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Over-Ear item created by nickvalluri, Feb 1, 2012
Pros - Aesthetically pleasing comfortable for the discerning audiophile grade
Cons - The pretzel cords are annoying along with the unfounded negative critiques
These headphones need to be amped. If you choose to use them without doing so, they will sound weak and lifeless. The complaints I read about seem to me to be with people that haven't synergized them correctly with the right equipment. They are not as picky as the HD 800's to match up with the right dac/amps. They like nice files to listen to as they hear crap files like crap. Reading that they are bad??? is just absurd. Those folks are just trolls demonstrating their finest behavior. I respect opinions but only knowledge based ones.
Pros - Absolute resolution and clarity; very clear, superb transients, awesomest comfort - extreme comfort; sound good out of everything; good vocals
Cons - slightly peaky treble; not ideal for extended listening sessions
Sennheiser was kind enough to lend me their HD 700 for a home demo. And as you know, I already own the HD 650 (silver drivers) to compare them to. And thankfully, Sennheiser has also agreed to lend me their HD 800 in a few days, for a more thorough side by side comparison. But that is best left to another review.
I'm not sure whether these HD 700 headphones have been burned in or not. But. Neither do I care. Because I'm not a big believer in burn in making a radical difference to the sound. At least in the majority of cases. Anyway, just mentioned this to explicitly state that I've no idea.
How much time have I spent with Sennheiser's HD 700 so far?
Not much. Less than 24 hrs in fact. But. I've already listened to a few songs I'm reasonably familiar with.
So. This isn't a review done after extensive testing. But. I've tried to be as accurate as possible.
How much time have I spent with the HD 650 and the rest of my setup?
At least over 2 years or so. Maybe longer. So that shouldn't hinder this review.
Headphones: HD 700 (2012), HD 650 (silver drivers)
Headphone Amplifier: Project Ember v1.0 (just tried a single tube, Marconi 6dj8 is what I recall from memory)
DAC: Asus Essence One Muses Edition
Transport: Asus Essence STX SPDIF to the PC
The HD 650 was tested with and without Sonarworks. Sonarworks is a VST plugin that neutralises the tonality of supported headphones. Sonarworks doesn't support the HD 700 yet.
Bollywood (Arijit Singh etc)
Mozart (very little)
I'd like to sum up the basic advantages of each headphone over the other, before I proceed to a more detailed review. So those in a hurry can still quickly get to know the overall gist in brief.
Advantages of the HD 700 over the HD 650
Way more comfortable. In fact, the HD 700 is so comfortable that that alone justifies twice the price over the HD 650 if you consider them equals otherwise.
More or less better all around when it comes to technical prowess.
Clearer, cleaner, more articulate, crisper transients and better speed.
The overall sound is very tight and coherent.
The bass is a lot tighter.
Much better resolution; more detailed.
Reasonably improved soundstage and imaging.
More open and slightly more speaker like.
More detailed and believable vocals.
Basically, the difference in going from a mid range to a high-end can.
Disadvantages of the HD 700 over the HD 650
Additional treble that makes it unnaturally bright (not ear piercing though).
Fatiguing and not as polite for extended listening sessions.
There is something that makes them sound less natural and less musical.
The tonality isn't as neutral; the vocals are a bit upfront as compared to the rest.
Advantages of the HD 650 over the HD 700 (Many of these advantages may be audible only if you have Sonarworks, as that takes the experience to another level.)
More musical, lush, smoother and sweet overall.
The bass isn't as tight but perhaps more natural and with greater punch.
The treble isn't as sharp; it is smoother.
More suitable for extended listening.
It has most of the pros of the HD 700 but not quite to the same level. In terms of technical prowess, it is what it is. An outdated flagship.
You're probably waiting for a more in-depth comparison between the two. And that is exactly what I'm coming to now.
HD 700 v/s HD 650 (with Sonarworks) - One on one
The HD 700 isn't as connect in tonality. But it is a very enjoyable sound signature nevertheless. The bass is super tight. The treble is lively and slightly Brit. The vocals are upfront. The sound is very tight overall. Everything is very tight.
More neutral and balanced. Sounds smoother and sweeter, more musical. Nothing stands out even though the vocals are delicious.
