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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. ruthieandjohn
    @Giogio  the bolded section is what  I was seeing more information on... thanks!
     
  2. Deckardk

    Thanks. Would try this but returns of opened items aren't permitted.

    Where can you see how many are left?
     
  3. ruthieandjohn
    As the stock depletes, the menu page notes "Limited Stock." If you then select that item, on its product page it says "3 left" or whatever.

    All the Sennehisr Momentum M2 AEBT are now sold and that one is now marked "Expired."
     
  4. Deckardk
    ^ Thanks for explaining that.

    I've heard of the Momentum Wireless but not the model you linked.
     
  5. Giogio
    You mean, sorry for not being transparent? :)
    I think that transparency can be added to the objective part of the sound. No way to change it if not by removing the foam which covers the drivers for example.
    A question, how would you relate transparency to soundstage? I did not understand if also something with a flat soundstage (where you can clearly feel that the sound comes from something two cm from your ears) can be transparent as far as it is not muffled, as far as there is not the feeling of a courtain between you and the headphone, or if transparent for you is a sort of better soundstage, the feeling of sound coming from the room and of nothing between you and the sound.
    In the first case, the ATH are transparent to me. I think that transparent in that case is not too different from what I call detail. I see it like when you have a glass, it can be transparent and you see all details, or you can breath on it and you do not see much anymore.
     
    Man, you are definitely confusing me!
    We were talking of the M2 not being good for Classical music, so I was answering for that. Now I understand, you mean about your post with the list.
    So... I've said that because I thought that transparence was like a soundstage with no feel of headphone at all. So supposedly the best ones are the Def Tech.
    Although the "apparence" is tricky, being highly subjective.
    So, if transparence is more related to detail than to soundstage, then I have no idea. Because I have no idea how detailed the Senny M2 are.
    @n00b2, which one was more detailed to you? Def of m2? A guy wrote somewhere that the Def sounded not very detailed to him.
     
    And if transparence is just, well, transparence, then I have absolutely no idea.
    Having never tried any grado, I cannot be sure of what you mean, so I cannot tell you which ones in my list are more transparent.
    But I can tell you which ones are more detailed: ATH, AKG, Sennheiser Urbanite grade 3, pendulumic fidelio HK and plantronics grade 2.
    Btw, what is this sennheiser m2bt?
    And why on earth are you ever possible contemplating the sennheiser mm400???
     
    Now, another question, is there a grade 0? Did you say bassiness 1 because bassiness is for you not extremely important but more important than midness and highness which would be grade 0 to you?
    Or did you just forget to specify how you like mids and highs?
    Is the sound signature of no importance to you? I mean, they are all very much different sounding headphones.
     
    Btw, I think that on Amazon there is a seller which sells them for 260 + 17 shipping.
    In Ebay the seller at 240 has got 4 negative references in the last month saying that he faked tracking number and never shipped anything or did it after weeks or cancelled the order. You are still protected by Ebay/Paypal, so if you are not in a hurry, it could be worth trying. He even offer the "make me an offer" option. Who knows, maybe you get it for 230.
    Of course, there are the import taxes then, i think.
    But, hey, 230 or 240, even with the import, they are definitely worth more than that.
    When I will listen to Parrot, 1ABT, Momentum and Def and Denon, I will tell you more.
     
    Cheers.
     
  6. Giogio

    I think AE just means Around the Ear, to distinguish it from OE, On Ear.
     
  7. n00b2
    @giogio I'll attempt to answer all your questions in this post.
     
    The M2BT is just the Momentum Wireless. The M2 part just means Momentum version 2 and the BT part is self explanatory. Yes AE means around ear while OE means on ear.
     
    Transparency really has more to do with clarity and sound itself than soundstage. If something is lacking transparency then it sounds like you are listening through a thin sheet or veil and not directly from the speakers. Veiled is another word to describe lack of transparency and Sennheisers are well known for sounding veiled, particularly in the highs and the Momentum is no different. I honestly don't think there is a way to EQ transparency since that is more a characteristic of the sound itself rather than frequency. For example you can boost mids up if the vocals sound veiled and clarity should improve but then all the other mid range sounds will become boosted so really there is no change to the transparency, everything in that frequency just sounds more forward. A flat soundstage for example will often boost clarity in the sense that everything will sound clearer as it is right next to you (though not necessarily in a natural way), even things that shouldn't be there but it could still sound veiled. A way to test would be to put a thin sheet or some tape between your ears and the headphones and compare the difference in sound. That is probably the best way to understand transparency.
     
