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*NEW* AKG K702 has been measured by Oratory!

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Robbo99999

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I tested altering Band 5 to preference and found it was already spot on at the Harman Curve levels vs my AnechoicEQ'd JBL 308p speakers, but I found the difference was higher up the frequency range, in silibance frequencies and a little below, so Band 9 & 8 in Oratory's EQ, with a little more energy required for me in that area. Given that this is the area where we see differences between Crinacle's & Oratory's measurements (View attachment 128275), and that my own EQ based on the average of these two measurements accounts for that then this explains why I prefer my EQ based on an average of the two measurements (View attachment 128274,View attachment 128276). One little extra difference is my EQ also boosts slightly more between 3-4kHz than Oratory's, which I think is also beneficial for me.
An update to this, I did some more testing & comparison on the same portions of tracks between my K702 headphone and my JBL 308p speakers and I did need to add a little more energy around 2kHz, but I also needed to keep the extra energy at 5.5kHz that I talked about above. I was listening to the opening bars of Supermassive Black Hole by Muse as a means to compare because there's a guitar riff in there that I think is heavily located in the 1-3kHz zone, and adding energy around 2kHz brought that more to the fore and inline with what I was hearing on my speakers, it feels like vocals are the same too. So I added two new filters, borrowing the 2280Hz Q1.9 customisation filter from Oratory's EQ and placing it on top own EQ that I previously showed in the post I'm quoting. As a result it changes the frequency response of my K702 to the following vs the standard Harman Curve (Harman Curve being the light blue line in the background):
Rob's Reference Headphone Curve vs Harman.jpg


And here's how the new frequency response looks vs the original K702 Oratory & Crinacle Average frequency response:
K702 Crinacle & Oratory with JBL mods.jpg

In future I could use this new frequency response as a target for my other headphones and experiment if they sound more accurate to my speakers, this might be particularly useful on the HE4XX as I felt that lacked a bit of definition.

I attach my personalised EQ of my K702 at the end of the post in an EqualiserAPO config file, but be aware that it's my own tweak on the Harman Curve to make it sound more accurate to "flat reference speakers in my room" and there's not really any particular reason that it will be more accurate for any of you due to the fact that we all have anatomical differences that influence what the ideal headphone frequency response would be for us.
 

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Robbo99999

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I'm going to propose a different solution to the 5.5 kHz problem.

First, listen to a chirp, such as this, with your unequalized K702:
If you hear a peak between 5 and 6 kHz, base your EQ on Oratory's measurement, if you don't, base it on Crinacle's.
In either case, you should also hear the 2-3 kHz peak. Turn up your volume if you don't. As unpleasant as chirps can be, 5 minutes of testing isn't going to damage your hearing, even at elevated volumes.
It's a good idea, but it's not that simple. I've listened to sine tone frequency sweeps through the frequency range before, to see if I could identify peaks and I noticed that all my headphones had an absolutely massive peak (increase in volume) from 8500Hz-12200Hz. I spoke with Oratory about this and he said it's probably your ears, and to try the same frequency sweep on my speakers, and low & behold the same massive peak to my ears between 8500Hz-12200Hz.....so my ears are very efficient in this zone and a large increase in volume in that zone should not be equalised down as that is part of my normal hearing. (My JBL 308p speakers are AnechoicEQ'd so that's an accurate reference).

But having said that, I suppose I could do a sine frequency sweep through that area on my speakers and try to work out if my hearing is flat in that area, and if it is then do the same test on my unequalised headphones. I'll put that in the bank and try it out over the next days probably.
Hi flipflop, I had a go with this a couple of days ago. Testing on my speakers I don't have any waviness when playing through the 5500Hz zone with sine tones, so my hearing doesn't have any natural peaks there. So then I tested it on my K702 headphones and there was indeed a peak at 5500Hz, so certainly for my ears it reflects the peak at 5500Hz in the Oratory measurement. EQ'ing it down doesn't require as much as the peak is pictured in Oratory's measurement, but could be some unit to unit variation of my K702 vs the one he measured (I have two pairs of K702) or it could be my anatomy is slightly different than Harman in that frequency zone when it comes to my ideal/flat headphone curve. I might be sending in my new K702 to Oratory to be measured too, so that we can see what unit to unit variation is like.
 
