Jump to content

HD800? Another rumor?


riceboy
 Share

Recommended Posts

Stereophile have a review of the HD800s in the July edition. Wes Philips says it's probably the Best! Headphone! Evar! -- for what that's worth. Anyway, here's the relevant pull quote for Lawton Audio-philes:

Picture32.png

:)

I'm sure if you bring your arm all the way back and throw as hard as you can, you can get a pair of D5000s to go faster.

.......unless the cable is weighing it down.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 1.9k
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Stereophile have a review of the HD800s in the July edition. Wes Philips says it's probably the Best! Headphone! Evar! -- for what that's worth. Anyway, here's the relevant pull quote for Lawton Audio-philes:

http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk20/allyourpicsarebelongtous/Picture32.png

You f'ing kill me Stretch. The album name for that image is classic. I'm rather tempted to post that in Lawton's thread but I'm in "play nice" mode... for now.

:nate:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's my quick review with some brief impressions about the k1000

The K1000 was a headphone that I've always wanted to experience. If not for the sound the weird design won me over the first time I saw it.

As Nick had contacted me on Friday we met up and we both got a chance to listen to each others headphones.

Here are my impressions

K1000:

Interesting experience, large sound/head stage the K1000 actually sounded foreign to me the first time I put them on.

Really interesting how the sound changes as you adjust the angle/distance the drivers are facing.

Single ended using balanced->1/8 female adapter made by blue jeans cable plugged into Nick's B22 sounded.... not very good.

Remove the adapter though and the sound changed quite a bit. Still recessed bass, and sparkly treble with a very nice large sound stage. Yes the enhanced treble made it feel like the K1000 was pulling details out that the HD800 wasn't but listening to them back to back you realize that it's not that the HD800's weren't displaying the sound but that the recording artist had meant for other sounds to come in play as well.

HD800:

What can I say about this headphone?

I believe the HD800 is the jack of all trades. It does nothing "BEST" but it does everything very well.

For example the D7000 has some of the best bass impact/quantity in any phone I've heard, the K1000 have a great soundstage, Stax are fast, the L3000's fun to listen to and great tone etc...

The HD800's bridge all the best parts of these headphones and incorproates them into a single headphone.

The HD800 isn't better than the aforementioned headphones at what the do best, however the HD800 is 8-9/10th's as good across the whole spectrum.... of the best headphones I've heard.

This makes the HD800's very enjoyable to listen to as they have great sound stage, great bass, speed, great resolution, are non-fatiguing and have a great tone.

In my opinion this is the reason why the HD800 doesn't jump out to most listeners on the forums as a great headphone, since no parts of it's sound spectrum that are particularly emphasized.

I do still think that the mid range is slightly warm though.

In my book the only thing the HD800 can take the best crown for is COMFORT. These are the most comfortable headphones I've owned.

I don't think anyone can go wrong with the HD800's unless you really have some part of the sound spectrum that you enjoy having emphasized for the music you listen to.

I'm greatly enjoying mine and I hope all the other new owners are as well!

Note Listening was done on the following equipment:

Buffalo DAC->Single ended B22->HD800/K1000

Davry DA1->Balanced B22->K1000

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What the hell, I might as well post the comparison I wrote between the K1000s and HD800s here too:

Today, kelvinz came over so we could have a little headphone shootout. We had two beta 22s, a Lavry DA10, and a Buffalo Sabre DAC. Because kelvinz' HD800s have the stock cable, we did most of the comparisons using the quarter inch adapter I have for my K1000s.

Being a music maker, I like to audition equipment with my own mixes. If you're curious to hear the music passages I discuss below, you can download my last album for free at the site linked to in my signature.

My first point of interest was bass performance. The K1000s are notorious for their roll off. I realize that there are amps I could get to improve their extension, but only to a point. They're never going to go as low as the high end Denons do. To test the HD800s, I first listened to a new track I'm working on with a synth bass line built to push my MD5000s as low as they can go. Much to my pleasure, the HD800s gave me all of the sub bass I knew to be there, going as low as the Denons. Its bass didn't have as huge of an impact, but it was noticeably more articulate than that of the MD5000s. It didn't seem to suffer at all from one note bass. Listening to that same sub bass line with the K1000s, I could hear the attack of each note, and then silence. But that attack was even more articulate than what I heard on the HD800s.

