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Stereo balance issue with brand new Fidelio X2s

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hello Head-Fi, first time poster here. I have been having an issue lately that has been driving me insane. It all started when I decided that the Fidelio X2s would be the first high end headphones that I would get, as they seemed to hit every point that I wanted in terms of headphones. When I received them, I was first blown away about how they sounded, but I was also instantly introduced to a problem with them.

 

The problem starts with the fact that they sounded heavy in the left ear, although it is a very subtle effect. However, I can tell the effect is there, and have never heard this issue on my other headphones, which are Sennheiser HD 280 Pros. Now I first assumed that this was an issue with my ears, as my ears are known to get clogged pretty easily. I then decided to test this by switching the sides of the headphones, and to my surprise, they sounded heavy on the right side. This pretty much proves that it was an issue with the headphones.

 

So at this point, I figured I got a defective pair, and got a replacement set up with Amazon. When I received my new pair, I first tested the balance on them. Again, I had the same exact issue. Same exact side. Same exact subtle effect. Switching sides just made it heavy in the other ear, proving it wasn’t my own ears causing the problem.

 

I’ve tested the headphones on four different sources, an old JVC a/v receiver, my Macbook Air, my Sansa Clip+, and my desktop computer with a Xonar DG sound card. Also when testing on my Clip+ and Macbook Air, I set the output to mono, and the audio still sounded slightly left sided. To also test this, I would go into the balance settings on both the Clip+ and Air, close my eyes, throw the balance off on the left and right and try to center the sound. I would usually end up slightly on the right side of the slider of my Air, and at 1% to 2% to the right on the Clip+. I tested this both in stereo and mono, same results.

 

So this pretty much confirms that I have the same issue again, and this would lead me to assume that there is a problem in the manufacturing process that is causing it to happen to multiple headphones, but I have heard no reports on this issue at all. I’ve done plenty of research, and any issue on unbalanced headphones leads me to forum posts about old headphones that people had laying around that just happened to start becoming unbalanced. I can’t find anything about the X2s specifically having this issue, or anyone complaining about getting new headphones with an issue like this.

 

At this point I don’t know if I’m just the only person to get this issue and get it twice in a row, the only person who happens to notice this issue, the only person to just report on it, or if I'm just not used to these types of headphones. Take note that I'm very new to this kind of stuff when it comes to high quality headphones as the only headphones that I've owned that weren't cheap pieces of garbage are my Sennheiser HD 280 Pros.

 

I don’t even know what to do at this point, should I send them back for a replacement? Should I just get a refund on them and go for a different pair of headphones like the AKG 701s? I’m worried there might be something else contributing to this problem that I might not know of. I really don’t want to give up on these headphones, as they sound absolutely amazing, but this issue ruins the experience. I would really like some suggestions on what to do, or maybe something else to do to determine the source of the problem. Thank you very much to anyone who actually read through this entire thing and helps me. Very sorry if this was too long but I wanted to make sure I was detailed enough.

 

Update: When I test the headphones with a single tone at something from 30Hz to 150Hz, if I listen to each side from the outside by putting them up to my ear, I can hear more vibration coming from the heavy sounding side than the light side. It sounds as if the driver is "rattling" more from the heavy side compared to the light one. This seems to further support the fact that there is a defect.


Edited by aboutseven - 11/28/14 at 8:09pm
post #2 of 17

ask Tyll Hertsens from innerfidelity

post #3 of 17

or send a email to Philips

post #4 of 17

i want to buy this cans but now i'm a little worried about this issue

post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hmm, Tyll was one of the main reasons I bought these in the first place. Although, if there was an issue, I would have expected him to hear it in his tests. This is why I'm very confused as to why I'm hearing issues and there are no reports on this. It is also why I think it might be something else causing the problem. I want to say that the fault is mine and not the headphones, but it is so hard to tell.

 

I will probably try contacting Philips after the weekend is over. I also might put in another replacement on Amazon, but I just want to hear some more suggestions before I do so.

post #6 of 17

you must try with other gear ,other source to be sure, and ask some friend to prove the headphones, maybe you have a problem with your ears

post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 


I stated in the OP that I have used my other headphones that do not have this issue, and I've tried the X2s on four different sources. Also if it were my ears, then the heavy side wouldn't switch when I would switch the headphones around, which they do just that.

post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 

An update: When I test the headphones with a single tone at something from 30Hz to 150Hz, if I listen to each side from the outside by putting them up to my ear, I can hear more vibration coming from the heavy sounding side than the light side. It sounds as if the driver is "rattling" more from the heavy side compared to the light one. This seems to further support the fact that there is a defect.

post #9 of 17

Mine were perfectly fine and I especially checked the left right balance (imbalance drives me mad). 

