Originally Posted by jazzerdave
It did sound really good. Just not $5,500 good. It's more like $2,000-$2,500 good (and that's if you think a good pair of LCD-3's is worth near its asking price). If I had tons of funds, I'd probably buy one and replace the entire headband with something other than a giant Vice-Grip.
Yeah, I've heard from most people who heard it that it sounds good but to their mind doesn't justify its price. Your assessment is actually one of the more generous ones: others have compared it to the HE-500, which is below $1000.
That being said, most of these impressions have been under very poor conditions (meets or crowded malls) and with decent but not fantastic gear. Also factor in the short audition time (minutes) and poor fit most people seem to be getting... and yeah. Interestingly enough, someone I trust who has spent more time with it than most people and on a very good amp says it's actually extremely good. So I'm genuinely curious: just how good can it sound under better conditions? Can it even come close to the SR-009?
This raises another interesting point, one I've touched on a lot before but haven't brought up recently: whether headphones are "worth" it. To be perfectly honest, I think most headphones out there are probably overpriced (especially when you consider dealer cuts and distribution). Yet I've never really been one to assign exact monetary value to the way things sound. It just strikes me as odd. Not to get all Zeno here, but consider these two cases:
Say one attributes a price of $2000 to something. Or even a range of $2000-2500. Fair enough, but what about $2000.01? Or $2000-2500.01? Does adding a single cent suddenly invalidate the assessment? Most would probably balk and so of course not. But then what about a dollar? Two dollars? You can see where I'm going with this. At what point do you assign a cut off, at what point is it absolutely no longer worth it?
The other approach is comparative. One can say "well X headphone sounds good, so if Y headphone sounds as good as X, it should be worth the cost of X." Yet one runs into the same problem, only now with X headphone instead of Y.
I'm not trying to be contentious, just sort of thinking out loud. More and more I've come to realize that a lot of the stuff that goes on in this hobby---from the reasons behind peoples' posts to the actual purchasing of gear---has very little to do with sound. I'm not saying it's mutually exclusive: people still use this stuff to enjoy audio. However the drive behind consumption, the "journey" people go on about so much, is seldom about that. It's the little object 'a.' And that's fine, so long as people can sort of see the patterns going on with it. Really it just makes trying to determine value all the more nebulous tho.