Official Unofficial 8XX Discussion Thread - UPDATE SENNHEISER HAS BEEN SOLD!!! GT(heck)IH
Mar 22, 2021 at 9:13 AM Post #421 of 468

jlbb

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Let me fix that for you then:

"With the right EQ, this can will sound exactly how you want it to. It is therefore IMO a winner".

Happy?

Do you actually believe that's an intelligent response?

yikes, at this point he might as well just skip the headphones and review the EQ

I am sure he has heard headphones he doesn't need to EQ, I have as well and probably most people who EQ have so I guess you must just have the golden ears that are above us. This is all besides the point that literally no other headphone reviewer uses EQ.... Basically you are saying he is not good enough to review without EQ at this point since I am assuming is JV, DMS or ZEOS gave you their opinions on a headphone you wouldn't hound them about not using EQ....

EQ is useless for a lot of people because simply put we buy different headphones to get different sounds not play with buttons and the sounds we do get from the headphones we own is impressive and flawed and we love it even with the flaws. Sorry if that doesn't connect with you but I won't be pushing my views on the matter so really the conversations about why people do or don't EQ ends here I will reiterate the majority of people won't be using EQ, even among audiophiles saying a $1000+ headphone "needs EQ" on it's face makes them think it's not a good headphone regardless of it being a 8XX or a LCD-# or a Arya. Lastly some of us use different devices to listen to music I personally have 2 computers, 2 cell phones, and an extra TV standalone with bluetooth.... Some of these devices CANNOT EQ, besides that I cannot be arsed to EQ every single one and switch between these 4 devices (or closer to 3.5; reminder iphone, you know the most popular phone, doesn't have system wide EQ) for my what is it now almost 10 sets of headphones and make compromises or even spend time I don't have to EQ it or switch EQ or setup EQ. People who have a cool $1k to spend on headphones casually that aren't audiophiles and have a reasonable amount of devices like me would laugh, normal people who want to splurge would laugh and say let me buy something not broken.

Above all else the hard cold truth is that if you have to EQ a $1k set of headphones you can buy something else for less that you don't have to EQ to enjoy. We are in the age where you can spend $50, sometime even less on new bluetooth headphones, made of actual metal, with good ANC, and good sound, and actual soundstage.... Where you can buy $30 TWS that actually sound decent, that have over 40 hours of charge time with the case and are so waterproof you can go swimming with them on. Paying $1k for headphone has always been ridiculous but now they don't even have to sound good is a new low, having to EQ a $1k headphone is ridiculous as the notion that you need to EQ all headphones even ones over $1k for them to sound good, and if you have something else to say well fun because TBH I have ignored you and remember why now so go and make an EQ profile for the Sennheiser HE 1!
Nothing *needs* EQ, but most headphones and particularly something like the 800s would be universally preferred with it. In regards to different devices if you're desperate to use your HD800s with an iPhone then I don't even know what to tell you. EQing a headphone doesn't make it a bad headphone, units like the LCD-X can sound fairly bizarre without and unnatural it and incredibly well rounded by doing so.

To be quite frank, if someone handed you, the average person on the street or typical audiophiles an HD8XX digitally EQd to Harman and told you it was the the new resonators changing the FR the vast majority of people are likely to prefer it to a typically 800 and have absolutely no idea it was EQ. There are studies to back up the notion of generalised FR preference for human beings.

I don't consider five minutes spent on EQing a product you spent $1000 on to be out of line, but you do you.

Personally, I'm yet to try a $50 headphone that sounded even remotely good, let alone one with "good soundstage" and "good ANC". But maybe I expect too much from "audiophiles" like yourself in terms of discerning taste. But I assume I'm talking someone without experience let alone budget here.

If I bought an HE-1 I would absolutely play around with an EQ because I give a crap about about sound. Its interesting to me, I don't buy into the idea that there's some magical price point where frequency response is always perfect for every headphone above that number. There's more to a headphone than FR, hence why if concerns involve FR then EQ is worth considering.

In regards to mentioning EQ to begin with, the only reason I brought it up is because I think to a lot of readers it would be interesting to hear the perspective of someone who isn't in love with the FR of the 800 using EQ to alter the areas they feel are lacking and see if it fixes any of those issues. How on earth would that not be helpful to potential buyers?

Its not like anything I'm saying hasn't been thought about before, plenty of Youtubers including those on the headphone show that mention use of EQ.
 
Mar 22, 2021 at 3:39 PM Post #422 of 468

tjlindle

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I'd say a situation like this (higher budget headphones with excellent technical qualities but divisive FR) is actually one of the best use cases for EQ, because it will allow you to tap into those technical strengths while not getting locked entirely into the default sound profile. Yea you can find a different headphone that has a preferable FR out of the box, but in exchange you'd lose the specific technical strengths of the 8XX and you can't EQ those.
 
