maXXXjacker t1_jees7kh wrote

If you have the money and want to do it right, the Qudelix 5k would be my first choice and only choice.

If I need to keep under budget, next on my list would be the Creative SXFI AMP (not to be confused with the X1 which looks identical). The SXFI AMP has a LOT of power compared to other cheaper dongles. 370mW at 32 ohms. It happens to be on sale for 60 dollars. The Creative app for it is kind of trash on PC but it's usable, same with Android. You can adjust bass and treble and select from some presets and there is also the SXFI gimmick which I hate but you can turn this off if you share the same feelings about it. Works on PC/Android.

Last for me would be the Truthear Shio because it suits my tastes for neutral sounding headphones.

There is probably some new hotness out there in dongles but the only one I can confidently recommend that should delight is the Qudelix. Worth every penny.


maXXXjacker t1_jedjiht wrote

400SE is really a solid headphone. The X4 is basically its twin brother from Drop and can be sometimes had for a little cheaper. (I wouldn't really worry about which one is better as most will not be able to tell them apart so I wouldn't worry about missing out on something by choosing one or the other)

I would recommend some kind of dongle dac/amp at a minimum as I found my own desktop (alienware r13) to sound rather bland.

When I say Dongle Dac/amp I mean something a bit more robust than a apple dongle. While an apple dongle is not bad sounding per say and noticeably better quality than my desktop PC, it doesn't quite do the headphone justice.

I'm a bit fond of my Creative SXFI AMP dongle with the 400se (without SXFI enabled). I'm sure the latest wave of cheap dongles like the 7hz, Shio, iFi Go Link and such are probably all fine. I'd shoot for a Qudelix 5k if budget allows which makes for a great computer dac/amp in my opinion. For those that already have a full sized desktop dac/amp, you already have all you need unless for whatever reason your gear makes the headphone sound muffled and flat or you can't get enough volume. The volume ranges I listen at are around 65-75dB with peaks into 85dB. I do not usually use EQ with the 400se as I think it sounds good as is but sometimes a boost in bass to add a little warmth hits the spot when the mood strikes.


maXXXjacker t1_je6vtmg wrote

I value both fact and opinion.

How you personally choose to accept opinion and what you end up doing with that is up to you. It's okay to disagree.

Without railroading the conversation any further which it ends here between us, I heard minor nuances between amps. What I heard is not backed by any factual data or rigorous testing criteria and was never intended to. Just a dude on reddit casually commenting on a few amps and reflecting upon what was heard.

Since I had the Liquid Spark, the 788 AND for the sake of being able to contribute and form an opinion that isn't 100% spewing out of my ass by going off memory or looking at somebodies review I made an effort to physically sample the amps and it just so happens that I had a shared experience as the OP. How I compared the amps is about as simple as you can get it which in short is hooking the two amps up to a line switcher to the same DAC, do your best to keep to the same volume level and let it rip on a few songs and then switch to the next amp, sometimes at different intervals. This isn't ASR levels of conclusions or findings but the simple mans way of comparing something as you'll get on reddit.

As for the 'house sound' topic pertaining to the review piece linked, I said this seems 'plausible' based on my own time spent with the Liquid Spark and going through these simple little exercises. Whether it's nonsensical or not, I don't really care as there is no value in me taking a deep dive into a budget amp to find out why or what. I'm not curious and if you say that what I'm hearing is a placebo, then so be it, I'll continue enjoying my placebo effect.


maXXXjacker t1_je6f6jr wrote

You do you is all I have to say on that one. If graphs say one thing and my ears tell me another, it is what it is. I can only relay the findings as a matter of opinion vs fact. If it happens that my opinions align with others findings whether this be reviews, other owners, graph data or whatever gets your nipples erect then so be it but with all opinions professional or otherwise they should all still be taken with a grain of salt until you can get your hands on the gear for yourself.

Half the fun of coming onto these reddits is to share personal findings and opinions, nothing scientific about that.


maXXXjacker t1_je68ae5 wrote

In the case of the THX 788/789 and comparing against the Liquid Spark, it wasn't until comparing here that this 'warmth' was noticed, just like what OP noticed. It is what it is.

Going a step further for shits and giggles, comparing the Liquid Spark to a Magni 3 (non +) with a Modi MB 2 as the DAC using a HE-400se. Attempting to volume match as close as possible with a dB meter stuffed into the earcups then sealed to measure. On to subjective listening, the Spark has a slight bump in bass by a dB or two and what sounds like smoothness going on in the treble, subtle but still noticeable. I don't think most will give a shit about the differences when comparing side by side and if you can/can't pick up on them, it's all good because at the cost of this amp you can still have your cookie and a pat on the ass.

