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[REVIEW] HiFiMAN HE-500 vs Sennheiser HD600 - Page 17

post #241 of 252

Yeah well if you like the sound coming from HD650 then I would think so being that the Magni is not suppose to colot the the music and if you have a clean and transparent source on top of that it will be all 650s after that. Also the Vali though being a hybrid, is definitely a relatively neutral one at that being only lightly warm.I am actually going to be using the HD600s on Friday and mixing it up with the Fournier HTA-2 which is a very detailed and lively hybrid hand crafted amp.

post #242 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiskeyJacks View Post
 

Yeah well if you like the sound coming from HD650 then I would think so being that the Magni is not suppose to colot the the music and if you have a clean and transparent source on top of that it will be all 650s after that. Also the Vali though being a hybrid, is definitely a relatively neutral one at that being only lightly warm.I am actually going to be using the HD600s on Friday and mixing it up with the Fournier HTA-2 which is a very detailed and lively hybrid hand crafted amp.

Let us know what you think of the Fournier, the HD600, being neutral, should be a good means of evaluating the amp.

post #243 of 252

I've bought some time ago HE500, and actually did some more or less extensive comparison to HD600 (and Takstars Pro80).
First I've wanted to compare them to HD800, but found out that there is too much conceptual diffrence between those 2:
- one strives to be a neutral headphone for good reproduction of music
- the second one is a more technical item, giving you a spectacular view on music (detail, extension, space, comfort)
So finally, the HD800 were left away, and I've compared them to more standard HD600.


Actually, I've compared the HE500 first to Takstars Pro80, they are in many ways similar (technically worse but just for 1/10 price), the main diffrence beeing that HE500 is open.
PS:Just recently I've posted a HD600 recomendation for someone who wanted to upgrade Pro80 to something similar, but that should be HE500.
And BTW: if someone really likes HE500, I think he should take a look on Takstar HD6000 as the portable headphones (they are not that comfy or portable, but neither is HE500)


I've read (and heard) that HE500 outperforms HD600, but I actually found that they are on par (cerca in terms of SQ, but also considering other factors).


The problem which I have is that normally I would just connect a headphone to any of the devices (as their sound does not differs that much; no tube amps), normalize the volumn to standard level
(like 0.5V for the HD600, that is for popular/rock music) and listen.
But hear I found 2 problems:
- The sound (especially bas) differs much with the source, where HD600 is much consistent (source does not make any diffrence, even from cheap 5$ mp3 players they sound amazing, while HE500 from high end smartphones sounds not very good. least to say)
- The sound (and here also bas levels) differs very much with volumn levels, even from amplified sources (like STX or added fiio amplifier to smartphone) they sound really unimpressive, where as HD600 does the job (at the same volumn levels),
and I found myself going with volumn to much higher levels then normal (especially considering that the mid-high section, which normally makes as volumn limit is recessed) beeing 1-1.5V for HE500.


Due to the above mentioned reasons, I will start with description of bass (which is the most likely reason of upgrading HD600 for HE500).
And I have some little doubts, because:
Technically, I would say that there are 2 schools of good bass:
- one is 'golden-ear' curve, where the lower bass goes up something like +6db (aka the Takstar Pro80 school), which brings the kick for electronic music and pop
- the second one is 'the bass guitar sounds like a guitar' school to which many of dynamics fall in (the bass drops [slowly] from 100Hz), good for acoustic music, partially to rock,
which most prominent exemplar is Sennehiser HD250 Linear or Ovation (the texture, clearness, weirdly deepness feels greate on those)
And for example with the amplified STX, I feel that the HE500 falls into the category, briging good speed, viseral impact and no overflowing of mids; which really, really impresses me.
However I'm not sure if this is something which should be done (the STX has high impedance, and this augments the bass for instance of Beats Mixr or HD555 heaphones)
cause this is the level of bass achivable by bass boosted headphones (quite similar to the Pro80, and with volumn equal to Mixr).
When the output is more normal (like Xonar U7) I feel that the bass is somewhere in torn apart, between sounding 'textured' and 'energetic'.
With low volumn or on crapier devices, the bass sounds like (even less than) the bass from 701 on (the same) low volumn.


