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Is there diminishing return when it comes to headphone quality? - Page 2

post #16 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by iambrian81 View Post
 

Btw, you can get the Sennheiser HD 380 used on amazon for 39 bucks :D.  Talk about great value: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=sennheiser+380&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Asennheiser+380

 

Read the details ......... "Headband snapped on one side"     from seller :-) Hence such low price. Either way, it starts at $89 used.

post #17 of 39

Almost everything in audio is over-priced and then there are diminishing returns. How I weigh that will always depend on my capital. If I were super-rich, I doubt that I would accord any of it much weight. But, realistically, very good is good enough. I try to make that my rule.

 

The mid-priced headphones (e.g., K70x, DT880, SR225i, HE400, HD6x0) are all very good. I know I wouldn't be happy with anything less good. I've tested the most common expensive headphones except expensive Grados and Stax, and the only one that impresses me is HD800. I think it's 2-2.5 times as good as HD600, so its value is $800-1000 not $1500. For any of those prices, I'd rather own several mid-priced headphones that are very good with different genres and instruments.

post #18 of 39

The bigges increase in sound quality is going from terrible $5 headphones to mid-fi. It's drastic. To put it black and white, there's headphones that do it "right" and headphones that do it "wrong." When you come across headphones that are actually supposed to sound good, it's a drastic improvement over the Skullcandys you bought on sale for $11.99. However, going from mid-fi to hi-fi is not nearly as drastic. If going from low to mid is an 80% difference, then going from mid to high is 10% at best. After mid-fi, it's all about fine tuning. 

post #19 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjames View Post
 

The bigges increase in sound quality is going from terrible $5 headphones to mid-fi. It's drastic. To put it black and white, there's headphones that do it "right" and headphones that do it "wrong." When you come across headphones that are actually supposed to sound good, it's a drastic improvement over the Skullcandys you bought on sale for $11.99. However, going from mid-fi to hi-fi is not nearly as drastic. If going from low to mid is an 80% difference, then going from mid to high is 10% at best. After mid-fi, it's all about fine tuning. 

Good point. Mid-fi is the sweet spot IMO considering price and sound quality. 

post #20 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjames View Post
 

The bigges increase in sound quality is going from terrible $5 headphones to mid-fi. It's drastic. To put it black and white, there's headphones that do it "right" and headphones that do it "wrong." When you come across headphones that are actually supposed to sound good, it's a drastic improvement over the Skullcandys you bought on sale for $11.99. However, going from mid-fi to hi-fi is not nearly as drastic. If going from low to mid is an 80% difference, then going from mid to high is 10% at best. After mid-fi, it's all about fine tuning. 


Well said.....I agree

post #21 of 39

yes the law of diminishing returns applies to headphones.  In addition many of us are limited by our hearing abilities as well.  there comes a point where many of us say that this is good enough. 

 

where the point of "is it worth it" varies greatly from on user to another.  

post #22 of 39

I think most people find that the sweetspot before diminishing returns really hits is around 200-400 dollars.  Here you will find the Beyerdynamics DT880, 990 (like you have), HD600/650, Hifiman HE400, AKG K/Q 701/702, MrSpeakers Maddogs, Denon D2000. 

 

I would think that the majority of head-fi'ers stop around this level.  Keep in mind though that your dac/amp setup will also determine the potential of how good these headphones can sound.  With something like the HD600/650, people can spend upwards to another 600-700 dollars for the amp and dac.  Like someone else mentioned earlier, sound quality is also very subjective.  If you prefer a warmer bass heavier sound signature, then you will most likely think that a 1000 dollar bright/bass light headphone sounds worse than a pair of portapros.

post #23 of 39

For me, anything at full price is diminishing. By that I mean, I only buy items that are discounted. I'm not sure why it is, maybe because I know I got a HP or a IEM at a price much lower than others or what. Maybe it's because I know I can sell them close the same price that I bought it for and still give someone else a deal. For instance, I would have never bought my HE300 for 250 or my dragonfly amp for 250, the minute they dropped down to 150 and 100 respectively, I felt that I had gotten good equipment for a good price. 

 

Not sure if this makes any sense so if you need something clarified ask me, but that's my two cents.

post #24 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by alterndog View Post
 

For me, anything at full price is diminishing. By that I mean, I only buy items that are discounted. I'm not sure why it is, maybe because I know I got a HP or a IEM at a price much lower than others or what. Maybe it's because I know I can sell them close the same price that I bought it for and still give someone else a deal. For instance, I would have never bought my HE300 for 250 or my dragonfly amp for 250, the minute they dropped down to 150 and 100 respectively, I felt that I had gotten good equipment for a good price. 

 

Not sure if this makes any sense so if you need something clarified ask me, but that's my two cents.

