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Shure SRH1540 Review - Page 56

post #826 of 1583
Quote:
Originally Posted by nw130d View Post

Wouldn't the Alpha Dog be in more direct comparison with the 1540? Especially if one consider the price. I haven't owned/ demoed the Mad Dog but Alpha Dog sound signature is different than the HD25.

The 1540 at louder playing levels, slightly higher decibels than say at normal conversation volume. The 1540 sounds 99% the same as HD25, sound signature wise. Small difference is bass boom of the 25 is slightly narrower freq range than the bass emphasis of the 1540, which is slightly wider and into the lower freq. Sound stage is bigger in the 1540 as expected. I personally been looking to get the HD25 sound signature but improvements in comfort for a long... long time. 1540 is the end game for me in closed headphones (k550 for some genres are better).

Comfort of the Alpha Dog is better in the headband area. 1540 for me still more comfortable as ears gets sweaty less of the time vs Alpha Dog. 1540 is also more portable in the sense it doesn't require as powerful of an amp.
Well, the Mad Dog Pro is $450, so it's close price wise, also...and from what I've read, as you say, the Alphas probably have a different sound signature than I'm after if I'm looking for something like the HD25 but "better." I do like the looks of the Alphas over the other Mad Dogs, though.

I think you're convincing me on the 1540s. I've been working my way back through this thread to see other people's comments, as well. I need to see if there is somewhere I can try them out.
post #827 of 1583

Intriguing... just revisited the Audeze EL8 thread. Would appear at least one person stating the closed EL8 sounding similar to the HD25. At the impedance of 30 ohm and efficiency of 102dB/1mW technically EL8 should be easier to drive than the 1540.

 

Exciting times Oppo PM3 now Audeze EL8... might be worth holding off on the 1540. Or grab a used pair of 1540 as you won't lose much money avoiding that initial purchased new hit. In case either or is clearly better than the 1540?


Edited by nw130d - 1/9/15 at 9:17pm
post #828 of 1583

This is the thing with headphones, there will always be another new thing coming out.  You can sit and wait and wait, and ultimately get nothing! ha

I say just pick one and go for it.  I can only speak on behalf of the 1540's as I have not heard the other prior headphones personally.  All I can say is I love my 1540's and I think I have finally found the "one"  It just handles what I through at it very well, it never feels lacking.  It is easy to drive so an amp is not needed.  My Usual set up is Fiio e17--> Shure 1540.  I will sometimes use my Fiio X1 if I am walking around my house with them on.  

If you are looking for a modest U shaped frequency curve then the 1540 should be an excellent choice.  I think the great thing about them is the fact that for a closed back they have an excellent sound stage and air to them in comparison to other closed cans.

post #829 of 1583

Delance26, agreed

 

Just have to say though, going to bit more of a rant... I don't feel in the distant past there hasn't been any competitive push for hifi closed headphones and/or easy to drive headphones as we see today. In contrast to recent years there has been a massive amount of closed easy to drive headphones that sounds on par with mid-hi fi open power hungry headphones. This is a logical progression that should of happened years earlier, basically soon as the mp3 and ipods has been invented and caught on in the early 2000s.

 

I honestly don't get people who are into power hungry open headphones. Logic of using headphone is to isolate the user from their environment, or why not just use speakers?! Power hungry headphones that require an amp, why not use speakers? Headphones that require an amp means just one more thing in the daisy chain to distort or at best colour the sound. Why not just get headphones with the right colour (sound signature) in the first place. Not to mention these stupid massive portable player/dac/amp rigs people want to carry, when closed headphones like the K550 run perfectly off a good DAC in some phones with sound stage wide as HD600 to boot.

 

This old dimwitted thinking hinders any technology progression. Not to pick on anyone but Tyll from InnerFidelity is a well known example, whom still keeped the HD600 on the wall of fame because his logic is X2 is low impedance (bad thing) and HD600 is harder to drive is viewed as a good thing. His logic, with HD600 one can spend more money and find an amp to drive them? WHY?!

post #830 of 1583
Quote:
Originally Posted by nw130d View Post

Delance26, agreed

Just have to say though, going to bit more of a rant... I don't feel in the distant past there hasn't been any competitive push for hifi closed headphones and/or easy to drive headphones as we see today. In contrast to recent years there has been a massive amount of closed easy to drive headphones that sounds on par with mid-hi fi open power hungry headphones. This is a logical progression that should of happened years earlier, basically soon as the mp3 and ipods has been invented and caught on in the early 2000s.

