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Thread: Headphones.

  1. #256
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe B View Post
    Too bad you haven't bothered to invest any money in your equipment.
    That doesn't even include my speakers! (DALI Epicon 2 and SVS Ultra 13 sub))
    Last edited by Kontrapunctus; Sep-28-2018 at 01:21.

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  3. #257
    Senior Member eljr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kontrapunctus View Post
    Primaluna Premium Dialogue HP amp and an Esoteric K03 SACD/CD player or VPI Prime Signature turntable/Ortofon Cadenza Bronze cartridge/Musical Surroundings Nova II phono stage.
    Tubes and vinyl. Where old school meets modern cool.
    Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age

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    Senior Member Baron Scarpia's Avatar
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    I'm using a headphone amplifier made by Headroom which I like because it includes cross-feed (which improves imaging). Mostly I listen to Beyerdynamic T1 (rev1), but I also have Denon AH-D2000's and AKG 701's.
    Last edited by Baron Scarpia; Oct-05-2018 at 20:10.

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    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baron Scarpia View Post
    I'm using a headphone amplifier made by Headroom which I like because it includes cross-feed (which improves imaging). Mostly I listen to Beyerdynamic T1 (rev1), but I also have Denon AH-D2000's and AKG 701's.
    I also have one of the crossfeed amps made by Headroom, enjoyed it for years, though I no longer use it because I now prefer hybrid/tube amps, but wish that more amps would incorporate crossfeed... It plugs up the hole that can sometimes be heard in the center of one’s head! Lol. But there is a way to simulate the effects by using and adjusting the Sound Enhance feature in iTunes under Preferences, which I sometimes use and sometimes don’t depending on the recording... It can make for a fuller more blended sound of both channels and might be worth experimenting with for those who have never tried it.
    Last edited by Larkenfield; Oct-05-2018 at 23:47.
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  8. #260
    Senior Member Granate's Avatar
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    Default Sennheiser Headphones

    A couple of years after my Superlux post, I'm also afraid the cable of the Second model is tearing out. I've spent a good amount of money in CD purchases and I wouldn't like to pay a lot of money for three or four months.

    I don't think I should buy another Superlux again and I've browsing the Sennheiser HD headphones over Amazon. There are three models that would fit currently in my budget but I wouldn't want to pull the trigger until November or Cyber Monday.

    Beforehand, this are my listening habits concerning sound:

    • Unknown max. frequency range for my laptop. Superlux goes up to 30khz.
    • Fiio A1 amp. Pretty happy with it. Usually put my volume between 20 and 35%
    • Very frequent use and lengthy listening sessions.
    • I always listen to Operas and Symphony recordings.
    • Sources:
    • Spotify Free or Premium (up to 320kbps)
    • CD quality (16bit - 44.1khz)
    • Stereo and Mono recordings, growing my Mono collection.
    • No plans to upgrade to better sound sources, like listening to vinyl records.
    • I'd like to listen one day to Baroque Music without feeling dizzy and turning the speakers on.


    Main differences I've seen about the three Sennheiser models are frequency range. All are "open". Impedance is not an issue for me.
    HD 559: 26khz max (76€)
    HD 579: 28khz max (110€)
    HD 599: 38khz max (136€)
    Superlux HD 668B: 30khz max

    However, I've also read Amazon users writing about the range of trebble, bass, mid and high range (like HD599 pulling up trebble, mid and highs and HD579 assuring bass).

    Which could be better for my demands? Should the priority be my normal listening habits or save up for those times I want to listen to my own CDs in high range?

  9. #261
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    The quality of a set of headphones isn't determined by how high the frequency extension goes. It's how balanced the response is in the core frequencies. Manufacturers cheat with their upper frequency response ratings. If it doesn't have a "+/- X dB" after it, it is completely meaningless. They may be able to produce sound up to where only bats can hear, but if it's at -40dB, it doesn't make a lick of difference. (Frequencies above 17 or 18khz don't matter much anyway.)

    Look at response graphs and if you can find one that is relatively balanced all the way up to 10kHz, you're doing good. Above that, even good headphones start having peaks and valleys. But that doesn't matter because there isn't much super high frequency content in music anyway, especially with classical music.

    As a point of reference, here are response charts for several really good headphones. Notice how flat they are up to 2kHz, and how it remains relatively contained up to 10kHz. Above that, it turns into a hash. But that's OK, because your classical music doesn't contain any of those frequencies and if you're over 30 you probably can't hear over 15-17kHz anyway.

    comparo-56a9010b5f9b58b7d0f734d9.jpg

    I would say that the most important frequency ranges to have balanced are the "sweet spot for human ears", 2kHz to 5kHz, and to have some sort of decent response below 80Hz. Focus on that and you'll do well.
    Last edited by bigshot; Apr-26-2019 at 18:52.

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  11. #262
    Senior Member Granate's Avatar
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    The one I'm thinking the most about has this chart. I think I can be satisfied with it. I'm more worried if I'm going to be able to listen right to my CDs in my laptop. For example, the LSO Dvorak cycle by Rowicki takes advantage of loud double-basses recorded by Vittorio Negri, while the DG Bruckner cycle by Barenboim recorded in Chicago offers clean and explosive piston valbes for the brass chorales. All in a 16bit range, which I'm really satisfied with.
    Last edited by Granate; Apr-26-2019 at 20:18.