Soundstage & Imaging
HD 700 > HD 650
The difference isn't huge. But is still significant. And easily audible. Can be a deal breaker for many once they get used to the HD 700.
I'm not too certain about the imaging. But. I think the HD 700 has an edge there as well.
More articulate and realistic. They have better resolution and are more detailed. Also more upfront. Crisper.
More musical, rounded and smoother. But not quite of the same stature.
A lot tighter. Perhaps artificially tight. Not sure though.
Far more hollow and rounded. But a tad more natural. Smoother. And with more punch.
HD 650 > HD 700
HD 650's treble is just right with Sonarworks. HD 700 is a bit peaky and that takes time to adjust to. Note, the HD 700 isn't very bright. But the 650 is just more natural and balanced.
Transients, speed, articulation
HD 700 > HD 650
Not even a contest. There are really far apart here. The HD 650 is very good in its own right. But not of the same pedigree.
Timbre and tonality
HD 650 is a bit better than the HD 700 here.
Don't get me wrong. The HD 650 is pretty comfortable on its own. However, although its sound is suitable for extended listening, it's comfort isn't exemplary. It is just good.
The HD 700 is probably the most comfortable headphone ever. More comfortable than the HD 800 I think. (I have tried the HD 800 twice.)
It is like going from average to superlative in terms of comfort. That alone justifies 2x the price for the HD 700.
Finally. Is the HD 700 a true upgrade to the HD 650?
Technically, yes. Definitely.
However, since the sound signature isn't exactly the same, subjective preferences may differ. Some may take one over the other.
But as far as technical prowess is concerned, the 700 definitely has an edge. And a definite one at that. And combined with the much better comfort, its price is justified. Without doubt.
Yes. I recommend the HD 700 over the HD 650 even at twice the price. But only if you feel the need for something that the HD 650 is unable to deliver. And ideally, you should try to audition before you buy it.
Update to Sennheiser HD 700's review
I have had a chance to listen to the HD 700 with two more setups:
Asus Essence One Muses DAC/Amp
iPad Mini 2 -> FiiO E12
I also compared it to the HD 650 with both setups.
The Fiio E12 setup sounds pretty good. With both cans. But not quite at the level of my previous setup or even the Asus E1 Muses.
I didn't do an AB test or DBT, so I can't be sure. And being an objectivist, I'm not sure why or whether there should be this kind of difference. But for some reason, the Asus setup sounds cleaner, clearer and less muffled.
The FiiO E12 is very good in its own right. And even with low gain I'm at about 12 o clock to get reasonably loud volume with either headphone.
HD 700 vs HD 650
After some more listening, I have come to realise that the HD 700 is a clear and very significant step up. And not only in terms of comfort.
The HD 700 is a lot cleaner, clearer, tighter, more articulate, faster and just gets the vocals a lot more right.
The HD 650 is still better for extended listening as the HD 700 does fatigue you after a while. But I've become used to HD 700's treble in under 72 hrs (and less than 2 hrs of use). It is not really fatiguing. But definitely a bit for extended listening. Unlike the HD 650.
Everything else goes in favour of the HD 700. You can hear a lot more detail. And the transients are a lot crisper as well.
The HD 650 does sound musical and lush. But vocals are relatively frighteningly real with the HD 700.
Honestly, I can't see much reason to choose the HD 650 over the HD 700 except for the smoother treble and better suitability for extended listening.
The HD 700 is difficult to use for over 20-40 minutes tops at a time. Unlike the HD 650. But that could be very personal. I couldn't listen to Soundmagic E80s for over 5 minutes tops. So maybe I'm just used to the less treble energetic HD 650.
Also, do note that most of these comparisons have been done while using the HD 650 with Sonarworks. So the HD 650 was dot neutral. In its stock form it is a bit too laid back for my tastes. And just can't compete with the HD 700.
Stuff like breath and air movements are something that really make the HD 700 shine. The HD 650 is okay here. But not in the same playing field.
The Fiio E12 does a good job with both the HD 700 and HD 650. But. I don't know why. I preferred the Asus Essence One Muses Edition with both the headphones.
Solid State vs Tube
For some reason, I always felt the HD 650 felt dead and cold with the Asus Essence One Muses edition. It felt lifeless. Like something was lacking.