I honestly don't get people who are into power hungry open headphones. Logic of using headphone is to isolate the user from their environment, or why not just use speakers?! Power hungry headphones that require an amp, why not use speakers? Headphones that require an amp means just one more thing in the daisy chain to distort or at best colour the sound. Why not just get headphones with the right colour (sound signature) in the first place. Not to mention these stupid massive portable player/dac/amp rigs people want to carry, when closed headphones like the K550 run perfectly off a good DAC in some phones with sound stage wide as HD600 to boot.

This old dimwitted thinking hinders any technology progression. Not to pick on anyone but Tyll from InnerFidelity is a well known example, whom still keeped the HD600 on the wall of fame because his logic is X2 is low impedance (bad thing) and HD600 is harder to drive is viewed as a good thing. His logic, with HD600 one can spend more money and find an amp to drive them? WHY?!

closed easy to drive headphones for portable use 15 years ago would have been wasted. mp3 quality was not great and if anything, good headphones would have made the files sound even worse.

to get similar quality sound in a speaker system as a mid or high tier headphone setup costs a lot, and I mean a lot more. and it also requires more space. all headphones require an amp since the audio needs to be amplified from the source. people like to buy amps to improve the sound and not necessarily because their existing amp can't get them the required volume. also purchasing an amp does not add anything additional to your system in the way of components because you're replacing your current amp and not adding another amp on top of what you have in the chain.

high impedance phones work really well with OTL tube amps. OTL amps are cheaper and more abundant giving you more choices that is one reason why high impedance phones can be desired. finding a tube amp that handles low impedance loads is more difficult and expensive.

a dedicated headphone amp in general should preform better than the cheap amp in your phone, ipod, mp3 player or even stereo. that is why people look to purchase headphone amps.
Edited by bassboysam - 1/10/15 at 12:08am
post #831 of 1583
Quote:
Originally Posted by bassboysam View Post


closed easy to drive headphones for portable use 15 years ago would have been wasted. mp3 quality was not great and if anything, good headphones would have made the files sound even worse.

to get similar quality sound in a speaker system as a mid or high tier headphone setup costs a lot, and I mean a lot more. and it also requires more space. all headphones require an amp since the audio needs to be amplified from the source. people like to buy amps to improve the sound and not necessarily because their existing amp can't get them the required volume. also purchasing an amp does not add anything additional to your system in the way of components because you're replacing your current amp and not adding another amp on top of what you have in the chain.

high impedance phones work really well with OTL tube amps. OTL amps are cheaper and more abundant giving you more choices that is one reason why high impedance phones can be desired. finding a tube amp that handles low impedance loads is more difficult and expensive.

a dedicated headphone amp in general should preform better than the cheap amp in your phone, ipod, mp3 player or even stereo. that is why people look to purchase headphone amps.

Sorry but I have to disagree. Any improvements in headphones would improve the sound, regardless of source (as long as master was done properly). Example 320kbps is more than enough for high fidelity. With the best of gear majority would have a hard time hearing any difference. Before mp3 and ipods there were portable CD players and the short period of mini-disc all of which could of benefited from closed easy to drive headphones. Without computer aid design and new polymer material chemical engineering I can see limitations.

 

Agreed bang for buck ratio with headphones is better than speakers. But I don't see how you concluded an amp can improve the sound. The perfect/ best of amp is just transparent. Doesn't improve the sound just increase power of signal thus to drive more power hungry device. Analog signal the quality of sound is result of the DAC.

 

OTL amps actually can't not be mass produced as readily as solid state amp. Solid state circuit boards for example is mass produced with robots and automation. If the demand is there solid state amp is by far cheaper product to produce than OTL. The tubes alone require man hours to make by hand. Not sure what you mean by finding low impedance tubes?

 

I agree on your last point but I rather just buy a good DAC that drives a easy to drive headphone and be done with it.

 

 

> I'll just add one more point. Only reason I see these days for a high impedance headphones with OTL type of amp is the amp's greater ability to control the headphone. But if the headphone is made with higher precision (eg less distortion in the driver) there wouldn't be a need for the OTL type amp in the first place.

post #832 of 1583
A few days in and my 1540s are starting to get comfy, the headband is responding well to my gradual bending and the earcups are just fitting over my ears now. I have to agree with many of the previous reviews in that while they are not stunning they do handle all genres of music very well. Comparing them to my signature DJs and ps500e's they fare pretty well, the DJs and ps500e's are a bit hit and miss i find, with the right music they sound better but they can also sound awful with the wrong tracks. With the 1540s I haven't found anything that sounds bad and on certain tracks they do sound better, I find the larger earcups help add more space and depth to the music which works great for certain genres. The mids are probably slightly further back than i'd like, they're not bad, i guess i just prefer what they did with the se846s mids. I think the highs are pretty spot on for my tastes, nothing sounds overly bright or harsh and the sibilant tracks in my collection actually sound pretty good. If i can get the comfort a tad bit better i may finally have found my closed back keeper. they just do everything really well!

