To be honest I don't even like HP100 via portable amp (I've tried it with vorzuge duo, matrix mini and rhapsodio px-m1), the bass just isn't the same as with properly powered desktop amp. Despite the low ohm this cans do need proper amplification IMO.
Bigsby’s top cans for 2013: ep1 Soundmagic HP100- The Beyer Slayer, The Mid Monster, The Detail... - Page 7
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My old Sony A816 offers more punch then even the Asgard 2. The Asgard has a more "real" sounding solid bass with a tiny bit more definition. Subbass with both is about the same in clarity and definition. For me the differences are more in the treble. Via the Asgard 2 the treble is very detailed and smooth, with my A816 the treble sounds thin at times and not as clear.
I'm usually a user which overemphasizes difference in gear (see my HP100 vs HM5 comparison) but there's not much to overemphasize here. Differences are subtle at best. Maybe the Asgard 2 isn't the best match.
Edited by bizkid - 7/20/13 at 6:25am
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OK then I took these out of the box last night. At first I thought these aren't as big as what the pictures showed, and they are definitely a smaller form factor than my DT770 Pro that I just took off my head after arriving home from work.
I put them on and immediately the comfort of these headphones was obvious - i'm still a bit skeptical about the longer term because I have been burnt like that before - when I first put the ATH-ESW9 on my head I commented in forums that "it's like having pillows on your ears" but less than 2 months later I was no longer using them because they were too uncomfortable.
Anyway comfort is a big tick at this point in time.
I tried it unamped through my HTC One. It sounded a bit bland, dominated by midrange, but I tested the volume up and down a bit and they can get up a little bit above normal listening volume but you lose a lot of bass on the last few volume notches with HTC. Anyway I thought ok sensitivity is good, if they were 50 ohms+ impedance, but very low for 32 ohm headphones.
Fair enough, noisy motel did tell me that these benefit from amplification and i'm fine with that - i didn't buy these to play from unamped sources after all - i was just curious to see how they would go.
Next I tried it in my Nexus 7 tablet, also unamped and thought maybe if this can drive them suitably I could use it overnight for burn in, but that was a no go entirely - worse than the phone - but that's kind of what you'd expect since the HTC One has a built in amp and the Nexus doesn't.
Next I tried it with my Fiio E12. Yeah, this sounds much better, fuller and richer. OK great. I was a little dissappointed though because some people on head fi had commented these would improve with burn in, but I don't have a desktop amp. Over the weekend though i'll definitely put these through my E12 and into my Nexus and might play Pandora for 40 hours or so. (i use different headphones on the weekends, ATH-TAD500 for the football (AM radio commentary sounds great, and I can still hear what the crowd is shouting at the umpires :P) and maybe the SRH440 or M4U2's for the train into the city Saturday evening, i'm still deciding)
OK let's take them to work anyway. Morning comes, I get on the bus, and I slip these on. WOW - the isolation in these is terrific - probably better than the beyerdynamic DT770 which already has high isolation. BIG tick in being isolated with these.
On my way to work I was watching Breaking Bad on Netflix (i'm still in season 3) and that sounded good, but it's just voices.
After that episode was done I put on some music for the walk to work and this morning I decided to go for bass junkees radio, as "Dungeon Krew Airwaves" does their live show at this time on a friday morning. I was listening to the jungle style of drum and bass, kind of like reggae sped up with some rappers over the top if i had to use words to describe it.
The bass is disappointing at this time i have to say, but that may improve as time goes on. I tried using various equalizer settings and bass boost settings on my phone, and could find a sound i was OK with, but there wasn't much sub bass in it - the beyerdynamic can really down low into the sub bass region, and at this point in time it seems these can't.
At the bass levels peak, I could also detect resonance inside the headphone cabinet itself, and I don't drive it very loud. Perhaps it's a little unfair to compare the HP100 fresh out of the box to Beyerdynamic headphones i've been listening to for at least 3 years. Maybe these need a bit more bass boost to bring out the best in them for jungle/drum and bass type music, i've always thought the bass boost on the E11 was good - too heavy on setting 2 for the DT770s so maybe it will be right for this - i'll wait until after the weekend to try it.
One thing you have to remember about this genre of music is that it's some vocals, some drums and a whole lot of bass. If the bass is missing or sub par you are literally missing out on half the music.
That's not the type of music i listen to all the time though, i listen to a bit of everything. On my walk to lunch today i'll put on some pop music from the 90s and see how that goes, then some hard rock. I can see the potential in these headphones for someone who listens to a bit of everything, but if someone asked me today if I can reccomend these for hiphop, dnb, or dubstep, I'd be very reluctant to speak positively about the perforance of the HP100.
That's my early impressions anyway, but i'm not about to throw them in my unused headphones tub and write off $250. To have some problems with the bass this early on indicates they need some burn in with a wide variety of music, so I'll try that next.
Not as happy as what I was hoping to be. :(
I don't listen to much bass-heavy stuff, mainly acoustic folky music, so I can understand the desire for stronger bass. But for balance and clarity, I think the HP100s smack the DT 770s (the Beyers are my gaming/movie headphones).