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Why I Am (Essentially) Quitting Head-Fi

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

I know, the title is somewhat of a shocker, but hear me out.

 

I joined Head-Fi somewhat by accident. Back in 2009, I was the average sheep-person when it came to audio. I bought a pair of Skullcandy Hesh right when they came out, and thought they sounded awesome (compared to the iPod headphones I was coming from.) A few months later, I bought a pair of Panasonic RPHTX7s (which I still own) as a prop for a halloween costume, and when I plugged them into my iPod, I was shocked by what came out. They destroyed the Hesh in basically every way I could think of. I sold the Hesh to a friend, and bumped the RPHTX7 happily for several months. 

 

One day, I walked into the brand new Windows store that opened up at my local mall to go check out this newfangled XBOX Kinect. Hanging on a rack next to one of the PCs was one of the sexiest headphones I had ever seen, the V-Moda M80. I played a few songs on it, and it was leaps and bounds beyond the RPHTX7s around my neck. While the $230 price was a bit of a sticker shock to me, I decided that their god-like sound combined with stunning good looks and military level durability made them worth it. 

 

When I got home, I looked up V-Moda on Facebook, and saw a link to Head-Fi. After learning to navigate the forums, I was astounded at the amount of different headphones on the market, the crazy prices that people paid for these headphones, and all of the ways that amplifiers, digital-to-analog converters, audio formats and even cables affect the sound of a pair of headphones. It was then that I became a part of the Head-Fi community. 

 

Head-Fi became part of my daily routine, browsing all of the reviews, press releases and for sale forums. As some of you know, I started saving up money in a jar with hopes of purchasing the $2000 Fostex TH900, which I thought would bring me to audio nirvana. 

 

A few weeks ago, I had a reality check. I had nearly $800 in my TH900 fund and was spending much of my free time reading all of the reviews on Head-Fi. Then, to my good fortune, I won a pair of V-Moda M100s in a giveaway. 

 

When I put them on the for the first time, I decided to listen to Daft Punk's "Contact." 

 

I felt as if the music was ALIVE

 

The sound coming from these headphones utterly astounded me, and even after several weeks of ownership, they still do. I love everything about them.

 

Yesterday, I was at Best Buy to get a case for my iPhone. I noticed the high-end audio "Magnolia" section of the store, and decided to have a look. They had the Sennheiser HD700 on display, and recognizing them from Head-Fi, I decided to have a listen. If the V-Modas sounded alive then these sounded dead. Sure, by a "technical" standpoint they were amazing, but I didn't feel as if I wanted to sing out loud, dance, bop my head or otherwise get lost in my music.

 

I went home and seriously took a look at myself. Do I really need to keep chasing the dragon of high-end audio? My M100s sound like evreything that has been missing in my headphones. 

I've decided that there are much better things that $800 (or eventually, $2000) can be spent on. Dates with my girlfriend, paintballing with my wolfpack, and on new music that I discover every day. While I can see why other people continue to pursue "the perfect headphone," My pursuit ends here. 

 

I do not see myself buying a new pair of headphones in the forseable future, unless the M100s break after the warranty wears out. As a matter of fact, the only audio related purchase I can see myself making in the future is an iPod Classic to hold my entire music collection. 

As for now, I can be found browsing the music-related threads of Head-Fi, Reddit and 4Chan.

 

post #2 of 28

Edited by GrindingThud - 7/30/13 at 5:44pm
post #3 of 28
post #4 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luv My BASS 1 View Post

I know, the title is somewhat of a shocker, but hear me out.

 

I joined Head-Fi somewhat by accident. Back in 2009, I was the average sheep-person when it came to audio. I bought a pair of Skullcandy Hesh right when they came out, and thought they sounded awesome (compared to the iPod headphones I was coming from.) A few months later, I bought a pair of Panasonic RPHTX7s (which I still own) as a prop for a halloween costume, and when I plugged them into my iPod, I was shocked by what came out. They destroyed the Hesh in basically every way I could think of. I sold the Hesh to a friend, and bumped the RPHTX7 happily for several months. 

