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Battle Of The Flagships (58 Headphones Compared) UPDATE: AUDEZ'E LCD-2 Revision 2 (6/4/13) - Page 72

post #1066 of 4981
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by donunus View Post

Alright thanks David

All three headphones are fantastic though.  I love the SR507.  I in fact use them no less than the SR 007 Mk2

post #1067 of 4981

Battle of the Flagships Value Chart

 

Thanks again David for setting out to do this comparative review and sharing your thoughts. I took the liberty of converting your ranking of the first twenty-five headphones into a value chart based on the cost of the headphone (averaged out for any ranges). The following is a graphical representation of what I came up with:

 

1000

 

For the sake of posterity here is how I arrived at the figures:

 

Value points = Ranking Points / Cost Points

 

Ranking points: Highest ranking = 25 points; Lowest ranking = 1 point

 

Cost points: $1000 = 1 point.

 

Examples:

Using this format the Sennheiser HE90 had cost points of 9 and ranking points of 25. The resulting value points was 2.8 (25 / 9).

Hifiman's HE-500 had cost points of 0.7 and ranking points of 10 resulting in value points of 14.3 and so forth and so forth for the other headphones.

 

Comments:

Based on the chart the highest value points using David's figures went to the HE Audio Jade ranked # 7. I think this reflects a bit of an anomaly because of the allocated cost (gulp ... which due to David's very review will definitely go up). The HE Audio Jade had cost points of 1.2 ($1200) and ranking points of 19 which gave value points of 15.8.

 

The next closest value points was 14.3 for the Hifiman HE-500 ranked # 16 by David. This jives with David's allocation of an A+ rating to the HE-500.

 

The stand out headphones were as follows:

Sennheiser HD800 / Ranking # 6 / Value Points 13.3

HE Audio Jade / Ranking # 7 / Value Points 15.8

Hifiman HE-6 / Ranking # 9 / Value Points 13.1

Audez'e LCD-2 / Ranking # 12 / Value Points 14

Stax SR-Sigma / Ranking # 15 / Value Points 13.8

Hifiman HE-500 / Ranking # 16 / Value Points 14.3

Sennheiser HD650 / Ranking # 20 / Value Points 12

Sennheiser HD600 / Ranking # 21 / Value Points 12.5

 

Among the stand-outs it is worth noting that the only out-of-production headphones from the preceding list are the HE Audio Jade and the Stax SR-Sigma. This means that are several great headphones currently available to pick from to access world-class sound at still somewhat reasonable cost.

 

As easy to tell from the graph, David's highest ranked phones scored poorly in terms of value. They are all out-of production and cost a great deal. Based on the review listing, the highest ranked (sound-wise) currently available headphone is the Sennheiser HD800 (of course some may beg to differ with that ranking); but the highest ranked currently available in terms of value points (which of course incorporates sound) is the HE-500.

 

For someone in the market for headphones the targets are easy to highlight. Any one among the stand-outs listed above would do the trick. Question is: what kind of sound signature are you after and how much do you want to squash your wallet? Oh yeah ... sorry about that wallet.

 

(edited: correction on HD650 and HD600 ranking)


Edited by Terja - 11/18/12 at 4:59pm
post #1068 of 4981

Sorry but thats a little confusing to see, but makes sense on the ones your mentioning. Besides that I wouldnt be able to tell it apart. 

post #1069 of 4981
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Terja View Post

Battle of the Flagships Value Chart

 

Thanks again David for setting out to do this comparative review and sharing your thoughts. I took the liberty of converting your ranking of the first twenty-five headphones into a value chart based on the cost of the headphone (averaged out for any ranges). The following is a graphical representation of what I came up with:

 

1000

 

For the sake of posterity here is how I arrived at the figures:

 

Value points = Ranking Points / Cost Points

 

Ranking points: Highest ranking = 25 points; Lowest ranking = 1 point

 

Cost points: $1000 = 1 point.

 

Examples:

Using this format the Sennheiser HE90 had cost points of 9 and ranking points of 25. The resulting value points was 2.8 (25 / 9).

Hifiman's HE-500 had cost points of 0.7 and ranking points of 10 resulting in value points of 14.3 and so forth and so forth for the other headphones.

 

Comments:

Based on the chart the highest value points using David's figures went to the HE Audio Jade ranked # 7. I think this reflects a bit of an anomaly because of the allocated cost (gulp ... which due to David's very review will definitely go up). The HE Audio Jade had cost points of 1.2 ($1200) and ranking points of 19 which gave value points of 15.8.

 

The next closest value points was 14.3 for the Hifiman HE-500 ranked # 16 by David. This jives with David's allocation of an A+ rating to the HE-500.

