Topic: Headphones?

Could anyone recommend decent headphones for adi 2 dac fs?
Not too expensive.
I have no experience with headphones, don’t want to spend a lot.

Thanks

2 (edited by KaiS 2020-07-26 22:37:27)

Re: Headphones?

Best value for money, by far:
Former Massdrop - DROP Hifiman HE4xx.

After a real lot of headphones I've tried, including multi-1000$ Highest End like TOTL Stax,  I'm even using these to do mixes in my recording studio.


I'd class them in the audiophile range (in a positive way), on par with a lot of way more expensive ones:
Musical sound, comfortable, clean, uncolored sound, well built, fun to use, sounds great without EQ and takes EQ very well,  ...


Current price is down to $160, free US shipping.
https://drop.com/buy/drop-hifiman-he4xx … headphones

If you use this reference to create an account at DROP (you don't need to, just as a favour) I get some "reward points" for my next purchase smile
https://drop.com/?referer=XJQF26

To say it clear: that's not why I reccomend the HE4xx, but because I do stand 100% behind it.

Re: Headphones?

They seem to be nice planar phones,
Just checked the site .

There’s a lot of talk that quality control is poor.

Broken connections. Scuffed cups ect...

Many have been returned.

Not prepared to order from the US.

Thanks anyway.

4 (edited by Jas0_0 2020-07-27 10:17:50)

Re: Headphones?

terrys999 wrote:

Could anyone recommend decent headphones for adi 2 dac fs?
Not too expensive.
I have no experience with headphones, don’t want to spend a lot.

Thanks

I don’t know your budget but I’m very happy with my Shure SRH1540. 

They’re designed as studio headphones, with a clean sound.  Measurements suggest their response is a close match to the Harman preference curve. 

They’re really comfortable - I often wear mine for several hours at a time while working.

They’re also easy to drive, so they sound superb with the RME, but can also be used with a smartphone without a portable head amp.

5 (edited by KaiS 2020-07-27 14:05:58)

Re: Headphones?

terrys999 wrote:

They seem to be nice planar phones,...

There’s a lot of talk that quality control is poor.

Broken connections. Scuffed cups ect...

Many have been returned.

Not prepared to order from the US...

Yes, planar magnetics are superior to normal dynamic headphones in many ways.
An important one, in context with the RME ADI-2 DAC, they take EQ very well without distorting or other negative side effects.


I don't see any of the problems mentioned and do have the HE4xx in daily use for 2 years now, under professional conditions.
This does mean, they are not handled like a raw egg here.
Instead I have a lot of broken Sennheisers.

You have to keep in mind, there are already many thousands sold and people tend to only come back if there's something to complain.


Buying from US I did a lot, just takes some weeks until things arrive and you might need to pay Import VAT, 16% in Germany, but not always.


HE4xx aside - the most important decision you have to do is:
Do you want open back or closed back headphones.
Open back do sound better usually, closed back reduce environmental noise.

Re: Headphones?

Consider Audio-Technica ATH-M50x. Very comfortable in addition to good sound. $149.00 USD

https://www.audio-technica.com/en-us/ath-m50x

Re: Headphones?

I'm using the ADI-2 DAC with Beyerdynamic DT1990 and DT990 (600 ohm). Great sounding headphones.
The DT1990 is a bit more straight forward and fits great to the DAC.

BR
alochter

8 (edited by KaiS 2020-08-01 08:01:56)

Re: Headphones?

The  Beyerdynamic DT990s are really nice headphones with an remarkable good price/quality relationship.
I have two of them with S.No's quite apart.
They are consistent.

Very transparent, detailed sound, excellent transients, almost electrotatic quality (think Stax without the midrange honk).
The response is neutral with only a slight tendency to v-shape and relatively hot upper treble.
They take EQ quite well if you don't overdo it.

Very light and comfortable too.


The only reason I don't give them much headtime - I have so many other great headphones.
But I wouldn't part.


The 600 Ohm version (that I have) needs an amp with bit higher output voltage.
Current- (Ampere) and power (Watts) demand is neglectible, an OTL tube amp can easily drive them, so does the RME ADI-2, which anyway drives almost anything.
Out of a smartphone level is quite low.

