• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

HD6XX bass

Joined
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
231
Likes
234
To be fair, just because it is the research of others does not invalidate it. What you are discussing is your personal preferences that have been developed over many years of solid experience. Of that there can be no doubt, but even so, the reality of the situation your experience cannot be generalized to anybody but yourself. Doubtless many people would share your preferences and opinions, but the research the other poster was quoting while imperfect was designed to be generalizable to a population. Again, certainly that research would be limited by design confounds and sample size, but as I understand it, the research was deliberately designed to seek out a general listening preference in so much as one could exist. Both your experience and what the research has revealed are valid and valuable, just different.
 

bobbooo

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Aug 30, 2019
Messages
622
Likes
744
Yes, there is no 1 to 1 relation between price and sound quality.
I don't care about preference ratings and research by others to be honest. I do my own research on my own way with my own results by measuring and above all listening and EQ'ing headphones and simply have come to different conclusions than the one you adhere to.
Over 200 headphones anlyzed, owned, heard EQ'ed and 35 years of experience in electronics (audio) can make one it so one develops his own opinion instead of quoting other other peoples research they found on the web.
So have you heard and measured the HE4XX?
 

solderdude

Major Contributor
Joined
Jul 21, 2018
Messages
5,553
Likes
10,062
Location
The Neverlands
No, but the HE400i is almost the same acc. to the measurements I have seen. Same treble peak just a bit more bass extension.

Have you heard the HE400i and HE4XX side by side ?
 

bobbooo

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Aug 30, 2019
Messages
622
Likes
744
No, but the HE400i is almost the same acc. to the measurements I have seen. Same treble peak just a bit more bass extension.

Have you heard the HE400i and HE4XX side by side ?
Yes I have, the 4XX is much better sounding. If you actually looked at the professional measurements of both I posted earlier in this thread you'll see the 400i has a much more uneven response, especially in the treble, with a 5dB peak above the target around 7/8kHz and a couple of 10dB dips, whereas the 4XX has no real peaks above the target, and only a couple of moderate high-Q dips (which are less audible than peaks). The 4XX also has significantly better bass extension (a large element to sound quality and preference), flat down to 60Hz and with 5dB better sub-bass, whereas the 400i starts rolling off at 100Hz. So you're not only ignoring and rejecting actual scientific research by leaders in the field, but making (false) assertions about the sound quality of headphones you've never even listened to or looked at proper measurements of.
 
Last edited:

solderdude

Major Contributor
Joined
Jul 21, 2018
Messages
5,553
Likes
10,062
Location
The Neverlands
You are absolutely correct. My aplogies for my ignorance and rejecting leaders & professionals.

The 400i does seem to lack the treble peak but in return has a 1kHz peak in oratory measurements.
I had relied on other measurements (from SBAF) as they were the first to measure it and showed treble peak was equally high and the mini DSP measurement below.
HE4XX.png

Of course these were amateur plot made with E.A.R.S. and not performed by any sound professionals with calibrated equipment.
Nor the direct comparison below. (also made with EARS but different correction)
HE4XX-400i.png

results like this combined with my own measurements made me erroneously conclude HE400i and HE4XX were kind of similar.

In a review here (and quite a few others) I found words like the ones below (red is my emphasis):

So in short, both the 400S and Sundara won’t get bitey/essy in the treble, whereas the 4XX and 400i will.

The peak at 9-10k is more apparent in both the 400i and 4XX, and it sounds a bit too peaky which results in some extra sizzle that isn’t really necessary. In fact, in the case of the 4XX I think it kind of almost ruined the overall sound signature.

Again apologies for dismissing professionals which is unprofessional but since I am not a professional but an amateur...
 
Last edited:

bobbooo

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Aug 30, 2019
Messages
622
Likes
744
You are absolutely correct. My aplogies for my ignorance and rejecting and leaders & professionals.

The 400i does seem to lack the treble peak but in return has a 1kHz peak.
I will take the HE4XX filter of my list and had relied on other measurements (from SBAF) as they were the first to measure it and showed treble peak was equally high and the mini DSP measurement below. View attachment 76153
Of course these were amateur plot made with E.A.R.S. and not performed by any soundprofessionals with calibrated equipment.
Nor the direct comparison below. (also made with EARS but different correction)
View attachment 76155
results like this combined with my own measurements made me erroneously conclude HE400i and HE4XX were kind of similar.

Again apologies for dismissing professionals.
MiniDSP EARS measurements really can't be trusted. Primarily this is because it doesn't have the same acoustic impedance as a human ear. And its compensation curve is not only incorrect, but it's incorrect differently for every headphone, so you can't even properly correct for it. Oratory explains this all in detail with measurements in this excellent post. Only IEC compliant measuring rigs that match the acoustic impedance of the human ear such as the GRAS 43AG he uses give accurate, reliable frequency response measurements really.

By the way, the HE4XX's 1kHz 'peak' is only around 1dB over target, not much to complain about.
 

bobbooo

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Aug 30, 2019
Messages
622
Likes
744
So in short, both the 400S and Sundara won’t get bitey/essy in the treble, whereas the 4XX and 400i will.

The peak at 9-10k is more apparent in both the 400i and 4XX, and it sounds a bit too peaky which results in some extra sizzle that isn’t really necessary. In fact, in the case of the 4XX I think it kind of almost ruined the overall sound signature.
The photos and video for that review clearly show the HE4XX with Dekoni full leather pads, swapped from the stock pleather outer / velour inner pads, the former thicker and likely using different foam padding. This change in material and thickness will change the frequency response from stock and so completely invalidates the sound impressions compared to stock measurements / impressions. (From the video it also looks like he didn't install the Dekoni pads properly, with one side differently oriented than the other, which matters as they're angled pads.)

