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mattris
874
Nov 1, 2018
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To owners of the HE-4XX: The 4XX has massive potential. My advice is to hold off buying the Edition XX, as you can substantially improve the 4XX. These are the steps that I took:
  1. Exchange the 4XX's stock pads with much more comfortable Brainwavz XL Earpads (6 models available). Please see below for how each model affects the sound you'll hear. Compared to the stock pads, the XL pads increase the ear-space area for improved comfort and sound-stage. To use any aftermarket pads, you will need to acquire the official HIFIMan Velour pads and use their removable pad-attachment rings (https://www.ebay.com/itm/HIFIMAN-Velour-Earpads-Headphone-replacement-Ear-pads-for-HIFIMAN-HE-Series/253238435364)
  2. Purchase a good DAC and powerful headphone amplifier - preferably one that has a balanced-out. The best-value portable DAC/amp combo on the market now is the Monoprice Monolith Portable with THX AAA. (For those on a budget... or those that want to use the headphones with an iOS device, I recommend the portable FiiO Q1 mkII DAC/amp... but only if you use a compatible balanced cable).
  3. To run the headphones balanced (for increased power and channel separation), you will have to purchase a compatible balanced cable. Make sure the cable has the right connectors: The latest units have 3.5mm connectors, but the first 4XX units had 2.5mm earcup connectors.
  4. EQ can be added using a program called Equalizer APO. EQ-ing is not necessary, but sub-bass can be extended by lowering other frequencies. Load my profile (below) only if you are using an amplifier, as you will need the power
After performing these steps, the 4XX will sound significantly better than in stock form. I recommend trying these upgrades before purchasing the Edition XX. It is likely that a modified, EQ'd, properly-powered 4XX could sound better than the Edition XX plugged into an average phone or computer. At the very least, I recommend that all 4XX owners purchase a powerful - or balanced - amplifier and quality DAC... or a combo unit (like the desktop Monoprice Monolith THX AAA DAC/amp) that you can use with all of your headphones. Compared to using your headphones with your phone or computer, you will hear a substantial sound improvement when using an amplifier - especially with power-demanding planar magnetic models, like the 4XX. To other prospective owners of the Edition XX: As impressive as the Edition XX looks (and most likely sounds), they are 3.5 times more expensive than the HE-4XX and feature the same headband system. Consider purchasing the HE-4XX and improving them (see above). I'm confident that you will be impressed with the results. (Or, if you have a headphone budget of ~$600, consider the planar magnetic Sendy Aiva, which would likely best the Edition XX in every way except soundstage size and vocal intimacy.) Brainwavz XL Earpads For most users, I would recommend the Hybrid pads. The resulting sound is warm, wide, has offers superb center-imaging. The Perforated Pleather (Polyurethane) pads offer more 'air' but have less bass than the Hybrid pads. For an evenly-dispersed sound-stage and slightly leaner sound, select the Velour pads. The Micro Suede pads result in a deadened, neutral sound, with reduced air and soundstage. I would call them a 'sterile' alternative to the other pads, which are more 'musical'. (Although they are very pleasing to the touch, I would only recommend the Suede pads for casual listening, like Youtube videos.) Unfortunately, the Pleather and Sheepskin Leather pads do not allow enough ventilation of the sound pressure created by the drivers, so the membrane 'crackles' when you move your jaw or if the headphone shifts even slightly. To prevent this of this effect, insert 2-4 thin soft dark grey pieces of foam (approx. 1/4" by 1/2") underneath the attachment ring, along the edge. between the lip of the pad and the inside of the ear cup. EQUALIZATION Using a system-wide* sound modification program called Equalizer APO, I configured an EQ profile for the HE-4XX that subtracts everything but sub-bass... that extends flat to 30 Hz. Once installed, click on the green "+" and select 'Graphic Equalizer with variable bands'. Then copy-paste the following into the (pencil and paper) 'Edit text' bar: GraphicEQ: 30 0; 31 -1.05; 32 -1.8; 33 -2.35; 34 -2.82; 35 -3.2; 36 -3.52; 37 -3.78; 38 -4; 39 -4.17; 40 -4.32; 41 -4.44; 42 -4.55; 43 -4.63; 44 -4.7; 45 -4.78; 46 -4.83; 47 -4.88; 48 -4.92; 49 -4.97; 50 -5; 51 -5.1; 52 -5.2; 53 -5.3; 54 -5.4; 55 -5.5; 56 -5.6; 57 -5.7; 58 -5.8; 59 -5.9; 60 -6 Using the columns on the right side of the window (or within 'Edit text'), the frequencies/levels can be adjusted to taste. To deactivate the profile, click on the white 'profile active' button, and it will turn black. For a more clinical/realiztic sound (with less upper bass and lower mids), load this profile: GraphicEQ: 40 0; 42 -0.85; 44 -1.5; 46 -2.05; 48 -2.5; 50 -2.9; 52 -3.25; 54 -3.54; 56 -3.79; 58 -4; 60 -4.19; 62 -4.36; 64 -4.5; 66 -4.62; 68 -4.72; 70 -4.82; 72 -4.9; 75 -5; 120 -5; 500 -4; 1200 -2.5; 2000 -1.75; 3500 -1 * When a profile is activated, all sounds that are played on your PC will be altered. (updated April 28, 2019)
(Edited)
Nov 1, 2018
Swan86
23
Nov 1, 2018
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Interesting proposition, I'm curious, have you have any opportunity to test edition XX to claim this with this devree of certainly that ive reading? It almost sounds like you've tested one yourself already.
Nov 1, 2018
thatguyinvic
74
Nov 1, 2018
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You sir are drunk, or haven't heard the headphones this is based on in comparison. Good try but your not basing this on logic and personal experience.
Nov 1, 2018
mattris
874
Nov 1, 2018
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With my advise/directions under consideration, prospective Edition XX owners can reconsider their purchasing decision... and instead can save hundreds of dollars by modifying the less-costly (but superb) HE4XX, headphones that many already own. Of course I haven't heard the Edition XX. They haven't been released yet... and won't be for months. But I do have extensive "personal experience" with the affects that EQ, pads, and superior/balanced amplifiers have on the 4XX. Compared to a stock 4XX, the sound improvement after 'modding' them is dramatic. Individually, each change is quite noticeable. But altogether, my 4XX sounds like a headphone in a different league that it was originally. My entire headphone rig (headphones, pads, DAC, amp, cable) cost $330, which is $280 less than the Edition XX before the cost of a DAC, amp, and cable upgrade. I would place a significant wager that my modified 4XX* will sound better than the Edition XX (in stock form) plugged into any phone or computer's headphone jack. (Crap in - crap out.) I have no doubt that the Edition XX will be impressive. But note that pad-swapping/replacing will be limited to HIFIMan exclusive models... and that the provided frequency response graph shows that the headphone has uneven mids, including a large dip between 1 kHz and 3 kHz. * balanced cable/amp, pad swap, EQ, plus the removal of the thin film on the inside of each metal covering
Nov 1, 2018
thatguyinvic
74
Nov 1, 2018
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So not only did you not read my incredibly concise comment where I said "the headphones this is BASED on" (Hifiman Edition Xv1/2 and Hifiman Ananda, THREE headphones you can actually test today), your entire speculation is based off of a graph and not comparison; I bet youtube videos are your favorite source material too. Look, it's great that you modded your headphones, it's even better that you love them, I'm happy for you, just do us all a favor and don't act like you have a definitive answer when you haven't heard the source headphones. FYI I've heard the Edition v2 and the HE400i (the source headphone for the HE4XX) off of the same amp and the Edition X was far above; I own the HE500 (second to flagship from the same driver generation) and you can mod the HE4XX all you want and it won't hit the same level, do any of those mods your so proud of to an HE500 and you'll understand why your little Edition XX quibble is inane. The drivers are different; you don't have to like it, you don't have to agree but there is a reason that there is a cost gulf between these items. I hope you have an opportunity to actually demo things instead of relying on synesthesia.
Nov 1, 2018
LowFi42
241
Nov 1, 2018
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It looks like you have never heard the flagship hifimans, they are far better than what the 4xx is or could ever be. By doing this you are potentially hurting the sales of the XX, when you have never tried them in the first place, which is a douche move. Furthermore, I have the Edition X gen 1's and they absolutely destroy the 4xx plgged straight into my front IO compared the the 4xx in my Aune X7s. The editon x's are really do not require any power at all, i'd say at maximum a 5-10% improvement in sound when connected to my external amp rather than my phone.
Nov 1, 2018
mattris
874
Nov 1, 2018
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First of all, I trust my ears - not Youtube videos. And my ears don't care about the "cost gulf between these items". In their stock forms, of course the Edition X and Ananda are "far above" the HE4XX. I'm not insinuating otherwise. My "entire speculation is based" off what I'm hearing from a of a headphone that I have modified... and that 9300+ other people have already purchased on Massdrop. I never claimed to have the "definitive answer". I merely provided advice for HE4XX owners and suggested that prospective owners of the Edition XX need not spend another $600 on a headphone with "different" drivers when $160 would dramatically improve the listening experience with a headphone they already own. I know that using a high-end (expensive) headphones directly plugged into phones and computers is foolish... and a complete waste, as most have crappy DAC/amps and are a major bottleneck in regards to overall sound quality. As part of my advice, I noted that using a good DAC/amp (preferably balanced-capable) was crucial to experience the sound I have attained. And finally, bringing up the HE500 is irrelevant since its no longer in production... and isn't for sale on Massdrop. Having said that, I would like to hear it eventually, along with HIFIMan's other models. For now though, I am extremely pleased with my 4XX.
Nov 1, 2018
LowFi42
241
Nov 1, 2018
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Still, you can't give advice based on something you do not own or have experience with. You will just end up misleading people.
Nov 1, 2018
mattris
874
Nov 1, 2018
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Correct, I have never heard the flagship Hifimans, which may or may not be "far better than what the 4xx is or could ever be". The purpose of my post was to suggest that 4XX owners try my mods - and DAC/amp/cable advice - before plonking down another $600 on headphones only to plug them into their phone. I don't care about "potentially hurting the sales of the XX" on a site in which 9300+ people have bought another headphone they can mod to sound (likely) almost as good. I would consider you criticizing my valuable advice "a douche move". I'm sure your Edition X gen 1's are significantly better than a stock 4xx. But that's not my point, is it? If you're only hearing a 5-10% improvement in sound when connecting your Edition X to your external amp rather than your phone, then I question the quality/settings of your headphone rig... or your hearing discernment abilities. I can "give advice based on something" I do own and "have experience with." I will "end up" saving people money... and earn a 500+ endorsement rating on Massdrop.
Nov 1, 2018
Bradum
163
Nov 1, 2018
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I totally agree. It also helps to buy some audiophile rocks and place them around your room. It will really expand the soundstage and dynamics of the 4XX. Even the Sennheiser HE-1 will sound like trash next to this.
Nov 1, 2018
LowFi42
241
Nov 1, 2018
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Believe it or not, headphones can require very little power to reach optimum performance. Watch Tyll Herstens review on the Edition X's and he will say the same thing as I. Just because you have never encountered headphones like the X's doesn't mean that you can patronise other people because their experience does not align with yours.
Nov 1, 2018
mattris
874
Nov 1, 2018
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Every one of my mods improved the 4XX's sound - that is, made the sound more transparent/realistic. No placebo effect in play here, I can assure you... and all 4XX owners.
Nov 1, 2018
mattris
874
Nov 1, 2018
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My argument had nothing to do with "power to reach optimum performance." It had to do with attaining significantly better sound than one would get from plugging the 4XX, Edition XX, or any headphone into the headphone jack of a phone/computer, which will never result in "optimum performance". Just because you have never encountered headphones like a heavily modified 4XX's doesn't mean that you can patronise other people because their experience does not align with yours.
Nov 1, 2018
Bradum
163
Nov 1, 2018
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I'm sorry. I thought we were just saying stupid, baseless stuff... like "these mods can make a 4XX sound better than these headphones I haven't heard".
Nov 1, 2018
MattRG
13
Nov 1, 2018
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I swapped out the stock pads for the Focus Pads A and took off the grille covers and that really opened up the sound and improved the low end. This was on a 400S but I absolutely love that pair of headphones and they are my daily drivers.
Nov 1, 2018
jaydunndiddit
2862
Nov 1, 2018
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No offense, but these "mods" aren't warranted. The 4XX just needs a shit-load of current to sound their best (their listed specs are WAY off from 3rd party measurements). I didn't have to run them balanced to breathe new life into them when I ran them from an iFi Pro iCAN, Yamaha A3080, and now the THX 789. That little Fiio unit is not built to push a current hungry planar (2.61 Vrms using BAL only -_-). I also have an iFi nano BL that has more power over the Fiio (3.7 Vrms using SE) and the 4XX are average sounding on it (but still OK for a battery powered unit). I could only imagine how gimped they would sound on a less powerful amp/DAC like the Fiio. No pad swap or other "mods" will correct deficiently powered headphones. Buy a powerful amp and the rest will solve itself.
