Cans.....Whats on your head?

Started by Julio Di Benedetto, February 12, 2011, 08:15:16 PM

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I always try to try a pair of phones on if I can. Having a large head / earlugs, not everything is a good fit for me.  Seeing as we are having a 'list-fest' here, as well as the Shure 535s (IEMs), I also have:

Shure SRH840 - really rather good all rounders

SoundMagic HP150 - not the most neutral, but very comfy

Lastly, I've bought a pair of Bose QC25s, just to try out really - not great sounding, but the noise cancellation is pretty good

APK, so far my hound has decided to leave my headphones untouched - cushions, towels, pillows etc. are all fair game though :)

Julio Di Benedetto

Came across these Sennheiser HD700....did not know they about half the cost of its big brother the HD800 puts these cans and type of sonic quality within reach of many more people.

Review from below.

The Sennheiser HD700 is an audiophile dynamic headphone with acoustic performance and price perfectly perched between the HD800 and HD650 model. Although not quite as expansively detailed, listeners familiar with the flagship HD800 can expect richer bass response and a fuller low-end presentation in the HD700 with very solid bedrock textures. It's definitely a less stringent sound and one which may appeal to listeners who enjoy the HD650's smooth tone but seek better midrange focus and upper treble extension. Detachable HD700 cable employs mono 'mini' 3.5mm Y-plugs into each earcup. Sorry, Sennheiser HD700 can only ship within USA due to manufacturer restrictions.

What We Think:
HeadRoom had an early opportunity to spend ear time with the Sennheiser HD700 headphones at CES in Vegas back in January 2012 and later when one of our favorite Senn big-wigs dropped by our Montana shop with them secretly in tow for our store. After enjoying extended quality listening time, our impression is the Sennheiser R&D team may have struck yet again with one of the most musically dynamic and lively headphones we've heard from their high-end audiophile arsenal. Delivering an audibly more textural, rollicking low-bass presence versus its big brother, the claimed 'King Of Headphones' HD800, the somewhat similarly-sized HD700 offers welcome 'corrections' for those listeners turned off by the relentless analytical precision of the HD800's lightning transient accuracy. Significantly easier to power (150 Ohms vs. the HD800 rating @ 300 Ohms) and sporting a new ventilated magnet system said to improve signal response time and 'airy' timbral transparency, the HD700 indeed sound like a mid-way approximation between the classically smooth, warm-toned Sennheiser HD650 approach and the highly critical, uber-revealing resolution delivered by the reference HD800 presentation. We hear it as almost a 'light-years better' improvement on the heavily lauded [now-discontinued] HD595 presentation with the same lively sense of acoustic immediacy. So expect a slightly more forgiving overall sound but without completely trading away the engaging presence of its pricier brethren. We don't think the HD700 has the same soundstage openness or massive dynamics but those who may have thought the HD800 perhaps too lean in bottom-end bass punch will be appreciative of the HD700's effortless vigor into the lower bass and low-midrange frequencies.

The Sennheiser HD700 are full-size, open-back circumaural ('around the ear') headphones with zero isolation or noise-blocking ability, so they're not well-geared for mobile or portable use in situations where others will hear your cans 'leaking out' your beauteous music to the world. The ergonomic fit proved equally as comfortable for all our testers as the excellent HD800 design, if perhaps even a bit lighter-feeling on the head. The HD700 headphone cord is a unique, owner-detachable 'Y-cord' design featuring monophonic male mini [3.5mm] plugs into each left / right earcup. Free premium 2-year Sennheiser manufacturer's warranty with your HeadRoom authorized dealer purchase receipt!/i]
"Life is one big road, with lots of signs, so when you ride to the Roots, do not complicate your mind, ... "  Bob Marley

Julio Di Benedetto

Quote from: stargazer on June 15, 2017, 01:46:31 AM
Julio, is your headphone amp already fixed? This would be great.
For your headphones I am sorry, no way to effort this pair twice. Wish you luck!

Btw: I must check my audio interface today, maybe an output is not function.
I do not hope so but I have 3 years guarantee, so it would not be a problem.

Hi Jana......Good News, The SPL Phonitor Amp is fixed and arrives back to me today.  No Charge!  They said they would be gentle as possible regard the cost to fix.  I was not expecting for free after the warranty expired 5 months ago.

I feel this has something to do with the high quality of production and care that goes in to German manufacturing. Theres a certain pride that when something goes wrong whether it be the customers fault or not.  With in reason. It is not acceptable and is fixed at the manufacturers expense.  That and maybe the fact that SPL's amp killed my headphones. 

I have a Leica M9 digital camera the I broke 3 times from dropping it and other stupid events and one time the sensor malfunctioned.  I bought it used but through the Leica store here in Miami, Florida, with no warranty.  Each time it was fixed for free and the sensor was fixed "good will" was on the recipe with no charge.

Both German high end electronics manufacturers.....Coincidence.....I think not.

Hope you Interface is OK.

"Life is one big road, with lots of signs, so when you ride to the Roots, do not complicate your mind, ... "  Bob Marley

Julio Di Benedetto


New set of cans.....Audio Technica ATH-M70x.

