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Openback headphones

jonbonjon

New Member
Ok so i've been using my DT990 Pros for a couple years now and yes they are great on mids and highs but bass kind of invisible so i rely on guess work really. My HS5 arent great in the lower ends either so my bass always ends up really hit and miss. Im trying this reference 4 software to see if it makes any difference. I dont know that it will really but even if its just eqing my main out to get a flatter response doesnt hurt to try the demo i suppose. I will suck it and see.
 

jonbonjon

New Member
heh well after a very brief listen back to my soundcloud stuff i must say it sounds alot better.. at least alot more 'balanced' through the sonarworks plugs. Seems to tame the freq spike abit..
 

danbo

Active Member
Spent many years chasing audio reproduction because I wasn't producing music myself, I've tried everything. Most accurate (best in my book) headphone, and audio production device (beating horns, planers and dynamics) in my book are Stax headphones. They were commonly found in broadcast studios, until music programming got so bad that they seemed to not care about fidelity.

Otherwise I've still got a few Beyer around, gave up on Senn as too woolly.
 

steveo42

Active Member
Ok so i've been using my DT990 Pros for a couple years now and yes they are great on mids and highs but bass kind of invisible so i rely on guess work really. My HS5 arent great in the lower ends either so my bass always ends up really hit and miss. Im trying this reference 4 software to see if it makes any difference. I dont know that it will really but even if its just eqing my main out to get a flatter response doesnt hurt to try the demo i suppose. I will suck it and see.
Interesting. I find the bass to be strong but the phones overload easy on heavy bass passages.
I'm wondering if there is something wrong with my pair. They are only a couple of weeks old and were factory sealed etc. Sonarworks really makes these phones sound much better as it tames the shrill high end.
 
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jononotbono

jononotbono

Luke Johnson
Thanks - good to know, though I take @robgb’s point, that since I’m not really aiming for things to sound good across multiple systems, then getting a flat response, or training myself to listen for it, isn’t really necessary in my case - if it sounds good on my system, the only system it’ll be played on (just a hobbyist here), then flat isn’t a requirement - is that correct?
Sorry for the delayed response. Hopefully you have read the Sonarworks manual by now and understood what Systemwide is. If not, briefly, Systemwide utilises the Room correction Plugin on the audio output of your Soundcard/interface. Sure, you could follow Robgb's advice but I wouldn't. The whole point of the Room correction is like adding Room treatment to your room. When you listen to any audio, whether it's from your DAW, watching videos on You Tube or listening to music on Spotify, you aren't going to take down Room Treatment from your physical walls when you go from listening to audio in your DAW to watching the YouTube videos are you? The room treatment stays up forever. You then learn the room and hopefully happy days!

There is absolutely no point in using an EQ on you DAW Masterbus (or listen bus - whatever you like to do) and then have audio from other sources not have that same EQ. You will never learn "your room" and audio will be different from different sources. And Systemwide is only for the one system you are using, even if you have multiple monitors. It isn't for multiple systems, it's for the same system. And flat. You can tailor the EQ settings to what you want after you have measured the room (or simply use the headphone settings) but seriously, I don't understand why anyone would want to use Sonarworks unless it is flat. The aim here is to make what you here translate anywhere else. And yes, of course, people can just "learn their rooms". It's what everyone does but when your room sounds like a horse box with Skrillex shat from a Horse's mouth, that's a whole load of "I'll check my mixes in the car! Oh, as usual, my mixes sound like sonic Dogs Brown! Where's all the bass? The mix sounded amazing when I mixed it". Sonarworks will fix that immediately.

Hopefully this clears up what Systemwide is for. I'll happily say, Sonarworks is one of the best investments I have ever made. I recently wrote a library track for Universal and it got rejected 6 times on the mix lacking bottom end. I looked into Sonarworks, realised that my mix, despite me thinking there was a great amount of Bass, was completely lacking in bass. I couldn't believe the difference. One remix through Sonarworks and it got accepted.

Anyway, some people hate Room correction EQ but many of us love it and it makes a huge amount of difference. Even with headphones. ;)
 
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JVazquez

New Member
HD600 are flatter than HD650. Better for classical and 'mixing'. HD650 sound a little sexier, I've heard.
 

WindcryMusic

Always learning
I recently got a pair of HD6XX phones from Massdrop, but thus far I've been very disappointed with them ... everything sounds very "mushy" and indistinct through them. However, I'm not sure if this is just the way these sound, or if there is something wrong with my pair, or if it is the fault of not having a dedicated headphone amp for them (I'm using the headphone output from my Duet 2). Does anyone have any suggestions that might lead me to want to pull these back out of my equipment closet?
 

tav.one

Brown Composer
I recently got a pair of HD6XX phones from Massdrop, but thus far I've been very disappointed with them ... everything sounds very "mushy" and indistinct through them. However, I'm not sure if this is just the way these sound, or if there is something wrong with my pair, or if it is the fault of not having a dedicated headphone amp for them (I'm using the headphone output from my Duet 2). Does anyone have any suggestions that might lead me to want to pull these back out of my equipment closet?
I use my HD6XX with Duet 2 (and Sonarworks), not mushy at all, the best sounding of all I've tried in $200 to $500 range (best sounding to me, I love a little dark, warm & smooth sound rather than hyped highs)
 

WindcryMusic

Always learning
I use my HD6XX with Duet 2 (and Sonarworks), not mushy at all, the best sounding of all I've tried in $200 to $500 range (best sounding to me, I love a little dark, warm & smooth sound rather than hyped highs)
That's good to know. Not because it will necessarily make me like the sound of my HD6XX phones, but because I was afraid that it was my fault for trying to use them with an insufficient amp. You probably just saved me in excess of $300, which I was contemplating investing in a standalone headphone amp and some sort of line switcher to use it in combo with the Duet 2. I would have been far unhappier if I'd spent that extra money and still not liked the sound of the phones afterwards. At least, at the current time, I'm only out the $200 on the headphones themselves ... and maybe someday I'll come around to liking them, but for right now I unfortunately just don't.

