There is certainly a "law of diminishing returns" in this hobby.
-"First off, I am going to reiterate a point which I have made in several other articles since many of our readers are not familiar with the audiophile world when it comes to sound quality. With high end audio equipment, the value per dollar greatly decreases as you go up the cost ladder. For example, a piece of audio equipment that costs twice as much may only sound slightly better. But this is what the audiophile world is all about. People spend big bucks on audio equipment to get ultimately great sound rather than spend less and maybe settle for only great sound. And remember, good sound quality is a very personal thing. If it sounds good to you, you have accomplished your goal, (but to be on the safe side, you might just consider avoiding listening to someone else’s audiophile setup)."
- "...I've learned that once you get up to a certain level in the audiophile headphone world, one headphone is not necessarily better than another"....
And he to me, as one experienced:
"Here all suspicion needs must be abandoned,
All cowardice must needs be here extinct.
We to the place have come, where I have told thee
Thou shalt behold the people dolorous
Who have foregone the good of intellect."
And after he had laid his hand on mine
With joyful mien, whence I was comforted,
He led me in among the secret things.
There sighs, complaints, and ululations loud
Resounded through the air without a star,
Whence I, at the beginning, wept thereat.
Languages diverse, horrible dialects,
Accents of anger, words of agony,
And voices high and hoarse, with sound of hands,
And I: "O Master, what so grievous is
To these, that maketh them lament so sore?"
He answered: "I will tell thee very briefly.
These have no longer any hope of (...);
And this blind life of theirs is so debased,
They envious are of every other fate.
The Divine Comedy - Canto III
Imagine Head-fi as an endless journey. There are all sort of wanderers: those wise head-fiers and those mischievous beings who claim to be experienced, although in this subjective WOH (World of Head-fi) my words can be true and false at the same time. Everyone has preferences and it translates to what people want to hear and most of the time preferences influence their perspective. Just remember to take all opinions with ‘cum grano salis’ or a grain of salt (including mine).
"We plant the seeds of doubt to harvest the crop of wisdom."
You can come across with so many options: from headphones, amps, dacs, cables, sources, and so on.. but to be honest: after a few years wandering around here, reading, buying, listening and testing I can assure you: Nothing is absolute in this world and nothing is really better or worse when the real goal is to enjoy music as much as you can.
"Perception is more pleasing than truth."
I'm not complaining, denying or claiming anything, actually quite the opposite. I realized how ignorant I am, even knowing the answer or "end game" will be decided the day I want, no matter which headphones I will be rocking at that time. Keep in mind the answer lies beneath you and only you.
"Illusion steals reality from the unwise."
People here do their best to help you achieve your ambition which is (I suppose) extract the more you can from your music but please get this straight: you don't need 1000$+ headphones to accomplish it.
"You always have a choice. That doesn't always mean you have a good choice."
This place is my home to some extend, and I'm grateful that a few of you can understand my madness. Allow me to say:
Welcome to head-fi
Sorry about wallet
"I hate music. Man, it's just a bunch of random sounds and pitches and it makes my head hurt. I'd rather listen to pink noise and test tracks, that way I just have the satisfaction of knowing how good my system is. It's so good that it makes me better than everybody else just by having it. Except, of course, the people that have better systems. They're better people than me, but one day, someday, I will have a better system than them, and then I'll be better. On that day, I will gloat, and come here to let everybody know how good I am... I also hate fun, happiness, and kittens".
"...A good connection with 60/40 will sound better than some mystical solder made of precious metals mined from a sacred mountain, plunged into liquid nitrogen and bathed in the tears of a virgin monk..."
"Only Bose can dream of approaching Dre quality, none of the so called audiophile brands are worth looking at if LSD2 is the best they can offer"
Don't forget: "A silver cable is better for lossless and a copper for mp3s"
"I don't know what placebo is because I have never had it, how do I get it?"
Other Audio Equipment:
Counterfeited headphones' list
How to proper take care of headphones (suggestions are welcome)
Where to find lossless music:
The best headphones
Do you want removable cables but you're not precisely fond on DIY, here's a guy who can help you
For those interested in USB cables:
Differences between Samsung and Apple plugs. 1/8 3.5mm Jacks 4 and 3 conductors.
For Canadians: [Listing] Canadian Companies/Retailers (courtesy of Armaegis)
I'm looking for the Золотая Середина (there are no proper translations for this phrase: literary: golden-middle taken from Russian language) between convenience, versatility and high quality. Big amps to power expensive headphones are not the solution and Vinyl records are not the future either (haters gonna hate)
Firm believer everyone should own a pair of Grado headphones. Give them a try and even if you don't like the sound, there are tons of mods to test your DIY skills, have a piece of american history or a nice gift to somebody else in the future.
This is consistent with what Grado have recommended historically:
"As any mechanical device, the headphones will improve in performance with use. We firmly recommend not allowing the headphones to play continuously for extended periods of time. We strongly suggest letting the headphones break in naturally with normal use."
"...If they sound lousy out of the box, but they start sounding a lot better as you listen to them over time, it's your amazingly versatile brain figuring out how to cope with the world.
The miracle is in your head ... not in the headphones."
On the Measurement and Audibility of Headphone Break-in By Tyll Hertsens • Posted: Jan 7, 2012