Mar 22, 2021 at 4:08 PM Post #423 of 468

askeladden

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Its a small world sometimes. Had to google a bit about how well the HD800 series respond to EQ'ing.

Ended up on reddit and then i was like hmmm didn't i just see that username somewhere?

syncron-vert.jpg
 
Mar 22, 2021 at 4:53 PM Post #425 of 468

amoeba1126

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From a headphones perspective, EQ is like auto-tuning for me. Sure you can make anyone sound better by artificially manipulating their sound, but I would prefer to just avoid that and get headphones that are better suited for my personal preference. Not to mention, unless I am only using the headphones in one setup, I would have to EQ them for every source I connect to and not only does that get annoying fast, there is no guarantee that it will sound the same across the board as that is dependent on the EQ capabilities of either the source or wherever the alteration takes place. For me personally, I prefer headphones that sound as closely and consistently to what I like no matter what device I pair it up with. My days of experimenting with sound is behind me (my wallet appreciates it) and nowadays, I just prefer to simply enjoy listening to music without worrying about anything else.
 
Mar 22, 2021 at 7:08 PM Post #426 of 468

jasswolf

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From a headphones perspective, EQ is like auto-tuning for me. Sure you can make anyone sound better by artificially manipulating their sound, but I would prefer to just avoid that and get headphones that are better suited for my personal preference. Not to mention, unless I am only using the headphones in one setup, I would have to EQ them for every source I connect to and not only does that get annoying fast, there is no guarantee that it will sound the same across the board as that is dependent on the EQ capabilities of either the source or wherever the alteration takes place. For me personally, I prefer headphones that sound as closely and consistently to what I like no matter what device I pair it up with. My days of experimenting with sound is behind me (my wallet appreciates it) and nowadays, I just prefer to simply enjoy listening to music without worrying about anything else.
I completely agree with getting a good starting point, but the suggestion here was a simple bass shelf to see if the little extra bass kick could be brought in without making it distorted.

I personally prefer the updated Sundara without the full Harman EQ for example, but I might try just bumping the bass and pulling down the treble.

People also play around with the colouration of tubes to modify and clean up sound signature.

As we're hitting the point of $99 amps measuring distortion free and $200 headphones providing some high-level characteristics, I think the community will turn more to EQ, DSP as well as trying to gain a better understanding of how analogue component design modifies sound signature.
 
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Mar 22, 2021 at 7:18 PM Post #427 of 468

HiFiHawaii808

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Before I quit reviewing, I always used EQ, because it actually *helped* me to better figure out what the staging and resolution capabilities of the headphone under test were. By normalizing FR to a curve I personally like, I found it easier to pick out technical performance differences, but that's just me.
Exactly. I like EQing all of my headphones to Harman and then A/B testing them to see how they really differ technically. It also helps you to quickly learn your own frequency response preferences and determining your own target preference curve.

I find it strange when people say they only like to Hardware EQ when Software EQ is free, reversible and easy to do. This is basically selecting gear to effect frequency response changes instead of parameters in software. To me, that's like bartering rather than using cash to trade. Sure, I can bring it a possum, squirrel and 2 catfish to trade you for pork ribs, but I'd rather just pay you $17 for them.
 
Mar 22, 2021 at 8:01 PM Post #428 of 468

Racheski

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I mean you did an absolutely massive, probably multi-hour long writeup on the headphones which multitudes of different sections. But five minutes on trying a free EQ program and using something like an Oratory preset isn't worth adding as a single section? I don't really buy it.

If it were as simple as EQ "fixing" a million headphones people would never buy hifi. They would buy a pair of Apple earbuds and EQ them. But of course they don't, because that's bull and you're clearly oversimplifying this. Harman isn't perfect but its based on studies implemented in an academic environment. There are more universally preferred FR for a headphone than others. That doesn't mean that every headphone EQd to the Harman target will sound the same, they don't. Doesn't mean personal preference doesn't exist either. But the 800 is the perfect example of community consensus over problem areas like the bass and treble peaks.

If you think its purely up to personal preference, again I don't get why you wouldn't see how the headphone responded to YOUR preference for EQ. As I said EQ tweaks aren't going to turn this into a planar like an LCD-X with that level of rumble and slam, but it would be interesting to see how you feel as someone with a preference for great levels of bass attempting to move in this direction with EQ.