    I personally think the Momentum will be worse for classical and jazz due to their bass heavy response. The Symphony or AKG k845bt will sound much better and more natural for those genres. In terms of detail between the Symphony and the Momentum for bass heavy modern music the Momentum will sound more detailed as that music tends to focus on bass and you will hear more detail and thump in the bass with the Momentum. The level of detail put into the mids and highs isn't that much in comparison and both will probably provide a similar amount. Soundstage is better on the Symphony but if you aren't used to headphones with a spacious soundstage then you might think there is less detail as distant sounds will naturally sound more muffled and harder to hear. In that way the Momentum can seem more detailed (the Symphony does seem to overdo distance sometimes). For clasical music though I felt there was much more detail coming from the Symphony. The Momentum puts more emphasis in its bass response and as a result has had to boost other frequencies (upper mid mainly) so that it doesn't get drowned out by the bass so detail in that region is more on the Momentum. But detail across the whole spectrum I felt was better on the Symphony.
     
    As for the ones I have tested from your list I have listened to the UE9000, AKG k845bt, HK BT, Sony MKII, Beats, Sennheiser MM500-X and MM450-X, Parrot Zik 1.0 and Skullcandy. I would like to try the Philips M2BT and ATH but I can't seem to get them here and returns are a lot harder than in America. I know people whose tastes are similar to mone who have tested the Fidelio M1BT and Plantronics BBP and none of them liked either. Complaints about bass came through (muddy, boomy too much of it, overpowring, etc). Not necessarily the same complaint for both headphones but enough complaints that I know they aren't natural and I probably wouldn't like them. Of the ones I have tested I will put the Symphony on top and the AKG a close second. They were the only two that sounded natural and neutral which is what I am after. Daylight between these two and the rest. I'll put the Momentum in at third, the MKII at 4 then a decent gap again and in comes the Zik, HK BT and UE9000. Huge gap down to the Beats and Skullcandy.
     
    ruthieandjohn likes this.
  8. ruthieandjohn

    Wow! An opportunity to try to tease out separate quotes from one long quote!
     
    Here goes...
     
    I am pleased to reveal for the first time on this thread the picture of Sennheiser's next generation flagship headphone, the HD 1000, displacing the HD 800.  It is The Most Transparent Headphone EVER, as a look at its picture in its box (same box as Sennheiser uses for the HD 800) will show.  SOOO Transparent:
    HD1000incase.jpg
     
     
    I don't think transparency relates to soundstage.  It relates to some complicated aspect of the high-end treble response of the headphone.  Soundstage, which determines the apparent position of the multiple sources in a recording, is set by phase and to a lesser extent frequency perturbation of the waveform from each source as it leaves the headphone.

     
    Yep, I think transparency relates more to detail than to soundstage.  Your advice on detail, plus the recent answer from n00b2, have convinced me that the "high detail" headphones are going to provide more transparency than the Momentums.
     
    It is the Sennheiser Over Ear Bluetooth Momentum 2.0, abbreviated M2BT, annouced at CES Jan 2015.
     
    I used to have its earlier version, the Sennheiser PXC 310BT, also a folding bluetooth on ear noise cancelling headphone.  I have direct familiarity with it (indeed have reviewed it here), so it was good to assume that the .400 was about the same and see where it ended up in the mix.

     
    I have a preferred sound signature that I seek, which would combine the airy transparency and speed I hear in Grado headphones (even their cheapest, the SR60 at $79) with the clear bass extension offered by the HiFiMAN HE-500.  Only headphones that really seem to do both are the high-end IEMs from AKG, the AKG K3003(i).  So I have one feature, called "Grado-ness" in the chart (got mangled to a shorter version due to small column width), that captures the transparency and is rated more important than the other feature I seek,, which I called "bassiness."  In my test methods, I have specific segments of particular recordings that I use to measure each.

     
    I looked and could only find it, from ANY Amazon seller, at $499.99.  Is there a link you used to get there?  The ONLY discount I have seen was on buysonic for $349, and they sold out earlier this afternoon.  The Bluetooth ones on ebay are 399.95, but they are black (I want ivory, and you can see that appearance is a highest-weighted feature for me... I even have a selfie stick so I can see myself wearing attractive headphones!  [​IMG] (there ARE several wired Momentums for $350).
     
  9. Giogio
    I oppose to this name. In the 10 commandaments of BT Headphones is clearly stated, "you will have no other M2BT before the Fidelio".
    Guys, seriously, besides, Senny does not call them BT but Wireless.
    So, I propose M2WAE and M2WOE, or simply MWAE and MWOE (there is no M1W, so, the 2 is not needed).
    Do you make a difference between Detail and Clarity?
     
