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Are Audiophile headphones only for classical/jazz/instrumental? - Page 3

post #31 of 43
Thread Starter 

@vinc

lol noooooo I don't listen to Rap and RnB. Absolutely can't stand them. I was just giving some examples of genres that are hardly mentioned. I listen to J-pop/rock and k-pop. I know that I notice a difference with the HTF600's compared to my TB X1's. I will give hi-fi one more chance. Hopefully the DT770's will prove to me there's still a bit more I can squeeze out of my tracks. The xonar DG only supports upto 150ohms so the 990's and FA-011's are probably  a bad idea. 

 

Once I get those cans I'll try out a few different tracks of different genres, maybe some Madonna as you suggested and some jazz. Is Michael Buble good, or does he fall victim to compression and poor mastering as well?

 

post #32 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayleighSilvers View Post

@vinc

lol noooooo I don't listen to Rap and RnB. Absolutely can't stand them. I was just giving some examples of genres that are hardly mentioned. I listen to J-pop/rock and k-pop. I know that I notice a difference with the HTF600's compared to my TB X1's. I will give hi-fi one more chance. Hopefully the DT770's will prove to me there's still a bit more I can squeeze out of my tracks. The xonar DG only supports upto 150ohms so the 990's and FA-011's are probably  a bad idea. 

 

Once I get those cans I'll try out a few different tracks of different genres, maybe some Madonna as you suggested and some jazz. Is Michael Buble good, or does he fall victim to compression and poor mastering as well?

 



 

 


When you listen to headphones, expecially if you are new to this, I wouldn't suggest listening to new songs. Listen to songs that you know well, that you've listened a lot.  As I said, you ought to test the D770 before buying them to see if it's what you are looking for. I would also test them unamped/amped. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by swbf2cheater View Post

Generally expensive headphones have a natural flavor unsuited for R&B, Soul and Rap.  I've not really experienced any expensive headphone that truly excelled at these genres, typical you'd want a warm experience.  The LCD2/3, Hifiman He-500/6, Stax, and similar sets are really dry, tonally clean, monitorish depending on the brand.  When someone designs a really warm and fun experience in the hifi world, I will be first in line.  


I think that if you listen to properly mastered R&b and rap, it will sound good on a good system. The expensive headphones do not necesserly sound natural or analytical and lifeless. 

Have you tried listening to higher end heaphones with different source and most importantly different amp? You have to try different combos. Some combos just have A LOT of PRaT, dynamics and musicality. You juste have to find them. In speaker-fi world, I've always tought that high-end would usually mean lifeless or dull, until I listening to more musical speakers and amp... And then it's a whole new world.

 

post #33 of 43

I don't but that for even a second, sorry.  Nothing in the hi fi world that is that expensive is branded as warm of "fun" experience, not the LCD2, 3, Hifiman He500 or 6, None of the Staxx, the Beyer T1, The Edition 8 or 10, not the TakeT or the HD800, nodda.  

 

All of them give a dry and natural flavor off, I never said anything about lifeless though.  The most expensive warm set of headphones would be from ultrsones pro models or the HD 650 by Sennheiser.  Now, of course I am sure some users are going to say "well thats just your opinion" and I find the LCD2 or HD800 to be warm.  To that I say GREAT, I believe pigs can fly, thats just my opinion.

post #34 of 43
I'll be honest and say I've only read the first post and skimmed the rest of the thread, while the loudness wars are a big part of why pop music sounds, well, the way it is, one of the other main reasons reviewers don't typically use pop music for reviewing is because they probably just don't listen to pop music, and therefore cannot really judge how well a song sounds. When I had the HE500 to review, I tried listening to random modern pop music (Lady Gaga and such along with Kpop ) and surprisingly, it didn't sound abysmal. Sure, there was a ton of compression and generally sounded fatiguing, but there was a pretty sizable improvement all around, which I didn't expect.

About the DT770's, as a midrange freak (DT48 fan along with owning several AKG's and orthos), they're not exactly my favorite. Their mids aren't as recessed as an XB500 or a pair of Beats, but vocals have a slight bit of veil that got really annoying. It's probably not very noticeable to most-they're used in studios after all. A horrid midrange wouldn't be good in that situation. Although I find Duggeh's view of the DT770 quite entertaining. Spoiler alert, he hates them.
post #35 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by swbf2cheater View Post

I don't but that for even a second, sorry.  Nothing in the hi fi world that is that expensive is branded as warm of "fun" experience, not the LCD2, 3, Hifiman He500 or 6, None of the Staxx, the Beyer T1, The Edition 8 or 10, not the TakeT or the HD800, nodda.  

