NAD Viso HP50: The Unique Headphone

This HP50 is a closed headphone but with the use of the RoomFeel technology it sounds like an open headphone. RoomFeel was created to translate the warm, open sound of live performance directly into your private headphone experience, and that is exactly what it does. And how?! I have heard open headphones sounding less open than this closed HP50. In this price range, and maybe even beyond, this is the closed headphone with the most open sound I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. Not only does it sound open but it is a very linear and flat tuned headphone. It’s not cold sounding but I wouldn’t really call it warm either, maybe just a little. That might be disappointing for some of you but I swear this headphone sounds good. It delivers a great level of detail on a black background and it sounds very clear with enough air around the instruments. Sound stage is pretty good but it is wider than it is deep. Balance and 3-dimensionality are very well executed for a closed headphone.

Bass has good impact when called for but it doesn’t have the biggest of bass. Personally I find it to have enough body but the real big bass lovers will probably want more. Quality however is pretty darn good. But like I said before it is a linear and flat tuned headphone, so think in those lines.

The mids I had to get used to a little. I’m a fan of the thicker smooth mids and of course a flat tuned headphone doesn’t have those. So for the first 10 minutes my brain is telling me to pick up another headphone but then it kind of realizes that what it is hearing is really good and it embraces the HP50 sound. Depending on the source or amplification used the mids also behave differently. In example on the AK120II you get more of a thin sounding mid-section, missing some body, which is rather surprising. However straight from my Samsung S4 (I love its headphone out), the Cypher Labs Theorem 720 (or Duet) and the AK240 the mids have more body and sound thicker. With the mids, just like with the bass, you shouldn’t forget the flat tuning but thanks to the linearity it sounds in perfect harmony with its bass. So far so good!

The HP50’s treble is good and reasonably extended but it is not the most sparkling or lively. It however is perfectly in line with the rest of the headphone but for me personally it could have been more extended, but mostly more alive.

The Verdict

Everything combined this headphone sounds superb, sure the treble could have been even better but you can’t have it all I suppose. Some people say it isn’t musical but I really cannot agree with that (only with the AK120II it wasn’t sounding at its best). It isn’t the most portable of headphones on the market but within the $300 price range it sure is one of the best sounding ones. Looking at closed design headphones, this should be in everyone’s top 3.

It’s fairly different from the B&0 H6, Sennheiser Momentum or the B&W P7. I still love the H6 but that one isn’t tuned as linear and flat as this one. The HP50 has the better sound stage but the H6 is a great all-rounder with a less flat curve. The Senn Momentum was overly warm and has a centered sound with under par bass and the P7, like the H6, was pretty darn good overall as well but had booming bass. If I had to choose one out of these four, I would choose the NAD HP50. No doubt whatsoever, even if my brain has to get used to it every time for 10 minutes, it is the best one in the end.

I already touched a bit on amplification and the HP50 doesn’t strictly need any. As mentioned I love how the NAD headphone sounds straight out of my Samsung S4 and the same goes for the Cypher Labs Theorem and AK240.

The NAD Viso HP50 can be bought and auditioned at one of the NAD reseller shops. It still costs $299/299€ new but it is worth every single USD/€. I have seen them sell for around 220€ online though. I wish I had gotten to review this headphone earlier. On top of that it is going back to ANDBenelux.com, who I thank for supplying the sample. It’s a sad day at the office 😉

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Lieven is living in Europe and he's the leader of the gang. He's running Headfonia as a side project next to his full time day job in Digital Marketing & Consultancy. He's a big fan of tube amps and custom inear monitors and has published hundreds of product reviews over the years.

138 Comments

  • Reply July 1, 2014

    George Lai

    Uncomfortable headband that’s all I have to say. Oh, and small earpads too.

    • Reply July 1, 2014

      Eli Segal

      Can you say what headphones you do find comfortable? thanks

      • Reply July 1, 2014

        George Lai

        Sure. HD600-800, LCD, HE-400/500, D2000-7000, Mad/Alpha Dogs, K550 as examples.

        • Reply July 1, 2014

          ohm image

          Magnum.

          • Reply July 1, 2014

            George Lai

            Indeed. Love their ice cream too.

      • Reply July 1, 2014

        L.

        Sennheiser HD600/650/700/800. HE-560. Alpha/Mad dog. DT990, etc etc

        • Reply July 1, 2014

          Eli Segal

          Any portables?

          • Reply July 1, 2014

            L.

            CIEMs. T51P was remarkably comfy, but overall I’m not a fan of portable

            • Reply July 1, 2014

              dalethorn

              It’s harder to get good sound in the smaller headphones.

          • Reply July 1, 2014

            dalethorn

            The B&O H6 is very portable and very comfy. The Beyerdynamic DTX501p is a minor step down in sound quality, but cheap at $100 and very comfortable. The new Harman Soho is comfortable, but isn’t secure enough for vigorous activity. The Thinksound ON1 sounds as good as the ATH ESW9/a, but is more comfy and has excellent detachable cables.

