Originally Posted by catscratch
I should explain something.
I don't really think "fun" has as much to do with headphones as it does with mindset. I find that my enjoyment of music varies far more from day to day and mood to mood than it does with gear to gear. When I'm in the right mood, I can listen to laptop speakers and still be moved by the music since my mind fills in the gaps where the system lacks. And on the flipside, when I'm in the wrong mood any piece of gear will sound wrong, and the more insistent it is with its presentation the more grating and annoying it becomes. Plus, there's a whole load of physiological factors that are in play here - even a small change in blood pressure will physically affect my perception of sound, and the same rig will sound very different at different times, and certainly will vary wildly in enjoyment.
I also don't really understand what "fun" means per se; there's accurate sound and there's inaccurate sound. Accurate sound is very different from the common notion on HF, and neutral doesn't mean cold, analytical, or dry. Real live music has warmth, it has saturated tone colors, it has lushness and impact. Stand next to a drum kit and tell me that the cymbals don't sizzle or that the kick drums don't slam; listen to a live sax and tell me it's not lush, or a live harp and say it's not ethereal. There's so much vivid life in real music that any system that fails to capture that is by definition inaccurate. I've heard some of the finest and most accurate speaker systems in the world, and guess what - they were extraordinarily musical and involving. Which is why sound that I've found the most musical has usually also been the most accurate - emotion is inherent in the music and failure to capture it is inaccuracy.
So all this talk about fun and excess bass and all that is just silly to me.TL;DR I hate fun, happiness, and kittens... I had fun once... it sucked and I didn't like it! Also Cat, drink less before you post...
I respect your opinion and agree with you to some degree. The way we react to music depends on our mood indeed, but there's no running away from the fact that no matter what mood you're in, sometimes gear can change it, at least for me. Music made me laugh when I was feeling down with HD212's, with HD650's, its complete opposite. No matter how pumped up I am to listen to some tunes, once I put them on and play the music, serious face comes on and I just sit and listen, without being excited or engaged.
I mean, yesterday for example, a situation which made me start this thread in the first place happened, and made me realize something about my headphones. I was listening to a stereo system in my room which consists of Monitor Audio RX1 speakers and Yamaha A-S700 amplifier. Its is a really fun, musical and engaging system, it makes all music feel very lively. I was listening to some Dire Straits, and was really excited, jumping around like an idiot and playing air guitar and drums... .
However, my room mates came back from collage and I had to switch to HD650's to not bother them with noise. My excitement sort of vanished in a couple of seconds with HD650's, because they simply sounded boring and not engaging or lively at all, they just manage to take all the fun and excitement away. That's what I mean by fun / engaging sounding headphones or boring / dull / distanced sounding ones, and HD650's are DEFINITELY boring. I knew that since I bought them, but I guess I subconsciously forced myself to like them until now. Anyway, I'll most probably replace them with Beyer DT990, Denon D2000, Philips Fidelio L1 or Grado SR325, but I have to try those first, they don't look very comfortable.
Edited by derbigpr - 2/2/12 at 7:26am