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AKG K812 Pro - Page 122

post #1816 of 3078
I'm debating an Amazon purchase just so I can try them out for myself and do my own HD 800 comparison. Both sides of the coin have turned this thread into a crap throwing match and any impressions have become colored and unreliable at this point.

Sonido, I'm looking at you to bring balance to the Force.
post #1817 of 3078
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post

 

So take that how you will. Personally, I think it's totally plausible that some folks have harsher sounding K812s. I've observed differences in the K550, K3003, and plenty of other headphones from other brands: Beyerdynamic, Audez'e, Ultrasone, etc.

 

 

I have my 812 over 2 months to date and I cannot understand that some folks describe it as brutally harsh sounding. I always thinking then that you are talking not about my 812! My T1 was harsher and this 812 is another beast which technically eat the T1 to breakfast.

MuppetFace, goodness knows if there are production fluctuations. But my one is the best dynamic headphone I ever own.

post #1818 of 3078

Woot just checked tracking and said delivered! Surprising since the status never went to out for delivery, and only arrived at post office at 11am this morning.
Edited by Sonido - 3/8/14 at 10:59am
post #1819 of 3078

So first impression. Okay this is less than 20 minutes of listening and out of box impressions, but I want to document it so I don't forget later on.

 

While unboxing, it gave me a paper cut. Perhaps ominous signs of things to come?

 

First impressions of looks are is that it's very industrial looking. Also there was some black power that rubbed off onto my hands, the paint perhaps?. Putting them on, they were very very comfortable. Had the chamber space of the HD800, but without taking over your entire face. I give it a point over the HD800 in comfort.

 

Well how does it sound? I started by playing out of my smartphone since people said it worked well with mobile devices. They were right it does very well with my phone, though I quickly found myself going to max volume on it, but it reached 80-85 dB, my normal listening volume.

 

First thought that went through my mind when the music started playing: These are dark! Darker than anything I've heard. Granted I've never heard headphones know as dark like the LCD-2. The headphones I've owned and spent extensive time listening to are HD598, HD700, T90, HE-500, ESP950, and HD800. I think these are the darkest headphones I've heard. I think the closest headphone as far as similar signature may be the HD700 through WA7 with EH tubes that made the bass come out. I haven't heard the HD700 in months since I sold it, but early impressions remind me of those, but without the veil or lack of clarity I found the HD700 to have. But I can already feel this is a great complement to the HD800 in terms of tonality and signature.

 

As for the horrendous treble, I haven't heard it yet. But once again, after going through the T90, treble doesn't seem to bother me as much as others. Going to the JPop song I found to have 2-3 kHz peaking problems on my KEF M500, it does have some stridency, perhaps a somewhat more than the HD800 on the same song, but it's not as bad as the M500. I'll have to compare them all side by side later to confirm. Perhaps proper amping will help with this, as once again this all just impressions through my phone at a non-ideal max volume. <- Edit: More on the subject of this lower treble in post below.

 

Another note I want to add is that I didn't find artifacting or clipping at max volume through my phone. When I do the same for the HD800, it would have these clipping noises intermittently.

 

Stay tuned for more impressions from my amps. The Questyle won't come in til Monday, but I'll give early impressions on the Schiit Vali and the headphone out from my Emotiva DC-1 DAC.

 

Oh yeah another point to the K812 over HD800 in using with a portable device like a phone.


Edited by Sonido - 3/8/14 at 2:52pm
post #1820 of 3078

Alright moving onto the Vali.

 

The great news is that despite being a low impedance headphone, the 96 dB/mW is low enough to not really have any noise problems with the Vali. It does have a higher noise floor than the HD800 with the Vali, but far from M500 with Vali. This bodes well for when I use the Questyle, which has noise floor issues with some more sensitive headphones.

 

I want to take a minute here are discuss the lower treble issues that people are so interesting in on these. I have to unfortunately recant on what I said earlier in the very first impressions about it not being an issue. Perhaps I gave it pass because I was driving it through my phone at max volume, and assuming all fault form the phone. Now spending time with with a dedicated amp, I find that the problem still exists. To me it's actually very similar to the problem with the M500. Up to 75 to 80 dB, there is absolutely no problems with the lower treble. But once you go above that it becomes exponentially worse. By the time you hit 85 dB, it's pretty painful and makes me cringe. Jarring would be the best word to describe it. Now this is not a deal breaker for me, mainly because I don't intend to use them past 65 dB at work.

