Headphone Market News

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Russell Dawkins

Re: Headphone Market News
« Reply #100 on: 17 Jul 2017, 06:14 am »
(I specifically said "If Audeze can put a nice sounding planar on the market for ~$700 (the EL-8), then I know Sennheiser can put something out in the $1K-2K range."

Fascinating. What an great chance encounter.

I would have thought that Sennheiser with all its resources and technical experience should be able to match the efforts of a small independant like Audeze at 2/3 the price, not double. On the other hand, frankly, I wonder if they could improve or even match what some others are doing, even if they wanted to.

I haven't heard the current top of the line Sennheisers so can't comment on those, but I did borrow a pair of HD-650s 13 years ago to take to Armenia as a convenience backup to my Etymotic ER4Ss while recording an orchestral concert, convenience in that they would be faster to put on/take off than IEMs. I was monitoring what I was doing off the mixing board with the Etymotics. When I tried the 650s on to see how they compared, expecting them to be similar—possibly better, based on price and reputation—I was shocked at what I heard. The Etymotics sounded (and always have at other recording sessions) almost identical to the acoustic sound I heard when taking them off; the Sennheisers were not even in the ballpark. I really was puzzled; you could say shocked. It sounded like I was listening through three layers of blanket.

I never used them again on that trip, but when I returned home I made a point of tracking down another 650 and a 600 to make sure that the pair I heard were not defective and an aberration. Apparently they weren't.

This was the beginning of my realization of the sometimes profound difference between what has become considered desirable in 'high end' home hi-fi and the better professional gear.

Sorry Sennheiser fans, but this is a carefully considered recounting of my experience and I write this in an effort to stimulate the re-thinking of some long-held assumptions. Headphones, like loudspeakers, are the biggest variables in the replay chain.

dB Cooper

Re: Headphone Market News
« Reply #101 on: 17 Jul 2017, 12:37 pm »
Fascinating. What an great chance encounter.

I would have thought that Sennheiser with all its resources and technical experience should be able to match the efforts of a small independant like Audeze at 2/3 the price, not double. On the other hand, frankly, I wonder if they could improve or even match what some others are doing, even if they wanted to.

I haven't heard the current top of the line Sennheisers so can't comment on those, but I did borrow a pair of HD-650s 13 years ago to take to Armenia as a convenience backup to my Etymotic ER4Ss while recording an orchestral concert, convenience in that they would be faster to put on/take off than IEMs. I was monitoring what I was doing off the mixing board with the Etymotics. When I tried the 650s on to see how they compared, expecting them to be similar—possibly better, based on price and reputation—I was shocked at what I heard. The Etymotics sounded (and always have at other recording sessions) almost identical to the acoustic sound I heard when taking them off; the Sennheisers were not even in the ballpark. I really was puzzled; you could say shocked. It sounded like I was listening through three layers of blanket.

I never used them again on that trip, but when I returned home I made a point of tracking down another 650 and a 600 to make sure that the pair I heard were not defective and an aberration. Apparently they weren't.

This was the beginning of my realization of the sometimes profound difference between what has become considered desirable in 'high end' home hi-fi and the better professional gear.

Sorry Sennheiser fans, but this is a carefully considered recounting of my experience and I write this in an effort to stimulate the re-thinking of some long-held assumptions. Headphones, like loudspeakers, are the biggest variables in the replay chain.

I have both Etymotics and HD650s and the voicings are indeed different. (And my Shure SE535's are somewhere in between...)

It seems to me that there are two general approaches to voicing transducers: Make it as neutral/flat as possible and let the chips fall where they may; and 2) Voice in the context of expected source material. Ety took the first approach, Senn the 2nd IMJ. I find that quite a bit of digitally-mastered source material is mixed 'hot', and I think the 650 is voiced to take that into account.
Sometimes I add some boost to the highs with my 650's and sometimes I taper off the highs just a smidge with my Ety's. It's all about what makes that particular recording sound most believable to my ears. I'm not the purist I once was.

Armaegis

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Re: Headphone Market News
« Reply #102 on: 17 Jul 2017, 03:09 pm »
Sennheiser HD650's also require some decent amping behind them. At the very least, you need something with a low output impedance so you don't get wonky FR variations due to the HD650's massive impedance spike in the midbass.

dB Cooper

Re: Headphone Market News
« Reply #103 on: 18 Dec 2017, 11:16 am »
Link: Innerfidelity underwhelmed by new Sennheiser HD660S

So maybe it doesn't matter that the drivers are not retrofittable to the 600/650. Haven't heard the 660S myself so can't comment on the sound (there wasn't one at Capital Audiofest) but Tyll is pretty reliable and backs up his reasoning with data so if you've read his stuff, you have an idea of how your tastes in general relate to his.
I can tell you that the Beyerdynamic Amiron is a strong contender at a $100 uptick. Writing a review, bit by bit (Holiday season in retail).

dB Cooper

Re: Headphone Market News
« Reply #104 on: 18 Dec 2017, 11:24 am »
Sennheiser HD650's also require some decent amping behind them. At the very least, you need something with a low output impedance so you don't get wonky FR variations due to the HD650's massive impedance spike in the midbass.

Often wondered why most Senns do that. I don't see it elsewhere. But for a high-impedance design like the 650 should it matter as much as if it was, say, a 50 ohm phone? BTW 660S (which is half the impedance) has a big peak too according to Innerfi's measurements.

