Headphones for metal music - ultimate solution
Jun 16, 2015 at 3:54 AM Post #1,532 of 12,271
   
Hey, what's your situation with the HE1000? I don't recall.
 
You probably saw my posts about it before. Although I "enjoyed" the HE1000 more than the HE-6, I will probably never buy the HE1000, but am considering perhaps buying the HE-6 at some point. The HE1000 was too warm and subdued for me, whereas the HE-6 (and Abyss) had no major problems.

 
Was pretty excited for the HE1000s, but based on your impressions and the impressions I've read, they may not be the ideal match for metal. I am moving more towards the atmospheric and progressive stuff though rather than the super speedy stuff. Sounds like the HE1000s would be a nice much for the atmospheric stuff but not so much for the speed.
 
Jun 16, 2015 at 4:07 AM Post #1,533 of 12,271
I like the concept of a headphone that can be 'upgraded'. It's disappointing at times that you have to completely replace an entire setup to do so once you hit the next obstacle being the weakest link in your chain of audio. I'd kill for a suped up DT990/600, but that isn't a thing. You end buying an entirely different headphone that gets rid of any 'weaknesses' your current pair has. Or at least that is the objective/goal/hope.

The price gap from a second hand (~$160) DT990/600 to something 'significantly better' is astounding. Anything above that is different flavors of equal performance depending on what you're looking for (or so it seems). I replaced my DAC/AMP before my headphones because I didn't think a more expensive headphone would sound proper on a lesser setup (I was right). Even lesser headphones can sound better through a better source and amplification.

If I had a better source of income, I wouldn't even think twice about some of my audio purchases. I've been relying on selling stuff I already owned for a long while; I've run out of things to sell. How inconvenient. Lol. It could take me an entire year to save for another headphone at this moment in time if it's above $500. I won't see $3000 in pocket at one time this lifetime (if life continues as it has). I'm happy for those who can afford that luxury and enjoy it. I'd be right there with you if my hobbies weren't all money sinks and my circumstances were different.


I wouldnt care/worry so much .. many people use the hd6x0 as their totl HPs... and they are that good.
I heard almost all those wow HPs over $1000 and did not buy any, simply because they were not worth the astronomic prices for me .. and I can buy any of them tomorrow if wanted.
Enjoy your sound and stop worrying about the hype.
 
Jun 16, 2015 at 9:06 AM Post #1,535 of 12,271
  In the context of high-end high-fidelity headphones I'm interested in, the STAX SR-009 is the only one that is readily available that I haven't heard yet. I'm strongly leaning towards just buying it, or perhaps the SR-207 to start with.
 

 
I understand you are going for SR-009, but have you considered MrSpeakers Ether? Sure sound interesting and worth trying. Should be available in late June, but not sure where you could try those.
 
Jun 16, 2015 at 9:31 AM Post #1,536 of 12,271
  Was pretty excited for the HE1000s, but based on your impressions and the impressions I've read, they may not be the ideal match for metal. I am moving more towards the atmospheric and progressive stuff though rather than the super speedy stuff. Sounds like the HE1000s would be a nice much for the atmospheric stuff but not so much for the speed.

 
The HE1000 is a good headphone...but merely being good is not good enough when it costs $3,000. I could get an SR-009 and amp for not much more. The Abyss is actually the only headphone I've heard that did not give me any problems at all in the frequency response, but I could not get it to fit right and thus did not get to hear it much, and when there wasn't the right fit, it was extremely distorted due to the gap on the ear pads being too big. I had to push it close to my head to make it sound right. Despite not having any noticeable problems, it also did not blow me away either. I preferred the HE1000 overall despite the HE1000 having more problems for me in the sound. I do not consider the HE1000 or the HD 800 to be true reference headphones. Too warm/polite and too bright/harsh, respectively.
 
I wouldnt care/worry so much .. many people use the hd6x0 as their totl HPs... and they are that good.
I heard almost all those wow HPs over $1000 and did not buy any, simply because they were not worth the astronomic prices for me .. and I can buy any of them tomorrow if wanted.
Enjoy your sound and stop worrying about the hype.

