This is the official thread to discuss all things related to the HarmonicDyne G200, which is the first planar magnetic headphone from the group who are previously known for the dynamic driver Zeus, Poseidon and the Helios.
From the specs page:
Type: Wired HiFi Headphones
Drivers: Φ102mm Planar Transducer
Input Impedance: 64Ω
Frequency Response: 10-45,000Hz
THD: ≤ 0.2%(@1000Hz/254mW)
Cables: XLR/4 balance, L=2M , 6N Litz wire
Ear-cup: Aluminum Alloy
Headband: Carbon Fiber
Earcups: Suede fabric / Lambskin
Weight:480g(No accessories included)
Linsoul was kind enough to send one out to me for evaluation. So I’ll give my quick impressions here, along with the measurements. I’ll have a full review video out soon.
Frequency Response done on the GRAS 43AG with upright rig:
For anyone wondering, the driver on these does seem to be from the M1060 platform, however this also doesn’t have the same issues some of those ones had. If memory serves, they were often noted as counter-examples to the whole headphones being minimum phase devices thing with an indicated resonance or ringing. But at least in this case, nothing appears to be all that out of the ordinary in that regard, other than the darker FR of course.
You can think of this driver as being heavily inspired by the Audeze designs, which is interesting because that FR is somewhat similar to some of the older Audezes as well.
Detail is solid - great separation and clarity for trailing ends of tones
Default tuning is not so great, quite muffled and ‘veiled’ sounding, but also not difficult to EQ.
Good soundstage, depth and layering of instrument tones.
Macro contrast and punch is about on par for other decent planars, which is to say not particularly punchy but also not compressed sounding.
Mechanical design issues with the headband, making it not very comfortable for me (I’ll provide more info on this in the review), but the pads feel amazing.
Here’s an EQ profile for folks who picked this one up. This is with the Leather Pads only, because I didn’t need to make much adjustment above 5khz with these, which is ideal.
Other companies can learn a thing or two from HarmonicDyne. It’s time all premium priced headphones come with good quality balanced cables with appropriate adapters, easily replaceable earpads and a spare set of them. Hifiman, Audeze, ZMF, Focal, Meze… I’m looking at all of you!
Although these days I find myself loath to praise or reward manufacturers who either don’t possess the know-how or can’t be bothered to tune their headphones that they charge beaucoup bucks for (I mean, a linear or downward sloping raw FR curve is downright awful), considering the G200’s price point along with the points you mention, I feel like I can make an exception.
So I guess I’ll levy a little praise: At least HarmonicDyne clearly put love, care, and attention into making the G200, which I think has double-sided magnet array drivers, as lightweight and easy to wear as they reasonably could (carbon fiber band, aluminum cups), while providing a wonderful array of quality accessories and a delightful unboxing experience for their consumers. Even if we account for only the former, that already outclasses other manufacturers from Monoprice’s M1570 (0.7kg) to Audeze’s planar lineup.
With regards to the tuning - obviously yes it would be better if the tuning were more clarity-focused. But the driver being used is also very similar to an Audeze design, and so in my view if we praise Audezes for their technical performance, and they’re lauded for value “with EQ” (which is the stance I’m happy to take), then this should also get similar treatment.
Of course, not everyone holds that position, or is willing to EQ, at which point yeah throw as much scrutiny at the tuning you see fit. I think if I take a step back and consider the average person’s use of a headphone like this (or indeed those older Audezes… hedging against any double standards here), I don’t think it’s fair to expect folks to EQ them even if I do.
Well, FR curve and tonality is subjective to some degree. Many people liked the LCD-2 dark tuning which was quite similar to this one. What is not subjective, is the quality of included accessories and ease of maintaining the headphone. I mean 4500$ headphone with glued on earpads and just single-ended cable shouldn’t be a thing in 2022.
I fully agree with you and appreciate your not having a double standard. Generally, I love the way you review (I found your YouTube channel only less than a week ago). In this respect, however, I am the yin to your yang in that instead of levying equal praise, I choose to levy equal criticism.
When you buy a hyper car, do you buy one with a great engine and drive train but then replace large pieces of the chassis to fix the aerodynamics? Or, do you expect the manufacturer to deliver on all the major vectors of the car, but you might change the tires or tune the suspension to adjust for your specific climate and roads?
