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Hello Head-Fi! Phiaton offers you free gear! - Page 8  

post #106 of 177
post #107 of 177
For me, the most important thing about the headphones is how they emphasize the emotion of the song. How they make you feel what the artist was feeling when they wrote that particular piece. How a classical piece can be so beautiful, it brings you to tears, or how a fat beat makes you feel like a G.
For me, it's not purely about quality (although, quality helps!), or a particular frequency range. It's about the music, and the emotion.

post #108 of 177
Sound quality is the simple answer, but many more qualities go into a good set of headphones.

For me, accuracy is key, and soundstage is part of this. An earphone can be perfectly flat throughout the spectrum, yet sound like all the noise is coming out of a pinhole. Instruments need to be seperated; voices need to be heard above the instruments, and I like when it sounds as though you are in the recording studio space and you can pinpoint where each instrument is coming from.

Build quality is also important. I like to show off my equipment and want to be proud of what I've invested in. If you charge $300+ for a Chinese-made painted plastic pair of headphones, you will not earn my money.
post #109 of 177
the most important factor in a headphone to me is build quality/comfortability. anything that i cant wear for extended periods is out of the question. life is too short to have uncomfortable ears
post #110 of 177
For me i take my headphones out with me when i head to uni, so something that sounds great is important, but also i don't like looking like a martian when i'm wearing them, something sleek and elegant that doesn't compromise on sound.
post #111 of 177
Well, typically, as I don't have time to do much "straight-up" critical listening anymore, comfort is of most importance to me. The next step, I believe, would be clarity and crispness of the sound. However, as I said, I'm usually doing other things while I have cans on, so absolute top-notch sound has become less of an issue with me, which is probably why I haven't hit a phase of upgraditis anytime lately!
post #112 of 177
75% of my listening is while I'm on the go. Most of it while using public transport or while zipping through rush-hour inner city traffic on my folding bike. This gives me a pretty strange (read nearly impossible) set of desired features...

First of all, sound quality is most important (duh), I prefer a good balanced sound, but just hinting a tiny little bit to the bassy side. I like deep deep bass, but not at cost of the rest of the soundrange. Deep bass, clear highs & well defined mids is what I like. I listen to many different styles of music, so a good allrounder is what I'm looking for. That's pretty much it, nothing really special, sound wise, but like I said before, there's more that I want.

I prefer IEMs for their compact & lightweight format. I like over the ear cabling, as long as the cable is nice and flexible, otherwise it gets pretty uncomfortable due to my glasses. Also, I have a very sensitive spot in my earcanal so soft foam earpieces like comply are preferred.

Now for the tricky bit, I'd like them to have enough seal to emphasize bass and to block out annoying passengers chit chat while on the train. But on the other hand, I'd like the seal to be little enough to hear traffic while on my kamikaze-style runs through busy inner city traffic. Engine & regular tire noise I can live without, but noises car horns & squealing tires (the tell tale signs of approaching death) I really do need to hear. So either a very delicate balance in seal would be needed, or a decent working seal adjustment (that would be really awesome).

And last but not least... the price, I'm willing to pay for quality, but I'd prefer something that I can use on the go, without having to worry about breaking it (wiping out on a crazy bike run is easy) so a $100 ~ $150 pricetag would be great.
post #113 of 177
The things on the top of my list.

Relatively balanced sound. Slightly forward or emphasized mids in some cases is acceptable.
Good amount of detail and instrument separation. My preference leans a bit towards the analytical side, but musicality is required as well.
Large, semi-believable soundstage.

post #114 of 177
Well it looks like you got the looks and material parts down! So only thing left is SQ (nuetral, balanced, accurate, dynamic, and the ability to listen for hours without fatigue.
post #115 of 177
The most important aspects of my headphones is the sound quality and the comfort. If headphones are not comfortable, why wear them at all? When I say sound quality, do the headphones ring when you turn up the sound? Is there an obnoxious buzzing sound? No one wants to hear these things when they're listening to music. I am the type of person who is willing to invest a large amount of money on a high quality headphone.

Earphones are more convenient when you're not leaving the house because it does not affect your looks. Headphones tend to mess up my hair so I only wear them when I am not planning to leave the house any time soon.
post #116 of 177
Man, I hope this thing's still going.... But here's the most important aspect of my headphones/earphones:

The most important aspect of my headphones is the ability for it to transpose sound as naturally as possible. What I mean is, I want to listen to music as if I were rocking out at a concert, or calmly enjoying orchestral music in a chamber. In any case, the realism of an appropriate soundstage, and the natural sound of the instruments and vocals are the most important.

