Reposted from "What Gaming Headphones to buy?
I'd like to thank PJ_Rage for allowing me the opportunity to listen to his Sennheiser HD600 and AKG K702 headphones. He realized that I wasn't sure which headphone that I should pick, and being the funds are really tight for me right now... he decided to be kind enough and help me out, by letting me audition his and then make my decision. I will be pitting these two heavy weight phones up against my modded and highly loved Grado SR-80i headphones. So, on to the testing...
First Setup goes like this:
iPod 5.5G with custom LOD to Fiio E5 to HD600, K702, SR80i
First Song: Kielbasa by Tenacious D.
Reason: I chose this song, as the guitar riffs are really nice, yet only semi complex in nature. It's excellent to hear the separate notes and also hear the bass from the kick drum. I thoroughly enjoyed this song with all the headphones!
HD600 (stock cable): Very nice and clean presentation. Vocals were nice and tight. The pluck of the guitar strings were very nice. Smooth transitions. Slight veil, but nothing that I would put as a negative (I kind of like the sound of it). It almost sounds like I have a tube amp involved. The bass was nice, though it lacked a little clarity...but was still pleasing.
HD600 (OCC Cable): Automatically... smoother, cleaner presentation. More forward than the stock cables. Veil? What veil? Ok, as of right now... why would you buy these headphones and use a stock cable. The bass is clean, tight and much more pronounced. Great detail! Who said cables don't make a difference? Silly people! The detail has jumped up there with the K702, but also includes the tight bass and hard hitting feeling. C'mon, tickle my ear drums more!
K702 (stock cable): The veil was gone. Vocals were more pronounced than on the HD600. The pluck of the strings were tighter, with nice note decay. Has more detail than the HD600 as well. The bass, wow... nice. Not a hard hitting bass, but far from muddy and very defined. Impressive compared to what I've been reading. I really like the sound signature. I've listened to the AD700 through the iPod and Fiio previously (without the LOD though), and it sounded NOTHING like this. This slams the AD700 deep into the dirt! I LIKE!
K702 (SWZ Gaming Cable): Mids more forward. Guitar plucks sound just a little cleaner. The Mids, Mid-Bass and Bass all LEAP forward! Wow, they sounded good before... but with the SWZ Cable, it sounds like a much better headphone! I really like. Clarity is also up there! Nice note separation (even better than before). I could live with this headphone in it's current form with the SWZ Cable. The bass is almost to the point that it's up there with the HD600 (stock cable form), but still cleaner than that and nearly on the level of the OCC cable (for bass that is). I really like.
K702 (OCC Cable): Clarity takes another step forward. The bass is roughly the same as with the SWZ cable, but has better detail. I can't believe these sound this good with this low end source setup! WOW! Truly wonderful! The highs are cleaner than before. Nice detail! They really do sound really sweet!
SWZ SR-80i (modded): The Grado has more pronounced guitar strings. You feel like your sitting with Jack Black and listening to them play. VERY FORWARD sounded. Fantastic guitar sounds. The bass is not as clean as the K702, and not as deep as the HD600... but is nice and defined. All in all, a very nice presentation. It is also much easier to drive than the other two.
Song 1: Grado has the guitars followed closely by the K702 and then by HD600. The guitar in my opinion sounded a little more fun with the SWZ cable over the OCC, but the detail is better with the OCC cable on the K702. The HD600 sounds great and seem to benefit the most from the OCC cable (well, both headphones did, but I liked the jump most from the HD600 over the K702 with that cable). In all honesty. The K702 sounds like a more detailed (and better version) of the Grado with the OCC cable on this song. I think the OCC cable made the K702 sound like a nicer, tighter, much better (with bass) AD700.
Second Song: Tribute by Tenacious D.
HD600 (stock cable): Increased the volume on the Fiio to help compensate for being harder to drive (Yes, I know they're not properly driven... but that's not the point at this moment). Excellent bass! Love how you can not only hear the bass... but it tickles your ear drums too. Not so much that it's really muddy and over powering like that of the DT770 or other headphones I've tried. Even in stock form, these are a very nice and smooth headphone.
HD600 (OCC Cable): Very smooth. Detailed. Good bass impact. Great on vocals too. Still no veil. Impressive. It's a more laid back sound, but doesn't seem like it's missing detail. Definitely better than stock cable.
Note: I'm going to stop listening to stock cables... really no need as the OCC cables make the headphones sound almost like a totally different headphone over the stock cable.
K702 (SWZ Gaming Cable): More note separation than HD600. The guitar and vocals sound more rounded and smoother. The bass has nice quantity and is quite tight as well. The bass doesn't hit as hard as it does with the HD600, but it's also a little cleaner. The highs on the K702 also seem to reach a higher plateau than on the HD600.
K702 (OCC Cable): Guitar sounds cleaner, you can hear the individual notes a bit better. Sounds more Grado like (I do like that sound). Vocals are cleaner than the SWZ Cable. Everything seems to move forward with the OCC Cable on these headphones. The bass is nice and detailed, but less hard hitting than the SWZ Cable. Highs are definitely more defined.
SWZ SR-80i (modded): Less detail than the HD600 or the K702. Sounded good. I honestly don't think there is ANY synergy with the Grados and the Fiio amp. Vocals sound good and clear, but the guitar didn't jump out at me as they normally do, or... they HD600 and K702 really do sound that much better.
Ok, I'm done for tonight. I'm going to do more (other genres) and more testing this weekend. So far, I'm wishing I had the money to buy both headphones. I like the HD600 better with the OCC cable, and the smoother laid back sound of the SWZ Cable with the K702 at the moment, but I haven't gotten to my Diana Krall or my other songs yet, so this is all just speculation at this point.