Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Mid-fi comparison (M-100, HE-400, AH-D600, Fidelio L1, MDR-1R, Ultrasone 900, Momentum)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Mid-fi comparison (M-100, HE-400, AH-D600, Fidelio L1, MDR-1R, Ultrasone 900, Momentum)

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

I wanted clear, thumpy, fun bass, clear mids, UNsharp highs, all straight from an unamped MacBook or iPod.  Originally this was a review for the Bose OE2 compared to the other 2.  I'm continually adding more to the comparison.

 

HiFiMAN HE-400

------------------------------------------------------------

 

The 400 had terribly sharp highs, to the point where it was actually painful.  They feel heavy on the head after relatively long listening sessions.  I need something that'll be comfortable for 6+ hours of daly use.  Bass was there but not emphasized, nor should have I expected it to excel in my music (mostly EDM [dubstep, house, trance, etc.]).  This'll probably be the last time I take advice from the "audiophiles" around here.  I wanted a fun, fast, musical headphone.

 

Ultrasone PRO 900

------------------------------------------------------------

 

The Ultrasone 900 does have monster bass.  It seems to leak into the lower mids way too much.  I also enjoy a healthy variety of rock, alternative, and pop music.  The bass is overpowering to the point where acoustic music is very muffled.  The clamping force is much stronger than the Bose OE2.  I feel pressure above my ears on my temples.  The stock ear-pads are stiff, unforgiving with the shape of your head.

 

Bose OE2

------------------------------------------------------------

 

The Bose OE2.  Sound leakage is better than the Ultrasone.  I'm surprised by the tight fit of the on ear design.  I was looking for circumaurals to avoid leak but the plush earpads on the OE2 are very conforming.  There is light clamp force on the ears, which can definitely cause strain after more than an hour of listening.  This is the worst part of the on ear design.  They're half the weight of the Ultrasones.  Like the Ultrasone, it had a darker sound with recessed mids (not as much as Ultrasone) and highs as well.  Bass is strong, impactful, but not overpowering.  I wouldn't call myself a basshead (although that may be the true case).  I just enjoy good, strong bass, likely because of my choice of music.  The soundstage seems very good.  I'm not sure what a truly amazing soundstage sounds like, but the sound on the OE2 doesn't sound like it's directly inside my head.  I hear very good separation of sounds at times.  Isolation was surprising very good.  I really came into this with a bias against on ear design headphones.  I'm definitely no audiophile and would never claim to be.

 

I didn't receive the Denons yet so I can't compare to those yet.

 

TL;DR

 

HiFiMAN is an audiophile's headphone: flat EQ, good soundstage, not for me.  Didn't audition enough to say more.

 

For the price I paid ~$100, the Bose OE2 is a good headphone if you want an overall good sound, with extra thumpy bass.  The bonus of portability and style are a definite plus.  Sound leak is minimal, isolation is terrific, (short term) comfort is awesome.

 

The Ultrasone has a very comparable sound to the Bose (unfortunately?).  I knew this wasn't what I was looking for.  I'd keep the OE2 over the Ultrasone for sure, at less than half the cost.


Edited by Dratta - 5/21/13 at 4:09am
post #2 of 20
Thread Starter 

DENON AH-D600

------------------------------------------------------------

 

Like many have said, it fits very loosely on the head, but fits perfectly on the smallest setting for me.  They slide back and forth a few mm if I nod my head.  Clamping force is very weak, but could be called just right.  I don't feel them on my head after a few minutes.  I'm reviewing these more in depth because the sound is just so enjoyable.

 

These things have the exact sound I am looking for.  I didn't realize exactly HOW much the highs on the Bose and Ultrasones were recessed until now.  They are crisp and and sparkly.  They add a sense of clarity but are not sharp at all.  Mids seem ever so slightly in the background as well, but not nearly to the extent of the Ultrasones.  I'd hesitate to even mention recessed mids as it's so minor.  It's still very forward, in fact, and I'm in love with it.  I can't stress how dark the Ultrasone 900 sounds.  If you listen SOLELY to EDM I suppose they could do well, but they lack in so many areas to recommend.

 

Bass on the Denon is perfect for me.  They're not overbearing, muddy, or too far reaching into the mids (...like the Ultrasone).  So Far Away by Crossfade has a full sound.  High-hats are amazingly clear.  If I WANT to hear them I can clearly do so.  Drums kicks are clearly separated from bass lines.  Thankfully I would not call this a dark headphone, but merely warm, which I would also say is what Denon was probably going for in the Music Manic line: a warm sound that pleases non-audiophiles, producing a non-flat, musical headphone.

 

For me this headphone has to excel at EDM.  The speed of my DnB tracks is some I've never heard.  The nature of the fast rhythm, with alternative kicks and hats is so clear and engaging.  Then I turn to dubstep tracks like Centipede by Knife Party and the rumble is there just when I need it.  Switching back and forth from electronic to acoustic is a joy.  Acoustic is clear and fun, but I go to my EDM and get hard hitting kicks, crystal clear highs, and head shaking bass just when I expect it to appear.  Vocals on more progressive house and tracks tracks are perfectly forward.  

 

Soundstage is much better than the Ultrasone 900 and Bose OE2... I think.  I have a greater sense of musical width and depth around me with acoustic music, so to my novice ears I'd say it's very good.

