Q & A -

Headfonia Q & A

Feel free to post any questions you may have below at the comment section and I will try my best to answer them promptly. I try to answer all the questions, but I may miss one or two at times. Do repost your question if it’s left unanswered for a few days.

Please also go over the Buyer’s Guide articles before you post your questions, they may help to answer your questions.

 

Here is a link to the older Q & A pages:

 

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  • Marc

    Can we expect a review on the new Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Picollo soon or is it still far from commercial?

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

      Yes of course. I hope to have it soon but it depends on CypherLabs

  • Zeppie

    Hi guys! Have you already tried the dx90? Im looking for a portable amp that can drive the audeze LCD-XC but then can be use to my ciem that will have a good synegy too. Any suggestion?

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

      Cypher Labs Duet.
      DX90 review is coming soon

      • Zeppie

        How was the synergy of the two? Any thoughts? Im also thinking of the vorgz pure II which is said to be like the duet. And now the latest Picollo of cypherlabs.

  • Marc

    Hi guys!

    I haven’t seen any iFi products here yet but you guys here at Headfonia should really consider taking a look at the soon-to-be-released iFi iDSD Micro!! Specs are looking good so far and I believe they haven’t released all its secrets yet. Of course specs and features aren’t anything if it doesn’t sound good and I really hope to see a review of it here for that reason. That being said, I’ll place the currently known features in a later comment here so the people interested wouldn’t have to dig the entire iFi thread in Head-Fi

    • Marc

      1) Dual Mono USB DAC featuring two DSD1793 chips by Burr-Brown Japan and claimed to be made before the TI’s acquisition

      2) Up to 32/352.8 and 32/384 for PCM and Quad DSD/DXD all those fancy formats and Coaxial input/output (limited to 24/192) I believe

      3) Proprietary “ZeroJitter” tech, digital filters, crossfeed, bass boost, and the usual Async

      4) Usable with smart phones/iDevices (through CCK)

      5) Class A DAC/preamp stage with choice of fixed line-level and variable output for the DAC section (RCA output)

      6) Class AB Amplification, 400mW(32Ω), (whether it will have a gain switch or some feature is yet to be released)

      7) 4800 mAh battery (around 10-14 hours portable usage) and also features a USB A port at its side to charge devices when not active for audio use. Charging and Data via USB B

      8) A “Turbo” gain mode which outputs 4000mW(16Ω) and 1000mW(64Ω) and which they also claim drive the HE-6 with relative ease and the AKG K1000 (but not as much)

      9) Just announced: 3.5mm analog input for standalone amplifier usage

      All these are possible through some complex and delicate power system control chip (I don’t even know anymore). The potentiometer isn’t in the analog domain but controls power regulation instead so it’s not technically in the signal path for greater purity and also for the variable DAC output. Lastly, iFi mentioned that this no longer needs a separate PSU such as the iUSB power. There are still more features to be released but again, they wouldn’t matter if this didn’t sound any good. For those who who don’t mind lugging around a CLAS rig (myself included) I think we have a challenger.

      Cheers

      • Marc

        I think this final feature announcement by iFi deserves a post of its own. iFi iDSD Micro is the first ever DAC to all feature Octa-DSD512, PCM768kHz, and 2xDXD. Headfonia, please review this. Maybe it doesn’t sound as good as it sounds (see what I did there?). One last claim that iFi is making is that it’s “Bit-Perfect” filter option, once chosen, has the sound of vinyl-done-right. It has something to do with very near perfect impulse response instead of the “Standard” filter with a near perfect sine wave which iFi suggests to be used for the measurement freaks.

  • Alton Britt

    You guys are great! I hope someone will help me with my present dilemma! I have the Beyer DT990 pro/250 and am very satisfied with them. I want to get one of the following headphones in addition:
    1. Grado SR80E—new model for $99.00
    2. Beyer DT770 Pro/32—used for $125.00
    I am aware that the Grado new E model is open and that the 770 is closed, neither of those matter, I don’t think; that’s where you come into play!
    First, will there be enough difference in the Beyers that I would enjoy the difference?
    Secondly, I’ve heard that the Grados E series is much improved, and would I enjoy general music listening, movies, with I-Phone and Onkyo 626 sources more than with the 770?
    I’m hard of hearing, non-audiophillic, and just enjoy good sounds from good headphones! I have a Fiio E11 presently, with the Schiit Vali and Modi due later this week. Thanks in advance for any help with my decision!!

