every aspect
Be lightweight, comfortable and cool to wear
Be portable and driven by anything

Some may disagree, but I would add completely isolating outside sound to that too. If a type of headphone cannot ever conceivably meet all of those criteria, it is not the future of headphones. Only dynamic headphones really can.

A bit of a tangent, but I feel the same way about IEMs – that universal fits are the future and not custom moulds.

The only reason custom moulds have gained popularity in the past is that the sound quality threshold for universals topped out at mid-fi. I have been really puzzled by people saying about the new universals aiming for high end (such as Sennheiser and AKG’s new high end offerings in that market) “you could get customs for that price!”, as though the process of getting custom headphones made was actually desirable.

There is actually nothing convenient or ideal about needing to pay and take time to get impressions made, sending them off, wait weeks for custom shells to be made and being left with something only you can use with a drastically tanked re-sale value.

If universal IEMs get to the point where they sound as good, are as comfortable, and isolate sound as well as a custom, then why would anyone chose a custom?

Same goes for dynamic full size cans. If they sounded as good as electrostatics, then why would you bother with the huge expense and limited utility of a 'stat set up?

Honest question.

 

Planars can be made much lighter and more efficient than today. The T50RP is 330 grams and if Sennheiser really put some effort with new lightweight materials and drivers with a slender design (looking at you MA900) I have no doubt they could make a planar at 250g. Perhaps even under 200 some day with some new lightweight type of driver.

 

Planars obviously need to get higher sensitive in order to be ultimate with any weak source. The LCD-X is 22 ohm and 96 dB so already quite easy to push. Make it 110 dB instead and it will not have any problem. Wondering what kind of compromise you have to make in order to boost up sensitivity.

 

Personally I suspect we can't push sound quality in dynamics as far as we can with planar in the future. My modded and EQd HD800 with Isone sound pretty darn good, but it still lack some texture in the bass and the mids are not the best with a somewhat still too rough treble. A bit too grainy as well. Nitpicking but still.

Will planars of the future have the treble resolution of the best current stat? 

post #69 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweden View Post

Planars can be made much lighter and more efficient than today. The T50RP is 330 grams and if Sennheiser really put some effort with new lightweight materials and drivers with a slender design (looking at you MA900) I have no doubt they could make a planar at 250g. Perhaps even under 200 some day with some new lightweight type of driver.

Planars obviously need to get higher sensitive in order to be ultimate with any weak source. The LCD-X is 22 ohm and 96 dB so already quite easy to push. Make it 110 dB instead and it will not have any problem. Wondering what kind of compromise you have to make in order to boost up sensitivity.

Personally I suspect we can't push sound quality in dynamics as far as we can with planar in the future. My modded and EQd HD800 with Isone sound pretty darn good, but it still lack some texture in the bass and the mids are not the best with a somewhat still too rough treble. A bit too grainy as well. Nitpicking but still.
Will planars of the future have the treble resolution of the best current stat? 

The T50RP is not a flag ship. All the flagships of both late 70s and current ortho fads had big drivers which meant loads of magnets which meant heavy headphones.

You can't know that we won't push dynamics as far as planars. Certainly in the speaker market there are many models of dynamic speakers that have entirely solved the problems that still exist with headphone dynamics, so it is more logical to think that they will. While Electrostatic and Planar Magnetic speakers like Quads and Magnepans are well regarded, there is no matching consensus in the world of speaker hifi that they are inherently superior as there is in the headphone world. Inatead you will find dynamic models at the high end being much more popular.

I have nothing against planars, I've owned a few models and my pride and joy are the planar MMG speakers. I just see them as a deadened in the headphone market. All the good ones have large drivers, and they are all too heavy. Electrstatics are already a better option sound quality wise, and once dynamics catch up, there will be no reason to consider orthos or stats.
Edited by EddieE - 3/25/14 at 1:05am
post #70 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieE View Post


The T50RP is not a flag ship. All the flagships of both late 70s and current ortho fads had big drivers which meant loads of magnets which meant heavy headphones.

You can't know that we won't push dynamics as far as planars. Certainly in the speaker market there are many models of dynamic speakers that have entirely solved the problems that still exist with headphone dynamics, so it is more logical to think that they will. While Electrostatic and Planar Magnetic speakers like Quads and Magnepans are well regarded, there is no matching consensus in the world of speaker hifi that they are inherently superior as there is in the headphone world. Inatead you will find dynamic models at the high end being much more popular.

I have nothing against planars, I've owned a few models and my pride and joy are the planar MMG speakers. I just see them as a deadened in the headphone market. All the good ones have large drivers, and they are all too heavy. Electrstatics are already a better option sound quality wise, and once dynamics catch up, there will be no reason to consider orthos or stats.


Indeed you might be right. Open dynamic drivers have a technical limitation of not being able to produce linear deep bass like orthos and stats. Nothing a little EQ can't fix though. I suspect there is where the real future lies. The combination of corrective software and light easy to drive/wireless headphones.                                                                                                                                                                        

post #71 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweden View Post


Indeed you might be right. Open dynamic drivers have a technical limitation of not being able to produce linear deep bass like orthos and stats. Nothing a little EQ can't fix though. I suspect there is where the real future lies. The combination of corrective software and light easy to drive/wireless headphones.                                                                                                                                                                        

In an open back design perhaps, but if we are talking about striving toward perfection closed back is the future.

