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Hifiman HM-801 RMAA Tests

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by dfkt, May 7, 2010.
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  1. khaos974
    One opinion is that measures don't matter much and that the HM-801, despite its obvious flaws sounds really good, this could be true, the measures taken that is to say THD+N and crosstalk are not spectacular but good enough to make the HM-801 pretty transparent. The drop at high frequencies, considering the human ear is inaudible to most people. In short the measures don't say much about how the HM-801 is supposed to sound.
    That said, the ergonomics are miles behind an ipod or a Cown S9, the autonomy is dreadful and except in quites environments, ie. not in transports even with good iems, I doubt any difference could be heard. To ne it performs badly for DAP compared to an ipod. As a dedicated source, there are other devices which sound just as good and measure much better, with better ergonomics as well.
  2. JxK
    Plus it lacks a crossfeed. [​IMG]
    IMO crossfeed is very nearly mandatory for headphone listening. Especially when you listen to older recordings from the 70s with 100% channel separation. The clip + RB has crossfeed. The clip + headstage arrow reportedly has an even better one. And as you've said, both have a much smaller footprint.
  3. Shike
    It drops a full decibel at 9khz - and that's without the output impedance causing an issue.  Using a pre-equalized sample to mimic it I was able to DBT it.
  4. khaos974
    My bad, I didn't recheck the RMAA measures before posting and it's been quite a long time since the first measures was posted, I thought the -1db drop occurred much later like at 15 kHz. At 9 kHz, it's fully detectable by most people, including non audiophiles. But, it's actually less important than moving a few degrees off-axis of a speaker or getting 1 meter further away, still that's no excuse to engineer such a drop.

  5. Hero Kid
    My god this broke 50 pages. I gave up on following it around 20.... What more is there to talk about?
    I found it repetitive after 20 :wink:
  6. fark


    You forgot, Harley has a patent for their sound!  [​IMG]  (exhaust etc..)
  7. fark
    Sorry, that was a joke. 
    But I´m sure you´ll get that since everyone (exept a few then) knows that (most) Japanese bikes are superior in most ways.
    However, the markets couldn´t been moore widely spread apart cause a H.D. is moore aboud sound, feeling, "riding iron" and it of course!  It has the it factor that is so hard to put your finger on, just like Angelina Jolie isn´t the most beautiful woman out there, not by a longshot!  But she does have some sort of attraction magnet build inside of her, she glows, she got the it factor.
    Now, under my very short time as a audio interested guy I have come to understand one thing about audiofiles, they often have their own ideals they worship and love to shovel it down the throats of other audiofiles.  They also love to trump one another on forums around the world with their cable a la $2000 etc.. and brag about how good that piece of cable is and how much of a difference it really made on their mega buck stereo.  And they can´t take a: No you´r wrong man!  Uooppss, almost forgot: They also wanna have a large group of followers, lets call them wanna be´s.  Those wanna be´s are going fo follow his master to the end of time, claiming he´s god and can never ever be wrong.
    That is the audiofile my friends [​IMG]  No just kidding, don´t beat me up for it now!  (I blame it on the beer, I´ll think I start to feel the effect by now)  Come on now, honest, it really was a joke.
    Anyway, I have had my HM-801 for a few days now and have start to build my self an oppinion about it. 
    I could have choosen not to go through with the purchase if I wanted, after seing this thread that is. But I´m thinking lile someone posted earlier here, it´s the first of it´s kind and it can be fun to have owned one later, pherhaps it even become valuable later? [​IMG]
    I think it´s not very practical, it´s heavy and have no finess what so ever.
    The menu/firmware is not what it is suppose to be, not even close + where is the Rockbox support?
    It chews batteries like crazy and become so hot it makes me nervous actually.
    I can´t reach Fang or someone else whenever I want, not exactly like Sandisk is it? ? Regarding that GAME card etc.., to me it feels like they targeting mostly the JA/IEM market when speaking of new amp cards? I´m not 100% sure but if that is the case? But it would be very unfair for us that doesn´t use IEM, earbuds etc..
    To be honest my Clip+´s completely destroys my new 801 in almost every way, except for one that is!
    I have now walked around for days testing the 801 + 2 different Clip+´s with my non super high end headphones, the 770 pro/80 + HD550 + some IEM´s my buddy had??  I went into this with the ide that 801 is no better than nothing else at all. 
    First thing I noticed was that 801 (to me anyway) is a lot moore sensetive what earphones I use. To me the HD550 was the phones that sounded best with 801, but lack some bass + are open (yes I do like bass, at least to some degree.)
    I´m sorry guys, but I can not lie to my self like a fool anymoore.  I have tried my best to not like the 801 for all it´s negative stuff, so that I could convince my self to go buy something a new smaller DAP again and get rid of that powerhungry, warm, heawy, box I´ll have to carry around right now. (did I mention it´s out of battries whithin hours at high volyme?)
    I can´t help it, there could be no doubt 801 (in my ears) delivers a better SQ than Clip+, it was so notable that my friend who also blind tested SQ for me said there was not one single fault, it was obvious.  I dont know if I did something wrong when comparing, also I tried with my friend Fiio + my Icon Mobile connected to Clip+ and still there was not hard to tell.
    So my jorney towards finding something as lovely small etc.. as the Clip+ with the SQ of 801 or better has just begun.  Though I will try again when I have bought some good high end headphones. 
  8. Shike
    SQ might as well stand for "subjective quality" on this forum - few seem to care about accurately reproducing a signal anymore.
    Your tests says nothing of actual accuracy, just what you like.
  9. Head Injury
    fark, you say your friend did a blind test. How did you go about testing and what were the results? Meaning, what source material was used, what headphones, how did you blind him, how did you switch, how many times did you test, etc.
  10. electropop