FullRangeMan

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Re: Headphone Market News
« Reply #105 on: 18 Dec 2017, 05:41 pm »
Often wondered why most Senns do that. I don't see it elsewhere. But for a high-impedance design like the 650 should it matter as much as if it was, say, a 50 ohm phone? BTW 660S (which is half the impedance) has a big peak too according to Innerfi's measurements.
Usually speakers manufacturers made it to get hi SPL.

poseidonsvoice

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Re: Headphone Market News
« Reply #106 on: 18 Dec 2017, 05:53 pm »
Link: Innerfidelity underwhelmed by new Sennheiser HD660S

So maybe it doesn't matter that the drivers are not retrofittable to the 600/650. Haven't heard the 660S myself so can't comment on the sound (there wasn't one at Capital Audiofest) but Tyll is pretty reliable and backs up his reasoning with data so if you've read his stuff, you have an idea of how your tastes in general relate to his.
I can tell you that the Beyerdynamic Amiron is a strong contender at a $100 uptick. Writing a review, bit by bit (Holiday season in retail).

Dig the measurements: https://www.innerfidelity.com/content/sennheiser-hd-660-s-over-ear-open-headphones-measurements

I find Tyll's ability to review rather refreshing actually. More honest.

I'm happy my MassDrop HD6XX's arrived the other day. I wanted a daily driver headphone to take with me on vacations while hanging out in hotels, etc... I'm far from a headphone enthusiast though!

Best,
Anand.

dB Cooper

Re: Headphone Market News
« Reply #107 on: 18 Dec 2017, 06:01 pm »
Hope you have something with some juice to drive them, the 600 series are a tough load, You'll get sound out of portable devices but not dynamics. Dragonfly Red out of a computer or phone would be a good choice.

poseidonsvoice

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Re: Headphone Market News
« Reply #108 on: 18 Dec 2017, 06:37 pm »
Hope you have something with some juice to drive them, the 600 series are a tough load, You'll get sound out of portable devices but not dynamics. Dragonfly Red out of a computer or phone would be a good choice.

That indeed is the plan.

I can also use the XLR outputs (with custom adapter) from my TAPX.

Best,
Anand.

FullRangeMan

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Re: Headphone Market News
« Reply #109 on: 3 Jan 2018, 12:32 am »
There is a new model at HifiMan site called Sundara at $499, its show a all new headband and can strap, on the photos its not beautiful:
http://store.hifiman.com/index.php/sundara.html


JohnR

Re: Headphone Market News
« Reply #110 on: 8 Jan 2018, 02:04 pm »
There is a new model at HifiMan site called Sundara at $499, its show a all new headband and can strap, on the photos its not beautiful:
http://store.hifiman.com/index.php/sundara.html

Now showing as out of stock!  :scratch:

Anyway I'm not finding much online about these yet except for some initial press at RMAF last year. Big contrast to the new LCD-2 (classic). I'm wondering if everybody is a bit gunshy of Hifiman after they started selling the HE-560 at half retail. Like, this week Sundara is 499, next week 299... ?

JohnR

Re: Headphone Market News
« Reply #111 on: 8 Jan 2018, 02:05 pm »
Now showing as out of stock!  :scratch:

Still for sale on their eBay store though :scratch: :scratch:

dB Cooper

Re: Headphone Market News
« Reply #112 on: 9 Jan 2018, 06:10 am »
Etymotic is introducing the ER3 IEM, which apparently replaces the hf series. Like the top of the line ER4, it comes in both 'SR' (Actually 'SE' for this model, but the concept is the same- a 'dead neutral' presentation) and 'XR' voicings, and has a metal body and (nice1) replaceable cable. Here's Ety's press release:
https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2018/01/08/1284882/0/en/Etymotic-Brings-High-Fidelity-at-an-Affordable-Price-To-CES-2018.html
« Last Edit: 9 Jan 2018, 11:58 pm by dB Cooper »

JohnR

Re: Headphone Market News
« Reply #113 on: 10 Jan 2018, 06:36 am »
Interesting. Half the price of the ER4s. Wonder how they differ sound-wise?

Seem to have been shipping for a few weeks, some user reviews already on amazon - https://www.amazon.com/Etymotic-ER3XR-Extended-Response-Earphones/dp/B076652HPH


dB Cooper

Re: Headphone Market News
« Reply #114 on: 11 Jan 2018, 04:35 am »
There is a new model at HifiMan site called Sundara at $499, its show a all new headband and can strap, on the photos its not beautiful:
http://store.hifiman.com/index.php/sundara.html


I think it looks good! To each his own though.

dB Cooper

Re: Headphone Market News
« Reply #115 on: 11 Jan 2018, 03:16 pm »
I must say that 'styling' isn't the top consideration for me, as long as it's reasonably tastefully designed, unlike the AKG N90Q:


FullRangeMan

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Re: Headphone Market News
« Reply #116 on: 11 Jan 2018, 06:52 pm »
I think it looks good! To each his own though.
The paint is mate black!

dB Cooper

Re: Headphone Market News
« Reply #117 on: 15 Jan 2018, 07:42 pm »
Now HERE's some news.... Sennheiser showed a closed-back version of the HD800 (the HD820) at CES.

Here's the link from Innerfidelity's show report.

Quote from the report: "Unfortunately, Axel Grell, Audiophile Portfolio Manager, was not in the booth, but I assume this $2399 headphone is targeted at the high-end audiophile and audio professional market.." Yeah, sounds like a pretty safe assumption... Aside from the exercise in conspicuous consumption that is the Orpheus, this would seem to be their new flagship.

dB Cooper

Re: Headphone Market News
« Reply #118 on: 15 Jan 2018, 07:56 pm »
Hooefully it won't peel off!
That's the only way it could get any uglier.

restrav

Re: Headphone Market News
« Reply #119 on: 13 Feb 2018, 11:10 pm »
The closed back version of the monolith 1060'just became available.

https://www.monoprice.com/product?c_id=120&cp_id=12001&cs_id=1082707&p_id=29513&seq=1&format=2

Some people have called them the budget audeze LCD xc.I have never heard the audeze so I wouldn't know.just reporting