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Gaming headphones with bass extension, $150-$250 budget RESOLVED: Phillips X1's + Review - Page 3

post #31 of 40
Thread Starter 

He really likes everything about the X1 - except the pads are indeed a major turn off. He's asking me now if amps are necessary... trying to figure that out. I told him the X1 and 598 shouldn't need one except for volume, but even then, they shouldn't be an issue.


Edited by jodgey4 - 3/4/14 at 10:23pm
post #32 of 40
Bought my x1s yesterday!
Don't really care about the pads.
If I use them so much that the pads need replacing, then oh well. I got my 200 bucks worth and I will either find a Way to replace them or buy a new set of cans, probably after 5 years. I have an old set of cans with cloth pads that I have used daily for thousands of hours and only retired them because I bought better cans.
post #33 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by gr34td3str0y3r View Post

Bought my x1s yesterday!
Don't really care about the pads.
If I use them so much that the pads need replacing, then oh well. I got my 200 bucks worth and I will either find a Way to replace them or buy a new set of cans, probably after 5 years. I have an old set of cans with cloth pads that I have used daily for thousands of hours and only retired them because I bought better cans.

Nice congrats!!

post #34 of 40
Thread Starter 

Quick update, I just went to Nice Cans in Austin to audition some phones, I had been looking at LCD-2's for a while, and I thought it would be good to hear some other options and to bring my brother so I did.

 

Source was an iPad running by USB into a Benchmark DAC1 HDR. Beyerdynamic T1, AKG k812, Foxtex TH600, LCD-2, LCD-3, LCD-XC.

 

Quick impressions:

T1 - sterile, boring, master of none, super light weight - you almost feel better wearing them than not.

k812 - detailed, great contrast to Audeze's, maybe fatiguing treble for long listening sessions.

TH600 - fun and easy to drive, full wet bass... my brother really liked these. Surprising imaging/soundstage for closed cans!

LCD-2's, as I had hoped, these were in fact my favorites. Super natural, not bass heavy like I was worried about, they had most natural soundstage, I really didn't find them to be uncomfortable, though I didn't wear them for long. I wouldn't get the stock pads, I'd go lambskin or vegan. HUGE on my head, haha.

The lambskin pads were great on the LCD-3's, very pillow-y and cool, which were a more seductive LCD-2, not worth the extra money IMHO. Take the Audeze house sound to an extreme and that's what they were, they sounded like I expected the LCD-2's to sound. Gorgeous wood on them!

The LCD-XC was beatiful to look at and wear, but the sound really was awkward. I suppose you could get used to it, but I would never own them. Weird imaging, uneven mids... an almost compressed sound. It wasn't enjoyable. I think I would give the open X's a better chance.

 

Overall, I was impressed by how different they all sounded, you wouldn't expect each of them to have such different character at the flagship level! Differences were quite obvious to me, and matched what I expected moreso than I actually expected, if that makes any sense. I'd been thinking about some q701's and LCD-2's as a good pairing, and as cans that would suit my tastes, and that's exactly what I found to be true... of course given that the k812 should share the same house sound as the q701's as I was told by Mr. Sutton - who was incredibly easy to deal with, accommodating, and fun to be around. I will be making any future purchases I can through him!

 

How this relates to the thread... after getting a reference point of some different sound signatures, my brother is 90% sure the more fun X1 should be perfect for him; we'll deal with any pad problems when they occur. I'll let you know impressions when we can.

Thanks again for all y'all's help.


Edited by jodgey4 - 3/11/14 at 12:01am
post #35 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by jodgey4 View Post
 

Quick update, I just went to Nice Cans in Austin to audition some phones, I had been looking at LCD-2's for a while, and I thought it would be good to hear some other options and to bring my brother so I did.

 

Source was an iPad running by USB into a Benchmark DAC1 HDR. Beyerdynamic T1, AKG k812, Foxtex TH600, LCD-2, LCD-3, LCD-XC.

 

Quick impressions:

T1 - sterile, boring, master of none, super light weight - you almost feel better wearing them than not.

k812 - detailed, great contrast to Audeze's, maybe fatiguing treble for long listening sessions.

TH600 - fun and easy to drive, full wet bass... my brother really liked these. Surprising imaging/soundstage for closed cans!