    • Reply July 1, 2014

      L.

      I didn’t find the headband uncomfortable. The pads are on the smaller side though

  • Reply July 1, 2014

    dalethorn

    It confirms what I surmised about the treble.

    • Reply July 1, 2014

      L.

      I don’t think that was a secret 😉

  • Reply July 1, 2014

    SunnyD

    I love these headphones too. I find the headband really comfortable and its my top closed headphone for the moment.

    Lieven, I’ve got a love/hate relationship with this website. However, I do enjoy your articles and your descriptions.

    • Reply July 1, 2014

      dalethorn

      I appreciate that they list the negatives along with the positives. But what makes the site good is they don’t just review every dubious design that comes along – they choose components that their followers will mostly like.

      • Reply July 1, 2014

        SunnyD

        Well, Lieven and Nate definitely do that consistently. Huge fan of you too Dale… love your comments on this site and innerfidelity.

        I enjoyed Lieven’s reflection on how ugly he considers the HP50. I don’t feel the same way but I’m certain that many people would. The world of portable closed headphones seems to focus on form versus function. I get the sense that NAD thought they had the right balance but missed. Fortunately, the functionality of the headphone is terrific.

        • Reply July 1, 2014

          L.

          Well if you like its looks or not is personal taste. I’m pretty sure a lot of people love the looks. I like how the H6 looks but a lot of people hate it. I wouldn’t base my buying decision on looks though

  • Reply July 1, 2014

    Marc

    Finally!! I wasn’t expecting this headphone to hit Headfonia any time soon. I wonder what’s next. To be honest, I rather dislike the aesthetics of the headphone but if it’s comfortable and sounds real good even at that price, I guess it’s good enough.

    Lieven, may I ask for a comparison between the Fidelio L2 and the NAD Viso HP50? They’re both at the same price range and both at the upper leagues of portable/home hybrids headphones. Which would your rank to have higher technicalities and at the end of day, which headphone would you prefer and why?

    Well written review as always. Also, it’s a shame. This was meant to be a comment posted 7 hours ago but apparently didn’t save.

    • Reply July 4, 2014

      L.

      Let me get back to you on this

    • Reply July 4, 2014

      L.

      The L2 will still win on technicalities and has the better driver. Bass has less body but treble is better (L2)

      Both are great headphones but the L2 is the better one on technicalities and pure audio quality.

      Why not have both? 😉

  • Reply July 3, 2014

    Anthony Kimball

    If you like these, I’d be very curious of your impressions/comparisson of the other Paul Barton headphone, PSB M4U1…I’d love to audition them both!

    • Reply July 4, 2014

      L.

      I’d like to hear it too 🙂

  • Reply July 3, 2014

    Sudip Gadwal

    i love the way your pictures on the website show up even bad looking gear in to great looking ones…keep it up..grt work..

  • Reply July 3, 2014

    Sudip Gadwal

    i did not think it was a bad looking headphone after a first glance at the pictures..it was only when i went through the review did i discover that you actually don’t like the design aesthetics …lol..

    • Reply July 4, 2014

      dalethorn

      I really liked the look, red color and all. But those swivel arms remind me of the cheap and awful tubes that the Martin-Logan Mikros 90 uses to connect the headband to the earcups. But maybe the HP50 implementation is high quality.

    • Reply July 4, 2014

      L.

      It’s personal, you love it or hate it.

  • Reply July 4, 2014

    JRK

    Does this mean we’ll see something about the Focal Spirit Por/Classic on here sometime?

    • Reply July 4, 2014

      L.

      Who knows 🙂

    • Reply July 4, 2014

      dalethorn

      The Focal Spirit Pro is built like a tank. Unfortunately, it feels like a tank on my head.

  • Reply July 4, 2014

    Wiwandra

    How does it performs sound wise compared to Philips fidelio L2?

    • Reply July 4, 2014

      L.

      I’ll get back to this later today

    • Reply July 4, 2014

      L.

      The L2 will still win on technicalities and has the better driver. Bass has less body but treble is better (L2)

      Both are great headphones but the L2 is the better one on technicalities and pure audio quality

      • Reply September 25, 2014

        willy vlyminck

        You even said it is close to the HD700, but what when the L2 was produced in Belgium and came at the same pricetag of the HD700? For this reason the pricetag is irrevelant because it depends a lot of the production location, and is not a sign for better quality as such. The German brands produce only their most expensive models exclusively at home, so does AKG in Austria with the 812. Below a certain pricetag all other models are enginered and produced in China. Philips can´t produce in belgium at selling price of 279 and 299 Euro for the x1/ x2, but I am sure they are equal in quality if not better.

