Jump to content
IGNORED

hi-fi in your head


status quo  

35 members have voted

You do not have permission to vote in this poll, or see the poll results. Please sign in or register to vote in this poll.

Recommended Posts

a year ago, stepped into a head-fi shop, looking for a bluetooth headphone for gym use. bought a plantronics backbeat fit. strictly mid-fi, but comfy + good enough to pump blood with some EDM.

that was the beginning.

made the ‘mistake’ of listening to music via usb audio player (UAP) > android smart phone > burson conductor > sennheiser hd800. now own 3 iems (in-ear monitors a.k.a. earphones) + 2 headphones + 2 DACs to listen to music via iphone, ipad, macbook pro, imac + digital audio player (DAP).

over 12 months, head-fi spend is roughly equal to hi-fi spend. same story in terms of listening time. primarily use head-fi gear on-the-move or when privacy (see 9) is paramount.

still not sure how one slipped/slid into head-fi… so smoothly and sinfully. perhaps:

 

  1. sounds fantastic. yes, great hi-fi still body-slams head-fi in terms of sub-bass physicality + 3D sound-staging. but have listened to some headgear systems that are simply amazing (no, not even the abyss/stax/orpheus class, quite sure don’t want to go there just yet).

  2. gear is (relatively) cheaper, more accessible. if one already has a suitable source, investing $2000 (or less) easily gets you a whiff of the good stuff.

  3. less buying hassles 1 = bring own stuff to shop / plug in / audition / pay like a duke / walk-out listening + smiling.

  4. less buying hassles 2 = shipping head gear is faster/cheaper than shipping, let’s say, a mcintosh amp and/or atc active speakers. less chance of damage on arrival (DOA) as well.

  5. ability to listen to music in hi-fi at any time = ak240 DAP in pocket playing Mozart at a Parisian cafe at dusk > jh audio rox = wow.

  6. portability + listening anywhere = cafe, airplane, poolside, foreign lands = take it with you.

  7. easy sharing = thoughtfully, some DACs come with 2 outputs.

  8. auto-ideal listening ‘environment’ = plug in and shut out the world, unless it is really, really noisy. one can also opt for 'noise-cancellation' gear.

  9. auto-privacy. not only for listener. also in interests of not (overly) agitating/deafening co-habitatators, off-spring, furry kids, in-laws, etc.

  10. compatibility with the smart devices people already own/lug around daily = phones, tablets, PCs.

kind of explains why there is a lot of more talk + action + hype + people in head-fi as compared to hi-fi these days.

btw, head-fi = CA.

front-ends are interchangeable, software equally applicable, audiophile aspirations very much the same.

...except for room acoustics and subwoofery, one can continue to argue/wrestle (until cows come home), wrt:

DBX/DBT, DSD vs PCM, cables, OSX vs Windows vs Linux vs renderers/servers, bit perfection, over-sampling vs NOS, LPSUs and Regens, what can be and what can/cannot be measured/heard/perceived by ears, brains, machines, brain-scans, more than 5 senses, et al.

statement: head-fi will play a humongous role in defining future of CA.

agree / disagree / fulla schiit.

Link to comment
am actually afraid to listen to ⤵︎

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]21726[/ATTACH]

 

planar magnetic tech.

nano-meter diaphragm.

8hz - 65khz.

 

darko's review: "The HE-1000 headphones (US$3000) are to music what the Oculus Rift is to computer gaming."

(that's really all he wrote ☝︎☝︎☝︎) ;)

 

I agree, stay away... or I will pump another 3 grand into this rabbit hole :)

 

My take on audiophiles an head-fi. We all love our music and good head-fi allows us to listen to it anywhere, the way we want it, the way we like it.

 

Another note - IEMs and driving are not a good combo.

Analog: Koetsu Rosewood > VPI Aries 3 w/SDS > EAR 834P > EAR 834L: Audiodesk cleaner

Digital Fun: DAS > CAPS v3 w/LPS (JRMC) SOtM USB > Lynx Hilo > EAR 834L

Digital Serious: DAS > CAPS v3 w/LPS (HQPlayer) Ethernet > SMS-100 NAA > Lampi DSD L4 G5 > EAR 834L

Digital Disc: Oppo BDP 95 > EAR 834L

Output: EAR 834L > Xilica XP4080 DSP > Odessey Stratos Mono Extreme > Legacy Aeris

Phones: EAR 834L > Little Dot Mk ii > Senheiser HD 800

Link to comment
Another note - IEMs and driving are not a good combo.

 

agreed (fully). phones on the road can be equally, if not more deadly... without hands-free interfaces.

 

anyway, for music while driving, we already have in-car stereo systems (which is another story).

 

btw, as a hd800 owner, tried any iems/ciems that you liked?