The lower Ohm versions are driven easier by those, but might even sound a bit different - it's not that easy to construct the same damping into a different impedance's driver, albeit not impossible for such an advanced team like Beyerdynamic.


Service is perfect at Beyerdynamic, you still get spare parts even for their first headphones from 1948!

Re: Headphones?

Thanks all for recommendations.

Iam going to try some akg K712 pros.

Now I have gathered that they can be a little messed up in higher frequencies,
Can the adi 2 dac fs sort that out?  Using equaliser?

Any opinions welcome

10 (edited by KaiS 2020-08-04 23:28:48)

Re: Headphones?

terrys999 wrote:

?.. going to try some akg K712 pros.

Now I have gathered that they can be a little messed up in higher frequencies,
Can the adi 2 dac fs sort that out?  Using equaliser?

No good choice IMO.

From 2kHz and up these are simply weird.
Nothing an EQ can fix (I tried and finally gave up) - and why buy something that needs a complicated fix at all?

The Beyerdynamic DT990, or even the DT880, opposed to these, just need a bit down around 7kHz, a bit of bass boost and they're really great.
If you're listening at relatively low level like me they are fine as they are.

Re: Headphones?

KaiS wrote:

The  Beyerdynamic DT990s are really nice headphones with an remarkable good price/quality relationship.
I have two of them with S.No's quite apart.
They are consistent.

Very transparent, detailed sound, excellent transients, almost electrotatic quality (think Stax without the midrange honk).
The response is neutral with only a slight tendency to v-shape and relatively hot upper treble.
They take EQ quite well if you don't overdo it.

Very light and comfortable too.


The only reason I don't give them much headtime - I have so many other great headphones.
But I wouldn't part.


The 600 Ohm version (that I have) needs an amp with bit higher output voltage.
Current- (Ampere) and power (Watts) demand is neglectible, an OTL tube amp can easily drive them, so does the RME ADI-2, which anyway drives almost anything.
Out of a smartphone level is quite low.

The lower Ohm versions are driven easier by those, but might even sound a bit different - it's not that easy to construct the same damping into a different impedance's driver, albeit not impossible for such an advanced team like Beyerdynamic.


Service is perfect at Beyerdynamic, you still get spare parts even for their first headphones from 1948!


Ok thank you for that info.
Would the dt 880s 600ohm work ok with the adi 2 dac fs?

Which would you prefer dt990 or DT880 600ohm?

12 (edited by KaiS 2020-08-06 23:35:35)

Re: Headphones?

Literally every headphones work great with ADI-2 DAC.
I know, I have a huge collection.

Personally I prefer the Beyerdynamic DT990 over the DT880.
It's slightly V shaped response helps when I listen at lower levels, which I usually do.
At these levels even it's hotter then average upper treble sounds correct to me.

13 (edited by ramses 2020-08-28 15:42:02)

Re: Headphones?

KaiS wrote:

Best value for money, by far:
Former Massdrop - DROP Hifiman HE4xx.

After a real lot of headphones I've tried, including multi-1000$ Highest End like TOTL Stax,  I'm even using these to do mixes in my recording studio.


I'd class them in the audiophile range (in a positive way), on par with a lot of way more expensive ones:
Musical sound, comfortable, clean, uncolored sound, well built, fun to use, sounds great without EQ and takes EQ very well,  ...


Current price is down to $160, free US shipping.
https://drop.com/buy/drop-hifiman-he4xx … headphones

If you use this reference to create an account at DROP (you don't need to, just as a favour) I get some "reward points" for my next purchase smile
https://drop.com/?referer=XJQF26

To say it clear: that's not why I reccomend the HE4xx, but because I do stand 100% behind it.

Thanks, will give it a try, need not so heavy phones for recording.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10 Pro 2004, Cubase 10.5.20, UFX+, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, ARC USB

14 (edited by Sherwood 2020-08-30 08:52:59)

Re: Headphones?

