Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Source Gear › [Multi-Review] Hifiman HM901, Fiio X5, Sony ZX1, Hisound Studio 3rd Anv, iPhone 4
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

[Multi-Review] Hifiman HM901, Fiio X5, Sony ZX1, Hisound Studio 3rd Anv, iPhone 4 - Page 6

post #76 of 324
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by miceblue View Post



I think having 24-bit playback capability is good for people who have that kind of music and don't want to down-sample their music, but I am highly doubtful it makes a difference in the perception of sound for us mortal beings.

 

But most audiophiles are blessed with the tympanic membranes hand selected by Zeus himself, rendering them 1/100th immortal.

 

I guess I wasn't one of them.

post #77 of 324

Maybe your kit or transfers aren't as good as you think. If you're ever in Chicago, it would be fun to listen together and then go have a beer. I'll try and do some voodoo on youdoo. Zeus and me are tight. He may just grant you some insane in the membrane.:smile:

post #78 of 324
Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post
 

 

Ok. For the record, I absolutely disagree with you, but your thoughts are your own and I can't argue against them. :beerchug:

 

It could be a discrpenacy in Firm ware, my unit is the "demo unit" if you have a production unit chances are it sounds better than the one I've got all thing considered. And then there's file types. With Binural tracks out of my Pb2 the X5 wasn't nearly as deep nor layered as coherently as the Hm 801

Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post
 

Maybe your kit or transfers aren't as good as you think. If you're ever in Chicago, it would be fun to listen together and then go have a beer. I'll try and do some voodoo on youdoo. Zeus and me are tight. He may just grant you some insane in the membrane.:smile:

xD like wise

 

But Eke I like your attitude. I'm still curious why we hear differnt things

 

although it should be noted I have no compared the Headphone out on the Hm801 to the Headphone out on the X5 [I've not no SE headphones or adpaters atm so it's line out vs line out]

 

Chances are the hm801 Head Phone sounds like messy compared to the X5's. Never liked the HO of the Hm801...

 

So yea I've read a few reviews of the X5, some people think the sound stage is great others like my think it's terrible... I'd like to know why?


Edited by Mshenay - 3/19/14 at 1:00pm
post #79 of 324
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post

 

It could be due to the fact that I used the Line out of Each Player into my PB2 and then into my Balanced Headphone but in short

 

 

In my experience, the line out and headphone out can have different results and can make for an unfair comparison.

 

I remember that when I did a HM-801 and DX-100 comparative review (in Portuguese here, but I guess Google Translate might do a reasonable job), I tried using them in every possible configuration. Keep in mind that in the next sentences I'll be talking about considerably small but noticeable differences.

 

As a stand-alone player, the HM-801 sounded warmer and more mid-centric, while the DX100 was colder, with more present treble and bass but the midrange sounded relatively congested and less transparent than the HM-801's even though tonally it may well have been more correct. However, when I plugged both units in my old Meier Eartube using them as sources (transport + DACs), the differences were more noticeable and changed the results quite a bit. The DX100 went a few steps ahead of the HiFiMAN, as the sound opened up and it sounded very transparent, clear, linear and balanced. The HM-801, meanwhile, presented a clearer and more impactful sound but was, when compared to the iBasso, the one that sounded congested and the somewhat less competent tonal balance became more evident. I concluded that the iBasso must have been held by an amp that wasn't really on par with the DAC section, and was therefore the bottleneck of the player.

 

So my point is that when you connect both players to an external amplifier, you are bypassing a very important piece of them, which may have considerable influence on their performance as standalone DAPs ‚Äď which is how most people will use them. So the HM-801 may have a better DAC than the FiiO, and that's what you heard in your comparison, but as players, using their respective amp sections, you may find that they're in fact closer. Maybe the FiiO can even take the lead in the amp section and surpass the HiFiMAN, I don't know...

 

All I'm saying is that maybe this isn't the best way of conducting this test!


Edited by Leonardo Drummond - 3/19/14 at 1:40pm
post #80 of 324
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonardo Drummond View Post
 

 

In my experience, the line out and headphone out can have different results and can make for an unfair comparison.

 

I remember that when I did a HM-801 and DX-100 comparative review (in Portuguese here, but I guess Google Translate might do a reasonable job), I tried using them in every possible configuration. Keep in mind that in the next sentences I'll be talking about considerably small but noticeable differences.

 

As a stand-alone player, the HM-801 sounded warmer and more mid-centric, while the DX100 was colder, with more present treble and bass but the midrange sounded relatively congested and less transparent than the HM-801's even though tonally it may well have been more correct. However, when I plugged both units in my old Meier Eartube using them as sources (transport + DACs), the differences were more noticeable and changed the results quite a bit. The DX100 went a few steps ahead of the HiFiMAN, as the sound opened up and it sounded very transparent, clear, linear and balanced. The HM-801, meanwhile, presented a clearer and more impactful sound but was, when compared to the iBasso, the one that sounded congested and the somewhat less competent tonal balance became more evident. I concluded that the iBasso must have been held by an amp that wasn't really on par with the DAC section, and was therefore the bottleneck of the player.

