A Finnish HiFi magazine has just reviewed 5 headphones
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A Finnish HiFi magazine called HIFI-lehti has just reviewed 5 pairs of headphones in its this month's issue. Three different reviewers (Eräpuu, Niska and Savin) gave a score to each headphone. Scores are given between 5 and 10, ten being the highest score. These scores are based totally on sound quality.

Here are the results:

Stax SRS-2020 (655€): [8,9] [8,9] [9,0] = (8,9) 'Winner of the test'
AKG K701 (399€): [8,8] [8,9] [8,7] = (8,8) 'A Good Buy'
Sony MDR-SA3000 (479€): [8,4] [8,5] [8,8] = (8,6)
Beyerdynamic DT 860 (305€): [8,1] [7,9] [8,5] = (8,2)
Ultrasone Proline 750 (315€): [7,4] [6,9] [8,2] = (7,5)

Here are the pros and cons of each headphone:

Stax SRS-2020:
+uncolored, pure sound
+comfort
-requires power from a power outlet
-the most expensive headphone of the test

AKG K701:
+balanced, unfatiguing sound
+nice to use
-could be a bit more lively

Sony MDR-SA3000:
+non-speakerlike open sound
+light and comfy
-problems with tonal balance

Beyerdynamic DT 860:
+reasonable price
+dynamic sound
-a bit fatiguing after a lot of listening
-quite heavy

Ultrasone Proline 750:
+sturdy
+accessories
-problems with tonal balance

I'll be happy to give more information regarding the test on demand.
 
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swt61

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So Stax Finnish first? Sorry, i couldn't resist!
 
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Mercuttio

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That's an akward assortment. Why the SA3K instead of the SA5K? And why the Beyer 860? They're comparing various headphones of different price structures here, aren't they?
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by swt61
So Stax Finnish first? Sorry, i couldn't resist!


Oh the puns! *groans*
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Mercuttio
That's an akward assortment. Why the SA3K instead of the SA5K? And why the Beyer 860? They're comparing various headphones of different price structures here, aren't they?


Indeed they are. I would have personally preferred a more exact price range, but they rarely review headphones so they wanted to have many different kind of phones. That's why the price range ended up being so damn wide (305-665€).
It would have been very nice if they had reviewed the SRS-2020s, K701s, DT 880s and HD 650s.
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by TJ Elite
A Finnish HiFi magazine called HIFI-lehti has just reviewed 6 pairs of headphones...


Cool, I'll have to pick that up.
Unless I'm missing something, I only see 5 headphones on the list. Is one missing, or is that it?
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by TJ Elite
Indeed they are. I would have personally preferred a more exact price range, but they rarely review headphones so they wanted to have many different kind of phones. That's why the price range ended up being so damn wide (305-665€).
It would have been very nice if they had reviewed the SRS-2020s, K701s, DT 880s and HD 650s.



Indeed so. How did they come up with such exact ratings, eg 8.9, 8.5, 8.6? Were the individual scores that the reviewers gave an average of the scores for an assortment of qualities, eg soundstage, detail, bass definition, etc? What source/amp/setup was used?
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Headphony
Cool, I'll have to pick that up.
Unless I'm missing something, I only see 5 headphones on the list. Is one missing, or is that it?



Ah, my mistake. There were indeed only five headphones in the test.
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by milkpowder
Indeed so. How did they come up with such exact ratings, eg 8.9, 8.5, 8.6? Were the individual scores that the reviewers gave an average of the scores for an assortment of qualities, eg soundstage, detail, bass definition, etc? What source/amp/setup was used?


Each reviewer gave their own score based on the overall sound quality. They always use the same ratings and have so much experince that they can give quite accurate ratings. A difference of 0,1 is actually a quite major difference in sound quality and in most tests all the speakers/headphones/amplifiers can be within a margin of 0,1-0,3. In some tests the differences can also be huge, like in this test where the price range was so wide.

There were three reviewers so there were also three different sets and each reviewer used their own CDs. Here is a list of the equipment used:

Sugden MasterClass CD-player
Leben CS 300X amplifier
WAD 83 headphone amplifier
Sony DE-221 player
Grado SR 325 as a reference

Apple PowerBook G4 with Tascam US-122 soundcard
(the impedance of the soundcard was modified to about 15 ohm or 200 ohm)
Apple iPod Shuffle (impedance about 2 ohm)
.wav files
Sony MDR-CD580, Grado SR 325 and Shuffle's earpuds were used as a reference

Rega Planet CD-player
WAD 83 headphone amplifier
Grado SR 325 as a reference

These sets are in the same order as the ratings I listed in my original post.
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by arielext
are they sure? the DT990 and DT880 are both cheaper!


That is the price listed in the magazine to be the avarage price for DT 860. It could be that there has been a mistake and they meant it to be 205€...

As a side note the best score this magazine has ever given to stereo speakers has been 9,1 and those spekers cost just over 10.000€. (They were the Tannoy Dimension TD10s.)
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Mercuttio
That's an akward assortment. Why the SA3K instead of the SA5K? And why the Beyer 860? They're comparing various headphones of different price structures here, aren't they?


I waited for this test for long and this is what I get... total crap. Only interesting model in that test is K701. I mean c'mon... Ultrasone and Beyer 860. What were they thinking? Where are 650s, 880s, SA5000 and Grado RS models?

And surprisingly STAX basic system wins the test. Probably just because they're STAX's.

Well that magazine has gone to wrong direction for a long time already. Now is good time to cancel the order.
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Patu
I waited for this test for long and this is what I get... total crap. Only interesting model in that test is K701. I mean c'mon... Ultrasone and Beyer 860. What were they thinking? Where are 650s, 880s, SA5000 and Grado RS models?

And surprisingly STAX basic system wins the test. Probably just because they're STAX's.

Well that magazine has gone to wrong direction for a long time already. Now is good time to cancel the order.



Seriously. It appears if no research was done on the "high end cans" of the world, at ALL. Sort of like they stumbled into the headphone section of some Hi-Fi website and picked at random.
 
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Reviews have a lot more to do with what the writers could get their hands on than what makes sense for a high-end can review. Ask Immtbiker how hard it is to squeeze gear out of people. This hodge-podge assortment of gear is typical, and just goes to show you how important Head-Fi is to the consuming public in terms of getting an accurate picture of what's available and what's good at a given price. You are hardly aware of how commercially important you are, Head-Fi.
 
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Yet, me likes to see something less advertised talked about, sometimes. Who knows, we headfiers might even have left back some jewel now and then
 
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