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How to appreciate good headphones

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

I am very new head-fi and headphones, I now have a beyerdynamic DT880 600 and a Xonar Essence STX. Coming from an HD555 user what can one do to make sure he/she is enjoying the most out of the headphones BESIDES upgrading my setup. I'm talking more in terms of, listening and interpreting what I hear from my headphone into words like some of you guys who do it effortlessly. I notice a difference from my HD555 to the DT880s, in terms of quality and bass but I can't/don't know how to go more in depth...my buddy asked me if I noticed a difference and I say yes, its more clear, and the bass is proiment but thats it I can't go more into detail because I don't know exactly what I should be listening to.

 

 

So pretend I have virgin ears and you were trying to tell/show me how to appreciate good headphones as well as good music, where would you link me to, or what would you advice?

 

I love music, I love good sounding music but I can't regurgitate why I like it to someone who wants to know why...I hope I'm making sense?

 

So basically I want to train my ears so that I hear things others won't notice when they listen through a good set of headphones. When my buddy puts on my beyers he just says its the same as my old skull candies etc...and I get pissed off cause they aren't and I want to tell him exactly why he is wrong but my argument just ends at, its more clear, and bass is better...? see lol


Edited by PurpleCow - 4/27/11 at 9:29pm
post #2 of 21

Have you looked here?

post #3 of 21
Are you listening to good quality recordings? You want lossless, of course. But also try music that was recorded well. A lot of popular music is brickwalled (Google "loudness war" for a good explanation) and sound terrible. There's also a lot of poor mastering and bad studio work that shows up on recordings.

To paint with a broad brush and acknowledging that there are exceptions, look to jazz and classical for good recordings. You're almost guaranteed to find good ones without much effort. If you're not into those genres, think about picking up a few discs. If you look back in the Music Forum, you'll find many recommendations for getting into them - there are plenty of works that appeal to almost everyone.

Also go see some live performances. When you get an ear for how things sound live, you'll really appreciate good headphones.
post #4 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post

Also go see some live performances. When you get an ear for how things sound live, you'll really appreciate good headphones.


I dunno I don't quite get the "oh man my entire torso is thumping everytime the bassdrum hits" with headphones.  If anything live performances make me appreciate speakers more.

 

 

But yeah in general it starts with good quality recordings/masterings.  They tend to have far more dynamic range and punch in them, rather than being just loudness.  Soundstage effect depends heavily on recordings/masterings as well.

 

 

post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 

 

so I am onto a good start, I've started to listen to flac and 320kb mp3 files. As well as reading into what deadhead posted with the sound glossary.

 

post #6 of 21

How's that xonar card treating your 600Ω 880s?

post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

How's that xonar card treating your 600Ω 880s?



umm, see that's another thing since I just got these I never needed an amp since I only had the HD555s and the Xonar's could drive those well. But since these are 600 ohms I have an order in for a Lyr from Schiit hopefully it will ship mid-may. I've been advised that since I have the DT880s 600 ohms I should get an amp, so that's what I got. I'll also be purchasing schiits DAC when it comes out to pair it with the Lyr.

 

I'm hoping to hear a difference when I get my amp compared the Xonars onboard headphone amp.

post #8 of 21

We'll be very interested to hear your impressions on the differences when getting either of those two items.

post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post





I dunno I don't quite get the "oh man my entire torso is thumping everytime the bassdrum hits" with headphones.  If anything live performances make me appreciate speakers more.

 

 

But yeah in general it starts with good quality recordings/masterings.  They tend to have far more dynamic range and punch in them, rather than being just loudness.  Soundstage effect depends heavily on recordings/masterings as well.

 

 

I agree. This is why I've been listening to a lot of speakers recently.

Headphones have a lot of good points, but speakers offer a lot. Considering how expensive the top tier of headphones is today, you can often get great speakers for less. This cuts across the headphone orthodoxy of "being better for less," but you can get wonderful speakers for less than a HD-800, LCD-2 or other high-end headphones. I think a lot of headphone manufacturers have priced themselves out of the value proposition.
post #10 of 21

Most people don't notice quality difference because they don't 'analyze' the music, they just hear sounds.

 

It annoys the hell out of me when someone says their Skullycandy sounds better than my TF10 because it has more bass. 

post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FearSC549 View Post

Most people don't notice quality difference because they don't 'analyze' the music, they just hear sounds.

 

It annoys the hell out of me when someone says their Skullycandy sounds better than my TF10 because it has more bass. 


 

yup this is exactly why! I want to learn how to analyze music and anything from you guys will be helpful

post #12 of 21

The best way to appreciate good headphones is to listen to your music.  Listen to your gear, and you'll only hear the flaws; listen to the music, and it'll be much more enjoyable.  You don't need to dissect music with headphones to appreciate them.

post #13 of 21

I'm wondering exactly the same. I hope I can get the answer from this topic aswell!

 

Subbed.

post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by DemonicLemming View Post

The best way to appreciate good headphones is to listen to your music.  Listen to your gear, and you'll only hear the flaws; listen to the music, and it'll be much more enjoyable.  You don't need to dissect music with headphones to appreciate them.



SO true.  I like doing A>B tests to see what sounds better, etc.  I find it fun at times.  But it can quickly become exhausting.  And you can get to a point where you are asking yourself why you are doing this- especially if the differences are so minute that you find yourself having to concentrate hard enough to bend spoons.  It's okay to look for better sound, but we must also remember why we are doing this.  It's like people who work themselves to death making money, but never have the time to spend or enjoy it.

 

Along the same lines, don't try too hard to get people to understand good SQ or music.  You can explain it to them, but in the end it's about your listening pleasure.  This is a hobby and not everyone shares the same hobbies.  Try not to stress over it too much- explain it once and then move on.  smile.gif


Edited by Mkubota1 - 4/29/11 at 1:58pm
post #15 of 21

If you want to go real crazy, you can always try to join one of the local head-fi meets. That way you could find out if an amp would be a good idea, listen to others recommended music etc.

 

 

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