 

So my point is that when you connect both players to an external amplifier, you are bypassing a very important piece of it, which may have considerable influence on its performance as a standalone DAP ‚Äď which is how most people will use them. So the HM-801 may have a better DAC than the FiiO, and that's what you heard in your comparison, but as players, using their respective amp sections, you may find that they're in fact closer. Maybe the FiiO can even take the lead in the amp section and surpass the HiFiMAN, I don't know...

 

All I'm saying is that maybe this isn't the best way of conducting this test!


It may not be, although I suppose I'm not the most average user q.q. all of my headphones are 4pin XLR balanced and I run everything through my PB2...

 

But that is a good point, the headphone amp does make a big differeance

 

but what I don't get though is the X5 has a Coaxial Out, that's a digital line out correct? That is an interesting feature that really... plays to the UI of the X5 which I felt was one of it's stronger points, where as the HM801 has a Coaxial IN [oh gawd... I should totally feed the X5 into my Hm801 then into my PB2 xD I think I may do that today lawl. best of Both Worlds right]

 

Actually ... that ^ is not a bad idea. I was thinking it might let me use the Hm801 in my pocket but if the 801 is acting as the Dac... yea I am right, if the hm801 acts as the dac it won't be the play back device which means I can shove it in one of my many coat/pants pockets and just keep the X5 and pb2 with me :O

 

An interesting Idea that I might do for kicks n giggles [and an expensive upgrade to my portable stack]

 

Still good point, and Joe was aware that I use balanced headphones and dacs when he threw me on the list! I going to get a 4pin XLR to 3.5mm interconnector this month though

post #81 of 324

Mshenay

 

Curious.  When you were comparing - how did you level match the two devices?  Was it done with an spl meter - or merely "by ear"?

post #82 of 324

I was all set to go for the X5 until I saw the DX1. What I don't understand is people saying the price of the X5 is so much lower, sure the base price is low but if you don't already have micro SD cards you're looking at $200 for 128GB, which makes it not really much cheaper than the Sony doesn't it?

post #83 of 324

To be fair, a well regarded desktop DAC+AMP combo should be included in this review as a reference. Some IEMs/headphones just don't scale that well with sources, and some ppl like myself are just not good at picking up sonic differences. I needed about 4 hours of listening to fully noticed the difference between iphone and HM700, but once realized, I would never go back to iphone. 

post #84 of 324
Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post
 

 

But most audiophiles are blessed with the tympanic membranes hand selected by Zeus himself, rendering them 1/100th immortal.

 

I guess I wasn't one of them.

2 ears, dude -- we're 2/100th immortal!

post #85 of 324
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fzman View Post
 

2 ears, dude -- we're 2/100th immortal!

 

post #86 of 324
Quote:
Originally Posted by cocopro View Post
 

To be fair, a well regarded desktop DAC+AMP combo should be included in this review as a reference. Some IEMs/headphones just don't scale that well with sources, and some ppl like myself are just not good at picking up sonic differences. I needed about 4 hours of listening to fully noticed the difference between iphone and HM700, but once realized, I would never go back to iphone. 

Wich differences are between HM700 and iPhone? Same track and same earphones?

post #87 of 324

eke,

 

as for your use of the term 'slightly', i have the following observation, which will not be a surprise to you, as we do have quite different opinions on such matters.  Anyway, here goes....

 

There were a lot of events at the recent Winter Olympics where there was only a second or two separating many of the contestants- for events that took perhaps two minutes or so to finish the course for that event. 1 second out of two minutes is .8% -- a 'slight' difference in time.  But, here's the thing - the person who was one second faster won a Gold Medal, and the one only a second behind may have come in 10th!.  Given how short one second is, the difference might have been due to better equipment, better genetics, better conditions on the course for the specific runs in question -- or, it may have been because the winner 'trained' for hundreds or even thousands of hours more during the 4 years between Olympics than his/her rivals. 

 

So, the parallel question becomes 'is it worth spending hundreds of extra hours to finish one second faster?' Or, is the real question - is it worth spending hundreds of extra hours TO WIN?'

 

You mention slight sonic differences, given players of more than slight differences in price. What remains to be considered is how important playback quality is to you (no offense intended here).  How much experience do you have with truly state of the art playback?  When was the last time you were in the same room as musicians playing unamplified acoustic instruments?  Do you listen to natural sounding, high quality of acoustic performances?

 

None of this is directed at you specifically, but is simply what goes through my mind when I read reviews in general....  I do not deny that there's like tens of millions of percent of hyperbole in high end audio, and I do respect your approach to this stuff, but I think that with higher res files of acoustic music, and different iems, you may have heard slightly less slight differences, and you may have deemed them more significant than it seems that you do.


Edited by fzman - 3/20/14 at 7:45am
post #88 of 324
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fzman View Post
 

eke,

 

as for your use of the term 'slightly', i have the following observation, which will not be a surprise to you, as we do have quite different opinions on such matters.  Anyway, here goes....

