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Upgrading current setup

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hello all

 

I'm writing here to get some suggestions and advices for the headphone and source upgrade I'm looking for at the moment; I'd like to read your thoughts and receive a 2-3 headphones recommendations (over ear, open, don't mind) in order to audition them in a hifi shop before buying; there are hundreds differents cans in the market (some well reviewed, others over-hyped) and to be honest I'm a bit lost!

 

So, the actual setup is composed by a Sansa ClipZip with Rockbox and a pair of Ultrasone HFI780 cans; I also use an Asus Essence STX as source, a 2.1 pro active system (m-audio bx8 + sbx10), a pair of Sony MH1-C in-ear and a pair of Blox Anv3se earphone to listen to music :)

 

I'm planning to upgrade my portable source (ClipZip) and also my headphones.

 

After reading a lot here I'm between Fiio X5 and iBasso DX90 as for the source choice, but still I can change my mind.

Both DAPs will play as usb DACs, so the thing gets interesting to me: will those portable players be on par with my essence stx soundcard or It's an absolute "NO!" ? Have I to forget this idea or it could be a nice catch?

 

 

Speaking about the sound I'm looking for, here my personal taste preferences:

 

-Bass: I like an articulated and detailed bass with good impact on let's say guitar attacks and drums. DON'T like bloating bass or too-relaxed hifi type of bass (relaxed but not real at all to me!)

-Medium: I like neutral to little warm sound signature; I like details. DON'T like too warm (and not natural) and neither backward presentation ; I prefer balanced to little forward one.

-Tremble: I like details and extentions to highs (~16-18k) but I don't like "extra shiny" cans. Presentation has to be neutral, or a little backward compared to medium and bass frequencies.

-Soundstage: with neither cans nor earphones used till now I could ever hear a soundstage in front of me like when using loudspeaker, but inside of my head instead! I DON'T like something like that and I'd like to know if it's possible to perceive a  soundstage IN FRONT OF ME with a portable setup or if it's a no-go.

-Imaging: I like good retrieval of informations, separation between channels and layering (depth). In term of height I prefer a medium-to-high presentation. I do like focus and crisp contours, I DON'T like when voices or instruments start moving or are blurred and hard to locate

 

 

To get it easy I'd like a sound presentation which is similar to this Moller frequency response:

 

 

 

I've read about ATH50X. Vmoda's, Sennheiser HD600/650, Grado's, Hifiman 400 and Beyerdynamic DT770/DT880 but I'm sure I'm forgetting some other good can!

Which one of those would "fit the bill"? :D

 

Thank you for the help guys, I wish you a good weekend.

 

Regards

Nico


Edited by zeed - 1/31/15 at 4:31pm
post #2 of 12
Unless I missed it, you didn't tell us your budget for the headphones.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hi billybob :)

 

You are right!

The budget is something similar to the cost of the DAP but I can spend some more money if it's really worth it (so no for very little improvements) but let's say 250~350 €.


Edited by zeed - 1/31/15 at 4:40pm
post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeed View Post
 

Hi billybob :)

 

You are right!

The budget is something similar to the cost of the DAP but I can spend some more money if it's really worth it (so no for very little improvements) but let's say 250~350 €.

All the buzz right now is around the Philips X2 Fidelio, I shouldn't say too much as they're my first over ear headphones, but check some reviews!

post #5 of 12

I know of no headphone that presents a soundstage that is centered in front of you like stereo speakers.  This should not be a surprise if you think about where the headphone drivers are relative to speaker placement.

post #6 of 12
Well, the Ultrasone S-Logic headphones claim to do something weird with the soundstage. From the Ultrasone web page on S-Logic:
Quote:
It appears as though you are listening to speakers meters away.

I've never heard S-Logic. Some people seem to like, others think it is complete cr@p. YMMV...
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by razorpakk View Post
 

All the buzz right now is around the Philips X2 Fidelio, I shouldn't say too much as they're my first over ear headphones, but check some reviews!

 

Yes, good input.

To be honest I can't undestand if all the hype on L2 and X2 (head-fi, headfonics and headphonia reviews) are because we are in front of a really good pair of cans or if it's only marketing; I'd like some more informations from some people having them and comparing with dt880, senn 600/650 and similar, it will be nice.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KG Jag View Post
 

I know of no headphone that presents a soundstage that is centered in front of you like stereo speakers.  This should not be a surprise if you think about where the headphone drivers are relative to speaker placement.

 

and

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by billybob_jcv View Post

Well, the Ultrasone S-Logic headphones claim to do something weird with the soundstage. From the Ultrasone web page on S-Logic:


I've never heard S-Logic. Some people seem to like, others think it is complete cr@p. YMMV...

 

Nope, from my HFI780 experience I can tell the soundstage is similar to other cans, earphones and iems..nothing special.

 

So It's impossible to have a soundstage like with stereo speakers.. I though with better gears (source and cans) this was possible!

Even reading many reviews here and here is a bit disappoiting then, because often they speak about soundstage in a manner that it seem something else (look for example reviews of X5 and DX90 DAP's, where people are saying that X5 reproduces music in a more intimate way compared to the DX90 which -I quote- "sounds feel further away, not hitting me in the chest [..]"), this get me disoriented quite a lot!

post #8 of 12

Some day (perhaps in the not too far off future) when headphones become a combination of what they are now and a computer/super A/V receiver, what is now not "possible" will be relatively common.

 

From what I have read (and heard in the case of the DX90), the 90 is technically superior and audiophiles and those who prefer the most accurate reproduction of their music will prefer it over the X5.

 

However, those preferring more bass than neutral, smoothness and a bit more slam may prefer the X5.

 

See:

 

http://headfonics.com/category/sources/daps/

post #9 of 12
Soundstage has never been a very significant headphone attribute for me. I just don't seem to be able to hear the big differences in soundstage that other people talk about - even when we're talking about very open headphones vs very closed headphones. I hear a bit of a difference, but I've never considered it a big deal. In addition, having the sound "inside my head" like you will get with very high isolation IEMs doesn't bother me the way it seems to bug some people. I do have some high freq hearing loss, and I've often wondered if that might be affecting my ability to discern soundstage. Even so, I suspect the "massive soundstage" some folks talk about might be another case of typical audio over-exuberance... smily_headphones1.gif
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeed View Post

To get it easy I'd like a sound presentation which is similar to this Moller frequency response:



If you look at the headphone measurements taken at Innerfidelity, and use the Build a Graph function at headphone.com, you will soon figure out that the frequency response you are looking for is not available.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for those great links cel:bigsmile_face:

 

Well, about the graph I posted It was only to make understand what I was looking for, but of course it's not possible to obtain a flat response like that without any peaks!

Reading reviews about Philips Fidelio X2 I though this pair of can would have the sound signature I was looking for and I ordered them.

Now I'm at around ~40hours of burn-in but I notice too much bass quantity (enphasys on sub 150hz region) and the mid-tremble frequencies (female voices) are a bit recessed compared to midranges and tremble..

I will update when I got them fully burned-in at around 200hours (should be on saturday or monday) ;)

post #12 of 12
Additional burning in won't make that much of a difference (if at all).

DT880 might be a much better fit for you:
http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/BeyerdynamicDT880250ohm.pdf
http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/PhilipsFidelioX2.pdf
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