Hifiman HM-801 RMAA Tests
May 12, 2010 at 4:44 PM Post #316 of 795

cegras

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Quote:
You know, we're invited to participate in a test. It should be easy for you – as blind-test old hands – to identify a player so far off the norm.
 
This is the science forum. We all know that it's not a place where scientists meet. It's rather a place full of apprentices preaching the virtues of science. And at times it's the most unfriendly place on Head-Fi. Well, even science is not just about the curiosity about the truth, the history of science is full of intrigues, falsifications, attempts to defend the own hypothesis or defend the established doctrine against fresh ideas. At the moment this thread looks like it has developed into an attempt to make an example of a typical overpriced audiophile product with lots of hype around it and no technical merits except for a built-in flaw possibly made to provide a unique characteristic easily confusable with high-end sound. And the minds are already made up.


Whoa, you're asking us to blind test these players when you won't blind test cables? I have never bothered to test my hearing, and I suppose one of these days I can try with those files. But calling us out on 'not blind testing' is pretty damning to your own philosophy.
 
May 12, 2010 at 5:10 PM Post #317 of 795

nick_charles

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Quote:
You know, we're invited to participate in a test. It should be easy for you – as blind-test old hands – to identify a player so far off the norm.
 
This is the science forum. We all know that it's not a place where scientists meet. It's rather a place full of apprentices preaching the virtues of science. And at times it's the most unfriendly place on Head-Fi. Well, even science is not just about the curiosity about the truth, the history of science is full of intrigues, falsifications, attempts to defend the own hypothesis or defend the established doctrine against fresh ideas. At the moment this thread looks like it has developed into an attempt to make an example of a typical overpriced audiophile product with lots of hype around it and no technical merits except for a built-in flaw possibly made to provide a unique characteristic easily confusable with high-end sound. And the minds are already made up.
 


Shrug, I am sure it sounds very nice, probably indistinguishable from peers, I defer to those with younger ears, though I will do the DBT thing for a laugh, but it is marginal as High Fidelity according to modern expectations and I really would expect rather better from something that purports to be 24/96 capable, that said for a portable it measures okay, not great, but it isn't just the FR that is disappointing the measured noise levels are also worse (albeit marginally) than 16 bit standards, again forgiveable in a portable perhaps but calling it 24 bit-able is misleading. But let's say it is as good as any other portable , how does it justify it's big price tag if it is no better ?
 
Well, that seems to rest in its improved sound quality and in part its ability to render high res files , quoting Steve Guttenberg on CNET
Quote:
 Listening to a few high-resolution 24 bit/96 kHz sampled FLAC files the HM-801's proved its audiophile credentials were in order. The high-resolution files were more open, effortless and clear sounding. No iPod or Zune can play high-resolution files, so the HM-801's performance lead grows even wider.

 
erm,  but it is a 16 bit player, so it may be fed 24 bits but it don't output them so what are these reviewers hearing, well perhaps they are hearing 8 extra bits that are just not there, an incredible feat I have to say. If I wish hard enough perhaps my Toyota hatchback willl become a BMW...
wink.gif

 
EDIT....DBT under way.........
 
DBTing files 1 vs 2 ........7/10 - probability of guessing 17%
 
1 vs 4 ............17/20 probability of guessing 0.1% - I found a small but noticeable difference in stereo imaaaaaage at ~7.4 seconds - the boing is central or possibly slightly rightwards on one and *def* sligthly leftwards on the other - took a lot of repetitions to find it but once you find it you can hear it reliably again and again. My wild guess is that there may be a phase shift or channel imbalance.... neither sounds superior as such just different...now it just needs a few more tests...
 
May 12, 2010 at 5:29 PM Post #318 of 795

JaZZ

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Quote:
Whoa, you're asking us to blind test these players when you won't blind test cables? I have never bothered to test my hearing, and I suppose one of these days I can try with those files. But calling us out on 'not blind testing' is pretty damning to your own philosophy.


Is that an excuse for you not to prove how bad the player is – with your preferred methodology?
 