 

The clarity is amazing.  Going back to the Bose OE2 I want to change my opinion on them.  The Bose is much more muddy sounding.  I'd still value them around $75 for a nice, portable headphone but thinking they would be the home phone I was looking for was a mistake.  Not sure if I'll keep them for portable use.  I'm now thinking I can find better.  Yikes.  I think the problem is that I was comparing them directly with the Ultrasone, which have a comparable dark sound.  Hate to say it but the Bose do what the Ultrasone do, just in a smaller package.  I'm muuuuuch happier with the flatter response of the Denon, with accentuated bass.  It's just so full-bodied and enjoyable.

 

Everything is going back except for the Denon for now (HiFiMAN already returned, not a contender at all).  Feel free to ask for any comparisons while I have the Ultrasone, Bose, and Denon. :)


Edited by Dratta - 5/21/13 at 3:30am
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 

Reserved.

post #4 of 20

Nice.  This is pretty much the only headphone within my budget that I still want to try (I've found them for $250 refurbished online).

post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marximus View Post

Nice.  This is pretty much the only headphone within my budget that I still want to try (I've found them for $250 refurbished online).

 

Yes, I really should mention that I wouldn't value them any more than ~$300, but luckily you can shop around for them and easily get them for that price.  I was fortunate enough to stumble upon an eBay auction that ended at around $230 so I'm thrilled.  Saying this, I'm not sure if I could find value in any headphone $400+.  The differences probably aren't there for me to discern.

 

Due to the fit, I wouldn't recommend them for anything other than at-home/stationary listening.  Seeing the fit in the mirror, the pads are closed to my head around my whole ear, so I guess the extra plush pads make them feel loose.  Isolation is the best of all the ones that I tried (says my girlfriend who aided in some testing).


Edited by Dratta - 5/16/13 at 3:43pm
post #6 of 20

Yeah, they'd be strictly for at-home listening.  I've got some in-ears for on the go.

post #7 of 20

Definitely need more love for the D600. After a few months with both the D600 owned the D5000 in every way except looks for me. Basically 85-90% of the D7100 for half the price. 

post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 

As much as I absolutely love the D600, I'm still open to audition others.  I'm really looking for that "one can to rule them all" for me and the fit is throwing me off a bit.  I'll definitely keep these if I don't find something else with this balance of frequencies.

 

Any other competitors here?  I'm looking at Beyerdynamic 770 and Sennheiser Momentum as well.

post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 

Sennheiser Momentum

----------------------------------------

 

My goodness, I'm listening to Sennheiser Momentum now and I must say, without remembering the Denon sound, these things sound flawless.

 

Initial impressions are these are PERFECT.  The fit is interesting; if your ears are small enough, then you can wear these like they're meant to function, meaning that the back of your ears fit inside the cushion, and the front of your ears have the front of the cushions resting on them.  These smaller earcups also make them much more suitable for portable listening, meaning if you need a single headphone to do everything then these are much closer to filling that role.  There's no way I would've taken the Denon out of the house, especially with the loose fit.

 

Sound is similar to Denon, but less bassy.  Check out the Denon review if you want a decent idea of what I'm hearing.  It's sounds more refined, balanced.  Also less soundstage.

 

I'll have to wear the Momentum for a long session to see how long term comfort holds up.

 

Edit: (see next post) The momentum didn't hold up for long term comfort.


Edited by Dratta - 5/21/13 at 3:29am
post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 

Well the Momentum was too uncomfortable.  It's nice at first but it hits pressure points.  My ears feel bruised after about 15 minutes of listening.  I also consistently get a headache when I wear them.  The hunt is getting very stressful at this point.  The Denon is the best option so far but the fit is deterring me more and more after having more firm phones on my noggin.

 

I just ordered the Sony MDR-1R, V-Moda M-100, and Philips Fidelio L1 for further investigation.

 

I really think I will have demo'd everything in the $200-400 price point before I find something that really suits my needs. redface.gif


Edited by Dratta - 5/20/13 at 5:01pm
post #11 of 20

Your insatiable desire for the right sound and deep pockets are greatly appreciated here. Keep it up, you're saving me loads of money on all the cans that I want to try! biggrin.gif

post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HesterDW View Post

Your insatiable desire for the right sound and deep pockets are greatly appreciated here. Keep it up, you're saving me loads of money on all the cans that I want to try! biggrin.gif

 

I have Philips Fidelio L1, Sony MDR-1R, and V-Moda M-100 on the way.

 

Desire I have, deep pockets I do not.  I have plenty of open credit so I can buy a few at a time and return the ones I don't want.  My budget is still only around $300 for a do-it-all can.

post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dratta View Post

 

I have Philips Fidelio L1, Sony MDR-1R, and V-Moda M-100 on the way.

 

Desire I have, deep pockets I do not.  I have plenty of open credit so I can buy a few at a time and return the ones I don't want.  My budget is still only around $300 for a do-it-all can.

Sounds like the v-moda M-100 will hit the spot. Very impressive & comfortable can.

post #14 of 20

Good thread, looking forward to next reports :)

post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 

Before I say anything I'd like to commend everyone that does these comparative reviews. If you haven't done one before, then let me tell you, it's a lot of work.

 

Seeing as some are interested, I want to invest more energy into the comparison, but not looking forward to writing the full report. ^_^

 

Impressions may have to wait until tomorrow.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Mid-fi comparison (M-100, HE-400, AH-D600, Fidelio L1, MDR-1R, Ultrasone 900, Momentum)