Next, I moved on to the second track on my last album. It's a melodic piece made with sampled wine glasses and metal wind chimes. The HD800s handled it marvelously. Throughout the piece there's a warm sounding chime instrument in the center of the mix, pushed back a little bit. Only with the most articulate speakers and headphones does it really feel fully separated from the rest of the mix. The HD800s did so equally as effortlessly as the K1000s. I also really liked how the 800s handled the song's big percussive events. They were clear but deliciously impactful, perhaps thanks to the 800s' ability to present sub bass.

The third track is a gu zheng* based piece with some hybrid synth/acoustic bells thrown in for good measure. Again, the HD800s were equally as able to separate the bells from the gu zheng as the K1000s were. Later in the song there are some high frequency synthetic noises that only very detailed headphones can fully articulate texturally. Both seemed pretty equally able to display them. The K1000s are very noticeably brighter, and thus, might have been slightly more detailed with these digital textures. I'd need more time to say fully.

The fifth track is a much more typical electronic song with a somewhat danceable beat. The last section of the song is a good place to test a system's ability to handle complex passages. The mix is packed with a jumble of percussive instruments that span the frequency spectrum. It was really hard for me to say which headphones handled it better. Every time I though one pair revealed something the other didn't, I found the same detail equally apparent on the other pair. My sense is that the K1000s seemed very slightly faster, but I'd need more listening time to say for sure. That sense might simply be the result of the K1000s' brighter signature. The song does feature a sub bass drum at the start of every measure. Not surprisingly, the HD800s handled that much better.

Like many others have said, I didn't have any "wow" factor when I first put the HD800s on my head. Being used to the horizontally expansive soundstage of the K1000s, the HD800s' seemed small by comparison. But I did find it to be equally cohesive. There was certainly no hole in the middle of the stage. The space between instruments was proportionally a bit smaller, but equally articulate. I didn't have a chance to specifically focus on imaging precision. But I never noticed one pair presenting it more clearly than the other. If I get the chance to compare the two again, I'll give the first track on my album a run though. It has cascading bell scales whose position in the stereo field is particularly tricky to get right.

As mentioned earlier, the K1000s are noticeably brighter. That makes them sound more up front, and more susceptible to sibilance. But I really appreciated that when the recording called for sibilance, the HD800s gave it to me. They sounded warmer too, a bit like how I remember the HD600s. Of course, they don't suffer from the diffuse, inarticulate sound that I hated about the 600s.

Impact, detail retrieval, and imaging precision do improve substantially when I connect my K1000s via XLR instead of a quarter inch jack. I hope that the HD800s make similar gains with a balanced connection. If so, I'll consider them the real deal since comparing them both unbalanced, the HD800s seem to match, or damn near match, the K1000s at their strengths. Given that they also have appropriately balanced bass with outstanding extension, I'm inclined to say that the HD800s are a better all round pair of headphones. For those out there who want a single pair that does everything well, these might be it. For those looking to mix on their headphones, these might be it. I still want to hear how well they articulate small EQ tweaks before I recommend them for such use. But it sure would be nice to monitor textural details and sub bass with one pair.

* a Chinese stringed instrument

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the props and welcomes. I added the address to my head-case signature, but it didn't pop up. I'm not sure why.

I should say, that the only thing that keeps me from buying a pair of HD800s plus a balanced cable, is the prospect that the JH-13s will transcend the limitations previously keeping IEMs from competing with the best full sized cans.

And I just know the month after I break down and buy some 800s, Sony will announce a new entry in the top tier headphone market.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How many HD800 owners have B22s? Have you seen any negative impressions of the combo?

The people that own a B22, a good source and the HD800's seem to enjoy them.

