Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › The price curve for headphones?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

The price curve for headphones?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

Can someone who has used a range of headphones please tell me if there is a recognisable price curve, as there is with computers and most other things. For example, you get more GB for your money buying a 1TB hard drive than you do a 250GB one. With headphones it's more complicated, but there ought to be something broadly similar. Is there? I've put three models below that I'm considering on the basis that they seem to be about this point, and might provoke angry comment. :)

 

Sennheiser HD558

Audio Techinca ath-m50

AKG k550

post #2 of 15
With audio it really depends on what you like and how much you're willing to pay for it.
I know a ton of people who think the ath-m50s are the best headphones ever while others might think the fit is way too tight and the sound stage is crap.
Note: The ath-m50 has a ton of reviews and it's endorsed by marques brownlee so it's kind of overhyped like beats. Not nearly as much though
Edited by bobby12 - 7/12/14 at 10:34pm
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
thanks! I'm not sure what i think of hype as a concept. people get sick of hearing the same thing and seeing the same thing, but the number of positive reviews and endorsements of the m50 surely just implies first and foremost that they're pretty good.
post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by phillipwareham View Post

thanks! I'm not sure what i think of hype as a concept. people get sick of hearing the same thing and seeing the same thing, but the number of positive reviews and endorsements of the m50 surely just implies first and foremost that they're pretty good.
I'm not saying it's bad. They are good. But I just hate it when people think it's the best. You have to find a headphone that fits your taste. For me, that's open back headphones because they're for home use and I just love that sound stage.
And Beats has a ton of good reviews and endorsements but over 99% of the people on head fi think it's crap smily_headphones1.gif
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
i get you. didn't mean to put words in your mouth. you could maybe draw a comparison with the music itself. we kinda agree on the best music and worst music, but only very vaguely.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobby12 View Post

I'm not saying it's bad. They are good. But I just hate it when people think it's the best. You have to find a headphone that fits your taste. For me, that's open back headphones because they're for home use and I just love that sound stage.
And Beats has a ton of good reviews and endorsements but over 99% of the people on head fi think it's crap smily_headphones1.gif
post #6 of 15
I think maybe what you're looking for is the point at which the law of diminishing returns kicks in. It used to be around $400 but I suspect it's probably crept up a bit in recent years. I haven't personally auditioned HD 800's but I'd doubt they're 3x better than HD 650's. I may be wrong though.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
then it's maybe higher than i thought it was. higher than i hoped!
post #8 of 15
I've settled on my Sennheiser HD 650's through a long process of elimination, mostly getting more expensive every time. I'm sure costlier headphones probably deliver more but, like yourself (it seems), I am not made of money.
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorrofox View Post

I've settled on my Sennheiser HD 650's through a long process of elimination, mostly getting more expensive every time. I'm sure costlier headphones probably deliver more but, like yourself (it seems), I am not made of money.

It was interesting for me how someone said they use HD800s when recording piano, and it sounds lifelike when played back. if that's the ultimate benchmark (does it sound like you're there?), then there's always somewhere to go.
post #10 of 15

Around 3-400 dollars is a big cutoff, because many companies' previous flagships are now in that price range.

post #11 of 15
I'm pretty close! Different people have different demands and for me my current setup is close enough. Nothing I'd previously heard came anywhere near the quality of the 650's, to my mind. My AKG Q701's are roughly in the same class as the Senn's but to me sound awful now. I need to sell those.
post #12 of 15
Most people I've met stop at the $50-$200 dollar range because to them it because "not worth it" after that. I guess audiophiles, or at least people on head-fi, aim higher.
To me, the q701s are good enough, and although I would like to have something better I would rather spend my money on something else.
I did spend a few grand on IEMs though. Guess I'm more of an CIEM guy smily_headphones1.gif
post #13 of 15

The trouble is that there's not much quantitative "worth" with this hobby- it is mostly subjective. I feel like there should be a tipping point around the $300-400 range like mentioned before, but my opinion is evolving as I put more hours on my LCD-X. 

 

I paid around $350 or so for my HD650's a couple years ago, and just paid $1700 for my LCD-X. Are they really 4-5 times better? Are the 650's 18 times better than the Apple Earpods?  I'm not sure how to answer that. I would say both examples are significantly better in every regard. I feel both were entirely worth the investment. That's good enough for me, but I don't think it answers the question. Yes, there is a bigger change from the 19 dollar earpods to the 350 dollar HD650's than there is from the 350 dollar HD650's to the 1700 dollar LCD-X's.

 

Some hobbies may be a bit curvier than others. From personal experience going from consumer-grade gear to professional/hi-fi grade gear in both hobbies, I'd say photography is a fair bit more linear than headphones. Though unlike headphones, you can very easily measure many quantitative differences between different camera bodies and lenses.

 

In the end, I think if you're passionate about listening to music, any amount you spend on it is "worth it".  I've said it before- I can't put a price on my sanity.

post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 

How much money would we all save if we just bought something at the beginning that felt WAY too expensive? Gradually climbing the ladder of quality seems to be the most expensive thing of all, with all the gear left behind along the way. I've decided for now that I won't buy a pair of over ear headphones before going back home to Britain in August, when I'll instead visit some high-end stores and try as many pairs as humanly possible with my own music. All of the reviews and advice on here have told me what to look out for- I expect to settle on something like the M50s of K550, but we'll have to see.

 

Thanks again for all the input!

post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwikat View Post
 

The trouble is that there's not much quantitative "worth" with this hobby- it is mostly subjective. I feel like there should be a tipping point around the $300-400 range like mentioned before, but my opinion is evolving as I put more hours on my LCD-X. 

 

I paid around $350 or so for my HD650's a couple years ago, and just paid $1700 for my LCD-X. Are they really 4-5 times better? Are the 650's 18 times better than the Apple Earpods?  I'm not sure how to answer that. I would say both examples are significantly better in every regard. I feel both were entirely worth the investment. That's good enough for me, but I don't think it answers the question. Yes, there is a bigger change from the 19 dollar earpods to the 350 dollar HD650's than there is from the 350 dollar HD650's to the 1700 dollar LCD-X's.

 

Some hobbies may be a bit curvier than others. From personal experience going from consumer-grade gear to professional/hi-fi grade gear in both hobbies, I'd say photography is a fair bit more linear than headphones. Though unlike headphones, you can very easily measure many quantitative differences between different camera bodies and lenses.

 

In the end, I think if you're passionate about listening to music, any amount you spend on it is "worth it".  I've said it before- I can't put a price on my sanity.


The one critical thing is that you're able to tell the difference. You need to be able to afford the purchase, but that takes care of itself for most people. People may spend 'too much' on audio gear, but very few will have literally bankrupted themselves on it. I hope!

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › The price curve for headphones?