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Non-audiophile reactions to high-end headphones Part II - Page 103

post #1531 of 3886
Quote:
Originally Posted by deciBel23 View Post
 

At this point I'm not very surprised when non-headphone enthusiasts listen to relatively balanced headphones and aren't satisfied with them.

 

And it bugs me that people say they're "wrong". Like to be a headphone enthusiast means your tastes must conform to certain criteria. It's like saying in order to be a film fan you have to prefer certain genres, or to be a beer aficionado means liking certain styles. Screw that. I don't want balanced headphones.

post #1532 of 3886
Quote:
Originally Posted by deciBel23 View Post
 

At this point I'm not very surprised when non-headphone enthusiasts listen to relatively balanced headphones and aren't satisfied with them.


Totally.  I think people like what they're used to and have an expectation of that.  So when they may see something new with a huge price tag they are expecting "everything they know and love"  + 1000 times better.

 

Honestly before I ever heard an Audeze headphone I had some Denon D5000's and later modded D7000's.  After reading everything people said about the LCD2's bass I was expecting like an even more visceral Denon (if that's possible).  But what you really get a more balanced natural phone.  Some people have an expectation and when reality differs in any way it becomes a let down to them. 

 

Understanding what you want and what you're buying is clutch.

post #1533 of 3886
Quote:
Originally Posted by barid View Post
 

Honestly before I ever heard an Audeze headphone I had some Denon D5000's and later modded D7000's.  After reading everything people said about the LCD2's bass I was expecting like an even more visceral Denon (if that's possible).  But what you really get a more balanced natural phone.

 

Couldn't agree more. I wasn't disappointed with the LCD-2 bass, but I was definitely surprised. It was talked up to be some almighty bass-demon.

 

(I still ended up buying them, and love them!)

post #1534 of 3886
Quote:
Originally Posted by SomeGuyDude View Post
 

 

And it bugs me that people say they're "wrong". Like to be a headphone enthusiast means your tastes must conform to certain criteria. It's like saying in order to be a film fan you have to prefer certain genres, or to be a beer aficionado means liking certain styles. Screw that. I don't want balanced headphones.

I'm not saying they're wrong, but that they have a different set of expectations than we do when it comes to headphones and what they should sound like.

post #1535 of 3886
Quote:
Originally Posted by White Lotus View Post
 

 

Couldn't agree more. I wasn't disappointed with the LCD-2 bass, but I was definitely surprised. It was talked up to be some almighty bass-demon.

 

(I still ended up buying them, and love them!)

 

Everyone keeps saying how "accurate" the bass is, which bugs the crap out of me. Like bass is this magic frequency that's separate from other bands. 

post #1536 of 3886
Quote:
Originally Posted by SomeGuyDude View Post
 

 

I think it's funny, but not illogical. To me, I recognize the fact that spending $400 on headphones is kinda silly, not to mention the $1800 I plunked into the audio system in my car. I don't look at these as rational choices. They ARE, however, MY choices. I'm happy to have what I have and I don't regret it all, and when people ask why I spend what I do?

 

"Why make the money if ya can't enjoy spendin' it?"

 

I feel some satisfaction in seeing people compliment my headphones or say they sound great, but I'm not such an arrogant knob that I think I'm superior to them for how they choose to spend THEIR money versus what I do with MINE. Remember that to THEM you're a weirdo who tosses money away on headphones instead of going out and having fun. 

 

Perspective, folks, perspective...

A - What is funny when one pays 400 dollars or more for a technical instrument that gives a high quality reproduction of  music ? Funny and silly is when someone cannot comprehend this. Funny is when someone spends 2000 dollars plus to go to a Mexican resort to catch a venereal disease.

What is silly about wanting as faithful reproduction of music as possible ? Why do people pay thousands of dollars for HD color TVs when the old and simple black and white cathode ray TVs could be bought for under a 100 dollars ? Aren't they funny and silly ? 

How can someone enjoy music when it sounds murky, with the instruments cramped and incoherent and vocals pushed away or drowned by resonances ? Those whose ears and brains are more sophisticated and demand the sound of a higher quality are funny and silly and not logical ? What is better, a trashy novel from the New York Times bestseller list or 'War and Peace' by Tolstoy ? And which one gives a greater reading pleasure ? If you answer this question then we'll know if, at the time of your comment, your mind was just temporarily 'out of tune' or if there is something fundamentally wrong with it. 

