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= HiFiMAN HE-560 Impressions & Discussion Thread = - Page 140

post #2086 of 17297
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnYang View Post

 

 

Wow look at that good stitching xD. Btw, I ordered mine, hopefully the tax won't be that crazy here in Singapore :biggrin: 

post #2087 of 17297
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

It calls into question whether incorporating the wood is more trouble than it's worth for Hifiman. The HE5s which also had wooden cups, had cracking issues due to the cheaper wood type.

Teak with HE560 in theory is much more rugged in the long term, but still the finish on the cups is passable at best, certainly when compared against other top-tier cans that happen to use wood cups.

I hope they don't give up on wood on headphones. I think its worth the hassle if made right as they look beautiful and are something special compared to plastic cups.
post #2088 of 17297

Some impressions after 2 days usage – aprox 10 hours total.

 

I am not a headphone guy, - i am a speaker guy -  and dont have good ears and big experience with hp, so take this with a pinch of salt, and from that perspective.

 

I think Jerg and Headphoneaddict have done a remarkable job describing the sound. I will try to give a more critical approach. I really like the more appriciative approach, but lets try something else for fun and variation. Therefore please read and quote with that as context. 

 

As equipment i use Audio-gd gear; 4W amp, multibit dac. Nearly all my impression is from Spotify 320kbit/sec. I have grown out of high-res, cables and other ”upgrades”. Today i cant hear a difference. But for your sake i went into the basement and got some of the 2 mic Denon Mahler cd i had painted green on the sides :).( Really, those recordings are made with Bruel og Kjaer mics that is extremely liniar).

 

Normally i listn on my Linkwitz Orion speakers, that i consider the best speakers ever made, due to partly the dipole principles. I dont play an instrument any more. I often go to concerts, though those over the years very seldom is non amplified any more. In my youth i could lisnt to 3 hours straight of Mahler right in the middle between the speakers - today i prefer Laleh for ½ an hour working in the living room - if thats the only choice. 

 

My first good headphone impression was the original Stax Lambda signature i heard aprox 20 years ago. Since then unfortunately all headphones i heard have sounded outright bad and wrong - also one far more expensive under the label Sony. For some reason the Stax Lambda signature have stuck in my memory especially for the huge space on classical recordings and their detail and speed.  A little to much tizzle, pzz, tzzz in the trebble, and lack of punch and weight in the bass section but otherwise a remarkable experience. The cheaper Stax didnt impress me.  

 

I have heard the SennH 650 that to me sounded like i had wet wool in my ears. The AKG 701, i had for a few years, and hated it perhaps more when i got rid of it than when i got it. I probably have used the 560 more in 2 days than the 701 for 2 years. I still dont understand why you make a headphone with a bass level just plain to low, weird distortion in the midtone and very high trebble that is just not there. To get that level the 701 demanded a huge amp (501 was actually far better imo, but they sort of forgot music contains bass). Well at least the soundstage was not very bad, and the phone had acceptable speed, and was better than wet wool to my ears. I have tried the Denon AHD 2000, a nice engaging phone except it sounded like someone pressed a loudness buttom + add for some reason they made the phone so the bass sounded the same whatever you load on it - on top of the overblown level. Unfortunately i have not lisnt to other new planner and eg. HD800.

 

I have retreated to a Shure srh 840, that have this good quality you can not hear it when others use it, and using it you can not hear your family. That is the best headphone i have had.

 

As you can understand by now i am not a headphone addict and not a frequent guest in the appriciation threads. :)

 

Impressions

 

What strikes me first is this HP actually have an very good bass. Something i have not tried before. Then it has a very coherent sound. Its like everything is connected and from the same source – its difficult to explain. But a side effect is its not like something pops at you. 

 

At normal listening level the bass level is just right. The balance between dry and round is right. And its …fast... When my daughter reached for the headphones when they were 10cm from beeing in place she said ”wow – what a bass” and when she got them on she said ”sick” – ”its like the bass make a huge stage”.

Try the bass at high volume level, and it get agressive and evil. Ggrrrrraa. Cool. lol.

 

The bass is leagues ahead of what i have heard on other phones – and i always wondered why it should be so for HP, but Hifiman showed to me it wasnt, - i guess i should have jumped the plannar earlier. The deepest subbass is there, but under 40Hz i could use a little more level. Therefore the bass is a surprice. Its very nicely integrated to the rest of the picture. – perhaps we should also appriciate Jerg here. If anything the bass is more pronounced than what is strictly correct, but imo i think most if not all prefer it that way, because its makes listening at mid and low level very easy and engaging and fits our cognitive perception.

 

Techno, electronica on this phone is just wonderfull, to a degree this hp makes me lisnt to new music. But its a general treat besides the low fatigue sound, that it makes me focus on the music, and the intent of the artist instead of the sound quality.

