Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Hifiman HE-400's vs Sennheiser HD650

What up Foxes,

I'm sure this topic has been looked at at great length but I was asked about it since I've owned both the HE-400 from Hifiman and HD650 from Sennheiser and here is part of the conversation that we had. I hope this helps!! To set things up, he was curious about why I was selling my HE-400's and how they compared to the HD650's I purchased.

 Here we go!

Selling the He-400's was not an easy thing to do, Simply put, they're amazing. So the question is why did I sell them? (for the 3rd time btw) They just were not what I was looking for at the time I owned them. The sound is undeniably one of the best you can get for under $500 so its tough to say weather or not the HD650 sound better overall but there are some very clear advantages that I noticed the second I put the 650's on.

First is the comfort. Hands down they are 10 times more comfortable than the 400's and a lot easier to wear for hours and hours on end. The first night they arrived they were a little stiff and had a strong clamp but that went away in the first hour or two and after that, I didn't take them off for probably 5-6 hours straight no joke. Even while I was watching TV I just turned off my music and left them on. The first few weeks I owned them I didn't touch another headphone.

Second is probably the main reason why I got ride of the HE-400's again. They're not easy to drive properly. Orthos are known for being power hungry despite the lower impedance ratings. The HD650's are rated at 300ohm but they can be powered fairly easy and will improve based off of your source. All I have at the moment (Upgraded since this conversation) is a Fiio E17 and e9k that I'm probably going to sell or send back because I don't really need it at the time (the E9k) and the returned money will go towards a better amp like Schiit Valhalla or Audio-GD 15.32. (Didn't end up with either one of those, instead got a EF5, Arrow 3G Fournier HTA-2, and Burson HA-160DS)

Once I get the right amp I'll probably buy them again or go after either the HE-500's or LCD 2's (Got the LCD 2.2's) because the sound is just so damn good top to glorious bottom with the Orthos, but until then the 650's are the far better option for me at this time and here's why. They are exactly what I love about closed cans but in the open format so I get a better sound stage and I don't feel so closed off to the world around me all the time. The bass is close to being on par with the 400's just not as deep or fast so if the 400's bass is rated a 8.5/10 the HD650's are 8./10. The mids are probably a toss up which is a great compliment to each can. But the highs are definitely in the corner of the 400's, it's a much more lively can than the HD650. The HD650 is about as laid back as you can get. Now to some this may be the opposite because they can be a little to bright so this one really depends on your personal preference.

Overall its a really hard choice from the sound alone but from everything else around it the HD650 is the better option. Well at least it was for me, but if you have a great amp with enough kick to put the Orthos in their place you may have a totally different opinion than mine.

Next he asked me about the e17 and the types of music he listens to. Rock Rap Dub and D&B and if either one is capable of keeping up with the fast paced music and violent drops...

The E17 as amazing as it is had some issues pushing the HE-400's. For example with the HD650's with 12db gain and the volume at 20, it wasn't super loud but it was getting there. The 400's with the same settings was a whisper. You have to move it to 30+ to get things kicking. The issue with that is you'll start to hear obvious and clear distortion coming from the e17 because its trying to hard to push them. Now the E09k on the other hand... No problem whatsoever powering the HE-400's or even the LCD 2's! The e09k with either e07k or e17 stacked is hands down for the money the best you can buy. I listen to the same kind of music that you do so I can't have a headphone in my house that can't handle sudden and ridicules drops you know. I have evolved as a bass head but its still going to be one if it not most important part of a can for me. They both are more than adequate in this department. The HE-400's have better Sub-bass and the HD650's have better mid bass. So the HD650's bass though not as deep or as fast is slightly more prominent but the depth and speed goes to the HE-400's.

Honestly, you couldn't go wrong with either one. Sound stage, Imaging, and separation also a toss up. Sound Stage I'll give it to the HD650's but imaging and instrument separation goes to HE-400's. But again though this is nothing against the HD650's which need very little help to sound amazing. You can have amazing results outta a JDS LADS cMoyBB with the 650's vs needing an amp with a lot more power to push the 400's

In closing both are amazing and you really can't go wrong with either one but it is very important to understand before hand which sound suits you best. If you want the can with more sparkle and deeper bass the HE-400's are the right ones for you, but if you're looking for something laid back with amazing mids and all day comfort that can be outstanding with any genre of music the HD650 is your can.

