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About Nimrodor

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  1. Reduce the overall level with the preamplifier slider in Peace.
  2. I used both for about three months each. Comfort: Bose by far stock, but Sony gets pretty close if you bend the top of the headband outward to reduce the clamping force. I get a fairly strong cabin effect sensation from ANC headphones. Bose is consistently good for me, while Sony is variable; two of the most painful and two of the most comfortable (pressure-wise) ANC headphones I've used have been 1000XM3's: two terrible store demos, one incredible store demo, and my personal pair feels pretty good overall, just a bit better than the average QC35. Sound: Both have pretty significant flaws. Both have reasonable tunings but perform poorly in the treble: Bose has grainy peakiness that sounds like there's a balloon somewhere between you and the source of the sound, while Sony has some extreme treble roll-off (most noticeable as dull-sounding percussion) with a bit of sparkle to help mask it. Both do bass well, but Bose's sounded cleaner to my ears. Small preference for Sony's midrange. Neither does soundstage very well, but the QC35 makes a reasonable attempt while the XM3 sounds solidly inside-the-head. All that said, I don't dislike either of them. They're both fun to listen to, the XM3 slightly moreso. The QC35 is technically more accurate, but I don't know how much of a plus that it for most people. ANC: Sony is slightly better overall, most noticeable at mid frequencies, especially voice. This in turn also means that their feedforward bandwidth is higher, which means that there are a couple of high frequencies that are ever so slightly louder with ANC on than off. They're still very attenuated; it's just a little detail that can be annoying at times when the noise source is just right. Bose also blocks out wind noise better. Build: Having taken apart both, preference for the durability of the Bose, but overall preference for the design of the XM3. The ability to flip the cups to rest pad-down on the shoulders makes a huge difference; I had to put the QC35 away anytime I wasn't wearing it, but can comfortably keep the XM3 around my neck for hours. The hinge problem from the 1000X and XM2 is supposedly fixed now, but I'm still wary of Sony durability-wise; not too much seems to have changed, and their response to consumers last time there was a build quality issue was disgraceful. Interface: Strong preference for Bose. Turning on the Bose was a simple switch flick. Turning on the XM3 requires holding down a button with no immediate feedback and waiting for it to say it's on – in practice not terribly convenient, especially when turning them on in the hands. The XM3 takes much longer to turn on, a couple of seconds to Bose's instant toggle. Turning off the Bose was a simple switch flick. With the Sony, gottta hold that button down again – especially when in a rush, it's incredibly inconvenient. I often end up turning off Bluetooth on my phone and waiting for the Sony to auto time-out because at least that only requires a single button press. Changing the volume on the Bose was a simple button press; press repeatedly to move multiple steps. Doing it on the XM3 is painful: it takes many, many swipes to make significant volume changes, many of which don't register. It takes a long time to adjust the headset volume. In either case, I usually ended up using my phone for volume changes, but at least the QC35's controls were serviceable when I couldn't. The "cup for ambient" gesture on the Sony would be useful if it didn't have such a long latency; in practice if you wait for it to kick in you'll miss whatever you were listening for. Much more practical to just take off the headphones and put them back on (which thankfully isn't too bad since the Sony is more comfortable around the neck). Then there's the fact that the XM3's touch controls often don't work in cold weather (and "cold" in this case can be as high as ~50F/10C): sometimes they'll just be unresponsive, sometimes they'll start registering phantom gestures. ~ Overall I ended up keeping the XM3 because I have other headphones to listen to for good sound, and live somewhere with nice weather year-round (wind and cold are rarely issues). I essentially only use the XM3 on the go (where being able to lay the cups flat when not listening is important) and in noisy environments (where absolute noise cancelling is more important than most other things). If this weren't the case, I'd probably rather own the QC35. I feel that both have their own tradeoffs; both are fine, but I'm not completely happy with either. Even on the go, I sometimes find myself using my KSC75 instead of either ANC headphone purely for the better sound.