However, the HD 700 also fares really well with this solid state amp. In fact, I preferred it with the Asus over my hybrid tube amp Project Ember, I think. I'm not sure though.
But. With the HD 650 I always chose Project Ember instead.
Now I'm really not sure why this is happening. I may have gone mad and maybe this is all placebo. But these are my findings so far...
P.S. Honestly, after listening to the HD 700 for a while, the HD 650 sounds like a distorted and muffled mess. The difference is at least as big if not bigger than moving from a HD 598 to a HD 650. The jump is probably a lot bigger in fact.
The HD 700 does better most of the stuff the HD 650 does well, and much better at that. But it is definitely a different presentation. And it is best to audition before you buy either!
Pros - very Comfortable,Very lite, Works very well, Great all over sound and sound stage, Good seperation.
Cons - It can be bright with certain Amp's, Op-amp or tubes, No 3rd party earpads.
The Sennheiser HD 700 is the little brother of the HD 800, the design looks like it stolen from an art museum in the future, Or a futurist earmuff. The cups are in the shape of your ear, the ear pads can be removed by unsnapping them from the headphone’s themselves, and sadly I haven’t seen any 3rd party ear pads as Sennheiser HD 700 ear pads cost around 80-99 dollars. Maybe in the future (no pun intended) they will create different ear pads that are thicker for those whose ears touches the drivers or that stick out further from their heads.
The each ear has a plug for the headphone cable’s which are Dual mono, Also besides each cup has a connector on them, it makes it easier down the line to swap to balanced cables to use with a balanced Amp.
The headphone’s easily adjust to the size you need, You have to make sure you get both sides the right amount for your head, having visual numbers would have made it easier to do, cups moves forward and back, but they do not twist.
The HD 700’s are very light headphone’s other than my ear touching the driver a bit, the ear pads them self are very comfortable as so the headband pads. I just wish the ear pads was thicker.
Unlike my last pair of headphone’s the HE-500’s, the HD700 are easier to drive, they work great on both my Gustard H10 and my Burson Lycan the only thing that I have that they don’t work with on is the Fiio E7 which can’t drive them correctly, The HD700’s are 500mW @ 150ohms.
For the review, I will be using my Gustard X12 Dac paired with my Burson Lycan amp which will have the Burson V5-OPA-D Op-amp installed.
Shazzka – Showtime
The first thing you notice in this song is how hard the bass hits while going deep, Its clean and not messy, It does not leak into the other freq’s either. The Snare’s and the drum’s sound really good, the snares have a type of snap to them.
The highs are detailed while clean, not too bright, Sound really nice to me. They have a good image as I can hear the location of the different instruments.
The Vocals are in the center, they have weight behind them, some of the vocal’s pan out towards the left and right, while still sounding nice. The sound stage to me is big and sounds like it’s 3Dish to me, the sound isn’t close to my head but surrounds it.
CloZee – Koto
The instrument and the snares in the first part of the song is spread out thru the sound stage, it’s very clean and heard. The sound imaging is really good in this song. The bass also hits hard but not as hard like the other song, but it still goes deep as well.
The vocals are in the center like the singer is in front of you on the stage in the back ground. While another sounds like is in the front of that one. The 3[sup]rd[/sup] is at the left of the center, All 3 of them are heard clearly and does not overlap each other.
Arkaik – Moving on (Original mix)
The song has a very airly feel to it, the drum kit is in the center directly in front of you, clearly heard and detailed. The location of the bass is in the left channel which is very deep. Both the drum kit and the bass is heard separately.
The 2[sup]nd[/sup] bass note feels like it surrounds you before it goes into an error, when it just the drums kit and the bass note playing. The sound stage feels like it very open. I enjoying this song.
Ben Soundscape, Superior Selectionz – Abbey (Original mix)
Like the last song, this one also have a airly feel to it, The drum kit and the snare is in the center of you in a such a way like the drummer is hitting the drums just for you. The Snare and the bass is separated from the drumming. The drums hit very deep and there some weight behind each fast hit.
The vocals are soft and the position of the singer is in front of the drummer, they don’t drown each other out.
