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mulling an hd800s...

mkawa

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#1
my current inventory is an hd600, focal elex and dt880 premium 600ohm, sony ex800, er4sr and er4xr (i can't find the sr and the xr was downright cheap). electronics stack for circumaurals is m400 + sp400. for the iems i have a meizu pro somewhere and an apple dongle.i would sell the dt880 if i bought the hd800, and i'll probably sell the ex800 and likely the er4sr (when i find it) regardless. i'm worried that the hd800 would too similar in character to the focal and end up being kind of a very expensive sidegrade.

i'm also interested in other options with max price around the hd800s. i generally listen to classical and modern compositional, progressive music with lots of folk vocals interspersed.

my partner has a pair of LCD2s that she loves for the low end for pop music. i find that it lacks soundstage but otherwise sounds great, with a much different character (obviously much more healthy low-end) than my collection.

oh, i eq in peace. my windows box is right next to my home office, so i don't have the macos problem of finding eq software. listening from my "bedroom system" aka dongle and laptop though i would be listening without eq.

i really like the sound of the elex, and of course my hd600 pry from cold dead hands etc.

note that this all started because i went looking for a bluetooth unit for zoom calls and gaming and balked at the prices, figuring that if i was paying that much, i might as well get a long cable and a(nother) proper pair of headphones that looked sufficiently business acceptable.
 

Beershaun

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#2
Bluetooth is great for zoom calls and gaming. The convenience is life changing! I know the price seems steep, and it is. But I assure you the convenience cannot be underappreciated. Since you need a good mic and noise cancelling for video conferencing the new Sony's (wh-1000XM4) or the old Sony's (WH-1000XM3) are the best in the business at this.

You should get a pair of the new Sony's and see what all the fuss is about. You already have some fantastic headphones for music listening.

Here is a link to the M4's of the price is more than you want to pay definitely look at the older M3's or a used pair.
https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B0863TXGM3/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_Ag49FbZFXZ9MM?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1
 

Beershaun

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#4
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mkawa

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Thread Starter #5
i have a yeti and a fiio BTR3 BLE4 receiver. the yeti more than fills the mic requirement, so i don't need that bit. the wiring to the BTR3 is annoying though. it ends up being dragged around and the BTR3 doesn't do multi-client. the newer BLE5 receivers do multi-client, but pricing is bit steep at 100$.

unfortunately, i can't use IEMs for zoom. i end up talking too loudly XD.

i looked at the MX4s, but am really put off by their pricetag and latency. i mean, they cost 50% more than a pair of hdxxs. also, i don't need or particularly like ANC -- i prefer the ER4s for the non-home office. the MX4s have latency that's too high for gaming. the hyperx pro have a low latency 2.4ghz receiver and BLE 4 that makes them multi-client, but cost the same amount as the MX4s and the low latency receiver is as large as an SU-9.

if someone knows of a low latency multi-client pair of headphones in the 150$ range, that would definitely hit the sweet spot.
 

Beershaun

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#6
I know. The price jump is a killer. Good to know about the mic and low latency requirement. So you just need the convenience of wireless and decent sound +low latency then. It sounds like you really want to look at gaming specific headphones?

I don't have much good information on latency. You want something that supports Bluetooth 5 with APTX-
HD, or LDAC I think.

On price: That's the nature of the beast I'm afraid. You just have to accept that it costs $150 more to get comparable engineering in a bluetooth headphone that you get from a wired one. The manufacturer has to pack in the bluetooth receiver, DAC, amp, and battery into an awfully small space so it's not unwarranted. And that is honestly well spent. having no wire really is life changing.

My advice on price is to buy used. For example the Sony's I linked for you can be had used on Amazon for $208. Much easier to swallow.
 
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mkawa

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Thread Starter #7
price is not an issue if the product is worth the money.

according to rtings, the mx4s don't support aptx, unfortunately. they are BLE5 and multi-client though! although, SBC is 200ms latency which is too slow for gaming. so close...

i'd probably try them if they had aptx or ldac. the drop pandas do have aptx, but they're BLE4 single-client. so close..

the airpod max does is similar to the mx4; for some odd reason rtings reports that it only supports sbc, and has about the same latency. also, that price! they also report that the dynamic EQ doesn't give it the optimal response that it seems like it should be capable above, which is disappointing.

the hd800 seems attractive because i have a bunch of great cable options for it -- i know this is silly, but the elex cable doesn't reach my simracing cockpit where my head is while gaming -- and it seems like the kind of super comfortable end game headphone that i would leave on my head pretty much all day. i've pored over the response graphs available and i think i'd be pretty happy with it without EQ and blown away with EQ. also, being a sennheiser, i know i'll be able to get parts support etc for the next 20 years, which is almost exactly how old my hd600 is.
 
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mkawa

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Thread Starter #8
i think this has just turned into a recommendation thread for top ranked headphones in the 1500-2000 range.
 

