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How much is too much to buy headphones?

post #1 of 77
Thread Starter 

Alright, i have this little argument with a friend. He thinks that spending more than $50 for headphones is not really worth it. But, i think that for around a $100, you can get great sound quality and after about $110-$120, it's not really worth it. I know there are audiophiles out there than spend thousands on headphones and honestly, i think they're kind of crazy. If you buy a good $100 pair of hp's and this guy buys a $1,000 pair of hp's, are the $1k hp's going to be 10 times better than the $100 hp's. Personally, i don't think they would be, but, i have not tried $1k hp's before so i can't say for sure. 

 

So, i am thinking about spending $100 on these headphones, A-T ath a55's (discontinued model). And my friend bought the A-T ath t400 for about $50. What i'm worried about is that i will spend $100 and get the hp's, and they turn out to be just a tad bit better than the hp's that my friend bought for half the price. So, if anybody has any experience with either of the hp's i mentioned, are the ath a55's going to be twice as good as the ath at400? And what's the difference between ath a55's and the ath a500/a700?

 

Also, what is the max. amount you would/have spend on headphones? And how much do you think people should spend for headphone?

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

post #2 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nizi123 View Post

Alright, i have this little argument with a friend. He thinks that spending more than $50 for headphones is not really worth it. But, i think that for around a $100, you can get great sound quality and after about $110-$120, it's not really worth it. I know there are audiophiles out there than spend thousands on headphones and honestly, i think they're kind of crazy. If you buy a good $100 pair of hp's and this guy buys a $1,000 pair of hp's, are the $1k hp's going to be 10 times better than the $100 hp's. Personally, i don't think they would be, but, i have not tried $1k hp's before so i can't say for sure. 

 

So, i am thinking about spending $100 on these headphones, A-T ath a55's (discontinued model). And my friend bought the A-T ath t400 for about $50. What i'm worried about is that i will spend $100 and get the hp's, and they turn out to be just a tad bit better than the hp's that my friend bought for half the price. So, if anybody has any experience with either of the hp's i mentioned, are the ath a55's going to be twice as good as the ath at400? And what's the difference between ath a55's and the ath a500/a700?

 

Also, what is the max. amount you would/have spend on headphones? And how much do you think people should spend for headphone?

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 


 Sonic improvement in this hobby is generally relative to an exponential increase in spend - it matters for some people

 and it does not for others - everyone is different.

 

 It also fundamentally comes down to what you listen to - if you listen to current mainstream pop recordings then

 you'll cap out pretty quickly, I'd say $300-$500 approx. is probably a good price ceiling - if on the other hand 

 you listen to reference quality jazz, world music and classical recordings - the gains are there for a top end

 rig.

 

post #3 of 77

Can't wait for the interesting responses on this one. Haha

 

Personally i've spent $300 at most on my phones, but i get them on sale, they're around $500-600 regularly. It's probably not the max i would spend, since there are some phones out there that are amazing when partnered with a good amp.

 

As for what i think people should spend, i'm in no position to say. Spend what it's wort to you, and not a penny more. Some people need to have the best, some people will justify their $5000 phones, To them its worth it, they want the best sound possible.

 

There are many members that i've seen in my short time here that have more money invested in their rigs than i do in my car, and i'm not exactly driving around a '92 Celica that's rolled over twice and has four flat tires.

post #4 of 77

Only your own ears and wallet can determine that answer.

 

After a certain point you pay a lot for a small improvement. I have spent from $50 to $500 for headphones, finding that my ceiling is about $200 - $300. Beyond that point I was not pleased with the increase in cost vs sound quality improvement.

Then again my ears are getting older k701smile.gif


Edited by NiceCans - 2/11/12 at 2:44pm
post #5 of 77
Thread Starter 

So where is the point when you stop paying for the sound quality and start paying more for the brand? (like the beats by dre crap).

post #6 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nizi123 View Post

Also, what is the max. amount you would/have spend on headphones? And how much do you think people should spend for headphone?

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

Too much.

 

You should spend an amount proportional to your ability relative to your enthusiasm for it.

 

Headphones are not expensive honestly. You get incredible high fidelity in them for a very low price compared to actual nice speaker setups.

 

Very best,
 

 

post #7 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nizi123 View Post

So where is the point when you stop paying for the sound quality and start paying more for the brand? (like the beats by dre crap).



There isn't one, except in headphones like Beats, which aren't highly regarded here for that reason.

 

Companies that make good headphones have no reason to inflate prices based on brand since most produce so many different models at separate price points, it's pretty much nonexistent.

