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Cans! (Headphone thread inspired by Dolly Parton)

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AEProgman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AEProgman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 22 2017 at 13:58
Have been enjoying the cans talk going on in here!

I have always wanted to hear some planar magnetic cans but there aren't many places around here that have them...if any.  There is one place maybe, but the staff in there are arrogant SOBs and hate to go in there.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 23 2017 at 12:10
Hi there Jim!
Good to have you in here. I agree wholeheartedly about those irritating staff members in hifi shops. Over the last year or so I've met quite a few. The kind that lools down their noses at anything that isn't powered by special crystals and costs as much as a used car. Oh my word! I had one look at me very condescendingly on account of my yellow AKGs

Btw have you ever tried on a pair of open-backs? This may sound like complete gibberish to you but I have found RPI (and folk) especially jives on open backs. The 'space' and 'air' that suddenly fill up within the musical room is just sublime and, at least for my tastes, matches oh so well with RPI.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Darious Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 24 2017 at 04:10
This affordable headphone looks interesting, has also been tested on some progressive works:
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 24 2017 at 04:19
Interesting to see how the company fares with a "proper" headphone. They made their name with the Triple driver iem a good while back and more recently with the Quad (4 drivers).
I dig how it looks.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 24 2017 at 04:34
If I ever decide to upgrade I think this will be the one:
Billedresultat for stax l700
Ugly as a motherf... but the Stax L700 sounds like it carries its own tube. Went by one of those snobbish hifi places yesterday and had a chance to try out this headphone...and it quite simply blows everything else I've ever listened to completely out of the water. I guess it's true when people say stuff like 'well you haven't REALLy tried on a proper set of cans before you've tried Stax' - which tbh is bullsh*t statement - but I do get where they're coming from. Electrostats are truly wondrous creations.

It's even a couple of thousand kroner cheaper than the Sennheiser hd800s (but then again the Stax will need a designated electrostat amp to drive them....so yeah it will be more expensive in the end if you don't happen to own one beforehandLOL).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AEProgman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 24 2017 at 06:49
^Hey David, they are ugly indeed.

I have listened to some good studio open back AKGs in a music shop, but have not really listened to RPI on them which would sound great.  My portable Sennheiser PX100ii are on ear open backs and sound really great  with RPI, but I think my next cans will be good open backs.

Seems about time to post an official thread mascot image.
Image result for dolly parton image with headphones
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 26 2017 at 05:26
Thanks for that Jim and you're quite right, it was most definitely about time Dolly showed up again.
Damn she was smoking in her youth...and up through her erm middle-aged years as well (plastic and all). Her personality though has always been the real part of her charm imo.
On this particular pic I think someone made her rock a pair of Bang & Olufsen cans. Oh yeah Denmark all the way!!!
Mjeaah well maybe not entirely. B&O's recent line of cans seem to be everywhere in Denmark at the moment and I can't help but think, that people are paying thousands upon thousands of kroner...for a beautiful design. Don't get me wrong the sound is alright but at least for my tastes not at all up to snuff considering the pricetag. One can get twice the sound quality for half the dough....but then again you miss out on wearing a headphone that looks like a beautifully crafted espresso machine (that doesn't make coffee).

Speaking of AKGs: Both the 701 and 702 are rather cheap these days if you're considering open backs. I cannot recommend these cans enough. I had a 5 hour listening session yesterday and I completely forgot I was wearing them.
I love different aspects of the different cans I have but I must say that one of the finer attributes of the 701/2s is the way it literally breathes air into the music. The soundstage is pretty awesome as well. The sound isn't funneled down your earcanal but happens inside this imaginary room the headphone somehow is creating. Yeah I'm babbling again but I did end my marathon with 3 Area albums
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Saperlipopette! Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 26 2017 at 06:39
Here's mine. They're not expensive. I'm really pleased. They're danish I Think. My first wireless ever and I'm never going back (probably bought/destroyed/lost over 50 wired ones). But I'm clueless so I just googled best buy/best in test a couple of times and ended up with these. Couldn't find a relevant Dolly image so I made one instead




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richey Edwards Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 27 2017 at 15:47
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For portable use, also functioning as earmuffs, we have the AKG Y50s in taxi cab yellow:
Billedresultat for akg y50 yellow
After listening to these I struggle to understand why people buy Beats at all. They're a third of the price and sound at least three times as good. Yes there is a bass boost there but it is subtle and "musical" and more importantly; it doesn't muddy the rest of the sound spectrum. 



