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The First Few Listens of A Heaphone - Page 4

post #46 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by DAnMaN15726 View Post

Good point patrick
 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by newphones View Post

 

This is an excellent post worthy of our attention and reflection.

 

Thank you for your kind comments newphones and DAnMaN15726.

post #47 of 56

While I do think that "burn in" of headphones exist, I truly do not believe the changes that they bring are dramatic. If I do not like the sound signature, even after burn, the headphones will not magically sound better due to letting everything run for X hours.

 

I am definitely of the opinion though that it is 95-98% psychological "burn in" and the rest is actual burn in. I will also admit that I was quite underwhelmed by my first high end headphones at first. Actually most of my purchases have been underwhelming but after using them for a week and adjusting to the differences, I really start to see the pros of the new equipment I get and the cons or trade offs. I usually give everything at least a week before making a full opinion because I need at least a few days just to get shake off the unfamiliar feeling. There were some headphones I truly was ready to send back the moment I opened them and now they are actually my favorites. Sometimes the brain hates change but once you open up and give things a chance, you may really end up finding a match that you'll be happy with. Of course, always do it within reasonable financial boundaries :P 

post #48 of 56
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your opinion Ohno!

post #49 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by DAnMaN15726 View Post

What i just said is basically what your saying except changing "Buy" with "Keep". And you didn't answer my other question. I do exercise independant judgement, i already had a product from Audio Technica so i went along with another one. And also people tend to look at what other people say because they don't want to buy bad products and spend time and money in returning them, especially if your ordering it online with these exotic names in audio that can't be found almost anywhere publically.  Plus on amazon, anybody will say anything with five stars. If people didn't say anything about the M50s, do you think i or anybody else would have bought it? Same goes for your Koss headphones. Those reviews have a purpose for making you feel more confident to buy them.  Plus in the reviews, people have good points to take into consideration: Build quality, budget, comfort....   However, if there was a local store that i could go to and check out headphones, i wouldn't care as much about the reviews because it's a more hands-on approach and that i can try as many as i want without worrying about a fee. When you try out something..anything..it's always going to be independant judgement because reviews do not represent you.

 

Plus it's my word against people that have tried more headphones than i do, so techniqually they kinda' know what they're talking about. I won't ever buy that much. i'll cut it off after $220 cause i don't see a point after that but it helps to be an effective shopper and that's why i ask y'all.

 

I have grown a bit wary of online reviews, but as you say, unless you can demo them (many of us don't have access to a showroom which allows it), you do have to rely on the assessments of others.

 

And this is where the issues arise.

 

1. There are serious, enormous issues with trying to convey sonic characteristics in written form. One could write an entire book about this topic.

 

2. Reviewers may no longer be aware of their own biases. For example, closed headphones tend to have slow sound decay. I've been listening to dj100's for about a week, and initially, this characteristic was VERY obvious. This is because 99.9% of my previous headphone use was with open 'phones. The more I use closed 'phones the less I notice the slow sound decay issue. The less I notice, the less bothersome it becomes. The less bothersome it becomes, the less likely I am to mention it in a review. Therefore, someone who has grown accustomed to closed designs may not even notice this issue and hence won't mention it in a review. If you point it out to them, they might say 'huh? I don't hear that.'

 

3. There aren't any controlled tests of headphones. Again, this is a serious problem when it comes to reliability.

 

4. Most of the reviewers are in their teens and early twenties. They can become wildly enthusiastic if they feel they have found a 'hidden treasure,' and sometimes will go on an evangelistic crusade praising a particular product far beyond it's actual merit.

 

5. Many people have clear cut preferences in sound signature, which they may or may not mention.

 


All in all, you can gather some useful information from this site; but the signal to noise ratio is not nearly as high as I had hoped. It does take a lot of effort to filter out the noise, and therefore the process becomes quite time consuming.

post #50 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by newphones View Post

 

I have grown a bit wary of online reviews, but as you say, unless you can demo them (many of us don't have access to a showroom which allows it), you do have to rely on the assessments of others.

 

And this is where the issues arise.

 

1. There are serious, enormous issues with trying to convey sonic characteristics in written form. One could write an entire book about this topic.

 

2. Reviewers may no longer be aware of their own biases. For example, closed headphones tend to have slow sound decay. I've been listening to dj100's for about a week, and initially, this characteristic was VERY obvious. This is because 99.9% of my previous headphone use was with open 'phones. The more I use closed 'phones the less I notice the slow sound decay issue. The less I notice, the less bothersome it becomes. The less bothersome it becomes, the less likely I am to mention it in a review. Therefore, someone who has grown accustomed to closed designs may not even notice this issue and hence won't mention it in a review. If you point it out to them, they might say 'huh? I don't hear that.'

 

3. There aren't any controlled tests of headphones. Again, this is a serious problem when it comes to reliability.

 

4. Most of the reviewers are in their teens and early twenties. They can become wildly enthusiastic if they feel they have found a 'hidden treasure,' and sometimes will go on an evangelistic crusade praising a particular product far beyond it's actual merit.