B - To look from another angle at the question of why people spend good money on superior technical tools, I would say that it is a matter of personal priorities and not a matter 'perspective'. The personal priorities flow from one's level of education and cultural sophistication, from ability to reason and to produce a balanced judgment and from the strength of character ['monkey see monkey do' for those of weak character, the result has been the 'Beats' mania]  If in our culture '22k Gold-Thread Pet Mattress' costing $3,000 sells well, then how can spending 400 dollars on good quality headphones be regarded as 'funny' and 'silly' ? 

http://www.incrediblethings.com/lists/14-ridiculously-expensive-pet-products/

[P.S. A personal slight or put-down was not intended in my reply. ]


Edited by zorin - 2/28/14 at 9:49pm
post #1537 of 3886
Quote:
Originally Posted by Armaegis View Post
 

 

My rule for clothing purchases is that I must wear it at least once for every dollar spent.

 

Along that same vein, I think I should institute a rule for myself for head-fi spending... maybe minimum 1 hour per dollar spent.

And how would that approach work in the case of 100 dollars plus spent on dinner and wine for a woman ? One dollar spent represents ..... ?

post #1538 of 3886
Quote:
Originally Posted by vl4dimir View Post
 

- Experience:

 

Until june 2013 I used to listen to music on a 'monster jamz' headphones directly from my iPhone or mac. Then I saw on a blog a review of the heir audio 4.Ai and decided to try them.

(and that's how I discovered head-fi)

Didn't like the sound so much but still used them until December 2013. At that moment I told myself f*** it man , let's see how music can sound. 

And that's me 3 months later : Hifiman HE-500 + schiit Lyr , magni , modi , soon the bifrost. And now i'm discovering tube rolling ,..currently I have a matched pair of Telefunken ECC88 and Dario Miniwatt E188CC.

Probably the best thing I've ever bought , definitively worth every penny.

 

- People around me:

For a 21 year old student  this setup isn't bad...I live most time on a campus and everyone said that I was crazy to spend so much.. until they hear by themself. Now I have friends who ask to come in my room to listen a little bit (doesn't work on girls .. can't have everything) :D 

And even with my limited experience , I've also had several friends who asked me what to buy to have better sound than their apple earphone (budget usually around 100-200$)

Even my mom after she listened for the first time never asked me again why I have spent so much (well....she still think it 'only' cost 400$).

It is not the technology that works with the women, it is 'what music is playing'.

post #1539 of 3886
Quote:
Originally Posted by Armaegis View Post
 

 

My rule for clothing purchases is that I must wear it at least once for every dollar spent.

 

Along that same vein, I think I should institute a rule for myself for head-fi spending... maybe minimum 1 hour per dollar spent.


Well unlike clothes, head-fi equipment is fairly easy to resell and it retains it's value pretty well so I don't feel too guilty about buying something and not using it too much then selling it again because it's only $30 or $40 I would have spent on something else silly anyways.

post #1540 of 3886

Another non-audiophile friend of mine just tried my setup today. His first impression was "the treble sounds somehow awkward". So I changed the Philips 6DJ8 A-Frame tubes to Tesla 7DJ8, and he said now it sounds perfect to him.

post #1541 of 3886
Quote:
Originally Posted by SomeGuyDude View Post

I don't want balanced headphones.

+1! More of a warm and midrange head here xD

My brother is actually dissapointed when he listened to the Noontec Zoro HD! He likes the Jabra Vox better... Guess he likes bass... Really much
post #1542 of 3886
Quote:
Originally Posted by zorin View Post
 

And how would that approach work in the case of 100 dollars plus spent on dinner and wine for a woman ? One dollar spent represents ..... ?

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
420meter-420x0.jpg

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elsie View Post
 


Well unlike clothes, head-fi equipment is fairly easy to resell and it retains it's value pretty well so I don't feel too guilty about buying something and not using it too much then selling it again because it's only $30 or $40 I would have spent on something else silly anyways.

