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Flagship headphones in the killing field

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 

Interesting read. Very few of the highly regarded headphones survived this battle.

http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/one-enthusiasts-take-top-line-headphones-state-flagships

post #2 of 38

  very interesting,thanks.

 

  one problem though,according to the established parameters,the dt880 should maybe have passed #6 and the T1 failed the same. he got the opposite.

 

 

   this doesn't tell how good they sound to the individual though.

post #3 of 38

What a great read (Not the Inner Fidelity blurb, but "The State of thee Flagships" document it refers to).

 

I literally LOL'd when I got to the Grado PS1000.  The author stated in scientific terms what I have thought for years now.  Once you get above the SR60 you're just pissing money away on the same poorly engineered product with nicer materials and a diminishing returns curve that looks like a rock climbers ultimate end-game.  I remember when the PS1000 launched and all the buzz here on HeadFi about this new flagship. I was astounded at how this thing was being taken seriously. Without ever having heard it I knew just by the fact that Grado was using the same old, highly colored sounding design and putting some metal on the outside of the cups and adding another $700 to the price (over the GS1000) that this was one of the biggest money grab products of a all time.

 

 

 

Votes for sticky of this document!

post #4 of 38

Been posted previously a few weeks ago. Pretty sure Tyll found the document from the original thread here.

 

While measurements are one of the best indicators for something that you have not heard yourself, I'd still recommend testing a headphone before writing it off. This document rates the TH900 fairly poorly, however its colorations and signature may be very well the best for someones preferences. This throws out an arbitrary sound signature/flatness that it wants to achieve, this may not be what is best for a persons musical interests anyway.

post #5 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saren View Post
 

Been posted previously a few weeks ago. Pretty sure Tyll found the document from the original thread here.

 

While measurements are one of the best indicators for something that you have not heard yourself, I'd still recommend testing a headphone before writing it off. This document rates the TH900 fairly poorly, however its colorations and signature may be very well the best for someones preferences. This throws out an arbitrary sound signature/flatness that it wants to achieve, this may not be what is best for a persons musical interests anyway.

 

 I agree wholeheartedly that your ears should always have the final say on what sounds good to you.   The author was not implying that graphs should tell consumers what sounds good though. He was saying the measurements tell engineers when they are doing it wrong or right.

post #6 of 38

That article took me on a long journey of not only reading the entire google document by SanjiWatsuki, but also Tyll's article on innerfidelity.  Great read and I think its really neat to look at headphones with a scientific approach for a change.  Obviously the sound that is subjective to each person is most important, but this was a really great read still. 

 

Dynamic flagships from Sennheiser really demand more respect in this regard.  Even the electrostatic and planar magnetic headphones from makers such as Audeze, Hifiman, and Stax deserve a stand up applause as well. 

 

Good read!  :smile:

 

post #7 of 38

The Ultrasone Ed 10 reminded me of this:

 

post #8 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by cswann1 View Post
 

The Ultrasone Ed 10 reminded me of this:

 


haha!

 

I always think of Ultrasone as a company who make comfortable, luxurious headphones that looks appealing.  I don't think their emphasis is exactly on sound quality.  I enjoyed the sound of the Pro-900's and would probably enjoy the Signature DJ's.  However if I were to get one of their Signatures or Editions.. It would be just because I like the look and feel of them.. Not particularly for their sonic characteristics.  :p

 

Its like buying anything that isn't particularly good at what its made for.. but looks nice and luxurous - made of expensive, rare materials.

post #9 of 38

I think a fair analogy would be cars. If sports cars were controlled, pure, efficient and no hassle. It wouldn't be a sports car. People want cars that can kill em. Isn't why people love Mustangs or Ferraris and the likes.

post #10 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shroker View Post
 

I think a fair analogy would be cars. If sports cars were controlled, pure, efficient and no hassle. It wouldn't be a sports car. People want cars that can kill em. Isn't why people love Mustangs or Ferraris and the likes.

 

 

 

Wait....what sports cars are you talking about?  Those words are quite good at describing sports cars if you ask me. Even the no-hassle part could describe a sports car, but applies to any well designed machine.

