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Yamaha PRO 500

  1. VanCitySound
    Sound on par with its some popular names
    Written by VanCitySound
    Published Jul 28, 2014
    Pros - Very easy to drive with a fun EQ
    Cons - Headband hurts and they look like a Beats rip off
    I was looking for a cheap and cheerful, fun sounding closed can for listening at my computer at work and some limited portable use.  I typically listen to EDM in this setting and had been using the Shure 840s. Although a great headphone the 840’s did not have the low end horse power or staging to show EDM at its best and they are not at all portable.  I auditioned several lower price closed cans and it came down to the V Moda M-100, the Yamaha Pro 500 and the NAD Viso HP50.  To my ears the three contenders were similar in EQ for EDM with good bass, clear highs and respectable sound stage for closed cans.  However, when I switched genres the mids in the HP50 showed their weakness sounding quite recessed to my ears.  This can also be an issue with vocal trance.   Although none of these cans can compete with the Shure 840s in the midrange, the M-100 was the best of the three and probably the winner in overall SQ with the Pro 500 a close second.  For this particular application the HP50’s couldn’t compete.  However, when price was factored in the Pro 500 seemed to take the value lead.  The Pro 500s are so easy to drive that just about any source will work with them.  Depending on the genre, the Pro 500s are a fun sounding headphone and a solid value at around $200 (street price).
      gr8soundz likes this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. gr8soundz
      Thanks for the comparison info. Haven't tried the HP50s yet but just got the Pro500s for a great price. Agree totally with you on their sound quality and very easy to drive. Was still planning to get the HP50s since most everyone raves about them (despite some comfort issues with its unusual headband) but may reconsider now. 
      gr8soundz, Jul 29, 2014
    3. drbluenewmexico
      REALLY enjoying my PRO500S out of an iPad Retina. it drives them to thunderous levels with no amp (actually sounds better without an amp), and has well integrated bass sub bass and
      sparkley treble. midrange is recessed, but you can't have everything.  perfect for streaming EDM
      Rock, and heavy hitting music.  quite a bass beast with those kinds of music...recommended.
      note:  they need substantial burn in to sound optimal, at least 40 hours...
      drbluenewmexico, Jul 29, 2014
    4. thatBeatsguy
      "I was looking for a cheap and cheerful..."
      Damn, a $400 can for half price? Lucky you! I was so close to getting this pair...
      thatBeatsguy, Jul 29, 2014
  2. cel4145
    Spacious Bass! Great headphone, if the price gets reduced.
    Written by cel4145
    Published Jul 21, 2014
    Pros - Plenty of bass for those who like that, good clarity, spacious sound
    Cons - Too pricey at full MSRP, warm/dark sound signature may not be for some, fit/comfort
    I wan't really looking to buy the Yamaha Pro 500s. But I saw them on an Amazon lightning deal for $150 and decided what the heck.

    Overall, this headphone competes well in the $200 to $250 price range, and would be good for those looking for bassy signature. Here are some random thoughts about them.

    Comfort, Fit, & Isolation

    I can understand the complaints by some people that these headphones are too heavy and uncomfortable. In fact, I really wonder whether Yamaha designed these headphones and did extensive testing, or whether they contracted out and this is what they got because they seem like they were designed for the big and tall crowd. As if some big headphone designer male made them to fit his head without considering others. I wear a 2XL hat size, and with these headphones, I've only needed to add a click or two of extension on each side. Given the weight of the cups and drivers, I would imagine that they would be uncomfortable for any extended use for anyone with average head size or less who wouldn't be able to position the headband to distribute the weight onto the head.

    As for the pads, after about five days of use, they are starting to soften up (not high comfort, but OK), which has reduced the feel of the clamping pressure just a bit. However, as other reviewers have noted, the smaller round size of these circular pads make them rest partially on on my ears. Nothing I can't live with, but just not optimal.

    So on the one hand, the cup/pad size seems designed for a small to medium head/ears, while the overall size of the headphone band with weight distribution otherwise seems designed for XL or larger hat/head size. Really does make you wonder who tested the prototype of these headphones.Just a bit smaller length to the size of the headband and slightly larger cups, and they'd be a better fit for a larger range of people.

