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Starter's headphone map

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

While I'm no where near an expert, I've spent enough time to get some ideas on how the things are.  Of course, there is a certain level of generalization I've done to make the points, but in overall, I think, it make sense.

 

Those who are new to this hobby if you think about where you fit within those two, you'll have much easier time to understand your own preference.

 

There seems to be 2 main characteristics kind of crossing each other.

 

1. Warm (HD650) vs Clear trebled detail retrieving (K701)

It's the common theme in speaker world as well.  Some people loves warm sound with heavier bass and low mids, whereas others like clear trebled sound.

 

 

2. Lively (Grados and Denons) vs Laid Back (HD 650 and LCD-2)

One person's exciting headphone can be easier other persons ear piercing experience.  The same goes to one's relaxing sound equals to others' boring sound.

 

As an example, I fall into warmer and lively sound side, hence Denon D7000 serves me very well.

post #2 of 21

I get the Grado, but senn and AKG are mixed

 

Here's what I think about for recommendations:

 

Bright: Grado

Warm: ATH, other then M50

Neutral: Lower then HD650 Senn

 

Highs: Senn, preferb HD598 for more brighter

Balanced: AKG k serires, Sony MDR series

Lows: M50, Sony xb series

 

Like Grado sound: Beyer

Best overall: HD650

Most pushed, by me: Fostex T50RP

 

No amp?: M50/SR80i

Amp: T50RP

 

Best budget: MDR-V6

Best starter: SR80i for high, M50 for lows

 

Comfort: MDR-V6

Long time use: HD598

Best studio sound: T50RP

 

 

Good enough?

post #3 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by codeninja View Post

While I'm no where near an expert, I've spent enough time to get some ideas on how the things are.  Of course, there is a certain level of generalization I've done to make the points, but in overall, I think, it make sense.

 

Those who are new to this hobby if you think about where you fit within those two, you'll have much easier time to understand your own preference.

 

There seems to be 2 main characteristics kind of crossing each other.

 

1. Warm (HD650) vs Clear trebled detail retrieving (K701)

It's the common theme in speaker world as well.  Some people loves warm sound with heavier bass and low mids, whereas others like clear trebled sound.

 

 

2. Lively (Grados and Denons) vs Laid Back (HD 650 and LCD-2)

One person's exciting headphone can be easier other persons ear piercing experience.  The same goes to one's relaxing sound equals to others' boring sound.

 

As an example, I fall into warmer and lively sound side, hence Denon D7000 serves me very well.


kind of like a 4 by 4 matrix

 

 

 

 

i just realized your matrix makes no sense!

 

you could use all those words to describe any number of headphones!

 

 


Edited by n-phect - 7/1/11 at 2:44pm
post #4 of 21

if you draw it. they will come

post #5 of 21

I think you're on to something Codeninja.  For many(really most if not all) a better understanding of a headphone's sonic characteristics and their own preferences will go long way in selecting the headphone that will offer the most enjoyment.


Edited by Digital-Pride - 7/2/11 at 7:42am
post #6 of 21

 matrix.jpg

post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by BotByte View Post

I get the Grado, but senn and AKG are mixed

 

Here's what I think about for recommendations:

 

 

Warm: ATH, other then M50

 

 

Balanced: Sony MDR series

 


I get the A 500 through A950LTD, ES/ESW, and older W series (W1000X?), but what about the W5000 and AD series? Haven't heard them personally (I totally wish I've heard the W5000), but AT doesn't seem to really like to be consistent, other than having colored mids for the most part.

 

And what Sony's are balanced? Maybe the 7509, but I felt that was a tiny bit warm when I auditioned them. And the PFR was A bit tipped up. Maybe the CD900ST? Z1000/ZX700? I dunno. Speculations aren't going to help me.

 

But we really should make a chart like n-phect made for newbies. Or update the buying guide. I don't have extensive experience with newer headphones other than a few random ones that I've commented on, so I'm not too much help, but I'll contribute the following.

 

Off the top of my head, I know I've heard way more

Warm: Denon D1000 through D5000 (I can assume the D7000 is warm?), Sony V900HD/7509HD is slightly warm, AKG K81, Koss PortaPro, AT A series other than the A1000 and A2000 (Only heard A500-A900, but it seems the A900Ti, LTD, and A950LTD don't drift too far)

Balanced: AKG K271 (Heck, most AKG's), DT48 with an ideal amp, impedance adapter, and seal, AT AD,

Bright: Skullcandy Aviator, Grado SR60,80, maybe the Sony V6,

Laidback: I'm not sure I've heard too much that's laidback that hasn't been said. I'm totally against a laidback sound, so I never bothered to try much with that type of sound.

 

...I'm totally dropping the ball on this. I'm positive I've heard at least 20 modern headphones. Maybe some sleep will refresh my memory.


Edited by Ishcabible - 7/2/11 at 9:04pm
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by BotByte View Post

I get the Grado, but senn and AKG are mixed

 

Here's what I think about for recommendations:

 

Bright: Grado

Warm: ATH, other then M50

Neutral: Lower then HD650 Senn

 

Highs: Senn, preferb HD598 for more brighter

Balanced: AKG k serires, Sony MDR series

Lows: M50, Sony xb series

 

Like Grado sound: Beyer

Best overall: HD650

Most pushed, by me: Fostex T50RP

 

No amp?: M50/SR80i

Amp: T50RP

 

Best budget: MDR-V6

Best starter: SR80i for high, M50 for lows

 

Comfort: MDR-V6

Long time use: HD598

Best studio sound: T50RP

 

 

Good enough?



Dude. What? I would never describe any of the AD series as warm, which are some of Audio Technica's most popular headphones. None of Sennheisers 5xx are considered neutral. I don't even know what you're saying, but most of it is wrong.

post #9 of 21

 

Quote:
 matrix.jpg

Something like this would actually be incredibly useful. People would obviously disagree on the exact position of any given headphone, but you could get an idea from looking at different positions.

 

It would be great if people reviewing headphones used something like this.

post #10 of 21

matrix2.jpg

i switched laid back and lively, it seemed to fit better.

 

post #11 of 21

matrix1.5.jpg

 

heres pic if anyone wants to mess with it

post #12 of 21

I can't make that graphic make sense to me. What happens to diagonal characteristics? I think of the hd650 as warm and laid back. I think of my grados as detailed and lively.

 

I think that maybe codeninja is looking for something a little more along the lines of lawful good or chaotic neutral. tongue_smile.gif

 

 

post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by acticulated View Post

I can't make that graphic make sense to me. What happens to diagonal characteristics? I think of the hd650 as warm and laid back. I think of my grados as detailed and lively.

 

I think that maybe codeninja is looking for something a little more along the lines of lawful good or chaotic neutral. tongue_smile.gif

 

 

1st quadrant is detailed. Number the others by going counter-clockwise. Warm and laid, if I understand you correctly, would then be right in the line between the 2nd and 3rd quadrant. If you feel they are far from detailed and lively, the dot would be further to the left, on the contrary it would be closer to the middle of the intersecting lines. That's how you would tell apart two headphones you considered to be warm and laid back, but when one is more so than the other.
 

 

post #14 of 21

It makes perfect sense now that the attributes have been rearranged. I started my reply after post 9, and posts 10 and 11 cleared it up for me as you can see by switching the positions of laid back and lively. It is now less convoluted than dungeons and dragons alignment charts so I redact my bad joke.

post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the graph, which I was too lazy to create myself. :)  That's pretty much what I've tried to say.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by n-phect View Post

matrix1.5.jpg

 

heres pic if anyone wants to mess with it



 

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