I think this is a very complex issue, made out by many sound scientists to be simple but it really is not.
Sure the most accurate headphones give the closest reproduction of the original file. But for pure listenings expirience I sometimes enjoy artifacts like room Acoustics and "slam". With many studio recordings in combination With accurate headphones and a neutral/flat frequency response there are close to no room Acoustics, and the awsome Rihanna song you heard in the Club a couple of Nights before sound nothing like the one played With Your expensive Stax or Senn HD800`s. The Version you hear With Your flat headphones is more accurate and detailed, but it lacks the room-acoustics that you heard from the Club. The room Acoustics give the song the awsome deep bass rumble and punch, and it also kills details because there is so much bass-energy trapped in the room that all other high frequencies With less energy than the flood of bass gets drowned under a blanket of pure bass. Masking effekt i think it is called.
Beats actually give a closer representation of the Club sound than the SennHD800 when the original studio recording is used. Mainly because the bass ressonates inside the closed Chamber on beats wich resembles the ressonation of bass inside the club, but on a much smaller scale. While the bass-energy simply dissapear into the room With the Senn`s making it sound detailed and thin in comparison.
If you take a high quality tape recorder With you to the Club and capture the sound in something like 32/96bit the Sennheiser will be the best headphone for accurately capturing the sound you heard in the Club. This is because Beats add its closed Chamber Acoustics in adition to the room Acoustics in the live recording. Ending up With way too much ressonance.
I therefor often prefer closed headphones for pop, r&b, techno when listetning to original studio recordings without room-acoustics, and the more accurate pricyer headphones when listening to recordings that have more room-acoustics in the actual recording.
I actually enjoy some room-acoustics in Music because to me it sound more natural, but not when there is too much (beats and live recordings) and not when there is to little (Senns with studio recordings). When I combine the two and use beats for studio recordings and senns for live, i can enjoy all types of Music streching from blues, jazz, classical, to rock, pop techno and r&b. Its not so much about the Equipment but more about the Music and knowing what Equipment to use on witch recordings. A carpenter have lots of Tools suited for different tasks and thats how i think of headphones and hifi in genreral to. They are a tool to a means and a headphone, DAC or an amplifier is no more musical than the carpenters scissors.
I have to disagree with you on a number of things here. If you honestly believe the HD800 arent capable of bass levels you can actually feel, you couldnt be more wrong here. In terms of bass and its comparison-given you mentioned beats, the HD800 are capable of showcasing bass far superior in every aspect of beat's impact, slam, decay, texture, physicality--I can go on all day. Believe me, plug this headphone into a well known vintage amp with bassy character or even a well known solid state amp with bass emphasis and youll get a spinning round-house back-kick in the mouth. Beats shouldnt be compared to the HD800, beats shouldnt even be mention anywhere near the title HD800. The LCD2 has more bass as well as quality over the HD800, as a LCD3 owner, the HD800 comes very close to the LCD3 in terms of bass.
Yours were shipped this morning FYI, prepare yourself
Edited by youngGeezeh - 10/11/13 at 11:42am