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Most under-rated headphones... - Page 9

post #121 of 285

Thought of another headphone(s) to possibly add to the list. Audio Technica ATH-Axxx series is something you don't see talked about all too often, and almost never recommended. I have very fond memories of the A700 (non x). You can find them brand new for only $100 nowadays.

post #122 of 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by manveru View Post

Thought of another headphone(s) to possibly add to the list. Audio Technica ATH-Axxx series is something you don't see talked about all too often, and almost never recommended. I have very fond memories of the A700 (non x). You can find them brand new for only $100 nowadays.

 

I really miss my A500's. They were my gateway drug. I kind of want to see if I can get them back. I remember modding them to be a lot more neutral and they actually gave my K271's a fight.

post #123 of 285
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

Oh, you mean like how headphones that were once flagships suddenly become only "mid-fi" when a new, more expensive flagship appears? (Case in point: Audez'e LCD-2, once the LCD-3 was unveiled.)

Yeah, that nonsense. Or when noobies start threads and ask for "mid-fi suggestions" in the $1000+ range and bite your head off if your suggestion comes in under $1100. rolleyes.gif The marketers have absolutely won this round, and people (I'm using this term generally) are absolutely sold (hook, line, and sinker) on "I must spend as much money as humanly possible and the minimum for passable performance is at least a few thousand dollars" as the mantra.

Anyways, since I've responded to this more than once, I no longer remember where my "marker" is for items to add - I have the ATH-A700 and A500, but what else have I missed? redface.gif
post #124 of 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post

Anyways, since I've responded to this more than once, I no longer remember where my "marker" is for items to add - I have the ATH-A700 and A500, but what else have I missed? redface.gif

 

I don't think I see that one Roland headphone we were talking about earlier.

post #125 of 285
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by manveru View Post

I don't think I see that one Roland headphone we were talking about earlier.

Oh snap!

How much do those cost? redface.gif
post #126 of 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post

Oh snap!
How much do those cost? redface.gif

 

Hm, I just did a quick Google search and the cheapest I saw them was $189 from B&H or J&R. Too bad. The few threads or conversations about them I found the other day were stating lower prices.

post #127 of 285
Thread Starter 
Did a bit of looking myself, found this:
http://www.jr.com/roland/pe/ROL_RH300/

And this:
http://www.amazon.com/Roland-RH-300-Stereo-Headphones/dp/B0049Z13IK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1342326653&sr=8-1&keywords=roland+rh-300

$180 is GOOD EATING compared to $300.

However, I'm going to assume J&R is right on their MSRP, and drop them in the (currently very short) $300+ list just to be safe, since these appear to be imports.
Edited by obobskivich - 7/14/12 at 9:35pm
post #128 of 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by OJNeg View Post

HD600 -> HD800 is even a stronger case of this.

 

I'm not too familiar with the Sennheiser lineup, I'll admit. The HD600/HD650 always seemed like "mid-fi" offerings, though maybe that's only just now the case.

 

What I do know is that if they kept selling the Orpheus systems (which are apparently even more expensive now than they were brand new due to rarity and exclusivity), even the HD800 would just be "mid-fi" for the Sennheiser range right now.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post
Yeah, that nonsense. Or when noobies start threads and ask for "mid-fi suggestions" in the $1000+ range and bite your head off if your suggestion comes in under $1100. rolleyes.gif The marketers have absolutely won this round, and people (I'm using this term generally) are absolutely sold (hook, line, and sinker) on "I must spend as much money as humanly possible and the minimum for passable performance is at least a few thousand dollars" as the mantra.

 

How sad. It's as if "fidelity" has come to mean "price tag" and not "actual sound reproduction performance" these days. I guess people have to justify all that money spent somehow.

post #129 of 285
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

I'm not too familiar with the Sennheiser lineup, I'll admit. The HD600/HD650 always seemed like "mid-fi" offerings, though maybe that's only just now the case.