    No way. Bassy, ok, boomy, it is an offense. And a false one. For both headphones. Boomy is a "quality" which the bass can have. A bad quality (bad for me at least, but as you know well with some friends of you, there are people who like boomy".
    Fidelio and BBP are NOT boomy. They have a clear, precise bass, of ver good quality (among the BT Headphones, of course).
    Now, I do not know if your friends compared them to the HifiMan or whatever but that would not be fair.
    Muddy also no. Specially the BBP. The Fidelio, switching from the BBP, is much more overall balanced, apart for that little boost in the bass, so that there is no boost in upper mids or highs like in the BBP, and it is possible that people feel the bass like more "warm" and feel the low-mids more than in a (moderately) v-shaped headphone like the BBP.
    "Too much" this is subjective and also depends on the music people listen to. Overpowering, no way. Not without EQ.
    The H8, yes. The Fidelio and BBP, no.
     
    But if you like less bass out of the box, the ATH is better.
    It is anyway a bit coloured. The mids, and low mids, are very present, without being muddy and without sacrificing highs.
    I do not remember the Urbanite being "veiled" in the highs, but I am pretty sure that the ATH are not veiled.
    How much transparent they will sound to a Grado Fan, I ignore it.
     
    Anyway, as I was telling to @kayandjohn (who did not understand and thought I was speaking of the Momentum) in this momentum, pardon, in this moment on Amazon a seller have the ATH at 262 + 17 shipping. The price of 250 on Ebay which john writes on his list, is only to be found on a seller (actually 242 including shipping) who has got 4 negative reviews in the last month for the same thing: item not shipped, tracking faked, out of stok, shipped after weeks, order cancelled after weeks. We are talking of 40 $ less anyway, which also would cause more import taxes, which are a % of the total cost.So, actually, 50$ less. Considering the protection of Ebay and PayPal, I would try this seller if one is not in a hurry.
    Where do you live?
     
  10. Giogio
    ja ja ja...
    Guys, I serously think that my idea of transparency should become the new international standard. Transparency International.
    Visualize it and tell me if it is not a nice image: transparent headphones, so transparent which you do not feel like having headphones, you feel the sound like coming from somewhere in the space around you.
    So related to both soundstage and detail/clarity.
    For me it makes sense.
    But well, if officially, for the international community of headifier transparency has nothing to do with soundstage, than I conform with detail/clarity. But I want my objection to be recorded.
    could you describe the mids and highs in this signature, and assign it a value of warmth/cold?
     
    Can you share them?
     
  11. n00b2
    @Giogio your explanation of transparancy sounds so much like simply being in a concert haha.
     
    As for the difference between detail and clarity, detail to me is more in terms of how much information is present. Like do you hear the little background noises that might be missing on weaker headphones. Or the extra sounds, milder musical notes that are missing on mp3s compared to flac. Or is the bass coming out one notey or do you hear the various bass notes that are in the recording. Whereas clarity is more to do with how clear all the sounds (especially vocals) are and if it sounds like you are listening directly at the music or is it more muffled, through a veil, etc.
     
    I am in Australia and import tax isn't an issue here as there is none unless the cost is over $1000. The bigger issue is simply not being able to return things in store and the shipping charges costing a fortune if I buy from overseas and then want to return them (usually costs more to send the same item back from here than I paid to get it sent here). That's the main reason I haven't tried anything not available here. Things like Amazon refunding you your return shipping isn't valid for overseas shipping. Based on your writing I'm guessing you are from Spain?
     
  12. ruthieandjohn

    You might enjoy the full description of the emerging Sennheiser HD1000 transparent headphones, from which the picture was taken, here:  http://www.head-fi.org/t/650510/the-new-hd800-impressions-thread/16950#post_11322223
     
    HiFiMAN mids and highs are neither warm nor cold, but just right.  If I had to choose, I'd say a bit more warm than cold, but they really are quite natural.  Some folks have noticed a sort of treble distortion associated with planar magnetic headphones such as the HE-500, though I have not.
     
    And the songs?  As described here, http://www.head-fi.org/t/746519/huge-comparison-of-almost-all-the-best-bluetooth-headphones-post-your-own-comparisons-here/270#post_11365828  they are as follows:
     
    Test Method:
     
    I used four songs, all encoded in Apple Lossless Format at CD quality (I actually bought the CDs and ripped them... no internet download involved) and played by my Apple iPod Touch 5th Gen via its bluetooth.
     
    • "You're Going To Miss Me When I'm Gone," by Band of Heathens, from their album One Foot In The Ether (used for fidelity of drum sound, positional resolution of two vocalists, and ability to discern pitch of string bass passages);
    • "Spanish Harlem," by Rebecca Pidgeon, on The Ultimate Demonstration Disc of Chesky records (used to assess female vocals, transparency, the attack of finger on bass string, and high resolution discrimination of differences in shaker shakes);
    • "Symphony No. 3 in C Minor Op. 78 (Organ Symphony) - IV" by Camille Saint Saens played by Lorin Maazel and the Pittsburgh Sympony Orchestra (used to assess the "ripping" sound of well-rendered lower brass and organ reed pipes, and the ability to hear a very small entrance amidst a bombastic chord of orchestra and organ at full tilt);
    • "Throwback" by B.o.B. on Underground Luxury (used to assess ability of a bass tone, specifically lowest C on piano at about 32 Hz, to pick me up by the throat and shake me!)
     
