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Replacement for Ultrasone HFI-680

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hello all,

 

I am looking for headphones to replace my Ultrasone HFI-680s.  I bought them two years ago, and really enjoyed the sound signature.  The only problem I had with them was that the pleather earpads got really uncomfortable to have on my head after forty minutes or an hour.  I wanted something new that would complement them, but was waiting to save some money.  Then, two months ago they were stolen.  Until now I haven't had the cash to replace them, but I finally do.  Does anyone know of headphones with a similar sound (or possibly a bit flatter - I wouldn't mind hearing the mids more!) that are more comfortable?  I have looked a lot at the Shure SRH-840's but figured I should see if there are other recommendations first.  I listen to mostly hip-hop, electronica, and rock, and will be using them straight out of an iPod Touch, iPad, or HP Envy 14.  I'm willing to pay around $175-200.

 

Thanks in advance for any thoughts on the matter!

post #2 of 16

If you dig the 680's, you could always get another set and swap the pads with some nice velour ones. A little while back I was able to try some 700's with replacement pads, and I have to say it was a lot more comfortable. The drawback for me was the bass was diminished a little, but for you it sounds like that might actually be a benefit. I think they were Beyerdynamic pads? Either way, if you google it you should find a tutorial, fairly straightforward.Let me say it again, a LOT more comfortable.

 

At the current price point, you could probably add a cheap amp to the mix and stay in your budget... I have an HP dv7 (which I imagine uses the same components as yours), and I can definitely tell the difference. I think the sound card is halfway decent in these HP's, but I use an external DAC for the heck of it anyways. (FiiO E17 kept me happy for a long time, you could try that or the cheaper FiiO E07k)

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

I would consider the velour pads.  I've seen a lot on here about how comfortable they are.  Do you know anything about the FiiO e11?  It looks like maybe it's just the amp part of the e7 without the DAC? I might pick that up and see what it does for me.

post #4 of 16

SoundMAGIC HP100
 

post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 

I'm guessing that you own the HP100, Sekka? Do you run them unamped?  Have you heard/felt the HFI-680?  Sorry for all the questions, everything I've just looked up about the SoundMAGICs has me really intrigued.

post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by lostintheworld View Post

I'm guessing that you own the HP100, Sekka? Do you run them unamped?  Have you heard/felt the HFI-680?  Sorry for all the questions, everything I've just looked up about the SoundMAGICs has me really intrigued.

I use the HP100 with the E17 (it sounds good unamped, but really comes alive with a decent portable amp) and I have listened to the 780, but not the 680.  There isn't really anything to suggest that the 680 is any better than the 780 (supposedly it has slightly better mids but worse bass), and I feel that the HP100 blows the 780 away in sound and comfort.

post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 

Awesome.  I'm very strongly considering jumping on those.  Do you think ~$200 is a fair price?  That's what amazon has at the moment.

post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by lostintheworld View Post

Awesome.  I'm very strongly considering jumping on those.  Do you think ~$200 is a fair price?  That's what amazon has at the moment.

$200 is a steal.  I haven't seen it any cheaper than that, either.

post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 

Great to know. Thanks for the info!

post #10 of 16

If you decide to get them, post back on here! I'm interested to hear what you think of them compared to your old 680's.

post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 

Well, the money ended up needing to be used for an unexpected expense.  So I guess it's on hold until next month.  But I'm still going to get these when I can.

post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Finally got the money together! Ordered today and thanks to a relative's Amazon Prime account they'll be here on Thursday. I'm excited! Seeka, do you think they change much with burn-in?
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by lostintheworld View Post

Finally got the money together! Ordered today and thanks to a relative's Amazon Prime account they'll be here on Thursday. I'm excited! Seeka, do you think they change much with burn-in?

They change slightly, mainly the bass becomes a bit tighter.  If you want to listen to them as soon as they arrive, you won't be missing much.

 

Did you end up purchasing an amp?  A cheap amp like the FiiO E17 or Audioengine D1 will noticeably improve just about all aspects of the headphone.

 

Also, if you do not like the pleather pads (I think they are very comfortable), the Beyerdynamic DT770 velour pads fit perfectly and do not have much impact on the sound.


Edited by Sekka - 5/29/13 at 9:48pm
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
I've been listening to them since they got here yesterday and am pretty happy. I haven't gotten an amp yet but am strongly considering it now. So far the things I've noticed have been an amazing soundstage, really balanced treble/mids/highs, and impressive reproduction of voices and instruments. Definitely a large upgrade over the Ultrasone's, especially in terms of comfort. The only negatives have been just a bit of sloppiness in the mid-bass and the fact that they aren't super unforgiving on poor-quality recordings. I turned spotify up to "extreme" sound quality and for the most part that hasn't been an issue. What specifically would a headphone amp improve? Would something cheaper like a Fiio e7 or e11 make a noticeable difference in the sound?
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by lostintheworld View Post

I've been listening to them since they got here yesterday and am pretty happy. I haven't gotten an amp yet but am strongly considering it now. So far the things I've noticed have been an amazing soundstage, really balanced treble/mids/highs, and impressive reproduction of voices and instruments. Definitely a large upgrade over the Ultrasone's, especially in terms of comfort. The only negatives have been just a bit of sloppiness in the mid-bass and the fact that they aren't super unforgiving on poor-quality recordings. I turned spotify up to "extreme" sound quality and for the most part that hasn't been an issue. What specifically would a headphone amp improve? Would something cheaper like a Fiio e7 or e11 make a noticeable difference in the sound?

The HP100 has a low sensitivity (95 Db), so it very much benefits from an amp, and it doesn't necessarily have to be high-end (I use the E17 and there is a large difference for me).  There should be a noticeable improvement in all aspects of the headphone with an amp such as the E07K, and your issues with the mid-bass will likely be solved.  If you are looking for more of a mid-bass emphasis, you could also boost it with the E07K, but I am very happy with the stock bass and the slight emphasis on lower-bass with my E17.

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