- Mar 10, 2012
Here's the thing though, all of these amps sounded pretty much the same to me, no matter which headphones I used. Additionally, all of these headphones sounded pretty similar as well. I honestly couldn't tell the difference between the LCD2 and the LCD3 at all. There was a little bit of difference between the T1 and the Audeze's and the PS1000, but honestly if someone were to blindfold me, I don't think I would be able to identify which headphone was which (except for of course the feeling of the ear pads).
So naturally, my next reaction was maybe my sources were just bad (mp3's between 256 and 320 kbps). So, I hooked up the LCD3, and then opened the Tidal Hifi test here and gave it a try. I took it maybe 3 or 4 times, and each time, I literally could not tell any difference between any of the A and B samples. Through best-effort-guessing, I managed a 3/5, 2/5, 1/5, and 4/5 in four different attempts, which leads me to believe this is just pretty random luck, and getting better (lossless) sources won't make a difference for me.
I can tell that all of these headphones are definitely *way better* than my Bose QC15 or M50's, but that's largely due to just clarity/lack of distortion. I'm not hearing any adjectives like 'warm' or 'smooth' or 'bright' among the high end ones. I put them on and all I can say is "yep. these are good."
Are my ears just not sensitive enough to be an audiophile? What am I supposed to be listening for? Or is it really that the entire hobby just about obsessing over that 1% difference?
I'd advise a more long-term demo of those gears.
The Phillips Golden Ears challenge is a perfect display of how difficult it can be to spot differences.
Furthermore, the SAE Parametric Equaliser is another great tool to help you along.
There are many others like it.
A "trained" ear helps.