Nov 1, 2018
aman1420
102
Nov 1, 2018
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Put the covers back on. Not worth the danger to the drivers, and the changes you're hearing are from the pad swap.
Nov 1, 2018
MattRG
13
Nov 1, 2018
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No danger here. I'm the only one who touches them and no kids or pets around. And the sound really did improve with the grilles off!
Nov 1, 2018
LowFi42
241
Nov 1, 2018
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No, it's the dust which are detrimental to planar membranes.
Nov 1, 2018
thatguyinvic
74
Nov 1, 2018
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By your own admission your unqualified to give people this advice. Pad swaps are entry level mods that do enough but do not alleviate driver limitations. How many other headphones have you heard? I suspect your a value warrior; good, so am I, but I know your talking out of the seat of your pants right now. The reason I bring up the HE500 is because it is widely considered to have one of the absolute best price to performance ratios and is a legendary Hifiman product. That is the headphone that people want hifiman to rerelease and its pertinent to this conversation because its drivers are of the same generation and similar tuning to your little HE4XX. You don't know what other HE4XX owners have done, you don't know what other people want and you don't know that other people may have realized the limitations of the product you are enamored with. You also don't seem to understand that your ideas are inaccurate and misleading to any customer trying to augment there other headphones (let's say AKG K7XX, Fostex TH-X00, Focal Elex or any of the other hundreds of headphones on the market). If you had any relevant experience with competing products you wouldn't make your statements. You think the 9300+ HE4XX buyers hear better and more accurately than the thousands of people who have bought Sennheiseers HD800? Or Beyerdynamics near hundred thousand sold DT880/990? Or Beyers own T1? Sure, 9300+ is a great number but that definitely doesn't mean that one headphone is the end all be all of quality personal audio. Come to head-fi and look at what other enthusiasts are doing; the HE4XX isn't even a reviewer favourite. Sit down with some other headphones and widen your perspective.
Nov 1, 2018
MattRG
13
Nov 1, 2018
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I'm not advocating detrimental practices for anyone else out there so let me get that out of the way. Any mods should be made at the users own risk and with the knowledge that there may be some downsides. But I will say I've been running them this way for 3 years now and they are still going strong. If I have to replace them one day due to failure I will be happy to do so and would still run them the same way.
Nov 1, 2018
LowFi42
241
Nov 1, 2018
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Fair enough man, as long as you are comfortable with the possible consequences.
Nov 1, 2018
mattris
874
Nov 1, 2018
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My post had a clear purpose: Reconsider buying the Edition XX, and instead mod the cheaper 4XX (also for sale on Massdrop) to make it sound better. I never said the resulting headphones would "sound better than headphones I haven't heard".
Nov 1, 2018
LowFi42
241
Nov 1, 2018
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But it has one major flaw, you haven't heard the Edition XX therefore your statement has no value.
Nov 1, 2018
mattris
874
Nov 1, 2018
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Most 4XX owners aren't going to spend hundreds (or thousands) of dollars on an amp that deliver a "shit-load of current to sound their best", as well as an upscale DAC so as not to have a system bottleneck. Running the 4XX balanced, EQ, and mods was my answer "to breathe new life into them". The results speak for themselves. My "little Fiio unit" may not be "built to push a current hungry planar", but what they can do through their balanced connection will more than impress those running their 4XX from a computer or phone headphone jack... and any ~$100 DAC/amp. People are welcome to spend more to get a powerful amp/DAC. But considering that the FiiO Q1 mkII is small and portable, it will be the best value unit for most people... since no other DAC/amp has its features and form factor for such little money. Pad swapping and EQ will open the 4XX's sound-stage and add sub-bass. Even the most powerful amp in the world will not do that.
Nov 1, 2018
mattris
874
Nov 1, 2018
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My statement has no value? My advice was directed to people that already own the 4XX and to those who would like to try modding a much less costly headphone before committing to a $600 one... only to plug it into their phones thinking they would be getting the best the headphones would have offer. You haven't heard the Edition XX either.
Nov 1, 2018
mattris
874
Nov 1, 2018
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I am not "unqualified to give people this advice. Pad swaps are entry level mods" and can be performed by almost anyone. I'm not looking to "alleviate driver limitations" - just modify a headphone to make its sound signature more flat/natural, with a larger sound-stage. I am a "value warrior". One can attain impressive sound from lower-cost products. Why do you say I am "talking out of the seat of [my] pants right now"? My advice was directed to those who already own the HE4XX. Also, those considering purchasing the Edition XX could purchase and mod the 4XX instead - saving hundreds of dollars in the process - and enjoy them in a matter of days/weeks... not 6 months as with the Edition XX. Why would HIFIMan rerelease the HE500 when the "little HE4XX" and Edition XX exist? Knowing "what other HE4XX owners have done" or "what other people want" or "that other people may have realized the limitations of the" headphones is irrelevant. 4XX owners (and anyone else) can take my advice or leave it. How are my ideas "inaccurate and misleading" to those trying to augment their other headphones? Don't want to use EQ? That's your choice. Don't want to change pads? Fine. The most important thing is to power the 4XX with high-current and/or balanced DAC/amp... and from a phone or computer headphone jack. Massdop says the HIFIMan's planar magnetic headphones are "easy to drive from your laptop or portable music player", but they don't say that maximum volume and sound quality will be suffer when doing so. Having "relevant experience with competing products" is also irrelevant when offering advice to those that own the same headphone as me. I don't "think the 9300+ HE4XX buyers hear better and more accurately than the thousands of people who have bought" other top headphones. I didn't claim that the 4XX "is the end all be all of quality personal audio" and don't care that "the HE4XX isn't even a reviewer favourite". Sit down with a modded HE4XX and widen your perspective.
Nov 1, 2018
DareToBe
151
Nov 1, 2018
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I have both 4XX and Edition X v1 and I'm selling my 4XX. Once you try it, you'll know that pads and EQ can never get you there.
Nov 1, 2018
jaydunndiddit
2862
Nov 2, 2018
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That's the problem. You're talking about breathing life into something that's breathing just fine in the first place. It doesn't take thousands of dollars to wake the 4XX, just a shitload of current as I stated. They are a current hungry planar headphone and that portable Fiio unit is not up to snuff on voltage or current output. That's a hard fact. You also have a habit of speaking for all 4XX owners. Just because you didn't like the soundstage or amount of bass has nothing to do with the rest of us. I for one enjoy them in their stock form via a powerful amp. And I'm sure anyone else really looking at a HiFMan planar would be doing exactly the same as they already know the score.
Nov 2, 2018
mattris
874
Nov 2, 2018
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Just curious, what pads and EQ did you try with your 4XX? Before you let them go, I encourage you to try them with the Brainwavz XL Perforated Pleather Pads.
Nov 2, 2018
mattris
874
Nov 2, 2018
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Even if you give the 4XX "a shitload of current", they will not produce a flat/natural sound. In stock form, they have too much mid-bass though the lower-mids. In addition, their stock pads' small openings restrict the air-flow from drivers, limiting their sound-stage. That's a hard fact. I'm not "speaking for all 4XX owners". I'm simply offering a relatively inexpensive solution to those that already own the 4XX - but desire a cleaner/more natural sound from them... sub-bass included. I suspect most 4XX users will not be purchasing "a powerful amp" - and quality DAC - just to use a $170 headphone. But they are more than welcome to. For most though, the affordable, portable FiiO Q1 mkII DAC/amp will be enough, particularly in balanced mode, which can push the 4XX to heights most have never heard. In addition to being a desk space-saver, the FiiO unit is truly portable (internal battery-powered) and can be used on-the-go... allowing closed-back headphones to sound better than almost every phone or computer. The cherry on top is that it's plug-and-play with iOS (iPhone)... cable included. Those "looking at a HiFMan planar" - as well as those that own them - may not "know the score" and are wondering why their new, massively-hyped headphones don't sound quite like they had hoped. I'm confident that those who follow my 4XX suggestions will be impressed.
Nov 2, 2018
thatguyinvic
74
Nov 2, 2018
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You're talking out of the seat of your pants because you essentially just pulled up to a car meet in a Honda Civic and said that there is no reason to buy a Corvette, because if you switch to premium gas, put in a high spec air cooler and new tires the Civic will drive better than it ever has for WAAY less. You're talking out of the seat of your pants because you basically just overclocked a midrange graphics card from 2007 and now you think all the new ones are useless. Including the flagships. You're talking out of the seat of your pants because your still using a 20-inch CRT TV playing playstation 2 saying PS4 is useless because your still having fun. You're talking out of the seat of your pants because you took your S.O to Olive Garden, got laid and now think every Michelin star restaurant is useless and overpriced because you think they serve the same food. Your Massdrop handle is "Mattris" because clearly your sleeping. You keep talking about something you enjoy as if it competes with the rest of the market like some type of titan; you have so little experience with what you talk about that you think what you say makes sense. Your ideas are inaccurate and misleading because anyone trying to mod their HE4XX would have done that long ago; you haven't even done a good mod like "fuzzor", why do you think that your Raekwon knowledge God by stating something we all have done?? Having relevant experience with the competition is EXTREMELY important if your giving someone advice on what to purchase and why. You literally don't have the experience to make a credible assessment based off of anything or pertaining to anything. Again, being happy with a single product and having a few fellow buyers on your side doesn't mean you know the market well enough to tell people what to buy. You have confirmation bias and no knowledge to use for a comparative analyses. If you lived in Vancouver I would urge you to come to my place and actually compare things or go to the Hifishops that sell headphones. Just leave your house and try things or at least go to Head-fi and see what people talk about. Anyone that currently owns the HE4XX and actually has tried others headphones knows to take your opinion with all the rock salt in the Himalayas. Shout out to anyone that is gonna keep chatting with Captain Narcolepsy, y'all the real MVP's.
Nov 2, 2018
mattris
874
Nov 2, 2018
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Your analogies were humorous - but all wrong. I never said there was "no reason to buy" the Edition XX... or that it was "useless and overpriced" because my modded 4XX was "better". For the tenth time, my advice was directed to owners the HE4XX... and also to those considering purchasing the Edition XX. What have I said that doesn't "makes sense"? I'm not "sleeping". I've awoken to the fact that one can modify (and properly power) a less expensive - but still quite capable - headphones (like the 4XX) and be immensely satisfied rather than buying a more expensive headphone (like the Edition XX) only to insufficiently power them. Even though I've never owned a flagship headphone, I have owned dozens of upscale headphones over the past decade and consider myself 'headphone experienced'. My "knowledge to use for a comparative analyses" is the fact that I only keep headphones that are better-sounding than the one they replace. My "relevant experience" pertains to what I'm hearing from my 4XX and, as a musician, my knowledge of the sound of acoustic instruments. With certainty, my modded/EQ'd 4XX+FiiO headphone rig is a "titan" for its cost ($330, all-in). The fact that you haven't heard of someone advising the use of Brainwavz XL Pads (a new product) and my specific EQ profile does not make my "ideas inaccurate and misleading". This is not "something we all have done." Don't knock it before you try it. And before you say, "Don't knock the Edition XX before you try them." I am not knocking them. I am merely suggesting that 4XX users try my mods/EQ before committing to purchasing the Edition XX... which likely won't be shipped until late spring. Massdop says the HIFIMan's planar magnetic headphones are "easy to drive from your laptop or portable music player", but they don't state the fact that maximum volume potential and overall sound quality (dynamics, clarity, soundstage, etc.) will be suffer when doing so. The headphone "competition" is irrelevant because my advice is directed a current owners of the 4XX, who may be satisfied (after modding) to avoid purchasing another expensive headphone at the moment. ... compare things or go to the Hifishops that sell headphones. That's the most sense you made throughout this entire thread. I will look into doing just that. I do visit Head-fi and will be posting my findings there soon.
Nov 2, 2018
Volly
284
Nov 2, 2018
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I was lucky enough to purchase my Edition X's for a very decent price, never regretted it! I was blown away by Hifiman's 'tuning' as I've never heard any other Hifiman before. Coming from a Sennheiser stable, the Edition X's was an absolute delight! No regrets!
Nov 2, 2018
Volly
284
Nov 2, 2018
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I get what you're saying mate, probably best kept on right drop though perhaps?! Look at it this way, if you got your toe wet with the 4xx and want an upgrade path....then here it is?!? If I had started out with the 4xx, I would love to own the 1000xx and have both in my stable. That to me would be a solid little/big collection. I admire your devotion to the 4xx, we all have our personal favorites! Maybe best help out others over at the 4xx drop. Peace.
