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Non-audiophile reactions to high-end headphones Part II - Page 104

post #1546 of 4421
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeneraI View Post
 

 

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.

 

It's actually been done quite a few times, chiefly with A/V cables. There's never a difference in anything but durability. That's one thing I like about the V-MODA cable, it's kevlar so I know I won't snap it, but that's the only benefit. 

 

I mean, obviously all headphones have their own signature, but to my eyes it's like expensive televisions. They don't have the exact same picture, but if you sit everyone in front of a big wall of them, they won't all pick the same on that they think looks best. In addition, buying a 4K capable television (the equivalent of $2,000 planar magnetic headphones) in order to watch Netflix and broadcast television is pointless anyway.

 

Maybe those Audeze LCD-3's are capable of higher fidelity, clearer sound. They probably are. But unless you're listening to a completely lossless, PERFECTLY produced piece of audio with a flawless DAC/AMP combination, first of all you won't even be sending anything through those speakers that warrants all the hardware. Additionally, there's a limit to how much fidelity the ear can differentiate anyway. 

 

Like I said, I would love to do a blind test of a couple dozen headphone types of the same ilk (closed vs closed, open vs open) and see just how much of a difference one can hear if one isn't told that this one cost $300 and this one cost $3000.

post #1547 of 4421
Quote:
Originally Posted by SomeGuyDude View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeneraI View Post
 

 

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.

 

It's actually been done quite a few times, chiefly with A/V cables. There's never a difference in anything but durability. That's one thing I like about the V-MODA cable, it's kevlar so I know I won't snap it, but that's the only benefit. 

 

I mean, obviously all headphones have their own signature, but to my eyes it's like expensive televisions. They don't have the exact same picture, but if you sit everyone in front of a big wall of them, they won't all pick the same on that they think looks best. In addition, buying a 4K capable television (the equivalent of $2,000 planar magnetic headphones) in order to watch Netflix and broadcast television is pointless anyway.

 

Maybe those Audeze LCD-3's are capable of higher fidelity, clearer sound. They probably are. But unless you're listening to a completely lossless, PERFECTLY produced piece of audio with a flawless DAC/AMP combination, first of all you won't even be sending anything through those speakers that warrants all the hardware. Additionally, there's a limit to how much fidelity the ear can differentiate anyway. 

 

Like I said, I would love to do a blind test of a couple dozen headphone types of the same ilk (closed vs closed, open vs open) and see just how much of a difference one can hear if one isn't told that this one cost $300 and this one cost $3000.

I'd happily voluneteer :D

I don't doubt myself in what headphones I like. I start to feel slightly unsure with amps, and with DACs I simply don't trust my ears anymore. That is generally speaking of course.

It might be slightly problematic that one could have a feeling on what they listen to based on comfort, weight and feel in such a test. 

post #1548 of 4421
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post
 

I'd happily voluneteer :D

I don't doubt myself in what headphones I like. I start to feel slightly unsure with amps, and with DACs I simply don't trust my ears anymore. That is generally speaking of course.

It might be slightly problematic that one could have a feeling on what they listen to based on comfort, weight and feel in such a test. 

 

If I had to take a guess, I'd say that as long as someone made sure that each pair was outputting the same average volume and that there was no coloration being done by the output (meaning, no EQ, no boosting, no attenuation, just the exact image from the drivers), what you'd see is nearly everybody selecting headphones in the >$300-400 range, but which product exactly would vary wildly depending on taste and comfort. I do not believe there would be a "winner", nor would the preferences skew toward any particular price range. 

 

Hell it would also depend on what MUSIC is being used. Let the people supply their own and I'll bet dollars to donuts the results would change DRASTICALLY. I listen to metal and hip hop, what I'm going to pick as my favorite pair is going to be a lot different than a jazz/vocal listener.


Edited by SomeGuyDude - 3/1/14 at 2:03pm
post #1549 of 4421
Quote:
Originally Posted by SomeGuyDude View Post

 

If I had to take a guess, I'd say that as long as someone made sure that each pair was outputting the same average volume, what you'd see is nearly everybody selecting headphones in the >$300 range, but which product exactly would vary wildly depending on taste and comfort. I do not believe there would be a "winner", nor would the preferences skew toward any particular price range. 

 

Hell it would also depend on what MUSIC is being used. Let the people supply their own and I'll bet dollars to donuts the results would change DRASTICALLY. I listen to metal and hip hop, what I'm going to pick as my favorite pair is going to be a lot different than a jazz/vocal listener.

Right about that.. Varies wildly with certain albums as well. My HE-5LE really got that synergy with Dave Brubeck 'Take Five' for example. They sound AMAZING with that album and jazz in general. And my Stax' sound amazing with anything live and acoustic.

 

But really, you don't have to rank a headphone after which you like speicifically. There are many ways to do it, like different categories. That is what you mostly do in blind tests. Or you could have a 'reference' to which you compare other headphones.