 

All of them give a dry and natural flavor off, I never said anything about lifeless though.  The most expensive warm set of headphones would be from ultrsones pro models or the HD 650 by Sennheiser.  Now, of course I am sure some users are going to say "well thats just your opinion" and I find the LCD2 or HD800 to be warm.  To that I say GREAT, I believe pigs can fly, thats just my opinion.


Seriously, have you ever tried all these headphones you are mentionning? You're saying they are not warm nor fun, based on reviews. Are you kidding me? You seem to be shooting things without even knowing what you are talking about. There are a lot of piece of audio that are "branded" as warm or "fun experience" as you yould say.

Tube amps not warm? Oh well.. 

Vinyl sources not warm? Oh well...

Some amp not warm? Oh wel..

That list can continue. Saying that nothing is warm or "fun" in hi-fi is just bul*****. I've an amp that I consider warm, that reviews consider warm, that is well rated and that cost more than the HD800. Same thing goes for my speakers. They're considered as "musical", warm and not analytical. Go tell a Vinyl lovers that his LP12 or P9 isn't warm. Go tell tube lovers that their amp isn't warm and hear their responses. You can find warm or fun and not analytical piece of equipement in hi-fi. Why do you think some people prefer vinyls to cds, aside from nostalgia? Sure, it might be because it was first recorded that way, but it is also because of that warm sound, the delightful bass and mids. Does it mean that it is more analytical than a cd and you could call it analytic? No, not at all.

 

Logically, if all high-end heaphones were analytical, they would sound more or less the SAME. Which is not the case in audio, hence why the disparities in reviews. If you take 6 pairs (arbitrary numbers) of high end headphones, they sound different, which means, deductively that some of them are colored.

 

 

 

By the way, pigs can fly is not opinion, it's just a false scientific theory. And LCD2 HD800 is warm is just an opinion, that you could never refute with scientific facts.

post #36 of 43
The only thing lusher than my O2/transformer box rig (in my experience) was the Orpheus. Even the little SR-001 is seriously lush and absolutely liquid sounding. Some of the Lambda variants can sound dry though, at least off a solid-state amp with a mediocre source. Granted, they're revealing enough that most sources are mediocre sources, but that's what you get when you're dealing with some of the most resolving transducers anywhere.
post #37 of 43

I haven't got time to read through the whole thread, which looks interesting, but in answer to the original question it's an emphatic "No" from me, at least when it comes to the Audeze LCD-2 headphones that I own. To me they were a big improvement (other people seem disagree about the magnitude) over the Sennheiser HD-650, my speakers and anything else I've heard. I mostly listen to mainstream rock and pop music, for example Led Zep, U2, Alanis Morrisette, Madonna, M People, but also country/folk such as James Taylor, Nanci Griffith and so on.

 

I'm going to limit what I say to the LCD-2, rather than audiophile headphones in general, because that's all I have experience with. I find them great in the best HiFi sense. They are more precise and accurate than the HD-650 or my speakers. It's easier to hear into a mix, it's easier to understand lyrics and the music is, to me, more interesting for it. I have also yet to find anything that sounds truly bad on them, so sonically they are an unambiguous win for me. To my ears there merely have been some records that didn't reap any benefits, but none that sound worse than on my "lesser" equipment. I listen almost exclusively to CD.


Edited by fred43 - 3/14/12 at 1:41pm
post #38 of 43

I read the intro and skimmed some replies, and here's roughly my thoughts:

 

A properly designed headphone or speaker should not be a one-trick pony. That having been said, it doesn't have to have a "wow factor" to be good - oftentimes a more accurate or lean presentation is also a more boring presentation. It takes some getting used to. For example my ESP/950s will almost certainly not win any "taste tests" against something like the ATH-W1000X or AH-D5000, because they're probably about as close to "flat" as you can get - that doesn't make them "fun" (there's no "boom" or "blam" and everything is just sort of "matter of fact"). It's like reference color on a display - it doesn't drop your jaw, it's just "right" and life goes on. 

 

I listen to a very wide range of music, and while I do agree that some headphones are subjectively better for some music (for example, I think the HD 580 is quite nice for rap/hip-hop, and the ESP/950 is quite nice for electronic), that doesn't preclude them from being equally "wide range." That's where preference comes into it. 

 

I think the genres you've mentioned are quite popular, so that's probably why people use them to test things; it's what they have and like listening to. It's also what they probably intend to use the headphone for, so it should impress them (or we'd hope people think like this). 

 

Basically - try more 'phones and you'll eventually find something you like, but when you get into the realm of "proper design" it should really be a matter of preference, not technical ability. 

