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Hyde
708
Jun 24, 2020
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Anyone know for vocal distance, which has the closest and upfront female vocal? I listen to a lot of female rock, acoustic and pop songs. HE4XX or HD6XX or HD58X? I'm reading conflicting opinions between HE4XX and HD6XX, some say HE4XX is closer and some say HD6XX is closer, I wonder if it could be the difference in amps that result in different opinion. I'm planning to pick up one as my more serious open headphone lol (previously tried Philips SHP9500 and vocal is too far). Currently headphone is Denon AH-D2000. Thanks!
Jun 24, 2020
Coho
42
Jul 2, 2020
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Interesting question. What is your amp/dac source? This actually makes a big difference with all these great cans. I will say the 6xx has the most ability to render soundstage, depth and placement of vocals and instruments with a great clean source and lots of power. However, if you only use in say an office with modest sources you “maybe” more happy with the he4xx
Jul 2, 2020
Hyde
708
Jul 2, 2020
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I currently have Hidizs Sonata HD 2, Dragonfly Red (main one at the moment), and Radsone Earstudio HUD100 (probably the most powerful dac/amp in my possession now). Previously I had SDAC/O2 and iFi Nano Black Label but I find it didn't help much on the Denon D2000 being 25 Ohm and it just make it sound "different" and not "better" so I sold the other dac/amps. Should've kept them around for this moment LOL. On a random note, would you also happen to know how AD900X fares with the other headphones since I listen to a lot of female vocals and string instruments. Thanks!
Jul 2, 2020
Coho
42
Jul 3, 2020
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I’m sure you are aware the open backs on all the mentioned cans will sound quite a bit different from the Denons and their closed back design. I have no experience with the Audio Techinica’s. But if you do most of your listening with the dragonfly or Radsone. I think you will be happier with the 4xx. However, if you really want to get that female vocal lush and up front. The HD 6xx with a Tube Amp is the way to go. I use the 650’s with a La Figaro 339 and it is unbelievably good. Female vocals are jaw dropping. It’s a revelation on how well the Senn’s scale. However even with moderate power they just don’t live up to their potential, they sound good but dark and slightly muddy compared to being properly amped.
Jul 3, 2020
Hyde
708
Jul 3, 2020
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Ahhhh that makes a lot more sense now, because I keep hearing different reviews on 6XX sometime people describe it as you said it's veiled and muddy and sometimes people say there no veil and detailed and I never understood why. So I guess depending on how they amp it it can sound quite different and scale differently. In this case I might be better off with the 4XX first since I don't plan to get a new dac/amp yet. So down the line I might come back and explore this. Thank you again for your through explanation and clarify these things for me!!!
Jul 3, 2020
Evshrug
1782
Jul 24, 2020
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Hi Hyde! A better amp isn’t about being louder... it’s about being clearer and cleaner! The HD 650 has more resistance than most headphones... and with a weaker amp, sometimes you can hear the headphone resisting the note changes. There are many nice amps on this site perfect for the HD 6XX/650... I personally love my Cavalli Liquid Carbon (the original before the Massdrop “X” version), and I’ve liked all of Cavalli’s gear I’ve heard at CanJam and other trade shows, but I’ve also enjoyed the iFi gear so I’m curious about the brand new iFi ZEN CAN Signature products specifically designed for the HD 6XX. The Darkvoice and La Figaro were two examples of tube amps that I believe were both sold here on Drop: it’s hard to say exactly how they sound because each tube can drastically change the amp’s sound, but that’s part of the charm. The downside of tube amps is that sometimes you’ll pick up noise, squeals, or buzzes/ringing from other electronics like cellphones, or bumping the table. Tubes do eventually burn out and need replacing, but they can last a really long time... certainly longer than my light bulbs! I have Sennheiser’s HDV 820, so I don’t need anything else, but I’m still a curious person 😁 I used to own an Audio Technica ATH-AD700. To describe it, the emphasis was on the upper mids and treble, so female vocals and violins will especially stand out forward in the mix (as forward as something with a lot of soundstage can be), but there was a noticeable de-emphasis on foundation instruments and bass instruments, leading to quite a lean sound. A brief demo of the AD900 had a bit more lower mids, but I still experienced a pretty lean sound. The HE-4XX will have a tuning similar to your Denon D2000, with a bit of bass and treble emphasis (but not as much as the Denon, and the HiFiman will sound more open and separated because... it’s an open headphone), and it’s always interesting to have samples of different driver tech (HE-4XX is a planar magnetic, Denon D2000 has a dynamic driver made of bio-cellulose, HD 6XX has a dynamic driver made of a proprietary plastic membrane with silk acoustic dampening). Check HE-4XX reviews (or their discussion thread) for more descriptions and impressions. However, the HD 6XX is more vocals emphasized and should provide an interesting contrast to compliment what you already have. The highs just beyond the range of female vocals are just a tad relaxed to reduce fatigue for long-term listening, but it still has a “natural” tone. The combination of 300 Ω resistance mentioned before and the treble “recession” are the parts that some people refer to as “veiled” or “warm,” but the HD 6XX is highly capable of presenting detail and an extended treble response beyond the pitch range of human hearing. With a proper amp, you may wonder why people have said “veiled,” because where’s the muffled/occluded sound? Vocals are forward, but overall it has a balanced and full sound.