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Robbo99999

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Hi folks, Oratory has measured my second & newer AKG K702 (bought January, about 200hrs use), and he's updated his published pdf with the differences being the measurement is a bit darker than before as my second K702 didn't have such large treble peaks (or slightly more energy sub 1kHz, whichever way you want to look at it) which should translate to a slightly brighter EQ for people. His EQ is also a bit different this time inasmuch that he's decided to extend the bass all the way down to 20Hz with the K702 now. I listened to it briefly, and I think the K702 can take it, but my personal preference is to roll off the bass earlier with this headphone as I find it enhances the very good spatial qualities of this headphone more. I do think it's impressive that he decided to allow such a big boost to the bass of the K702, he must be confident it can take it in terms of his measurements and listening.....I've sent him a message asking him about his decision to extend the bass with this new update to his updated K702 EQ and I haven't heard back just yet.

Here's Oratory's updated pdf taking into account the measuring of my second K702:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/033kxyf8a0o3iv6/AKG K702.pdf?dl=0
Oratory K702 EQ version 2.jpg


Oratory also measured this newer unit for Distortion & Channel Matching and I'll include the graphs here:
#2 K702 distortion.png

#2 K702 channel matching.png


If you have a look at Page 1 and the original post of this thread, you'll be able to find the distortion graph for my first K702 that was tested (an older unit). I think the distortion profile is a little better on this second newer K702, as it does not have the larger peaks of distortion in the 1-2kHz zone that the first unit had. You can see in the graph above that Channel Matching of my second unit is also better in general except for in the bass where it's about as bad as my first unit. The other good thing about this Channel Matching graph is that you can see generally what driver & unit to unit variation could look like. My impression is that unit to unit variation is fairly high with the K702 based on these 2 units tested and that channel matching of drivers is not particularly good (but I'm not really exposed to unit to unit variation of other headphones so take my assessment with a pinch of salt on this particular point).........it's only 2 units tested, but it's better than just one being tested!

I've done some EQ's for both of my K702 specific to the measured frequency response of each one, as well as combining that with an "exact" channel matching EQ for each of my two K702. I'll do a post in this thread when I have some more time (probably this weekend) showing how I did it & the results (in terms of frequency response graphs).....some listening testing I did I noticed that channel matching increased clarity/intelligibility of vocals (understanding words that I previously couldn't determine on some difficult to understand tracks) as well as noticing subtle reverb on vocals & instrument, as well as noticing some quick panning effects, also seemed to enhance soundstage some more. So those are effects of the channel matching (and praps also combined with the fact that it's an EQ specific to a particular unit that's been measured, so unit to unit variation removed from the equation).

@samwell7 , @Ravix , @bobbooo, @jhaider , @thewas , @Nango , @Seta Seta Pop , @Jimbob54 , @Bob-23 - tagging you guys as you expressed interest in or own this headphone, and I know what it's like trying to keep track of old watched threads! You might find you like Oratory's new EQ (based on him measuring my second K702 I sent him) more than his first version of the K702 EQ.
 
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You might find you like Oratory's new EQ (based on him measuring my second K702 I sent him) more than his first version of the K702 EQ.

Thanks for posting that. I have a pair of K702s that I bought in late January. I was using Oratory's EQ, but agree the new one is better. Actually, I like your EQ from post #61 as well.
 
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Robbo99999

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Thanks for posting that. I have a pair of K702s that I bought in late January. I was using Oratory's EQ, but agree the new one is better. Actually, I like your EQ from post #61 as well.
Oratory's latest measurement is darker than the previous, therefore should result in brighter EQ.....and given my EQ you mention in post #61 is based off the old measurement yet I extended the treble peak & rolled off the bass will also make it brighter....so I'm not that surprised you find both Oratory's latest EQ and my EQ better than his previous. Oratory's latest EQ is based on 2 units now rather than just 1, so theoretically it should be a bit more representative of an average K702 out there in the wild.....if I was you I'd use his latest EQ rather than my EQ I did in post #61 - more chance of it being a better representation of the Harman Curve as based on 2 units measured and doesn't include my personal modifications. If there's something you like about the fact that I roll off the bass in my EQ, then you could just add a High Pass Filter to Oratory's EQ. You could put in High Pass Filter 30Hz Q0.75 to start gently rolling off the bass away from the Harman Curve taking effect from 40Hz, it's a gentle roll off and so doesn't change the frequency response in the rest of the frequency response north of around 40Hz (sharp High Pass filters actually boost the frequencies above them whilst cutting the ones below, so that's why you have to use Q0.75). Alternatively, whilst using Oratory's latest EQ follow his advice in the pdf where he describes the filters you can tweak to alter the sound, Filter #2 controls the bass so you could play about reducing that Low Shelf Filter.