 

The song I used to test this is Hitohira no Hanabira by Stereopony (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYV-XJdzupY). I invite other K812 owners to try listening through the chorus of this song on a 85+ dB volume and share their impressions. Now I can say the way the song is recorded plays a big part in how much this treble problem is accentuated. This song is definitely mastered in a way that this is lower treble problem is very prominent and noticeable. However, I noticed this problem in many JPop songs by this artist and other JPop artists as well, so perhaps the entire genre is not well suited. I have to agree with what Tyll said about when the treble problem part hits, it just becomes a wall of jarring noise that covers up everything else. Once again, to me this only becomes a problem at louder volumes, and it seems like a specific volume threshold that it hits and goes into this nasty treble mode.

 

Unfortunately, I did not take my M500 home this weekend to make a direct comparison of what I find to have a shared issue between the two headphones. However, I did compare it to the HD800 through the same Vali setup. At louder volumes with the same songs I found something interesting with the HD800. Once again, I stress the recording plays a large role in this problem, and the same JPop song at louder volumes wasn't pleasing sounding with the HD800 either at those treble parts. However, it was never jarring or cringe worthy. Interestingly, the HD800 seemed be able to resolve the sound better, and play it smoother, and not go into an uncontrolled treble mode. A great analogy I can make is this sounds like the difference between soft and hard clipping. The HD800 seems to soft clip instead where the noise it not a flat wall of nasty treble, and it tries to resolve it, though still not pleasing sounding of course, but that's more the problem with the recording. For the K812, it does what seems like a hard clip where it just cuts off the correct sound at a certain volume and just blasts away a single jarring noise.

 

Of course, this is simply an analogy, as clipping has nothing to do with what is happening here, but I find the the sound difference between soft and hard clipping to be oddly similar when comparing how the HD800 and K812 handles the lower treble sound at higher volumes.

 

More impressions are to come. I can definitely tell other technicalities like details, imaging, and soundstage are comparable to TOTL headphones, and I do like the overall signature, other than the lower treble problem. Once again, for my particular use case of using it at work and at low volumes so not to bother others, this lower treble problem does not even come into play. I'll post more details on the other sound aspects and how it compares to the HD800 later, but I just wanted to give my take on the lower treble problem that everyone seems very interested in.

post #1821 of 3078

Hey Sonido congrats on your K812. Mine is "out for delivery" should have it in my hands in the next hour or two.

 

As for that Stereopony song. I have that entire album on FLAC, and that song in particular is mastered pretty terribly. I have no idea how you can stand it on any headphone. The entire song is just a stabbing strident pain to my ears on even the Focal Spirit Pro, which I KNOW is not strident. Haha. Same goes for the Signature Pro. I think Tyll might punch you in the face if you make him listen to that song. :tongue_smile:

 

@MuppetFace

 

Thanks for the update! And thanks for confirming at least one case of product variation. I guess after this long in this hobby it doesn't surprise me.

 

My fingers are crossed that mine is sound just as good as my first pair. I'm told it's the latest and greatest batch fresh from Austria.


Edited by M-13 - 3/8/14 at 1:18pm
post #1822 of 3078
Quote:
Originally Posted by M-13 View Post
 

Hey Sonido congrats on your K812. Mine is "out for delivery" should have it in my hands in the next hour or two.

 

As for that Stereopony song. I have that entire album on FLAC, and that song in particular is mastered pretty terribly. I have no idea how you can stand it on any headphone. The entire song is just a stabbing strident pain to my ears on even the Focal Spirit Pro, which I KNOW is not strident. Haha. Same goes for the Signature Pro. I think Tyll might punch you in the face if you make him listen to that song. :tongue_smile:

 

@MuppetFace

 

Thanks for the update! And thanks for confirming at least one case of product variation. I guess after this long in this hobby it doesn't surprise me.

 

My fingers are crossed that mine is sound just as good as my first pair. I'm told it's the latest and greatest batch fresh from Austria.