 

One day, I walked into the brand new Windows store that opened up at my local mall to go check out this newfangled XBOX Kinect. Hanging on a rack next to one of the PCs was one of the sexiest headphones I had ever seen, the V-Moda M80. I played a few songs on it, and it was leaps and bounds beyond the RPHTX7s around my neck. While the $230 price was a bit of a sticker shock to me, I decided that their god-like sound combined with stunning good looks and military level durability made them worth it. 

 

When I got home, I looked up V-Moda on Facebook, and saw a link to Head-Fi. After learning to navigate the forums, I was astounded at the amount of different headphones on the market, the crazy prices that people paid for these headphones, and all of the ways that amplifiers, digital-to-analog converters, audio formats and even cables affect the sound of a pair of headphones. It was then that I became a part of the Head-Fi community. 

 

Head-Fi became part of my daily routine, browsing all of the reviews, press releases and for sale forums. As some of you know, I started saving up money in a jar with hopes of purchasing the $2000 Fostex TH900, which I thought would bring me to audio nirvana. 

 

A few weeks ago, I had a reality check. I had nearly $800 in my TH900 fund and was spending much of my free time reading all of the reviews on Head-Fi. Then, to my good fortune, I won a pair of V-Moda M100s in a giveaway. 

 

When I put them on the for the first time, I decided to listen to Daft Punk's "Contact." 

 

I felt as if the music was ALIVE

 

The sound coming from these headphones utterly astounded me, and even after several weeks of ownership, they still do. I love everything about them.

 

Yesterday, I was at Best Buy to get a case for my iPhone. I noticed the high-end audio "Magnolia" section of the store, and decided to have a look. They had the Sennheiser HD700 on display, and recognizing them from Head-Fi, I decided to have a listen. If the V-Modas sounded alive then these sounded dead. Sure, by a "technical" standpoint they were amazing, but I didn't feel as if I wanted to sing out loud, dance, bop my head or otherwise get lost in my music.

 

I went home and seriously took a look at myself. Do I really need to keep chasing the dragon of high-end audio? My M100s sound like evreything that has been missing in my headphones. 

I've decided that there are much better things that $800 (or eventually, $2000) can be spent on. Dates with my girlfriend, paintballing with my wolfpack, and on new music that I discover every day. While I can see why other people continue to pursue "the perfect headphone," My pursuit ends here. 

 

I do not see myself buying a new pair of headphones in the forseable future, unless the M100s break after the warranty wears out. As a matter of fact, the only audio related purchase I can see myself making in the future is an iPod Classic to hold my entire music collection. 

As for now, I can be found browsing the music-related threads of Head-Fi, Reddit and 4Chan.

 

 

 

So you heard one high end headphone and decided to end your pursuit?  Thats not a reasonable way to make decisions IMO. If you've taken a look at Head-Fi, the HD 700/800s are considered to be very analytical headphones, so I don't see any need for feeling guilty. If you'd heard the HD600/650s on the other hand, you'd have a different reaction.

 

Hi-Fi is not magic, or voodoo that needs increasing amounts of sacrifice to sound better. Its engineering at its core, at a macro view, a combination of engineered systems. Gain an understanding of the science of sound, and you'll find that better is not necessarily expensive.


Edited by proton007 - 7/31/13 at 7:33am
post #5 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post

 

 

So you heard one high end headphone and decided to end you pursuit?  Thats not a reasonable way to make decisions IMO. If you've taken a look at Head-Fi, the HD 700/800s are considered to be very analytical headphones, so I don't see any need for feeling guilty. If you'd heard the HD600/650s on the other hand, you'd have a different reaction.

