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= HiFiMAN HE-560 Impressions & Discussion Thread = - Page 507

post #7591 of 13850
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic Defender View Post
 

I wonder if this would be a quick and dirty way to test for driver imbalance, playback in mono and then simply defeat one channel at a time and see how the volume levels match? Are you sure that your not the unbalanced part of the equation, I hear the Finns are a crazy bunch:biggrin: 

 

Bad thing about measurements is that you start to hear what you see... :D

post #7592 of 13850
Quote:
Originally Posted by hekeli View Post
 

 

Bad thing about measurements is that you start to hear what you see... :D


So funny, not five minutes after I posted my reply to you I ended up meeting two tourists from Finland in my shop. Small world.

post #7593 of 13850
Quote:
Originally Posted by hekeli View Post
 

 

Bad thing about measurements is that you start to hear what you see... :D

It's just as easy to hear what you've been told or read about.

post #7594 of 13850
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 

It's just as easy to hear what you've been told or read about.


Both of you have pointed out very valid things to consider, but I think it fair to point out that it is also very possible to not be influenced in those specific ways (or influenced to the point where it is almost incidental). I think with experience those pitfalls become less treacherous. 

post #7595 of 13850

The more I am comparing the 400i and 560, the more I am learning to appreciate all the little things the 560 does better. Timbre, air, realness, depth, height, soundstage openness, imaging, bass depth [not punch], definition and texture, leading edges, female vocal presence, highs extension, balance,...

Mind you, the difference is NOT big, it's pretty subtle [some things obviously more than others...]. Both headphones are remarkably without significant flaws and both are a steal at their MSRPs...

If I only owned the 400i, I'd be freaking happy too. But,,, having the choice.

Well, easily two of the best headphones I've heard to date!

 

Spending the last two days comparing the two, I am hearing the differences better and better. Those things stand out with instrumental tracks [refinement, decay, leading edge, timbre, especially thanks to the air] and female vocals [presence, without being shouty]. The midrange is also substantially different [ euphonically forward vs remarkably balanced]


Edited by conquerator2 - 8/27/14 at 1:59pm
post #7596 of 13850
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic Defender View Post
 


Both of you have pointed out very valid things to consider, but I think it fair to point out that it is also very possible to not be influenced in those specific ways (or influenced to the point where it is almost incidental). I think with experience those pitfalls become less treacherous. 

IMO, that depends somewhat on the individual.

post #7597 of 13850
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 

IMO, that depends somewhat on the individual.

 

<facepalm>

 

what DOESN'T "depend somewhat on the individual"?

 

another quality post, a mere 2 minutes after Jason at Schiit told everyone to basically disregard your fears of heat between their components...

back off a bit.

post #7598 of 13850
Quote:
Originally Posted by conquerator2 View Post
 

The more I am comparing the 400i and 560, the more I am learning to appreciate all the little things the 560 does better. Timbre, air, realness, depth, height, soundstage openness, imaging, bass depth [not punch], definition and texture, leading edges, female vocal presence, highs extension, balance,...

Mind you, the difference is NOT big, it's pretty subtle [some things obviously more than others...]. Both headphones are remarkably without significant flaws and both are a steal at their MSRPs...

If I only owned the 400i, I'd be freaking happy too. But,,, having the choice.

Well, easily two of the best headphones I've heard to date!

 

Spending the last two days comparing the two, I am hearing the differences better and better. Those things stand out with instrumental tracks [refinement, decay, leading edge, timbre, especially thanks to the air] and female vocals [presence, without being shouty]. The midrange is also substantially different [ euphonically forward vs remarkably balanced]

I'm guessing that the HE560 is the "remarkably balanced"?

post #7599 of 13850
Quote:
Originally Posted by Za Warudo View Post
 

I'm guessing that the HE560 is the "remarkably balanced"?

You would be right.

post #7600 of 13850
Thread Starter 

Does anyone living in Toronto own a pair of unmodded HE560s? I'd like to check the state of my modding so an opportunity to do an A/B comparison in a private setting would be very telling.

post #7601 of 13850
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post
 

Does anyone living in Toronto own a pair of unmodded HE560s? I'd like to check the state of my modding so an opportunity to do an A/B comparison in a private setting would be very telling.

 

Let me know if you come to Montreal ;)

post #7602 of 13850
Quote:
Originally Posted by jexby View Post
 

<facepalm>

 

what DOESN'T "depend somewhat on the individual"?

 

another quality post, a mere 2 minutes after Jason at Schiit told everyone to basically disregard your fears of heat between their components...

back off a bit.

 

Do you have a link to his post, assuming it is a post.  Thanks.

post #7603 of 13850

Okay, so... I got the Focus Pads A in now. Here are some more detailed impressions... and henceforth, I'll refer to them as the "pre-production" pads.

 

Note: please take these with a fistful of healthy salt, as my experience seems to contradict some of the things that have been said. But scroll to the bottom and just read the section in "red" for the tl;dr version.

 

A bit of background: I keep noticing this harshness with the HE-560 that I could not figure out whether it is due to the treble, or the midrange. It stuck out like a sore thumb because the rest of the presentation is remarkably smooth and relaxing. I did not want to do anything to the HE-560 since I wanted my DIY project to work with the HE-560 in stock form, but I guess curiosity got the better of me.

 

How do the old pre-production pads fare against the newer pads?