To put in perspective, price is an illusion.  Every company set prices for their products according to what they expect to earn and sound quality, Sales are marketing tactics to push customers for products you might not want, but bought it because they were "cheap". You just showed us how easy is to manipulate a customer, no offense.

 

The HD700 cost 1000$, it was discounted to 700$, it doesn't reach the HD600 sound quality for less than half the price but because it was "cheap" a lot of head-fiers bought it. For the Amperiors exactly the same, trying selling us an aluminum cup for 150$ more...


Edited by squallkiercosa - 12/6/13 at 3:25pm
post #25 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by squallkiercosa View Post
 

To put in perspective, price is an illusion.  Every company set prices for their products according to what they expect to earn and sound quality, Sales are marketing tactics to push customers for products you might not want, but bought it because they were "cheap". You just showed us how easy is to manipulate a customer, no offense.

 

The HD700 cost 1000$, it was discounted to 700$, it doesn't reach the HD600 sound quality for less than half the price but because it was "cheap" a lot of head-fiers bought it. For the Amperiors exactly the same, trying selling us an aluminum cup for 150$ more...

 

No I'm not offended at all. I wouldn't say that the companies have manipulated me though. I'd say headfi has. I exclusively only buy headphones through recommendations on this site and through the deals thread. An example recently is the dragonfly amp, the older version is $100, and I spent some time thinking it over and asking people on headfi if the new price made it worth it, when I kept hearing for the price yes, I decided to go ahead and get it. Nothing on Audioquest's website/marketing or Best Buy's (where I got it) website played into my decision.

 

Maybe that makes me a naive consumer, but so far it's treated me well and I come out feeling for the amount I have spent I've gotten good quality.


Edited by alterndog - 12/6/13 at 3:29pm
post #26 of 39

If we consider the question based on prices, any headphone over $400 (HD600) is a diminished return on investment. You can try to make a case for maximum figure of $700 (HE500), but I won't.

 

I've accepted the fact that I'll be ripped off occasionally, and that I'll less often find something good at a cheaper price than I had expected (Koss, Fostex RPs, some Grados).

post #27 of 39

If we want to start getting SUPER nitpicky, then I would argue that the point of diminishing return is most noticeable at around 30 dollars.  Going from your stock earbuds or 10 dollar Big Lots headphones to a pair of Portapros would probably blow your mind in sound quality.  However, I am willing to bet that 99% of your general population will think that upgrading from a 30 dollar pair of portapros to a 300 dollar pair of HD600s will be a big waste of money.  Try playing both of them straight out of your phone, I bet that the portapros will whoop the HD600's butt.  Throw in proper amping then we have a whole dif story.  I've spent thousands of dollars going through all types of dif headphones/dacs/amps, and now looking back, I think that if finances were an issue, I'd be perfectly satisfied settling for a pair of portapro or PX100.

post #28 of 39

Head-fi is very useful in that regard, companies can try to deceive us paying a reviewer, maybe two, but not an entire community will agree with the results. The amount of feedback is huge to be easily dismissed as an error. We just have to be careful with the sponsors :) 

post #29 of 39
Thread Starter 

Are the portapros open headphones?

 

The biggest sound improvement i've experienced so far was from the dt990 with it extremely wide soundstage, clarity and very punchy bass.  Unless the portapros can deliver ALL of the above, i dont know if they are comparable.

post #30 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryPham View Post
 

If we want to start getting SUPER nitpicky, then I would argue that the point of diminishing return is most noticeable at around 30 dollars.  Going from your stock earbuds or 10 dollar Big Lots headphones to a pair of Portapros would probably blow your mind in sound quality.  However, I am willing to bet that 99% of your general population will think that upgrading from a 30 dollar pair of portapros to a 300 dollar pair of HD600s will be a big waste of money.  Try playing both of them straight out of your phone, I bet that the portapros will whoop the HD600's butt.  Throw in proper amping then we have a whole dif story.  I've spent thousands of dollars going through all types of dif headphones/dacs/amps, and now looking back, I think that if finances were an issue, I'd be perfectly satisfied settling for a pair of portapro or PX100.

 

I disagree with you. I have a pair of portapros and definitely notice a difference between the apple stock earbuds and them, but when I moved to IEMs and HPs such as RE-262 and M50s, the portapros just could not compete with clarity and instrument separation etc. Even the bass, while they have quantity, they sounds boomy compared to my HE300. My Fiancee listened to Macklamore and Ryan Lewis' cd on the HE300 and said she heard sounds she never heard before, so even someone who isn't big into headphone quality can tell the difference between cheap but ok IEMs (Soundmagic PL30) and midfi headphones (HE300). 

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