The sound stage is also 3D while being large and it surrounds you like the other song, each person and instrument is easy heard all thru the sound stage as their separate thing.
Over all I enjoyed the way most of the songs sounded on the headphones, it worked really well with what I paired with them for this review. Prior I had the HE-500, Honestly I glad I move on to the HD700 as I prefer the way that these headphones sound over them. While the HE-500 did sound good, I just like the HD700 more so, since they like I said very light and you don’t feel them on your head unlike the HE-500.
Pros - Comfort, detailing, great balance between analytical and fun, great design, cables are removable, balance between bass quantity and quality
Cons - Cable, questionable material choice. Did I mention cable?
Everyone here and their mothers have heard of the HD600/650. After over 10+ years, the HD600 series still remains a timeless classic, withstanding the test of time with is beautiful musicality and fidelity while being very appropriately nice. But it's unlike companies to stand on its laurels: the HD800 was released in 2010, which remains the current defacto standard for soundstage and balance among dynamic driver headphones. That being said, it was still a relatively conservative headphone among its peers.
Enter the HD700
As the naming scheme suggests, the HD700 slots between the HD800 and HD600/650. That being said, it's not an exact compromise between the HD600 and HD800: its styling mimics the HD800's more, while its sound isn't quite either. That being said, I'm glad it's not a hybrid between the HD600 and HD800: if I wanted either sound, I'll just get either.
Having sufficient IEM's, I decided it was time to enter the headphone game. The MDR-1A was no slouch, but I was looking at open headphones. After a bit of hesitation, I tried out the HD700's at the only headphone store that demo'd it (Minidisc.com.au, check it out!) I bit the bullet and bought my most expensive pair yet ($600 AUD/ $480 USD).
It's been a little over 2 years since I started getting into this whole audio shenanigans. Started off with a humble Sony MH1C to replace my lost headset, then from there, things got a little......out of control. For reference, my gear consists of:
To preserve as much of the headphone's characteristics, I went with an O2/ODAC to begin with. I may revise this review when I finally get my mate's Musical Fidelity hybrid amp. Some may disagree with my choice, saying that the HD700 pairs well with other amps: however, considering that this is all I have (besides an old Yamaha speaker amp), there's not much I could do. Note that I'll be comparing these to my UE900S (my IEM of choice) and MDR-1A (my main headphone before this) as a rough reference, as well as the HD600/800 (the former which I borrowed off my brother).
I'm not going to bother to say I'm not an audiophile: I obviously care a lot with how music is reproduced. Using the very definition of the word, we here are all audiophiles. That being said, I don't tend to affiliate with the more 'cult'-like traditions of audiophiles: cables, tweaks, etc. Think of me as an objectivist, if you will.
Without further adieu, let's actually review these headphones!
Although it's probably the most mundane aspect of audio products, in my mind, the packaging is very important. That being said, I'm not particularly impressed by the HD700's packaging: it's more or less the same as the HD600's. However, that is not to say I'm unsatisfied with the packaging: it's just that, at this price range, it's nothing special. The box, however, is very useful and utilitarian, though a bit easy to nick.
Although the HD700 is a controversial headphone, there's pretty much universal consensus on its comfort: it's great. Bar none, it is the comfiest headphone I've ever worn, tying easily with the HD800 I tried for a brief period. Compared to the HD600, it comfortably (geddit?!) beats it. It is not hot at all, and the velour padding allows for wearing even with glasses for hours at end without the slightest touch of discomfort. Its light weight contributes heavily to this in my opinion. The only beef I have with the comfort is the fact that my left ear swells easily (due to me sleeping on it), and will occasionally nick the driver cover. Not a problem for 99% of the time.
Some swear the HD700 is a bastard of the HD800. I couldn't agree more: the aggressive space-age styling is very distinctive, and one I love. To be honest, I prefer the look of these over the HD800: these look a lot more aggressive and sleek. However, the questionable material choice is inherited from the HD800: plastics fantastic. Now, I have nothing against plastic: used properly, it is durable and is light weight: however, that 'premium quality' feel would be diminished.
