ENIGMAcoustics Dharma
Mar 30, 2015 at 9:11 AM Post #256 of 1,237

Decimator

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I spent a little time with the Dharma at CanJam.  I felt the bass was pretty impressive; it was full across the the board.  However, I felt the treble was a little lacking in detail.. cymbals didn't have the silky sparkle that I love in my TH900s.  Of course, I didn't have a ton of head time with it (and in show environment), so take with a grain of salt.










They're definitely looking forward to getting these in production though!

Could you give some comparisons between the Dharma and the Th900? Bass, soundstage, detail?
 
Mar 30, 2015 at 1:38 PM Post #257 of 1,237

chowmein83

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Could you give some comparisons between the Dharma and the Th900? Bass, soundstage, detail?

 
Having heard the TH900 also at CanJam, I'm going to have to say that's kind of a hard comparison to make. The Dharma is much closer to neutral, while the TH900 is undoubtedly v-shaped in terms of sound signature. The TH900 did have a large soundstage for a closed headphone, but I think I remember the Dharma still having a larger soundstage. As for overall detail, just going by memory I believe the Dharma has more detail but to be honest I'm not entirely sure.  In terms of bass, I actually enjoyed the TH900's bass more. The TH900 has really punchy bass that is emphasized in music, but it's not bloated at all and can extend down low. The Dharma does have good quality bass, but to me it seemed a bit uncontrolled compared to the TH900.
 
However, do keep in mind that I listened to the two headphones on different sources, which affects especially the Dharma since the setup for that headphone was less than optimal (the Dharma was hooked up to Enigma Acoustics' amp, which itself was fed by the headphone out of an iPad or a source of your choice, which in my case was a HTC One M7 smartphone).
 
Mar 30, 2015 at 2:50 PM Post #258 of 1,237

conquerator2

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Did anyone find the earpads too shallow? 
How do they compare to my new reference Focus pads? That's probably my new 'best' earpad - as in most comfy and just deep enough.
@chowmein83 - Maybe you could help me? You have the HE-400i 
smily_headphones1.gif

 
Thanks ^_^
 
Mar 30, 2015 at 2:53 PM Post #259 of 1,237

No_One411

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  Did anyone find the earpads too shallow? 
How do they compare to my new reference Focus pads? That's probably my new 'best' earpad - as in most comfy and just deep enough.
@chowmein83 - Maybe you could help me? You have the HE-400i 
smily_headphones1.gif

 
Thanks ^_^

 
The driver is angled, so there is a little bit more room inside the pads than you'd think. Pads themselves are very very soft. Not HM5/003 pads soft, but very comfy none the less. 
 
I don't think I had any issues with comfort. Fit was just a little bit weird, but they are improving the headband for production. 
 
Hope this helps, 
 
--Jeff
 
Mar 30, 2015 at 3:27 PM Post #260 of 1,237

grizzlybeast

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Could you give some comparisons between the Dharma and the Th900? Bass, soundstage, detail?

 
Having heard the TH900 also at CanJam, I'm going to have to say that's kind of a hard comparison to make. The Dharma is much closer to neutral, while the TH900 is undoubtedly v-shaped in terms of sound signature. The TH900 did have a large soundstage for a closed headphone, but I think I remember the Dharma still having a larger soundstage. As for overall detail, just going by memory I believe the Dharma has more detail but to be honest I'm not entirely sure.  In terms of bass, I actually enjoyed the TH900's bass more. The TH900 has really punchy bass that is emphasized in music, but it's not bloated at all and can extend down low. The Dharma does have good quality bass, but to me it seemed a bit uncontrolled compared to the TH900.
 
However, do keep in mind that I listened to the two headphones on different sources, which affects especially the Dharma since the setup for that headphone was less than optimal (the Dharma was hooked up to Enigma Acoustics' amp, which itself was fed by the headphone out of an iPad or a source of your choice, which in my case was a HTC One M7 smartphone).

I am still very interested in these. 
 
If the bass is at least up to par with the hd 650 then I am game. I kind of prefer a darker, more spacious sound with a lot of clarity. I have yet to hear a really spacious sounding headphone that isn't bright. This seems promising for my tastes!
 
I know you rate them behind the he560 but I wonder if this headphone is less sterile in the midrange than the 560(slightly cold there) as well as how its transient response is. 
 
I think a planar/electrostat hybrid might be cool! Planar bass response! I just wish my lcd-x to be more spacious and open sounding. 
 
Mar 30, 2015 at 3:39 PM Post #261 of 1,237

chowmein83

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  Did anyone find the earpads too shallow? 
How do they compare to my new reference Focus pads? That's probably my new 'best' earpad - as in most comfy and just deep enough.
@chowmein83 - Maybe you could help me? You have the HE-400i 
smily_headphones1.gif

 
Thanks ^_^

 
Unfortunately, I'm the type of guy who actually doesn't pay too much attention to earpads (unless they're very comfortable or very uncomfortable). But I will say that I found no problems with the Dharma's earpads, and as you already know I own the HE-400i.
 
  I am still very interested in these. 
 
