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View Full Discussion I debated ordering since they were first announced. I especially did not want to wait 6-8 months to get them, but the hype train was in full swing. Among the early things I read was that these use the same drivers as the HD 660s, which are a $500 set of headphones. At $149 these should be a no brainer, a steal, I thought. I had a pair of 6XX, but these would be way easier to drive according to the specs. My daily headphones for most music listening and gaming is the AKG K712 Pro, and sometimes I switch to the 6XX, which I thought would replace the K712's when I got them, but I still preferred the 712's for some reason. To me they had better bass, a better sound stage, and just had a truer sound, not that the 6XX's were bad at all, they were awesome, but to my ears, I liked the K712's better. For serious listening I have the LCD XC, which are in another league, but I cannot for the life of me wear them for more than an hour or so, as they weigh a ton, and hurt my neck and the top of my head for some reason. I don't do much listening on the go, but thought I might get these 58X's for that purpose, even though they are open back headphones. As of now I have some Senheiser HD 4.30 closed back, which to me are amazing for $75, and very easy to drive. Also I sometimes use Koss Porta Pro's, which I've been using since the 80's, and are one of the best values in my opinion. Then I have about 6 more pair of headphones I like, but barely listen to anymore.
I ordered these to see what all the massive hype was about. It seems like everyone was gushing about how amazing these were, and how good of a deal they were. I was intrigued, and placed my order. Would these be good enough to replace my K712, or 6XX? I had read some reviews were people were liking these more than the 6XX so I figured I would give them a try, and if I did not like them, I would give them to a friend of mine, who was just starting to get into the hobby. I had let him listen to the LCD's and he was amazed, and hooked. I gave him my old HD 598SE's to start with, as they are very decent beginner headphone. Surely these would be an upgrade to those, and he would enjoy these more, right? They arrived about 7 hours ago, so I gave them a try. I loaded up foobar and added some tracks I was familiar with, all of them being FLAC, and most were Ponomusic 24/192 files that I downloaded from What.cd when they were up. This is the impressions I got from the music I listened to, and it is just my opinion. Everyone has different tastes in music, and in the way they hear music. I used no EQ or plug-in’s. Just the lossless files, very high quality files at that. I am just going to compare these to how they sound with the K712’s, as they are my main headphones.
• The Doors – Riders on the Storm (HD Tracks 96/24): Not too bad at all. So far I am noticing that the soundstage and separation is not quite as good. The vocals are OK, you can hear the reverb in them, but they are to forward, and do not sound like they are outside your head. The instruments sound as if they are close together, but I can still hear where they are placed. Pretty decent.
• Allman Brothers Band – Blue Sky (Ponomusic 24/192): Pretty decent. I can hear all the different instruments, and can differentiate the 2 separate drummers. The dual leads sound awesome, only negative is that everything sounds to close together. I’m used to hearing this differently, like more wide open, and I guess airier. It’s like there is not enough breathing room, but I still am enjoying the sound. Nothing is harsh or sibilant so far.
• The Doors – LA Woman (HD Tracks 96/24): This one is not so bad either. The syncopated bass run at the beginning it doesn’t sound as tight as usual, like not fast enough I guess I’m thinking. Again separation of instruments or soundstage is not as good, as it has been on every other song so far. I guess that’s just how these headphones are, which is just preference ultimately, I guess. I prefer the openness of the K712 more, but this isn’t bad either.
• Yes – Roundabout (MFSL) FLAC: Wow, not starting off to good. The first crescendo 10 seconds into the song, that repeats itself a few times, not to great. It didn’t resonate or ring out like usual. The main riff, which might as well just be bass guitar does not sound right, like not fast enough. The chorus, the “In and around the lake” part. In the 712’s I can differentiate all the different tracks of vocals, on these I can barely tell, it’s like they’re all mashed up. Then the bridge afterwards sounds so muddled, it’s almost unlistenable, imo. I mean I know it’s a LOT of heavy, fast bass guitar, but it just sounds like a blob. The acoustic interlude after that with keyboards behind it sounds great though. So far all acoustic stuff sounds great in these.
