Headphones Era lOTl Even Through The Distortion We Remain Lossless

ara

Member
Oct 26, 2017
6,980
The M50xs are definitely over-ear, the pads just happen to be juust small enough to essentially turn them into on-ear headphones for some. But yeah, they're uncomfortable as fuck, which is a shame since I feel like the M40xs would otherwise make for great gaming headphones for me. As for leather pads, they simply offer different benefits compared to velour - improved passive isolation being the most obvious one, which is something people buying closed-back headphones are usually looking for.

And yeah, the HD598/599s are by far the most comfortable headphones I've ever used, if we don't count stuff like Airpods. They really do just disappear on your head.

In other news, I've taken my first leap into the world of IEMs and chi-fi and ordered the BLON BL-03s last week. Really looking forward to getting my hands on them, particularly because the Sony WH1000XM3s I use at work have started to get really uncomfortable for me all of a sudden.
 

man

Member
Oct 30, 2017
577
NYC
I need a amp recommendation.

There is a slight chance of me going very high end and buying $2000+ headphones this year. I'm already got my eyes looking at the topping d90 as my DAC but I'm going to need an amp to go with it. From what I understand, the 789 or the 887 gets recommended for everything but are there any amplifiers at or below $1000 that beat them in terms of power/distortion/quality/etc without adding a bunch of extra features and knobs beyond volume control and input switching ( I have no interest in EQing). A lot of very expensive amps seem to justify their prices by adding a whole bunch of features that just read like they're just EQ options.

If there aren't any amps like that, I'm willing to just get a 789 or 887 and save the money on a future headphone lol
If you have a budget, I wouldn't go all in on a $2000+ set of cans only to be gimped by subpar amp/dacs, especially if you think you'll be buying more headphones in the future (which is very easy to do in this hobby).

That being said, the 789/887 are really good options (the 887 has slightly less THD than the 789, but likely unnoticeable, fortunately they're the same price) for amps as is the d90 for the dac. Also you either love em or hate em, but don't sleep on Schiit products either.

I myself use the 887 along with an RME ADI-2 (v2) for the dac to power Focal Clears.
 

mere_immortal

Member
Oct 25, 2017
421
Ended up picking up the Sony’s for $300 today. Only briefly tested but holy shit the bass is high on these. Gonna mess around with EQ settings and try them out over a few settings.
I'm having this same dilemma! Tried a quick in store demo today and the Bose seemed to edge ahead slightly in sound quality but the Sony has slightly better ANC. Will see if I can try my own music choices somewhere else too.

How are you finding the Sonys?
 

ngower

Member
Nov 20, 2017
524
I'm having this same dilemma! Tried a quick in store demo today and the Bose seemed to edge ahead slightly in sound quality but the Sony has slightly better ANC. Will see if I can try my own music choices somewhere else too.

How are you finding the Sonys?
I ended up returning them. The sound quality was not $300 quality in my opinion and the noise cancellation is excellent but didn’t justify the price.
 

remz

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,944
The m50x is a weird headphone because it's got some serious clamp bros but I also feel like it just fucking flies off my head whenever possible.
 

jtb

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,351
Is upgrading to a THX788 pointless if I only have a HD 6xx and K7xx right now? I'm eyeing maybe grabbing the Focal Elex's or the DT1990s also but not decided yet.

Elear + Utopia pads + case (but no balanced cable) or Elex with the balanced cable (but no case)... down the rabbit hole I go.
 
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regawdless

Member
Oct 28, 2017
4,108
EU
Is upgrading to a THX788 pointless if I only have a HD 6xx and K7xx right now? I'm eyeing maybe grabbing the Focal Elex's or the DT1990s also but not decided yet.

Elear + Utopia pads + case (but no balanced cable) or Elex with the balanced cable (but no case)... down the rabbit hole I go.
Elex is better than an Elear with Utopia Pads. But an Elear with Clear pads is basically an Elex. Sounds great.
 

regawdless

Member
Oct 28, 2017
4,108
EU
Too bad their Elear + Clear pad bundle is already sold out. Went for the Elex instead with the 788. Can't wait.
Great choice, I like the all black design of the Elex more than the Elear. Also has a better cable. You're in for a treat, it's a nice combo with the 788.

I'll post my impressions soon, after I've dealt with some personal stuff. I have the Elear, bought them really cheap. Changed the cable, because the original one is just way too heavy. Also bought Dekoni fenestrated sheepskin pads, along with red Focal Clear Pro pads. They improve the sound quite a lot, really dig it.
 

