Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Sound Science › The State of the Flagships
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

The State of the Flagships - Page 4

post #46 of 87
Quote:
(EDITED) Originally Posted by anetode View Post

 

  1. Bass linearity of +-5 dB from 20hz to 100hz.

    1. Bass linearity is difficult to achieve, but it should be done for a flagship.

  2. 100dB distortion should not exceed 0.8% beyond the sub-bass frequencies.

    1. No flagship should have any distortion that comes close to audibility.

  3. 100dB distortion should not exceed 1% at 30hz.

    1. No flagship should have a messy bass due to distortion.

  4. Frequency response curve should be very smooth with any resonances being very minor -- no major dips.

    1. A smooth frequency response suggests few resonances. Few resonances suggests a well engineered diaphragm and enclosure.

  5. Very small to absolutely no dip at 70hz-150hz.
    1. Those resonances are caused by an interaction of the headphone cushion and your face.   

    2. Large bumps in the frequency response at those ranges suggests a poorly engineered headphone pad or that they didn’t do their testing with the human flesh as a variable.

  6. Air-level treble should be no more than -15dB relative to the mid-range.

    1. A flagship should have excellent treble extension. Extreme treble roll-off should only exist on non-kilobuck headphones.

  7. No "wiggle" in the impedance graph.

    1. Wiggle suggests a poorly balanced voice coil in a dynamic headphone.

    2. Get that out of here if you’re a flagship.

  8. Nearly perfect channel balance.

    1. If I’m paying over $1000 for a headphone, I expect the channel matching to be as good as it gets.

  9. The headphone is open or semi-open.

(I've edited the above post from the thread starter as it gave an excellent summary of the proposed flagship criteria.)

 

Of the nine criteria above, two of them (1 and 6) are fixable by EQ.  Another two (4 and 5) can be mitigated by EQ to some degree.  This means I can elevate a lower-performing headphone to higher-level status via EQ.

 

Take the B&W P5.  From Tyll's measurements, it has very low distortion at 100dB, has no major pad resonances, and has a bass hump, which means that a boost in the bass is not needed, leaving distortion there low to keep 2 and 3 above in check.   It has no impedance wiggle, and is channel matched except perhaps for the very high treble.  Through EQ, it looks like I can turn this into an "8 out of 9" headphone as it is closed.

 

Am I missing something here?  Obviously criteria based on CSD plots would change things if they are added...

 

EDIT:  One more thing:  Sometimes the bass measurement on a closed headphone can vary a lot due to fit.  For example, the bass in the P5 measurements on innerfidelity changes depending on how well the on-ear pad seals the ear.  I have found a way to seat the P5 when I wear it so that I get a good seal.  Another headphone which I believe has some seal issues is the Audio-Technica ATH-ESW9, which I find has much more low bass than Tyll's measurement shows once I fit it right.   This would affect both 1 and 3 above. 


Edited by jazzman7 - 12/31/13 at 11:21am
post #47 of 87

LOL @ the Edition 10 comments

post #48 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueangel2323 View Post
 

LOL @ the Edition 10 comments

 

It's really terrible headphones if you actually listen to them (yes, I did. I knew Ultrasone's headphones were terrible in general, but I still doubted Tyll's opinion until that moment. Could not believe near 3K USD headphones sounded that terrible.)

post #49 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by wnmnkh View Post
 

 

It's really terrible headphones if you actually listen to them (yes, I did. I knew Ultrasone's headphones were terrible in general, but I still doubted Tyll's opinion until that moment. Could not believe near 3K USD headphones sounded that terrible.)

why didn't you like the ultrasone 10s?

post #50 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by money4me247 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wnmnkh View Post
 

 

It's really terrible headphones if you actually listen to them (yes, I did. I knew Ultrasone's headphones were terrible in general, but I still doubted Tyll's opinion until that moment. Could not believe near 3K USD headphones sounded that terrible.)

why didn't you like the ultrasone 10s?

Extremely harsh treble (even worse than Sony SA5000) really distorted, bloated bass. Hmm, at least I could endure wearing SA5000 for at least 30 minutes. I could not endure ED10 for more than 10 minutes.

 

But since some people (particularly in Japan) like such sound I conjure.

post #51 of 87

Just wanted to thank the OP for pointing us to this - good read overall - and just getting to everyone else's posts now :)

post #52 of 87

I just want to add that I support the author's study, and appreciate the time he took to prepare the presentation. The biggest challenge of this hobby for me is separating out fact from fiction, imagination, placebo and so on and these sorts of studies are very helpful.

 

 

post #53 of 87

Id like to know how the HE-560 and HE-400i do.

I like the headphones you mention but:

LCD-s: Heavy, expensive, small soundstage (from what i read).

HD800: I heard the treble can be a big problem, bass light. Call me crazy but, wouldn't it be harder to keep distortion low if there is more bass quantity?

HE-500: Heavy, a bit hard to amp.

HE-6: Hard to drive is an understatement, heavy.

HE-60: too expensive.

SR-009: crazy expensive

Ultrasone: WTF.

 

 

So far, apart from the HD800 (If they turn out to be not as bright and not as bass light) is the only headphone that I could consider. (Currently I own a HE-400).

post #54 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by catspaw View Post
 

Id like to know how the HE-560 and HE-400i do.

I like the headphones you mention but:

LCD-s: Heavy, expensive, small soundstage (from what i read).

HD800: I heard the treble can be a big problem, bass light. Call me crazy but, wouldn't it be harder to keep distortion low if there is more bass quantity?

HE-500: Heavy, a bit hard to amp.

