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i have to say these headphones were amazing at first sight, but at approx 2x the price of most mid fi cans that are way more reputable and time proven such as hd600, dt880premium, ad900 which are all A+ too by David, and k70x series, x1(which to me is an exact replica of he500's sound, obtainable at 200ish) I find it hard to feel good about the 500grams AND the non-ergonomic design/fit AND the noisy&visually loud silver cords. Of course david might think that under his ultra end systems that the he500 performs too close to other top headphones and call it awesome, but with a decent amount of headphones at the 400-1000 range one can't simply say the he500 is king, nor can they say that just because he500 is more expensive than some cans he500 is better. I mean if people want to argue that he500 is a sick headphone cus it beats/contends with headphones 2x the price, HOW can they ever justify their claim that it CAN"T be beaten by stuff 1/2 the price.
Have you actually auditioned / owned the HE500? Or are you just talking out of assumptions and conjecture? I've owned/auditioned dozens of headphones ranging from the frugal head-fi recommended cans up to HD800/HE6/LCD3, and HE500s hold their ground brilliantly at their pricepoint.
have i actuall.. u know what don't bother getting replies from me more than you know nothing about pricepoints
I'm having trouble parsing your reply to jerg. That aside, let me address some things in your original post. I am totally open the to the idea that something half the price might beat the HE-500. That said, I've yet to see it. I've had the opportunity to listen to hundreds of different pairs of headphones at all price points, well into the top end and thoroughly throughout the mid-fi stuff. The HE-500s don't just hold their own against stuff at the top, they shame most of the more expensive flagships with how good they are at a much lower price point. I have yet to hear anything at a lower price point that exceeds the quality of the HE-500.
Of the headphones you listed, I own the DT880 Premium 600Ω and the HD600, and I've demoed the AKG K701/K702/K702 65th Anniversary/Q701 extensively, and have access to a pair of AKG K712s I've demoed extensively and can listen to at will. I've additionally demoed the AD900 and the X1, but only had a few hours each.
I feel like given my experiences I am qualified to make the comparison fairly and in doing so I can honestly say that none of those hold a candle to the HE-500. Comparing the AKG K70x series/K712 to the HE-500, one of the things that's instantly noticeable is that you hear a much clearer separation between elements in the music on the HEs compared to the AKGs. This is extremely apparent in bass heavy tracks with vocals, as you'll notice the vocals become somewhat muddled on the AKGs by the drivers competing to produce the bass notes at the same time. With the HE's the vocals come through very clear, with good separation from the underlying bass tones, and overall better soundstaging.
I'm not going to write a comprehensive comparison to all of the headphones you've listed, but quite frankly if you think any of those are better than the HE-500, then you are talking out of your ass. I'll grant not everyone has the same preference for sound signature, and certainly I could see someone appreciating the differences in tonality between several of those cans so that they may personally prefer them over the HE-500, but in the matter of accurate reproduction of audio, the HE-500 is clearly superior to the others. Much like jerg, the fact you would even make this assertion makes me question if you've ever had the opportunity to demo the HE-500 on a capable rig, as the assertion is patently absurd.
My ears agree with your assessments. Before the HE-500 I had extensive listening experience with the AKG K702, the Sennheiser HD580, and the Sennheiser HD650.
For the record, I'm using an Aune T1 as a DAC and a fully upgraded and tweaked Bottlehead S.E.X. as an amp.
The HE-500 just wipes the floor with anything and everything I've ever heard previously. I don't make statements like that lightly. Usually these comparisons are iterative, but this one wasn't a close or difficult call in any aspect.
The only difference I note from what you and others have said is that I actually find the HE-500 has the most accurate bass I've ever heard, with by FAR the best bass slam/impact. They clearly do not has the mid-bass emphasis of the HD650, and some people hear this as having less bass - but the actual speed and impact of the HD-500 is leagues ahead. I've demoed these back to back and the difference is clear.
The HE-500s have slightly less bass _quantity_ than some others, but it hits fast, hard, accurate, and controlled. To my ear, the HE-500's bass performance is superior.
I agree with your assessment about the HE-500 bass. It's definitely very tight and fast, but it is significantly less quantity than many other headphones. I would definitely not call the HE-500 a basshead headphone by any measure. But it is very very accurate in its reproduction across the spectrum which is part of why it's so great with all styles of music.
you talk about capable rig, when people use magni modi to pair the lcd2.
you talk in much overdone manner to justify your claimed knowledge of this and that, except nobody cares what you think until you are really a reputable audiophile, even then you are prone to bias.
you then proceed with claiming that I am basically talking out of my ass. Without asking to ban you from massdrop for this absurdness, HOW MAD are you.
I fear I'm feeding the troll here, but seriously. "Nobody cares" about a carefully written opinion based on extensive personal experience - supported by other people, even - until they're a "reputable audiophile"? What does that even mean?
If you want to have an actual discussion, I'm all ears. But an actual discussion means listening, attempting to appreciate all viewpoints, and acknowledging you might not be right. It also means you must provide real support for your positions, and refrain from ad hominem attacks or other logical fallacies.
