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I think i'm fighting a losing battle

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

The only thing I want out of a pair of headphones is for them to sound as good as they do in the store (Best buy) when i try them on. That's it. I don't think I am being unreasonable. This is so frustrating that I am running out of ways to describe what I am going through.

 

I have spend SO MUCH TIME trying headphones out , only to get them home to be disappointed yet again.

 

I understand that it all depends on the source of what I am playing as well as the headphones.

 

I have tried:

 

MP3's encoded as high as 320Kbs

FLAC Files

Apple Lossless

MAC Mini

Stereo

CD Player

iPad

iPhone

Droid Phone

Droid Tablet

e07k Headphone Amp

Graphic EQ Apps

 

I am seriously so frustrated right now.

 

I am using 2 pair of headphones right now. Sony MDR-V150 and Philips SHN9500

 

I realize these are very old and low quality headphones, but, this only proves what I am trying to say. I have come home from the store with BOSE, Sony, Audio-technica,...etc....etc and NONE of these headphones sound any better than what I have. Maybe "VERY VERY little", but, nothing even worth spending the money on.

 

And, the reviews I read on some of the above listed headphones are VERY high ! People bragging about how deep the bass is, and , crystal clear treble ,...etc...etc.. honestly, I feel like I am caught in some type of bad joke.

 

Again, I just went to walmart and read some reviews an a pair called Monster nTune. I recall one of the reviewers saying "The highs are sparkling without being fatiguing and the bass is POWERFUL without the slightest bit of distortion". Where ?!?!?! I plugged these in , and, once again, they sound NO DIFFERENT than what I own.

 

I am utterly disgusted right now.

 

Am I missing something? PLEASE. If someone can shed some light on this for me, it would really really be a big help.

 

Maybe my expectations are too high ?

 

Sorry if I appear rude or whiny. I am just at the end of my rope with all of this. In the early to mid 80's I had a set of KOSS headphones hooked to my stereo. I miss them. Very much. The only time I hear any thing comparable, was when i put the BOSE on at Best Buy, but, once again, when i bring them home, they seemed to have left the good quality sound at best buy.

post #2 of 22

Did you try the HD558 there?

 

Just stick with your cans.  Upgrade to open headphone in the future though.  Totally different league:

MDR MA900

DT880 250 ohm

Q701

AD900x

Fidelio X1

 

with good recordings of course.  None of the things you've said before matter if you don't have good recordings.

post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trunks159 View Post
 

Did you try the HD558 there?

 

Just stick with your cans.  Upgrade to open headphone in the future though.  Totally different league:

MDR MA900

DT880 250 ohm

Q701

AD900x

Fidelio X1

 

with good recordings of course.  None of the things you've said before matter if you don't have good recordings.

 

Thanks for your reply. I haven't tried the HD558 yet. But, tomorrow I am going back to BBuy and I will be sure to try them.....

 

I don't really want to stick to the ones I have because I want something better. This is why it is so frustrating to me.

 

I was sure to try all of the phones with original store bought CD's. Pink Floyd, AC/DC, Lady gaga, The Shins...all good known recorded audio.

 

I feel like Im caught in the twilight zone or something :/

post #4 of 22

Are you comparing them right out of the box or after burn in?

post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 

Right out of the box.

 

But, from what they're sounding like, I don't see them reaching the quality as they would be inside the store. does burn in really change the sound that drastically ?

post #6 of 22

The stuff on best buy, especially bose/monster/beats/skullcandy are all usually heavily equalized.

 

Also, most of the stuff in best buy aren't the kinds of phones that audiophiles buy. Especially the brands i listed.

 

And no burn in doesn't magically transform headphones. It usually just removes a few minor annoyances/imperfections.

 

Also, if you're ever planning on taking them outside, don't bother with open headphones.

 

We can point you towards some good choices, though you may have to buy them online. If youre interested, just list your budget and favorite genres.

post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryJ73167 View Post
 

Right out of the box.

 

But, from what they're sounding like, I don't see them reaching the quality as they would be inside the store. does burn in really change the sound that drastically ?

 

Sometimes. I have a pair of JVCs that changed a lot. The bass became very tight. I actually preferred the looser sound from before burn in, but most would prefer tighter bass. That's the most common effect of burn in. Less often, it also tends to take an edge off the treble.

 

So try burning in using pink noise (http://simplynoise.com/) at a little louder than normal listening. I like to alternate between several hours of pink noise and a symphony on repeat, and I've had good results with the pink noise. Burn in time depends a lot on the model so let it run straight for a day or two and see if there's any change, positive or negative. But don't talk yourself into hearing a change.

post #8 of 22

I feel like the majority of what you're feeling is placebo.

post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by linglingjr View Post

I feel like the majority of what you're feeling is placebo.

I heard that the people that feel it's all placebo talked themselves out of being able to recognize changes tongue.gif
post #10 of 22

I thought ling was referring to OP.

 

I can say for certain that it wasn't placebo in my case because I ABXed it blind directed by a psych professor friend.

post #11 of 22

He hears a headphone for the first time in a store and thinks it's amazing.  He buys it waits and hypes himself up remembering how great they sounded.  They get to him, he plays lossless audio through them in a better listening environment and isn't nearly as impressed.  It's just like that sandwich you had from that one place 5 years ago, and then you come back and order it again remembering how great it was and is disappointed.


Edited by linglingjr - 3/14/14 at 10:32pm
post #12 of 22

That's what I thought you meant. It could be that. Or burn in. Or EQ. Or the quality of the headphones. Let's try isolate some variables.

post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post

I thought ling was referring to OP.

My bad, ling. redface.gif

Although I do mean it. It's easy enough for people that say they didn't hear a difference to convince themselves that there was none.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post

I can say for certain that it wasn't placebo in my case because I ABXed it blind directed by a psych professor friend.

So you had two versions of the same headphone? That's a cool idea to do your own burn-in test smily_headphones1.gif
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

So you had two versions of the same headphone? That's a cool idea to do your own burn-in test smily_headphones1.gif

Yeah, the HA-S500 was on sale so I bought two in order to run the test. I was surprised at how obvious the differences were, but it really varies from model to model. For example, it did very little to KNS8400 and CD900ST, more to K702, and a lot to T50RP. I didn't ABX any of those; only reporting what I could hear.

The reason I suggested it to OP is that the store's 80i sounded better (same source and EQ), but they sound almost identical now after burn in.
post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much for all of the replies. for as annoyed as I am with my experience , some of these posts are making me giggle :)

 

Anyway, being I listen to a lot of Classic Rock, a lot of that music lacks a good bottom end. Are some type of "Super Bass" headphones not the way to go?

 

My budget is in the area of $150.00 USD

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