Originally Posted by Feilong4
Just wondering but have you gotten them yet? I'm thinking of just getting the SoundMAGIC HP200 because they're cheaper on Amazon.
Yeah, I have been messing with them for a few days, wanted to try at least get some hours on them in case there is a big difference with burn in like some people mention. I guess I can give some brief impressions and thoughts since I have been considering what you might like best.
They are very comfortable whether I am sitting up or laying down and were one of the easiest headphones for me to get set how I wanted them right away. The numbers notches on the sliders really help with that. I really like the metal grills, seem very durable and look fairly nice, not too huge either. A little bigger than the M50s and more comfortable for me. They are open but the sound leakage seems to be fairly little compared to other open headphones I have tried. Still not something I would want to wear in a fairly quiet area, in terms of disturbing others.
The main thing I don't like is the cord. It comes with a very short detachable cord (like 3 ft) which uses a proprietary locking mechanism so I can't just switch it out with another one easily. There is a 10 ft extension cable included as well though but from what I can tell, they don't really sound their best with the extension. I started out using it and after a couple hours thought I would see if there was any difference without it and to me there was a vast improvement. Getting to the sound, in terms of vocal clarity, they are fantastic. I was hearing detail that I would compare only to the K701. Although I think the K701 feels more like the singer is in the room with you as opposed to inside your skull. The vocals seem very close, almost like a closed headphone, in fact, I kept forgetting they were open. I would even say that the ZMF feels more open than they do.
They are an improvement over the M50s in terms of clarity and the soundstage is going to be wider but not a huge jump in that regard. Much clearer and cleaner sounding without the wall of sound that the M50s provide. To me, they seem like the best example of a neutral headphone that I can think of, with vocals being somewhat forward and being a little bit bright sometimes. At first I thought they had no bass but after ditching the extension cable I felt like I got a much fuller sound and more separation. The bass is there but not in your face and I find myself entirely focused on vocals.
Another nice thing is that they don't seem to need very much power at all. They get very loud very easily and sound great out of my iphone as well as hooked to the O2 but I also have to turn down the volume in foobar to stay above 9 o'clock. Here is the weird thing, that may just me but they don't seem very lively to me. I only have about 12-15 hours on them so maybe this will change but at this point I find myself very relaxed on all songs. I just focus on little details, pay attention to the lyrics but never really feel energized by songs that normally get my foot tapping or something like that. I find myself feeling much more excited by the K701s despite them also being fairly analytical. I get very relaxed listening to the HP200s, and with some music that is fine but other heavier songs just don't have the right effect.
I haven't made many comparisons to the ZMF because after thinking about it and spending a lot of time with the K701 and HP200, the V.2 probably has more bass than you want and I have never heard the V.1 so I am only guessing at the difference there. Though that is based on what you have described, if you like the M50s with there bass prominence, then the V.2 or V.1 would be fine and maybe with the Soundmagic or K701 you would miss that extra thump since it is a pretty drastic change. The ZMF strikes a nice balance I guess, also compared to the HP200 I think the ZMF has a better soundstage, a more full, engaging (thats the word I have been looking for) sound. Based on what I have read, the V.1 may be perfect but I haven't heard it. I am thinking of trying it, still debating. Another thing, the vocals on the ZMF are very clear but seem more warm and intimate somehow if that makes sense, Soundmagic, more analytical Not quite as in your head either but nowhere near the K701s openness.
Anyway, here is the end result. Compared to the M50s I think the HP200s will be a great improvement in many ways and be much closer to what you describe as ideal, though the 3 ft cord is a big drawback for me and is really a problem since I don't sit right next to my amp anymore. They don't sound awful with the extension, honestly I liked them but not for my main headphone. With the extension I was impressed by the vocal clarity but wondered where everything else was. Personally though, I think K701s beat them. I like the wider soundstage, the more open and airy sound while still having the vocal clarity but I prefer the "in the room" feel as opposed to in my head. At least out of an open headphone. They also have that more engaging lively sound to me for whatever reason. I feel frustrated that the HP200s are open because otherwise I would see them as a great portable option, and the company seems to want them to be with the short cord and included carrying case and airline adapter. They feel too closed in to be open in my opinion. Though I am considering the HP100s now, wish I had grabbed that refurb.
I guess I am saying that you probably won't be disappointed by the Soundmagic (as long as the short cord isn't a dealbreaker) but for what they are good at, I am planning to return them at this point because the K701 already does what they do for me and does it better. Though I hope the HP100 sounds close to the same because I enjoyed the comfort of wearing them walking around the house off my iphone. The K701s are comfortable but ever since I damaged my first pair I am always real careful with them, they just seem delicate to me. I think the ZMF V.1 might be perfect but thats just based on how good the V.2 is, so I am imagining the V.2s characteristics with less bass emphasis, more neutral, sounds like something you would like.
Hope my rambling helped somewhat, ask me a question if something doesn't make sense or something I left out. Kind of just wrote everything out all at once so I may have missed things or been confusing....o and heres a pic of everybody
Just off the phone so not that great :(