Originally Posted by nicholars
Ah right so the HD650 which was a flagship initially and many amps have been built around these headphones etc.... Are now suddenly "mid fi" because other more expensive headphones with different sound signatures have come out? I mean really the HD650 actual sound quality is still HIFI. It is not suddenly MIDFI because some other headphones with different sound signatures have come out. You could argue that the LCD3 is also MIDFI in that case because it has recessed treble. Under the same logic you could say the HD800 is also MIDFI because it is too bright and can sound harsh, same with the Beyerdynamic tesla. LOADS of people agree that the HD650 actual sound quality is still up there with more expensive headphones, just the more expensive headphones have different sound signatures.... Labelling them "mid fi" is silly IMO. They are clearly still upper tier headphones. I bet if the HD650 were priced at $800 people would not be spouting this sillyness about "mid fi". Also I bet if the LCD3 were $400 people would say they are "MIDFI" because they are lacking in the treble but have excellent bass etc.
I had the LCD-2 and now I have the HD650 + cardas with the Burson HA-160. Well, the 650 has very little to envy to the LCD-2. In fact, there are things that the 650 can do better.
If more details is "hi-fi", then yes. Probably there are more detailed headphones and the 650 should be considered mid-fi. But to me the details are not the most important. As in TVs or photo cameras, more resolution is not necessary related with better image. For example, if I can see all the hairs in a face but the colors are awful then it is not a quality TV.
In audio all is more subjective, so everyone can say what they want. If his headphones cost 1K but has no highs, no soundstage, no musicality, no body, or has harsh trebles, to say something, then it doesn't matter. They must be "hi-fi" because they are more detailed and more whatever... and they cost 1K, of course. Then they have a pair of cheaper headphones ("mid-fi") for the "less exigent" moments, "only" to have fun or enjoy the music (¿¿¡¡!!??).
I think that an actual 1K headphone must be the one that be really an all-rounder, excellent for almost every genre. That thing doesn't exist, so to me above $300 all are almost the same, a bit better or a bit worse, but all in near tiers (all hi-fi).
The exaggerations to describe the improvements in a headphone above other are directly proportional to the difference in price. While the actual improvement is only a fraction. Diminishing returns.
Headphones A: $ 300
Headphones B: $ 1200
The positive reviews of B have a 400% hyperbole. They seem like gods. In reality the improvement may be between 4% and 16%. Even less if they are not properly amped, of course.
The problem is that in the audiophile world there is also an elitist sentiment. Some audiophiles (not all, of course) have to feel themselves special and above the rest. If they can afford $1K headphones then the "hi-fi" level has to be in that price range and not in $300, as it was only 5 or 6 years ago. Mmmmm, and too many people can have $ 300 headphones, so they must be "mid-fi" (irony).