    Volume & Sensitivity

    Yamaha rates these as 106 dB ±3 dB (1 kHz, 1 mW). They seem a lot more sensitive to me than that. My Sansa Clip Zip can drive them to very loud volume. Innerfidelity's measurements show that they need 0.013 Vrms to reach 90db. Compare this to the ATH-M50s (0.073 Vrms) and you can see how very loud they can get.

    Yamaha also rates them with a maximum power of 1000mw. Assuming that's correct, the Pro 500s should be screaming into someone's ear at near deafening volumes before they reach their limits (don't test this--lol).

    Sounds similar to UE6000 and K550?
    When I was researching these after buying them in the lightning sale (still had time to cancel my order), I saw a couple of comparisons to the AKG K550s and UE6000s in the discussion thread for the Yamaha Pro series. Of these two, I feel the Pro 500s are much more similar to the UE6000. The Pro 500s have a warm, bassy signature with a decent spacious enveloping sound for a closed headphone. Perhaps a little less dark than the UE6000. Bass seems a bit more controlled over the UE600, and overall clarity a bit better.

    Now I do prefer the K550 over the UE600. I just like a sound that is more neutral than warm. Using Rockbox on my DX50 and Clip Zip, I am able to use the tone controls (~ -3db bass, +4 treble) to bring them into the balance I want. Some experimenting with PEQ instead of tone controls should help to make them better suit my taste.

    I feel like they are an upgrade in SQ over the UE6000, although not enough to justify a $399 price tag. Around $200 would be better pricing for them given their sound quality. At $150, they were a great buy.
      H20Fidelity and Ramada like this.
    1. H20Fidelity
      Like yourself I picked up the PRO500 cheap and probably wouldn't recommend them at full retail. For those who can snap them at decent price they're rather additive. I can see where Yamaha were going with the warmer/darker sound and imo probably took it a little too far as a safety precaution against fatigue (you know, young kids blasting their eardrums out), they also did so with the MT220 (current flagship Studio monitor) Despite this, I still find PRO500 rather addictive in tonality and timbre, there's certainly a specific atmosphere to them, so I try not to make them "the best" headphone but enjoy them  for their charactor. To make PRO500 shine nicely I tend to drive them with any rockboxed player simply adding +2 to treble from sound settings. This amount tends to lift the veil without effecting their overall signature too much. For $150 you did good though like you said not their full retail isn't worth it. . 
      H20Fidelity, Jul 21, 2014
    2. ruthieandjohn
      Great review... Thanks!

      1) How do you compare them to (your choice of) Beats? Remember these are the headphones whose ad from Yamaha says, "Dr. Who?" And for which Beats sued Yamaha.

      2) what file format do you use on your Sansa Clip Zip?

