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Need help from someone that has experience with dynamic and planar. Understanding of speed and detail

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I have spent the last 5-6 years listening to headphones every day for hours on end.  I have owned quite a few

different ones but all being dynamic drivers.  My most recent purchase the hifiman he-400 has me drooling

over the advantages of the planar design.  For the first time i have been able to understand speed like attack and decay.

I've even auditioned hundreds of speakers most being high end and never found this much detail.  I'm in love for the most part

I don't mind spending money on a higher end headphone and the he-500 and 6 sound like they would be to my liking but

i spend the day with my kids and they are loud.  I can't seem to get my brain to get surrounded by the sound when the kids are being loud.

Something i didn't always have a problem with when using dynamic drivers and i believe it's due to the angled drivers i usually have.  They give off an initial naturalness to the soundstage. When i first put the hifiman's on the sound seams like it's coming out of speaker instead of natural soundstage/image but once i have time to focus on just the music at night, with no noise, they open up. So i'm wondering two things

1st:  are higher end dynamic drivers capable of producing the amount of detail and speed that my planars are producing.  I don't think i could compromise less detail.  Maybe a little speed but prefer not to.  Because i'm considering the Th-900's

2nd:  what i'm trying to accomplish is not having to wait till the kids go to bed and turn off all the lights before i can enjoy my music.  So do you think an audeze open headphone has a natural enough soundstage/image that i could use it during the day or would i have to go with the closed back version?

 i would prefer someone that understands what i'm saying. if you don't then you don't.  There might not be anyone that thinks like me so it could be a lost cause and i might have to spend money i don't have to go to can jam next year to audition and then have to wait another two years before i can afford to buy the headphone.


Im not that worried about frequency response, i can respect most and relate to it but i'm not using this for reference more to enjoy music.  i listen to everything but a lot of live music, electronic, acoustic.  What gives me goosebumps the most are detailed airy female vocals and cello's/violins and some pianos.   Another thing is i would definitely love for these headphones to dig deeper than the 20hz my he's go

Edited by DoctaCosmos - 12/10/13 at 7:42pm
post #2 of 5



1) Planar tech is old. It just makes come backs now and then. It's a very interesting sound however, and if it suits you, then great. I definitely suits me.


2) If you've auditioned "high end" speakers, and never heard detail like from the HE400, then I frankly question what you call "high end" speakers. My definition is something along the lines of unobtainable $12k+ as an entry point, upwards of $50~60k. Beware using the word "high end" on anything in audio, because unless you are actually talking about flagship level high-end stuff, that is truly high end, and not just the top end of a best buy consumer ad, it will change your world when you see/hear what real high-end actually is.


3) High end dynamics, and mid-tier dynamics, are able to produce similar/better detail and speed for the most part as planar magnetics. They're quite similar. It really will simply come down to preference, not technical superiority.


4) I find Audezee to not have a natural sound stage. Not sure how you think a closed back version is going to be different/better in that regard. On this subject, headphones do not have a natural soundstage at all, especially compared to speakers. But that's a limitation of having two drivers next to your head instead of a field. It's always a compromise with headphones.


I would frankly suggest you simply stick with the HE400 for a good long while. You're looking to buy higher end gear, but you're not going to get much increase in actual quality, just a wee bit more. The bulk of the difference that your ear can detect will be simply preference driven aspects.


You're not going to find many headphones, nor speakers for that matter, that can drop below 20hz. That's below true audible hearing anyways. Below 20~25hz, it's really just vibration that you feel, not hear. A headphone will never reproduce this. A set of 18" subs tuned to drop flat to 12~14hz will blow your mind, since you can't hear them, but you can feel them. Don't expect this from headphones of any nature.


For closed headphones in your future, here's my suggestion:


Mr Speakers Mad Dogs with Alpha Pads

Shure SRH1540


Very best,

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

you are right that i shouldn't have said hi-end. that's a different conversation however.

Obviously headphones don't have a natural soundstage compared to speakers.  What you didn't pick up on that i was saying is that this headphone in particular immediately draws me to the fact that i'm listening to a headphone.  I feel like its a huge bodied sound but constricted when it wants to escape and be more open sounding. That's what i meant by more natural and as i have found, the isolation of a closed back headphone, even though technically more constrained, my brain can cope with the sound easier.  However it opens up when i close my eyes and get to focus without distractions. 


While the small increases in sound quality might not be much for you, every headphone i have had has had its flaws and it draws me away from the ability to truly enjoy it.  So, to you it might not be worth the extra money but as much as i have spent on speakers and headphones, i want my perfect sound and if i have to spend some more then so be it cause i love listening to music.

Listening to the headphones right now and maybe i was quick to judge.  I think my ears just need to warm up to the sound.  But i still feel like i could enjoy it more with more space.

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

also as far as digging deeper goes these headphones just seam to cut off at 20 and it draws attention to the headphone.  i don't like that so i would like something that even if it doesn't rattle my brain, gradually rolls off instead of cutting off

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

thank you btw. 

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