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Margin of diminishing returns?? Do $200 headphones sound "the same" as >$500, or $1000... - Page 2

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 #16 of 29

If you were to compare all headphones across the spectrum from the lowest cost (like free apple earbuds) to the Sennheiser Orpheus my opinion is that the best value (for sound quality) is probably around $100-$200 dollars (like the Audio-Technica ATH-M50). In terms of the sweet-spot for "high end" headphones I would say around $500-$1000 is where diminishing returns start to really set in (or maybe even before that, it depends on, among many other things, how much you have to spend to drive the headphones well).. It is of course a subjective experience and there's no correct answer.

post #17 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by gradofan1 View Post
 

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...

 

According to the hype around the Focal Spirit Pro, yes. A $300 headphone holds it ground against high end headphones :P

 

edit: I still need to hear them before I can make a judgement myself. Still haven't found a store yet that has a demo unit.


Edited by ubs28 - 5/2/14 at 1:14pm
post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikongod View Post

 

"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.

 

OP wasn't being literal. It's a pretty simple question once you read the post. :rolleyes:

 

But you're obviously just looking for a fight, and I don't care enough to argue.

post #19 of 29
Best value for money to me was the SR80i around $99 so far. But I find the DT880 around $200-250 an excellent value as well. After that, the diminishing returns law starts kicking pretty hard.
post #20 of 29
$500 seems to be the magic number. There seem to be a couple worth considering between 1k and 2k, but at that point, you might as well get some Stax Omega 2s.
post #21 of 29

Everyone wants giant killers, but in truly critical listening an HD 800 will pull away from a KSC-75 in a matter of seconds.

 

Different headphones don't just suit different budgets, but different applications. The highest-end headphones are best suited for critical listening. By critical listening I mean it as an exclusive activity -- no simultaneous web browsing, no reading, nothing but just queueing an album and listening.

 

I'm more than comfortable with a pair of $200 headphones for casual applications like video games and listening while doing work or browsing the web.

 

In terms of use, my SR-Omega sees the very least of all my headphones (typically only out for once or twice a month for a few hours at most). I believe in enjoying perfection only in moderation.

 

I think $200 is the sweet spot. You can get yesteryear's flagships for around this price, and they hold up excellently even today.


Edited by 3X0 - 5/2/14 at 5:54pm
post #22 of 29
Thread Starter 

IMO the HD800 isn't better than a HD650 or HD600, just different. The HD800 has better imaging and soundstage of course, but in terms of sound signature it's really what you're looking for. Sometimes I even prefer the dark sound sig of the HD650 to the much brighter (and sometimes sibilant) HD800...

post #23 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3X0 View Post

 

You can get yesteryear's flagships for around this price, and they hold up excellently even today.

 

Completely agree.

post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by gradofan1 View Post
 

 

Completely agree.

Wish that were true of the HD650s...  though i got mine before Senn got really strict on the pricing, so mine were way way under MSRP.  I always have a hard time thinking of them as $500+ headphones as they were $350 when I got them.

post #25 of 29
Thread Starter 

Ok so so far most people agree that 200-500 is the ideal price range, "value-wise" --

 

What about:

 

200-350?

 

350-500?

 

List some models too! (Note open box HE500's are going for only $499 on ebay)

post #26 of 29
I enjoy the variety of it all, but if it came down to it i could live happily with a hd600. Street price on that is like $250?

The aesthetic, build quality, tech in some of the headphones out there is cool, but for me at like $250 the hd600 would be the point of diminishing returns.
post #27 of 29
I find that the older flagship dynamics around $200-$500 (HD600/650, DT880/990, AKG Q701, etc.) are at the point of dimishing returns for dynamics.

I find the planars around $400-$700 (HE-4/HE-5/HE-400/HE-500) are at the point of dimishing returns for planars.

I don't know enough about electrostats to say anything about them (I've never heard one), but excluding the amp probably around $700-$1000 in my opinion.

I don't think I could personally justify over $800 for any headphone. Speakers, perhaps around a thousand excluding subwoofer. I think it really depends how much money it takes to get good sound quality in different situations. I would probably want to spend a bit more on closed back headphones.
post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by gradofan1 View Post
 

Ok so so far most people agree that 200-500 is the ideal price range, "value-wise" --

 

What about:

 

200-350?

 

350-500?

 

List some models too! (Note open box HE500's are going for only $499 on ebay)

 

For my tastes (includes FS pricing from this forum)

 

Street pricing 200-350 : HD600, DT880, K702

 

Street pricing 350-500 : SRH1840, HD700, HE500 (HD700 is probably more in the $500-600 range - but have seen it as low as $500 a couple of times)

post #29 of 29
It's hard to narrow the price down more because it really depends on how much you want a certain sound such as HE500 ($550). For me, HD600 ($275) is good enough. But so are my vintage AKGs, which are cheaper.
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