 

As for the soundstage in classical music, i remember the Lambda signature as deeper and higher, and more precise. And with more speed. The signature have this flying sound, distancing sound. I think it produces a better sense of beeing there, but i am not sure if Hifiman didnt actually got it more right in the strict technical sense. If i compared to the live symphonic concert i was a recently, i think the lesser emphasis on treble and walls/rooms is actually more correct technically. But still for classical concert orchectre music the lambda sig – and hp that does the same - will probably be a better experience for most as they sound less veiled and give you the more correct interpretation of beeing there. The same probably goes for Jazz but here it starts becomming a wash.

 

As a note the sense of space improved slightly when i move the pads little forward. 560 is the only HP i have heard that could meaningfull be compared to the signature. Treble and mids is not so fast, but the highest treble actually seems faster imho. I would have preferred if the sound picture was more speaker like.That is; more in front of you. That – and more midrange and treble speed, is what they should strive for forward.

 

This phone is open back, and its coherent to a remarkable degree. I say it because if there is the slightest noise around you, you will notice because it alters the sound balance. It tells a lot of the quality. If we take the stax signature again the treble was perhaps finer grained on the sig according to my memory, but there was some ever so slight distortion happening, and secondly the bass was flat out not the same class. With the signature outside noise was not so distracting. The sound was not quite so coherent.

 

An interesting observation about this HP is when you place your hands just 15 cm outside from the back its very obvious – again the sound changes. Its very sensitive, and again its a sign of quality imo. Dont sit close to the walls. Lol. And use good equitment. This hp is transparent.

 

Some perhaps call the sound flat. I understand it, - because nothing stands out when you use the hp for the first time -  but its just wrong interpretation. Our hobby is foremost about high fidelity. If anything this hp shows you can have fairly correct neutral sound and low fatigue at the same time. In general this hp have no direct faults imo as stark contrary to the limited others i have tried. It helps focusing on the purpose of the music instead of sound. If anything i would trade some of the lush for more clarity, speed and room, and ability to handle more complex music. But i would not trade the bass quality for it. Treble and 3D space is not more fine than bass in my world. 95% of the music i hear is perfectly matched by the 560 voicing, and fortunately my personal preferences.

 

As for amp, my take now is you absolutely want to drive this phone with a very strong amp. Besides its open back and very sensistive tone, the amp demands is imo the biggest drawback. In general i think its a problem most phones is made this way. I still need a closed hp, and a portable one. I just dont like it when amping is not sufficient as it makes the HPs more boring sounding, and my take on this is the solutions is on the HP designers. I also shortly tried this HP with cheap NFB11 dac/pre, es9018 based, discrete and 1.8W at 50ohm. The fine thing is 560 dont show all of the es9018 trebble errors imo, its still very fast and engaging, but you lose bass attack, dryness turns round, and the clarity in general is lower. This amp is not weak by any stretch - though it might be comparable less strong than when just looking at specs. You want strong good gear for this HP.

 

As for some saying the box ads 100usd to the price i can safely say: No it doesnt - fortunately. This is typical china precision work. But the finish of my phone is good and it seems robust. And i like the design and looks better than i predicted.

 

On my head - the comfort is the best i have tried but i have smaller ears and still they touch the sides. The headband is working just perfectly on my head. I have a bigger head, and if it was bigger perhaps there could be less good fit. The pads are very good and solid innovation. Velour and leather outside is just how it should be and i think this is the solutions for most forward. And its soft and therefore better adapt and seal good on my head. I dont look at the stiching on my hp, i wear it. And i think the pads is a important part of the, coherent, balanced, sound of this HP.

 

I took a vacation today just to hear to music while writing this, and one of the small kids got a day at home instead of kindergarden. That was not the plan yesterday.

 

Congrats to Hifiman and us. The best that have happened to Hifi, is this Headphone community and China bringing all the excellent stuff, innovation, outstanding service, for comparable small prices. 560 is a perfect example of innovation and progress, a very fine instrument, and an impressive portal from the musicians intents to our experiences. 


Edited by krumme - 5/8/14 at 3:43am
post #2089 of 17297

what a great read..congrats on your new hps!

post #2090 of 17297
^GREAT, I love your comparison with the LS, which is a magnificent headphone. I doubt I could agree with you on the deeper sound stage owning the LS, but it has great imaging all around, also in the front and sounds are very distinguished with enhanced spatial cues due to the slightly emphasised treble. No doubt the sound stage stands tall, it's the tallest and greatest sounding headphone I have heard except for the Sigma and hd800.
Sorrily, I have problems with hiss and crackle, that sort of stuff frown.gif
post #2091 of 17297
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by smellyfungus View Post


haven't had time to mess with them but when I wore them they sat like this: |(*_*)|
most headphones for me sit like this: \(^_^)/

so the bottom of my ears feel encompassed. we'll see if I can fix that tomorrow.