There isn’t a hard line in the sand for when the threshold is crossed, and I do EQ a bit here and there (almost always something minor like adding a slight bass shelf or reducing a peak to better suit my sensitivities), but I firmly believe that it is tuning effectively for tonality and achieving great technical performance that is difficult—that deserves to be rewarded with our hard earned money.
If manufacturers can depend on the enthusiast market, and especially its reviewers and influencers to always EQ, and to recommend based on post-EQ performance, then inevitably there will be some manufacturers who will undeservedly be able to compete with other manufacturers who do possess the competency to tune for tonality, “natural sound”, and timbre. It’s a dangerous road to walk down for the community as a whole.
EDIT: Just earned my “First Emoji” badge. Whoever came up with the badge progression for this forum is a genius. Love it.
Yeah, I can get behind that. I mean, regardless of preference, we’ve all got ears. So some level of ear gain is essential for any headphone, and on this it’s clearly not enough. I also think we’re all using EQ for the wrong reasons, but it’s also a necessary crutch.
We should probably be using it for the sake of adding flavor (like a bass shelf for example) or making adjustments to make something that’s ‘normal’ sounding by default closer to our preferences for music - better yet, closer to our individual HRTF, if that’s desirable. Instead, we’re using it typically to ‘fix’ things in headphones, and in that sense I agree… expensive audio equipment should be tuned better.
Thankfully, Audeze’s newer stuff like the LCD-X and XC 2021 are a lot better than before with respect to ear gain. The 5 and CRBN are like, ALL ear gain (too much even for my taste without EQ). So they’ve recognized the importance of this at least, which is great.
Being someone who thoroughly enjoys the Zeus, I will give HD credit for the price point. Considered this is their, I assume, high end headphone then I can get behind a price point of under 800. Now that is all without listening to them which is the key determining factor always. Still, very competetive at that price so good on them for doing that.
Interesting on the carbon fiber headband comment too. I also would think that would be a great addition for the lighter weight but perhaps works against the build design considering the heft on the other regions of it. I suppose the argument could be it looks slick! haha
So, on the carbon fiber front… It certainly resembles carbon fiber but it feels a lot more like plastic. Maybe that’s due to a gloss coating or something overtop of it. But in general, this is not a good headband style or mechanical design, and by far my biggest complaint with this one.
Carbon fiber is just carbon smushed into plastic/polymer/“glue” instead of glass fibers (fiberglass). Some products are carbon-look stick-ons too. I have some pocket knives with carbon fiber scales, and they feel either very plasticy or vaguely fuzzy if the isn’t much goo on top.
Micarta scales generally feel a lot more organic, as they are cotton or paper layers glued into a block.
Well…what can I say to that haha, it certainly looks good (in a picture) though Resolve has a better view having it physically on hand. Regardless of how genuine though at the end of the day it’s all about the Sound and comfort.
Came here for education on audio and end up also learning about Carbon Fiber - who’d a thought!?
I had a brief chance to listen to these as Resolve graced me with his presence and allowed me to listen.
To start, I feel like you have to have a very particular headshape to get a seal with these because of the headband design. No matter how many times I tried, I just couldn’t get the pads to seal on the bottom unless I held them. The carbon fibre headband also looks and feels quite cheap and my immediate concern with them was that the headband would snap with a moderate amount of pressure. Outside of that though, the ear cups are solidly built and it does come with a pretty nice cable and case as well so there are some aspects that feel more premium than others.
My initial listen was pretty nice. I would have described the sound as pleasantly subdued. Turns out Resolve had his EQ on. When he swapped it off, I got to experience the real sound and the difference was pretty stark.
It definitely has detail but for me, I found the treble had a graininess to it and the bass to be a little soupy. Definitely a dark tonality. The out of the box tuning wasn’t really for me. With EQ it was a little better but I generally don’t use EQ myself so they probably wouldn’t be the right pair for me from a sound perspective and from the headband issue described above.
However, I could see people really liking these if they can get a good fit and are pursuing that old school Audeze sound. The G200 is quite detailed and you can tell the drivers are quite capable, just the stock tuning is rather dark.
Yeah I was pad swapping like crazy and found it made a huge difference. Kind of makes me think there’s no excuse for the tuning to be as veiled as it is with the default ones included, since even HarmonicDyne’s own Zeus/Helios pads are not only ergonomically superior on the G200 but they also give it some ear gain. Now, they’re not perfect since there’s a bit of unevenness there as well, and in some ways the leather ones are easier to EQ. But it just goes to show that not enough thought went into the pad design with these, even though they feel high quality.