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Huge Comparison of [almost] all the Best Bluetooth Headphones - post your own comparisons here

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by giogio, Dec 15, 2014.
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  1. Deckardk
  2. Deckardk
    duplicate removed. sorry!
  3. Deckardk
    Inner Fidelity claimed the Zik 2 has great sound with NC on. Tyll Hertsens tested their NC at -27db which is almost as good as the venerable Bose QC25. Too bad the battery life is 6 hours and the charge time is 3. Unacceptable.
  4. Deckardk
    deleted (repost)
  5. Giogio
    Man, 2,5 stars?
    Are you sure you have not been a bit too hard a bit too fast?
    Did you consider, for your rating, more the subjective aspects like how much bass YOU like in a headphone, or the (more or less) objective ones like the detail, the soundstage, the overall QUALITY of the sound (=how the frequencies are rendered qualitatively, apart for the sound signature which could be defined the quantitative proportion of the difference frequencies in the overall sound)?
    Besides, if there is ONE word which I would use ONLY for the BBP among all the BT Headphones which I have tried is "airy", and you say exactly the opposite, so, I am confused.
    I know that some people find that the bass is, out of the box, a bit boosted.
    Many people like it, other people even need more bass (me), so it surely depends on tastes and kind of music one listens to.
    So, for example, I have rated the AKG K845 and the Samsung Level over and the Plantronics Backbeat Pro the same, because I consider that the overall sound quality is more or less similar, the "objective" aspects of the sound are more or less similar, and even if I preferred the sound signature of the BBP for being more punchy and fresh (compared to the AKG which for me are way too soft on the bass, and the Samsung which have a bit more bass than the AKG but still too few for me and at same time rolled off highs which I could not enjoy much), I did not rate that.
    I described it, but not rated it.
    So I wonder how did you get to 2,5 stars, and if your experience with wired cans influenced this rating (like imo it should not, because it is like mixing different weights in the box competitions).
  6. Deckardk

    With regard to the AKG K845 and the Samsung Level over ear, I can't speak to either as I haven't tried them.

    As far as rating goes, it's purely subjective of course. I don't have the expertise to rate them objectively. But the bulk of the rating goes to SQ, and on that point, to my ears at least, the others I've tried (wireless, have never owned wired) sound way better and those were all returned. Where does that leave me in stars?

    I did only try it using the Note 4. It could be a bad match, but I don't own another source.

    Matching can kill a sound. Many years ago, I remember Denon receivers as being bright and forward sounding, a disaster when paired with the bright Infinity speakers of the time, but stunning sounding when paired with Mirage speakers.

    Similarly, Yamaha was a disaster when paired with the laid back, warm Mirage, but stellar when paired with Infinity.

    Not enough experience in cans to discern where the Note 4 falls.

    The holy grail from where I stand would be the Stance S1+ with good NC, an open mic, and better quality construction. Those cans are the closest to perfection and at a 3 star rating they still have a two star upside.
  7. Giogio

    hmmm, I also don't know how the source can affect sound in this case. I mean, hmmm, I have never thought that the same headphone could sound different with two different smartphones, for example.
    And I did not perceive any difference in my test with any headphones, using them with my smartphone or with the azion dongle or the sennheiser dongle or the avantree adapter.
    Dunno man, but, maybe you have a low star rating style and tend to give less stars than I do.
    For me, ONLY for the functions, even if the sound were mediocre, the BBP are already 3 star. And the "objective" part of the sound, the quality of it, more than if it suited my tastes, for me was very good.
    Honestly, much better than the Revo, which were one of the first which I have returned.
    The Revo were, for example, also punchy, so, if you did not like the boost of the BBP, I cannot understand why you liked the Revo which also boost the bass. The revo also lacked dramatically highs, and also with EQ could never give enough highs. The sound was closed. The soundstage (one of the few objective part of the sound) was a disaster, while the BBP have a very wide, open, deep soundstage, you can feel the instruments around you and at different distances. With the Revo, you can not.
    The revo were indeed better in the mids, more present and warm. But once again, this is more a matter of tastes, so I would not rate it, because some people prefer warm, some prefer bright, and although I believe that something good should be able to be retuned with EQ to almost any taste, in this case it is 1 to 1, Revo good in mids, BBP good in highs, none of them able to be EQed till reaching the level of the other. But at least the BBP has much better soundstage and a whole HUGE set of features which the Revo can just dream about.
    Then, about detail, the Revo was just ok. Average. Normal. But with the BBP I could clearly perceive much more detail, all different instruments. The bass of the Revo was more boomy and confused, the one of the BBP is clean and precise.
    Whatever, I am surprised but, the beauty of diversity.
    I have just received today the Matrix2, will test them tomorrow.
    The Stance I will receive them beginning next week.

