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Focal Clear vs. Sennheiser HD 800s

watchnerd

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The EQ and Room EQ seem to be limited in adjustment when compared to a regular EQ/PEQ. It seems that it will be limiting your new headphones potential. Is there another possible solution?
View attachment 164291
View attachment 164292

You wouldn't use the Room EQ for headphone EQ.

You'd use various combinations of Air, Tilt, etc.

But, as noted, it's not a full PEQ, unlike Roon, ergo the caveat that full LP or reel to reel PEQ for headphones is not easy to do in my current system.

It's not the end of the world given how little listening through headphones I do (maybe 10%) and I could certainly choose to only listen to digital via cans given it's pretty infrequent and casual.
 

Doodski

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You wouldn't use the Room EQ for headphone EQ.
What about a old school inline EQ/PEQ that would be bypassed when not required? There are some decent ones out there with or without flashing LEDs and even though analogue they will still improve the sound quality compared to no EQ. I can think of a couple of old school EQs that are decent. You could perhaps hide it in your cabinet if you have one. EDIT: Or a miniDSP?
 

watchnerd

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What about a old school inline EQ/PEQ that would be bypassed when not required? There are some decent ones out there with or without flashing LEDs and even though analogue they will still improve the sound quality compared to no EQ. I can think of a couple of old school EQs that are decent. You could perhaps hide it in your cabinet if you have one. EDIT: Or a miniDSP?

Not interested in adding a whole new piece of gear just to EQ headphones for analog sources.

I can EQ either headphone just fine using DSP in Roon.
 

maverickronin

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Considering cross-shopping between the Clear MG Pro and the HD800s.

Caveat:

I can easily EQ when listening to streaming via Roon, not so easily when listing to LP* or reel to reel.

My favorite headphones, overall, are probably the Senn HD-6XX, although I have moments when I like my Hi Fi Man 400's.

Given the similarity in price, cost isn't really an issue,

Caveat: I've never heard any Focal cans, just speakers


*although I guess I could sort of half-EQ using the EQ functions of the Puffin

The HD800S pretty much require EQ. I haven't heard the new MGs but the OG Clears were pretty good on their own.

HD800S w/ EQ > OG Clear > HD800 w/o EQ
 

acbarn

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Considering cross-shopping between the Clear MG Pro and the HD800s.

Caveat:

I can easily EQ when listening to streaming via Roon, not so easily when listing to LP* or reel to reel.

My favorite headphones, overall, are probably the Senn HD-6XX, although I have moments when I like my Hi Fi Man 400's.

Given the similarity in price, cost isn't really an issue,

Caveat: I've never heard any Focal cans, just speakers


*although I guess I could sort of half-EQ using the EQ functions of the Puffin
Comfort may be an important consideration here. Most people find the HD800S to be unusually comfortable, in my experience significantly more so than the Focals. The Sennheisers also have an unusually broad soundstage which many really enjoy. I do very much like Focal headphones (I find their open back models to be surprisingly similar considering the wide price range), but for me the Sennheiser wins out due to the unique qualities listed above. This is only with EQ though, otherwise as others have intimated, the Focals may be a better choice out of the box, sans EQ.
 

acbarn

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watchnerd

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Some people may want a bass boost, but more important, I think, is attenuation of the 6 kHz peak. If EQ is out of the question, reduction of the peak can be accomplished with one of @solderdude ’s passive filters: https://diyaudioheaven.wordpress.com/headphones/passive-filters/

EQ is definitely not out of the question.

It's pretty easy for streaming using the DSP settings in Roon.

Although if I'm going to optimize for DSP-via-Roon, there is an argument to made, given the presets, to just go with Audeze.
 
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acbarn

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EQ is definitely not out of the question.

It's pretty easy for streaming using the DSP settings in Roon.

Although if I'm going to optimize for DSP-via-Roon, there is an argument to made, given the presets, to just go with Audeze.
Oh, OK. Your prior post sounded to me like you didn't want to use EQ.
 

watchnerd

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Oh, OK. Your prior post sounded to me like you didn't want to use EQ.

It's a trade-off.

It's not practical for me to EQ my analog sources, but it's not an issue with digital.

If the gap of EQ'ed headphone is sufficiently high vs non-EQ headphone, I could restrict myself to digital sources if the improvement is worth it.

If, on the other hand, the difference is minor, it's not worth it to have fewer sources.

So if the HD800s + EQ is *much much better* than the Clear OG/MG, then I could live with being digital only for headphone listening.

But if it's a small difference, then I'm getting a little quality, but losing versatility.

FWIW, I don't bother EQing my HD6XX right now.
 

watchnerd

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Despite really liking the Clears, with EQ I personally would take the HD800(s) if I had the choice due to the wider imaging and better reliability of the latter.

Thanks.

What's the skinny on the MassDrop HD8XX variant of the HD800?

I don't feel bad paying a few hundred bucks for a MassDrop mutant headphone, but I sort of feel like for $1000+ I'd want the real deal.

But maybe I'm being silly.
 

Doodski

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Thanks.

What's the skinny on the MassDrop HD8XX variant of the HD800?

I don't feel bad paying a few hundred bucks for a MassDrop mutant headphone, but I sort of feel like for $1000+ I'd want the real deal.

But maybe I'm being silly.
I feel the same way about buying the genuine item. I wouldn't want a HD6XXX model on my headphones. :D
 

thewas

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Thanks.

What's the skinny on the MassDrop HD8XX variant of the HD800?

I don't feel bad paying a few hundred bucks for a MassDrop mutant headphone, but I sort of feel like for $1000+ I'd want the real deal.

But maybe I'm being silly.
From what I heave heard the HD8XX seems to be more messed up and not as good as other Massdrop variants so personally I would go for a used HD800 (with EQ) and some new pads if I want a great value for money.
 

Jimbob54

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Despite really liking the Clears, with EQ I personally would take the HD800(s) if I had the choice due to the wider imaging and better reliability of the latter.
+1 on this - OG HD800 Vs OG Clear- the Senns are infinitely nicer to wear and overall a more enjoyable listen. Only if EQ was not available at all would I even start to suggest the Focals . From a sonic perspective I cant comment on the 800S but understand its a more even FR than the original. The original without EQ has some bizarre imaging and staging properties which EQ lessens somewhat but makes it an overall more enjoyable experience.
 

watchnerd

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+1 on this - OG HD800 Vs OG Clear- the Senns are infinitely nicer to wear and overall a more enjoyable listen. Only if EQ was not available at all would I even start to suggest the Focals . From a sonic perspective I cant comment on the 800S but understand its a more even FR than the original. The original without EQ has some bizarre imaging and staging properties which EQ lessens somewhat but makes it an overall more enjoyable experience.

Is there a reason to consider the OG HD800?

I thought the HD800S was supposed to be better across the board.
 

thewas

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Jimbob54

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Is there a reason to consider the OG HD800?

I thought the HD800S was supposed to be better across the board.
Only price, second hand is a bargain but I don't think that's a prime concern for you so go with the S. Not aware of any other upside to the OG but I'm a tightwad
 
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