HE-6: Hard to drive is an understatement, heavy.

HE-60: too expensive.

SR-009: crazy expensive

Ultrasone: WTF.

 

 

So far, apart from the HD800 (If they turn out to be not as bright and not as bass light) is the only headphone that I could consider. (Currently I own a HE-400).

 

The HD-800 isn't bass light. It doesn't quite extend as low as the best planars, but it is present and powerful. It is NOT like the AKG K701.

It can sound a bit thin to some and the ~5kHz ringing is what makes it "glary" on some setups. The treble is fine otherwise.

 

Just avoid pairing it with a sigma-delta DAC and thin solid state amp.

 

That said, it is not my cup of tea, unless modded or on the Cavalli Liquid Glass with godly tubes.

post #55 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by catspaw View Post
 

Id like to know how the HE-560 and HE-400i do.

I like the headphones you mention but:

LCD-s: Heavy, expensive, small soundstage (from what i read).

HD800: I heard the treble can be a big problem, bass light. Call me crazy but, wouldn't it be harder to keep distortion low if there is more bass quantity?

HE-500: Heavy, a bit hard to amp.

HE-6: Hard to drive is an understatement, heavy.

HE-60: too expensive.

SR-009: crazy expensive

Ultrasone: WTF.

 

So far, apart from the HD800 (If they turn out to be not as bright and not as bass light) is the only headphone that I could consider. (Currently I own a HE-400).

 

hahaha agree w/ the ultrasone=wtf (just really bc of their outrageous pricing per sound quality of their high-end headphones in general).

 

for you, similar sound signature to a direct HE-400 upgrade would be the LCD-X. for a more neutral presentation & overall sonic improvement, the HE-400i or HE-560. HD800 would be quite a different sound sig from an HE-400 (almost as polar opposites as you can get), but you may find it greatly enjoyable.

post #56 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by money4me247 View Post
 

 

hahaha agree w/ the ultrasone=wtf (just really bc of their outrageous pricing per sound quality of their high-end headphones in general).

 

for you, similar sound signature to a direct HE-400 upgrade would be the LCD-X. for a more neutral presentation & overall sonic improvement, the HE-400i or HE-560. HD800 would be quite a different sound sig from an HE-400 (almost as polar opposites as you can get), but you may find it greatly enjoyable.

I am more interested in polar opposites here.

I dont want another HE-400, just better.

Here is my problem with treble: If there is a lot of it, it gives me headaches.

I am a gamer more than a music listener, and the HE-400 has given me issues because of this.

 

One example was a gun called tempest in mass effect 2 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcBIua0H8SM). This gun sounded simply put, painfull on the HE-400 before i EQed that area of the treble. Even is the HD800 is more smooth, that sound would still remain, thus too bright for me.

The problem for me with the LCD-X is thats is crazy heavy, and many say its a headphone that is also not too comftable (Also, I cant use leather or pleather, I would sweat, and it actually is a form of sweat that corroedes some materials, leather would be among them).

post #57 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmaster View Post
 

 

The HD-800 isn't bass light. It doesn't quite extend as low as the best planars, but it is present and powerful. It is NOT like the AKG K701.

It can sound a bit thin to some and the ~5kHz ringing is what makes it "glary" on some setups. The treble is fine otherwise.

 

Just avoid pairing it with a sigma-delta DAC and thin solid state amp.

 

That said, it is not my cup of tea, unless modded or on the Cavalli Liquid Glass with godly tubes.

I would use bifrost uber and asgard amp for the HD800, and even thou its not a very expensive amp/dac, most people say the HD800 still gets a good run for the money.

I actually tried the akg K701 and I did not find it "bass-light".

In fact i found it sounded rather good, the problem was that when I compared the bass of the HE-400 to the AKG, it wasent just that the HE-400 had more bass, but it sounded far tighter and controlled (and with better decay).

 

The idea for me is that Bass has to have a certain quality to it, where the HD800 are, as far as I know good. However my problem is that if I want some more volume for a song or a game to increase the HD800 bass, im going to also be increasing the volume of the treble, and that is what scares me :D.

 

I will however try the HP once I saved up the cash to buy it, so perhaps my views will cahnge in regards to the ones I currently have.

 

Bare in Mind that I have NOT tried any of those flagships myself, and there is a cahnce I will actually like the WTF headphone... who knows.

 

Oh and yes, Ill even consider the HE-1000, but that price is not only scary, but I dont like the idea that in one year they dont have a warranty anymore with a diaphram as thin as my bloodcells...


Edited by catspaw - 3/20/15 at 1:20pm
post #58 of 87
hd800 can certainly sound bright on certain setups, so just make sure u get a good demo in before u buy or pair with a warmer amp (such as a tube amp) if u find it too bright.
post #59 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by catspaw View Post
 

Id like to know how the HE-560 and HE-400i do.

I like the headphones you mention but:

LCD-s: Heavy, expensive, small soundstage (from what i read).

HD800: I heard the treble can be a big problem, bass light. Call me crazy but, wouldn't it be harder to keep distortion low if there is more bass quantity?

HE-500: Heavy, a bit hard to amp.

HE-6: Hard to drive is an understatement, heavy.

HE-60: too expensive.

SR-009: crazy expensive

Ultrasone: WTF.

 

 

So far, apart from the HD800 (If they turn out to be not as bright and not as bass light) is the only headphone that I could consider. (Currently I own a HE-400).

 

Sounds like you want a Beyer T1.

post #60 of 87
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Me x3 View Post
 

 

Sounds like you want a Beyer T1.

That's just mean.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Sound Science
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Sound Science › The State of the Flagships