I suppose what I should do now is try to find someone else nearby (southern MN) with a pair of HD6XX or HD650 phones that they like, and see if I can visit them to do a quick comparison. And just in case anyone reading this qualifies, please PM me.
 

JonAdamich

Member
Interesting. I find the bass to be strong but the phones overload easy on heavy bass passages.
I'm wondering if there is something wrong with my pair. They are only a couple of weeks old and were factory sealed etc. Sonarworks really makes these phones sound much better as it tames the shrill high end.
Do you use them a lot? Sometimes there is kind of a break in period with them. I was thinking of picking of sonarworks. Do you see a major difference?
 

steveo42

Active Member
Do you use them a lot? Sometimes there is kind of a break in period with them. I was thinking of picking of sonarworks. Do you see a major difference?
I've started using them a lot. They are definitely sounding better after the break in period and like I said, Sonarworks makes a nice improvement. I'm currently running them through a Schiit Magni 3 and they are sounding very good.
 

Quasar

Senior Member
For open back, I am very happy with the HD 598, which I got - not for technical/engineering listening - but for pure comfort and enjoyable listening while dinking around with ideas and composing. They are insanely comfortable, are clear and neutral but perhaps emphasize the mid & mid-high registers and are not so strong for bass. They convey a great sense of depth & space, almost as though you were listening to monitor speakers rather than headphones.

Just looked them up on Amazon, and was shocked to see them priced at $389.99. I bought them there (the light colored maroon and beige ones) for $150 (USD) a couple of years ago... For closed, isolated listening I have the ATH-M50x, which are probably more honest but not nearly as comfortable as the older ATH-M40fs, which I don't believe they make any longer.
 

storyteller

Senior Member
I recently got a pair of HD6XX phones from Massdrop, but thus far I've been very disappointed with them ... everything sounds very "mushy" and indistinct through them. However, I'm not sure if this is just the way these sound, or if there is something wrong with my pair, or if it is the fault of not having a dedicated headphone amp for them (I'm using the headphone output from my Duet 2). Does anyone have any suggestions that might lead me to want to pull these back out of my equipment closet?
My HD650s sound considerably better out of my Apogee Quartet rather than my Apogee One (I purchased it for some portable stuff years back. I'd say the One sounds mushy in comparison to the Quartet, though it still sounds good). But there was also a break-in period. I let my cans run 24/7 for about a week straight at a significant volume to break them in. They sounded much better after that break-in period than they did out-of-the-box.
 

WindcryMusic

Always learning
My HD650s sound considerably better out of my Apogee Quartet rather than my Apogee One (I purchased it for some portable stuff years back. I'd say the One sounds mushy in comparison to the Quartet, though it still sounds good). But there was also a break-in period. I let my cans run 24/7 for about a week straight at a significant volume to break them in. They sounded much better after that break-in period than they did out-of-the-box.
That's a very good point. I haven't broken my HD6XX's in at all ... just tried them out for 30 minutes or so the night they arrived, got disgusted and put them in the equipment closet, where they've stayed ever since. I should probably do a similar break-in before I come to any conclusions. Thanks!
 

Hunter123

Member
I'm actually using the ATH M50x as well and looking for some openbacks and am probably going to go for Sennheiser 650's. For those that own these what headphone amp do you use? Is it a good idea to get one that connects through Bluetooth as I don't have too many available ports on my Mackbook Pro.
 

Jazzy_Joe

New Member
Once I used the Sonarworks Calibration Profile for the 990s, the Bass was instantly “better”. More clarity, the levels seem balanced and image was wide. But I’ve only had them for just over a day so I need more time to conclude anything. So far though, I am loving what I am hearing. Gonna try and do an entire mix with them, and then check the mix on my Adam Monitors just to see what happens.
Any update on your DT 990 experience Jono? I'm in the running for a set that can translate mixing well, in conjunction with Sonarworks. Would love to hear how you are getting on!
 
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jononotbono

jononotbono

Luke Johnson
Any update on your DT 990 experience Jono? I'm in the running for a set that can translate mixing well, in conjunction with Sonarworks. Would love to hear how you are getting on!
I love them. I wear them for hours on end and they are so comfortable. They sound great. I'm not sure I am ready to just mix music with them (and have trust in my mixing decisions) but I certainly love writing music wearing them. I mix music on my Adam monitors (and check headphones). I still use my Audio Technica M50s for tracking as they are closed back but I pretty much only use the 990 Pros when writing now. With Sonarworks they are even better. For the money, and if looking for a pair of open backs, the DT990s are definitely worth trying out.
 

Jazzy_Joe

New Member
Cheers man, glad to hear the comfort factor is there too. Dammit, just ordered a pair!
I have sonar works, and will be doing a lot of mixing over the next few months in headphones while moving about.
I've been using MDR 7506's, closed back for this scenario up until this point, and know them well, but looking forward to learning a pair of open backs! Thanks for your thoughts :)
 
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