The recent sale of my DT 1990 left a hole in my lineup for a dynamic driver circumaural headphone. I’ve been on EQ kick lately but also crave something that I can just plug in anywhere and have it sound good without DSP. I once had the HD600 which I thought were pretty good and definitely didn’t need EQ, but had a few flaws:
- Muddy and poorly extended bass
- Somewhat congested imaging
- Grain/lack of smoothness
Having read about the HD58X on various forums, and especially on DIY Audio Heaven it seemed like it might fix some of these issues and serve as a very competent all-rounder.
Well, I received a used pair from eBay yesterday. I’ve gone through my standard test songs and now I’m just listening to whole albums (Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours as I write this). It’s still the honeymoon phase, but so far I’m pleased. There’s still plenty of detail, timbre still sounds very natural, the bass sounds clean and deep and doesn’t make a show of itself, and I’m not finding myself annoyed by congestion or grain. Some people have complained that despite the manufacturer’s claims, these aren’t sensitive enough to work with portable sources, but I’m listening at around 37% volume on my LG V20 and they sound fine.
I will say that I haven’t had any “wow” moments the way I did when I started listening to my LCD2C or DT 1990. In that way they remind me of the HD600, which is to say supremely competent and more than enough headphone for anyone with sane tastes, but not flashy.
As always, this hobby constantly teaches me new things. When I first listened with these they sounded somewhat dull and disappointing. On a whim I tried turning off crossfeed in USB Audio Player Pro and these suddenly “came alive”. After reading through various discussions on the topic, I learned that at least some crossfeed implementations mess with frequency response and in particular attenuate higher frequencies. Oddly enough, though I found the DT 1990 fatiguing without crossfeed, the HD58X so far seems perfectly comfortable. I’m not sure now whether that’s due to the HD58X having a different soundstage or if my DT 1990 EQ settings just didn’t bring down the treble enough on their own and needed help from the crossfeed …