The yokes should allow the cups to bend inward at the bottom, no? Mine has to sit that way too to have the full sealing effect.

post #2092 of 17297
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmaster View Post

It seems Hifiman listened to a wish I made long time ago (after receiving my HE-4 back from repair): "if you can make a more efficient HE-4 with the refinements of the HE-500, you've got yourself a Grado killer for rock music".

The HE-560 is just that! It is definitely brighter than the 5LE but I'm digging it \o/. Fast and detailed.

 

vs. the HE-6?

post #2093 of 17297

i know its a little apples and oranges(open/closed) but would anyone who has, or or heard both the alpha dog and the 560, be able to share some thoughts on how the sound signatures compare

tone, extension, presence , just some general thoughts would be appreciated

post #2094 of 17297
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmaster View Post

It seems Hifiman listened to a wish I made long time ago (after receiving my HE-4 back from repair): "if you can make a more efficient HE-4 with the refinements of the HE-500, you've got yourself a Grado killer for rock music".

The HE-560 is just that! It is definitely brighter than the 5LE but I'm digging it \o/. Fast and detailed.

"Grado Killer" got my attention.

post #2095 of 17297
Quote:
Originally Posted by swspiers View Post
 

"Grado Killer" got my attention.


you too ?? lol

post #2096 of 17297
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

^GREAT, I love your comparison with the LS, which is a magnificent headphone. I doubt I could agree with you on the deeper sound stage owning the LS, but it has great imaging all around, also in the front and sounds are very distinguished with enhanced spatial cues due to the slightly emphasised treble. No doubt the sound stage stands tall, it's the tallest and greatest sounding headphone I have heard except for the Sigma and hd800.
Sorrily, I have problems with hiss and crackle, that sort of stuff frown.gif

Thanx. 

20 years ago i often attended symphony concerts. When you do that i think you train your cognitive system to interprete soundstage better and have a solid reference. I dont have the same ability today so my description compared to depth of 560 soundstage might be totally off. Add i very seldom hear classical music.

 

I cant take hiss and crackle at the expense of details and clarity. I used to tolerate that better.

 

In my ears the 560 is totally deprived of that distortion but at the same time presenting many details and resolution. It still puzzle me how they got this hp to be so resolving and at the same time to sound relatively good on basicly all recordings i have thrown at it. My asumption is they have used a lot of time hearing to the hp vs focusing on measuring and engineering. It gives what i perciewe as a sweet, inviting and intimate sound. I have heard a lot hifi where its wasnt so. With this HP you start your Spotify list, and dont think of changing - its good business for Spotify and the Artists :)

post #2097 of 17297
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post
 

The yokes should allow the cups to bend inward at the bottom, no? Mine has to sit that way too to have the full sealing effect.

For me, the 560 is very gentle to your head and soft around your ears except the bottom. At the bottom the cups there is pressure. I would have preferred it bigger here. If i lower the cups i have slight pressure on top.But we have to notice, the effect is perhaps also a little like noise in a car; there will always be a noise that is most obvious. If you remove it, another one emerges. This is in many ways very comfortable caps besides that issue.

post #2098 of 17297

 

my cups have quite limited movement because the pads hit the yolks. there's a lot of range the opposite way but that doesnt help a human head.

 

at this point with some more messing with adjustments theres still a slight gap but not too bad.

 

either way i listened to a few tracks and almost got teary listening to hotel california. every sound of the headphone blends so well together i can't help but enjoy the song. so good i almost canceled my oppo pm1 order but i decided i really need to see who wins the shootout.

post #2099 of 17297
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by smellyfungus View Post
 

 

my cups have quite limited movement because the pads hit the yolks. there's a lot of range the opposite way but that doesnt help a human head.

 

at this point with some more messing with adjustments theres still a slight gap but not too bad.

 

either way i listened to a few tracks and almost got teary listening to hotel california. every sound of the headphone blends so well together i can't help but enjoy the song. so good i almost canceled my oppo pm1 order but i decided i really need to see who wins the shootout.

Maybe you could play around with rotating the two earpads so that the angling fits your head better. For me the best fit is when the thinnest part of the earpads are angled between my cheekbones and jaws.

post #2100 of 17297

been messing around with it between songs but still comfier than other headphones even when not optimized.

 

enjoying the neutral bass a lot. has the impact ive been looking for without being overly bloated or overpowering the rest of the spectrum.

 

i havent really described the sound myself yet but the first three words i thought of are: effortless, fast, clean.

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