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Frustrated

ZolaIII

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I'm definitely going through the brain adoption phase. It's weird when you really focus on nuances that you previously didn't pay attention to. Am I being OCD and hearing things that aren't really an issue? I feel like I'm reaching a point of diminishing returns, or hallucination o_O

I'm the odd person who likes to distance myself from my phone as much as possible so I have no problem with the concept of a DAP, even if the concept is becoming outdated. I got the Sony at a good price, I can't imagine spending over $1k on a DAP, however.

So the EQ tweaks definitely helped and I'm liking the sound better. But something is still missing. Cymbals, for example, don't really shimmer when struck. Instruments like that sound farther away than others.
Just give it a time and go easy. ;)
 

ZolaIII

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@animalwithin if you wish and have time tell me with your own words how would you describe in detail sound of Denon AH-D9200 and do you find them bright and how much? I am curious and have some experience regarding Foster paper driver's. What kind of smartphone do you use if it have 3.5 mm out?
 

dshreter

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I'm going to go in a pretty different direction than most of the advice so far. Forget all the audiophile bs and get some good noise cancelling Bluetooth headphones to use with your phone. I believe for most people that the benefits of wireless comfort and convenience along with the quietness provided by noise cancellation outweighs the audiophile benefits of high end wired headphones so you can just focus on enjoying the music.

So I would look at Sony WH-1000XM4, Apple AirPods Max, or Sennheiser Momentum Wireless which you should be able to try in a store. Until you've ruled those out, I wouldn't go searching around for more audiophile wired headphones.
 
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animalwithin

animalwithin

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@ZolaIII My best description of what I'm hearing is that I'm listening to a band/orchestra/music that is being played in a room but I'm outside the room and the door is closed. So there is an element of distance, muffle, and fogginess to the music. There is clarity missing, especially at lower volumes since I don't like cranking up the volume and some instruments lack detail or seem farther away than others.

I have an iPhone SE but there is no music on it. I have an older iPod touch but it's predominantly loaded with audio books and courses.

@dshreter I'm definitely not looking to buy more audiophile wired headphones or even other gear at the moment. If anything I might be selling everything I have haha. I'm willing to try lower price headphones such as the one you suggested and although I'm not keen on Bluetooth stuff, I at least know that most of the Bluetooth noise cancelling headphones do come in a wired option if I really liked them.
 

ZolaIII

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@animalwithin at what volume levels exactly? If you are listing on rather quite low levels you need to complete (and don't bother much with compensating highs).
That's Denons fully straighten up at 72 dB level.
You can't expect to have a full dynamic range of material (and with some it goes over 100 dB) while listening to it at less dB! You need a phenomenal DAC with very high SINAD on very lo loads in order to retain fidelity of reproduced material on such low output voltage. I showed you best portable one I know of (Luxury & Precision W1) and if you must go with DAP a one that I consider deacent for the price.
I asked you about phone as I wanted you to try HiBy software (HiBy Music) to see if it work's for your needs/likes as the same comes with their DAP's (some capabilites will obviously vary) and you can control the DAP with BT from phone (HiBy link), still with those i would go with W1.
I did see you bought 2K hedaphones based on reading a couple of reviews (one on which on Head Fi).
You didn't answer me if you find them bright (which all paper cone drivers are a bit in my experience at least). You really need to build some self experience before you continue and do that with headphones you already paid for.
I can not help you there or anywhere else until you do that for your self.
They will always sound a bit distant and have a bit of refractions as they are closed design.
If you like open earbuds which leak less than open hedaphones but again neither have sound isolation from surrounding again there are good one's for 70~100$ (and with Foster paper cones if you wish/prefer/favor/fetish...).
 
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animalwithin

animalwithin

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@ZolaIII I find the Denons to be very even with respect to dark, bright, warm, etc. My qualms with them is not so much too much bass, treble, brightness, darkness but rather clarity.

Using the Sony on High Gain setting, I rarely exceed a volume level of 25. I probably average a volume level of 15 which I recognize is very low but I don't want my ears to be ringing. I do understand that I can't expect precision sound at very low volume but at this rate I'm forced to crank up the volume to hear certain notes and instruments and then having to turn it way down when other parts of the song comes up.

