I appreciate your continued tests and thoughts on this headphone Dale. I wonder if UE put in the effort to QC this headphone properly and it got more widely accepted for its superiority whether it would sell that much better as a result. I'm curios to try this headphone and it would be nice to have a noise cancelling one around even if it doesn't end up being my favourite.
Hifi: Audiolab M-DAC > Audiolab 8200P > Tannoy DC6T SE ●
Headphone/DAC/amp: Denon D7000, SoundMAGIC HP100 / HP200, Schiit Combo ●
Currently using: Galaxy Note 2 > Epiphany E-DAC > Shonyun 306A > RZA Premium ●
The good news, if your item is up to spec (whatever that might be), is good to outstanding sound for a great price. But the bad news is not good. Here's a few thoughts:
1. QC is iffy as far as defects go, but my experience so far suggests the UE's that are working do sound the same. My experience is limited so that could change.
2. Reviews of the 6000 are going to be universal - a mid-fi headphone for an OK price, based only on Passive mode. I see a few headfi users sneaking in very positive comments about the Active sound, but I'm confident their observations will get buried soon enough.
3. My contacts with Logitech show them to be basically non-communicative - i.e. "No replacement cables are available - goodbye."
KRK KNS8400, B&O H6 (Green), B&W P7, Shure SRH1540, Bose OE2i, Audioengine D3/Microstreamer DAC/amps, Zen Head amp.
Just took a chance on these after hearing them in the apple store and being really impressed. Compared them to the Amperiors and they sounded a tad cleaner in the mids with a fuller bass. Isolation was obviously better but i could easily live with either.
Interestingly the last time i tried the amperiors in the store they didnt sound so good but that was in the mac area, not in the headphone station upstairs, which would appear to confirm Dales observation that some of the display pods are using lower quality audio files.
Wow. With the noise cancell switch on the bass is brain rattlin! Kind of like it though. However i am having serious issues with the cable plug input. The slightest knock causes the right channel to go.
I had a very, very hard time getting the cable all the way in. There's a good chance yours isn't inserted fully. The plastic part just before the metal plug end should be flush with the plastic ring closest to the earpad, and it should actually be slightly inserted into the wider plastic ring closest to the outer part of the earcup.
Thanks Dale. Sorted.
Like you i much prefer active. Passive does appear to have a veiled sound but i think i can live with the bass heavy active mode.
There are a couple headphones where I did a minor adjustment to the upper bass using Foobar2000, with the default equalizer, and also the optional 30-band equalizer that has very low distortion. If there's a chance it can make things more pleasant don't hesitate to give it a try. These things weren't available a few years ago. Even with my best 96 khz downloads in WAV format, kicking the better equalizer in doesn't audibly degrade the sound, although someone with a £2000 DAC might disagree...
Im running itunes on a pc at the moment.
Had a commute today and used them with a ipod for the first time. They sounded great in passive, really enjoyed them.
They look like beats from a distance and i found myself getting looks from some dodgy people on my way back home.
After your reply on the noise cancelling question the other day and having found this thread i've decided to treat myself to a pair and picked them up today from an apple store.
Production issues asside, store demo model was broken and there were issues with another they opened so i got them to open another for me to try out. Back home i've been listening on my S3 and they are certainly giving me much better sound and detail i never new was there in my mp3s. I've been using Senheisser HD218i for commuting but they let a fair amount of noise in which was why i wanted to look at active noise cancelling.
However, there are a couple of concerns as to whether the new cans are ok and i was hoping you could shed some light.
1. The lead connection into the cans is very easy, almost too easy as no effort to remove. I don't see that it can go any futher and like yourself i'm no lightweight .
2. I wasn't really impressed with the noise cancelling. The power light was on and there was a distinct change to the music bass when active but i could still hear pretty much the same background noise it is reduced but barely noticible with no music playing and just switching on. What is your experience here, does this sould like a faulty pair?
As an asside i just couldn't get on with the Beats range. Bass seems overblown and detrimental to the rest of the sound or is it just me?
The connection from cable into earcup should be very firm. I worked with difficulty and a lot of pressure (perhaps 40 to 50 pounds of pressure) to get the cable all the way in. When you look closely where the plug is inserted, you see two "bands" around the earcup - the inner band about 2mm wide and the outer band about 5mm wide. The plug should be fully flush with the inner band and actually about 1/2 to 1mm into the outer band. If you remove the plug and reinsert it, you should get a very substantial click. So yours may not ever have been fully inserted. It takes enormous effort.
