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Quick review: These cans are a disappointment. Just spent an hour comparing these against the much cheaper Superlux HD-668B (~ $40), and the 668B is better in ever way except build quality.
Switching from the 668B to the HE-350 is painful. Sound seems muffled. Both are sparkly at the high end, but HE-350 is definitely more hissy. Mids feel distorted, and low bass pretty much disappears. Switch from HE-350 to 668B, and there's a marked increase in _clarity_. Separation between instruments seems to be better and the bass is hands-down better. The 668B is just way more _fun_ to listen to.
The only thing HE-350 has going for it is better materials. It costs 2.5x as much so that's not surprising.
1. You need to give them time to burn in.
2. the simple mod makes them twice as better imo.
if you replace the pads with something like HM5's it's gonna improve the headphone even more.
I have the 668B's, they are great for the price, but you can't really compare them to the HE350.
Are you using a DAC or AMP?
I used my PC, with its ASUS Xonar Essence STX. I also tried it with my humble Nexus 5.
There was no obvious difference in performance between the STX and the phone - which makes sense given the low impedance rating.
No, it is not.
Don't know how many headphone you've had, but in my experience with many there is a
difference indeed, in some it's more obvious than others.
BTW- when you buy headphones that's also mentioned on the brochure, you don't really thinks that the manufacturer is making this up right? there are also measurements that confirms this things.
'Some' manufacturers will not say, outright, that burn-in does not exist, because its an effective sales tactic. A good question to ask yourself is why any manufacturer would release a headphone in any state that is already not the best it could perform at? If burn-in were scientific fact, then all headphones, especially those from large brands would be bragging about how they were 'pre-burned-in' at the factory. Revealingly, none are.
There are plenty of articles out there that use 'data', instead of personal (subjective) experience, to measure the effect of burn in. A good example:
By a large margin, these find that there is no change that is large enough to be evident to human hearing. The article's conclusion is succinct: "The miracle is in your head ... not in the headphones."
Over the years I have owned and extensively used an Audiotechnica ATH-AD700 (excellent sound all around, except for bass reproduction), and a Denon D2000 (closed back, slightly boomy, but supremely fun sound signature). Both, unfortunately, died after years of service.
There is slight difference, the highs come down ever so slightly after burn-in but it is still there. So you're not using a DAC or an amplifier but what about your source file? Are you listening to MP3? FLAC? WMA? WAV? Youtube videos? Spotify? Because I own HD668B and HD681 EVO along with HE-350 (and many more headphones). You say they sound worse, have you tried it with an AMP+DAC? Some others have said they sound better with AMP+DAC than without one but everything sounds better with AMP+DAC. I am using Schiit Modi Uber + O2 Objective and they sound way better than the HD668B and HD681 EVO. The soundstage, details, and bass are way better in every way. The only problematic area for the HE-350 are the ear piercing highs which can be easily heard on Chris Cornell's Audioslave track "Like A Stone."
I have tested with my on-board soundcard using Creative Sound Core3D and the stock TI Burr Brown OPA2134 and they still sound better than the HD668B. My motherboard is a Gigabyte Z170X Gaming 7 with upgradeable OPAMPs. My headphones are modified using tissue paper and foam from my old HD681 EVO inserted into the headphones to get rid of the ear piercing highs and I have done the bass mod by removing the stickers. I don't hear any muffled music as you described even with foam and tissue paper inserted into my cups. I also have Brainwavz Angled Velour pads installed. I have not had time to do the silicon insert mods yet or take a look at the passive filter mod as seen here http://imgur.com/a/JrtF3
I just don't agree with your analysis after testing on a stock on-board soundcard. The HE-350 is much better than the HD668B and HD681 EVO. I'll also have to add that I am listening to this in Windows with the volume at 10. It will blow out my ears if I go past 15.
Feel free to disagree with my assessment, but please do not dismiss it. This is my 'personal' review, after all, and perception of sound is a very subjective thing. :-)
Also, I am technically using a DAC and an amplifier since 'all' devices that use digital media, and can drive a headphone require these two components - one to convert the digital data to an analog signal, and another to amplify it so that it can power a headphone's large drivers.
If you're implying that I used a low quality, or inferior source, then you are mistaken. The Xonar Essence STX is equipped with great quality components, designed to deliver a true-to-source signal. Here's a good review of the sound card:
My source files are generally 320 Kbps MP3 files - my understanding is that this is a higher data rate that is required for stereo sound. It is important to note that this is not relevant since I'm comparing two headphones with the same files - and not comparing different file formats (which I think would be a silly thing to do in this day and age).
320 Kbps MP3 is not a lossless source, try FLAC and you can sample DSD free. If you're still having problems with muffled audio then it's probably time to RMA and return the HE-350 for a replacement or a full refund. The majority of us are using our HE-350 with mods and different ear pads along with stand-alone dedicated DAC+AMP or portable AIO DAC+AMP solutions. The stock pads are terrible and do nothing to help the problem with the highs. In their stock form the HE-350 will not sound as good as a pair of modded HE-350s. Try the bass mod, try different ear pads, try the silicon material or tissue paper/cotton material mod to reduce the highs. The most common complaint everyone has is the highs are ear piercing.
Bass is definitely not better on the HD668B, it fails my ginormous bass track list. It could be that you are just so use to the sound signature of the HD668B that you want to perceive that if it doesn't sound like that signature then it's bad. Clarity, bass, treble, and soundstage are all superior on the HE-350 compared to the HD668B. If you only own one pair of headphones and use it as your daily driver for a long time then that will be the signature you are used to hearing. Worse comes to worse you'll have to RMA it if you truly believe it's defective.
I'm not gonna argue on something that I've notice myself many times, if it was a theoretically assumption then okay, you saying this and I'm saying that, but it's not, i felt it clearly in some cases. and my ears are not super sensitive at all
BTW I've recently bought an HE-560 and in the brochure it is written that they need about 150 hours of playing/"burning" time to sound their best.
Out of the box, I'm very disappointed.
Highs are hissy.
Words that begin with T or S are brutal.
For Sale is anyone wants them.
you mean for SsSsSale? ;)
Not getting a hiss out of mine, though i'm driving mine from my 5s. I will try mine from mine from my stx later. What gain and channel settings are you using?
By hiss, I do not mean a background hiss. I used 'hissy' as an adjective to describe the piercing highs.
The card is set to run at defaults. Gain set to handle < 64Ohm devices, and channels set to 2 (tried with and without DH).
Give them a few hours to calm down, and do the mod. It helps. Changing the pads to somthing thicker eliminates the problem on the spot. If you real sensitive to highs then you shouldn't have bought them in the first place.