If the bass is at least up to par with the hd 650 then I am game. I kind of prefer a darker, more spacious sound with a lot of clarity. I have yet to hear a really spacious sounding headphone that isn't bright. This seems promising for my tastes!
 
I know you rate them behind the he560 but I wonder if this headphone is less sterile in the midrange than the 560(slightly cold there) as well as how its transient response is. 
 
I think a planar/electrostat hybrid might be cool! Planar bass response! I just wish my lcd-x to be more spacious and open sounding. 

 
Bass on the Dharma is definitely at least as good as the HD650. I actually think that lots of headphones actually outclass the HD650 in terms of bass though.
 
Transient response is good on the Dharma. The electrostatic part of the Dharma can really keep up with quick and complex music, and it never sounded confused. As for the midrange, I can't really give you a good comparison, but I remember the Dharma being slightly warmer than the 560 here (I think, sorry I've just listened to so much stuff at CanJam it's sometimes hard to keep track of which sound belonged to what).
 
The Dharma is definitely nowhere near the HD650 in terms of darkness. I would say that the Dharma has a sound signature very slightly warm of neutral.
 
Mar 30, 2015 at 3:44 PM Post #262 of 1,237

grizzlybeast

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  Did anyone find the earpads too shallow? 
How do they compare to my new reference Focus pads? That's probably my new 'best' earpad - as in most comfy and just deep enough.
@chowmein83 - Maybe you could help me? You have the HE-400i 
smily_headphones1.gif

 
Thanks ^_^

 
Unfortunately, I'm the type of guy who actually doesn't pay too much attention to earpads (unless they're very comfortable or very uncomfortable). But I will say that I found no problems with the Dharma's earpads, and as you already know I own the HE-400i.
 
  I am still very interested in these. 
 
If the bass is at least up to par with the hd 650 then I am game. I kind of prefer a darker, more spacious sound with a lot of clarity. I have yet to hear a really spacious sounding headphone that isn't bright. This seems promising for my tastes!
 
I know you rate them behind the he560 but I wonder if this headphone is less sterile in the midrange than the 560(slightly cold there) as well as how its transient response is. 
 
I think a planar/electrostat hybrid might be cool! Planar bass response! I just wish my lcd-x to be more spacious and open sounding. 

 
Bass on the Dharma is definitely at least as good as the HD650. I actually think that lots of headphones actually outclass the HD650 in terms of bass though.
 
Transient response is good on the Dharma. The electrostatic part of the Dharma can really keep up with quick and complex music, and it never sounded confused. As for the midrange, I can't really give you a good comparison, but I remember the Dharma being slightly warmer than the 560 here (I think, sorry I've just listened to so much stuff at CanJam it's sometimes hard to keep track of which sound belonged to what).
 
The Dharma is definitely nowhere near the HD650 in terms of darkness. I would say that the Dharma has a sound signature very slightly warm of neutral.

No worries... I think a lot of headphones outclass the hd650 bass as well but it headphones are full of compromises and that is one that I am willing to make if its atleast there in quality and punch/tightness. I also dont mind hd650 darkness but I am glad its a little brighter as well. The he560 is not a warm headphone to me. But thank you very much. I am pretty excited for it!
 
Mar 30, 2015 at 6:37 PM Post #263 of 1,237

conquerator2

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Unfortunately, I'm the type of guy who actually doesn't pay too much attention to earpads (unless they're very comfortable or very uncomfortable). But I will say that I found no problems with the Dharma's earpads, and as you already know I own the HE-400i.
 
 
Bass on the Dharma is definitely at least as good as the HD650. I actually think that lots of headphones actually outclass the HD650 in terms of bass though.
 
Transient response is good on the Dharma. The electrostatic part of the Dharma can really keep up with quick and complex music, and it never sounded confused. As for the midrange, I can't really give you a good comparison, but I remember the Dharma being slightly warmer than the 560 here (I think, sorry I've just listened to so much stuff at CanJam it's sometimes hard to keep track of which sound belonged to what).
 
The Dharma is definitely nowhere near the HD650 in terms of darkness. I would say that the Dharma has a sound signature very slightly warm of neutral.

K, thanks :]
 
Alright. Well, I'll be monitoring my 3 headphones - H1K, Dharma and Ether... Or HED. 
biggrin.gif

 
[I'd take a review pair of either btw 
wink.gif
]
 
Mar 31, 2015 at 2:48 PM Post #264 of 1,237

Stillhart

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Subbing to this thread.  This was my favorite headphone at the show (just barely edged out the Ether) and I'm really excited to get my hands on a production model in a few months.  
 
To be clear, I LOVED the sound of this headphone.
 
I'll have more in my write-up on Canjam.  Happy to answer any questions.
 
Mar 31, 2015 at 3:06 PM Post #265 of 1,237

cute

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  Subbing to this thread.  This was my favorite headphone at the show (just barely edged out the Ether) and I'm really excited to get my hands on a production model in a few months.  
 
To be clear, I LOVED the sound of this headphone.
 
I'll have more in my write-up on Canjam.  Happy to answer any questions.


Which one had more upfront mids?  more soundstage depth?  more soundstage width?  sub bass extension?  air?
 