Well compare the two headphones directly at louder volumes with that song. Like I said, it's not pleasing either with the HD800, but it handles it better. Maybe you'll hear what I mean when you compare.

post #1823 of 3078

Interesting impressions. Keep them coming. I think I may pull the trigger on this just to test my own ears and brain, although dark isn't the type of can I'm looking for. Can you elaborate on the darkness and pull some more comparisons?

post #1824 of 3078
Quote:
Originally Posted by M-13 View Post
 

Hey Sonido congrats on your K812. Mine is "out for delivery" should have it in my hands in the next hour or two.

 

As for that Stereopony song. I have that entire album on FLAC, and that song in particular is mastered pretty terribly. I have no idea how you can stand it on any headphone. The entire song is just a stabbing strident pain to my ears on even the Focal Spirit Pro, which I KNOW is not strident. Haha. Same goes for the Signature Pro. I think Tyll might punch you in the face if you make him listen to that song. :tongue_smile:

 

@MuppetFace

 

Thanks for the update! And thanks for confirming at least one case of product variation. I guess after this long in this hobby it doesn't surprise me.

 

My fingers are crossed that mine is sound just as good as my first pair. I'm told it's the latest and greatest batch fresh from Austria.


I need to use that song the next time I listen to my friends K812. I'm not hearing the stridency on that song on my mediocre system with any of my headphones.

post #1825 of 3078
Quote:
Originally Posted by roguegeek View Post
 

Interesting impressions. Keep them coming. I think I may pull the trigger on this just to test my own ears and brain, although dark isn't the type of can I'm looking for. Can you elaborate on the darkness and pull some more comparisons?


Well clearly there's more bass, but overall the tonality is just darker. I found on certain instrumentation such as drums, acoustic guitar, and piano there's a longer decay and more dimensionality to the notes. At first, compared to the HD800 it sounds less clean and clear, and I think this gives the impression of darkness, but upon further listening, I find it more realistic, even if the HD800 presentation is more technically perfect. The K812 presentation of the sound is closer to something you may hear live in the real world, where the HD800 is too perfect for the real world, but is closer to textbook perfection. Kinda like physics class in school that ignores friction and the numerous of other various factors that exist in the real world. Being too perfect to be realistic is not a bad thing at all in my opinion, and I can see arguments for both sides.

 

Some other quick observations. I've switched to the DC-1 headphone outputs because I can simultaneously play both. The HD800 is a big quieter than the K812 at the same volume level so I adjust about 5 dB when switching. Though not as large as the HD800, I am quite satisfied with the soundstaging on these. In fact, the soundstage synchronizes perfectly with aforementioned darker, and more realistic tonality. The way the notes feel more dimensional is really well represented in the space the K812 creates and creates a sublime soundstage and imaging. It's kinda like what I tried to achieve by adding the Quickie to my HD800 chain, but the K812 has it by default. Another thing that surprised me is that the K812 seems to pick up more details than the HD800. It's even less forgiving than the HD800 for bad recordings with background noises. Once again, this is merely impressions from the Vali and DC-1 as amps. My Bottlehead setup isn't geared towards details either. We'll see if this changes when my Questyle comes in.

 

So far I have to say the K812 is definitively a flawed headphone, and it's really one only flaw is a lot worse in magnitude compared to the flaws of other flagship headphones. However, the good news is that it only has this one flaw to me, and it can be merely prevented by keeping the volume to a moderate level. I've been spending the past hour listening at 75 dB, which is an enjoyable volume to me. There has not been any instance of the lower treble issue. Discounting fancier amping, I would say the K812 is perhaps the best headphone I've listened to at 75 dB. <- Note the qualifiers. I have to say it sounds better than the HD800 right now when both are being driven by the DC-1 and at 75 dB. Of course, the DC-1 is not ideal for the HD800 and the HD800 is quite picky and far pickier than the K812. Heck, the K812 sounded great and had the same oomph in the bass even from my smartphone.

 

Bottom line, the K812 is perfect for someone who doesn't have fancy amping, and doesn't intend to listen at louder volumes.

 

More impressions to comes. This could all change as I'm still in the early stages. Maybe burn-in will help with the treble issues. It will be interesting to see how my opinions change when using a high end amp once my Questyle comes in.