      • Reply September 25, 2014

        willy vlyminck

        Important is there is bass when demanded, when for example listening to Magma, Primus and other bass loaded prog, which has nothing to do with the kind of bass needed or demanded for current mainstream styles of music. I did order the L2, so i am curious how the bass will sound with before mentioned music but also with reggae from Linton Kwesi Johnson.

    • Reply July 6, 2014

      Wiwandra

      wow that means L2 is actually fantastic, i was a bit hesitate to buy is because of the hype and the fact that i haven’t got a chance to try it. I might consider selling my sony ma900 and buy L2. Btw have you got a chance to try and compare both of them (ma900 and L2)? Just for my final consideration, thnx

      • Reply July 6, 2014

        L.

        I have not

      • Reply July 6, 2014

        Marc

        Check the L2 review’s comment section!! I remember seeing Mike posting his comparison between the Sony MA900 and the Fidelio L2

  • Reply July 7, 2014

    Kristian Lindecrantz

    Great review, as always! I too have this headphone and i agree with pretty much all you say! This headphone however has me some what confused, it sounded way better then i expected… So now, naturaly, im looking for something better but with similar caracteristics. How does this headphone compare to any of the “dogs” or the Fostex TH600? As Im contemplating these right now… Your input would be highly appriciated

    • Reply July 8, 2014

      L.

      Well the Dogs of course are planars. personally I would put them Alpha>Mad>HP50. I would forget about the TH600 if you can all the others for a lot less.

      thanks for the compliment!

  • Reply July 26, 2014

    Nickjan Glas

    nice to read a comparison with the H6 again (since it is the only one I own at the moment) For me the subtle bass compared to the details I perceive made me go for the H6 and listening to more and more orchestral music I find it getting better and better. In the future I ll pbly compare more, and now I ll be curious about this one. so great review again.

  • Reply August 2, 2014

    Pedro Oliveira

    How does the hp50 compares with the denon d600?
    Wich is the better all rounder in your opinion? Specially for rock, pop and edm…

    The nad viso hp60 can now be bought in europe for about 190 euros and the denon ah d600 for 130….

    Cheers

    • Reply August 2, 2014

      dalethorn

      Are you looking for specific information to make a headphone purchase, or is this a research project of some kind? What are your requirements for your purchase?

      • Reply August 2, 2014

        Pedro Oliveira

        I just want to make the right choice dale. Unfortunately for me its not that easy to make returns and in my country all the heahpones i mentioned and that i am curious about are impossible to try unless i buy them.
        Research project? No. I just want to make sure i dont sink my money in something that will not satisfy me and also this information will be usefull not for me but also for people who have the same doubts as me.
        Its impossible not to get curious about headphones that used to cost 300 or 400 euros and now cost 150 or 130. On one hand you think, ooooh what a bargain but on the other hand you get suspicious and start wondering if they are that good….
        When you cant try something without buying it your only chance is to rely on the information that amazing people like you and L provide us…. I know that what you guys like is different from what i or other person likes, but its always nice to have a reference point…

        • Reply August 2, 2014

          dalethorn

          The many comparisons you ask for will likely lead you the wrong way, because comparing a to b, where a is better than b, then comparing b to c where b is better than c, so you see that a is far better than c, yes? But c may be better than a, which happens often, for complex reasons. If you’re buying only one headphone and you want *good* advice, you need to research by reading reviews, then state your requirements in detail, then more research, then start narrowing down to your final choices. I read all of your questions, and the comparisons are all over, not getting focused on your requirements.

          • Reply August 2, 2014

            Pedro Oliveira

            You are right Dale… i am a bit all over the place thats true and i am sorry for that…. i am a bit confused as you can tell….. XD

            Lets try too make this simpler then….

            P7’s are out of the way…. i bet they sound amazing but they are too expensive….
            The nad’s, they seem great but it seems they also have small and not very deep pads so if i had problems with those i will surelly have problems with the nads, also tha nads must be a bit more flat than the momentums and as i said i like the momentums signatur and sound quality….
            The amperiors lets forget them…. i am certainly i love how the sound and i want a bit more bass for my hd25’s and the amperiors would probably give me a bit more (and i may even ending up getting them) but for now it would be money wasted on a almost identical pair to the hd25’s….

            so basically there are three options,

            recaping the requirements, i listen mostly to indie, pop rock and edm, i love the sound of the hd25’s and the momentums and i want the same quality and a similar sound signature to the momentums but with a REAL over ear design and spacious sound since my v6’s and hd25’s are all but spacious sounding….

            The contenders…..

            Although a bit expenve the b&o H6 in blue can be had for 225 euros on amazon uk.

            The dt770 80 or 32 ohm, the 80 ohm for 120, the 32 ohm for 150 (lost the le deal)

            and last but not least the denon ah d600 (my main fear about the denon is that they are too colored since as i said the i like the momentum and the mdr 1r was too muffled and colored for me…. also one of my fears is because many say they have a loose fit and i had seal and fit issues with the akg k550) at 135 euros….