      ruthieandjohn, Jul 24, 2014
    3. cel4145
      1) I don't listen to Beats. LOL

      2) 320K
      cel4145, Jul 31, 2014
  3. zazex
    Excellent closed headphones at current pricing.
    Written by zazex
    Published Apr 24, 2014
    Pros - Clarity, listenability, smoothness, soundstage
    Cons - Fit/comfort
    Been looking for some new closed headphones, with only three
    at the moment and for some time in fact.  Good ones, though:
    Sony MDR Z1000, Sony MDR 7520, and Senn Amperiors,
    Sometimes you just need closed headphones.
    The hot closed headphone right now, already a FOTM,
    is the Focal Spirit Pro.
    I set out to buy a pair, they were out of stock all over.
    Pretty much.
    So I'm reading reviews, looking at Amazon and elsewhere,
    and I see these Yamaha's. Some memories click in:
    overpriced and way too much bass.  Yeah, they were
    $500.  Were...I see the price is $259.
    Hmmm...what's around for $259 closed headphones,
    I wonder.  NAD HP50 - I had them, sold them.
    The SQ bugged me somehow.  BQ not the best.
    Not interested in buying them again.
    KEF 500, Beyer T51p, Senn Momentum (both versions)
    V Moda's offerings including the new XS, Senn HD25 Aluminium,
    B&W P5, Sony MDR 1R, Pioneer 2000, (I was casting my net
    wide, so to speak) - on sale for $210, look interesting -
    maybe a couple of others.
    For several reasons I rejected all the above: either owned
    them already, reviews left me wanting - several reasons.
    I note that the reviews on the Yamaha's are all over the place!
    Some complain about the bass ( saying there's too much),
    some say they're superb(!), one review even said the bass 
    was too shy.  
    I noted that Steve Guttenberg liked them a lot - and didn't have
    any issues with the bass whatsoever.  
    Everyone was impressed with the build quality (BQ).
    So I bit.  They arrived today.
    My first impressions, no burn in:
    These are excellent sounding closed headphones.
    Superior to the Senn Momentums, Senn Amperiors,
    Sony MDR 1R's - and very different from the NAD HP50's.
    I'm not yet ready to call that one.
    The bass was substantially less present than on the MDR 1R's,
    and it does not bleed into the midrange at all. It stays on the 
    Mids and highs are very detailed, no harshness - highly
    listenable.  Soundstage is very good, I've not heard substantially
    better from any closed headphones.
    The comfort is reasonable: it takes some adjusting to get the
    fit right.  But then they do fit, and do stay in place.  (While 
    sitting or moving about inside - these are not portables).
    The build quality is superb, and though aesthetics are of course
    highly subjective, IMO they are great looking headphones.  Part
    of that great look is the obvious attention to quality and detail.
    Actually, I was shocked (pleasantly) at the bass - wondering
    if Yamaha changed the tuning after the initial reviews? - because
    these are not bass monsters by any means.  The bass is even 
    less than on the highly regarded Sony MDR 7520's.  
    The Pro 500's have a dynamic and forceful sound that's
    exciting, detailed, and smooth all at the same time.
    I rate them at 4.5 stars, but it's subject to editing
    as I continue to listen.  But I wouldn't have written
    this had I not been pretty certain of my conclusions.
      Light - Man likes this.
  4. mark2410
    Yamaha HPH-Pro 500 Quick Review
    Written by mark2410
    Published Mar 2, 2013
    Pros - Energy, Enthusiasm, Drama, BASS!!!!! Treble, Clarity
    Cons - Too over dramatic and V shaped, aurally and physically tiring.
    Yamaha HPH-Pro 500 Quick Review
    Full review found at http://www.head-fi.org/t/653626/yamaha-hph-pro-500-review
    Thanks to Yamaha UK for the sample.
    Brief:  Yamaha does party time.
    Price:  Circa £250 (Circa US$400 in Americaland)
    Specification:  Design Over-ear, closed back, rigid aluminium alloy earcup, Driver Type Dynamic, neodymium magnet, Driver Unit    Φ2” (50 mm), Impedance 23 ohms @ 1kHz, Maximum Power 1,000 mW, Sound Pressure Level   106 dB ±3 dB (1 kHz, 1 mW), Frequency Response 20 Hz – 20 kHz, Weight (without Cable) 13 oz (369 g), Ports Dual 1/8” (3.5 mm) input/output, one each on the left and right earcups
    Accessories:  2 cables, a case and a 6.25 to 3.5mm adapter
    Build Quality:  Premium quality, what you’d expect from a premium brand at a premium price.
    Isolation:  Rather good, enough to cover most traffic and general out and about noise.  Not what I’d want for Tube or long flights but as good as any over the ear I’ve tried. So a good option if you can’t do IEM’s.
    Comfort/Fit:  Errrr a bit so so.  Firstly they are huge, they fit me fine with the headband at its minimum size, extended they get comedy huge.  Then the ear cups were a tiny fraction too small, they just didn’t quite make it over my ears entirely and so exerted a  bit of pressure around the top and bottom.  These never got painful but it was bothersome.  Also they have massive clamping force and that got tiring on the back of my jaw, again not painful but it was a relief to take them off after a few hours.  Granted you need that clamping force to keep them on if you’re out and about so it’s all a bit of a trade off.
    Aesthetics:  Well they look nicer in the flesh but I’m still not wildly taken by them, maybe I’d have liked the black more?  It’s all just a bit flashy and that’s just not me but to each their own.
    Sound:  There is no mistake that these are aimed at the consumer and not the actual professional market despite their name.  (Seriously, change the name Yamaha.) These have a pretty dramatic sound signature that’s pretty V shaped, the bass in particular is rather boosted.  The quantity isn’t ridiculous but still rather too much.  The quality though is awesome, depth is good being closed but what shines is the power.  The skull crushing power and yet with such swift agility and the impact is outstanding.  Mids too quality wise are excellent, a touch dry for a Yamaha but so open, airy and sooooooooo clear for a closed headphone.  The highs are just as good too, they extend well and move like lightning.  For a closed headphone it really is convincing is providing air and openness.  Overall its speed, power and enthusiasm make for a really dramatic and compelling sound.  Sure it’s a bit tiring on my ear for listening for too long but it’s deeply engaging.  The driver in these is a wonder, even more so that it can do so much even being driven out of poor sources like a phone.  Still they can do rather better if you power them well; I’d strongly advise you to do so if you buy a set.
    Value:  Expensive but top class sound quality if you want a “consumer” orientated sound signature.  Compared with others in the class these slaughter the Beats I’ve heard.
    Pro’s:   Energy, Enthusiasm, Drama, BASS!!!!! Treble, Clarity
    Con’s:  Too over dramatic and V shaped, aurally and physically tiring.

