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Am I the only one who loves cheap headphones in addition to the LCDs of this world?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Internet radio is almost unlistenable with good phones, but throw some Amperiors on and it sounds pretty darn good.  When I stream internet radio through my Auralic Vega, things also sound pretty bad, but when I send the stuff to my Audyssey South of Market Sound Dock, they sound really good.  

 

It seems like the better the new music, the lower the streamed bitrate.  I really enjoy KEXP and Sirius.

 

I'd love to hear all this stuff at a higher resolution but it doesn't seem to exist.  

post #2 of 8
Quote:
Am I the only one who loves cheap headphones in addition to the LCDs of this world?

Yes. Now go away.

biggrin.gif

I know what you're talking about. Back in the 80s I had an early 8-bit sampler. Played back over good speakers, well, you can imagine how it must have sounded. But over some cheap single driver speakers, not quite so bad.

se
post #3 of 8

A lot of the music I like tends to be recorded in a slapdash way at live shows.  I don't need (and would actually prefer) something that hifi for this and many other low-fi or fuzz style genres.

 

One of my favorite headphones that gets a lot of play time is the "lowly" Yamaha HP-1 (modified).  Has the mark of a true good piece of audio gear, which is that I feel like I can listen to it forever (and often end up listening way later than I should.)  

 

When you're in a bar drinking away your sorrows, you don't want a pair of glasses with the most razor-sharp prescription.  You want beer goggles.

post #4 of 8
You are not alone my friend. Because I genrally listen to easy accessable pop music and other types of youtube recordings, I prefer my $80 Bose AE2 or $80 Aiwa HP-500 over the $998 LCD-2 90% of the time I listen to music. LCD-2 was better on well recorded music though, but that is increasingly harder to find for every passing moment. I just enjoy wasting time on youtube stumbling over new artists and songwriters that I have never even heard of, that give me shivers down my spine like no one else. So the LCD-2 sadly had to go due to not being used as much as they probably should. Not sure why I prefer the sound quality of cheaper headphones for streaming and youtube though, but I suspect something that can explain it can be interpreted out of the impulse and square wave responses.
post #5 of 8

Probably my favorite headphone of all time is the Sennheiser HD580.  I sold mine for way too cheap and am looking for one but prices have seemed to gone high on those.  I have the incredible O2 (and a great chain with it) and sometimes I still wish I had the HD580 to listen to.  And this not only on low fidelity recordings but lossless as well.

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

Yeah, I seem to listen to my Amperiors with my Dragonfly all the time.  I seem to spend a ton of time just listening to stuff at Pitchfork, NPR's various music feeds, and on and on.  There's more good music than ever before.  The hard part is when you find a new band that you love and they sound great on your audiophile rig.  Two recent examples of this would be Son Lux and Lucrecia Dalt.  I guess that's what continues to feed the addiction and why I keep my big rig.

 

The beer goggle analogy is quite appropriate though.

post #7 of 8
A lot of electronica mixes you find on podcasts sound terrible on many headphones. For those, I have a AiAiAi TMA-1 on hand, though I finding myself using them less and less these days, to be frank. I moved to an oversampling DAC (blasphemy among most summit-fi'ers) which seems to do a really good job of cutting out the pre-ringing, digititus and brightness on overcompressed audio, so nowadays I can just employ my TH900 full time with almost anything.
post #8 of 8
Yeah, I'd take my AKG K81s over a lot of mid-fi phones. The problem with a lot of mid-fi phones is that they excell in only a few areas making it pretty blatant what they lack. Cheap headphones don't really have that issue as they are average all around. I listen to a lot of lo-fi metal, but I've built my rig around having both great sound and a high genre bandwidth. While I can't say there is anything I'd prefer to listen to on the AKGs over the Edition 12s(not even 32k internet talkshows) they still get a good deal of listening time.

And I can say that the cheap headphones can bring just as much joy in the right situation. Nothing like staring up into the stars whilst enjoying your favorite music, and with a home system being limited to in-home use that is something you'll never get with summit-fi headphones. I'd say a good 70% of what makes music enjoyable is simply being in the right mindset, audio quality isn't all that important overall.
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