Best-sounding open & closed headphones... with no EQ-ing or mods!
Jul 3, 2020 at 6:55 AM Post #77 of 86

Malevolent

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After a lengthy session (~6 hours) comparing some big hitters in the closed-back side of things, I have come to truly appreciate the strengths of the ZMF Vérité Closed (VC).

Admittedly, my previous audition with the VC was brief - I probably didn't get a good seal with the pads, so it seemed a little too bright for my tastes. It was technically brilliant, but I didn't get enough bass; conversely, it seemed a little too treble friendly. Today's audition turned that opinion around completely. I managed to get a proper seal, and I went at it for more than an hour. Everything that I've wanted in a genre master was found in the VC - detail, layering, clarity, tonality, imaging, bass texture, treble sparkle.

Sure, there are certain cans that do specific things better - the TH900 Mk2 still sounds better for certain types of dance music (Trance or Hard Dance without vocals). The MDR-Z1R remains the king if I'm in the mood for a lush, velvety sound. But for the times when I want a solid all-rounder, the VC is the top of the pile, IMO.

Today's audition included the ZMF VC and Eikon, Audio-Technica AWKT, AWAS, WP900, and the Focal Stellia.
 
Jul 3, 2020 at 11:19 AM Post #78 of 86

ruinedx

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I see a lot of love for the HD600 and HD650 but I felt for not too much more money the HD700 absolutely destroyed both of these out of the box with zero EQ. HD700 I felt offered radically superior soundstage and overall more engaging sound. HD600/HD650 I found pedestrian and boring sounding in comparison with muddled bass and veiled highs. HD700 is more equipment sensitive, although I've only run into 1piece of gear it sounded bad on (the Oppo HA-1, too bright) - HD700 even sounds great with my LG phone & its ESS Sabre DAC+HPA.

HD700 suffered from "not the HD800" syndrome and complaints about it being too bright and peaky (odd, since I found the HD800 FAR more bright and peaky no matter what I paired it with to the degree I that I sold it), so HD700 ended up getting discontinued as it was likely too expensive to make for the discount price it was eventually being sold at. In retrospect, the HD700 offered a great middle ground between the HD650 and HD800's sound. Thus, HD700 remains my favorite sounding headphone with zero EQ under $1000 - and while not part of the original question, also the most comfortable full size headphone under $1000.

Also to add, best sounding headphone overall without EQ or mod I've owned with no price limit is the HD820. The HD820 gave the HD800 series the slight treble refinement and bass improvement it needed to be the best all around performer I've heard under $2500.
 
Jul 4, 2020 at 12:36 PM Post #79 of 86

bluecar

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Well, given that I bought a pair, I'd say the LCD3s (with the Fazor upgrade) - I listen to a lot of jazz and rock, and they just sound 'right' for those genres - I've tried adjusting EQ using various routes (HQP, Roon Para EQ) and always end up switching them off. That said, I tried out a pair of Focal Stellia's recently ,and they may well have just pipped it (although I was listening on. dCS stack, not my own, which may have something to do with it :D)
 
Jul 4, 2020 at 12:42 PM Post #80 of 86

DarkFlames

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Throwing my vote out there for the Audeze LCD-3s, truly the greatest musical experience I've had to date. Very interested to try the LCD-4, but I'm not sure if that will be able to beat the 3s. They are on another level.
 
Jul 4, 2020 at 1:22 PM Post #81 of 86

bagwell359

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Throwing my vote out there for the Audeze LCD-3s, truly the greatest musical experience I've had to date. Very interested to try the LCD-4, but I'm not sure if that will be able to beat the 3s. They are on another level.

I love the 4's, just too expensive. Not a big fan of the 3's, too much missing between 1.5 kHz and 12 kHz for me.
 
Jul 4, 2020 at 3:07 PM Post #82 of 86

bluecar

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I love the 4's, just too expensive. Not a big fan of the 3's, too much missing between 1.5 kHz and 12 kHz for me.
the 4s are nice for sure. As I get older, my sensitivity to bass and +1k is lower, so maybe age has flattened the LCD3 curve for me :D
 
Jul 5, 2020 at 12:24 PM Post #83 of 86

DarkFlames

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I love the 4's, just too expensive. Not a big fan of the 3's, too much missing between 1.5 kHz and 12 kHz for me.
Could you elaborate on what you think is "missing" in between those frequencies?
 
Jul 5, 2020 at 1:56 PM Post #85 of 86

bagwell359

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Could you elaborate on what you think is "missing" in between those frequencies?

Music. It's a "dark" can because of it. It's down 2, 3, 4 db most of the way, look it up. It's like a deep relaxing leather chair, it's even suave in some ways, but, I know my female singers and when one is recorded to sound like you are in sitting in Row E, but on these she sounds like Row Q, then I'm heading for the Exit.

https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...deze-lcd-3-2019-measurements-and-review.8046/

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/audeze-lcd-3-impressions-thread.588429/page-320 (scroll to LCD-3 - post 4795)

Basically down from 1.5-10k, specially deep at 4k and 9k also the entire bass looks elevated. 3.8kHz is ~19.5 db down from 600 Hz, and 3.8 kHz is 17 db down from 10 kHz - that's not good.

On a 10 band parametric they might come out sounding very well. All of my cans sound better that way.
 
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Dec 22, 2020 at 11:32 PM Post #86 of 86

ADUHF

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Thank you again to all who contributed to this topic. Just wonderin if there are any new or different ideas that anyone would like to add?
 
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