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What are audiophile headphones for?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

What do you usually use expensive audiophile headphones for? Do you use it to listen to music at home or for monitoring, recording, using it with your guitar, etc. I used to own a pair of beats studios to a point where I started finding it really uncomfortable. I sold them and was planning on buying a bose cause of the comfort, but thats when I decided to do some research on headphones. I ended up stumbling upon these forums which taught me how over-rated and over-priced beats and bose are. I ended up buying an audio technica ath-m50 just cause it met my criteria perfectly. When I played the first song, I was amazed at how good music could sound in a headphone. After some time, I guess I just got used to the sound of the ath-m50 and it stopped giving me that "awwww yeah" feeling it used to give me. Im starting to want to take music to the next level and I feel like im on the road to becoming an audiophile, or maybe a bit less. I then stopped and wondered as Im posting this thread that Im pretty sure those expensive open headphones are used for something more than just listening to music. I feel like I shouldn't spend a lot money if for the meanwhile I only use it to listen to music and watch movies and stuff, but at the same time I can't help but wonder and feel like seeing how good headphones can be. So my question is as I had asked, for what do you use high end headphones like the HD 650 used for? Also, whether for monitoring or for listening to music, is it worth it to spend the money on these headphones? Until now, the ath-m50 is the best sound I've heard so Im pretty far behind lol, I often think that if the ath-m50 sounded so good, imagine what audiophile headphones would sound like.

post #2 of 28

I am just using a Superlux hd 668b and Asus Xonar DG, I was impressed by the sound and had the same "WOW THIS IS AMAZING!!" moment as well, still am impressed by it and it's been a few months.

 

My view is this, if you enjoy the sound quality, go ahead and spend the money on it if you CAN afford it. If your not sure if going to the next level is worth it, find a store where you can test out some good headphones near you and try some.

 

As for me I think the next thing I will do with my current headphones is either a pair of velour pads or a different pair of headphones around $50-100 range which has a different type of sound. I was thinking of trying out a pair of grado's or a bass heavy headphone. So there is really a few different way to go about it, you don't always have to go with the next best thing.

 

As for what people use those high end audiophile headphones for, I imagine it is a mix of everything you listed. Personally if I ever end up with anything that high end it will be for music and movies on my computer.

post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by boomhaur View Post

I am just using a Superlux hd 668b and Asus Xonar DG, I was impressed by the sound and had the same "WOW THIS IS AMAZING!!" moment as well, still am impressed by it and it's been a few months.

 

My view is this, if you enjoy the sound quality, go ahead and spend the money on it if you CAN afford it. If your not sure if going to the next level is worth it, find a store where you can test out some good headphones near you and try some.

 

As for me I think the next thing I will do with my current headphones is either a pair of velour pads or a different pair of headphones around $50-100 range which has a different type of sound. I was thinking of trying out a pair of grado's or a bass heavy headphone. So there is really a few different way to go about it, you don't always have to go with the next best thing.

 

As for what people use those high end audiophile headphones for, I imagine it is a mix of everything you listed. Personally if I ever end up with anything that high end it will be for music and movies on my computer.

thanks for the advice! btw, do you know what studio monitoring is? I have no idea lol...

post #4 of 28

Think of studio monitoring as that guy that sits behind the glass pane when you record an album. You'd want the most neutral headphones possible so that you get exactly what's played without any coloring or etc.

post #5 of 28
"Audiophile headphones" are for musical enjoyment/music listening. Studio cans are for monitoring/tracking/etc. But of course a lot of that is just marketing labels. Get what you enjoy. smily_headphones1.gif
post #6 of 28
I use my earphones purely for listening as on average I listen to music about 8hrs a day, when in the office both passively and actively (discretely when I should be working lol ) Whilst I appreciate that from a certain point onwards there is the factor of diminishing returns, each upgrade step for me has been an attempt to squeeze out just that bit more detail from my music. Now that I have my "on the go"\office rig sorted...time to think about creating my home listening rig ;-)
post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post

"Audiophile headphones" are for musical enjoyment/music listening. Studio cans are for monitoring/tracking/etc.