And then we have the cable. Bar none, it's the worst aspect of the headphone. Don't get me wrong, it's a beautiful headphone, but that cable just refuses to keep straight. Oh, and it broke after 4 months, and I didn't even roll it over a chair wheel. At least Sennheiser didn't play the blame-game: I'll give them that much.
(Note: unless indicated, I will link the O2/ODAC with it, and listen to 320/V0/FLAC files)
The sound of the HD700 is controversial indeed: most of those that hate this headphone will hate it for its peaky treble. Thankfully for me, I happen to enjoy this 'peaky' treble, as it turns out. Let's start from the bottom.
Unlike the HD600 and HD800, where the bass was anemic to me, the HD700 packs satisfying amounts of bass, while retaining very good control of it. It does not spill over to the mids (unlike my MDR-1A's), but delivers sufficient punch for pop and drums. However, despite its healthy amount, it still does not match the HD650's level of bass (quantity, not quality): the HD700 easily wipes the floor in terms of bass compared to the 600 series, and only loses somewhat to the HD800 due to is lesser extension. Despite this, I favour the HD700's bass a lot more than the HD800: there is nothing more bothering to me than listening to classical that has no bass.
The bass excels in songs such as X Ambassadors's 'Jungle' where despite it being clipped to oblivion by the producers, produces a visceral punch without bloating the rest. The same cannot be said for the MDR-1A's, where the bass just tanks the detailing, and the UE900S, where the bass was insufficient.
The mids of this are, in my humble opinion, the weakest aspect of the HD700. That being said, I don't hate, I still love it: it's just that the bass and treble is better to me relatively. Vocals (especially female) are very exuberant yet natural, making it beautiful for artists such as Haley Westenra. Likewise, for orchestral instruments, this makes the instruments very smooth and articulated. However, all being said and done, it's slightly veiled to an extent, and despite the plots showing me that they are indeed quite a bit veiled, I never thought that for a moment.
Surprisingly, compared to the rest of my headphones, the HD700 doesn't particularly stand out: it sounds better than the MDR-1A, but barely nudges the UE900S. Songs such as Amazing Grace by Hayley Westenra benefit more from the air and treble of the HD700's than the mids.
And here's where all the controversy of the HD700 is. There's not denying it: it's bright. However, no, they're nowhere near as bright as some Grado's I've heard. No, it's not fatiguing to me. Yes, maybe tubes may help. No, I really don't know if they can help. No, the HD800 has better treble. All I know is, I love the treble on this. There is a lot of treble extensions, which undoubtedly help with is big soundstage. All those treble cues you use for imaging, yeah, it's all there. And it's beautiful. What can I say? I'm a sucker for V-shaped headphones.
The treble allows for an amazing experience with guitars: every pluck and slap can be heard with succinct detail. Hell, let's just include all stringed instruments. It's absolutely solid. Gustavo Santaolalla's 'The Last of Us' provides the perfect opportunity for this trait to be heard: every pluck is so finely reproduced, it's hard to imagine this is all coming from a headphone. That extra sparkle provides a lot of air and thus soundstaging, especially with classical songs. One almost-perfect example may be heard in Barenboim's reading of the Emperor Concerto: all the nuances, from the subtle page turning to pedal changes on the piano sounds absolutely immersive in such an environment.
Other Sound Stuff
Soundstage - impressive, in case you didn't get the hint
Sibilance - none. Zilch. Despite what the treble may tell you, unless your song/ source is clipped, there's absolutely no sibilance.
Cable noise - none, which is about the only good thing I could say about it. But then again, an el-cheapo cable I bought for this doesn't either.
Channel balance - practically dead-on. Not much else to say TBH.
Driving/amping - I can't comment on the effect tubes have on these headphones. I can, however, say this: comparing the O2/ODAC to my laptop/phone's output, there is significantly less noise and the sound doesn't sound like it's being slogged around. Can't really explain it either, and it's driving my inner objectivist insane. My phone barely outputs enough for the HD700, so amping in that case is vital.
Isolation - none. Don't bother. However, it doesn't leak much sound (at least no at my listening volumes)
I listen to practically all music (except EDM/house, because that isn't music to me , and jazz). If I was to pick one genre the HD700's stand out in, it's classical/orchestral. The wide soundstage really helps in selling the traits of classical music, while its peaky treble aids in providing detailing and sparkle. However, it's no slouch in the other genres: I am unable to pick out a single genre the HD700's suffer at. One thing the HD700 really suffers from is clipped music: that treble pulls no punches in absolutely destroying clipped/brickwalled songs.
