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Comparisons: 33 of the Top Closed/Portable Headphones Around - Page 33

post #481 of 4207
Quote:
Originally Posted by GREQ View Post
 

It's subtle - not undeniable. 

If it was a comparison with a $15 headphone, it would be undeniable. 

 

I agree on the bass; it is more textured, but the clarity overall between the two is very similar.

The rolled off treble on the Momentum doesn't mean it has less clarity than the more trebly M500. They're both excellent at detail retrieval. 

 

I don't think it's subtle. I think DACs provide subtle sound differences, I think the difference with burn-in is subtle but the difference in overall clarity between these two headphones is clearly noticeable without much extensive listening. But, as we all know, all is relative.

I do think the Momentum fares very well in terms of clarity too, though. I really like the Momentum and before I heard the KEF the Momentum was my king of the hill as far as portables go.


Edited by Lan647 - 9/27/13 at 2:34pm
post #482 of 4207
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lan647 View Post
 

 

I don't think it's subtle. I think DACs provide subtle sound differences, I think the difference with burn-in is subtle but the difference in overall clarity between these two headphones is clearly noticeable without much extensive listening. But, as we all know, all is relative.

I do think the Momentum fares very well in terms of clarity too, though. I really like the Momentum and before I heard the KEF the Momentum was my king of the hill as far as portables go.

 

My experience so far is that it's easier to hear all the separate instruments with the M500 vs. the Momentum. Probably has to do with the rolled off treble on the Momentum. All the detail is still there in the Momentum, but you have to listen more intently to hear it. Like on some tracks with acoustic guitars there are subtle 'plinks' when the guitar player touches the strings and such things stand out a bit more with the M500. To put it in other words, I probably wouldn't have noticed as much with the Momentum as those sounds blend in a bit more with the rest. It's just that when I heard it on the M500, I tested it on the Momentum and yeah of course you can hear it, but I have to listen more closely for it. And it's all such differences that stand out to me. It's not a day and night difference of course, but it's there.

 

I do notice both headphones become a bit more alive when you crank up the volume a bit (which I don't like to do as then it starts to hurt my ears).

post #483 of 4207
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lan647 View Post
 

 

This doesn't make sense to me at all. The KEF has undeniably superior clarity and bass. The Momentum clearly has boomier bass and muddier sound. So I'm not sure what's wrong here, either you've tried a faulty M500 or couldn't get a good fit.

 

If you find the Momentum to have boomy bass and muddy sound, most likely you are not getting the right fit on the Momentum.

 

It is a very finicky headphone when it comes to fit and this greatly reduces its universality. 

post #484 of 4207
The Momentums have elevated base and rolled off highs regardless of fit. Maybe you just prefer the warmer, less neutral sound. I easily prefer the M500 sound.
post #485 of 4207
Quote:
Originally Posted by robm321 View Post

The Momentums have elevated base and rolled off highs regardless of fit. Maybe you just prefer the warmer, less neutral sound. I easily prefer the M500 sound.

 

If you have read the Momentum thread, there are people who complained that the Momentum sounded:

 

1) V-shape

2) Rolled-off highs

3) Beautiful Mid-range

 

All those impressions are contradictory to each other.

 

And for any headphone, fit is paramount to getting a good sound.

 

The UERM with my Benchmark DAC1 is my reference for a neutral sound and the M500 sonic signature doesn't even come close to that.

post #486 of 4207
Quote:
Originally Posted by uelover View Post
 

 

If you have read the Momentum thread, there are people who complained that the Momentum sounded:

 

1) V-shape

2) Rolled-off highs

3) Beautiful Mid-range

 

All those impressions are contradictory to each other.

 

Not really, as far as preference is concerned. Some people prefer things that other abhor. I found that "all of the above" is the correct answer. This is one of the most confusing headphones I've listened to. I can't nail down the sound, it's always a "work in progress".

post #487 of 4207
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beagle View Post
 

 

 

I would think that the Apple Store would be the first stop for them, although my dealer in Ottawa (AudioShop) was the first to get the P5 when they came out. Future Shop came in 3rd.