EDIT: and/or you might consider deactivating Filter#1 in Oratory's latest EQ as that is a second Low Shelf Filter that jacks up the sub bass (30Hz & below in this case) and effectively prevents roll off of the frequency response.
 
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Oratory's latest measurement is darker than the previous, therefore should result in brighter EQ.....and given my EQ you mention in post #61 is based off the old measurement yet I extended the treble peak & rolled off the bass will also make it brighter....so I'm not that surprised you find both Oratory's latest EQ and my EQ better than his previous.

Right. When I first got the K702 I told myself I should take the purist approach and listen without EQ. It was... ok... But then I discovered the libraries of EQ settings online. Now it's pretty much a no-brainer to use EQ with the K702.

I also have an HD560S. I use it with EQ also, but I think it's quite listenable without.

I agree with your assessment. The original Oratory EQ sounded too recessed in the vocal range. Both your curve and the new Oratory sound about right through the mids. But, yes, there's maybe too much bass in the Oratory and that may be why I prefer yours in some cases. I will try adjusting the Oratory settings. TBH, I'm not too worried about conforming exactly to Harman or anything else.

I've been tempted to buy some high-end headphones -- the Aeon 2 Noire interests me. I haven't heard anything other than what I've got here, though. I have a feeling it would be hard to do substantially better than what I'm hearing with the K702, equalized. I wonder if anyone would care to comment on that before I go blow a lot of money for nothing.
 
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Robbo99999

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Right. When I first got the K702 I told myself I should take the purist approach and listen without EQ. It was... ok... But then I discovered the libraries of EQ settings online. Now it's pretty much a no-brainer to use EQ with the K702.

I also have an HD560S. I use it with EQ also, but I think it's quite listenable without.

I agree with your assessment. The original Oratory EQ sounded too recessed in the vocal range. Both your curve and the new Oratory sound about right through the mids. But, yes, there's maybe too much bass in the Oratory and that may be why I prefer yours in some cases. I will try adjusting the Oratory settings. TBH, I'm not too worried about conforming exactly to Harman or anything else.

I've been tempted to buy some high-end headphones -- the Aeon 2 Noire interests me. I haven't heard anything other than what I've got here, though. I have a feeling it would be hard to do substantially better than what I'm hearing with the K702, equalized. I wonder if anyone would care to comment on that before I go blow a lot of money for nothing.
Yes, definitely better to use EQ than not for 99% of headphones (my HD600 perhaps excluded). K702 with EQ based on Oratory is my favourite headphone, for the spatial qualities in terms of being a more speaker-like experience, and also the K702 has a lot of ability to convey detail & nuance, about the same level as my HD600 in terms of delivering detail & nuance. I own good quality closed back headphones like the NAD HP50 and a planar magnetic open back headphone in the form of Hifiman HE4XX and none of them can surpass my EQ'd K702. Given my experience comparing these different headphones (from different classes of design: dynamic drivers / planar drivers / open back / closed back), then I don't think you're gonna do much better than an EQ'd K702, personally I don't think it's worth your while shelling out lots of money & taking the time to do it.....but do it if you're curious. For instance, I've worked out that the measured distortion variable isn't particularly important to me, given that HP50 and HE4XX have lower distortion than my K702 yet my K702 is still my clear favourite....and often for good quality expensive headphones you're often paying for low distortion drivers, but I really don't think it's that important. Another thing to note is that expensive headphones can also have really crappy distortion performance, so don't go on price alone, there is not really a correlation between price & quality. I think the only downside of the K702 is the not particularly good channel matching and perhaps the unit to unit variation....however K702 has always been my favourite headphone even before I did my channel matching EQ, so it's probably worth putting those negative points into perspective. I think you'll be hard-pressed to do better than EQ'd K702, given that it's a soundstage headphone I'd say the Sennheiser HD800s (EQ'd) could be the one that would trump this headphone but it's around £1700 whilst the K702 is £109!
 
