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My tiny rant about headphones.

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I wish the quality went by price and NOT by preference!

You can have a $200 iem and like it better than one that costs $500, but the problem is that you never know for sure until you try it which sucks because who the heck has money to be buying phones left and right to find the "perfect" pair?

If it was by price I would just say screw it and put my whole pot on a $2000 headphone and call it a day lol

Unfortunatly its not so the search for that "perfect" headphone for me will continue..

*sigh* /rant
post #2 of 19

Well, I think the process of searching the perfect match constitutes an important part of the fun I get from all these.

post #3 of 19

When you are newbie to this kind of theme, buying, even a 200$ iem/headphone can be a bet. Not knowing what sound signature is the right for you can make the process even harder and riskier. And ofc the hype in this kind of hobby only makes it harder too.

post #4 of 19

It's easy to figure out if you like a neutral, warm or perhaps a forward mid type of sound.

 

Then check frequency plots and see if it matches your preference. 

post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thats true, knowing your sound signature preference is very important.
post #6 of 19
Erm you should try them out before you buy them? You should also go to local head fi meets and IT conventions where headphones are pretty easy to try
post #7 of 19

For people not in USA, CA, Japan, is hard to find a place where you can find different iems to try. And you can only find your favourite signature by hearing it imo.

post #8 of 19
Even in the USA its a pain to find places to try headphones. Best place i ran across was a little shop in the SFO airport, only place i have been to that had ear buds with disposable ear peices for all their in ear phones. Mainly Klipsch and Shure though.
post #9 of 19
It's even worse in Australia frown.gif

A lot of people recommend buying used items off the classifieds, so if they aren't for you, you can resell them at the same price. Less of a risk and loss that way.
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevms89 View Post


Unfortunatly its not so the search for that "perfect" headphone for me will continue..

*sigh* /rant

You may as well set fire to your cash because you won't be finding a perfect headphone. If you have a very specific use case such as needing a noise isolating set for production/broadcast or a set for DJing then maybe you can talk about perfect. But for general listening you will never reproduce or better the experience of listening to loudspeakers, and loudspeakers will never perfectly reproduce the actual live experience. I suggest that if you put some time into enjoying live performance you will soon realise that there is nothing in the world of audio reproduction that will reproduce it, so don't get hung up on it. Don't worry about some unattainable perfect experience, it's pointless. I can think of a couple of occasions recently when I've become completely absorbed in music to the point it has felt uplifting and even transcendent and guess what? At the time I was away from home and just using what I had happened to pick up on my way out, a very old iRiver player and a set of almost as old Sennheiser CX 95 IEMs. This is an awfully long way from high end and many or most people here would decline to describe it even as hi-fi but the fact remains this relatively humble gear rendered the music such that it affected me in all the ways the authors intended. Who cares if it wasn't technically perfect when it was actually perfect?
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by julian67 View Post

You may as well set fire to your cash because you won't be finding a perfect headphone. If you have a very specific use case such as needing a noise isolating set for production/broadcast or a set for DJing then maybe you can talk about perfect. But for general listening you will never reproduce or better the experience of listening to loudspeakers, and loudspeakers will never perfectly reproduce the actual live experience. I suggest that if you put some time into enjoying live performance you will soon realise that there is nothing in the world of audio reproduction that will reproduce it, so don't get hung up on it. Don't worry about some unattainable perfect experience, it's pointless. I can think of a couple of occasions recently when I've become completely absorbed in music to the point it has felt uplifting and even transcendent and guess what? At the time I was away from home and just using what I had happened to pick up on my way out, a very old iRiver player and a set of almost as old Sennheiser CX 95 IEMs. This is an awfully long way from high end and many or most people here would decline to describe it even as hi-fi but the fact remains this relatively humble gear rendered the music such that it affected me in all the ways the authors intended. Who cares if it wasn't technically perfect when it was actually perfect?
Thank you, and I 100% understand what you mean, I certainly think so people grt too "technical" and it ends up being about the tech rather than the music, I remember before I was so invested in quality I had some great experiences with just my CD player and crappy ear buds.

