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Jumping from the HD650 to the HD800.

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

I need some input from people that has heard both or own both the HD650 and HD800. I am very much enjoying the HD650 with the Modi 2 Uber + Valhalla 2 setup and I'd like to know if jumping to the HD800 can take the experience even further. If so, to what degree (huge/obvious or slight/subtle)?

 

I listen to mostly rock from indie/alternative to hardcore/metalcore, as well as some pop/hip-hop/rap/EDM/etc. Not so much classical, jazz, etc.

 

Other recommendations as upgrades to the HD650 are welcome too but the reason I chose HD800 is because I already have a system setup perfectly for it (Modi 2 Uber + Valhalla 2) which means no orthodynamic headphones, etc.

 

Some input would be great, thanks!

post #2 of 25

Quote:

Originally Posted by sysfail View Post

I need some input from people that has heard both or own both the HD650 and HD800. I am very much enjoying the HD650 with the Modi 2 Uber + Valhalla 2 setup and I'd like to know if jumping to the HD800 can take the experience even further. If so, to what degree (huge/obvious or slight/subtle)?

 

You get more precise imaging, but the non-offensive treble of the HD650 will be replaced by some sharpness on some recordings, depending on whether the sharper notes there are near the HD800's treble peak. This assumes one listens to both but doesn't own either of them - if you've had the HD650 for a long time and are thus accustomed to its sound, then unles you don't like it, the most likely first impression of the HD800 is that it's a bit too sharp.

 

To be very honest, my guess is you aren't going to like that you spent $800 to $1000 more on the HD800 just for the imaging improvement, which is a lot in headphone terms, but it's not like it's going to make for an absolutely holographic soundstage in front of your eyes. 

post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtegeManiac View Post

You get more precise imaging, but the non-offensive treble of the HD650 will be replaced by some sharpness on some recordings, depending on whether the sharper notes there are near the HD800's treble peak. This assumes one listens to both but doesn't own either of them - if you've had the HD650 for a long time and are thus accustomed to its sound, then unles you don't like it, the most likely first impression of the HD800 is that it's a bit too sharp.

To be very honest, my guess is you aren't going to like that you spent $800 to $1000 more on the HD800 just for the imaging improvement, which is a lot in headphone terms, but it's not like it's going to make for an absolutely holographic soundstage in front of your eyes. 

Thanks for the input! So it looks like the main differences I'll see is a bump in the highs/treble/brightness and better imaging.

I was actually finding the HD600 to be a bit too bright on some recordings when paired with my current setup, I think that was mainly due to the Modi DAC. The HD650 hit the sweet spot for me with the setup. I just wanted to get the best possible headphones that synergizes perfectly with my current setup. I'm guessing the HD650s are it.
post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 

Anymore input from someone else? Perhaps throwing the HD700s into the mix?

post #5 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by sysfail View Post

 

Perhaps throwing the HD700s into the mix?

 

I had no issues with the HD800 treble but I did find the HD700 a little grating.

post #6 of 25

I have had all three and this is how I feel. 

 

The HD650 I could listen to at any time, no matter the circumstance.  I felt they were comforting in times of stress or trying to wind down as most of my headphone time was.  I rarely listen during the day. 

 

The HD800 are amazing.  You can tell that you are listening to something special, whether that something special is something you prefer or not, it is something to try.  I had $5000 or so invested in my HD800 setup and it was great but I never felt relaxed like I did listening to the HD650. Yes there are micro details and soundstage and pin point imaging but something it was just too much for me. Like I said, most of my time is after work, after the kids are sleeping and I just want to veg out in front of the computer.  So they were not for me. 

 

The HD700 were a bit deceiving  I feel. At first listen, I really enjoyed them and felt they were close enough to the middle of the HD650 and the HD800 that I planned on keeping them. They were super comfortable, had more treble than the HD650, but less sharp than the HD800. Upon further listening, I felt something was off... something sounded unnatural.  So I went back to the HD650 for a listen.. no biggie.  Still sounds sweet albeit a tad dark.  But then I went back to the HD700 and to my ears, they just sounded completely off.  Grating? I didnt feel that they were that bad.. just unnatural sounding to my ears.  Artificial.  

 

I am searching for a natural sound, not necessarily neutral and not necessarily "what the artist wants you to hear" but what I feel is natural.  To me, that seems to be with the highs a little less aggressive, slightly mid-centric, and with a full low end spectrum. 

post #7 of 25

The HD-650 scales exceptionally well and you would likely see more favorable results by upgrading your amplifier and DAC. The HD-800 is bright and unforgiving and it is unlikely that it will suit your music and listening preferences.  That said, I'm happy to sell you my HD-800 headphones. 

post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 

For now, I don't plan on upgrading my DAC or amp any further, now I'm just looking for the best headphones that pairs the best with my setup.

 

It sounds like the HD650 can be a great complement to the HD800. HD650 for enjoying the music and HD800 for critical listening. In terms of "brightness", is it bright like "nail scratching on a chalkboard" or just an overall bright sound with tons of detail but doesn't "make your ears bleed" kind of brightness? I'm guessing an OTL amp like the Valhalla 2 with Amperex Orange Globe tubes would smooth it out nicely?

 

It looks like the HD700 is just an oddball, the idea of getting the best of the HD650 and HD800 in one headphone is nice, but I sounds like it didn't turn out all that great.

 

I appreciate all the input!

post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by sysfail View Post
 

In terms of "brightness", is it bright like "nail scratching on a chalkboard" or just an overall bright sound with tons of detail but doesn't "make your ears bleed" kind of brightness? 

 

"Make your ears bleed kind of brightness." The HD-800 can be tiresome with some genres and low quality recordings. 