The HD700 is almost perfect: as opposed to my MDR-1A, which were fun yet bloated, the HD700 strives for fidelity while preserving an element of fun and excitement. This compromise is to my ears and head excellent, and is something that quite a few who migrate from the HD600/800's must get used to for these headphones.
Keep in mind, however, that this is relative to the price ($600 AUD/ ~$480 USD) I paid: if it was priced at its MSRP, I'd hesitate a bit. But at that price, it's not exactly a bargain either, but it's damn good.
Now if only the cable they came with were actually any good...........
Hayley Westenra - Amazing Grace
Hayley Westenra - The Water is Wide
Celtic Woman - The Parting Glass (Emerald)
Taylor Swift - Everything has Changed
Florence + The Machine - Landscape (Demo)
Florence + The Machine - Hiding
Ed Sheeran - Thinking Out Loud
Adele - Skyfall
Charlie Puth - Marvin Gaye
Fun - Carry On
X Ambassadors - Jungle
Imagine Dragons - Radioactive
AC/DC - Shoot to Thrill
Tchaikovsky - Waltz of the Flowers (Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker (2011 Remaster), André Previn)
Beethoven - Piano Concerto No.5 in E flat major Op.73 -"Emperor" (Beethoven For All: The Piano Concertos, Daniel Barenboim)
Mozart - Piano Concerto No.20 in D minor, K 466 (Mozart - Piano Concertos No. 27 & 20, Maria João Pires )
Mozart - Piano Concerto No.27 in B flat major, K 595 (Mozart - Piano Concertos No. 27 & 20, Maria João Pires)
Strauss II - The Beautiful Blue Danube (The 50 Greatest Pieces of Classical Music, London Philharmonic Orchestra)
Bach - Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G Major, BWV 1048 (J. S. Bach: Six Brandenburg Concertos, Dunedin Consort)
Rachmaninov - Piano Concerto No.2 in C minor, Op.18 (Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos, Vladimir Ashkenazy)
Gershwin - Rhapsody in Blue (Gershin: Rhapsody in Blue, Piano Concerto in F, Stefano Bollani)
David Arnold - Bike Chase (Tomorrow Never Dies OST)
Gustavo Santaolalla - The Last of Us (The Last of Us OST)
Ramin Djawadi - Mako (Pacific Rim OST)
Ramin Djawadi - From Here (Medal of Honor (2010) OST)
Dario Marianelli - Brioni (Atonement OST)
Michael Giacchino - Welcome to Jurassic World (Jurassic World OST)
John Willilams - 'The Imperial March' from The Empire Strikes Back (1980) (Greatest Hits 1969-1999)
Hans Zimmer - Earth (Gladiator OST)
Hanz Zimmer - Leave No Man Behind (Black Hawk Down OST)
Pros - Light, nice looking
Cons - Distorted sound
At the San Francisco Bay Area Head-Fi meet this afternoon I met one of the guys behind the Woo Audio tables, who encouraged me to try my old AKG K-340 on the Woo WA7 amp at the table. He said he owns several AKG models himself including the K-340 and assured me it would perform very well. He tuned the source to a piece from Prokofiev's ballet Romeo & Juliet that has BIG powerful deep bass passages. I have seen and heard this ballet live in San Francisco several times so I know the effect of the particular scene in the opera house. The whole orchestra from top to bottom sounded terrific on the K-340, even the high strings which are usually the weak link (they typically sound scratchy.on my home system, which apart from the phones is not very good (old Yamaha receiver instead of a proper amp).
Then out of casual curiosity I plugged in a set of other phones that was lying next to the amp, which turned out to be the Sennheiser HD 700. I was taken aback. The sound was completely different. The orchestral instruments did not sound faithful at all. Lots of distortion high and low, some instruments unrecognizable. I wondered why the Woo staff would lay out such a cheap headphone to test their sophisticated equipment. Then later I looked up the price -- MSP $1000 and street price around $500.
