[Basic Review] - Magni/Modi 2 Uber vs STX; HD600 vs HD650 vs X2 vs A900
Aug 27, 2015 at 2:53 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 1


1000+ Head-Fier
Apr 16, 2013
Hi! Basic review/comparison incoming! 
 Spent about 3-4 hours today listening between these. I am very familiar with the HD 600 and STX sound, and chose them after demo'ing many headphones in stores, and reading all the great reviews. There is a plethora of cool & useful features on the STX, for gaming and recording, but I only tested music here. A900 were my first serious headphones. HD 650 was a recent purchase. I've heard that the X2 is better than HD 600, and that the Modi/Magni 2 Uber is also very good/end-gamish. Thus, I had to find out for myself...!
- Winamp
- MP3/FLAC/OGG, variable bitrates, various genres
- Schiit Magni 2 Uber + Modi 2 Uber
- ASUS Essence STX (stock opamps; RCA output)
- HD 600 (new version)
- HD 650 (new version)
- Fidelio X2
- ATH-A900 (upgraded leather pads, not pictured)

=-=-=-=-=-=-[ PART 1 ]-=-=-=-=-=-=
Modi/Magni 2 Uber:
- silent, no buzz
- sound seems more open, natural, correct. more decay, resonant, spacious by a noticeable degree.
- treble: seems even brighter/sparkly than STX
- bass: seems slightly punchier, stronger, more accurate
- gets hot(it's powerful) :)
- overall sound is less "level" vs STX, IMO. definitely brighter, or less mids.
- a tad more "clean"/"accurate"/transparent, but also brighter(OR the illusion of, due to more brightness)
ASUS Essence STX:
- silent, no buzz
- sound seems...a bit compressed/plasticy, bright... reverse cymbals perhaps sound more like vacuum suction instead of sharp, crisp cymbals/metal. smooth, overall sound is "level", slightly on the bright side. less sibilant/bright than MM.
- smoother, less fatigue(~15%)
- very minor differences in overall sound.
- without factoring cost, which is "better" depends on your headphone/speaker/hearing and music tastes, I would say. If you like a brighter sound, or have darker headphones/speakers, or listen to mainly classical/ambient, the MM stack may be the best match. For general purpose/gaming/everything else, or if you are sensitive to hot treble(want a smoother sound), the STX would be my choice.
=-=-=-=-=-=-[ PART 2 ]-=-=-=-=-=-=
HD 600:
- great, "present", realistic tone/presentation! I just feel like I can hear the most, the most accurately/transparently, with these out of the 4.
- somewhat "blobby"/"2D" soundstage.
- a tad bright(due to source?), but smooth; slightly fatiguing treble.
- weak, but still satisfying/"accurate" bass; the main weakness?
- awesome mids; strings, vocals, piano, guitar, all sound great/realistic.
- either a treble or mid-prominent sound.
- 10/10 comfort; super light, great cushioning & adjustability.
- 8.5/10 sound (more bass, a touch less brightness, more detail/clarity)
- Headphones I've heard that sounded better to me(on vastly more expensive equipment): HE-500, HE-6, LCD-2/3, Abyss AB-1266
HD 650:
- "recessed" sound vs HD 600. more detail clarity & smoothness, more bass. weird/"dark" sound signature.
- SQ is a decent amount better than HD 600, though not much.
- maybe slightly more soundstage/resonance/spaciousness than HD 600. slightly more "distant"/"tunnely" sounding than HD 600.
- strangely 'laid-back"; the strength? least treble brightness/smoothest. The integration/transition/blend from bass to mids to treble is odd, IMO.
- bass is OK, nothing great/amazing. If HD600 is mid-prominent, HD650 seems slightly bass prominent(or tied with treble). Kinda "cheap"/"muddy" sounding bass, and slightly fatiguing VS HD 600 bass. Vocals have too much bass; unrealistic.
- 10/10 comfort
- 8/10 sound (too "recessed" presentation, goofy bass)

Fidelio X2:
- soundstage sounds a little bigger, more spacious, than HD 600. A subtle, yet nice difference to hear. Good decay/resonance/spaciousness.
- I am hearing an unusual, bright "hum" in the treble...do not like!
- definitely overall poorer SQ than HD 600...IMO. would take HD 650 instead.
- treble is...not quite right. "choppy" It sounds quite good and clear, but I hesitate to say "accurate". Kinda "squeally" and harsh/warped in places.
- bass is overall not bad, a bit "muddy"/"loose", not great. not much punch, but more than HD 600. I think I prefer X2 bass most of the time over HD600.  Bass is the strength of this headphone IMO.
- mids sound laid-back/"flat"; prefer HD600's overall presentation.
- overall sound is fairly "level", but the presentation is odd to me(everything sounds "distant"/"tunnely" VS HD 600).  treble sounds high-EQ'd, mids lowered/flat. fairly "recessed" sounding VS HD 600, but not 'extremely' so like HD 650.
- 9/10 comfort (not as light, breathable, or as snug as HD 600/650)
- 7-7.5/10 sound (too bright/sparkly/choppy and "distant" sounding, otherwise fairly good sound)
- worst soundstage/most "compressed" sounding
- poorest SQ
- fairly sibilant/painful
- bass is fairly poor/muffled; probably the major weakpoint
- treble and mids are pretty good; good vocals
- most unpleasant listening experience, and least comfortable.
- 6.5/10 comfort
- 5-5.5/10 sound (closed cans not so realistic...)
- there are so few things to complain about HD 600...how can you go wrong?!
- I was excited, and hoping, either the X2 or 650 would sound better than HD 600, but was disappointed. :frowning2:
- I very highly suspect there is no DAC/amp or headphone short of ~Bifrost/HE-560/HD 800 level that will seriously improve my sound.
(Gear I wish I had to test: BifrostU/Valhalla2/Asgard2/Bottlehead, HD 800, HE-560, HE-1000, Koss ESP-950...ah, maybe someday! =p)

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