 

I don't care about price at all. I care about how it sounds, at least with headphones. And I have no feeling that I am fooling myself in that regard. DACs and to some degree amps on the other hand.. That's a tougher one.

post #1550 of 4421
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post
 

Right about that.. Varies wildly with certain albums as well. My HE-5LE really got that synergy with Dave Brubeck 'Take Five' for example. They sound AMAZING with that album and jazz in general. And my Stax' sound amazing with anything live and acoustic.

 

But really, you don't have to rank a headphone after which you like speicifically. There are many ways to do it, like different categories. That is what you mostly do in blind tests. Or you could have a 'reference' to which you compare other headphones.

 

I don't care about price at all. I care about how it sounds, at least with headphones. And I have no feeling that I am fooling myself in that regard. DACs and to some degree amps on the other hand.. That's a tougher one.

 

Agreed on all points. Not a lot to add, LOL.

 

I will say, on the topic at hand, I think my favorite thing to do isn't to say "LOL I spend all this money on audio," but I really do enjoy it when I give people the bug and they go "well I don't wanna spend that much, but what could I get for $100?" Then I know that even though they aren't going to go neck-deep into equipment, at least they're at a point where they care about what goes in their ears.

 

They'll hear what I have and go "oh wow, I didn't know it could sound like that!" then next thing you know they're picking up a decent pair of 'phones.

post #1551 of 4421

Just convinced my brother to get some Sennhesier 598's for gaming and music. I think between my Heir Audio 3.ai's, and Bottlehead Quickie I've grabbed his attention with good audio equipment. He had a Turtle Beach 5.1 PC headset that's about 7 years old and it finally gave away tonight. The 'subwoofer' in it would rattle the plastic worse than a cranked 12" sub rattles a cheap cars' back bumper. Just obnoxious rumble/rattle. He's been borrowing my Sennhesier PC163D's, and really likes the detail level but wants more bass - it could certainly use more extension. He's even considering getting a DAC and amp down the line :).

 

>Welcomed to head-fi, told 'sorry' about my wallet.

>Sorry about wallet, brother sorry about his too now.

>Am I doing it right? :)

post #1552 of 4421
Quote:
Originally Posted by jodgey4 View Post

 

>Sorry about wallet, brother sorry about his too now.

>Am I doing it right? :)

 

Absolutely. 

 

:p

post #1553 of 4421
I very much doubt that blindfolded someone would not be able to pick out the differences between a HD800 and say a LCD2. Or a hd800 and hd600. I've had people unaware of the price of any of my headphones pick out differences in the frequency response, soundstage, perceived clarity - between a hd600 and hd800 - hd800 and th600. You can tell yourself as much as you want to that hi end headphones don't have much difference between them all you want, but it isn't true at all. However the improvements get smaller as you go up in price between 1000 - 2000 is a small difference whereas 100-250/300 is more substantial
post #1554 of 4421
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eternal Schism View Post

I very much doubt that blindfolded someone would not be able to pick out the differences between a HD800 and say a LCD2. Or a hd800 and hd600. I've had people unaware of the price of any of my headphones pick out differences in the frequency response, soundstage, perceived clarity - between a hd600 and hd800 - hd800 and th600. You can tell yourself as much as you want to that hi end headphones don't have much difference between them all you want, but it isn't true at all. However the improvements get smaller as you go up in price between 1000 - 2000 is a small difference whereas 100-250/300 is more substantial

Your ears have suffered serious damage if you can't tell apart HD800 from lcd2, or hd800 from hd600, or hd800 and th600, all of those headphones have pretty distinct characteristics, I would put money on being able to discern them from one another with a high degree of accuracy. 

post #1555 of 4421
Quote:
Originally Posted by jodgey4 View Post
 

Just convinced my brother to get some Sennhesier 598's for gaming and music. I think between my Heir Audio 3.ai's, and Bottlehead Quickie I've grabbed his attention with good audio equipment. He had a Turtle Beach 5.1 PC headset that's about 7 years old and it finally gave away tonight. The 'subwoofer' in it would rattle the plastic worse than a cranked 12" sub rattles a cheap cars' back bumper. Just obnoxious rumble/rattle. He's been borrowing my Sennhesier PC163D's, and really likes the detail level but wants more bass - it could certainly use more extension. He's even considering getting a DAC and amp down the line :).

 

>Welcomed to head-fi, told 'sorry' about my wallet.

>Sorry about wallet, brother sorry about his too now.

>Am I doing it right? :)

 

he wants more bass and you recommended HD598's? I think that would be near the bottom of the suggestions list for headphones with bass.  those don't have bass.  sennheisers are notorious for lacking in the bottom end.   you want either orthos or closed headphones for bass.  heck, the monoprice $26 around ear dj style headphones would probably be a better option for a fraction of the cost if bass is what he's wanting.  and for the price, what's there to lose. 

post #1556 of 4421
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultramus View Post

Your ears have suffered serious damage if you can't tell apart HD800 from lcd2, or hd800 from hd600, or hd800 and th600, all of those headphones have pretty distinct characteristics, I would put money on being able to discern them from one another with a high degree of accuracy. 

I'm not sure if you are mistaking what I posted or agreeing?. I agree that differences are easily heard.

Exactly right.