Also, here are some obervations about the soundstage, which I find better on HD600:
- the positive part is that in HE500 the sounds on sides of your head have larger volumn/with, making them equal partners to the center, while on HD600 they soemtimes feel like being added as an onion layer
- the negative part is that the sounds on the left/right seem like they have to go through the headphone capsule (through the driver), were the left right is less tall than HD600, and the center part of HE500!.
there are rarly any sounds coming from left or right on the level of my forehead or from the shoulders (hello MH463 and SL330)
- I'm not really beliver of the fact that multi-one-mic should have depth; but on some tracks HE500 missed the depth were it is present, and I recall that HD600 at the begging suprised me with sounds from front or back of head
- The sounds in HE500 have more (don't know how to call it) edge, so pinpointing them is more eaisy
- But for general coherence of soundstage, the HD600 is better


As for the rest, pluses for HD600 are
- More realistic sounding mids, when I close my eyes HD600 really convinces me that there is someone before me; while in HE500 the mids are maybe a little bit more magical (sweeter) but feel that there is something just a little bit off with them
(they did improve over time, so maybe after some dozens of hours more they will be better)
- More coherent sound, hard to described it, but (especially at the beging) HE500 felt like they had some of the K550 illness, for whatever that my be, the high extension seems more natural on HD600


The pluses of HE500 are:
- speed of bass, treble
- mentioned above bass (but only for 'modern' music)
- HE500 sounds much clearer (however I could never understand the term of Sennheiser veil)
- the treble is more vivid, present (hard to say if this is a plus), however I feel that they both don't have that much in the higher treble (vide HD800)
- more far away sounding (for me that is the plus)


Generally HE500 feels to me (to some extent) like a technical upgrade of HD600.


So finally, I have choosen HE500 (at least the STX amplifier will have some usage), but that is mainly due to hobby factor (and having HE500 for some time),
and would be a little bit reluctent to advertise the HE500 for
- twice the price
- no portability (yes HD600 can be done portable)
- problems with amplification etc., when with HD600 you don't really have to care (I know that there are some persons which say that only with 2000$ amp it sounds good/amazing)
Maybe if someone would be more focused on bass-heavy music as house, R&B etc, that would be a good choice,
but I'm afraid that those people will value portability and will not care that much over sound improvment for instance (and especially) Takstar Pro80,
not to mention that Fidelio X1,L2 seem to be an alternative neutral but bassfocused solution (regretably I have never heard them, but I own L1, which has to much of and too hard bass)


PS: Maybe this review/comparison sounds like not very HE500 friendly, but for me kind of the HE500 seems to be praised as too much of improvment over HD600 (one league higer), so it is little bit counterbalancing, as I feel that one is some alternative version of the other.


PS2: I've been listening mainly to rock/pop/trance


PS3: One plus of the Hifiman is more of bonus items, nice looking cable, additional pads and cable joints

post #244 of 252

Nice review xdog, of course I liked reading that cause I just ordered HD-600s and will use them with my o2 DAC/AMP :P.

post #245 of 252

"- The sound (and here also bas levels) differs very much with volumn levels, even from amplified sources (like STX or added fiio amplifier to smartphone) they sound really unimpressive"

I meant here, that on low volumn levels they (HE500) sound unimpresive; because at larger volumns they are impresive[STX headphone out] (as I mentioned in the bass section)

post #246 of 252
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by goober-george View Post
 

Nice review xdog

 

x2

 

The HD600 deserves to live forever

post #247 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by goober-george View Post
 

Nice review xdog, of course I liked reading that cause I just ordered HD-600s and will use them with my o2 DAC/AMP :P.

