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Thread: Headphones.

  1. #226
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe B View Post
    Are you still happy with your Woo WA6? I would love to know your opinion. I've been spending more time listening at my computer while working at home, using my Oppo PM-2 headphones with a Cambridge Audio mini headphone amp/DAC. I'm considering purchasing a Woo WA7 to replace the Cambridge hardware. Any thoughts?
    I don't know about the PM-2s, but I have Oppo PM-1s with the Oppo HA-1 and they sound exactly the same using the amp as plugging directly into my Mac. If the impedance is low enough and the cans have a high sensitivity, you don't need an amp.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
    I don't know about the PM-2s, but I have Oppo PM-1s with the Oppo HA-1 and they sound exactly the same using the amp as plugging directly into my Mac. If the impedance is low enough and the cans have a high sensitivity, you don't need an amp.
    There are very few differences between the PM-2 and PM-1. I ordered the "alternate leather PM-1 ear pads" when I bought mine to replace the standard issue "faux leather pads". The alternate pads, which upon initial availability, replaced the pads that used to come with the PM-1's. They produced a better sonic signature...clearer high end. Oppo offered these to everyone who bought the first run of PM-1's free of charge. There are also a couple of pieces on the cans which are plastic instead of metal. PM-2 finish is brushed, PM-1 polished. And of course there's "The Box". With the alternate pads, the PM-2's have the exact sonic signature as the PM-1's (the drivers are identical). After spending time talking with the guys at Oppo (I wanted to know the dimensions of "The Box"), I went with the PM-2's. Not having a place to put the box was the deciding factor.

    I just purchased a Marantz HD DAC-1 headphone amp/DAC, high end USB cable, and Furman surge/line conditioner on Thursday. I did the install about an hour ago. Even right out of the box, the difference between the quality of audio playback compared to my small Cambridge DAC is night and day. Comparing it to the sound card of the computer is like comparing a Ferrari to my Honda Fit.

    I'm beyond surprised that you can't hear a difference between being plugged into your HA-1 compared to your MAC. Which makes me wonder why you purchased the HA-1?
    I love music. I want music. I need music.

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  4. #228
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    I was part of a focus group selected by Oppo to test the PM-1 and HA-1. They sent me the first off the line and I did some response sweeps and tests and reported back to the fella who designed the PM-1s. He said their goal for the cans was to work as well amped as unamped. That's why they have such high sensitivity. He also said that most headphones have a response deviation of +/-3dB, but the PM-1s were tested to fall within +/-1dB. It may be that the PM-2s are exactly the same as the PM-1s, just with the normal response deviation. I've found that a lot of high end audio products are basically the same as affordable ones, just with higher levels of quality control. Some of the test copies of the PM-1s they sent me had nylon parts at the pivot point. They told me that those parts were expensive to machine and the nylon worked just as well. It just wasn't shiny chrome like they wanted.

    Did you line level match your amps before comparing them? Louder sounds better to human ears even if the sound quality is identical. I would bet your new headphone amp is just more powerful. The headphone out from my Mac products are plenty to push the PM-1s, and Mac outputs are extremely clean. It may be that your player has noisier output, requiring an external DAC/amp, but I'm not aware of any players that aren't audibly transparent with proper impedance matching.
    Last edited by bigshot; Aug-05-2018 at 20:07.