TheOne

Member
May 25, 2019
716
So this weekend has been totally crazy for me. I went from being perfectly happy with my old Shure SRH440 to question myself and decide to buy some bluetooth headphones, only to discover that they still kind of suck for gaming, only to drop the idea and decide to replace my current headphones with some new wired ones, go the cheap route with some Audio Technica M20x, only to change idea and go with Senheiser HD 559 and then Sennheiser HD599 and finally some Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 6XX, a Fiio 3K DAC Amplifier and some TTRS 2.5m Balanced cable. All of this thanks to an extra 80 bucks in gift balance on Amazon that I wanted to spend cause why not.

Thought process of the whole purchase: Bought the HD 6XX due to the massive praise all around after many back & forth, discovered they were 300 ohms and that they would be most likely hard to drive correctly on my laptop, purchased the Fiio K3 DAC amp thinking it would be more than enough for a beginner like me then read that the 3.5mm audio output was kind of weak and that I had too use the 2.5mm balanced one instead, bought a 3.5mm to 2.5mm adapter thinking it would do the trick, learned about balanced cable and the difference compared to single ended, learned that you can't just convert single ended cable with some simple 3.5mm to 2.5mm adapter and finally purchased the TTRS balanced cable.
 

luffeN

Member
Oct 30, 2017
872
What is the advantage of using a balanced cable? Does it improve the sound quality? Or is it just for being able to use a longer cable?
 

man

Member
Oct 30, 2017
577
NYC
What is the advantage of using a balanced cable? Does it improve the sound quality? Or is it just for being able to use a longer cable?
Balanced cables benefit longer cables due to their ability to cancel noise at the component level (really cool concept actually, worth a read). For shorter distances you won't benefit from this as much unless you have strong noise sources close to your gear.
 
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luffeN

Member
Oct 30, 2017
872
Balanced cables benefit longer cables due to their ability to cancel noise at the component level (really cool concept actually, worth a read). For shorter distances you won't benefit from this as much unless you have strong noise sources close to your gear.
Cool, thank you.

Does anyone have experience with the Arctis Pro Wirless from SteelSeries? I would like to know if they come close to the HD 660s.
 

jtb

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,351
Really loving the THX 788 and the Focal Elex's just arrived and I'm listening to a couple songs before I go to work. Actually a little surprised by how notable the amp improvement was. Definitely staying put with this set up for at least another year lol

I've read some QA issues with Focal stuff so hopefully these weren't a bad batch.
 

regawdless

Member
Oct 28, 2017
4,108
EU
Really loving the THX 788 and the Focal Elex's just arrived and I'm listening to a couple songs before I go to work. Actually a little surprised by how notable the amp improvement was. Definitely staying put with this set up for at least another year lol

I've read some QA issues with Focal stuff so hopefully these weren't a bad batch.
I mostly read about driver clipping at certain low frequencies. A good way to test this is the Bladerunner 2049 Hans Zimmer track. I tested it on my Elear and it was fine, but some people said theirs clipped even on medium volume at this track. Focal says it's because of the driver design and it isn't a defect, but I think they are just covering their asses. Because not every pair has that issue.
 

Teiresias

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,784
So I needed to get a set of headphones to use in my home theater for when my partner went to bed before me I could keep playing. I've been using a set of Audio Technica AD700 for years now and they still work fine, but I decided I'd try out Sennheiser this go around and picked up the HD599.

I have to say, the sound signature between the two is night and day. Are the HD599 supposed to be very neutral? Because they feel VERY bass-heavy to me after years with the Audio Technica, to the point where they almost sound muffled to me. I THINK it's just going to be a matter of me getting used to them (which may be hard since I'll be using the HD599 in the HT and will still use the AD700 on the office gaming PC), but just wanted to see if what I'm experiencing is what you all would suspect that have more experience with the different brands.

I know the AT have a reputation of being brighter, but still, I didn't expect them to sound soooooo different from one another. Maybe I've just gotten so used to the AT brightness that anything that's less bright and has more bass sounds muffled to me and less "present"?
 

k0decraft

Member
Oct 27, 2017
898
Earth
So I needed to get a set of headphones to use in my home theater for when my partner went to bed before me I could keep playing. I've been using a set of Audio Technica AD700 for years now and they still work fine, but I decided I'd try out Sennheiser this go around and picked up the HD599.

I have to say, the sound signature between the two is night and day. Are the HD599 supposed to be very neutral? Because they feel VERY bass-heavy to me after years with the Audio Technica, to the point where they almost sound muffled to me. I THINK it's just going to be a matter of me getting used to them (which may be hard since I'll be using the HD599 in the HT and will still use the AD700 on the office gaming PC), but just wanted to see if what I'm experiencing is what you all would suspect that have more experience with the different brands.

