what headphones do you own thread - i own dt150's :)

mrk

mrk

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Got the K7 and spent all evening getting to know it.

In terms of volume, via the 6.35mm out it's 140mW per channel which is knocking at the door of the Topping MX3s which is 100mW p/c, yet even still with both set to low gain, I need to put the K7's vol dial to just past 3 o-clock to get the HD650s sufficiently loud enough, The dial maxes out at 5 o'clock for reference. The MX3s to match the K7's volume at 3 o'clock needs to be set to -2dB :eek: - The difference just 40mW in output power is considerable here and the K7 is able to bass resonate the earcups which I can feel on the hairs on the outside of my ears, not in a bad way as the detail of that bass is so thumping that I'd not heard from the 650s yet, not even with the topping DX3 Pro+ the other day.

Tonal range seems slightly different than the DX and MX too, not much but just noticeable, the mids, especially female vocals, seem to be given a smidge more frontal position in the soundstage, stereo imaging seems to be the same as the DX3 Pro+ so far which is great. The refinements I noticed with the DX3 Pro+ are here too but I think the DX was a tad smoother/warmer. It's such a shame the DX died, I was tempted to just get it replaced by Amazon but the thought of trying something else in the same price range was too strong lol and I can't wait for the balanced 4.4mm cable to arrive to then see what 540mW from a balanced output is like on the 650s.

I'd say between the K7 and DX3 Pro+ that the K7 feels more energetic, the bass thumbs have immediacy whereas on the DX3 Pro+ they're more laid back and smoother, that NAD sound I mentioned before. The K7 has hints of that too and I get the feeling that I'll hear that come through with the balanced output in a few days time.

I'm not a fan of the stepped volume though, it's not smooth like on every other amp, there but instead stepped. The brightness of the LED ring isn't as bright as I thought going by online photos posted so won't bother with the no-LED firmware. It too defaults to 32-bit 48KHz, will leave it on 32-bit as Windows internally processes at float 32 anyway.

I wish the volume dial had an LED on the marker pip as in the dark it's hard to see where the marker point is. I might get some superluminova that is used for watch dial lume markers and paint the marker myself so at least I can see the glow.

Will be keeping the K7, assuming it too doesn't die :p

Love the design of it on the desk, looks like a nice pairing stood next to the MX.

lG2yZjX.jpeg


The only other annoyance also is an annoyance with Topping amps, and that is the rubber feet underneath, they are too slippery on the desk, just prod the amp and the thing moves. I bought British made rubber feet off Amazon and have stuck them on both amps and now they stay put whilst also raising the height by an extra 10mm or so which I prefer.

Would an audiophile noob such as myself notice the difference between balanced and single ended? I suspect my ears aren't that sophisticated!
Depends on your headphones I guess. I have ordered the balanced cable from Ali Express for the HD650 so will see when it arrives, but from a technical level balanced cable fed by a balanced output from the amp would be more accurate, tonally better than 3.5/6.35mm:

 
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Soldato
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Generally speaking if an amp has balanced and single ended output you should use balanced. This is not because balanced is inherently better than single ended but because if it's a balanced amp then most of the work will have gone into the balanced circuit, with single ended being an after thought. Obviously, if the amp is single ended only then all the work will have gone into the single ended circuit.
 

mrk

mrk

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I've installed the no LED firmware, actually much better on the eyes as it turns out lol. Balanced cable might be here tomorrow I think, fun times await.
 

mrk

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Got these today, Custom Cans copper weights for the low frequency extension mod:

WVyToU3.jpeg
bbVskuN.jpeg


Balanced cable coming later today so will try the combo out and see which foam inserts sound the best.
 

mrk

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I have now ordered the Sundara (updated 2020 version) along with a balanced 4.4mm cable. I don't know how this rabbit hole resumed after so many years but here we are.

This weekend I'll decide which I like more, modded HD650 or Sundara v2 and then sell the HD650 if the latter, or return the Sundara if the HD650s stay.