The earlier post suggests that you cannot hear fidelity beyond a point which was given as something like 300-400 dollars. Which most here agree is not true.

+ Not saying all expensive headphones are great though, there are some 'flops'


Also most half decent recordings even in mp3 improve in sound quality quite a bit by going up. You don't need to use the best recordings of all time to hear differences between ToTL and mid fi.
Edited by Eternal Schism - 3/3/14 at 12:22am
post #1557 of 4421
Quote:
Originally Posted by jodgey4 View Post
 

Just convinced my brother to get some Sennhesier 598's for gaming and music. I think between my Heir Audio 3.ai's, and Bottlehead Quickie I've grabbed his attention with good audio equipment. He had a Turtle Beach 5.1 PC headset that's about 7 years old and it finally gave away tonight. The 'subwoofer' in it would rattle the plastic worse than a cranked 12" sub rattles a cheap cars' back bumper. Just obnoxious rumble/rattle. He's been borrowing my Sennhesier PC163D's, and really likes the detail level but wants more bass - it could certainly use more extension. He's even considering getting a DAC and amp down the line :).

 

>Welcomed to head-fi, told 'sorry' about my wallet.

>Sorry about wallet, brother sorry about his too now.

>Am I doing it right? :)

Yes! You are doing it right! xD But HD598 may not be the wise choice, though @. @ even with a good dose/amp combo IMO. The Philips X1 is a better alternative for your brother IMO 

 

I believe what Eternal is trying to say is that upgrading from $100 to $400 or $300 headphone is a more obvious improvement over upgrading from $300-$400 to $1000+ It is agreeable IMO 

post #1558 of 4421
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eternal Schism View Post


I'm not sure if you are mistaking what I posted or agreeing?. I agree that differences are easily heard.

Exactly right.

The earlier post suggests that you cannot hear fidelity beyond a point which was given as something like 300-400 dollars. Which most here agree is not true.

+ Not saying all expensive headphones are great though, there are some 'flops'


Also most half decent recordings even in mp3 improve in sound quality quite a bit by going up. You don't need to use the best recordings of all time to hear differences between ToTL and mid fi.

Oh I apologize, I completely misread your post, I thought you were saying they were indistinguishable. Yes I agree the difference is obvious. As per the thread topic, introducing people who aren't familiar with HIFI a really nice set of headphones, generally the first things they say are how much detail there is, I think that's where most of what we buy shines, generally the well regarded headphones all are leagues ahead of what most are used to coming from mp3s and poor transducers, letting them hear a familiar song in a better mastered/lossless version through a good chain can be an eye opener. 

post #1559 of 4421
On that topic. I brought a friend a pair of hd558 for general all round listening. He had a pair of hd202 before. Safe to say he's been absolutely floored by the sound of them, open headphones have made a big improvement for him. He's surprised at the width of the sound, very grateful considering he can't use speakers in his room.

His reaction was just a beaming smile the whole time starting off with new Tristan from Diablo 3.

Sorry about the misunderstandings. I'm struggling typing from my phone while my laptop is awaiting repair.
Edited by Eternal Schism - 3/3/14 at 12:43am
post #1560 of 4421
Quote:
Originally Posted by BillsonChang007 View Post
 

Yes! You are doing it right! xD But HD598 may not be the wise choice, though @. @ even with a good dose/amp combo IMO. The Philips X1 is a better alternative for your brother IMO

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bleudeciel16 View Post
 

 

he wants more bass and you recommended HD598's? I think that would be near the bottom of the suggestions list for headphones with bass.  those don't have bass.  sennheisers are notorious for lacking in the bottom end.   you want either orthos or closed headphones for bass.  heck, the monoprice $26 around ear dj style headphones would probably be a better option for a fraction of the cost if bass is what he's wanting.  and for the price, what's there to lose. 

He wants to try open headphones for gaming, we play competitive CS:GO in a clan (way more than we should) - most everybody in our group uses M50's which aren't optimal for gaming, but they do beat the $60 'gaming' headsets they came from, and they all appreciate the difference. It's hilarious to hear teammates get mad when someone isn't wearing them, and gets popped in the back because they couldn't hear an approaching enemy :).

One of them tries to talk to me about headphones and audio when I see him, and he made a gaming headphone purchase recently and he was trying to kind of show them off to me for approval... it was cute. At one point he was considering Noble 3's even... This whole wallet destroying thing is contagious if you have friends! I feel like I'm slowly poisoning/corrupting everybody around me. Woot.

 

.....but WOW I got sidetracked (even though its even more on topic to the thread :tongue_smile:)! To the people I quoted: I should have been more clear, he wants more bass from what my PC163D's have - which roll off in the low bass. They are detailed lows, but boring and texture-less. I wish I could find a frequency response graph for them as a reference point.

 

I have shared your concerns though and honestly thought the same on all points, down to the loving of monoprice, x1's, and orthos. I lurk hard on this site, I'm glad we're on the same page. I have decided to start a thread in the recommendations thread voicing these ideas... I'll let the pros who have burned through what little disposable income they may or may not have had handle this.

 

So now, back to your regularly scheduled program of tricking others into spending their money!

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