I wasn't aware of the HiBy software, I will check it out! I thought the HiBy was just the DAP and didn't know they had a stand-alone app.

I definitely need to try out more gear before buying it and it was my mistake for just jumping in and buying before trying but the headphones didn't cost me $2K. The Sony + the Denons together cost me about $2k.
 

ZolaIII

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Thing is for 2K I would build two speakers with Foster best and biggest full range drivers (probably with their bright silk tweeters to) with piano cimbals wood enclosures and probably have a spare change for couple of drinks.
Telling me relatively the volume in volume steps of device I even don't know how many steps it has (Sony phone for instance have 32) doesn't mean anything at all. If you mesured the voltage V with voltmeter then that would be useful.
You need to learn how to EQ and you need DAC amp with mentioned qualities (see 50 mV SNR measurements graphs in rewievs on ASR).
Yes HiBy Music is stand alone music player on iOS and Android and it has a rather unique DSP engine MSEB (and they use same software on their DAP's) which is actually based on subjective expressions.
Read and learn about basics hire and elsewhere.
For starters and you can either read or watch and listen:
Play with EQ-ing (DSP-ing) and software and take your time.
 
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animalwithin

animalwithin

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@ZolaIII I don't know if this is an issue of the headphones being dark but something I notice is that percussive instruments are very subdued, possibly more than another other instruments in the mix. Cymbals, snare drums, triangles, etc. all sound as if they're pushed way back and lack their characteristic shimmer.

I agree with you that $2K is a lot, especially if I'm not happy with what I'm hearing. I have a lot to learn audio-wise and I'm at a point where I'm seeing that product reviews are more/less BS, ultimately it comes down to what my ears are hearing with respect to what I like/dislike.
 

ZolaIII

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@animalwithin ouch that terminology is even to much for me to understand. That's exactly why you should try HiBy music.
Screenshot_20220114-220838.png


Try to compensate for roll of of bass and (to the extent) highs with EQ (pushing them up based of the measurement roll off picture url in post before) when you listen quietly and try to push them up at 2.3 KHz for +6 dB (which would actually be levelling them to 0 dB there).
Never in my life heard of "dark" paper cone sounding hedaphones.
Experiment with preference curves (Harman, diffuse feald, traditional Japanese...) as a starting point and then tune it in to your likings.
 

Phoney

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@ZolaIII My best description of what I'm hearing is that I'm listening to a band/orchestra/music that is being played in a room but I'm outside the room and the door is closed. So there is an element of distance, muffle, and fogginess to the music. There is clarity missing, especially at lower volumes since I don't like cranking up the volume and some instruments lack detail or seem farther away than others.

I have an iPhone SE but there is no music on it. I have an older iPod touch but it's predominantly loaded with audio books and courses.

@dshreter I'm definitely not looking to buy more audiophile wired headphones or even other gear at the moment. If anything I might be selling everything I have haha. I'm willing to try lower price headphones such as the one you suggested and although I'm not keen on Bluetooth stuff, I at least know that most of the Bluetooth noise cancelling headphones do come in a wired option if I really liked them.
Beyerdynamic has some really nice low end closed back headphones! I think they will do fine with your music preference. A lot of people would say the the DT770Pro is the best out of the ones at around $100 dollars or less. They're fine without EQ but can be even better with EQ. You could see if you can test a DT770Pro if any store has it near you. By the way, they are wired. So if you really want Bluetooth they are not for you. That being said, I'm not sure how they do without a dongle or an amp, even though they're easy to drive. So you might want to confirm that aswell first if you're interested.
 
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animalwithin

animalwithin

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@ZolaIII Perhaps dark is not the right word but percussive instruments are significantly pushed away and these generally exist at higher frequencies, no? I have odd ears, what can I say.
 

pk500

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@DjBonoBobo Thank you for the links! I need to educated myself on the nuances of sound and EQ as all this is still very new to me.

@ADU The Denon are low impedance/high sensitivity so, in theory, the Sony should certainly have no problem driving them. I'm okay with trying a balanced cable with these but seeing as this was supposed to be a setup that is at least somewhat portable, buying an amp to connect to the Sony and the headphones are not something I'm keen on doing.

