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Sduibek

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tortie

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You have a point there, the sound of the equipment must be prioritized all the time. But when we pay lots of $$$$ for an audio equipment it should at least sound great AND look beautiful at the same time, dont you think?


Edit: Same with sports cars, it must be both fast AND stunning to look at.
 
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gpalmer

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Not at the prices we're paying for some of these headphones. For that they better look AND sound good!
 
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bangraman

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How something looks to a certain level influences how you feel about it as a product. If you can combine excellent aesthetics in anything combined with a high degree of functionality, then its a product worth gawking over.


Our perceptions of this factor are also influenced by our individual design sense and purchasing power. e.g. Ikea is the LAST place I'd go for nice furniture but many believe (erroneously) that it is the affordable high end of home design. Many of us can on the other hand afford both the aesthetics and the functional quality.


While the music is the end-point of this whole exercise, the circumstances in which we do so and the level of equipment utilised influences the experience profoundly.


What I would object to are sonic reviews and impressions biased by the cost or looks of something as far as the reviewer is concerned, or recommendations by those who have not heard the phones in question based on how they look.
 
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Sduibek

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bangraman

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It wouldn't have been developed if it looked utilitarian. Think about it.
 
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Sduibek

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chadbang

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Looks are extremely important to any product. If it weren't we'd all be driving the same brown-coloured Yugo. A car has four wheels and takes you to the grocery store: end of story? I don't think so.

This headphone costs $50 to manufacture. That means we need to sell it for $200 to make a profit. Let's make it in green pastic with star-shaped red vinyl earpads. I don't think so.
 
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bangraman

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Sduibek
Shures aren't anything to look at, but they have a pretty big fanbase. Based on looks i'd never buy the E5. Yet they sell. And y'know, i've heard they sound pretty good... imagine that



The market for consumer in-ears is not yet explored, and there are limits to what you can do with them at this time regarding the housing. Ti? Possible. CF? Lay-up would be extremely challenging but possible. It's just not been done yet. The currently available in-ears are engineered for a specific purpose, in that they were developed for stage use, where the point would be for them NOT to stand out. There are also sonic aspects of IEM's design parameters that would be different for audiophile listening. The Etys get closest perhaps, but this product IMO is still a tool and not a musical instrument. IEM's currenty are industrial products and are designed as such, and only recently have companies started addressing the consumer user... but only using designs or components adapted from their industrial range.


There's also the issue of the supply of the drivers. It's difficult to release a statement product in the in-ear market if you're not manufacturing the driver yourself or having one custom-developed. Once again, think about it before you post.
 
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gpalmer

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Sduibek
You can't possibly see it when you're enjoying the music, considering you don't have eyes on the top of your head.


And I'd agree with you IF that's where the headphones were positioned 24 hours a day, but since they aren't, I don't really but your argument on this. At the very least you have to see them when you put them on and take them off...
 
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zeplin

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sduibek,
This is very simple and I'm sure all head-fiers abide by this.

First off, to imply that person A loves "THE MUSIC" more so than person B who likes the look of a headphone is insane. The two have nothing to do with each other.
Second, I personally love the way speakers/headphones look from the inside in addition to how they were constructed, which often can be told in the way the way they look. Simply put, I think they are works of art and it takes an artist to create them. Further more, I tend to think it's normal to look at and admire that art. Not paying attention to the design/looks of headphones is, to me, the same as ignoring the meaning and beauty of a water colour painting only to judge that painting for how talented/accurate that artist is when he/she paints a certain shape. The design is part is a small part of a whole!
Part of what goes into speaker/headphone/audio design is how the finished product will look. Of course it doesn't matter how something looks when stacking it up against sound quality. That much is a given. How a headphone looks is just one result out of many.

Lets now talk about the wood. As much as I like the way speakers/headphones look and are constructed, I equally like it when those audio products are made from wood. It just adds to an already beautiful piece of art. If I am going to spend 400+ dollars on a headphone or piece of audio equipment, then I would think that I as well as the designers put at least some thought into the way the finished product looks. Lets say I were to choose between two headphones of equal sound quality, both having two very distinct looks. One looks like one of those moded CD3k's (w/ the purple heart wood), and the other looks like two plastic squares resting on the side of your head. Which one would you choose? Which one would I choose? Does is really matter to you? And does me picking the more asthetically pleasing headphone tell you at all about how much I love music??? NOPE!! Every damn material item you have in your house has been designed to be at least somewhat pleasing to the eye. If you have a nice looking, wooden book shelf...why did you choose the nice wooden shelf over an extrtemely boring, ugly one? After all, the only purpose of that shelf is to set things on, right? And also remember that sight and visuals are just 1 out of our 5 natural senses. And the sense of sight plays a big role in how we perceive certain things. I think it is very neat to have the products that make up what my hobby is look somewhat nice and pleasing to the eye. I like to sit back sometimes and admire my HD650's for their sleek design and silver colour. Is there something wrong with that? Does that say I chose the 650 simply because they are silver and sleek?? I think you know the answer.

In closing...
I think that you'll find (and this has been done many times before already) that if you make up a poll asking how high on their priority list do looks matter to a person when purchasing a headphone, you will discover that most if not all of us rate it last or second to last behind sound quality, cost, comfort, synergy, technical specs, and a few others. Try it and your view or assessment that a lot of head-fiers care more about looks than sound quality will be pleasantly shot down.
 
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Mr.PD

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I worry abut how one pair of my headphones look.
The pair I wear at work. They need to look as much like ear plugs as possible.

I wish my Ety's were wireless.

Other than that, I don't care much what they look like. I would have second thoughts about dropping a large amount of money on really ugly phones. But then, I haven't seen any really ugly phones in any price range.

And about those expensive boxes. I would rather pay less and not get the box. I have a perfectly good drawer to store my phones in.
 
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sbulack

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Folks that like nice looks support vendors that put resources into making the products look nice as well as sound good. Folks that don't care about looks support vendors that don't put resources into making products look nice and that just sound good. Let the market speak!
 
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Oddball

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Sduibek
Shures aren't anything to look at, but they have a pretty big fanbase.


Call me insane, but I bought my Shure e2 because I thought it would look less weird on me than other canalphones.
 
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Genetic

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Quote:

Originally Posted by zeplin

(...)

Second, I personally love the way speakers/headphones look from the inside in addition to how they were constructed, which often can be told in the way the way they look. Simply put, I think they are works of art and it takes an artist to create them. Further more, I tend to think it's normal to look at and admire that art. Not paying attention to the design/looks of headphones is, to me, the same as ignoring the meaning and beauty of a water colour painting only to judge that painting for how talented/accurate that artist is when he/she paints a certain shape. The design is part is a small part of a whole!



Well said Zeplin


When I bought my RS-1 / RA-1 combo I was annoyed by the simple fact that the colours were not exactly the same for the two of them.... (I know enough about wood to why). So my girlfriend and I spent 2 weeks testing different products on mahogany with the specific intent of matching these two with no margin of error. The result now is astounding. The guys at my audio shop are still thinking that I'm crazy but now that they have seen the final result, they know for sure that I'm the crazy one with real talent in woodworking...


Looks is as important as audio performance.

Amicalement
 
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