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Your headphone pet peeves

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 

Simple topic, really. Whatever it is, lets share what annoys us the most in the world of headphones. Here's some of mine;

 

-"Screwing it up". When somebody (usually on a youtube video review on unboxing) holds the adaptor in place and screws / twists the cable into the adaptor, as opposed to holding the cable in place and screwing the adaptor on like you're supposed to, it gets my panties in a bunch. You're just tangling the cable up, and it just seems so obvious that you're supposed to do it the other way round, that it kind of astounds me that people do it that way. Maybe it's just me...

 

-"It wasn't designed for that, ya dolt!". When somebody (again, commonly in youtube reviews but also here) complains that a large, full sized (whether open or closed) with a long, thick cable isn't portable. It's fine just to note a headphone isn't suitable for portable use by explaining that it's really for home or professional application. However, when they say "it's not portable" like it was a design overlook or flaw by the manufacturers, it really gets on my ****. It's honestly the same as complaining that a super car sucks at off-roading. You don't say?! I know some people are mad enough to use full sized circumaurals for portable use instead of something that's actually portable like a good IEM, for various reasons, but as long as you acknowledge you're using it in a way that it wasn't intended for, then that's fine. I think this annoyance of mine is most common amongst average consumers who don't understand the concept of a Desktop or Home Rig, and expect one pair of headphones to do absolutely everything from computer use to smartphone listening. 

 

-"Loud and obnoxious". Something that's always mystified me is the obsession with loudness. I don't mean people listening at an optimal level, I mean from a 'potential performance' perspective. When I've showed my headphones and / or amplifiers to non-audio inclined friends, they almost always ask about how loud they can go. Why?! I really don't get it. To me, it's always been an aspect of audio that I've shown absolutely zero interest to because seems irrelevant to, well, absolutely everything. Having a large volume overhead just doesn't strike me as interesting, impressive or anything. I really, honestly, genuinely don't understand why so many people want to turn the volume up really loud when they first encounter a headphone amp or high end headphone, as if that is what's indicative of the performance, rather than the sound quality. Some of the crappiest headphones around can go really loud. It means nothing! The only thing I can think of is that they've had experiences with their mp3 player -> earbuds set ups where they often don't feel the loudest is loud enough, so that's the first thing that comes to mind when they encounter good headphones. I dunno.

 

-"They don't even sound better". Simple one. When you show somebody a good headphone rig and they claim that it doesn't sound better than their $50 headphones. I don't know whether to chalk this up to denial or a total lack of perceptiveness. A little bit of A and B, probably. Either way, it's annoying.

 

-"That much just for headphones!". It's not uncommon for regular people upon learning how much a good hi-fi or summit-fi system costs to retort with "You could buy a whole stereo system with that!". What I find actually rather funny is how when I ask them why they would spend $1000 on a stereo instead of just a cheap $50 2.1 they almost always say "Because it sounds better, duh!". Not sure why they have trouble applying that same basic logic into headphones, but I suspect it's probably due to the assumption that headphones simply can't compete with speakers, due to the abysmally low standard of headphones that they're accustomed to. 

 

-"Quality =/= Quantity". This one is more easily forgiveable for me as I can understand (and fair enough, really) why this misconception exists, but it's still a little irritating. People insisting that bass quantity is the sole deciding factor of the quality of a headphones bass response. Understandable, but mislead and wrong, nonetheless. It's still not as utterly annoying as citing that the bass quantity is responsible for the sound quality as a whole :angry_face:. But, usually people will at least say something like "This is really clear" and they'll have no problem with me.

 

That's all I can think of for now. What annoys you guys?

post #2 of 37

You're from Straya too. Wow!   :biggrin:

 

Nice post. Grammatically (I'm a Captain in the Grammar Police), I'd just pick this sentence: "To me, it's always been an aspect of audio that I've shown absolutely zero interest to because seems irrelevant to, well, absolutely everything." Not quite clear, methinks.