Noodles

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#9
HD800(s) are a great headphone but they are so amp dependant that its a joke ...
I think you should consider the Hifiman Arya or if you are set on bluetooth without a receiver - the Beyer Amiron Copper wireless, Hifiman Ananda or ... the Airpods max.
Schedule an appointment in your local hifi shop to try whatever you set your mind on ;)
 
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mkawa

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Thread Starter #10
@Beershaun convinced me to at least try the sony wh1000xm4. it doesn't really scratch the itch, but looking at the price trends for hd800 on rtings, if i bide my time, i could save a few hundred on them. heck, if i hadn't waited until after the holidays, it looks like i could have gotten a pair for 1400..
 

Noodles

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#11
The xm4 are typical modern Sony sound signature - warm and bassy with rolled off highs and muddied mids. Honestly i love my XM3 not for the sound, but for the comfort.
Their microphones are not that great though...
 
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mkawa

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Thread Starter #12
duly noted. the yeti is a monstrously good microphone, so i won't have to rely on them.

i'm not expecting much from the sound. i'm hoping the convenience will make them worth keeping, and if not, eh, it was worth a try.

the hifiman options seem interesting, but i've heard bad things about QC. does that only apply to their low-end HP or have people gotten bum arya or anandas too?

finally, thoughts on whether i should audition 800s at the same time as the sonys or whether i should try the sonys first and then the 800s if i end up not really liking the sonys?

i had an epiphany yesterday and realized that i can get basically multi-client out of my m400 by connecting to it via bluetooth from my macbook and usb from my windows box. i'm picking up a tempotec to run wired on the simracing rig. it's not that this nullifies the usfeulness of the sonys (i can use them on the treadmill and couch, for example), but it does help.
 

buz

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#13
The xm4 are typical modern Sony sound signature - warm and bassy with rolled off highs and muddied mids. Honestly i love my XM3 not for the sound, but for the comfort.
Their microphones are not that great though...
I need to add something here: I have the xm2 (which supposedly is a bit less bassy than xm3/4) and while they are not uncomfortable, they do get very hot after a while. NFW I would spend multiple hours with them.

For VC frankly those bloody Jabra On Ears from work are quite decent.

In case of BT receivers, healthy recommendation for the qudelix. Orders of magnitude above the BTR3. Have not really tested the mic but it supposedly is decent. It drives my HD600 just fine.

FWIW, after Amir pretty much destroyed my Focal Clear plans I am mulling the HD800s myself.
 

threni

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#14
price is not an issue if the product is worth the money.

according to rtings, the mx4s don't support aptx, unfortunately. they are BLE5 and multi-client though! although, SBC is 200ms latency which is too slow for gaming. so close...

i'd probably try them if they had aptx or ldac.
They have LDAC.
 

Noodles

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#15
while they are not uncomfortable, they do get very hot after a while
I can second that, especially if you are moving somewhat.
In regards of the btr3 vs quidelix - they are not really that different. While i cannot say for the mic on the quidelix i can assure you the btr3 one is quite decent. - I was thinking of the BTR5... the btr3 is quite weak against the quidelix. My bad.
I am waiting for stock on the Fiio Q5s where i live so i can have a go at that, that one is supposed to have heaps more power.
If money is no object the ifi xcan is quite decent.
FWIW, after Amir pretty much destroyed my Focal Clear plans I am mulling the HD800s myself.
If you like your Clears and they don't exhibit the issues he mentioned at Your listening volume - just keep em :)
HD800s are very different from the Clear...
the hifiman options seem interesting, but i've heard bad things about QC. does that only apply to their low-end HP or have people gotten bum arya or anandas too?
Hifiman and their QC are infamous ... but they have gotten better in recent years. IF you go for them - get them from a place where they are good with warranty.

Edit: i know how it will sound, but also check out the LCD-GX (the "gaming" one). It has a more midrange focus with cleaner bass, should be more than a perfect match for your music taste.
 
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buz

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#16
>
If you like your Clears and they don't exhibit the issues he mentioned at Your listening volume - just keep em :)
HD800s are very different from the Clear...
I don't have them yet and given the comments about QC in that thread I doubt I want them... Besides more soundstage sounds good to me and if (now) certified basshead amir can get enough bass with the hd800a, that allays the biggest issue I had with them.
 
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mkawa

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Thread Starter #18
so i tried the sonys. i found the sound to be acceptable to pretty good under ldac, but there are so many disclaimers and bugs on the sonys that half the time i've been forced to fall back to my macbook speaker in zoom anyway. it basically works if you're not switching between devices or trying to use multipoint etc. etc., but i can definitely see this only and finally working when the xm5 comes out in a couple of years and the electronics are obsolete. i don't really want to subscribe to that newsletter, so i'm out. next, the hd800
 

Beershaun

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#19
Sorry to hear they did not work out for you.
 

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