 
The HD 650 is a darn good headphone, especially for the $230 I paid. (Its original price was actually $650!) If it was a little brighter, did not smooth over so much detail, and had more punch and dynamics, it would have been well worth keeping for me. Haven't heard the HD 600 yet.
 
  I'm still dumbfounded every time I do experience an "upgrade". I'm still in awe at how much of a difference an usb power isolator made in SQ with my KRK Rokits. I didn't realize how much noise (EMI/RFI) was ruining my experience. Last night and I suppose early this morning (it's 3:30 am) I've been thoroughly enjoying my latest addition to my audio chain. I really didn't know what to expect when switching from unbalanced RCA to balanced XLR cables between my Mini-i Pro and HPA V100. Having a balanced connection makes such a difference listening to my Sig Pro.

Dynamics, pitch resolution, soundstaging/ stereo imaging, weight, rumble, impact, attack, decay, focus, involvement, naturalness, timbre, micro detail, definition, transparency and cleanliness (accounting for the limitations of my headphones) all appear to have "improved". I take it that's due to the interconnect no longer degrading the signal from source to amp to headphone or the extra power (maybe both). My new balanced XLR Violectric cables beat the living snot out of my unbalanced Monoprice RCA cables.

I'm more accustomed to the signature sound of these Ultrasone Signature Pros, or so I thought. This is probably how the Mini-i Pro, Violectric HPA V100 and Ultrasone Sig Pro should've been (and have been capable of) performing this entire time. My mood, headphone, headband position, earpad seal, haircut, listening environment, listening volume, music collection, personal preference, etc. haven't changed either. Any would-be, could-be audible improvements are presenting themselves with immediacy.

I couldn't be more satisfied with these gains. The level of improvement is subjective and on an individual basis of course. I'd say for me personally, the balanced connection between my dac and amp have made for a night and day level of difference on my pair of Sig Pro's through my ears. These Sig Pro's sound a lot less like sealed headphones than they did before.
The HD600's headband is incredibly uncomfortable for me due to hot spots that ruin the experience entirely. I also feel the HD600 was too slow when I listened to it. It's not the fastest headphone, that's for sure. I enjoyed my DT990/600 and X2 far more across the board. The DT990/600 beating the X2 due to extra energy and aggressive nature comparatively. The DT990/600 wasn't very good for gaming with friends either; +20 dB gain on incoming voices over VoiP or lower my game volume until I could hear my friends more easily which wasn't ideal.

I wouldn't even bother looking for another headphone if it wasn't for the sore spots on my ears that the Sig Pro creates after prolonged use. Once I take them off after a ~3 hour listening session, there is no putting them back on my head until a decent amount of time passes. If I only used headphones 3 or less hours a day, the Sig Pro would fit the bill solo. I use my KRK Rokit's when I'm not using my Sig Pro, but that doesn't work for when I want to chat with friends or teammates in games through my microphone. Echo feedback loops for days. Lol.

Realistically, I don't need a TotL open back headphone, but every mid-fi pair I've tried didn't work for me due to comfort, fit or lackluster sound signature for my personal preferences. When you wipe out a majority of cans in the mid-fi range, you have nowhere left to go except up. The HE-560 has the comfort aspects of an X2 (if not more so) with, at least on paper, a sound signature that should be more suitable to my liking. I'll never know without trying it I suppose.

 
I've heard good things about the Signature PRO. I'm actually trading three of my headphones for an Ultrasone HFI 780. I will have to either listen to my laptop speakers or borrow headphones from a roommate while waiting for them.
 
The Philips SHP9500 is one of the most comfortable headphones I have worn, and it's under $100, but I doubt it would beat the X2.
 
  I understand you are going for SR-009, but have you considered MrSpeakers Ether? Sure sound interesting and worth trying. Should be available in late June, but not sure where you could try those.

 
The ETHER is only something I would add to my collection later on. (See the large wish lists on my profile.)
 
Jun 16, 2015 at 7:01 PM Post #1,537 of 12,271
   
I understand you are going for SR-009, but have you considered MrSpeakers Ether? Sure sound interesting and worth trying. Should be available in late June, but not sure where you could try those.