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Robbo99999

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I promised yesterday that I would write a post showing how I did Channel Matching EQ for my K702 that Oratory measured, unfortunately this is only something you can do if you actually get your headphone measured and end up with a representative seperate frequency response for both left & right drivers. But you may find this of interest, and it's something you can actually do if you get your headphone measured, as well as giving you ideas on how generally you can manipulate your own EQ's for your headphones. Following is a description of the channel matching EQ process for my first (older) K702 unit I sent to Oratory, I haven't received back my newer second unit back from Oratory yet.

Channel Matching EQ Creation
I worked out a two step process to achieve this. Step 1 is to determine an average curve that describes both the right & left drivers and to create an EQ for each driver that EQ's that driver to that average thereby you are matching both drivers to the average between them (both drivers will therefore be the same frequency response). Step 2 is to create an EQ that EQ's the determined average to the Harman Curve. You then activate the 3 EQ sets in EqualiserAPO: so you activate Left Channel Matching EQ for left channel, activate Right Channel Matching EQ for right channel, and then activate "Average to the Harman Curve EQ" (created in Step 2) for both channels. Following is a detailed breakdown of the processes I've described.

Step 1:
Oratory provided representative frequency responses of both my left & right drivers:
K702 Oratory Channel Matching.png
I traced those two frequency responses using the SPL Trace function in VirtuixCAD, thereby turning that graph into text table data format that was importable into REW. I imported those frequency responses into REW and then used REW to quickly workout an average of the two responses, easy just click a button to get REW to draw the average curve:
Average.jpg
After setting that average of the two drivers as the Target Curve in REW I then EQ'd each of the drivers to that average:
K702 left channel matching EQ.jpg
K702 right channel matching EQ.jpg

Step 2:
EQ'ing the previously determined average curve of the two drivers to the Harman Curve, again using REW:
K702 Oratory My EQ of Average Channel Matching.jpg

Yep, now Step 1 & 2 are complete you then activate all of those 3 EQ's together in EqualiserAPO, left & right channel matching EQ (one applied to each driver from Step1), and then the EQ from Step 2 which is applied to both drivers. You can now flip channel matching on & off in Equaliser APO whilst still retaining the Harman EQ from Step 2 - thereby you can see the effect of channel matching at a flip of a switch:
EqualiserAPO channel matching #1.jpg
EqualiserAPO channel matching #2.jpg

I did these actual EQ's months ago, but here are my listening impressions of the benefits of exact channel matching. I noticed that channel matching increased clarity/intelligibility of vocals (understanding words that I previously couldn't determine on some difficult to understand tracks) as well as noticing subtle reverb on vocals & instrument, as well as noticing some quick panning effects, also seemed to enhance soundstage some more. So those are effects of the channel matching (and praps also combined with the fact that it's an EQ specific to a particular unit that's been measured, so unit to unit variation removed from the equation).

I show all I've done here because I like to show what I've done, but I like to convey the things I've experienced & learned, and some of this may be of benefit or interest to you. It's not like you can use my channel matching EQ because it's specific to the driver balance in my own headphone unit, so it will be different to yours......but you could do something similar if you get your headphone measured, or you may just be interested, or it may make you consider using REW to tweak your own headphones or enhance your understanding of how EQ works on the filter level.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
As a side note I did the same thing for my newer K702 that Oratory also measured, he's measured two of my K702's. Here's just screenshots showing the EQ's for this particular unit, which was done using the same process as described above.
Average#2.jpg New Sample K702 Left Channel Match.jpg New Sample K702 Right Channel Match.jpg New Sample K702 EQing Average to Harman.jpg
I'm not quite as happy with the EQ's for this particular unit as the final EQ of the average curve to the Harman Target was more troublesome & I don't feel I've done the final EQ as elegantly as I did for my first sample of K702. I had to use sharper filters & more of them....I haven't received this particular unit back from Oratory yet so haven't had a chance to listen to these ones yet......I may redo/revisit these particular EQ's once I get my headphone back & listen to them.
 
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Thanks, Robbo, for your trans- resp. intercontinental postal activities, in service of sound quality. I tested the new settings yesterday - I liked it very much.

