Originally Posted by Mani ATH 87
No offense intended, but I don't really get this statement about "proper sound". I also disagree 100% that a flat sound is most beneficial to every genre. Saying that one way of listening to something is proper and another isn't seems silly to me. The proper way to listen to a piece of music is to listen to it with a sound signature that you most enjoy, whether it is "flat" or neutral, cold, warm, whatever the case may be.
Anyways, not to get off track, this was a great review. Really makes me wish I could give an earphone like this a chance, unfortunately I don't think I'll ever be able to convince myself that spending so much on an IEM is a worthwhile investment. In the mean time I will enjoy the 232's younger sibling
I disagree and agree. It depends on what you want with your music. I want to hear music the way the artist intended me to hear it. That is ONLY possibly with a flat, neutral headphone. They specifically use flat reference monitors for the exact reason of making their music sound consistent on as many listening devices as possible. The closer your listening device is to flat, the closer you are to hearing the song as accurately and perfectly as possible. In that regard, I disagree and think you should aim for flatness at all costs.
On the other hand, music is for enjoyment, so why would you listen to a flat headphone if you don't enjoy it? So in that regard I agree. Find a headphone you like the sound signature of and enjoy your music. That truly is the point.
However, I really don't think a lot of people don't know what true flatness sounds like. Sure, some may, but when you have true flatness you get the best of everything. In an electronic song that was recorded with pounding bass and sparkly highs you get that. With a piano song that was recorded with soothing mids you get that. If you buy a headphone with boosted bass and treble you will never hear the piano with the soothing mids, because you will overshadow them with the bass and treble. And vice versa. If you get a mid centric headphone you will never hear the pounding bass and sparkly treble in the electronic music.
So people that focus on certain genres might like a V shaped headphone to get that bass and treble, however a flat headphone should give you what the song's real traits are. So in essence, while it is completely the opinion of the user as to what "sounds" good to them, technically it would be like applying a permanent EQ to a headphone. It's like your saying, I want everything to sound sparkly and bassy. That is completely fine if that is your goal. But technically speaking flat is in fact the most "proper" sound to be faithful to the recording and in the way I described it is the "only" sound signature that is "faithful" to every genre.
Photographs are the same way. If you take an incredibly good photograph and frame it you have a piece of art that resemble the original thing photographed. Some people might like to boost the contrast and add visual effects. If they like that, that is completely fine as it is art. But it is not accurate to the original. That's all. Take monitor calibration for instance. Music is the same exact way. Visual studios will go out of their way to calibrate their monitors and printers. When they print a design they get extremely precise about the colors printing the way they look on the screen. That is the way they designed it, and they want it to look that way on print. It would be like buying the poster from them and asking them to color it differently. Again, that is a personal preference, but I personally want to hear what was recorded the same way I would want to see what was designed.
:) It's just a matter of preference. Do you want an accurate portrayal of the recording as it was intended no matter what genre or song? Or do you want the sound to have a certain coloring that you find more pleasing? There isn't really a right way, but I personally think if most people heard a truly flat headphone they would find their favorite genres to be more revealing and fun to listen to. I haven't found an IEM up to $500 that is even near flat in a way that is accurate to the recording. Granted most recordings are made on speakers which don't translate perfectly to headphones, but nonetheless, they all seem to have some difference that makes them unfaithful to the original. 4r with eq is the closest i've heard, because the 4r has smooth transitioning between all frequencies, so once the frequencies are corrected with eq they are very seamless between each other.
Edited by luisdent - 2/10/13 at 2:49am