Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › [REVIEW] HiFiMAN HE-500 vs Sennheiser HD600
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

[REVIEW] HiFiMAN HE-500 vs Sennheiser HD600 - Page 8

post #106 of 238
Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Camper View Post

Welcome to the "you underpowered them" corner. When I first started listening to the LCD and HE, both sounded like you described. Cavernous and diffuse centerstage. I could get plenty loud on my headphone amps and even the couple speaker amps I used and the left and right staging was beautiful. It wasn't until I put some serious speaker amp power to the HE that the staging and echo effect stopped and the intimate feel and cohesive soundstage was offered up. Lots of people think volume is the measure of an amp. This journey has shown me an amp has a lot of influence on the sound. The most influence is the spatial cues that form the soundstage. If you think the 500s are strange, listen to the 6s underpowered.
 

 

 

I like your writing style, Happy Camper.

 

I'm not sure I understand the difference between speaker amps and "serious speaker amp power". I used 80 watts per channel, through the headphone jack, of course. Are you talking from the speaker outs?

 

You know, no reflection on you or anyone else here, but I get kind of bored with this "if you'd used the right amp/more powerful amp all those faults would have disappeared" thing. It's not that I doubt it; it's just that I feel plugging a pair of headphones into an 80 watts per channel amp ought to be enough, and if it isn't then I'm happy to find a headphone that's easier to please. I had the LCD-2 Mk1 and never heard any cavernous effects, so why should the HE-500 be so picky just because it's an ortho? Why do you have to wrestle these headphones to the ground and bitch slap them before they sound any good? Nah, I'm too old and grumpy to bother. I'll just stick with my inferior, mid-fi DT880, revel in its peerless comfort and try to pretend that it's actually a $2000 Superphone.

post #107 of 238
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalFreak View Post


Throw some pics up my man. I'll probably be heading down the tubey road myself now that I'm a Q701 owner.

 

Will do. I'll put them up on the diary thread once I get it hooked up.

post #108 of 238
Quote:
Originally Posted by wje View Post

My review and comparison of the Sennheiser HD-600 and the HifiMAN HE-500 is as follows.  I am driving both of these headphones with an Audio-GD NFB-12 at the moment.

 

The result?  I'm keeping both headphones as the only headphones that I'll own for my primary listening for at least the next few years I'm sick of going through upgrades that don't necessarily materialize in being a true upgrade.  I'm also sick of losing money as I go through an upgrade that ends up turning out to be a side-grade exchange, at best.

 

Each member here will have their own preferences for headphones and amps.  I don't think one has to get all technical and perform their testing in a true analytic manner.  We just need to keep what we hear as something that gives us enjoyment.  For gosh sakes, we're not creating life-altering medications here.  At the end of the day, all that matters is that the listener is happy with what they hear so that they can form an enjoyable relationship with their music.

 

 

'Nuff said.

You sound like you've just given up in dismay, Wayne frown.gif

 

On the other hand it's good that you've just realised that the tunes are what counts at the end of the day. No more analysing, looking for flaws in the equipment or aspects that "probably" could be better lay out from some other phone or amp or whatever. Just enjoying the creativity and emotion of the artist can be far more pleasing to the soul indeed.

 

From a personal perspective, despite the fact that here and there I may get new toys to play with, I'm just not expecting miracles or revelations from the hardware. There's just that point where you reach much of what can really be expected from good kit - change becomes more a side step than an upgrade. Some call it personal preferences. Change is good. Enjoying music is even better (and way cheaper). 

post #109 of 238
The definition of serious amp power in my point is intended to mean quality power, not necessarily quantity. I've heard high wattage amps sound terrible and good depending on the quality of amp. I've heard low wattage amps sound just as good but they had a lot of current capacity. I think for the 500s, a lot less than 80 watts is fine. But it had better be able to handle demand when you are listening to complex material. That soundstage is held together with enough power to make a full representation of the illusion. When the amp stalls because not enough current is available, the soundstage is the first thing that goes.

The larger wattage amps have the reserve capacity to support the ortho. No different with the maggies. You can't strap on a budget receiver to a pair of maggies without taking the chance of serious performance issues. They work better with amps that can handle the constant load with peak reserves, The amount of power is up to each listener as to how much is enough as the headphone will only draw what's needed for the desired db, not the entire output of the amp. If you have any question as to a difference, check out the http://www.head-fi.org/t/629352/he-500-lcd2-d5000-dt770-sr80-on-a-speaker-amp-emotiva-mini-x-a-100-project to see what affect it had on the sound compared to the shiny new "good enough" headphone amps. While the 500s aren't near as hard to drive as the 5/6, it does benefit from more juice. The best I've heard the 6s were on a 10 watt speaker amp.

So if one gathers that I'm talking about strapping on some 500 watt monoblocks, you misunderstand. It's not the amount of wattage possible but the current needed to maintain the illusion.
Edited by Happy Camper - 3/26/13 at 5:49pm
post #110 of 238

having sat infront of the drummer for many years n watching him tune his drums...

i marvelled at what a drumset could/should sound like. 

 

the skin, the tension, the woodframe, the drumsticks, the felt he taped on...the mic positioning...how its anchored down..the platform..n the various hi hats, its a mathematical monstrosity how it could be tuned..:P

 

but he methodically tuned it until he smiled... having convinced himself he had arrived at his reference sound,  a black art indeed.

i have no quarrel with that...as long as he keeps his beat :P

beerchug.gif

post #111 of 238
Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post

1) Thanks

2) Please tell me how I'll know when the HE-500 is "being driven properly," because that seems to be an excuse for the HE-500 when someone says it's not the best in the world. My amp puts out about 2W of power (I measured), but if the HE-500 requires more than that, I'm not interested. I said I can get it to "too loud" levels at 50%. I listen at about 35%

3) What exactly does the HE-500 do better? I've done an objective comparison using tracks that are easily tracable. Anyone can repeat my tests and come to similar conclusions if they don't have any biases.