 

You were possibly unfortunate, not all X2 are like that.

post #10 of 17

If it were me I'd return them pronto. There are many other manufacturers out there and on this evidence, your money could be better spent elsewhere.

post #11 of 17
I have the same problem with mine but it's more with vocals than anything else mine is pushed slightly to the right ear tho its only slight but its noticable to the point of driving me mad ,so have you resolved the issue with your x2s ..
post #12 of 17

You can't resolve if not by having them changed.

 

But before maybe try with different songs, and possibly with mono sounds (or phone/tablet app that can make a sound with a certain frequency). It's easy to be fooled and think that there is an imbalance even when there is not (it happened to me). If you are sure, then it's warranty/return period time

post #13 of 17
There are certain albums I know well that I have heard hundreds of times on my shure 535s and the vocals are centred perfectly and on the x2 the vocals are slightly only slightly mind to the the right side imagine that the perfect centred vocal would be in line with your nose dead centre but its more like on my right eyebrow bit weird or maybe its supposed to be like that but I think not ,not sure what to do .
post #14 of 17

I understand.. well, if it bothers you.. return them. I know for experience that when problems like these kick in, there's no way I'm gonna like a pair of cans, it's going to annoy you forever

post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by aboutseven View Post

Hello Head-Fi, first time poster here. I have been having an issue lately that has been driving me insane. It all started when I decided that the Fidelio X2s would be the first high end headphones that I would get, as they seemed to hit every point that I wanted in terms of headphones. When I received them, I was first blown away about how they sounded, but I was also instantly introduced to a problem with them.

The problem starts with the fact that they sounded heavy in the left ear, although it is a very subtle effect. However, I can tell the effect is there, and have never heard this issue on my other headphones, which are Sennheiser HD 280 Pros. Now I first assumed that this was an issue with my ears, as my ears are known to get clogged pretty easily. I then decided to test this by switching the sides of the headphones, and to my surprise, they sounded heavy on the right side. This pretty much proves that it was an issue with the headphones.

So at this point, I figured I got a defective pair, and got a replacement set up with Amazon. When I received my new pair, I first tested the balance on them. Again, I had the same exact issue. Same exact side. Same exact subtle effect. Switching sides just made it heavy in the other ear, proving it wasn’t my own ears causing the problem.

I’ve tested the headphones on four different sources, an old JVC a/v receiver, my Macbook Air, my Sansa Clip+, and my desktop computer with a Xonar DG sound card. Also when testing on my Clip+ and Macbook Air, I set the output to mono, and the audio still sounded slightly left sided. To also test this, I would go into the balance settings on both the Clip+ and Air, close my eyes, throw the balance off on the left and right and try to center the sound. I would usually end up slightly on the right side of the slider of my Air, and at 1% to 2% to the right on the Clip+. I tested this both in stereo and mono, same results.

So this pretty much confirms that I have the same issue again, and this would lead me to assume that there is a problem in the manufacturing process that is causing it to happen to multiple headphones, but I have heard no reports on this issue at all. I’ve done plenty of research, and any issue on unbalanced headphones leads me to forum posts about old headphones that people had laying around that just happened to start becoming unbalanced. I can’t find anything about the X2s specifically having this issue, or anyone complaining about getting new headphones with an issue like this.

At this point I don’t know if I’m just the only person to get this issue and get it twice in a row, the only person who happens to notice this issue, the only person to just report on it, or if I'm just not used to these types of headphones. Take note that I'm very new to this kind of stuff when it comes to high quality headphones as the only headphones that I've owned that weren't cheap pieces of garbage are my Sennheiser HD 280 Pros.

I don’t even know what to do at this point, should I send them back for a replacement? Should I just get a refund on them and go for a different pair of headphones like the AKG 701s? I’m worried there might be something else contributing to this problem that I might not know of. I really don’t want to give up on these headphones, as they sound absolutely amazing, but this issue ruins the experience. I would really like some suggestions on what to do, or maybe something else to do to determine the source of the problem. Thank you very much to anyone who actually read through this entire thing and helps me. Very sorry if this was too long but I wanted to make sure I was detailed enough.

Update: When I test the headphones with a single tone at something from 30Hz to 150Hz, if I listen to each side from the outside by putting them up to my ear, I can hear more vibration coming from the heavy sounding side than the light side. It sounds as if the driver is "rattling" more from the heavy side compared to the light one. This seems to further support the fact that there is a defect.

I have had the same problem, think mine are beyong their return period though.

I have found kind of a weird fix though, take off the pads and see if they are aligned right. Also moving the headphone around on the ears can affect your perception of left and right balance.
Edited by Electro-Static - 6/10/15 at 1:21am
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