- Dark/Warm Vs. Bright/Cold Sound - Which Do You Prefer?
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SkyBleu

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Hey guys,
 
So, I've always been curious as to which type of sound people prefer, and why. 
 
I've always been a fan of the brighter sounding headphones/sources/amps due to the fact that I can clearly identify the instrumental separation, detailing and micro-detailing, the crisp treble and the clarity. 
 
Aside from that, I'd like to hear your take on this topic as it rather intrigues me.
 
Happy posting!
 

 
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SkyBleu

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I like bright and cold from time to time but usually prefer a bit warmer than neutral, but just a bit...too much gets congested.

Yeah, a touch of warmth seems okay, but I never understood why people liked really warm, congested "dark" tonality. It seems to veil the mids and that's rather limiting on the vocals.
 
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lin0003

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I prefer a neutral presentation which tilts to a colder presentation. I too find dark sound sigs make the sound congested and it makes vocals veiled. 
 
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H20Fidelity

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Much prefer brighter/cool signatures as preference, I enjoy clarity, detail, air, separation, crystal clear mid range. I can handle a hint of warmth long as detail and technical abilities intact beneath, only when you venture into a dark mid range then instruments start smearing and vocals sound like someones singing behind a wooden door or wet piece of carpet, no thanks, I cannot accept that as good sound quality, I also find it very hard adjusting between the two opposites always leaning for the brighter piece of gear first. 

The way I see it your preference probably lies where ever you can easily adapt, for example, if you find your struggling to adjust to a new signature (for my case warm/dark) I don't really find that enjoyable at all. A good purchase to me is one you put on after open box and say 'hell yeah' this is what I like (or within reason a day or so). Not one you're painfully trying to make your brain accept because several others thought it was great.

I've had some pretty shocking IEM's in my time here, I won't go into model names, although how some people can find those enjoyable is beyond me. 
 
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Sylaw

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I always Prefer a Bright and a Slight cold signature... It gives more of a definition to music. And the Relaxed feeling without getting tired of Rumbles over rumbles. 
 
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SkyBleu

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I couldn't agree with you guys more, as that was what I had found too.

Judging by that poll, it appears most will go bright over dark, so I guess I'm not "missing out" on the while warn/dark sensation.

Either way, why would one enjoy a dark sound sig? There's gotta be a proper reason!
 
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Sylaw

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I couldn't agree with you guys more, as that was what I had found too.

Judging by that poll, it appears most will go bright over dark, so I guess I'm not "missing out" on the while warn/dark sensation.

Either way, why would one enjoy a dark sound sig? There's gotta be a proper reason!
for a change may be? like SOMETIMES i do.. hehe If u can see my sig, i own a pretty variety of Sq's . there are times you need to break free my friend :) just like everything else in the world   
 
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Sylaw

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I am quite biased as I own the SE5, which are slightly warm but ultra detailed and separated.
u call Se535's ultra detailed? i call it pretty muddy when it comes to Mid high's and Low highs. 
 
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Mimouille

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u call Se535's ultra detailed? i call it pretty muddy when it comes to Mid high's and Low highs. 
Did you read my post? SE5. Spiral Ear SE5, a 5 driver silicone iem. How did you go from SE5 to SE535?
 
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Sylaw

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Did you read my post? SE5. Spiral Ear SE5, a 5 driver silicone iem. How did you go from SE5 to SE535?
Oh !.... guess  i Jumped. sorry for that mate. an honest mistake..
 
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Mimouille

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Oh !.... guess  i Jumped. sorry for that mate. an honest mistake..
No problem...but I did like the 535 before...but the SE5 is much better...and four times the price.
 
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Voted for bright and cold, i find dark sound to be abit boring in my opinion.
 
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mikeaj

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I find that a lot of sets (and especially amps) labeled as bright or cold don't actually have elevated treble responses or anything like that (just maybe more than some others). And the ones labeled as dark may have 10 dB bass boosts. This is all a matter of reference level and expectations.
 
I think either side is fine to me as long as it's not too far. But maybe slightly on the warm side, if I had to pick, because of modern recordings that aren't so great.
 
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