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Sennheiser hd 414 (now with a review - HD414 vs HD580, HP910, Koss Porta Pro)

  1. DefectiveAudioComponent
    I just recovered a pair of HD414 (the anniversary edition) that I gave to my brother some years ago. He said that they were broken but the only flaw I can find is the missing ear pads which are easy to replace and a loose cable that I had to attach.

    Does anybody else own a pair of HD414 and what do you think about them?

    They are extremely uncomfortable without the pads and the sound is not fantastic out of the mac book pro. I'll try them from my XCAN later, but as I recall, they were not that expensive.
  2. nikongod
    the aniversary edition is 600 ohm if i am not mistaken.

    the 2000 ohm variant is supposed to be much better. i have a set (2000 ohm) and like them QUITE a lot.

    the hd580/600/650 cables fit them and are a VERY worthwhile upgrade.
  3. DefectiveAudioComponent
    600 ohms... that would require a headphone amp?
    Would an iPod or a Mac Book Pro have problems driving them?
  4. facelvega
    Yes, you'd want an amp. Here is a review indicating that the new edition was inferior to the old ones. The problem with the old version is that even most headphone amps can't really drive them properly.
  5. audiomagnate
    The other nice thing about the 2000 ohm version is that you can drive them via the regular outputs of some preamps. I used to have a pair hooked up to a Dynaco PAS3x. Try that with a "normal," relatively low impedance set of headphones and you get horrible distortion.
  6. DefectiveAudioComponent
    Right... yes, I read that review now. It did not sound too promising. But when I get the new earpads for the HD414, then I'll compare them with my HD580s and with Koss Porta Pro.
  7. facelvega

    Originally Posted by DefectiveAudioComponent /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    Right... yes, I read that review now. It did not sound too promising. But when I get the new earpads for the HD414, then I'll compare them with my HD580s and with Koss Porta Pro.

    It's not that the new version is a bad headphone, it's that the old one was a real classic. I'm sure you can get some decent performance out of the new version too.
  8. DefectiveAudioComponent

    Originally Posted by facelvega /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    I'm sure you can get some decent performance out of the new version too.

    You are sure because you listened to some good music through them, or because of something else?
  9. facelvega

    Originally Posted by DefectiveAudioComponent /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    You are sure because you listened to some good music through them, or because of something else?

    I'm afraid I've never heard them myself. I mean "I am sure" in the sense that the several reviews and comments I've seen on them indicate that their owners have liked them and that they're not too bad. If they were truly dire, we'd likely have heard of it around here by now. But yes, I meant it more conversationally than as a statement of conviction.
  10. DefectiveAudioComponent
    First, a quick listen of Ex Machina and Kind of Nitzer through the headphone out of a mac book pro.

    The HD414 plays the music with a hard agressive character. The hi-hat stands out more than with the HD580s or the Porta Pro. They are much more convenient to wear than the way I remembered them.

    The HD580s plays a more harmonious tone, but instead it's a bit like listening to music played in a nearby room. I'd like to open that door to the HD414 a bit, but not completely.

    Going to the Koss Porta Pro, the character of the music is now rather bassy, and enjoyable.

    In fact, I am not entirely happy with either option.
  11. DefectiveAudioComponent
    Moving over to Seven Nation Army played through Arcam CD73 - XCANv3

    HD414. Now it is like if Jack White was standing next to me and sings / screams right into both my ears. Agressive and detailed. Everything is very distinct.

    HD580. Jack has taken a step back, but definitely not into the nearby room. The Seven Nation Army is a bit less aggressive and more bassy. If you happen to have the CD next to you, you can hear a sound effect of some kind through the song (I don't know what the name of it is). It can still clearly be heard, but with the 414 it was more up front. It struck me as a surprise, something I had not noticed before with the 414, but back to the 580s that I usually listen through, the sound is still there, just more in the background.

    Moving over to the Porta Pro, the sound effect is there too, but now it is like I moved inside the bass drum, and listen to everything from there. Definitely uncomfortable.

    This time the I have much harder time making a decision. Clearly, the porta pro is not an option. But the 414 or the 580s? I am not so sure. The 580s are more bassy and harmonious. There is nothing wrong with the bass from the 414, it is nice and distinct, but there is less of it.
  12. DefectiveAudioComponent
    As I am now charging my iPod, I thought why not listen to Seven Nation Army?

    Plugging in the 414s I also have to turn the Ipod volume up to the maximum. Clearly, these two were not meant for each other. The headphones are adding some kind scraping noise that shouldn't be there. The sound is now a bit bassy (I'd say slow, if sound can be said to be slow). This is not a fantastic experience.

    The 580s might be even bassier at maximum volume which is not so loud (not loud enough for my taste, just like with the 414). The sound effect can almost not be heard. Jack is definitely moving away and plays at a distance. This is not quite good either.

    Now the Porta Pro stands out as a good player. Even though it is again bassier than the 580s and 414s, it can at least play the music loud enough.

    In this case I prefer the Porta Pro.
  13. DefectiveAudioComponent
    Back at work (thus the very short comment) I am a bit happier listening to Kind of Nitzer through the MacBook / HP910.

    As I recalled, the headphone out of the MacBook Pro was not that bad, but at work I have the Philips HP910s, that I bought new (probably used as demo cans) at the store for $10 a while ago. Also, I am far away from the arcam/xcan alternative... Anyway, these play Kind of Nitzer in a way similar to the Koss. Except that with these, the bass makes my head vibrate, while not being worse than with the Koss in other respects. Also, the Philips can be played without turning the volume any higher than with the Koss. A vibrating head being a good thing, the Philips 910 are clearly the winner on the MacBook pro.
  14. DefectiveAudioComponent
    It seems that this comparison isn't what most people here wants to read about... but as this is a headphone forum I thought I'd keep posting...

    This comparison is instead based on playing The Hidden Cameras - Death of A tone. Through Arcam CD73 / XCANv3.

    Now I begin by plugging in the HP910s and thereafter the Porta Pro. Here, the similiarities with the Koss ends. The Porta Pro still does horrible things with the music. The HP910s on the contrary adds a dreamy musical character with a deep but quite controlled bass. In comparison, the HD580s sound less alive and more analytical. The HD414 instead again emphasizes the lyrics, playing a precise bass in the background. The sound is again agressive, with an almost uncomfortable edge to it. No risk of falling asleep here. Switching again to the 580s the sound is decidedly more comfortable. In fact I begin to think that it matters a bit how exactly the 580s are positioned around my ears. Some one else might have some more thoughts about that I guess.

    It's really difficult to make a chocie here with such different cans.
  15. captian73
    well, I've got the 2000 ohm version, and a go-vibe v5 amp and i used my HD650 cable they do o.k. hands up i didn't really buy them for sound, it was an emotional purchase.

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