High End audiophile products - not many differences to cheap solutions ?
Apr 28, 2015 at 2:54 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 34

paulguru

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HELP please

I bought this HD600 and Creative ZXR together.
But i hear only a small difference to sound compared to my cheap Kingston HyperX Cloud II ( gaming series product ).
 
Anche the open air is good only to prevent tiring and headache, but the soundstage open is not so different to the close Kingston.
 
Better sound OK but absoluttly NO WOW EFFECT. Better but only slightly and only with some effects like "guitar" and less kneaded when there are many effects together.
confused_face_2.gif
 
 
 
I used MP3 320Kbs and some FLAC tracks.
Gaming instead is only slightly better during explosions effects.
 
Apr 28, 2015 at 3:35 AM Post #3 of 34

GREQ

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How long have you had the HD600?
It's usually much harder to discern the differences in audio quality than things that influence your other senses, and it takes time to learn what those differences are since people don't actively 'listen' as much as they actively look with their eyes, or taste with their tongue, since for most people audio/hearing is a very passive or emotional (music) experience.
 
Give it a few more days or a couple of weeks, do some more active comparisons and you may find a world of difference.
In my experience, Sennheisers are the one headphone brand that almost never 'wows' me, but after a week or two, I simply can't fault them but instead find the faults in other headphones I own that I didn't hear before.
 
Apr 28, 2015 at 4:28 AM Post #5 of 34

paulguru

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  How long have you had the HD600?
It's usually much harder to discern the differences in audio quality than things that influence your other senses, and it takes time to learn what those differences are since people don't actively 'listen' as much as they actively look with their eyes, or taste with their tongue, since for most people audio/hearing is a very passive or emotional (music) experience.
 
Give it a few more days or a couple of weeks, do some more active comparisons and you may find a world of difference.
In my experience, Sennheisers are the one headphone brand that almost never 'wows' me, but after a week or two, I simply can't fault them but instead find the faults in other headphones I own that I didn't hear before.

1 day
 
ok am not looking for an emotional audio but a almost a noticeable difference during track reproduction.
 
speaking so, seems to be only a micro-feeling, a sensation.
 
Apr 28, 2015 at 4:54 AM Post #6 of 34

mikey1964

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I had a Creative ZX + HX Cloud combo a while back, it was great for gaming but only decent for audio/music. I'd sometimes use the HX Cloud on my other rig which has an Asus Phoebus Solo, both the ZX and Phoebus Solo are capable of driving 600 Ohm cans.Then I'd scored a HD800 (yep, massive jump from HX Cloud/Senn HD555 which I'd gotten years back) which I'd hooked up to my Phoebus Solo and thought it sound a tad thin and bright. Bought a Lyr + iFi Nano iDSD and it sounded so much better. Now, I ain't an audiophile, don't claim to be one, yet the difference was quite noticeable......perhaps the HD800 is less forgiving than the HD600, I can't say for sure one way or another.
 
Edit - I'm familiar with another forum where the audio guys there simply dismiss the idea of buying higher end DACs or amps because these would allow you go loud, but other than loudness, you can't hear a difference. To a certain degree, I agree somewhat because I myself don't understand the hoopla over high end DACs like Schiit Yggy or Chord Hugo. Yes, I buy better cans but you'd notice that I'm not into those exotic DACs and amps. My DAC combo and stacks were bought so that I can listen to some DSD files (have acquired about 4TB of DSD files), they're cheaper solutions/gears that would allow me to enjoy DSD music. 
 
Apr 28, 2015 at 5:42 AM Post #7 of 34

paulguru

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  I had a Creative ZX + HX Cloud combo a while back, it was great for gaming but only decent for audio/music. I'd sometimes use the HX Cloud on my other rig which has an Asus Phoebus Solo, both the ZX and Phoebus Solo are capable of driving 600 Ohm cans.Then I'd scored a HD800 (yep, massive jump from HX Cloud/Senn HD555 which I'd gotten years back) which I'd hooked up to my Phoebus Solo and thought it sound a tad thin and bright. Bought a Lyr + iFi Nano iDSD and it sounded so much better. Now, I ain't an audiophile, don't claim to be one, yet the difference was quite noticeable......perhaps the HD800 is less forgiving than the HD600, I can't say for sure one way or another.
 