I’m surprised no one has yet recommended the Sennheiser HD600. For almost twenty years these have been well-regarded, the build quality is impeccable, and they make good use of the Adi-2’s powerful amp. They are also very easy to order from Germany smile

I suspect there are thousands of pairs available on the used market at all times, all of which will sound great. For a little less money, you can get the HD580 Jubilee, or if you are able to source from the U.S. there are the Drop HD 58X and Drop HD 6XX, both of which are also excellent.

15 (edited by ramses 2020-08-30 10:08:47)

Re: Headphones?

A few words of caution...

If the Sennheiser HD600 is tuned similarly to the HD800 then I can simply say that I personally would not like it. Neither for studio nor for listening to music. Far too little bass, even with the ADI-2 Pro you have difficulties to make it sound reasonable, so that it comes close to a planar headphone like the Audeze LCD-3 / LCD-X.

More on the HD800: it had huge shells, it was not possible to put the headphones on in a defined way, which alone does not seem to provide a consistent repeatable sound image. The headphones slipped on the head at the slightest movement.
These were the problems of the HD800, otherwise hyped in the hi-fi scene, and I should be surprised if the HD600 would have qualities that would put it above the HD800.

That is why I have followed Kai's recommendation here, who has a trained ear through his studio work and I hope that our tastes are similar.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10 Pro 2004, Cubase 10.5.20, UFX+, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, ARC USB

16 (edited by KaiS 2020-08-31 19:01:48)

Re: Headphones?

The tuning of the Sennheiser HD 800 is completely different to the HD 600.

What they have in common is a very slightly rolloff in the sub bass (more so on the HD 600), but that’s all about what’s similar.

Ramses, you are right about the sound inconsistency inside the HD 800’s cup.
The reason for this is mainly a lot of internal reflections.
I did a mod that removed those and got a much more position independent, consistent sound.

In the upper mid range both headphones err in different directions:
The HD 800 has a recessed upper midrange, the HD 600 has it boosted.
Then there is HD 800’s “famous” 6kHz peak and the HD 600’s lack of “air”.

Re: Headphones?

Sherwood wrote:

I’m surprised no one has yet recommended the Sennheiser HD600. For almost twenty years these have been well-regarded, the build quality is impeccable, and they make good use of the Adi-2’s powerful amp. They are also very easy to order from Germany smile

I suspect there are thousands of pairs available on the used market at all times, all of which will sound great. For a little less money, you can get the HD580 Jubilee, or if you are able to source from the U.S. there are the Drop HD 58X and Drop HD 6XX, both of which are also excellent.

You can't go wrong with these headphones for the money. I have a set and some Beyer T1’s and Audeze LCD 2C, which are both much more expensive, and the HD600’s easily hold their own.

18 (edited by hselters 2020-09-02 23:48:10)

Re: Headphones?

ramses wrote:

even with the ADI-2 Pro you have difficulties to make it sound reasonable, so that it comes close to a planar headphone like the Audeze LCD-3 / LCD-X.

These are at least 6 times the price of an HD 600...

To me they do sound better than an HD 600, especially with their clean low bass. But I found them way too heavy and uncomfortable, so they would not be of much use for me if I cannot wear them for longer than an hour. Maybe in Mixing / Mastering to check against speakers etc., but not for listening and enjoying music.

HD 600 with some EQ to increase the bass sounds fine to me. They are a bit on the slow side, so maybe not the best for mixing/mastering material with fast transients or sub bass.
For mixing everything else they are just fine and with a quite linear frequency response, I do enjoy listening through them and find them very comfortable.

Re: Headphones?

In my experience the Sennheiser HD-6.. series drivers can't take much EQ, EQ doesn't improve them.
You have to like or dislike them as they are, a matter of taste, finally.

Planar magnetics usually can take loads of EQ, opposed to that.
I have to remark, I do not listen very loud, so overload distortion isn't the reason for this.


I don't feel the HD-6.. to be "slow" as they are, but boosting the bass might subjectively cause that, because a bass boost enhances "slow" frequencies, and those boosts are often overdone.

Studio monitors usually don't have a boosted bass, not even the famous "Harman" 3dB below 125Hz.

I feel fine with a linear bass response for mixing, although I like a bit more for private listening.