I went from the DT880s to owning the HD600s recently, and I use them with Fournier HTA-2 Hybrid amp which they sound incredible and clear on, and also on the Matrix M-stage. Using the Fostex HP-A3 I get plenty of detail to be produced with these headphones, but it is not just the detail because if it was I would use the DT880s. It is the general ability to play any song from any genre(have tried from my collection of music) and be content with this headphone with that song. I do not see you feeling regret.

post #248 of 252

The HD600's are boring headphones, to neutral for me. I prefer any HiFiMAN over the HD 600's

I generally dislike Senn's though :biggrin:

post #249 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mani ATH 87 View Post
 

The HD600's are boring headphones, to neutral for me. I prefer any HiFiMAN over the HD 600's

I generally dislike Senn's though :biggrin:

 

Same here, found the HD580 a bit too neutral for my liking, but I still regard it as an excellent headphone.

post #250 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 

Let us know what you think of the Fournier, the HD600, being neutral, should be a good means of evaluating the amp.

The HD600 and the Fournier got a long very well together, as far as the Fournier I think it was great all along but even better with the HD600s. It has good detail and an engaging and live presentation sort of feel, the tonality of the amp I guess you could say is breathtaking. And the Hd600s just mesh with it well. I had not seen this earlier sorry for the late response.

post #251 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiskeyJacks View Post
 

The HD600 and the Fournier got a long very well together, as far as the Fournier I think it was great all along but even better with the HD600s. It has good detail and an engaging and live presentation sort of feel, the tonality of the amp I guess you could say is breathtaking. And the Hd600s just mesh with it well. I had not seen this earlier sorry for the late response.

Better late than never. :beerchug:

post #252 of 252

I had a little listening session today and I compared the HE-500 to the HD650 so I will give you my thoughts ( I know the OP compared the HEs to the HD600s ). I also had a bit of a go with the K701s.

Up until 3 weeks ago I was a happy AKG K550 owner ( used with a Fiio E10 ).
Went to hear some LCDs 2.2 over at a friend's place ( a freind of his came along with the LCDs ). It was my first encounter with plannar-magnetic and after reading about the "magic" I was expecting the world.
First, tried on the LCDs ( plugged into a Exa Sound E20 Mk3 - 2500$ DAC/Amp ) and I was very much unimpressed after the first few seconds of some of the tracks I knew well. Yes the bass was sublime but - there was no "crispness" I thought , no upper "detail". Went on and kept listening to some more stuff, for about 20-25 mins or so. And said - alright I get the idea - let's put on the K550s now - I was like WTF - who fwcked up my headphones while I wasn't looking ? I couldn't believe my ears - everything was sooo congested, sooo mixed up - the vocals were VERY "in my face" and the treble was very annoying. I couldn't believe those were the HPs I was using for the past 2 years and loved so much. I realized there and then - I should be getting some plannars of my own.

So this brings me to the HE-500. At the current price of $500 I just couldn't say NO although I never listened to them. However after reading some opinions of the LCD2 vs HE-500 I decided the HE-500 would be the choice for me first off cause of the great price, and second as I kinda got the impression that they are a bit more "sparkly" in the higher end than the LCDs which as exactly what I thought the LCDs lack - so I got them. Received them last night and done some listening from my crappy match-box Fiio E10 ( I know I need another AMP at least ). Though they sound ok although I knew that's not what they should sound considering what I was using to power them.