However, that's not say that the manufacturer can't add fun into the sound. Often times, recordings don't actually mimic live performances. Thus, I like my headphones to be able to emphasize the lacking aspects of music, whether it's weighting the bass, or coloring the highs, I want to be able to close my eyes and not be able to distinguish between a live performance or my music.

Another important factor is aesthetics and build quality (though the latter is more preferable). What I do not care about in headphones and I care about in earphones is how they will appear in public, because that's where I will tend to use them the most. Call me a audiophilic hypocrite, but at least having a positive public appearance will be more favorable than lugging around massive headphones. Hopefully this cleared things up on that front.

Lastly, when it comes to deciding upon headphones or earphones, I like to think of the contrast only within soundstage and airiness. Due to recent technologies, Custom IEM's and even some universal IEM's are able to mimic the sound quality created by even high end audio equipment. The only thing that is lacking is the soundstage, and so, when I'm looking for portability without staking sound quality, I reach for earphones. When I want airiness and such, I reach for the headphones. Hope this helps you make better and better products, Phiaton.
post #117 of 177
What do I look for in a pair of headphones? While some may view headphones as a piece of audio equipment, simply a piece of technology that allows them to listen to music, I see them as more - not just as a middleman to the world of music, but a more mystical gatekeeper type of object. It would be too easy for headphones to simply let you in to the music you desire, oh no - the perfect pair of headphones not only brings the music world to you, but also tweaks it in ever-so-subtle ways so that your enjoyment and experience are as perfect as possible. For example, I love Grado headphones - but I don't like them for how they sound relative to other headphones or how cool they look or how much they cost - I love them for what they bring to my music experience. They take the raw sound of the music and add attack, emotion, and depth to what eventually enters my ears. Think of it as garnish at a fine restaurant - would you rather have your music served to you with sauce all over the plate, or artfully decorating the platter? In this way, I enjoy my Grado headphones, as a garnish to the exquisite world called music.
post #118 of 177
I prefer a relatively neutral sound across the audible range, with authoritative bass and a crisp, but not harsh, upper register. The sound signature of a headphone though is just a part of the overall objective, which is to create an involving soundscape that gives life to the music and draws the listener in.
Equal to this is comfort. It is difficult for me to get lost in the sound when I feel physical discomfort as well as aural fatigue. Therefore the perfect headphone for me creates a relaxing space you can get lost in.
post #119 of 177
Well,the most important thing for me concerning the hardware is the looks and it should look classy and well built and to be comfortable for long listening sessions.

Concerning the sound:I don't want fatigy headphone that emphasize on treble,rolled off treble will be good for me.soundstage,airness and thick mids are the most important qualities I seek for when looking for a headphone.I don't mind small quantity bass but it is important to be punchy and accurate.I don't like colored headphones,I prefer balance with slight emphasis in the bass department.
post #120 of 177
I like to think there are plenty of options for designing a successful headphone. There is also plenty of room, even in this crowded market, for many different models. what is required though is a thorough assessment of what the current market has to offer.

If you are selling a full sized circumaural headphone for $100, then your competition is similarly sized and priced headphones. If you can offer something that is not yet available on the market, then you have a great product. Whether we are talking about superior fit and finish, the best bass extension, very good imaging, neutrality, comfort, etc, I believe you need to be competitive in most areas and superior in at least one. Again we are talking about competition at this particular price point. If you cannot be competitive in those areas and superior in at least 1, you need to go back to the drawing board before releasing the product. Obviously we all hear differently, but that's where a group of listeners (employees/designers as well as focus group or beta testers) is invaluable.

This same process can apply for your $500 circumaural headphone, your $200 supraaural model, your $50 in ear model, etc.

It is not enough to just be competitive with the competition. We don't need another product that offers no real advantage. But imagine your item is fairly competitive all around while generally voted superior in soundstage (for example). Now you offer a compelling choice to those who prize that attribute above all else. Hopefully that makes sense.

As for what I like, well it depends on what we are talking about. Ideally I would want the perfect headphone, or as close to that ideal as is possible. That is a very expensive goal. But I'm totally open to any product that follows he above mentioned process.
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