Author Topic: Latest headphone exploration  (Read 28133 times)

Offline Carlman

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Re: Latest headphone exploration
« Reply #30 on: January 09, 2015, 08:14:01 AM »
Looking forward to hearing the Audeze EL8's... Now I just have to waste a month of time doing.. who knows what... ha.
I'm still dissappointed in my experience with the HD700's.. sounded good at first then I couldn't stand them the 2nd time I tried them... I found a review here that is very consistent with my experience.

I wonder if they need another couple hundred hours to smooth out... ?  Just seems like a mistake the way their curve reads... and such a departure from the Momentum and HD650 sound... But whatever.. Senn doesn't make a closed-back upper-end headphone.. and I need it closed.

I haven't heard Beyerdynamics or AKG's so I don't know how those are either.. but one day..

-C
I really enjoy listening to music.

Offline hometheaterdoc

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Re: Latest headphone exploration
« Reply #31 on: January 09, 2015, 07:09:55 PM »
while I agree there is the response issue to deal with when it comes to HD700, the review you link had the reviewer not break in the headphones and was using a benchmark DAC1 as the source....  I can't completely agree with any review that says the headphones sound bright when they are using that DAC as their source.  wow is that an awful, shrill, in your face, hyper bright source piece.... I've heard people try to say it is neutral and true to the source....  not my experience with it at all... I will never be an owner of a benchmark DAC1, that's for sure :)

the selling point of the HD700 is the comfort factor and the openness they possess... you do have to work around the mid-range into the treble issue... it could be as simple as some EQ in JRiver at 64 bit depth, or some EQ in foobar or whatever your player of choice is... or matching components to them to deal with that response... they love tubes, for example.... with the Unsion SH, they were divine....  at a street price less than half (and closer to 2/3s off) the HD800s, and being the most comfortable headphone I've ever worn, there is an argument to be made for them compared to their competition...  but it has to fit the situation, not a universal phone for every occasion, that I can definitely say....

Shane Sangster
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Offline Carlman

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Re: Latest headphone exploration
« Reply #32 on: February 19, 2015, 08:54:10 AM »
Well, thanks to a random encounter with a pair of headphones on Shane's table, I am finishing my headphone journey.

There were these blue and silver headphones with triangular shaped ear cuffs that caught my attention.. "Those look nice!" I thought... We had a play date for our boys and were looking at opening some wine so I wasn't there for hifi but.. there was this opportunity!

Shane has picked up ADL as a line to carry.  These were the H128's, their more refined entry to the H118's.  I tried them, listened, and thought, wow, these sound exactly like what I'm looking for.. a more refined musical headphone than the Momentum.  They still have the bass oomph but with detail... and more refined, pronounced mids.  

Using my phone, I could hear a lot of little nuances, but also better imaging and instrument separation.  These sounded very airy and light... and somehow imaged outside of my head.  It was really like someone was singing in front of me! neato!  Plus, no major fatiguing or weird peakiness in the highs.

I took them home to 'break them in' more as a service to Shane, because he needed help with that particular task. ;)

I was really enjoying the sound but I could tell the H128's would benefit from an amp vs. straight from the phone.  They're 'fine' without an amp but they got a little congested during peaks.

I learned ADL started out by making a little USB DAC (the X1).. after that, they got into headphones. So, I thought it must be pretty good and asked Shane about it.  He had one! (of course)  It's very light and tiny (slightly smaller than a deck of cards).  I had already committed to buying a Lambert tube amp... but it hasn't shipped yet.  

I wasn't thinking I'd like it.. but I do, especially on the ADL's.  On the Momentums, it reveals more of the issues with Momentum's... such as the smily face EQ'ing.. Seems like there's a 6+db boost in the 40-80Hz area and a 3db boost on the 5,k-8,k range on the Momentum's.  That sounds pretty good/fun/musical straight out of the phone.  I'm a little spoiled on the H128 refined sound.  

I did get a brief chance to hear the 118's at Shane's and they sounded very good as well.. but I didn't listen long enough to pick them apart.. overall, I would recommend them to anyone.

If I could go back, I'd buy the 118's for work and the 128's for home.  The 128's most accurately reproduce what I hear in my sound room that I've heard so far and therefore make the music very approachable and instantly engaging.

In any case, I'm now breaking in the X1 and the H128's and will report more later when it's finished changing... and so far I would say it's dramatic changes, but there are some every time I listen.