 

Sports cars are all about control, but its usually talked about in terms of cornering and handling.  Pure is a great way to talk about some sports cars and the more you get to the "sports" side the more pure it becomes.  Most production sports cars are a long way from "pure" because they have things like carpeting, air-conditioning, stereos and cup holders.  But the basics are there in a few cars like say a Corvette, or BMW M3, or Nissan GT-R just to cite a couple of examples.   But a pure sports car is a race car and you can take all the crap that comes in a production car out, put in a roll cage and a carbon fiber seat, put on some new shoes (racing tires) and you have yourself a fairly pure sports car.   

     Now about efficient. There are a few kinds of efficient.  Fuel efficient is typically not used to describe sports cars.  However sports cars are quite efficient at getting power to the pavement. So in terms of power to weight the more pure a sports car is, the more efficient it is.

 

The cars to headphone analogy works I guess.  If a Stax 009 were a $500 headphone we'd all have a pair, just like if an Aston Martin Vanquish were $25,000 cars we'd all have one too.   But to tie this into the OP's document about flagship engineering, what if a top of the line sports car took 10 seconds to get to 60mph, took 300 feet to get from 60 to 0 mph, or even better to the headphone analogy, couldn't pull .5 g's on a cornering test without losing traction?  These are some parameters that sports cars engineers look at when designing a car.  They probably start out with some of these metrics as goals before the first prototypes are even drafted in software. And as the production cycle progresses they keep tweaking until their design goals are met and their company won't have to worry that their new bad-ass-car-of-badassitude won't get embarrassed when Car and Driver magazine takes it to the test track and puts it in a head-to-head shoot out with other competing sports cars.

 

That was the whole point of the headphone flagship paper. The author wanted to set some performance standards and see who's flagship headphones measured up.


Edited by cswann1 - 1/27/14 at 6:52pm
post #11 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by cswann1 View Post
 

 

 

 

Wait....what sports cars are you talking about?  Those words are quite good at describing sports cars if you ask me. Even the no-hassle part could describe a sports car, but applies to any well designed machine.

 

Sports cars are all about control, but its usually talked about in terms of cornering and handling.  Pure is a great way to talk about some sports cars and the more you get to the "sports" side the more pure it becomes.  Most production sports cars are a long way from "pure" because they have things like carpeting, air-conditioning, stereos and cup holders.  But the basics are there in a few cars like say a Corvette, or BMW M3, or Nissan GT-R just to cite a couple of examples.   But a pure sports car is a race car and you can take all the crap that comes in a production car out, put in a roll cage and a carbon fiber seat, put on some new shoes (racing tires) and you have yourself a fairly pure sports car.   

     Now about efficient. There are a few kinds of efficient.  Fuel efficient is typically not used to describe sports cars.  However sports cars are quite efficient at getting power to the pavement. So in terms of power to weight the more pure a sports car is, the more efficient it is.

 

The cars to headphone analogy works I guess.  If a Stax 009 were a $500 headphone we'd all have a pair, just like if an Aston Martin Vanquish were $25,000 cars we'd all have one too.   But to tie this into the OP's document about flagship engineering, what if a top of the line sports car took 10 seconds to get to 60mph, took 300 feet to get from 60 to 0 mph, or even better to the headphone analogy, couldn't pull .5 g's on a cornering test without losing traction?  These are some parameters that sports cars engineers look at when designing a car.  They probably start out with some of these metrics as goals before the first prototypes are even drafted in software. And as the production cycle progresses they keep tweaking until their design goals are met and their company won't have to worry that their new bad-ass-car-of-badassitude won't get embarrassed when Car and Driver magazine takes it to the test track and puts it in a head-to-head shoot out with other competing sports cars.

 

That was the whole point of the headphone flagship paper. The author wanted to set some performance standards and see who's flagship headphones measured up.

Fair point on the pure part.
I should rephrase in the sense that some cars like to be flamboyant (like coloured headphones) as opposed to a car that corners and handles magnificently through corners without its tail trying to throw you out the other side.

I went through the article though. Pretty neat.

post #12 of 38

HD800 isn't resonant in the treble and there are graphs on it.

post #13 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by cswann1 View Post
 

The Ultrasone Ed 10 reminded me of this:

 

LOL.

I have never heard it before but is it really that bad?

post #14 of 38
Yeah, it's that bad. No offence to Ultrasone fans though. Guess what, there is another model which costs twice as much now...ed 5
post #15 of 38

lol the video is just too funny, did he do another review on the ed 5? lol 

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