Nov 2, 2018
jaydunndiddit
2862
Nov 2, 2018
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Again, not everyone WANTS a flat/natural sound. The 4XX in stock form actually sound quite nice. They sound unique. The pads have nothing to do with somehow opening the soundstage. Not to mention, the pads you mention aren't angled. It would be wise for those wanting to do pad swaps to stick with the FocusA pads or Dekoni since they're well made and come with adapter rings. Your advice to buy a stock pad to destroy for a ring is terrible advice and a waste of money and resources. Hell, the THX00 and TH900 pads also fit (and attenuation rings) and provide some interesting changes to the sound of the HE4XX. Ask me how I know this. The pad opening is not restricting the airflow to the drivers. That's nonsense. The change you;re noticing is the once angled driver now being position flat in relation to your ear. The pads you also mention are thicker so the drivers are being pushed further away from your ears. That's why you're hearing these differences. That's still a hard fact. What's so irredeemable about you is the fact that you have no objective proof to show these claims. We have measurements for most of Dekoni pads, in all flavors, across the many supported models. Not to mention, other 3rd party reviewers who are showing us the actual measured changes. You have nothing but your subjective opinion stating how flat/neutral they are but you truthfully have no idea since they haven't been measured. You then state that most won't be acquiring a more power amplifier for a $170 headphone and yet, folks spend crazier amounts on the 6XX, a $200 headphone. Your logic is pitifully flawed. You (again) peddle an amp from Monoprice that doesn't have any impressions or reviews and you haven't even heard it yet blindly recommend it. What's weird is you somehow think that someone wouldn't purchase a powerful amp for their headphones and hobby, but would go through the hassle of understanding and buying the correct balanced cable (no mention of termination or if the cables are dual mono or TRS), pad swapping and destruction for rings, all while understanding enough about balanced topology for portable amp/DAC units. Yeah, that's reasonable but not expecting them to have a powerful amp from the get-go 🙄 (O2 amp springs to mind and is $94). You really need to stop pushing people to buy an underpowered portable amp/DAC that isn't made for inefficient planar headphones. That unit will hit it's ceiling and add more distortion and clip with this headphone as it doesn't have the grunt or current delivery to push the 4XX drivers well. Again, this is a hard fact. An LG V30 outputs 2 Vrms just like this Fiio unit, sports a much better DAC, and it is still not capable of pushing the 4XX properly as well as a humble O2 amp could. The difference is even more staggering once you move to a better amp like the THX 789. All of this without doing any "mods" or wasting money in an attempt to "fix" the sound of a headphone. It honestly just sounds like you bought the wrong headphone and you're trying to make it work. You should have just spent that money on a better planar headphone from the get-go which is what we're all insinuating here. Hell, with your logic: $170 headphones + ~$70 balanced cable + $60 pads + $40 HiFiMan pads (for rings...) + $100 for Fiio unit = $440. This drop is for a superior headphone that's easier to drive and offers better technicalities and lower distortion over the 4XX for an additional $160. The 4XX has a ton of distortion, especially in the low-end, which your "mods" will never fix. Only a better headphone will fix that. Which is what's on offer here. I just hope people don't follow your incredibly bad advice and miss the chance on a quality headphone and tech like this at a respectable price.
Nov 2, 2018
LowFi42
241
Nov 2, 2018
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I absolutely agree! Wonderful headphone.
Nov 2, 2018
tsullyman
2
Nov 2, 2018
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Dude, your an idiot. Goto a store and listen to Edition X vs 4XX and cower away in embarrassment. There is no comparison, the edition X sounds incredible - Far far beyond anything the 4xx can do - I bought the Edition X v2 after demoing them against 7 others headphones ranging from 1-2k for 5 hours in the shop writing notes in excel spreadsheet columns, and i can guarantee you they shit all over entry level cans.
Nov 2, 2018
mattris
874
Nov 2, 2018
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Just curious... Have you even heard the 4XX... modded perhaps... with Brainwavz XL Pads? How about one with a similar equalizer profile loaded? I suspect your answer will be 'no' to all. Your attempt to sully my name is quite pathetic considering you haven't heard what I'm hearing. Enjoy your $1000+ headphones... never knowing if they actually "shit all over" my modded "entry level cans".
Nov 2, 2018
mattris
874
Nov 2, 2018
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Wow. So much to correct you on. Here goes... The 4XX stock pads restrict airflow since they are covering nearly half of the driver. With the Brainwavz XL earpads' bigger ear openings, more direct sound from the driver reaches your ears, increasing the scope of the sound, hence the larger soundstage. The difference I hear is due to physics and sound properties... and has little - or nothing - to do with the XL pads not being slightly angled. The Brainwavz XL pads are fully-around-ear that are less fatiguing than the on-ear stock pads. The HIFIMan velour pads are not "destroyed" when salvaging their rings since they are not glued-on. The XL pads being slightly "thicker" is irrelevant. They have softer memory foam than the stock pads. The XL pads make the drivers no significant amount "further away". "irredeemable"? "incredibly bad advice"? Getting a bit aggressive, aren't you? My "objective proof" can only be experienced by following my advice. I may not have measurements, but I used the 4XX frequency response measurement graph as a basis for my EQ profile. What I'm hearing may not be perfectly flat/neutral, but they sound right to my musician ears. You "truthfully have no idea" what these headphones sound like.  Having said that, would you be willing to buy a pair of XL pads so that you can hear what I'm hearing? Do you honestly think that "that most" 4XX users will be "acquiring a more power amplifier"? I'm guessing not since Massdrop advertised them as "a pair of high-efficiency, open-back planar magnetics that don’t need a fancy amp to sound amazing. Listen to them directly from your smartphone, laptop, or desktop computer, or add a headphone amp to take them to the next level." That Monoprice unit looks incredibly impressive and contains a THX AAA amp and Dirac Sensaround processing. Why recommend another (more expensive/complicated) DAC/amp set-up when that one looks incredibly impressive is expected to be released next week?  My mods/EQ are not for everyone, but it's "weird" that you think that buying a balanced cable and pads is a "hassle". No need to "understand balanced topology for portable amp/DAC units". Just buy the right cable and plug it in. Anyone not wanting a flat/natural sound can load a different EQ profile (as which I can provide)... or avoid EQ altogether. Having an O2 amp does no good if one doesn't own a good DAC. My "underpowered portable amp/DAC" is affordable and convenient. The 4XX are "inefficient planar headphones". But prospective buyers were told otherwise and are probably wondering why they don't sound amazing with their phones. In practice, my suggestions will amaze them. I cannot hear the FiiO's "ceiling" or any "distortion and clip". Those that want more "grunt or current delivery to push the 4XX drivers well" are encouraged to buy a better amp and DAC. The LG V30 has an above-average DAC/amp... great. Have you heard it... or the FiiO Q1 mkII, for that matter? Your add-on figures were incorrect. A balanced cable can be had for as little as $20. Pads are $24.50. HiFiMan pads (for rings) are $10. Total investment for the 4XX users: $54.50. Then purchase a DAC/amp that suits your needs... a required device to properly power any planar magnetic headphone, including the Edition XX. Purchasing these components would absolutely not be "a waste of money and resources". Quite the opposite, in fact: Enjoy something you already own with relatively little investment. Tell me, how is this "logic pitifully flawed"? I wouldn't call my 4XX the "wrong headphone" but I certainly have made it "work" right for me. In fact, I've never been so pleased with a headphone. Spending more "money on a better planar headphone" to get better performance is what manufacturers and distributors want people to think. I'm "insinuating" those willing to mod/EQ the 4XX should consider doing so before spending big on another planar magnetic headphone only to power it directly from a phone or computer, as they have been doing. "This drop is for a superior headphone" that costs $430 more than the 4XX. It might be slightly "easier to drive" but has the same sensitivity... and will still be "gimped" from a phone. No need to disparage the 4XX... or advise its users to just buy another headphone to enjoy superior performance. I'm shocked that someone as knowledgeable as you has such a limited perspective on how to approach listening enjoyment. And was all that demeaning/discouraging language necessary? Once again, my goal was to help those that have already bought the 4XX or are considering their next headphone purchase. What's on offer here (the XX) will still require a good DAC and amp to sound its best, which thankfully, is something we both can agree on.
Nov 2, 2018
DareToBe
151
Nov 3, 2018
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I did have Brainwavz angled pads, when my HE400i was with me. By switching pads you should get more bass as I did (but not extra bass extension). This means using original 4XX frequency response to tune your EQ cannot give you neutral sound. Also be careful with the soundstage and balanced cable. Transforming a handball soundstage into a football is not a good thing for everyone, especially those who are looking for a basketball. Some people find switching to balanced hurts vocals (less emotional). Most people find listening experience more important than any "hard facts", so tubes and vinyls still exist. With 20+ headphones and 15+ DAP/DAC/amps, I don't do EQ anymore. Plz just find a way to try Edition X. For me, I need to drive 50+ miles to try a very limited range of headphones, so I simply buy things to try. So far I've returned/sold 10+ pairs. In short, there is no "massive potential" that can narrow the gap between different drivers. This is why I think your suggestions are misleading.
Nov 3, 2018
Horseknight
160
Nov 3, 2018
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I have to agree with LowFi42 and DareToBe here. Modification can only alter/improve so much from the equipments within their limits. Try to explore different levels of product lines. Simply comparing Hifiman HE-400i vs Hifiman HE-560 vs Hifiman Ananda, the obvious performance difference among products even within Hifiman are so substantial.
Nov 3, 2018
mattris
874
Nov 4, 2018
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Switching the 4XX's pads to Brainwavz XL Earpads (particularly the Pleather model) does improve the bass quantity, extension, and 'tightness'. Using the original 4XX frequency response did provide a basis for my original EQ profile... which I've amended to only 'boost' the sub-bass by lowering the other frequencies. Those who prefer not to use EQ - or don't own an amplifier powerful enough - can simply avoid EQ altogether. The Brainwavz XL Earpads (with large ear openings) also significantly improves the 4XX's soundstage since more sound reaches your ear directly. Using the balanced connection with my FiiO Q1 mkII increased maximum volume potential and overall clarity. I perceived no issues regarding soundstage. The biggest change depends on what pads are used. After experimenting with the Brainwavz XL Earpads, I can confirm that the stock pads are a major detriment to the headphones' overall sound - especially regarding clarity and soundstage. My next major headphone-related purchase will be a superior DAC/amp. As for my next headphone, I'm considering the Focal Clear, but the much lower price of the Edition XX makes it intriguing. I'm looking forward to the reviews in the spring. I'll look into headphone auditioning. But for now, I'm extremely pleased with my 4XX and other budget headphones - notably the SV007 and BossHifi B8 (both modded and pad-swapped). I agree with jaydunndiddit regarding power: The biggest potential of these planar magnetic headphones comes from powering them properly. My main point: Why buy the Edition XX and plug it directly into your phone/computer... when using a DAC/amp and bigger earpads with your 4XX would likely sound better and cost less. My suggestions aren't "misleading" in the slightest. The 4XX has "massive potential" that can easily be unlocked. I've heard it.
Nov 4, 2018
Bradum
163
Nov 5, 2018
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"I never said the resulting headphones would "sound better than headphones I haven't heard" But meanwhile in OP "After these steps, your 4XX will sound better (more transparent) than the Edition XX"
Nov 5, 2018
NotABot
267
Nov 5, 2018
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For crying out loud, what is it about the Internet that makes some people with minimal experience suddenly proclaim themselves to be experts? your 4XX will sound better (more transparent) than the Edition XX hasn't heard the Edition XX (or the Edition X).

 I highly recommend that all 4XX owners purchase ... combo unit like the soon-to-be-released Monoprice Monolith THX AAA DAC/amp hasn't heard the THX.

I recommend the portable FiiO Q1 mkII DAC/amp combo is recommending a low end, portable amp for planar headphones. Seems to only have experience with this FiiO.

To run the headphones balanced (for increased power and channel separation), you will have to purchase a compatible balanced cable Thinks that balanced, especially with a lower power, cheaply designed DAC/amp amp, is going to make any difference at all over short cable runs.

Why buy the Edition XX and plug it directly into your phone/computer... Seems to think that other people automatically plug audiophile grade headphones straight into a PC or phone jack. ________________________________ Stick with what you have experienced and what you have expertise in. Realise what you don't know, then spend more time addressing those gaps rather than spreading misinformation on the internet. Aside: The writer doesn't decide whether it's ""valuable advice" or not, it's the people reading it who decide. I've rarely seen so obviously displayed: "In the field of psychology, the Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which people of low ability have illusory superiority and mistakenly assess their cognitive ability as greater than it is. The cognitive bias of illusory superiority comes from the inability of low-ability people to recognize their lack of ability. Without the self-awareness of metacognition, low-ability people cannot objectively evaluate their actual competence or incompetence." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

Nov 5, 2018
LowFi42
241
Nov 5, 2018
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"In the field of psychology, the Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which people of low ability have illusory superiority and mistakenly assess their cognitive ability as greater than it is. The cognitive bias of illusory superiority comes from the inability of low-ability people to recognize their lack of ability. Without the self-awareness of metacognition, low-ability people cannot objectively evaluate their actual competence or incompetence." So fucking true.