 

As for what peeves me (and this will get me in trouble for sure), it's the idea of complementary (or "complimentary, for those who can't spell) headphones. I know it's as common as dirt around here, but I just can't see the sense. Sell your six headphones and get one good, neutral, accurate one. I know people think they should have a phone for each genre, with colourations to match, but it's an illusion. You'll just spend your life putting on and taking off and never listen to the music. A really good headphone suits all genres, all recordings. If it doesn't, it's the recording, and maybe you need an equaliser.

 

End of rant. Flack incoming....     :o   

post #3 of 37
I don't know why but I hate it when I read a review and first of all, it just has a list of tracks and how they sound. I don't care how done random song that I know i've never heard and (I don't plan to) sounds.

I also hate really long reviews with tons of gear and headphones and then the reviewer falls to mention the price of the headphones. The second one is just me being lazy I guess.
post #4 of 37
Thread Starter 

^ Oops, yeah I muddled that sentence up. That's what you get for writing that much first thing in the morning before breakfast! Sorry about that officer, it won't happen again :D

 

Contrary to what you're expecting, I agree with you on some level about complementary headphones. At one point I owned the Grado 225i and the HFI-580 as complementary cans, and I really found it a little annoying. Having to switch headphones between genres, or from music to gaming / film watching was just a pain in the butt. I think whether or not you can get away with having one do it all headphone depends on your music taste, your sound signature preference and how demanding you are of particular traits in particular music.

 

I'm now very happy with the Denon D2000 as my do it all headphone. However, I will give you slight flack about telling people to get a neutral / accurate headphone. It doesn't strictly have to be a Sennheiser HD800 or DT880 type headphone to be a good all rounder. That's where I'd argue people's signature preference comes into it. My D2000 for example, is relatively even handed, despite it having a bit of extra junk in the trunk and a bit of a fun sound. It's not strictly an accurate or reference headphone, but it sounds pleasurable and well represented with everything to me. Reference sounds boring to me, I need some colour! It's like Gandalf says; "All good stories deserve embellishment".

 

I do think it's fair to say, though, that a do it all headphone will not be of the extremely coloured variety, eg. Sony XB500 or Grado. That's a given. 


Edited by HeretixAevum - 9/26/13 at 5:53pm
post #5 of 37

Only two things really annoy me:

 

1) When my headphone cable gets a weird twist or kink in it... this drives me bonkers.

 

2) When I perceive people using headphones as fashion accessories/statements... I know I shouldn't care because people can do whatever the eff they want, but it still irks me.

post #6 of 37

Cables that always end up going on one side

 

Headphone plastic cracking

post #7 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post

 

As for what peeves me (and this will get me in trouble for sure), it's the idea of complementary (or "complimentary, for those who can't spell) headphones. I know it's as common as dirt around here, but I just can't see the sense. Sell your six headphones and get one good, neutral, accurate one. I know people think they should have a phone for each genre, with colourations to match, but it's an illusion. You'll just spend your life putting on and taking off and never listen to the music. A really good headphone suits all genres, all recordings. If it doesn't, it's the recording, and maybe you need an equaliser.

 

End of rant. Flack incoming....     :o   

 

Haha for me the idea of a complimentary headphone is actually rather nice, back when I had the LCD-2 and the W1000x, both with absolutely different sound sigs, it's just refreshing to hear your music, be it new or old, through a different set of cans. This holds true more for the case where the cans are totally different in terms of driver construction, like orthodynamics and dynamics and electrostats, personally my next purchase will be in the region of STAX :D

 

For me a major pet peeve would be the use of full sized cans as portables, it's just kinda weird.... makes more sense to have it stashed at home and to use a nice light portable IEM on the go.

 

Also the occasional cable kink will get quite irritating....

post #8 of 37
What do you mean by full sized? The,momentum, 1r,, m100, fs1 are full sized and portable.

I use my ma900 outside ALL THE TIME.
post #9 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trunks159 View Post

What do you mean by full sized? The,momentum, 1r,, m100, fs1 are full sized and portable.

I use my ma900 outside ALL THE TIME.

 

I really don't consider them portable. Sure they're efficient and don't have gargantuan cables, but they're still rather large to wear and carry around. Good luck fitting any of them in your pocket when you're done using them. And good luck blocking out noise from vehicles. That's why I use IEMs.


