Sennheiser HD 700 Impressions Thread
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jono454

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Hey MickeyVee..
 
Do you know if there's a significant difference in getting the Uber upgrade for your bifrost when using the HD700s?
 
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MickeyVee

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^^ Yup.. the Birfrost Uber provided more detail while being smoother and had better bass.  Definitely worth the money! For me, it took a $1K DAC to beat it.
 
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roguegeek

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I go to sleep with Lyr in my brain. I wake up and want the WA7. I have this forum.
 
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roguegeek

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  ^^ Yup.. the Birfrost Uber provided more detail while being smoother and had better bass.  Definitely worth the money! For me, it took a $1K DAC to beat it.
 
You see, and this is the complete rub I'm seeing with the WA7. It's $1k and it's that because it is everything in one, but what if you find or require a better DAC down the line? Well then you've spent a lot of money on something where you can't sell off the parts that no longer work for you.
 
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Jon-LF

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Haha mate I faced the same problem. I ended up with a Naim Dac V1 (which is an awesome pairing with the 700s). I had a sweet deal on it but before i auditioned it, I almost clicked buy on the wa7s!

The devil in me wanted to do a WA6 LE and a Bifrost, for the exact same reasons.

I've heard good things about the WA7 with HD700 mix, but as I've not actually heard that combo, I'm not qualified to comment.

I will say that there are at LEAST two WA7s for sale on forums though :)
 
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Rob80b

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Thought I’d just mention this before I forget, and I’m sure all you headfiers know, but I’ve noticed that with the HD700s more than my other phones that depending on where the centre of the driver is in relation to the ear canal the upper frequencies can be greatly affected.
The only reason I mention this is that the 700 pads are very form fitting but the matching to one’s ears may not be the optimum position for an unimpeded frequency response causing dips and peaks!
 
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Rob80b

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Been playing around with my modded AKG K701s ( http://www.head-fi.org/t/660408/reversible-akg-k701-bass-mod ) and comparing them with my HD700s and have been dickering back and forth on which I liked better.
But if there was any question or doubt it was put to rest after throwing on Depeche Mode’s “Ultra” and the remastered “Speaking in Tongues” by Talking heads.
The bass slam and authority as well as almost everything else came down to the HD700s with aplomb, it just sounded right.
 
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roguegeek

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So, here's what I thought was a quick and interesting observation. I've had a demo unit of an HD 700 for the last 7 days and enjoyed it so much that I grabbed my own on Friday. From the shape the demo unit is in and knowing how many people have used them before me, it's pretty safe to assume there are a significant amount of hours on them. This as opposed to my own personal copy which has a handful of hours on them. Well for the last couple of hours, I started to AB them and I've noticed a difference. My copy has a certain looseness in the treble that doesn't exist in the demo unit. There's also a level of sibilance in my copy that, again, does not exist in the demo unit. The differences are negligible, but I am 100% certain they are there. My assumption is that on mine, with time and more hours, the treble will tighten up and the sibilance will reduce to levels that match the demo unit.

I know what kind of line I'm walking by posting this, but it really wasn't meant to start the futile debate of burn-in. Take the observation how you will.
 
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pdrm360

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I remember some hot trebles and sibilance in the beginning but after a couple months of listening most of them smoothed out.  
 
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Bigglesworth

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So, here's what I thought was a quick and interesting observation. I've had a demo unit of an HD 700 for the last 7 days and enjoyed it so much that I grabbed my own on Friday. From the shape the demo unit is in and knowing how many people have used them before me, it's pretty safe to assume there are a significant amount of hours on them. This as opposed to my own personal copy which has a handful of hours on them. Well for the last couple of hours, I started to AB them and I've noticed a difference. My copy has a certain looseness in the treble that doesn't exist in the demo unit. There's also a level of sibilance in my copy that, again, does not exist in the demo unit. The differences are negligible, but I am 100% certain they are there. My assumption is that on mine, with time and more hours, the treble will tighten up and the sibilance will reduce to levels that match the demo unit.

