Great way of putting it! I agree. I think I've kinda topped out the significant gains, and from here on out... I mean, like I said, the Denons sounded great, and so did the HD800s, but frankly for my listening habits I don't see a need to spring more unless I just have money coming out my ears.
My post was to hopefully let other M100 owners know where the product sits in terms of the overall spectrum and either ease some minds (if they're looking up the price chain) or pique curiosity.
Of all my past and present cans the m100 still remains in the family for an exceptionally good reason.
The m50's hit a sweet spot in "the signature" of the sound.
This supercedes the fact that it is bass heavy or treble edgy or not as clear as the top cans simply because you can ENJOY the music thru them.
It is easy for the brain to adjust to their signature sound.
I had earlier said I believed they had some burn in. This post definitely left me re-thinking that. I wonder if that's how people get to thinking headphones are imbalanced one way or another: they adjust to a given headphone's sound signature. Like if I spent a few weeks on a pair of Grados would I think the M100s are a bloated bassy mess?
Yes once your brain adjusts to a certain can signature, you will notice this effect.
The trick is finding the can that you can most easily adjust to. .
You realize by comparing two completely different headphones, you already jeopardized your opinion on the matter. I've done double blind tests with about 15 different headphones (having worked in a headphone shop for about 2 years) and can tell you that the adaptation to sound has a far greater impact on how one perceives the sound than actual physical changes of the headphone.
Also, keep in mind I am not suggesting that it doesn't exist at all, just that most of the time, when people say they experience "burn in" it is just their mind getting used to a new headphone's sound. Even Tyll has studied it and his tests has shown the phenomenon to be inconclusive. There are changes in the driver, but the questions then become "are these changes within the threshold of human perception" and "can this be consistently obtained." Naturally all headphones will have some physical changes and even the smallest things can have impact on sound (also I'd put good money on the answer to the latter question being "no"). The XL pads change the sound inherently by measurement, however that does not mean that everyone can hear them, and even some that BELIEVE they can hear them can just be experiencing the placebo effect.
Btw, I can't remember every headphone I did those DBX tests with, but one of the few I could consistently hear a difference in was the HE-400. Inconsistently was, coincidentally, the PX100-IIs. The M-100s, M-80s, the Momentums, 598s, TMA-1s all just didn't change. I hear more of a change from the XL pads than I heard between my personal pair and a brand new out of box pair of M-100s.
1- BRAIN BURN
2- DRIVER BURN
BOTH EXIST APART FROM EACH OTHER!!
Regardless of how much the mind played on influence the perception, and magnify it..
The difference was still there (!)
The human ear is the greatest living sound perceiving measuring tool..!!
Yes the mind is ALWAYS filtering the sound(!)
Like background noise disappears when your listening to someone talk or when your sleeping in a noisy place yet still awake to your name being called (like a classroom lol)
Soo what can we do?
Accept your perceptions and try to realize the mind can play tricks of placebo, or focus BUT
If Placibo helps your mind enjoy that more expensive item, then it is a REAL enjoyment!!
Edited by Maxx134 - 3/15/14 at 3:41pm