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Superlux HD-330 vs HD-681 Evo

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I can't decide between the two. Currently I'm using the HD-681's, and even though they sound great, the harsh highs still bother me (EQing does help, but not enough I guess). Plus, I do like warm-sounding headphones more. So after reading some positive reviews about the HD-330, I was almost ready to order them, but now Thomann has the new HD-681 EVO listed and they cost the same, 27€ both. First reviews suggest that the Evo is an improvement over the original ones. So I'm torn between the two... I guess the HD-330 might offer superior sound quality, especially when listening to rock, but the 150 ohm rating means that I most probably need an amp. I wouldn't need an amp with the Evo, though. So any thoughts? Is an amp really necessary for the HD-330?
Edited by krist2an - 3/20/13 at 12:30pm
post #2 of 11

Are you going to connect them to your portable player or computer?

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by pedro88 View Post

Are you going to connect them to your portable player or computer?
Both, actually. Most people say that you do need an amp for the HD-330 but some say that they're fine even without one. I'm really stuck between the two, because if the new Evo offers almost the same sound quality without requiring an amp, I'd take that.
post #4 of 11

I owned a pair of HD681's, but they died after some abuse. Yesterday I received a pair of the HD681 EVO headphones, and they are definitely a substantial improvement. The comfort, which was a bit of an issue for me with the old model, has definitely improved substantially.


I have neither quantitative data not a side-by-side comparison to speak to the sound quality, and I don't trust myself to reliably remember the nuances of the HD681's sound, but I certainly feel like the treble has mellowed a bit.

post #5 of 11

I own a pair of HD330s, and I can tell you that they're true to their 150ohm rating. On my Fiio E7 they hit a decent volume on max, on my uDAC2 they do a little better and on my SU-V3 they do absolutely fine. Straight out of my laptop (which is simply a intergrated soundcard) the HD330s don't reach amazing heights, but they're not super quiet if that's what you're worried about.


The sharp highs (a Superlux feature) is certainly not present on the HD330, so no need to worry there. For reference, as far as Superlux goes, I own their HD668b and HD662 also, and can say that those are quite sibilant in comparision. What I will also say is that whilst the HD330 has the same excellent level of detail as the HD668b (and I'll assume the HD681 since it's often in the same conversation as the HD668b), it has a smaller soundstage and can feel congested at times with genres like rock. Since I find that the HD330 actually has quite the bass extention as well, I'd say it's more suited for genres like hip-hop and electro.


When I decide to detour off my usual cans and go onto my Superlux stuff, I do enjoy the HD330, but because the HD668b does everything well, and not just some genres amazingly, I often go for the HD668b.


Not sure if you've ordered the HD330s now or not, but hope this post helps.

Edited by sebajun - 4/4/13 at 7:52pm
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Okay, thanks everybody. I've ordered the HD-330 and I should receive it soon, plus I ordered a small DAC/amp combo from Ebay, so I'll soon find out how it actually sounds. If I like it, I'll keep it. The Evo is still out of stock in Thomann.de, so I won't be able to try them anytime soon.
post #7 of 11

I'm mostly listening to rap music you think 330 or 681 EVO will be better? I need to compare them both not 681b. My music card is realtek ALC-892 so meaby take low ohms EVO?

post #8 of 11

@Krist2an: I hope they meet your needs.


@n3crone: Because of the HD330's thick bass (at least compared to every other Superlux I've tried) they're well-geared towards genres like rap. And if you're almost exclusively listening to rap then you'll likely be pleased with the HD330. I know the headfonia review calls the HD330 quite forward, and a Grado that isn't as harsh up top, but with all my equiptment that hasn't been the case. If anything the bass comes across as a little slow, giving a relaxed feel. The HD330 in my experience will need an amp, though. I have a standard intergrated soundcard like yours (realtek) and by itself the headphone is missing a few levels of volume. I suspect the EVO will do better without ampage. 

Edited by sebajun - 4/5/13 at 9:56am
post #9 of 11

@sebujan Thanks! I will wait until may when evo will be in shop. I haven't money on amp now so i think it's unprofitable. Already i got Senn. HD201 so i think difference between sound will be really huge. But bass is really worse? I'm new into sound and I'm a bit confused now but I think I will wait month for evo.

post #10 of 11

@n3crone: Hi. From what I've read, the EVO is like the original HD681 but without sharp highs, which should make the headphone less fatiguing and more enjoyable in the long-run. Plus it has arguably a nicer/comfier design than the orginal. I myself am interested in the EVO, but because I already own the HD662, HD668b, and HD330 as far as Superlux goes, I think I'll pass on it.


But anyway, if an amp isn't an option for you at this moment in time, I would certainly put the HD330 to one side for now. And I'm not sure which headphone you're referring to when you say ''But the bass is really worse?''. Do you mean the HD330 or the EVO? The HD330 has good bass extention, but from my experience/equiptment it comes across as quite slow as I've already mentioned previously. To my ears it makes the headphone seem quite laidback and relaxed, which some people like for casual listening purposes. If the EVO really is like a non-sibilant HD681, then I suspect that the bass won't be too emphasized, but there will be bass present, it'll likely be more accurate than the HD330's as well, just not as deep and filling. Anyway I think there's quite a bit to read on the HD681 on this forum, so if you haven't already checked, why not spend some time seeing what people have to say about it. Perhaps even the EVO is getting talked about on here now -- I think a few people already own it.

Edited by sebajun - 4/6/13 at 11:08am
post #11 of 11

Sorry for the double post, but I thought I'd give my current impression on the HD330 as it has tipped slightly from before, and it might help any potential buyers. In the contexts of which the HD330 is commonly talked about, like a cheap good-sounding headphone straight out of the box and a gaming headphone, I don't think it quite cuts it anymore. With the latter I've always thought that way, and have said as much, but with the former I was more forgiving than I am now in my comments. There are a couple of caveats with the HD330 that I and others have mentioned a couple times before, which still stand, but some of which can be done away with via some modding like a recabbling, which I eventually did at the start of the year. But then this would count as extra costs, and coupled with the HD330 definitely needing an amp regardless of what one or two people have said in other threads, it's not a cheap option -- at least a couple of people asking questions in other HD330 threads talk about whether they need to buy an amp.


I certainly stand by my positives of the headphone though, just that as time has gone by the negatives now weigh a little bit more on my mind than before. As a simple modding project though, I think the HD330 is a good one to go with, especially if you're not too confident in modding like myself. Since the HD330 is copied from the DT770 in design it's very utilitarian and easy to work with. Anyway, when pitted against cans like the HD681 (EVO) and the HD668b like the HD330 often is, I'd go with the 681/668b if you want something cheap that sounds great straight out of the box and as standalone (not needing an amp etc.). Anyway, I've shared some of these sentiments in another HD330 thread, but since i've posted in this one before as well, thought I'd mention it here.

Edited by sebajun - 7/4/14 at 1:00pm
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