AKG new headphone K545?
Jan 8, 2014 at 4:56 PM Post #811 of 1,753

Trunks159

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Does anyone know if the difference between 320kbps and FLAC is audible regardless of the headphone is the real question. Some people claim they hear it, and some admit that they can't. I belong to the latter.
 
Jan 8, 2014 at 5:24 PM Post #812 of 1,753

razorblader

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Surely then they would be cheaper? Anyways.

That's the irony, it's not.
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Even if I bought it from Razordog for 200 bucks plus 44,- for shipping and adding import taxes and duty fees it would still be about 20 Euros cheaper than buying locally or from amazon.
 
Jan 8, 2014 at 5:40 PM Post #813 of 1,753

grizzlybeast

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Does anyone know if the difference between 320kbps and FLAC is audible regardless of the headphone is the real question. Some people claim they hear it, and some admit that they can't. I belong to the latter.

In my studio monitors I had I could and clearly rem hearing a difference. With the headphones I have been using I can no longer tell the difference.
 
Jan 8, 2014 at 5:53 PM Post #814 of 1,753

razorblader

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Does anyone know if the difference between 320kbps and FLAC is audible regardless of the headphone is the real question. Some people claim they hear it, and some admit that they can't. I belong to the latter.


High quality mp3's (lame encoded) and 44.1 16bit FLAC are pretty hard to tell apart quality-wise and people claiming they can clearly hear the difference usually can't prove it when subjected to an ABX double blind listening test. For home use on top audio gear FLAC has a bit of an advantage, more so with very complex music like certain classical pieces but for mobile use mp3's are the way to go imho. I didn't believe in this myself until I subjected myself to a double blind listening test (foobar can be used for this for example) only to find out how little difference there actually really was between FLAC files and their Lame -v0 encoded counterparts. YMMV.
 
Jan 8, 2014 at 6:24 PM Post #815 of 1,753

dweaver

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I struggle to hear any difference between flax and 256kbps MP3 unless I have a very quiet environment so have used 256mbps on portable devices and flac at home or 256mbps if I can't buy or rip flac.
 
Jan 8, 2014 at 8:28 PM Post #816 of 1,753

money4me247

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Surely then they would be cheaper? Anyways.

I listen to spotify a lot now but the quality only goes up to 360kbps. With the K545 does anyone know if a lossless song is distinguishable from this or is the difference negligible?

On a side note, I read that the Q701 has a cable made of 99.9% metal with few impurities. Does this make a difference in the sound quality?

short answer to both questions: no & no.
 
from my personal experience, the sonic difference between 320kbps mp3s vs loseless formats like FLAC is unhearable with in a blind test with all headphones I have personally tried. as for cables improving sound quality, I haven't personally experienced that either & for the amount of money that some cables cost, I doubt that the sonic returns would be worth it & you can put your money in other equipment (aka nicer headphones, better soundcard/dac/amp) for a more noticeable improvement in sound.
 
YMMV
 
High quality mp3's (lame encoded) and 44.1 16bit FLAC are pretty hard to tell apart quality-wise and people claiming they can clearly hear the difference usually can't prove it when subjected to an ABX double blind listening test. For home use on top audio gear FLAC has a bit of an advantage, more so with very complex music like certain classical pieces but for mobile use mp3's are the way to go imho. I didn't believe in this myself until I subjected myself to a double blind listening test (foobar can be used for this for example) only to find out how little difference there actually really was between FLAC files and their Lame -v0 encoded counterparts. YMMV.

+1. that's the truth. a lot of people say they can hear the difference, but when you actually run a AB direct blind listening test, i think you will find that it is very difficult to consistently identify which is which. 
 
Jan 8, 2014 at 9:54 PM Post #817 of 1,753

Wasatchsummits

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  I'm very tempted to buy these as I'm looking for something to compliment my V Moda M100's. Found someone who is willing to sell these for about $225 unopened in box.
 