Open headphones were only over a solution to a problem, and a problem modern R&D may be able to solve.

A closed back headphone that is light and comfortable, can be listened to in public, powered by a high quality digital player and sounds perfect in every way. That ticks every box and so should be tje ideal.

That's the future manufacturers should be striving for, regardless of how long that journey might take. Stats and orthos, no matter how good they might sound now, don't really have a place in that future.

They are the better options right now, while we wait for technology to catch up and offer us all the sonic benefits with none of the inconveniences of contemporary head phone hifi.
post #72 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieE View Post


In an open back design perhaps, but if we are talking about striving toward perfection closed back is the future.

Open headphones were only over a solution to a problem, and a problem modern R&D may be able to solve.

A closed back headphone that is light and comfortable, can be listened to in public, powered by a high quality digital player and sounds perfect in every way. That ticks every box and so should be tje ideal.

That's the future manufacturers should be striving for, regardless of how long that journey might take. Stats and orthos, no matter how good they might sound now, don't really have a place in that future.

They are the better options right now, while we wait for technology to catch up and offer us all the sonic benefits with none of the inconveniences of contemporary head phone hifi.

I'm not so sure R&D will give closed back an edge over open back when it comes to sound alone.  The really good closed backs like R10 and LCD-XC sound open but can they ever sound as open as a HD800? And unless you want to use some smart DSP the cup size need to be on the larger side, so not really something everybody would want to walk around with.

I'm also interested in how much potential in-ears have looking 20 years in the future. Having the drivers so close to the ear canal might give them an edge when it comes to detail. They also isolates a great deal more than the most passive isolating portable over-ear.

post #73 of 88

I dunno. I kinda disagree. One of the flaws of open back is that the optimal sound requires a silent environment. Closed back eliminates that problem and yes, obviously you lose the "open" sound, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Open vs closed sound isn't an objective "one is superior" thing, the open back came about as a solution to a problem as said above. Namely, the problem of a closed speaker having chamber problems because the soundwaves couldn't "breathe". Semi-open or vented closed-back enclosures seem to be on the road to eliminating this issue.

 

Saying "can they sound as open as an HD800" is a loaded question because that implies that the open sound of the HD800 is the end goal. I don't think it is. I down own the HD800s, but I've used them more than once and yes, they are AMAZING headphones. I love 'em. But I admit that the open nature of them results in some slight problems. We're at a point where closed headphones are offering wide soundstages and more air in the audio. Reviews of the LCD-XC seem to express disbelief at the ability of a closed headphone to sound open. It can be done. 

post #74 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by SomeGuyDude View Post
 

I dunno. I kinda disagree. One of the flaws of open back is that the optimal sound requires a silent environment. Closed back eliminates that problem and yes, obviously you lose the "open" sound, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Open vs closed sound isn't an objective "one is superior" thing, the open back came about as a solution to a problem as said above. Namely, the problem of a closed speaker having chamber problems because the soundwaves couldn't "breathe". Semi-open or vented closed-back enclosures seem to be on the road to eliminating this issue.

 

Saying "can they sound as open as an HD800" is a loaded question because that implies that the open sound of the HD800 is the end goal. I don't think it is. I down own the HD800s, but I've used them more than once and yes, they are AMAZING headphones. I love 'em. But I admit that the open nature of them results in some slight problems. We're at a point where closed headphones are offering wide soundstages and more air in the audio. Reviews of the LCD-XC seem to express disbelief at the ability of a closed headphone to sound open. It can be done. 

While the open headphones vs closed headphones may be subjective to some, I think that the best headphones in the world are open headphones : sr009, sr007, hd800, lcd-3, lcd-x, he6, etc.

 

I have never heard a closed headphone to reach the fidelity of a good open one. I am not saying that the closed headphones are bad, but to my ears they lack some of the features that make the open headphones great. Even with LCD-XC vs LCD-X that have the almost the same tech inside. While XC is just awesome, and it may be the best closed headphone I have heard, it doesn't reach the performance of LCD-X.

post #75 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieE View Post


In an open back design perhaps, but if we are talking about striving toward perfection closed back is the future.

Open headphones were only over a solution to a problem, and a problem modern R&D may be able to solve.

A closed back headphone that is light and comfortable, can be listened to in public, powered by a high quality digital player and sounds perfect in every way. That ticks every box and so should be tje ideal.

That's the future manufacturers should be striving for, regardless of how long that journey might take. Stats and orthos, no matter how good they might sound now, don't really have a place in that future.

They are the better options right now, while we wait for technology to catch up and offer us all the sonic benefits with none of the inconveniences of contemporary head phone hifi.


Isn't it so obvious that full-size desktop systems will always have higher potential than portable devices? Not only for audio, basically any purposes. Just think about the design constraints...

Nice portable setups may become more readily available in the future, but apparently desktop setups will be able to perform even better by that time.

 

Btw, as long as we're listening to music reproduction via sound-waves, I don't really see much game-changing improvement can be made to current situation. The ultimate solution should be something like block ear-hearing and listen to music at neuron level.

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