Even now at night I can close my eyes and if I am sleepy my music almost resonates in my ears (I REALLY recommend listening to music while sleepy in bed lol) but yea I think I will just by some good quality iems and be done with it, all this thinking and debating makes you kinda lose the big picture.
post #12 of 19

If the only determining factor dividing headphones was price (and not preference) there would be no need for a site like Head-Fi.

post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by julian67 View Post


You may as well set fire to your cash because you won't be finding a perfect headphone. If you have a very specific use case such as needing a noise isolating set for production/broadcast or a set for DJing then maybe you can talk about perfect. But for general listening you will never reproduce or better the experience of listening to loudspeakers, and loudspeakers will never perfectly reproduce the actual live experience. I suggest that if you put some time into enjoying live performance you will soon realise that there is nothing in the world of audio reproduction that will reproduce it, so don't get hung up on it. Don't worry about some unattainable perfect experience, it's pointless. I can think of a couple of occasions recently when I've become completely absorbed in music to the point it has felt uplifting and even transcendent and guess what? At the time I was away from home and just using what I had happened to pick up on my way out, a very old iRiver player and a set of almost as old Sennheiser CX 95 IEMs. This is an awfully long way from high end and many or most people here would decline to describe it even as hi-fi but the fact remains this relatively humble gear rendered the music such that it affected me in all the ways the authors intended. Who cares if it wasn't technically perfect when it was actually perfect?

 

I'm going to disagree here. Although I agree one doesn't need the highest end equipment to enjoy music and that no equipment can reproduce the real thing, and I won't even attempt to argue those points, I personally prefer headphones to loudspeakers any day. I wish I could tell you what it is, and I suppose it is possible that I have somehow only heard bad speakers, but I enjoy having sound directed where its appreciated, to my ears. 

post #14 of 19

I disagree as well.  Loudspeakers fall victim to room acoustics where IEM's dont have that factor to deal with.  Unless you are in a listening room, "live" music sounds bad.  Sort of like $50 IEM's/headphones.

 

I have been to 200+ concerts in my time, 30-40 in amazing venues but NOTHING soundwise can even come close to my SE535 or JH5 as far is HiFi.

post #15 of 19
I was meaning reasonable loudspeakers in a reasonable environment and not unsatisfactory loudspeakers in an unsuitable environment wink.gif

btw I'm speaking as someone who hardly ever uses loudspeakers these days because I live by a busy, noisy road and if I played loudspeakers loud enough to mask it then it would upset the nice, quiet, considerate people in neighbouring apartments.

Anyway you don't need a special listening room, just a decent size living space and a relatively peaceful environment and you can enjoy even modest loudspeakers. For about 50 or 60 years almost all music recordings have been engineered to sound their best when played back through a pair of loudspeakers, and they usually do. I almost always listen with headphones or IEMs and a crossfeed and I love it and am grateful that the opportunity exists but it isn't the same experience as a pair of speakers projecting the sound forward into the room and actually moving some air, which in turn is not really like being present when the music is made.

So my point was don't worry about perfection because headphones can't really replicate speakers and speakers can't really replicate a live experience. I find I'm pretty satisfied with stuff that is just good enough to let me enjoy the music without creating distractions like massive tonal imbalance or distortion or physical fit problems. This can be had quite cheaply with headphones and IEMs and the tantalising idea of a headphone holy grail is really just clever marketing, copiously fuelled by our collective gullibility and susceptibility to suggestion and so on.

Anyway what happens when you get "the perfect headphone" which renders everything exactly as recorded, and are finally in no doubt at all that much of the music you've ever heard has production mistakes that were expected to be masked in playback on loudspeakers and has been cut, spliced, processed and manipulated such that you can no longer suspend disbelief and just enjoy it..... biggrin.gif
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