Originally Posted by Tangster
The CX400 is trash. So muddy. My friend bought them from sennheiser direct as well.
This is what I think about muddy in reply to someone who shares the same passion for "muddy" and overpowering bass in another thread:
Originally Posted by lebomb
I keep hearing IEMs with deep low bass described as muddy. I then hear that some IEMs that have NO BASS what so ever to me are said to have a balanced bass sound. What? I have a very good audio system in my car and without the sub I have (probably called muddy) in there........it would sound life less and I would be missing a whole octave of sound. Dont the best home theaters have deep, powerful bass? The same as live concerts? I would just like to be educated on this. Personally, If I dont hear a powerful low end, its just not very good overall sound. To me the bass should be as powerful as the mids and highs. So back on point. What would one describe as muddy? When I read that an IEM has some low end, not much, but its there and its considered good bass (this is a fail IMHO), but an IEM with deep low end is described as muddy. Im a newbie to IEMs, so please dont flame me out.
THANK YOU for expressing the same concern that I have in a straightforward and demonstrative way.
I'm still figuring this out myself.
I'm just so happy to see someone else in here who feel the same way about bass.
I understand that, given the name of this website (emphasis on fidelity), any set of interventions that ultimately alters the input signal is the bane of audiophiles.
My argument then is this:
Consider the acoustic experience of the primordial powerful bass that is exalted by rap enthusiasts and shunned by connoisseurs of original Rubinstein vinyl records. Suppose that a pair of headphones is tasked the ambitious acoustic engineering feat of reproducing that exact experience, the same "muddy" sound of exaggerated, amplified bass, with the same intensity.
This then becomes a valid test of fidelity.
Arguments based on musical absolutism, the division of genres into hierarchies, are of course invalid in this context.
In my own test, expensive audiophile headphones considered to have high fidelity and with a flat frequency response CRACK when attempting to reproduce that sacred "MUDDY, OVERPOWERING" bass.
As someone who seeks to reproduce the same experience you have described, the sound produced by a "philistine" set of megawatt car subwoofers, I can objectively say, given the domain of the formal definitions in the language I am using now, that flat sounding headphones that can't drive bass at higher intensities fail in fidelity.
One common audiophile preference is that one should listen to sound as it was intended/produced. However, mixing engineers working in the recording industry are constrained in the intensity of bass they can set since the level of the rest of the frequencies will be too low. That would constitute a problem in broadcasting to a mass audience. Bassheads like me prefer more of that bass sound, even if the details are overwhelmed. It is ridiculous to assume that I care not about anything other than the low end. I have sufficient sensitivity for those higher frequencies that I can hear them sufficiently amidst the "mud".
This is my rationalization for my love of MAXIMUM bass.