 

The stand out headphones were as follows:

Sennheiser HD800 / Ranking # 6 / Value Points 13.3

HE Audio Jade / Ranking # 7 / Value Points 15.8

Hifiman HE-6 / Ranking # 9 / Value Points 13.1

Audez'e LCD-2 / Ranking # 12 / Value Points 14

Stax SR-Sigma / Ranking # 15 / Value Points 13.8

Hifiman HE-500 / Ranking # 16 / Value Points 14.3

Sennheiser HD650 / Ranking # 20 / Value Points 12

Sennheiser HD600 / Ranking # 21 / Value Points 12.5

 

Among the stand-outs it is worth noting that the only out-of-production headphones from the preceding list are the HE Audio Jade and the Stax SR-Sigma. This means that are several great headphones currently available to pick from to access world-class sound at still somewhat reasonable cost.

 

As easy to tell from the graph, David's highest ranked phones scored poorly in terms of value. They are all out-of production and cost a great deal. Based on the review listing, the highest ranked (sound-wise) currently available headphone is the Sennheiser HD800 (of course some may beg to differ with that ranking); but the highest ranked currently available in terms of value points (which of course incorporates sound) is the HE-500.

 

For someone in the market for headphones the targets are easy to highlight. Any one among the stand-outs listed above would do the trick. Question is: what kind of sound signature are you after and how much do you want to squash your wallet? Oh yeah ... sorry about that wallet.

 

(edited: correction on HD650 and HD600 ranking)

This is very creative! Certainly, interesting to see too!  I'm curious why the DT880 (#25) is so low?  Is that an error OR is it that I'm not understanding the chart?

post #1070 of 4981

For clarification the "order of sound quality" in the graph matches David's listing of the headphones near the bottom of page one of this thread. The "order of value" is the calculated value based on the cost of the headphone and its sound quality ranking as assigned by David. The chart is only a visual or graphical representation of David's ranking of the headphones and their calculated value as outlined in my post. I did not bother labeling the rankings 1 to 25 with the names of the headphones they represent as it would have created a lot of clutter on the graph. To match the numbers on the x-axis of the chart with a headphone simply use David's listing for reference.

post #1071 of 4981
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidMahler View Post

This is very creative! Certainly, interesting to see too!  I'm curious why the DT880 (#25) is so low?  Is that an error OR is it that I'm not understanding the chart?


Personally I don't believe the the cost adjustment weighing as a divisor based on "place" in the order of items you included in your sampling carries enough "weight" to cost the way Terja is looking @ it.  I feel your [David's] subjective value rating to be more in-line to my thinking of "bang for the buck", i.e. value. 

 

Terja, don't get me wrong.  I appreciate the effort and am of like mind in trying to draw an 'objective' rating scale from David's subjective opinion of overall ranking. (I've wanted to do the same but a different way but had to focus on a deliverable the last few weeks so I didn't tackle it).  But I think it would be more accurate not to make the divisor be where it ranks in cost of the sampling, but rather absolute cost.  Meaning, headphones costing $1-100 = 1, $101-200 = 2, $201-300=3, etc.  (or simply say, the street price divided by 100)  Reason being there might be only $100 difference between 3 or 4 rankings, but $500 or $1000 difference between one ranking and the next.  So, the weighing of cost is not linear and really should be be given the approach you're following.  Of course this would require you change your approach to the dividend too in the absolute value you use for the starting point; or you could utilize log() or ln() in the algorithm.  But I believe that would serve to hit the 'value' mark more accurately tho, and bring some of the lower cost items higher in the value ranking.


Edited by m8o - 11/18/12 at 5:53pm
post #1072 of 4981
Thread Starter 

By Christmas day, I hope to have at least one more headphone added :D, maybe two

post #1073 of 4981
Quote:
Originally Posted by Focker View Post

So nice to see some J.Buckley love...what an amazing talent. His version of Hallelujah is my favorite song of all time. That and Lilac Wine are two of my reference tracks that I use to evaluate gear. 

 

Wish the guy would have stuck around a bit longer....

 

My favorite version of Hallelujah is Sofia Petterson's, not surprising as i have a weak heart for female signers.


Edited by stacker45 - 11/19/12 at 5:57pm
post #1074 of 4981
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidMahler View Post

This is very creative! Certainly, interesting to see too!  I'm curious why the DT880 (#25) is so low?  Is that an error OR is it that I'm not understanding the chart?


I had to do a double-take too thinking maybe I had calculated it wrong. You gave it a ranking of 25 (or 1 ranking point using the chart) on your sound quality list. And based on its cost of $350 (or 0.35 cost points), its calculated value points is only 2.9. It's all relative to the other headphones of course and it beats out higher ranked headphones like Fostex TH900 (ranking # 23), Sennheiser HD90 (ranking #1) and matches Ultrasone Edition 10 (ranking #18). It's just that within the group considered it has the lowest ranking. To match the Sennheiser HD600 value the DT880 would have to cost $80 or move up in ranking to # 21 or # 22 to get close or beat it. A ranking of # 21 would give it the same value points as the HE-500.

post #1075 of 4981
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kendoji View Post

This thread is incredible. Well, the last few pages not so much, but ok. popcorn.gif

 

I'm finding myself irresistibly drawn to getting either the LCD-2 or the HE-500, largely thanks to this thread.  It'll be a fairly sizeable investment as I'll need a new amp as well, but heck since my girlfriend and I broke up a few weeks ago at least I don't have to justify it to anyone.  We had a running joke where she'd ask me 'Ok how much did that cost?'  And I'd reply, 'Well before I answer that question...' and then go into a long and detailed explanation about how whatever I'd bought was actually terrific value and a sensible purchasing decision.  ;)

 

I'm even finding myself tempted by the LCD-3...  I'll take my time making the decision.  