Industry standard measurements don't lie. Causal, sighted, non-level matched listening tests that are subject to innumerable uncontrolled variables and cognitive biases do lie however, and more often than not.
 
Last edited:

solderdude

Major Contributor
Joined
Jul 21, 2018
Messages
5,553
Likes
10,062
Location
The Neverlands
MiniDSP EARS measurements really can't be trusted.
They can when you compare 2 headphones on the same rig.

It's fine if you like the sound of the HE4XX, many owners do.
Using different pads will change the sound of a headphone, sometimes for the better, sometimes for worse.
 

solderdude

Major Contributor
Joined
Jul 21, 2018
Messages
5,553
Likes
10,062
Location
The Neverlands
But the measurements weren't done on a FP but EARS which has a Pinna ;)
I am aware the EARS has an incorrect correction file though and are not correct in an absolute way but when comparing 'similar' built/driver headphones.

I am aware of the downsides of various measurement methods. I also dare to say that even when using a 'reference' that is obtained for other measurements the 'references' are also 'off' from reality. This is why also Oratory specifies the bandwidth of 'correctness'.
I don't really agree and think above 8kHz the measurements are unreliable. Also the Harman bass-boost is something I do not entirely agree for reasons already mentioned here or there.

I don't claim my $ 4.- measurement rig is better, more accurate. My claim is that a manufacturer that sets a standard, by definition doesn't have to be an accurate standard in all conditions and that creating 'exact' EQ will certainly not result in 'accurate' results.
Merely the 'global' EQ is responsible for the sonic improvement.
 
Last edited:

solderdude

Major Contributor
Joined
Jul 21, 2018
Messages
5,553
Likes
10,062
Location
The Neverlands
Yes, but the HE400i and HE4XX are the same geometry. In case of the measurements from Oratory different pads were used. This causes the different measurements not the difference between the EARS pinna geometry and the GRAS one... in THIS particular case.

It is very clear that the pads from Oratory's measurements differ from other measurements that show there are hardly differences between the HE400i and HE4XX. This is not a Pinna thing... small differences ... yes, the reported differences come from the pads. Same headphone, same driver, different pads.

It's a bit like comparing measurements of a DT1990 with A pads measured on rig X and DT1990 with B pads on another rig.

And yes, of course every rig needs its own compensation. And the fact that these compensations are derived with certain standard methods that are definitely NOT the same as the situation with headphones for a number of reasons is why there are such substantial (many dB differences) between different HATS and measurement methods while, very likely, all those HATS will produce correct results in the same calibration chamber.

You measure something through filters and because one has to correct those filters one 'creates' a correction obtained with described methods.
These methods will produce different results on different HATS with different headphones.
This is the part I question. Not the one operating the rig nor his expertise. I question the validity of the calibration/correction methods vs headphones.
 
Last edited:

thewas_

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 15, 2020
Messages
1,068
Likes
2,052
You measure something through filters and because on has to correct those filters one 'creates' a correction obtained with described methods.
These methods will produce different results on different HATS with different headphones.
This is the part I question. Not the one operating the rig nor his expertise. I question the validity of the calibration/correction methods vs headphones.
I also believe that there can't be a unique pinna describing the real behaviour of a headphone for every listener, that's why headphone measurements (in contradiction to loudspeaker measurements) will always be just a limited approximation for an average pinna and in the end for the last % in highest fidelity you must listen or measure them in your own ears.
 

solderdude

Major Contributor
Joined
Jul 21, 2018
Messages
5,553
Likes
10,062
Location
The Neverlands
Yes, that is exactly my point. The most alarming thing is that most headphones need correction in the higher frequencies and when these aren't correct the generated EQ is also incorrect. I believe a general EQ, derived by analyzing different methods (HATS, FP whatever) with a reference that doesn't have much pinna activation is a more correct method. This is what I try to achieve by looking at (corrected) FP measurements and other measurements such as Rtings for instance. I prefer Rtings because he also measures the actual Pinna effects.
Of course, Rtings is not a 'certified professional' nor am I. That doesn't mean I cannot question calibration and measurement methods that still appear to be controversial and developing.
 

thewas_

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 15, 2020
Messages
1,068
Likes
2,052
The good thing though is that at highest frequencies our hearing is limited and most psychoacoustic importance, rating of sound quality and music content is in the mids and bass, so when EQing those we usually have already done the largest step forward.
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2019
Messages
87
Likes
23
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.
Not a bass head here as i love hd600 sound with atom/ktb. But i would like bassier secondary headphones from 50 to 300 eur. Would you recommend massdrop hifiman 4xx? Or is there something better for money. The build quality seems to be awful.
 

solderdude

Major Contributor
Joined
Jul 21, 2018
Messages
5,553
Likes
10,062
Location
The Neverlands
An open alternative to the HD600 could also be the X2HR if you want a bit more body.


The stock X2HR was a bit 'bloated' to me though, there is an easy mod for this though. The Philips seems sturdier than the HE4XX.
The +2dB is too much for me and the -2dB too 'lean'. As @thewas_ already mentioned bass and mids are the most important for tonal character.
Get the treble wrong and you risk sibilance, sharpness or dull and lifeless sound. There is also a 'getting used to' aspect here.

I owned the HE400i for a while but did not keep it, even with EQ it sounded too 'mushy/soft' to me. It 'smoothed over' the sound too much for me. I prefer a clearer/more forward/open sound. That is taste however and can see why people like the cheap Hifimans.
Not saying the HE4XX/HE400i aren't alternatives but there certainly are better planars. The HE4XX is entry level on many fronts.
However, to get better SQ from a planar prices go up considerably.

More bass can be had from closed headphones but there are not much headphones sounding as 'correct' as the HD600 in the closed headphones.
 
Top Bottom