Your review was thorough and overall a very impressive rundown, your logic behind not doing a tiny section with how it sounds with a subtle EQ is just nonsense, bad faith argument. The reality is most HD800 owners probably have tried and and almost certainly preferred minor bass tweaks with EQ. If you're an enthusiast at the level you're buying $1000 headphones or buying expensive aftermarket cables then you can't assume that this target audience wouldn't be interested in how it performs with an EQ on areas deemed problems by the community.

And lets be real, almost NO ONE thinks the HD800 bass response is perfect even on a purely FR level. I'm not saying you should do your entire review EQd to your preference, I'm just saying that a review as long as yours that constantly acknowledges personal feelings of lack of appeal for the bass performance (which you know full well is common) deserves a small section on how it performs with EQ.
I would expect the HD8XX to respond to EQ very similarly to the 800S, which is very well.
 
Mar 23, 2021 at 2:12 AM Post #430 of 468

descloud

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I have the HD800 with SDR mod and I think they reproduce vocal and most instrument timbre more correctly with EQ. Technicalities I find aren't affected by applying EQ. While I won't say that listening to the HD800/S in stock form wouldn't be enjoyable to owners, but I think they will sound better and more correct to live performance with some EQ applied. Since I find they can sound better with EQ, I put it in my written review explicitly. There are headphones that still don't sound as great even with EQ (i.e. Oppo PM-3), so EQ is not always the saving grace of headphones.
 
Mar 25, 2021 at 3:46 PM Post #432 of 468

HiFiHawaii808

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Software EQ = compression.
All sound is air pressure and compression. Your comment is neither interesting, nor relevant. It's about as relevant as concluding that all electronics use electricity. Audio engineers use EQ to mix tracks to their desired end product. Audiophiles use EQ to fine tune their systems to their taste. Not using EQ because a person wants to hear the intention of the artist or the product company is weird. As weird as saying, I don't want to use salt because I want to experience the meal the way the chef intended.

I would expect the HD8XX to respond to EQ very similarly to the 800S, which is very well.
Agreed. With EQ, you can turn the HD800S from a one trick pony good for only Classical music and certain types of Jazz into a really good all around headphone. Same thing with my Sony IER-Z1R. When I first got them, I hated them because I don't like a v-shaped sound signature. The recessed mids sounded terrible to my ear. When I hardware EQed, I paired it with my Chord Mojo and I loved that sound. I did not like the stock sound with my Chord Hugo 2. So, I EQed them and now the Sony IER-Z!R with EQ paired with my Chord Hugo 2 are my favorite IEMs. People who take a parochial view of software EQ are missing out on tremendous opportunities in their audiophile experience due to an artificial and self limiting factor.
 
Mar 25, 2021 at 5:22 PM Post #433 of 468

A Jedi

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Your comment is neither interesting, nor relevant. It's about as relevant as concluding that all electronics use electricity.

I suggest you look into digital processing and gain some understanding of how it works. Also look into signal compression and how it's different from air pressure/compression. Because unlike my comment, yours is uneducated.
 
Mar 25, 2021 at 10:22 PM Post #434 of 468

gikigill

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All sound is air pressure and compression. Your comment is neither interesting, nor relevant. It's about as relevant as concluding that all electronics use electricity. Audio engineers use EQ to mix tracks to their desired end product. Audiophiles use EQ to fine tune their systems to their taste. Not using EQ because a person wants to hear the intention of the artist or the product company is weird. As weird as saying, I don't want to use salt because I want to experience the meal the way the chef intended.


Agreed. With EQ, you can turn the HD800S from a one trick pony good for only Classical music and certain types of Jazz into a really good all around headphone. Same thing with my Sony IER-Z1R. When I first got them, I hated them because I don't like a v-shaped sound signature. The recessed mids sounded terrible to my ear. When I hardware EQed, I paired it with my Chord Mojo and I loved that sound. I did not like the stock sound with my Chord Hugo 2. So, I EQed them and now the Sony IER-Z!R with EQ paired with my Chord Hugo 2 are my favorite IEMs. People who take a parochial view of software EQ are missing out on tremendous opportunities in their audiophile experience due to an artificial and self limiting factor.

The air pressure in your tyres doesnt involve software EQ and the DSP on your Tech devices doesn't involve an air compressor.

Lord Almighty!!
 
Mar 26, 2021 at 3:08 AM Post #435 of 468

MayaTlab

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Also look into signal compression

I don’t know what you mean by « signal compression » but digital PEQs don’t raise the quietest sounds relative to the loudest ones.
Perhaps you instead mean the impact of the EQ’s headroom on dynamic range or noise floor, in which case it shouldn’t be a problem at all if you listen at normal listening volumes or use a decent DAC/amp in terms of noise floor (available at any price these days).
 

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