The soundstage to price ratio of the AKG K702 ist hard to top. I'd suggest renaming them AKG K802s.

And, into the bargain: they are climate-change-proof - while listening yesterday, I had 30°C in my room: you don't sweat at all under them, as breathable as they are.

Last not least: extremely comfortable*, lightest weight, with big earcups for audiophile ear size.

*I zip-tie the leather headband to the metal strings, so that it doesn't touch my head, but that might only work if you listen in relaxed lying position, as I do.
 
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restorer-john

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I just plug my AKG-702s into any headphone socket and enjoy. EQ completely unneccesary. YMMV.
 
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Robbo99999

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Thanks, Robbo, for your trans- resp. intercontinental postal activities, in service of sound quality. I tested the new settings yesterday - I liked it very much.

The soundstage to price ratio of the AKG K702 ist hard to top. I'd suggest renaming them AKG K802s.

And, into the bargain: they are climate-change-proof - while listening yesterday, I had 30°C in my room: you don't sweat at all under them, as breatable as they are.

Last not least: extremely comfortable*, lightest weight, with big earcups for audiophile ear size.

*I zip-tie the leather headband to the metal strings, so that it doesn't touch my head, but that might only work if you listen in relaxed lying position, as I do.
Yes, I agree with all that, and they are indeed very comfortable & breath very easily so you don't get hot ears and they're light & comfortable. I don't do the headband mod thing you've done, but whatever works there. I'm glad you're enjoying the latest incarnation of Oratory's EQ for this headphone, and thanks for the compliments re my international postal activities, ha! I think it's a great headphone that is also very popular, and deserves to be measured & EQ'd by Oratory, so it's certainly worth it to me that I've sent in those 2 units.
I just plug my AKG-702s into any headphone socket and enjoy. EQ completely unneccesary. YMMV.
I used the K702 for 4 years without EQ (and enjoyed the headphones), that was before beginning of 2020 when I didn't know of this website & didn't know anything about EQ apart from the graphic equalisers on old stereos that I used to move around almost randomly, lol! Pretty much all headphones can be improved with EQ for most people, and the K702 is certainly no exception, it's not horrendous at stock but it sounds a bit strange last time I tried listening to it stock.
 
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I just plug my AKG-702s into any headphone socket and enjoy. EQ completely unneccesary. YMMV.

I’ve tried that - no thanks. Will never do again. There’s a reason AKG 702 a niche model and Sennheiser 580/600/650 is the long time standard for open headphones at similar pricing. A pleasing tonal balance is 80% of the thing.

EQ does make 702 pretty darn good though.
 
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Robbo99999

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I really should try a pair of Senn 600/650s before they disappear. :)
I have the HD600 and would describe the HD600 as perfect apart from narrow soundstage and somewhat undefined bass when boosted to Harman levels. What is impressive about the HD600 is how good they sound without EQ - essentially perfect apart from lacking some bass. Just that I can't get past the narrow soundstage hence I can't get enthusiastic about the HD600, beautifully smooth rendered voices & instruments though with lots of nuance. The good thing about EQ'd K702 to me is that it ends up doing everything the HD600 can whilst having better defined bass and an impressively expansive soundstage - which is why it's my favourite headphone.
 

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I mostly agree with you, but no matter how I EQ the K702, I've never been able to make it sound as smooth and natural as the HD600, and my K702 must be pretty different to yours, applying your EQ settings makes them sound a bit cuppy/wonky.

If soundstage is a primary factor then K702 is a halfway ticket, it gains in that area but it loses in other attributes, the HD800/S fails short in none (when EQed), and the HD600 can also be made to sound wider with some EQ tuning or even DSP, but I must say that I never found the HD600 (I don't know about the 650) to be lacking in that area.
 

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I really should try a pair of Senn 600/650s before they disappear.

If you are used to K702's soundstage - and appreciate that aspect in phones (not everyone does) - you'll be dissapointed by the HD600s. I've got them but i must admit I haven't used them in the last two years, or so: every time I try it, I immediately feel the deficit. Having experienced the beautiful soundstage of the K702s the HD600s are simply become narrow to me.

Soundstagewise, the X2HR are also clearly better (50mm agled drivers), but they don't show the clarity and resolution of the K702s; bass is there (!) but can be too boomy (must be eq'd).

