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At what point are headphones no longer worth their price tag? - Page 10

post #136 of 146

Quote:

Originally Posted by TakashiMiike View Post

Never, music is the second most important thing in my life, I would spare no expense getting the best possible quality I can, diminishing returns and all. Headphones stop being worth it when more expensive does no yield any SQ benefits.

 

This is for me alone, other peoples views on music may be different.

 

The OP was asking at what price point this happens for each of us. You've referred to a situation where more expensive headphones would not justify your cost, but you've also answered, "never".

post #137 of 146

I think headphones are no longer worth their price tag when you can have speakers that are better, so for me about $1500 would be the limit, because then their are tons and tons and tons of speaker options. speakers are too expensive when you could get a nice car...etc.....

post #138 of 146

The cost of a nice speaker setup versus the asking price of some cans has started to weigh heavily for me. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) speakers aren't practical for me at the moment.

post #139 of 146

For me it's 500.  After that, I much rather invest in a 2.1 system.

post #140 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by acticulated View Post

Quote:

 

The OP was asking at what price point this happens for each of us. You've referred to a situation where more expensive headphones would not justify your cost, but you've also answered, "never".


 

Right you are sir, I suppose my cut off than is when more money no longer increases sound quality. As for where that point is I have no idea yet.

post #141 of 146

Quote:
Originally Posted by TakashiMiike View Post

Right you are sir, I suppose my cut off than is when more money no longer increases sound quality. As for where that point is I have no idea yet.


Sorry if that came off a bit rude. I'm not trying to pick on you, I just wanted to coax out a more definitive answer. I'm only recently fascinated by this topic. Don't feel obligated to answer this either (and i'd like to open this up to anyone/everyone) but can you elaborate how do you define "sound quality"? Is there something specific that you look for that you like? Sparkly detailed treble, realistic mids, visceral bass? Speaker-like soundstage? PRaT? Good matches with your favorite artists/genres?

post #142 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by acticulated View Post


Sorry if that came off a bit rude. I'm not trying to pick on you, I just wanted to coax out a more definitive answer. I'm only recently fascinated by this topic. Don't feel obligated to answer this either (and i'd like to open this up to anyone/everyone) but can you elaborate how do you define "sound quality"? Is there something specific that you look for that you like? Sparkly detailed treble, realistic mids, visceral bass? Speaker-like soundstage? PRaT? Good matches with your favorite artists/genres?


I can't say anything beyond what I have experienced yet, and I have not experienced the $600+ range yet. My standard is neutrality and accuracy. A good headphone is defined by many things, a few of which for me are: Neutral mids, not recessed, clear, not nasaly, detailed, tonal where instruments do not get confused, neutral bass that does not accentuate what the song already has, if the song is meant to thump it thumps how it's recorded to thump, if it's meant to be the subtle strumming of a bass, it is subtle, with lots of texture. Highs that are not piercing but not recessed, but that are accurate, I want highs accurately reproduced, with accurate clarity. (one reason I did not like the hd650, and prefer the hd600, and yes I had the newer model)

 

And that's just frequency response. More detail, better driver design to imitate good soundstage, better more realistic timbre, instruments should sound like how they sound in real life, IF the recording is good, if the recording is bad I don't want it to be masked into a muddy mess, and the list goes on.

 

Sound quality is defined by anything I consider to be better, some things are prefernce based ( I prefer neutrality for all my genres.) Some can border on objectivity, for example detail, having more detail is most almost always a good thing, having more realistic soundstage is almost always a good thing, etc.

 

All the headphones in my sig have led me to this methodology, so I'm not speaking from owning 1 or 2 headphones here. I hope to see how the higher end of headphones is, and if I get a subjectively or objectively better phone, even if only slightly, it will have been worth it to me. But that's really because I put such a high worth on music in my life, to each their own. Hope this answers your question.


Edited by TakashiMiike - 8/9/11 at 10:23am
post #143 of 146

Yes, thank you. This is very cohesive and makes a lot of sense to me. It also sounds like you've got exactly what you want with the current pair in your signature (the modded 580). The 580/600 is definitely my favorite rendition of neutrality that I've heard under the $600 mark.

I went for the 650 because I don't mind a little coloration towards warmth to contrast with my other pairs, and in auditions I found that they scale a little bit better with amplification but ultimately considering the large difference in price for very small differences in quality that don't assert themselves until you've spent a lot on amplification, I chose based on preference.

A lot of the hang ups we have here on head-fi are caused by the engrained limitations of the audio lexicon. We often use terms with implied objectivity like, "sound quality" when we really mean, "personal preference"; especially considering how differently two people might interpret the experience of the same equipment. I always wonder what people are getting at when they say "sound quality".

 

For what it's worth, the sum of my audition experience combined with your description of your preferences tells me that you would really like electrostats, have you auditioned any before?

