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New here...Need help

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone! I recently became interested in headphones and audio tech. My gear thus far is:

 > 2.1 Logitech Z3 For my Desktop

 > Pioneer Steez (SE-MJ721I-K)

 > Klipsch Ear buds, S4 I think.

 

I am just barely learning about what makes HP good or bad, and thus far I know that the first number on the Freq. means bass and the second number means Treble...at least that is what I was told at Fry's Electronics. 

 

So, I was wondering if anyone would be kind enough to give me a run down of all the specs on a box and what they mean...in a way that a "newb" could easily understand. 

 

Also, if amps could be explained to me...I am not sure if I need one or what difference it would make. 

 

Thanks in advance!

 

 


Edited by tisumner - 3/21/13 at 1:42am
post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 

Bueler...Bueler...lol

post #3 of 9

Well first off, probably best to not buy anything at Fry's electronics, at least not until you've done a fair amount of reading up on things here.

 

The Freq numbers you're referring to are the range the HP can produce and you're right the first number is bass the second treble, but you can pretty much ignore these numbers since they tell you almost nothing about the quality of the headphone or how good they sound.

 

You can learn about the science behind each of the specs, but you'll find that they won't really help you that much when you're on the lower end. Frequency Response charts will help you much more than the specs on the box, but those too will take awhile to learn what they mean. I'd suggest reading reviews and then trying to get out an listen to some of the HPs that review well. At this point you probably don't know what kind of sound you like (bass heavy, treble heavy, V shaped, Mid centric, neutral, etc.) so you can't make a "perfect" choice based just on reviews and specs . . . you have to listen to them.

 

To really help you people need to know what your budget is and what kind of music you like.

 

As far as amps go, in general, don't worry about an amp unless you buy headphones that require more power than what your source (computer, ipod, etc.) can provide. If you're looking to spend less than $300 on headphones than don't worry about an amp at this point. Some expensive headphones don't require an amp, but in general the expensive cans need more power than an iPod has.

 

Try doing some searches based on your music preferences and budget, I'm sure there are at least 37 threads here that will answer your questions. I'm not saying you shouldn't post your questions, but I wouldn't look for any quick answers to what headphones you should get. Take your time and I'm sure you'll get a great pair.

 

Sorry I didn't answer the most of your questions, I just don't think they'll actually help you as much as you think at this point.
 

post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by tisumner View Post

So, I was wondering if anyone would be kind enough to give me a run down of all the specs on a box and what they mean

 

Also, if amps could be explained to me

 

 


oh if only it were that simple...

 

mate, if you were to get an explanation on every single spec, each post would be 10,000 words long. nevermind the workings of an amp...

 

look at the specs on the box, and use the forum search option to search for their meaning. for example, if you search "frequency response", or "impedance", youll find 100 threads about the topics.

 

also, lurking around this forum (sound science) is a very good way to learn, thats (partly) what i do. 

some links:

http://www.head-fi.org/a/glossary-of-terms

http://www.head-fi.org/a/describing-sound-a-glossary

http://www.head-fi.org/t/574226/educating-yourself-about-audio

http://www.kodachrome.org/salt/sunderst.htm

 

good luck

 

cheers

 

cheers

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Why not Frys? I am just confused as to why I should not buy my stuff there...its the largest variety of HP in my area..at least that I know of. And my budget is up to $150.00...maybe up to $200 but only if they were REALLY REALLY good. As far as my musical tastes, I listen to everything from metal, rock, alt, classical, artists from Barry Manilow to ABBA to the Bee Gees; I would also use them for movies, on occasion, action films mainly. I apologize for my lack of adroitness with all of this, its partially why I joined, I would love to learn!
post #6 of 9

if your looking for recommendation as to what headphones to buy, go to the headphone forum and ask there in the recommendations thread. be sure to mention what music you listen to, what your budget is, what other gear you have, how your going to use the headphones (home, portable, etc) and if you want open/closed back.

post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by tisumner View Post

Why not Frys? I am just confused as to why I should not buy my stuff there...its the largest variety of HP in my area..at least that I know of. And my budget is up to $150.00...maybe up to $200 but only if they were REALLY REALLY good. As far as my musical tastes, I listen to everything from metal, rock, alt, classical, artists from Barry Manilow to ABBA to the Bee Gees; I would also use them for movies, on occasion, action films mainly. I apologize for my lack of adroitness with all of this, its partially why I joined, I would love to learn!


Generally big box stores don't carry the headphones that sound the best, but rather that look the best and spend the most money on marketing, like Dr. Dre Beats. It is possible they carry some good ones, but usually going to a more specialty audio shop will have better HP. The audiophile HP don't always cost more, the Grado SR80i is $100, but they are designed for sound quality and you usually get a much better bang for your buck. Same goes with speakers. My $300 speakers from an audiophile shop sounded better than all of the speakers (up to $2,000) at the nearest big box store.

 

Now, it is possible that Fry's has a few really good pairs, but you need to learn about them here and not just by going into the store and looking at all the boxes. I'm hoping that you can also listen to them all there. Take in your music and have some time to really demo the ones you end up interested in.

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

That is very true! and, I will admit, it is hard not to be swayed by looks at times- for instance, I think the Marleys look really cool but from what I read on here...they are not so good. Are there any "keywords" or something that I should look or look out for when it comes to HP?

post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by tisumner View Post

That is very true! and, I will admit, it is hard not to be swayed by looks at times- for instance, I think the Marleys look really cool but from what I read on here...they are not so good. Are there any "keywords" or something that I should look or look out for when it comes to HP?


Well, I would totally ignore marketing. Good to stay away from Bose and most things with the name of some celebrity. Why would a company pay a lot of money to attach a celebrities name to their product? Because the product isn't good enough to stand on its own. I don't have a lot of knowledge of headphones in your price range. I got Grado SR-225i which are $200 new and then modified them heavily (wooden cups, sock mod, vented, custom headband . . . just look at my avatar). The Grados are a great bang for the buck line, but they are bright (treble is boosted and non-linear). Some people love the sound, some people hate it. I love them, but I spent a lot of time with an EQ to get them much flatter (although I still enjoy listening to them without EQ). The thing I like about the grados is that they haven't changed much over the years and people have gotten very good at modding them. It's pretty darn easy to modify and customize the sound to your liking.

 

OK, that's the end of my Grado commercial. There are plenty of good choices out there, but be aware that there are even more bad choices.

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