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Austrian Audio Hi-X60 Headphone Review

Rate this headphone:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 20 16.5%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 74 61.2%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 22 18.2%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 5 4.1%

  • Total voters
    121

amirm

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This is a review, listening tests, EQ and detailed measurements of the Austrian Audio Hi-X60 closed back headphone. It is on kind loan from a member and costs US $399.
Austrian Audio Hi-X60 Closed Back Headphone Review.jpg

The headphone feels and looks good enough for its price. Note the rotated cups which place the headband differently on your head. I found it comfortable to use.

I had a difficult time fitting the headphone on my GRAS 45CA test fixture. The cups are just small enough to bend the artificial pinna causing large differences in measurements. Channel matching was not great either, adding to this uncertainty.

If you are not familiar with the headphone measurements that are about to follow, please watch this video tutorial:


Austrian Audio Hi-X60 Headphone Measurements
As usual, we start with our frequency response measurement and comparison to target:
Austrian Audio Hi-X60 Closed Back Headphone frequency response Measurement.png

We see a pronounced bass peak around 100 Hz and corresponding peaking above 3 kHz. In between compliance is good. The deviation though may be difficult to eyeball as far as developing a filter:
Austrian Audio Hi-X60 Closed Back Headphone relative frequency response Measurement.png


Company advertises low bass distortion and we see that:
Austrian Audio Hi-X60 Closed Back Headphone relative THD Distortion Measurement.png

Austrian Audio Hi-X60 Closed Back Headphone THD Distortion Measurement.png

But we also have some low treble resonances and distortion spikes.

Group delay is very clean, likely due to small cup:
Austrian Audio Hi-X60 Closed Back Headphone Group Delay Measurement.png


Impedance is flat and low:
Austrian Audio Hi-X60 Closed Back Headphone Impedance Measurement.png


Sensitivity is better than average so it should not require powerful amplification:
most sensitive headphone review 2024.png


Austrian Audio Hi-X60 Listening Tests and EQ
First impression lacked "excitement" but overall response seemed right. I developed the bass filter first (at higher attenuation and wider Q):
Austrian Audio Hi-X60 Closed Back Headphone Roon player equalization.png

That had a negative effect causing me to lower its level. Still not better than no EQ so I added the high frequency filter. That delivered the results. Without EQ, the extra bass was counteracting the extra highs so you need to perform corrections at both ends. With EQ in place, about 70% of the test tracks sounded better. The other 30% would be a toss up. One thing EQ did was improved clarity which is likely due to reduced distortion.

Deep bass was produced very cleanly with EQ.

Overall, the sound was very good but with almost no spatial effects, not very interesting.

Conclusions
With the measurement variability and some amount of uncertainty in equalization, I don't have 100% solid opinion to pass on this headphone. With EQ it sounds competent but lacks anything that would stand out for me.

I will probably not recommend the Austrian Hi-X60.

-----------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

Attachments

  • Austrian AUdio Hi-X60 Frequency Response.zip
    33.8 KB · Views: 40

Rayman30

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With these I had some difficulty with the cups, I would be listening and notice a difference between R/L. To alleviate this I had to take the cups off then re-attach, it has several of these janky plastic clips that hold the cups on, I noticed that even if one or two clips were off it would change the sound for that side. This has been frustrating to say the least, did you notice this during your testing? could that have had an affect on the test rig?

Also just in case anyone is considering buying these, glasses wearers stay far away, it completely breaks the seal and kills the bass.
 
Last edited:

SuicideSquid

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Personally I think those 100Hz and 5k peaks would make these headphones absolutely unlistenable for me. I guess they're designed for people who like the "Flying V" EQ setup.
 

Theodore8

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Thank you for this review @amirm! That’s another brand that I was curious about since the founding team is an AKG spin-off.
 

Robbo99999

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This is a review, listening tests, EQ and detailed measurements of the Austrian Audio Hi-X60 closed back headphone. It is on kind loan from a member and costs US $399.
View attachment 369310
The headphone feels and looks good enough for its price. Note the rotated cups which place the headband differently on your head. I found it comfortable to use.

I had a difficult time fitting the headphone on my GRAS 45CA test fixture. The cups are just small enough to bend the artificial pinna causing large differences in measurements. Channel matching was not great either, adding to this uncertainty.

