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Best version of Superlux HD-681

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

Hi, these headphones i will use for rock/metal music+games... so, what is best?​ :) thx... 

 

681 = bassy
681b = balanced 
681f = flat (not much low tones)

 
 

Edited by NoobInAudio - 3/7/14 at 3:28pm
post #2 of 24

Im trying to decide on the same thing. Rock, Indie, Pop, etc. But I dont know which one to choose, any help?

post #3 of 24

All 3 are pretty similar, except the F.

The bass response is significantly reduced and that, in my mind, is the star attraction of a 681 in the first place.

 

The downside of all 681's is the sharp treble, which in the F model only becomes more dominant.

So the overall sound is edgy and rather uninteresting.

In some cases it can sound very dynamic and airy, which for a well recorded baroque album, for example, might actually do better than the other 2.

 

Between 681 and 681B it's more difficult to say.

Except for the bass region, the sound is basically identical and I think it's ultimately up to personal taste which you will prefer.

If you like more bass, almost to the point of overdoing it, the 681 will be the better choice. 

In essence, it's this hard hitting and deep bass that made the HD681 popular and fun sounding.

So in a sense, decreasing the bass kind of takes away some of the actual allure of the headphone.

 

But let me be clear about it: both the 681 and 681B have over-sized bass response. 

In all fairness the most proportioned bass comes from the 681F, actually. It's only the hyped up treble inherent in all 681's that makes this headphone sound shrill and edgy.


Edited by Bobby S - 3/9/14 at 3:13pm
post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your advice... I chose HD-681B, and what about HD-668B ? They are better than HD-681B or not?

post #5 of 24

HD-668B is, to me, the best sounding Superlux.

It's not as etched in the bass and treble as the 681's are, so the overall sound is more balanced. The treble is still hot, but I find it more easy to live with and tone down.

But some people find it more boring than 681. On fast paced, bass driven music, the 681 (non-B) does have an allure.

It's ultimately up to personal preference, the difference in quality alone is not that big.

post #6 of 24

Thanks for a great reply. I kind of excluded the F version from the start, but still cannot decide between the classic 681 and B version. I excluded the F mainly because as you pointed out, the treble "which in the F model only becomes more dominant."

 

I also bought 381 some time ago and from the moment i started listening to them i had a feeling of very high, sharp trebles, almost to the point that I had to adjust the volume everytime there were trebles or vocals. But i fixed it with an EQ, and its not a problem to do the same on PC.

 

I like bass, but Im not sure how much do they offer, maybe B would be enough bass for me and maybe classic would be too much. Or the other way.

 

I also thought about the 668. they are a little bit more expensive but also have 56ohm impedance, which is a little bit more than 681. Will it have any effect on the integrated sound card on the MB, or maybe on the clip+?

 

The best would be to just buy all 3 of them and try but its not very effective.

 

Will 681B have less trebles and bass than 681? Or only the bass is lowered? Not sure which would be better for those genres. Thanks again for you help.

post #7 of 24

The difference between 681 and 681B is only in the bass. The B is just slightly reduced.

And with an EQ in the equation, you're bound to get pretty much the same results regardless of your choice.

 

Regarding 668B they're plenty loud even from portable devices or a laptop. They're about the same as the 681s.

Only difference I've found is that 668B responds a little better to amplification, becoming a bit smoother and with more authority in the bass, while the 681's remain largely unchanged.

post #8 of 24

Thanks again. Based on the genres Rock, Indie, Pop, Jazz, occasionally DNB or R&B kind of style, and stuff like this, which would you choose? Btw do you have these superlux too?

 

Regarding the EQ, I have no idea how to do this correctly, I watched a video and the guy said that from 3-7kHz, it should be lowered by -10dB? Is this correct? Can I just do this in the Winamps EQ?

 

And is there a big difference between 681 and 668?

 

I also found the EVO which look really nice, and from what I've read are more comfortable but for some reason there is no shop that sells this in my country, which is a shame.

post #9 of 24
Quote:
Thanks again. Based on the genres Rock, Indie, Pop, Jazz, occasionally DNB or R&B kind of style, and stuff like this, which would you choose?

 

Personally, from the HD681 line, it'd take the normal version.