After spending all this on cables too lol.

The Linsoul cables are very good btw, got mine today and I like it as much as the Custom Cans one.
 
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I have now ordered the Sundara (updated 2020 version) along with a balanced 4.4mm cable. I don't know how this rabbit hole resumed after so many years but here we are.

This weekend I'll decide which I like more, modded HD650 or Sundara v2 and then sell the HD650 if the latter, or return the Sundara if the HD650s stay.

After spending all this on cables too lol.

The Linsoul cables are very good btw, got mine today and I like it as much as the Custom Cans one.

Even if I found something better I couldn't get rid of my HD600 series headphones!
 

mrk

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I just don't like keeping things stored away if I'm not going to use them you see, feel like they are just wasting away gathering dust, I've watched a number of reviews of the 2020 version of the Sundara and every single one points out the improvements on an already good planar, plus I saw that they are 37 ohms so easy to drive even through the MX3s, so I'll be comparing the K7 vs MX3s driving them and then deciding if I do like them, then is it even worth keeping the K7 when the MX3s can drive them too. I am probably taking way more advantage of Amazon's no questions asked returns policy but it's the only real way to see what works and what doesn't really :o - Although having the balanced output is going to be a win going forwards anyway so will likely keep that going.
 
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:eek: Sundara's.

The ones that I came closest too before settling on the HD 650's recently. I agree with the less is more philosophy although I think there are separate scenarios where the Sundara's probably compliment the HD 6XX line well. i.e. their strengths are in different areas. Either way I suspect both are classics. Will be be interesting to read your thoughts.
 

mrk

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The mids is where the the 650s come into their own and yeah the reviews state that this is where the 650 trumps the Sundara, but everywhere else, including overall detail the Sundara wins. By the looks of it comfort might be the only thing for some people though because the cups are round instead of oval so this will boil down to if you're big ears or not :cry:

Can't believe I have to wait another day!

I won't be using the Sundara stockl cable, ordered the Linsoul balanced version. The stock cable looks way too rigid and annoying, more than the stock Sennheiser cable that's 3 miles long lol.
 
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mrk

mrk

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It's here!

J7cU8ET.jpeg


Good call on the cable, the stock is awful.
Not so fast!

The cable in the version I got today is actually very good and pliable, nothing like the stiff cable shown by youtubers and other reviews, the 3.5mm amp end is also moulded not metal like the reviews show:

y1ltLdp.jpeg


So looks like HiFiMAN updated the cable in recent times? the earcup ends could have been better marked L and R though as just like Sennheiser, it's a very faint engraving on each connector which you need a microscope to see clearly, especially at age 40 :cry:

I also get the Linsoul balanced cable today, and the build quality and feel of the Sundara is a league ahead of the HD650, out of the box the cold touch of the metal is kinda neat. The earpads are also much softer than the velour on the HD650 stock pads, I thought I wouldn't like how the cups don't rotate but the pads are thinner at the front and wider at the back so no angling or cup rotation is needed as the whole earpad hugs your face from front to back. The headband clamping force was quite strong but because it's metal, I just bent it out a little to expel some pressure.

The manual says planars need 150 hours of burn in time so Ill just use them for a week non stop, but so far I am preferring the sound compared to the HD650, even modded.. They are less laid back than the HD650, but because of how good the imaging is the lack of laid back nature I think is made up for, and then there's the sub-bass, it's on another level. Crossfade by Gus Gus is a whole new experience lol, because there is no driver housing resonance at all and no air pressure generated inside the earcup, there is only thumping bass detail and the inner cloth filter etc doesn't vibrate against my ears. With a dynamic driver I'd feel the inner foam disc resonate against my ears on tracks like this with immense bass.