Even though I have since upgraded to the LCD 2.2's I still can't get over the overall package of the 650's. Simply amazing and you can get them used for around $350 and for that price you can't go wrong. I hope this help some of you out there looking into either one of these cans.

Equipment used. HE-400, HD650, Fiio E17, Fiio E09k, HP Pavilion G6, Foobar2000 w/ Flac files to 320kbps

Thanks for the read!


Friday, March 29, 2013

Beyerdynamic DT770/80 vs Custom One Pro's Quick Comparison

Today we're talking about a quick comparison between the Beyerdynamic DT 770/80 and Custom One Pro's.

After not feeling 100% satisfied with my T 70's I wanted a little more Umph in the bottom end so I found great deals on the DT 770/80 ($149 new eBay- Contact me if you want the link they have more plus a 60 day return policy... Yes 60 days no questions asked) and the COP ($189 Amazon-Currently you can get them for $162). I'm still not finished with the testing but so far I do agree with what some have said so far. The DT770/80's have a much crisper sound than the Custom One Pro's but thats not a knock against the COP which I like but it is what it is. I actually put them up against my HIFI-780's and the COP won hands down and I sold my 780's which again I loved.

Now to the direct comparison and I'll break this down to make it simple and quick

Comfort: Tie - The COP's are super light weight, zero clamp, and soft leather pads while the 770's are a little heavier with a slight clamp but the Velour pads are amazingly comfortable. Not as comfortable as the DT 990/250's but honestly nothing I've ever worn before can compete with the comfort of those bad boys. I told my wife I was going to make a Velour jumpsuit out of those pads... She shook her head and quickly walked away.

Portability: COP - 16ohm speakers... Nuff said. You need to amp the 770's for them to reach their full potential but running them through my Macbook Pro I got great results. My e11 does ok but I think its time for a change but not sure what to change to, a little help would be nice for those of you that are amp savvy

Soundstage: DT 770/80 - This is where the tide changes and stays in favor of the 770's. The sound stage is amazing for a closed can and it has the best depth of any headphone I've tested/owned. Using them with my Astro Mixamp 5.8 is redonk!! The bass you would think would get in the way and yes its clearly there but it doesn't get in the way at all. Playing BF3 on my 360 good luck sneaking up on me because the distance and direction is better than the best "gaming" headsets I've tested. I'm a sneaky C4 junky so sitting and waiting for tanks has never been easier. And when the boom comes the bass is eye popping and always giggle inducing. Now on the other hand the COP are no slouches either, but the bass feels a little muddy and the separation is good but cant compete but honestly, what can??

Highs: DT 770/80 - They just come through cleaner and more relaxed but neither has the it factor in this area. The COP's are brighter and seem to pop out a little better but at the same time can get fatiguing at higher volumes. While I was A/B the two this was the biggest difference IMO. The COP's highs are right in your face aggressive and at times it feels like they're trying to hard. That is where the 16ohm ratings are at a disadvantage because being that easy to run is nice an all until you wanna turn the volume up and it feels like your ear drums are gonna pop.

Midrange: DT 770/80 - Not as recessed which will be shocking to most that know the 770's because they have pretty recessed mids in the first place but for the type of music I listen to with these they work. If I wanted to High and Mid myself to death I have the T 70's for that :) I think the real problem with the midrange on the COP's is the the fact the the highs and lows just simply overwhelm the mids and because the separation isn't that great it makes it hard for the mids to come through.

Bass: DT 770/80 - This one I thought was going to be a toss up but it was not. At first when you pick up the COP's of course the first thing you want to do is crank the switch to the 4th and final position throw on some dub and get to work!! And at first its like yes this is nice, but once your ears stop ringing from all the Robot sex you start to listen and notice how bloated the bass is and how hard its working to keep up with the music you're putting through it. At higher volumes notes were missed, drops were sloppy, and general sadness started to kick in. Once the volume was returned to a normal state things improved greatly. Now the 770's on other hand were cool and collected regardless of what I put them through and at all volumes. The levels didn't increase with the volume and they remained steady throughout the entire process. What was funny was that the only time I felt they were limited was when I put them through my e11 hence the reason I say its time to move on. Soundstage was reduced and the bass got bloated regardless of the settings. Clear winner in the category.

