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Is there a guide for headphone to genre suitability??

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

 

I'm new to this forum and new to headphones in general as well. Was just wondering if there are any guides out there that sort headphones (or sounds) according to the genre they are suitable for? For example for the dubstep genre people should be looking for cans that are closed back and have good bass, for example the v-moda m-100s. Something along those lines. I think it would be great to have a guide as such so the layman can understand better what to look out for in a headphone.  

 

Tried to look for one on the forum but can't seem to find one (maybe im blind or im using the wrong search terms, lol). Would really appreciate it if someone could link me to something like that if its available. Thanks in advance!

post #2 of 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironandwine View Post
 

Hi all,

 

I'm new to this forum and new to headphones in general as well. Was just wondering if there are any guides out there that sort headphones (or sounds) according to the genre they are suitable for? For example for the dubstep genre people should be looking for cans that are closed back and have good bass, for example the v-moda m-100s. Something along those lines. I think it would be great to have a guide as such so the layman can understand better what to look out for in a headphone.  

 

Tried to look for one on the forum but can't seem to find one (maybe im blind or im using the wrong search terms, lol). Would really appreciate it if someone could link me to something like that if its available. Thanks in advance!

 

 

Not a guide, but generally you should get a headphone that has generally a flat enough response for most music types, but some will prefer a certain "coloration" for certain genres. This isn't unanimous though - for example people tend to prefer Grados for rock and metal, but I find the Prestige series to have a soundstage and response that is not suitable for sorting out the layers of instruments in "busier" power metal tracks, and makes it feel like it's just throwing all the instruments including the orchestra's and the piano right at you. I for one prefer more "hi-fi" if not generally more "laid back" headphones for such tracks, which some people prefer for jazz, while I prefer Grados for those (barring big band jazz) because I like how they make the performance sound more "raw."

It's different for bassy music however. As much as a "flat" response should mean it should play back the bass as it was recorded, how the artists recorded that with studio monitors is not the same way as in playback. For an example some boyyz in da hood might want to shatter their windshields and some houses' windows blasting Lil John off the back of their SUV using Audiobahns. Similarly, DJs would typically need the beat to drive the people to dance, in the process they will get thirsty, and of course they're in da club and not a sports arena so they'll order more overpriced Cosmopolitans instead of Gatorades so da club earns money (and probably also the ecstacy dealer hiding somewhere in there). People watching Lord of the Rings at home would also like every stone thrown at Minas Tirith to have SFX that would rock the house, and the impact of the Rohirrim shock cavalry crashing on the Morgul horde to be felt like it's happening right there in the room. In each of those cases in different types of speaker systems, you can just boost the gain on the subwoofer amp (or design the enclosure to get the bass deeper).

For headphones, since it uses a single driver and a single amp in each, bass enhancement must necessarily come from the headphone, then the EQ, and also the amplification must support it at louder levels. It takes a lot of current to drive a transducer to produce bass frequencies, which is why in the speaker systems above they have their own amps, so in headphones they rely first on isolation and driver size (which is why they are usually closed circumaural), but then also on efficient drivers as it is reasonable that they would have to assume that people buying these would probably hook them up to an iPod. I don't see how they can't be driven better by a separate amplifier however, unless it's a noise-cancelling and/or wireless headphone with its own amplifier built into them.
 

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtegeManiac View Post
 

 

 

Not a guide, but generally you should get a headphone that has generally a flat enough response for most music types, but some will prefer a certain "coloration" for certain genres. This isn't unanimous though - for example people tend to prefer Grados for rock and metal, but I find the Prestige series to have a soundstage and response that is not suitable for sorting out the layers of instruments in "busier" power metal tracks, and makes it feel like it's just throwing all the instruments including the orchestra's and the piano right at you. I for one prefer more "hi-fi" if not generally more "laid back" headphones for such tracks, which some people prefer for jazz, while I prefer Grados for those (barring big band jazz) because I like how they make the performance sound more "raw."

It's different for bassy music however. As much as a "flat" response should mean it should play back the bass as it was recorded, how the artists recorded that with studio monitors is not the same way as in playback. For an example some boyyz in da hood might want to shatter their windshields and some houses' windows blasting Lil John off the back of their SUV using Audiobahns. Similarly, DJs would typically need the beat to drive the people to dance, in the process they will get thirsty, and of course they're in da club and not a sports arena so they'll order more overpriced Cosmopolitans instead of Gatorades so da club earns money (and probably also the ecstacy dealer hiding somewhere in there). People watching Lord of the Rings at home would also like every stone thrown at Minas Tirith to have SFX that would rock the house, and the impact of the Rohirrim shock cavalry crashing on the Morgul horde to be felt like it's happening right there in the room. In each of those cases in different types of speaker systems, you can just boost the gain on the subwoofer amp (or design the enclosure to get the bass deeper).

For headphones, since it uses a single driver and a single amp in each, bass enhancement must necessarily come from the headphone, then the EQ, and also the amplification must support it at louder levels. It takes a lot of current to drive a transducer to produce bass frequencies, which is why in the speaker systems above they have their own amps, so in headphones they rely first on isolation and driver size (which is why they are usually closed circumaural), but then also on efficient drivers as it is reasonable that they would have to assume that people buying these would probably hook them up to an iPod. I don't see how they can't be driven better by a separate amplifier however, unless it's a noise-cancelling and/or wireless headphone with its own amplifier built into them.
 


Wow this has been really useful, thanks a lot! Appreciate it!

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