Sounds like a plan! Looking forward to it!
You gotta get @Torq in the Yaxi Gang tm*, and bring your Porta Pros.
Since I’ve got a fair bit of listening time in now, I figured it was time to measure these things (don’t like to do that before I listen for a bit). This is at 72 hours of runtime.
Plots are provided for HEQ (closest to Harmann), HPN, my custom compensation (what is perceptually neutral for me) and the RAW plot (the peak at 4.5 kHz is a common artifact with the EARS tool).
The above plots are smoothed at 1/6th octave, with the same vertical scaling, to match against those @Resolve did in his review.
And I typically do 1/12th octave smoothing, which looks like this (all other things the same):
Fundamentally, these plots look like those done by @Resolve. Which is encouraging, Differences are, I expect, down to variations between miniDSP EARS units, and measuring environment.
Details on measurement rig, approach and calibrations can be found here.
I mentioned earlier that I’d attempt to illustrate what I hear from the HEDDphone in terms of it’s rendering/projection of stage, and imaging/spatialization within that.
Here’s a simple graphic that shows what I hear vs. the Utopia, MySphere and SR1a:
The Utopia has a narrow, shallow, projection. There’s very little depth to it, beyond where the image forms relative to the listener. This is very intimate staging. For the most part it is not possible to discern depth-wise location - instruments essentially appear distributed across a curved plane.
The HEDDphone has a much wider rendering, and as a result lateral localization and separation is much more apparent. The sound can appear to come from well outside the head/headphones. Instruments are rendered closer than the Utopia, but with a little more depth. It is still not possible to localize instruments or performers in terms of how deep in to the image they are, or whether one is in front of, or behind, the other.
MySphere has a similarly wide lateral throw to the HEDDphone, but adds clear depth-wise cues that make it apparent when one instrument or vocal is in-front/behind another. It also projects further from the listener.
SR1a - shown here with the drivers set at 45 degrees (having them wider broadens and somewhat deepens the image). The image is the widest, and the deepest, sits further from the listen and clearly lets you hear depth-wise cues and locate instruments and performers both front-to-back and side-to-side. Not quite to the same level as a well-setup near-field speaker rig, but the closest I’ve heard and unique in the headphone space.
So the HEDDphone is the most balanced across the frequency range then, because it is less U-Shaped than all of the others!!!
I kid, I kid
Kidding aside, are you talking about the FR plots or the staging diagram? As there’s no frequency information in the latter - just an illustration of what gets rendered where in space.
I was referring to your soundstage diagrams, but also clearly joking. The HEDDphone had a linear stage while all the others had umbrellas .
But I’m just messing with you. The way you described the HEDDphone sound is exactly what I just posted in Head-Fi. I just said that, unlike the way the 800S spreads everything out and puts you in the 2nd row of the audience, the HEDDphone puts you right up on the stage and in the middle of the band or instruments. You feel like the instruments are surrounding you instead of more in front of you. And I love it!
Incidentally … I blame the HEDDphone for my not having posted my SR1a review yet.
Partly because I wanted to listen to it enough to include in my comparisons, and partly because it is compelling enough that I just keep stopping in my edits and listening …
So maybe not a killer of giants, but one that can strike a heavy wound!
Rest In Peace, Terry Jones.
One of my top five favorite movies (top three even, between Amadeus, Star Wars and Holy Grail)!
It might not outright kill any giants … but if this occasional sibilance abates (and it seems to be becoming less obvious over time) it’ll earn a place as a giant.
Value wise, I think it already has.
The metallic timbral aspects to some non-metallic percussion I was hearing initially (and which was my first comment to @TylersEclectic when he brought the demo set over) is no longer apparent.
That was something easily heard on David Fesliyan’s “Drum Warfare” (Elimination), but I don’t hear it at all now. And this is an EXCELLENT track for evaluating dynamics, speed, percussion, depth and so on … so if you’ve never heard it, do it now (it’s on TIDAL at least).
Comfort/ergonomic issues aside, and perhaps with the allowance for a dB of sub/bass leeway, it is getting progressively harder to see how any open-back can under $2,000 is going to be able to stand next to the HEDDphone.
Even under $3,000 I can only think of a couple of headphones that would be worthwhile (ZMF Vérité for sure, maybe RAD-0 … which is better than the HEDDphone tonally, and on bass, so far, but the HEDDphone is ahead on detail, speed and impact).
Detail and micro-dynamic resolution equal or better every planar can I’ve heard (which includes all the flagships). Though the SR1a and some dynamics (ZMF, Sennheiser, Focal) are more subtle and “correct” with regards to micro-dynamics.
Macro-dynamics are explosive. Easily Focal territory. The SR1a stays ahead. But the HEDDphone might just be 2nd overall there.
Speed? There’s the SR1a, MySphere/Electrostatics, the Abyss and then … well, this.
It’s growing on you Torq!!!
I liked them from the start …
I’m just super-wary and generally-allergic to massive pre-production hype. It’s almost never good for anyone involved.
I respect that about you. But I own these, and they’re the real deal. Certainly not perfect, but then what headphone is?
Here’s why they live up to the hype for me. I have to keep reminding myself that they cost under $1900. That variable cannot be emphasized enough when evaluating their technical ability.