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philips fidelio x1 vs hifiman he-400 (stronger natural midrange?) - Page 6

Poll Results: stronger natural midrange

This is a multiple choice poll
  • 32% (29)
    hifiman he-400
  • 43% (39)
    fidelio x1
  • 14% (13)
    sennheiser hd 598
  • 13% (12)
    akg q701
90 Total Votes  
post #76 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by grizzlybeast View Post

Well I already have the aune t1 on its way so I'm stuck but Im happily stuck and just want some power to couple with its DAC and tube swapping capabilities. It is praised for its sound but I'll give the O2 a look for sure. 

 

hey are you talking about this thing? is that powerful. 

 

http://www.jdslabs.com/item.php?fetchitem=o2full

Yep, that's exactly what amp I'm talking about. It has plenty of power, believe me. Pretty much any headphone currently made can be used with it, at very high outputs. It's also super clean, low, low distortion and noise floor, and can be gotten with the ODAC built in, which is also a very good DAC. (I own it, with the built in ODAC, and it's never let me down) But if you've already got the t1 on the way, don't need the O2. I'm sure it'll do fine.

post #77 of 185
Thread Starter 

It might do fine. I am just scared it wont be powerful enough to bring out the hd650's dynamics. at that price the o2 is worth buying anyway.

post #78 of 185

Trust me, it can provide plenty of power. I have a pair of Koss Pro4AATs that I run from it, which are known for having very high impedance and low sensitivity, which means high power requirements, and they do great with it; and that's on the low gain setting. It also has a high gain setting which provides quite a bit more power. 

post #79 of 185
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeeekyyy View Post

Trust me, it can provide plenty of power. I have a pair of Koss Pro4AATs that I run from it, which are known for having very high impedance and low sensitivity, which means high power requirements, and they do great with it; and that's on the low gain setting. It also has a high gain setting which provides quite a bit more power. 

awesome! I was talking about the aune t1 though so hopefully we are on the same page. I already saw the o2 is quite powerful. 


Edited by grizzlybeast - 5/25/13 at 12:54pm
post #80 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by grizzlybeast View Post

awesome! I was talking about the aune t1 though so hopefully we are on the same page. I already saw the o2 is quite powerful. 

Oh. I honestly wouldn't know what to tell you about the aune t1, because I'd never actually heard of it before. Being a tube design, it probably has higher distortion levels and noise floor, but when it does distort, it should do so more musically too. There's kind of a trade-off there between solid-state and tube designs... 

post #81 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by Biscuitz View Post

However, overall, the HD650 is an altogether more natural sounding headphone to my ears, with seductive vocals, greater transparency, and greater detail - in fact, because I felt the HD650 sounded more detailed than the X1, in my A/B sessions, I actually heard a slight "veil" when listening to the X1!

Yikes, maybe I shouldn't have said that! It's one thing to say a headphone is veiled sounding. It's another thing to say a headphone sounds veiled when directly compared to another headphone. That's the case here - the X1 doesn't have a veiled sound. But when you compare one headphone to another headphone with greater clarity and detail, then the sensation you get is of a slightly more veiled sound on the less clear headphone.

 

As for the O2, I can't say I've heard it. But just remember that a lot of inexpensive headphone amps can "power" virtually any headphone on the market. "Power" in the sense that you will get plenty of volume. But, as many will testify here on Head-Fi, amping is not just about getting volume. Having a better, more powerful amp is about achieving greater dynamics, clarity, soundstage, detail retrieval, bass control, etc.

 

In my experience, not a lot of headphones really benefit significantly from better amping. The HD650 is one of the few headphones that I've heard on a couple different setups that I feel improves slightly with better amping. To me, the difference between an HD650 amped by a decent budget amp (O2) and a powerhouse of an amp (Lyr) is the sense of dynamics gained by the extra power. The HD650 is a soft sounding headphone on my current amp. On the Lyr, it's a dynamic powerhouse with bass slam to please. Keep in mind, the general sound signature remains the same, but specifically the impact and tactility of the bass is quite another beast. Another headphone I've actually heard quite a substantially difference with in amping is the HE-5LE - I've heard this on the Schiit Magni, which is like the O2. It has plenty of power to provide all the volume you'll ever need on the HE-5LE. But after hearing the HE-5LE on a $219 speaker amplifier, it was really a different beast. NOTICEABLY better in regard to soundstage, separation, clarity, bass control and bass slam.

