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Hello Head-Fi! Phiaton offers you free gear! - Page 5  

post #61 of 177
We want to know what is most important to you about your headphones. Most people would probably say sound quality, so go into detail a little. Is it powerful low frequency you look for or stability at high volume? Do you prefer a balanced set that performs well across the board? Or is it the look and feel of the set? What is the most important factor in deciding your perfect headphone or Earphone?

I think the thing that is most important to me is the price vs. performance ratio. Granted we all have different opinions in this regard, but I think the fact is myself and others share the sentiment of getting the most bang for the buck. I think that's one of the reasons for certain brand popularity (i.e. Grado because of their dramatic step up in performance as opposed to your typical brick and mortar SkullCandy/Bose headphones. Also, the fact that they Grado's are low(er) impedance makes them much more accessible to people, so that's another thing to consider.

I'm willing to sacrifice a bit in terms of aesthetics, a sentiment which I imagine Phiaton does not share with me as the headphones attempts to bridge sound quality with aesthetics.

I guess as a plus/sidenote, it helps that we do see such headphones in person in a brick and mortar location; with Phiaton being based in Irvine,CA, i've seen their headphones @ the UCI bookstore and all I can say is they certainly are interesting aesthetically
post #62 of 177
Most important? Value.
post #63 of 177
For me, the most important thing is musicality. I have some headphones that are bass heavy, others that are pretty neutral, and others that have highly coloured sound.

I like them all.

Not all the time, mind you, but I find that different headphones interact with the music in different ways. If I am listening critically, I want something that's going to show all the detail (warts and all) of the recording. Other times, I want something that's going to be engaging and fun. Other times, I want to kick back and just let the music wash over me.

I think, then, that there's no right answer. I have a ton of respect for manufacturers that decide what they are going to make, then go for it. I love that Grado keeps making headphones that look old and have that unique, upfront, fun sound. I like that my Shures make all my music sound warm and smooth.

So my advice? Offer me something unique, that will separate your company's headphones from the other great options we already have. A sound signature that puts something new on the table.
post #64 of 177
The most important thing to me is the way the headphones look. It's not just the aesthetics, but how the headphone is built. If a pair of headphones aren't built to last, they are automatically cut from my list. Then comes, low frequency response. I love feeling vibrations of bass, but not because it overpowers the other frequencies. I also enjoy sweet midrange with smooth, but exciting highs.
post #65 of 177
For me, in a portable ear/headphone, I prefer a bumped up in lower frequency and mid frequency, because the bass and mid makes the music sounds more....musical. It should have lower impedance and smaller cup size. I don't consider the high very important for portable use because the rhythm of the music which usually comes from the bass makes my walking stride in sync with it, and high frequency makes it fatiguing which makes my walking less enjoyable. Build quality wise, it should have a little more color and fashionable looks (as much as I enjoy sound quality, I don't want to look like an alien that just got out of Area 51) when I'm walking. It should also be light and comfortable so I can bob my head to the music. Foldable is a plus but I don't mind hanging it on my neck (all the more reason it needs to be light). The pad should not be warm after a while in case I'm wearing it during summer (Sennheiser HD238 pad is awesome IMO). Cable length wise, it should be just enuff to reach my rear jeans pocket (around 3'). In my opinion, the Phiaton MS-400 fulfills a lot of the requirement except that the pad still feels warm on a warm day and the cable is a little thin.

For home use, I prefer more balance throughout the frequency spectrum because when I'm lying in my couch or bed, I like to enjoy the music in all its frequency and feels myself as part of the music. It doesn't have to be as light as portable headphone but it should definitely be comfortable like a portable headphone. I don't really care about its look as long as its not too bulky because then I can't lie down with it. I don't mind having a long cable in case I want to watch movie with it. IMO, the Sennheiser HD650 is a good example of it.
post #66 of 177
Detail, a solid build and comfort.
post #67 of 177
Sound quality
Built quality
Additional accessories
Not in importance order, but I think all of these are important factors
post #68 of 177
The ability to perform a large variety of musical styles and sound detailed.
Personally, I hate in-ear headphones, and I don't like it when other people can hear what I'm listening to...

Its hard to put into words what you want headphones to sound like, but all-in-all, when a potential customer puts a pair on and listens, they'll know exactly whether they enjoy it or not.
post #69 of 177
Quality of set, and a good balanced sound, high performing with all genres.
post #70 of 177
What's most important to me is that I feel like I am part of the music, I want to feel the music all around me and it should be crisp, clear, and clean. The experience should be euphoric.
post #71 of 177
The first and foremost thing for me in a set of headphones is value. However, determining whether a headphone is worth it's weight in sand or in gold is a tough judgment. In the end it comes down to a balance of several qualities. In order of increasing importance they are:

Appearance & Build Quality
Though physical appearance is sometimes used to create an illusion of value and there are certainly great headphones with polarizing (to put it mildly) designs, a purposeful approach to design is very important. Whether form follows function of vice versa, I expect the designer of the unit in question to have had a clear idea of the purpose of the headphones. Isolation, fit/comfort, and (to an extent) sound all depend on the design and choice of materials.

