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Why are high end portables generally poorly made? - Page 3

post #31 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post

They are built to basically the same quality, same materials, probably designed by the same crew. Unfortunately it seems like the HD700's sound was tuned when the group had a few too many.

 

 

LOL

post #32 of 47
They're poorly made because most of them are manufactured using cheap materials and low quality Chinese labor in order to maximize profit margins. Most portables exist because it is a growing market, a cash cow to audio companies... that's why so many sound bad, are cheaply made, and most are made by speaker companies that don't know a thing about making headphones. I despise portable audio after years of spending money getting cheaply made products with mediocre sound for the money. I'm giving it one last attempt and will buy a FAD Pandora Hope VI which are heavy but easy to drive.
post #33 of 47

Any love for the  P5? Tot it is well built, love that honeyed sound too. 

post #34 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorspeaker View Post
 

Any love for the  P5? Tot it is well built, love that honeyed sound too. 

I have nothing but pure seething hatred for Bowers & Wilkins

 

mediocre sound in a hideous, overpriced package

 

the build wasn't THAT good either

 

I would go with an Ultrasone Sig Pro if you want a true high-end portable with good build

 

if you're willing to get an IEM, get the Etymotic ER-4PT

post #35 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by takato14 View Post
 

I have nothing but pure seething hatred for Bowers & Wilkins

 

mediocre sound in a hideous, overpriced package

 

the build wasn't THAT good either

 

I would go with an Ultrasone Sig Pro if you want a true high-end portable with good build

 

if you're willing to get an IEM, get the Etymotic ER-4PT

I actually like the B&W P5, the leather pad, very light and stylish.

 

My bigger beef is with the Sennheiser HD800 not the sound, love the sound, but cotter pins to hold the cups on $1500 and cotter pins? Seriously why? 

post #36 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by takato14 View Post
 

I have nothing but pure seething hatred for Bowers & Wilkins

 

mediocre sound in a hideous, overpriced package

 

the build wasn't THAT good either

 

I would go with an Ultrasone Sig Pro if you want a true high-end portable with good build

 

if you're willing to get an IEM, get the Etymotic ER-4PT

 

I had a Hisoundaudio Studio V then, class A dap..powered the P5 beautifully...

the build feels solid, n high quality...no complaints from me.

(Anyway, i have yet to break any gear i own.. :P )

post #37 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stuff Jones View Post
 

There's many reports of the Spirit Pros cracking under normal use. Focal claims it's just the first few batches but recent purchasers have also reported cracking.

 

My tentative hypothesis is that headphone manufacturers know us audiophiles are suckers and will pony up big bucks if something sounds good, even if it doesn't last. So there's little incentive for them to invest in R&D on product durability and invest in more expensive materials for greater durability. In other words, the competition at the higher end levels is 99% on sound quality. 

 

Not necessarily that they are trying to dupe people, but maybe they really didn't have any idea about the behavior of the plastic composition they chose for it. Maybe it was tough enough for their lab tests, then maybe somebody used them in a place with different atmospheric conditions than that lab. Or what is likely is the factory that made the headphones or parts of them might have screwed up - it could have let impurities contaminate the plastic, for example.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pachoo5 View Post
 

NAD for example is fairly new and small if I remember correctly. Other companies are quite obviously larger, like Sennheiser for example. All of my Sennheiser headphones are very well built so it could just be a company size and resource issue. I believe Beyerdynamic headphones are very well built as well.

 

Define "fairly new and small," because this came out in the 1980s...

...and they have a larger distributor network since they've been around long before direct-selling on the internet driven by review samples for forum members/admins (and 30-day money back home trial guarantees). Just because they're called "New Acoustic Dimension" doesn't mean the company itself is still new. :D If anything, they're new with just headphones, but one can't blame those who expect a lot more from them considering big companies if they put their minds and cheques into a project and didn't meddle with the engineers, they can beat smaller, more specialized companies. For example, there's the GT40 beating Ferrari in the late 60's; and when was the last time that it wasn't an Audi (or Bentley, owned by Audi, using an Audi with a roof) that won Le Mans?

 

Of course that statement would mean something if we go way back before NAD and many other British brands, because...well, guess why the largest companies that specialize in headphones and microphones are German(ic).

They lost the war, their military effectively dismantled, and nobody wanted to go along with Churchill's "Operation Unthinkable" (which is basically to rearm all central Europe under Allied control for a unified capitalist do-over of Operation Barbarossa), so those engineers and companies had to look for civilian applications instead of subsisting on juicy government contracts supplying the Wermacht, Luftwaffe, and Kriegsmarine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by takato14 View Post
 

To be honest, Sennheiser is one of the worst companies in this, because not only do most of their headphones both feel breakable and are breakable, a couple of them (HD600, HD650) feel pretty well put-together but in fact aren't -- so you'll be less inclined to be careful with them and you'll end up with this:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by takato14 View Post
 

Sennheiser used Europlastic for the HD600/650's headband. It's a dense, extremely brittle plastic. Normally flexing the headband to put the headphones on can do this; this was not from abuse of any kind and I have seen this happen on numerous occasions.


