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How did everyone get into high-end personal sound? (headphones)

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
There seems to be a lot of head-fiers that got into this matter through this site. But what about the ones who discovered it by word of mouth, or by luck?
Tell us your story:

My very first set of aftermarket cans were Sony MDR-V100. They were so uncomfortable and fell apart like mac&cheese. But they sounded good(bright vocals sounded nice and warm) for my portable cassette player except the fact that they lacked any bass! I thought that this was as good headphones get (they got much better, but still don't compare to speakers to me). Then one day, I was out at a music/equipment store looking at laserdiscs. I picked up a Sennheiser MD 735 microphone and some thick store made cable to go along with them for my fathers birthday since he loves karaoke so much. (He now has four of them, with better cables, hehe, he respects and likes high end audio, just isn't a freak like the rest of us). Well anyway, as I was browsing the store for other cool goodies, I ran across a HDCD preview setup with a set of pretty but beefy looking headphones (Sennheiser HD 580) hooked up to some weird a** looking amp with giant fuses sticking out of it (headphone tube amp). Well I put them on, flipped the big switch, and BOOM@~! I almost fell on my a**. I immediately asked the expert there what the hell the setup I was experiencing was. "Is this for real? Damn they sound good! How the hell is this possible coming out of a pair of ear muffs?" He laughs and tells me they're hi-end cans. I still doubted him(for an hour) but that's how I ended up with my first set of audiophile accepted and praised headphones (went and got them two hours after I left the store!) I went back to the same store a few years later, demoed the HD 600, and bought them. I don't go to that store any more, it's too expensive! (They sell at MSRP prices, they have sales, but never the top of the line equipment) I order online now. =)

Note, if there's any confusion, I was an audiofreak for dynamic speakers prior to my headphone renaissance.
post #2 of 42
Basically, after years of growing up with cheap $10 tin cans falling apart i got sick n tired of them and bought some denon cans when i worked at a electronic store. The discount shaved off $30 on the Denon AHD-350's. I went thru 3 pairs within 2 years since they were total crap, built wise. Then i settled for the entry level 210's which died on me after a year. I actually gave up for a while and bought Sony 150's, which were crap in a shoebox. FINALLY, i found headwize, goodcans and then head-fi...i grabbed the Grado Sr60's....and the rest, as they say, is history.


Ps. well, its actually: 3xGrados, 1Xdenon, 1xSony, 1xAkg, 1xRoland...and i really want a pair of Beyer cans!
post #3 of 42
I can safely blame my younger brother for making a head-fi monster out of me.

Since the beginning of the MP3 craze, I've been listening to them and dreaming of the my very own MP3 PCDP. Music was more functional for me, I kept me from falling asleep pulling all nighters and when I went to work.

In the mean time, my brother forked out almost $200 CDN for a pair of HD575's and suddenly started complaining about the awful quality of his music collection, constantly re-encoding his CDs, tweaking his equalizer and sitting around in a spaced out stupour with his cans. My family and I collectively shook our heads -- "Man, who would spend $200 on a pair of headphones and listen to them day and night? " Although, I was surprised at how much fuller the music sounded compared to my washed out ear buds, I remained skeptical. At the time, I had my own priorities and obsessions like shelling out $2000 for an obscure Operating System (thankfully, when the company's owner found out a university kid forked out the $$$ for his OS, he arranged for a full refund (and an interview) ).

Fast forward to the fall of 2000 and I'm interning 1 Infinite Loop working on another less obscure OS when my ear buds finally croak. Dialling up my brother the "audio expert" for suggestions on replacement earbuds, he recommended a pair of $400+ ear buds! "WHAT!!! Who'd pay that much for a pair of ear buds... EAR BUDS!!!! " So, I biked out to the local Target and got another set of sport headphones.

Little did he know, but the seeds were sown. Intrigued, I started reading and re-reading the specs and rave reviews.... "Hrm... 25dB of isolation... that would come in handy for plane rides and the continuous stream of fire trucks that pass by my place every night."

A year later, back in the frigid north with a nice comfy computer job (at the same company that made that $2000 OS), I finally gave in. I forked out the cash, plugged in my ER4Ss and put on some Diana Krall... I WAS ABSOLUTELY *FLOORED*. For the first time, I heard the subtle harmonic echoing of the strings in her piano after each key stroke! Her piano! It was slightly biased to the left when she played low notes and to the right for high ones! WOW!!!!

Now, after joining head-fi for a whole week, I've squandered my Christmas budget on a pair of HD600 and placed orders for a Porta CORDA, Clou Reds and an Airbag. I now suddenly have the urge to sample reference speakers and plan out a home entertainment centre. You people (and my brother) are a real *horrible* influence on me!

Yeah... I know, I owe my little brother big time!
post #4 of 42
Originally posted by dlow
Yeah... I know, I owe my little brother big time!
Give your brother a hug, he deserves it!

post #5 of 42
Okay, so I was happily listening to my street styles... one day I got glasses and suddenly my street styles inflicted excessive amounts of pain on me. I needed earbuds. A quick search led me to Headwize's resource on earbuds and it convinced me to pick up the Sony MDR-E848 (yeah! something needs an update...). Well, then I discovered that there were forums (hah, who would have thought!) on headwize. Bam! Then it all started... with Grado SR-80s as my first real cans.
post #6 of 42
It all started when I hated the sound from my PCDP headphones. I just wanted one of them big-ass phones I see DJs wear. So I bought what I liked when I auditioned phones at the GoodGuys (should've brought my own CDs). I ended up buying a set of Denon AH-D550s. Basically because I couldn't hear that much outside of them (I had to fly on airplanes a lot so I liked phones that isolated) and it accurately played a rendition of spanish guitar. Build quality was pretty ****ty. Phones were on clearance for 70$ and the clips that held the actual cans in place broke off. A new set of clamps was 30 dollars and i was tired of the tabs slipping off of my zip-ties. So I came here to remedy the situation. Ended up ordering a pair of V6s, a JMT CHA-47, KSC-35s, and I'm waiting for the right time to order the ER-6s that i "NEED" after reading this site for so long. I also started wanting an Ipod, then a PJB-100, now possibly the Rio Riot. DAMN YOU GUYS!!!!!!!!!!!!