 

5. Many people have clear cut preferences in sound signature, which they may or may not mention.

 


All in all, you can gather some useful information from this site; but the signal to noise ratio is not nearly as high as I had hoped. It does take a lot of effort to filter out the noise, and therefore the process becomes quite time consuming.

a reviewers' self-assessment of their preferences is just as important as their reviews, I never trust new reviewers without these.

post #51 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by KamijoIsMyHero View Post

a reviewers' self-assessment of their preferences is just as important as their reviews, I never trust new reviewers without these.

 

This.

 

Take note of the really good reviewers.  The ones who have been around for a while.  They'll usually state their full chain, their normal preferences, and their possible biases.  Check their profiles and their past reviews.  Find out what you have in common.

 

You can actually get a whole lot of info from this site if you are dedicated enough to research into the reviewer (as well as the headphone review).  Find out:

 - if his/her gear is similar to yours

 - if they have comments similar to yours on any gear you've both had in your past

 - if they share similar musical tastes

 

Then you can start making informed decisions.

post #52 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by DAnMaN15726 View Post

Every time i get new headphones, the first song i listen to in them is terrifying!
I speculate on why i even spent this amount of money in the first place.
But then, after about 20-30 minutes of listening to them, or maybe a day or in rare cases, a week, they sound..amazing and/or much better than the first time.
Is this what y'all refer to as burn-in time? Has this ever happened to y'all?

It is what is referred to by many as your ears adjusting to the sound signature. This is what I believe is generally mistaken as "break-in". I personally do not believe in break in at all. But your mileage can and should vary. Its a free country.

What I try to do is listen to any headphone before I buy it. That way I know if I like it or not. Sight unseen is mostly not a good idea, but I guess sometimes the only option.
post #53 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by p a t r i c k View Post

 

I have observed this phenomenon myself and I advise anyone who is trying out some new Hi Fi component to stick with it for quite a long time if they don't like it at first.

 

It is psychological as others have observed. There may be some change in the actual sound of the headphones which is called "burn in" but my belief is that this is extremely slight. The psychological reaction is hugely more significant.

 

Hi Fi is today unfortunately a consumerist activity and consumerism is driven by psychological anxieties. We are told over and over again in advertising that buying things brings happiness. This brings an anticipation in the purchasing activity of instant happiness. Then the new headphones arrive, you put them on and play music, but the music sounds a bit different and not immediately better in a instantly comprehendible way so as the whole consumerist expectation is for instant gratification a rejection appears at this point.

 

To illustrate this for yourself I recommend trying out the headphones of friends if possible. You will find that even though they might sound different you won't experience the "consumerist disappointment" that I described above because you haven't bought them and you haven't had the expectation of instant happiness for them.

 

Something else to consider as well as the expectation of happiness is that buying something can bring to the end a small entertaining story for yourself. Think of the narrative of purchasing. You start idly thinking how you might like product X. You read up about product X a bit as part of research and you consider it in comparison to other similar products. You fantasise a bit about what it would be like to have product X. Then you buy product X. Actually having product X is a bit of a disappointment because it brings to an end this entertaining activity of checking out and purchasing product X.

Another thing to note is diminishing returns. Assuming that the upgrade was also a raise in price, you expect a certain level of increase in sound quality. Once you reach those mid-budget to high-budget headphone setups, you notice less of an increase per dollar. While your brain expects 10% increase in sound quality with 10% cost increase, it isn't that way. 

However, I suspect the true origin of this sound horror you experience is that it's just you getting used to the headphones. You are used to a certain sound signature from your old headphones, and this headphone sounds DIFFERENT than what you are used to. However, different isn't always bad (usually good if you made an inform decision about your purchase!)



Enjoy this period of learning - it's all part of the experience.

post #54 of 56
Thread Starter 

 i don't think you can get rid of the "place-bo" effect; it's just inevitable. Unless you own so many different headsets which the average consumer won't have. Well ok, if i can find a showroom where i can try out headphones, i'll go there. If i can't find the brand i'm looking for, i guess i'll look everywhere online on what people say, besides, im pretty sure there are some credited people here in this forum.


Edited by DAnMaN15726 - 1/9/14 at 3:10pm
post #55 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by newphones View Post

1. There are serious, enormous issues with trying to convey sonic characteristics in written form. One could write an entire book about this topic.

 

After pondering for years now, I've come down to the conclusion that the most important characteristics when trying to find a good pair of headphones, without spending a lot of time delving into the complexity of things is: What music a person likes to listen to and how loud they listen. One can do pretty well on just those two things alone.

 

Here's an interesting thing though: I frequent a few audio forums. One I go to is full of people who have spent years going through all sorts of audio gear and headphones (and speakers). While on Head-Fi if I write a review it is long-winded, on that forum I might write the same review in as little as three lines. I couldn't do that here, because there are many people here who haven't been through everything I (or those people) have and wouldn't understand what the heck was meant by the three-line review. A lot of new people come here looking for advice, so it's rather inevitable that things are the way they are.

post #56 of 56
Let me just quote this :-)

Jack Dykinga: “Cameras and lenses are simply tools to place our unique vision on film. Concentrate on equipment and you’ll take technically good photographs. Concentrate on seeing the light’s magic colors and your images will stir the soul.”
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