So far you've done none of the above and served only to attack and poison real discussion. Seeing as you are not part of this drop, I have to respectfully request you either change your behavior or stop posting here.
You don't know what a reputable audiophile is? Come on! Everyone knows what that is!! One who is known for appreciating hi fidelity music! I'm reputable in my circle, but not so much in others. I'm trying to get my name out there of course. I'm going to get certified in hifi so I can put it on my business card. >sarcasm<
At this point, I'm only bothering to reply because I don't want anyone else to be untowardly influenced by your misinformation. While some people may take suboptimal actions, it is extremely well established that the power requirement for any sort of planar magnetic headphone are a minimum power output of 1W per channel into the impedance rating of the headphone (in this case 50Ω) and a recommended power output of 2W+ for lower sensitivity drivers.
The Magni barely makes it with a 1W RMS rating into 50Ω, which means they may be able to power the LCD2, however the LCD2/3 is typically recommended to have a minimum of 2W+ to get proper sound because they use less sensitive drivers. The Magni would be able to drive the HE-500s capably, however I notice improvements in my comparisons, especially in the very high notes and in lower bass extension when moving to the Lyr, which is a higher output capable amplifier.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with using a Magni/Modi pairing as an entry stack, and it has a huge amount of stretch well into the mid-fi range making it a great value, but the Modi is a USB self-powered DAC, which introduces power noise into the circuit which is not capable of being fully isolated, so significant filtering improvements can be gained by moving to a better DAC that impact the signal noise floor. Additionally the Magni is more than capable of driving lower impedance non-orthodynamic headphones, but lacks in power output when dealing with 300Ω+ headphones and lower sensitivity orthodynamics.
But don't take it from me. Send Mike Moffat an email and ask him. I'm sure he'd say the same thing. That's part of why he offers multiple headphone amplifiers, because they all have a sweet spot for certain types of headphones.
I'm going to be using my soundblaster z as a DAC, any recommendation for an amp with in ~$250 range for the he-500?
Honestly, the only thing I can think of in that price range that would pair well with the HE-500 and deliver adequate power is the Emotiva Mini-X. It's a speaker amp though, so for best results you'll want to get a balanced cable that terminates in 4-pin XLR and a 4-pin XLR to speaker taps or spade lugs adapter. Then you can also get a 4-pin XLR to 1/8" to use with a 1/4" for normal single-ended headphone amplifier connections. It's more versatile that way.
See http://www.head-fi.org/t/629352/he-500-lcd2-d5000-dt770-sr80-on-a-speaker-amp-emotiva-mini-x-a-100-project for more information about that pairing and how to do it.
Most of the headphone-specific amps targeted at orthodynamics that have the power output to really drive them capably are pretty expensive, unfortunately. Probably the most reasonably priced is the Schiit Lyr (which is what I use), and it does pair very well with the HE-500, but it's outside your listed price range.
I'm not personally familiar with the Soundblaster Z, but I will say that from experience internal soundcards typically introduce noise into the signal path when used as the analog source, simply from being exposed to RFI and EMI inside of the computer chassis. It's usually better to have a decent SPDIF output or to use USB (as long as you aren't using USB power and you cover the power pins) to connect to an external DAC. It's certainly something to consider for down the road, although that obviously doesn't fit with what you're planning to do right now.
Hope this helps.
you people have a problem with me, how about i buy an he500 again from amazon right now and write a review here on friday cus i can. I don't care, i'd give it a second chance. i am all but done with hating on others cus they hate me.
Looks like you're in the wrong neighbourhood.
I would be very open to an honest well-written review from you after you've had some experience with the HE-500s. I understand not everyone will like them, and that's okay. Your comments to this point simply do not display that you have had any actual experience with them.
There's nothing personal here. I do have a problem with some of what you said earlier, but not with you personally. It came across like you were comparing things other people/reviewers have said about various headphones in isolation and then attempting to draw conclusions from them in aggregate. Not true back-to-back comparisons, like Tristor and to a lesser extent I have done, and not personal experience. It also came across a bit dismissive of any alternate viewpoints.
Audiophile publications have a difficult job, because if they call some things crap they stop getting anything to review. So usually the ratings end up being positive with caveats: "for this component, in this price range, so long as you don't want to go portable, don't need isolation, if you like this genre... A+." This is why I usually turn to forums. Enthusiastic members on Head-Fi often do a better and more robust job comparing headphones than reviewers.
If you did have (or got) a pair, and posted some back-to-back comparisons, I'd enjoy hearing your thoughts and opinions. Positive OR negative. If you end up concluding they're bad and they should feel bad, I might disagree but wouldn't deny the validity of your firsthand account.
i did. i told you, i bought it, returned it, in case you didn't actually read
i never read anything and take it seriously unless I agree with it, I care less if they are paid or not. How do I agree or not with it? I listen to it myself. The only bias I have is my ears, my taste of music, my taste of headphones, and my system. I have no obligation to explain those, nor am I guilty of those.