 
Shrug, I am sure it sounds very nice, probably indistinguishable from peers...
 
You could test it to be sure.
regular_smile .gif

   
 
...but it is marginal as High Fidelity according to modern expectations and I really would expect rather better from something that purports to be 24/96 capable, that said for a portable it measures okay, not great, but it isn't just the FR that is disappointing the measured noise levels are also worse (albeit marginally) than 16 bit standards, again forgiveable in a portable perhaps but calling it 24 bit-able is misleading. But let's say it is as good as any other portable, how does it justify it's big price tag if it is no better?
 
And what is there to be gained by (even) better data?
. 
 
May 12, 2010 at 5:39 PM Post #319 of 795

nick_charles

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Quote:
 
Shrug, I am sure it sounds very nice, probably indistinguishable from peers...
 
You could test it to be sure.
regular_smile%20.gif

   
 
...but it is marginal as High Fidelity according to modern expectations and I really would expect rather better from something that purports to be 24/96 capable, that said for a portable it measures okay, not great, but it isn't just the FR that is disappointing the measured noise levels are also worse (albeit marginally) than 16 bit standards, again forgiveable in a portable perhaps but calling it 24 bit-able is misleading. But let's say it is as good as any other portable, how does it justify it's big price tag if it is no better?
 
And what is there to be gained by (even) better data?
. 


testing under way, post edited. Agreed 16 bits is more than enough
wink.gif

 
 
May 12, 2010 at 5:49 PM Post #320 of 795

EphemeralHope

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This thread has become the hot-spot for what we call the leeches of society. One person makes an argument and then everyone else continues to make the same argument by rephrasing it over and over and over again. Dumb. DFKT has already made the argument on the first page better than anyone else in these 23 pages have, yet people who are completely unexposed to this topic continue to rehash the argument to death as if they were the ones in possession of a hifiman and assert: oh yeah....  see! at least an ipod with a muddled line/headphone out fares better than this piece of junk!
 
It is already extremely obvious that these digital tests are not going to be an accurate test for these players - why dont we rip some music from a stax amp so that we dont have to buy one and then we can evaluate it's SQ for ourselves - obviously we would be able to judge any piece of equipment just by translating it onto a digital file - yeah right. And as many other users have agreed upon - these audio files are what they are... digital recordings that lack in capturing the full sound reproduction.
 
I find it useless how people are going to troll on this thread because they want to justify their own need to not hear the hifiman - believe the argument if you want - don't repeat it. The argument from the digital point is already clear and there's no need to step on people who own a hifiman just because you are not planning to get one. This is a debate and not a "let me tell  you that your DAP is a waste of money" thread.
 
People who own a hifiman are clearly happy with what they have either by placebo or actual improvement of SQ - the source obviously matters in music.. in fact headfi revolves around these components. If people find enjoyment in their upgraded sources - so be it. It's as if a superior product has just exposed a weakness and all the owners of inferior products jump on the attack which is feeding a frenzy of inexperienced people getting trigger happy and is now blown out of proportion.
 
If these graphs and playback tracks were really able to recapture the full story: then many of the respected viewers of this forum would be considered a fraud and under a placebo effect. The hifiman is built of components very similar to those we use in home DACs - are we to say that an Ipod or measly 40 dollar clip+ sounds better than a home end DAC because of a few graphs? My opinion on this - HELL NO - a 300-400$ home dac that uses inferior parts to the hifiman would beat the living crap out of an Ipod anyday in sound reproduction, weight, clarity, warmth, separation, whatever.
 
An argument only works if the premises are true - there is obviously something lacking here and though when people try to bring that up... the ignorant continue to pour on the same arguments over and over again based on faulty premises which means that we'll never see the end to this argument. Lovely, I'll let this thread now continue to fight on because I felt I wanted to at least post something about how hypocritical it is to believe that specs are the only thing that matters - this is like arguing with my friend over the fact that only megapixels of cameras matter... ugh....
 