 

Quote:
 Btw do you have these superlux too?

Yes I still have some of them in my collection (you can view it by accessing my profile).

I have owned all three hd681 models at one point, but decided to keep the 681 because it was the most apart from the rest of the Superluxes I had/have.

The 681B and F, along with hd660 and 661 I have sold.

 

Quote:
 Regarding the EQ, I have no idea how to do this correctly, I watched a video and the guy said that from 3-7kHz, it should be lowered by -10dB? Is this correct? Can I just do this in the Winamps EQ?

The best way to EQ headphones (that I know of) is by using Foobar and VST plugins. There are some dedicated threads about this in the Computer Audio section.

 

Quote:
 And is there a big difference between 681 and 668?

No, the difference is not big. However, the 668B sounds a bit more balanced and warmer, at least for my taste.

I also think that it can play well on all types of music. I don't like the 681 very much on classical/jazz or softer music in general. 

 

Quote:
 I also found the EVO which look really nice, and from what I've read are more comfortable but for some reason there is no shop that sells this in my country, which is a shame.

The EVO doesn't sound as good, in my opinion as the original 681 or 668b.

The treble has been tamed (which is good) and it's a more dark sounding headphone, quite different tonality to the originals.

There are however mods to alleviate this problem. The most straight forward one is to remove the felt in front of the drivers. That alone will open up the sound and bring it closer in tonality to the original 681. But I still don't find it to be quite as good.

In terms of comfort the only real upside is the fact the new EVOs come with an extra set of velour pads. With stock pleather pads comfort is about the same.

EVO pleather pads seem to be a bit different to the originals and coupled with the new design of the headphone, they seem to be slightly more comfortable.

But velour pads are really a must on all Superluxes to get the best comfort.


Edited by Bobby S - 3/10/14 at 11:49am
post #10 of 24

What about the 681 Evo? I haven't heard it yet myself, but I think you should consider them too, especially since their comfort is much better due to velour.

post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby S View Post
 

 

Personally, from the HD681 line, it'd take the normal version.

 

Yes I still have some of them in my collection (you can view it by accessing my profile).

I have owned all three hd681 models at one point, but decided to keep the 681 because it was the most apart from the rest of the Superluxes I had/have.

The 681B and F, along with hd660 and 661 I have sold.

 

The best way to EQ headphones (that I know of) is by using Foobar and VST plugins. There are some dedicated threads about this in the Computer Audio section.

 

No, the difference is not big. However, the 668B sounds a bit more balanced and warmer, at least for my taste.

I also think that it can play well on all types of music. I don't like the 681 very much on classical/jazz or softer music in general. 

 

The EVO doesn't sound as good, in my opinion as the original 681 or 668b.

The treble has been tamed (which is good) and it's a more dark sounding headphone, quite different tonality to the originals.

There are however mods to alleviate this problem. The most straight forward one is to remove the felt in front of the drivers. That alone will open up the sound and bring it closer in tonality to the original 681. But I still don't find it to be quite as good.

In terms of comfort the only real upside is the fact the new EVOs come with an extra set of velour pads. With stock pleather pads comfort is about the same.

EVO pleather pads seem to be a bit different to the originals and coupled with the new design of the headphone, they seem to be slightly more comfortable.

But velour pads are really a must on all Superluxes to get the best comfort.

 

Thanks a lot, now I just have to decide between 681 and 668.

 

What exactly do you mean most apart? They sounded different than the rest of your superlux collection so you kept those? :) Or different from the 681 line?

 

Some time ago I tried foobar just to see what was it about but it didnt work much for me, it has somehow clustered UI, but maybe I will try it again. Or just use the winamps EQ.

 

What's a warmer sound? Sorry for many questions :) I dont listen to clasisical music, jazz only occasionally, maybe its not even jazz but some mix. Other than that, mostly rock, and variations of it, folk-rock, pop-rock, and then indie, mumford and sons kind of stuff :)

 

Well then I wont even bother checking the out more, I would have to pay maybe 70% of the price just for the shipping, unless I would buy them from amazon or ebay.

 

By the way, how much would those velour pads for 681/668 cost me? I saw some from AKG original headphones but those were like 17€ or so, basically for the price of the headphones.