As for the 'house sound', I don't have any other Cavalli gear to compare besides a Liquid Platinum to get a consensus on if 'warm/smooth' are subjective/objective traits that is shared across the product line and I don't care to find out but from the articles/reviews and using my own ears to judge with the LS, seems plausible enough. YMMV.



maXXXjacker t1_je1712g wrote

Not all Crusher variants sound the same, do you recall what version you had?

The whole point of this headphone is to mimic a subwoofer and it certainly accomplishes that goal.

The sound quality on my Crusher Evo is far better than the original and ANC versions. The sound quality on the Crusher isn't out to try and outdo any headphone within the same or similar price ranges. It sounds as good or better than generic Chinese wireless BT headphones that you can find on amazon that I've heard with the bass slider turned down. In short I don't feel like I just pissed into the wind by buying them or got taught a lesson for buying a 'Skullcandy'. Absolutely serviceable.

The Crusher is more of an experience, a mood and most definitely shouldn't be replacing your primary headphone. The Crusher is all about big stupid sounding bass. The haptic bass slider is a game changer for somebody like me. I've been searching far and wide for headphones that can hit HARD and DEEP without sounding like shit or making me reach deep into the pocket book to buy something like a legendary bass monster such as the Fostex TH-900 or any other headphone that is going to be completely unnecessary for something I'm not going to use all the time. I've considered buying Audeze LCD headphones to EQ them but again, price and use case isn't really justified for me.

Back to that haptics, it certainly gives me the illusion of having a sub woofer in my headphone, yes it shakes, yes it lacks nuance and could be considered one note and that is the whole point, it feels like I have a night club on my head and nothing else that I've tried can replicate that. I've tried my hand at buying headphones that people claim have a lot of bass or are basshead cans. X2HR was my first. Nope. Tried Meze 99 noir (launch version), close but the bass is too swampy, HarmonicDyne Zeus, GTFO with that, Hifiman R9, nice bass detail and punch but not hitting hard enough. I've tried to supplement bass through EQ and buying up amps like iFi Zen series for a double dose of xbass however this still doesn't get me even close to what the Crusher Evo can do for me.

Basically what I'm trying to say here is that for the price asked, there is no fu@king around with the Crusher Evo, it delivers the goods and doesn't require a ton of money or jacking around finding a headphone that can make my basshead fantasies come true. This is literally all I need for this niche and the sound I'm looking for personally.

Will it work for you, one can only hope so but I wouldn't plan on getting any kind of audiophile or spiritual experience in sound quality other than it might make you want to make a martini, smack some ass and get your groove on.


maXXXjacker t1_je0itrb wrote

I love my Crusher Evo's. They are like the weekend warrior of headphones. They are out for a good time, getting blackout drunk at nightclubs, busting the sickest moves out on the dance floor, projectile vomiting on cocktail waitresses and the next day waking up in some random persons bed, time to escape! When the weekend is over the Hifimans come back out, put their suit and tie on and do the 9x5 grind.

lol okay, maybe not that colorful but they are a lot of fun and sound good, great headphone to accompany your everyday driver when you just want to let loose and let your basshead fantasies run wild. Instant smile.


maXXXjacker t1_jb3bexu wrote

I measure it manually with a dedicated decibel meter. While this is harder with IEMs I am very very familiar with what 75db (average) sounds like after doing many many measurements over time on different headphones. In reality my listening would be between 65-79dB to account for highs and lows but I like to average around 75dB.


maXXXjacker t1_jb0ngib wrote

I cranked mine up to max with no music playing and had the same blackness.

As for others hearing a noise floor, I wonder if that's just their tinnitus they can hear from the Quarks most excellent seal, lol (I kid, I kid). I'm just lucky my USB ports on everything doesn't seem to transfer any kind of noise as I've had noisy USB ports in the past on my older PC.


maXXXjacker t1_jb0kaxw wrote

No noise floor that I can detect on mine at the volume levels I listen at (75dB) over multiple devices. Nothing but dead silence. Sound seems separated well enough that I can hear multiple instruments over each other and can hear sound as it travels left to center to right of my position and just behind my ear on my shoulder. For $15usd, I don't know what more one could expect here? Seems good enough.


maXXXjacker t1_j9v6dxf wrote

I think the reviewer(s) did lean on the 600 and 650 quite a bit to make comparisons, this was a big question on peoples mind and probably what most are familiar with.

I appreciate the improvements made on the 660S2, at the end of the day it just comes down to being willing to pay for these improvements at launch and this becomes hard when the current lineup is basically half the price for what might already be one persons perfection.