Build quality is an even more important point. I don't expect tank-like build quality from headphones in the $20 range, though I don't usually consider any gear 'disposable'. But as headphones get more expensive, I expect both their inital build quality and long-term durability to follow suit. Again, the perceived purpose of the item in question is very important. A wonderfully comfortable and beautiful-sounding portable headphone won't be much use if it must be babied at all times. The portable headphones that get the most use from me are those that I can toss in my bag and forget about. I am far more careful with full-size headphones, however, so build quality takes a back seat (within reasonable bounds) to other considerations.

Fit & Comfort
Fit and comfort are crucial. I expect to be able to wear my headphones without fatigue for as long as I need. For home-use (full size) headphones that means 5-6 hours with short breaks. For portables at least 2-3. Moreover, the fit should be adjustable enough to be tolerable for most people. This is especially true for IEMs where certain designs can simply rule a particular model out for, say, those with smaller ears. I am willing to sacrifice comfort to an extent, but if my ears end up out of comission for an evening due to the poor fit of a particular headphone, that headphone may find itself on the chopping block sooner rather than later.

A great headphone is one that sticks with a particular sound signature. There is truly no accounting for taste when it comes to audio so there's no point in bashing a particular sound inclination. I also don't expect a lower-end headphone to do everything right, as the basics - control (especially over the low frequencies), extension, and clarity - are present. All I want it to do besides that is provide a coherent sonic picture, whatever light it is tuned to cast on the sound. In addition, I would want every headphone to have a 'selling point' - something it does better than anything or almost anyting out there for the price - if something is merely competent all-around, it is less likely to leave an impression on me.

For me personally the ideal sound signature is true to source. That means high transparency, a natural timbre, balanced tonality, and good clarity/articulation. I expect the high-end to be crisp and individual notes to be distinguishable all the way down. Texturing and detail are very important as well since without them it's hard to obtain the full picture. Positioning is valuable also but of course the limitations of headphones and (especially) earphones must be kept in mind.

Naturally, if a headphone does everything I want but costs 2x more than the competition which does almost everything right, I will still think twice about buying it. There may be work-arounds out there for comfort or isolation, but there are none for expense. There are certainly people out there who would pay a huge premium for elephant tusk accents or recycled biodegradable papier-mâché ear cushions, but I am not one of them.
post #72 of 177
Most important thing about my headphone is sound quality. Specifically I'm looking for detail in my music. Nowadays there's more and more headphones that blast base like there is no tomorrow. I find these "me too" products irritating as they muff out the tone in the highs for over emphasis in the low frequency band. Between of which, physically we can not appreciate the spine tingling base from a headphone like we could from a subwoofer anyway so why overpower everthing with too much lower midrange? Hell if anyone ever invent strap on headphone to the spinal column then it would make much more sense to blast so much low end boom. Rantings aside, I like balanced neutral tone across the board. This is how a monitor should be. Be it speakers or headphones, Accurate reproduction of what the sound engineers intended is what I like the best. Another factor I look for in a headphone whether it hits a specific tone in a song. Usually, I will use "the last rose of summer" from Celtic woman as a guage to see if I can find that resonanting high pitched bliss that could potentially bring tears to my eyes.

One more thing that audiophile might overlook but nontheless is an important factor is looks. I remember when I had my Grado 225 headphone on while out with friends, one of my friends made a comment that I never expected. He said my headphones looks cheap and didn't fit my expensive looking setup. Having said that, I love the sound that my grado can deliver, but to this day, I still hate its cheap plastic toy look. I think audiophiles don't just buy equipement for the music but also for the recognition that seperates the true enthusiasts from the the common consumer. A good looking headphone will make someone standout in a crowd. What you don't want is to look like a nerd with that pair of dated 70s headphone on.

The last point I want to make is more subtle. Having tried everything from AKG 701s to Sennheiser HD 595s to Audio-Technica ATH-A700s, the thing i found most annoying with these much touted audiophile headphone is the massive amount of power needed to sufficiently drive them and thus making them truely impratical for mobile applications. Hooking up an AKG 701 to your ipod unamped will only give you a sorry performance that made you regret your purchase. Grado acutally hit the spot with their low impedance cans that can work straight off the headphone jack of most MP3 players.

In short, my dream cans should be low impedance, look sleek and modern, and sound extremely detailed with full mids and adequate base.
post #73 of 177
Perfect Headphone/Earphones:

Comfort - The weight, materials used, earpads, and design (the product has to be able to be worn for long periods without fatigue)
Value - the product's performance/price ratio is justified (the headphones/earphone have to be worth its price)
Durability - I like headphones/earphones that can last a long time and won't easily break with normal use, also the use of replaceable cables are a plus
Sound Quality - I prefer a balance sound in highs, mids, and lows with a wide soundstage
Accessories - The product doesn't have to come with a ton of accessories but it would be nice to include a case, adapter, or extra earpads

Also, you don't see many headphones with different colours, obviously the ideal colour is black, but I would like to see more blue-coloured headphones or earphones.
post #74 of 177
I guess it all boils down to how engaging the headphones are. Do they keep me coming back for more like my SR-325is or do they end up sitting on the shelf like the K701s...

Aesthetics are the least important factor. Comfort is huge, as my sessions are long.
post #75 of 177
1) Build quality - I like my gear to actually last.

2) Comfort - No point having a great sounding pair of headphones which aren't comfortable to wear.

3) Sound signature - Should me transparent, yet musical. Too clinical sounding headphones lack soul, but too musical headphones are tiring to listen to over a long period of time. Needs to strike the right balance.
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