 

If only I could hear the difference between 681/668. If I would go for 681, I would take the original version as you recommended.

 

But now if you were to choose from 681/668, what would you pick? :) Thanks and have a good day/night.

post #12 of 24
Quote:
 What exactly do you mean most apart? They sounded different than the rest of your superlux collection so you kept those? :) Or different from the 681 line?

The normal 681 has the most representative sound, so to speak, of all 3 models. The other two, B and F, only dilute the qualities of the original, so to speak, so for me they weren't worth keeping. Hope that makes sense.

 

Quote:
 What's a warmer sound?

It usually has to do with the tonal balance of a headphone. For example a headphone with higher energy in the upper midrange and treble will generally be colder sounding.

While a headphone with more energy in the bass and midrange will tend to sound warmer.

In the case of 668B, relative to the normal 681 it has to do mostly with the treble. The 668B has a bit less treble emphasis and more prominent lower midrange. The end result being a bit warmer and more balanced sound.

 

Personally I prefer the 668B, but my music bias is towards the classical/jazz end of the spectrum.

But there are other people which prefer the 681 for it's hard hitting bass and forward treble, which goes very well for rock, metal, electronica and so on.

I can resonate with that but I cannot give you a definitive recommendation.

My music taste and expectations are different.

Also my 681's are quite heavily modded and have a filter to reduce the treble energy to the degree I've found pleasing.

So it ultimately depends on how you will find the treble of the 681.

If you can live with that and can EQ them to your taste, they'll probably make a better choice for your music.

 

The 668B are a safer bet, as they can be tamed completely from EQ, and they don't require much modding.

 

 

As for the pads, I've made all my purchases for Superlux and Samsons  from thoman.de, and they also cary a wide variety of pads.

It would make sense to buy them from a shop that sells both, to save on shipping costs.

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by Bobby S - 3/10/14 at 3:40pm
post #13 of 24

Yeah I understand. I checked the filter mods but I dont think im going to do that. Not that Im not capable of it but I dont want to ruin the warranty and also its easier to just reduce the treble in EQ.

 

In regards to isolation, are 681 and 668 same? As both are semi open?

 

Yeah I found some AKG pads on thomann but they are like 17€, almost the price of headphones + the shipping is crazy 15€. Not worth it at all. I tried to find them on some shop in my country but no luck.

 

Im still not sure but probably I'll try the 681, btw how do they isolate? In case it would be too disruptive, I was thinking of going for 662? Which are basically the same but closed?

From what I've learned, the sound quality will be worse than on open ones, is that correct?

 

Thanks.

post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 
post #15 of 24

You can buy both the Superluxes and the pads from Thomann. That will reduce the cost of shipping (i think I sort of hinted at this option in a previous message).

Thomann has the lowest price on the 681's anyway, so in total the difference is not going to be as big as purchased from a local dealer.

In my country the 681's alone cost between 7 to 12 euro more compared to thomann. The pads, somewhat the same.

None of the dealers are in my city so there's a shipping charge on top of that too.

That is why I made all my purchases of Superlux (and various pads) straight from Thomann.

 

In terms of insulation, neither the 681 nor the 668B insulate much. They do attenuate some of the ambient noise, but not nearly as good as a closed headphone.

For me personally that's not a problem, as I 'm not a fan of closed designs, due to their sound qualities and signature. Your millage may vary.

 

As far as filters are concerned, you don't need to dissemble the headphone. The filter can be built and used separately , as an interface between the headphone and the music source.

So you have that option. It is of course much easier with a software EQ.

 

With the 662 I have no experience. They probably don't match the 681 or 668B in sound quality and they also cost more.

The AKG pads are a must for any of these Superluxes, so 662 will probably end up both more expensive and to whatever extent inferior in sound quality.

 

Another option would be the new 681 EVO, which come with 2 sets of pads, pleather and velour. In that sense they offer perhaps the best value of all Superluxes.

They also have a more friendly tonality, as the treble energy is greatly reduced. They actually sound rather dark, compared to the other Superluxes.

Personally I don't think the EVO's quite match the original 681 sound quality, but they're not far off either.

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