    We'll see :)
  8. Deckardk
    Right on. Looking forward to see what you think of the Stance and Matrix2.
    Matching can matter a great deal in all audio. Earphonia talked of this in his amazing review of the CL Sound Blaster X7. He even went into OpAmps and how they changed things. I might try an X7 and various OpAmps if the thing would ever go on sale.
  9. n00b2
    I'm pretty sure I won't like the H8 as I prefer neutral sounding headphones and the H8 seems to be bass boosted. In any case they are on ear and I generally find on ear uncomfortable. Much prefer over ear that are large enough to actually be over ear.

    That's the thing about the Zik, it is the only headphones that I have tried that sound great with bluetooth and NC on and absolutely rubbish without them. Most headphones that have bluetooth, NC and the option to listen wired and with NC off will usually sound better wired with no NC. That is just how the technology works. Bluetooth and NC will reduce the sound quality pretty much by definition. Good headphones however like the HK BT or AKG k845bt with bluetooth will only drop the sound quality over bluetooth or NC slightly. Still somewhat noticeable but something you are willing to accept for the convenience of NC and no wires. The Zik however is completely different. Without NC and bluetooth they sound like a $10 pair of headphones. Which is why I said they werent designed properly. Surely it couldn't have been that hard for them to make wired sound somewhat decent. It's bascially like you are listening to a completely different pair (and class) of headphones and not just a pair slightly compromised for convenience.
    I've never really noticed matching to be a issue with bluetooth as if the bluetooth chips are equal (or similar) the sound coming out of them should be the same. What varies sound between different sources is the codecs really. Whenever I have listened to bluetooth headphones using the same codec (SBC aptx, aptx LL) with different sources, it always sounded exactly the same. Never tried a 4.0 headphones with a 2.1 source but I could understand if that did lower the quality a bit. And the Note 4 is pretty much at the top of all bluetooth sources (no aptx LL or aptx lossless but nothing internal afaik does).
  10. Deckardk
    ^ I'm sure I won't like the H8s either, primarily because they're on ear and I want something that gives isolation not just cancellation.

    Interesting comments on the source differences (or not) in your experience with Bluetooth. I'm committed to the Note 4, so the goal is just to find something that sounds good with NC for it.

    Can't believe Parrot screwed up that battery and charging so badly on that Zik 2.0... and even on the 2nd iteration? What is this, 1990?

    Was listening to the BBP some more tonight and that bass sure is flabby. But the connection is good with no skipping like Senn users report.