 

First things first, find out which headphone you like - then mess around with amps if needed. Grizzly, you did the best thing you could do, realistically. Grab both headphones and compare them for yourself. You may be surprised by which you prefer. I often am surprised after reading a lot about a headphone and then trying it out - e.g. the HE-400, didn't like, and e.g. the Denon D2000 I loved, which I really didn't expect to. Btw, my D2000 gets more headtime than my HD650 ;)

post #82 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by grizzlybeast View Post

Well I am trying to figure out how to get both at the moment but I cant figure it out. I dont think I will ever purchase a denon headphone simply because they are really expensive closed headphones and I have a mental block that tells me if I'm going to spend that kind of money it better be open and scalable, though I might benefit from ignoring that I am stubborn right there. 

Oh and I forgot to mention, if you have a credit card, you could do that. If you buy from Amazon with a credit card, you can keep the one you prefer and return the other one for a refund. Then, of course, just pay off the other headphone immediately ;)

 

I guess since we're dealing with the HD650, it's a little trickier, since on Amazon the new price is $500. Whereas you can get it for $400-420 or so on other websites - but those sites you can't return for a full refund. So you'll just have to kind of figure out how you want to do that.

post #83 of 185
Thread Starter 

yeah I was going to get the schiit lyr. But I dont know where to buy it anymore at a good price. I think for now the headphone will be the x1 and then I will move up to the hd 650 and the lyr. I had already considered that amp. Originally I wanted the lyr and the 650 but since I cant find it at a good price anywhere I was going for the x1 first. 

post #84 of 185
Good p
Quote:
Originally Posted by Biscuitz View Post

Yikes, maybe I shouldn't have said that! It's one thing to say a headphone is veiled sounding. It's another thing to say a headphone sounds veiled when directly compared to another headphone. That's the case here - the X1 doesn't have a veiled sound. But when you compare one headphone to another headphone with greater clarity and detail, then the sensation you get is of a slightly more veiled sound on the less clear headphone.

As for the O2, I can't say I've heard it. But just remember that a lot of inexpensive headphone amps can "power" virtually any headphone on the market. "Power" in the sense that you will get plenty of volume. But, as many will testify here on Head-Fi, amping is not just about getting volume. Having a better, more powerful amp is about achieving greater dynamics, clarity, soundstage, detail retrieval, bass control, etc.

In my experience, not a lot of headphones really benefit significantly from better amping. The HD650 is one of the few headphones that I've heard on a couple different setups that I feel improves slightly with better amping. To me, the difference between an HD650 amped by a decent budget amp (O2) and a powerhouse of an amp (Lyr) is the sense of dynamics gained by the extra power. The HD650 is a soft sounding headphone on my current amp. On the Lyr, it's a dynamic powerhouse with bass slam to please. Keep in mind, the general sound signature remains the same, but specifically the impact and tactility of the bass is quite another beast. Another headphone I've actually heard quite a substantially difference with in amping is the HE-5LE - I've heard this on the Schiit Magni, which is like the O2. It has plenty of power to provide all the volume you'll ever need on the HE-5LE. But after hearing the HE-5LE on a $219 speaker amplifier, it was really a different beast. NOTICEABLY better in regard to soundstage, separation, clarity, bass control and bass slam.

First things first, find out which headphone you like - then mess around with amps if needed. Grizzly, you did the best thing you could do, realistically. Grab both headphones and compare them for yourself. You may be surprised by which you prefer. I often am surprised after reading a lot about a headphone and then trying it out - e.g. the HE-400, didn't like, and e.g. the Denon D2000 I loved, which I really didn't expect to. Btw, my D2000 gets more headtime than my HD650 wink.gif
Good point! I was talking in the general sense about the famous "veil" that many say the HD650 had. I agree about amping. These are not very demanding phones and will be driven well by any good head amp with low impedance output( damping factor). I also am not sure if the HD650 is really that big step up from X1.
Edited by Poleepkwa - 5/25/13 at 11:33pm
post #85 of 185
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poleepkwa View Post

Good p
Good point! I was talking in the general sense about the famous "veil" that many say the HD650 had. I agree about amping. These are not very demanding phones and will be driven well by any good head amp with low impedance output( damping factor). I also am not sure if the HD650 is really that big step up from X1.

hmmm. I have read the hd650 with the right amp sounding comparable to stax. well who knows I might be satisfied with just the x1 first anyway.

