Next ZEN CAN Signature edition! Which headphone's EQ Curve??? You decide.
Feb 12, 2021 at 6:39 AM Post #47 of 96

Wladimir

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Well 99's are a real gem, especially for someone who enjoys deep bass with his music, for fun listening esentially. For their price and if properly managed, they can overdeliver and then some. I dedicated ton of time finetuning mine and on my gear, they are serious contest even for Empyreans with $500 cable. Ofc if I throw in some $2k+ dedicated amp, things would probably change, but this is my experience.
For critical/analytical listening, 99's are also not bad if little modded, because just stock they're not so airy and detail monster. I'd call them more dark and murky. But again, their potential is huge, if one gives them time to experiment with foam, pads, cables and feed them higher-tier DAC/AMP.
 
Feb 12, 2021 at 11:18 AM Post #48 of 96

Sebastien Chiu

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Well 99's are a real gem, especially for someone who enjoys deep bass with his music, for fun listening esentially. For their price and if properly managed, they can overdeliver and then some. I dedicated ton of time finetuning mine and on my gear, they are serious contest even for Empyreans with $500 cable. Ofc if I throw in some $2k+ dedicated amp, things would probably change, but this is my experience.
For critical/analytical listening, 99's are also not bad if little modded, because just stock they're not so airy and detail monster. I'd call them more dark and murky. But again, their potential is huge, if one gives them time to experiment with foam, pads, cables and feed them higher-tier DAC/AMP.

Thanks for the feedback! I'm getting a set of 99cs soon myself and look forward to trying them with out stuff.
 
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Feb 16, 2021 at 11:46 AM Post #49 of 96
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Folks, here's a small announcement for you:

At the moment we have two leading headphone models and the difference between them narrows down to mere 20 votes.

The voting stage ends on the 26th of February so please make sure you have your say, and like so help us to pick the amp tailored for the winner headphone model here:

https://ifi-audio.com/crowd-design/

To make this crowd design a bit sweeter, we'll select five participants who voted, and each will be given the amplifier that's going to be the outcome of your votes.
 
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Feb 16, 2021 at 1:40 PM Post #51 of 96
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I agree with everyone above that the HE4xx and the 400i 2020 edition are a large user base especially with the 400i 2020 edition selling like hot cakes

...and we're seeing this as well :wink:
 
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Feb 16, 2021 at 6:53 PM Post #52 of 96

whitedragem

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...and we're seeing this as well :wink:
The DT177X would be my hope, but the planars are ‘consumer interest’ in the last year or two, and hence people learning that amps help (and not just for adding volume, but ‘control’) so the hifiman 4XXs would be the natural choice.

Shame as if the Meze99s were to get a profile, I’d actually want one for my childs first ‘desktop’ headphone amp..

Glad you reached out on headfi.. with that front page banner, was easy to know we needed to give feedback (I don’t seek out competitions, don’t like being added to some sales report: glad iFi aren’t doing this and this is free from being Facebook’d etc)
cheers for your ethics, and wanting to do this for ‘the right reasons’ ie building the right part that the People actually want most.
 
Feb 16, 2021 at 7:16 PM Post #54 of 96

Bansaku

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At the moment we have two leading headphone models and the difference between them narrows down to mere 20 votes.

The voting stage ends on the 26th of February so please make sure you have your say, and like so help us to pick the amp tailored for the winner headphone model here:

I hope the 99 Classics are one of the two! :metal::sunglasses:
 
Feb 16, 2021 at 8:14 PM Post #55 of 96

HiFiHawaii808

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iFi’s new ZEN CAN Signature isn’t just a fantastic headphone amp, it also sports a unique feature called ActivEQ which, when engaged, tailors the amp’s performance to suit a specific headphone like a made-to-measure suit.

We’ve already made the ZEN CAN Signature 6XX, with ActivEQ that perfectly matches the frequency response characteristics of both the Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 6XX headphones, and the Sennheiser HD 650 headphones on which they’re based.

Now, we want to make another version of the ZEN CAN Signature, with ActivEQ tailored towards a different popular headphone model. And we want YOU to decide which one!

Below you’ll see five headphones from five different manufacturers. Decide which one you think we should use for the next version of the ZEN CAN Signature and simply cast your vote by clicking here.

Once the vote has closed, we’ll randomly select five people who entered the competition who will each receive the new version of the ZEN CAN Signature, complete with ActivEQ tailored towards the winning headphone of the crowd design!

