Massdrop Sennheiser HD58X


That is, indeed, one thing I evaluate with that track … but I use it even more for assessing transient response (plucked strings), attack and decay, as well as tone, timbre and micro-dynamics.

It’s hard to say what you’re hearing. I doubt it’s down to bass distortion in that particular piece. It might be that you’re hearing the natural micro-dynamic reverberations in the strings, which the HD6XX are more capable of resolving than the LCD-2. In such a case it would be audible as more texture in the notes that might be smoothed over by a less resolving transducer.

For reference, I owned the LCD-2.2c for about 5 years, along side the HD650 (and many others) and as much as I loved the Audeze can, and as many things as it does well, micro-dynamics were never it’s strongest suit. They have a tendency to smooth over them somewhat making them harder to discern/dulling their effect. And, to be fair, I find that to be broadly the case for planar cans in general … typically they’re behind similar dynamic cans in that area (but then again, they tend to do a better job with bass presence and slam).

One way to see if that’s the case is to compare against other dynamic headphones that have excellent micro-dynamic resolution and see if the grain is also audible there. Otherwise I’d have to listen with the same chain to have a better idea.


Cool, listening to Up Close now.

Interesting insight. I’m actually impressed by how flexible the staging is with the HD58X. Listening to the below opera I feel like I’m sitting in an opera house and the singers are on a stage in front of me. Granted, I feel as though I’m sitting toward the front, but it still feels quite spacious.


I don’t have it anymore, but I always perceived my DT 1990 to be a lot smoother than my HD 600 and free of that “grain”, and I found it to be quite resolving of microdetail. I also still own the HD598 Cs and although I really don’t enjoy it, I don’t hear that grain in it either. It’s confounding.

EDIT - the grain is there irrespective of chain. V20, Magni 3, Ember II at 35 or 120 ohm, doesn’t matter. I’ve never heard the HD 650 so I don’t know if it would cause me the same grief.


I’m having the same problem with this as with the popular Amber Rubarth binaural album, which is that it sounds like everybody is behind and to the side of me and the stage is ridiculously wide. It feels unnatural and uncomfortable. I suspect I just have a very different HRTF than the typical dummy head.


Just tried with the Andromeda (because science lol) and didn’t get the “grain”
I’m going to try again with the 58X and see if I can pick it up again.
Ok heard it with both the HD800 and the 58x at the :35 second mark, but really only when he is strumming at those speeds, I wonder if it is the vibrations of the strings that is being picked up? I’m not a scientist so if that is a dumb thing to say sorry lol. Also I am hearing him breathe throughout and he has a very nasal breathing that is just perceptible and could account for the “grain”


Just switched back to the Andromeda, and I can hear him breathe less, but I am picking up the fingers sliding on the strings more, but a good time frame to hear him breathe loudly is Edit: 2:23seconds -2:26seconds is a better point


Well, like I said, it’s hard to know exactly want you’re hearing. It’s also possible that what I think of as grain is different to what you are referring to. Either way, I’m just speculating - and using different gear (I don’t own the HD600).

I would not necessarily conflate micro-detail with micro-dynamics, however, as they’re not the really same thing (though I suppose both are “detail”, just of a different nature).

As I am used to using, and interpreting those terms, one relates more to speed of response (which is part of transient response), the other to tiny fluctuations in volume. And while there unavoidable interactions in both domains, they remain different enough to be considered separately.


That part actually sounds fine to me :slight_smile: Around 2:30 is an example of what bothers me. It just gets kind of hazy and reverby. I think it correlates with the vibration of the body but it just seems out of balance. When I’m back home I’ll listen to this with the LCD2C and Elex for comparison.


I think I know what you’re trying to say. But, of course, the vibrations of the strings are exactly what causes the sound in the first place, so that’s definitely being picked up! :wink:

One aspect of micro-dynamics would be what you hear as very low-level fluctuations volume level as the string vibrates closer-to-and-further from the microphone (or pickup) as it moves in three-dimensional space. As opposed to the tone generated primarily by the general vibration of the string regardless of dimension.


@Torq and @pwjazz I’m learning a lot here! I like this thread, one of the more fun interactive threads here. I think what I’m hearing in the beginning that I think is “grain” is just the Micro-dynamics I’m picking up, as @Torq said.

Ha yeah, I should have explained better about the vibrations of the strings lol, I’m laughing at myself with that one. I meant besides the notes, and because he is strumming so fast it is causing a almost reverb or springy sound? I’m still new to the deep dive of critical listening and what I’m hearing, but this is helping.


I have a lot to learn too, and am enjoying the opportunity!


Hmm…it almost sounds if he is playing different notes, I’m not a musician so I’m just punching in the dark with whatever I come up with lol. It almost sounds like the sound goes wide, then comes in close all at once, or like for lack of a better description like an explosion under water and how the water pushes out and then fills in then pushes out again? Also it sounds thinner at that point in the track. What a great song to listen to and really concentrate on what you are hearing.


As an aside, I have the sniffles and thought I was hearing myself breathing loudly when I first picked up his breathing, I really love experiencing things like that, makes you feel like you are there. Well just saw it is almost 1030pm time to crash out. Thank you Gentleman for sharing and continuing the conversation. The chat shall continue another day! =)


@pwjazz going to bed I swear…but this track is one of my all time favorites, I loved listening to live orchestras play it as a kid.


That is a fun classic! Speaking of live, this was the first band to which I took a date. Aside from the good company, they were an incredible live act, one of those bands that actually sound better live than in a studio.

They sound pretty good on the HD58X.


@DarthPool, @pwjazz … very interesting discussion … at this rate I shall be blaming you both for me picking up a pair of HD58X just so I can “play along” properly!


Okay, that’s some deep stuff! So for example, microdetail would be picking out a subtle vibrato whereas microdynamics would be picking out a tremolo?


Be careful, if your Utopias start slumming it with Massdrop specials who knows what might happen!


My LCD2C behave similarly. The way I hear it and measure it, they have a word combination of fast attack with fast initial decay and then slow final decay. It allows them to sound fast and wet at the same time. I haven’t heard any other planars other than the latest revision of the HE400i. I remember it sounding drier until I put on some leather pads which moistened the sound. I’ve been tempted to try velour pads on the LCD2C to see if the wetness is due to internal reflections of the pleather pads or if it’s more to do with the behavior of the driver itself.

EDIT - Velour pads have been measured, don’t seem to greatly affect the CSD, so it’s probably the drivers.


I think I have a problem with having unique headphones like these… they appeal to the collector in me. Also at the cost of sounding like a money isn’t a thing type person, the cost is very easy to swallow to try them out. I also had a hole in my collection where I didn’t have any 5 or 6 series Sennheisers so these fit that bill perfectly. I wish I was better at getting rid of gear but I go all golem when it comes time to sell/trade something…