What I do know is that if they kept selling the Orpheus systems (which are apparently even more expensive now than they were brand new due to rarity and exclusivity), even the HD800 would just be "mid-fi" for the Sennheiser range right now.

No idea if the history is written down anywhere, but here's roughly how I understand it (to look at Sennheiser flagships):

HD 565 Ovation (sometime around 1989-1992) -> HD 580 Precision (sometime around 1992-1995) -> HD 580J, J is for "Jubilee Edition" (limited edition, I want to say 2000 or 2002), they're HD 600s by another name (and without the blue marble finish) -> HD 600 (roughly in-line with the 580J) -> HD 650 (like 2004)

The prices went from around $250 for the 565 to $299 for the 580 (and those were TOTL), $399 for the 600, and $499 for the 650. HD 800 came along around 2009 and absolutely re-defined "holy crap that's a lot of money for cans" - I'm thinking in response to some of the more exotic Grado models pushing up on that price-tag (GS-1000 in 2006 at $1k, for example; but with the Grados you have to remember labor/production is probably higher than it is for most any other manufacturer and they don't do huge volumes).

Beyer followed suit with the T1, replacing the DT880 as their "flagship" and more or less overnight Sennheiser and Beyerdynamic turned $300 headphones into "mid-fi" or "entry-level" when before they had been absolute top dogs (as far as dynamics were concerned, you had the DT880, K701, and HD 600 or 650 - sure there were still STAX systems and the O2 was still major bucks, and sure the ESP/950 still existed at $999, and sure the RS-1 was around, and sure JVC and AT and Ultrasone were making majorly expensive art cans, but I think it'd be safe to say all of those COMBINED don't approach the press or volume that Beyer or Senn enjoy individually (e.g. sure the Edition was like $3500, but they made less than 1000 of them)).

The HE series are a bit of an oddball, and I don't know where they exactly fit into the equation, time-wise. I know they were in that "exotics" class like the Ultrasone Editions and the ATH-Ws, they weren't pushing them mainstream. I think the HE60 was originally around $1k on it's own (but I don't know WHEN that was, I would guess mid 1990s though), and the HE90 system was supposed to be like $12,000-$13,000 BNIB, but iirc there's only 300 of them.
Quote:
It's as if "fidelity" has come to mean "price tag" and not "actual sound reproduction performance" these days.

Yup, and of course if I can spend more than you, it means I'm superior to you, as a human being (and/or ape/dolphin using a computer).

I honestly blame the influence of the computer hardware industry and the massive popularity spike that headphones have received from Beats and Skullcandy pushing a lot of "techie" people into the fray. I'm not saying Beats even drove prices up; they entered the market on level terms competing with Bose and Sony and more or less ignoring anyone else. I see the massive price hike as manufacturer's trying to separate their products from "consumer-level" hardware, in order to satisfy the customers from above who need to feel special (and you can see this with computer hardware too - how much truly consumer level crap is branded "pro" these days?).

And yeah, I derailed my own thread. I don't care.

I hope I got all of the ones I missed, and I'll use this post as a marker for new suggestions so they get added. smily_headphones1.gif
Edited by obobskivich - 7/14/12 at 9:49pm
post #130 of 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

 

How sad. It's as if "fidelity" has come to mean "price tag" and not "actual sound reproduction performance" these days. I guess people have to justify all that money spent somehow.

 

As a general rule, you want to make sure that your amp costs at least 2x as much as your headphones (though 3x or 4x is even better) , otherwise you won't be extracting their full performance. Make sure your source is up to par as well (garbage in garbage out) and you are using synergistic cables. If you can't manage that, you may as well just stick to your ibuds. biggrin.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post

HD 800 came along around 2009 and absolutely re-defined "holy crap that's a lot of money for cans"

 

I remember back when these were coming out (this was before I was really into audio/headphones/etc) and I heard about/saw them for the first time. I thought to myself, "holy crap, I can't believe that something like this even exists!" eek.gif Now no one even bats an eye, haha.

post #131 of 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post

Okay, I'm just speculating here okay. But I think that there is a significant percentage of the headfi community who have no idea just how good the he400 is in the 300+ category....ph34r.gif

 

Better than the HD650s I got used for $320 back when even retail was lower?

post #132 of 285

 The way I see it ~ I would not be surprised if in 12 to 24 months we have a whole host of $1000+ and even $3000+ cans out there..