Nov 5, 2018
chris_gj
101
Nov 5, 2018
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WTF did I just spend the last 10 minutes reading...?
Nov 5, 2018
jaydunndiddit
2862
Nov 5, 2018
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The only thing that needs correcting here is you and your lack of knowledge about any of this: "Pad swapping and EQ will open the 4XX's sound-stage and correct the abundance of upper bass/lower mids that they have in stock form. Even the most powerful amp in the world will not do that." What upper bass? Have you ever looked at the frequency response for the 4XX? https://www.innerfidelity.com/images/MassdropHiFiMANHE4XX.pdf They are pretty much ruler flat until 2kHz with some roll-of in the sub frequencies. They also have a good amount of distortion which will never make them sound clean and transparent. You want to know what transparent sounds like? Listen to a Focal Clear. You also can't claim anything about the stock pads restricting air flow as you have measured NOTHING. You know who has? Dekoni. And their measurements are posted here for us all to see. You: "The difference I hear is due to physics and sound properties... and has little - or nothing - to do with the XL pads not being slightly angled." For someone to mention science, you have shown no objective scientific proof. The Brainwavs pads are also a huge deviation from the stock FocusA pads. They're ~7mm thicker at the thickest point and ~15mm from the thinnest on the stock pad, they're flat and not angled, and the inner dimensions are are larger by 11mm in diameter. These aren't small variations but relatively big changes. Your ears are NOT closer to the driver but further away. They do not appear to be further away, they physically are. The stock pads are ~23mm at the thickest point and ~15mm at the thinnest. Again, this is a significant amount and what you are hearing. This is what you're obfuscating and misleading others about and what I have an issue with. It's just flat out wrong. The same with your math on parts. Where are you finding a balanced cable for $20? What I quoted was from Periapt who are reputable and make good cables. I also don't know where you're getting those pad prices. The Brainwavs XL pads range from $30-45: https://www.brainwavzaudio.com/search?type=product&q=xl%20pad*. Not including the stock HFM ring. Then add in the Fiio unit. So yet again, your figure is misleading and much more conservative than you're letting on. And yes, I owned and returned the Fiio Q1 mk2. I also did the same with the mk1 Q1 and A3. I still have my E11 and A5, however. I went with an iFi nano BL as it offered more power with 285mW@30 ohms per channel and sounded better over the Fiio unit. It also works better in a desktop situation due to its battery modes. It also has measurements so we can objectively judge its performance. As far as I know, nothing of the sort exists for the Fiio. I actually have the G7 ThinQ but it contains the quad DAC as well. So yes, I have heard it. Either way, recommending the IEM focused Fiio for inefficient planars just makes no sense and is a waste of money. The 02 amp for those budget minded delivers almost 3 times the power cleanly and also has options for batteries. At this price point, a DAC isn't going to make much of a difference so ensuring that your inefficient headphones have ample power makes the most sense. It will also scale better than the Fiio and isn't reliant on being used balanced. I understand your goal and don't believe you had any ill intent however your advice here doesn't have merit, is misleading, or just downright incorrect. And I have not made any mentions on powering the HEXX so please don't put words in my mouth regarding that.
Nov 5, 2018
mattris
874
Nov 5, 2018
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The entire sentence read: After these steps, your 4XX will sound better (more transparent) than the Edition XX plugged into any phone or computer's headphone jack. But I shouldn't have made that claim before actually comparing the headphones. OP corrected.
Nov 5, 2018
Bradum
163
Nov 5, 2018
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Still something you couldn't possibly know. Dude. Everyone on here can tell you have no idea what you're talking about. Just give it up.
Nov 5, 2018
mattris
874
Nov 5, 2018
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First of all, I did not proclaim myself to be an expert. I advised modifying (and properly powering) their 4XX - and listening to the results - before committing to purchasing another headphone... that no one has heard. Since I haven't heard the Edition XX, I corrected my OP statement. I certainly did not mean to 'spread misinformation'. The Monoprice Monolith THX AAA DAC/amp is a competitively-priced, fully-featured, all-in-one. Why shouldn't I recommend it? Are people only allowed to recommend things they've personally used? If the unit receives mostly negative reviews, I will remove it from my post. I advised 4XX users to get a more-powerful amplifier, preferably one with a balanced-out. But yes, "for those on a budget" I recommended the FiiO Q1 mkII DAC/amp, which is fully portable (battery-powered) and offers a balanced-out that can drive the 4XX loud. Some people don't want to spend more on their DAC/amp than the headphones themselves. And some people aren't using the 4XX with a DAC/amp at all. It's safe to say that for most people... Convenience, ease-of-use, and low price are crucial factors to consider when buying products. The tiny, portable FiiO Q1 mkII is plug-and-play with iPhone and cost less than $100. Balanced with the "cheaply designed" FiiO makes a big difference. And generally speaking, a balanced connection will sound better (lower crosstalk. lower distortion, increased channel separation, higher maximum volume) than an unbalanced connection from the same amp. The whole 'don't need balanced for short cable runs' argument is irrelevant in this conversation. Do you think that many people don't "automatically plug audiophile grade headphones straight into a PC or phone jack"? Massdrop has a habit of saying that planar headphone can be 'driven by a phone'. You don't think that was a selling point for many people? My advice may encourage/inform people to buy a DAC/amp for better sound. My knowledge gained regarding the 4XX was "valuable" to me. It's "value advice" if people actually take it.
Nov 5, 2018
OnePunchMan
303
Nov 5, 2018
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this whole thread is hella brokeback. that is all.
Nov 5, 2018
mattris
874
Nov 5, 2018
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I will admit: You are correct regarding the 4XX's bass response. I initially looked only at the graph posted on its Massdrop description page. While not required, EQ can 'add' sub-bass by subtracting all other frequencies. My supposed "lack of knowledge" doesn't affect what I'm hearing. I will "claim" that the stock pads restrict air flow because it is a fact that the stock pads cover more of the driver area compared to the Brainwavz XL pads. Basic physics dictates that sound travels unobstructed through air. Sound having to travel through the solid (stock) earpads does, in fact, impede the sound from the driver. So pardon me if I don't sonically measure it or show "objective scientific proof". Indeed, the Brainwavz pads are "a huge deviation". Whether the pads are closer or further away (compared to the stock pads) depends on the user's ear size. The Brainwavz pads' openings are large enough for all but the biggest ears. The same cannot be said with the smaller-ear-opening, slightly-angled, stock 4XX pads. For users with small ears, the stock pads will make them around-ear headphones. For large-eared users, they will be on-ear. Depending on the user's ear size and wearing position, the XL pads could make the driver further away from one's ear. But the larger ear space of the XL pads - due to the larger opening (compared to the stock pads) and uniform wearing position - affects the sound significantly... most will say, positively: that is, clearer, with a bigger soundstage. You are "flat out wrong" to say that I'm "obfuscating and misleading others" when I have heard these differences myself - but you haven't. Any DAC/amp would need to be purchased with the 4XX and Edition XX. My figures are not "misleading". Balanced cable for $20: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Silver-Plated-Cable-for-Hifiman-HE400S-HE-400I-HE560-HE-350-HE1000-V2-Headphone/223042745518 Brainwavz XL pads on Amazon are $24.50 (Pleather, Perforated), $29.50 (Suede, Hybrid). Brainwavz has sales regularly on Amazon and their website. I'm sure that the iFi nano BL is a fine little unit. But compared to the FiiO: it's larger, not conducive to strapping to a phone, not plug-and-play with iPhone (cable not included), has no analog input, no bass boost switch, and costs twice as much. It might offer more power, but I'd like to know what you mean by "sounded better over the Fiio unit" and "works better in a desktop situation due to its battery modes". Most people do not care about measurements or 'Scaling better'; they care about price, real-world performance, and convenience. The FiiO delivers in those respects and would not be "a waste of money" for users want better sound than their computer or phone can deliver directly. Saying that having "ample power makes the most sense" is deceiving since some will take that as they only need to buy a powerful amplifier and plug it into their phone or computer's headphone jack. Now that would be "misleading, or just downright incorrect", wouldn't it? Saying that I'm 'putting words in your mouth' because I said that we agreed "regarding power: The biggest potential of these planar magnetic headphones comes from powering them properly." when you said "No pad swap or other "mods" will correct deficiently powered headphones. Buy a powerful amp and the rest will solve itself." - but didn't previously mention the HEXX, specifically - just indicates your desperation to prove me wrong on everything. With this post, I have defended and clarified my comments pretty well, I think. Claiming that the 4XX can "never... sound clean and transparent" and advising to "listen to a Focal Clear" does nothing to help 4XX users enjoy their headphones. I understand your goal was to correct me - and discredit me - with all of my points and suggestions. However, your contributions here do not help 4XX users. Saying I've 'misled' people is "downright incorrect." Taking my advice results in real-world performance improvements, that I have heard.
Nov 5, 2018
mattris
874
Nov 5, 2018
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I know that most phones and computers have crappy-sounding DACs and low-power amps. "No idea"? What I am wrong about, exactly?
Nov 5, 2018
Bradum
163
Nov 5, 2018
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"What I am wrong about, exactly?" Read all the comments instead of powering on with your willful ignorance.
(Edited)
Nov 5, 2018
mattris
874
Nov 5, 2018
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Again, what I am wrong about, exactly? I'm just reporting what I'm hearing. Criticizing me without having heard what I'm hearing is "willful ignorance".
Nov 5, 2018
Bradum
163
Nov 5, 2018
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Dude, I'm not going to spend my time picking apart your awful arguments that 30 people have already addressed, just to have you come back with more nonsense and a misguided understanding of physics. Hopefully at this point the mere fact that you're recommending a 4XX to be run on an underpowered portable amp (yes, I own the Q1), or an amp that you haven't even heard, and comparing it to headphones you haven't heard, will make it obvious for people new to audio that you have no idea what you're talking about. I like to think even the simplest of people will be able to tell the 4XX + FiiO Q1 is the only audio gear you've ever experienced asides from garbage gaming headsets and the like. Please get experience with a variety of gear and then start making suggestions.... Or just keep making an ass of yourself in public. Up to you really.
Nov 5, 2018
jaydunndiddit
2862
Nov 5, 2018
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Sigh. Why you're stuck on flow is beyond me. You have changed the angle in which sounds are entering the ear, as well as their distance from their original reflection point. Increasing the inner diameter of the pad as well as changing the height is also changing the reflection paths as they leave the driver. If anything, you have reduced the amount of flow by widening the opening. The stock, angled pads work more like a funnel with a wide mouth to assist with a smooth, even, controlled flow. Very much in the same vein as a water hose compared to a water jet. The larger opening is irrelevant if the smaller opening has a higher flow rate and greater control. At least in this scenario in which flow is being discussed. That's the physics of the situation that you either carelessly disregarded or blatantly ignored. There's a reason why Sennheiser, Focal, Fostex, HiFiMan, etc. angle their pads or drivers. This is per the acoustic engineer at Sennheiser, Alex Grell (https://gizmodo.com/5949316/ask-one-of-the-worlds-top-headphone-engineers-whatever-you-want): "Q: And why driver size is important in headphones? Answer: The larger the moving area of a transducer, the less movement he needs to make to produce a certain Sound Pressure Level. The less movements a transducer needs to make the lower is the THD. A second aspect: The natural sound field takes up a very large area around the head. To create a natural impression of the "room" it is necessary to radiate the sound as similar to the natural sound field as possible. This is the second reason for the big diameter and the angled position of the transducer." Again, your lack of knowledge about the actual science and physics involved is apparent. You have essentially removed one of the aspects leading to a large, natural soundstage and then state that you have "increased and opened the soundstage even further." This sounds and is misleading. My advice still stands: just use the 4XX out of a "powerful amp". The 02 amp is cheap and has more over 30% more power than the Fiio and is plenty to drive the 4XX with ample headroom. I am quite certain any user plugging their phone into the 02 while using the 4XX will be more pleased than going through all your "mods." A cheap, quick, and simple solution that offers better scaling and performance benefits over everything you suggested purchasing and going through. Sans the EQ adjustments as that's down to personal taste and I never drew issues with that aspect in the first place. Just your baseless claims about "physics" and all that nonsense.