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

      Hi Alton, I would go for the Grado and get a different sound signature. I have heard good things of the new grado E line.

      • Alton Britt

        Thanks for your reply, L! I’ve just come across a Beyer Custom One in like new condition for $120,00. What about that vs the Grado?

        • http://dalethorn.com dalethorn

          The Grado has a very lively signature with a lot of treble energy, and the Custom One Pro is much less energetic there, having a darker sound. Since you mention hard of hearing, that makes the Grado even more important of a choice.

        • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

          It’s not just a matter of price, those have completely different sound signatures. Dale explains it well.

          • Alton Britt

            Thanks L & Dale—I’ve ordered the Grado 80E!

            • Dave Ulrich

              It’s intense!

              • Alton Britt

                Dave—Is that good or bad?

                • Dave Ulrich

                  That depends on you. There is plenty of treble and the midrange takes no prisoners. It is a sound everyone should hear so they can make up their own minds. Oh, btw, review forthcoming.

                  • Alton Britt

                    Thanks! I’m anxious to try it out. I had a really hard time choosing between the e80, 770 pro.32, and the Custom One Pro! Appreciate remarks by L & Dale! And you, too, Dave!

  • Tacoma

    Can someone refer me to some solid recommendations for headphones/amplifiers for those with hearing problems? Specifically, what headphone/amplifier might work best for “general” music listening with behind-the-ear hearing aids? Any thoughts are welcome!

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

      I don’t think amplifier has en effect on that. I would make sure to get headphones but larger cups. George probably has a few recommendations or options

      • George Lai

        Headphone cups largest ones are probably the Audeze LCD pads. They also fit headphones like Hifiman HE-400/500, Beyerdynamic DT770 etc, AKG K550/551. Some other headphones with large ear pads include Grado with G-Cush pads, Sennheiser HD700/800.

  • gerald putra

    will there be a review for the Chord Hugo?

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

      As soon as I can get a sample

      • Yupeng Ji

        Looking forward to that!

  • Miyaichi

    Hi,
    I need your help, a friend of mine wants that I recommend him a setup.
    His budget is 300€ and he hadn’t any experience with high or even mid-class gear.
    He prefers more intimate genres like Classical, Jazz and Blues.
    So I thought of:
    Option 1: “Sansa Clip Zip + Etymotic ER4-PT (+ Amp)”
    Option 2: “Ibasso DX50 + an IEM around 100€”
    What do you think about it? Would the Sansa Clip Zip need an amp to drive the ER4-PT with the adapter?

    Thanks

  • Craig

    I’m wanting to find some great headphones for listening to all sorts of music but can handle watching movies and tv shows on my tablet that’s under $300 any suggestions?

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

      There are a lot of great headphones in that price range. NAD Viso HP50, B&O H6, Beyer T51P, Senn Momentum, Mad Dog, Philips L2, etc

  • Craig

    Would you say all those you mention can handle movies and music?

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

      Of course, all great headphones

    • http://dalethorn.com dalethorn

      Yes – all are full-fidelity headphones.

  • Nick Bakis

    I just recently purchased a pair of the HiFiMAN HE-400′s after extensive research and limited budget. Although, I am very pleased with my choice, I feel I may have jumped the gun with my amp decision, which is still on the way. I chose the Fiio E17, before running into the reviews here. I seen it was a choice, but was it wise seeing as I could’ve afforded a bit more higher of a purchase? Awesome site, by the way. Will be visiting often.

    • http://dalethorn.com dalethorn

      The E17 is a good amp and a real bargain for the price. But, I prefer amps with volume knobs so I can adjust the volume quickly without being distracted.