Another song that has been a new experience is Beastie Boys - Intergalactic because of the imaging uplift and sub-bass. I think right now the HD650 has better soundstage though but this could be because the Sundara isn't burned in yet too so will be interesting to see what it's like after the full 150 hours.

The Linsoul balanced cable doesn't mark L and R either on the 3.5mm ends so have attached a small black rubber band to the connector grip so I can easily feel which is L.

KKyHUlD.jpeg


I also had to stick on a little rubber pad on the left side headband on the cans themselves as it's not clear just by feel which end is which, Sennheiser wins here as they put 2 dots that can be felt under the finger on the left side of the headband on their headphones.

Also I tried them on the MX3s at moderate volume, but even at 100% they did not get loud enough which is expected given their sensitivity. I enabled high gain (19dB boost) and instantly the display showed P-0 and audio cut out. I'd reached the limit of what the MX3s can drive it seems - 700mW is not enough to high gain the Sundara at moderate volume it seems :eek: - The K7 has no problem.


Question to those with Sundaras too, did yours come with a case? I've never seen a review mention this, mine came with a shell case and the outer box was brown with a label strip instead of the black box seen on all reviews:

HaWiH6W.jpeg



GvU5gxV.jpeg



I also read a review whereby they stated that there is virtually no difference between 2018 and 2020 "revisions":



THERE ARE NOT TWO VERSIONS OF THE SUNDARA​


There are rumours, or rather something of an established “fact”, on the web that there are two versions of the Sundara. Usually, these are referred to as the 2018 and 2020 versions

When I reached out to Hifiman’s customer support about the different versions, however, this is what they had to say as of April 20th 2023:

“We have noticed online that there is chatter of a so-called “Stealth Revision” of the Sundara but I can assure you that it doesn’t exist. No headband changes, no driver changes, no cup changes, nothing. The only change, which we felt so tiny we didn’t mention publicly, was that we changed the glue used on the PaliPads (which are what Sundara uses.) That’s it, the glue on the pads. We did this to enhance the durability of them as we found in warm conditions, they would over time slowly come apart and this new glue is better suited for such environments.”

So, the only difference is the improved glue on the pads. That’s good because my 2019 Sundara pads fell apart quite fast. The outer fabric is glued to the attachment ring, which is a sub-optimal way of doing a pad. I was not in the mood for buying any more original pads of the same type (PaliPad) for my Hifiman Sundara. One could hope that the new pads are of better quality, but searching the web I found that it still seems to be a problem for some, albeit by all regards fewer, users. Anyway, there is a myriad of pad choices for this headphone in all price classes, so it should not be a big concern.

Needless to say, if this is what I'm hearing before burn-in, then they're only going to be better after. I have no need to hold onto the HD650 now. It's been an amazing 10 years with them for sure, but planar magnetic is my future :o
 
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Associate
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It's here!

J7cU8ET.jpeg



Not so fast!

The cable in the version I got today is actually very good and pliable, nothing like the stiff cable shown by youtubers and other reviews, the 3.5mm amp end is also moulded not metal like the reviews show:

y1ltLdp.jpeg


So looks like HiFiMAN updated the cable in recent times? the earcup ends could have been better marked L and R though as just like Sennheiser, it's a very faint engraving on each connector which you need a microscope to see clearly, especially at age 40 :cry:

I also get the Linsoul balanced cable today, and the build quality and feel of the Sundara is a league ahead of the HD650, out of the box the cold touch of the metal is kinda neat. The earpads are also much softer than the velour on the HD650 stock pads, I thought I wouldn't like how the cups don't rotate but the pads are thinner at the front and wider at the back so no angling or cup rotation is needed as the whole earpad hugs your face from front to back. The headband clamping force was quite strong but because it's metal, I just bent it out a little to expel some pressure.

