How 'inarticulate' are the HFI-780s?
Mar 13, 2008 at 3:07 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 29


1000+ Head-Fier
Jan 8, 2008
EDIT - Revised my title, see last post.

Well not quite, basically I'd like them to have more bass impact than the AD700s, but while not sacrificing too much of the detail/soundstage/highs of the ATs if at all. Also I'm looking for something portable I could walk around in, if they're open or leak sound I don't mind flaunting my music. See, originally I thought I'd do that with my AD700s when I was ordering them, and to hell with anyone who thought I looked silly but upon receiving them and realising JUST HOW MASSIVE THEY WERE I decided my dignity wasn't worth it

Got the iM716s to make up for that but am finding I really prefer the big cup headphones and the comfort factor of IEMs annoys me (although don't get me wrong they're great I love the precise/analytical nature and good highs).

Anyway, so based on that I've ruled out Grados ... I think, namely MS-2s and 325is. They seem to presumably totally lack soundstage, aren't comfortable, but hey they do look pretty portable, I'm not sure about their detail and they are reputed to be excellent at guitars/base. Then again some have said that their sound is a turn off completely.

Another set in context disclaimer here, I live Australia so essentially all my choices are blind as I'll be ordering off eBay which is my only source of plausible prices. Oh and by the way I'm looking at the $200-300 price range.

The Denon D2000 are looking very enticing. Presumably good soundstage, mids, highs. Great lows, and comfortable too.

The HFI-780 also, especially since wading through the thread about them seemingly the majority of people who claim to own both these and the Denons say they prefer the Ultrasones, and that overall they are relatively similar except that the 780s sound more open, less boxed in . Although the fact that everyone seems to have modded them to oblivion doesn't exactly help ... (which I am limited from doing due to the fact my technical knowledge is awful and I can't afford to ship them back and forth to the US). Also Marcus on Headphonic doesn't seem to like them and given that he presumably gets to sample quite a lot of headphones his opinion is persuasive ...

Anyway, I understand that it's all incredibly subjective and I know I'm essentially asking for more subjective opinions but which ones would you recommend?

Any others I probably should consider?

Should I be dismissing the DT880/990s? (990s are square in my price range, 880s are under - pretty sure that would be the new models), HD650s are also in my price range. Note I don't have an amp right now, but I will be receiving a D2 hopefully within the week (which should help power any power demanding phones for the time being), and I have a Xin Supermicro-IV ordered which I hope will arrive by the end of the year <_<

Also, why is there a hole in my wallet?

Thanks for any help in advance.

EDIT - Oh should probably mention what music I listen to. Everything from ambient/post rock to acoustic/progressive/death metal and a bit of Jpop/rock thrown in for good measure too.
Mar 13, 2008 at 9:07 PM Post #3 of 29
The soundstage with the 780s is very give and take for me. Some songs it's extremely well presented, with a lot of width and even some depth at times. Other songs, I can tell I'm definitely listening to headphones. I do think if you have a lot of lossless/high bitrate encoding that you will be very pleased with what the 780s bring to the table, but with poorly recorded tracks, you're going to hear a lot of the bad with the good.
Mar 14, 2008 at 12:12 AM Post #4 of 29
Hmm, well most of my music is high bitrate mp3/ogg but guess I'm leaning towards the Denons then because I'm looking for a good soundstage. Thanks for the input.

Any other opinions?
Mar 14, 2008 at 6:23 AM Post #6 of 29

Originally Posted by RedSky0 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Hmm, well most of my music is high bitrate mp3/ogg but guess I'm leaning towards the Denons then because I'm looking for a good soundstage. Thanks for the input.

Any other opinions?

From what I've read, the D2000 sounds like a closed can, while the 780s sound more open. I haven't tried the D2000s though, so I'm curious too.
Mar 14, 2008 at 7:32 AM Post #7 of 29
Soundstage is pretty hard to come by in a portable can because it requires space. With space inherently comes larger size. Also, with open cans, you'll hear everything around you instead of your music so soundstage will most likely collapse altogether.

Of what I've read in the forums and knowing your requirements I'd say the Goldring DR150's sound like a good choice. A bit of Grado rockin', better comfort, smallish size, detachable cord for convenience, possibly a bit more soundstage, etc. Read up on 'em. I think you'll like what you hear.
Mar 14, 2008 at 9:46 AM Post #8 of 29
They sound like they would be a good match but they're considerably under price range (see my idea was to quell my thirst for more headphones by buying something expensive and not easily surpassed :p ) and impossible to find on eBay which is a deal breaker

Yeah, I guess I have to accept a smaller soundstage and ultimately good isolation probably comes as a priority. Now I'm leaning towards the 780s :S
Mar 15, 2008 at 9:57 AM Post #10 of 29
Hmm, well they sure do look sexy but ... they're like $300 on eBay only able to be ordered from Japan and I haven't heard anyone raving about them much ...

Guess, I'm probably leaning towards the HFI-780s then, anyone have anything bad to say about them?
Mar 15, 2008 at 1:12 PM Post #11 of 29
The Ultrasones won't be that much more portable than the AD700s.

A full-size headphone is a full-size headphone. While some are larger than others, they are all big and goofy looking when on your head. =p
Mar 15, 2008 at 5:51 PM Post #12 of 29
Oh, there's a difference

Compare this:


to this:


Oh, just noticed you have AD700s ordered, they're great (besides the size which on the plus side gives them such a great soundstage) just make sure you let them burn in


This model appears to be based on the HFI-700. With fairly bright treble, reasonable midrange and an emphasis on midbass, they'd be a decent choice for movie watching and some games, but unfortunately the bass tends to a little boomy and slow sounding, overwhelming finer details, and treble tends to be a little sharp.

If you're after a closed model that's easy to drive and fairly bassy, these might be a reasonable choice, but for a balanced sound they aren't a great pick.

This is taken from Headphonic, can anyone attest to this being true/false in their opinion? Thanks.
Mar 17, 2008 at 2:20 PM Post #13 of 29
Any other opinions?

I'm like virtually dead-set on HFI-780s but every time I feel like ordering them someone's opinion completely dissuades me :s

For anyone who has them, as well as some reasonably articulate can, how far are they off that? I don't mind if the base is bloated or boomy (in fact I'm probably looking for that), just I don't want them to be overly slow/inarticulate.

Oh and still open to suggestion of other headphones too. Particularly looking for feedback from people with HD650s/325is/MS2s even.
Mar 17, 2008 at 2:37 PM Post #14 of 29
I would not think of the 780s as portable, that is for walking around.

Transportable,maybe, for desk work.

Sound wise these are some of the most polarizing headphones around lately. I really enjoyed my stock ones and am now enjoying the ALO modified Jenna cable ones.

Your mileage may vary but don't think of these for walking around.
Mar 17, 2008 at 2:58 PM Post #15 of 29
Well, they reputedly have a snug fit, and as long as they're not AD700-sized I can live with a few disapproving looks, they're just envious of my nerdiness!

Just in terms of how articulate/precise they are though, how would you compare them to some other headphones you own/have heard?

Oh, and would you say the mids are drowned out at all by the base?

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