LCD-2's, as I had hoped, these were in fact my favorites. Super natural, not bass heavy like I was worried about, they had most natural soundstage, I really didn't find them to be uncomfortable, though I didn't wear them for long. I wouldn't get the stock pads, I'd go lambskin or vegan. HUGE on my head, haha.

The lambskin pads were great on the LCD-3's, very pillow-y and cool, which were a more seductive LCD-2, not worth the extra money IMHO. Take the Audeze house sound to an extreme and that's what they were, they sounded like I expected the LCD-2's to sound. Gorgeous wood on them!

The LCD-XC was beatiful to look at and wear, but the sound really was awkward. I suppose you could get used to it, but I would never own them. Weird imaging, uneven mids... an almost compressed sound. It wasn't enjoyable. I think I would give the open X's a better chance.

 

Overall, I was impressed by how different they all sounded, you wouldn't expect each of them to have such different character at the flagship level! Differences were quite obvious to me, and matched what I expected moreso than I actually expected, if that makes any sense. I'd been thinking about some q701's and LCD-2's as a good pairing, and as cans that would suit my tastes, and that's exactly what I found to be true... of course given that the k812 should share the same house sound as the q701's as I was told by Mr. Sutton - who was incredibly easy to deal with, accommodating, and fun to be around. I will be making any future purchases I can through him!

 

How this relates to the thread... after getting a reference point of some different sound signatures, my brother is 90% sure the more fun X1 should be perfect for him; we'll deal with any pad problems when they occur. I'll let you know impressions when we can.

Thanks again for all y'all's help.


You getting some for you now? You do know the LCD-2 cost you 5 times the budget? :D These would be my cans to get too, if I had extra cash. Could you compare them a little? I mean the Qs and 2s.

post #36 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpaceInvaders View Post
 


You getting some for you now? You do know the LCD-2 cost you 5 times the budget? :D These would be my cans to get too, if I had extra cash. Could you compare them a little? I mean the Qs and 2s.

I didn't try the Q's, and this was for me indeed, my brother just tagged along for the experience. I'm feeling some LCD-2's with vegan pads and an Audio-GD amp, maybe some Q's as well for contrast.


Edited by jodgey4 - 3/11/14 at 12:55pm
post #37 of 40
I think the X1 is an excellent choice. I game and watch movies on my laptop with them, and I love the combination of an open soundstage with good bass. I have a Fiio E7 that I can use as a DAC and amp, but the X1 sounds just as good from onboard sound card.

I also own an LCD2 and an HD800. I really like gaming with the HD800 powered by a Fiio E9. IMO between the LCD2 and the HD800, the HD800 is a much more sersatile headphone. Hopefully, you can try the HD800 before you settle on a flagship headphone.
post #38 of 40
Thread Starter 

I've set eyes on the Audeze, all of the complaints of the HD800's sound annoying - clinical, artificial, amp dependent, picky on source material, unforgiving..... not for me. Plus, I hung out with the Audeze crew a lot at SXSW and I really want to support them.

 

Anyways, X1's were ordered tonight, should be here Friday, I'll give impressions then.

EDIT: Tuesday night arrival now.


Edited by jodgey4 - 3/25/14 at 10:44pm
post #39 of 40

Don't get me wrong, I love my LCD-2 R1. For long term non-fatigue listening, I prefer it over the HD800. I'm still switching between the two headphones as my music taste changes so thank god for choices. I'm not getting rid of either one, well, unless I can somehow afford the Stax sr-009.

post #40 of 40
Thread Starter 

Everything arrived today, I love the V-Moda mic... not sure how it sounds but I love that it has a TRRS end that you could use for a phone, plus has splitters. It works for everything. We got a Mediabridge cable that's like 8' to replace the stock. The X1's are light to wear, the pads' material is a bit obnoxious feeling (velour?), but my ears didn't touch them too much and the relatively low weight made them quite bearable. Probably top 30% comfort level of all I've tried.

