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Head-Fi Buying Guide (Over-Ear Headphones)
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Noble BTS Review by HiFiChris Preamble: Before I start with my actual review, I want to thank Noble Audio and especially Brannan Mason for providing me with a sample of the BTS for my...
Head-Fi, Fiio X5 and me I came out of my lurking in January 2014 to join Head-Fi, I was looking for a DAP to replace my Creative Zen X-Fi's whose display had a 'black ink' spreading...
Foreword: I'm a production manager, but focus mostly on sound engineering. I install and tune a lot of P.A equipment, and also mix live acts in : - live venues, - concert halls, - bars, and -...
For me, they are the best ever. Maybe someday i'll listen to something 'better'? Well, we'll see. PD: The Highs can bother some people with their 2k and 8-9k peaks. For me it's fine, but it's...
In terms of design it is good looking and cofortable. Usb is meaningless to me, my laptops built-in sound card is better sounding than that usb. Sounding bad for its price. Still is good for casual...
are expensive headphones really worth it? - Page 4post #46 of 651/27/13 at 12:30pmIt all come down to how often you will use headphones. I know a lot of people that only use speakers because they like to feel bass. I am at a 50/50 mix myself. I tell people it's like buying a nice big screen TV. If you watch a lot of TV it's a smart move, but don't waste the money if you don't watch TV. A good pair of cans can do wonders for your music but can be a bad investment if you don't use them.
Gear mentioned in this thread:post #47 of 651/27/13 at 12:39pmThread StarterQuote:Originally Posted by FlyingInABlueDream
It all come down to how often you will use headphones. I know a lot of people that only use speakers because they like to feel bass. I am at a 50/50 mix myself. I tell people it's like buying a nice big screen TV. If you watch a lot of TV it's a smart move, but don't waste the money if you don't watch TV. A good pair of cans can do wonders for your music but can be a bad investment if you don't use them.
We don't need to talk about this. My headphones are basically my bread and butter. I use them constantly throughout the day. It took me a full week of nonstop listening to come to the conclusion I made in my previous post.post #48 of 651/27/13 at 1:28pm
Flac files is first off never a bad idea. I can understand your problem, and that you have chosen your music over sound quality, but I could just never really go back after I heard something sounding really good, despite me abandonning half of my music collection. Now my taste is gradually beginning to change towards pretty much any well recorded music, and I am in a gray area between the metal subgenres and jazz, folk, rock, and the like.
Go get yourself something entry, and maybe you want to upgrade later on. I don't believe taking such a big plunch is good for most people.
You mention music that is tailored to fit headphones. Your view, I see. But to me it is just obvious to discard music that is produced badly. Just like if I hear a song, that isn't good.post #49 of 651/27/13 at 1:30pmpost #50 of 651/27/13 at 1:47pmThread StarterQuote:
I have some generic bose headphones. I just looked up bose headphones in amazon and the AE2 audio is probably exactly the same pare I own, because it looks the same and cost the same. I think they're pretty awesome especially considering there were a christmas gift a couple years back. The only problem I have is when I use them for running, sometime the detachable wire falls out. They take some pretty heavy use, and work just fine. I think I'm more interested in a pare of headphones for just sitting down in front of my computer, which is basically what I use headphones for mostly.post #51 of 651/27/13 at 2:15pm
Ultimately, only you can decide if they're worth it...and as that one guy said, price doesn't equate to satisfaction.
I've sampled relatively few headphones, but each time, I get a greater sense of what I've been looking for. The vintage Stax SR-Lambda (Normal bias 1979 model) has the sound presentation (mostly midrange-centric) and comfort I prefer most, even compared to its modern descendants like the SR-202, but I've found that the HiFiMan HE-400 would make a great complementary headphone with its reasonably balanced signature (putting bass and treble notes at the forefront while vocals don't totally suffer for it) and comfort, along with less demanding amplification requirements.
For me, higher-end headphones (in the $250 to maybe $500 range) would be worth it to me as my primary means of listening to anything on my computer, provided that they deliver the sound presentation I seek and that they're comfortable enough. I'm still not sure I'd spend SR-Omega/SR-007/SR-009 money on headphones (let alone an amp like the BHSE to drive them), given that I'm plenty satisfied with much less expensive headphones, but I can see why people would.post #52 of 651/27/13 at 3:26pm
OP, if you are genuinely still thirsty for more headphones after returning your HE-400's, then Imma have to back up that guy who mentioned getting the HD650's a while back. Those have a pretty different sound, with more prominent mids (i.e. possibly the most important frequency range for distorted guitar and vocals), and are very forgiving of poor recordings (they basically make everything sound good). However, those are a bit 'dark', so it kinda depends on whether or not you've decided if you like treblepost #53 of 651/27/13 at 3:31pmThread Starterpost #54 of 651/27/13 at 5:13pmQuote:
That's a wise decision, and just in case you'd want to try Grados, i have the SR80is, and i believe that their price performance ratio is very good, they're also very easy to drive, so even without an amp, you still get most of what they have to offer.