Edited by HeretixAevum - 9/27/13 at 1:46pm
post #10 of 37
Thread Starter 

-Pretentious headset owners: Go to youtube, type in "bass test", click on any given video and read the comments. You will be overwhelmed by beats, logitech 2.1 and gaming headset users all claiming how 'amazing' their headphones / speakers are. What's funny, though, is I've actually seen some of the gaming headset owners start arguments with the beats users. Believe it or not, some headset users are conceited enough to think that their Razer, Thermaltake (or "thermaltacky" if you ask me) and Plantronics qualify for "hifi" status. I like making audio analogies with food, so here's one for this situation:

 

Beats and Gaming Headset owners are like McDonalds and Burger King customers arguing amongst one another as to which serves the best food. Meanwhile, headphone users are the people across the road enjoying good food, company, service and civilised conversation at the privately owned Cafe.

post #11 of 37
I agree with pretty much everything in the first post.

My main pet peeve is when I say I'm into audio and music and i say what kind of headphones and stuff I have, and mostly everyone says "$200? Why didn't you just get beats?" or "What generic brand is that?". mad.gif

I totally understand that not everyone is interested in the same thing but when people think my gear sucks, thats when i get mad. I don't even have a problem with something like beats but when you say "...but beats look cool and sound so good. The bass is mean!" I can't help but get a little bit annoyed.

/End rant
Edited by audioKyle - 9/27/13 at 7:46pm
post #12 of 37
Thread Starter 

^Haha, yeah, that's extremely irritating. And as you said, there's absolutely nothing wrong with not being into somewhat niche, specialised fields of interest / hobbies. But when you assume you know better than somebody who is, it's just arrogance born of ignorance. Furthermore, I think the people who assume beats are the best out there demonstrate not only that they're clueless about audio (which is fine providing you don't act like you do) but a much bigger problem, that they're gullible as a consumer. People who assume something is the best because it's popular and highly marketed are destined to be ripped off until the day they die.

post #13 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trunks159 View Post

I don't know why but I hate it when I read a review and first of all, it just has a list of tracks and how they sound. I don't care how done random song that I know i've never heard and (I don't plan to) sounds.

 

I like this type of review. Forces the reader to participate.

post #14 of 37

When a headphone has a built-in mic cable, or only includes mic cables.

 

Um, what?

post #15 of 37

Some good points were brought up in this thread. Though strangely enough whenever I hand over my headphones to somebody they always listen to the music way quieter than I do. I do not listen it at ear damaging levels, but a decently safe loud. I am just surprised that I have yet to see anybody really crank up the volume on any of my headphones.

 

Also about the ignorance of better sounding headphones, I just do not think a lot of people have enough experience with higher qualities of sound. I personally have grown up around better quality audio all my life. So its really hard for me to listen to crappy audio. However I think for other people its quite the opposite. I think that most of these people ignorant about a better sound are so used to a generic audio level that they do not know what to look for when they are listening to higher quality audio. There a lot of people out there perfectly content with cheap earbuds, and the stock built in t.v. speakers. It's been multiple times I have been to peoples houses and they brag about their $200 bose entertainment center, which is so poorly balanced that all you can hear is bass from every channel.

^Do not mean to come off like a jerkish snob here. I just do not know how to word it in a better way.

 

Well anyways the one thing that bugs me most about the headphone world is the lack of closed headphones in the higher end ranges. I rarely listen to music in one place, and I often listen in public. I really do not like the IEM sound for the most part (its just not the same for me). Its hard to find areas where I have no intruding sounds, or the opposite of bugging other people. Yet there are 30 different flavors of open high end headphones. There is probably about 3 or 4 closed ones, and 2 of them from what I hear do not even isolate that well. The other 2 are questionable if they are worth the price tag. While I cant afford a super high end headphone atm anyways. I definitely like to see my endgame ahead of time, as it gives me a goal to shoot for. As of right now the best endgame solution for me that I see is the Alpha Dogs, and I already have enough money to upgrade my MDs to those.


Edited by gamefreak054 - 9/28/13 at 12:56am
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