 

 

Anyways, sound (my sound preference is along the lines of LCD-2's, so keep that in mind as it's sort of my reference. I don't like bass heavy cans):

 

Bass:: definitely bass heavy, with some amount of sub-bass bloating... that kind of one-note bloat that I personally can't stand, but it can create a very cinematic, super-engaging feel that felt really exciting for some CS:GO, and never was stale enough to distract. Bass is smooth, not overly textured, well extended, and while not punchy due to its open design, it has a warm, soft, full sound. On one track I love - The Facts by Afta-1 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTmbPh2LpBU) at the end, there's some incredibly deep and textured bass. Having heard this track on some Audeze XC's, I had a pretty good reference at how those hits really should sound, and on the X1 the only truly redeeming quality was the quantity of the bass, the dynamics, detail, and texture weren't really there, but the warmth and organic dark pulse was totally inviting.

Remember, my reference is a can costing 4x the amount, I'm not a basshead, and bass bloat can sometimes be reduced with burn in.

EDIT:: Not much evidence of the bloat being much removed after one week. It's worse on poor sources like my Samsung Galaxy S3.

 

Mids:: pretty neutral, plus the combo of a good amount of detail and balance means they are quite clear, which is awesome. I think the cleanliness might have been the best surprise. I use One Mo 'Gin by D'Angelo as a test track, and the vocals were fantastic. The only complaint was that sometimes I couldn't pick out some of the snaps on the backbeat, but I wasn't really giving it 100% attention so idk. I'll edit this tomorrow if I get to hear them again. EDIT:: They're there, and higher pitch than I'm used to.

 

Treble:: These definitely have a V shaped signature, but by no means is it to the degree where they aren't versatile. Balance really depended on the recording, they could be sparkly and extended on Take Five by Dave Brubeck, aggressive and nearly sibilant like on Nautilus by Bob James, all the way to dark and smokey on Slow Country by Gorillaz.  I'm thinking the treble will get more even with a bit of break in (I'm a believer of break-in :eek:), maybe some of the bloat too... though I think the bass will be more of a mental burn in.

 

Soundstage & Imaging:: with 7.1 DSP, there's some good height and depth, otherwise on stereo it's clear separated halves with maybe a 30% shared center. The imaging is fantastic. Another test track of mine is Sunshine of Your Love by Cream... well recorded with that classic hard instrument panning. All instruments were clearly defined on the stage, and I haven't really ever listened to these aspects so much nor cared about them until these X1's. BTW, I feel the LCD-2's are more natural at all of these aspects, while being at least as incredible on stage size and placement. Better depth and cohesiveness for sure.

 

 

So yeah, my brother freaked out, and he normally listens to modern electronic and hip-hop, though I recently turned him on to more experimental stuff like Aphex Twin and Nerve. He said they were "freakin' incredible" within 5 seconds of playing sound through them... he said the bass was crazy. After a few of his test tracks like Wave by MAD-HOP, he tried some CS:GO, and said he could place where people were on the other side of the maps, which I didn't believe until I tried them, and he nearly wasn't kidding. I thought my headset was good, but DANG I had no idea that imaging could get so grand. The clarity in the mids really helped differentiate between slightly muffled sounds vs. open, so you could tell if someone was in a hall or through walls, or in an open area. Add those minute audio cues + map knowledge, and you're on a whole new level. Even height representation was pretty stellar.

 

My only complaint was that the bass was incredibly muddy, so everything sounded like a bloated Hollywood movie that was horrifyingly engaging but rather disappointing on a technical level, but I quickly discovered that he had a bass EQ profile set that when removed, made the X1's sound more like I expected, and then some - as detailed above. I came back later to hear him listening to one of my Jazz-Funk playlists - and he was bobbing his head to Nautilus. I've never seen him bob his head. SUCCESS.

 

Anyways, I'll throw in edits as stuff comes to me, but if anyone has any questions, let 'em rip. If you want a bass oriented AND open can, don't think twice and empty that wallet! They are certainly an incredible value. Better than my Heir Audio 3.ai S's for sure - which is a whole 'nuther story. Tl;dr on that one... buy from Noble and never look back.

 

 

EDIT: he wants to add "I guess my one note would be the crazy level of detail in the game that I'd never heard before, the intensity and engaging aspect of it that seemed similar (70%) intensity to TH600 [he loves those], and of course the crown jewel and entire reason for them - the staging. Staging is ridiculous. Better than expected. The only challenge is there's so much detail now that I'll have to get used to taking it all in and filtering out what's important like the footsteps across the map while shooting a rifle full auto."


Edited by jodgey4 - 4/8/14 at 7:25pm
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