If you are not familiar with the headphone measurements that are about to follow, please watch this video tutorial:


Austrian Audio Hi-X60 Headphone Measurements
As usual, we start with our frequency response measurement and comparison to target:
View attachment 369311
We see a pronounced bass peak around 100 Hz and corresponding peaking above 3 kHz. In between compliance is good. The deviation though may be difficult to eyeball as far as developing a filter:
View attachment 369312

Company advertises low bass distortion and we see that:
View attachment 369314
View attachment 369315
But we also have some low treble resonances and distortion spikes.

Group delay is very clean, likely due to small cup:
View attachment 369316

Impedance is flat and low:
View attachment 369317

Sensitivity is better than average so it should not require powerful amplification:
View attachment 369319

Austrian Audio Hi-X60 Listening Tests and EQ
First impression lacked "excitement" but overall response seemed right. I developed the bass filter first (at higher attenuation and wider Q):
View attachment 369323
That had a negative effect causing me to lower its level. Still not better than no EQ so I added the high frequency filter. That delivered the results. Without EQ, the extra bass was counteracting the extra highs so you need to perform corrections at both ends. With EQ in place, about 70% of the test tracks sounded better. The other 30% would be a toss up. One thing EQ did was improved clarity which is likely due to reduced distortion.

Deep bass was produced very cleanly with EQ.

Overall, the sound was very good but with almost no spatial effects, not very interesting.

Conclusions
With the measurement variability and some amount of uncertainty in equalization, I don't have 100% solid opinion to pass on this headphone. With EQ it sounds competent but lacks anything that would stand out for me.

I will probably not recommend the Austrian Hi-X60.

-----------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
Nice review, I think you got increased clarity also because you reduced the muddy bass between 100-200Hz with your filter. Probably could have been wider that filter to then further synergise with you decreasing the treble peak. So the cups are quite small causing the measurement volatility - did you find that also when wearing the headphone? The one closed back headphone I own is the NAD HP50 which is really quite difficult to measure on my miniDSP EARS because of the small ear cups and likewise is very tricky to position on my ears to ensure a good seal, did you find same kind of issues with the Hi-X60 in terms of wearing them?

My thoughts on the headphone, not bad, and with the low distortion being the most standout part from the measurements. Not a cheap headphone though, but you know, ok!
 

solderdude

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I had a difficult time fitting the headphone on my GRAS 45CA test fixture.

Seal is a thing with most closed headphones. The Hi-X60 isn't an exception either.
seal-hix60.png


Still not better than no EQ so I added the high frequency filter. That delivered the results.
I used a passive EQ and ended up with a filter close to what would be needed for the right channel which made it sound a lot better.
hi-x60-schematic.png


l-filter.png


Weirdly enough the one I had did not have such a high boost at 100Hz nor did it need any filtering.
Very different GD behavior as well.
gd-x60.png


production spread ?
 
Last edited:

Carlo2AC

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Thank you for the review @amirm, would love to see your take on The Composer seeing as the X60 is one of the more decently tuned Austrian Audio headphones compared to some of the travesties that are the early open backs that they developed
 
OP
amirm

amirm

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This has been frustrating to say the least, did you notice this during your testing?
For sure during measurements. The first mount resulted in some 7 dB difference at 425 Hz which I had not ever seen. What I posted was after much optimization of this factor. I didn't pay attention during listening tests though.
 

Robbo99999

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Seal is a thing with most closed headphones. The Hi-X60 isn't an exception either.
seal-hix60.png



I used a passive EQ and ended up with a filter close to what would be needed for the right channel which made it sound a lot better.
hi-x60-schematic.png


l-filter.png


Weirdly enough the one I had did not have such a high boost at 100Hz nor did it need any filtering.
Very different GD behavior as well.
gd-x60.png


production spread ?
4-7kHz, same area that Amir identified - good! Your unit measured there doesn't have much of a hump at 100Hz, and Amir got a good seal for his published measurement, so I'm thinking that's either unit to unit variation or your flat plate is measuring different at 100Hz (but it shouldn't really measure much different in that area, so I'm thinking unit to unit variation).
 

jhaider

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Very interesting how people hear differently.