 

post #39 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinc View Post


Seriously, have you ever tried all these headphones you are mentionning? You're saying they are not warm nor fun, based on reviews. Are you kidding me? You seem to be shooting things without even knowing what you are talking about. There are a lot of piece of audio that are "branded" as warm or "fun experience" as you yould say.

Tube amps not warm? Oh well.. 

Vinyl sources not warm? Oh well...

Some amp not warm? Oh wel..

That list can continue. Saying that nothing is warm or "fun" in hi-fi is just bul*****. I've an amp that I consider warm, that reviews consider warm, that is well rated and that cost more than the HD800. Same thing goes for my speakers. They're considered as "musical", warm and not analytical. Go tell a Vinyl lovers that his LP12 or P9 isn't warm. Go tell tube lovers that their amp isn't warm and hear their responses. You can find warm or fun and not analytical piece of equipement in hi-fi. Why do you think some people prefer vinyls to cds, aside from nostalgia? Sure, it might be because it was first recorded that way, but it is also because of that warm sound, the delightful bass and mids. Does it mean that it is more analytical than a cd and you could call it analytic? No, not at all.

 

Logically, if all high-end heaphones were analytical, they would sound more or less the SAME. Which is not the case in audio, hence why the disparities in reviews. If you take 6 pairs (arbitrary numbers) of high end headphones, they sound different, which means, deductively that some of them are colored.

 

 

 

By the way, pigs can fly is not opinion, it's just a false scientific theory. And LCD2 HD800 is warm is just an opinion, that you could never refute with scientific facts.


...he says that no company markets their headphones as "warm" sounding, which seems to be true, going by what's said on the products' webpages.

 

Edition 8:

 

 

Quote:
In addition to a titanium plated tri-bass-tube driver, this Edition series headphone follows Ultrasone´s S-Logic Plus Technology which results in a most neutral sound impression with more vivid perception of voices and instruments. The Edition 8 Ruthenium also contains MU-Metal shielding (ULE technology) that reduces magnetic field emissions. Naturally, the Edition 8 Ruthenium headphones require the ULE technology as the exclusiveness of these headphones call for the ULE standard.

 

Edition 10:

 

 

Quote:
Each Edition 10 is hand-made in Germany and offers open natural
sound design without any limitations.
 


It’s the perfect combination in technology and luxury. Materials of the highest quality have been chosen to encompass the latest developments in open-back sound technology. Enjoy the know-how and passion embedded in each Edition 10 model.

 

Hifiman HE500:

 

 

Quote:
The HE-500 is one of HiFiMAN's best performing planar magnetic designs yet its 89dB sensitivity is higher than similar designs and allows it to be driven with a conventional headphone amplifier. The HE-500 offers impressive frequency response from 50Hz to 50KHz and with all of the dynamics and lifelike realism that HiFiMAN headphones are famous for.

 

Beyerdynamic T1:

 

 

Quote:
The increased efficiency also leaves the T 1 with greater power reserves for dynamic, undistorted sound and nearly lossless conversion of electric signals into sound waves. The extremely lightweight 600 Ohm voice coil provides transparency and perfect impulse fidelity.
  • perfect transient- and phase fidelity (600 ohm voice coil)
  • outstanding neutral sound
  • very high wearing comfort due to verlour earpads and leather headband pad

 

Audez'e LCD-3:

 

 

Quote:
When we started designing the LCD-3 professional reference headphones, the goal was very clear, it must be the best. No compromise when it comes to the quality of sound. It provides the highest level of audio quality, unsurpassed bass extension, exceptional treble and the best mid-range.Innovations Every Day. Audez’e aspires to deliver extraordinary products through research. The LCD-3 is packed with many innovative technologies and new approaches. The all new LOTUS diaphragm that uses a special alloy for conductive traces gives us greater control, lower distortion. Translation - Music that sounds like original studio recordings.

 

 

Linn Sonndeck LP-12:

 

 

Quote:
The combination of these precision-engineered components creates a turntable with an unequalled ability to provide pitch accurate, faithful reproduction of your cherished vinyl collection.

 

Rega P9:

 

 

Quote:
The P9 is, in our opinion, the ultimate performance turntable available to the music-loving public. We designed the P9 with no financial restrictions whatsoever. The ceramic platter alone costs more to produce than our P5 turntable! With the right cartridge, you will be astonished at just how much information this turntable retrieves from your vinyl LP collection.