This was not a rigorous test, just a side by side comparison impression of two very dissimilar headphones on the same music and amp. But the proof is in the hearing. Anybody considering a purchase of this phone (or any other serious one, for that matter), should do his own careful research first-hand.
Pros - Super comfortable, sounds great
Cons - Boss is a bit strange, maybe not well burn-in yet
I have just brought the HD700 last week as my very fist HiFi headphone. Since it just have been burned-in like 50 hours, I can't really tell now.
It sounds amazing out of box, but when play some certain type of music like "Sovngarde" in "The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Original Game Soundtrack)", it sounds very "unstable".
I will keep posting to see after couple hundred hours, will it be any difference
Pros - Dynamics, clean sound, great bass, midrange transparent, extremely comfy,
Cons - Plasticky, mesh vulnerable,
Tries so many headphones,but just coming back to my 700. Decided to stay with them and my HiFi M8 simply because I love the portability and the sound is great to me.
Pros - Looks great, Comfy, Wide Soundstage, Great Imaging
Cons - 6k Treble Spike, Plastic Design, No Bass Impact
I have owned this headphone for about a year now and so far so good! I have found that the HD700 is a very revealing headphone that drastically changes its sound signature from each amp//source you listen to it with.
Type of Music I listen to:
Indy, Classic Rock, Rap, R&B, Soul, House
My Current Set Up:
What I have heard with the HD700:
I found that with this solid state the treble peaks are ever present. Really fatiguing to listen to.
Woo Audio WA2
The warmth from the tubes adds a bit of coloration to the sound of the HD700 which reduces the treble spikes while the Arcam rDac is very transparent and doesn't get in the way of the WA2.
I would not spend over $1k (CAD/USD) on the HD700. I am finding myself most of the time resorting to a EQ to make them sound more like a HD800. If you can get these bad boys on sale go for it! However, if you find yourself spending full price. You are probably better off with another headphone like the LCD-2 or the T1.
Pros - Comfort, light weight, spectacular sound: response and imaging
Cons - Not cheap
I've used most of the old-school brands (Grado, AKG, Sennheiser, Sony, Koss, David Clark, ...) and have tried several of the Jonny-come-latelys, and the HD700s are simply the best for comfort and sound that I know.
I can wear them for hours and never get fatigued.
Most of the others that I've heard fail relative to the HD700 in terms of either wearability or audiophile sound.
I use an after-market cable that's shorter and lighter than the stock cable.
My other options are Etymotic fitted in-ear 'phones or Genelec active monitors.
I've never heard the HD800s with anything better than a computer (and a PC at that) driving them, so I can't really compare the two.
I listen mostly to computer audio (Apple Lossless or AAC@320kbps formats) through a TC Electronic Impact Twin FireWire DAC/Headphone amp, which I also highly recommend (esp. for the price of $250).
I've used lots of AKG 'phones over the years, and liked the sound, but the Q701 is noticeably heavier than the HD700 and flops around more when you move your head, the Senns are snugger and lighter, in addition to having a killer soundstage.
Pros - overall sound quality, clarity, detail, mids, soundstage and separation, extreme comfort, good cable
Cons - little sibilant in the beginning, some fragile parts, maybe too bright for some people
Sennheiser HD 700
At the moment I unfortunately have no time to write a complete review. So my apologies for that but I'm going to finish this review as soon as I can
Low pitch: 4/5
maybe not enough bass for the bass heads but for my taste just enough -and whats more important- HQ bass
Medium pitch: 5/5
absolutely stunning! near perfection IMO
High pitch: 4/5
a little harsh in the beginning but after some time (burning in or getting used to them) I really think the highs sound great
Well I like it ...also they are not as big as for example the HD800 and LCD 2/3 what I think is good
Most comfy cans Ive ever had I can wear them for hours without any discomfort
I think they are not that overpriced and you get pretty good cans for your money
I compared them to some cans ( to name only some: Shure SHR1840, AKG K 701, Sennheiser HD 650, Denon AH-D 7100,..) and I always ended up with the HD700 as the for my taste most euphonic headphone (dunno why but esp. when paired with a colorfly c4 player)
So I can absolutely recommend them for most genres (except maybe Hip Hop) and I think they are great all-rounders