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OCBob
511
Sep 16, 2018
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I own a pair of the ESP-950 but for the sake of others considering joining this drop I wanted to ask a question: How long is the cable length going to be on these? Did I not see the info on the overview page? I ask because with my pair the attached section of the cable is only about 4.5 feet long, and even at a desk that's a bit on the short side. Luckily, the classics come with a 6 foot extension cable. but I don't see that mentioned here either. To bad they aren't including the battery pack. I can run for about 3 hours on it. I'm also assuming that the ear cups will still detach from the headband.
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I really like my pair. Best transients I have ever heard in a headphone. Not the most versatile headphone and very unforgiving, but with classical, jazz, some country, singer/songwriter/newgrass/classic rock type music it's great. They will reveal flaws in a recording with a vengeance, but it will also do justice to quality recordings. That transient response brings a great level of realism to the music. I wish my HD800S' were this fast.
Sep 16, 2018
patterson.dave
1
Sep 17, 2018
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From the listing specs; Cable: Straight, dual entry, 4 ft (1.2 m) with 6 ft (1.8 m) extension
Sep 17, 2018
gobin
Sep 18, 2018
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Hey, I notice you got a pair of HD600 there. Would you mind giving a quick comparison between the HD600 vs Koss 950, preferably with signal run straight out of laptop or phone (no additional DAC/AMP like the Vahalla 2 there). I'm considering getting this as my first electronic ear speakers, I don't like the Stax designs (looks quite uncomfortable) and don't have any DAC/AMP at the moment. Thanks
Sep 18, 2018
OCBob
511
Sep 18, 2018
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Real quick since it's late (I can add more details later if you'd like). When powered by a phone or laptop the HD600 won't come close to it's full potential. While the 950's sound better out of the DAC and pre-amp in my Jotunheim (on the other side of my desk...not pictured) they still sound fantastic when fed from my phone (LG-G6). The 950's have a more forward midrange, but the highs and lows are similar to the HD600's. The HD600's are a better all-arounder unless you want powerful bass (both have quality bass, just not super deep or powerful). I can listen to the HD600's for hours without fatigue, but the 950's can sometimes tire me out. When it comes to speed (transients) the 950's are the best I've ever heard. The speed really adds to the realism of the 950's sound and the dynamics of the 950's are amazing as well. I don't know how much the 95X velour pads will change the sound signature when compared to the 950's, and I'll be interested in hearing from someone who can compare the 950's to the 95X's. The HD600's are still one of my all-time favorite headphones and I listen to them regularly (I have all the HD600 series headphones in my collection and the 600's are still my favorite). Aside from improving your signal path (DAC, lossless files, overcoming the limitations of the electronics in your laptop or phone), your're going to get much closer to the full potential of the 95X's than you will with the HD600's when played from a laptop or phone. That's just my $.02, and I'm sure others may agree/disagree with me.
Sep 18, 2018
OCBob
511
Sep 18, 2018
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I did some additional testing with a different laptop ( I was using my Chromebook Pixel LS last night). The HD600's sounded quite good when powered by my Asus Ultrabook (there was obviously more power there than in the Pixel). Both laptops were definitely better than my phone, and the Asus sounded a bit better than the Pixel (Pixel and Asus sound the same when feeding my DAC). I guess that with the HD600's it's really going to come down to the quality of the on-board audio. With the 950's connected to the laptops or my phone (3.5mm male TRS cable) I noticed that when there was no signal present there was some random noise coming through the headphones, but when I started playing music I did not notice the noise interfering with the music; not even when listening to quiet passages. I have noticed this effect when using other inline amps (a Fiio A3, Schiit Fulla 2, and a CMOY amp...see pics) that are connected to a headphone jack of my phone or one of my laptops and there again it doesn't seem to interfere with the music at all. If you go with the HD600's and don't want to spend a ton on an amp I highly recommend the CMOY amp. I got mine on Amazon for $35 and I swapped out the op-amp for a better one ($5). It doesn't work with low impedance headphones but it works great with the HD600's (sounds great, power up the a$$, and it's portable). I also forgot to address "openness" last night. The HD600's aren't known for having a large sound-stage, though the right DAC and amp can improve that. I would say that the HD600 and the ESP-950 have pretty much the same level of openness.
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I also wanted to add that with the HD600's you will have a more portable system (even if you add a portable amp). Not that you'll go jogging in your full-size headphones, but even if you want to sit out on the porch or in the back-yard. If you need any additional info or want me to do a specific test just let me know.
Sep 18, 2018
gobin
Sep 20, 2018
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I was expecting a 2-3 sentences comparison but you surprise me sir, in a pleasant way. I really appreciate it.
I do wholeheartedly agree with you that using the HD600 with out a DAC/AMP wouldn't do it justice. I had the FX-DAC X6, and if I remember correctly, I definitely notice that the DAC/AMP helps tighten the bass of the HD600 in comparison with my laptop audio board.
Your description of the HD600 is very much in line with my own; so based on what you shared, I might just need to save up and try some fancy amp like the Bottlehead Crack, since I enjoyed the lack of fatigue form long listening sessions of the HD600.
Again, thank you for the helpful write up.
Sep 20, 2018
Horseknight
163
Sep 21, 2018
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Thank you for the comparison and detailed information. This is so helpful. I really appreciate it.
Sep 21, 2018
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