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Being a student audiophile...

post #1 of 201
Thread Starter 

 

As a student, I have this problem. I want to try new headphones. I can't go to meets because I can't drive. I can't just go off buying new headphones because they're expensive. So I read reviews. The headphones other people use seem like they make some HEAVENLY sound!! Now I want new headphones even more but realize I can't buy them -_-.....

 

 

Are there any other people like me at Head-Fi?? What do you do to get out of this vicious cycle??? 

 

 

 

post #2 of 201

Out of curiosity, how old are you?

 

I am 15 and I find it is best to save then spend mindlessly. You realize it is worth it. I "rediscovered" this site after my Shure SE110's broke in July '10 and now I am looking at adding a pair of Stax SR404 to my current gear (uDac, Asgard, Marantz 2220B, and Akai AP-D2 which needs a new cartridge). Oh yeah, and I am waiting for my Fostex FE126e's to come in this week so I can build a pair of speakers. Addictive stuff. Don't "waste" your time looking at reviews. Anything around here that is commonly recommended is good. I say this after owning two love/hate headphones the HD650 and K702. They were both equally good but in their unique ways. Both were fantastic, don't spend your time search for the ideal headphone for a genre, it is a fruitless venture. 

 

Also about meets, if you live outside a major metropolitan area start an interest check thread in the meet section. If there seems to be interest pick a date and ask if anyone is willing to come on said date (or PM Head-Fi'ers in your area) and then call a local library to setup a meeting room. That is what I did after getting frustrated that no one would arrange anything since August. 

 

Good luck!

post #3 of 201

Since you're in the vicious cycle, what you should do is this: pick one great, highly recommended headphone in the $60~$200 range, and let them burn in, listen to them, enjoy them, and treat them VERY well for the rest of your school years.  Your first good headphone will probably shape your sound preferences significantly, so stick to it and trust that it is the right headphone for you.  Baby them and do not let them break.

 

And once you've bought them and received them, don't come back to this site again!  People will deceive you into thinking you will get something 5x better for just a little more, and then something 2x better for just a little more, and then 1.5x better for just a little more, and you'll just waste your time browsing forums and reviews, and spending money you don't have.

 

No headphone will actually bring you into nirvana. (Okay, I'm probably gonna get some rant for that)  So don't drool over headphones like they will!

 

This is advice from your fellow college student audiophile!  :)

 

btw mralexosborn you are quite a rich kid!

post #4 of 201

get out of the cycle? were still all stuck in it.

 

well, you got holidays, bdays, and.. graduation.  if you get cash for those things, buy used, take good care of it, and resell it.  slowly work your way up. dont go up too fast because you may miss something that is perfect for you, just because someone reviewed a headphone and loves it.

 

i dont have much of an income either. i made a big jump and regret it now.  so enjoy what you have/can get soon.

post #5 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by juman231 View Post

Are there any other people like me at Head-Fi?? What do you do to get out of this vicious cycle??? 


You can't... that's why we're here.  wink_face.gif  One thing I can think of is try buying used (ebay).  If you are buying IEMs, swap out the tips (or if they're silicon a little alcohol will make them germ-free and new).  Regular cans might be a different story, but for most you can buy replacement pads if they're beat up or you want to start 'fresh'.  Also keep in mind that there is a LOT of good stuff out there at modest prices.  Grados and Fiio come to mind, but there are many more.  Try not to think you need to spend a boat load of money to ENJOY the music.  When you get past a certain threshold you get very little in return for your money ('law of diminishing returns').  Keep your bit rate high (or lossless).  After the headphones themselves, that's probably the most important for sound quality.  Stay away from torrents and file sharing if possible.  You don't know if that track has been encoded in 128k, then extracted to WAV, then back to 320k, etc.  Most of all, remember it's about the music!  It's fun and easy to get caught up in the gear, but it's also a fast way to being broke or in debt- and like most addictions, you will never be satisfied if you go down that path.  Happy listening!  ksc75smile.gif

post #6 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mkubota1 View Post




You can't... that's why we're here.  wink_face.gif  One thing I can think of is try buying used (ebay).  If you are buying IEMs, swap out the tips (or if they're silicon a little alcohol will make them germ-free and new).  Regular cans might be a different story, but for most you can buy replacement pads if they're beat up or you want to start 'fresh'.  Also keep in mind that there is a LOT of good stuff out there at modest prices.  Grados and Fiio come to mind, but there are many more.  Try not to think you need to spend a boat load of money to ENJOY the music.  When you get past a certain threshold you get very little in return for your money ('law of diminishing returns').  Keep your bit rate high (or lossless).  After the headphones themselves, that's probably the most important for sound quality.  Stay away from torrents and file sharing if possible.  You don't know if that track has been encoded in 128k, then extracted to WAV, then back to 320k, etc.  Most of all, remember it's about the music!  It's fun and easy to get caught up in the gear, but it's also a fast way to being broke or in debt- and like most addictions, you will never be satisfied if you go down that path.  Happy listening!  ksc75smile.gif


About that...

I know it may be a touchy topic around here but I simply don't believe in spending money on digital media. CD's and vinyl are fine but not MP3's. The artist get around 9 percent from a CD, even less with downloads. 

I have only had two or three run ins with the type of problem you mentioned. Most of it is "genuine" 320kbps or FLAC or at least to my ears it is. 

post #7 of 201

It's a very good idea to buy used, and resell when it doesn't work out.

As long as you look for good deals, you wont be too much out of pocket if it doesn't end well.

Another positive is that you can pretty much take your time judging the headphones with your own gear/music and what not.