Nov 5, 2018
NotABot
267
Nov 6, 2018
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Funniest train wreck of a thread that I have read for a while. mattris, you really need to get some experience with gear before going all-knowing-sage on the forums. You have a habit of simply regurgitating internet opinions that you've read, without ever having experienced the gear. So when you do write about something you've tried personally, you don't have the real life experience to know what's real and what's simply nonsense. I mean: more air/soundstage (best for orchestral/instrumental) Do you really listen to orchestral music? People listen to classical, they don't typically use the word "orchestral." I wonder if you also visit auto forums and tell people that a modded VW Jetta and outperform their stock Porsches. Or PC forums and tell people that your overclocked Core2 COU can outperform their stock i9s. Modding can eke out additional performance gains, but there's a limit to what can be achieved. At some stage, additional 'performance gains' are likely taking place only in your imagination. Especially in the audio world, where almost nobody measures things objectively, and even if they do the measurements might not be able to capture the finer details of what's being heard. _____________________ mattris
To owners of the HE-4XX: The 4XX has massive potential. My advice is to hold off buying the Edition XX for now... and perform the following steps:
  1. Exchange the 4XX's stock pads with Brainwavz XL Earpads (Hybrid, Suede, Pleather or Perforated Pleather models; sound affects of each coming soon) which, compared to the stock pads, will increase the ear-space area for improved comfort and sound-stage. I will differentiate each model's affect on the sound. To use any aftermarket pads, you will need to acquire the official HIFIMan Velour pads and use their removable pad-attachment rings (https://www.ebay.com/itm/HIFIMAN-Velour-Earpads-Headphone-replacement-Ear-pads-for-HIFIMAN-HE-Series/253238435364)
  2. Purchase a good DAC and powerful headphone amplifier - preferably one that has a balanced-out. (For those on a budget, I recommend the portable FiiO Q1 mkII DAC/amp combo).
  3. To run the headphones balanced (for increased power and channel separation), you will have to purchase a compatible balanced cable. Make sure the cable has the right connectors: the first 4XX units had 2.5mm earcup connectors... the latest units have 3.5mm connectors.
  4. And finally, load an EQ profile using a program called Equalizer APO. EQ-ing is not necessary, but do you like sub-bass?
After performing these steps, the 4XX will sound significantly better than in stock form. If you already own the 4XX, I recommend the above steps before purchasing the Edition XX, especially if you planned to use it directly with your phone or computer. While I can't be certain... It's possible that a modified, EQ'd, properly-powered 4XX could sound better than the Edition XX plugged into an average phone or computer. At the very least, I highly recommend that all 4XX owners purchase a powerful/balanced amplifier and quality DAC (or combo unit like the soon-to-be-released Monoprice Monolith THX AAA DAC/amp) that you can use with all headphones you acquire down the road. Compared to using your headphones (the 4XX especially) with your phone or computer, you will hear a substantialdifference. To other prospective owners of the Edition XX: As impressive as the Edition XX looks (and most likely sounds), they are 3.5 times more expensive than the (also planar magnetic) HE-4XX and feature the same headband system. Consider purchasing the HE-4XX and improving them (see above). I'm confident that you will be pleasantly surprised with the results. Brainwavz XL Earpads

Pleather: Most bass impact/tightness, very clean and bright (best for modern pop) Perforated Pleather: Slightly less bass, more air/soundstage (best for orchestral/instrumental) Hybrid: More warmth, slightly less treble; (best for classic rock) Suede: Deadened sound (with reduced air and soundstage); neutral (best for general listening... and most pleasing to the touch) EQUALIZATION Using the Brainwavz XL Earpads and a system-wide* sound modification program called Equalizer APO, I configured an EQ profile for the HE-4XX that subtracts everything but sub-bass... that extends flat to 46 Hz. (More profiles will be added.) Once installed, click on the green "+" and select 'Graphic Equalizer with variable bands'. Then copy-paste the following into the (pencil and paper) 'Edit text' bar: GraphicEQ: 46 0; 48 -1; 50 -1.85; 52 -2.57; 54 -3.2; 56 -3.77; 58 -4.25; 60 -4.65; 62 -5; 64 -5.28; 66 -5.5; 68 -5.7; 70 -5.85; 72 -5.95; 74 -6 Using the columns on the right side of the window (or within 'Edit text'), the frequencies/levels can be adjusted to taste. To deactivate the profile, click on the white 'profile active' button, and it will turn black. * When a profile is activated, all sounds that are played on your PC will be altered.
Nov 6, 2018
mattris
874
Nov 6, 2018
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While it would be ideal to keep "the angle in which sounds are entering the ear" the same as with the 4XX stock pads, the changes to the "distance from their original reflection point" do no harm to the sound. "Increasing the inner diameter of the pad as well as changing the height is also changing the reflection paths as they leave the driver" improves the sound. I'm shocked that you think I "have reduced the amount of flow by widening the opening". "The stock, angled pads work more like a funnel with a wide mouth to assist with a smooth, even, controlled flow. Very much in the same vein as a water hose compared to a water jet." The 4XX has a planar magnetic driver - not a compression tweeter - and gains no "funnel" benefit from a smaller opening. Why do you think the Edition XX pads are fully around-ear... and not covering some of the driver? The larger openings of the XL pads result in vastly superior 'flow' to the stock pads' smaller openings. Any "greater control" is perceived as a 'gimped', weaker sound since some of the sound goes through - and is absorbed by - the pad. "That's the physics of the situation" - indeed. I know that am correct in regards to these physics observations. Your ridiculous claim that a planar driver benefits from a "funnel" in the pad negates your criticism. Bottom line regarding pads: The stock pads do not "allow for a large, natural soundstage" - just the opposite, in fact. The Brainwavz XL pads provide more air/sound flow, which results in a more-open, natural soundstage... a significantly better listening experience than with the stock pads. I'm hearing the changes (improvements) with my own ears. And I have excellent hearing. Large-opening, angled pads might result in slightly better sound. But without these pads, I cannot confirm this. Do those pads even exist? My advice still stands, as well: Use the 4XX out of a "powerful amp" that suits your needs. If your phone doesn't have a headphone jack, the portable FiiO Q1 mkII would be a good place to start - especially if you have an iPhone or other (closed-back) headphones that you would like to use on-the-go. I would be willing to bet my 4XX headphones that powering the 4XX with an 02 amp sourced from a phone's headphone jack would be noticeably inferior to using the FiiO Q1 mkII (balanced) with Brainwavz XL Hybrid pads. The amp-only (DAC-less) O2 is much larger and would be a hassle to use portably. Anyone wanting better scaling and performance benefits could instead get a more-powerful, more-featured, desktop DAC/amp. jaydunndiddit, I have just explained that almost everything you just said was wrong in practice, so telling me that my "lack of knowledge about the actual science and physics involved is apparent" means absolutely nothing. If anyone here is "misleading" people, it's you.
Nov 6, 2018
mattris
874
Nov 6, 2018
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Only a "train wreck of a thread" because some can't admit that my suggestions would actually help 4XX owners. I never went "all-knowing-sage on the forums" Nothing I said was "regurgitating internet opinions". I have "experienced the gear" that I "tried personally" and "write about". What have I written that is "simply nonsense"? I do listen to orchestral music... some is "classical", som is film scores. No need to pick apart my language to this degree. I do not visit auto or PC forums at all. "Modding can eke out additional performance gains, but there's a limit to what can be achieved. At some stage, additional 'performance gains' are likely taking place only in your imagination. Especially in the audio world, where almost nobody measures things objectively, and even if they do the measurements might not be able to capture the finer details of what's being heard." Now that I can agree with! My only intent here was to provide an alternative to spending $600 on a superior headphone only to plug it into a phone or computer headphone jack... just like some do with the 4XX.
Nov 6, 2018
mattris
874
Nov 6, 2018
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I don't see it that way. My posts received 11 endorsements. So what I said was "valuable" to them... or they agreed with me. I'm sure other people passively read this thread and learned something. And over the last 5 days, the 4XX sales have been nearly as strong as the Edition XX.
Nov 6, 2018
A community member
Nov 6, 2018
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Yeah, came to same conclusion quickly after receiving and that hasn't changed. 4XXX is loud but dull on most low current power tries. These are very good planars for $170, but to get that very good sound will require more current than expected = additional investment if not already on-hand.
Nov 6, 2018
A community member
Nov 6, 2018
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Your mod ideas are great suggestions.
Nov 6, 2018
DenonFanboy
719
Nov 6, 2018
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Why so much hate on a 600$ hifiman, the XX is clearly better no matter what u do to a 4XX.
Nov 6, 2018
mattris
874
Nov 6, 2018
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I wasn't hating on the XX. I was very clear. Once more: I'm suggesting that 4XX owners improve the headphones they already own before committing to another headphone... only to plug it into their phone/computer's headphone jack... when it arrives May 2019. Using the 4XX with a DAC/amp (one that is powerful, preferably with a balanced connection), and Brainwavz XL pads results in a major improvement over a stock 4XX plugged into a phone.
Nov 6, 2018
DenonFanboy
719
Nov 6, 2018
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Why not post your helpful advice on the 4XX section instead and stop hurting XX sales.
Nov 6, 2018
jaydunndiddit
2862
Nov 6, 2018
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"I know that am correct in regards to these physics observations." No, what you are is delusional and wholly incorrect. You can't claim to know the physics of the situation when you have no proof or measurements. Can you show your math on the increased flow rate? Or even the stock flow rate and what you have improved? This is science and can be easily proved by mathematical equations. But, I know this is something you can't provide as you're just making it up as you go along since you have no actual idea what you're talking about. Do you even know the formulas for estimating flow velocity or acoustic pressure? Oh that's right, you don't. You're a "musician." Not an engineer. And this is how I know you have absolutely no idea what the hell you're talking about: "I would be willing to bet my 4XX headphones that powering the 4XX with an 02 amp sourced from a phone's headphone jack would be noticeably inferior to using the FiiO Q1 mkII (balanced) with Brainwavz XL Hybrid pads. " And this is how I know you have absolutely no idea what the hell you're talking about.
Nov 6, 2018
mattris
874
Nov 6, 2018
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You call me "delusional and wholly incorrect" but your claim that a planar driver benefits from pads with a "funnel with a wide mouth to assist with a smooth, even, controlled flow" proves that "you have absolutely no idea what the hell you're talking about." You can't claim that I'm wrong when you haven't heard what I'm hearing. My direct listening comparisons proved my suspicions regarding using larger pads with larger ear openings. As I pointed out, HIFIMan uses larger pads with larger ear openings on their more-expensive models... like the Edition XX. Trying to discredit me because I'm not an engineer and can't show "math on the increased flow rate" using "formulas for estimating flow velocity or acoustic pressure" is silly because I am hearing real-world results, which speak for themselves. Correct, I am making this up as I go along... and I've stuck gold improving the 4XX with a relatively inexpensive pad swap. Do you have the Brainwavz XL pads to hear what I'm hearing? "Oh that's right, you don't." This is how I know you have absolutely no idea what the hell you're talking about: "I am quite certain any user plugging their phone into the 02 while using the 4XX will be more pleased than going through all your "mods." I hope you don't recommend that people do that. Plugging one's phone (from its headphone jack) into another amplifier will result in well-amplified (possibly over-amped) crappy sound... being heard through the restrictive stock 4XX earpads. Not only would that set-up be supremely amateurish, but the 4XX (with XL pads) powered by the balanced-out of the portable FiiO Q1 mkII USB DAC/amp would significantly outperform it. I would stake my reputation on it. Would you?
Nov 6, 2018
NotABot
267
Nov 6, 2018
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This thread has been comedy gold.
Nov 6, 2018
jaydunndiddit
2862
Nov 6, 2018
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Mattris: "I would stake my reputation on it.Would you?" Everyone else:
search
Mattris: "I hope you don't recommend that people do that. Plugging one's phone (from its headphone jack) into another amplifier will result in well-amplified (possibly over-amped) crappy sound... being heard through the restrictive stock 4XX earpads. Not only would that set-up be supremely amateurish, but the 4XX (with XL pads) powered by the balanced-out of the portable FiiO Q1 mkII USB DAC/amp would significantly outperform it. " Everyone else:
search


search



Nov 6, 2018
mattris
874
Nov 6, 2018
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Yes, I'm serious. Were you serious when you said, "you have reduced the amount of flow by widening the opening. The stock, angled pads work more like a funnel with a wide mouth to assist with a smooth, even, controlled flow. Very much in the same vein as a water hose compared to a water jet." Smaller openings of the stock pads are like "water jet"... on a planar magnetic headphone? I'm calling you out on this one, jaydunndiddit. Please show your math on the stock flow rate using mathematical equations. And to 'prove' your point, why don't you show the flow rate of the Brainwavz XL Hybrid Pads, as well. Regardless, I know that the XL pads significantly improve the sound experience from the 4XX because I have heard the difference they make. Do you criticize all modders because they can't 'show their math'? Once I purchase a superior DAC/amp, I'll be able to verify if your 'phone+02+stock 4XX' theory had any merit. Will you buy a pair of Brainwavz XL Pads and report your findings here?
Nov 6, 2018
LowFi42
241
Nov 6, 2018
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The flow rate would actually be larger with larger pad openings.