Link to comment
agreed (fully). phones on the road can be equally, if not more deadly... without hands-free interfaces.

 

anyway, for music while driving, we already have in-car stereo systems (which is another story).

 

btw, as a hd800 owner, tried any iems/ciems that you liked?

 

I've been using a pair of custom Ultimate Ears, forget the model, they have two drivers in each ear. Getting an ear mold cast is a bit of a PITA but once done you won't go back. However, the UEs do need an amplifier, a player alone won't drive them to their true potential - I'm usually using a Fiio X5 with their matching amp (once again, forget the model).

Analog: Koetsu Rosewood > VPI Aries 3 w/SDS > EAR 834P > EAR 834L: Audiodesk cleaner

Digital Fun: DAS > CAPS v3 w/LPS (JRMC) SOtM USB > Lynx Hilo > EAR 834L

Digital Serious: DAS > CAPS v3 w/LPS (HQPlayer) Ethernet > SMS-100 NAA > Lampi DSD L4 G5 > EAR 834L

Digital Disc: Oppo BDP 95 > EAR 834L

Output: EAR 834L > Xilica XP4080 DSP > Odessey Stratos Mono Extreme > Legacy Aeris

Phones: EAR 834L > Little Dot Mk ii > Senheiser HD 800

Link to comment
I agree, stay away... or I will pump another 3 grand into this rabbit hole :)

 

My take on audiophiles an head-fi. We all love our music and good head-fi allows us to listen to it anywhere, the way we want it, the way we like it.

 

Another note - IEMs and driving are not a good combo.

 

Definitely do not listen to the HE1K.....you have been warned!

 

i have a foot in both camps, but I must admit I love the exclusivity of late night listening with headphones - without disturbing the rest of the family.....although, the sound-bleed from open back planars is like a mini set of speakers....

ER / Geisman OXCO / Grimm MU1  / Dutch & Dutch 8C / Townshend Seismic Isolation

 

HP - SMSL Sanskrit 10th A’ , Woo Audio WA5 LE, Hifiman HEK v2

Link to comment
am actually afraid to listen to ⤵︎

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]21726[/ATTACH]

 

planar magnetic tech.

nano-meter diaphragm.

8hz - 65khz.

 

darko's review: "The HE-1000 headphones (US$3000) are to music what the Oculus Rift is to computer gaming."

(that's really all he wrote ☝︎☝︎☝︎) ;)

 

 

I have a pair of these. I have directly compared them to a pair of Stax SR-007MK2 phones through the SRM-007t II amplifier at about the same price. The HE-1000 sounds like somebody took away several layers of blankets from between me and the music after listening to the same piece through the Stax. I have also compared these headphones to the HiFiman HE-560s (which I also have) and the Sennheiser HD-800 (borrowed) and the HE-1000s, driven by a Schiit Asgard 2 class A headphone amp, blew them all out of the water, badly (these others are still good phones, don't get me wrong, but they just ain't in this league!). I haven't compared these phones to the Abyss 1266, but I have heard those uber expensive phones at a couple of Hi-Fi shows, and I really don't care if, at over $5000, they sound better than the HE-1000 or not. I found the Abyss phones to be so uncomfortable, that I it wouldn't matter if they took me (sound wise) directly to Carnegie Hall every time I put them on, they are unwearable for any length of time (I found about 5 minutes to be my limit!). Right now, the HE-1000s are, to me, probably the best headphones on the market, regardless of price and that is for both sound quality and long-term comfort.

 

The first night I got them, I spent all night listening. I just played disc after disc and high-res file after high-res file, until I noticed that the sun had come-up! I was not tired of having the phones on my head all night and the sound was a revelation. To me, just the comfort of the phones alone is enough to justify them (what good are the world's best phones if they feel like a pair of WWII aviator's phones on your head?).

George

Link to comment
I have a pair of these. I have directly compared them to a pair of Stax SR-007MK2 phones through the SRM-007t II amplifier at about the same price. The HE-1000 sounds like somebody took away several layers of blankets from between me and the music after listening to the same piece through the Stax. I have also compared these headphones to the HiFiman HE-560s (which I also have) and the Sennheiser HD-800 (borrowed) and the HE-1000s, driven by a Schiit Asgard 2 class A headphone amp, blew them all out of the water, badly (these others are still good phones, don't get me wrong, but they just ain't in this league!). I haven't compared these phones to the Abyss 1266, but I have heard those uber expensive phones at a couple of Hi-Fi shows, and I really don't care if, at over $5000, they sound better than the HE-1000 or not. I found the Abyss phones to be so uncomfortable, that I it wouldn't matter if they took me (sound wise) directly to Carnegie Hall every time I put them on, they are unwearable for any length of time (I found about 5 minutes to be my limit!). Right now, the HE-1000s are, to me, probably the best headphones on the market, regardless of price and that is for both sound quality and long-term comfort.