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    I just received the Sony noise canceling BT phones yesterday. First impression was very favorable. Although I was only listening to
    iTunes rips from the cloud via iPhone 8, there was a lot of low level detail. The first movement of Haydn’s 49th has a brooding introduction with a lot of counterpoint in the low strings and it was all nice laid out. It wasn’t until the Orchestra surged at the end of the movement that I heard some clipping. When I listened to the same passage with my Oppo PM-3 there was some slight clipping but still for noise canceling Bluetooth phones the Sony impresses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Triplets View Post
    I just received the Sony noise canceling BT phones yesterday. First impression was very favorable. Although I was only listening to
    iTunes rips from the cloud via iPhone 8, there was a lot of low level detail. The first movement of Haydn’s 49th has a brooding introduction with a lot of counterpoint in the low strings and it was all nice laid out. It wasn’t until the Orchestra surged at the end of the movement that I heard some clipping. When I listened to the same passage with my Oppo PM-3 there was some slight clipping but still for noise canceling Bluetooth phones the Sony impresses.
    Which model Sony BT? I have the WH 1000XM2 (and get bonus points for memorizing that). Have you played with the app? I had mixed feelings about the sound until I made adjustments with the equalizer. It's still no match for a pair of quality open backs, but I never expected that. The noise cancellation is excellent. I've taken them on several long haul flights. I do find that after a few hours they start to feel uncomfortable. The Bose QC 35s still have the edge there - but I don't like the Bose sound as much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jegreenwood View Post
    Which model Sony BT? I have the WH 1000XM2 (and get bonus points for memorizing that). Have you played with the app? I had mixed feelings about the sound until I made adjustments with the equalizer. It's still no match for a pair of quality open backs, but I never expected that. The noise cancellation is excellent. I've taken them on several long haul flights. I do find that after a few hours they start to feel uncomfortable. The Bose QC 35s still have the edge there - but I don't like the Bose sound as much.
    Hey, je, nice to hear from you. Yes, I have the same phones as you, I couldn't remember the model number when making my post. I've loaded the app and not played with it, and I've only listened to the phones for about an hour, so perhaps I am being a bit quick, but when I talk about the quality of these phones, I am doing so in the context that they are
    1) BT
    and
    2) Noise reducing
    both factors independently tend to reduce quality in phones, and the two together sounds like a recipe for bleached out sound, so I was pretty surprised that these are pretty good cans. My Oppo PM3 sounds better, it's true, but the PM3 are worthless on a plane competing with engine noise, and I have a trans Atlantic Flight coming up so this is good.
    They did get a bit hot on my ears after an hour, but that's true for every over the ear phones that I have ever used

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    Quote Originally Posted by Triplets View Post
    Hey, je, nice to hear from you. Yes, I have the same phones as you, I couldn't remember the model number when making my post. I've loaded the app and not played with it, and I've only listened to the phones for about an hour, so perhaps I am being a bit quick, but when I talk about the quality of these phones, I am doing so in the context that they are
    1) BT
    and
    2) Noise reducing
    both factors independently tend to reduce quality in phones, and the two together sounds like a recipe for bleached out sound, so I was pretty surprised that these are pretty good cans. My Oppo PM3 sounds better, it's true, but the PM3 are worthless on a plane competing with engine noise, and I have a trans Atlantic Flight coming up so this is good.
    They did get a bit hot on my ears after an hour, but that's true for every over the ear phones that I have ever used
    I think they do well with a lot of music. The one exception - solo piano. Any recordings of the Beethoven sonatas on harpsichord?

    I bought them for a trip from NYC to South Africa, and was quite satisfied.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jegreenwood View Post
    I think they do well with a lot of music. The one exception - solo piano. Any recordings of the Beethoven sonatas on harpsichord?

    I bought them for a trip from NYC to South Africa, and was quite satisfied.
    Interesting comment about the Piano because I haven’t tried them with that—I’ll fire up Kempff in LvB right now!

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    After listening to Rubinstein playing Mozart K. 466 PC last night I didn’t think the Sonys were bad with Piano. I did notice that Rubinstein was less prominent via the Orchestra than is the norm. I’ve yet to listen to anything except MP3 from my iPhone so I might change my mind. I was also wearing while doing a major house cleaning as we have company this weekend and they did a great job of canceling out the vacuum cleaner (and my wife who was yelling instructions at me), but my ears did start to get sweaty

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    Quote Originally Posted by Triplets View Post
    After listening to Rubinstein playing Mozart K. 466 PC last night I didn’t think the Sonys were bad with Piano. I did notice that Rubinstein was less prominent via the Orchestra than is the norm. I’ve yet to listen to anything except MP3 from my iPhone so I might change my mind. I was also wearing while doing a major house cleaning as we have company this weekend and they did a great job of canceling out the vacuum cleaner (and my wife who was yelling instructions at me), but my ears did start to get sweaty
    I've only listened to a few piano recordings. I've got a four hour trip later today. I will listen some more.

