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Philips HP890 Full Review - Page 2

post #16 of 47
Although I still think these headphones are terrible they did improve drastically(sonics wise) in the short time I have had them.The pair I gave to a reviewer have not impressed him mightily either.I also find if difficult to concieve that anyone would ever, in a proper state of mind,pay $200.00 for for these headphones.Maybe in Canadian dollars or perhaps Monopoly money.While it is entirely possible I may have judged these phones harshly at first listen,I stand by my assement of the lack of quality construction of these phones.Since Blighty has chosen to compare these phones to those costing $200.00 it is only fair to continue on that path.I make this statement as a response to this review only.These headphones are not worth anywhere near $200.00.If you pay a dime more than $105.00 US delivered to your door,by a naked,horny delivery girl,you are paying too much.These phones are a nice novelty item at best to me.I can say I have them and they are difficult to obtain.The novelty quickly wears off when it is time for critical listening.These headphones are not a serious piece of high fidelity equipment.I have heard and own most of the high end heaphones currently available and some that are not,I say without qualification that the Philips HP890 will disappoint anyone who has ever heard quality music reproduction.I purchased these phones based on the impressions offered by DR.Meier,at the time this seemed wise.I usually will not purchase any audio component without an audition ,after the experience with these headphones this is a policy from which I will never again waver.
post #17 of 47
Quote:
Originally posted by Tuberoller
Hey why stop now?I liked it better when you guys were mixing it up.How's about I stir up some more ****.Would that help? LOL!!!
post #18 of 47
Thread Starter 
LoL, roller.

Quote:
Although I still think these headphones are terrible they did improve drastically(sonics wise) in the short time I have had them.
Hey, at least he admits his bias. I would suggest that you really give them some serious listening time before giving ultimate judgment on them. If they have improved "drastically" in a short time perhaps it would be reasonable to see if greater improvement comes from a little more time.
post #19 of 47
Hey, Tuberoller, do you have any cans that do not require amplification and are in the same price range as the Philips? Just curious what your impressions are. It seems one of the sticking points revolves around quality of sound for what you are paying, not just absolute sound quality.
post #20 of 47
Yeah, Tubbyroller, I'd like to know too....
post #21 of 47
Quote:
Originally posted by Blighty
The (unamped) HP890s will be superior to unamped Sennheiser 570s and up.
I'm skeptical of this, I must admit. While I find the Senn 590 a bit bright, they still seem to be in a different league than the HP890. I really wish there was a way to audition a pair in the U.S.

Quote:
They will edge higher end Senns with cheap headphone amps or good cables alone and be more or less equal to Senns with cheap amps and good reference cables or a good amp but stock cables.
OK, this one I refuse to believe LOL. The HP890 are going to sound better than the HD580 or HD600 with a good amp and stock cables? I highly doubt it. Considering that to many people the HD580/HD600 with a good amp and stock cables is the best dynamic headphone rig there is (cuz they haven't heard the Clous), I find it VERY hard to believe that anyone with a critical ear can claim that the HP890s unamped will be "more or less equal."

This sounds more like "new toy enthusiasm" to me
post #22 of 47
Thread Starter 
Take what I said about the HP890 in direct comparison with the HD600 with a grain of salt. I only mentioned it to stir up a bit of controversy ala Tuberoller style

I have omitted those comments for now as I have not done a direct comparison with proper equipment yet. However, I am still of the opinion that the 890 will sound noticeably better vs. a 580/600 without using an amp. Many have addressed the shortcomings of the Senns even with proper amplification so I made a little hasty speculation based on that.

Quote:
This sounds more like "new toy enthusiasm" to me
True but I can tell you that half the enthusiam has passed already and my opinion has not wavered significantly. You will notice that I have never touted them as the end all of headphones. If that were the case, I would sell my grados and end my quest for better headphones. In fact, if you want to see true "new toy enthusiasm" check out the Senn497 threads

You may want to interject some objectivity in those as well.
post #23 of 47
Senn 497 owners though understandably enthusiastic about a fine sub-$100 headphone have never seriously proposed that it can compete with a $500+ audio setup like Senn 580/600s with a decent headphone amp. Nor should the Senn 497s be expected to do so, as Sennheiser makes different phones at different prices for a reason!

Blighty, if you are going to challenge the status quo of headphone excellence by stating that the 890s can beat the 580/600s, than you should expect that MacDEF and other veterans will show up to defend them But for God's sake man, there's no reason to steer him our way!!! LOL---
post #24 of 47
While I haven't heard the Philips headphones, the HD600 with stock cable and $30 DIY amp knocks the living daylights out of the HD570 + Corda HA-1. Not even close. In fact the HD545 ($50-$80 used) with stock cable and no amp does too. In my opinion, any comparison done with high-end Sennheiser headphones shouldn't include the HD570. I don't consider it to be worth more than $50.