    The 10 tests were as follows:
     
    • Transparency:  What is between me and the music?  A felt cloth?  A "Sennheiser veil?" A frosted window?  Dirty window?  Clear Saran wrap?  or nothing?  At its best, makes me forget I am listening on headphones and am in room with musicians.
    • Width of sound stage:  How far to the left and to the right, (yes, AND up and down in best cases) does it seem the musical sources are arranged?
    • Positional resolution:  Can I distinguish a difference in position of two singers in Song 1?
    • Bass visceral:  Does the bass in third verse of Song 4 actually shake me? Or do I just hear it?
    • Drum "twang":  At start of Song 1, do the bass and tom tom drumhead have a tone and a pitch, rather than just a thump?
    • Bass pitch perception:  For the complicated bass runs in Song 1, do I hear a pitch with sufficient accuracy to sing or transcribe the part?
    • Bass finger pluck:  Do I hear the actual impact of fingers on the bass string just before hearing its sound on Song 2?
    • Shaker variation:  In Song 2, verse 3, do the various shaker shakes sound a bit different from each other, as they should?
    • "Ripping" of organ / brass:  In Song 3, is there the sensation of hearing each vibration of the French horn and low organ reed tones (sort of the tonal counterpart to hearing a "pitch" from a drumhead in Test 5);
    • Discern added chord:  About 1:38 into Song 3, after the full orchestra and organ hold a chord at the top of a passage, can I hear a small number of orchestra instruments join in, as sort of an echo, in the second measure of that chord?
     
    These tests generally emphasize what I find most pleasing in a headphone, namely high-frequency-related features including transparency, upper harmonics of sounds from drum-head, brass, organ pipe, and string bass, and high-resolution effects such as fine detail of each shaker sound and the finger on the bass string.
     
  13. Giogio
    Ooook. Still at the limits of promiscuity. I kind of think that they do affect each other, but I get your points.
     
    I do not know why the Australian posts should be more expensive than the German ones (no, I am not based in Spain. From which writing did you guess that?), specially considering that Australia is nearer to Japan (is it?).
    There are tricks which you must know. For example, here in Germany you can ship something under x KG as Letter instead of as Pack, as long as its three dimensions summed together are no more than x and the longest side is no more than x. And you can send a Letter so that who receives it must sign to take it, so, with Tracking Number.
    I have paid 6 Euro to ship back something to Japan. As Pack I should have paid, if I remember well, 42 Euro...
    Ask.
    And if it works out, ask also Ebay about which kind of protection they give you. Although that precise user writes that things can be sent back as far as in as new conditions and in the original package. They do not write "not opened box".
     
    Enjoyed :)
     
    So, I think you may prefer the ATH to the AKG. Why? The AKG has got bassiness -1, and it sounds as cold as my ex: not really cold, not really warm, but if I had to choose, more cold than warm.
    I personally found also the senny MM400-x very cold and soulless.
    Now, the ATH are quite warm, but not like a suffocating sauna. The low mids are a bit accentuated out of the box (I used to decrease them a bit, then lately I felt that I liked them more like that. I am not sure if I just got used, or there was some burn-in). But nor muddy. And the mids are, just very present. And clear.
     
    Between ATh and Fidelio there is no possible comparison. I think the choise is between ATH and AKG, and it is a choice of sound signature.
    Ah, and the DefTech, and the 1ABT. Which should also be already available from Japan...
     
  14. n00b2
     
    I know all the tricks but they won't work for a headphones box. Far too big to post as a letter. Like I said getting it sent here is fine. The problem is posting it back for returns. That is where the ridiculous postage costs come in. Everything is far too expensive here.
     
    I guessed Spain based on the way you wrote your laugh in the previous post. Knew a South American guy who used to write laughs like that. Said that was how people who spoke Spanish laugh (and with anything really h=j). Unless that ja ja ja was a type and you really meant to write ha ha ha.
     
    Also you are being far too harsh on the AKG. Bass isn't -1 on it. It doesn't boost bass a lot (though it is mildly boosted) but bass is there and extension is deep and if you could EQ bass down (which you said didn't work) you would notice that there is a big difference in bass response. Bass in the AKG was designed the same way as with the Def Tech (I wonder if they used the same drivers. They sounded suspiciously similar w/o NC and both used 50mm drivers). You will only feel it on really bassy scenes and at other times it's just there to complement the music and not really be noticed.
     
  15. ruthieandjohn

    as regards the AKG K845BT... it is my current planned "next to get" headphone.  I had the AKG Q701 and loved its light signature, and comments here make me think that the AKG K845BT would share that signature. Besides, it looks great.  Only wish it had Apt-X!
     
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