thanks guys.
post #7 of 42
Long before Head-Fi (and HeadWize), I had nothing better than my Sony MDR-V6's (the crappo MDR-V600's and the so-so MDR-V900's don't compare to the sound of the MDR-V6's). The only pairs of "mini" headphones I have owned that even came came close were the Realistic (RadioShack) Pro-25's and the Koss Porta Pros. And among earbuds, the only good-sounding ones that I've heard (again, before joining HeadWizeFi) were (and still are) my Sony MDR-E888LP (bought that pair a little over three months before joining HeadWize, and 11 months before Head-Fi was launched). But since joining HeadWize, look what noteworthy headphones that I have bought:

Grado SR-60
Sennheiser HD 590
Sony MDR-CD1700 (later sold to redshifter)
Koss KSC-50
Sony MDR-7506 (later sold to MikeR17)

And I bought another three noteworthy (to me) headphones/earbuds since Head-Fi was launched:

Sennheiser MX 500
Grado SR-80
and my newest purchase, the Koss KSC-35

And before I had even bought my MDR-V6's nearly 12 years ago, I was a "Duh!-m-Bass" who kept turning the BASS knob all the way up!!
post #8 of 42
Well, it all started back when I got my Nomad II Mg mp3 player. The headphones that came with it were complete crap and I was interested in getting a nicer pair. So a quick search led me to HeadWize and that's when it all began. I quickly ordered the Grado SR-60 and the Sony V6 due to all of the recommendations for these phones. To make a long story short, I didn't like the Grados very much and ended up keeping the V6's for a little while (my friend eventually lost these which is why I bought Eagle_Driver's 7506's off him, thanks again!!). Since then, I've bought and sold probably around ten pairs of headphones because of you people!! You guys have a terrible effect on my wallet!! Oh well, I'm still searching for the perfect headphones/amp for me.
post #9 of 42
I started when I discovered this forum. That was only 4 months ago and I've already spent almost $300.00 on these stuff. I can't stop myself from getting more and more involve in this.

Thanks guys for preaching me on how to spend my money.
post #10 of 42
I don't wanna talk about it
post #11 of 42
Originally posted by Neruda
I don't wanna talk about it
C'mon. You'll feel better...

Besides, if you dont we'll just go back and read all posts by Neruda in that time period and find out anyway.
post #12 of 42
lol, i was actually because my crapo airline headphones finally fell apart

(yeah, thats it, fell apart...i couldnt have mutilated them or anything )

Then I finally cleaned out my bank account and got some Er-6 (thats how poor i am) Im working my way up to something electrostatic.
post #13 of 42
Neruda, I understand why you don't want to talk about it, . I've been on this forum for less than two months. I've already blown about 125 dollars, I'm ordering an ER6 very soon, and I hope I don't end up listening to you guys and buying the PJB-100 for another 400$, hahaha
post #14 of 42
well, first time was a while back. I got the JVC micro for my birtday and figured there should be some headphones to go with it. saw the HD200 in the store, so I did a bit of research. nosed around at Headwize (typed 'headphone' in altavista and the first site was Headwize, the second one Headroom ), read Todd's positive review, and got em the next day. being used to Sony Groove earbuds, I was floored! listened happily to them for about two years (the micro's speakers were used a total of fifteen minutes in that period, I think ).

then, about 13 months ago, my earbuds broke down, and the guy at the store recommended the Senn mx500. being a bit sceptical I went with (my last) pair of Sony buds, they developed a rattle within a week. intrigued by the Senn buds, I nosed around and Headwize, and reading all praise, I went for the mx500. well, they were better than the HD200, so I decided to sign up on Headwize and see what this was all about

for some reason, I figured I needed better headphones than the mx500, so it cost me a few bucks to find out I didn't, but hell, I like it here
post #15 of 42
Got into better sound back in elementary school, early '50s. Built a little 3-5 watt SE amp, hooked to Electro-Voice coax 12" speaker in a home made cabinet my father built. Not enough power so I built a push-pull 10 watt. My father was generous with cash. These amps used about $10 to $20 worth of parts, over a $100 in todays dollars. Played with home-built and kit stuff all through high school. All tubes of course. Playing 45's and LP's on British 'tables, can't remember brand. Old-Timers disease.

Have had some type of system ever since, quality varying depending on employment status.

Had to do a 3 month construction job in West by God Forsaken Virginia in '95, so I got a Kenwood pcdp with car kit so I could listen to CD's in the car on the trip from Orlando. Of course the 'phones that came with it sucked, so I got a pair of Aiwa's at CC. Didn't know cans could possibly sound better.

SO and I built our retirement/dream home in St. Augustine, and she wanted to watch the news in the living room, big TV, didn't really care about rest of system, while I wanted to watch stuff on SciFi. Looked on Audio Adviser and got DSP360/HD535 combo. Sort of disapointed, although a lot better than Aiwa's.

Found Headroom, bit the bullet and got HD600's and TA. Domestic and Audio bliss.

Later this year will probably get a tube amp for HD600's. Found another priority though. Mercury Marauder. My new bass boat will have to wait.
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