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New member struggling to become audiophile

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hello, all. I'm an active audio ENTHUSIAST, but in no way an AUDIOPHILE. I have a very specific problem... despite having a strong (amateur) musical background (nearly became a music major, but chose engineering), and despite having a long standing interest in electronic audio reproduction, my problem is... I like everything. For example, I have struggled to perceive a quality difference among various good audio coding standards (e.g., 256 Kbps variable bit rate AAC (iTunes) encoding vs. 44,100 sample/sec PCM and CD quality), and headphones (e.g., medium high quality headphones such as Sennheiser HD 598 vs. presumably overpriced Beats Studio 2 vs. Parrot Zik, etc.)

I am under the impression that most folks here can immediately listen to these combinations and tell which is giving highest-quality reproduction. I cannot. In some cases (e.g. Beats vs. Sennheiser), I can tell a DIFFERENCE, but I cannot claim one to be better, or more realistic, than the other.

I have several good sources, such as the Chesky Ultimate Demonstration Disk, that I use for all of these comparisons, either using it direct from the CD or encoding it as listed above). Electronics include Walkman CD player and every type of iTunes player available (4 types of iPods, iPad, iPhones,...).

How can I most easily perceive a clear quality difference between top audio and good but run of the mill audio? Do I need a different playback device? Different program material? Or am I incorrigible?
post #2 of 9

to me, the audio quality starts to get good at the $300+ range, mostly with open headphones. (hd 650, he400, he500, ect) Anything below that sounds noticeably midFi-ish.

 

As for audio codecs, i can barely tell the difference between 192 kbps vs 256 kbps, and i definitely can't tell the difference between 256, 320, and flac. Anything below 192 sounds noticeably hollow and dry.

post #3 of 9

a good quality dac helps....

the improved clarity/separation/soundstagedepth will separate the boys from the men :P

 

i use Audirvana Plus software on my McAir laptop. improved clarity a notch.

http://audirvana.com/?page_id=112

post #4 of 9

I would consider your case there to be a blessing rather than a curse. If I can't tell the difference between $300 and $1500 headphones, I would not need the $1500 headphone to get the same enjoyment. Therefore I get the enjoyment, and save $1200 in the process. As the saying goes, ignorance is a bliss :D

post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by 62ohm View Post
 

I would consider your case there to be a blessing rather than a curse. If I can't tell the difference between $300 and $1500 headphones, I would not need the $1500 headphone to get the same enjoyment. Therefore I get the enjoyment, and save $1200 in the process. As the saying goes, ignorance is a bliss :D

yup

 

Audiophile is some one obessed with audio or sound, if your obessision is mostly pleasent then enjoy it :D 

post #6 of 9
So - first off, the "significant differences" often spoken of around here actually range from really being a significant difference to really being a complete fantasy - and everything in-between. We have the "golden-eared" that will claim they can hear a significant difference between a headphone made on Monday and the same model made on Tuesday. (OK, I made that bit up) What they really hear, we have no idea.

Personally, I think your question is irrelevant. Regardless of what some folks think, this is not a contest and there aren't awards handed out or secret handshakes known only to those that can prove their ears are worthy.

Head-fi is entertainment. It's supposed to be fun. So - Have Fun! If you like the gear, then have fun geeking out about the gear. If you like the music, then have fun geeking out about the music. What you hear is what you hear. Don't apologize for what you hear - and always be willing to say what you really hear. You might be surprised how many people will actually agree with you, and you might find that what you hear really might not be as different from the rest of us as you think. Let the "golden ears" say whatever they want - what they hear has absolutely no bearing on what *you* hear - and in the end, that's all that is important!

beerchug.gif
Edited by billybob_jcv - 2/2/14 at 10:59pm
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by billybob_jcv View Post

So - first off, the "significant differences" often spoken of around here actually range from really being a significant difference to really being a complete fantasy - and everything in-between. We have the "golden-eared" that will claim they can hear a significant difference between a headphone made on Monday and the same model made on Tuesday. (OK, I made that bit up) What they really hear, we have no idea.

Personally, I think your question is irrelevant. Regardless of what some folks think, this is not a contest and there aren't awards handed out or secret handshakes known only to those that can prove their ears are worthy.

Head-fi is entertainment. It's supposed to be fun. So - Have Fun! If you like the gear, then have fun geeking out about the gear. If you like the music, then have fun geeking out about the music. What you hear is what you hear. Don't apologize for what you hear - and always be willing to say what you really hear. You might be surprised how many people will actually agree with you, and you might find that what you hear really might not be as different from the rest of us as you think. Let the "golden ears" say whatever they want - what they hear has absolutely no bearing on what *you* hear - and in the end, that's all that is important!

beerchug.gif

yup

 

being an audiophile is... your own thing. If you want to... learn how to pick up the differances in more expensive and higher priced headphones, I'd say wait until you get something like am HE 400i, DT 880, Akg K550 or one of the popular $300 headphones, open or closed

 

then listen to 2-3 songs on your $300 headphone, then buy your self a $30 Sony MDR 150, the differeances between the two will be huge, and will help you get a grasp on sound stage, clarity and the concept of an overall higher quality sound. Even if you can't put words to it... differentiating is more about knowing what your hearing,

 

and ofc you can take that a step to far and imagine things too ^^ but if your SO into Audio that your brain enjoys listening to your $3000 headphone cable more than the cheap $100... I suppose in the end that $3000 cable [being extreme here] gives you  more pleasure, so do what ever you feel you need to, to increase your enjoyment. But ofc, talking to others and getting feed back on there experinces does help to shorten your path to audio nirvana! 

post #8 of 9

ignoreth the world...Beats are the BESTeth..periodth :P

post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorspeaker View Post
 

ignoreth the world...Beats are the BESTeth..periodth :P

YEA BOI 

 

dem beets get you swag over 9000'th 

 

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