      Ramada and fightwithdogma like this.
  5. gelocks
    Beats stylings, better sounding...
    Written by gelocks
    Published Feb 14, 2013
    Pros - Impactful sound, bass extension and impact is present, feels sturdy, good accessories.
    Cons - Bass overpowers lower mids (quantity is too much), puts pressure on top of the head, they are HUGE!
    Note: Ok, so I took time to write a couple of things regarding these guys. This is mostly "preliminary" as I'm one of those that feel sound signature grows once you give a lot of listening time to gear. Anyway, mini review.


    You read this right! lol

    I thought I was done buying headphones for a while as I think I found what I was after with MrSpeakers Mad Dogs and Ultrasone Signature Pros but, as always, new ones come along that you just get the "itch" to try and this is exactly what happened and why I got these (and why I still want to try the Ultrasone Signature DJs and the Paradox :wink:)
    Anyway, on with the show.

    Yamaha Pro 500
    Closed 50 mm neodymium drivers
    Adjustable headband
    20 – 20,000 Hz frequency response
    106 dB/mW sensitivity
    23 ohms impedance

    Package Contents:
    * 1/4th adapter
    * 2 detachable cables (1 with controls)
    * Sturdy good looking case
    * Stickers and a wipe
    * Manual

    Comfort and build:
    As listed on top, one of the "cons" (at least for me) is that the headphones are HUGE! In fact, I haven't even used the "adjustable" part of the headband. Basically, without extending it, it fits good for me (I'm thinking that someone with a tiny head, or maybe a woman, will not be able to enjoy listening to these! Maybe they'll fit a bit loose? Not sure). Bear in mind though, that this may happen only to me? I'm kind of long-faced (lol), pinhead type or something like that. What this does though is put pressure on top of my head :frowning2: It becomes uncomfortable after a few songs so I have to keep adjusting them to mitigate the pressure. Extending the headband makes the headphones loose so, Gelocks is Sad!
    Even though the headphones as a whole are Huge, the ear pads are tiny. Comparing them side by side (I'll try to include photos once I get home or later on during the day) to my Signature Pros and my Mad Dogs, it is very apparent. BUT I do have to say that they feel very good once touching the ears. For someone with big ears it might actually feel like an on-ear headphone though but at least to me they feel better than the V-Moda M100s.
    Build quality seems top-notch. Not sure how much pressure the plastic can widthstand but they seem to be sturdy enough. Paint quality (I have the blue ones) is great! Really lights up the room and everyone ask which brand it is :wink:. They DO look like Beats clones though which might be a problem for some and as mentioned earlier, the size makes you feel like you have a "Halo" or something.
    I guess that's all I have to say about that so let's go to...

    These impressions are done using/listening my usual test songs:
    Damian Marley - Welcome to Jamrock
    Thrice - To Awake and Avenge the Dead
    Miguel Bose - Este Mundo Va
    Kaskade - Fire in your Shoes
    Blink182 - Kaleidoscope
    Jon Cleary - When you Get back
    Mima - Oigo Voces
    Esperanza Spalding - What a Friend
    Sara Bareilles - Vegas
    Killswitch Engage - Fixation on the Darkness
    Juancho - Pillala
    Boston - More than a Feeling
    J-King y Maximan - Ella me Pide Something
    Calvin Harris - Feel so Close
    Tenacious D - The Metal
    Three Six Mafia - Late Night Tip