The manual says planars need 150 hours of burn in time so Ill just use them for a week non stop, but so far I am preferring the sound compared to the HD650, even modded.. They are less laid back than the HD650, but because of how good the imaging is the lack of laid back nature I think is made up for, and then there's the sub-bass, it's on another level. Crossfade by Gus Gus is a whole new experience lol, because there is no driver housing resonance at all and no air pressure generated inside the earcup, there is only thumping bass detail and the inner cloth filter etc doesn't vibrate against my ears. With a dynamic driver I'd feel the inner foam disc resonate against my ears on tracks like this with immense bass.

Another song that has been a new experience is Beastie Boys - Intergalactic because of the imaging uplift and sub-bass. I think right now the HD650 has better soundstage though but this could be because the Sundara isn't burned in yet too so will be interesting to see what it's like after the full 150 hours.

The Linsoul balanced cable doesn't mark L and R either on the 3.5mm ends so have attached a small black rubber band to the connector grip so I can easily feel which is L.

KKyHUlD.jpeg


I also had to stick on a little rubber pad on the left side headband on the cans themselves as it's not clear just by feel which end is which, Sennheiser wins here as they put 2 dots that can be felt under the finger on the left side of the headband on their headphones.

Also I tried them on the MX3s at moderate volume, but even at 100% they did not get loud enough which is expected given their sensitivity. I enabled high gain (19dB boost) and instantly the display showed P-0 and audio cut out. I'd reached the limit of what the MX3s can drive it seems - 700mW is not enough to high gain the Sundara at moderate volume it seems :eek: - The K7 has no problem.


Question to those with Sundaras too, did yours come with a case? I've never seen a review mention this, mine came with a shell case and the outer box was brown with a label strip instead of the black box seen on all reviews:

HaWiH6W.jpeg



GvU5gxV.jpeg



I also read a review whereby they stated that there is virtually no difference between 2018 and 2020 "revisions":





Needless to say, if this is what I'm hearing before burn-in, then they're only going to be better after. I have no need to hold onto the HD650 now. It's been an amazing 10 years with them for sure, but planar magnetic is my future :o
I didn't know they made a silver version, though the black one looks better in my opinion. Are you using EQ with a low shelf filter for the sub-bass?
 

mrk

mrk

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I didn't know they made a silver version, though the black one looks better in my opinion. Are you using EQ with a low shelf filter for the sub-bass?
Nope no EQ, just direct USB from PC to the K7 with all enhancements in SW turned off, just how I like it. The HD650 through the MX3s needed some EQ on the MX though but that was easy as it has tone controls and I dialled in +3 treble and +2 bass. The K7 seems to get enough power out to both headphones without the need for EQ.

I'd never seen the silver ones either and the Amazon seller labelled them as the 2020 version with updated cable which might explain the cable difference or maybe this is a China only version as the stickers on the shipping box had Chinese labels on them which makes me think this is an import. They were more expensive than the others in black too by the way.

I'm gonna get the velour pads too but will wear these stock pads in first as they are very comfy.
 
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Nope no EQ, just direct USB from PC to the K7 with all enhancements in SW turned off, just how I like it.

I'd never seen the silver ones either and the Amazon seller labelled them as the 2020 version with updated cable which might explain the cable difference or maybe this is a China only version as the stickers on the shipping box had Chinese labels on them which makes me think this is an import. They were more expensive than the others in black too by the way.
EQ is a must with the Sundara if you want to get the most out of it with sub-bass. I'd suggest Equalizer APO + Peace GUI.
 

mrk

mrk

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Is it only for sub-bass? I switch back and forth between the MX and K7 as I drive the KEFs through the MX and don't want any colouring here as the KEFs sound sublime as they are, plus sub-bass does seem excellent through the K7 currently
 
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Is it only for sub-bass? I switch back and forth between the MX and K7 as I drive the KEFs through the MX and don't want any colouring here as the KEFs sound sublime as they are, plus sub-bass does seem excellent through the K7 currently
On audiosciencereview they also raised mids a bit and fixed a peak in the treble, but sub-bass in the main reason you'd want to EQ it.

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