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Consistency of Sound

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

I'm just wondering how it's the case that every brand of headphone can be addressed as if every single one is identical in sound, quality, etc. Reviews can be made on the subtle differences between brands based on a single data unit, while difference in experiences are always attributed to taste and such. Even the production of semiconductor devices have fairly large margins for error and require a selection process for bad batches. Are headphone drivers so indelicate that they can easily be reproduced without difference? If that's they case there shouldn't be so much of a price difference between brands and models. Are the materials and product processes so well refined that it is entirely consistent? Being a student in engineering, I find it hard to believe. So I await for enlightenment on the subject.

post #2 of 9

you saw that video I guess: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LbsQRaQD6A

 

the yield rates were said to be very poor on the Biocellulose diaphragms(especially the R10 kind), but when they're molded in a plastic or vectran mix, and the voice coils wound up by automatic machines...there shouldn't much discrepancy in the production.

post #3 of 9

Well, the semiconductors might have bad patches, but they are due to impurities, or fabrication defects. You do not get a BF 199 alike transistor in a batch of BC108's. The headphones drivers would have bad batches too. That's what quality control is for. As for headphones, there have been cases when a driver is louder than the other, but the overall sound, to my knowledge, is mostly design related, (volumes, shapes, materials) and those have little variation and/ or are easily controlled

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by leeperry View Post

you saw that video I guess: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LbsQRaQD6A

 

the yield rates were said to be very poor on the Biocellulose diaphragms(especially the R10 kind), but when they're molded in a plastic or vectran mix, and the voice coils wound up by automatic machines...there shouldn't much discrepancy in the production.


O wow, that headphone looks like a a ton of plastic, a spool of copper wires, and a ton of operations done by human beings. I'm guessing IEM would have a much more intricate process of creation. Also, what part of that process calls for the kind of prices headphones go for exactly?

post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddrddrddrddr View Post


 

 Also, what part of that process calls for the kind of prices headphones go for exactly?


Its probably not so much the materials cost, its more about the R&D, and the actual demand for the product. If a headphone is well designed, sounds good, and well marketed, it can sell for higher prices. Audiophiles spend lots of money on this hobby, and companies will take advantage of that. 


Edited by EYEdROP - 9/20/10 at 7:05pm
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

If it's not in the materials cost, and only in the technology, I'm pretty sure China or some other country would have flooded the market with cheaper knock offs of very similar quality. Look at Chinese smart phones as an example, I have to say that many of the phones are on par with the popular brands from the hardware perspective at much lower costs. From what I hear, the fake headphones out there do not have a worthy sound quality, so I'm thinking there's got to be something else.

 

And even if you're right, we're getting fleeced and we're happy about it?

post #7 of 9

 

Originally Posted by ddrddrddrddr View Post

If it's not in the materials cost, and only in the technology, I'm pretty sure China or some other country would have flooded the market with cheaper knock offs of very similar quality. Look at Chinese smart phones as an example, I have to say that many of the phones are on par with the popular brands from the hardware perspective at much lower costs. From what I hear, the fake headphones out there do not have a worthy sound quality, so I'm thinking there's got to be something else.

 

And even if you're right, we're getting fleeced and we're happy about it?

 

well, Superlux boast about having copied the DT880 FR perfectly on one of their copycats...but from what I understand, FR is only one part of the story...then comes the actual R&D, the reason why some phones have a wider/deeper/clearer SS than others. Headphones are just a big illusion based on psychoacoustics principles, and the Chinese can copy the DT880 FR but can they copy exactly the diaphragm formula? the driver itself to provide the exact same headstage?

 

Most cheap Chinese phones don't have any headstage whatsoever, they output noise in dual mono..

 

Originally Posted by ddrddrddrddr View Post

 

what part of that process calls for the kind of prices headphones go for exactly?

 

The machines, the expensive european labor, the R&D? But well, dynamic headphones are essentially a +80yo technology, these companies more than likely make stellar markups.

post #8 of 9

without negative feedback...from neighbours ♥

post #9 of 9

Quote:

Originally Posted by leeperry View Post

 

 

well, Superlux boast about having copied the DT880 FR perfectly on one of their copycats...but from what I understand, FR is only one part of the story...then comes the actual R&D, the reason why some phones have a wider/deeper/clearer SS than others. Headphones are just a big illusion based on psychoacoustics principles, and the Chinese can copy the DT880 FR but can they copy exactly the diaphragm formula? the driver itself to provide the exact same headstage?


While I regularly disagree with you and hate audiophile terms with a passion; you're absolutely right that the FR is only a single part.

 

One needs to consider decay, distortion, square wave response, and dispersion characteristics.  I would like to see the where they boast about copying the 880FR though.

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