  3. The "higher impedance headphones require special expensive amplifiers" thing isn't really true. Most audio SoC's will output comparable power into 300Ω and 32Ω. The exceptions are class D/G/H amps, which still aren't terribly common for headphone use yet. Both tube and solid state amplifiers in almost every topology work better with high impedance headphones than low impedance ones, up to voltage clipping. Any given amplifier will perform better (lower noise and distortion) into a high impedance load than a low impedance one, up to the maximum voltage output. This is true for both solid state and tube amplifiers. A solid state amplifier will perform better in a high impedance headphone than a low impedance headphone. The only downside is that if the two headphones have equivalent sensitivities, the amplifier may get the low impedance ones louder, provided that the output stage is sufficient.
  4. Why is the fact that many tube amps only work with high impedance headphones considered a downside of high impedance headphones? High impedance headphones tend to have lower noise than their low impedance counterparts, when using the same amplifier: lower impedance requires higher current, which creates increased shot noise. At the same time, thermal and flicker noise tends to stay constant, which means the higher signal voltage level for high impedance headphones leads to an increase in voltage-based SNR.
  5. Omni tends to be easier to use as it picks up sound from every direction, while uni tends to have better noise suppression. Bi is a fun alternative to omni for ASMR-style "binaural" (technically iffy) sound but not much otherwise.
  6. Rtings has their measurements for the Airpods Pro out: https://www.rtings.com/headphones/reviews/apple/airpods-pro-truly-wireless vs. Sony WF-1000XM3 ANC Wireless In-Ears vs. Sony WH-1000XM3 ANC Wireless Headphones vs. Bose QC35 II ANC Wireless Headphones Sound: Although the stock frequency response is a bit skewed, the Airpods Pro look like they sound quite good. Bass is recessed but well-extended, and distortion throughout the entire audible range is very low, implying that it should perform well with EQ. There is some slight high treble peakiness in the chart, but this is most likely due to ear canal resonances, making this likely to not be a unique issue in practice. Due to the looser fit than standard in-ears, there is some variation in sound signature depending on how deep they are inserted, but it looks like the feedback loop does a reasonable job of keeping the bass response flat while the semi-in-ear design keeps the treble from varying too significantly. Like all ANC headphones (and in-ears), soundstage is expected to range from nonexistent to abysmal. Compared the the WH-1000XM3, the XM3 most likely sounds better without EQ while the Airpods Pro could possibly sound better with. The XM3 has a high treble rolloff issue (audible as a rounded-off sound on fast percussive attacks and a subtly muffled quality to some other instruments), but its mild bass boost (following the updated Olive response target nicely) and well-balanced mids make it a good performer out of the box. It also has a nice subtle dip in the mid treble followed by a peak at the mid-high treble transition to reduce listening fatigue while maintaining an impression of good treble response. The Airpods Pro don't have as good tuning out of the box, but their distortion performance is significantly better and their response, while not flat, doesn't have any sharp peaks (no uncontrolled resonances), making it a good platform for digital tuning. Speaking honestly, I love to see tuning like that on the XM3; it's far from perfect, but there's a good reason for each tradeoff that it makes – it says a lot about the priorities of the engineers designing it. The QC35's tuning sounds excellent aside from its treble performance – a minefield of many small peaks (and corresponding distortion spikes) that at times make recordings sound as if there were a balloon placed between the microphone and performer: subtle, but universally annoying. Bass performance on the QC35 is the best on the list – Bose has their low frequency feedback loop down to near-perfection. Personally, I found the QC35 to be (in some ways) technically better than the XM3, but the XM3 (slightly) more enjoyable to listen to; the many reasonable drawbacks and tradeoffs on the XM3 bothered me less than the one glaring flaw with the QC35. The QC35 is the only ANC headphone here that makes a reasonable pretense of having soundstage, but this comes at the cost of high frequency noise cancelling performance. I have not listened to the WF-1000XM3, but the dip in the mids accompanied by a sharp spike in distortion at the same frequencies implies that there is a ringing resonance there. The rest of its performance looks reasonable, but that one aspect is a large enough dealbreaker for me that I've never been curious enough to want to try it out. Comfort: Strongly subjective. If you like loose-fitting in-ears, the Airpods Pro will likely be comfortable. I'll just say that the QC35 is supremely comfortable for people with normally sized ears and very comfortable for people with large ears (the cups are just small enough to put pressure on larger ears), thanks to its excellent-feeling (and surprisingly deep) pads and very light clamping force. It can heat up over time, which