 
May 12, 2010 at 6:28 PM Post #321 of 795

Sonic 748i

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Quote:
This thread has become the hot-spot for what we call the leeches of society. One person makes an argument and then everyone else continues to make the same argument by rephrasing it over and over and over again. Dumb. DFKT has already made the argument on the first page better than anyone else in these 23 pages have, yet people who are completely unexposed to this topic continue to rehash the argument to death as if they were the ones in possession of a hifiman and assert: oh yeah....  see! at least an ipod with a muddled line/headphone out fares better than this piece of junk!
 
It is already extremely obvious that these digital tests are not going to be an accurate test for these players - why dont we rip some music from a stax amp so that we dont have to buy one and then we can evaluate it's SQ for ourselves - obviously we would be able to judge any piece of equipment just by translating it onto a digital file - yeah right. And as many other users have agreed upon - these audio files are what they are... digital recordings that lack in capturing the full sound reproduction.
 
I find it useless how people are going to troll on this thread because they want to justify their own need to not hear the hifiman - believe the argument if you want - don't repeat it. The argument from the digital point is already clear and there's no need to step on people who own a hifiman just because you are not planning to get one. This is a debate and not a "let me tell  you that your DAP is a waste of money" thread.
 
People who own a hifiman are clearly happy with what they have either by placebo or actual improvement of SQ - the source obviously matters in music.. in fact headfi revolves around these components. If people find enjoyment in their upgraded sources - so be it. It's as if a superior product has just exposed a weakness and all the owners of inferior products jump on the attack which is feeding a frenzy of inexperienced people getting trigger happy and is now blown out of proportion.
 
If these graphs and playback tracks were really able to recapture the full story: then many of the respected viewers of this forum would be considered a fraud and under a placebo effect. The hifiman is built of components very similar to those we use in home DACs - are we to say that an Ipod or measly 40 dollar clip+ sounds better than a home end DAC because of a few graphs? My opinion on this - HELL NO - a 300-400$ home dac that uses inferior parts to the hifiman would beat the living crap out of an Ipod anyday in sound reproduction, weight, clarity, warmth, separation, whatever.
 
An argument only works if the premises are true - there is obviously something lacking here and though when people try to bring that up... the ignorant continue to pour on the same arguments over and over again based on faulty premises which means that we'll never see the end to this argument. Lovely, I'll let this thread now continue to fight on because I felt I wanted to at least post something about how hypocritical it is to believe that specs are the only thing that matters - this is like arguing with my friend over the fact that only megapixels of cameras matter... ugh....
 


You my friend, have won the internetz.
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May 12, 2010 at 6:28 PM Post #322 of 795

odigg

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Quote:
You know, we're invited to participate in a test. It should be easy for you – as blind-test old hands – to identify a player so far off the norm.

 
Sure.  I didn't do a complete ABX though.  I listened to the files and concluded I probably wouldn't successfully ABX the files.  I then tried to ABX for a few minutes and gave up.  I would like to conduct an ABX of the Hifiman recording of the original FLAC just to see if I can ABX the treble rolloff.  I'll do that once dfkt releases the identifies the file.  But I don't count on passing since I'm not 18 anymore...
 
But that's what I expected.  I never claimed the Hifiman sounds bad.  I've just said that the Hifiman doesn't measure to the standards the industry has come to expect from gear and it doesn't measure up to it's advertised standards of 16 bit or 24 bit reproduction.  None of the measurements are substantially better than the Clip+, which what I would expect from an $800 device.  In loaded stereo crosstalk it measures very much worse than many PMPs.
 
Beyond all that, it's us DBT people who make statements like "Devices with a flat FR, not driven to distortion, blah blah, sound the same."  dfkt was able to ABX the Hifiman because of the the treble rolloff and even he said not to expect much difference beyond that.  In real world situations (e.g. sitting, relaxing, and listening) even that may not be audible.
 