 

And fashion headphones are for neither.

post #8 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel521 View Post

What do you usually use expensive audiophile headphones for? Do you use it to listen to music at home or for monitoring, recording, using it with your guitar, etc. I used to own a pair of beats studios to a point where I started finding it really uncomfortable. I sold them and was planning on buying a bose cause of the comfort, but thats when I decided to do some research on headphones. I ended up stumbling upon these forums which taught me how over-rated and over-priced beats and bose are. I ended up buying an audio technica ath-m50 just cause it met my criteria perfectly. When I played the first song, I was amazed at how good music could sound in a headphone. After some time, I guess I just got used to the sound of the ath-m50 and it stopped giving me that "awwww yeah" feeling it used to give me. Im starting to want to take music to the next level and I feel like im on the road to becoming an audiophile, or maybe a bit less. I then stopped and wondered as Im posting this thread that Im pretty sure those expensive open headphones are used for something more than just listening to music. I feel like I shouldn't spend a lot money if for the meanwhile I only use it to listen to music and watch movies and stuff, but at the same time I can't help but wonder and feel like seeing how good headphones can be. So my question is as I had asked, for what do you use high end headphones like the HD 650 used for? Also, whether for monitoring or for listening to music, is it worth it to spend the money on these headphones? Until now, the ath-m50 is the best sound I've heard so Im pretty far behind lol, I often think that if the ath-m50 sounded so good, imagine what audiophile headphones would sound like.

 

All of the above!  Since you mentioned HD650, my personal favorite to date, and probably the easiest to use as a reference point, I'll use those as the example.  Its predecessor the HD600 (basically the same headphone with some minor tweaks, and a different tuning...HD600 is more neutral HD650 is a bit warmer or more "natural.") was designed, or so they say, for the primary purpose of classical recording mastering.  And it was/is very popular in that role.  It is also very popular for simple music listening.   Most of the "old school" top of the line headphones (currently $500 and below) were designed as "the best and the most neutral or natural",  and were designed with mastering & tracking as the primary audience, and also sold heavily for musical enjoyment.  HD650 was sold probably slightly more for musical enjoyment, but was/is also very popular in the studio.  The idea is that for musical listening sounding the most like live music, or at a minumum like real speakers is the ideal.  Which is also what mastering headphones should do well.  So the two are compatible goals and what is good for one is usually good for the other.

 

Brighter headphones (and this is purely IMO, but is shared by many) such as most Beyerdynamic models, and some of the ultra elusive headphones like HD800, with their bumped treble to enhance the perception of detail are probably more suited for the recording studio than musical enjoyment.  That bump around the 5-10kHz range draws greater attention to recording flaws that for many folks is an unpleasant experience for simple listening, but could be invaluable for analyzing potential problems in the studio.  That belief is just opinion though, and there are many who are indeed fond of their DT880s and HD800s and T1s for listening as well.   There's nothing wrong with preferring that sort of detail bump, but to me, I'd rather have a headphone that makes my recordings sound as good as they can, not one that ephasizes everything the engineer did wrong and points it out to me.  That would be highly valuable in the studio though.

 

AKG K702 is about as bright and detail oriented as I'll go.  I love my K702, and it's an excellent analysys type headphone, and I could get used to it as my every day listening headphone, but I prefer others for that role all the same.  Most of the people on these forums spending between $500-2000 on a headphone did so for listening enjoyment, not for studio work.  As interest in headphones shift ever more from the studio to the consumer, prices seem to be escalating ever uupward.  Consumers will pay anything if you advertise it right.  Studios still have to meet budget. wink.gif

post #9 of 28
Thread Starter 

thanks, I guess this all makes sense :) I'll stick with my audio technica for now afraid i'll get addicted to upgrading my headphone.

post #10 of 28

Well it sounds like your wallet won this battle but the war is not over, head fi typically wins in the end.

post #11 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel521 View Post

 I often think that if the ath-m50 sounded so good, imagine what audiophile headphones would sound like.

And that is the reason people buy expensive headphones. I love the ATH M50 and think it is a terrific value. It out-performs more expensive headphones I've purchased. I didn't think I would ever need to buy another set. Then I bought the Denon AHD 5000. Really a remarkable improvement and worth the investment. Like you, I wandered in here and the more I read, the more I imagined....   

This can be a addicting and (as boomhaur has implied) expensive hobby. I guarantee that if you stick around here and  "imagine what audiophile headphones sound like" you'll be making a purchase or two by the end of summer. It's too late for you to escape now. smily_headphones1.gif Good luck and have fun.

post #12 of 28

Audiophile headphones are like porn, pick what you like and enjoy them daily.

post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

Audiophile headphones are like porn, pick what you like and enjoy them daily.

popcorn.gif

post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

Audiophile headphones are like porn, pick what you like and enjoy them daily hourly.

post #15 of 28

Eargasms.

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