 

Well, I guess in that case you'd have to leverage time spent vs accumulated value of gear.

post #1543 of 3886

There's a lot of "mysticism" in the audiophile world. You could say that "audiophile" refers to the lover of the best, the purest sound, and that audiophiles, in being so focused on fidelity in music reproduction, love music even more than normal people with "unrefined" ears. Or you could say that "audiophile" refers to a fetishized love of headphone technology itself, where music perhaps takes second stage.

 

Here's a simple test: do you spend more time thinking about, enjoying, obsessing over musical elements (like a riff, a key change, an orchestration choice, a rhythmic shift, a vocal timbre), or more time thinking about, enjoying, obsessing over headphones themselves (can x, amp y, how you're not sure if you should keep can a or can b, etc.). Which set of thoughts and obsessions tends to orient you? Mostly likely it's a mix. Certainly, there is a point (like diminishing returns) where being involved in the second type of thoughts becomes excessive and even maybe retards further advancement in music itself, whether as a musician or a lover of music. I'm sure there are plenty of people (but I don't mean all audiphiles) whose love of music has transformed into a love of headphones and audio technology, and who 1) would not admit this, and 2) would tell any potential detractors or critics that they are simply unrefined aurally, aesthetically, morally, or however.

 

For me, I only get into headphone-thinking when I'm forced to, like when a pair breaks or I lose them. Inevitably, while I'm searching for a new go-to pair, I get into all the excessive detail. I go from this set of cans to another, unsure for a month or two. And I've noticed that during these times I tend to enjoy music less. I become so worried about something not being right in my set-up (which most of the time is just an ipod and headphones), and I forget what the original point was. I also play music less, think about music itself less. But then, once I get saturated with it and find equipment I like, I go back to the music and don't think about headphones again--usually for a couple years or more, until I need to get more for some reason. At that point, I'm back into listening to music, thinking about modulations, key changes, rhythmic figures, riffs, and racking my brain about this wonderful structure called music. And I'm happier there, much happier.

post #1544 of 3886

I think that's why I don't like the term "audiophile". I'm not an audiophile. I'm a music lover. I feel like people struggle and agonize so hard over the details that they lose focus on why we do this in the first place. It's very much a "forest for the trees" situation. As impressive as it is to discuss graphs and response curves, sensitivity and impedance, all of that is supposed to be what gets us to enjoy our music. 

 

When it comes to spending thousands of dollars on equipment, I'm sure for those who do it it's entirely worth it, but I do join in the above poster wondering how much of it is true "I am able to enjoy my music more" and how much of it is the satisfaction of knowing that they have headphone X and think "ah, NOW I can enjoy my music".

 

I'd actually be curious to see what happens if there were a blind test done of headphones across the boards. Perhaps literally blindfolded so the people couldn't recognize them by appearance. What would win? Sometimes I see audiophiles in the same light as wine snobs, insisting that a $250 bottle is simply superior and listing off reasons why, but then in a blind taste, Two Buck Chuck comes out on top. 

post #1545 of 3886
Quote:
Originally Posted by SomeGuyDude View Post
 

I think that's why I don't like the term "audiophile". I'm not an audiophile. I'm a music lover. I feel like people struggle and agonize so hard over the details that they lose focus on why we do this in the first place. It's very much a "forest for the trees" situation. As impressive as it is to discuss graphs and response curves, sensitivity and impedance, all of that is supposed to be what gets us to enjoy our music. 

 

When it comes to spending thousands of dollars on equipment, I'm sure for those who do it it's entirely worth it, but I do join in the above poster wondering how much of it is true "I am able to enjoy my music more" and how much of it is the satisfaction of knowing that they have headphone X and think "ah, NOW I can enjoy my music".

 

I'd actually be curious to see what happens if there were a blind test done of headphones across the boards. Perhaps literally blindfolded so the people couldn't recognize them by appearance. What would win? Sometimes I see audiophiles in the same light as wine snobs, insisting that a $250 bottle is simply superior and listing off reasons why, but then in a blind taste, Two Buck Chuck comes out on top. 

 

This is very true. I see your wine reference like cables. Most audiophiles would say $1,000 cables make the biggest difference in sound, but I say they're being bambozzled. I would spend $80 max on a headphone cable. I want someone to do an A/B test with a $20 cable and a $1,000 cable.

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