Update: The1540s pair very well with my beyerdynamic a200p. The a200p gives them a good kick in the sub bass region and a little extra sparkle up top which adds a bit more excitement to them which can be lacking a little at times.
Edited by chailee80 - 1/10/15 at 3:34am
post #833 of 1583
Quote:
Originally Posted by nw130d View Post
 

Sorry but I have to disagree. Any improvements in headphones would improve the sound, regardless of source (as long as master was done properly). Example 320kbps is more than enough for high fidelity. With the best of gear majority would have a hard time hearing any difference. Before mp3 and ipods there were portable CD players and the short period of mini-disc all of which could of benefited from closed easy to drive headphones. Without computer aid design and new polymer material chemical engineering I can see limitations.

 

Agreed bang for buck ratio with headphones is better than speakers. But I don't see how you concluded an amp can improve the sound. The perfect/ best of amp is just transparent. Doesn't improve the sound just increase power of signal thus to drive more power hungry device. Analog signal the quality of sound is result of the DAC.

 

OTL amps actually can't not be mass produced as readily as solid state amp. Solid state circuit boards for example is mass produced with robots and automation. If the demand is there solid state amp is by far cheaper product to produce than OTL. The tubes alone require man hours to make by hand. Not sure what you mean by finding low impedance tubes?

 

I agree on your last point but I rather just buy a good DAC that drives a easy to drive headphone and be done with it.

 

 

> I'll just add one more point. Only reason I see these days for a high impedance headphones with OTL type of amp is the amp's greater ability to control the headphone. But if the headphone is made with higher precision (eg less distortion in the driver) there wouldn't be a need for the OTL type amp in the first place.

 

Your original point had nothing about CD, you said that as soon as MP3s and iPods came out then manufacturers should have designed easy to drive hi-fi headphones.  Now I'm just going by memory but I don't remember many 320kpbs MP3s 10 or 15 years ago.  No one was using MP3 as a source of "quality" audio and I don't think there was a market for anyone to spend $300, $200 or even $100 to listen to 128kpbs (and in a lot of cases lower) files.  Yes they may have sounded better, but there is only so much a heaphone can do with low quality MP3.

 

The perfect amp is transparent, most would argue that has not been created yet and all amps will impart some sort of "character" to the overall sound.  If they all sound the same then why do we have thousands of pages of reviews and discussions on amps on head-fi alone.  If you think that the $2 amp in your ipod sounds the same as a dedicated quality headphone amp then yes I can see why you would not see a benefit.  Most people though would be able to hear an improvement in sound with a "better" amp.  Also not everyone listens to digital music. a lot of my collection is vinyl so there is no DAC in the chain.

 

I only used OTL amps as one example as to why high impedance phones can be desired.  If someone likes the sound of tube amps or would like to experiment with tube amps, OTL designs are in general more affordable and more abundant than non OTL tube amps.  I for example own a LDMKIII, i have found that my headphones that are under 80 ohms lose bass and dynamics with the MKIII compared to when I use them with with my solid state or non-OTL tube amp (WA6).  My higher impedance phones however do not sound worse on the MKIII.  They sound different because each amp i have has it's own signature, but there isn't a sharp roll off in the low end and remain more dynamic than the lower impedance headphones.

 

the other disadvantage of a speaker system, in addition to cost is that you add an additional variable, the room.  if you really want to optimize a speaker system you need to make sure your space "works" acoustically.  That also adds expense, requires lots of time and effort that many can't afford or don't want the hassle.

post #834 of 1583

Negatives with these after a few weeks :

 

The top of the headband is not as comfortable as the rest of the headphones, not bad but can be slightly annoying if you wear for long periods.

 

I suppose there is a bit of grain in the sound, although this only seems to be on bad recordings or low bitrates so it's the source files more than the headphones. I have certainly heard a lot worse than these. Think I need a better source than my Xonar STX as well TBH.

 

They can be slightly dry sounding, depending on the source file again, not that much at all though compared to some headphones.

 

Would prefer if they had more sub bass and slightly more forward midrange.

 

Not perfect, but as close to perfect as I have heard while still managing to sound good with all genres, films, games etc.

 

For example HD650 are better at vocals and sound smoother, but they cannot do electronic music or anything fast paced. D2000 are excellent at electronic music but not so great at anything else, the SRH 1540 are not quite as good as either of these headphones in their specialty areas, but almost as good while being able to sound near HD650 sound quality while also being fast and having bass at the same time. Or being near the D2000 for bass and electronic music while also being good at other genres and not as sibilant treble.

