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What planar bass?
After one day of ownership my initial impression is: where is the planar magic? I have entry level equipment which I would expect would be appropriate for an entry level planar. For music, I am feeding these with a Samsung S20 -> Dragonfly Red DAC -> JDS Labs Atom amp. In direct A/B comparisons with Sennheiser 58X, for music I am experiencing almost the same sound stage and imaging. The 58X seems more composed in busy EDM. The mid range and treble seem to be within 90% of each other on EDM, with a slight edge to the 58X. On male/female vocals, its a coin flip so far. The only obvious, immediate difference is these 4XX have less bass than the 58X. Less extension, and less slam. In running sample Youtube frequency sweeps, both cans make it audibly down to the low 20's hz, but in practice in music the 58X feels about 10 - 20% fuller and deeper bass.
When testing with Xbox One X for gaming, connected via 3.5mm from controller to Atom to 4XX, I am noticing similar imaging to 58X, but again less bass and a slight overall veil to the sound. The 58X sounds sharper and conveys more information, although neither can seems especially suited to gaming.
I've been told the planars will give better bass with a beefier amp, like a $200 Schiit Asgard. Therefore my observations should be taken with a grain of salt - other users may have a better experience with different supporting equipment.
Other observations: The 58X clamp to the sides of your head much harder than the 4XX. Meanwhile, the 4XX focus all of the weight on the headband, especially downhard on the top center of your skull. I would think bald users might actually find this uncomfortable. I have a normal size head yet I found the 4XX had to be extended to their longest setting to reach my ears properly.
If my equipment or observations change I'll update my review accordingly. For the price, these are reasonably clear and solid performing headphones but they may be slightly edged out by other cans in the same price bracket depending on your preferences.
Did you test with any other music besides EDM? All good observations, as your setup would likely be normal for someone buying these cans. But just curious about other music. And what games did you try these with on your Xbox? Some people report immersive/roleplaying games and fps games having different effects with different games (i.e. soundstage and footsteps).
Hi @MrHelpful. Thanks for the comment.
For Xbox: I only played Call of Duty Modern Warfare (2020), multiplayer.
My initial music testing was 90% EDM because that is generally what I listen to. I did experiment with some Diana Krall, Amber Rubarth, and Nina Simone for quick vocal tests. In these songs, the bass difference was less obvious. My initial impressions were the vocals were pretty close. I do not have expert ears for music. I would be happy to listen to either of these cans if I just picked one up. Side by side, I find myself slightly preferring the 58X so far. And I don't have any dog in this race, its my first time owning either brand.