            Better now? 🙂

            Hope you guys can help…. Cheers…. 🙂

            • Reply August 3, 2014

              dalethorn

              Instead of saying “real over ear” just say “fully around ear”, and that way people won’t be telling you to buy a headphone that doesn’t fit.

              BTW, I just got the new Soundmagic HP-150, and it’s really, really good. Full bass, full treble, clear and clean.

    • Reply August 2, 2014

      L.

      To me the HP50 is the better headphone

  • Reply August 15, 2014

    sasa208

    Again, great review. I tried and like this headphone very much.
    In your review of the Mr. speakers Alpha Dog there was a hint in the comments that the
    HP50 might be a good contender for the AD. Since you have tested them both, which on do you favour? Also considering the price.. Looks go to the AD for sure!
    Thanks!

    • Reply August 16, 2014

      L.

      I prefer the AD with the MD pads. Price wise nothing can beat the HP50

      • Reply August 16, 2014

        sasa208

        Thanks! Looks like I’ll be getting the HP50’s then. Last one on my ‘to consider’ list is the DT770 Pro AE. They are hard to find and I probably won’t have the chance to test them. Would you prefer the HP50 or the 770 Pro AE ?

        • Reply August 17, 2014

          L.

          Completely different sound. Depends what you want

          • Reply August 17, 2014

            sasa208

            I liked the slightly warm sound of the HP50. After a while listening I noticed it integrated the mids and highs very nicely, but it took me some time to realize this. From what I have read the DT 770 AE is more analytical, more clear overal. This atracks me because I like an overal neutral and balanced sound. (but slightly warm like the HP50 is very nice) Buying the 770 AE blindly is a bit tricky perhaps since they sound very diffently like you say.

            • Reply August 17, 2014

              dalethorn

              I looked over a long list I’m familiar with, to see if there’s a more ‘analytical’ sounding headphone with a wide response in the same price range as the DT770 Pro-32, and all I could find is the Soundmagic HP100. It also is very different from the DT770-32, but could be worth investigating for a more neutral sound (with strong low bass but no upper bass emphasis).

            • Reply August 17, 2014

              L.

              The HP50 is not warm, at all. They are completely different headphones

  • Reply August 17, 2014

    Marc Axelrod

    Hp 50 bass extension is terrific, and I really like the case that comes with it. But the plastic creaky construction and awful looks leave much to be desired in a lifestyle headphone.

    I also felt the mids were unnaturally airy and spacy.

    The treble was a little splashy, which I particularly noticed with cymbals. I did a head-to-head shootout with the Sennheiser Moment,um over ear, and I felt that the Sennheiser Momentum sounded better on almost every song. On occasion, the bass sounded overly warm and thick on the Momentum, and on those songs, I sometimes preferred the HP 50. But overwhelmingly, the Momentum sounded richer and more natural.

    I also feel that among closed sealed headphones, the Brainwavz HM5 has a much much wider soundstage.

    But I appreciate your review, and I realize that most professional reviewers agree.

    • Reply August 18, 2014

      dalethorn

      Thanks for the comments. These are things that might not seem important to some users, but it’s good to know – to listen for when I get a chance at the HP50.

    • Reply September 5, 2014

      FingerPrince

      Plastic, creaky construction? Thats a deal breaker for me. For 299€ the build quality must be flawless.

      • Reply September 5, 2014

        Marc Axelrod

        The HP 50 sounds decent, but they are vastly overrated by some online audio hobbyists. The Momentum over ear and the AKG 545 are much better buys in the lifestyle headphone category under $300

        • Reply September 5, 2014

          L.

          The Momentum is highly overrated and the HP50 is the better technical one by far.

          • Reply September 5, 2014

            Marc Axelrod

            I have heard a number of people say the HP 50 is the better technical headphone. but I have not heard that many people say the Momentum is highly overrated. The Momentum’s weaknesses and strengths are well- documented.

            • Reply September 5, 2014

              L.

              Even on my site. But in the end, the Momentum compared to the H6, or HP50 or P7 can’t keep up

              • Reply September 6, 2014

                Marc Axelrod

                I admit that I am a Sennheiser fanboy. To my ears, the HD239 and the HD 600 share the same neutral punchy sound signature. The HD 202, the HD 439, the Momentum over ear, and the HD 650 have the rich thick warm sound, and the HD 598 and the HD 700 have the treble tilted warm sound.

        • Reply September 6, 2014

          dalethorn

          Problem is, so many people thought the Momentum “over” ear was around ear. Big mistake!

          • Reply September 6, 2014

            Marc Axelrod

            I just appreciate the way it sounds., rich, warm, fairly well balanced, like a baby HD 650.

