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Sony MDR-7520 - Page 23

post #331 of 1508
Quote:
Originally Posted by starfly View Post
I will do a detailed A/B comparison tonight and then I'll return the 1540 tomorrow. It's just not comfortable enough and so far I overall prefer the sound signature of the 7520 to the 1540. The 1540 does have nice mids and the sound is a bit more laid back, but I don't mind the analytical quality of the 7520. I guess it's partially because I've listened to the Shure SE530 IEM for 4 years and that also has that laid back quality, so I like the contrast with the 7520. The 1540 sounds a lot closer to the SE530 than it does to the 7520. And also given the price of the 1540, I just don't think it's worth it. Still think it's strange the headphone was physically designed the way it was, with that odd shape and angle. The bottom part of the pads get squished against my jaw, whereas the top parts barely touch my head, such a weird angle. Would be better if 1) the cups would extend down further and 2) they could vertically swivel a bit more so that I could actually have them flat against the side of my head, instead of at an angle.

Funny you said that as week ago during my 1540 research I stumbled across this review on amazon. At least you are not alone with that problem.

 

Quote:
 Shure still doesn't understand that a human head is not shaped like this... And if your head is actually shaped like a semi-football, then I am truly sorry and apologize for saying otherwise. But it seems like that is exactly who shure makes and designs headphones for. It's really a sad thing, after all this time they still don't understand, do not actually use their headphones, don't speak to anybody who actually used their headphones, don't read any reviews of their headphones and simply do not care that the majority find most of their headphones extremely uncomfortable. The ear pads are great and reminiscent of the Sennheiser HD 800 and same styling and texture, pretty neat actually to see this type of pad on a cheaper headphone but this does no good if the headphone itself is still uncomfortable and clampy.

Quick question on treble, is is harsh and hot as amazon review indicates or severely rolled off like Dale put it in his review, do you agree with him on that assesment

Quote:
 Update: I was really optimistic about the SRH-1540, being the high-quality headphone that it basically is. But the treble rolloff has become unbearable after a few days. Going back and comparing to the B&O H6, B&W P7, Beyer COP and others, all of the others have the treble extension which is recessed on the SRH-1540. So I enabled the old reliable iTunes Treble Booster, which brings the SRH-1540 treble up to a comparable level (with no noticeable peaks or roughness), I gave it a long listen comparing back and forth among these headphones, and am satisfied that the result sound is OK for the $500 USD I spent for the SRH-1540. The problem with the SRH-1540 seems to be the design - a much stronger than neutral bass, a more distant than normal midrange perspective, and a slightly reduced treble - all combining to render the highs much weaker than the other headphones.

Edited by Andrew_WOT - 12/5/13 at 10:34am
post #332 of 1508

I think the thing with some people hearing harsh and hot treble, and other people not hearing that, has a lot to do with age and the amount of hearing loss you've had. When I was a bit younger I went to a lot of parties playing music that was way too loud, so I'm sure I have some permanent hearing damage (came home with a ringing sound in my ears often enough). So I probably can't hear high frequencies as well as some other people.

 

Having said that though, so far I don't find the treble particularly harsh or rolled-off, but compared to the 7520 the highs are a bit recessed and slightly less crisp (a bit longer decay perhaps, compared to the 7520). What I do like about the highs of the 1540 is that there is barely any sibilance, if at all. This is something I sometimes find a bit annoying about the 7520, the sibilance. I agree with the more distant midrange part from Dale's review, especially compared to the 7520, but it still sounds good. The midrange is the best aspect of the 1540. I don't find the bass on the 1540 particularly strong, again when compared to the 7520. And the bass seem to lack that last bit of definition, compared to the 7520, but this might partially be due to the fact that the 1540 doesn't have that mid-bass hump that the 7520 has, which can give the impression of more detail. Otherwise I'm just not super impressed so far. It's a clean and smooth sound and a bit spacious, a good headphone but nothing special otherwise and not worth the extra € 110 to me, especially because of the comfort issues.