 

Yep...for some reason Futureshop and Bestbuy are the slowest. I'll keep my eyes open on the Apple Store. 

post #488 of 4207
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beagle View Post
 

 

Not really, as far as preference is concerned. Some people prefer things that other abhor. I found that "all of the above" is the correct answer. This is one of the most confusing headphones I've listened to. I can't nail down the sound, it's always a "work in progress".

 

I see preference and sonic signature of the headphone as two separate matter - if the sonic signature matches your preference, then you will tend to like it. Even if it doesn't match your preference, you could still give an account of its sonic signature.

 

However, it is the description of the sonic signature that is puzzling.

 

I have used the exact same Momentum as AnakChan and we came out with two very different interpretation of its sonic signature.


Edited by uelover - 9/27/13 at 6:13pm
post #489 of 4207
Quote:
Originally Posted by uelover View Post
 

 

If you find the Momentum to have boomy bass and muddy sound, most likely you are not getting the right fit on the Momentum.

 

It is a very finicky headphone when it comes to fit and this greatly reduces its universality. 

 

Nope. As I stated earlier, I get a full around-the ear fit with the Momentum. I don't think they have a muddy sound on their own, but compared to the M500 they sound muddier. 

 

The M500 *IS* a more neutral headphone, that's a fact. Sometimes audio is subjective, but neutrality is a definite term and the M500 is clearly less colored and more flat in it's response. I have no idea why you hear differently, it's a mystery to me.. but something must have been wrong about that M500 you tried.

 

The Momentum has it's charm though, it still has a relatively neutral midrange but a significantly warmer upper bass and a recessed treble, making it a more forgiving and euphonic headphone to listen to. If you listen to it without getting used to the M500 it sounds great. After getting used to the M500, the Momentum is clearly a veiled, noticeable less refined sounding headphone.


Edited by Lan647 - 9/28/13 at 12:37am
post #490 of 4207

So before the M500 came out the Momentum had a clear sound.

Now that the M500 has come out, it's muddy. :blink:

 

I think most of us are not used to calling something that sounds really good 'muddy' or saying it's "muddier than..."

The negative wording implies that the Momentum has bad bass, when in fact it is still one of the best in the price-bracket and headphone-class, and in some ways BETTER than the M500: because for many people it is a circum-aural headphone and provides better isolation - what's the point of the M500 having slightly better bass when it simply can't isolate as well as the Momentum (and others) in busy, noisy outdoor environments. 

 

Surely the Momentum clearly wins here when you strongly factor in the product purpose.

 

In my search for a closed-back portable, isolation was (and still is) a huge factor.

post #491 of 4207

I think in general that's the whole issue with purchasing headphones. It takes a while to get used to the sound signature and to be able to fully appreciate a headphone. The fact that you can sample them in a store is kind of pointless because the store is usually a noisy environment and for me at least it takes many many hours of listening to fully get all the subtleties of a headphone. Or speakers for that matter.

 

That's why I'm glad I'm able to compare two good headphones. And I still think they both sound great. In a way, I want to like the Momentums a bit more, since they isolate noise a bit better than the M500. But on some tracks the M500 manages to give me goosebumps, where the Momentum hasn't done that yet for me. Anyway, now that the Momentums have opened up a bit I don't think they sound so muddied compared to the M500 anymore. In fact, not muddy at all. I do really notice the rolled-off treble though. My SE530 IEM also have rolled off treble so you think that's the sound I would prefer since it's what I'm used to. But the M500 has shown me that I've missed out on an important range of the sound spectrum (the highs), which adds some texture to the music.