 

One last thing. Would you mind telling me just a little bit about the shortcomings of the la2000 to your ears? Maybe a PM would be better.

post #144 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by acticulated View Post

Yes, thank you. This is very cohesive and makes a lot of sense to me. It also sounds like you've got exactly what you want with the current pair in your signature (the modded 580). The 580/600 is definitely my favorite rendition of neutrality that I've heard under the $600 mark.

I went for the 650 because I don't mind a little coloration towards warmth to contrast with my other pairs, and in auditions I found that they scale a little bit better with amplification but ultimately considering the large difference in price for very small differences in quality that don't assert themselves until you've spent a lot on amplification, I chose based on preference.

A lot of the hang ups we have here on head-fi are caused by the engrained limitations of the audio lexicon. We often use terms with implied objectivity like, "sound quality" when we really mean, "personal preference"; especially considering how differently two people might interpret the experience of the same equipment. I always wonder what people are getting at when they say "sound quality".

 

For what it's worth, the sum of my audition experience combined with your description of your preferences tells me that you would really like electrostats, have you auditioned any before?

 

One last thing. Would you mind telling me just a little bit about the shortcomings of the la2000 to your ears? Maybe a PM would be better.


Electrostats are certainly on my list of things to try. As for the LA2000 there were a couple things that didn't work for me. The mod never really completely cleared up the recessed midrange issue I had with the d2000's male voices and the lower female voices were still behind most of the other music no matter what song you played, it also made things that I knew were not supposed to be sibilant, sibilant. My girlfriends voice on skype became sibilant and grating, and she has quiet a smooth voice. The la2000 were a good headphone but these issues stopped me from being able to completely like them, they were also my first headphones so I was relatively innexperienced. The bass for me was good back then, I used to listen to a lot of electronic and trip hop, in fact that was all I listened to. Nowadays, I have a more even listening pallet, but with about 60% of my music being jazz 20% classical 10% rock 10% electronic/experimental. I think in hinsight the la2000's lack what some people call "timbre" I don't know if that's the right term but they seem to not represent some instuments well, especially jazz instruments. I never really noticed it because electronic music doesn't really have a way it SHOULD sound.

 

I have a tendency to dislike headphones that impose a certain signature over all the music you listen to, and while the denon's were fun for electronic music, they did impose their flavor of what they want things to sound like. I remember trying jazz with them, and I the bass (instrument) did not sound like how it should in real life, it had too much impact and not enough subtelty and texture.

 

I am tired and this post has totally lost the eloquency I try to maintain in my posts so apologies for the run on sentences etc.

 

To revisit eloctostats, my next big audio purchase is either going to be hd800's + bottlehead crack + dedicated dac (not decided yet). Or a plunge into electrostats, but I would love to try and audition either purchase first, as that is quiet a lot of money to be throwing around.

 

You seem like a very educated and objective fellow, any personaly opinions on electrostats would be awesome :) Thank you for your comprehensive responses, was quiet a fun discussion.

 

 

Disclaimer: I am extremely exhausted and reading this post again doesn't make much sense to me, hopefully you get what i'm trying to say.

 

 

edit: pm'd you to continue discussion.


Edited by TakashiMiike - 8/10/11 at 1:33am
post #145 of 146

To me, headphones are no longer worth it if my ears can't tell the difference with a pair of cheaper cans or the differences are small that the headphones can barely beat by a pair of headphones at $200 less or more, I don't mind paying $50~$100 for slight but noticeable improvements. Any set up costing more than $3000 is also not worth it too me because I don't make that kind of money. 

post #146 of 146

Quote:

Originally Posted by TakashiMiike View Post

"it also made things that I knew were not supposed to be sibilant, sibilant. My girlfriends voice on skype became sibilant and grating, and she has quiet a smooth voice...my next big audio purchase is either going to be hd800's + bottlehead crack + dedicated dac (not decided yet)"

 

 

This year I got the HD800's + Bottlehead Crack + DAC. Although Katie Melua and Norah Jones sound excellent with this set up, for some reason it made my wife's voice sibilant and grating...if sibilant rhymes with angry!

 

She is actually very good about indulging my interests.

 

I like the hd800<crack w speedball<nuforce hdp<macbook pro with everything I throw at it, except some poorly recorded material. Sometimes I throw the Dt770's + the Nuforce together when I am in the mood for some cranked up bass, and the Shure 840's + nuforce sounded good when I did not want to warm up the tubes, but the hd800's get the majority of my dedicated listening time. I have the dt1350's coming in this Friday for use as a portable.

 

On the OP's topic, I use an intuitive formula where I try to balance out: listening pleasure, desire, budget, and the knowledge that we are all dying and will not be of this earth for long enough, to help decide if the the headphones are worth the money to me.

 
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