Put the HP890 up against HD545/565/580/600 and I'm willing to bet the results would be quite different. I haven't been tempted at all to try the Philips headphones since I have the HD545 which costs less, gives me close performance to my HD600, and is more easily driven than my HD600. Based on the reviews I've read, I doubt the Philips headphones would be enough better (if they even are) than HD545 to make it worth the effort.
post #25 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by delenda est Sony Blighty, if you are going to challenge the status quo of headphone excellence by stating that the 890s can beat the 580/600s, than you should expect that MacDEF and other veterans will show up to defend them But for God's sake man, there's no reason to steer him our way!!! LOL--- [/B]
That was hilarious. Yeah, I realized what I was getting into with my flippant remarks and decided to retract certain statements before it got out of hand. You have to tread carefully when comparing anything to HD600s these days. Initially it was Grado defenders like Gradoiscool on headwize then it became etymotics, sennheisers, ksc-35s, hp890s, Senn497s, and now Audio Technicas. I guess it is cyclical, sort of like fashion heh.
post #26 of 47
Quote:
Originally posted by Blighty


[...] I guess it is cyclical, sort of like fashion heh.
It sure is: Grado, Sennheisser, AKG, Ety, Philips 890s, Audio Technica & cheap Senns (forgive me if I screwed up the order), I am always looking forward to seing what comes next. It is all in good fun, but hell on your wallet.
post #27 of 47
Quote:
Originally posted by MacDEF
I'm skeptical of this, I must admit. While I find the Senn 590 a bit bright, they still seem to be in a different league than the HP890. I really wish there was a way to audition a pair in the U.S.
Different league? Perhaps a different price range...

It looks like Team Sennheiser have decided to "circle the wagons".

post #28 of 47
Quote:
Originally posted by Blighty
You have to tread carefully when comparing anything to HD600s these days. Initially it was Grado defenders like Gradoiscool on headwize then it became etymotics, sennheisers, ksc-35s, hp890s, Senn497s, and now Audio Technicas. I guess it is cyclical, sort of like fashion heh.
What you're implying is that people are blindly defending certain cans; but that would be inaccurate. I have no loyalty to the HD600, Etys, KSC-35, or any other can (see my custom title ). If I could find a headphone that was clearly better than the HD600 (especially for less money), I'd be here extolling its virtues. Show me a headphone that is clearly better than the KSC-35 for under $50, and I'll buy a bunch!

The problem with the above was not that it was "critical" of the HD600 -- it's that it was claiming that a $100 headphone that has gotten mixed reviews, without an amp, was comparable to or better than one of the best headphones in the world (many feel *the* best) with a "good" amp, which is a HIGHLY questionable assertion.
post #29 of 47
Blighty, nice review, thanks.

I've had hp890 for a couple of weeks now. Driving them with a yamaha reciever headphone jack. They have probably been playing for 100+ hours, only some of those on my head.

I agree, these are a nice nuetral sounding can.

I still have a couple of issues with them however,
and I wonder if your, or others, have noticed the same things.

To me the treble still sounds a little grainy, and
occasionally harsh to my ears. I don't know the proper words to describe it. I find this can be fatiging after awhile. Eventually I resorted to putting tone controls back in the loop (my reciever has "direct" setting that bypasses them) and give
it a notch or two less treble. This seems to help, but I can't help think it should not be necesary, and the treble knob rolls of the high midrange a little too much for my liking.

I've also noticed on some recordings the bass is not as tight as it could be. For example sometimes a kick drum will sound like a wumpa instead of
just a wump - almost like the drivers bounced back more than they should have.

Don't get me wrong, for $100 I think these are a great buy. Much nicer overall than any similar priced cans I could try local (sony v6, senn 595 - I think, grado 80). All had strengths and weaknesses but I'm glad I decided to risk buying these 890's unheard (usually a big no-no in my book). In addition to be fairly nuetral cans that work OK with most music, I've been extremely impressed by the sence of presence and ambience these cans can deliver with well recored live music.

I'm wondering if a headamp would help much. Must resist the urge, getting sucked into the headfi ... I'd hoped the 890s would save me from buying hd600 and amp, but now I'm starting to feel myself slipping...

Do the above characteristics seem like something that a headamp might help??? Maybe I need a headamp that slight rolls off the treble.

I suspect that the yamaha headphone jack is just a 470 ohm resistor on the speaker outs since it is speced at 470 ohm impedance (and 470 is a common R value and speaker output impedance is very near 0).
I'm actually wondering if maybe I made myself a higher quality resistor network using the speaker outputs I'd get better sound - anybody try this?
post #30 of 47
Quote:
Originally posted by Buddha


It looks like Team Sennheiser have decided to "circle the wagons".
No, we just want you people out there with your closed cans to quiet down so we can listen to some music.
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