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Comfortable, open, flat/neutral, highly detailed and resolving headphones? (< ~$500) - Page 7

post #91 of 105


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ac500 View Post
Sanity: That's what I thought. That's why I'm kind of curious to hear from people who've heard both, it's too bad it seems there are very few comparisons between the SRH940 and DT880. The only one I could find said they're very similar in signature, except the SRH940 is better quality sound and the DT880 is vastly better comfort.


"Better quality", and even comfort are rather subjective, unless there is a clear big difference. Different people look for different aspects of the sound to judge quality. If possible, you should probably just try both, and decide which one is better yourself.

 

post #92 of 105

  

Quote:
Originally Posted by liamstrain View Post

Get a decent vintage receiver ($100 - you can find a Harman Kardon 430 for under $75) and the SRD-7 ($150 or less) - that plus the well priced Pro's out there should keep you right around $500 for a fantastic rig. 

 

SRD-7s are Normal bias-only without modification (save for a few rare variants), which would result in an underdriven Lambda Pro...are you sure that would still sound good?

 

If so, I might as well start shopping for some Pro bias sets already in spite of only having an SRD-7/SB (again, only two Normal bias jacks).

post #93 of 105

My understanding was since they use the power output from the amp - the normal bias should be a non-issue (they are not a power amp)...  I'll have to check and see what the specs were are on the set I got rid of ten years ago (before I knew better). Maybe I had a variant. 

post #94 of 105
Thread Starter 

Well all the Stax from the buy/sell forum already sold it seems, so nevermind that I guess. Also I don't have a speaker amp so using a "energizer" doesn't seem like it would work well anyway.

 

Also I disagree that sound quality is subjective. As long as we can objectively define various areas of sound quality, then logically it must be objectively quantifiable. It may be subjective as to which coloration or sound signature you prefer, but not the sound quality observations themself.

post #95 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by ac500 View Post
Also I disagree that sound quality is subjective. As long as we can objectively define various areas of sound quality, then logically it must be objectively quantifiable. It may be subjective as to which coloration or sound signature you prefer, but not the sound quality observations themself.


What makes it subjective is that it is not a measurable single dimension quantity, and when making the comparison in every possible aspect gives mixed results, some weighting has to be applied to get an overall "quality" that can be compared, and this will include personal bias in the absence of an universally agreed standard.

Additionally, listening tests are inherently subjective to begin with, and the same headphone may not even sound exactly the same to different people, because everyone has ears and head of different size and shape, which will interact differently with the acoustics of the headphone.

Graphs are not fully reliable either, because of the difficulty of measuring headphones (especially the frequency response) accurately with a dummy head. If you look at the frequency response graphs of the same headphone from different sources, they are often very different, and what you hear when actually trying it could be different again.

Sticking with the SRH-940 and DT880 as an example, which one of these two sets of graphs at here and here is better objectively, and why (keeping in mind the known unreliability of graphs as well) ?

 


Edited by stv014 - 11/14/11 at 9:54am
post #96 of 105
Thread Starter 

We can measure quantities with characteristics of infinite dimensionality scientifically, so why not with headphones too? :P

 

> some weighting has to be applied to get an overall "quality" that can be compared

 

Of course.

 

> and this will include personal bias in the absence of an universally agreed standard.

 

I already described my sound signature preferences in this thread and what I'm looking for.

post #97 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by ac500 View Post

We can measure quantities with characteristics of infinite dimensionality scientifically, so why not with headphones too? :P

 

I did not refer to dimensionality as a problem by itself, only that to make a simple "greater than"/"less than" comparison, we need two single-dimensional, real numbers in the end (i.e. something like headphone A has an overall quality of 1.738, while B is 1.925), and that making reliable measurements (whether by ears or instruments) is not without practical difficulties.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by ac500 View Post

I already described my sound signature preferences in this thread and what I'm looking for.


Well, if it is down to preferences after all, it is probably best to just try the available options as I suggested originally normal_smile%20.gif

 

post #98 of 105
Thread Starter 

Sadly though I do not have infinite money at the moment and there are no meets in my area.

post #99 of 105

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ac500 View Post

Well all the Stax from the buy/sell forum already sold it seems, so nevermind that I guess. Also I don't have a speaker amp so using a "energizer" doesn't seem like it would work well anyway.

 

Also I disagree that sound quality is subjective. As long as we can objectively define various areas of sound quality, then logically it must be objectively quantifiable. It may be subjective as to which coloration or sound signature you prefer, but not the sound quality observations themself.


You're still thinking in terms of better/worse.  "better" is absolutely subjective and is the most useless word on this whole forum.  There are certain things that can be measured, but it's usually not that objective becasue we don't know how to measure headphones very well.  There are very limited things we know how to measure and we're not good at doing those measurements in a very accurate or consistent way.  Which is why you can't compare even FR graphs done by different people. 