 

Hi-Fi is not magic, or voodoo that needs increasing amounts of sacrifice to sound better. Its engineering at its core, at a macro view, a combination of engineered systems. Gain an understanding of the science of sound, and you'll find that better is not necessarily expensive.

Exactly.

 

Quitting head-fi because of one bad experience with high end headphones is not a good reason.

 

How do you know that there's no better sound out there? After all that's what you, and a lot of people here (including me), thought back when all you had was crappy headphones...

 

Keep listening.

post #6 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by customcoco View Post

Exactly.

 

Quitting head-fi because of one bad experience with high end headphones is not a good reason.

 

How do you know that there's no better sound out there? After all that's what you, and a lot of people here (including me), thought back when all you had was crappy headphones...

 

Keep listening.

There is no doubt in my mind that there is *slightly* better sound out there.

 

What I'm mainly trying to say here, is that my money can be spent on much better things than a $1000 headphone that is maybe only~10% better than the M100 (you know, with diminishing returns factored in)

post #7 of 28

Makes sense.  HD700 aren't as good as the M100, according to many.  

 

Have fun in the music section, though.  If your whole point here is to upgrade your gear, you never upgrade your listening.

post #8 of 28

And he has a WTB ad for the Signature Pro. You cannot escape!

post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luv My BASS 1 View Post
I've decided that there are much better things that $2000 can be spent on. Dates with my girlfriend, paintballing with my wolfpack, and on new music that I discover every day.

 

Truth.

post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luv My BASS 1 View Post

There is no doubt in my mind that there is *slightly* better sound out there.

 

What I'm mainly trying to say here, is that my money can be spent on much better things than a $1000 headphone that is maybe only~10% better than the M100 (you know, with diminishing returns factored in)

 

Well, yes, I can agree on 'diminishing returns'. Beyond a certain point, all headphone lines diversify into their own unique sound, because they all meet the performance criteria too well.

 

What you do with your money is your own choice. All I'm saying is that you don't need to tie money with performance. 

 

It helps to have an understanding of your audio chain and identify the bottleneck. Sometimes changes worth a lot less can make a huge difference. Money != Performance.

post #11 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post

 

All I'm saying is that you don't need to tie money with performance. 

Absolutely.

 

That reminds me of my first listening session with hd650's. They simply blew me away, yet they're cheaper than most of the cans that I've considered buying.

 

And again, performance in this hobby is pretty subjective (especially when it comes to the cans themselves...)


Edited by customcoco - 7/31/13 at 8:12am
post #12 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by customcoco View Post

Absolutely.

 

That reminds me of my first listening session with hd650's. They simply blew me away, yet they're cheaper than most of the cans that I've considered buying.

 

And again, performance in this hobby is pretty subjective (especially when it comes to cans themselves...)

I think this is the cold hard truth. The price tag matters to some, but the sound is what I consider to be important. 

post #13 of 28
Audio gear is not priced based on what it is worth - it is priced based on what the manufacturer thinks they can get...
post #14 of 28

Of course you can escape. You might start shopping for some other consumer identity, though - ending the pattern of behavior altogether is a lot more difficult than ending participation in one particular expression of it.

post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luv My BASS 1 View Post

There is no doubt in my mind that there is *slightly* better sound out there.

 

What I'm mainly trying to say here, is that my money can be spent on much better things than a $1000 headphone that is maybe only~10% better than the M100 (you know, with diminishing returns factored in)

 

If that's the stance you take on it and you're happy with what you have, good for you. It's about enjoying the music with the equipment you have, and you can't really pine for what you haven't heard. If you want to save yourself from further audio expenditures, the ~$300 range is a perfectly reasonable price point to stop at. That being said, I've heard the M100 and have the Fostex TH-900 and 10% isn't what I'd have as the gap between the two. The Fostex is significantly and easily better from the same source listening to the same music. If you're ever in the Dallas area, you're welcome to drop in and have a listen. Best of luck with your endeavors.
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