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Does price determine how big of a jump I will get with sound qaulity?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I'm looking to purchase a new headphone and I'm tempted by the Ultrasone edition 8. It is also expensive but I have no issues with that if it's going to have great quality. Question I have is how much better is the sound quality to something that's lower in price? Is the jump in sound quality going to be huge? Say we compare the Ultrasone 8 to the Ultrasone Pro 900, Sennheiser HD650, AK 701, or Beyerdynamic T70P. ( I know some of them are open). Will the difference in sound quality be truly noticeable?

post #2 of 12

Price is certainly not a direct component of performance, especially with such polarizing headphones such as ultrasone, which are objectively very poor performing.  Ideally you'd want to hear the headphone in person first before making such an expensive blind purchase.

post #3 of 12

well a jump from $5->$30 is about the same jump in quality as $30->$150 and the law of dimishing returns strikes as $150->$500 would be the next jump of similar distance and finnaly it would be $500->$1500

also price doesn't mean anything, the example given above are assuming models made by proper headphone companies are accounted (not crap Gangster Dre ones and Soulless Souls) so yeah the difference will be noticable, but then it would probably be just marginal, not night and day, if you can get it,sure get it, if you can't however, step down a little

also ultrasones are kind of expensive i feel

post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

I'm currently using Westone 4's right now and I want a full size headphone for use when I'm not traveling. The only way for me to try the Ultrasone 8 is by buying them and then returning them if they don't work. Good news is I don't have to worry about the restocking fee but it just takes time and I don't have much of that these days. The store did have an Ultrasone Pro 750 on display that I tried and that seemed okay. I also tried the Sennheiser HD650 but they leak to much sound out.

 

I've read the reviews (here in the forum and outside of the forum) and the phones seem to be highly regarded.

post #5 of 12
I would say try them then, but if you aren't happy, be okay accepting a return. Again, high price, especially in that kilo-buck range, doesn't always mean high performance (if that makes sense, and I'm not trying to disparage Ultrasone here). You might look at the PRO2900 (which cost about half as much, but are open - all open headphones will leak).

If you need something closed, there's not a lot of consensus-loved options out there. Most higher end closed headphones are fairly colored in one way or another.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 

unfortunately I have to go with closed headphones. I don't mind returning them if i don't like them but it's just a hassle. I figured closed headphones would be colored 1 way or another but I really want a pair that can give me really really good sound quality. I don't want to dink & dunk on the headphones and end up with 2-4 pairs of $400-$600 headphones. My wife will be extremely unhappy . It's easier say "yes it's expensive but it's the only one I will need. Until it breaks" and then she'll just back off and let me be. 

post #7 of 12

It depends on your preferences. For example, you might be happier with an upgrade to dark and laidback sounding HD650 rather than Beyer's T1

post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by punks15 View Post

It depends on your preferences. For example, you might be happier with an upgrade to dark and laidback sounding HD650 rather than Beyer's T1

Agreed. Although price is a factor, it does not determine that you will be pleased with the sound quality.

post #9 of 12

I think in general, there is a reason for a pair of headphones having a very high price. Usually this reason is an increase in sound quality. Whether you like the sound signature or not is totally up to you. Obviously some companies have made "bad" headphones that are expensive, but if you're in the upper price range, usually the headphones are of high quality in some way. The goal is to get exactly what you're looking for no matter the price.

post #10 of 12

Heya,

 

What I've learned in my journey is that price matters up to a point, then it just falls off a cliff. It seems at the $150 to $400 mark, you are getting some big differences in these price points from below that, but above that, you start to see such a plateau that it becomes more of a picky thing, a gear head thing, a technical thing, and very much less of a true euphonic thing or quality thing. I went high-end and found myself actually using "lesser" headphones and "lesser" dac/amp units. Why? Because the best technical and most expensive hi-fi is not always the best-fi for your music and preferences.

 

If you need closed headphones, maybe consider some of these (highly dependent on your preferences towards sound):

 

Mad Dod modded T50RP

Denon D2000 & D5000

Shure SRH840

Beyer T70 & DT770

Fischer Audio FA002W, FA003 & Brainwavz HM5

Philips Uptowns

AudioTechnica A900X

AKG K271 MKII, K272 HD, K550

 

Very best,


Edited by MalVeauX - 10/15/12 at 8:30pm
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

Heya,

What I've learned in my journey is that price matters up to a point, then it just falls off a cliff. It seems at the $150 to $400 mark, you are getting some big differences in these price points from below that, but above that, you start to see such a plateau that it becomes more of a picky thing, a gear head thing, a technical thing, and very much less of a true euphonic thing or quality thing. I went high-end and found myself actually using "lesser" headphones and "lesser" dac/amp units. Why? Because the best technical and most expensive hi-fi is not always the best-fi for your music and preferences.

If you need closed headphones, maybe consider some of these (highly dependent on your preferences towards sound):

Mad Dod modded T50RP
Denon D2000 & D5000
Shure SRH840
Beyer T70 & DT770
Fischer Audio FA002W, FA003 & Brainwavz HM5
Philips Uptowns
AudioTechnica A900X
AKG K271 MKII, K272 HD, K550

Very best,

+1. Around that $300-$400 bar is where you hit the wall, and more expensive stops mattering. It doesn't "get you more performance" most of the time.

I would add the Kenwood KH-K1000 and Audio-Technica ATH-ESW9 to Mal's list as well.
post #12 of 12

I agree on 3-400 as well.  That's the price boundary at which most companies price their former flagships (ie 650, 880, 701)  The upper limit of 400 also falls within HE-400 territory, so you manage to get a taste of planar magnetics as well.  Anything higher and you run into new flagships that work on subtle refinements, sound signature changes or just flat out price gouging.

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