Need headphone advice
Jan 10, 2009 at 9:48 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 12

mcegan

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So I bought the HD555 recently (about a week ago) and I'm pretty impressed with it. It's my first non crap Walmart headphones so they are definitely a step up. My only problem with them is there seems to be a severe lack of bass, or more accurately the sound seems somewhat flat in a way. Kind of hard to explain. I'm completely new to this sort of thing so I'm not sure how to better explain it. I have it paired with the new Asus Xonar Essence sound card which is supposed to have a pretty good onboard headphone amp. I know that when I select the preset "Soft Rock" on the sound card GUI, songs sound a lot better in the bass department and more full. This sets the lows and highs a little higher and the mids a lot lower.

I read a little more and found rave reviews on the HD650, especially on the part that it had pretty good bass on it. I'm not saying I'm a bass head, I just know the HD555 isn't really doing it for me in that department. It could also be that it's only been burned in about 30 hours, I don't know. I usually listen to pop/techno/some metal/some rap and I also use these for gaming/movies. So knowing all the above, do you think the 650's would clear up any of the faults I think I hear in the 555, or should I just give these some more time? It's still early so I could always RMA them back and go for the 650.
 
Jan 10, 2009 at 10:53 AM Post #3 of 12

AzN1337c0d3r

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Quote:

Originally Posted by EugeneK /img/forum/go_quote.gif
you'd probably need a proper desktop amp to drive a HD650.


HD650 sounds fine coming out of most headphone outs. It won't be spectacular, but it's already obvious it's a step up from the HD555.
 
Jan 10, 2009 at 10:55 AM Post #4 of 12

AzN1337c0d3r

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As for the OP, if you're not averse to going to other brands, Denons might have the bass you're looking for. The D1000 is about the price range of the HD555 I believe.
 
Jan 10, 2009 at 10:55 AM Post #5 of 12

moonboy403

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If you don't like the sound signature of the HD555, you should get a different headphone that suits your taste. Getting an amp would not magically increase a headphone's bass 10 fold.
 
Jan 10, 2009 at 10:55 AM Post #6 of 12

mcegan

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Actually I just did a side by side w/ onboard and my sound card and I guess the bass is fine on it. I am just used to the onboard's bass which I noticed after the side by side is very "bloated" where as the sound cards is quick and tight. So I guess there is enough bass, I'm just not used to good sounding bass, sorry =p.

On the 650 though, all these reviews talk about how badass it is and I'm left wondering, just how good is it over the 555? Does it justify the cost? I tried searching for direct comparisons between these 2 but could find none. Obviously it will be better but by what degree?

Quote:

you'd probably need a proper desktop amp to drive a HD650.


I'm pretty sure that this card can do it, the amps output is controlled through software and the final setting on it has it rated for 300-600ohms of resistance.
 
Jan 10, 2009 at 11:04 AM Post #7 of 12

AzN1337c0d3r

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mcegan /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Actually I just did a side by side w/ onboard and my sound card and I guess the bass is fine on it. I am just used to the onboard's bass which I noticed after the side by side is very "bloated" where as the sound cards is quick and tight. So I guess there is enough bass, I'm just not used to good sounding bass, sorry =p.


Nice. Yeah, onboard sound cards have dinky opamps pushing their outputs. I'm glad you found out about that.

Quote:

On the 650 though, all these reviews talk about how badass it is and I'm left wondering, just how good is it over the 555? Does it justify the cost? I tried searching for direct comparisons between these 2 but could find none. Obviously it will be better but by what degree?


IMO. It is quite badass. Enough to make me purchase it. But you're going to have to decide if it's worth the extra $200(?) to you.

But I'm going to warn you, the bass isn't as overpowering as some people will make it out to be. It's there, you can feel it, but it's not like that's the only thing the headphone can do. It's quite a fine headphone and I don't think one can go wrong buying it.
 
Jan 10, 2009 at 11:11 AM Post #8 of 12

moonboy403

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Quote:

Originally Posted by AzN1337c0d3r /img/forum/go_quote.gif
That's interesting, I've never seen outputs rated in terms of impedance. At least not in terms of audio equipment. What make/model is your sound card by the way?


Asus makes the Essence. People are giving rave reviews about this new soundcard. However, there has only been one person comparing the Essence to an external dac/amp(Corda Blue and Opera). That person said that the Essence bests the Blue while coming close to the Opera. I would like to hear more comparison though.
 
Jan 10, 2009 at 11:12 AM Post #9 of 12

mcegan

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Alright, I guess I'm sold. I might try to find one on the used board as the $400 I see just from a google search seems kind of high, especially when I saw in the used board that someone sold one for $220.

Quote:

That's interesting, I've never seen outputs rated in terms of impedance. At least not in terms of audio equipment. What make/model is your sound card by the way?


This is the sound card

Newegg.com - ASUS Xonar Essence STX Virtual 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Express Interface 124 dB SNR / Headphone AMP Card - Sound Cards

I think the ohms on it was just an estimate...the actual setting has +18dB (300~600ohms). That would be enough for the 650 yeah?
 
Jan 10, 2009 at 11:14 AM Post #10 of 12

AzN1337c0d3r

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Yeah I'm sure it'll be good. Dedicated sound cards can drive normal headphones to damaging levels, this one should be no different.
 
Jan 10, 2009 at 1:28 PM Post #11 of 12

insyte

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That's an expensive sound card
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Jan 10, 2009 at 1:38 PM Post #12 of 12

scytheavatar

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I think the problem for you isn't the HD555's bass, but the HD555's sound signature: smooth, conservative and lacking in energy. They are not the best for the type of music you listen to, and I suspect that you will feel the same way changing to the HD650. You might want to experiment with the headphone of other manufactures, like the Denons, Grados, ATHs etc.
 

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