Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Why do expensier headphones generally get brighter and more laid-back?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Why do expensier headphones generally get brighter and more laid-back? - Page 2

post #16 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by buffalowings View Post





okay, let's rephrase, most top tier phones have a bright sound signature


Are you kidding me? The 02s aren't top tier now? They wipe the floor with every other headphone mentioned in this thread...

 

post #17 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by BotByte View Post

I see that when you have a $100 pair, that the headphones aren't forced to do anything and they take on their own personality. All the flaws, imperfections and problems just make the problems come out better. Like Treble on a Grado

 

But then as you rank up in price, the makers try to cover all the bases all at once and make headphones that are tweaked over and over again and force them to make certain sounds. This would give you better overall sound, but it's like castrating a bull. The meat will be better, but then the bull is only good for meat.

 

I also see it as a personal preference. I have three major headphones that cover highs, mids and lows so I can evaluate anything I wish. And then they are all under $100. But I can move up and start buying better headphones. It would give me better overall sound, but then nothing "special" to the headphones.

 

And this is what we differ from "Audiophile" and "Pro Audio User".

 

An Audiophile is looking for the greatest and best he can find.

 

A Pro Audio Listener is looking for a product to work the best as possible.

 

 

I'm an Audiophile that likes Pro Audio. I like my Grados, but then also love my Fostex


ahh.from me personally speaking. i think difference speaking between pro audio and a audiophile is minimum i think personally. audiophiles tend to look for the highest possible audio nirvana of their personal taste of liking. while an pro audio user is looking for most perfect and true to source headphone or gear that is completely flat and can show that person all the flaws in the music and much more. i think audiophile and pro audio user is not far off from each other. they're just different terms used to describe someones personal preferences on what they're looking for.

me personally is more of a hybrid between audiophile/pro audio i guess(but i never consider myself an audiophile). while i do enjoy certain colorations audiophiles tend to enjoy but i also like something that is true to me to the source and let me know the secerts of one's recording and bring closer to the flaws and analyze it to give me a much more intimate connection between me and the artist that produced it.
post #18 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhythmdevils View Post

Most headphones are bright regardless of price, the new ones are just following the trend.  It's BS and I wish I had bigger bicepts so I could punch the engineers in the face.


could i make a suggesting? when you acquire yourself with bigger biceps you should then strap an alligator to your fist and then punch them in the face. much more effective i must say.
post #19 of 73

WTF? 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RexAeterna View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by rhythmdevils View Post

Most headphones are bright regardless of price, the new ones are just following the trend.  It's BS and I wish I had bigger bicepts so I could punch the engineers in the face.




could i make a suggesting? when you acquire yourself with bigger biceps you should then strap an alligator to your fist and then punch them in the face. much more effective i must say.


 

post #20 of 73

I cannot tell you why MORE expensive HPs are bright but " bright" as reference to what. Someone's definition of "bright" is another person's definition of extended high frequency".

 

"Seeing the forest but not the trees" is another description of HQ roll-off to manipulate one's perception as warm. Your taste of " to see the trees" or " to see the forest" is nothing but a personal illusion. There is no right or wrong answer.

 

 

post #21 of 73

What I call "neutral" is "natural". In my everyday life I hear the piano, violin, acoustic guitar, drums pretty much every day as my household is quite a musical one. I know what those instruments actually sound like so I judge a headphones presentation as "bright" or "dark" against that bench mark.

 

By that measure I there is no way I can agree with the premise that the LCD-2 are "as neutral as it gets" - they are nowhere near. They are dark headphones, extremely good ones that I enjoyed a lot when I heard them, but they are dark. So are the SR-007A. The T1 are on the bright side but closer to neutral, the HD800 are stupidly thin, hollow and bright and IMO don't even classify as "top tier" in anything but retail price. The Lambdas are not perfect but are the closest I have found to neutral yet and as such have become my main headphones.

post #22 of 73

Well, I guess there's no point arguing about what we hear as we all hear differently, but no way would I describe the LCD-2 as "dark". Indeed the feeling I get from them is of brightness and openness, though perhaps more in a visual than aural sense. They're not bright unless the recording is bright, but there's a sense of naturalness and honesty to the sound that suggests sunshine rather than gloom.