may make them uncomfortable in a warm environment. The WH-XM3 is similar to the QC35 but has a higher (less comfortable) clamping force and weight. Bending the headband outward can make it feel as comfortable as the QC35, at the expense of some stability on the head and a small danger of damaging the headphone if you're not familiar with its construction (The top of the headband contains a metal band and foam; you can bend it outward here to reduce its tension, making sure not to fatigue the "leather" covering too much). In my experience, the "cabin pressure" ear popping sensation varies a good bit from headphone to headphone; both my best and worst experience have been with two different pairs of WH-1000XM3's. I suspect the Airpods Pro will do a better job than the over-ears, but I don't know for sure, and this experience tends to vary a good amount from user to user. Noise Cancelling: The WH-1000XM3 is king. The QC35 still does reasonably well, comparable even, at some of the worst airplane cabin noise frequencies, but does markedly worse with the higher frequencies that might be more commonly encountered on the ground. The wind reduction mode on the QC35 is slightly better than that on the XM3 in my experience, though both still do well in this aspect. On the flipside, in standard noise cancelling mode, the XM3 seems to suffer less wind noise than the QC35; in many cases the convenience of not needing to switch modes when it's not too windy out is an overall win. Surprisingly, neither of the in-ears appear to perform as well as the over-ears, though the Airpods Pro get close. At most frequencies their performance is even on-par with the QC35; the only drawbacks are the worse treble performance (it looks like the bandwidth on the feedforward microphones is set too high, in some cases quietly repeating outside sounds rather than perfectly cancelling them when the phase cancellation isn't quite right) and worse performance in the lower mids where a good amount of an airplane's cabin hum resides. The WF-1000XM3 appear to trail well behind the rest of the pack, with the notably poor low frequency performance indicating something off with the feedback loop. None of them are going to provide perfect silence in a noisy environment on their own; ANC headphones are still a long way from being able to do that. They will manage to do a decent job of reducing background noise to make listening to music easier. In-ears with good tips do a better job of doing the former, if that's what you're really looking for (sample comparison here). Interface: A lack of real volume control is terrible. The WH-1000XM3 has its gesture controls, but these are finicky enough (especially with them failing spectacularly with large temperature changes) that I usually still end up adjusting volume with my device rather than on the headphones themselves (which sucks, since there's a ~2 second delay). The QC35 with its physical buttons has been my favorite overall. The Airpods are somewhere between the two, using more reliable gestures while still lacking realistic volume control. The XM3 also requires a fairly long press to turn on and off, while the QC35 and Airpods have more-or-less instant on/off. The hand over ear to temporarily listen to the outside function on the XM3 would be useful if it didn't have such high latency; in practice with all of the above it's usually easier to take them off than to use the transparency modes. All of them have usable but fairly bad-sounding mics. The QC35 is the only one with good multi-device support. All have high latency. Overall, I'd recommend the same thing as with all other devices: see if you can try them out in a store before making a decision. Words can only help point you in the right direction; the decision will in the end come down to what's the best fit for you.
  7. Nimrodor

    Sound signature

    A beta version of Harman's software for training listeners is available here. It's pretty eye-opening; many descriptions of sound signatures online are flat-out wrong because the reviewers aren't familiar with the effect of each frequency band on the overall sound. A good tool for determining your personal limits on audibility is here. It's easier to use since it's completely online, but there's far less customization. Another good tool for creating your own blind audio tests, once you've exhausted the possibilities of the above.
  8. IMO Local files>Youtube>Qobuz>Tidal>Others, but every service has its own pros and cons. Really depends what your priorities are. For price, Youtube is hands-down the winner. For pure selection, Youtube also easily wins. There's so much music there (especially from smaller and non-US artists) that simply isn't available on most streaming services. As far as sound quality goes, it's a bit more complicated. I still lean towards Youtube. Most streaming services have a good portion of their music watermarked in an unpleasantly audible way. Youtube usually has a version that isn't watermarked. The bitrate isn't super high, but the opus codec is very transparent; it's easier to tell the difference between watermarked and unwatermarked than even mid bitrate opus vs lossless. Meanwhile less of Qobuz's library is watermarked, so they come out ahead over Tidal in this respect. Again, really depends on your priorities. I use local files most of the time and Youtube for everything else.