 
Won't be available late June to anyone who wasn't in the first 90 pre-orders (happily I was), MrSpeakers had this to say on availability:
 
"The first 90 will ship within a week of starting shipment. The next batch will ship during July, it will be a much larger build, and at this time we should ship anything ordered now by late July. I hesitate to give exact dates for the second build."
 
Jun 17, 2015 at 12:08 AM Post #1,539 of 12,271
  Have you heard the SR-009? It would be pretty risky to drop $3000+ on a pair of headphones you've never heard especially if you are routinely disappointing by summit-fi headphones.

 
I've heard everything but the SR-009.
tongue.gif

 
(So you know, I've already narrowed down my choices.)
 
By the time I can afford to spend thousands on a headphone, risk will not be an issue.
 
I noticed you used to own the MT220. That's my current favorite headphone!
 
Jun 17, 2015 at 2:59 AM Post #1,541 of 12,271
   
The HE1000 is a good headphone...but merely being good is not good enough when it costs $3,000. I could get an SR-009 and amp for not much more. The Abyss is actually the only headphone I've heard that did not give me any problems at all in the frequency response, but I could not get it to fit right and thus did not get to hear it much, and when there wasn't the right fit, it was extremely distorted due to the gap on the ear pads being too big. I had to push it close to my head to make it sound right. Despite not having any noticeable problems, it also did not blow me away either. I preferred the HE1000 overall despite the HE1000 having more problems for me in the sound. I do not consider the HE1000 or the HD 800 to be true reference headphones. Too warm/polite and too bright/harsh, respectively.

 
I see. Currently leaning towards the HE6s. Much cheaper and more suitable for metal. Hopefully I'll get a chance to at least demo the he1000s soon.
 
Jun 17, 2015 at 5:29 AM Post #1,543 of 12,271
I can relate, sort-of, well I don't cope with flaws I perceive in my hifi or other hobbies, and do not live with compromise easily.  Not really comparable.
 
I think the journey is great though, it gives you something to look forward to, sometimes I feel frustrated that gear I want is out of reach, or when I spend too much on stuff, or when I preorder stuff which gives me time to agonise over whether I made the right decision.  Nothing is perfect, at any price point.
 
Thankfully heavy metal is generally recorded and mastered badly enough that better gear doesn't really give that much back when you spend.  When I was listening to mostly metal I think I was happy with my gear many thousands of dollars ago.
 
Jun 17, 2015 at 9:38 AM Post #1,544 of 12,271
  I see. Currently leaning towards the HE6s. Much cheaper and more suitable for metal. Hopefully I'll get a chance to at least demo the he1000s soon.

 
Yeah, the HE-6 is a much better choice, and so much more affordable. I get the feeling that it really does need a good speaker amp to bring the best out of it, though. The MOON Neo 430HA did not seem to do it justice, despite outputting eight watts.
 
This just happens to be the first time I've ever experienced a balanced connection and rather than the cables themselves, it could've (and probably was) that either my Matrix Mini-i Pro or Violectric HPA V100 (if not both) simply perform on a higher level while balanced. I think that is plausible. If I had a different pair of XLR cables, I could swap those out and tell you if anything changes, but I don't.

 
All things being equal, there is no difference between single-ended and balanced connections; however, some balanced amps are designed in a way that they sound better via balanced (example: Schiit Ragnarok), so there ya go.
 
Jun 17, 2015 at 10:19 AM Post #1,545 of 12,271
   
Yeah, the HE-6 is a much better choice, and so much more affordable. I get the feeling that it really does need a good speaker amp to bring the best out of it, though. The MOON Neo 430HA did not seem to do it justice, despite outputting eight watts.

 
I gave the HE-6 a whirl at a local meet a few months ago with my Lyr 2 and on Hi Gain and volume set to around 75% it was at a comfortable level. At 100% it was barely loud. 
 
That thing definitely needs some serious juice to get up in volume but it did sound awesome. 
 
If the challenge of finding gear strong enough and better suited for the HE-6 is your goal then go for it. If not the HE-500 is a damn fine cheaper alternative that would work with current gear very well.
 

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