    First off... These guys GO LOUD!!!!! I'm using: Cowon C2 --> Schiit Magni --> phones.
    IMPACTFUL bass! Lots of Quantity and good quality actually. Listening to Jon Cleary's "When you Get Back" it's actually a treat and I think this track shows the abilities of the Pro 500s. Stepping to something more "club-like" such as Kaskade's "Fire in your Shoes" and Calvin Harris "Feel so Close" is actually a very good experience carrying enough bass and sub-bass to make the headphones shake and rattle a bit at high volumes. And talking about sub-bass, "Late Night Tip" by Three Six Mafia is one track with CONSTANT bass and sub-bass attack and the Pro 500s handle it quite well, no complaints (very similar to how the Denon D600s and V-Moda M100s handle it... this is from memory of course.)
    Falling Down to a more laid back type of track, "Oigo Voces" by Mima, her voice stands out as it should in the recording, once the bass line starts it again provides good presence, separation is very good. Continuing with Esperanza Spalding's "What a Friend" piano doesn't sound as natural to me in comparison with the Mad Dogs or Sig Pros, not sure if it is because of the bass response not being as fast or a recess in the mids. And speaking about that, some tracks with male vocals don't sound as forward but again, not sure if it's due to the Bass being a bit boosted/boomy, or slow decay/response, or recessed mids. Maybe it's a combination. Either way, it's NOT unpleasant! So don't get me wrong.

    In conclusion:
    Big bass,
    Ok mids/upper mids (female vocals sound better and more forward than males, so might have a bit of a recess),
    Good highs (I could not detect not even a good deal of sibilance, on some tracks they were just a BIT harsh or at least reaching the limits in which I would say that the highs hurt my ears...).
    Sound Stage/sound separation is very good (I find it a bit better than the Mad Dogs and on-par with the Sig Pros!)

    If I were to order closed cans by preference (the ones I have tried)
    Comfort: Mad Dogs --> D5000s --> Sony MDR-1R --> Denon D600 --> Yamaha Pro 500 --> Signature Pro --> SRH940 --> A900X --> V-MODA M100
    (this is taking into consideration both earpad and headband feel)
    Build: Signature Pro --> Mad Dogs --> A900X --> Denon D600 --> Sony MDR-1R --> V-MODA M100 -->  Yamaha Pro 500 --> D5000s --> SRH940
    (if you wonder why the M100s ranked low, cracked wing-tips on supposedly indestructible headphones! BAH!)
    Sound Quality: Signature Pro --> Mad Dogs --> D5000s --> Yamaha Pro 500 --> Sony MDR-1R --> V-Moda M100 --> Denon D600 --> A900X --> SRH940s (note, ALL of these have a GREAT sound and some are "special" on specific genres, but when nitpicking, this is how I would choose them)
    Contents: V-Moda M100 --> Signature Pro --> Yamaha Pro 500 --> Denon D600 --> SRH940 --> Sony MDR-1R --> Mad Dogs --> D5000 == A900x
    All in all, the final verdict is what counts, either YAY or NAY... Sound-wise these are definitely a YAY!!! Someone looking for "good sounding big bass having headphones" can see these Yamahas as a very good purchase! Not only is the bass at full throttle but the whole spectrum seems alright to my ears except some "unnaturalness" and recess in the mids/lower mids (probably due to boost in bass).
    If you ask: "well, why should I choose these instead of the M100s, Denon D600s or any other "bassy" headphone?
    And the answer is... depends on what you are looking for... Some people like different styles, some people have different ear/head shapes, some people might value comfort more than anything else. If it were to sound and only sound, I WOULD take these over the D600s and M100s!
    (M100s would be second, D600s would be third)

    The other usual question would be: "Is the price right for these Yamahas?" And here it gets tricky. I FEEL the cost of these headphones is quite
    alright for what they bring to the table:

    - Good Sound
    - Good (if similar to other brand) style
    - Great deal of accessories
    - Proven name brand
    Current prices put the M100s as cheaper by $100 and the D600s cheaper by $60 or so (if you get them through fumfie.com new). Bearing in mind this, would I still choose the Yamahas? I would say Yes.
    As always YMMV, it all depends on your taste! Hopefully I could provide an idea with these impressions and whenever one has a chance to test all or any of these headphones I have mentioned, do it!!! Always trust your ears.
    Good luck to whoever reads this.

      ruthieandjohn likes this.
    1. daveyostrow
      Well done
      daveyostrow, May 27, 2014
    2. cb3723
      Good review - as a basshead- these are tempting - wallet starts immediate sweat down...
      cb3723, Jun 30, 2014