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Sennheiser HD 201 voice cracks at moderate volume while listening to opera

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

This typically happens at the peak of her voice. Is this normal? Has anyone else experience this, or do I need to take it to Sennheiser for replacement.

 

I've seen this when they're powered directly from my Macbook Air or iPhone, as well as when powered from my Miniwatt amp.

 

Also, an aside, but does anyone know if the HD 201's are voiced like the HD 650s? If yes, then I think I'm tempted to pick those up. 

 

Thanks,

post #2 of 7
I've had that seldomly with other models, and the problem was always the source: AAC (mp4) compression. Have you tried it with a CD or lossless?

If you get HD650, you'll need an amp. I prefer O2, but there are many decent ones.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Ah, thank you Claritas! That could be it. 

 

I was listening on Rdio, though it transmits at 320kbps, and I was under the impression there's hardly any quality loss at that bitrate. 

 

About the 650, if I like the sound of the HD 201, do you think I'll like the 650? Can't find a way to audition them, but am getting a great deal on them.

 

About the amp, by O2, are you referring to the JDS Labs version? I was in fact thinking of getting those? Nice pairing, with the 650s?

 

Though, I do have a decent quality tube amp (not a headphone amp), the Miniwatt, and I currently power the headphones through the speaker outputs. Think that's ok?

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

Claritas, you were absolutely right; nothing wrong with the phones, just a source problem. I'm guessing 320kbps streaming is not all it's made out to be.

 

When I hear it the music on a Mastered for iTunes track, or straight from CD, the sound is so much cleaner, and there is zero distortion from the phones.

post #5 of 7

I'm glad we can close the case on that one. I recognized the problem because I've had it myself. At first I thought the CD had been converted with an error so I converted it again: same thing. Then I remember compression's effect on the far ranges.

 

At least you know that nothing's wrong with your Senns. :bigsmile_face:

 

Yes, I was recommending the JDS Labs version. John, the engineer, knows his work and provides amazing customer service.  

post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevej12 View Post
 

Claritas, you were absolutely right; nothing wrong with the phones, just a source problem. I'm guessing 320kbps streaming is not all it's made out to be.

 

I believe you may have experienced digital clipping. I had this on some MP3 tracks of close recorded piano. It's where the amplitude of the signal exceeds the maximum capability of the output device.

 

Check this vid:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSrTuz8_1Tg

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks Ian, that's a very cool video.

 

I noticed you've put up a video on Mastered for iTunes: what are your views on that? Subjectively, I I find it sounding about the same quality as my CD rips, so am quite tempted to start buying all my classical music using that.

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