I know what kind of line I'm walking by posting this, but it really wasn't meant to start the futile debate of burn-in. Take the observation how you will.
I think most people believe that headphones and speakers need to be "burned-in" because they actually have moving parts/drivers that change over time.  Whereas there's more debate on Amps and DACs - electronics...which I also believe need to be burned in.  Not surprised at all of your findings.  Mine are starting to really gel after 100plus hours of listening.  
 
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Rob80b

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Well there are mechanical parts involved, how much the sound will change for the better (or worse) as time goes on only time will tell.
 

 
 
http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/ces/2012/audio.htm
“From my short listen to the HD700 at the show, it sounded very similar to the HD800 as I expected. This means too bright for my taste fresh out of the box with a solid-state amplifier, however I'll bet you that the HD700s will be astounding when broken-in …………….
 
A new patent-pending feature is the special shape of the gauze, which continues the curved lines of the diaphragm. The resulting curvature reduces the volume of air beneath the diaphragm, thus guaranteeing even more precise control of the diaphragm motion and significantly lowering total harmonic distortion.”
 
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roguegeek

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I just know it can tend to be a sensitive discussion around these parts and I'm not looking to make things snowball. Personally, I burn in every single pair of cans I get because I do believe there is a physical change and that it's not just some brain game I'm playing with myself. The observations I made help me lend validity to what I was thinking.
 
In terms of the actual observations, the changes were highly highly minute, but present. Definitely nothing I am worried about because it still sounded great. It's just nice to know I can look forward to it getting a little better as well.
 
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streetdragon

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I still think that earpad softening plays a much bigger part in these treble reductions in the 'burn in' process.
 
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Rob80b

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  I still think that earpad softening plays a much bigger part in these treble reductions in the 'burn in' process.
Ear pads do indeed make up a huge difference in sound and when they age and deteriorate the phone can completely change. For example my HD600 pads were so flat they sounded more like a Grado, I put new pads on just a while ago and basically restored the sound I remembered. Didn’t take a shot of the old pads but just got a replacement headband cushion today, you can see the obvious difference, the pads were similar.

 
Mind you the HD700 pads appear to be of a completely different material, hopefully their longevity has been improved.
 
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I know my pads have changed very little, if at all, in the 60-80hrs I currently have on mine. I do know that just yesterday I was listening to some Diana Ross hits and I was able to crank the volume a little more than the last time I listened to these same tunes (back around hours 10-20).  Was it me adjusting to the HD-700 or has the treble balance changed ever so slightly?  Not sure, and fully expect the right answer is a combination of both.  Those particular songs had lots of prominent hi-hat work, and I can't imagine I am adjusting that much as my son is a drummer and I pay attention to cymbal sounds all the time and have plenty of muscle memory between my ears and brain as to what I think is nice to listen to and what is not so nice.
 
I can see how material breakdown inside the pad would definitely start to have the same effect as various room treatments, affecting different frequencies depending on location and physical properties at play.  Not sure where in freq treble can most likely sound "hot" versus just forward or extended... but I would guess it is between 3-6 kHz. On yet another note, I recently swapped the regular pads for V-Moda XL pads on my M-100.  Was completely disappointed in the change of balance, but now I am thinking the bass thump will retreat and the mids/highs will come back into focus as the pads break in and allow the drivers to get a bit closer to my ears.  So that leaves me wondering if the pads can have an effect that goes either way.... well worn and starting to absorb some frequencies into the material, especially toward the inside area of the pad of course... or just the opposite and bringing mids and highs a little more forward in volume and perception due to "compression" where the material still has the same integrity, but the foam inside is now yielding a bit more and allowing the drivers/cups to settle closer to the ear.  I am hoping I am onto something here as I ripped the stock pads on the M-100 during the swap so now I am going to try tying up the phones at night to accelerate the compression process and see if I can find a nice compromise since the added comfort of the XL pads are welcome.
 
Finally, just curious, how many of you find plenty of room for your ears to maneuver in the HD-700 pads or just enough to get by?  I have been fairly vocal about my opinion that the HD-700 is one of the best ergo designs in the headphone industry, but if these pads were just ever so slightly smaller my medium-big ears would complain a bit.
 
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