            • Reply September 6, 2014

              dalethorn

              I had the original HD650, which had a normal treble. But the Momentum sound was dulled on the high end, which I suppose was a deliberate move away from high fidelity.

              • Reply September 6, 2014

                Marc Axelrod

                I guess everyone’s ears are different. I felt the upper frequencies of the Sennheiser momentum were fine, until I started listening to the old HD 560 ovation, with its otherworldly shimmering Treble. That classic headphone makes 90 percent of the headphones on the market today sound dull. It is all depending on what you are comparing it to I guess…

                • Reply September 6, 2014

                  L.

                  The problem with the momentum for me are the lack of good treble and the overpowering loose bass. The 650 doesnt have that to this degree. HD650 is a King!

                  • Reply September 6, 2014

                    Marc Axelrod

                    The Momentum is warm with a slight boost to the lower frequencies. But there is adequate control down low most of the time. It is definitely not A V shaped head phone or a u-shaped phone,it is pretty Well balanced. Try it with the Audiophile cable rather than the one with the microphone.

                    there is no life style headphone that would sound as high fidelity and refined as an open back HD 600 or 650 or DT 880.

                    • September 6, 2014

                      L.

                      H6 and p7 both do 😉

                    • September 7, 2014

                      Marc Axelrod

                      I like those headphones a lot. The H6 was on sale in blue for $199 last month, I almost pulled the trigger. A great choice for portable devices. Wish it was a tad punchier, but still great.

                      And P7 is a lot of fun. But for home use, I definitely prefer the HD 600. I don’t think there’s anything under $500 somebody could give me in exchange for my 600s.

                    • September 7, 2014

                      dalethorn

                      I had the 600 and it was my reference at one time, but now I see it as more treble-balanced and I think that makes it suitable mostly for jazz, folk, classical, than for the wider range of genres. I would prefer to use the AKG K712 (with a little bass boost) or the MrSpeakers Mad Dog, which for me have a warmer tone that works fine for the aforementioned genres, but especially for rock, EDM, metal, and others. I see the warmer sound as a long-term trend for audiophile headphone listening, given the typical recordings we mostly listen to today.

                    • September 7, 2014

                      Marc Axelrod

                      What do you mean by treble balanced? Do you mean treble tilted? That would characterize my description of HD 598, but I see 600 as more neutral.

                    • September 7, 2014

                      dalethorn

                      The HD600 is voiced much like the HD800, with less detail and less soundstage of course. These were touted (and measured by Sennheiser) as very neutral, but down the road they’re seen as more treble-centric than neutral, even if the difference is considered small, like 3 to 5 db.

                    • September 7, 2014

                      Marc Axelrod

                      I didn’t know that. I still like the 600 a lot. I like my classic AKG K240 a lot, and if I could find an AKG that has the same signature but a more clear mid range, that would be awesome.

                      The 712 is probably more than what I would want to spend right now, but may be a 701….

                    • September 7, 2014

                      dalethorn

                      The 712 is one headphone that sounds great right out of the box, but compared to the Momentum, it’s tilted the other way, with good treble extension (not bright though), and a fairly lean bass. It’s selling on several sites for around $350 – the original Momentum price, and given the amazing comfort and all, a pretty good deal.

                    • September 7, 2014

                      Marc Axelrod

                      I’ll keep it on my radar.Off topic question.how do I get the annoying High pitch beeeeeeeeeeep sound to stop emanating from my Schiit Vali? I hear it coming through my 600 and my 650

                    • September 8, 2014

                      dalethorn

                      Wow, that’s interesting. Right off, sounds like one of the components is failing. Can you open it and wiggle the components and tubes? Make sure all connections are secure first.

                    • September 7, 2014

                      L.

                      I agree/ HD600/650/ kings!

                • Reply September 7, 2014

                  dalethorn

                  I don’t see ears as different for hi-fi purposes. If we’re sitting together at a concert, we hear the same thing, and if we play the recording at home and it sounds the same as live, that’s high fidelity and has nothing to do with different ears. I don’t consider myself an expert, but I can compare 50 or so headphones within one db or less at a range of frequencies, to determine how they balance sound from bass to treble. That said though, once you get past the freq. response or however you want to experience it (dark, light, in between), then you find a bunch of other aspects that complicate matters (amps etc.), so at that point any particular description of the sound is just a generality.

                • Reply October 23, 2014

                  Batman

                  Tyll over at InnerFidelity does and awesome writeup on old vs new Senn’s and some the different trends that headphones went through over the years. Check it out.