So, what are you waiting for? Get voting!
What does ActiveEQ actually do? Does it EQ the headphone to a target curve like Harman?
 
Feb 16, 2021 at 9:27 PM Post #58 of 96

whitedragem

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You're not alone in this one.
Absolutely: that they are some of the best headphones for gaming with accurate surround placement, anything that could tweak them thoroughly to a ‘flatline’ sound would benefit MANY.
(I don’t have a set, but I know their application uses, and PC gaming - these are one of the ‘top five shortlist’ to get)
So I reckon that the part would be best to support them. Especially given iFi/AMRs exceptionally useful noise filtration being practical in the PC space.

That being said the Meze99s do have an overexagerated bass and Drop didn’t change the sound on these from the Meze originals, so there would be a wide market, and a genuine need for a profile for them.

Having owned some Hifiman Sundaras (which follow the Harmon curve pretty spot on), and the Hifiman 4XXs not being a dramatic difference (to my limited understanding), I would think they don’t need a curve adjut (maybe just some dynamics upgrade :wink: ),.. but knowing that Planars benefit from amp ‘control’ having users buy a part due to believing it is tailored especially for them, would be great.

I nearly bought one of iFis combo packs tailored for the Senn 6XXs with the intent to just ‘not use the circuit’.. so I do believe, from a marketing point of view, many planar enthusiasts would jump on the part, and that would be to their absolute benefit. (ifi make great parts)

My heart goes to the 177Xs though just due to the need to be reequalised to flatline for HRTFs (headphone surround) to truly work/work well.
In that regard I see the unit as highly useful, and I feel many trying to get the best for their PC gaming setup would know the same. (so long as the profile tunes towards neutral)

But yeah the only one on that list I have in the house (still) are the Meze99s. (drop editions in black)- the Meze99s are keepers, and many who have discovered them know that, but they are not golden for all music due to their inherent sound profile (my child said, on audition “its like they were built to do Tool”).
Being able to tune them at the flick of a switch would be great and prove useful, and given the longevity of the Meze99 (literally being a ‘top ten’ headphone on many audiofools worlds best list) would make it practical for many.

I suppose it is about matching the budget and price points of the headphones to their market segments.
The amp would best need to be ’on the radar’ for the prospective buyer.
I would fathom that many PC gamers/gamers who buy the 177X do so due to its soundstage, and might come from all pricepoints (some being budget, some being cost is ‘no expense’) which might lessen their prospective market in terms of iFi reaching them- some of their owners might own megabuck setups for their playback.

This is where the Hifiman 4XXs would really prove a great fit to the product, and again, I reiterate - many people think an amp is ’just for more volume’ and don’t understand it is about driver control, something that Planars generally need (an amp), so I think they make the most sense from iFis perspecitve, to target.
Of coure the Hifimans do seem to get redone every other minute and are still a ‘settling product’.

the Meze99s and the 177X, ‘not so much’.

so to clarify: from iFis perspective (needed by the punters): Hifiman4XX
needed by gamers: 177x
needed by audiofools: Meze99

My horse in this race would be for the Meze99, but I’d buy a 2nd/3rd place bet and happily cash in.
Again, I applaud iFi for doing this without it being a marketing exercise to up their profile on Facebook etc. (congratulation and ‘thankyou”)
 
Feb 16, 2021 at 10:51 PM Post #59 of 96

d m41n man

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My vote goes to the AKG K7xx. Having been through the K701, K712, and now my Q701 'made in Austria' is standing the test of 6 years. These cans really deliver with that class-A amp power and crossing fingers would be a good match with a lot of AKG Pro headphones owners out there.
 
Feb 16, 2021 at 11:35 PM Post #60 of 96

whitedragem

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My vote goes to the AKG K7xx. Having been through the K701, K712, and now my Q701 'made in Austria' is standing the test of 6 years. These cans really deliver with that class-A amp power and crossing fingers would be a good match with a lot of AKG Pro headphones owners out there.
Yes superb headphones!
Do they need a profile? Towards neutrality?
I agree they need an amp.
given they are reference headphones, wouldn’t many of their buyers already have the requisite amp?
I think anyone buying the nice K7XX series parts knows that an amp is needed...

again, do they need re-eq?
I’d like to think they would have many more units sold than the rest.. :)

Would have been nice for the poll to ask an extra question (or two) - such as ‘how often do you change your headphones’, cause AKG owners generally don’t. (meaning a custom amp would be super fitting and justifiable, like the Meze99 and the 177X offer)
 
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