But, who knows, maybe I'll rediscover the Hd600s, some day, as they are really not bad.

Were they still available I'd recommend here the Sennheiser Px 100-II (I've still got a pair). There once was an eternal headfi-thread by katun, who called them the HD625 - they are wider, very dynamic, punchy on-ears - and they cost only about 50 Euro.

But, apparently, not everone needs 'big' soundstages, and not everyone even seems to perceive it as such.
 

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The soundstage of the AK-702s is simply wonderful. Everything else I've listened to, is like ear-muffs and claustrophobic.
 
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Robbo99999

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I mostly agree with you, but no matter how I EQ the K702, I've never been able to make it sound as smooth and natural as the HD600, and my K702 must be pretty different to yours, applying your EQ settings makes them sound a bit cuppy/wonky.

If soundstage is a primary factor then K702 is a halfway ticket, it gains in that area but it loses in other attributes, the HD800/S fails short in none (when EQed), and the HD600 can also be made to sound wider with some EQ tuning or even DSP, but I must say that I never found the HD600 (I don't know about the 650) to be lacking in that area.
What's cuppy? There does seem to be a fair bit of variation based on my 2 units measured, so you might be right that your K702 is a way off from my 2 units, you could always send it to Oratory I guess.

I've never been able to make the HD600 sound spacious or wide, even with an optimised frequency response that I identified as enhancing spatial qualities of headphones for myself.....even with Soundblaster Virtual Surround Sound 7.1 the HD600 doesn't present a very good 3D sound scene in gaming, so I find it surprising you say you can improve the soundstage of the HD600. I think the only way to improve the soundstage of the HD600 would be to use in-ear mics and go through the Impulcifier project or Smyth Realiser. Most people find the HD600 series to be narrow in soundstage so I'm not alone in that experience.
 
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Robbo99999

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If you are used to K702's soundstage - and appreciate that aspect in phones (not everyone does) - you'll be dissapointed by the HD600s. I've got them but i must admit I haven't used them in the last two years, or so: every time I try it, I immediately feel the deficit. Having experienced the beautiful soundstage of the K702s the HD600s are simply become narrow to me.

Soundstagewise, the X2HR are also clearly better (50mm agled drivers), but they don't show the clarity and resolution of the K702s; bass is there (!) but can be too boomy (must be eq'd).

But, who knows, maybe I'll rediscover the Hd600s, some day, as they are really not bad.

Were they still available I'd recommend here the Sennheiser Px 100-II (I've still got a pair). There once was an eternal headfi-thread by katun, who called them the HD625 - they are wider, very dynamic, punchy on-ears - and they cost only about 50 Euro.

But, apparently, not everone needs 'big' soundstages, and not everyone even seems to perceive it as such.
Ha, I've got a Senheiser PX-100! It was my headphone before I got the K702. Is the PX-100 the same as the PX 100-II? I notice oratory has a measurement for the PX 100-II, do you know if they're close to the same frequency response, I could try it? They are on-ear headphones rather than over ear.

EDIT: I compared PX100 to PX100ii frequency response from Innerfidelity and they're quite similar, very different in one place but considering the similarities everywhere else I think that was measurement error, or praps a measurement that was pre some kind of compensation I think I heard he did, but anyway I don't hear that difference in a sine sweep, so I think I'm right about that. I applied Oratory's EQ for the PX100ii and it is an improvement although I don't think the headphones are exactly the same as there's quite a big peak between 3600-4500Hz that I identified in a sine sweep which I know isn't there in properly corrected headphones. I tried taking that peak out with EQ but wasn't very sucessful. @Bob-23 , if you've got the PX100ii then I suggest you add a Low Shelf Bass Boost to it, as for some reason Oratory chose not to add any bass boost even though I've found the PX100 can take it without detectable bass distortion. Try adding Low Shelf Filter at 60Hz, +7dB, Q1. I determined from looking at Oratory's measurment of the PX100ii that this is the Low Shelf Filter you need to boost bass up to Harman levels without going over it at any point and then bass will roll off from 40Hz. Soundstage was indeed wider than the HD600, but I don't think as good as K702, and certainly overall headphone fidelity of the PX100 with my quick EQ was not as good, but it wasn't a perfect EQ.
 
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