 

The first night I got them, I spent all night listening. I just played disc after disc and high-res file after high-res file, until I noticed that the sun had come-up! I was not tired of having the phones on my head all night and the sound was a revelation. To me, just the comfort of the phones alone is enough to justify them (what good are the world's best phones if they feel like a pair of WWII aviator's phones on your head?).

 

+1000 definitely agree with you here, and I did compare them to the Abyss, and the look and feel of the Abyss when wearing them, got in the way of any critical listening between the two. I am sure the Abyss is a fantastic headphone too, I just did not get a wow! this is special moment when listening with them... On the other hand the HiFimans, were so.....( substitute any positive superlative)

 

My HE1K has more than 250 hours on them, I listen to them every day. Well, the end of the day long into the wee hours - very very addictive....Currently, having the stock cables upgraded to Forza AudioWorks Noir Hybrid. And I have finally had a major moment of madness and been Wooed by pulling the trigger on a WA5 LE headamp, to really make these beauties sing

ER / Geisman OXCO / Grimm MU1  / Dutch & Dutch 8C / Townshend Seismic Isolation

 

HP - SMSL Sanskrit 10th A’ , Woo Audio WA5 LE, Hifiman HEK v2

Link to comment

Can someone tell me about the headphones in the top center of the last picture (btw - only one computer and no power supply, so close to "eccentric audio geek" status)? My friend is Korean and his head is a little too large for normal headphones to fit comfortably.

Analog: Koetsu Rosewood > VPI Aries 3 w/SDS > EAR 834P > EAR 834L: Audiodesk cleaner

Digital Fun: DAS > CAPS v3 w/LPS (JRMC) SOtM USB > Lynx Hilo > EAR 834L

Digital Serious: DAS > CAPS v3 w/LPS (HQPlayer) Ethernet > SMS-100 NAA > Lampi DSD L4 G5 > EAR 834L

Digital Disc: Oppo BDP 95 > EAR 834L

Output: EAR 834L > Xilica XP4080 DSP > Odessey Stratos Mono Extreme > Legacy Aeris

Phones: EAR 834L > Little Dot Mk ii > Senheiser HD 800

Link to comment

[ATTACH=CONFIG]21753[/ATTACH]

 

⥣ iinw: sennheiser 555' date=' audeze lcd2, beyerdynamic T1, grado gs1000, beyer DT990...[/color']

each a different sound signature = like owning multiple speaker systems to suit mood/music.

marantz muscle + not sure what valve amp (dragon?)

 

pic 2: probably checking out cables for iems/ciems. which is, somehow, less taboo/controversial in head-fi. depending on your pov, either they know better or...

 

pic 3: messy, yes. but am guesstimating, maybe, $40-50k worth of premium kit on show. set-up at a can-jam (head-fi meet) somewhere? or, someone really, really hardcore...

Link to comment
I have a pair of these. The HE-1000 sounds like somebody took away several layers of blankets from between me and the music after listening to the same piece through the Stax. I have also compared these headphones to the HiFiman HE-560s (which I also have) and the Sennheiser HD-800 (borrowed) and the HE-1000s, driven by a Schiit Asgard 2 class A headphone amp, blew them all out of the water, badly (these others are still good phones, don't get me wrong, but they just ain't in this league!).

 

+1000 definitely agree with you here, and I did compare them to the Abyss, and the look and feel of the Abyss when wearing them, got in the way of any critical listening between the two. I am sure the Abyss is a fantastic headphone too, I just did not get a wow! this is special moment when listening with them... On the other hand the HiFimans, were so.....( substitute any positive superlative)

 

yes, thanks, guys.

argh.

now know that am most certainly/definitely/ultimately going to be burning some plastic... again. (sigh)

Link to comment
Can someone tell me about the headphones in the top center of the last picture (btw - only one computer and no power supply, so close to "eccentric audio geek" status)? My friend is Korean and his head is a little too large for normal headphones to fit comfortably.

 

Abyss AB-1266 are the headphones to the left of the laptop, top center of the last picture

Speaker : iPhone 6S Plus > UpTone Audio USB Regen (x2) > Benchmark DAC1 Pre > Pass Labs INT-30A > Focal Micro Utopia BE

Headphone : Auralic Aries > Auralic Gemini 2000 > Audeze LCD-X

Power & Tweaks : Heaps of Balanced & Isolation Power supplies, Dedicated Line, Vinnie Rossi MINI PURE-DC-4EVR, HD-Plex LPSU, iFi Audio DC iPurifiers, DIY Resonance/Vibration platforms using Townshend Audio Seismic Isolation Pods

Link to comment
thanks Duke, one stands corrected.