Isolation and sound leakage: Tie - Isolation goes to the 770's but The COP's do a better job at keeping all the sound in your head and not in your neighbors lap.

Overall thats 4 wins for the DT 770/80's 1 win for the COP's and 2 ties giving the clear and decisive win to the 770's. I like what Beyer did here with the COP's. They clearly were going for the commercial sound and if compared to the Beats and Sol's of the world they win hands down in almost every way possible except for being overpriced. Beats will win that battle almost every time.

Which one you buy is ultimately up to you and hopefully I gave you some useful information to make the choice a little easier and if I didn't oh well, at least I had fun in the process.

Thanks for the read!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Quick look at the Denon D5000's

Just thought I'd throw a couple of pics up of one of my favorite pairs of all time the Denon D5000's. I'll be putting up a short review of the D5000's in the near future. Thanks for the read and I hope you enjoy the pictures

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

12-21-2012 It's the end of the World!! Well not really but play along

Since today clearly is the last day we'll all spend on earth you get to choose ONE headphone (and amp if you'd like that you either own now or in the past) and ONE song that you can listen to before the world blows up in a few hours. Don't be lame and just all say HD800 or Stax or LCD-3's, this needs to come from the heart since you're all going to be gone in a few hours so make it count! Now if that means it was your first pair of $3 headphones or the ones your brother gave you before he left on deployment just make it mean something. And no making fun of the selections this is a semi-serious matter (not really but like I said in the title, play along).

The Song:

The song to me was a total no brain-er in that I didn't have to give it a second thought. Nothing else Matters by Metallica during what to me is the greatest album of my time The Metallica S&M Album. Forget the Mona Lisa and Beethoven's 5th symphony, this to ME is the single greatest artistic creation in all of human history.

The Headphone:

Now the headphones were a little tougher to decide but ultimately the choice came down to three. HE-400, D5000, and B&W P5. Now the P5 doesn't belong anywhere in the running if I was to compare the three together but they were the first real headphones I ever owned that almost made me tear up (by almost I mean did make me tear up but way to manly to admit that) when I heard what music was supposed to sound like. At the time I had been a um... Beats owner... Yah I know please don't start throwing objects at me. At the time I was under the impression just like tons of other misguided souls that Beats Studio was the greatest headphone EVER! Loud, boomy, and oh so sweet to look at plus every athlete here in the states was wearing them and of course like 26 inch rims they all know what's cool and stylish right? So after stumbling across a few random brands like Fanny Wang I came across the P5's. Being familiar with B&W's from my Best buy days I said what the heck, maybe they'll be almost as good as my ... beats... Little to my surprise I heard what a detail was and that there was more to life and sound than bloated bass and looks. From that moment on I was changed from a person that followed the crowd to someone that could make his own way  which lead me to great sites like that has forever changed my life (and destroyed my wallet). Headphones to me are a way to escape to world we know and for a few moments let it all go and just relax, or load up on my favorite Dubstep tracks and disappear into another universe where robots and drops rule the world. Don't worry if you don't get that last line... Its a Dub thing...

Now on to my pick!

I'm going to have to go with my Denon D5000's and Fiio e11 to give it that extra something.

So there you have it!

Nothing Else Matters by Metallica, D5000's, my little Fiio. Throw in a bottle of JD Honey and after that I'm good! Now, lets light this candle and get this thing over with!


Ok, now its your turn, lets see what we can come up with!

Thank you all for playing along and enjoy your last day (insert evil laugh)

Thank you for the read,


Side Note: I wrote this post a few months back (obviously) before my inventory was improved buy adding the e17/e9k stack and the famed/notoriously talked about HD650's. My opinions have probably changed a bit on the headphone and amp but the song will now and forever be the one.

Thanks again