                  • Reply October 23, 2014

                    dalethorn

                    Decent electrostatic headphones such as the Koss ESP9 and Stax SRX MK3 were available back as far as the 1970’s – I had both of those and a few others. My impression of a real breakthrough in dynamic headphones was the Senn HD580, with a rave review by Stereophile, sometime in the mid-1990’s. Before that most dynamics were either too thin and shrill, or too dull. The HD580 gave a real concert-hall sound, albeit slightly distant. Senn pretty much fixed that distant perspective with the HD600. The next great breakthrough I thought was the HD800 in 2009, and as far as I know, it still reigns supreme in resolution of fine harmonic detail.

  • Reply September 5, 2014

    Patrick

    What are your thoughts of grado sr80i and sr325/i in comparison to those two?

    • Reply September 5, 2014

      L.

      Well it is grado. Have you ever listened to the grados?

      • Reply December 28, 2014

        Patrick.C

        Soundwise they are similiar with AKGs K/Q701 and beyerdynamics dt880pro. So more analytic and focused on monitoring.

        Not my cup of tee, but everyone likes his headphone otherwise 🙂

        • Reply December 29, 2014

          dalethorn

          I had the PS500, and while the mids and highs are pretty similar to the K712 I had, the bass is quite different. The PS500 had a pretty significant hump around 70-100 hz, while the K712 was very lean there. The Grado 325 I had circa 1999 I really liked – similar to the Senn HD565, but I don’t know know how it would compare today.

          • Reply December 29, 2014

            Patrick.C

            Time pass really fast, isn’t it dave.

            • Reply December 30, 2014

              dalethorn

              Time does change a lot of this technology, but it’s also good to see that headphones like the Senn HD600 and HD650 are still well-regarded for musical accuracy – it tells me that the long-time players in this business are maintaining their core technologies.

      • Reply July 1, 2015

        Meringo

        I love Grado, and owned the SR225e for about 6 months before trading them in for the AKG Q701 for the increased soundstage.

        They have very “in your face” mids, snappy, unbloated bass and bright highs (some do not like this, I love it.) The only downfall is the soundstage… very limited, but some people are into that.

        Also, they are handmade in Brooklyn.

        • Reply July 2, 2015

          dalethorn

          I have the 325e – definitely not near the soundstage of the PS1000e, but pretty good when you apply a little EQ in the right places.

  • Reply September 25, 2014

    willy vlyminck

    The enginering was done by Paul barton of the Canadian PSB loudspeaker brand. NAD fans might be this headphone and that is all that matters, being a brandname fan can be dangerous for your mental health not to mention your wallet 🙂

    • Reply September 25, 2014

      Headfonia_L.

      Isn’t that always the case with Brand name fans. Same goes for apple and the iPhone

      • Reply September 25, 2014

        dalethorn

        Just don’t put that new iPhone in a pocket, where it can get bent.

        • Reply September 26, 2014

          John123John

          LOL

      • Reply September 26, 2014

        willy vlyminck

        I always had different Android devices, but after the hearing the iPhone 5s with my Grado GR10, I was hooked, but I wouldn´t call myself a brand fan, with the exeption maybe of Philips, because as a Belgian, I am proud of the Belgian enginering that define the Fidelio products. Back in 1992 I had one of the first activ speakers, with a dac/pre-amp and cd player. Philips were always pioneers, only the press by than didn´t really like this 900 serie set. They were more into Mark Levinson, Accuphase, and Krell, Philips was not exotic enough but the 900 serie was really great and i owned the set for 15 year,

        • Reply September 26, 2014

          Headfonia_L.

          I like hearing these stories. We Belgians made some good stuff back in the days

  • Reply November 9, 2014

    Matheus Bica

    From which material is made the adjustment? i mean when you need to adjust to the size of your head, which material is made? metal? looks like it at least, but i dont like when they are plastic, brakes easily.

    Cheers

  • Reply February 2, 2015

    Amithlon

    I own the HP50’s and AT M50x , i like the 50’s, but the top end is a bit not there – where would i go and stay under $US500 ?? , i prefer neutral sound with little bass boost and not a harsh to pend. any ideas ?? Oh and nearly forgot the extension arms, headphone holder (with VISO on it) and the main band are very solid metal.

  • Reply February 7, 2015

    vikki27

    Yesterday, I listened to Nad Hp50 at a local store.
    I liked it more after listening to a similar priced Beyer Dynamic Dt880 and Audio Technica Athm50x. Are there headphones with more alive energy ?

    • Reply February 7, 2015

      dalethorn

      The AKG K712 is more alive, but has slightly less bass and is open-back. The B&O H6 may be more alive than the HP50 (close though), but a lighter kind of sound. The B&W P7 is very lively. The Beyerdynamic DT770-32 is pretty lively, but somewhat dark also. The Grado 325 and 500 I like, are lively, but open-back. The Shure 940 is very lively – some say too bright.

  • Reply February 7, 2015

    vikki27

    I will check out the other models that you mentioned. Thank you so much dalethorn.

  • Reply May 8, 2015

    s4tch

    @headfonia_lieven:disqus, how would you rate these cans for rock/metal/fusion music, even some guitar recording?