I know the AT have a reputation of being brighter, but still, I didn't expect them to sound soooooo different from one another. Maybe I've just gotten so used to the AT brightness that anything that's less bright and has more bass sounds muffled to me and less "present"?
Indeed there is a difference on sound signature. The HD599 are more 'warm' hence bassier sounding. The AD series are more airy and what i would call "lite in the ass"... having no weight to their sound and lacking bass..... you're going from the AD700 to the HD599 so you are not used to the sound yet.

The HD6xx series by Sennheiser personally has a better sound signature than the HD5xx series, but that's opinion.
 

Teiresias

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,784
Indeed there is a difference on sound signature. The HD599 are more 'warm' hence bassier sounding. The AD series are more airy and what i would call "lite in the ass"... having no weight to their sound and lacking bass..... you're going from the AD700 to the HD599 so you are not used to the sound yet.

The HD6xx series by Sennheiser personally has a better sound signature than the HD5xx series, but that's opinion.
Yeah, I'm not really an audiophile so couldn't justify the cost to jump to the HD6xx series for the on-off use they will get. I'm not sure how well the headphone output of my AVreceiver would drive them anyway, the HD6xx are like 300ohm, right?
 

k0decraft

Member
Oct 27, 2017
898
Earth
Yeah, I'm not really an audiophile so couldn't justify the cost to jump to the HD6xx series for the on-off use they will get. I'm not sure how well the headphone output of my AVreceiver would drive them anyway, the HD6xx are like 300ohm, right?
The HD6xx on Drop, yes it is 300ohm....but sometimes the high ohm and needing an amp is abit of a myth. An amp of course will gove you clean audio and power, hiwever not having an amp won't necessarily mean the Set won't work.

It's all about sound signature with me, i like a certain sound texture and equalization out of the box. The HD6xx was just an example here, but there are other options out there is you know what you want your sound to be.
 

Teiresias

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,784
The HD6xx on Drop, yes it is 300ohm....but sometimes the high ohm and needing an amp is abit of a myth. An amp of course will gove you clean audio and power, hiwever not having an amp won't necessarily mean the Set won't work.

It's all about sound signature with me, i like a certain sound texture and equalization out of the box. The HD6xx was just an example here, but there are other options out there is you know what you want your sound to be.
Actually, reading up, it seems the "sound card" I use on my office PC, where I was testing it, has a somewhat high output impedance which really affects the frequency response of the 5xx series. I have a SB X-Fi HD USB sound module. I've been thinking of upgrading that too, but these are going to be used on my AV receiver so we'll see.
 

ara

Member
Oct 26, 2017
6,980
I've started going to the gym and it's boring as hell without music or podcasts, so I'm looking for good bluetooth earbuds for working out. Since I have an iPhone and the original Airpods, the logical next step would be the new noise-canceling Airpods, but I'm looking for something cheaper - these would be used solely for working out, after all.

Any recommendations? Good noise isolation and a low price are more important than being truly wireless or sounding fantastic, although the better the sound, the happier I'll be obviously.

In other news, I've taken my first leap into the world of IEMs and chi-fi and ordered the BLON BL-03s last week. Really looking forward to getting my hands on them, particularly because the Sony WH1000XM3s I use at work have started to get really uncomfortable for me all of a sudden.
Also I just got these earlier today. First impressions aren't very positive, unfortunately. The tips and cable that came with it are dreadful, the cable fights you every step of the way and I'm getting practically zero seal from the tips. I got some extra silicone tips for it, not getting much of a seal from these either, but they're a minor improvement at least. They get uncomfortable really fast, however.

Just ordered a pair of big memory foam tips and a better cable from Amazon, hopefully they'll save these and I'll get the same amazing experience everyone on Youtube seem to be getting. If not, I guess I'll give the Tin T2 a try.

e: got the memory foam tips (actually a set of S, M and L sizes, which is good since the Ls were too big). They're a bit too aggressive at retaining their original shape which, combined with the stupid stock cable, makes actually getting them into your ears pretty hard... But man, what a fucking difference in sound when you do get them there. I was a bit underwhelmed playing music off of an iPhone (unfortunately, cause I was planning on doing most of my IEM listening there), but music on my work Macbook sounds... Well, fucking incredible, to be honest, especially for the price.

I'm enjoying the first taste of the sound signature, and I love how intensely intimate they are. Yosi Horikawas Bubbles sounds like my brain was replaced with ping pong balls, bouncing around my skull. The Sound of Silence sounds like I should be feeling Simon and Garfunkel's breaths on my ears.