  9. That box you have is a buffer and not an amplifier. There is no gain on the headphone output; the output is always less than or equal to the input. This can be fixed by changing two resistor values if you're comfortable with SMD soldering. Which version of the DT990 are you using, and what motherboard do you have?
  10. The HD650 is fairly well-regarded as having one of the best, if not the best, timbres of any headphone at any price. If your listening experience is going to be heavily mid-centric, that would make it a strong choice. The 660S is comparable (slightly better or worse depending on the person), but not worth paying significantly more for.
  11. Both stock pads on the DT1990 produce terrible ringing resonances. Overall the DT1990 is a very good performer aside from that poor treble performance, which the pad change fixes the worst of. With a bit of additional EQ'ing down in the treble on top of that, it's even better. The bass performance overall is exceptional for an open back dynamic driver headphone. The HD650 is different – it's somewhat lacking in bass and soundstage but exemplary in most other aspects. At reasonable listening levels, EQ fixes much of the first issue without too much distortion. The two headphones sound very different, and I personally prefer the HD650. Others may disagree. If you get a chance, definitely try both of them out before deciding. Neither is strictly better than the other; each has different things that it excels at. I feel that aside from the issues above, the HD650 still manages to edge out the DT1990 more of the technicalities, while EQ can take care of tuning if needed – but again, that's just my opinion. No, not at all. They are bulky, do not fold, are not made to be worn around the neck at all, have a long heavy cable, and block almost no ambient sound. Listening to any open-back in a loud environment tends to be a bad idea; it's very easy to try raising the volume to dangerously high levels to drown out the noise. The WH-1000XM3 isn't bad-sounding. If you require portable use, it's a top option. I use the HD650 at home and the 1000XM3 on the go; each has its own role. The 660S is essentially an HD700 driver tuned to sound similar to the HD650. Slightly lower distortion and better bass performance, but slightly worse damping. Personally I feel that the damping is more audible than the other differences after EQ'ing the bass levels back to normal, so I slightly prefer the 650. Again, very much a personal preference thing. Again, I think that given the pricing the HD650 and 1000XM3 are by far the best options. It depends on which set of requirements (pure sound performance vs. convenience) is more important for you, and there's no right answer.
  12. Strongly influenced by my own sonic preferences and based ONLY on sound: DT1990 (Dekoni Pads)=HD650=HD600=HD660S>DT1990>>>Bose 700=WH-1000XM3>>HyperX Cloud If prices work out with the HD650 and XM3 being much cheaper, those are the two I'd consider. The HD650 definitely sounds much better, but the XM3 has good noise cancelling and portability, both of which sound like important requirements for you.
  13. ...has anyone in this thread actually listened to the HS50 or M20X? The HS50 is impressive sound-wise (especially given its $25 price tag in the US) but fails at out-of-the-box ergonomics and microphone tuning. The M20X by contrast is a pretty bad headphone that I probably wouldn't buy at any price. It does everything but midbass poorly. Placed in an arbitrary rating scale: HS50: Sound 5, 6.5 with EQ; Comfort 3 for large heads, 5 for small heads, 7 for both with headband tweaks M20X: Sound 2, 3 with EQ; Comfort 4 Rtings measurements of both. As usual, it's best to learn how to interpret the measurements for yourself instead of relying on the given scale. I have not listened to the AKGs, but based on their measurements and how abysmally their similarly tuned cousins the K92s perform I wouldn't hold my breath. IMO if you need a closed-back and live in the US, the HS50 is hard to compete with given the price. As you're in Indonesia, I'd suggest looking into the pricing of the Takstar Pro 82.
  14. Nimrodor

    Hs60 vs. Hs70

    Why not the $25 HS50? They're all physically the same headphone; the only thing that's different is the interface.
  15. Output impedance is very different from device impedance, and that rating is for the line out, not the integrated headphone amplifier. The amplified output is rated 2Ω output impedance, which is a perfectly acceptable value. The only useful info in the datasheet about output power is the 1Vrms maximum level. It often ends up depending on the particular board's implementation; there's always a good chance that the board in question includes an additional amplifier — or that the manufacturer has spectacularly messed up the circuit, which does happen.