 

Does anyone else find that they spend more time reading about headphones than actually listening to them?  If I could just cut out the purchasing and listening altogether and stick with reading, I could probably retire in a few years!  :)

 

The first thing i bought we i got divorced was my Musical Fidelity X-CAN V2 amp, it feels so good to not have to hear her nagging everytime i buy a piece of gear. 

post #1076 of 4981
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidMahler View Post

This is very creative! Certainly, interesting to see too!  I'm curious why the DT880 (#25) is so low?  Is that an error OR is it that I'm not understanding the chart?

 

David / Terja

The mistake is in the assumption that the ranking points are linear (which they can't be in real terms).

 

Terja - using your analysis, you're assuming that the Orpheus (#25 performance points) would be 25 times better sonically than the DT880 (only #1 performance points).  Or maybe a better comparison is that the HD800 is 4 x better sonically than the HD600.

 

You can apply pricing in a linear fashion, but our knowledge of diminishing returns suggests that actual sonic performance is likely to be more logarithmic than linear.

post #1077 of 4981
Quote:
Originally Posted by m8o View Post


Personally I don't believe the the cost adjustment weighing as a divisor based on "place" in the order of items you included in your sampling carries enough "weight" to cost the way Terja is looking @ it.  I feel your [David's] subjective value rating to be more in-line to my thinking of "bang for the buck", i.e. value. 

 

Terja, don't get me wrong.  I appreciate the effort and am of like mind in trying to draw an 'objective' rating scale from David's subjective opinion of overall ranking. (I've wanted to do the same but a different way but had to focus on a deliverable the last few weeks so I didn't tackle it).  But I think it would be more accurate not to make the divisor be where it ranks in cost of the sampling, but rather absolute cost.  Meaning, headphones costing $1-100 = 1, $101-200 = 2, $201-300=3, etc.  (or simply say, the street price divided by 100)  Reason being there might be only $100 difference between 3 or 4 rankings, but $500 or $1000 difference between one ranking and the next.  So, the weighing of cost is not linear and really should be be given the approach you're following.  Of course this would require you change your approach to the dividend too in the absolute value you use for the starting point; or you could utilize log() or ln() in the algorithm.  But I believe that would serve to hit the 'value' mark more accurately tho, and bring some of the lower cost items higher in the value ranking.


It's not the cost that is the issue. The costs are accurately representational but the rankings are not. They are absolute. It is more likely that headphones are actually more similar and should be allocated the same sound quality ranking. The DT880 ranked the same as the HD600 would give it slightly better value point than the HD600 and would match it to the HE-500 in value points. The differences in sound quality really do not move as discreetly as the absolute numbers. I think they actually move in much closer increments like 7; 7.3, 7.8 etc. and are more likely to map out in clusters of sound quality.

post #1078 of 4981
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post

 

David / Terja

The mistake is in the assumption that the ranking points are linear (which they can't be in real terms).

 

Terja - using your analysis, you're assuming that the Orpheus (#25 performance points) would be 25 times better sonically than the DT880 (only #1 performance points).  Or maybe a better comparison is that the HD800 is 4 x better sonically than the HD600.

 

You can apply pricing in a linear fashion, but our knowledge of diminishing returns suggests that actual sonic performance is likely to be more logarithmic than linear.


Didn't see your post until I posted the one above. I completely agree (see my post above).

post #1079 of 4981
Quote:
Originally Posted by Terja View Post


It's not the cost that is the issue. The costs are accurately representational but the rankings are not. They are absolute. It is more likely that headphones are actually more similar and should be allocated the same sound quality ranking. The DT880 ranked the same as the HD600 would give it slightly better value point than the HD600 and would match it to the HE-500 in value points. The differences in sound quality really do not move as discreetly as the absolute numbers. I think they actually move in much closer increments like 7; 7.3, 7.8 etc. and are more likely to map out in clusters of sound quality.


Yes, I realize that now.  I misinterpreted your algorithm.  Thanx for the clarification.

post #1080 of 4981
Thread Starter 

I feel I should just reiterate that my rankings were a very abstract realization of my personal opinion.  Obviously, its fun for me to look at the chart, and its very flattering for some people to consider my rankings as meaningful, but please remember that its just my personal opinion :)gs1000.gif

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