Hifiman HM-801 RMAA Tests
May 18, 2010 at 10:40 AM Post #481 of 795

cegras

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Quote:
I digress to the scientists.
I'd rather not live my life in only an X and Y axis. Enjoy.
 


Anticlimatic cop out!
 
I'm assuming you meant something along the lines of yield or defer, instead of digress ; ).
 
Your writeup was interesting to read, sure, but how will it convince me to buy one? If I'm reading up your writeup, there's almost no factual information that I can base my information on other than how great it is, to you.
 
May 18, 2010 at 1:43 PM Post #482 of 795

shigzeo

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Quote:
Alright then why do we never see those graphs? Rise time is presumably closely related to transient response so those would be way more interesting to see than how linear the frequency response is.
THD, cross talk, and FR I just fail to see why these should be able to justify why A is better than B and so on.
 
I have the HM-801 and I am willing to do the tests if there a valid setup can be obtained without the need for huge investments.
 
I have a Cowon D2 which measures better in the RMAA tests, but it does not sound nearly as detailed as the HM-801. Also bass extension is audibly worse than the HM-801 with both in-ears and midrange headphones. The treble is less dominant on the HM-801, but only marginal. Both with GAME card and the standard module.
 
 
 
 
 


How dare you dethrone the mighty D2! Haha. Well, the D2 isn't known for great bass performance anyway, so the HiFiman, I am sure, does the low notes better. How is hiss on the HiFiman using your sensitive customs? I hear it pretty well from the D2 and from my Fuze, a lot from my Sony's and from the AMP3. I'd like to hear about that. I used a lot of MD units from the end of the 1990's so size isn't an issue really. I'll have to admit that all this still piques my interest. 
 
May 18, 2010 at 2:24 PM Post #483 of 795

JaZZ

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If something sounds better to you, there might be all sorts of reasons. Different levels for example. As I said earlier, Hifiman has a powerful amplifier which is uncommon to portable gear. I bet I could easily use my DT880s with Hifiman. These phones are useless with a Clip and the majority of portables. But when we compare the Clip and Hifiman as a line source, the Clip has measurable advantage. The difference is hearable, as proven in this thread. But preference is still totally subjective. Subdued high frequency content can easily contribute to a less fatiguing listening experience, if that is your preference. More high frequency content could subjectively be perceived as "harshness" and so on. But thats all individual. Measurements show that the Clip is more transparent as a line source. Whether it sounds better than something else - subjective preference, different phones, different levels - all of these contribute a lot more than differences in measurements.

 
I think level matching is overrated. Between the internal DAC of my Symphony and the external UDP-1 via line in there's a (~1.3 dB) difference in favor of the latter. So when switching between the two I have to match the level. But if I chose one step (on the stepped attenuator) it's slightly undercompensated, if I chose two steps it's slightly overcompensated. However, in both cases the sonic difference and preference stays the same. You may have noticed that in cases as the one at hand the perceivedly «better» device has the upper hand all the time – so you would have to conclude it has been set louder than the competition in any case – which is a bit unrealistic and would require a bit too much naivety from the user.
 
 
...But when we compare the Clip and Hifiman as a line source, the Clip has measurable advantage. The difference is hearable, as proven in this thread. But preference is still totally subjective. Subdued high frequency content can easily contribute to a less fatiguing listening experience, if that is your preference. More high frequency content could subjectively be perceived as "harshness" and so on. But thats all individual. But when we compare the Clip and Hifiman as a line source, the Clip has measurable advantage. The difference is hearable, as proven in this thread.
 
Just a reminder: I could identify the four samples. And I noticed the HM-801's treble roll-off (which the other samples didn't show). I prefer a linear treble response; nevertheless I found the HM-801 to be closest to the original Flac – not the Clip+.
 
 
...But preference is still totally subjective. Subdued high frequency content can easily contribute to a less fatiguing listening experience, if that is your preference. More high frequency content could subjectively be perceived as "harshness" and so on. But thats all individual. Measurements show that the Clip is more transparent as a line source. Whether it sounds better than something else - subjective preference, different phones, different levels - all of these contribute a lot more than differences in measurements.
 
I agree on the latter. But you mix up transparency with a linear frequency response. In fact it was its transparency which made me prefer the HM-801 sample to the other two players in the test.
 
After ~50 hours of burn-in I like the sound of my Clip+ (even) better than that of my iAudio 7. It has lost its initial hardness, and although it's still harder than the iAudio 7, it's rather the latter's fault, because it's too smooth and sleek in comparison and in terms of my sonic preference – which makes it sound less engaging and musical. On the other hand it sounds more refined, but that's just a superficial effect in my book. The Clip+ plays more to the point, as I hear it. Now these characteristics aren't reflected in the measurements. Granted, the iAudio 7 has a very slight treble roll-off and a more severe bass drop-off at low impedances such as the 27 Ω [size=x-small]of [/size]my reference earphone, the ER-4P (whereas the Clip+ is more extended to both directions). Luckily its semi-parametric equalizer allows for a wide variety of compensations which should perfectly account for both issues. But the characteristic smoothness and pronounced refinement never disappears. It doesn't sound bad at all, quite the opposite, but I perceive it as mannerism, as opposed to unvarnished realism which the Clip+ rather tends to.
 
