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We should reconsider how we go about giving advice.

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
The whole "what kind of music do you like?" recommendation system isn't that good. I guess it is easiest way to do recommendations, but I think there could be a better.

I think a person's sound preference is much more helpful than their music preference.

If someone loves classical and also loves bass, they won't necessarily like the hd600 as much as the DT770.

It seems like all to often the conversations go as such...

"What is the best headphone for under 300 dollars?"

"What sort of music do you listen to? Also do you want to buy an amp?"

"I might get an amp in the future, not sure yet. I listen to mostly techno, dance, and hiphop with some classic rock thrown in there."

"The ******** is great for that kind of music if you have an amp. But if you don't the ******** is better. What is your source?"

"I have an ipod, the ******** looks really cool... I just placed my order!"

"Sorry about your wallet."

Okay, now tell me how wrong (or right ) I am.

-Wyatt
post #2 of 30
Been there, tried that. Most people are not sure what we are talking about when we ask for 'what kind of sound' (if they are, they are usually acquainted with what we have here pretty well by then).

Now, what kind of insane person would choose dt770 for classical as opposed to hd600, that would be weeird tastes O.o By asking what kind of music the person listens to we can usually decently figure out what kind of sound is appropriate, and then we can ask if the person likes alot of bass or not (mids/treble is a bit harder). Intention of using an amp is more important since it allows us to direct the person with the best choice for their situation (would not recommend hd580 to someone who is not getting an amp, and would probably recommend higher impedance phones for someone with interest in this hobby).

In general we are asking the same thing but in layman's terms.
post #3 of 30
I wish it were that fast lol.
I guess if they know their sound then that would be more useful, but for most people asking for advice it is because they don't. Ive gotten some good advice by saying my musical preferences.
post #4 of 30
I don't know if you've ever tried giving advice to a layman, but they generally don't even know what "treble" and "bass" are. The most they know about sound is the music they listen to, and that's basically all we have to work off of. It would be a hell of a lot easier if people knew their exact tastes in sound, but unfortunately that's usually not the case. Also, once discussion starts going about which headphone would work right for a person, explanations and examples are then exchanged and can give the person more of an idea of how this or that headphone will sound, and hopefully they will understand better. But we need to start somewhere...
post #5 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaloS View Post
Been there, tried that. Most people are not sure what we are talking about when we ask for 'what kind of sound' (if they are, they are usually acquainted with what we have here pretty well by then).

Now, what kind of insane person would choose dt770 for classical as opposed to hd600, that would be weeird tastes O.o By asking what kind of music the person listens to we can usually decently figure out what kind of sound is appropriate, and then we can ask if the person likes alot of bass or not (mids/treble is a bit harder). Intention of using an amp is more important since it allows us to direct the person with the best choice for their situation (would not recommend hd580 to someone who is not getting an amp, and would probably recommend higher impedance phones for someone with interest in this hobby).

In general we are asking the same thing but in layman's terms.
I disagree. Too often do we make the assumption that all classical music lovers prefer a laid back presentation with good sound stage and rock lovers prefer upfront presentations with impact. How someone enjoys music is completely seperate from their preferred genre.

Mrvile... I think most people know what bass and treble and their effects when increased or decreased.

Listening volumes are another variable that should be considered.
post #6 of 30
Might be worth asking what they don't like about their current headphones.

OTOH if you've never heard really good headphones you often don't know what you're missing.

I didn't know the meaning of "tight bass" until i properly damped my orthodynamics. And electrostatics will probably blow them away.
post #7 of 30
Thread Starter 
Everyone who is arguing for the current method seems to think the Operators of the recommendation threads are mentally retarded... and they might be. However, I still believe there is a better way to determine sound preference. There are many other questions that could be asked that might be less obvious but more helpful. And if we put our heads together, we might be able to find a system that works better. I am not saying asking music preferences should be omitted from our system, it should just be relied on less.

Examples:

How old are you?
Male or female? (waste of time in most cases since headfi is male dominated)
Why do you want to spend XXX amount of dollars? Do you want more detail? feel like you are at the concert? comfort? portability?
How loud do you listen?
Where, when, and how long and how often do you listen to music?
What part of music do you enjoy most? Rhythm, details, instruments, voices, lyrics?

Also, and don't take this the wrong way, but race, gender, or age could be a factor too in what headphones people enjoy. I don't know if one group of people would be more inclined to like Etys over Shures than another. Or if one group generally hates Grados. I know there are exceptions and people frown upon stereotypes, but in this case, it could be helpful and quite interesting.
post #8 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by wnewport View Post
I disagree. Too often do we make the assumption that all classical music lovers prefer a laid back presentation with good sound stage and rock lovers prefer upfront presentations with impact. How someone enjoys music is completely seperate from their preferred genre.

Mrvile... I think most people know what bass and treble and their effects when increased or decreased.