    Accuracy can be many things. More inner detail (yes, the hm-801 let me hear a drummer's stool squeak in Herbie Hancock's song 'Chameleon', not that it matters) with Shure 840s. Pitch-accuracy (No significant difference with the Shure's, except that the system seems to drive them better which I hear as more accurate bass notes and more air around instruments. No distinct audible differences with my K272HD's when comparing the Hifiman against my 160gb Classic, regarding accuracy in anyway.)
    Flat FR? Nope. I can agree that it's flawed/colored this way, but it is accurate in many other ways.
    Nevertheless, it gets almost zero use now that I'm using my AKG's as portables. But as Fark mentioned, it's up to the headphones if the machine really is beneficial in any terms. At least that's what I've concluded as well.
  11. Shike
    I'd love to see measurements for "more inner detail" and "pitch accuracy" - because at this point is sounds like mere audiofoolery that you've convinced yourself with.
    dfkt likes this.
  12. electropop
    Heh, not really.
    I'm convinced I'm hearing correct notes with better distinction instead of one or two notes that are hard to distinguish from each other. I don't know if "pitch accuracy" is the right term, but it's clearly audible. Only with the 840 though. As I said, no difference with the 272s. The iPod 160gb + K272s are superb in this regard though. It's easier to tab songs / write sheet music of what you're hearing, with these headphones. What do you call that besides pitch accuracy? Pitch = sävelkorkeus (in finnish). Sävel = note, tone, key, melody, tune. Korkeus = height.
    I might've mistranslated, but correct me if I'm wrong..
    Of course, this has nothing to do with the 801 anymore, except that I still think that it's crucial to match phones with it. I'm actually planning on selling it now that I have settled for the 272s.
    "More inner detail" might sound like audiofoolery as well, but I do hear that specific detail with the 801, but not so much with the 160gb classic. I'll refrain from using audiofoolery, since I don't know what the terms really stand for, except just for that.
    But c'mon, I'll send you the player for loan and you can make your own conclusion. We split the postage. Deal? :)
  13. Head Injury

    It would be cheaper for both involved if you blind tested this pitch accuracy and inner detail instead. Also much more conclusive and objective.
  14. Shike
    I'm cutting it off there.  Without measurements your claims are extraneous and have no real findings.  They don't belong here.
    If there was a good way to measure it exclusive of the 801's FR than that would work, but before that even I'd love to see how we'd test for this.  Pitch would be related to frequency reproduction I'm guessing . . . inner detail . . . transient response maybe?  But if that were the case the measurements already shows the transient response of it and many other DACs are already beyond differentiation via audibility.
  15. fark
    First off I would like to say I have not done what some of you pherhaps might require (???) for it to be called a "test", I meen I didn´t use some $50000 studio gear or whatever.  Only plugged in different headphone and listened at the device the way I intent to bare it outside.
    Same thing with Clip+ and a few other sources + also used some different  amps,  sources and headphones in some of the "tests" or whatever I shall call it?  The only maeasuring device was my hearing, that´s all.  The blind test was my friend letting me wear headphones (whitch I know the brand of of course) and played back with a source + sometimes an amp with that I didn´t know what it was
    I´m so sorry I can´t express myself better guys, my English is rubbish and it actually make me feel like an idiot very often. It feels like someone just stripped me out of my vocabulary and I´m left with the leftovers. Very sad and just like being handicapped in my mounth/fingers. Then again pherhaps I´m not that smart to begin with since my latest IQ test was only: 126 I belive it was. So I might have done it all wrong actually??? [​IMG] [​IMG] But there is one thing I cannot do wheter I´m smart, dum or in between, that is to lie to my self. You see I´m strongly despise lies!  With that being said, I found the 801 to sound (for portable of course) very good in my ears, better that any other of the DAP´s being tried out by me, for me. Though it seemt to be very sensetive to different headphones?
    So with all do respect, the graph (to me anyway)  is pherhaps not everything??? At least that to me is my humble opinion, when testing on my own ears. Whweter you think I´m wrong or right please accept how it sounded to me with my non golden ears anyway, that is all I can do.
    But I´ll gladely take some advice if you have any to give me, I´m all open to new ideas that makes me a better listener.
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