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    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
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    Update - listened to Kempff playing Beethoven sonatas 1-6 yesterday. The sound was quite listenable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jegreenwood View Post
    Update - listened to Kempff playing Beethoven sonatas 1-6 yesterday. The sound was quite listenable.
    I am listening to my Sony High Res portable player now, a 24/96 download of Katia Batiashevili playing Pictures At An Exhibition . Again, compared to my Oppo PM3 it lacks a bit of presence, but not bad at all.

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    I just finished a pair of longish bus rides (3 - 4 hours each), which gave me a chance to compare the Sony WH1000 XM2 with the Bose QC 35 II and with the PSB M-4U2, which I’ve owned since they were released. (The PSB is not Bluetooth enabled. I’ve listened to its successor, the Bluetooth enabled M-4U8, briefly in a store.)

    It should go without saying that these are subjective appraisals.

    Sound Quality - The PSB outshines the others by a significant margin. It’s the only one of the three that can reasonably be compared to a good closed back headphone. (In fact the M-4U1 is the M-4U2 without the electronics.). The Sony comes next, especially with the equalizer included in its app. The Bose brings up the rear. Tyll Hertsens described the treble as coming from a ”crinkled cellophane speaker,” and I agree. (Tyll then went on to include it on his Wall of Fame, claiming the sound bested the new PSB. )

    Noise Cancelling - The Bose wins here. The Sony is very good, but the Bose was better. I noticed a significant difference on bumpy roads, where the Sony seemed (to me) to amplify the noise of the bumps. The PSB trailed by a wide margin. The new PSB is supposed to have better noise-cancellation. In my brief testing I felt that was the case, but I have never listened to them on a plane or a bus.

    Comfort - The Bose wins again. The Sonys are comfortable, but they start bothering me after about 2 hours. Not painful though, and I just need a few minutes before putting them on again. I can forget I have the Bose phones on. The PSBs are the heaviest by far. I think I’ve finally gotten used to them, so I can wear them for almost two hours.

    The PSBs are also bulkier, do not fold up in a particularly compact manner and have a case that will not fit nicely into much of anything. There are many reports of QC issues mostly cracked headbands. Mine have been subject to interference on relatively rare occasions, and the pleather on my headband is chafing. I can also see the “micro-cracks” in the headband that others complain of, but no major problems. There are also complaints about the Sony headband cracking. I haven’t had mine very long, but no problems yet.

    I’ll be going on a month-long trip early next year to Australia and New Zealand. Not only some long flights, but several coach tours. So, I’m going to sacrifice sound quality for noise cancellation and comfort and bring the Bose. But I’ll also have some HiFiMan RE-400s to shake things up.
    Last edited by jegreenwood; Aug-28-2018 at 02:09.

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    I have never heard PSB headphones but in a different arena I have the Bluesound Pulse Mini, essentially a boom box that purports to play High Res files and set me back $500. The thing is a piece of crap, especially compared to the cheaper and smaller Apple Home Pod. The Pulse was designed by PSB, but I guess I shouldn’t be prejudging their headphones based on this...

  17. #240
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triplets View Post
    I have never heard PSB headphones but in a different arena I have the Bluesound Pulse Mini, essentially a boom box that purports to play High Res files and set me back $500. The thing is a piece of crap, especially compared to the cheaper and smaller Apple Home Pod. The Pulse was designed by PSB, but I guess I shouldn’t be prejudging their headphones based on this...
    To my knowledge, they are different lines owned by the same parent, Lenbrook (which also owns NAD). Paul Barton designed the headphones (and NAD’s headphones). He also designs PSB’s speakers. I own PSB Synchrony IIs, the second from TOTL as of a decade ago, and they are very good. PSB’s current TOTL is ranked Class A by Stereophile. I don’t believe Barton is involved with Bluesound.

    Edit - I take it back. Barton is involved with Bluesound’s speakers. Nevertheless, I like his speakers and the sound quality of his headphones.
    Last edited by jegreenwood; Aug-28-2018 at 07:00.

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