I haven't tried any planars but I'm not against them. I'd have to sell the Denon's if I'm to get another pair of headphones, however.

I listen exclusively to classical music as well as movie scores/soundtracks (think Lord of the Rings) Most everything is instrumental, no vocals. I'm wanting closed-back headphones to offer some sort of sound isolation, although I'm not expected complete external sound cancellation.
The Focal Elegia would work great for your types of music. They're $900 closed-back, dynamic-driver cans with heaps of detail and prominent mids and treble that are on sale at Adorama for $379. Easy to drive, too: https://www.adorama.com/fofelegia.html?sdtid=15265996&emailprice=t&sterm=RgEShb2OCxyIW::z-U1k-y9GUkGxFZWUN24E3w0&utm_source=rflaid62905
 
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pk500

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Maybe look at one of the tried and true classics from the Sennheiser HD series (600, 650, 660S, 6XX, 58X). They aren’t perfect, but the Sennheisers are industry standards that are widely used by professionals in recording studios, and also headphone enthusiasts as references for comparing to other headphones. They’re a good starting point for getting into the hobby deeper.
If the OP craves tons of detail and clarity, then the 58X, 650 and 6XX aren't great choices due to that famous "Sennheiser veil." I think it's overblown, but it's still real.

The 600's or even 560s might be a better bet. In fact, I think the HD 560s might be the ticket for this chap. Pretty easy to drive, plenty of detail, better soundstage than 6XX/650, very nice imaging, no Sennheiser veil.

The only problem for me with the 560s was the treble spike, which nailed me at just the wrong spot. But that may not bother the OP at all, especially considering he seeks clarity.
 

ZolaIII

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@ZolaIII Perhaps dark is not the right word but percussive instruments are significantly pushed away and these generally exist at higher frequencies, no? I have odd ears, what can I say.
Compensate for the loudness level you listen at.
And after you do that try (on PC) EBU R128 if you can (with EQ compensation made before and using it).
 
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animalwithin

animalwithin

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@pk500 Thank you for the recommendations which I will definitely consider if I end up selling what I currently have.

@ZolaIII What am I supposed to do with the audio analyzer?
 
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mhardy6647

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@animalwithin ouch that terminology is even to much for me to understand. That's exactly why you should try HiBy music.
View attachment 179073

Try to compensate for roll of of bass and (to the extent) highs with EQ (pushing them up based of the measurement roll off picture url in post before) when you listen quietly and try to push them up at 2.3 KHz for +6 dB (which would actually be levelling them to 0 dB there).
Never in my life heard of "dark" paper cone sounding hedaphones.
Experiment with preference curves (Harman, diffuse feald, traditional Japanese...) as a starting point and then tune it in to your likings.
Female overtones...

Nope. Not goin' there.
 

Phoney

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@animalwithin Not many people expect this coming into this hobby. But it's not completely unusual for some $100-300 dollar headphones to sound or feel better to some than some of the $2000+ ones. I don't think I have seen anything like it before in terms of "price does not equal quality" than with the audio world.. That's why most people are advised to buy some of the better cheap ones at first, and do some good research and testing before considering wether you actually want a high end one.
 
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animalwithin

animalwithin

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@animalwithin Not many people expect this coming into this hobby. But it's not completely unusual for some $100-300 dollar headphones to sound or feel better to some than some of the $2000+ ones. I don't think I have seen anything like it before in terms of "price does not equal quality" than with the audio world.. That's why most people are advised to buy some of the better cheap ones at first, and do some good research and testing before considering wether you actually want a high end one.
I definitely fell prey to that and I'm hoping that if I end up selling what I have that I won't lose any more than a couple hundred bucks. After all the reviews I read on forums, YouTube videos, product websites I expected to have this profound and incredible audio experience but instead I'm finding everything to be "meh" at best in terms of sound. I'm actually okay with the Sony and it sounds great with the ear pods (although not as immersive as a headphone), it's the Denon's that I've found most disappointing.
 

ZolaIII

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Female overtones...

Nope. Not goin' there.
It's a subjective term's but translates and work's quite well once you figure out what they meant with those terms of course. I see it as a sort of a bridge. For example female over/under tones is nothing else that busting or lowering the uper mids and highs range where female vocals are (not that I know anyone who will lower those).
 
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