-C

PS This was my 3000'th post! Woohoo!
« Last Edit: February 19, 2015, 12:44:57 PM by Carlman »
I really enjoy listening to music.

Offline mdconnelly

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Re: Latest headphone exploration
« Reply #33 on: February 19, 2015, 02:27:23 PM »
I clearly need to spend more time hanging out at Shane's.  Maybe I should bring my grandkids over there for a play date.

I did pick up the Senn Momentum from Shane recently for use at work.  I wanted something light and not too isolating since my day is chock full of interrupts.  They're perfect for that and at the right price.  I use them mostly with my ifi DSD Micro but they work well straight from the phone as well.  Senn house sound but far from as refined as my HD600s.

But now you've got me thinking... (damn  :duh -  May have to check out those ADLs at the next g2g...

Offline Carlman

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Re: Latest headphone exploration
« Reply #34 on: February 19, 2015, 04:38:37 PM »
The 118's are a step up in SQ from the Momentum's in my opinion. But it depends on what you like also.. Plus, I think the ADL's offer more isolation than the momentum's... and they actually fit over-the-ear (barely) whereas the Momentum over-the-ear is partially on-and-over-ear for me.
So, the added comfort and isolation likely lend to a better listening experience in the first place. 

I'm perfectly happy with the Momentums at work.  If something were to happen to them, I know where to get 118's. ;)  It is an adjustment to go back and forth to different sounding setups if you do a lot of headphone listening... but I don't.  I do a while here and there... and I like having an ultra refined sound at home and a fun sound at work.
I really enjoy listening to music.

Offline rollo

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Re: Latest headphone exploration
« Reply #35 on: February 20, 2015, 12:54:20 PM »
  Carlman could you explain the difference in listening experience between the headphones and your main speakers.
   Mostly tonality, harmonics and dynamics. Size or scale does not matter. Bass ? Thanks.


charles
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Offline Carlman

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Re: Latest headphone exploration
« Reply #36 on: February 20, 2015, 01:28:59 PM »
Tonality is somewhat similar.  There is a nice open-ness in the upper mids where some systems can sound a bit nasal.  My system doesn't do that and niether do these 'phones.

Bass is a bit different, it's just too hard to describe the quality differences.  However, it's as good as what I have in quantity.  There is a nice heft and solid bottom end with the 128's.  With my speakers I get a little more mid-bass detail I think.

It's a good question you've posed... so.. I'm going to sit down and listen to the 'phones in the sound room and comapare this weekend.  When I first heard them, they sounded the most like what I have so I was sold instantly.  The imaging still amazed me... I thought for sure I'd have to spend more for that magic trick.
I really enjoy listening to music.

Offline rollo

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Re: Latest headphone exploration
« Reply #37 on: February 20, 2015, 01:42:09 PM »
   Open is their strength for sure. Cool looking forward to your findings.

charles
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Offline tmazz

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Re: Latest headphone exploration
« Reply #38 on: February 24, 2015, 11:27:17 AM »

I did get a brief chance to hear the 118's at Shane's and they sounded very good as well.. but I didn't listen long enough to pick them apart.. overall, I would recommend them to anyone.


Based on your recommedation I picked up a pair of the ADL 118s. You were spot on about them being very comfortable and easy to wear. Right out of the box I was very impressed with the SQ.... even before they have any real break in time ont them. And as of yet the only source I have used to drive them is a cheap portable discman and an ipod. I ordered a Little Dot Mk III to drive them but as of yet it has not arrived yet, I can't wait to hear what they sound like driven from a better source.  :drool:

Fun, fun, fun......
Remember, it's all about the music........

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Offline tmazz

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Re: Latest headphone exploration
« Reply #39 on: February 24, 2015, 11:30:54 AM »
PS This was my 3000'th post! Woohoo!

Congrats on making it to the 3K club.  :clap

It's good to have some more company. But I don't think either of us will ever catch up to Rich.   :-k
Remember, it's all about the music........

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Offline Carlman

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Re: Latest headphone exploration
« Reply #40 on: February 26, 2015, 06:28:45 AM »
Tom, I'm glad to hear you like them!
The 118's were great in my very limited listening. Same house sound. I wanted that little more refinement. I would wager some WyWires would go a long way on the 118's.
I haven't noticed a huge change after about 50 hoursof playing so far. I did notice a big shift with the momentum's in the first week of use.  So maybe it'll just continue to sound very good. :)
I really enjoy listening to music.