May 12, 2010 at 6:32 PM Post #323 of 795

Head Injury

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Quote:
This thread has become the hot-spot for what we call the leeches of society. One person makes an argument and then everyone else continues to make the same argument by rephrasing it over and over and over again. Dumb. DFKT has already made the argument on the first page better than anyone else in these 23 pages have, yet people who are completely unexposed to this topic continue to rehash the argument to death as if they were the ones in possession of a hifiman and assert: oh yeah....  see! at least an ipod with a muddled line/headphone out fares better than this piece of junk!


Funny you should say this, because your argument here:
 
Quote:
It is already extremely obvious that these digital tests are not going to be an accurate test for these players - why dont we rip some music from a stax amp so that we dont have to buy one and then we can evaluate it's SQ for ourselves - obviously we would be able to judge any piece of equipment just by translating it onto a digital file - yeah right. And as many other users have agreed upon - these audio files are what they are... digital recordings that lack in capturing the full sound reproduction.

 
has already been made here. And it has already been refuted here.
 
Lacking as they are, you'd think they'd be able to at least differentiate between a $50 and $800 player.
 
Quote:
People who own a hifiman are clearly happy with what they have either by placebo or actual improvement of SQ - the source obviously matters in music.. in fact headfi revolves around these components. If people find enjoyment in their upgraded sources - so be it. It's as if a superior product has just exposed a weakness and all the owners of inferior products jump on the attack which is feeding a frenzy of inexperienced people getting trigger happy and is now blown out of proportion.

 
People who own a Hifiman and now because of graphs do not like it are clearly unhappy with what they have either by peer pressure or disillusionment. Regardless, they aren't happy. The people who don't own one are obviously happy because now they don't feel the need to spend $800 on something without trying it first. Win win. If someone doesn't want to believe the graph, they don't have to. Is it wrong that a product is being criticized, and certainly for some good reason?
 
Quote:
If these graphs and playback tracks were really able to recapture the full story: then many of the respected viewers of this forum would be considered a fraud and under a placebo effect.

 
What's wrong with that? No one's immune to placebo. Just because they're golden-eared gods (by self-proclamation or seniority and respect) doesn't mean they can't hear something that isn't there. It's a flaw in our brains, not in our character. No one is any more inferior for succumbing to illusion.
 
Quote:
The hifiman is built of components very similar to those we use in home DACs - are we to say that an Ipod or measly 40 dollar clip+ sounds better than a home end DAC because of a few graphs? My opinion on this - HELL NO - a 300-400$ home dac that uses inferior parts to the hifiman would beat the living crap out of an Ipod anyday in sound reproduction, weight, clarity, warmth, separation, whatever.

 
My opinion on this - and I mostly agree with you - is that a statement like this is meaningless without at least a little data to support it. There may not necessarily be a correlation between cost and quality.
 
Quote:
An argument only works if the premises are true - there is obviously something lacking here and though when people try to bring that up... the ignorant continue to pour on the same arguments over and over again based on faulty premises

 
What is lacking here? I'll listen, I promise. I have neither heard nor seen an HM-801 or anything by Hifiman, so I'm open to enlightenment. At the moment everything I believe about this discussion and the player is what I know already: placebo is very real, audiophiles in particular are very keen on believing more cost == more sound in 95% of all cases, peer pressure and a good review by one of the Head-Fi Gods is extremely influential, and that those graphs are not reassuring.
 
Anyone else see some wacky formating in this post? My font decided it wanted to change up on me partway through, then back again.

It is already extremely obvious that these digital tests are not going to be an accurate test for these players - why dont we rip some music from a stax amp so that we dont have to buy one and then we can evaluate it's SQ for ourselves - obviously we would be able to judge any piece of equipment just by translating it onto a digital file - yeah right. And as many other users have agreed upon - these audio files are what they are... digital recordings that lack in capturing the full sound reproduction.
 
I find it useless how people are going to troll on this thread because they want to justify their own need to not hear the hifiman - believe the argument if you want - don't repeat it. The argument from the digital point is already clear and there's no need to step on people who own a hifiman just because you are not planning to get one. This is a debate and not a "let me tell  you that your DAP is a waste of money" thread.
 