Listening volumes are another variable that should be considered.
There are minimal expectations and generalizations that are inevitable. What % of people enjoy listening to Mahler's First Symphony through a set of Grado sr-325is? As stated before, we are lucky if the person knows what treble/mids are. Hell most people know what bass is and its the end of things. Maybe we should start by telling people to buy ksc75 to find out what treble is, and then we can start recommending =] I explained to my dorm roommate through demonstration what crips and extended bass is as opposed to bloated bass. Without things to show with back to back, hard, very hard. We make the generalizations by showing them a headphone we find the most fit, and then we leave it to them to possibly try (which is satisfaction most of the time) and then they can begin to really think what they would rather have.

For that matter, wnewport, have you seen the thread that Catsratch started asking to describe a sound that people here like without using any headphones or the word headphones for that matter as examples. Very few people succeded in producing that answer, very very few, others failed to even comprehend that idea. If we cannot get an acceptable answer on the subject of 'sound' from head-fiers (apart from we all want crisp clear not fatiguing highs, liquid mids and extended groovy bass) how do you expect new comers to be able to answer those questions? (I have seen two new-comers that answered the 'sound' questions so far, one came really prepared and the other was a professional musician).

since u posted this while I was typing:
Quote:
Everyone who is arguing for the current method seems to think the Operators of the recommendation threads are mentally retarded... and they might be. However, I still believe there is a better way to determine sound preference. There are many other questions that could be asked that might be less obvious but more helpful. And if we put our heads together, we might be able to find a system that works better.
Its not that they are retarded. We are talking about a subject here thats rather complicated, very few head-fiers have a good grasp of it.
post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by wnewport View Post
Mrvile... I think most people know what bass and treble and their effects when increased or decreased.
Those people generally end up saying something like:

"Well, I want really good trebles that extend really high, and I really like mids, and I want bass that I can feel."

Try finding a headphone that fits that description.
post #10 of 30
the current system of giving advice is fine, and most people who actually really care about the sound will look into it themselves and audition headphones, NOT just take the opinions of people from the forum. me and other people new to head-fi are lucky to have people answer our first questions, but this isn't nursery school... the search function is there for a reason, we don't need to give a 6moons caliber review to everyone who has questions!

do you have a better idea than basing it on what other purchases they'll be making and what music they listen to?
post #11 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by wnewport View Post
I disagree. Too often do we make the assumption that all classical music lovers prefer a laid back presentation with good sound stage and rock lovers prefer upfront presentations with impact. How someone enjoys music is completely seperate from their preferred genre.
Not only that, I find that no one headphone is great for all the kinds of music i listen to.



Yes, I realize that i have a problem.
post #12 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrvile View Post
Those people generally end up saying something like:

"Well, I want really good trebles that extend really high, and I really like mids, and I want bass that I can feel."

Try finding a headphone that fits that description.
QC3?

Thelonious Monk, see my edit in the above post for a semi-response.
post #13 of 30
No, the answer is Stax Omega or anything in that caliber.

Quote:
What part of music do you enjoy most? Rhythm, details, instruments, voices, lyrics?
Most people don't differentiate. You are placing alot of hopes on humans there.

And if you did not notice, the rest of those questions we ask, we sure do, when the reply is not stated right away.
"I am looking for a headphone to use with my mp3 player in school." - does that answer a good portion pretty well? Thats included with almost every recommendation thread.

And if they can answer the question that I quoted, they are musically inclined and have mighty powers to read our previous threads and understand what is going on. Simple as that.

And what kind of headphone improves lyrics, I'd like to buy one of those for use with Radio.
post #14 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaloS View Post
No, the answer is Stax Omega or anything in that caliber.
It was a joke.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MaloS View Post
And if you did not notice, the rest of those questions we ask, we sure do, when the reply is not stated right away.
"I am looking for a headphone to use with my mp3 player in school." - does that answer a good portion pretty well? Thats included with almost every recommendation thread.

And if they can answer the question that I quoted, they are musically inclined and have mighty powers to read our previous threads and understand what is going on. Simple as that.
The threads I have read rarely contain these questions or statements that answer these questions. And if they do, that information seems to be rarely considered when a recommendation is given.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaloS View Post
And what kind of headphone improves lyrics, I'd like to buy one of those for use with Radio.
As would I. I have a different interpretation of my question. I believe such a question "do you listen to music because of the lyrics" might give insight to what philosophies people have for why they are listening to music. If they just want a beat to dance and bob their head to, or if they want a song that will make them emotional. But you probably think that people are too shallow to have considered that before posting.
post #15 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaloS View Post
And what kind of headphone improves lyrics, I'd like to buy one of those for use with Radio.
There are headphones that are marketed toward amateur radio operators - like the Kenwood HS-5.

fwiw, if a headphone had recessed mids, harsh highs, and flabby bass, it could be difficult to appreciate the vocals.

There's a track that i recently use to compare headphones - an outdoor recording apparently near a campfire, largely a-capella, and most of the people singing don't have particularly good singing voices. Some of the harmony is more than a little flat, but taken as a whole it's still a pleasant listen. For me at least.

Not all headphones allow me to hear each voice clearly.
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