Today went at a freind's place to hit'em up against his HD-650s :D He's using a Peachtree Itx DAC and a Little Dot Mk3 amp with his Senns. After some 1-2 hours of back and forward between the two - my conclusion ( which is very subjective ) is that the HE-500 is the better can in pretty much every aspect. This is also a shared opinion by another friend that attended this meeting ( the K701 owner ). The tracks were mostly vocal jazz, blues and some modern-rock.
It may be the fact that I OWN the HE-500s but I doubt it - the differences were pretty obvious on some tracks - but those were mostly a thing TASTE and PREFERENCE related rather than an ABSOLUTE TRUTH. Maybe the source/amp wasn't the best choice for this test but that's what we had. I will try and explain what I heard but please "bear" in mind I don't have any head-fi-er terminology and I will try and explain "with my own words".
The bass - well I don't think anyone can dispute that this is where orthos shine. The HE-500s were deeper, faster and more precise. The HD-650s although very respectable - felt like having a bit of a "mushier" bass that somewhat was "spilling" into the mids. The diffrence wans't huge between the 2 cans - but the HEs simply deliver a more pleasing bass.
The midrange - that's where things really got different - VERY DIFFERENT. The HEs were more laid back, more relaxed, more "down-under" sounding ( yeah I know it's a stupid statement ) while the vocals on the HDs were much more "upper" and lively - however they felt more "in your face" but not as the K550s which were downright screaming at me. The best way to describe the vocals on the HEs compared to the HDs is by saying that with the HEs you feel like the singer is sitting down singing while on the HDs it feels like she ( or he ) is standing up right next to you. The voice on the HE's feel VERY disconnected from the rest of the instruments - sometimes making you feel that you're listening to 2 different songs ( one vocal and the other - the instrumental ). I can see how some people like the mids on the "connected" Senns more and it's really a SUBJECTIVE thing but I felt the HE's sounded more ... relaxing and intimate when it came to the mids. I don't know if this is the RIGHT way or not but I found it more pleasing. On a side note - the K701's mids sounded more close to the HD650 than the HE500s so out of all 4 headphones - the HE-500 sounded the most "different" so I can understand why some of you people would find them "un-natural". I don't know what the REAL thing is but found them more "magical" ( yeah that's the word ) - even if a bit "unreal".
On the highs on the other hand I felt that the HEs were a pretty much better. It's not a quantity thing - although coming from a closed back bright and sibilant headphone ( hte K550s ) I am inclined to like the brighter headphone. But no - the HEs weren't brighter - nothing was added or overdone - it felt like it has more detail and touched the high notes better while the HDs sounded just like a lot of people describe the HD series - veiled. Overall I felt the HE-500 have a very superior separation and the frequencies were a lot more layered - never mixed - very very "touchable". Also the instrument separation was a lot more obvious on the HEs while the over-all sound from the HDs was more "congested" - more "on the center" - although I thought the HD650 was a very "separational" sounding can until I heard any of the orthos. The HDs seemed to kept reminding me that I was using headphones while the HEs gave me a bit more of a speaker feeling and airness. We've listned to a track where there were some clapping on the rhythm in the background and that sounded pretty different on both cans. While on the HDs it felt it was coming from just behind the listener pretty close to the ears, on the HEs these felt a lot further away behind and coming from both left and right sides while the other instruments had a lot better positioning all over the "room". I could understand this is more of a "computerized trick" thing and it may be un-natural but it's sure as hell more pleasing to the ears. The room simply felt bigger on the HEs.
While some things could be subjective to every one's taste - there are others where there is simply no competition. Again, the setup maybe wasn't the best but at least that's how I felt about them and that's exactly what the other guy said. The K701s which I knew very different sounding compared to the HD650 - seemed a lot more related to the Sennheisers tonight when the HE's came into play. It's true what they say about them orthos - they sound VERY DIFFERENT. I don't know if BETTER overall or more analytical suited but they sure as hell sound more "pleasing" to me so please just take these opinions as SUBJECTIVE.

Also a pretty obvious thing about the HE-500 and I suppose the orthos in general - is that they are more bearable at higher volumes especially because of the whole freq separation thinggy. Everything starts to sound a bit more fatiguing on regular headphones - I don't know exactly how to explain this ...

* I'm planning on getting the Schiit Magni 2 UBER to go along with the HE-500s - would you guys think it would be a good match ( not that I can afford anything else ) ? :D


Edited by C0rnholio - 1/30/15 at 8:04pm
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