• Radiohead – Fake Plastic Trees (HD Tracks 96/24) An all mostly acoustic song that slowly builds, sounds awesome, everything is clear. The swirling keyboards, acoustic guitar, simple drums, sounds great…….until the 2:37 mark, then it loses it and becomes a mess until around 3:26 when the song calms down again, then it’s fine again. I am starting to see a pattern here, but still like these headphones.
• Devo – Blockhead (Flac 24/96) This song is extremely tight, and precise, the timing is perfect. This is the best track for the 58X so far, handles it perfectly. 3 minutes of simple genius, and perfect timing. Every instrument sounded great, and soundstage doesn’t really matter on this tune.
I listened to many more tracks, from Beastie Boys, to Frank Zappa. I came to the same conclusion. I guess these are worth the price, but they won’t overthrow my K712’s as my main headphone. I guess I will give them to my buddy as they will serve him fine, and maybe get him more into the hobby. As far as build quality, these were very disappointing. They felt incredibly cheap, compared to my HD 598’s, but the cabling was at least better. They were harder to adjust as well, and just seemed like they cut corners here to make them available at this price.
I boxed these up and went outside to smoke a cigarette, while waiting for my friend to come get these. I grabbed my Koss Porta Pros, that I got from Massdrop. I could not believe how good they sounded after just listening to the 58x’s for the last couple of days. WAY easier to drive too. Soundstage was amazing compared to the 58x. I thought one of the selling points was that the Jubilee’s were easy to drive? When listening to mine thru my phone, I could barely get the volume to an enjoyable level. It’s like there was not enough power to drive them. The porta pro’s easily got there. Last 2 days I have been using my SMSL V2 DAC, with a Schitt Vali2, mostly. Sometimes I’d throw the Asgard 2 in the mix (I use those mostly with the LCD’s), but somehow preferred the Vali2. Maybe it was the tube effect, but to me sounded better. I would recommend these to anyone new to the hobby, or maybe someone thinking about getting Beats, or something like that. If you already have the 6XX, you don’t need these, as the 6XX are better, imo. Maybe these are a little better with bass, but not THAT much. I would say they are a little better than the 598se, but not by much. All in all, a very good beginner headphone, or upgrade to the “mid-fi” market.
How long did your 58x break in for??? Bc that makes the whole difference...
sounds like your impressions are "right out of the box "
I got them Friday, and used Chesky , Equipment and Cable Burn,in Signal.flac , to burn them in overnight. I listened to them for about 7 hours before I went to sleep, let them burn in for about 15 hours, listened again, then let them burn in all of Saturday night, another 15 hours or so. I noticed a bit of difference, because at first I was like these are awful...I always burn in my equipment for at least a couple nights, with my 4xx and LCD XC being planars they took a LOT longer. I'll try and get them back this weekend coming up after my friend listens all week and see if there is any difference.
Me personally when I just got my 58x they sounded like fart, but after a week or 2 maybe a little more they sounded much better, more clear and better instrument separation etc
I look forward to hearing them in a few weeks after he has listened to them well. I'll let you guys know how much better they are, if at all. I'm sure they will be. I definitely don't hate them!
Ok, can't wait to hear your thoughts!!
If you think about it, the fact that there are so many comments that are saying that these sound more "fun" than the 6xx just tells you how they really are...
Yes, me too. he is bringing them this weekend actually. I heard there is a mod you can do to these or something where you take something out, probably something covering the drivers I would assume. I'll have to google it and see what people are saying.
Yes yes,the foam behind the grills, if you take them out the soundstage widens and things sound clearer, less muddy, more separation etc.
Btw there's also different mods that you can do to make it sound different... better
wow, soundstage gets bigger. THAT was my main gripe with these. Everything sounded to close together like boxed in or something. definitely gonna see is he wants to do that. They are his now, and his choice, but hopefully he will want to try.
Wow, nice to hear!!
Did you ask him regarding the sound if he likes it or not?? Have they broken in more??
He LOVES them, and he's bringing them over this week to let me have them for a cpl days, and I'm loaning him my LCD XC's and Asgard 2 to try out for a few days. I'll report back when I'm done. Oh, and he's letting me do the mod, so that's cool.