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Why would anyone want just one headphone?

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 

I often hear people here say that they prefer to just have one headphone as their ultimate choice.

I just could never relate to this idea. All phones bring different things to the table sonically (and even comfort-wise).

All phones have their strengths and weaknesses, and the flagship phones all have unique personalities and are just great in different ways.

This is part of the joy of headphoning, to be able to hear your favorite music from other valid perspectives.

post #2 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgs9200m View Post

I often hear people here say that they prefer to just have one headphone as their ultimate choice.

I just could never relate to this idea. All phones bring different things to the table sonically (and even comfort-wise).

All phones have their strengths and weaknesses, and the flagship phones all have unique personalities and are just great in different ways.

This is part of the joy of headphoning, to be able to hear your favorite music from other valid perspectives.

 

If i only owned one pair, i'd spend more time listening, and less time figuring out wich headphones i'm going to use.

post #3 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stacker45 View Post

 

If i only owned one pair, i'd spend more time listening, and less time figuring out wich headphones i'm going to use.

'happy to see you have GS1000s. I have them (the i versions) in my collection and I'm a big fan of them.

post #4 of 40

I need at least four headphones.

1. A stylish slim headphone for portable use.

2. A full size open headphone for music, movies and gaming

3. A basshead headphone for bassy music.

4. A not so bassy headphone for non-bassy music.

 

This hobby is no fun if you only have one headphone.


Edited by RoMee - 5/21/13 at 10:12pm
post #5 of 40

I'd rather have a house with a big office where I could use speakers actually.  Since I've started to travel a bit, good IEMs were added to my list of headphones to own. I do own a pair of headphones with which I can listen to and enjoy any type of music I like, even if some of my other headphones are better with some genres. I honestly wouldn't mind not having to care about all teh fine details, but I'm a gadget nut as much an audio nut so it comes with the territory.

post #6 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgs9200m View Post

I often hear people here say that they prefer to just have one headphone as their ultimate choice.

I just could never relate to this idea. All phones bring different things to the table sonically (and even comfort-wise).

All phones have their strengths and weaknesses, and the flagship phones all have unique personalities and are just great in different ways.

This is part of the joy of headphoning, to be able to hear your favorite music from other valid perspectives.

 

 

I'm the opposite actually: I could never figure why anyone would want more than one phone (excluding portables for outdoor use), so long as it was the right phone. To me someone having many phones suggests that none of them is the right phone, since the right phone should reproduce all music with equal fidelity and be equally satisfying on all types of music. This "bringing things to the table" and "valid perspectives" doesn't wash with me as it has nothing to do with high fidelity--that is, the closest approach to the original sound. Of course, if you're just having fun experimenting by all means go at it, but that's got nothing to do with hi-fidelity (assuming anyone still cares about that hoary old concept). 

 

As another poster here has suggested, you'll spend more time trying to decide which phone to use on any given recording than actually listening to the music.

post #7 of 40

I'm more than happy to get by with 2 headphones:

1. Hi-fi open-back circumaural for the home/office (Sennheiser HD600)

2. Good closed supra-aural that doesn't require amping for portable purposes (Sennheiser Amperior)

 

I am one of those people who generally favors a neutral sound signature, so I am not really bothered so much by how different headphones color the sound and do not think that there is really any benefit to owning headphones with different sound signatures. As has been mentioned earlier, colored headphones have nothing to do with high fidelity, I'd rather color my sound according to my own tastes using an amp or DSP.

post #8 of 40
Cost is often a factor, not everyone can afford multiple headphones.

Personally, I want the most neutral and revealing headphone I can afford, and another more coloured pair for bad recordings.
post #9 of 40

Cost. You can only stretch allowance so far.

post #10 of 40

I want a do-it-all (or most) phone to make my life easier;  There's only one thing to turn to when you wanna hear something, so it's convenience for me.  Also cost.

post #11 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgs9200m View Post

I often hear people here say that they prefer to just have one headphone as their ultimate choice. I just could never relate to this idea.

 

That depends - others might, or might not, have other needs. Number one issue - financial/economic. If you can blow only a certain amount on headphones, buying one technically and/or subjectively superior headphone is better than buying several headphones that can't do the job. I had $250 for headphones, and I got a used HD600 (and new earpads) instead of buying an SR125 along with an M50 or Shure SCL2. I have another $300 now, but I'm not blowing it on an HE300, or adding to that for an HE500 - I'm getting the K550 (and a cable loop) for portable use because it's sealed. If my ears didn't itch with IEM tips I'd get a UM3X.