 

There were a lot of events at the recent Winter Olympics where there was only a second or two separating many of the contestants- for events that took perhaps two minutes or so to finish the course for that event. 1 second out of two minutes is .8% -- a 'slight' difference in time.  But, here's the thing - the person who was one second faster won a Gold Medal, and the one only a second behind may have come in 10th!.  Given how short one second is, the difference might have been due to better equipment, better genetics, better conditions on the course for the specific runs in question -- or, it may have been because the winner 'trained' for hundreds of hours during the 4 years between Olympics. 

 

So, the parallel question becomes 'is it worth spending hundreds of extra hours to finish one second faster?' Or, is the real question - is it worth spending hundreds of extra hours TO WIN?'

 

You mention slight sonic differences, given players of more than slight differences in price. What remains to be considered is how important playback quality is to you (no offense intended here).  How much experience do you have with truly state of the art playback?  When was the last time you were in the same room as musicians playing unamplified acoustic instruments?  Do you listen to natural sounding, high quality of acoustic performances?

 

None of this is directed at you specifically, but is simply what goes through my mind when I read reviews in general....  I do not deny that there's like tens of millions of percent of hyperbole in high end audio, and I do respect your approach to this stuff, but I think that with higher res files of acoustic music, and different iems, you may have heard slightly less slight differences, and you may have deemed them more significant than it seems that you do.

 

 

 

 

Perhaps I should have been more clear. There was zero raw improvement from any of these sources over even my clip+ or ipod classic. Of course I know my view may not be popular, but I see absolutely no reason to drop anywhere close to what these players cost if SQ is the primary objective. If you want more driving power or different capabilities, then that's up to you how much those things are worth. 

 

The minuscule differences I described had to do with the tuning of the devices, and how they affected things like detail perception. My files are carefully chosen and well mastered. "Hi-res" files mean nothing to me because I have MANY times bought and converted these mega lossless albums to 320 MP3, and I've never heard a difference, even from my desktop Sabre setup and HD600. 

 

I am a musician. Music is my first love. I play 5 instruments. Last week I placed second in my school's talent show performing Rivers and Roads by The Head and The Heart with a few friends in a band. Again, the ASG-2 has the most resolving midrange I've heard, and the treble and bass are no slouch. Look at my profile to see that I don't make these assertions from thin air.

 

If a listener wants to evaluate gear superiority based on sound signature, then so be it. I'm not one of them. I consider all devices featured here equal in SQ.


Edited by eke2k6 - 3/20/14 at 8:05am
post #89 of 324

most noticeably the out of head soundstage with RE400B, especially after wearing them for a while, it feels like there's nothing in your ear canals and the music just pop all around you. 

post #90 of 324

Eke,

 

I meant no offense - and did not know you were a musician.  Also, my use of 'you' was much more the rhetorical use, than attacking you or your expressed opinions.....

 

Let me ask it this way.  If you owned all of these players, and had all the same music loaded on all of them, would you not care which one you listened to?  Do they all bring you equally good listening experiences?  (ergonomics, etc. aside)...  Do you think all of them would provide a similarly 'authentic' recreation of a live musical event for the listener?  I ask this because I find that 'reviewing' is a very different experience than 'listening for enjoyment'.  I try to pay attention to whether or not songs seem longer or shorter, whether I am tapping my toes, am I wondering what's on TV, or reaching for my phone to check my mail....  can I read while I am listening, or is the music too damn distracting to pay attention to the words on the page, did i listen to the whole song, or just the short clip I use for 'testing' - did i just lose 3 hours of sleep because I listened for waaay longer than I intended....

 

I am not saying you don't do those things, but I am saying that they provide very different 'data points' than other ways of 'testing'.  I respect your posts, and enjoy your writing.  Please accept my apology for wording my post in a way that conveyed a critical attitutde I had not intended

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post
 

 

 

 

 

Perhaps I should have been more clear. There was zero raw improvement from any of these sources over even my clip+ or ipod classic. Of course I know my view may not be popular, but I see absolutely no reason to drop anywhere close to what these players cost if SQ is the primary objective. If you want more driving power or different capabilities, then that's up to you how much those things are worth. 

 

The minuscule differences I described had to do with the tuning of the devices, and how they affected things like detail perception. My files are carefully chosen and well mastered. "Hi-res" files mean nothing to me because I have MANY times bought and converted these mega lossless albums to 320 MP3, and I've never heard a difference, even from my desktop Sabre setup and HD600. 

 

I am a musician. Music is my first love. I play 5 instruments. Last week I placed second in my school's talent show performing Rivers and Roads by The Head and The Heart with a few friends in a band. Again, the ASG-2 has the most resolving midrange I've heard, and the treble and bass are no slouch. Look at my profile to see that I don't make these assertions from thin air.

 

If a listener wants to evaluate gear superiority based on sound signature, then so be it. I'm not one of them. I consider all devices featured here equal in SQ.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Portable Source Gear
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Source Gear › [Multi-Review] Hifiman HM901, Fiio X5, Sony ZX1, Hisound Studio 3rd Anv, iPhone 4