I have these in the same colour and agree with your assessment of them. A great set of headphones which is way way better than the more popular bass heavy brands.
I also have the Sennheiser Momentums which I love as well.


Edited by Richey Edwards - September 27 2017 at 15:48
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 03 2017 at 03:25
Hey ho new faces in Dolly land
Welcomd aboard folks!

Never heard a pair of Jabra and had no idea they were a Danish outfit. Maybe that is why I see so many of them in shops here.
Anyway I too have been interested in going the wireless route but this was after I started listening to higher end cans and I just found the sound qualty significantly poorer compared to the old wired ones. What I wouldn't give for the freedom that comes with wireless though!! Oh my word. I'd be free to do yoga and these old folk dance moves I've been refining.

Oh and I thought I was the only one rocking those Y50s in yellow
Good to see the Scottish still have their unrivalled sense of fashion.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 03 2017 at 06:44
You know you have a somewhat serious problem when you're looking at a pair of Sennheiser HD600 when you already own two openbacks to begin with
Though to be fair I do not own a neutral can as of yet. Both the Denon and Hifiman have a u shaped sound signature to them whilst the AKG just goes up in the mids and highs. Heh...I feel myself getting talked into this...by myself no less, which begs the question: how many Davids are in fact in there (here)? I've met quite a few but only recently bumped into monsieur audio-nut. He is an expensive bugger but then again far more interesting and lovable than 5 o clock in the morning-David.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Quinino Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 03 2017 at 07:16
^ Be reassured, you have no real problem until you start buying duplicate items  when you already have one, just because you love it and are afraid of some future misfortune - I've seen it happening, believe you me (not by myself, fortunately - yet !) LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 03 2017 at 11:50
Yeah it always puzzles me when I see secondhand vendors, audiophiles to the max, selling two or three of the exact same headphones. So they loved them so much they had to buy more of the same...until what? They slept with his wife and key'd his car?

At least I use what I own. I regularly shift between cans some times several times a day or maybe stick with just one at home and go for iems when outside.
Also I am mostly just buying those HD600 to see if they're worth Samuel's money or if he indeed should go for some planars It's quite alright to get them if it's part of a favour y'know?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richey Edwards Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 03 2017 at 12:28
Originally posted by Guldbamsen Guldbamsen wrote:


Good to see the Scottish still have their unrivalled sense of fashion.

The Taxi Yellow was over £10 cheaper than the other colours. And you know what they say about Scots and money...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Larkstongue41 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 03 2017 at 19:00
Captcha got a long post of mine on this thread about a month ago and I didn't bother to write it again. Now frustration has waned away so here is an abridged version.

I received the Hifiman HE-400i about two months ago and after performing the 150 hours (!) burn-in recommended by Hifiman in the user guide, these headphones continue to impress me day after day. Two things struck me the most: the bass and soundstage.

The bass on these things is very special. It's so tight and precise (I believe the technical term is "fast"), it feels like the bass notes last a shorter amount of time (they don't resonate as much) than on sub-par audio equipment but they are condensed and detailed. Really enjoying that.

Now that I have experienced quality open headphones soundstage, I think it's a shame did most of my listening through crappy earbuds in the last few years. It was quite a revelation when I first put the HE-400i on. It's incredibly immersive, there is clear positioning so you really feel in the same space as the music being played. I've read on the web that they have pretty narrow (cone-shaped) soundstage for open heaphones in this price range so don't take my word for the quality of the soundstage.

Really a great buy (unless they die on me within the first year). I don't feel the need the go further down the rabbit hole.. for now at least. I'm quite happy with my headphones setup for now with nice cheap earbuds for sports and work (VE Monk), crystal clear low-cost closed headphones for outside use (ATH-M40X) and a great set of open cans for the home. In a few years I'll have to start thinking about speakers $$$. 

EDIT - Forgot to mention, although the HE-400i works great straight from my phone or laptop I think an amp/dac could potentially have huge effects on the sound. Anyone have any recommendations? Amp or DAC or both? Is it worth it to pay over $200 or not?


Edited by Larkstongue41 - October 03 2017 at 19:10
"Larks' tongues. Wrens' livers. Chaffinch brains. Jaguars' earlobes. Wolf nipple chips. Get 'em while they're hot. They're lovely. Dromedary pretzels, only half a denar."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 04 2017 at 07:52
Hi there Hubert good to have you back
Capcha always seems to strike on long posts...and that is evidently also when folks forget to save. Feckadiddledoo!