I have been using Sennheiser HD 800's as has be told here but after daily long term use over the last several years the headphones are starting to show signs of age.  The cable has been replaced and now the ear cushions are in need.  No real reason to get new cans except that the HD 800 are not good when looking down try to play bass...where it not for my ears they would slide right off.  They are not designed for studio use unless you keep your head some what vertical.

Enter the ATH-M70x.....have to say Im very impressed.  They are aimed at the studio market to be use as reference cans, tracking and mixing with a flat neutral response.  Not technically savvy to say if thats the case but what I can say is that these headphones really show up poorly produced over compressed and limited recordings and on the other side, well made recordings just shine.  The ATH-M70x seem slightly bright but this is a good thing for me who tends to favor overly bright production techniques  ;)  They may smooth out in time as they burn in some.

Im not going to try to compare the Audio Technica's to the Sennheiser HD 800 other than to say while Im listening to the ATH-M70x Im in no way reminded that Im not listening to the Sennheiser's. If one were to AB them.....thats a different story but the point is is that they sound very good, are extremely comfortable, do the job they are intended for and stay on my head.

Im not retiring the HD 800's just going to use them for critical final mixes and for pleasure listening.....not tracking and youtube videos.
"Life is one big road, with lots of signs, so when you ride to the Roots, do not complicate your mind, ... "  Bob Marley


Nice gear, Jana.

Do the model starships add extra 'galactic' vibes ? :)


still using my grado's - recently had the ear cushions replaced in a local Hi-Fi shop and listened to them on an £8,000 DAC - stunning....


...and following my birthday and an unexpected level of funds from selling things I now listen on these

Beyerdynamic T5 V3....
   I got a really good deal from local hi-fi shop - over £200 off the usual price. They catch as much detail as my old Grado's but are much more comfortable and easier to listen on.

I was given a 'newer' samsung phone for my birthday which I have discovered can play hi-res audio files and so also purchased this:

Audioquest dragonfly dac which plugs into the phone charging slot, and then the headphones plug into the dac.
    Which can also be plugged into a usb port on a computer and play hi-res files into my hi-fi amp....all of which is rather exciting and much simpler than streaming.

The phone (Samsung A50) also has a section called 'adapt sound' where you can plug your headphones in and then complete a hearing test - and it will set a specific EQ to flatten the frequency responses adjusting for any frequency curves for the headphones and your own hearing.

Julio Di Benedetto

Nice Cans Seren.....Im very curious about the Audioquest Dragonfly DAC.  I have been plugging directly into my laptop mini jack and the sound is decent or my expectations are just not that high so I would be curious to hear the improvements.  As far as my phone goes I connect via bluetooth in the car and it sounds pretty bad so going from the Dragonfly into the aux input in the car should be much better.

After my SPL Phonitor 2 headphone amp broke for the third time two years ago I got it repaired and sold it which left my Sennheiser HD 800 without a dedicated amp.  The headphone outputs on my mixer and daw interface were decent but not up to the task of driving cans like the HD800's.  At the time sinking heavy money into another headphone amp was not possible so I also sold the HD800 headphones as well.

Im using these Shure SRH 1540 headphones now.....sound very good and very comfortable. I still have the Grado's and the Audio-Technica.

"Life is one big road, with lots of signs, so when you ride to the Roots, do not complicate your mind, ... "  Bob Marley


Hi Julio, I had been looking for a way to play the ripped files on my computer into my amplifier - but did not want to get into streaming and/or a third box if possible. When I was shown the dragonfly it was exactly what I wanted.

They come in 3 models - 1 for small headphones such as ear buds, 2nd for bigger headphones and 3rd for hifi headphones and amplifiers.
   The sound quality is, I think, very good - but as everything it is in the ears of the listener....

I checked the audio settings on my computer and they can handle high-res audio, the only thing it can't play is DSF/DSD. So far I am really enjoying listening with it. I will also be looking at buying some high-res audio files, I downloaded a free sample track and with the dragonfly it is very good indeed.

The hi-fi shop loaned me another Audioquest product - 'Jitterbug' - which plugs into the computer and then the dragonfly. I found this a more subtle difference, but I felt I could hear an improvement. It is meant to clear noise and interference on the usb port - but internet forums describe this as snake oil, so likely to go back to the shop.

Some dealers do loan equipment for you to test, might be worth checking out.


I've been wanting to get a dedicated hi-fi amp for a while and recently realised that the beyerdynamic A20 is being discontinued. It's had very good reviews and I found the last one in Audio-T on ex-demo. Currently second hand ones on Ebay are costing more.....
I have it on loan to try out and so far it is very very good.

and it sits very nicely on my rack powering the Beyer T5 cans.


Quote from: Julio Di Benedetto on February 12, 2011, 08:15:16 PM
Ive been using Grado Headphones these last few years.  Started with the Grado Sr125.  A recommendation by mastering engineers for QC & checking mixes.  The detail that comes out of these is quiet amazing.  Grado are notoriously uncomfortable but most put up with it because of the sound they reproduce.

I've been using these for a few years now. I got a pair for free from the music library at work who were going to throw them away because the foam ear pieces were missing. I bought some foam for them on amazon and they work fine now. But  99% of the time I sill you my monitors, I don't use headphones very often, unless I am recording something acoustically in my studio, or working late at night.
Take care.

- Loren Nerell