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What got you into Headphones?

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 

Hey all!  I was recently watching Jude’s latest head-fi video about the history of head-fi.org.  As I was watching, I realized I had been on the site since 2008.  I also realized that I haven’t really contributed very much to the community and how I wanted to change that.  Anyway I wanted to share how I got into headphones and how my journey began.

 

    My journey started when I was playing a certain computer game, in college, by the name of Counter-Strike (Half-Life mod).  I started out just playing it casually but as I got better and better I eventually got into competitive play.  This is about the time I realized that my current speakers just weren’t cutting it.  I wasn’t feeling as immersed in the game, as I was told I could with a pair of nice headphones.  My first pair of decent headphones was a pair of Sony V600s, which I used for at least 6 months and loved very much.  Then one day I went over to my buddies computer as he had asked if I could help him improve his Counter-Strike skills.  At one point he asked if he could watch me play on his computer.  After about 5-10 minutes of playing, I became perplexed as my machine was better than his in every way but yet I could hear more on his machine than on mine.  Shortly there after I realized the only difference between our machines was his headphones, he owned a pair of Sennheiser HD570s.

 

    Well after a few weeks of hearing the HD570s and researching why these headphones sounded as good as they did, I came to the conclusion that these headphones were just eons better than what I using.  I eventually used some internship money to purchase a pair of hd590s and used them throughout my competitive Counter-Strike career.  Later in my journey, I decided to pick up a pair of V700 how much I enjoyed the V600s, I figured the V700s would be even better.  Oh boy was I wrong, sound-wise they were an improvement over the V600s but holy hell did they hurt your head after an hour or two.  I’ve never felt such a strong grip from a pair of headphones since then.  Anyway I ended giving them to my ex-girlfriend as a parting gift, I was hoping they would give her the same displeasure as I had felt :D.  Anyway I’m getting off topic a bit.

 

    After I got out of college and got a job, I decided to pick up another set of headphones.  I went from the HD280s to the DT880s, picked up a headphone amp, and well here I am today.  I'd say I'm part headphone collector and part headphile.


How did you get into headphones?

post #2 of 39

I like transcribing music and hearing how composers compose. I needed better headphones for the job. The rest was history.

post #3 of 39

A few months ago I realised how much I love music, so I decided to buy a headphone. My first thought: beats mixr or beats studio or beats executive, so I started to read articles on the internert and changed my mind to bose qc15, but I was fascinated by the headphones I had been reading about, so I searched a little more and decided: my first headphone will be a v-moda M-100. 

 

When I think about it, I realise that it all started with my thought on beats, and now my first headphone will be a v-moda M100, and I am starting to learn a lot about headphones, and I wanna stay on the headphone world until I die.

 

I don't hate beats, they just overprice their products, but if they have customers to it, well, good for them

 

post #4 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeeToti View Post

A few months ago I realised how much I love music, so I decided to buy a headphone. My first thought: beats mixr or beats studio or beats executive, so I started to read articles on the internert and changed my mind to bose qc15, but I was fascinated by the headphones I had been reading about, so I searched a little more and decided: my first headphone will be a v-moda M-100. 

 

When I think about it, I realise that it all started with my thought on beats, and now my first headphone will be a v-moda M100, and I am starting to learn a lot about headphones, and I wanna stay on the headphone world until I die.

 

I don't hate beats, they just overprice their products, but if they have customers to it, well, good for them

 

Beats and Bose aren't bad headphones they're just overpriced for what you get.  The QC15 do one thing real well and that's noise cancelling the sound quality is about the same as the Beats, sub-par IMO.

post #5 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Byrnie View Post

Beats and Bose aren't bad headphones they're just overpriced for what you get.  The QC15 do one thing real well and that's noise cancelling the sound quality is about the same as the Beats, sub-par IMO.
I think they sound much better than the beats. bigger sound stage, more realistic sounding mids. Not a as dark as the beats.
Also I wouldn't call the Ae2s overpriced. They sound very nice and are some of the most comfy headphones I've ever tried. Also they are very low profile. The thing I like about bose is that they do all the little things right in my opinion. Just not audiophile sound quality. (in my opinion they make up for it by the general convenience of their headphones)
post #6 of 39

Horrible audio actually. I never realized how important sound was until I was using ultrabook speakers. I decided I wanted the m50 for christmas to try them out. I never went back. Once I heard the intro to Crush by Pendulum on high quality, I was hooked. 

post #7 of 39

A while ago I was hanging around a small forum. There was a thread about headphones and people just kept talking about expensive setups with expensive headphones, DAC and AMPs, as well as stuff like "hearing what you have never heard on your favorite songs". That's where I got my first knowledge about hi-fi headphones. Later on someone I knows gave me $30 so the first "expensive" phones (to me) I bought was Senn HD202. Worst purchase I have ever made tbh, but that didnt prevent me from desiring better sound quality. Now I am more of an IEM guy 

post #8 of 39

TL;DR warning:

 

Forgive me if my recount does sound a little pretentious and somewhat like a biography.

Quote:
 My journey started when I was playing a certain computer game, in college, by the name of Counter-Strike (Half-Life mod).

Funny how you mention Counter-Strike, I too was somewhat influenced by the game except it was CS Source that began my journey. About 2 & 1/2 years ago I remember playing a match casually with my Logitech G35's when I noticed a player on the in-game chat lauding a pair of headphones that I had never heard of, the "Audio Technica A700's". Apparently he had received it in the mail not too long ago and described their sound quality as "amazing". Naturally at that time I knew nothing about audio and didn't value headphones much unless it was a headset that could be used for gaming.