 

Overall I still think these are the best all rounder headphones for the money, especially if you can buy them used at 25% off retail price. Pretty much similar to why I kept the SE215 while many other pairs of IEM's have been sold on, they are not the most amazing headphones ever but they do not do anything wrong and sound very good overall and the build quality and comfort, same reasons as the SRH 1540.


Edited by nicholars - 1/10/15 at 4:40pm
post #835 of 1583
Yeh i would definitely have preferred the top of the headband to be one solid pad instead of the 2 thin pads. I guess it was a way to shave a few grams off.
post #836 of 1583

Have had the 1540 for about a month. So far, fairly satisfied. Mainly listen to classical (orchestral and chamber) and early music a cappella. The 1540 seems particularly strong on strings however is somewhat bloated on large orchestral/choral works (e.g., Wagner and Bruckner Masses) and lacks a little on transparency with denser a cappella pieces. Solo keyboard works are also missing a little sparkle for me. Sources are MacBook Pro and iPod 5.5 and currently using Fiio E11k when not listening through receiver. Apple Lossless files. Hoping to improve performance and considering Schiit M&M2 stack and/or the new E17k for portable use. Given that the 1540 is easy to drive I'm more curious as to whether the DAC will add anything here and if the M&M stack would be overkill. Don't want to spend a ton. Home listening is more couch/coffee table than desktop so would like to avoid power cords to the extent possible. Will be getting the HD600 to compliment the 1540 but due to noisy home environment the 1540 will continue to be my primary. Anybody using the M2 stack or E17k on these?

post #837 of 1583
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elbosco View Post
 

Have had the 1540 for about a month. So far, fairly satisfied. Mainly listen to classical (orchestral and chamber) and early music a cappella. The 1540 seems particularly strong on strings however is somewhat bloated on large orchestral/choral works (e.g., Wagner and Bruckner Masses) and lacks a little on transparency with denser a cappella pieces. Solo keyboard works are also missing a little sparkle for me. Sources are MacBook Pro and iPod 5.5 and currently using Fiio E11k when not listening through receiver. Apple Lossless files. Hoping to improve performance and considering Schiit M&M2 stack and/or the new E17k for portable use. Given that the 1540 is easy to drive I'm more curious as to whether the DAC will add anything here and if the M&M stack would be overkill. Don't want to spend a ton. Home listening is more couch/coffee table than desktop so would like to avoid power cords to the extent possible. Will be getting the HD600 to compliment the 1540 but due to noisy home environment the 1540 will continue to be my primary. Anybody using the M2 stack or E17k on these?

I have not used the E17k but I do use the E17 (which I am assuming sounds about the same).  It tightens the bass a bit, and seems to lend a bit of sub bass.  Overall I would say it refines the sound a bit more improving just about every aspect of the headphone, some more then others.

post #838 of 1583

I would actually suggest skipping the HD600 all together and go for the T1 or HD800. Unless you are simply getting the 600 to add as a collection. I would say 600 are much more of a side grade than upgrade to the 1540. 600 are better in some ways than the 1540 but other aspects fall short. On top of that both got a hint of darker sound signature... meaning their sound signature is over lapping not complimentary. Vs having 1540 and HD800 which have different sound signature.

 

I do not own the M2 or the E17k... But I didn't find amping made any major difference with the sound of 1540, unless the amp is coloured in the first place. Money is prob better spend on another even higher fidelity headphone such as the HD800 and in the future the amp you purchased for the HD800 for example, you can use it with conjunction with the 1540, if it has a lower gain setting. Basically bang for buck. But that is just my 2cent...

post #839 of 1583

Thanks. I've considered going with the T1 or the HD800 but would only be using open cans 20% of overall listening sessions. I actually like the sound signature of the 1540 - just looking for more transparency and a bigger soundstage that I might achieve with an open set on classical pieces. Also feel that the Shiit M2 stack or E17k would be inadequate for the T1 or HD800 and trying to keep this thing from snowballing out of control.

post #840 of 1583
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elbosco View Post

Thanks. I've considered going with the T1 or the HD800 but would only be using open cans 20% of overall listening sessions. I actually like the sound signature of the 1540 - just looking for more transparency and a bigger soundstage that I might achieve with an open set on classical pieces. Also feel that the Shiit M2 stack or E17k would be inadequate for the T1 or HD800 and trying to keep this thing from snowballing out of control.

if you're looking for an open headphone with a similar sound signature I recommend the Fidelio X1.
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