Originally Posted by Negakinu
We all say we want a neutral sound. When we get one, we realize neutral is actually pretty boring and realize we want a musical sound.
I was actually quite the opposite. I transitioned from a musical sound to a more neutral sound over the course of about two years. It kinda takes time and a lot of exposure to music and figuring out how things are supposed to sound before you figure out that what you are really after. For me, it was a natural sound.. and I think it's the same for most people, unless they are chasing/seeking enhancement somewhere, be it via super micro-detailed highs or the exceptionally impressive lows or even in stand-out mids. A lot of audiophile headphones and gear sacrifice the overall sound and picture to bring something forward.. Just to make the product sound differently than the rest. It's all a very delicate balance.. It's very tricky to achieve happiness when it comes to audio and sometimes trying a new piece of gear is kind of like trying a new diet or medication, sometimes you have to give your ears a bit of time to adjust to a different sound.
Anyways, what I figured out was that I was after was something that presented music as transparently/naturally/neutrally as possible (all three words have become synonyms in my vocabulary because they seem to come along with each-other in this hobby). Needless to say, the ODAC and O2 satisfy me entirely when it comes to that criteria.. I will say that listening to something more "neutral" will sound very lack luster coming from something "enhanced", sometimes you just have to give the more accurate gear/headphone a bit more time. When you swap back to the more "enhanced" gear the differences should smack you in the face. Then you just have to decide whether the enhanced sound is a pro or con. That's just how it worked out for me.
All this is strictly in my experience and opinion of course :) I highly recommend when trying gear that is referred to as neutral that you give your ears some time to adjust to said gear/headphones and then flip back to your more musical/enhanced gear. You might just be surprised.. if you still favor the more colored stuff, that's just fine too!
Hope this all makes sense.. I'm a little delirious from lack of sleep. Hopefully I can edit and clean-up the post later.. Happy listening everyone.
P.S.. all of this stuff about giving "neutral" gear a trial period is kind of null and void if you are an actual musician, I think. You certainly have a better reference than I do.. compare your headphones and gear to your real life experience! Everyone else.. get out and see as much live music as you can :) It helps figure out what sounds right and wrong.. and It's just good fun. I think I rambled.. Once again, I'm sleep deprived.
Edited by chrislangley4253 - 2/18/13 at 3:41am
TL;DR - Music is wonderful and picking differences between music gear is sometimes horrible enough to make you forget what's wonderful about the music in the first place and why you even bother to have nice gear. Never forget to enjoy your music more than your gear guys.