Nov 6, 2018
jaydunndiddit
2862
Nov 6, 2018
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Very much so. By opening the size of the earpad, you have diffused the sound making them less directed and "opening up the flow." When I I mention the stock pads are smaller and in effect have a tunneling effect, I mean exactly that. They funnel the sound in a much more controlled path with less diffusion. Hence, my analogy of an open, diffuse flow from a garden hose compared to a funneled, more focused effect like a water jet. I thought this would be very straightforward as it is basic physics. Also, the burden of proof lays with you. All I did was question your claims. You are presenting your opinion as objective fact and I have issues with that. Many other have done measurements with many pads and actual mods across various HFM headphones. This thread is the perfect example of that: www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/he-6-measurements-removing-stock-dampening-pad-rolling-fuzzor.412 And some more: www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/hifiman-he400s-with-focus-pad-measurements.189

www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/hifiman-he400i-measurements-and-quick-impressions.1890

www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/hifiman-he5-reissue-surprise-measurements.5534 This is one of my favorites and I wish more folks followed suit: www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/focal-utopia-pad-rolling.6327 Again, this was just a quick look on SBAF and there are tons of other avenues that have just as much or more information. As I stated above which you so pleasantly ignored, is that I have pad rolled and done other mods. I have used various pads from Dekoni, who also have measurements, for the TH900 and THX00 (with and without attn. rings), stock HFM, and ZMF pads as well as removed (and replaced) the foam inside the grills. I have not attempted to add any additional dampening. I've also used them out of some very powerful amps: iFi Pro iCAN and THX 789. So, as I stated prior, with my own experience, is that these honestly sound pretty damn good out of just a powerful amp. You have done none of this in your limited experience. Like I said above, I don't believe you had any ill intent, you have just made a lot of subjective claims without any objective proof and the information you're spreading is misleading as you are obfuscating the facts or downright making incorrect statements. Either way, I hope you take the time to actually read and understand what I have linked to. Maybe it'll give you some more insight into all the other pad options and mods that exist for this headphone. Either way, it's been a blast talking to you internet rando and I truly hope you have a wonderful day!
Nov 6, 2018
mattris
874
Nov 6, 2018
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Thank you for admitting that you were incorrect regarding "opening up the flow" with the larger pads. But saying, "When I mention the stock pads are smaller and in effect have a tunneling effect, I mean exactly that. They funnel the sound in a much more controlled path with less diffusion. Hence, my analogy of an open, diffuse flow from a garden hose compared to a funneled, more focused effect like a water jet." Increased covering of the driver results in "less diffusion"? Perhaps smaller pad openings would be akin to a "water jet" if the sound was emanating from a central location. But on a planar magnetic headphone where sound emanates from the entire plane, your analogy is wholly incorrect. "I thought this would be very straightforward as it is basic physics." Will you admit you were wrong about that? If you're going to claim specific things, like 'any user with their phone+02+stock 4XX will be more pleased than a FiiO Q1 mkII (balanced)+XL padded 4XX', then the burden of proof lays with you, as well. The fact is, I cannot 'prove' my findings. I'm reporting my findings and suggesting that 4XX users try some relatively inexpensive methods to improve their headphones -- the stock pads of which have, to use your terminology, 'gimped' their sound potential -- rather than spend another $600 on a pair of headphones... and wait 6 months for them to arrive. You 'questioned my claims' and said I "have absolutely no idea what the hell [I'm] talking about". But I never 'presented my opinion as objective fact'. All my uses of the word "fact" were accurate... including, "Sound having to travel through the solid (stock) earpads does, in fact, impede the sound from the driver. So pardon me if I don't sonically measure it or show objective scientific proof." I may have "limited experience" but that does not negate my findings and basic suggestions. Again, do you criticize all modders and "subjective claims" because they can't 'show their math'? Please let me know of any facts that I have 'obfuscated' or "incorrect statements", and I will correct or remove them... if you can you can prove that I'm wrong, of course. I have no doubt that the 4XX sounds "pretty damn good out of just a powerful amp" but the Brainwavz XL Pads take them to the next level. I highly recommend all 4XX owners to try them. If you get just one model, the Hybrid would be the best all-rounder. The Perforated ones offer a little more air. Solid Pleather result in more bass. P.S. Obviously, your attempts to discredit me didn't go so well, and you decided you leave the conversation. On your way out, you decided to dig yourself further into a hole, by saying again that the 4XX's "stock pads... funnel the sound" from a planar magnetic driver. You then provided numerous links to appear intelligent and helpful. But if you are truly to be respected on this forum and want to avoid "incorrect statements" and the 'spreading of misleading information', you should return to admit that I was right, especially if you are able to test the Brainwavz XL pads with your 4XX. If you choose not to return, your seven long posts 'questioning my claims' amounted to absolutely nothing except a few endorsements... fellow "internet rando".
Nov 6, 2018
jaydunndiddit
2862
Nov 7, 2018
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Well, I’m not wrong. It was in quotes for a reason as I was quoting what you had stated. That wasn’t an affirmation of truth. I also love how you keep editing your posts without stating you made edits and for what purpose. That’s just as misleading as a lot of the other advice you’re providing here. I know this for a fact as you changed your statement about a bass hump that you “fixed” that doesn’t exist in the first place. That’s the only reason anyone here is quoting what you say since you keep backtracking and changing your posts to present yourself in a different light. I haven’t. And stand behind what I’ve said thus far. If I’m wrong. I will admit it as I have across this site when I’ve put my foot in my mouth. However, that doesn’t apply here. You also like to edit your posts to make yourself look better and then jump down others’ throats and say silly things like this: Sit down with a modded HE4XX and widen your perspective.” “Switching the 4XX's pads to Brainwavz XL Earpads (particularly the Pleather model) does improve the bass quantity, extension, and 'tightness'.” “In addition, their stock pads' small openings restrict the air-flow from drivers, limiting their sound-stage. That's a hard fact.” “The Brainwavz XL Earpads (with large ear openings) also significantly improves the 4XX's soundstage since more sound reaches your ear directly.” "After these steps, your 4XX will sound better (more transparent) than the Edition XX" I’ve also provided links and measurements and you have provided nothing. Hell, I even measured my pads to demonstrate that with the pads you suggested, the drivers are pushed further away from your ears. You obviously couldn’t even be troubled to do that, but you sure did make a baseless claim about it anyway. I was having fun but now I’m getting bored with this. I still think you need to get some more experience under your belt before coming to a thread like this and telling people that a pad-rolled HE4XX being pushed by a $100 Fiio Q1 mkII will outperform the HEXX. Your lack of knowledge in this hobby is apparent so I hope you take the time to listen to more higher end headphones and amplifiers and learn more about the effects of pad rolling before trying to give others advice on a headphone variant you have no experience with. Like I said prior, I don’t believe you had any ill intent but you lack experience and came to the wrong place to try and peacock for whatever reason. For the last time, having a larger diameter opening doesn’t increase flow rate. It can increase overall CAPACITY but the rate at which sounds are exiting the transducer have not changed. This is why I mentioned a water hose and a water jet. Despite the water jet having the smaller opening, it flows substantially more due to its increased force to make it out of a smaller nozzle. The larger opening on the garden hose COULD achieve the same effect if more force was being applied to push it at the same rate as the water jet. You have also increased the distance and angles that sound has to travel to your ear which will increase the amount of pressure required even further to match the same rate of flow as the FocusA pads. Like I have said over and over, this is basic physics and what you're still not comprehending. I’m out for real this time. I still hope you have a wonderful day! Peace, love, and hair grease good buddy ✌️
Nov 7, 2018
mattris
874
Nov 7, 2018
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Regarding using pads with a larger openings:

You said, "If anything, you have reduced the amount of flow by widening the opening." and "By opening the size of the earpad, you have diffused the sound making them less directed and "opening up the flow." When I I mention the stock pads are smaller and in effect have a tunneling effect, I mean exactly that. They funnel the sound in a much more controlled path with less diffusion. Hence, my analogy of an open, diffuse flow from a garden hose compared to a funneled, more focused effect like a water jet." These statements from you are patently absurd and factually incorrect. A smaller size earpad opening cannot 'direct' sound from a planar driver; it can only impede the sound. Smaller pad openings simply mean that less direct sound reaches the user's ears. Slightly 'increasing the distance and angles that sound has to travel to your ear' with the Brainwavz XL pads may 'increase the amount of pressure required... to match the same rate of flow of the stock pads'... which is more than offset by the fact that the ear openings are larger, allowing more direct sound to reach one's ears. "Like I have said over and over, this is basic physics and what you're still not comprehending." Oh, the irony! "I also love how you" tried to discredit me by saying that I 'lack experience' while glossing-over the fact that you were wrong about garden hoses and water jets when speaking about the relationship of earpad openings with planar magnetic drivers. Talk about misleading! Re: Editing my posts, I stated "OP corrected" and admitted you were "correct regarding the 4XX's bass response". I felt that it would be misleading to leave incorrect information, especially in the OP. I stand by my "silly things"... except for the last one, which I corrected to: "After performing these steps, the 4XX will sound significantly better than in stock form." Are you happy that I admitted to this edit? I have taken the time to provide advice to the many 4XX users (and prospective Edition XX buyers) that can be taken or left. What would I gain by deceiving anyone? Nothing. My claims are not "baseless". I am simply reporting what I am hearing, unconcerned with mathematical formulas. A pad-rolled HE4XX being pushed by a FiiO Q1 mkII (balanced) is a significantly less-expensive alternative to the Edition XX, especially if one already owns HE4XX. And one would still need to purchase a DAC/amp to properly use the Edition XX. It is Massdrop/HIFIMan who are 'misleading' when saying that "the Edition XX is easy to drive from your laptop or portable music player". You say I shouldn't "give others advice on a headphone variant [I] have no experience with" when you haven't heard the HEXX either. I have heard every benefit I am suggesting regarding the 4XX. Your lack of humility in this hobby is apparent. I hope you will accept that some people have a different approach to improving their audio enjoyment. Having said that, I will "take the time to listen to more higher end headphones and amplifiers". You had quite a bit to say about hoses and water jets. But anyone with a basic understanding of sound and physics will realize that I am correct regarding the affects of the size of earpad openings on sound emanating from a planar magnetic drivers. If anything, you only confused people. It seems you have "came to the wrong place" since I was able to explain that you did, in fact, 'put your foot in your mouth'. You also admitted that I will get the last word. Peace and love!
Nov 7, 2018
RockyMountains
468
Nov 8, 2018
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First of all, I trust my ears - not Youtube videos. And my ears don't care about the "cost gulf between these items". I thought you were just combining a small amount of experience with a lot of "I read it on the internet so let me repeat it" Because how else would you talk about good, powerful balanced DAC/amps (because the FiiO is neither) or as I've seen you do before, advise on gear for the HD6XX (which you don't seem to own)? How do you claim not care about the cost gulf, when you keep talking about how expensive the Edition XX is even though you have never heard the Edition X, which is available for listening? Over and over again, you talk about how cost is important, so your ears are clearly cost sensitive (so are mine, but I don't pretend otherwise). Everything in this thread just shows that you desperately want to be regarded as an expert, but you don't have the experience, the ears or the writing ability or the critical thinking skills to be taken seriously yet. Maybe that will improve over time, but show some humility when you're inexperienced instead of showing 100% defensiveness and self-justifications about "I have 11 likes!" (which you don't by the way, it's now 9, I guess some people came back to the thread and realised that you don't know what you're talking about.)
Nov 8, 2018
mattris
874
Nov 8, 2018
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I certainly am going to defend myself when people attempt to discredit me for not having "writing ability", "critical thinking skills", "experience, the ears or the writing ability or the critical thinking skills to be taken seriously yet" when I have made my points quite clear and articulate for everyone to understand. I do not "desperately want to be regarded as an expert". My goal was simple: help 4XX users improve their listening experience before committing to another headphone... only to, once again, use it directly with their phones. 'Repeating what I read on the internet'? Like the basic knowledge that a more-power amplifier is ideal... and recommended, especially for power-hungry, low-sensitivity headphones, like planar magnetics? The almighty jaydunndiddit himself reiterated this fact in this thread. I don't need to own the HD6XX to share general knowledge regarding amplification. I said, "my ears don't care about the "cost gulf between these items". The Edition XX is "expensive" compared to the 4XX, but I never claimed that it wasn't a good value. But since no one has heard it, who knows? Why is not having heard the (even more expensive) Edition X relevant to my advice or this conversation? No, my ears are not cost sensitive. But cost is an important factor to consider when investing in anything. Plonking down $600 on a un-reviewed, not-yet-manufactured headphone is risky... especially for those that already own the 4XX. And that where my suggestions come into consideration. My suggestions were entirely based on a headphone, cable, pads, and a DAC/amp that I own, as well as mods that I have performed. The FiiO Q1 mkII is convenient, easy to use, and sounds great... and is probably the best-overall portable DAC/amp under $100. Its affordability aligns with those that would purchase the affordable 4XX... and can be used on-the-go with other headphones. While not powerful, the sound of its 3.5mm-out is plenty loud for most headphones and offers better performance than almost every phone or computer. Its balanced-out provides a taste of higher-grade performance. So yeah, it is 'good'. Why bash it? My logic is sound. Disagree with me? Please specify where I have led people astray. Think that my suggestions do not improve the 4XX powered directly from a phone or computer? Perform my mods, use the FiiO (or another good DAC/amp), and report your findings. Until then, you'll just come across as ignorant and demeaning. "Everything in this thread just shows" that other Massdrop members are desperately trying to discredit me and my suggestions - but have not succeeded. I can only hope that people like you will eventually give up and show some respect for a different approach to audio enjoyment. And in regards to my 'likes': Totaling all of my posts, I did have 11. I now have 12. No one "came back to the thread" to remove their like. Good try, though!
