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HD6XX bass

TankTop

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#1
Just got my HD6XX’s and they are excellent so far, almost... played them through my iPhone XS, IPad 4 and Marantz SR5014. I know a dedicated headphone amp will improve the sound but I don’t want to throw money away if I’d doesn’t accomplish what I want. Basically they sound amazing until there’s significant bass like an explosion, obviously open back headphones aren’t what a bass head has in mind but these just fall apart completely. Watched Greyhound on the iPad and played some Call of Duty modern warfare, everything is amazing until some demanding bass is thrown at the HD6XX’s. Question is, will a Schiit Heresy or JDS Atom solve this?
 

pwjazz

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#2
Just got my HD6XX’s and they are excellent so far, almost... played them through my iPhone XS, IPad 4 and Marantz SR5014. I know a dedicated headphone amp will improve the sound but I don’t want to throw money away if I’d doesn’t accomplish what I want. Basically they sound amazing until there’s significant bass like an explosion, obviously open back headphones aren’t what a bass head has in mind but these just fall apart completely. Watched Greyhound on the iPad and played some Call of Duty modern warfare, everything is amazing until some demanding bass is thrown at the HD6XX’s. Question is, will a Schiit Heresy or JDS Atom solve this?
A better and may help some, but only to a point. The HD6?? headphones are wonderful, but their bass distortion is not competitive with planar magnetic nor modern moving coil designs like the Focal Elex.
 

bunkbail

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#3
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...amp-review-another-champ.9438/#js-post-248514

The situation turned around completely with Sennheiser HD-650 headphones. There was incredible amount of power, detail, authority and fidelity to die for. It is as if this amp and the headphone are made for each other.
Amir usually is really picky when it comes to bass, and the fact that he waxed lyrical when the Sennheisers were driven by the Archel2 makes me thinks that amps really help with bass performance especially when you're coming from the iPads.
 

solderdude

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#4
Just got my HD6XX’s and they are excellent so far, almost... played them through my iPhone XS, IPad 4 and Marantz SR5014. I know a dedicated headphone amp will improve the sound but I don’t want to throw money away if I’d doesn’t accomplish what I want. Basically they sound amazing until there’s significant bass like an explosion, obviously open back headphones aren’t what a bass head has in mind but these just fall apart completely. Watched Greyhound on the iPad and played some Call of Duty modern warfare, everything is amazing until some demanding bass is thrown at the HD6XX’s. Question is, will a Schiit Heresy or JDS Atom solve this?
When it is a lack of volume, probably yes. Schiit Heresy or JDS Atom will solve the lack of amplitude problem just fine.
Bass extension is also easy to achieve with a HD650. Bassheads will probably never be satisfied as they prefer a 10 to 20dB boost in the lower frequencies.
 

KeithPhantom

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#6
Just got my HD6XX’s and they are excellent so far, almost... played them through my iPhone XS, IPad 4 and Marantz SR5014. I know a dedicated headphone amp will improve the sound but I don’t want to throw money away if I’d doesn’t accomplish what I want. Basically they sound amazing until there’s significant bass like an explosion, obviously open back headphones aren’t what a bass head has in mind but these just fall apart completely. Watched Greyhound on the iPad and played some Call of Duty modern warfare, everything is amazing until some demanding bass is thrown at the HD6XX’s. Question is, will a Schiit Heresy or JDS Atom solve this?
Well, they're actually at reference level at least up to 40 Hz, then, they roll-off. They're not bass-heavy, EQ can help you. Let me give you some unwanted advise: do not EQ with hardware, it is way more expensive than software and the results are never certain.
 

MRC01

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#7
The HD600 is among the best, even in the bass. Yet like the OP, I also find their extension in the bottom 1.5 octaves to be lacking. And the deep bass that they do produce isn't as tight as I'd like. And if I apply EQ to lift that low bass closer to flat levels, it gets a bit soft & bloated sounding. That said, the HD600 bass is about as good as you can get with dynamic drivers, in terms of linear response and low distortion.

If you want ruler flat bass response with vanishingly low distortion, a good planar is in a whole different league. Years ago, when I first heard the HiFiMan HE-500, then the Audeze LCD-2F, their bass response blew my mind. It is not "big bass", not emphasized. Just incredibly natural, linear to subsonic frequencies, with very low distortion, tight and crisp, and a seamless transition to the midrange.
 