 

Still, what I'm noticing more and more is that the Momentum has a more intimate soundstage which really works very good on some songs. The M500 has a bit wider soundstage which again works really good on other songs.  On electronic music, I'd say the M500 is the definite winner. On instrumental music (such as rock/alternative), it's a toss-up. Some songs sound a bit more balanced with the Momentum, others just sound prettier on the M500. I don't listen to classical music, so I can't judge that (but I suspect that between these two the M500 would be a bit better given the better presentation of the upper-mids to highs). I'm also not really into hip-hop/R&B, so can't judge that either :)

 

Also, I think the M500 is more sensitive to bad recordings than the Momentum. And another difference I'm noticing is that somehow the M500 is more agile. By that I mean, whenever there is a fast paced bass or guitar riff going on, the M500 appears to be able to separate each separate note or instrument better than the Momentum where it all seems to blend together a bit more. Again, this is a relative comparison, it's a subtle difference, but noticeable when you listen carefully.

 

To best illustrate what I mean by agile, listen to this track. It has a fast paced acoustic guitar in it and I think the speed of it and all the individual touches of the strings are better represented with the M500 vs. the Momentum. And that just give me goosebumps :)

 

 


Edited by starfly - 9/28/13 at 1:38am
post #492 of 4207
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lan647 View Post
 

 

Nope. As I stated earlier, I get a full around-the ear fit with the Momentum. I don't think they have a muddy sound on their own, but compared to the M500 they sound muddier. 

 

The M500 *IS* a more neutral headphone, that's a fact. Sometimes audio is subjective, but neutrality is a definite term and the M500 is clearly less colored and more flat in it's response. I have no idea why you hear differently, it's a mystery to me.. but something must have been wrong about that M500 you tried.

 

The Momentum has it's charm though, it still has a relatively neutral midrange but a significantly warmer upper bass and a recessed treble, making it a more forgiving and euphonic headphone to listen to. If you listen to it without getting used to the M500 it sounds great. After getting used to the M500, the Momentum is clearly a veiled, noticeable less refined sounding headphone.

 

I will say that the M500 is more balanced sounding than Momentum. However, both are not neutral headphone.

 

The M500 ticks for me in all area and I was initially pretty excitedly by all the raving reviews on it. I prepared my money and went over to a shop to try them with the intent of spot purchase. Upon a pretty lengthy audition, despite me trying hard to like its sound, I could not.

 

One week later, I decided to give it another chance so I went down to another shop to give it another go. But still, it sounded exactly the same as the previous pair I tried.

 

Maybe I have been spoilt by many better sounding gears. The sound of the M500 is low-mid fi to me.

post #493 of 4207
Quote:
Originally Posted by uelover View Post
 

 

I will say that the M500 is more balanced sounding than Momentum. However, both are not neutral headphone.

 

The M500 ticks for me in all area and I was initially pretty excitedly by all the raving reviews on it. I prepared my money and went over to a shop to try them with the intent of spot purchase. Upon a pretty lengthy audition, despite me trying hard to like its sound, I could not.

 

One week later, I decided to give it another chance so I went down to another shop to give it another go. But still, it sounded exactly the same as the previous pair I tried.

 

Maybe I have been spoilt by many better sounding gears. The sound of the M500 is low-mid fi to me.

 

Strange. I've been "spoilt" by many better sounding headphones too, just check out my profile and you'll see what I'm talking about. And to me, the M500 is the most high-end sounding portable headphone I've heard. But everyone is different of course :D

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GREQ View Post
 

So before the M500 came out the Momentum had a clear sound.

Now that the M500 has come out, it's muddy. :blink:

 

I think most of us are not used to calling something that sounds really good 'muddy' or saying it's "muddier than..."

The negative wording implies that the Momentum has bad bass, when in fact it is still one of the best in the price-bracket and headphone-class, and in some ways BETTER than the M500: because for many people it is a circum-aural headphone and provides better isolation - what's the point of the M500 having slightly better bass when it simply can't isolate as well as the Momentum (and others) in busy, noisy outdoor environments. 