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    You might sorta be able to get away without amping the 579s, but definitely not the 800s. You generally want an impedance rating of 32 ohms or less to be able to plug directly into a laptop. You could get a very small battery operated headphone amp for under $100 though. That might be what you will want to do. You don't need anything terribly fancy.

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    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
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    Well, it took a while, but summer heat has finally arrived in NYC. (Nothing like in Europe, thankfully.) And this is when I am really grateful for the Sony WH1000 XM2 noise-cancelling, bluetooth headphones. In the heat I have a (temperature dependent) choice of three ways to listen in my apartment: with the windows open, with a fan running or with the air conditioner on. Each way creates a level of background noise that makes critical listening through my Elears and Oppo PM2s, or for that matter speakers, impossible. In an optimal environment, the Sonys can't match the SQ of the others - but in my mind, SQ must take into account the listening environment.

    For the first time in a while, I listened to Gould's '55 Goldberg Variations last evening (after reading about that recording in the novel "The Gold Bug Variations."), and I could barely tell when my air conditioner had cycled on or off.
    Last edited by jegreenwood; Jul-10-2019 at 18:52.

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  16. #265
    Senior Member Baron Scarpia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Granate View Post


    The one I'm thinking the most about has this chart. I think I can be satisfied with it. I'm more worried if I'm going to be able to listen right to my CDs in my laptop. For example, the LSO Dvorak cycle by Rowicki takes advantage of loud double-basses recorded by Vittorio Negri, while the DG Bruckner cycle by Barenboim recorded in Chicago offers clean and explosive piston valbes for the brass chorales. All in a 16bit range, which I'm really satisfied with.
    This frequency response curve should be a lesson. Look at those peaks and valleys, up and down by 6 dB or more, for pricey audiophile headphones. The response curve on any amplifier costing $100 or more would be absolutely ruler-flat on the same scale. The same sort of contrast would be seen if we were looking at square wave response graphs. At least 99.9% of distortion happens in the speaker or headphone.
    Last edited by Baron Scarpia; Jul-11-2019 at 16:56.

  17. #266
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    Without room treatment and equalization, a speaker system would produce a much worse graph than that. At least this isn't that far off ideal. It's important to consider that ruler flat isn't good for cans. Without a room for the sound to bloom in, sound requires a different sort of response curve. Many people think the Harman curve is the ideal. It's designed to get as close to the way speakers in a room sound as possible...

    Capture.PNG

    Those Senns are pretty close to the ideal in every area that matters except the bass, but that is common with headphones. The stuff over 10kHz doesn't matter as much because there isn't much up in that range to hear, and our hearing starts to roll off up there anyway. The most important thing to get right is the bump at 3kHz and both those Senns seem to do it.

    Also that headphone measurement appears to be averaged. If you had a non-averaged chart on that, there would be a lot more spikes and valleys at the top.
    Last edited by bigshot; Jul-11-2019 at 17:35.

  18. #267
    Senior Member Granate's Avatar
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    Hello. Thank you for replying this after a long time, but it isn't like I haven't moved forward.



    My problem with the Superlux headphones persist and the wire is wearing off completely. It still works and I will still use them until they work no more. But I saw this chance in Amazon Spain I couldn't reject. HD 599 were offered for 100€ instead of 250€. The offer is still ongoing, so I didn't wait for the HD579 to go cheaper. Also, I thought for the first time about a simple Bluetooth Speaker and Earphone replacements from my favourite brand for audio (not dedicated to audiophiles, but their impedance and price tag won me over years ago). Speakers are really enjoyable with my historical mono recordings. Although there were many BT connectivity issues the first day.




    These are the graphs reduced to 12 and -12db. With the amp I use to get extra-volume.
    Last edited by Granate; Jul-11-2019 at 20:52.

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  20. #268
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    Since my last post, I sold my PrimaLuna (got tired of dealing with bad tubes) and bought a McIntosh MA9000 integrated amp.


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    Senior Member Malx's Avatar
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    Anyone remember the Jecklin Float phones from 30 or so year back. They sort of sat on your head and had little foam pieces that kept them slightly off your ears.

    They were the best sounding headphones or ear speakers I have ever owned.

    But they weren't for people who were concerned about their image


    Jecklin Float.jpeg
    Last edited by Malx; Aug-25-2019 at 20:39.

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  24. #270
    Senior Member Granate's Avatar
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    It was a coincidence that my Superlux headphones' wire was broken just the day I was leaving back to the city, so first thing I did when I arrived at my new home was unpacking the Sennheiser HD 599 headphones you saw in the picture above.

    I was really disappointed the first days because their sound to my ears was really muddy because of the high volume in the bass and mid range. I spent hours before finding a proper equalizer for the computer (APO) and I have had little time to test new equalizations to improve my experience.

    The track I always used to equalize Classical music was the first movement from Sibelius 4th symphony by Colin Davis and the London Symphony Orchestra. While the pop test track (to check the metals of the upper range) was Chvrches' Forever. I don't know how else I should test the equalization. I feel they could deliver a bit more "bloom".

    (Is there another thread where this topic is discussed better?)



    My very old Sennheiser HD 201 are also wearing out in the earpads and especially the wires. I would need to replace them since they are my "office headphones". Do you know nice closed headphones for less than 25€, which provide a similar sound quality? Not really looking for a particular brand.

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