Nov 8, 2018
jaydunndiddit
2862
Nov 8, 2018
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This, is not a factual statement. You can read more about what I am talking about here as RHA has a concise write-up on the matter. I know I used the term funnel but they reference a trumpet (which is still funnel shaped anyhow): https://www.rha-audio.com/eu/blog/52486/an-introduction-to-rhas-aerophonic-design. If you look at the image, the driver itself is actually blocked by the housing to direct the flow of sound and air more accurately. I don't know if you're into IEMs, but this is pretty common practice especially as we get into tube/3D chambers and other engineering feats. Also, here is another concise article about flow, velocity, and pressure that just reiterates the physics in the situation for context: https://www.stanmech.com/articles/flow-velocity-and-pressure. In short, the greater difference in pressure, the faster air flows. By increasing the opening, you would be decreasing this difference thus lowering air flow. I got caught up arguing with an idiot on the internet but this is the actual physics behind it.
Nov 8, 2018
mattris
874
Nov 8, 2018
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jandunndiddit's example of an IEM with a 'reverse trumpet housing' is not applicable to our discussion regarding various earpad openings on a headphone. Yes, the IEM "driver itself is actually blocked by the housing to direct the flow of sound and air more accurately". But comparing an IEM's solid housings and shapes to the openings of soft-material earpads of a headphone is extremely misleading... and not accurate in the slightest. Pads made of soft material do not 'direct' or 'channel' sound; they can only impede and diffuse sound, decreasing overall sound pressure levels. With planar magnetic drivers, sound emanates from the entire plane of the driver. So any covering of the driver would result in less direct sound reaching one's ear. Conversely, a bigger ear opening would result in more direct sound... resulting in a 'larger' soundscape. (Is it a wonder that HIFIMaan uses earpads with larger openings on their more-expensive models, like the Edition X and XX?) To human ears, sound is the result of moving air. But the statement, "the greater difference in pressure, the faster air flows" does not apply with headphones since the velocity of sound emanating from a headphone driver will remain constant. Saying, "By increasing the the opening, you would be decreasing this difference thus lowering air flow" may be true with air blowers - but is patently false with headphones and earpads. Decreasing the opening results in increased pad coverage of the planar driver. The result is increased sound diffusion or absorption, decreasing the amount of direct sound to the ear. Linking an article from an air blower company to reiterate "the physics in the situation" is deceiving since the velocity of air is not in question. An of course, earpads and headphone drivers aren't mentioned at all. In desperation to appear knowledgeable, jandunndiddit continues to reference hoses, water jets, blowers, "tube/3D chambers and other engineering feats" but refuses to admit basic sound and physics principles... and that he is wrong. In all honesty, you probably knew all of this, LowFi42. I hope you are enjoying your Edition X. All the best!
Nov 8, 2018
jaydunndiddit
2862
Nov 9, 2018
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I told myself I wouldn't come back but dammit, I just can't resist. At this point I don't even know if you really own the 4XX. The stock Focus pads are actually rolled on the inside. Much like a trumpet. And they're also made out of a different material then the top, sides, or bottom. They're actually built quite well for $40. Anyhow, the science I am referring to is still in full effect here. I'm almost convinced you got your 4XX 2nd-hand and they must have had different pads on them or you're somehow wearing them wrong as the top or your ears slip under them. You should know this... Also, the article (which is a good read) I linked to form RHA explains it very well and also has a diagram. So, we know the science and understanding applies to IEMs as well. Per the article, "Sound waves progress naturally from the driver, through the chamber and sound pipe and entering the ear with no opportunity for the sound to reverberate or become distorted." That's also an added bonus. You know the famed 6XX? Why do you think pad swapping on them is such a crapshoot? Their stock pad is unique. It's also in the shape of a cone as the interior is steeply rolled. Just like, a trumpet. And so does Beyerdynamic. And Stax. And Shure. Hmm, I see a trend here...
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Now, how could I leave out one of the most iconic examples coming from no other than Klipsch. They have utilized this in a way that is unique to their brand with their horn-loaded tweeters. And if you look at the bass port on the loudspeaker, you'll notice it is also rolled. Much in the shape of, dare I say, a trumpet. And last but not least, we can't forget the woofers themselves that are cone shaped.
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Here https://gizmodo.com/5949316/ask-one-of-the-worlds-top-headphone-engineers-whatever-you-want, Alex Grell from Sennheiser discusses both of the issues I had with your claims in the first place: the angling of a large driver (the 4XX is a smidge bigger than the HD800) which you removed for a flat planar driver and this nonsense about flow and improved soundstage from opening the inner pad diameter (which I've already shown was false with several examples and articles). This is also a good one with an engineer from Shure: http://blog.shure.com/inside-headphones-with-yuri-shulman-shure-engineer/. You have offered no science or rational thought about this at all. I am physically showing you and presenting information from engineers and yet you still insist that I am wrong and incorrect. All you have done is offer armchair advice and shown a huge misunderstanding of the science and physics actually involved.
Nov 9, 2018
RockyMountains
468
Nov 9, 2018
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My logic is sound. Disagree with me? Please specify where I have led people astray. "After these steps, your 4XX will sound better (more transparent) than the Edition XX" which was hastily edited out after people called BS because you have never heard the original Edition X. You invented something out of thin air on zero experience. "Purchase a good DAC and powerful headphone amplifier - preferably one that has a balanced-out." Balanced won't make any difference with short cable runs, from a low-end amp, to a budget planar. The FiiO is not a powerful amp. You don't understand where a balanced topology might make a difference, or what your amp is. Elsewhere on 6XX: gives amp advice on a headphone that you don't own and justifies it with generic "oh I don't need to know the headphone to give advice on it"... but doesn't have experience with amps either.


Nov 9, 2018
mattris
874
Nov 9, 2018
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Incredible. Now you're doubting if I "really own the 4XX"... or that I'm "somehow wearing them wrong". You must be desperate. I see that the 4XX stock pads are rolled on the inside... and the outside, both sides of which are made out of a different material. I also see that inner opening is off-set (towards the front), with the back of the pad being increasingly thicker, making the pad 'angled'. The XL pads' inner opening is about the same as the stock pads, which have a hard plastic ring attached. Apart from a stitching seam, their interior is uniformly flat, resulting in a cylinder cavity. Their outer openings are large enough for one's entire ears to fit inside. So compared to the stock pads, the total 'interactive volume' with one's ear has increased. The result, for me at least, is a larger perceived soundstage. Until you have tested a pair of XL pads with your 4XX, you cannot claim otherwise. Correct me if I wrong, but... There is no way to scientifically measure soundstage width, height, or depth. The 'science and understanding you are referring to in full effect here' "applies to IEMs" only, as the chamber in your example is a reverse trumpet bell (large to small). The "famed 6XX" has trumpet pads (small to large), similar to a horn-loaded tweeters and cone-shaped dispersion for woofers. And as I just told you, comparing an IEM's solid housings and shapes to soft-material earpads of a headphone is extremely misleading... and not accurate in the slightest. You have not 'physically shown' me anything, having only 'presented information from engineers'. On the contrary, your "several examples and articles" have not shown any of my claims to be false. I do not have to 'offer science' since I am not trying to prove anything mathematically or factually. I made a basic 'these pads improve the soundstage' claim after testing them myself. That's it. It is you that has denied "rational thought" in bringing air blowers into this debate, as well as refusing to realize that, compared a larger pad opening, a smaller pad opening that covers a planar magnetic driver will absorb or diffuse more emanating sound. Or perhaps you are simply too prideful to admit that you were wrong. Regardless, without having tested the XL pads with your 4XX, all your 'understanding of the science and physics involved' means absolutely nothing.
Nov 9, 2018
mattris
874
Nov 9, 2018
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I originally said, "After these steps, your 4XX will sound better (more transparent) than the Edition XX" plugged into most phones or computers. After realizing my 'assumed' statement, I corrected it, as I do not want to mislead anyone. However, not having heard the original Edition X is entirely irrelevant, as the founder of HIFIMan confirmed that the Edition XX sounds a bit warmer. Regarding headphone amplifiers, I previously made this statement: "And generally speaking, a balanced connection will sound better (lower crosstalk. lower distortion, increased channel separation, higher maximum volume) than an unbalanced connection from the same amp." Saying "Balanced won't make any difference with short cable runs, from a low-end amp, to a budget planar" is foolish (or ignorant) in every regard. First of all, the "short cable runs" argument is beyond stale. What if I decide to run a 50' headphone cable in the future? "from a low-end amp" What does that even mean? Please define "low-end". And I never claimed it to be "high-end" - just superior to nearly every phone and computer. "a budget planar" What does the relative price of the headphone have to do with anything? "The FiiO is not a powerful amp." I say in my OP to use "a powerful headphone amplifier" with the 4XX... and suggested the FiiO for those on a budget. If you'd like I can add more powerful (more expensive) amps to the OP. Or will you complain that I'm making edits? I do have experience with amps. I owned the original iFi Micro iDSD, which I traded-up to the Black Label. In the same price range of the FiiO Q1 mkII, the Micca Origen+ sounded hazier and presented a smaller soundstage. Using my 4XX from the FiiO's balanced-out is noticeably better-sounding than its unbalanced-out, which powers my higher-sensitivity dynamic driver headphones without issue. Please let me know if you need additional clarification.
Nov 9, 2018
RockyMountains
468
Nov 9, 2018
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I owned the original iFi Micro iDSD, which I traded-up to the Black Label. In the same price range of the FiiO Q1 mkII, the Micca Origen+ sounded hazier and presented a smaller soundstage. That's exactly what I meant about not having experience with amps. They're all portables designed to meet a certain budget. If you've not heard high end gear (and by high end I mean designed with less an emphasis on cost constraint and form factor, and more for absolute sound quality), then you cannot in good conscience make value or performance comparisons to something like the Edition XX. I've heard the Edition X, but only briefly and in a noisy environment, so I'm not going to say that my own (properly) modded headphones wipe the floor with it. This would be like someone saying that an Aston Martin is not 'worth it' because they've owned a Ford Focus, a Jetta and a Mondeo.
Nov 9, 2018
mattris
874
Nov 9, 2018
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Saying I lack experience with "absolute sound quality", "high end gear" is irrelevant... and to be honest, demeaning. As I'm sure you understand by this point, my goal was to advise 4XX owners to try pad swapping, using a better DAC, more powerful amp, etc... before purchasing another low-sensitivity, planar magnetic headphone, like the power-hungry Edition XX. I never said the Edition XX wasn't "worth it". But I will "in good conscience make value or performance comparisons to something like the Edition XX" because I know that it would be 'gimped' by the crappy sound produced by the DAC/amps in most phones or computers, which lack clarity, power, and channel separation... and have a high noise floor.
Nov 9, 2018
DenonFanboy
719
Nov 9, 2018
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You and him have been arguing for over a week lol
Nov 9, 2018
jaydunndiddit
2862
Nov 9, 2018
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I know. It's been a slow week for me with travel and boring meetings and I have time to kill. It has provided me with quite a bit of entertainment but I think the fun has worn off by this point.
Nov 9, 2018
jaydunndiddit
2862
Nov 9, 2018
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Per Mattress: "I do not have to 'offer science' since I am not trying to prove anything mathematically or factually." There it is. We can finally wrap all this up, folks!
Nov 9, 2018
jaydunndiddit
2862
Nov 9, 2018
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You really can't be this dense: "The 'science and understanding you are referring to in full effect here' "applies to IEMs" only, as the chamber in your example is a reverse trumpet bell (large to small). The "famed 6XX" has trumpet pads (small to large), similar to a horn-loaded tweeters and cone-shaped dispersion for woofers." The 6XX and other similarly styled pads and headphones don't need a physical chamber as they use your ear and eardrum (which coincidentally also have a cone/trumpet shape naturally...hmm...) as the chamber and the side of your head to bounce back reflections. The articles I linked to talk about this and how cone/trumpet shapes mitigate this. IEMs bypass this as they are inserted directly into your ear canal, hence the need for their own chamber. Otherwise, the science remains the same. The 6XX pad doesn't need to be inverted and in fact mimics the Klipsch trumpet-tweeter speaker I provided an image of. So, yet again, you are wrong. This technology does not apply to just IEMs. Also you: " Correct me if I wrong, but... There is no way to scientifically measure soundstage width, height, or depth." Gladly. With advanced microphones and other systems (my Yamaha AVR uses YPAO, Denon uses Audyssey, etc.), as you can determine the firing pattern from said woofer. This is why it is so difficult to get speakers right due to room layouts, reflections, dampening, and how the speakers fire as they all have their own unique path (which typically is in the shape of a cone.... ) As a musician, I figured you would know this with your breadth of knowledge and firm understanding of physics and acoustic engineering design.