 

Our apologies, of course, if our poverty confounds you tongue_smile.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rgs9200m View Post

All phones bring different things to the table sonically (and even comfort-wise).

All phones have their strengths and weaknesses, and the flagship phones all have unique personalities and are just great in different ways.

 

If you have one headphone for each music genre, you're not listening to the music in terms of the meaning of "Hi-Fi." Just because it's hard to pin down what sounds exactly as the artist intended it to, short of getting the exact same equipment they used to master as well as the consumer speakers they tested, the idea behind several headphones is that the user picks one for a particular coloration based on what s/he is listening to, instead of what by a mix of technical specs as well as one's own reckoning of what the instruments sound like (more helpful if you actually listen to said instruments live at an acoustically acceptable venue) one headphone or speaker does the best with what one listens to. Not everyone has everything from Justin Bieber, Behemoth, Mozart, and Coltrane in his playlist, so what's the point in getting a different headphone for each genre?

 

To me, given the right amp, the HD600 and K701 on similarly new or worn ear pads aren't that far apart tonally, the K701 just has better spatial cues, but I picked the HD600 because of other reasons : cheaper pads that aren't too dependent on their shape and chances are it won't be as picky with amps. As with the flagships, as best I've noticed, the higher up one goes, the tendency is the differences to get more subtle as they get closer to being more transparent, although there are exceptions (like Stax) or some other equipment may not work as well with some of them, as with lower price points.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rgs9200m View Post

This is part of the joy of headphoning, to be able to hear your favorite music from other valid perspectives.

 

Ever consider that people who want an "all-rounder" for what music they listen to as a their "valid perspective"?  tongue_smile.gif  Heck to begin with one can hear the same instrument in one venue and another person hears it elsewhere, and they'd end up picking two different headphones or speakers as more accurate. Not everyone loves one headphone then scoffs at the rest, and even then, usually it's probably because of the price (the savers who can't justify spending more, or the elitists who think anything cheaper is trash).

post #12 of 40
Thread Starter 

The above arguments site the Absolute Sound issue, which goes back to the dawn of Audiophile days of whether there is such a thing.

(As much as I love headphones, I always felt that alternative sound signatures that make you happy are the goal, and, well, nothing sounds like

real music, and much of concert music is amplified and also affected by the venue, so IMHO, the Absolute Sound can't be pinned down, even with speakers.)

 

As for cost, of course that's a factor, and multiple phones cost more, but it's way more practical than having multiple speakers,

and I love taking advantage of that.

 

I said elsewhere that the Holy Trinity consisted of LCD3s, HD800s, SR009s, and I'd also add TH900s (and maybe Hifimen).

I really love all of these. I love hearing how each of these handle the Beatles and Beethoven, and they all have a different take and it's actually hard to choose between them,

so the more the merrier.

post #13 of 40

- one pair of open headphone for quiet listening at home.

HD800 for me. It actually responds quite well to EQ. So if I want more bass, I'll just EQ everything else down 3-5db.

 

- one pair of stylish, portable, semi-closed headphone for office

Still looking. It needs to isolate my music somewhat, but I also need to hear when other people calls me

 

- one pair of noise-canceling headphones for various situations

Still looking. My ears can't stand IEMs due to sensitivity issues. 

 

- one pair of cheap headphones for situations where you don't want to bring expensive headphones

KSC75. Been using it for exercising, housework, whatever dirty stuff, you name it. Haven't broke yet amazingly.

post #14 of 40

I'm kinda weird I guess cause I like a little variety, but I tend to reach a point where I settle in as opposed to continually buying new headphones every so often. I hit this point last Fall and I haven't bought any phones since. I found a nicer portable that I love, a few "beater" headphones that I can take wherever without worrying much if anything happens to them, a couple of flagship-type phones for home use, and a decent pair of IEMs. I feel pretty satisfied by my "team" at this point, which has allowed me to focus more on the music (and podcasts!) and movies and enjoy the fruits of my labor (I tend to research things ad nauseum like a lot of you guys do).

 

Stacker makes a great point, and having spent the last decade pretty involved with home audio (and more recently headphones), it's pretty clear that many people are far more caught up in the pursuit of gear than they are the music/movies (and podcasts!). It's not that I dont understand this, cause I have the bug, too. Getting new/different audio gear is one of the greatest feelings on earth! But that phase tends to have an expiration point with me. 


Edited by Focker - 5/22/13 at 11:48am
post #15 of 40

Some people want to curb their consumption.

 

I own multiple cans, but I am now trying to live a simpler life, by wanting less and consuming less.

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