 

And to clarify the comfort issue I have, here a rough sketch of what I mean:

The black line is how an earcup would ideally press against your head (and that's how the 7520 does it for instance), but the red line is how the 1540 presses against my head. And since it doesn't extend down far enough, the bottom edge of the cup presses against my earlobe, which gets uncomfortable after a bit.


Edited by starfly - 12/5/13 at 8:42am
post #333 of 1508

I do find that the sibilance is somewhat depends on the recording. What type of microphone is being used and how close it is to the mouth makes a big difference.  On many opera recording sibilance is less of a issue for me because of the recording techniques being used. Many users are used to amplified concerts that there is what I call a reverse slope frequency response, more bass as compared to the high treble. I went to some classical unamplified concerts where the treble is very piercing and annoying specially from the bass section.

 

From a comfort issue I find that AKG headphones like the K701 for example, press too hard on my neck which in turn too much pressure on my Eustachian Tubes. This will muffed the sound and I would have to bend the heck of the wire frame on the AKG headphone in order to equalize the pressure from the bottom of the ear cup to the top. The AKG headphone like the K701 has no pivot for the top and bottom movement for the ear cups.

post #334 of 1508
Quote:
Originally Posted by john57 View Post
 

I do find that the sibilance is somewhat depends on the recording. What type of microphone is being used and how close it is to the mouth makes a big difference.  On many opera recording sibilance is less of a issue for me because of the recording techniques being used. Many users are used to amplified concerts that there is what I call a reverse slope frequency response, more bass as compared to the high treble. I went to some classical unamplified concerts where the treble is very piercing and annoying specially from the bass section.

 

From a comfort issue I find that AKG headphones like the K701 for example, press too hard on my neck which in turn too much pressure on my Eustachian Tubes. This will muffed the sound and I would have to bend the heck of the wire frame on the AKG headphone in order to equalize the pressure from the bottom of the ear cup to the top. The AKG headphone like the K701 has no pivot for the top and bottom movement for the ear cups.

True, it's very recording dependent. Not all recordings I have sound that way. But still, the fact that the 7520 is so revealing is both a blessing and a curse at the same time I guess :)

post #335 of 1508

On the sound of the 7520, I find that it is only sibilant when the recording is sibilant. It's not that the headphones have a treble emphasis that makes every S piercing like some other headphones I've owned before.

While you may notice sibilance in a recording, I rarely find it uncomfortable to listen to. It may not be the most relaxed headphone in that regard, but you can probably EQ it out if that's what you prefer. (personally I don't use EQ)

 

Rarely do I find the headphones so revealing that they are not enjoyable to listen to - they just sound right to me.

 

As for the sense of space, being a sealed headphone, it may not be as spacious as open headphones, but I don't find it to sound closed in either.

I do most of my listening through Redline Monitor these days though. I have it configured to restore the spatial cues that are lost when you wear headphones (because each ear is isolated from each other) but not so that it's trying to emulate speakers in a room - it still sounds like headphones.

They have a 60 day trial, and I use it set to a 90° angle (like headphones) with a -1.8dB center and no distance setting (room emulation) when using the 7520.

You will find that some tracks start to sound very wide, and yet others don't sound changed at all. This is because the plugin is not artificially widening the sound, but only restoring positional cues that you normally lose with headphones.

post #336 of 1508

I still prefer headphones to have great clarity and definition. When I first got one of the three Stax Headphones I owned I was concern that the Stax headphone will be too revealing and all the distortion in my system and the limitation of older recording will become too obvious and distracting to enjoy. I learn to enjoy the performance and not to nitpick everything. I have some modern recordings that sounded very awful as compared to older recording with a bit higher noise floor because recording techniques were still good in the older days. There has been some improvement in recording techniques as compared to modern equipment today but for the most part for the performance little has changed. I still like great equipment that gives me a impression or a window of being in a concert hall.

post #337 of 1508

Okay guys, these are my final impressions of the 1540 vs. 7520.