Nov 9, 2018
chris_gj
101
Nov 9, 2018
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I do have experience with amps. I owned the original iFi Micro iDSD, which I traded-up to the Black Label. In the same price range of the FiiO Q1 mkII, the Micca Origen+ sounded hazier and presented a smaller soundstage. Using my 4XX from the FiiO's balanced-out is noticeably better-sounding than its unbalanced-out, which powers my higher-sensitivity dynamic driver headphones without issue. So what you're saying is you don't own or have experience with any dedicated/standalone amp?
Nov 9, 2018
mattris
874
Nov 9, 2018
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I'm sure the fun is wearing off. You're probably running out of topics to change to... bringing up concepts and products other than the relationship between the drivers and earpads of the 4XX... to avoid admitting that you are wrong by comparing the 4XX pads' to a horn-loaded dynamic driver, tweeter, or woofer. With the 4XX stock pads' slight outside - and inside - curvature, while also blocking the outside edges of the planar driver from a direct path to the ear, their pads cannot be compared to a horn. They cannot 'direct' the sound from the driver. They will only reflect, absorb, or diffuse the sound. "I figured you would know this with your breadth of knowledge and firm understanding of physics and acoustic engineering design." I agreed that the 6XX had trumpet pads. But "the 6XX and other similarly styled pads and headphones" physical chamber is not just the user ear and eardrum; it's the earpad and everything within it, including the user's ear, eardrum, and the remaining space around the ear. The 6XX pads also do not cover the driver in any way. So, yet again, I was not wrong... you were. "As a musician", I am well aware of the home theater receiver calibration systems. (I was just enjoying my Yamaha/SVS Ultra system last night.) But we are talking about headphones. I was wondering if their soundstage width, height, or depth can be scientifically measured. Regardless, hearing is believing. Test the XL pads yourself. Because let's be honest: personal impressions and preferences are all that really matters with sound systems. In summary, I made suggestions intending to help 4XX users. You corrected me on a few things. I corrected you on a few things. I'm sure you can agree that this back-and-forth is becoming exhausting. Truce?
Nov 9, 2018
jaydunndiddit
2862
Nov 9, 2018
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A truce is fine but you haven't corrected me on anything. You're the one that mentioned flow. I linked to that HVAC article as it provided definitions of what flow actually is. I think you may have been talking about pressure or intensity. That's why I questioned you on the flow as that's a very specific parameter. I understand you don't have facts for your opinions, and that's fine. But all you had to do was state that in your opinion, I think I can feel an increase of flow through the drivers due to a pad swap. Myself and anyone reading would have seen that and thought that sounds plausible and reasonable. Instead, you claimed the flow is indeed increased. Which turns your opinion into a fact. That's the issue at hand here and you keep proclaiming your opinions as facts. I'm trying to get you to understand the concepts at large hear and how they are in effect here: https://courses.lumenlearning.com/physics/chapter/17-3-sound-intensity-and-sound-level/. I went to college for mechanical engineering (although it is no longer my current day job). So to hear you butcher the science at hand, something that I care about, irks me to no end. So, I took your inexperience personally (as you are stubborn as hell) and reacted for the worst. For that, I apologize but not for anything else. I strongly implore you to actually read and watch The mics I mentioned from Yamaha (YPAO - https://simpleonline.blog/2017/05/23/yamaha-ypao-configuration-the-right-way/) and Denon/Marants/Onkyo (Audyssey - https://audyssey.com/solutions/) were examples. Home examples that an individual could use today (much like I do) or how the tech exist overall in the field (much like THX). This video explains that even further: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/methods-for-measuring-soundstage-and-imaging-of-headphones.2688/. This video also dives deeper into the concepts mentioned in the articles I linked to from the engineers from Shure and Sennheiser. Again, I am giving you direct examples that are well documented and you still choose to proclaim shenanigans on my end and dismiss what I have to say. But, the one thing we do agree on is that this is becoming tiring. I still hope you read, and learn something, and apply it to your 4XX which you seem to love. I've been down that path with pads, custom rings, dampening, etc. and I still ended up back with the stock pads or I switch between my Dekoni Hybrids. If you're really serious about seeing what this headphone can/can't do then I advise you to check out and apply the other mods out there for yourself. I've been down this path hence why I was sharing my experience as well like yourself. Either way. Truce. I'm sure others here are sick of our incessant bickering over this nonsense anyhow. Are we friends now? I feel like just became best friends.
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Nov 9, 2018
NotABot
267
Nov 9, 2018
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Quote from mattris: I do not have to 'offer science' since I am not trying to prove anything mathematically or factually. I made a basic 'these pads improve the soundstage' claim after testing them myself. That's it. Emphasis shifted slightly for clarity.
Nov 9, 2018
DareToBe
151
Nov 9, 2018
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Shall we stop here and call it the day? Too many notifications from this. I'm glad to hear all the different perspectives - thank you for triggering this, mattris! Sharing thoughts is good enough. Trying to change others' minds is not necessary...
Nov 9, 2018
mattris
874
Nov 9, 2018
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You can't accept a truce but then say "you haven't corrected me on anything". Your mechanical engineering schooling does not automatically make you correct with everything you say. I first mentioned "air-flow" with this statement: "In addition, their stock pads' small openings restrict the air-flow from [the] drivers, limiting their sound-stage. That's a hard fact." In this use of the term "air-flow", thought it was obvious that I meant moving air that humans perceive as sound. You then responded: "The pad opening is not restricting the airflow to the drivers. That's nonsense. The change you;re noticing is the once angled driver now being position flat in relation to your ear. The pads you also mention are thicker so the drivers are being pushed further away from your ears. That's why you're hearing these differences. That's still a hard fact." So, I said from the drivers; you said to the drivers. Did you mean to say "to"... and the run with that concept, which is very different than air "from" the drivers? If the correct terminology for my use of "air-flow" was "pressure or intensity", why did you first start using the term "flow"? You go on to say: "Why you're stuck on flow is beyond me. You have changed the angle in which sounds are entering the ear, as well as their distance from their original reflection point. Increasing the inner diameter of the pad as well as changing the height is also changing the reflection paths as they leave the driver. If anything, you have reduced the amount of flow by widening the opening. The stock, angled pads work more like a funnel with a wide mouth to assist with a smooth, even, controlled flow. Very much in the same vein as a water hose compared to a water jet. The larger opening is irrelevant if the smaller opening has a higher flow rate and greater control. At least in this scenario in which flow is being discussed. That's the physics of the situation that you either carelessly disregarded or blatantly ignored." I called you out on that ridiculous statement: "Increased covering of the driver results in "less diffusion"? Perhaps smaller pad openings would be akin to a "water jet" if the sound was emanating from a central location. But on a planar magnetic headphone where sound emanates from the entire plane, your analogy is wholly incorrect." ... but you continually refuse to admit that the small openings of the stock pads impede direct sound from the planar drivers. Let's take this case of pad-driver relationship to the extreme. With the stock 4XX (FocusA) pad as-is, lets use them on the Edition XX - the drivers of which have a much larger ear-facing area than that of the 4XX drivers. Would this still be an example of a trumpet projection (small-to-big, like the 6XX or horn-loaded speaker drivers) or funnel direction (big-to-small, like in your IEM example)? Keep in mind, these are very different sound concepts... and that you said the FocusA pads are both funnel and trumpet when used with the 4XX. The answer is, of course, no. The too-small FocusA pads (and openings) would be neither trumpet projection or funnel direction. The pads would simply be impeding a significant amount of direct sound from the planar drivers. The same concept applies with the 4XX headphones and drivers - just not as extreme a case since the drivers are not quite a large. Can you agree on this? Moving on... You just said: "... all you had to do was state that in your opinion, I think I can feel an increase of flow through the drivers due to a pad swap. Myself and anyone reading would have seen that and thought that sounds plausible and reasonable. Instead, you claimed the flow is indeed increased. Which turns your opinion into a fact. That's the issue at hand here and you keep proclaiming your opinions as facts." ... but before said: "For the last time, having a larger diameter opening doesn’t increase flow rate. It can increase overall CAPACITY but the rate at which sounds are exiting the transducer have not changed. This is why I mentioned a water hose and a water jet. Despite the water jet having the smaller opening, it flows substantially more due to its increased force to make it out of a smaller nozzle. The larger opening on the garden hose COULD achieve the same effect if more force was being applied to push it at the same rate as the water jet. You have also increased the distance and angles that sound has to travel to your ear which will increase the amount of pressure required even further to match the same rate of flow as the FocusA pads." So you contradicted yourself regarding 'increasing flow'. Based on your habit to (attempt to) correct me, I refuse to believe that adding "I think I can feel" to my statement would have excused my opinions and statements from your critiquing, elitist attitude. I will "dismiss what [you] have to say" when you conflate principles like 'funnel direction' and 'trumpet projection' (as they relate to sound) being similar concepts when the physical designs are only identical in shape. And you say that I have 'butchered the science at hand' without having presented any scientific proof regarding the 4XX drivers and its pads. This is 'shenanigans on your end'. I consider my uses of the word "fact", correct. I may be "stubborn as hell" but I accept your apology for 'reacting for the worst'. And I thank you for providing those informative links. As for my "love" of the 4XX, I find myself hot-swapping (without the attachment rings) the various models of Brainwavz XL pads based on the specific genre/mix/frequency presentation of the particular music I'm listening to. I will likely avoid other mods... and upgrade my DAC/amp before buying a superior headphone, which could be the Edition XX. Though, I will wait for reviews to see - and for others to hear - if it is worth consideration.
Nov 9, 2018
THAKSA
4
Nov 10, 2018
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Thank you for an entertaining thread. As a new guy to the headphone hobby, I found this thread funny and a good read. I do have to give props to jaydunndiddit since he actually included solid links to underlying engineering concepts and remained professional. Thanks.
Nov 10, 2018
mattris
874
Nov 10, 2018
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Welcome to the hobby! As you can see, you will encounter differing opinions... but I hope you won't let that confuse or deter you. The best advice I can give is to learn the main principles of audio (and the terminology), do your research regarding product and reviews, and buy products you think will work for you in the ways you want to use them -- not just products that are new, hyped, on sale, or 'look cool'. It goes without saying that this thread got a bit long in the tooth. Yes, jaydunndiddit did include links to underlying engineering concepts. Unfortunately, his constant 'high and mighty' approach got tiring, as he attempting to discredit my advice because I 'lacked experience' with high-end gear. He also started claiming that he was right about everything when he clearly contradicted himself... and I called him out on it. He also called me "irredeemable", posted demeaning memes, and falsely accused me of giving "incredibly bad advice". In my opinion, that behavior is far from professional. All the best to you in your audio adventure!
Nov 10, 2018
thatguyinvic
74
Nov 11, 2018
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Take everything you read on the internet with a grain of salt, people have different music preferences and gear setups which affect the sound; also, please come to a Head-fi or any other more established forum where users have real world experience with multiple products. Other peoples opinions are useful when spending your money but some people will talk for weeks out of the seat of their pants without really knowing what they are saying. Just start the hobby with music quality as first priority and intelligent discussion with people who aren't delusional as a respectably distant second.
Nov 11, 2018
mattris
874
Nov 11, 2018
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As thatguyinvic said, taking advice from users that have used specific products is wise. Just as in this thread, where I advised 4XX owners to exchange the headphones' stock pads with Brainwavz XL pads. Doing so allows more direct sound to reach the users ears, which noticeably improves the sound heard. And in my personal experience, comfort was improved, as well. Be wary of people that accuse others of being "delusional" when they themselves have not experienced the products - or combination of products - in question.
Nov 11, 2018
lok777
17
Jan 21, 2020
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I think my edition XX sounds better than my aivas. It is kind of weird that you are giving buying advice and listening comparisons on two things you not only do not own, but have not even heard. This post is total worthlessness from someone who has not even used the things he is giving "advice" about.............. It is kind of funny hearing all the glowing reviews about the sendy aivas by people who have heard........... zeos review but not the headphones themselves lol.
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Jan 21, 2020
mattris
874
Jan 21, 2020
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In my original post, I was "giving buying advice and listening comparisons" on things that I do own: The HIFIMAN HE-4XX, Brainwavz XL Earpads, and FiiO Q1 mkII. I have since performed additional pad swaps and listened to the headphones with more-powerful amplifiers... in both instances, with impressive results. I have no doubt that the Edition XX sounds great. I was simply advising 4XX owners to try these mods - or upgrade their amp - before purchasing the XX. If you have not heard the 4XX with these mods, it's really your post that is "total worthlessness".
Jan 21, 2020