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Sennheiser HD300 advice

audiofooled

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I recently got these and I absolutely can't fault them for the money. They really sound ok straight out of the box, even better than I expected for the application. That is, casual listening late at night when cranking up my system isn't an option. For that matter, being a closed headphone it is quite capable in the deep bass region and subjectively it can compete with my system. They're hooked up to my PC and I mostly listen to music through youtube.

However, I'm not satisfied with the SQ and fidelity. When comparing it to the speaker system, it is miles apart. And I've discovered it's not even about headphones but PC related. Motherboard I have is Gigabyte B450 DS3H with Realtek onboard audio. Through the HDMI port it outputs High definition audio device and It's hooked up to my monitor (Ryzen 5 with Vega 11 graphics, because graphics cards are f... expensive these days). Monitor has 3.5mm headphone output. When I hook my headphones to it, SQ is great but too damn quiet when both monitor and PC output volume are maxed out. I know it's the monitor issue, it simply does not let you listen any louder (or perhaps it's an impedance issue). Anyhow, I can't do nothing about that, can I? Even GEQ seems to get overridden by the monitor.

Then, I hook the headphones to the analog output on the back of the motherboard. And I realize that the internal DAC is so crappy. It still sounds ok, but nothing more. It gets loud and all the bass is there, but I can hear distortion components which otherwise are not present at all through HDMI, especially in the upper range and treble. Everything just sounds crunchy (jitter?). Connect it to the front analog jack, and it gets even worse. Through analog, the GEQ works but It can't do much to improve SQ. Tonality yes, but not SQ.

I can't find any measurements online for the HD300, nor Auto EQ or PEQ parameters, if I were to try going that route.

Before any of you say "Get a good DAC, dedicated sound card or a good headphone amp", no, I don't want to spend more than I did on the headphones, just because If I was so serious I would buy better headphones to begin with.

Sorry for the long post, but you headphone know it all's having any bit of advice, you are more than welcome and much appreciated. I mean, is it possible to improve the situation with some PEQ, if you have any? Or do I forget about it because nothing really can be improved?
 

solderdude

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I assume you mean the HD300Pro which differs from the very cheap HD300.


Sennheiser-HD-300-Pro-PAPFR-1000x485.png
 
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audiofooled

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Thanks for the swift response but no. It's the cheap HD300. As I said, I wasn't complaining about them as I really didn't have high expectations, which they happen to meet. It's about PC setup where I just don't get it what it is that I hear through analog output. I suspect that the internal dac is just poorly insulated against EMI from all the stuff inside. SQ greatly differs from it's HDMI output. I just want to try if a PEQ could aid some of this but I guess without FR graph it's really a shot in the dark.
 

solderdude

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HD300.png
 
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audiofooled

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View attachment 214603

Thanks a million. I remember checking this website but somehow I must have missed it. Silly me. Now at least I've got something to work with. It's a long shot but It's worth a try.
 
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audiofooled

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A bit of update:

The nasty stuff were there partly because of clipping issues (hey, these are power hungry!) and mostly because of a major FR error around 5 Khz, which doesn't show in the graph, or maybe it's just my pair. Had to use a notch filter around here... EQ still needs some polishing, especially around the notch area, but most of the FR I managed to tame. Although I'm a newbie, I think PEACE is pretty straightforward to use, and truly a precious tool. The headphones are already a pleasure to listen to and transformed by an order of magnitude. There are some channel imbalances around 4.3 and 7.5 Khz but nothing to write home about. I guess that's what you get for the money.

A general question: When it comes to headphones, is the FR really all there is? Apart from being IEM, closed or open back obviously, are they really that simple, I mean, in comparison to loudspeakers in rooms? From this experience I can't help but notice that - I deal with FR errors - all of a sudden I get sound stage, imaging, neutrality and transparency goodies? On all music genres? Even without a good DAC or an amp? Even though I still think nothing can replace a good in room sound reproduction, now I understand you people with really good headphone setups out there.
 
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