I am beyond amazed when I read "reviews" such as these. I am the most critical of audiophiles, I have heard virtually all of THE most highly regarded phones out there, I have worked in either High-End audio design or retail for 40 years now. I will admit that, to me, accuracy of sound is the be-all & end-all of ultimate audio performance. I just am not satisfied, either in the short-term or long-term, with coloured, gimmicky and distorted sound. Maybe you are. This is not meant as an insult, just an observation of individual tastes such as they are. Pursuing quality audio without an end-goal results in plenty of wasted money & misery on purchasing mistakes. Ideally, we learn from that, & do better next time.
These are my 5th pair of electrostatic phones, & my second Koss'. These edge out my next-best headphones, Stax SRX-III's, by having vastly better bass extension with tonal neutrality to match. Dead?? Lifeless?? Rolled off highs & lows? A crummy pair of Romanian 3rd-World dynamic cans, whose sole virtue is cosmetic appearance due to spiffy wooden cups, bests these headphones soundly????
On what planet?
That Chord DAC of yours gets good reviews, hopefully it deserves them. Based on your comments, unless you are using your 95X's incorrectly, it would appear it doesn't. What on Gob's green earth are playing through it? 48kb/s Internet Radio? 96kb/s MP3's?
These are gorgeously accurate phones. MUSICALLY accurate as well as tonally accurate. It has ONE ONE-HUNDREDTH the measured distortion of ANY dynamic headphone. ESPECIALLY the lowly Meze 99!
If the problem isn't that these headphones are too good for your defective hearing, one that is conditioned to a lifetime of listening to veiled, distorted, tonally coloured rubbish, then perhaps the REAL problem is that you aren't using them properly.
Don't feel bad about that. Neither Drop nor Koss give users any proper instructions on how to get the best out of these STATE OF THE ART cans that leave absolutely NOTHING on the table when used correctly with appropriate ancillaries (preferably analog ones, ALL digital is varying amounts of AUDIO DEATH).
So. First of all:
- Do you leave the energizer powered up, with the headphones plugged into it, AT ALL TIMES? The lack of bass & treble sounds like you don't. If you don't charge the phones up for a bare minimum of 6 hours, you actually have never heard them! And they sound even better after 24hrs. of charging.
Leave them charging at all times!
- Other Neanderthals bitch about a lack of bass. Funny, I hear nothing but the cleanest, purest, most tonally & timbrally accurate you can get. FROM ANY HEADPHONE, AT ANY PRICE.
- Headphone bass is DIFFERENT from loudspeaker or live bass. Live bass moves copious amounts of air that impact your entire body physically. Headphones can't do this! They pipe the bass directly into your ear canals, perhaps vibrating your noggin whilst they're doing it. But the rest of your body is excluded from the bass experience...SO DEAL WITH IT!
It seems that folks who complain about the lack of bass with these phones just don't know what REAL bass direct-injected into one's ears is supposed to sound like. And there are plenty of Meze 99's & their ilk that happily hype their bass responses to compensate. And if you get used to hyped-up, distorted dynamic headphone bass, I can understand that one's first reactions are a sense of loss & sonic "withdrawal". Pretty similar to drug withdrawal, only it's all in your head!
If you have any ears for GOOD sound (& I'll charitably accept GREAT sound...), you should quickly get over the loss of overblown thump, thud, mud & bloat...& become addicted to pitch-perfect, tonally perfect, ultra-detailed bass instead. Never mind mids & highs that are every bit as good as that amazing bass. BTW, my tastes include a heavy dose of EDM & Techno-Ambient. No Liona Boyd playing her hammer dulcimer or 3rd century plain-chant for this boy!
So if I'm happy with unequalised bass from these phones...whose complaining about it? Gamers????
- The dynamics of this phone is utterly state-of-the-art. It matches or beats the best I've heard. Abyss 1266's, HiFiMan HE-1000's, Stax Lambda & Sigma Pros, SR-007's & SR-009's. The less said about Audeze, Audio-Drecknicrap, Swineheiser, PAYKG, etc., the better!
HOWEVER. If you're a volume freak,& you imply that you aren't based on the music you say you listen to, then neither these phones nor any significantly more expensive (but no better!) will make you happy.
Electrostatics only play so loud. If you like volume levels above 100db peak, then you need to go to dynamics. And an audiologist, since prolonged exposure to SPL's above 95db will make you deaf!
When electrostats reach their limit, they arc the diaphragm & the 600V polarising voltage burns a nice hole in it. Game over! To prevent this, both Koss & Stax design their amplifiers to "wimp out" before it gets that loud.
As you approach the volume limit, you WILL hear an increasing amount of volume compression & some "sponginess" developing in the bass.
If you can't enjoy the sound of these phones at 85-90db, then yes; you should go bang your head somewhere else!