 

Surely the Momentum clearly wins here when you strongly factor in the product purpose.

 

In my search for a closed-back portable, isolation was (and still is) a huge factor.

 

Read what I wrote again. I said the Momentum IS a very good sounding headphone (and not muddy on it's own, and less so than many competitors), it's just that the M500 makes the Momentum sound muddy by comparison, because of it's slightly loose sounding and thick bass and laid-back highs. 

 

post #494 of 4207

So I just went by a local hi-fi shop and guess what, they had the B&W P7. So I immediately asked if I could give it a listen. They also had the M500, so I did an A/B test (not very elaborate though, and it was noisy in there and he just took the P7 out of a box, so it's probably not burned in yet). But quick impression was that the P7 sounds more or less similar to the P5. And it's definitely not as agile as the M500 nor does it have as wide of a soundstage as the M500. Also the bass wasn't as tight in the P7 vs. the M500. The mids were great though. It does isolate sound really well though and I think with a bit of stretching of the headband it could be quite comfortable. At the same time, I also think your ears will get hot pretty quickly. Don't know how it compares to the Momentum, they didn't have one laying around.

 

The P7 is quite chunky by the way.

 

One of the salespeople there was really enthusiastic about the M500 himself and said that he personally much preferred the M500 sound to the P7. Here are some fun facts by the way, apparently B&W uses drivers manufactured by AKG. And the M500 was designed by Porsche Design, although the driver itself is made by KEF. The salesperson was really trying to push me in the direction of the M500, eventhough the P7 was € 100 more :) The way he said it was that he'd been listening to the P5 for years and that always sounded good, but then the M500 came along and it blew him away. He said the P7 didn't do much for him. Made me laugh though :)

 

In terms of M500 durability, he showed me that the M500 headband can be twisted in the most impossible angles. It's made of some special material but KEF is not saying what it is exactly. Freaked me out to see him twist it like that, but it was their demo model so fine. Good to know that it won't break easily. Although I'm still a bit worried about the hinges, that seems like the weakest point in the whole design.


Edited by starfly - 9/28/13 at 5:08am
post #495 of 4207
Quote:
Originally Posted by starfly View Post
 

So I just went by a local hi-fi shop and guess what, they had the B&W P7. So I immediately asked if I could give it a listen. They also had the M500, so I did an A/B test (not very elaborate though, and it was noisy in there and he just took the P7 out of a box, so it's probably not burned in yet). But quick impression was that the P7 sounds more or less similar to the P5. And it's definitely not as agile as the M500 nor does it have as wide of a soundstage as the M500. Also the bass wasn't as tight in the P7 vs. the M500. The mids were great though. It does isolate sound really well though and I think with a bit of stretching of the headband it could be quite comfortable. At the same time, I also think your ears will get hot pretty quickly. Don't know how it compares to the Momentum, they didn't have one laying around.

 

The P7 is quite chunky by the way.

 

One of the salespeople there was really enthusiastic about the M500 himself and said that he personally much preferred the M500 sound to the P7. Here are some fun facts by the way, apparently B&W uses drivers manufactured by AKG. And the M500 was designed by Porsche Design, although the driver itself is made by KEF. The salesperson was really trying to push me in the direction of the M500, eventhough the P7 was € 100 more :) The way he said it was that he'd been listening to the P5 for years and that always sounded good, but then the M500 came along and it blew him away. He said the P7 didn't do much for him. Made me laugh though :)

 

In terms of M500 durability, he showed me that the M500 headband can be twisted in the most impossible angles. It's made of some special material but KEF is not saying what it is exactly. Freaked me out to see him twist it like that, but it was their demo model so fine. Good to know that it won't break easily. Although I'm still a bit worried about the hinges, that seems like the weakest point in the whole design.

 

Thank you for sharing your impressions! 

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