From the canjam impressions thread not many people mentioned the B22 as a good match for the HD800, it makes me curious how amps such as the DNA and P1 sound with the HD800.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From the canjam impressions thread not many people mentioned the B22 as a good match for the HD800, it makes me curious how amps such as the DNA and P1 sound with the HD800.

I think that's simply because not many people got to try them on the beta. Most of the HD800s were in Headroom's room, no beta there, another two pairs were in Todd's room, again no beta, and those that had their personal pairs already were probably more inclined to try them on the various commercial offerings.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that's simply because not many people got to try them on the beta. Most of the HD800s were in Headroom's room, no beta there, another two pairs were in Todd's room, again no beta, and those that had their personal pairs already were probably more inclined to try them on the various commercial offerings.

makes sense!

I have to say the buffalo didn't make a huge difference with my Denon's but the HD800's really shine with them. It seems to really pull out a lot of detail across the spectrum and the bass sounds a lot more defined and less flabby.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Or the original recording. ;D

And therein lies the rub. I love music, so much so that the last thing I want to spend my life listening to are 'audiophile approved recordings'. Quite apart from the fact that 99% (made up statistic) of music was NEVER neutral or naturally recorded, produced or mastered, where is the value of such headphones to anyone who isn't either a recording engineer with intimate knowledge of his microphones, or a headphone obsessive with a playlist of half a dozen songs ? I'm curious... genuinely.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wrote this post on 6/9:

Finally got my HD800 today, serial #465 from TTVJ. None of the physical defects that have been reported.

The sound is closer to the Qualia than I previously thought - while not identical of course, they're awfully similar sounding in more than one way, but primarily in separation between elements and overall clarity.

Will have to burn the drivers in but I'm already satisfied with this purchase. I will almost certainly be selling the Qualia at some point in the future. I still mostly prefer the sound of the Qualia though (esp since it has moar treble) but the HD800 doesn't sacrifice too much in that area that I can still tolerate it.

And I now retract it. My own ears are unreliable and no one should use them as a basis for any kind of advice. My last moments with the HD800 vs the Qualia over the weekend (and the days before) led me to change my opinion. Because of the unreliability of my ears, I will not say anything further about the SQ differences between the two headphones, and it would probably be best for anyone deciding between the two to hear them for himself (or herself as the case might be).

In fact, going forward I will not be commenting on any kind of SQ impressions of any equipment period. All I will say about the HD800 is that I personally became very dissatisfied with it, but that shouldn't mean anything for anyone else.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wrote this post on 6/9:

And I now retract it. My own ears are unreliable and no one should use them as a basis for any kind of advice. My last moments with the HD800 vs the Qualia over the weekend (and the days before) led me to change my opinion. Because of the unreliability of my ears, I will not say anything further about the SQ differences between the two headphones, and it would probably be best for anyone deciding between the two to hear them for himself (or herself as the case might be).

In fact, going forward I will not be commenting on any kind of SQ impressions of any equipment period. All I will say about the HD800 is that I personally became very dissatisfied with it, but that shouldn't mean anything for anyone else.

Wow. I've had a change of heart before, but this...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In fact, going forward I will not be commenting on any kind of SQ impressions of any equipment period. All I will say about the HD800 is that I personally became very dissatisfied with it, but that shouldn't mean anything for anyone else.

I think that's silly. Just because you changed your opinion doesn't mean that you're impressions are unreliable. And the fact that your impression changed over time is interesting in itself.

No more self-flagellation for you! ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

quit bitching and buy both, *and* the new Sony..

Interesting music too, thanks :)

Thanks Smeggy! I spent a LOT of time getting those mixes to sound right on headphones. So I especially appreciate approval from Head-Case types. I should also add that the HD800s made my album sound as good as I

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In fact, going forward I will not be commenting on any kind of SQ impressions of any equipment period. All I will say about the HD800 is that I personally became very dissatisfied with it, but that shouldn't mean anything for anyone else.

I'd be interested in hearing how you currently find the HD800s inferior to the Qualias. It's Ok to change your mind about these things.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share


×
×
  • Create New...