This just to point out again: measuring data don't tell the whole story, in many cases they tell very little.
.
 
May 18, 2010 at 6:26 PM Post #484 of 795

immtbiker

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Quote:
ok i have to ask immitbiker,what is the purpose of hifiman?isnt it designed to be the best portable solution with unmatched sound quality?
 

Even though I am not a scientist, just a person who has been in the audio business since 1977, and this question was posed directly to me, I will "un-digress' and attempt to answer. 
I have many needs when it comes to the world of portability, and the HiFiMAN fits one of my needs nicely, and that is the one reason that I use it.
I live in a Garden Apartment Co-op, 15 miles away from a huge city, with a 1000 acre park directly across from my house.
When I sit in my chair, outside my front door, and I want to have a higher-end listening session without the use of electricity, the HM-801 and some well recorded 24/96 files, fulfill my needs quite nicely. 
If I want to walk across the street and watch an amateur softball or soccer game, with the use of mu UE-10's or JH-13's, I can sit on a bench or a chair, close out the audible world, while being visually stimulated, and hear music that to me, sounds better than any other portable setup I've ever heard or have ever owned (including iMod>portable amp of choice, or even and H-120 feed out optically to a HR MicroDac>portable amp of choice). The HiFiMan can fit in my jacket pocket or easily be carried in one hand.
 
When I take my 2-3 business plane trips/week, and stay in hotels, then my 5G Nano w/ alac files velcro'd to a Shadow, meets a different need, perfectly. 
I am a man of may needs, and I search the far ends of the earth to fulfill them (it's called a hobby) and all of this is done with any products without the name "Fluke" on it.
I came into this thread (B4 it was moved to the Science Forum BTW) and read that a Clip measures better than a 801, and posted my intent, which was to buy a Clip+,
listen to both with the same file on it, and post my results. I said what I was going to do, and stuck by what I said, and if I remember correctly, there were a couple of replies
stating that they would be interested in hearing what I found. No one said that I would have to go to MIT and ask to borrow any measuring equipment. I went with what I've trusted
for 50 years, and those are my ears.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cegras /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Anticlimatic cop out!
 
I'm assuming you meant something along the lines of yield or defer, instead of digress ; ).
 
Your writeup was interesting to read, sure, but how will it convince me to buy one? If I'm reading up your writeup, there's almost no factual information that I can base my information on other than how great it is, to you.

I think that if you are depending on me for your climaxes, you're looking in the wrong direction.
My information was indeed factual, on the basis of what I heard. I am not trying to force my opinion on anyone else, just merely state what I hear, and how I feel about it.
If you do want to base your information gathering on things other than "how great it is to me", then, by all means, seek other avenues. 
I posted what I promised that I would post, and that was a side by side comparison of the 2 units.
 
A gynecologist sees women's "private parts" all day. When he goes homes to his wife, that part of her body isn't as exciting to him as a guy who chases after beautiful
women, merely to find one who will please him without using stirrups and a specula to perform a pelvic exam.
 
In the end, you can use all of the measurement devices that you want, but in the end, it all comes down to what you hear and what you like! All the time that you are measuring
(unless it is for a living), is time wasted that could be used for listening.
 
Now I digress, yield and defer!
 
 
May 18, 2010 at 7:06 PM Post #485 of 795

Sonic 748i

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Quote:
Even though I am not a scientist, just a person who has been in the audio business since 1977, and this question was posed directly to me, I will "un-digress' and attempt to answer. 
I have many needs when it comes to the world of portability, and the HiFiMAN fits one of my needs nicely, and that is the one reason that I use it.
I live in a Garden Apartment Co-op, 15 miles away from a huge city, with a 1000 acre park directly across from my house.
When I sit in my chair, outside my front door, and I want to have a higher-end listening session without the use of electricity, the HM-801 and some well recorded 24/96 files, fulfill my needs quite nicely. 
If I want to walk across the street and watch an amateur softball or soccer game, with the use of mu UE-10's or JH-13's, I can sit on a bench or a chair, close out the audible world, while being visually stimulated, and hear music that to me, sounds better than any other portable setup I've ever heard or have ever owned (including iMod>portable amp of choice, or even and H-120 feed out optically to a HR MicroDac>portable amp of choice). The HiFiMan can fit in my jacket pocket or easily be carried in one hand.
 