20 (edited by ramses 2020-09-19 08:32:51)

Re: Headphones?

ramses wrote:
KaiS wrote:

Best value for money, by far:
Former Massdrop - DROP Hifiman HE4xx.

After a real lot of headphones I've tried, including multi-1000$ Highest End like TOTL Stax,  I'm even using these to do mixes in my recording studio.


I'd class them in the audiophile range (in a positive way), on par with a lot of way more expensive ones:
Musical sound, comfortable, clean, uncolored sound, well built, fun to use, sounds great without EQ and takes EQ very well,  ...


Current price is down to $160, free US shipping.
https://drop.com/buy/drop-hifiman-he4xx … headphones

If you use this reference to create an account at DROP (you don't need to, just as a favour) I get some "reward points" for my next purchase smile
https://drop.com/?referer=XJQF26

To say it clear: that's not why I reccomend the HE4xx, but because I do stand 100% behind it.

Thanks, will give it a try, need not so heavy phones for recording.

After 3 weeks, product is being shipped now by DHL from the US to Germany.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10 Pro 2004, Cubase 10.5.20, UFX+, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, ARC USB

Re: Headphones?

Hi Kais,
I'm seriously looking at the Drop Hifiman 4xx to use with RME Adi-2 DAc FS

I have a Grado sr325i and an AKG 702, different headphones, I enjoy both of them for different music styles.
By example I enjoy a lot Grado sr325i for Jazz and baroque renaissance music.

How do you think Hifiman 4xx listening experience compares with my current headphones?
More clean uncoloured than Grado ?

thank you for your advices,
christophe

Warning, English is not my natural language.

22 (edited by KaiS 2020-09-20 20:11:51)

Re: Headphones?

ninjasan wrote:

Hi Kais,
I'm seriously looking at the Drop Hifiman 4xx to use with RME Adi-2 DAc FS

I have a Grado sr325i and an AKG 702, different headphones, I enjoy both of them for different music styles.
By example I enjoy a lot Grado sr325i for Jazz and baroque renaissance music.

How do you think Hifiman 4xx listening experience compares with my current headphones?
More clean uncoloured than Grado ?

I do own the AKG K701, which, according to this site:
https://diyaudioheaven.wordpress.com/he … /akg/k702/
is very similar to the K702.

The Drop Hifiman HE4xx is much more neutral then the K701.
The K701 has something for it, but after longer listening the coloration starts to annoy me.



According to this measurements:
https://mkrzych.wordpress.com/2015/04/0 … reference/
the Grado SR325i is a very bright headphone.
Again, this is not the case with the HE4xx.


The HE4xx's tonality is closer to the Sennheiser HD650, without the little boost around 2.5kHz, and an absolute linear bass.


The Drop Hifiman HE4xx is the only headphone I can use for mixing in the studio.

This might be a personal thing of mine, but my guess is it would be a good addition to your existing 'phones.
Being planar magnetic it even adds a completely different flavor to what you have.

Besides being very neutral the HE4xx has a good resolution and plays way above it's price point.


Current price is to $160, free US shipping.
https://drop.com/buy/drop-hifiman-he4xx … headphones

If you use this reference to create an account at DROP (you don't need to, just as a favour) I get some "reward points" for my next purchase smile
https://drop.com/?referer=XJQF26

To say it clear: that's not why I reccomend the HE4xx, but because I do stand 100% behind it.

Re: Headphones?

How about balanced phones - would you recommend them with ADI-2 PRO FS that has this option, and if yes any particular models/cables?

24 (edited by KaiS 2020-09-21 08:41:58)

Re: Headphones?

In my experience there is no audible difference between balanced and unbalanced with the ADI-2 Pro.

ADI-2 Pro has such a high output (see manual page 88) that it can drive even the most "hard to drive" headphones like my AKG K-1000 with ease, unbalanced.


Balanced is a hype that results from the fact that people don't compare bal/unbal on the same output level.
A balanced amp simply doubles the voltage, 6dB louder.
Louder seems to sound better, but this could be achieved with the volume dial too.

There are weak amps that benefit from balanced, because of the higher undistorted output.
ADI-2 Pro doesn't need it, it has power in spades.