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]21754[/ATTACH]

 

I have my moments :)

 

 

RE from the first photo

"⥣ iinw: sennheiser 555, audeze lcd2, beyerdynamic T1, grado gs1000, beyer DT990..."

 

By the way, I only got 3 of the 5 from the first photo ... anyway keeps me humble.

 

Good work by you on identifying all 5.

Speaker : iPhone 6S Plus > UpTone Audio USB Regen (x2) > Benchmark DAC1 Pre > Pass Labs INT-30A > Focal Micro Utopia BE

Headphone : Auralic Aries > Auralic Gemini 2000 > Audeze LCD-X

Power & Tweaks : Heaps of Balanced & Isolation Power supplies, Dedicated Line, Vinnie Rossi MINI PURE-DC-4EVR, HD-Plex LPSU, iFi Audio DC iPurifiers, DIY Resonance/Vibration platforms using Townshend Audio Seismic Isolation Pods

Link to comment

Pardon my tendency for brevity...

 

Well, I do see it as being about « community » and am glad that the majority of members at CA are friendly, sharing their own experiences, insights, direction... :)

 

Also seen at Facebook​, concerning larger-headed... Abyss in use :

11987069_510748892432462_6687710988092537911_n.jpg?oh=9b85d587c6c44eb709081cdcaaf37cf6&oe=5688BC96&__gda__=1455875146_77272582f15be3703ade5eed626c3507
And, this may be a joke, « mod experiment in progress » :
12019766_10153649835309726_3116681193419363302_n.jpg?oh=092bf2607295f3781a22b03ae910f82f&oe=56BBDD58&__gda__=1451860896_ed132161e34a799313e5fda7de9e1017

 

 

«

an accurate picture

Sono pessimista con l'intelligenza,

 

ma ottimista per la volontà.

severe loudspeaker alignment »

 

 

 

Link to comment
Can someone tell me about the headphones in the top center of the last picture (btw - only one computer and no power supply, so close to "eccentric audio geek" status)? My friend is Korean and his head is a little too large for normal headphones to fit comfortably.

 

 

You mean these:

 

abyssacc.jpg

 

They're the U.S.-Made Abyss 1266 and they are over US$5000 her in the States. I've heard them at a hi-fi show, and they certainly sound very good, but how they sound compared to the HiFiMan HE-1000 or the Audeze LCD-4 or other megabuck headphones, I cannot say as I have not directly compared them to anything. I can say that I found them incredibly uncomfortable and could only wear them for a few minutes before they began to feel very heavy and painful against my outer-ears.

George

Link to comment
You mean these:

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]21764[/ATTACH]

 

They're the U.S.-Made Abyss 1266 and they are over US$5000 her in the States. I've heard them at a hi-fi show, and they certainly sound very good, but how they sound compared to the HiFiMan HE-1000 or the Audeze LCD-4 or other megabuck headphones, I cannot say as I have not directly compared them to anything. I can say that I found them incredibly uncomfortable and could only wear them for a few minutes before they began to feel very heavy and painful against my outer-ears.

 

Wow $5,000 - I won't even mention them to him. He thinks I'm crazy for having HD800s.

 

George - clearly your head isn't shaped like Frankenstein's :) Lucky for you they were a bad fit.

Analog: Koetsu Rosewood > VPI Aries 3 w/SDS > EAR 834P > EAR 834L: Audiodesk cleaner

Digital Fun: DAS > CAPS v3 w/LPS (JRMC) SOtM USB > Lynx Hilo > EAR 834L

Digital Serious: DAS > CAPS v3 w/LPS (HQPlayer) Ethernet > SMS-100 NAA > Lampi DSD L4 G5 > EAR 834L

Digital Disc: Oppo BDP 95 > EAR 834L

Output: EAR 834L > Xilica XP4080 DSP > Odessey Stratos Mono Extreme > Legacy Aeris

Phones: EAR 834L > Little Dot Mk ii > Senheiser HD 800

Link to comment
I have my moments :)

 

as do we all ;) and hopefully, as often as possible.

 

RE from the first photo

"⥣ iinw: sennheiser 555, audeze lcd2, beyerdynamic T1, grado gs1000, beyer DT990..."

 

By the way, I only got 3 of the 5 from the first photo ... anyway keeps me humble.

 

Good work by you on identifying all 5.

 

just gave it a shot. not really sure got all of them right. and if one did, sure sign of gear-geekery, symptomatic of spending way too much time drooling.

 

on another note, could you comment on how your AKGs sound off the iPhone? know someone who has an iPhone, who likes good sound but who does not (yet) believe in a portable DAC/amps...

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×
×
  • Create New...