post #86 of 185
Well, although I think the HD650 is a better phone, its not 2x better if you think about price. That was my context. I have also read that many prefer the CAL! to the HD650😄
post #87 of 185

Dis hobby u know...

post #88 of 185

 


Interestingly enough, lots of people compared the X1 with HD650, and found out that HD650 was actually the "veiled" one. For example, Mike from headfonia said "After just weeks with the X1 however, I went back to the 650 and there it was: that slow, sluggish sound that felt a little veiled..."
 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Biscuitz View Post

Yikes, maybe I shouldn't have said that! It's one thing to say a headphone is veiled sounding. It's another thing to say a headphone sounds veiled when directly compared to another headphone. That's the case here - the X1 doesn't have a veiled sound. But when you compare one headphone to another headphone with greater clarity and detail, then the sensation you get is of a slightly more veiled sound on the less clear headphone.

 

As for the O2, I can't say I've heard it. But just remember that a lot of inexpensive headphone amps can "power" virtually any headphone on the market. "Power" in the sense that you will get plenty of volume. But, as many will testify here on Head-Fi, amping is not just about getting volume. Having a better, more powerful amp is about achieving greater dynamics, clarity, soundstage, detail retrieval, bass control, etc.

 

In my experience, not a lot of headphones really benefit significantly from better amping. The HD650 is one of the few headphones that I've heard on a couple different setups that I feel improves slightly with better amping. To me, the difference between an HD650 amped by a decent budget amp (O2) and a powerhouse of an amp (Lyr) is the sense of dynamics gained by the extra power. The HD650 is a soft sounding headphone on my current amp. On the Lyr, it's a dynamic powerhouse with bass slam to please. Keep in mind, the general sound signature remains the same, but specifically the impact and tactility of the bass is quite another beast. Another headphone I've actually heard quite a substantially difference with in amping is the HE-5LE - I've heard this on the Schiit Magni, which is like the O2. It has plenty of power to provide all the volume you'll ever need on the HE-5LE. But after hearing the HE-5LE on a $219 speaker amplifier, it was really a different beast. NOTICEABLY better in regard to soundstage, separation, clarity, bass control and bass slam.

 

First things first, find out which headphone you like - then mess around with amps if needed. Grizzly, you did the best thing you could do, realistically. Grab both headphones and compare them for yourself. You may be surprised by which you prefer. I often am surprised after reading a lot about a headphone and then trying it out - e.g. the HE-400, didn't like, and e.g. the Denon D2000 I loved, which I really didn't expect to. Btw, my D2000 gets more headtime than my HD650 ;)

 

 

post #89 of 185
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by soaphz View Post

He did kinda correct his statement. He said in a nutshell that it was a difference in clarity he was referring to and misplaced the word "veil" when describing his experience in a/bing them
post #90 of 185

I just went to a store the other day and compared the two headphones. The 650's and the x1's using my O2.

 

At the time of A/B ing I was using a MOON 300D as a dac.

 

This is exactly what my notes say with my comments between brackets: (Remember, this is how I percieve the sound! It's always safe to compare them yourself if possible)

X1 O2+moon 300d= Less detailed then 650. Deeper bass, better quality "more layers though the higher volume of the bass may make it easier to hear the layers", less punch. Soundstage is nicer, more distant. Still has a closed feel to it. "would probably be because of the deep bass, maybe I don't like deep bass?"

650 moon 300d + O2= Sounds closer. Everything has more the same distance then X1. Has a nice high SSS  to the sound "No sibilance or S but higher like 10kHz" Sounds much the same as the X1 with less lows and a more sparkly high.

 

To say it in a better way, the 650 is the winner for me unless I need the bass. For electronic music like house I'd prefer the x1. The soundstage of the X1 is further away but the vocals are too close, the rest of the music seems harder to focus on with the x1. The hd 650 placed everything you hear on the same nice distance. It's a little bit closer then the x1. The 650 is also surprisingly more detailed then the x1. Do note that I used a pretty high end dac in my comparison!

 

But here's another thing. I bought the fidelio x1 for 190 euros. The store where I listened to the 650 sells them for 400 euros! That's 210 euro's more. While I find the 650's better, it's only a bit better and diminishing results kicks in here. For twice the price you get +20% performance. (with a high end dac, maybe with the t1 a little less) Since you're from USA (right?) you might not be able to get the x1 at a good price and the 650's are probably much cheaper on the internet. I'd go for the 650's if the difference is not that big.

 

 

If you have any questions ask them now while my memory is still fresh. :)

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