I do blind A/B comparisons with 1/100dB precise the same level.
With the prejustice and level difference removed there is no audible difference between balanced and unbalanced on ADI-2 Pro.


Similar applies to cables, thicker cables can give some 1/10dB more level, enough to make people think they "sound better".
The rest is pure imagination, with stereotypes like "silver sounds brighter".


Money wisely spent gives you a better sound:
Single most source for better sound is the acoustic transducer itself, hence better headphones.
Spending big money on cables wastes it, should better be used elsewhere.


For a headphones recommendation:
• Type of sound you are after?
• How much money you have to spend?
• Where do you want to use it?
• Quiet or noisy surroundings?
• Music style you are listening to?

Re: Headphones?

KaiS,
thanks a lot for sharing your knowledge !
Yes that's the point: having the ability to render music in different ways changing headphones, would be like having several Hifi systems for playing some music style or another...
best regards,
christophe

Warning, English is not my natural language.

26 (edited by tomg 2020-09-21 14:48:12)

Re: Headphones?

KaiS,
Thanks very much for your take on balanced.
Aside from HE4xx what are some other planar phones (open) that you can recommend (even if more expensive)?
After reading through this thread yesterday I was pretty convinced I would get that DROP HE4xx that you referenced but after reading through the reviews on DROP it was horrifying - so many complaints about build quality and unreliability that I simply could not go forward. I even looked at some of Hifiman more expensive models and there seems to be an issue even with those (even people that give them 5 starts in review for sound quality often still point out concerns about build quality). Given this I gave up looking at that vendor. I currently own Beyer 770 pro (closed) and was thinking about getting some nice open model (most of my listening going forward will be in quiet room at home and frankly mostly on my Adam 7X speakers but still wanted to look at nice pair of open phones). I'm currently considering Beyer 990 600ohm and 1990 250ohm but now that I have been reading about planar in this thread (which I never tried) I figured I should consider those as well.

27 (edited by KaiS 2020-09-22 09:55:54)

Re: Headphones?

The number of complaints about the Hifiman HE4xx should be seen in context with the fact that there are almost 40,000 pieces sold!
Satisfied user mostly don't come back to review.

Looking at the pricepoint of $160 they are very well made, soundwise unbeatable.
Not far away from my 20 times more expensive Hifiman HE1000.

I'm giving the HE4xx heavy use in the studio and have nothing to complain.


I've got the "AUDEZE LCD2rev2 pre Fazor" - there's quite a number of versions out there, including a current new edition.
Mine is the one that is usually considered the best version available.

It has the typical AUDEZE house sound, with the slightly recessed upper midrange and treble, even compared to the not too bright HE4xx.
No colorations besides beeing dark, exeptional good low range extension, very good resolution.

I have two other AUDEZEs, the Mobius and the EL8 Titanium, they head in the same direction.
The AUDEZE headphones in general take EQ very well, so could be corrected to your liking if necessary.

Price is way above, of course.


Next step above are electrostatics, think STAX SR-L700, + the necessary amplifier, the offers start around $2000.


Another " 'phones to take to an island" (not a planar magnetic) is the EMU Teak, pure fun tuning, but not overly so.
The best version out of the Fostex lineup, very musical, not too expensive.

Re: Headphones?

So I ordered a Hifiman He4xx,
thank you KaiS,
I will let you know about the first lstening inpressions,

Warning, English is not my natural language.

Re: Headphones?

I got mine yesterday. Sound is really ok, impressive sound for the price, many thanks KaiS.

I only found two little issues ... maybe somebody found already a solution for it:

1. the headband does not hold the adjusted position so well on one side I haven't had a good look at how to remove the cover and if there is a screw underneath that could be tightened a bit.
@KaiS, have you ever looked at what you could do? I don't want to ruin anything on it either.

2. the cable is too short and does not lie down well. I am not very familiar with these mini plugs on the headphones. Does anyone have an idea where you can get a good replacement cable in Germany ?

What do you find better ? Spiral cable or normal cable ? I would be interested. My opinion: when recording or playing guitar a spiral cable is an advantage, because it has no contact to the ground, but still offers freedom of movement.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10 Pro 2004, Cubase 10.5.20, UFX+, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, ARC USB

30

Re: Headphones?