 

I do see amps described as musical though, like the Apex Pinnacle:

 

 

Quote:
For the highest quality tube sound without harshness or distortion, it employs two single-ended tube stages. The input stage uses the venerable 6SN7 tube, often regarded as the best tube ever made for audio voltage amplification. The power stage uses the Sophia Electric PX4 triodes. This carefully matched arrangement cancels some of the softness - actually, second-order harmonic distortion - that is often associated with single-ended tube amplifiers. The result is pure, clean, musical sound.

 

 

Headphone manufacturers probably wouldn't market their headphones as "fun" or anything other than natural because that would be probably turn away business from people that don't do research. The main goal of a flagship is to provide the pinnacle of the company's opinion of how sound should be (although Audio Technica seems to be kind confused in this aspect L3000.gif). Most people who have no clue about audio but have more money than sense usually want a "natural" sound, not a "fun" sound, because they have no idea what "fun" means and assume it will deviate from "what the artist intended." That would lead to at least one less customer, so companies just say their flagship sounds natural or neutral to avoid such a case. We at Head-Fi at least have an idea of what we're doing and know more to believe marketing speak and read reviews that say more than the manufacturer is willing to say. When was the last time anyone here actually read a product page for a sound summary? 

post #40 of 43

Headphones can be good and enjoyable.

But I find some very good sound quality or amazing albums can sound very poor on headphones because the music was never meant to be heard on headphones but actually speakers.

Headphones can make you even hate music how it sounds because it wasn't meant for headphones so it doesn't sound right.

 

I was a very casual music listener I had some headphones as I got more and more into music I was never satisfied with the sound I got some better headphones and it was great at first but then it became ehh this still isn't right and some albums that weren't very good on headphones are amazing on speakers like a reference disc.

 

Maybe speakers are the answer to true music enjoyment it certainly is for me.

 

And classical is pretty meh on headphones to me but with speakers you really hear some amazing dynamics with such power and vitality that headphones can never do.

 

 

 


Edited by mibutenma - 3/17/12 at 1:45pm
post #41 of 43

For mainstream stuff -- look for more closed-type headphones, like Denon AH-D2000, AH-D5000, Beyerdynamic DT880, etc. Sennheisers like HD650s have better clarity but aren't as 'fun'. 

post #42 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mibutenma View Post

Headphones can be good and enjoyable.

But I find some very good sound quality or amazing albums can sound very poor on headphones because the music was never meant to be heard on headphones but actually speakers.

Headphones can make you even hate music how it sounds because it wasn't meant for headphones so it doesn't sound right.

 

I was a very casual music listener I had some headphones as I got more and more into music I was never satisfied with the sound I got some better headphones and it was great at first but then it became ehh this still isn't right and some albums that weren't very good on headphones are amazing on speakers like a reference disc.

 

Maybe speakers are the answer to true music enjoyment it certainly is for me.

 

And classical is pretty meh on headphones to me but with speakers you really hear some amazing dynamics with such power and vitality that headphones can never do.

 

 

 


I don't think anything will ever beat full sized speakers. I've never had the chance to listen to my music on full sized since I live with family and don't like others to hear what I am hearing. For me, bigger would just be better. I'm kind of on the same track as you, I'm listening to different headphones. Some I'm enjoying occasionally but I'm still looking for something better.

 

post #43 of 43
Thread Starter 

Been a very interesting thread guys. With the number of comments dying down it feels like it's reached it's limit. Been reading up on soe more headphones, as is my daily routine on head-fi, and I'm really contemplating on getting myself some ultrasones. It's amazing the amount of headphones that have been on my consideration list, with several constantly jumping on and off every time I read a positive/negative comment. Another factor was I didn't really know what I was looking for. I think I have a much better idea now than I did then.

 

I've come to realise that subwoofer bass is different from headphone bass and I'll get myself a cheap 2.1 set up for watching anime and casual gaming for that deep immersion. For Private listening and competitive gaming I wanted a closed set with a relatively big soundstage, great bass but mids and highs that aren't affected as much or at all. I never considered the ultrasone before, as they are german which usually has a stereotype for being very clean and effiecient, but not exactly fun. I felt that I should stick with the Japanese for my genres, but it doesn't look like they have any phones with my requirements. The Ultrasones from the little reviews I have read seem like the perfect choice though. I'm looking at the HFI 580, 780 and pro 550. Does anybody know if there are any good comparison threads. Before you jump the gun, I have used the search but all the threads that crop up are very stale with little useful information. I was wondering if there was a thread like zombie x's beyerdynamic comparison thread. 

 

Also any advice on which one I should go for would be appreciated. Pro 550 is leading the race since I want something with good imaging for call of duty, but I'm concerned that this being a pro version it'll be too boring? I'm looking for a consumer sound but with good resolution, big soundstage but still musical. An upgrade to my HTF600's basically. 

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