 

The only possible explanation for such discrepancy that I can think of is the amp. I'm not a great believer in amps making a huge difference, but I have an Aune Mk1 dedicated and a Marantz SR680 HT amp and the difference is very noticeable, with the Aune being considerably brighter. Have I missed it, EddieE, or have you not yet told us what amp you're using?   

post #23 of 73
Thread Starter 

Well I go by frequency response graph to determine if it's bright or not (since people's subjective hearing can't be taken into account as we need something solid as a reference), here's what I'd call neutral/natural when the highs (4kHz ->)  are no more elevated than the midrange (500Hz ~ 4kHz), like on LCD2 but yea on LCD2 the highrange is actually tiny bit below midrange but it's such a small deviation I wouldn't call them dark.


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 6/12/11 at 9:04am
post #24 of 73

I don't own the LCD-2 but there were several at the big UK meet so listened to them on a range of different amps through the day, none of which altered the frequency response of them at all.

 

And we don't all hear differently, there is no evidence that is anything more than a saying to mean "we all prefer different sounds to each other".

 

The LCD-2 measures flat from bass to mids, but as most transducers do not manage this feat, this actually comes across a powerful sub bass. They certainly have a naturalness of tone through the lower and mid.mids, but the volume starts to drop around the mid-treble area and is definitely attenuated in the treble region.

 

It doesn't sound like real life.

 

Why not try recording the voice of someone you know well and play it back through the LCD-2 and see if you think the tone has not changed for the darker?

post #25 of 73

I don't think it's fair to decry headphone manufacturers for creating headphones that match consumer tastes.  Remember not everyone will enjoy a neutral or slightly dark presentation, preferring a sound that is more on the energetic side.  How many times have we've read of users complaining the HD650 or even the LCD-2 as being too dark or boring?  Even in upper echelon reference headphones, users want not only sonic accuracy but a sound signature that works for them.  It's really all about preference.  For many the HD650, LCD-2, etc. are top options for top sound reproduction, while for others the HD800, D7000, T1, etc. represents top audio quality. 

 

By the way, can a headphone be bright and laid-back at the same time?  I always thought those descriptions were the polar opposite of each other.

post #26 of 73
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital-Pride View Post

By the way, can a headphone be bright and laid-back at the same time?  I always thought those descriptions were the polar opposite of each other.


Well at least for me the terms laid-back vs forward and bright (cold) vs dark (warm) are far from the same or at least that's what I gathered a while ago when discussing this same topic in another thread.

 

bright/dark = frequency response balance related

 

laid-back/forward = soundstage related, has to do with "distance" and positioning. "on-stage" sound = forward, sitting far back in the rows in the crowd in a concert hall kind of sound = laid-back.

 

Laid-back & bright = T1, HD800, typical atributes for "studio monitors" as it often helps with soundstage and transparency.

 

 

 

 


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 6/12/11 at 10:24am
post #27 of 73

If the LCD-2 treble is more reduced than the sennheisers I tired out (hd 595 and hd600), then it is definitely dark, and not very natural sounding.  The 595 and 600 were about as low as I'd go personally for treble.  Both sounded very flat and dull/boring, but they both seemed rather accurate-- except in the sub-bass region, where both seemed rolled off.

 

The only really bad thing I've found with headphones with energetic treble, was that they were very unforgiving to songs that were mastered bright, and especially lots of metal.

 

 

post #28 of 73

Despite being tonally dark, the actual basic sound presentation of the LCD-2 is incredibly naturalistic. It's just the frequency response. No good having a natural frequency response if the basic sound is artificial and grainy like most dynamic headphones are.

 

At least the LCD-2 (and even more so the SR007A) sound real regardless of whether the upper mids and treble are a bit quiet.

 

They are still on a list of headphones I'd definitely consider (and very nearly pulled the trigger on recently). Just feel they would maybe be perfect if you EQed up all the bands beyond 1.2k a notch or two.

post #29 of 73
Thread Starter 

Yea well if we look at a provided frequency response curve (assuming it's accurate, ofc it can always be debated how accurate/realistic the measurements are etc) it's slightly on the darker side but not by much, maybe more "neutral" than dark imo.

 

lcd2fr.jpg

 

It's great that there is something like LCD-2 out there for sure and I'm not suprised why it's so popular among highend headphones as there's not as many alternatives for people with a warm sound preference.


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 6/12/11 at 10:45am
post #30 of 73

Yes they are not "too" dark, just dark rather than neutral or bright. That's all I was saying. 

 

Bear in mind also that there are very few headphones that manage that sort of flatness between the lowest register of audible sound at 20hz upwards - compared to what people are used to, and what producers mix to - that is authoritative sub bass.

 

There's no need to get defensive about the LCD-2 - most people love them including me.

 

I was just objecting to the statement that they were "as neutral as it gets" when, as you now accept, they are darker than that.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Why do expensier headphones generally get brighter and more laid-back?