Spiral cables are far too heavy for headphone use.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

31 (edited by KaiS 2020-10-04 17:41:03)

Re: Headphones?

ramses wrote:

1. the headband does not hold the adjusted position so well on one side I haven't had a good look at how to remove the cover and if there is a screw underneath that could be tightened a bit.
@KaiS, have you ever looked at what you could do? I don't want to ruin anything on it either.

I am a bit sorry that's my recommendation did not turn out to be perfect.


The screws are underneath the hot-glued grey cap that says "HIFIMAN HE-4XX".
I haven't removed it by myself, and wouldn't suggest to do so.

If you really want to try, use a little heat concentrated on this cap and not too much force, it's all plastic and can break if forced too much.
Same applies to the screws, do not over-tighten.

Look here:
https://forum.hifiguides.com/t/4xx-head … nt/9099/18


Friction is generated by a ca. 12 mm rubber ring inside the holder.
If the holder screws aren't completely loose the amount of pressure should be sufficient to hold the cup in position.
Mine is holding position very strong.

Maybe the rubber ring is missing?
Look into the gap from the top and compare left to right holder, the rubber ring is visible in both?

You can order spares (whole headband assembly, I suggest) from HIFIMAN service.
IMO they should send it free of charge, they are said to be quite responsive:
https://www.head-fi.org/threads/broken- … 349/page-3
As a little compensation, then you would have a replacement in case it really breaks.

Meanwhile: try to clean the metal gable's arm with a bit of alcohol "Brennspiritus" to possibly remove grease and enhance friction.


ramses wrote:

2. the cable is too short and does not lie down well. I am not very familiar with these mini plugs on the headphones. Does anyone have an idea where you can get a good replacement cable in Germany ?

I lately bought this one and found it to be good quality:

200 cm:

https://smile.amazon.de/ketdirect-HiFiM … amp;sr=8-1

300 cm:

https://smile.amazon.de/KetDirect-Ersat … amp;sr=8-2

32 (edited by ramses 2020-10-04 16:34:57)

Re: Headphones?

Hi Kai,

many thanks for the quick reply.

Don't panic, it's not that bad ;-) The problem with the headband became less / better now after some more use.
Thanks for the link, but I think I better leave the plastic caps on, I can always work on them again, when it's really required.

The cable suggestions from you are most welcome wink

Did you perhaps stumble over a spiral cable variant as well ?

Thanks a lot !

P.S: for listening music I am using B:+3.0 T:-1.0. Mixing / Mastering is surely a different animal.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10 Pro 2004, Cubase 10.5.20, UFX+, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, ARC USB

33 (edited by ramses 2020-10-04 17:03:35)

Re: Headphones?

Kai, regarding the cables, I think they changed the plugs from 2x 2,5 to 2x 3,5mm.

See also this review:
https://www.amazon.de/gp/customer-revie … B06WD3D66B
"Obwohl in den Rezensionen davon gesprochen wird dass dieses Kabel Kompatibel ist, ist das NICHT der Fall. Die HE-4XX benötigen 2 3,5mm Stecker. "

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10 Pro 2004, Cubase 10.5.20, UFX+, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, ARC USB

Re: Headphones?

ramses wrote:

Kai, regarding the cables, I think they changed the plugs from 2x 2,5 to 2x 3,5mm.

See also this review:
https://www.amazon.de/gp/customer-revie … B06WD3D66B
"Obwohl in den Rezensionen davon gesprochen wird dass dieses Kabel Kompatibel ist, ist das NICHT der Fall. Die HE-4XX benötigen 2 3,5mm Stecker. "

Might be, just compare the plugs on both ends, if they are same size it's 3.5 mm.

The only good spiral cables I know are on the Sony Proline headphones, e.g. MDR 7506.
All others tend to tangle.

I searched some, but didn't find anything reasonable (straight) with "3.5 mm stereo to 2 x 3.5 mm stereo jack", strange.
Not to mention coiled.

I suggest to use an extension and place the plug at a good position.