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Why do people like bass so much?

post #1 of 177
Thread Starter 

"Your headphones suck! (pointing K701) this thing does not have any bass!"

 

*gives him D5000*

 

"OK... it is much better, but still need more bass"

 

 

 

I know, there are such HUGE (yes, capital words for emphasis) market for bassheads, and -not just headphones- many consumer audio devices are tuned for more, more AND more bass.

 

 

No need to look further, here in Head-Fi we have some exotic, super expensive things like Audio Technica L3000 to cheapy Sony XB series. One of the most popular closed headphones in Head-Fi, Audio Technica M50, also have such large amount of bass. Most of Ultrasone headphones have one of the biggest bass you can ever heard on headphones. Not to mention the most popular beyerdynamic headphones, DT770 variants are famous for bass as well.

 

 

Outside of the Head-Fi, the trend is very clear; pretty much all celebrity headphones have such gigantic focus on bass quantity, and most of the headphones are quite bass heavy except perhaps Bose ones (maybe it is one of the reasons Bose headphones lost popularity outside of their noise cancelling lineups?)

 

 

Some people say that's how the sound supposed to be heard like from speakers. I disagree. I don't get such strong bass response from both expensive B&W 700s+Denon setup nor cheap JBL+H&K setup. And if you have ever gone to live concert, the bass on most of consumer-focused headphones is just not normal.

 

 

Yet, there are so many people like bassy headphones, and there is no doubt; I believe majority of people are bassheads. Now the question is, why?

post #2 of 177

Blame the subwoofer.  People enjoy the visceral impact a subwoofer can bring.  I personally don't blame people for wanting more bass from a headphone.  A headphone will never give the type of impact and type of bass a proper speaker setup will give-- even a balanced one, so I don't see anything wrong with wanting above-neutral bass from a headphone to compensate a little.  If a person went to a live kanye concert, and wanted the same type of bass impact in his chest, then he'd probably get a couple subs and crank them up.

 

The white-boxed M50 isn't that bassy, it's a little bit above neutral and extends low, but it isn't very bassy at all.  The same is true for even a Denon.  Believe it or not the D2000 actually has LESS bass than an M50, but why people consider its bass more powerful is because it IS more powerful, it's less bass quantity but more bass impact than the M50.

 

You're comparing the AKGs with their infamous lack of bass with a couple headphones that have just above-neutrla bass, they're nowhere near bass monsters.  The most popular Beyer headphone?  That's the DT880.  If it has less bass than the DT990 but extends lower, then it's pretty neutral in my book.

 

When it all comes down to it though, a headphone will never give speaker-like bass.  There's no doubt a compensation thing at play there when they want bassy headphones.

 

On the music front, there's the issue of not everything being strictly acoustic instruments anymore.  There's no saying 'x amount of bass is accurate' when trying to play a popular rap song with a synthetic bass line.  I could see the fidelity argument holding true for acoustic songs, but on the synthetic front it's free play really.

 


Edited by TMRaven - 9/23/11 at 5:45am
post #3 of 177

It's because we all hear differently. We all have a clear picture on how things "should" sound in our heads, and luckily, there are a vast selection of headphones to choose from for us to nail that sound.

 

As a fellow basshead(with stax, believe it), I reckon bass is the most exciting aspect of music, and it would seem the masses would agree. So it comes to no surprise that it becomes the stereotypical aspect of sound in which the masses judge the audio quality of a product.

post #4 of 177

LOL Who told you Bose aren't bass-heavy?

 

Anyways, people like bass because it's by and large the loudest part of the music (thought not always) and it's the part that you dance to; it's that impact that shakes people out of their normal dreary state and makes them want to effing party ^_^


Edited by Gilly87 - 9/23/11 at 6:41am
post #5 of 177

It just sucks to be in the minority because anyone who wants to make moneys doesn't give a damn about you.

 

Luckily there is Head-Fi :D

post #6 of 177

maybe because it's the easiest thing to hear. 

 

It's much easier to test than, say, treble extension.

And as most people don't care about sound quality, they want something that impress them at the first listen, this thing is bass. 

 

sometimes people don't know what's good and what's not.

post #7 of 177

Cos it's like we can "feel" the bass.

post #8 of 177

OMG BASS BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM-OOOOOOOOOOM-OOOOOOOOOOOM 

 

Sorry, had to do that tongue_smile.gif

 

Generally speaking, most mainstream music is supposed to have a lot of bass but it was cut out in the crappy mastering. So headphones that emphasises the bass actually sounds more neutral with crappy recordings. 

post #9 of 177

Well it's down to taste, to me the average headphone have too little bass presence to what I'm used to hear in my daily life. IE. bassheavy headphones just sound "right" to me. Concerts whatever concert it is has more bass than the average "neutral" headphone, most speakers do (except for laptop/LCD TV built in speakers etc) so that has probably skewed my taste towards thinking bassheavy headphones sound appropriate to me.


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 9/23/11 at 8:46am
post #10 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by deadlylover View Post

We all have a clear picture on how things "should" sound in our heads, and luckily, there are a vast selection of headphones to choose from for us to nail that sound.


I find this attitude rather strange. I'm not trying to be insulting or start a flame war but when I listen to music I try to use as neutral as system as possible so that how things "should" sound is left up to the producer and mastering engineer. When I go to an art gallery I want to see the painting as close to how it was intended to be viewed as possible, I wouldn't wear sunglasses for example. Each to his/her own though, just saying it seems strange to me.

G
post #11 of 177

I agree with that too! When i listen to mainstream music with my HD800s, they sound bass light. But when i listen to something like jazz that's mastered well, I don't get that feeling at all.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Parall3l View Post

 

Generally speaking, most mainstream music is supposed to have a lot of bass but it was cut out in the crappy mastering. So headphones that emphasises the bass actually sounds more neutral with crappy recordings. 



 

post #12 of 177

I've been meaning to start a thread about why Head-fiers love treble so much,

post #13 of 177

Maybe i am in the minority but if there is more bass then neutral i can't stand it and i pull the headphones off my head. The bass drowns out the other frequencies i want to hear. My favorite being treble. Just the aggressive nature of treble is what i like. It makes my music which is metal stand out the way i want it to. I have heard bass heavy headphones and i cannot hear the vocals or guitars that well. And to me those are the most important aspect of my music.

post #14 of 177

Here's another question...why do so many people like treble so much? tongue.gif

 

 

post #15 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post

Here's another question...why do so many people like treble so much? tongue.gif

 

 



Treble for me = Guitars and Vocals

 

Guitars and Vocals for me = music.

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