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Margin of diminishing returns?? Do $200 headphones sound "the same" as >$500, or $1000...

Poll Results: What's the ideal price range for headphones, value wise, with proper amplification?

 
  • 5% (2)
    <$200
  • 63% (23)
    $200-500
  • 19% (7)
    $500-1000
  • 2% (1)
    $>1000
  • 8% (3)
    Anything short of the Sennheiser Orpheus is complete garbage.
36 Total Votes  
post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

I've always been wondering this -- at what price point does the margin of diminishing returns hit the peak, for headphones?

 

For example, I'm listening to my Beyer DT880-600 right now and they hold a solid ground against my much more expensive D7000's. Though given I am listening off a pretty decent DAC/AMP setup (Headroom Ultra Desktop DAC + Headroom Ultra Desktop Amp). Even still, I'd say the DT880-600 is 90% of the much more expensive T1.

 

In your opinion, can a $300 pair of headphones hold its ground against a $1k pair? (assuming proper amplification).

 

Just wondering of others' opinions...

post #2 of 29

The sennheiser orpheus has its higher price mostly because of how rare it is. I like the idea of a stax sr009 better

post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 

I wasn't really talking about the Sennheier Orpheus... that was mostly a joke I put in the poll...

post #4 of 29

I think that 200-500 (or 600) is definitely the sweet spot, in terms of value for your money.

post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 

Yeah, I'd probably agree with that. The DT880/600's, K701's, HE400/500's, HD600/650's are all in that range.

post #6 of 29

Headphones are like motorcycles.  Everyone has their own perspective on how good a certain model is.  My recommendation would be to listen to a few models from other makers and make that decision for yourself.   You may be satisfied with the $200 headphones or you could walk away from a store with the LCD-X.  At any rate, at the end of your journey, your head-fi experiences will be that much richer.


Edited by Mastad0n - 4/28/14 at 4:09pm
post #7 of 29

Given that in the $200-500 range - you get:

HD600/HD650

DT880

K701/702

Used HD700 / HE500 / SRH1840

 

(I've owned all of the above - except the HE500)

 

All of these are very good value for money in this bracket IMO - and diminishing returns kick in hard going above this range. 

post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post

Given that in the $200-500 range - you get:



HD600/HD650



DT880



K701/702



Used HD700 / HE500 / SRH1840



 



(I've owned all of the above - except the HE500)



 



All of these are very good value for money in this bracket IMO - and diminishing returns kick in hard going above this range. 


 



yep this. he-500 for 450 used? Add some alpha pads and you have a hard time distinguishing these from audeze lcd-2.2's. Thats value.
post #9 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kernel8888 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post
 

Given that in the $200-500 range - you get:

 

HD600/HD650

 

DT880

 

K701/702

 

Used HD700 / HE500 / SRH1840

 

 

 

(I've owned all of the above - except the HE500)

 

 

 

All of these are very good value for money in this bracket IMO - and diminishing returns kick in hard going above this range. 

 



yep this. he-500 for 450 used? Add some alpha pads and you have a hard time distinguishing these from audeze lcd-2.2's. Thats value.

Wait do the alpha pads really make that big of a difference? If so I'll be looking to buy..

post #10 of 29
I agree with Brooko, and would add SR225i, HE400, and T50RP mods (ZMF, MrSpeakers) to the list.
post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post

I agree with Brooko, and would add SR225i, HE400, and T50RP mods (ZMF, MrSpeakers) to the list.

 

Agree on the 225i and T50RP mods most definitely (heard one extensively and owned the other)

 

Must get a chance some day to try the HE400.

 

Thanks Claritas

post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by gradofan1 View Post

Wait do the alpha pads really make that big of a difference? If so I'll be looking to buy..

 



At the end of the hifiman replacement pad thread i posted some impressions you might find helpful. The he-500's are great headphones with the stock velours and jergpads, but i prefer the alpha pads. I'll actually be getting some lcd-3 pads today adn will post my impressions there.
post #13 of 29

It is my opinion that you started an inflamatory thread.

 

"Do $200 headphones sound "the same" as >$500, or $1000 headphones? (assuming proper amplification)"

No. they dont sound the same. This thread title is seriously misguided. 

 

Pick 3 $200 headphones. Lets say the DT880, D7000 (based on how they sound, not what some fools pay), and the Grado PS1000. Do they sound the same? Not even close. 

 

Lets pick 3 $1000 headphones. The HD600, the Grado HP1000, and the AKG K1000. Do they sound the same? Not even close. 

 

Lets pick 3 $2500+ Headphones. The HD800, the R10, and the STAX 007 (**** mk2, original, before head-fail made STAX screw them up) Do they sound the same? Not even close. 

 

It is nearly impossible to find 2 different headphones AT THE SAME PRICEPOINT that sound the same, why would you think for a second that it would be possible to find 2 headphones at DIFFERENT pricepoints that sound the same? 

 

If you clearly identify what you are looking for (to yourself) it *may* be possible to find a less inexpensive headphone that has the qualities you like (and does not have the characteristics you dont like) from a more expensive headphone. If you want a headphone that sounds exactly like the (insert model here) guess what you should buy? The (insert model here). 


Edited by nikongod - 5/2/14 at 9:07am
post #14 of 29
I'm fairly new to the hobby, and I was honestly expecting to be unimpressed by much more expensive models. I love my HD600's, but the HD800's were definitely better. I also got a chance to try the LCD-3's, and I think I liked those even more. It's a lot harder to get a good read on value, though. With something like gaming PCs, you can easily identify where you have to spend a lot more money just to get marginal improvements, but audio is a subjective experience. While I am happy with my 600's, I am more than willing to spend more money on a better experience. I think the motorcycle analogy is dead-on in this respect.

Side note, trying those models definitely made me notice how headphones feel more, much like you would notice all of the comfort details put into a luxury car versus a mainstream sedan. That wouldn't affect how the car drives, but I know many people who would be willing to spend more for the comfort.
post #15 of 29

No I don't think a $200-500 headphone (generally) sounds the same as a $1k ++.  A lower tier model may do some things better / preferably  though.

 

For me personally the RS1, K701, HD650 represent my points of diminishing return.

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