K812 vs LCD-X vs HD800 vs TH900 vs HE-6?
May 9, 2015 at 8:17 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 89

kawaivpc1

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Hello guys, I just bought an HD800 and am very impressed with its sound quality.
I had previously owned T1, SRH1840, and HD650. HD800 wins all of them in every aspect.
 
I'm also considering buying LCD-X, K812 Pro, TH900, HE-6 in the near future.
How would you rank these four headphones in terms of detail, sound stage, accuracy? 
They're the top reference headphones of our time. I want to know what other three can offer.
 
Thanks,
 
May 9, 2015 at 9:41 PM Post #2 of 89

TMRaven

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Soundstage and accuracy, the HD800 is way better than the LCD-X.   The LCD-X shares the planar traits of being fast with really great instrument separation and layering capabilities though.  It's extremely detailed as well, and the little bit of mid-trelbe emphasis helps it sound more defined than the rest of the audezes, but it takes a hit in midrange timbre compared to the LCD2 and LCD3.
 
Don't know about the 812 and TH900.
 
May 9, 2015 at 9:52 PM Post #3 of 89

HarleyZK

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The K812 would be second fiddle for sound stage and imaging to my HD800 from my listening. It is probably the second best in regards to sound staging currently on the market and has a bigger stage than the TH900. It is a bit less bright than the HD800, but still has somewhat unforgiving treble, the bass is more impactful and more in quantity and the sound is a bit warmer. I'd say the HD800 is a bit better in imaging. The K812 definitely is less analytical than the HD800.
 
The TH900 is not the last word for accuracy, as the sound is a U shape. The treble is not as raised as the HD800 either, but the bass is much much more pronounced and weighty. The TH900 loses out in stage size and imaging, and to me sounds less open even though they are the pinnacle of openness in a closed design (from what I've heard).
 
Have not owned/heard the LCDX long enough to make a comparison.
 
May 9, 2015 at 9:56 PM Post #4 of 89

Music Alchemist

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Hey, I remember you from your custom title!
 
If you are going after reference headphones, check out this State of the Flagships publication.
 
Out of the ones you listed, only the HD 800 measures up, so to speak. The others aren't strictly reference headphones.
 
How can you not mention the STAX SR-009 and HIFIMAN HE1000 when discussing "the top reference headphones of our time"?
 
biggrin.gif

 
May 9, 2015 at 10:27 PM Post #5 of 89

kawaivpc1

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  Hey, I remember you from your custom title!
 
If you are going after reference headphones, check out this State of the Flagships publication.
 
Out of the ones you listed, only the HD 800 measures up, so to speak. The others aren't strictly reference headphones.
 
How can you not mention the STAX SR-009 and HIFIMAN HE1000 when discussing "the top reference headphones of our time"?
 
biggrin.gif

Well, Stax and Hifiman don't make headphones for mixing and mastering engineers. They make headphones for collectors, audiophiles, music fans, etc.
I'm looking for headphones which are designed for audio engineers and music producers who need extreme accuracy and a big sound stage.
 
HD800 is indeed good. I'm thinking about buying another HD800 for outdoor use.
 
May 9, 2015 at 11:18 PM Post #8 of 89

Music Alchemist

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You still use studio monitor speakers too, though, right? That's what most studios rely on. Headphones are more of a second opinion.
 
The Sony MDR-7506 (which I own) is one of the most popular studio monitor headphones. Obviously not as good as an HD 800, but I was surprised how much more I liked it than many headphones that are far more expensive, including the HD 700.
 
Anyway, the K812 is the next most accurate headphone in your list. Some people feel it's more accurate than the HD 800 in certain respects.
 
But according to all I've read, the SR-009 is more accurate overall than the HD 800. The fact that studios don't use it doesn't mean anything other than that it's prohibitively expensive and most wouldn't bother with getting an electrostat amp to go with it and so on.
 
May 9, 2015 at 11:25 PM Post #9 of 89

Music Alchemist

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Here are some measurements to further illustrate what I mean.
 
 
My friend made a mistake when creating the graphs. The black line is the Harman-Olive HRTF curve, which is an average of what sound people prefer. The green line is the flat speaker HRTF curve, which is what a perfectly neutral headphone should follow. Notice how the SR-009 follows the green line more closely most of the time.
 
...Not that this matters in the context, since it's expensive as heck and probably not something you would ever consider.
 
May 9, 2015 at 11:28 PM Post #10 of 89

TMRaven

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Unmodded or without EQ, I'd use an HD600 for monitoring. 
 
HD800 is real accurate, but you need to eq the treble down 3db from 6-10khz.  With the LCD-X you need a more complex EQ that involves bringing up the area around 3-6khz, and bringing down 8-9khz some, but it's pretty good from 2khz down to 20hz.
 
For purely mixing though I'd use studio monitors, while keeping headphones as a secondary for mastering purposes.
 
The focal spirit pro has a real good frequency balance too, but lacks a little in the 2khz range.
 
May 9, 2015 at 11:37 PM Post #11 of 89

Music Alchemist

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  Unmodded or without EQ, I'd use an HD600 for monitoring. 
 
HD800 is real accurate, but you need to eq the treble down 3db from 6-10khz.  With the LCD-X you need a more complex EQ that involves bringing up the area around 3-6khz, and bringing down 8-9khz some, but it's pretty good from 2khz down to 20hz.
 
For purely mixing though I'd use studio monitors, while keeping headphones as a secondary for mastering purposes.
 
The focal spirit pro has a real good frequency balance too, but lacks a little in the 2khz range.

 
Yeah, headphones have too many problems to rely upon for serious studio work.
 
I might as well mention again, here, that the Focal Spirit Professional is still my favorite headphone!
 
May 9, 2015 at 11:43 PM Post #12 of 89

kawaivpc1

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I rely on my Neuman KH120 monitors.
However, I live in an apartment where I can't play music too loud.
These headphones are good because you can listen to them privately and sometimes outside with portable DACs.
These days, I spend more time with headphones. Actually, HD800 is better than some cheaper monitor speakers.
 
May 9, 2015 at 11:49 PM Post #14 of 89

TMRaven

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Headphones have the distinct advantage in that they take the room out of the equation, so that's one thing.  You don't have to spends a fortune on making the perfect room with great acoustics.  In that manner, most any good headphone will have a smoother response unaffected by acoustics, but a lot of them can't seem to get overall balance right.
 
May 10, 2015 at 12:11 AM Post #15 of 89

kawaivpc1

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So, based on you guys' opinion,
I can guess that their rank is:

#1 HD800
#2 K812 Pro
#3 LCD-X
#4 TH900.

There are few other cheaper reference models such as Audio Technica R70x, Yamaha studio headphone, etc. But I don't think they're better than SRH1840.
Besides these headphones, rest of them on the market are colored headphones for average music listeners, audiophiles, and headphone collectors.
 

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