People who own a hifiman are clearly happy with what they have either by placebo or actual improvement of SQ - the source obviously matters in music.. in fact headfi revolves around these components. If people find enjoyment in their upgraded sources - so be it. It's as if a superior product has just exposed a weakness and all the owners of inferior products jump on the attack which is feeding a frenzy of inexperienced people getting trigger happy and is now blown out of proportion.
 
If these graphs and playback tracks were really able to recapture the full story: then many of the respected viewers of this forum would be considered a fraud and under a placebo effect. The hifiman is built of components very similar to those we use in home DACs - are we to say that an Ipod or measly 40 dollar clip+ sounds better than a home end DAC because of a few graphs? My opinion on this - HELL NO - a 300-400$ home dac that uses inferior parts to the hifiman would beat the living crap out of an Ipod anyday in sound reproduction, weight, clarity, warmth, separation, whatever.
 
An argument only works if the premises are true - there is obviously something lacking here and though when people try to bring that up... the ignorant continue to pour on the same arguments over and over again based on faulty premises which means that we'll never see the end to this argument. Lovely, I'll let this thread now continue to fight on because I felt I wanted to at least post something about how hypocritical it is to believe that specs are the only thing that matters - this is like arguing with my friend over the fact that only megapixels of cameras matter... ugh....

It is already extremely obvious that these digital tests are not going to be an accurate test for these players - why dont we rip some music from a stax amp so that we dont have to buy one and then we can evaluate it's SQ for ourselves - obviously we would be able to judge any piece of equipment just by translating it onto a digital file - yeah right. And as many other users have agreed upon - these audio files are what they are... digital recordings that lack in capturing the full sound reproduction.
 
I find it useless how people are going to troll on this thread because they want to justify their own need to not hear the hifiman - believe the argument if you want - don't repeat it. The argument from the digital point is already clear and there's no need to step on people who own a hifiman just because you are not planning to get one. This is a debate and not a "let me tell  you that your DAP is a waste of money" thread.
 
People who own a hifiman are clearly happy with what they have either by placebo or actual improvement of SQ - the source obviously matters in music.. in fact headfi revolves around these components. If people find enjoyment in their upgraded sources - so be it. It's as if a superior product has just exposed a weakness and all the owners of inferior products jump on the attack which is feeding a frenzy of inexperienced people getting trigger happy and is now blown out of proportion.
 
If these graphs and playback tracks were really able to recapture the full story: then many of the respected viewers of this forum would be considered a fraud and under a placebo effect. The hifiman is built of components very similar to those we use in home DACs - are we to say that an Ipod or measly 40 dollar clip+ sounds better than a home end DAC because of a few graphs? My opinion on this - HELL NO - a 300-400$ home dac that uses inferior parts to the hifiman would beat the living crap out of an Ipod anyday in sound reproduction, weight, clarity, warmth, separation, whatever.
 
An argument only works if the premises are true - there is obviously something lacking here and though when people try to bring that up... the ignorant continue to pour on the same arguments over and over again based on faulty premises which means that we'll never see the end to this argument. Lovely, I'll let this thread now continue to fight on because I felt I wanted to at least post something about how hypocritical it is to believe that specs are the only thing that matters - this is like arguing with my friend over the fact that only megapixels of cameras matter... ugh....

 
May 12, 2010 at 7:11 PM Post #324 of 795

cegras

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Quote:
Is that an excuse for you not to prove how bad the player is – with your preferred methodology?
. 


Absolutely not. I don't mind doing it. But if I can't distinguish it, what does it prove?
 
a) I can't hear the flaws in a $800 product; the rolloff is justified and doesn't matter. But that implies some things:
 
b) If we can't distinguish such a difference, how will you ever hear the differences in cables?
b) Is the price difference justified if you cant tell the difference? Which also leads in to a long problem in audiophilia:
b) Does the song itself even have anything that goes into that high frequency? Perhaps DFKT had his song selection wrong
b) Can my headphones go that high without rolling off on their own?
 
c) People get cheated out of their money, because of the long perpetuated myth that higher priced = better
 
And if I do a blind test, will you be willing to submit to a blind test on cables? Or are you a hypocrite?
 