    Forgot I had an Azio BT adapter laying around (AZiO BTD-V201 USB 2.0 Micro Bluetooth Adapter; it has Aptx). I added that to my PC (Windows 7) did some more listening. Same outcome.
  11. Giogio
    What does flabby mean?
    I am afraid that the v201 does not support Aptx.
    Only the 400 and 401 do.
    Or did it come with the CSR Harmony Software?
    Did you try the Phiaton Chord MS530?
    On Ear bud big and very soft pad. Comfort comparable with the Bose Soundlink On Ear (the most comfortable on ear on the market).
    Balanced sound.
    Then the Samsung Level over, Over ear, very comfortable, balanced to warm sound.
    I've just tried the  Meelectronics Matrix2, and I mean just. Out of the box, no EQ, is balanced, tending to a fresh sound. Bass is not boosted but gently present.
    Range is excellent, really good. But the bass, when boosted, is imprecise, boomy. If you boost it just a bit, and only above the 60hz, it is ok, not particularly clean but ok, and for my tastes the boost is needed. But if you boost more (like what I would need being basshead) the bass is too boomy and a bit distorted. And if you dare to boost anything under the 60hz you think you have another headphone on your head, because the quality becomes like a fake Barbie Headphone with paper drivers for 3 years kids.
    So, it should be quite good for you, considering that you do not like boosted bass.
    The soundstage is decent and the detail also. I mean, decent. Not excellent. The highs, when boosted, do not sound very precise, and at one point reveal sibilance, but you will not need to boost them because the sound out of the box is already fresh enough.
    Then, what with the AKG K845BT? Did you try it? Balanced and fresh like the Matrix2 but with 10 times more detail. Soundstage still just decent. Bass does not become very powerful when boosted, and sub bass is just very gentle, but at least no distortion.
    Guys, I have tried the AKG Y45BT.
    I may keep them as second pair, as portable one.
    They are pretty darn good for being so little and relatively cheap (125 Euro).
    The sound is, out of the box, relatively balanced, with a little accent on the mid-lowmid, which does not reach the muddiness. And btw also the ATH-WS99BT have an accent on the mid and low mid out of the box. Nobody is perfect (but the ATH are almost perfect, at least to me).
    I prefer the out of the box sound of the H8 or the Fidelio. But the Y45 are still ok and I think that after a while one could get used. But personally I feel they need EQ. For those seeking a balanced sound, some subtractive EQ will do well, taking away from 750 to 200hz with a deepest cut on 300 or 400. For the bass haters allergic to any little bass boost, maybe (not sure) it would be needed to subtract till the 100hz. I personally cannot believe that somebody who would do that can exist, but, who knows.
    For those seeking a more funny sound, besides the subtractive cut is also needed some boost on mid-bass and sub-bass, and on mid and upper mid and low highs (with higher point around the 5000hz). At least for my ears.
    With EQ the bass can reach actually a very surprising power for something so little. It is not so deep and wide and clean like Fidelio and H8, but reaches a 75% of it. Which is very good. I mean, the 75% of amazing is very good.
    Actually I would say that the Y45 as overall sound reach between the 70 and the 80% of the quality of the Fidelio and H8.
    I could describe them so: put together the "worse" parts of the sound of the Fidelio and of the H8, the less detail and harsher highs of the Fidelio, the less extended and a bit darker bass of the H8 and also their lesser loudness, mix them together and decrease the overall resulting quality of a 10%, putting it in something smaller and lighter and cheaper (almost the half of the Fidelio, and 1/4 of the H8) and with BETTER wireless range. And this is the Y45.
    Now, I know that the "put together the worse parts and decrease the whole of a 10%" sounds bad, but, once again, consider the quality of those 2 Headphones, and that "worse" is meant when comparing them to each other.
    So... I personally think that they are quite good.
    I would not suggest them as ONLY pair, unless you are on low budget. But, as portable pair, for quality/price/dimensions, they are maybe the best option at the moment.
  12. Deckardk
    ^ No software. Would you believe the Azio BTD-V201 was listed on Aptx.com when I made the purchase. But now it isn't?? Good grief!
    Flabby means undefined and lingering.
    Didn't care for the Matrix2 as the noise isolation and cancellation isn't good. It also kept cutting out on phone calls. Haven't tried any AKGs, Fidelio, or H8 as they're all on-ear and have no interest. The Phiaton Chord MS530 has a NC of -14 db which is not enough for my needs.
    The Samsung Level Over might be worth a try, though many reviewers complain of the SQ.
  13. Giogio

    Man we really have an extremely different perception of the BBP.
    Flabby bass the BBP? For me they had one of the most clean and precise bass around.
    So, now I have tried also the Matrix2, and at least for the bass I can be sure that they are definitely NOT better than the BBP. If you like balanced and hate boost, than ok. But then we are talking of quantity, not of quality. The quality (which is clearly audible when I boost the Matrix) is really among the worse of the 30 tested.
    The Revo, as said, had a very good bass, but in my memory it was more boomy and less controlled than the BBP, although a bit warmer, which I liked. But I felt the BBP having more detail.
    So now I am really curious to listen to the Stance, because apparently they are the only one where I could agree they sound better (to me) than the BBP.
    Anyway, for those Headphones I was speaking to n00B2.
    But for the Samsung I disagree that the SQ is bad.
    I think the problem is that many people have no idea of how to write a review, and are not able to separate objective from subjective and mix SQ with sound signature, which are two completely different things.
    Maybe also because some people arrogantly or egocentrily think that just because they like a precise sound signature (or the supposed absence of signature of what they call balanced sound), then all what is different is BAD.
    I do not think so.
    I divide objective from subjective.
    And on the objective things, the Samsung are very good, apart for their limit in the low frequency, which is anyway a quantitative limit, not qualitative.
    For what is subjective, I did not like their signature. Not my thing.
    But if you find the BBP as having too much bass and highs, then you are very probably going to like the Samsung.
    I think you should try them.
    The Phiaton definitely have a poor ANC, I can confirm.
  14. Deckardk
    ^ You talked me into it. Will give the Level Overs a shot.

    Is there a set of over-ears that can hang with the over-ears in noise isolation, with good NC? Just assuming sound would leak in from poor coverage.

    They also have a rep of being uncomfortable in comparison.
  15. n00b2
    Can't get the Phiaton where I am from but based on the reviews I have read I don't think I will like it. Have found a couple of reviewers whose tastes have been pretty similar to mine so that helps me in some ways. Same can be said about the Matrix. Balanced but lack plenty of detail. Have tried the Samsung Level Over. Not a bad pair but definitely not up there in quaility as the high end headphones I have been looking at. The build quality was poor and the hollow nature of them does seem to interfere with the sound in some instances (an echo for example). They are also incredibly uncomfortable for me. Nice sized ear cups but too bulky and heavy and not enought flexibility in the cups or headband..
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