that is very fair
I think, they already announced it would more than 500$ but be less than 799$…
I am still wondering, if it will be really powerful enough to drive SR1A in all frequencies, as I didn’t understood if SRA1 has a real flat impedance in all frequencies.
I had a pretty good feeling that for the price the Heddphone May shake the market a bit. Pretty exciting cause I don’t feel any headphone should cost 4 to 6 G’s. It is a bit excessive to pay for the best.
New member but have been following the thread and this forum in general for awhile now.
I’ve had this in as a home demo since Monday and wanted to share some impressions of my time with the HEDDphone.
When these were first announced I was pretty excited, another thing to add to my collection. Over the week I did quite a bit of listening and comparison to my other headphones, SR1A, Susvara & ADX-5000. My Abyss TC was sent for repair so any comparisons to it will be from recent memory.
When I first received them, two issues immediately stood out.
- The headband was too small and the cups did not fully cover my ears. Took some effort to get them to fit. I hear this issue will be resolved by replacing the headbands.
- The cable provided was terminated in a quarter inch. Given that these headphones are quite hard to drive, a balanced cable would have been nice. I use my headphones with the Pass XA25 stereo amp using an adapter. Since I didn’t have other headphones using mini-xlr connectors (i.e. no spare cable), I drove the HEDDphone directly from my Hugo TT2.
The HEDDphone is heavy but comfortable (more so than the LCD4 or RAD-0). Still, I could only use it for about 2 hours at the time before the weight got to my neck.
My first thing that caught my attention were how closed in these were, they felt more like a closed back than any of my other headphones. This is not to say that the stage was small (exact opposite of the ADX-5000 which is extremely open sounding but with an intimate stage) as the HEDDphone did width and depth quite well , just not as well as SR1a or Abyss TC. Images were quite small though, I didn’t get that feeling like the sound was enveloping me like I get with my other headphones. However, they were distinct and well placed within the stage.
On speed (aka transients), the HEDDphone also did well, I THINK it is slightly faster than Susvara, but slower than Abyss TC and very obviously slower than SR1a. Dynamics though, were quite muted, I’m not really sure why because bass impact was sufficient by my standards.
On tonality, the HEDDphone is on the thicker & smoother side (think Audeze over Hifiman), with what I think are slightly elevated lower mids, making male vocals and cello sound very full, to the point where I felt it robbed these instruments of texture. For example, Leonard Cohen’s voice sounded smoother with his signature rasp being reduced slightly. I’m pretty used to the endless treble extension provided by the SR1a. In contrast, the treble on the HEDDphone is quite tame with decent extension. Timbre was pretty natural compared to my other headphones, I was expecting it to sound metallic given the driver tech but it did not.
Overall I found the HEDDphone to compete well against similarly price offerings such as Arya, ADX-5000 (I would trade mine for a HEDDphone in a heart beat) & HD800S. Heck, I’d take these over Ether 2 and Empyrean any given day. However, I will not be adding this to my collection and would still prefer the Utopia and LCD4.
Yes, I am using the Jotunheim R as my primary driver for the SR1A… I can’t go back to the Vidars now lol.
Also, the Jotunheim R has been able to easily power the SR1A. But if you want to talk more about that please post here:
Well, thanks to @DarthPool and his willingness to brave Seattle traffic on a Friday afternoon, I can no longer say I’ve not heard the HEDDphone.
Some traits were immediately apparent and didn’t take any level of effort or concentration to hear. Which is not to say they won’t take further listening to properly characterize and understand. I am not going to comment further on those aspects until I get to spend the time to do that (sometime next week). And, of course, getting in the details of their technical performance will take more than half an hours listening.
I will say that listening to the HEDDphone is definitely a headphone listening experience, not the more near-field speaker like experience of the SR1a or, to a lesser extent, the MySphere.
I did not find the weight to be an issue, though I’m used to things like the LCD-4, RAD-0 and Abyss anyway. I had the yokes fully extended for a proper fit. This mean the tilt-range on the cups was at its limit also, to get a flat/even seal against the side of my head. I will have to try backing off the yokes extension one notch and see if that still fits well and keeps the pads flatter.
I was happy to find that the yokes are metal - since it wasn’t possible in pictures to tell if it was just a grey colored plastic. They feel and look very nicely put together, even if absent any distinctive, deliberate, styling cues (other than the bronze/gold peeking through the driver grille).
Definitely looking forward to spending more time, and delving deeper, next week when my own set arrive. But so far, I don’t think I’m going to regret not waiting to audition them before buying.
You’re such a tease. You can’t give a very brief, first impression? Mine are supposed to arrive tomorrow, but It’s been a pleasure just soaking up all these early impressions in the meantime.
I could, but I don’t think it’d be very responsible to do so, particularly given the immense, “giant-killing” hype these have received in/from some quarters. The more something is hyped, the more cautious I tend to be when it comes to my own commentary.
That’s a very level-headed and responsible way to do things.
I am very curious to try this on . I did spend more time with my HE1000SE than the Focal Utopia .
Please upload photo of wife with nose around your wallet.
Haha into kinky stuff eh. Lol I’m only kidding.