Also, i think that the amount of satisfaction we get from our headphones, (or anything else for that matter), has to do with expectations, the more we pay, the higher our expectations, that's probably one of the reasons i get so much satisfaction from my SR80is, even tough i prefer the sound of my more expensive headphones.post #55 of 651/27/13 at 5:34pmSince I started listening to a pair of decent headphones I started to enjoy my music much more and now I'd never go back. With one side effect, that I really can't listen to some of the music in my library due to bad quality or is poorly produced music . So I ended up moving up to flac and now I'm planning to buy a pair of more expensive headphones in the future. Also I really can enjoy most genres of music because you can listen to them and appreciate their "beauty". I'm even more eager to see what more expensive headphones can offer in terms enjoyment of music.
But I really do appreciate my current headphones and think that a gradual evolution of headphones is the way to go, by doing so you learn to like the improvements, coloration and experience that better headphones can offer. And I'd say that there isn't anything like the perfect headphone, simply try, and try again, I'm sure you'll find something. Now I'm going of to bed and dream about a pair of some headphone I might fancy tonight.
So to conclude, buy something that you think offers good value and is suitably for your music taste, and work your way from there. What headphone that might be I'll simply leave up to you to find out with the guidance from more experience head-fi:ers. But don't give up, music got so much more to offer in a pair of good headphone.post #56 of 651/27/13 at 5:34pm
Connecting to a computer and blocking out the world = MDR-V6 to me ;)
I also find it surprising that unlike a high end TV amazing high end sounds don't pull the same reactions. I know a lot has to do with training your ears, our ears aren't surrounded by beautiful musical sounds 24/7.post #57 of 651/27/13 at 8:14pm
It truly is up to you. At some points, the percentage increase per dollar becomes increasingly small, but in general under 250 you basically will continue to a get better headphone as you go up in price.post #58 of 651/27/13 at 9:31pmQuote:
It certainly isn't and doesn't take much looking around to realise so. One or two people were banned for being abusive or clearly libellous or spam-posing about their bad customer experience, despite being kindly asked, multiple times to stop. They then went about posting their blogs that they had been banned for criticising a sponsor's product because the product being discussed or they had the bad experience with was made by one of the sponsors.Quote:
Something I came to realise is that a lot of music is made to sound best out of a radio or iBuds or the like. The higher into hi-fi you go, the less music is available that is very well recorded, so you can proverbially paint yourself into a wall with expensive equipment. On the other hand, you can gain an appreciation of different kinds of music as the subtleties of the performance because more audible.Quote:Originally Posted by Hifi Man
In any case, I learned a lot by just using them for a week. I guess I can understand why some people would like the kind of sound. My biggest gripe, aside from every nitpick I mentioned formerly in this post, is that they don't match the music I listen to. Everything else is kind of just a complaint. The fact that these don't go with the kind of music I listen to is actually something that's not tolerable. It's something I tried to get used to, but it just ended up driving me crazy. That being said I really really really really really hope the return for these goes smoothly. I'm going to be crushed if I get stuck with all this equipment, and be out of hundreds of dollars and stuff. For right now I'm just going to focus on keeping on listening to music like I normally would have, and getting rid of these headphones.
This is the key ultimately. The first question when anyone asks for headphone recommendations should be: What kind of music do you listen to? The second should be: How loud do you listen? That's 90% of it really.post #59 of 651/27/13 at 9:41pm
I recently purchased Shure 1440s and they literally blow away the Sennheiser HD 25-1 II's out of the water with detail. But of course they are twice the price. Are they worth twice the price? I do think so, especially for the music I care to listen to.
Meanwhile I never had any experience with phones over $500 so I can not say how they sound. I did test the Sennheiser HD 800s for a couple of hours in Best Buy, and I really enjoyed the level of detail, and mostly almost everything, except the treble. But they are almost $1000, I am not sure it they are worth that much though. IMO above 500-600 level the price increases does not correlate to the same amount of sound quality increase. (ex: Price going from 500-1000 and sound value going 2x as well)post #60 of 651/27/13 at 10:05pmQuote:
Heh, you're missing about $500 there.
In any case, you are correct about diminishing returns on high end headphones. Finding 'bang-for-your-buck' products get much harder to locate as you get pricier. Does this necessarily mean $1k+ headphones are absolutely never worth the money? Of course not. Does it mean that the average person is going to find value in a headphone valued at $1k+? Once again, of course not. There's a reason enthusiast and audiophile headphones are part of a niche market. A small percentage of people have ears trained enough to detect the difference between, say, pair of $25 JVC earbuds and $300 Westones or, more popularly, Skullcandy Lowriders and something like a pair of Sennheiser HD25s. (possibly due to poor sources and improper amplification, but that's for a different argument). An even smaller percentage of those who can will be able to appreciate the difference between comparable high end headphones (HE-6 vs LCD-2 rev2, HD600/650 vs PS500, etc.). That's not even taking into account the amount of people who are willing to put looks second when choosing headphones to listen to.
Despite that, what headphones are right for you are completely independent of what might be right for the average person. If you don't (or, possibly, can't) appreciate an expensive headphone setup, then do not buy an expensive headphone setup. It's simply your preference. Quite literally, your opinion.
But, then again, this is the internet. Majority of people who use it seem to think opinion = fact. Take anything posted here with a grain of salt.
- are expensive headphones really worth it?
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