When I take my 2-3 business plane trips/week, and stay in hotels, then my 5G Nano w/ alac files velcro'd to a Shadow, meets a different need, perfectly. 
I am a man of may needs, and I search the far ends of the earth to fulfill them (it's called a hobby) and all of this is done with any products without the name "Fluke" on it.
I came into this thread (B4 it was moved to the Science Forum BTW) and read that a Clip measures better than a 801, and posted my intent, which was to buy a Clip+,
listen to both with the same file on it, and post my results. I said what I was going to do, and stuck by what I said, and if I remember correctly, there were a couple of replies
stating that they would be interested in hearing what I found. No one said that I would have to go to MIT and ask to borrow any measuring equipment. I went with what I've trusted
for 50 years, and those are my ears.
 
I think that if you are depending on me for your climaxes, you're looking in the wrong direction.
My information was indeed factual, on the basis of what I heard. I am not trying to force my opinion on anyone else, just merely state what I hear, and how I feel about it.
If you do want to base your information gathering on things other than "how great it is to me", then, by all means, seek other avenues. 
I posted what I promised that I would post, and that was a side by side comparison of the 2 units.
 
A gynecologist sees woman's "private parts" all day. When he goes homes to his wife, that part of her body isn't as exciting to him as a guy who chases after beautiful
women, merely to find one who will please him without using stirrups and a specula to perform a pelvic exam.
 
In the end, you can use all of the measurement devices that you want, but in the end, it all comes down to what you hear and what you like! All the time that you are measuring
(unless it is for a living), is time wasted that could be used for listening.
 
Now I digress, yield and defer!
 


Nicely said...
smile.gif

 
 
May 18, 2010 at 7:07 PM Post #486 of 795

udauda

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From here
 
Even if you've had a long experience with audio, it doesn't give you much of credibility as a reliable & critical listener. Without a proper DBT, it is well to consider most of 'claims' by unreliable listeners are pretty much meaningless.
 
Also, you guys think preference solely lies in the domain of subjectivity, however it ain't so.
 
May 18, 2010 at 8:02 PM Post #487 of 795

CSIR

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It blows my mind that people would complain when someone takes time to write a thoughtful comparative review on products such as immtbiker did.  I realize this is in the "science" section but maybe you take this whole thing a little too seriously.  Actually, most of the people on here need to relax on both sides. 
 
May 18, 2010 at 8:11 PM Post #488 of 795

JaZZ

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...Also, you guys think preference solely lies in the domain of subjectivity, however it ain't so.


As your link shows, most listeners prefer a relatively neutral sound, the more so when it comes to the reproduction of acoustic instruments. I don't see a contradiction to the above subjective comments and ratings, so I don't know what your concern is.
.
 
May 18, 2010 at 8:32 PM Post #489 of 795

nick_charles

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Quote:
It blows my mind that people would complain when someone takes time to write a thoughtful comparative review on products such as immtbiker did.  


How are we to judge how accurate the comparison is ? Does the poster have godlike powers ? This is not a dig at immtbiker I don't particularly trust my own reviews either ...however if I or 20 other people can or cannot tell a difference in a DBT over 20 trials that is a much more useful data point
 
 
May 18, 2010 at 8:58 PM Post #490 of 795

CSIR

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I completely agree with you as reviewing involves memories and memories involve brain function and brain function involves cascading cellular events and those events create neural circuitry that changes with time.  Similar to why it is more useful to have a rapists semen found in a victim then the victim pick them out of the lineup.  Simply put are brains aren't that reliable for memories.  
 
Having said all this I still am thankful for individuals perceptions of various equipment and think that if they put time in to describe what they remember (or at least think they remember) we should be appreciative. 
 
I actually read some of udauda blog and think it is fantastic.
 
 
Another thought that just came to my head though was if you were comparing 2 hockey players and hockey player 1 is faster, has a harder shot, etc that doesn't make him a better hockey player or mean he'll work better on your team (synergy).  My example would be that I think Steve Stamkos should have been put on Team Canada's Olympic team instead of Patrice Bergeron.  But there was about 8 "experts" picking the team.  Sure I think it is great to take a look at each players stats at the end of the year and go Stamkos had way better stats and has way better attributes he should have been chosen but this doesn't mean I wouldn't want to hear Steve Yzerman explain why he chose Bergeron.
 
Make sense? 
 
May 18, 2010 at 9:17 PM Post #492 of 795

CSIR

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Nice post udauda.  Wish they had a bigger spread of speakers in terms of cost or some 2ways in there.  Very pertinent to this thread about the preference for speakers that have a flat frequency response.  Now if someone did this for the Sansa Clip Plus, S:flo2 and Hifiman 801 then we would all know what to buy. 
 
May 19, 2010 at 12:00 AM Post #494 of 795

High_Q

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No way.  Sony all the way.  Size and sound quality, it can't be beat.  Sufficient for IEMs.  Estimating 1/6 of the size of HiFiMan battery?
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