The NC works exactly as you describe. That algorithm was designed originally for jet planes, to suppress the jet engine rumble but allow you to hear people talk when close by. The Bose QC2 was designed like that, but apparently Bose designed the QC15 differently, to suppress all noise. Suppressing all noise on a jet may be OK in most cases, but is considered dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists out of doors.
Whoever designed the sound signature is a genius, hands down. It is extremely difficult to get a strong bass that doesn't muddy the midrange, and yet there are no noticeable recesses in the range between bass and mids. This is in active mode with bass reduction (and still *very* bassy).
I'm going to return this pair , regardless how much pressure is applied it won't stick and i can see that the sleve is fully engaged and i can see marks on the port where i have applied so much force. The cord now falls out when snagged which is annoying.
On the plus side, it will also give me a chance to compare the noise cancellation on another set as i'm still not convinces it's doing anything. The noise cancellation had no effect on the fans on my PC or the train journey on my commute. SQ for me if fantastic and i'll be looking forward to getting the replacement and making sure i test them in store again to cover any QC issues.
I'll let you know how i get on.
Noise canceling is different from what you'd expect, when it works correctly. I can't guess how it would work in your environment, but my example on a local fishing pier next to a cargo lane should help. When I put the headphone on with NC off, it got much quieter, in the mid-high frequencies at least, which is the normal noise isolation of a closed headphone. Then when I switched NC on, it was amazing - the low freq's of the nearby container ships got very quiet, but the voices of some people close by who were talking became more audible than with the NC off. This is what I remember of the Bose QC2 (not QC15) headphone. Even though the voices became more audible, it was more like a whisper than a full voice, because the lower vocal freq''s were well suppressed.
I picked up the replacement cans today. On checking the new set it's clear that the metal widget inside the old port was too shallow. On the new set a satisfying firm click without much effort so hopefully the issue you had with the test cans is resolved.
The ANC is working better now as well. The extractor fan in my bathroom is clearly reduced in the lower register but still audible in the upper range which is more consistent with your findings.
All in all i'm very happy with these cans and looking forward to getting more from my music. Thanks Dale, i might post some questions on the best settings to adjust the eq on Android as i'm currently using an S3 for my listening.
I picked up the replacement cans today. On checking the new set it's clear that the metal widget inside the old port was too shallow. On the new set a satisfying firm click without much effort so hopefully the issue you had with the test cans is resolved. The ANC is working better now as well. The extractor fan in my bathroom is clearly reduced in the lower register but still audible in the upper range which is more consistent with your findings. All in all i'm very happy with these cans and looking forward to getting more from my music. Thanks Dale, i might post some questions on the best settings to adjust the eq on Android as i'm currently using an S3 for my listening. Regards Feral
This is most interesting. Apparently they are changing the connectors from the original. Several sets I've tried worked OK for connectors, but required more than 50 lbs of force to get the cable in securely.
I used a different EQ on desktop Foobar2000 - with i-devices I just used "bass reducer" which is a gentle rolloff to perhaps -6 at 50 hz. But on the desktop I used -2 at 440, -4 at 311 and 220, -6 at 156 and 110, and -8 at 77 and 55 hz. I didn't try for any sort of "accuracy", just picked some minimum adjustments to bring the bass within reason. Since I use the simple Foobar default equalizer, I don't want to create large narrow peaks and dips next to the slider points, so I generally pick a smooth curve that gets me within range of a good listen.
Just an update as have had a good chance to get used to these cans.
The improvement over the old cans was such a revalation that I'm in the middle of ripping my entire CD collection to FLAC. So much more detail in the sound and again with Active mode the base is incredible although i have reigned it in a little with N7 settings on Andriod. seems pretty good all round with Jamie Callum on the piano or Massive Attack - Angel with the deep base driving like it should.
Now that JB 4.1.2 natively supports FLAC on the Galaxy S3, i'm going to have to get a 64gb card for the phone to replace the 32 which is now full
Dale, thanks for all your help and advice.
© 2013 Haymarket Publishing