 

I'm sure there's another reason, but in reputable, well-regarded brands, there is a negligible amount of brand-price inflation

post #8 of 77
Thread Starter 

So you're saying that a pair of $100 A-T's are going to be 2 times better than a $50 pair of A-T's? I'm more than willing to spend $100 if it's worth it. I have not spent more than $30 on hp's so far and i want to see what i'm missing out on.

post #9 of 77

It all depends...

It seems to me that headphones and speakers are the elements which considerably benefit from better materials, work and expense on R&D, -- probably more so that purely electronic part(s) of the playback chain.

I gave my daughter  (soon to turn 12) Koss PortaPro, and I offered her access to Sennheiser HD 515, CAL! and Sony V6, - if smth. will happen to the phones, I will suggest her to be more careful next time, but that won't be a big deal. All those phones have their strengths and good uses, but none would be badly missed.

For the gym I stopped at HD 25 Adidas, as I did not feel comfortable using there anything more fragile/ more difficult to repair  (although I tried one time each beyerdynamic DT 1350 and t5p - the first when I was still undecided which ones to use, and the second when I had left HD 25 at home). Important point for this application is that HD 25 do stay put on my head, and they sound very well with the music I listen to while on a veloergometer.

For going on a mission, I prefer beyer DT 1350, as I like their sound better with a wider variety of material, and they have a very good bag, - and are not as expensive as the next two.

For a sufficiently predictable environment, I am undecided between beyer T5P and Ultrasone Ed. 8. I use either of those whenever it is an option -- as they DO sound better.

Now if you do not hear the difference or if you prefer particular headphones which happen to cost ~100 USD, just stick to those. You may or may not change your mind in the future, just enjoy the phones which you like now, - and do not spend on your headphones amounts which make you feel uncomfortable as that leads to second thoughts and buyers remorse.

post #10 of 77

I'm pretty sure that you buy things that I would think are absurdly expensive and not worth it at all. 

 

Everyone has a different opinion and we all value things differently.

 

Once you sit down and listen to $300+ headphones, I'm pretty sure you will think that they are worth it. :)

post #11 of 77

Haha I have never owned headphones that cost over $20. In fact the ones I have are actually earbuds that come with the iphone so i guess they are technically free. I am looking to jump to $200 headphones like the Sennheiser HD25-1 II though. Hopefully I'll notice a good enough difference.


Edited by Fullmetalx - 2/11/12 at 3:34pm
post #12 of 77
It depends a lot on how much the sonic properties of your current headphones bug you. If you've only ever had 30$ headphones, you'll notice a huge difference between those and the 1000$ headphones, though, they might sound very similar to 100$ headphones right off the bat because you're not used to it.
post #13 of 77

You probably will hear a difference.

 

Chances are you're gonna want more and more and more after that. I went from spending $0 to $10 to 60$ to 100$ to $500 on my headphones. My next purchase will be around $700-$1000.

 

I also started listening to different genres of music once I bought more expensive gear and once I started really hearing just how amazing any music genre could sound. 


Edited by davidgotsa - 2/11/12 at 3:40pm
post #14 of 77

You're no doubt looking at this from a Childs Point of View, if you're only earning a few dollars a week then $100 is a lot of money. The other side of the coin is knowing how much something is worth to you, a headphone costing 10x more than another isn't going to be 10x better. It's those little incremental additions that make small changes to your audio that are worth it to many. Likewise you can take pictures for free these days with the use of Cell phones, I just spent $3k on a new camera setup which would be absurd to some. Also take cars into consideration, we don't all drive the cheapest, most affordable car even though they all go the speed limit.

post #15 of 77

It really depends on what you are listening to..

If you do listen to normal modern genres, you don't need too fancy headphones.

 

Classical is another stuff.

They just want good flat headphones, so that it sounds natural.

 

 

I personally don't regret getting my Denon AH-D2000s.

They are just nice and match like everything in their price range.

 

The D5000s aren't too much worth it for normal listeners.. just because the differences are not that big.

But for others those extra mids in the D5000 would round up the sound of them completely.

 

Generally you are right.. you get some big step up to a certain price..

After that the differences are usually tiny and the price difference is huge.

 

 

But ye, i also got 300€ Logitech z5500 speakers.. they were really worth it to me aswell.

While other people said to me that i am crazy spending so much on them.

Though from my side they are just wrong as they are just awsome for that price.

Awsome quality, amazing power, strong subwoofer for my bass needs (too much for my neighbours though), 5.1, decoder, many ways to plug it, etc

 

Same to my gaming gear.

People are like "You have spent 20€ on your mouse pad?" "You have spent 60€ on a mouse?"

List goes on..

 

Or people spending tons of money on clothing with a nice brand.. nike, puma, adidas.. whatever.. goes in the same direction.

 

 

I don't think there is something different compared to buying expensive headphones.


Edited by Amperial - 2/11/12 at 3:39pm
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