 

Gears used:

Fiio D3 modified (the very first iteration with the Wolfson WM8801 chip)

McIntosh MAC 4100 vintage receiver

My DIY amp

 

Source materials:

Music:

Lonely Stranger - Unplugged - Eric Clapton

Pathetic - Somebody's Party EP - Erik Hassle

Hotel California - Hell Freezes Over - Eagles

Little By Little (Caribou Remix) - TKol Rmx 1234567 - Radiohead

Organ Donor - Game Time EP - Zomboy

 

Movie clips/trailers: (on Youtube)

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn - End of An Era trailer

Tron Legacy teaser trailer

Godzilla "extended look" trailer

The Amazing Spiderman 2 final trailer

 

The movie trailers are there for me to more properly test soundstage differences. Most of my music don't have good soundstage.

 

Bass: smoother impact, and actually sounds a bit more distant with the old pre-production pads to me. More on that later. Basically, I enjoy this bass more than the production pads. The production pads seem to have a more blurred presentation with a more "blunt" feeling whereas the pre-production pads give a more subdued, detailed, textured bass to me. The production pads' bass is more "focused" though.

 

Midrange: actually also more subdued on the pre-production pads. The production pads sound... forward, for lack of a better description. There seems to be some extra bit of "clarity" with the production pads, but it creates a weird "white noise" sound to my ears in some of the songs (especially Little By Little) whenever there was any vocal. I definitely enjoy the less forward, more laid-back approach of the pre-production pads more. I think the laid-back sound is what people describe as being "darker" on the pre-production pads, but to my ears, it just sounds like voices have a bit more distance to them. Also more on this later.

 

Treble: glare galore with the production pads. I thought it might have been placebo, but... no. The production pads simply sound more "confused" with regards to the treble range to me. Some recordings sound obviously butchered... like Eric Clapton's "Lonely Stranger" where the audience's clapping at the very beginning sounds like I have a plastic bag over my head (due to the extra forwardness of the midrange as mentioned), yet the same plastic bag is open at the top as I can hear some "clarity" up there. Basically, I experience more of a "drop" in frequency response with the production pads as opposed to the pre-production pads. As far as frequency extension goes, both pads seem to prevent the HE-560 from reaching the very top, and so treble does have a bit of a smoothed-over feel, but due to the glare present in upper midrange/lower treble with the production pads, I think the production pads sound more confused. In this regard, I think the pre-production pads actually sound "clearer" and more "coherent" to me. Last but not least, I get some very slight sibilance with production pads as well. The pre-production pads might well be described as sibilance-free as I could not detect sibilance at all.

 

Soundstage: okay, so maybe I am crazy here, but I kept mentioning bass and midrange have more "distance", right? I thought I was going crazy, so I threw some movie trailers in there just because. And the end result? I don't think I am going crazy. The pre-production pads have a bigger soundstage to my ears. Everything was spaced further apart, vocals were no longer in-my-face, and they were more blending into the background with regards to other sounds. Bass becomes far more surround, and it is very evident in movie trailers. Not mentioned is the fact that I also watched some Netflix with the pre-production pads, and I simply have to conclude: the pre-production pads do present a bigger soundstage to my ears. In terms of imaging, the production pads are probably a little bit more distinct, but it sounds more flat, whereas the pre-production pads definitely sound 3-D to my ears. I could pin point where things are, and though imaging isn't pin-sharp, it is indeed very smooth and soothing.

 

Comfort: to me, pre-production pads are more comfortable than production pads by far. There is no contest here. My ears hurt a bit after about 30 minutes of wearing the production pads, though not the extent that I would have to take them off. Pre-production pads? I wore them through 2 episodes on Netflix... (each about 45 minutes long) and also listened to some music and movie trailers in between... without nary a discomfort anywhere.

 

Physical differences: the pre-production pads seem to have less stellar craftsmanship than the production pads... having slightly uneven thickness, and also the stitching seems less than robust. Also the production pads are obviously more padded, and the back of the production pads are thicker.

 

My conclusion... I think Hifiman should have improved manufacturing consistency with the pre-production Focus Pads A, and then use them as the default ear pads for the Hifiman HE-560. To me, comfort alone is the biggest reason why this should be... And when coupled with the sound quality improvements, it is simply a no-brainer.

post #7604 of 13850
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill-P View Post

 

Soundstage: okay, so maybe I am crazy here, but I kept mentioning bass and midrange have more "distance", right? I thought I was going crazy, so I threw some movie trailers in there just because. And the end result? I don't think I am going crazy. The pre-production pads have a bigger soundstage to my ears. Everything was spaced further apart, vocals were no longer in-my-face, and they were more blending into the background with regards to other sounds. Bass becomes far more surround, and it is very evident in movie trailers. Not mentioned is the fact that I also watched some Netflix with the pre-production pads, and I simply have to conclude: the pre-production pads do present a bigger soundstage to my ears. In terms of imaging, the production pads are probably a little bit more distinct, but it sounds more flat, whereas the pre-production pads definitely sound 3-D to my ears. I could pin point where things are, and though imaging isn't pin-sharp, it is indeed very smooth and soothing.

 

Same impression here, Focus-A FTW :popcorn:

post #7605 of 13850
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThurstonX View Post

Do you have a link to his post, assuming it is a post.  Thanks.

I am on my IPhone so I can't link, but his quote is in the Schiit " Something Happened..." thread, paraphrasing, Jason said that the temps on he Asgard didn't approach the limits of the parts or whole of the Asgard. It is guaranteed for five years and they expect there products to last at least ten years, a dr even that is because of regulations on the types of solder you can use."

So he does dismiss the normal heat produced by Their (not Thor, a Freudian typo) gear being a problem. I was surprised, but I take him at his word.
Edited by Wildcatsare1 - 8/27/14 at 6:22pm
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