Comfort and ease of use could be better, however - my left ear particularly starts getting really irritated by the foam tips after a bit - so it will remain to be seen how much I'll actually use these. The short nozzle is a bummer. But I'll keep trying different foam tips, and I should be getting a new cable soon too. I'll probably check the Tin T4s sometime next month.

Either way, can't wait to give these a try at home with proper gear.
 
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Mirage

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,663
Upgraded from a pair of 6XX to the Elex back in december and these have been so amazing.

I mostly read about driver clipping at certain low frequencies. A good way to test this is the Bladerunner 2049 Hans Zimmer track. I tested it on my Elear and it was fine, but some people said theirs clipped even on medium volume at this track. Focal says it's because of the driver design and it isn't a defect, but I think they are just covering their asses. Because not every pair has that issue.
When I got my Elex a few months ago I ended up trying the bassiest stuff I could think of including that track and had no clipping, at least at the volume levels I listen at.
 

Nude_Tayne

Member
Jan 8, 2018
1,786
earth
Almost a re-post from the Thread for Dumb Questions, minus surround-sound because evidently that's a stupid gimmick.

I'm looking for headphones that meet the following criteria:

- Microphone for PS4 online play
- 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound
- Wireless
- Also compatible directly with TV (specifically a 2019 TCL)

Looking to spend hopefully now more than $150 but am willing to if absolutely necessary. Also want good sounding headphones but I'm not exactly an audiophile.
 

Mystic

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,999
I need a amp recommendation.

There is a slight chance of me going very high end and buying $2000+ headphones this year. I'm already got my eyes looking at the topping d90 as my DAC but I'm going to need an amp to go with it. From what I understand, the 789 or the 887 gets recommended for everything but are there any amplifiers at or below $1000 that beat them in terms of power/distortion/quality/etc without adding a bunch of extra features and knobs beyond volume control and input switching ( I have no interest in EQing). A lot of very expensive amps seem to justify their prices by adding a whole bunch of features that just read like they're just EQ options.

If there aren't any amps like that, I'm willing to just get a 789 or 887 and save the money on a future headphone lol
It really depends on the headphone your buying. For instance you would have to pay me to plug the HD800 into a 789. Those headphones really need careful gear matching to not sound terrible. Where as something like a ZMF would sound fine if your looking to keep your amp budget lower.

Please don't just buy whatever FOTM shit Reddit is peddling if your prepared to spend that kind of money on headphones.

First and foremost you need to decide what headphones you want to purchase.
 

Zafir

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,224
Almost a re-post from the Thread for Dumb Questions, minus surround-sound because evidently that's a stupid gimmick.

I'm looking for headphones that meet the following criteria:

- Microphone for PS4 online play
- 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound
- Wireless
- Also compatible directly with TV (specifically a 2019 TCL)

Looking to spend hopefully now more than $150 but am willing to if absolutely necessary. Also want good sounding headphones but I'm not exactly an audiophile.
I mean I don't think virtual surround is always a dumb gimmick. It can be when it's tied into cheaper gaming headsets though.

If you're wanting it to work with the TV as well, I think you'd be better off paying a bit more and getting some wireless headphones which have an optical input. Considering you said you want a mic as well, you'd be better off focusing on the more gaming oriented ones like the Arctis Pro Wireless or the Astro A50. There are wireless headphones for TVs that aren't for gaming like Sennheiser RS 165-RS 195 range or the Sony WH-L600 but you'd have to get a separate mic.
 

OnkelC

Member
Oct 27, 2017
592
Had a longer listening session with the RNHP and the 1990 over the weekend and did some A/B-ing with a Magni 3+, a Modi 3 vs. the RCA Outs on my CD player (Pro-Ject CD Box S2) on both amps and a couple older Headphones (Sony MDR-CD770 and MDR 7506, AKG K240).

The sound through the Modi 3 via SPDIF was more detailed and pleasant to my ears than the internal DAC on the CD player on all headphones.
The Magni 3+ sounds great as is and in Combo with the Modi 3 is unbeatable for the price IMHO. Will be my office stack. I am tempted to try out the Heresy as well, if just for the looks.

The RNHP with Modi 3 sounds awesomely better IMHO. The soundstage is very natural and the whole experience was, for the lack of a better word, round and harmonic while retaining detail and crispness, not sharpness, even noticeable on the cheap K240. It was a pleasure listening to a whole album in one sitting with it.

The 1990Pro is a great Headphone as well, but a tad overpriced if you go for list prices. I got the RNHP/1990 set for 725EUR shipped which was adequate for the combo.