Thanks in advance for answering my questions!
 
Mar 31, 2015 at 3:26 PM Post #266 of 1,237

Stillhart

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Which one had more upfront mids?  more soundstage depth?  more soundstage width?  sub bass extension?  air?
 
Thanks in advance for answering my questions!

 
Well, I didn't get a chance to A/B them so it will just be from sonic memory (not very useful, but better than nothing).  I also did not hear them on the same gear ever.  
 
Honestly, it's almost an apples and oranges comparison because they just had such different personalities.  The Ether was super transparent and sounded different on every source chain I used.  In general it was very open sounding and very neutral.  Things like soundstage height and width are nearly impossible to determine in such a loud environment.  I'd guess it had pretty good width and average depth?  It was an odd headphone to try to get a handle on because it was such a chameleon.
 
OTOH, the Dharma had a lot more personality showing through.  I wouldn't call it neutral or transparent.  It had huge bass (amazingly impactful when run off their Athena amp) and sizzling-yet-smooth electrostatic highs and mids.  The cups felt like they were modeled off the HD800 so they were kind of cavernous, which contributed to a spacious sound; though I didn't feel like it extended very wide, the angled drivers helped it feel quite deep.  The bass was certainly more in-your-face with the Dharma but I didn't get a sense for which had more extension.
 
Like I said, I think they're very different styles of headphone and it's hard to compare them directly.  The Ether feels like a pure reference phone that does everything right and is as good as your source chain; it's polite and efficient and it gets out of the way.  The Dharma feels like a fun headphone with a balanced sound overall but a lot of energy all through the freq range; if you give it great highs or beefy bass, it'll work its magic for you without sounding fatiguing or over the top.
 
Mar 31, 2015 at 3:33 PM Post #267 of 1,237

Soundsgoodtome

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Hello Stills, say, where would you rate the HE560 compared to the Dharma and Ether? I understand that they're not exactly the same headphone (more so on the Dharma being coloured with bass) but are they all the same level as far as the food chain of headphones or would you say the Ether is above both others? I've been reading a lot and there's quite a bit of people claiming the he560 is transparent and sounds like the chain more so than the headphone colouring the chain.

Thanks for any input, these are exciting times in the world of TOTL!
 
Mar 31, 2015 at 4:27 PM Post #268 of 1,237

Stillhart

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  Hello Stills, say, where would you rate the HE560 compared to the Dharma and Ether? I understand that they're not exactly the same headphone (more so on the Dharma being coloured with bass) but are they all the same level as far as the food chain of headphones or would you say the Ether is above both others? I've been reading a lot and there's quite a bit of people claiming the he560 is transparent and sounds like the chain more so than the headphone colouring the chain.

Thanks for any input, these are exciting times in the world of TOTL!

 
Hmm, good question and one I've been honestly asking myself.  I really really enjoy my HE-560.  It has just about everything I like in a headphone so I've been asking myself if it's really worth spending the money... would I be getting an upgrade moving to either the Dharma or the Ether?  
 
Regarding the Ether, I think it's an upgrade if you're looking for as reference of a sound as you can get.  The HE-560, to me, is on the bright side of neutral (which I like about it).  The LCD-2 or PM-1/2 are both on the warm side of neutral.  The Ether is smack dab on the line.  It's comfy, looks good, sounds great, etc.  But do I *want* a super neutral headphone?  I don't know... I'd love to try it on my home setup to see.
 
Regarding the Dharma, it's a bit of a tougher question.  The trebles are an obvious upgrade.  The bass... is less obvious.  Frankly, I've had 3 planars in a row now and I much prefer planar bass to dynamic bass.  To me, the bass of the Dharma is its biggest weak spot; on certain songs the bass just doesn't keep up with the treble.  
 
That said, the Dharma I heard was still very much a pre-production model.  It had some major issues with the build and fit, but they wanted to have something to demo so they brought it anyways.  I'm sure they'll get that stuff fixed and I'm optimistic that they'll try to nail down the tuning a bit better.  Before I decide whether I'm going to upgrade the HE-560, I'd really need to hear the final revision, probably with an extended demo so I can let brain burn-in correct for the non-planar bass.  They did express interest in a potential loaner program when I mentioned it, so it's not such a far-fetched idea.
 
Hope this helps...
 
Mar 31, 2015 at 4:56 PM Post #270 of 1,237

Stillhart

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  a lot of times reference means no bass. Is that what you would describe with the ether?..somewhat bass shy? Also is the Dhama bass more in quantity than the LCD2?

 
No, I wouldn't call the Ether bass shy.  I think it's probably on par with my HE-560.  But I know you like your bass so you would probably find it's not enough for you.
 
The Dharma had no such problems.  I don't recall how it compared to something like the Shure 1540, but I know it felt much bassier than my HE-560.  Listening with their Athena also really gave the bass some nice tight impact.  It was quite nice.
 
Regarding the LCD-2, I've only heard the fazor version and I wasn't particularly impressed with the bass.  It was no more or less than the HE-560 in my view.  The Dharma, as I mentioned, definitely has more bass.  Think... HD650?
 

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