Edit - I'm familiar with another forum where the audio guys there simply dismiss the idea of buying higher end DACs or amps because these would allow you go loud, but other than loudness, you can't hear a difference. To a certain degree, I agree somewhat because I myself don't understand the hoopla over high end DACs like Schiit Yggy or Chord Hugo. Yes, I buy better cans but you'd notice that I'm not into those exotic DACs and amps. My DAC combo and stacks were bought so that I can listen to some DSD files (have acquired about 4TB of DSD files), they're cheaper solutions/gears that would allow me to enjoy DSD music. 

I bought sound card without problems because before i used the integrated solutions, so i thinked to hear a good difference however, but also to use the SBX Pro Studio ( surround for gaming ) and also to have less power cord around.
 
External DAC is better i know but is possible that with an over 500€ solution i cant hear a big difference ? U think my hearing is not so good ?  
 
Apr 28, 2015 at 10:45 AM Post #8 of 34

Beyakusenn

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  I bought this HD600 and Creative ZXR together.
But i hear only a small difference to sound compared to my cheap Kingston HyperX Cloud II ( gaming series product ).
 
Anche the open air is good only to prevent tiring and headache, but the soundstage open is not so different to the close Kingston.
 
Better sound OK but absoluttly NO WOW EFFECT. Better but only slightly and only with some effects like "guitar" and less kneaded when there are many effects together.
confused_face_2.gif
 

There is certainly a significant difference between the two headphones you have. I think that the problem is that you are not really that much into audio (yet).
 
My road to hi-fi headphones was much longer and I slowly started to actively listen to the music. It was years before I really noticed the smaller differences. These smaller differences become more and more apparent over time, but for now you probably won't experience a difference that is large enough to make you 'Wow'.
 
A way to get this WOW feeling would be to try a different sound signature like the one of the HiFiMan HE-400. It's less 'realistic', but it might just be a sound signature that suits you better.
 
 
External DAC is better i know but is possible that with an over 500€ solution i cant hear a big difference ? U think my hearing is not so good ?  

Your sound card should be sufficient for a HD600. Your hearing isn't necessarily bad, you just haven't developed it as much as most Headfiers have. If you doubt your hearing, just take a test like this one: http://myhearingtest.net/
 
Apr 28, 2015 at 12:19 PM Post #9 of 34

cel4145

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My road to hi-fi headphones was much longer and I slowly started to actively listen to the music. It was years before I really noticed the smaller differences. These smaller differences become more and more apparent over time, but for now you probably won't experience a difference that is large enough to make you 'Wow'.

A way to get this WOW feeling would be to try a different sound signature like the one of the HiFiMan HE-400. It's less 'realistic', but it might just be a sound signature that suits you better.


+1

More expensive headphones are like more expensive flavors of ice cream. Some will WOW you in comparison to your favorite cheap flavor. Some won't. Then again, if you are someone who only likes ice cream instead of loving it, more expensive ice cream may never WOW you.

While the HD600 is a very good headphone, I find it's sonic flavor to be demure, not exciting. That's my personal tastes. But I love the HE-400s; others don't like the HE-400s in comparison to other same price range headphones. Finding that flavor that you like coupled with a more expensive headphone is what you will need to get the WOW effect.
 
Apr 29, 2015 at 8:17 AM Post #10 of 34

paulguru

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  There is certainly a significant difference between the two headphones you have. I think that the problem is that you are not really that much into audio (yet).
 
My road to hi-fi headphones was much longer and I slowly started to actively listen to the music. It was years before I really noticed the smaller differences. These smaller differences become more and more apparent over time, but for now you probably won't experience a difference that is large enough to make you 'Wow'.
 
A way to get this WOW feeling would be to try a different sound signature like the one of the HiFiMan HE-400. It's less 'realistic', but it might just be a sound signature that suits you better.
 

can i ask you why ? :)
 
Apr 29, 2015 at 8:37 AM Post #11 of 34

CanadianMaestro

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HELP please

I bought this HD600 and Creative ZXR together.
But i hear only a small difference to sound compared to my cheap Kingston HyperX Cloud II ( gaming series product ).
 
Anche the open air is good only to prevent tiring and headache, but the soundstage open is not so different to the close Kingston.
 
Better sound OK but absoluttly NO WOW EFFECT. Better but only slightly and only with some effects like "guitar" and less kneaded when there are many effects together.
confused_face_2.gif
 
 
 
I used MP3 320Kbs and some FLAC tracks.
Gaming instead is only slightly better during explosions effects.