  • Reply May 11, 2015

    Marius

    I have a new iBasso DX90 with a new DT770 PRO 32. I listen to classical, jazz and pop. The sound is very good, but the highs are a bit too much for my taste and bass sometimes. Is the NAD a better combo with the DX90 or do I have to look for a Focal Spirit / BeoPlay H6 / B&W P7?

  • Reply May 11, 2015

    Marius

    @headfonia_lieven:disqus, I have a new iBasso DX90 with a new DT770 PRO 32. I listen to classical, jazz and pop. The sound is very good, but the highs are a bit too much for my taste and bass sometimes. Does this change after the burn in process or is the NAD a better combo with the DX90 or do I have to look for a Focal Spirit / BeoPlay H6 / B&W P7?

    • Reply May 12, 2015

      dalethorn

      The Focal Spirit Pro bass is really lean, dunno. The DT770 is more of a pro sound than the H6 or P7, but it does have a small upper treble peak. The other Beyers like the T1 and T90 (and from what I hear the T70) have even stronger peaks than the DT770. The NAD is too far the other direction for softer treble and less detail. Lieven may have an alternate to the 770, but I’ll bet it will cost a lot more.

      • Reply May 12, 2015

        Marius

        @dalethorn:disqus Thanks for your reply. I’ve seen your YouTube review of the Final Audio Design Pandora Hope IV. Maybe that’s the one? Or T5p?

        • Reply May 12, 2015

          dalethorn

          The Pandora IV, no – way too colored, but the Pandora VI is excellent. Unfortunately, the VI is very heavy and you have to keep your head upright and very still. I would really like to get a T5p someday, but I don’t know exactly how it sounds – maybe darker than the T1, which is the brighter of the 2.

          • Reply May 13, 2015

            Marius

            @dalethorn:disqus Hi Dale, I meant the Pandora VI, not the IV 😉 Price in EU is nearly the same as T5p.
            @headfonia_lieven:disqus Lieven, do you have a suggestion?

            • Reply May 13, 2015

              Headfonia_L.

              Maybe the new Sennheiser? HD630VB, or the Beyer COP, or the Audeze EL8 Closed back

              • Reply May 13, 2015

                Marius

                Thanks @headfonia_lieven:disqus I will put the HD630VB on my list too.

          • Reply May 15, 2015

            Marius

            @dalethorn:disqus @headfonia_lieven:disqus Today I’ve listened to the Beyer T5p. Not a good match with the DX90. Amazing soundstage, but not enough bass and the highs are typical Beyer. I guess they should be used with a more warmish source/amp.

            • Reply May 15, 2015

              dalethorn

              That’s good to know, thanks.

              • Reply May 15, 2015

                Marius

                @dalethorn:disqus You’re welcome! I’ve read a lot of information from you so thank you too! Now I will listen to Sennheiser HD630VB, FAD Pandora Hope VI en the AudioQuest Nighthawk is semi open but has a very low impedance. Local dealer will have them in two weeks.

                • Reply May 15, 2015

                  dalethorn

                  Waiting on your impression of the Nighthawk.

        • Reply May 29, 2015

          Marius

          @dalethorn:disqus @headfonia_lieven:disqus
          This weekend I am listening to the Pandora VI with de DX90. This is not a good match. Mid is too thin and too much in the background. The DT770 32 is a better match. Sennheiser HD630VB will be available in August.

          • Reply May 29, 2015

            dalethorn

            The amp that can make a DT770 sound better than a Pandora VI? I dunno about that.

          • Reply May 30, 2015

            Headfonia_L.

            I really don’t like the Pandora tuning. To me the dx90 and Dt770 32 pairing would win too.I am waiting for the Senn

          • Reply May 30, 2015

            Marius

            dalethorn Headfonia_L.

            Update: after a 12 hour burn in with loud dance music the Pandora sounds far better. Mid is back, but bass is a bit slow, and highs sometimes too much. The weight and comfort are not a plus for the Pandora. So I visited several shops to listen to other headphones with my DX90. B&W P7 sounds too digital. Focal Spirit Professional is very very controlled soundstage. In my opinion better than DT 770 Pro. But the highs are a bit too much for my taste. The Focal Spirit Professional is a bit closed soundstage. The NAD HP50 is a very good match with the DX90 and I bought one. It is a bit warmish but not like the Sennheiser Momentum Over Ear 2.0. The big surprise for me was the Shure SRH1540 which reminds me to the Sennheiser HD650. Very wide soundstage, airy and so much detail. The comfort is a big plus too so I prefer them to the Pandora. For now I am burning in the HP50 and in August I’m gonna listen to the HD630VB 🙂

            • Reply May 30, 2015

              dalethorn

              So are you getting the Shure 1540?

