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A question about diminishing returns

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I've owned my HD650's and FiiO e7/e9 amp/dac for about nine months now. It's my only "audiophile" set I've ever owned. Lately, I've been getting the feeling that my headphones do not sound quite as impressive as they used to. I can't mark it down to any single trait; the overall sound is either getting worse, slowly, or I'm experiencing a sort of diminished return on the output quality of my headphones (which is entirely psychological).

 

  • Is it possible to get "over" the amazing sound a pair of headphones is able to output?
  • Am I just getting bored? I've heard the HD650's are boring before. Should I get a new pair of headphones? Amp? DAC? Which one(s)?

 

Has anyone experienced this before?

post #2 of 5
Sounds like the "honeymoon phase" has worn off, and you're just getting used to listening to the HD 650. They aren't "new and improved" over whatever they replaced. They're still the same cans they were from day one, you've just changed your attitude towards them over time.
post #3 of 5

I'd say your experience is purely psychological. One of the reasons I'm constantly upgrading and swapping out gear (and I'm sure it's the case with many others on this forum too) is to seek that initial thrill of hearing something worlds better than your previous setup. A great way of indicating how good your current setup actually is, try listening to whatever you had before, I can almost guarantee you'll hear a massive difference. 

Unfortunately when you purchase an audiophile quality product, that "thrill" is either going to be incredibly expensive to emulate again, or simply nigh impossible. As I said before, I'm talking from my personal view. Although I've never owned them myself, I heard the HD650's scale incredibly with your Amp and dac, perhaps try a better amp and dac combination, it might rekindle your experience.

post #4 of 5

I agree that, once you get used to a pair of headphones, they tend not to "wow" you like they used to.

 

I know that when I bought my first set of (somewhat) high-end heaphones (Beyerdynamic DT-770s), I was blown away by them.  After a while, though, I started to find flaws in their presentation.

 

You could definitely consider getting another set of headphones--but keep your HD-650s if you do.  The second set of headphones should have a sound signature very different from your current headphones.  Because you will probably eventually get tired of your new headphones' sound presentation, too.  And, when that happens, you can switch back to your HD-650s and (hopefully) love them again as much as you did when you first got them.

 

(I forget how HD-650s are suppposed to be voiced--aren't they usually considered a bit dark?  If so, perhaps something like the Denon D7000s would be a good second set.)

 

 

Another alternative could be something as simple as including an EQ in your setup.  If your HD-650s are sounding a bit dull, then turn up the treble.  If they are lacking in impact, turn up the bass.

 

 

What I would probably not do is buy a new amp, DAC, or source, as I find that all of those have way less impact on the sound than either the headphones themselves or the inclusion of EQ.

post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robonaut View Post

I agree that, once you get used to a pair of headphones, they tend not to "wow" you like they used to.

I know that when I bought my first set of (somewhat) high-end heaphones (Beyerdynamic DT-770s), I was blown away by them.  After a while, though, I started to find flaws in their presentation.

You could definitely consider getting another set of headphones--but keep your HD-650s if you do.  The second set of headphones should have a sound signature very different from your current headphones.  Because you will probably eventually get tired of your new headphones' sound presentation, too.  And, when that happens, you can switch back to your HD-650s and (hopefully) love them again as much as you did when you first got them.

(I forget how HD-650s are suppposed to be voiced--aren't they usually considered a bit dark?  If so, perhaps something like the Denon D7000s would be a good second set.)


Another alternative could be something as simple as including an EQ in your setup.  If your HD-650s are sounding a bit dull, then turn up the treble.  If they are lacking in impact, turn up the bass.


What I would probably not do is buy a new amp, DAC, or source, as I find that all of those have way less impact on the sound than either the headphones themselves or the inclusion of EQ.

I agree with all of this.

In terms of good complimentary sets (aside from the Denon, which are a good suggestion), look at offerings from AKG, Grado, or Ultrasone. I'm partial to Grado.
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