      • Nick Bakis

        As do I. I’m not dissatisfied with the choice, seeing as it was suggested, it’s a dac+amp combo, and it was a good bit cheaper than what I had in mind. Are there any decent analog controlled (preferably on the portable side of things) dac+amp combos?

    • Dave Ulrich

      Well, I don’t think I have ever enjoyed the HE-400 more than with the Fiio e9k.

  • Gabriel Ross

    Mike and Lieven, Proud owner of the HP-A4. Will it work well with JH13 Pro’s? I now have GR07MK2′s.
    [ I just got my L2's this month, I'm in PRaT heaven]. You guys have helped me hear my music, like never before. Thanks always.

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

      Thanks Gabriel. I do not have the HP-A4, I couldn’t help you, sorry

      • Gabriel Ross

        Thanks anyway. Is a freqphase review coming?

        • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

          freqphase as in?

  • http://dalethorn.com dalethorn

    Just got the K812 yesterday – very bright, and a huge peak at 4 khz. I can understand now what the negative reviews are all about. I don’t think it’s as good as the T1, even with tweaking.

  • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

    Did you just really post a link to head-fi and asked for our help?
    The minimum would be to repeat your question here mate ;)

  • g.

    Okay, apologies, it’s a long post explaining my situation so I thought a link would be more convenient. I’ll copy paste here:

    My current heaphones are knock offs of Sony MDR V6, so I was looking into something decent. My budget is limited, and my choices are as well, because I live in Argentina, so many good cans might not be available, and buying outside the country is a nightmare (products stolen, having to pay huge fees to get it in,
    etc).

    So all I can do is browse local sites and compare prices there (in pesos). The main site is this: http://www.mercadolibre.com.ar/

    Since I don’t have much to go on in terms of experience, I browsed a post with recommendations in Head-Fi and searched for all those cans in the site I just mentioned. These were the ones I found:

    $185 http://articulo.mercadolibre.com.ar/MLA-485383585-koss-auriculares-ur55-studio-_JM
    $395 http://articulo.mercadolibre.com.ar/MLA-491354019-auriculares-koss-portapro-_JM
    $425 http://articulo.mercadolibre.com.ar/MLA-484864058-auriculares-phillips-oneil-the-stretch-red-sho956010-_JM Do these actually sound good? They seem gimmicky
    $477 http://articulo.mercadolibre.com.ar/MLA-487091477-auricular-cerrado-para-moviles-beyerdynamic-dt-235-_JM
    $477 http://articulo.mercadolibre.com.ar/MLA-484996413-auricular-beyerdynamic-dtx-300-_JM
    $888 http://articulo.mercadolibre.com.ar/MLA-485386840-koss-pro-dj-100-auriculares-estereo-profesional-dj-_JM

    Those are the ones I could find that fit within my budget (around
    $900 tops). Just for reference, the Sennheiser HD25-1 II cost over
    AR$2000 and the HD202 are around $300-400.

    I mostly listen to classical music, prog rock, and jazz (and Dawn of Midi, which I can’t put into a genre).

  • dalethorn

    Your selections include the very poorly made and easily broken Beyer DTX300 and the very well-made Philips Stretch. But to cover all the issues and the sound qualities would take a year. But only a year if all the reviews were in one place and condensed without any extra chat. On headfi you would have to read through all the many pages of commentary, so figure 2 years for that. Or — you could go to Amazon and click on the reviews, then sort by most recent first, and then you would be reading the reader/user reviews first and skipping the manufacturer house reviews which are nearly always posted first. That’s where you should start, and get your list down to your 2 or 3 best choices.

  • g.

    Thank you for the reply. There aren’t a lot of places where you can test a variety of headphones around where I live. I’ll go to a store next week but it’s safe to assume I won’t find all these options. I’ve also checked the headphones recommended here and most are either not available or way too expensive, with the exception of the HD202 and the Koss Portapro. I will check the amazon reviews as well.

  • dalethorn

    I think the 202 and Porta-Pro are both good for sound, but in my experience the Koss will need occasional repair.

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