Jul 24, 2020
Hyde
708
Jul 25, 2020
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OMG thank you so much for the detailed reviews, much appreciated!!! Though I must apologize things have taken a different direction since I last wrote this lol. I bought the AD900X from Amazon hoping I could use it, but then as you said compare to the Denon the foundation instruments sounds very thin also my wife was complaining she could hear my music (her desk is next to mine). So I've since scrap the idea of open headphones and went back to closed headphones. I've since returned the AD900X back to Amazon (unfortunately, generally I don't like the idea to sample something then return it). So again I must apologize that you spend the time to give such nice and detailed explanation on HD6XX and HE4XX. But now I've since increased the budget (LOL quite a lot actually) and now I'm looking at Aeon RT Closed, Denon AH-D5200, Focal Elegia, or ATH-WP900 (leaning on the last 2 options currently). ATH-WP900 piqued my interest but it's really hard to find any information regarding it since it's new and also kind of a niche product. I'll update you guys as I find out more haha. Again thank you for your nice response!!!
(Edited)
Jul 25, 2020
Evshrug
1782
Jul 25, 2020
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Nooo problem, it was entirely a selfish gesture on my part. Just trying to justify all the money and time I’ve spent on the hobby! I guess you’re both on “work from home” status?
Jul 25, 2020
Hyde
708
Jul 25, 2020
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Lol no worries you have the best explanations out of anyone that I talked to so far. As for me now I'm working from home (hence why I wanted to try open headphone in the first place) and my wife is still on maternity leave. So normally we get to relax and chill on the computer when the baby go to sleep, that's when we get to watch our respective YouTube / Netflix shows using headphones. But I guess closed back probably is still less distracting. So now I'm on my journey to find the next closed back headphone that's higher resolution, more soundstage and more comfortable than my Denon AH-D2000 lol.
(Edited)
Jul 25, 2020
Evshrug
1782
Jul 26, 2020
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Well, a small upgrade would be a Drop x Fostex TH-X00 (but they seem to be discontinued!), or a EMU Teak (which I saw here on Drop about a week or so ago). They have similar bio-cellulose drivers as your foste— err, your Denon D2000, but they have less of a dip in the mids. You might consider it more of a “re-tuning” than an upgrade, but you might be happier with those. To do BETTER, to have a CLOSED headphone with MORE soundstage and MORE resolution, well that’s a short list, and it gets expensive! But I don’t know your budget or how much you’re willing to save up... Most people with my income level would not have considered saving up for a Sennheiser HD 800, but it was worth it to me after wanting it for a long time (2009) and saving up for half a year. Anyway, a Mr. Speakers Ether C or Dan Clark Audio Ether C Flow (same company, name change recently) or a Sennheiser HD 820 are pretty much the only CLOSED headphones with more soundstage, resolution, and nice vocals. I have talked for hours about the HD 820. The Sony Z1R and Audeze XC (and other Audeze closed models) would actually have less soundstage than your Denon, because Fostex designed the D2000 to be vented and partially open. They’re good for their own purposes and audiences, but not tailored specifically for your requests/interests. Dan Clark Audio (DCA) also released a lower cost closed headphone, the ÆON, which has a planar magnetic driver principle vs your Denon’s dynamic driver, and it also has a more balanced frequency response. I can’t comment if it has more detail (because the D2000 specifically isn’t a model I’ve tested, though I did test a D7000 side by side with the HD 820 on some crazy good engineer’s test amp that would never be practical to sell on the market), but the flat drivers and only mildly ported design doesn’t emphasize soundstage, though the directional imaging should be good. Similar story for the Neumann NDH20 – that’s a brand with close ties to Sennheiser (part of the Sennheiser Group), and this is a very linear/near neutral sounding headphone (maybe less exciting for someone used to a D2000’s sound) and might beat your current set for resolution, but it’s all about tonal accuracy and not about speaker-like soundstage size.
Jul 26, 2020
Evshrug
1782
Jul 26, 2020
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THANK YOU for your compliment! I’ve had a couple compliments like that, which made me start planning to seriously tackle more regular YouTube content. If you like my audio perspectives and descriptions, I have a YouTube channel already. I have a bunch of gameplay videos most recently, but I have a separate playlist of just audio-focused videos. I haven’t posted recently about my Audio adventures, but I’ve been planning a “return to audio” video and an organized “season” of content teaching about headphones. Search YouTube for the same username I use here an on Head-Fi (and Everywhere): EvShrug
(Edited)
Jul 26, 2020
Hyde
708
Jul 27, 2020
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LOL funny you mentioned it, yes I've actually previously owned TH-X00 Mahogany (really like the tonal balance, except sound too congested), TH-X00 Ebony (too cold) and E-Mu Teak (vocal too far) trying to replace my D2000. But all things considered, I still like D2000 better as a whole package even though it still has its shortcomings. So I end up selling the other ones and kept the D2000. As for HD820, Ether C Flow, Z1R and Audeze XC, I think they're a bit over my budget lol. I did previously consider the Aeon since it would be closer within the budget but I heard it's actually pretty amp picky so I'd need a new amp too. Where as Elegia pretty much work off any source (I currently have Dragonfly Red). Neumann NDH20 sounds good too but I also heard it's super uncomfortable. So all things considered I think right now I'm leaning on the Focal Elegia. I have a local store in Toronto that I can demo Elegia, maybe when I feel less paranoid about COVID19 then I should pay the store a visit. LOL again thank you for all your help and I'll definitely check out your YouTube channel, thanks!!!
Jul 27, 2020
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