              • Reply May 31, 2015

                Marius

                @dalethorn:disqus It is the source + headphone that makes the difference. The DX90 is a bit analytical that’s why it matches with de NAD HP50 (darker sounding). The Shure is more analytical so I really want to try it with my AudioQuest DragonFly (a bit warmish). DragonFly + HP50 is a bit dull. So I am gonna try this combination for my home setup.

                • Reply May 31, 2015

                  Marius

                  Update: the HP50 has some comfort issues so I will return the NAD to the store. This week I’m gonna listen to the Shure 1540 and the BeoPlay H6

                  • Reply May 31, 2015

                    dalethorn

                    If we have 50 headphones and 50 amps, that’s 2500 combinations – impossible to test. But then add 50 user experiences to these combinations and now you have 125000 different combinations. That’s why very few user experiences with a given headphone will translate across to other users, unless there are some objective factors that help people to cut through the maze of product. For many people, returning one headphone or amp is difficult enough, let alone several. And I have heard that someone who returns a number of products to Amazon can be banned from ordering there ever again.

                    • June 1, 2015

                      Marius

                      That’s why I want to test them. I buy from local stores and always ask for return policy. No problem at most stores in the Netherlands. Now I am listening to the Shure 1540 at the DragonFly: better but not the one. Later this week I will receive the BeoPlay H6 and the Oppo PM-3. When I don’t like those, I will buy the DT 770 PRO 32 Ohm again with velours earpads and I will correct some frequency issues with the equalizer.

                    • June 1, 2015

                      dalethorn

                      I would like to read your experiences here. My DT770-32 did not have velour earpads, so anyway do report on all of those. It should add to the knowledge base here.

                    • June 3, 2015

                      Marius

                      @dalethorn:disqus I found a winning combination: DragonFly + OPPO PM-3. This is the best portable setup I’ve heard ever. Wow for jazz/acoustical/chamber orchestra’s, vocals, amazing! Wow! Just listening 15 minutes but all instruments are so realistic! I sell my DX90 and will use an iPhone with the DragonFly (there is a solution with a batterypack on YouTube)

                    • June 3, 2015

                      dalethorn

                      Report back on how the battery works. The Dragonfly I presume is the new version?

                    • June 3, 2015

                      Marius

                      DragonFly 1.2 now listening on a HTPC with JRiver software. Now waiting for the batterypack, the USB hub and the powercable. I have an iPhone 6 and a lightning to USB adapter.

                    • June 5, 2015

                      Marius

                      dalethorn Headfonia_L.

                      Today I received the BeoPlay H6. Nice materials and comfort is OK, but soundwise it’s not my taste. Tonight I bought the DT770 32 again and I bought the Beyer velours pad in black so I keep my ‘black edition’. Now I have two headphones. The Oppo PM-3 / DragonFly 1.2 combo is great for jazz, singer/songwriter, acoustic instruments, classical piano, classical chamber music. The DT770 is the one for rock, symphony orchestra’s. And the DT770 works well straight from my iPhone. Now I’m am looking for a nice EQ app.

                    • June 5, 2015

                      dalethorn

                      OK – here’s a strong recommendation I have – very strong recommendation. Get a parametric EQ with no more than 10 bands – even 7 bands is more than enough. Make sure you can set the frequency and amount and Q for each band. Take as long as you need – weeks even – and just go after the most obvious colorations. Resist the temptation to do more than that, so keeping it simple will retain the truest sound of each headhone and system. Anyway, that’s my simple advice – have fun!

                    • June 6, 2015

                      Marius

                      @dalethorn:disqus Hi again. I’ve tested several EQ apps, but one of the problems is they all decrease the gain of my iPhone 6. So I got an idea 😉 My music collection is stored in FLAC files. I am a satisfied user of JRiver Media Center software. JRiver has the option to convert FLAC to MP3 320 through a parametic EQ. So my iPhone doesn’t need to recalculate the music which saves battery and I keep the high gain. I have 64GB storage so no problem to save multiple MP3’s with different sound.

                    • June 6, 2015

                      dalethorn

                      Saving a one-off set of files that have EQ embedded is a good feature of digital systems, but be careful to protect your permanent files. There’s a feature of Foobar2000 that allows permanent increase of playback gain, but it never worked for me, possibly because of the preamp overload. If JRiver has such a “preamp” feature you should look into it, as a possibly hedge against distortions creeping in.

  • Reply July 10, 2015

    Meringo

    I just had to return my newly purchased HP50…. THey were the best over ear I’ve ever put on, but the headband had a defect, with unequal pressure. This required me to fiddle with it every time I put them on. I returned, and found a bunch of forums about manufacturing problems – the seal and headphone jacks in particular. There’s a brand new reddit post about it.

    I have to settle with the Momentum M2…. not exactly my favorite, but likely my best portable option at this price (got them for 300)

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