 

Sony MDR-7520

  • Mid to upper-mid bass hump, more poweful bass.
  • 'More' sound. Hard to explain, but when switching back and forth, I just seem to pick up more music on the 7520, more details I guess.
  • Clarity!
  • Highs a bit crisper, a bit more present as well. But, very unforgiving with bad recordings (sibilance will not be masked).
  • Mids a bit more forward on the 7520 (or a bit more recessed on the 1540?)
  • Bass seems to be a bit more defined on the 7520 and a bit punchier. 1540 has a more laid back bass.
  • In terms of comfort, the 7520 wins hands down. No contest! :)               

 

Shure SRH1540

  • Wider soundstage, good imaging and depth. Better than the 7520 in this respect.
  • Highs are neither harsh or rolled-off (as some have been reporting). There is perhaps a bit of a longer decay compared to 7520, so slightly less crisp.
  • In general, notes seem to linger slightly longer than with the 7520, which gives it a more smooth and pleasant sound, though it detracts from the sense of PRaT.
  • Quite forgiving of less well mastered recordings.
  • Mids are very pleasing, very nice. I'd say the mids are the best aspect of this headphone. It has nice definition, although I'd give the 7520 a slight edge in mid-range detail. This mostly has to do with the 'attack' of the instruments, the leading edge of a note. This makes the 1540 come across as sounding smoother, especially noticeable with the guitar and the piano. Because of this, the 1540 misses that last bit of edge, if that's what you're looking for. It's a subtle difference though.
  • Instrument separation is on par with the 7520, so very good.
  • On some songs the 1540 is somehow able to lift the vocals up above the music, a quality I like about this headphone.
  • Sound signature is overall a bit darker than the 7520.

 

My final words are that the 1540 is a really good sounding headphone. I like the somewhat laid back quality of it and it could potentially have been a replacement for the 7520, if the comfort would have been good, which it absolutely isn't. Since I already know I'm returning them I don't see the point in keeping them much longer, so I'm shipping them back tomorrow.

 

I think that for now I'll stop shopping around for other headphones, I'm very content with the 7520. It sounds very good and measures up very well to even more expensive headphones such as the 1540. Actually, in many ways it beats the 1540, but I do think the overall sound signature of the 1540 is very pleasing :)


Edited by starfly - 12/5/13 at 2:18pm
post #338 of 1508

When you walk with these or move your jaw around does anyone hear an audible rubbing or creaking in the mechanics that hold the earcups?  It appears to be the pins on either side that hold and allow the earcup to pivot. When music is low I can hear this and it would kind of impact the ability to use these while on the move.


Edited by Father Schu - 12/7/13 at 12:15pm
post #339 of 1508

My Shure 940 creaks quite a bit  from the headphone band. My HD598 creaks just a bit.  I have not noticed that much with the Sony at this time.

post #340 of 1508
Quote:
Originally Posted by Father Schu View Post
 

When you walk with these or move your jaw around does anyone hear an audible rubbing or creaking in the mechanics that hold the earcups?  It appears to be the pins on either side that hold and allow the earcup to pivot. When music is low I can hear this and it would kind of impact the ability to use these while on the move.

Same here and in fact, I think I am going to contact Sony about it.  The Focal Pros do not do this, neither do a lot of other cans.

 

I wonder if some lubrication is needed if that is where it is coming from.  I was thinking it was the band and possible thinking of tightening the screws, but that won't work if it is the pivots.

post #341 of 1508

No creaking or mechanical noise here whatsoever using my 7520, approaching 300-400 hours of use.

I suggest spraying some thin teflon based oil (Tri-Flow) at the movable parts and see if that fixes the problem.

post #342 of 1508

If I had to lube parts using a spray can I would spray a Q-tip and apply using the Q-tip. With  oil can type I sometimes use a needle or similar to let the oil run down in a more controlled fashion. I have not heard creaking in my Sony at this time.


Edited by john57 - 12/7/13 at 3:02pm
post #343 of 1508

No creaking here either.

post #344 of 1508

The earcup pivot pins may be too tight as that is where it is coming from on mine.  Any movement, even slight head moves, and you hear the creaking.  May have to return these and try another pair.

post #345 of 1508

Didn't hear any creaking in mine either. Haven't listened in a couple days but definitely nothing I noticed.

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