Edited by iDesign - 12/28/15 at 10:44pm
post #10 of 25

Quote:

Originally Posted by sysfail View Post

 

It sounds like the HD650 can be a great complement to the HD800. HD650 for enjoying the music and HD800 for critical listening. In terms of "brightness", is it bright like "nail scratching on a chalkboard" or just an overall bright sound with tons of detail but doesn't "make your ears bleed" kind of brightness? I'm guessing an OTL amp like the Valhalla 2 with Amperex Orange Globe tubes would smooth it out nicely?

 

 

HD700 and HD800 are both going to make your ears bleed if the recording has a really loud splash of cymbals. My HD600 are like that already, gets "worse" with the HD800, then the HD700. That said if it's a properly mastered track that doesn't have high gain I haven't heard anything really bad with anything.

post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 

Glad that you brought up the HD600, I did notice that the HD600 did sound just a tad too bright with certain music on my new setup (where I'd have to turn down the volume to tolerate it), which is why I opted for the HD650 which brought it down to a pretty perfect level for any music. So considering it'll only be worse with the HD700 and HD800, I think the HD650 is probably going to be as good as it gets. I just wanted a bit more precise and clear imaging/separation/sound stage from the HD650 which is why I wanted to see what the HD700 and HD800 has to offer.

 

Also, comfort matters to me quite a lot and I know the HD700 and HD800 is definitely up on the list for the most comfortable headphones which is really attractive to me. Not saying the HD600/HD650 is uncomfortable, but it could be better.

 

I guess the only other option is completely changing the setup and going the ortho route with the Audeze (though I've read their comfort is really poor) and Hifiman offerings which would be quite a hassle since I barely got this new Schiit setup. I really like the setup though, just wanted to see what's out there that can bring the most out of them.

 

Thanks again for all the feedback!

post #12 of 25

I got HD700 a few weeks ago after using HD600 for 8 years.

It is a little bright for sure.

 

I had very mixed feelings about it to begin with - sometimes I could listen to music and just enjoying it a lot without noticing any brightness, other times I literally could not stand listening to the HD700 for just 5 minutes.

Yet other times I listened to the HD700 for 15-20 minutes thinking it sounded good, but then when I took off the phones my ears would actually hurt from the brightness.

 

After 100+ hours of break in I still think it's a bright headphone, however I have found out that choice of amp can make a difference with the HD700.

With the Meier Audio Corda Classic the brightness is much more a problem than with the Graham Slee Solo Ultra Linear, both of which I own.

That said I can now listen to the HD700 for many albums in a row without noticing any brightness, then suddenly I hit one recording where brightness is bad.

So I'd go as far as saying the brightness is mainly a problem with bright recordings.

 

The sound of the HD700 is much fuller than with the HD600, and thus I simply cannot go back to the HD600 now that I have heard the HD700.

Also the comfort of the HD700 is outstanding.

I have tried around 10 or so headphones in my life and the HD700 totally beats them all comfort-wise.

I will have a hard time buying new headphones from now on because I will compare their comfort with that of the HD700, and it sets a high standard for sure.

 

Don't disregard the HD700 based on users saying it's no good.

A lot depends on the equipment you use it with, but also on your perception and tolerance of "brightness".

Also take into account the concept of "brain burn in".

A headphone that sounds bright to you to begin with may slowly become more and more acceptable if you just keep listening to it, simply because your brain adjusts to the new sound.

 

Don't forget too that there are people on all forums, not just this one, that simply replicate what others have said about a headphone without ever having tried the headphone for themselves.

A headphone can easily get a bad reputation this way which may not be completely deserved.

 

My advice to you would be to buy the HD700 from a store that lets you return it within a certain time frame, for example 14 days.

Then you can try it out at home in peace and quiet, with your own gear.

 

EDIT:

Sometimes when the HD700 sounded bright to me, I'd switch to the HD600 and a quick listen with that made me conclude that it was in fact the recording that was bright, as the sound was also bright with the HD600.

So it is not always the HD700's "fault" when something sounds bright.


Edited by hbuus - 12/28/15 at 11:33pm
post #13 of 25

Hi. I recently sold my HD700s but listened to them for many prolonged sessions. Whilst I broadly agree with the feedback you have had already, I think two considerations  ought to be added.

 

Call it 'brain burn in' or whatever you like but I very quickly became used to the HD700s sound signature and appreciated it across the music spectrum. - Much preferred to my (sweet) HD600s without doubt. But I don't feel your brain can compensate for lack of breadth and depth spatial imaging and, in this respect, the HD700s are significantly superior to both the 600s and 650s. And another thing that gets more significant, not less so, is comfort. The HD700s are the most comfortable 'phones I have ever owned and sessions lasted more hours than planned without any discomfort. 

 

So, for me, the HD700s offered a better set of compromises than either the slightly vague 600 / 650 models or the overly analytical 800s.

 

Hope this helps.

post #14 of 25

I think we were typing our contributions simultaneously! Very like-minded.

post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 

Haha both of you guys mentioned the "brain burn in". :p

 

That's interesting though, so I might not enjoy the HD700 at first but with some time it might actually be very good. I really do want to give both the HD700 and HD800 a try but I live in the middle of nowhere so there's really no places around here where I can actually test out those headphones unfortunately.

 

hbuus and albaman, have you both listened to the HD800 as well and just preferred the HD700 over it?

 

Also curious, I have heard the Beyer DT990 600ohm, and I know a lot of people say the same things as the HD800 and HD700 where it's "bright", "fatiguing", etc. If any of you have heard the DT990, how does it compare in terms of the "brightness" to the HD700 and/or HD800? Along the same lines? Worse? Better?

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