Originally Posted by dcfac73
However, your suggestion that people who recommend the m50 don't know any better is quite elitist and insulting, and wouldn't explain it's popularity anyway. It's also a fairly typical attitude on Headfi, where some are ridiculed for their taste in cans (eg Dr Dre Beats).
I still don't think you're quite understanding the gist of what I said. I didn't say that people who recommend the M50 "don't know any better"; I said that those who have the most experience tend to recommend a wider array than just the M50, whereas those who have just owned the M50 tend to recommend it blindly. This is a phenomenon with any pair of headphones that's popular as an entry into the audiophile world, but its effects are especially acute with the M50. Since the M50 remains one of the most popular headphones on the market, it gets recommended over and over by people who've heard little else in perpetuity.
There's a distinction to be made between the implication that people who recommend the M50 don't know better (which I didn't say and don't believe), and the assertion that those who have owned a wider array of gear tend not to recommend it as much in the price range (which is what I did say). If I had meant that anyone who recommends the M50 to new users doesn't know any better, I would be shooting myself in the foot. I recommend it quite often myself, for those who I think would like it. However, I also recommend models from Ultrasone, Fischer, Beyerdynamic, and a bevy of other brands, since I have that experience with multiple pairs of headphones in that price range and know that they would suit certain people's tastes better.
The popularity of the M50 has almost like a perpetual motion machine, which gets back to the first couple paragraphs of my original post. A huge portion of posts in recommendations threads come from those who are just starting to get into the hobby, people who blindly recommend their one pair of high-end headphones without really taking into account the needs of the original poster in each circumstance. Since the M50 was so universally popular from about 2008 to 2012 with little good competition in the category, almost every single recommendation thread was populated with 100+ Head-Fi'ers saying that the M50 was unbeatable. It didn't matter if the original poster wanted something bassier, something more comfortable, or just didn't like the looks of the studio monitor. The M50 was always one of the first and most common recommendations.
When this thread was first posted more than two years ago, the tide was just starting to turn, and its original text is actually fairly outdated by now. Since I first made the original post, the wave of M50 recommendations has gone from the level of insanity to a much more reasonable level. If you go to platforms like Reddit and Quora they'll still be recommended in the manner I discussed, but on Head-Fi there's a lot more balance nowadays. Due to the new competitors and factors I discussed and predicted in 2012, recommendations have broadened over time. Additionally, the shift from individual recommendation threads to a single master thread has helped, too, with various experienced members of the forum constantly there to help guide new users.
I'm not here to pick a fight; I just wanted to explain my reasoning. I did not mean to come off as "elitist"; I meant to put forth the reasonable assumption that those who have had a wider array of headphones will generally recommend a wider array of headphones. It's a simple concept, but I must not have stated it as clearly as I could have. Everyone has a valid opinion, but those who recommend the M50 (or any other headphone) without having heard the competition don't have as much weight as somebody giving a recommendation after years in the hobby and dozens of headphones bought and sold.