 

Fast forward to a year later and I stumble upon CNET Australia's article "Best gaming headsets" (http://www.cnet.com.au/best-gaming-headsets_p3-339335808.htm#image2), it included the ATH-A700 as being in third place and once again I hear the term "sound quality" thrown around and I had thought it was really strange on how it lacked a microphone despite being in a list of the "best gaming headphones" but was valued at 299$ AUD. Was the sound really that worth that price? After reading the review about them constantly praising the SQ, I decided to satisfy my curiosity. 

 

Searching for the ATH-A700, I stumbled upon head-fi. There was such a landscape of information that I was left bewildered and only managed to learn that the A700X was the successor to the A700. Deciding to buy the A700X as it had fixed the shortcomings of the A700 apparently, I placed my order and waited... I received the A700X after a few delays much to my impatience before finally trying them. I remember loading up one of my playlists and actually shedding tears due to transparency and bright nature of the cans which grabbed the G35's muddy and bloated sound by the neck and thrust it onto the concrete pavement like a wet rag. 

 

I had thought that I had reached the end of my audio journey until I visited head-fi and noticed that there were a lot more headphones similar in calibre to the A700X and even higher. I registered an account and was kindly directed to a large glossary of information by the admin where I saw terms I had never seen before "soundstage", "timbre" and "sibilance", just to name a few. I learned the different tiers: entry-level, mid-level, mid-high and high-end. Browsing through the forums I learnt that head-fi was a very large and expansive community of people who loved music and who also loved headphones. 

 

Eventually I decided to expand my horizons and researched into the brand of 'Sennheiser', I was told by a few head-fiers that a modded HD558 was not that far behind the HD598. I had viewed the 598 as very high end due to its price however due to budget constraints I searched on eBay and found a used pair of HD558's before finally bidding and winning the auction. After performing the foam mod and auditioning the pair, I had expected a similar sound to the A700X but was proven very wrong. The HD558's sounded a lot more dark, airy and emphasised the mid-range rather than being bright and possessing a sparkly treble.

 

A sudden realisation hit me, "Were all headphones this different from each other?" and through research and trialling I found out that this was the case. Ever since then, I purchased the M50, ES700 and the A2000X with the A2000X being another mind blowing experience which fast forwards time to the present.

 

My love of headphones isn't really fuelled by the drive to find the best and purist sound but to discover every headphone's unique sonic personality. However the most important of all is to lose myself in the world of music.

 

Though it may be ambitious and a little naive, I have the desire to start my own headphone retailer in the future sometime so that others can experience what I have although my journey has only just begun.

 

And of course the first thing I will say is "Sorry about your wallet". 

post #9 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spastic View Post
 "Sorry about your wallet". 

 

Headphones as a hobby is not that expensive. At least in comparison with many other electronic devices such as watches, phones, cameras, PC's, one could even say cars, it isn't all that expensive.

post #10 of 39
Quote:
Headphones as a hobby is not that expensive. At least in comparison with many other electronic devices such as watches, phones, cameras, PC's, one could even say cars, it isn't all that expensive.

Yes of course, although it is relatively cheaper than the other more expensive hobbies, headphones as a hobby will still cost you quite a bit of money if you decide to pursue it. Notable examples are the headphones in the 1000$ + range (especially the HD800, LCD 2&3, Fostex TH-900, Denon D7000, Stax SR-009 etc.), buying DAC/Amps for said headphones (Blue Hawaii SE ouch), cables (if you really want to) and the music to go with it - it all adds up.

 

And who/what dictates that you are limited to one headphone? smily_headphones1.gif

 

Unless of course you were on a tight budget or didn't see the need to fork out heaps of cash, you would buy affordable headphones (e.g. JVC HA-S500) and pair it with a more affordable DAC/amp or not buy a DAC/amp at all which is perfectly understandable - in this case, it wouldn't really cost you much. 

 

But to the average consumer, forking out 100$+ is usually already enough to be considered a large expense from the people I know but Beats seem to be the exception for some reason.


Edited by Spastic - 7/6/13 at 4:03am
post #11 of 39

Heya,

 

The need for relative privacy.

 

And music.

 

Very best,

post #12 of 39

For me, I'm getting into headphones for financial, space, and practical reasons.  My main speaker system is fairly solid at an upper mid-fi level of performance.  To get better is going to take a lot of money, even if I stick to vintage or used gear. Upgrading my speakers alone would run around 5K, give or take.  And what I would be chasing in upgrading is not really cost-effective: better imaging, micro-detail, that kind of stuff.  I just can't justify the expense.

 

Headphones are relatively inexpensive compared to a massive stereo/home theater rig.  Sure, I could go for the really expensive stuff, and probably spend as much money in a headphone rig as I would on my main system. But overall, it's easier to get what I want with headphones.  And, it's kinda fun doing it!

post #13 of 39

I was playing Red Alert one night on my computer with my windows open in Billericay, Essex. I was on some small computer speakers but during a pause in the action I heard by doorbell being rung furiously. Well, turns out about 15 angry neighbors were outside my door complaining about the racket. It was then I realized the UK was a lot quieter than the USA. I hadn't even hooked up my beloved 1500 watt Carver amp yet, I think they would've strung me up if I did. 

 

So I had to go to headphones from then on, because I found out that in the UK the cops can also take all your gear if you get too many complaints about the noise. 

post #14 of 39

My father bought me ath esw-9 when i was 12 after that i try many headphone and i found that is interesting so i can't stop until now

post #15 of 39

My reason to go with headphones would be to enjoy music. I was surprised at first how much better sounding my favourite music can be with headphones than my speaker then after that i find head fi and become addicted :(

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