Originally Posted by HideousPride
Would be curious about the source being used, as well as your familiarity with the music when it comes to your evaluation of the Momentums. Would also be curious to hear what a reference headphone to you sounds like. Not saying that your impressions are wrong by any means, but all of the above make a difference in the judgment of a headphone.
Used at home on an O2/ODAC with my computer and portably on the Clip+ for months, I can very much agree on the bassy headphone attribute - it's not heavily and unpleasingly emphasized, but a bit loose. Midrange is quite good, not at all bloated to my ears. Treble is not sibilant, but rather recessed. I've talked to quite a few Head-Fiers who agree with these generalized findings, you can also look at Tyll's graphs on InnerFidelity for objective measurements.
Don't think there's such a thing as a standard "consumer" curve. The notion that the average person prefers heavily emphasized bass is just not true, research studies have shown even those unknowledgable about music prefer a more neutral sound when it comes to music.
First, let me reiterate that my comments were based on first impressions obtained while standing at a display wall in Best Buy/Magnolia. No ABX, no volume matching, no critical listening.
OK, with that out of the way, the source was my iPod Touch 3G and Sansa Clip Zip plugged into the wall display input jack. Very familiar with the music and how it sounds on my home system. The headphones on their wall all have in-line volume controls so there is obviously an amplifier between my source and the headphones themselves.
My reference sound (or memory of the sound) is my current HD800 plugged into my Benchmark DAC1. I also owned for a long time the Denon Ah-D7000 and HD600. I have also owned the Objective2 and am very familiar with how it sounds (virtually indistinguishable from my Benchmark DAC1).
I am very sensitive to midrange thickness (its one my my pet peeves) so even a trace of mid-bass bleed turns me off immediately. The Momentums didnt sound bad, but they definitely have a boosted bass and thick midrange to my ears. The treble brightness was something I picked up on during my most recent listen. Dont know if its a peak of a specific frequency, or an overall signature. I would need more time with them to really evaluate them.
Im not familiar with the research studies you are referring to. I know that Beats, Bose, Monster, Koss, and the other "mainstream" headphones that I have auditioned all seem to have emphasized bass. Beats alone has almost half the entire marketshare in the US. If research has proven that the "typical" US consumer prefers neutral sound, I believe that Beats would be the largest seller of neutral-sounding headphones in the US.Edited by palmfish - 4/9/13 at 3:33pm