Could someone tell if these are indeed a nice addition to a M100 headphone and in what way do they compare favorably to the V Moda's? Also, is it easy to find more comfortable earpads for the 545 as I've read about some issues with the pads?

I own both the K545 and the M100. Expect more clarity, a more expansive soundstage, more mids and detail over the majority of the spectrum. Instrument separation is a step up as well. Bass is slightly less abundant, and the focus is on the sub-bass region. Compared to the v-shaped fun sound of the M100, plan on a slight flat response with more air to the music, and detail. The treble on the K545 is more refined and more abundant yet not sibilant. More texture to the music... I highly suggest both if you want to sample something more natural sounding yet not completely neutral. Both are great headphones IMO. 
 
I also own the Momentum. I agree with what grizzlybeast mentioned prior that the K545 has an edge on the Momentum, and the fact that the K545 is $100 USD less. 
 
Jan 9, 2014 at 12:22 PM Post #818 of 1,753

Pickaxe

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Does anyone know if the difference between 320kbps and FLAC is audible regardless of the headphone is the real question. Some people claim they hear it, and some admit that they can't. I belong to the latter.

 
I'm sorry to come off as authoritative, but 320kbps (and even lower bitrates for better/newer encodings) are absolutely transparent. People may think they hear a difference, but I'll wager a guess that they won't be able to tell one from the other in double-blind AB tests.
 
Jan 9, 2014 at 12:28 PM Post #819 of 1,753

razorblader

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I'm sorry to come off as authoritative, but 320kbps (and even lower bitrates for better/newer encodings) are absolutely transparent. People may think they hear a difference, but I'll wager a guess that they won't be able to tell one from the other in double-blind AB tests.


Which is pretty much what everyone else has said so far including Trunks159, so no disagreement there. 
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Jan 9, 2014 at 1:00 PM Post #821 of 1,753

Lukalop

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Generally speaking. For soundstage and imaging accuracy are headphones better than earphones (IEM's). For instance the K3003i, would it be on par with the HD800? Because I want a set of speakers that are easy to drive without having to buy an amp.

Basically what I am trying to say is, how to IEM's differ from headphones. Is one better than the other in some areas or is there no difference apart from the fact that one is bigger than the other.
 
Jan 9, 2014 at 1:43 PM Post #822 of 1,753

dweaver

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IEM's do match the sound stage of a high end headphone closed or open in my experience but can offer a more detailed or clinical view of music as well as a level of isolation unmatched in even closed headphones. I never bought the highest end IEM's but have owned 5-6 $350+ IEM's ranging from SM3 to UE900 for BA based and IE8 and a couple other dynamic based IEM's and they all paled in comparison to even moderately priced headphones like the K545. The IE8 had probably one of the biggest sound stages but accomplished it through reduced mids and detail.
 
Jan 9, 2014 at 2:56 PM Post #823 of 1,753

Lukalop

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Thanks. Have you ever heard the HD205's?
These are currently my only speakers and because I know how they sound I want to know how they compare with other headphones for better reference. If anyone has, please let me know.
 
Jan 9, 2014 at 5:52 PM Post #824 of 1,753

dweaver

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Sorry I have not heard that headphone, so can't comment on it.
 
Jan 9, 2014 at 10:05 PM Post #825 of 1,753

Citizen13469

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  just did the head to head comparison yesterday. K550 is obviously better off in terms of a larger sound stage and more details. 

Agreed so far. I have a 551 and got the 545 last night. 551 was only two days old so not much burn in on that one either. The 551 has a bigger stage and seems less veiled than the 545. The 551's were immediate love, the 545 not so much. I'm not sure it's just because the 545 has more bass. Even when eq'ing that out, they just don't seem as engaging as the 551 (so far).
 
I'm giving the 545's a few more days as I would like something more portable but so far it has sound issues.
 
One other note, the 545 is much more sensitive to losing its seal on my head when I look to the left or right or just barely move around. The 551's block more sound and I never hear the seal opening and closing like I do with the 545. Maybe its just my head..:)
 

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