Edited by Sonido - 3/8/14 at 2:56pm
post #1826 of 3078

Another thought. I owned and got used to the T90 at one point. It's possible to get somewhat used to the lower treble issue through brain burn-in, and that could be why there are differing opinions.

post #1827 of 3078
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonido View Post
 


Well clearly there's more bass, but overall the tonality is just darker. I found on certain instrumentation such as drums, acoustic guitar, and piano there's a longer decay and more dimensionality to the notes. At first, compared to the HD800 it sounds less clean and clear, and I think this gives the impression of darkness, but upon further listening, I find it more realistic, even if the HD800 presentation is more technically perfect. The K812 presentation of the sound is closer to something you may hear live in the real world, where the HD800 is too perfect for the real world, but is closer to textbook perfection. Kinda like physics class in school that ignores friction and the numerous of other various factors that exist in the real world. Being too perfect to be realistic is not a bad thing at all in my opinion, and I can see arguments for both sides.

 

Some other quick observations. I've switched to the DC-1 headphone outputs because I can simultaneously play both. The HD800 is a big quieter than the K812 at the same volume level so I adjust about 5 dB when switching. Though not as large as the HD800, I am quite satisfied with the soundstaging on these. In fact, the soundstage synchronizes perfectly with aforementioned darker, and more realistic tonality. The way the notes feel more dimensional is really well represented in the space the K812 creates and creates a sublime soundstage and imaging. It's kinda like what I tried to achieve by adding the Quickie to my HD800 chain, but the K812 has it by default. Another thing that surprised me is that the K812 seems to pick up more details than the HD800. It's even less forgiving than the HD800 for bad recordings with background noises. Once again, this is merely impressions from the Vali and DC-1 as amps. My Bottlehead setup isn't geared towards details either. We'll see if this changes when my Questyle comes in.

 

So far I have to say the K812 is definitively a flawed headphone, and it's really one only flaw is a lot worse in magnitude compared to the flaws of other flagship headphones. However, the good news is that it only has this one flaw to me, and it can be merely prevented by keeping the volume to a moderate level. I've been spending the past hour listening at 75 dB, which is an enjoyable volume to me. There has not been any instance of the lower treble issue. Discounting fancier amping, I would say the K812 is perhaps the best headphone I've listened to at 75 dB. <- Note the qualifiers. I have to say it sounds better than the HD800 right now when both are being driven by the DC-1 and at 75 dB. Of course, the DC-1 is not ideal for the HD800 and the HD800 is quite picky and far pickier than the K812. Heck, the K812 sounded great and had the same oomph in the bass even from my smartphone.

 

Bottom line, the K812 is perfect for someone who doesn't have fancy amping, and doesn't intend to listen at louder volumes.

 

More impressions to comes. This could all change as I'm still in the early stages. Maybe burn-in will help with the treble issues. It will be interesting to see how my opinions change when using a high end amp once my Questyle comes in.

 

Thank you for the first impressions. Try 20-40 hours of burn in with pink noise, as I found it took the edge off the treble with a number of other models including K702.

post #1828 of 3078
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post
 

 

Thank you for the first impressions. Try 20-40 hours of burn in with pink noise, as I found it took the edge off the treble with a number of other models including K702.


Thanks for the tip!

post #1829 of 3078

HD800 isn't picky. The listener is picky. Headphones obey physical laws last time I checked. Many hear the HD800 as thin, bass shy and bright. However, that is the what the HD800 sound like when using flat FR, low distortion equipment. Separate the sound of the headphone from the sound of the headphone + amplifier combo.

 

It's an important point to make because there is no "scaling" there is only a difference in sound. It's irritating because people act like you must have X,Y,Z amplifier for the HD800 that conveniently doubles the cost. It's even more irritating when people do this to make another headphone seem cheaper in comparison and usually happens when people are scraping the barrel of reasons to get another headphone instead. "T1 is cheap because you need to spend like $3000 for a HD800 combo otherwise." That is just awful reasoning.


Edited by Dreyka - 3/8/14 at 4:26pm
post #1830 of 3078
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreyka View Post
 

HD800 isn't picky. The listener is picky. Headphones obey physical laws last time I checked. Many hear the HD800 as thin, bass shy and bright. However, that is the what the HD800 sound like when using flat FR, low distortion equipment. Separate the sound of the headphone from the sound of the headphone + amplifier combo.

 

It's an important point to make because there is no "scaling" there is only a difference in sound.

 

:confused_face_2:

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