 

 What is driving it? It is a two fold argument

 

 The aging cashed up Hi-Fi guy who now finds himself married with kids or living in a smaller place. Solution? Head-Fi and pack

 away that expensive 2.1 system that no one wishes to hear after 10pm when he's ready for a listen.

 

 Gamers, photography guys (mystery this one) and the generally curious wondering what all the fuss is about after digesting

 the whole i-Pod revolution.

post #133 of 285
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwarmi View Post

 The way I see it ~ I would not be surprised if in 12 to 24 months we have a whole host of $1000+ and even $3000+ cans out there..

While I think this may hold water to some degree, I also see it not happening. Because the economy isn't there for it - consider that most of the big boys are losing money hand over fist, and the entire industry has been in steady decline. I know that a year or two ago they were saying headphones are making money, but I'm not seeing it long-term. It's a fad, if you will. Then again, in the last few years we've seen this rash of $600 cans (most of which suck), and amplifiers/accessories that are reaching for Barsoom with their prices (how many headphone amplifiers over $5,000 US can you name? I can think of at least half a dozen). So perhaps you're right, but I sincerely hope not. I'd rather be an optimist and wrong.
Quote:
 Gamers, photography guys (mystery this one) and the generally curious wondering what all the fuss is about after digesting
 the whole i-Pod revolution.

The photography thing is no mystery imho - these are people who spend $10,000-$20,000 on gear to take black and white photos of lawn chairs. What's a $2000 headphone in that scheme?

I don't mean to denigrate actual photographers, but I've met a lot of "photography guys" who have more money into their camera than I do into my degrees, cars, hi-fi, and housing and have never published a thing in their lives beyond photobucket uploads. Hobbies are fine, but I view that like buying a full set of tactical gear, a tank, a battle helicopter, etc to play "wargames" in your back acre, instead of just joining the army. If you're going to put yourself through all the training, all the trouble, etc, just step up for the event.

I think the biggest drive right now is the "headphones as fashion accessory" coupled with the whole iPod generation noise that you're getting at - and that'll die down as those people age and buy into speakers (which is the interesting bit of the trend - and I base this on what I've observed here, lots of kiddos buying headphones for college or because mom and dad are sick of hearing their PC speakers, and it's a compromise for them; a lot of longer-time posters seem to be getting that maybe Erik had the right idea all along).

Oh and remember that, at least in the US, most of those "aging hi-fi guys" are up to their hairline in debt and barely treading water to stay in their houses.
Edited by obobskivich - 7/15/12 at 2:56am
post #134 of 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post

Yeah, that nonsense. Or when noobies start threads and ask for "mid-fi suggestions" in the $1000+ range and bite your head off if your suggestion comes in under $1100. rolleyes.gif The marketers have absolutely won this round, and people (I'm using this term generally) are absolutely sold (hook, line, and sinker) on "I must spend as much money as humanly possible and the minimum for passable performance is at least a few thousand dollars" as the mantra.
Anyways, since I've responded to this more than once, I no longer remember where my "marker" is for items to add - I have the ATH-A700 and A500, but what else have I missed? redface.gif

how i see it, there is no such thing as lo-fi,mid-fi or hi-fi. it's just a mind set people make up to feel special and have a good feeling deep down inside. it's just an illusion that we perceive as an absolute, just like time and space. it's there but, then again it's not. we only ''think'' it exist to give us a purpose. well,that's how i see it with people and this so called ''hobby'' or, i guess any hobby in general.
post #135 of 285

The Apple earbuds aren't anything special, but the Apple IEMs I love. Fantastic sound from dual drivers for just $80.

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