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At what point are headphones no longer worth their price tag?

post #1 of 146
Thread Starter 

Many high end cans, namely LCD-2, HD 800, HE-6, STAX, etc. costs $1000+

 

At what point are headphones not justifiable for their price tag because of the small little detail difference offered?

 

For example a $600 headphone is not going to be better two times better than a $300 one, but only minor detail differences(and a different amp requirement which also cost more $). 

 

EDIT: Actually I was asking what's your opinion on what price point are headphones no longer worth it. 


Edited by FearSC549 - 5/19/11 at 11:11pm
post #2 of 146

Basically, when you decide that the price dosent justify the performance gained. That will be different for everyone. Nothing more to it.

post #3 of 146
Around the price of good speakers. I'd put that around $500-$1,000.

The Magnepan MMG starts at $600. Not many headphones can better them.

You could adjust that number downwards if you'd be happy with Fostex drivers in Voight Pipes.

I've been happy with my ProAc Response 2.5 clones ($1,000) and Quad ESL-63s ($700). I keep some nice headphones around because I enjoy them, but I've found better speakers for less.

I think the real value for headphones lies in the beginner segment, with stuff like the SR-60i and MDR-V6. You can go up to around $300-$400 with headphones like the HD-600, HD-650, DT880, SR-225i, and a few others and get great value. More than that and you'll start finding better speakers. Sure, the high-end headphones sound great and can be practical if you can't run speakers, but the bang:buck ratio drops off.
post #4 of 146

For me, my point of diminishing returns is roughly equal to my mortgage payments.

post #5 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post

Around the price of good speakers. I'd put that around $500-$1,000.

The Magnepan MMG starts at $600. Not many headphones can better them.

You could adjust that number downwards if you'd be happy with Fostex drivers in Voight Pipes.

I've been happy with my ProAc Response 2.5 clones ($1,000) and Quad ESL-63s ($700). I keep some nice headphones around because I enjoy them, but I've found better speakers for less.

I think the real value for headphones lies in the beginner segment, with stuff like the SR-60i and MDR-V6. You can go up to around $300-$400 with headphones like the HD-600, HD-650, DT880, SR-225i, and a few others and get great value. More than that and you'll start finding better speakers. Sure, the high-end headphones sound great and can be practical if you can't run speakers, but the bang:buck ratio drops off.


Aw man. What about top-tier customs?

 

post #6 of 146

Diminishing returns principles exist with almost everything you can think of - cars, wine, food, clothing,  women, HiFi ; :     :    

 

And the value of incremental gains is exactly that -"value".  A person's "value" is very subjective.  Some people will value $100 jeans over $10 ones, whilst others will say that my 10 pairs will outlast/outwear your designer jeans by years.  I disagree with the statement that headphone value stops where good speakers start, headphones are totally different to speakers, different experience and different purpose.  If you are looking from a value for money perspective as a part of the equation as to when headphones are no longer worth the money, then for many that will start very low.  You can get a lot of enjoyment out of a PX100 or KSC 75 etc, and diminishing returns cuts in pretty fast.  For me I am happy with both my ED8s and T1s, but lets not kid ourselves that they are anywhere near 4X or 5X better than HD650, DT880 etc or 15-20 better than PX100.

 

 

 

EDIT: First reply to this thread from KingStyles summed it up perfectly.-

"Basically, when you decide that the price dosent justify the performance gained. That will be different for everyone. Nothing more to it. ""


Edited by Kernmac - 5/19/11 at 11:07pm
post #7 of 146

$30,000 Everything I buy until that point is worth it.


Edited by wind016 - 5/19/11 at 11:01pm
post #8 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingStyles View Post

Basically, when you decide that the price dosent justify the performance gained. That will be different for everyone. Nothing more to it.


Enough said.  End of story. 

 

post #9 of 146

If you're not willing or able to pay for it they're not worth it.

Ok, that's not entirely true. I can't afford a brand new Ferrari now but I think they're worth it. :) Oh right, that comes to the willingness part.

Someone mentioned women. No man can truly afford a woman but they are almost always worth it. :D

post #10 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric_C View Post




Aw man. What about top-tier customs?

 

Heck, I don't know.

I've never gotten deeply into IEMs. The JH13 lit up my pleasure centers at CanJam last year, but I held off on ordering a pair. My headphones and speakers make me really happy.

The only time I get IEMs out is when I travel on an airplane. Lately, that's been about once a year. My old e3cs still do a decent job. I haven't been able to convince myself to upgrade. Yet.
post #11 of 146

It all depends on the amount of your disposable income.

 

But if your speaking in pure value per dollar, I don't believe I have enough experience to speak about that.

 

But for 90% (Roughly) of customers, after $300 (K702/DT880's) you might start seeing the quality difference start to shrink between the price points.

 

But to be honest, I'm pretty much talking out of my ass from general consumer experience.

post #12 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post


I've never gotten deeply into IEMs. 

 

I see what you did there.

post #13 of 146

I have the LCD's and I think they are definitely worth the money and I don't even like headphones.  

post #14 of 146

Quote:

Originally Posted by WarriorAnt View Post

...and I don't even like headphones.  


What? Head-Fi member? Posting on forum about headphones? Doesn't like headphones?  Divide by zero?  lolwut?

post #15 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by sridhar3 View Post

Quote:


What? Head-Fi member? Posting on forum about headphones? Doesn't like headphones?  Divide by zero?  lolwut?


I think you'd might find there are a lot of reluctant headphone users posting here, or more than you might think based on that response.  I far and away prefer speakers but use headphones when quiet is a better option for domestic bliss.  If I did not need to use them occasionally for that reason I would never use them.  I do enjoy music profoundly so I am grateful for headphones for giving me more access to it.  Is that difficult to understand?

 

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