 

The best measurements I've seen are Purrin's (see his CSD Waterfall Plot thread in the headphone forum) and Tyll Hertsen's (see innerfidelity.com) but those are still limited.  Purrin has measured a number of headphones that sound better than his plots suggest and also phones that sound worse. 

 

"Better" is subjective because there is no perfect headphone, or anywhere near perfect.  Every headphone has artifacts in it's presentation that color the sound signal in a different way.  There are a very few cases where a headphone is better than another because it actually has fewer flaws all the way around.  But almost always, it's a matter of choosing which flaws are important to you.  Some people prefer the HD650 to the HD800 because despite the many technical superiorities of the HD800, it has elevated treble and if that is really bothersome for someone, the HD650 still might sound better.

post #100 of 105
Thread Starter 

If that was completely true, then you could argue that to some, iBuds are vastly better sound quality, resolution, detail, etc than LCD-3s.

 

But you can't, and you don't. So sound quality, resolution, detail, etc. is in fact objective down to some margin of error, and thus is in some way quantifiable in theory even if we have no way of assigning numbers currently.

post #101 of 105

Yes, but how often is someone choosing between ibuds and an LCD-3?  There are certain times when one headphone is better than another, but no one is ever seriously choosing between two headphones like that on this site.  For the vast majority of comparisons on head-fi there is no better or worse, you have to pick your poison and pick your strengths. 

post #102 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhythmdevils View Post

Yes, but how often is someone choosing between ibuds and an LCD-3?  There are certain times when one headphone is better than another, but no one is ever seriously choosing between two headphones like that on this site.  For the vast majority of comparisons on head-fi there is no better or worse, you have to pick your poison and pick your strengths. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhythmdevils View Post

 


You're still thinking in terms of better/worse.  "better" is absolutely subjective and is the most useless word on this whole forum. 

Agreed.

post #103 of 105
Thread Starter 

I don't think it's so hard to EQ two headphones flat then make the observation that headphone B has better treble than headphone A.

 

Anyway it would be nice to get back to the topic. I suppose Stax excluded, a DT880 would be my best bet under the price range. Maybe I should just save up though and go for a used Sennheiser HD800 or something?

post #104 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by ac500 View Post

I don't think it's so hard to EQ two headphones flat then make the observation that headphone B has better treble than headphone A.

 

Not wanting to prolong the "off topic" however your above quote is evidence of how useless the word "better" is.  You state that you can EQ two headphones flat, and then determine which one has the "better" treble, but what's missing is agrement or common understanding on what "better" treble is.  More, extended, focussed, highlighted, clear, peircing, sibilant; the asumption is that everyone agrees what better treble is.  That is why "better" is useless, as it doesn't describe what people actually mean. 

post #105 of 105
Thread Starter 

Well, it's a fun conversation, so might as well enjoy a stimulating debate as much as you like, so I guess I don't mind off-topic :)

 

Anyway, in my experience: No matter who you are, if you listen to EQed HD650s and SRH940s, it's clear that the SRH940s treble is a league ahead of the HD650 (clearer, more detailed, more clean, fast, less or same siblance). Similarly it's also clear that the HD650 bass impact is a league ahead of the SRH940 (stronger, more energy, smoother, more dynamic range, etc. although a bit slower and muddy). Sure, neither headphone is better overall because they have different strengths and weaknesses, but it's stupid to say that neither is better or worse in any area. The SRH940 dominates in treble and detail, and the HD650 dominates in bass, and not a single person who has heard them both would say otherwise. It's just not a subjective thing. You don't have people saying "Wow this SRH940 has head-shaking bass vs the HD650!" or "Wow this HD650 has beautiful highs vs the SRH940", because that's just not true.

 

> More, extended, focussed, highlighted, clear, peircing, sibilant; the asumption is that everyone agrees what better treble is.  

 

Huh? Siblance = bad. Piercing = bad. Clear = good. Extended/focussed/hilighted all seem properties of the sound signature / FR response, which is why I mentioned EQing first before comparing. It's way too hard as a human to compare headphones with different FR responses, so the only way to compare is to EQ one to sound like the other, and vice versa.

 

Obviously you can't just EQ one to sound like the other and expect that to reveal everything, of course. I EQ one to sound like the other, then vice versa, then EQ both to sound like a middle-ground of both sound signatures, then EQ both to be pretty much as FR-flat as I can make them. In ALL of these four types of tests comparing my HD650s with SRH940s for example, I detect the same strengths and weaknesses I mentioned above.

 

Once again, this certainly doesn't make the SRH940 "better" than the HD650 just because it's more detailed. The HD650's excellent lower end makes it a very nice warm musical headphone when I'm not feeling like listening analytically, or watching movies. The SRH940 has its place where its treble, mids, and detail superiority make it my headphone of choice. The point though is that you can identify better treble, or bass, etc., and it happens that headphones in the same price range do have differing strengths in each area.


Edited by ac500 - 11/14/11 at 5:24pm
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