LightninBoy

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#8

bobbooo

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#9
Just got my HD6XX’s and they are excellent so far, almost... played them through my iPhone XS, IPad 4 and Marantz SR5014. I know a dedicated headphone amp will improve the sound but I don’t want to throw money away if I’d doesn’t accomplish what I want. Basically they sound amazing until there’s significant bass like an explosion, obviously open back headphones aren’t what a bass head has in mind but these just fall apart completely. Watched Greyhound on the iPad and played some Call of Duty modern warfare, everything is amazing until some demanding bass is thrown at the HD6XX’s. Question is, will a Schiit Heresy or JDS Atom solve this?
No amp will solve this problem. The HD6XX (same as the HD650) have poor bass extension, as shown by these measurements. You can try to use the parametric EQ settings on that page to boost the bass while maintaining clarity in the rest of the frequency range, but you then might hear some bass distortion, as shown by their high distortion in the bass here. The same is true of the HD600. If you want adequate bass, these are not the headphones to get.
 

solderdude

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#10
My HD650 on... yes... hardware EQ.


not soft & bloated sounding but tight with impressive extension.
When you apply incorrect EQ, indeed bass will sound bloated and 'muddy', no distortion in the bass either as the boost is just a few dB.
Oratory and Sonarworks bass lift is overdone and that's what's causing the negative comments on EQ'ed bass on the HD650 combined with underpowered amplifiers.
The ifi has less bass boost b.t.w. and in balanced mode enough headroom to not clip even at impressive levels.
 
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bobbooo

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#11
My HD650 on... yes... hardware EQ.


not soft & bloated sounding but tight with impressive extension.
When you apply incorrect EQ, indeed bass will sound bloated and 'muddy', no distortion in the bass either as the boost is just a few dB.
Oratory and Sonarworks bass lift is overdone and that's what's causing the negative comments on EQ'ed bass on the HD650 combined with underpowered amplifiers.
The ifi has less bass boost b.t.w. and in balanced mode enough headroom to not clip even at impressive levels.
Oratory, a professional acoustic engineer whose specific job it is to measure headphones' frequency response as part of the research his company does in Austria, uses the exact same measuring equipment as Dr. Sean Olive did when devising the Harman headphone curve, which is both representative of a good speaker in a good room, and of the majority preference for headphone frequency response (with an equivalent predicted preference rating that has the same 0.86 correlation with actual preference as the speaker scores we're using here). His EQ settings will be the closest you can get to the Harman curve. A good 10-band parametric software equalizer is much better and more finely adjustable than any hardware EQ will be.
 
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solderdude

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#12
I know.
It's all by the book and 'standards'.
 

Soniclife

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#13
Bassheads will probably never be satisfied as they prefer a 10 to 20dB boost in the lower frequencies.
For clarity, you mean a 10db+ boost over flat? So for the 650 that would be a 20db boost as it's down 10db from flat on lots of measurements.
 

solderdude

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#14
For clarity, you mean a 10db+ boost over flat? So for the 650 that would be a 20db boost as it's down 10db from flat on lots of measurements.
Yes, bass heads prefer +10 to +20dB bass (extreme) over 1kHz
+10dB bass boost is already extreme (opposite 1kHz for HD6x0) and already north of neutral (closer to Harman preference).
This requires a 10x higher power rating for amps compared to no EQ listening at the same SPL.
 

Soniclife

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#15
+10dB bass boost is already extreme (opposite 1kHz for HD6x0) and already north of neutral (closer to Harman preference).
Leaving aside bass-heads, is there research that supports some people not liking the full Harman bass correction? My hypothesis is people vary a lot in how much bass they like from headphones, do we vary in how we process bass, some people being biased towards their ears only, and others really missing the chest, neck, etc vibration sensations.
 

Soniclife

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#16
Just got my HD6XX’s and they are excellent so far, almost... played them through my iPhone XS, IPad 4 and Marantz SR5014. I know a dedicated headphone amp will improve the sound but I don’t want to throw money away if I’d doesn’t accomplish what I want. Basically they sound amazing until there’s significant bass like an explosion, obviously open back headphones aren’t what a bass head has in mind but these just fall apart completely. Watched Greyhound on the iPad and played some Call of Duty modern warfare, everything is amazing until some demanding bass is thrown at the HD6XX’s. Question is, will a Schiit Heresy or JDS Atom solve this?
No, you need to use EQ to fix it. When using EQ you may run out of gain, then an amp will help. Try some EQ first.
 

solderdude

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#17
Leaving aside bass-heads, is there research that supports some people not liking the full Harman bass correction? My hypothesis is people vary a lot in how much bass they like from headphones, do we vary in how we process bass, some people being biased towards their ears only, and others really missing the chest, neck, etc vibration sensations.
There seems to be an age element in the amount of preferred bass levels.
 

bobbooo

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#18
+10dB bass boost is already extreme (opposite 1kHz for HD6x0) and already north of neutral (closer to Harman preference)
If something is majority preference, it's not extreme. Little to no bass boost over 1kHz is in fact an 'extreme' lack of bass (with the HD600/6506XX even having even less than this without EQ), as it's nowhere near representative of either a good speaker in a good room, nor the amount of bass the vast majority prefer in double blind tests.
 
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Soniclife

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#20
There seems to be an age element in the amount of preferred bass levels.
My question would be independent of that, amongst people the same age would they all hear flat the same, or would they interpret it over a range. This is different from what they prefer. The research with speakers says people hear it the same, but there is a tolerance for preference.
 
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