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Anyone else think there's a minimum volume to get the maximum enjoyment from headphones?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I know that a lot of people say "my heapdhones should sound the same no matter what volume they're at", but really, I find that I have to have my volume up past "I can hear it just fine" level to really enjoy all the characteristics that my phone presents. How do you feel about headphone volume?
post #2 of 21
This thread should be in the Sound Science forum.
post #3 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by LingLing1337 View Post
"my heapdhones should sound the same no matter what volume they're at"
This is, unfortunately, impossible. And yes, fun begins above a certain level of loudness.
post #4 of 21
Indeed!
My experience is that on low listening volumes the treble seems to come through quite well, but the midrange is less prominent and the bass punch/extension is mostly gone. As I turn up the volume it all fall into place.

Finding the right volume setting is the key. Not too low and not too high..
post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by LingLing1337 View Post
I know that a lot of people say "my heapdhones should sound the same no matter what volume they're at", but really, I find that I have to have my volume up past "I can hear it just fine" level to really enjoy all the characteristics that my phone presents. How do you feel about headphone volume?
Agreed, there's that one notch on the volume knob that goes from just hearing everything to experiencing the full potential.



On certain songs a couple more notches takes it to the omg it's good to be alive level.



post #6 of 21
There are two special volumes for me.

One is a lever where I start to hear everything I should hear and feel happy about it, and yes, where it is is kinda music dependent.

The other is called zero, where I switch to that magic volume every night before I go to sleep.
post #7 of 21
difinitely, I can't listen to music below a certain level of volume.
I turn up the dial some more on electrical music. in electrical trance music you usually don't have a shrieking mids like you have with rock guitars and certain vocals, you have bass and treble boosts the most, so you can pump up the volume to pretth high levels without your ears get hurt.
post #8 of 21
I think it varies a lot from headphone to headphone as well - some have a frequency balance and presentation that is better suited to lower volumes than others. I think I can listen to my Sony CD3000 at quieter levels than my K701, which I have to really blast to enjoy.
post #9 of 21
I'm starting to enjoy headphones more at lower and lower volumes. I think as the quality of the gear starts increasing, it's easier to get better sound at low volumes.
post #10 of 21
Adam's link describes why. I was about to post that myself.
post #11 of 21
I find my SRH-840 very comfortable at medium volumes, but less-so at low or high ones. The Grados on the other hand, with their upfront presentation, work well through the whole spectrum, from jazz at low-medium volume, to rock at medium to high.
post #12 of 21
There is a sweet spot, I agree with that but it varies during the day it seems. When I am trying to hear a change in equipment which is subtle though I almost always have to turn it up as I a/b to hear differences it seems.
post #13 of 21
I dont think so at all.
Perceived volume, maybe.
Example: I find anything about 75dB unbearable to liten to and about conversation-level just right.

Other peopple listen to 100dB +

The only noteworthy difference IMO is the volume of microdetails, but provided said details are above say 30 or 40dB you can hear it just fine.

Common conditions like hyperacusis (being overly sensitive to sound) also put this in doubt.

Temporary hypoacusis is the main cause for people feeling that music needs to be louder than it should be. Ideally, you should be able to listen to music for a long period of time without it seemingly getting quieter as you listen (which for me is at about 60 dB)

It's undoubtable that changing the volume changes the tonal balance (although only slightly, I guess) of a headphone, but if you need to turn up to get the right amount of bass, you need new headphones.

If you want to get into psychoacoustics, then certainly having a louder volume affects a lot but to be honest I dont really notice.
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by userlander View Post
I think as the quality of the gear starts increasing, it's easier to get better sound at low volumes.
I think that this is not an issue of gear quality per se, but rather some design priorities - e.g. Harbeth loudspeakers (though being of the highest quality for me) are design, among others, with quiet listening in mind. On the contrary, K701 (which share some similarities with Harbeth - e.g. clarity and midrange quality) requires a lot more power to sing.
post #15 of 21
Lol lingling1337 I have one of your quotes:LingLing1337: Head-Fi, the only place where you can plug headphones into a laptop, have them not work, and say "thank goodness it's just the laptop"


Also I agree, I have to turn my volume a little higher for it to sound amazing
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