 
If you don't hear as big a diff as you had hoped for, then consider returning the HPs. Nothing wrong with that. It is what it is. That happens sometimes -- cost is no reliable predictor of audio satisfaction. Get something that will work well with your amp/sources as they exist right now. Synergy is the key here.
 
cheers,
 
Apr 29, 2015 at 8:51 AM Post #12 of 34

Beyakusenn

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  can i ask you why ? :)

Of course.
 
Just like with pictures, a realistic presentation is not always the most appealing to everyone. Many people prefer pictures with higher contrast than what looks natural and many people prefer headphones with more bass than the original piece of music has. Many people like to hear things exaggerated, but it differs from person to person what you like most.
 
Everyone has different ears so to find out what you like, you have to listen to different headphones yourself. Once you know your preferences, reviews become more useful, because if you like more bass in your headphones, you'd rather get Denon headphones (for example). If you prefer elevated bass and treble, the HiFiMan HE-400 would be a better choice. The HD600 is fairly 'neutral' sounding. This means that the balance of the bass, treble and midrange approaches reality closer than other headphones.
 
What I did to find my preferences was buying second hand headphones and selling them if I didn't like them. To give a fair chance to the headphones I'd listen to them for at least a few weeks. It often happens that you have to get used to the new sound before you can fully appreciate it.
 
Apr 29, 2015 at 12:29 PM Post #13 of 34

ProtegeManiac

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HELP please

I bought this HD600 and Creative ZXR together.
But i hear only a small difference to sound compared to my cheap Kingston HyperX Cloud II ( gaming series product ).
 
Anche the open air is good only to prevent tiring and headache, but the soundstage open is not so different to the close Kingston.
 
Better sound OK but absoluttly NO WOW EFFECT. Better but only slightly and only with some effects like "guitar" and less kneaded when there are many effects together.
confused_face_2.gif
 
 
 
I used MP3 320Kbs and some FLAC tracks.
Gaming instead is only slightly better during explosions effects.

 
1. You won't hear much difference with games since you're distracted by other stimuli. I have the HD600 but I'm not going to wear out the earpads sweating on them on a day-long weekend session playing Total War with my brother - I have the Superlux HD330 for that (the Sennheiser earpads cost more than these headphones).
 
2. The HD600's 300ohms may be a more difficult load to the ZXR. Just because something says "up to xxxohms headphone" doesn't tell you how much RMS power it has, how much headroom it still has, how much distortion, etc. If anything higher impedance at least isn't as big a problem for the output impedance of the amplifier output; as well it's not as big a problem when a 300ohm headphone swings to 600ohms on some frequencies compared to having a nominal 32ohm load that swings to 16ohms, but without a beefier power supply design you might start noticing there's something lacking (this does NOT mean you always need huge, huge, huge amplifiers).
 
3. Soundstage size isn't going to be much larger, even with angled drivers/earpads on some headphones. What better headphones do as far as the ergonomics' effect on the sound is concerned is keep the imaging location for stereo recordings in more believable positions relative to the vocals (I think this is what you meant by "less kneaded," although I could think up a lot more other analogies than massaging bread dough). Even with Grados where the ergos don't really change you have less of the cymbals right by your ears on the RS-1 vs the SR325.  For virtual surround, the software/DSP matters a lot more than the headphone, even for precision over soundstage size.
 
4. Sometimes the "WOW effect" that people look for aren't exactly in very flat, dynamic sound, but in terms of a response that sounds like it's very dynamic (but in reality it has a boost in the lower mids/upper bass and is easy enough to drive). At other times it's in the imaging, but  it's easier to appreciate the imaging benefits of flatter sound with speakers (assuming it's a room that has no room modes) rather than headphones that don't have real imaging capabilities. Kind of like expecting the holographic imaging and thundering bass of a multiple-driver flagship speaker like the Focal Grande Utopia or Sonus Faber Guarneri Homage, except in terms of physics it isn't really possible even if you blow $30,000 on a single headphone.
 
Apr 29, 2015 at 4:22 PM Post #15 of 34

Roderick

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1. Two completely different soundsignatures. Hd600=smooth, kingstons=Bright.
2. Hd600 has smallish soundstage for an open headphone, kingstons have large soundstage for a closed headphone.
3. You maybe did not know but you allready had a headphone that is extremely good for it's price. Kingstons=takstar pro80. Unless you have good gear for hd600 and listen to high quality music the sound quality difference is not that huge. You need some experience to appreciate the difference. For that reason I wouldn't return hd600 just yet. It might grow on you. However if kignstons had a soundsignature more suiting to your tastes, check out beyerdynamic dt880. It has the same tonality but does everything better.
 

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