And if I do get it right, what does it prove? That the hifiman is inferior?
 
May 12, 2010 at 7:48 PM Post #328 of 795

WalkGood

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No offense to anyone, but why is it the people who are believing what dfkt has to say have low-fi audio setups?


 
No offense but a statement like that coming from a sound engineer in training who owns dr dre phones, not to mention a hifiman 801 owner. Sounds a bit defensive to me, does it sound as good as your grace M902 *rolleyes*

 
 
May 12, 2010 at 7:53 PM Post #330 of 795
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cegras: I would imagine, in answer to your questions about cables, that they would alter the sound at frequencies where it was more easily distinguished due to the instruments playing at those frequencies in the music.  I can't find the link, but there's a "measure your ears" page where you are required to click on the different tones that are at the same loudness.  It's much harder to determine at high frequencies than low ones.  This illustrates the point about the roll-off.
 


Quote:
This thread has become the hot-spot for what we call the leeches of society. One person makes an argument and then everyone else continues to make the same argument by rephrasing it over and over and over again. Dumb. DFKT has already made the argument on the first page better than anyone else in these 23 pages have, yet people who are completely unexposed to this topic continue to rehash the argument to death as if they were the ones in possession of a hifiman and assert: oh yeah....  see! at least an ipod with a muddled line/headphone out fares better than this piece of junk!
 
It is already extremely obvious that these digital tests are not going to be an accurate test for these players - why dont we rip some music from a stax amp so that we dont have to buy one and then we can evaluate it's SQ for ourselves - obviously we would be able to judge any piece of equipment just by translating it onto a digital file - yeah right. And as many other users have agreed upon - these audio files are what they are... digital recordings that lack in capturing the full sound reproduction.
 
I find it useless how people are going to troll on this thread because they want to justify their own need to not hear the hifiman - believe the argument if you want - don't repeat it. The argument from the digital point is already clear and there's no need to step on people who own a hifiman just because you are not planning to get one. This is a debate and not a "let me tell  you that your DAP is a waste of money" thread.
 
People who own a hifiman are clearly happy with what they have either by placebo or actual improvement of SQ - the source obviously matters in music.. in fact headfi revolves around these components. If people find enjoyment in their upgraded sources - so be it. It's as if a superior product has just exposed a weakness and all the owners of inferior products jump on the attack which is feeding a frenzy of inexperienced people getting trigger happy and is now blown out of proportion.
 
If these graphs and playback tracks were really able to recapture the full story: then many of the respected viewers of this forum would be considered a fraud and under a placebo effect. The hifiman is built of components very similar to those we use in home DACs - are we to say that an Ipod or measly 40 dollar clip+ sounds better than a home end DAC because of a few graphs? My opinion on this - HELL NO - a 300-400$ home dac that uses inferior parts to the hifiman would beat the living crap out of an Ipod anyday in sound reproduction, weight, clarity, warmth, separation, whatever.
 
An argument only works if the premises are true - there is obviously something lacking here and though when people try to bring that up... the ignorant continue to pour on the same arguments over and over again based on faulty premises which means that we'll never see the end to this argument. Lovely, I'll let this thread now continue to fight on because I felt I wanted to at least post something about how hypocritical it is to believe that specs are the only thing that matters - this is like arguing with my friend over the fact that only megapixels of cameras matter... ugh....
 


Exactly.  This thread I'd say encapsulates the absolute worst of the forums I've ever seen in my time here.  We have a thread started with the intent to have a go at people here, using misinformation based on ignorance.  Adding to that is blatant trolling, more misinformation (a NOS PCM1704-based DAC? That's hilariously bad.) and the totally insane suggestion that moving a thread from one forum to another is censorship, despite the forum it was moved to having fewer restrictions on the discussion permitted.  If there's a reason this thread shouldn't be in Sound Science, it's because the contents are so far removed from genuine science (the search for truth) and might better be associated with junk science and conspiracy theories.  Even what useful information dfkt gained from his measurements have been trampled by the awful behaviour by many people here.
 

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