I agree with @amirm re tonality adjustments, but spatially don’t hear much difference between these and equalized Aeon 2 Noire. I would go so far as do say the only over ear headphones that seem to provide a much in the way of spatial rendition to me are Sennheiser HD800 and AKG N700NC M2. These, Senn 580/650, NAD V50/V70, Denon D2000, AKG K371 etc. - not really and all pretty much the same on me.

Also, as a lifelong glasses wearer, unlike @Rayman30 I find the bass on these great. The only headphones that have worked really badly with glasses on me were AKG K550. Others, such as NAD V50, seal poorly on my head at the jaw line.
 

Maiky76

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Here are some thoughts about the EQ.
Please report your findings, positive or negative!

Notes about the EQ design:
  • The average L/R is used to calculate the score.
  • The resolution is 12 points per octave interpolated from the raw data (provided by @amirm)
  • A Genetic Algorithm is used to optimize the EQ.
  • The EQ Score is designed to MAXIMIZE the Score WHILE fitting the Harman target curve (and other constrains) with a fixed complexity.
    This will avoid weird results if one only optimizes for the Score, start your journey here or there.
    There is a presentation by S. Olive here.
    It will probably flatten the Error regression doing so, the tonal balance should be therefore more neutral.
  • The EQs are starting point and may require tuning (certainly at LF and maybe at HF).
  • The range around and above 10kHz is usually not EQed unless smooth enough to do so.
  • I am using PEQ (PK) as from my experience the definition is more consistent across different DSP/platform implementations than shelves.
  • With some HP/amp combo, the boosts and preamp gain (loss of Dynamic range) need to be carefully considered to avoid issues with, amongst other things, too low a Max SPL or damaging your device. You have beed warned.
  • Not all units of the same product are made equal. The EQ is based on the measurements of a single unit. YMMV with regard to the very unit you are trying this EQ on.
  • I sometimes use variations of the Harman curve for some reasons. See rational here and here
  • NOTE: the score then calculated is not comparable to the scores derived from the default Harman target curve if not otherwise noted.
Average L/R match.

I have generated one EQ, the APO config file is attached.
The VLF is not EQed because in all likelihood the fit won't be perfect.
If memory serves, these guys are ex-AKG and founded Austrian Audio after Harman/Samsung took over.

Score no EQ: 68.0
Score Amirm: 70.9
Score with EQ: 83.4

Code:
Austrian Audio Hi-X60 APO Score EQ Flat@HF 96000Hz
May142024-113858

Preamp: -1.30 dB

Filter 1: ON PK Fc 93.67 Hz Gain -9.97 dB Q 0.75
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 64.35 Hz Gain 7.45 dB Q 1.40
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 502.72 Hz Gain 1.09 dB Q 0.69
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 1217.72 Hz Gain -3.27 dB Q 1.50
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 2024.86 Hz Gain 2.59 dB Q 3.39
Filter 6: ON PK Fc 2645.78 Hz Gain -1.89 dB Q 4.98
Filter 7: ON PK Fc 6365.29 Hz Gain -4.83 dB Q 2.45
Filter 8: ON PK Fc 4115.72 Hz Gain -4.48 dB Q 4.02

Austrian Audio Hi-X60 APO Score EQ Flat@HF 96000Hz.png
 

Attachments

  • Austrian Audio Hi-X60 APO Score EQ Flat@HF 96000Hz.txt
    487 bytes · Views: 22
Last edited:

Metronomy

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I don't know how much the measures are the mirror of listening. I have owned them for 1 year and I alternate them with Sennheiser 660s Verum and Oppo pm3 with a lot of satisfaction.
 

Mr Swing King

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These were on my shortlist for a new closedback. Not anymore though.
Not fond of peaks that low in the treble..and I wear glasses.
Thanks for the review Amir.
 

GWolfman

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Odd cans. Maybe I’d get them if I needed something for my bass-heavy music.
 

Metronomy

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These were on my shortlist for a new closedback. Not anymore though.
Not fond of peaks that low in the treble..and I wear glasses.
Thanks for the review Amir.
Well I would listen to them before trusting a review, I tell you they sound great.

Maximum respect for Amir.
 

Klonatans

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If it's not a defective unit I wonder how a frequency response like that is compatible with professional mastering the headphone is supposedly made for.
 
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