4) I'm happy that you can afford a $2,000 system at your tender age. However, price is no indication of quality. I think you should have learned that by now, Master Reviewer. wink.gif
2W at 32 Ohm? If so, then yeah, you're not under powering it.
post #112 of 238
Quote:
Originally Posted by xaval View Post

You sound like you've just given up in dismay, Wayne frown.gif

 

Given up?  Not at all.  If  you look at all of the transactions that I've done over the past few years, you can see how I've tried many flavors out.  In the end, I've just decided to stop with the HE-500, the HD-600 and my HD-555, which I use as my sleeping headphones.  Amps?  Same thing.  Tried a few.  Determined that for me, the NFB-12 would satisfy 90% of my needs, so I'm set.

 

When you get into the cycle of analyzing the paper specs and then convincing yourself that something, on paper, would potentially be better than what you currently have, you get into a box.  Then, you realize you made a mistake, so you do additional purchases or exchanges to get out of the situation you've gotten into.  Finally, you realize you're spending more time swapping hardware than listening to music.  That is when one gets to the point where I am.  Realizing that enough is enough.  Thus, I'm in a content and satisifed state at the moment.

 

I just want to enjoy the music.  The HE-500 will give me the impact that I want when I have time for some serious listening.  When I desire a lighter pair of headphones for other types of listening, the HD-600 comes into play.  Both end up getting used interchangeably.  Both have me satisfied.

 

Not giving up ... just admitting that I've arrived at my destination.  wink.gif

post #113 of 238
And that is a hard habit to kick. I salute your ability to make the call and stand by it. I'm at that point and then Justin brings out an amp that makes the hd800s the frontrunner in my reference. Oh this hobby.
post #114 of 238

HE-500 was cavernous to me until I changed the earpads to velours which improved them a lot. Though I did sell them in the end and I really do prefer the HD650 to HE-500.

 

HE-500 does sound a bit better than the HD650 when you immediately change but when I went back to the HD650 after one week of HE-500 I realized what I was missing. So HE-500 went to sale.

post #115 of 238
Thread Starter 

Updated OP with more concise comparison.

post #116 of 238
Thread Starter 

Edited and bumped for posterity:

 

 

 

Quote:

The HE-500's sound stage (and overall sound) compared to the the HD600's can be described as such: 

 

Imagine two rooms of equal size/dimensions. One room is furnished as a family room, while the other is a bachelor's living room. The family room has a 40 inch television, along with a few couches, side tables, and plush chairs. The bachelor's living room has an 80 - inch television, but only a tiny leather sofa. On first glance the bachelor pad may seem more open and appealing, but over time you begin to notice its lack of charm and functionality. The family room now seems like a much more practical and useful space. Then, to compound the issue, you start to notice that the bachelor pad has somewhat short ceilings that you occasionally bump your head on.

 

That pretty much sums up my thoughts on the two.

post #117 of 238
Quote:
Originally Posted by wje View Post

 

Given up?  Not at all.  If  you look at all of the transactions that I've done over the past few years, you can see how I've tried many flavors out.  In the end, I've just decided to stop with the HE-500, the HD-600 and my HD-555, which I use as my sleeping headphones.  Amps?  Same thing.  Tried a few.  Determined that for me, the NFB-12 would satisfy 90% of my needs, so I'm set.

 

When you get into the cycle of analyzing the paper specs and then convincing yourself that something, on paper, would potentially be better than what you currently have, you get into a box.  Then, you realize you made a mistake, so you do additional purchases or exchanges to get out of the situation you've gotten into.  Finally, you realize you're spending more time swapping hardware than listening to music.  That is when one gets to the point where I am.  Realizing that enough is enough.  Thus, I'm in a content and satisifed state at the moment.

 

I just want to enjoy the music.  The HE-500 will give me the impact that I want when I have time for some serious listening.  When I desire a lighter pair of headphones for other types of listening, the HD-600 comes into play.  Both end up getting used interchangeably.  Both have me satisfied.

 

Not giving up ... just admitting that I've arrived at my destination.  wink.gif

 

Thank god I reached this point with just one headphone from reading enough although my definition of "enough" may be much less than others :)

post #118 of 238
Quote:
Originally Posted by maarek99 View Post

HE-500 was cavernous to me until I changed the earpads to velours which improved them a lot. Though I did sell them in the end and I really do prefer the HD650 to HE-500.

 

HE-500 does sound a bit better than the HD650 when you immediately change but when I went back to the HD650 after one week of HE-500 I realized what I was missing. So HE-500 went to sale.


What is your musical style? At priori, I believe the senns would be more bassy than the he500 and less analytical... they would be my first choice since I listen mostly to electro, but I might be mistaken.


Edited by musiclife - 4/25/13 at 7:13am
post #119 of 238
Thread Starter 
I a
Quote:
Originally Posted by musiclife View Post


I actually prefer the 600 for electronic music. The better center image, height, and depth all make for a more convincing sound. Synth sounds float all around my head, and above it. The lower bass deficiency is hardly noticeable with those boosted genres too.
post #120 of 238
+1

Although it seems to be heresy to say so. Stars of the Lid, Keith Fullerton Whitman, Biosphere, Loscil etc all sound better to me on the 600.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › [REVIEW] HiFiMAN HE-500 vs Sennheiser HD600