According to Jason’s posts in the Jotunheim R thread, it’ll be $799. With the option to use the same DAC/phono cards as the Lyr 3, Asgard 3, normal Jotunheim and Ragnarok 2 - so you could have the Jotunheim R with a multi-bit DAC card in it for $999 total.
So that’d put a working, dedicated, SR1a system at $4,498.
But you could also do:
- RME ADI-2 DAC fs - $1,149
- Jotunheim R - $799
- SR1a - $3,499
So, $5447 there, assuming RAAL and Schiit, or their respective dealers, don’t come up with a Jotunheim R/SR1a bundle (without the interface fox) for less than buying all the bits separately.
Which is the same price as the:
- RME ADI-2 DAC fs - $1,149
- SPL Phonitor X - $2,499
- HEDDphone - $1,799
Or … $5,447.
Ignoring differences in the performance of the headphones for a moment, the advantage the HEDDphone would have here is that if you’re looking at an $1800 headphone you very likely already have a suitable amplifier in your system.
For sh!+$ and giggles…or science… I tried the HEDDPHONE on my BHC and Cayin Ha-1a systems…
BHC: holy crap… had to turn it to 11 to get the volume loud enough…bass became very impactful but, everything else was a mess and not worth listening to. Which was expected.
Cayin: Better… bass was improved, more warm across the board… but still a mess of distortion… but, some acoustic music actually sounded pretty great…
These things are hungry like the wolf! And be like “feed me Seymour!!” They can pull some serious power from amps…
Mine just arrived!!!
Jealous. I’m hoping I’m in the next batch. You’ll have to let us know how they do.
So…listening this morning…and damn, these are very good. I still prefer the SR1a but, like I have said before that is an unfair comparison.
These sound pretty fantastic! They are rather addictive in how “crisp” they are. The sound stage is wide but not deep or out in front… but, not an issue for enjoyment for me. The more I listen, the less “shouty” they seem to be, as I’m assuming my brain is adjusting to them. The separation and detail is pretty cool…and that speed is fun! Bass is coming in now as I’ve adjusted to it.
These are going to be tough to beat… I will be shocked if these don’t fly off shelves as more and more people get the opportunity to hear them.
Also, I’ve had almost zero comfort issues…I do wish the adjustments for lowering the cups went at least 2 notches further…but at full extension they fit me pretty good. Weight hasn’t even been an issue… and I thought the LCD-X was heavy and would fatigue my neck… so take that for what it’s worth to you lol.
Man the vocals and instruments in this are excellent, one of my newer go to tracks to listen to…
Been really liking this track as well lately for listening for subtle sounds (the shaker in the intro and during the singing, is cool I hear it in my left cup)
I just really like this track… and yes I did really like the movie as well… the vocals especially when they both sing the hook is just fun to listen to. Digging on the mandolin? banjo? https://open.qobuz.com/track/59952341
This is another fun enjoyable listen…it is amazing that all the sounds are acappella!
Loving all the impressions of the HEDDphone!
Just thinking about how this is their entry into the headphone market and what future products they release is pretty exciting.
Glad everyone is enjoying their HEDDphones, and looking forward to further impressions/reviews.
A few initial impressions and thoughts. The sound is hard to describe because of the way it’s being transmitted. These don’t sound like dynamics or planars to me. They truly sound like a mutant of both. They sound 65% planar and 35% dynamic.
They have much better sub bass than the 800S. These can definitely go low without roll off. The mid bass is hard to pin down so far. On some tracks, there is definitely more mid bass punch than the 800S, but on other tracks it sounds more linear. I can’t pin this down yet this early.
The treble is incredible! It sounds smooth and detailed at the same time. So far, I love it.
There is definitely a mid boost somewhere around 1-3 K. On some tracks it makes vocals sound phenomenal. But on some tracks it can make vocals sound a little shouty. This is the only thing I don’t like about their sound so far. I’d rather my upper mids be completely flat with no boost at all. But these are VERY early impressions.
The imaging is fantastic. I’ll leave it at that for now.
The soundstage is messing me up, coming from the 800S. I’m going to need some brain burn in to fully appreciate what these can do. I’ll do my best to describe an aspect of it.
There’s a track called, “Sons and Daughters” by Allman Brown. It’s a track that will excite those that love vocals. It sounds fantastic on my 800S and HEDDphone. But the 800S makes the soundstage sound wide for the entire song. The HEDDphone says, “check out my interpretation”. It is much more intimate in the beginning when the song is just vocals and guitar. But the song escalates later on and comes to a large crescendo near the end. The HEDDphone soundstage progressively widens and expands as the song adds more instruments and vocal layering. By the final crescendo the stage seems to be as wide and vast as the 800S! Weird and cool. Also, the vocals sound absolutely sublime with the HEDDphone on this track.
I can’t fully comprehend the stage yet, because I haven’t had enough time with them yet. But I can definitely say it’s not small. The stage is not going to sound claustrophobic like the Utopia (or any Focal, to be honest).
I get why some people say these sound less “open” even though the stage is wide and expansive and the fact that they’re clearly an open back. I think it has to do with these having very good damping, combined with the very fast speed of the drivers. These don’t have long reverbs or excessive decay. For sure these are very open! I can hear everything around me when I wear them.
As for power, I honestly think feeding these any less than 3 watts is going to be detrimental to their sound. YMMV.
More to come later. I’ve got work to do