Your tastes/preferences will change, so enjoy what you have in the mean time, and move on when you feel that 'something is not quite right'.

 

When you start climbing up the ladder, it's a good idea to go into DIY as early as possible.

Not only is it great value for money, but the skills you learn will come in handy when you want to build an 'endgame' amp.

 

And never ever forget, "only your ears matter", that's just about the best advice you'll find around here.

 

Enjoy the hell out of high school, you'll miss it. (for all the high schoolers out there =P)

~3rd year university student.

post #8 of 201
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hayang View Post

Since you're in the vicious cycle, what you should do is this: pick one great, highly recommended headphone in the $60~$200 range, and let them burn in, listen to them, enjoy them, and treat them VERY well for the rest of your school years.  Your first good headphone will probably shape your sound preferences significantly, so stick to it and trust that it is the right headphone for you.  Baby them and do not let them break.

 

And once you've bought them and received them, don't come back to this site again!  People will deceive you into thinking you will get something 5x better for just a little more, and then something 2x better for just a little more, and then 1.5x better for just a little more, and you'll just waste your time browsing forums and reviews, and spending money you don't have.

 

This is advice from your fellow college student audiophile!  :)

 

btw mralexosborn you are quite a rich kid!

 



Thanks for your advice. I currently have audio technica's ATH-M50. I like it, but i have complaints about narrow sound stage, a little too much bass quantity, sweaty ears, and a bit recessed midrange. I think it has allowed me to see my preference in terms of headphones. Best sounds like HD600 or HD650...which brings me back to...step one of the cycle =P...

 

And I gotta agree mralexosborn indeed must be pretty rich 0_0...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mralexosborn View Post

Out of curiosity, how old are you?

 

I am 15 and I find it is best to save then spend mindlessly. You realize it is worth it. I "rediscovered" this site after my Shure SE110's broke in July '10 and now I am looking at adding a pair of Stax SR404 to my current gear (uDac, Asgard, Marantz 2220B, and Akai AP-D2 which needs a new cartridge). Oh yeah, and I am waiting for my Fostex FE126e's to come in this week so I can build a pair of speakers. Addictive stuff. Don't "waste" your time looking at reviews. Anything around here that is commonly recommended is good. I say this after owning two love/hate headphones the HD650 and K702. They were both equally good but in their unique ways. Both were fantastic, don't spend your time search for the ideal headphone for a genre, it is a fruitless venture. 

 

Also about meets, if you live outside a major metropolitan area start an interest check thread in the meet section. If there seems to be interest pick a date and ask if anyone is willing to come on said date (or PM Head-Fi'ers in your area) and then call a local library to setup a meeting room. That is what I did after getting frustrated that no one would arrange anything since August. 

 

Good luck!

 

To answer your question first, i'm 19 yrs old in college.

 

Your idea about the meet is very good. I should take the initiative and look for head-fiers in my region. Although, I did miss a VERY good chance by missing the bay area meet which was only a two hour drive for me but couldn't make it as I don't drive yet...

 

Also, caracara08 and deadlylover's idea of buying used idea is something I need to look into, although i'm still afraid I might get a defective unit or something...

 

As for saving money, I don't know if I'm exposing myself a little too much on the internet, but I'm not a citizen or a permanent resident in the US (but not illegal don't worry...) so I can't get the federal aid for my college... which means I have to make my money to pay for the full tuition and et cetera...=/...I applied for permanent residency so hopefully it comes out soon. HAH if it comes out, I'm going into a splurging mode and use my saved up money on a nice HD600/650 setup with a nice amp and dac. -_-

 

Aside from that, I'm glad to know I'm not the only suffering college student on this forum!!

 

I'd be fun to hear more from other student audiophiles complaining about this topic xP

post #9 of 201

Your cycle ends when you graduate and get a Stax setup. Trust me. I know from experience.

post #10 of 201
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wind016 View Post

Your cycle ends when you graduate and get a Stax setup. Trust me. I know from experience.



Haha is that your future dream setup i'm guessing? Or is your signature just not up to date... If its the latter, then I'm jealous!

post #11 of 201

I don't have to graduate! It is amazing how quickly my parents eyes reach the back their heads when I buy audio gear. 

post #12 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by mralexosborn View Post

About that..

I know it may be a touchy topic around here but I simply don't believe in spending money on digital media. CD's and vinyl are fine but not MP3's. The artist get around 9 percent from a CD, even less with downloads. 

I have only had two or three run ins with the type of problem you mentioned. Most of it is "genuine" 320kbps or FLAC or at least to my ears it is. 


Where did you get the files where you had the 'run ins'?  I'm just curious because if you're worried about the artist getting their fair share...  I'm honestly not trying to be a d*ck or accuse you of something.  I just can't think of any other way.  Again please don't take this the wrong way... I am curious.  I myself did do the 'download thing' here and there and while the files usually sounded fine, the OCD in me finally made me give in and buy the real deal- either iTunes or physical media.  tongue.gif

post #13 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by juman231 View Post





Haha is that your future dream setup i'm guessing? Or is your signature just not up to date... If its the latter, then I'm jealous!


Trust me, it's the latter.

 

I'm a student myself and am caught in this cycle xD

 

Constantly pouring over reviews, comparisons & etc..

post #14 of 201

Let me finish your sentence OP.

 

 

Being a student audiophile... SUCKS!

post #15 of 201
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scytus View Post




Trust me, it's the latter.

 

I'm a student myself and am caught in this cycle xD

 

Constantly pouring over reviews, comparisons & etc..

 

Yes, don't we all... What's your current setup? 
 

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