Offline sleepyguy24

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Re: Latest headphone exploration
« Reply #41 on: February 26, 2015, 08:21:54 AM »
I found that after wearing the MrSpeakers Alpha Dog headphones for a couple of hours I need to strengthen my neck to handle the weight.

I think this workout will do it. :lol:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__H8S_4Zk8o

Compared to the BeyerDynamic DT770 600 ohm pro headphones I have the Alpha Dogs are heavy.

Offline Rocket

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Re: Latest headphone exploration
« Reply #42 on: February 27, 2015, 04:31:03 PM »
Hi Guys,

I use Sennheiser HD650's which I like and use at home.  I recently bought a pair of Mr Speakers Mad Dogs and really impressed with their sound quality.  I think I prefer them over the HD650's but its a tough call.  The Mad Dogs do way a bit more but are quite comfortable and have good noise cancelling.

Cheers Rod

Offline Carlman

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Re: Latest headphone exploration
« Reply #43 on: March 17, 2015, 10:56:13 AM »
Rod, I've tried the HD650's and Mad Dog's and preferred the MD's.  The HD650's seemed kind of out of phase in comparison; a little dryer sound, a wilder soundstage.  The MD's seemed more solid-sounding to me. 
However, I would almost always prefer a closed-back design.  Open-back defeats the purpose of what I'm trying to accomplish; a portable and private listening experience.  OB is not for me.  I get it, it's expansive... but practically speaking is not an option.

I thought I was finished with my headphone journey until recently.  The ADL H128's are still sounding great.  The little X1 is still a good DAC/amp.   However, Shane brought over a tiny little iPhone firewire cable, about 2" long.... maybe 3.  He was asking me to burn it in for him as a favor since I have more iPhone devices that use that connector. 

I hadn't thought about that cable as being an upgrade possibility.  I didn't really care, I just wanted to get it going for him so he could show it off at the upcoming headphone party/G2G.  Within 20 minutes of listening to it, I'd placed an order for one. 

Everything you usually hear with a big cable upgrade happened.  Instruments were solidly placed in time and space, tones were more natural, imaging was better, etc...

I had a very hard time swallowing the $164 price tag of this tiny little thing but that thing didn't sound tiny at all.  It's amazing.  I'd be very interested to hear the next version down so the ultimate value can be assessed... but I have no interest in letting this little guy go.

Only down side is the connecting flange sits flush against your iDevice... so, it's not going to work with any case.  If I were Furutech, I'd consider a redesign to allow for that... but that's me.  Who doesn't have a case on their iphone/touch/pad?

For me, the SQ is worth modifying my case.  This completes the awesome sound package. :)

I don't know of much you could get for a complete system under or around a grand that would be better. 

I'd be interested to compare what I have against the Audeze EL8's connected to a little tube amp... Probably in the same quality ballpark but very different presentations... who knows?

-C
I really enjoy listening to music.

Offline Rob S.

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Re: Latest headphone exploration
« Reply #44 on: March 23, 2015, 11:42:26 AM »
I too needed a closed back headphone.  I enjoyed Sols/Shane's gtg this past weekend.  Heard a lot of headphones, but didn't even pick up the ADL 128's.  Weren't on my radar at all, Shane- no recommend for me?  Anyhow I spent most of my time with closed EL8's, with a few fostex and audeze xc.   Trying to find a smallish head amp/dac to pair with it. 

I was auditioning the ADL X1, fostex portable tube amp, IFI micro dsd, and the small bakoon.  Shane was nice enough to loan me a few to play with for an evening, then I wrapped up my shopping Sunday before leaving NC.    I can tell you the top end audeze xc w/ the DiY JPS cable was kick ass with all the "little" portable amps I heard.  If it weren't for the 1) heaviness and the 2)  tight clampingof the ear cups , I'd own that pair.  I had to take my glasses off to help the comfort.

I settled in on the El8 w/ closed back.  Kinda close to same sound as the big boy xc, but much more comfortable and lighter weight. I am curious to try a JPS cable to fit it.    Also chose the X1 amp/dac.   Fostex had more ballsy full sound, but with little roughness compared to the clean sounding x1.   If I Listened to most sub standard digital or MP3 type sound I would have swayed over to the fostex tube amp for some taming of the shrillness. 

I also picked up the iFi micro dsd piece, I know I can get use from it in one of my setups.

Rob S.
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