I can't believe you went and bought the upgraded version of my Hifimans - you sneaky dog
I see they're something like a 100 grams lighter and perhaps more importantly: they updated the connectors. My old school screw ons are a pain in the arse. These days I just leave the cable in because it is so much of a hassle connecting those feckers.

Your reaction to them very much mirrors my own. A whole new and exciting world opened up within the music I already knew like the back of my hand. Simply calling it a 'wow moment' doesn't quite do it justice. It's like this brain orgasm made out of pure sound - like had it been produced by diamonds on fire.

Regarding the amp conundrum: Hifiman launched these, as well as my version, as one of the first planars you could use straight out of your phone or MP3 player...and you can...barely. If you on the other hand invest in an amp (amp/dac combo if you're looking to upgrade the sound on your computer and/or phone) you will most likely experience the same thing I did, which was like this veil somehow was lifted from the music and everything became much more clear and precise.
You can get some pretty cheap amps nowadays that sound absolutely brilliant. I can warmly recommend Aune's amp/dacs of which I own one of. An older model but the sound is epic. It also makes the sound on my real speaker system sing when I seldomnly play music off my computer. Just a matter of connecting it with my stereo amp using it only as a dac (it has all these different settings you can switch between: headphone amp / dac, dac only, headphone amp only, usb connection, coaxial and so forth).
Anyway you can get a really really nice amp or amp/dac for around 200-300$
Sure you can get stuff that sounds better at a higher price but then we're talking 800-900$ - especially if you go for some of the lesser known brands. Oh yeah check out the no nonsense American firm Schiit. Very affordable and sound quality that punches way above their pricerange - just like Aune actually.

Btw did your Hifimans come with velourpads? I swear after I switched to some velours the sound changed as well. Lost a bit of the boom bass but the mids suddenly popped up and sounded more natural. Heh and to think I only switched them because my ears got too hot with the faux leather pads
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 04 2017 at 07:55
Originally posted by Richey Edwards Richey Edwards wrote:

Originally posted by Guldbamsen Guldbamsen wrote:


Good to see the Scottish still have their unrivalled sense of fashion.

The Taxi Yellow was over £10 cheaper than the other colours. And you know what they say about Scots and money...

They prefer pounds over yen?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Larkstongue41 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 04 2017 at 10:04
^^ From what I've read, the classic HE-400 is quite different from the HE-400i. More fun, less analytical apparently. The weight and new connectors are indeed massive improvements. I struggled enough with F connectors in the past...

 Thanks a lot for the recommendations once again, very valuable input as usual.

Originally posted by Guldbamsen Guldbamsen wrote:


Btw did your Hifimans come with velourpads?

They came with the Focus pads. Velour where the pad is in contact with your head and leather for the rest. It's very comfortable and it does not affect the sound signature too much I believe. Here's what it looks like although you likely came across these at some point:
"Larks' tongues. Wrens' livers. Chaffinch brains. Jaguars' earlobes. Wolf nipple chips. Get 'em while they're hot. They're lovely. Dromedary pretzels, only half a denar."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 04 2017 at 12:08
Anytime

They look very comfy those pads and I imagine one gets the best of both worlds soundwise when they're half leather half velour. I used to think people were mad when they mentioned how the sound changed when swapping pads, but it is rather logical when you think about it: leather will keep in the sound making for a better bass thumb whereas velour lets air out and as a result sounds more natural.
I read up on the 400i and whether or not it needs an amp. Seems to mimic the same issue that I have with mine, which is while they both claim 35 ohm the actual db is 93 aka they're extremely thirsty. I bet you have to turn your phone way up to get to a nice listening level.
Most review outlets I trust also say they do require an amp - at least if you want their full potential.
Btw you didn't mention anything about portability in your original query so I naturally took it as if it's intended solely for home usage...but if you want something to bring with you - say you suddenly feel the urge to rock your hifimans down in the park (don't bother throwing an amp at the ath40x - they're about as efficient as can be), then there are quite a few cheap options from Fiio available. I've got a e07k - tiny little thing - but it drives pretty much anything I throw at it.
If you are prepared to stretch the wallet to 306$ then I would go for the OPPO ha 2. This thing sounds absolutely amasing! My friend got one last christmas and I find myself eyeing that thing every time we meet up. Looks about as cool as it sounds..and that is no small feat.
https://www.amazon.com/OPPO-HA-2-Portable-Headphone-Amplifier/dp/B00UW0BP48

Edited by Guldbamsen - October 04 2017 at 12:30
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richey Edwards Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 05 2017 at 13:41
There's a reason why Scrooge McDuck was Scottish. :P
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