I'm a 7.5 on hat size (if that's a good enough indicator of my head size), and with the adjustment on the headband at seven clicks out from the tightest position, I barely bend the headband when putting them on or off (at five clicks or less the bass isn't as I like it). When I do take them off though they bend my earlobes going out. I have more complaints about the finish actually - that paint flakes too easily on the headband, likely due to however little flexing it does. I'm just using this as an excuse to, at some point, paint my HD600 in the same color as the HD580J. I don't hate the marble blue on its own but with it flaking anyway I might as well get it in the color I prefer.

post #38 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtegeManiac View Post
 

Define "fairly new and small," because this came out in the 1980s...

Square brown pushbuttons.    Definitely was a nifty look back then in the sea of brushed champagne and toggles...

 

On B&W:  It is a good speaker company, and I find the P5 a nice little piece of kit.  The cord is ultra ultra thin, though -- so they aren't durable unless you are careful about the cord.  The sound is rolled off, but they respond well to EQ, they are low distortion most everywhere, and they are comfy for on-ears.  I just wish my 'white' P5s didn't turn grey.  

post #39 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by RUMAY408 View Post

 

My bigger beef is with the Sennheiser HD800 not the sound, love the sound, but cotter pins to hold the cups on $1500 and cotter pins? Seriously why? 

That's a turn off if I've ever heard one.

post #40 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzman7 View Post
 

Square brown pushbuttons.    Definitely was a nifty look back then in the sea of brushed champagne and toggles...

pachoo5 is secretly turning 5000 this year.

post #41 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzman7 View Post
 

On B&W:  It is a good speaker company, and I find the P5 a nice little piece of kit.  The cord is ultra ultra thin, though -- so they aren't durable unless you are careful about the cord.  The sound is rolled off, but they respond well to EQ, they are low distortion most everywhere, and they are comfy for on-ears.  I just wish my 'white' P5s didn't turn grey.  

They have poor bass distortion and you shouldn't need an EQ to make something sound good. Get it right the first time. Also "Comfy for on-ears" implies that supra-aurals are inherently less comfortable than circumaurals, which not only reflects poorly on the P5 but is also absolutely false. People just don't have any idea what they're doing and make them uber-heavy clamp machines because they can't make them stable any other way. When done right, a supra aural can stand toe-to-toe with top comfort circums like the HD800. Try a vintage Audio Technica dynamic (ATH-3/4/5/6D) and you'll see what I mean.

 

Besides, the P5 is not an endgame portable headphone, so it's not what he's looking for. 

post #42 of 47

I had an ATH-1 -- the headband was plastic but it was comfortable.  Wow, looking at the pictures of the higher-end AT models, I didn't realize that they did a suspension headband on an on-ear.  Looks to be very comfortable!  Somebody needs to bring that back. 

 

I'm fine with EQing headphones, but I understand that is a personal preference.  I also bend headbands if the headphone is my own to maximize comfort -- and the P5 headband bends (but of course not all headphones allow this).  That can help reduce clamp. 

 

Back to OT:  I read through the OP's posts again and the OP makes reference to "construction quality" and seems to promote durability in several posts as the main problem with the headphones mentioned -- i.e. how long they last.  That is my main concern when paying big bucks for headphones.  If the headphone stops working under normal use, it is flawed no matter what it sounds like.  I tend to scan the user threads to see what problems are being reported before jumping in. 

post #43 of 47

Quote:

Originally Posted by RUMAY408 View Post
 

I actually like the B&W P5, the leather pad, very light and stylish.

I think it looks incredibly pretentious and skeletal but okay then

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by RUMAY408 View Post
 

My bigger beef is with the Sennheiser HD800 not the sound, love the sound, but cotter pins to hold the cups on $1500 and cotter pins? Seriously why? 

um

 

Cotter-Pin.jpg

 

where the hell do you see this in the construction of the HD800

post #44 of 47
It's inside the arm. He conveniently forgets all complicated things are made up of many humble parts. To date I've never heard of anyone having a problem with these pins, or anything related the construction of the HD800. Paint? Sure. Tuning? OK. Failing drivers, broken parts, things falling apart? Not yet.
post #45 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post

It's inside the arm. He conveniently forgets all complicated things are made up of many humble parts. To date I've never heard of anyone having a problem with these pins, or anything related the construction of the HD800. Paint? Sure. Tuning? OK. Failing drivers, broken parts, things falling apart? Not yet.

 

Hehe...I was about to say something similar to what you just wrote.  The HD800 is rock solid (except for the paint :tongue: ).

 

 

It seems like RUMAY408 was just in the mood to complain about something...or he is trying to justify why he chose some other model over the HD800.  

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