Aesthetics matters?
Jun 27, 2008 at 3:12 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 14

shasty

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 3, 2006
Posts
316
Likes
0
I've recently acquired AKG K181 DJ's from a fellow headfier. Our consensus was that the cans sound surprisingly good for the price. Even Saint panda, in his extensive review of closed headphones, described the sound to be above many, most, closed portable cans.
This made me wonder why the cans aren't talked about at all at headfi despite the sound quality that, from my experience, trumped ES7 or RP-21's. My first response was the comfort issue. The clamping force and supra-auraal design of the cans takes much of the comfort away. This, however, can be probably be fixed by stretching the cans out, and same issues are present in its popular sibling K81 DJ and even more popular Grados.
With this in mind, maybe the discrepancy really lies in the aesthetics. AKG K181 DJ have bass switches as well as stereo/mono switch on the driver casing. I'm suspecting that many head-fiers would be repelled by the very presence of these switches, which does not look very audiophile at all. Perhaps aesthetics matter much more to headfiers than they would like to admit
tongue.gif


Please feel free to comment if you disagree
biggrin.gif
 
Jun 27, 2008 at 3:42 AM Post #3 of 14

catscratch

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Sep 29, 2004
Posts
3,858
Likes
337
I don't think the K181DJ is marketed at audiophiles, so the extra frills wouldn't really matter.

In terms of aesthetics - well, I can't say that it doesn't matter for me at all, it's just a matter of when I care about it. If I want to come off as stylish I'm not going to wear K1k's or Sigmas in public, but on other days when I either thoroughly don't give a damn or just want to see what kind of a reaction I'd get out of people, I'd wear them all day long (*remembers a rather infamous video of a certain K1k-touting head-fi-er's public escapades*).

Frankly, I'm so picky about portability and practicality in my portable cans that I would never be in a position where I have big, bulky headphones in public. Custom-molded IEMs are good enough, comfortable enough, and discreet enough to meet all of my portable needs.

Transportable "collapsing stations" are a different matter, but that's more of a mobile private listening application than anything else.
 
Jun 27, 2008 at 4:24 AM Post #4 of 14

espire

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 5, 2007
Posts
518
Likes
10
When choosing which headphone to buy, I almost pulled the trigger on the HD-595 over the HD-555 because of the logo on the grille and the silver ring around it.

I mean, sure, I was spending the extra money for the sound quality, but I wouldn't have considered it at all if they looked the same. I ended up with the HD-555 because I got a great deal on them used.

Am I crazy for having aesthetics such a high priority? Yes! But that's just the way it is. I use a Mac because the computer and the interface are shiny.
 
Jun 27, 2008 at 1:46 PM Post #8 of 14

warrior05

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Mar 16, 2006
Posts
3,899
Likes
16
Some headphones just don't catch on around here and the K181DJs certainly is one of them. I doubt it is due to aesthetics.

As for me, aesthetics are important but not a priority. I happen to like the looks of just about all of the headphones I have. Of course some of them I've modded both inside and out. I really didn't like the iPod white of the K701s so when I got a pair that needed extensive work, I decided to paint them black. Now they look soooo much better to me. Visual appeal as well as aural is obviously subjective and for some, one can take precedence over the other. Personally, I think there are enough good looking good sounding headphones out there that it isn't much of an issue.
cool.gif
 
Jun 27, 2008 at 3:24 PM Post #10 of 14

espire

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 5, 2007
Posts
518
Likes
10
Quote:

Originally Posted by Duggeh /img/forum/go_quote.gif
If looks are that important to you in headphones you don't deserve that avatar.


I was waiting for that
biggrin.gif


Fine, I'll admit, I was exaggerating a little bit. It's more that I knew that the HD-555 was what I wanted, but I spent a lot of time looking at the 595, muchly because of how it looked, thinking about how I'd rather have that. Just not for double the price.

Plus, my avatar is the embodiment of looking good!
 
Jun 27, 2008 at 3:51 PM Post #11 of 14

philodox

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 12, 2003
Posts
10,244
Likes
16
I think that aethetics as well as 'audio purity' ideals is without a doubt the reason the K181DJ didn't catch on around here.
 
Jun 27, 2008 at 3:57 PM Post #12 of 14

G-man

Formerly known as gautam
Joined
Apr 13, 2008
Posts
1,830
Likes
11
Yes, they matter. the end. lol, but truly, if you are going to spending large amounts of money, the least they can do it add some metal and wood. stupid plastic.
 
Jun 27, 2008 at 4:11 PM Post #13 of 14

krmathis

Head-Fi's Most Prolific Poster
Joined
Jan 13, 2004
Posts
34,764
Likes
74
Yes, the aesthetics matter. Imo that is...
But not to a point where I am willing to sacrifice performance (sound quality) ti get a aesthetic pleasing headphone.
 
Jun 27, 2008 at 4:51 PM Post #14 of 14

DemonicLemming

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 13, 2008
Posts
953
Likes
24
Wouldn't make any difference to me.

Except Grados. For some reason, I think they're uglier than the "70s" Stax stuff.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top