headroom reviews: how plausible are they as basis for buying headphones?
Oct 28, 2008 at 7:31 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 29

krisjan

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I find it difficult to preview headphones at local suppliers since they simply don't stock high-end headphones, so I have to rely on reviews mostly when making a buying decision - for my first serious pair of cans I looked around and found headroom...their reviews were well-written and seemed reasonably objective - and on head-fi i also found that a lot of personal reviewers sometimes echo what is said in some of the headroom reviews - typical example is in terms of the hd595 as a sen-phone that gives you front-row seats. ok, so maybe it's just apparent to everyone anyway, maybe some people on head-fi actually reviewed it first and there-after everybody "noticed" it, or vice-versa....
but anyway, it was based on those reviews and a 5 star rating at headroom, plus great review that i decided to go for the hd595 - i was considering the k601 as well, but it got 4 stars and was described as "Though the highs remain quite clear and simple-sounding without being overly strident, they are also slightly recessed, lacking the supreme articulation of the finest, most nuanced low-level musical soundstage details as would be expected in full-on 'reference-class' headphones."
So when you compare the ratings and reviews there it seems obvious that the hd595 would be a better phone to go for...I'm interested to hear some opinions re this...

here's the links:
AKG K 601 @ HeadRoom - Right Between Your Ears
Sennheiser HD 595 @ HeadRoom - Right Between Your Ears
 
Oct 28, 2008 at 9:37 PM Post #2 of 29

dclancy

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Headroom should definitely be used with head-fi as a standby companion piece. Their reviews need to be taken with a grain of salt, but the same can be said here. It's all too subjective to be definitive.
I still use headroom to do research by type, and quickly compare by style on most the major brands that you'll see throughout the boards. Then you can research and ask specific questions here, based upon your personal needs. It's just that easy...
Good luck, by the way.
 
Oct 28, 2008 at 11:59 PM Post #3 of 29

catscratch

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Their reviews aren't reviews - they're marketing blurbs. Their point is to sell headphones. Now, I will trust Headroom more than the product descriptions themselves, but it would be wise, I think, to keep in mind that their primary purpose is to sell headphones.

Also, whatever they say, that's just their opinion. As it happens, it often differs from my opinion. The best option in this business is to use your head.
 
Oct 29, 2008 at 12:28 AM Post #5 of 29

jonathanjong

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I reckon the HeadRoom reviews are pretty good, despite being a store. The thing to watch out for, however, is the rating system. AFAIK, it's a "value" rating system, so it's a good indication of bang-for-the-buck, possibly relative to other cans in the range (or even other cans they they stock!). So 5/5 doesn't mean "wowza these are the best things since sliced bread", it means "wowza these are great for $X".
 
Oct 29, 2008 at 1:27 AM Post #6 of 29

dclancy

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After making the mistake of walking into a BB and a CC, to see if they had any viable headphone options left (they don't carry a px100 or a portapro anymore), I can honestly say, even with their (headroom) moderately biased reviews, you have a much better chance of getting a better deal there than most any major retailer. At least they're not trying to push their "Beats" as hifi studio equipment when their noise canceling leaves a noticeable hiss that can't be turned off.
 
Oct 29, 2008 at 1:34 AM Post #7 of 29

Zanth

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I think Headroom has a bias towards a sound they like but if one can pinpoint that I don't think they will lead anyone astray. I know they don't like Grados overall but they love the SR-60's and respect the 225's. I also know they sell a heaping load of SR-60's so that is nice. Their preferred phones seems to be Sennheiser which is way okay considering they are a great company, but realizing this, one needs to understand that those phones + their amps will equate to some serious magic. The reviews then need to be evaluated against that bar.

Like any review ultimately the sonic attributes are subjectively evaluated. Still, Headroom is honest which goes a long way in my books.
 
Oct 29, 2008 at 5:23 PM Post #8 of 29

krisjan

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jonathanjong /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I reckon the HeadRoom reviews are pretty good, despite being a store. The thing to watch out for, however, is the rating system. AFAIK, it's a "value" rating system, so it's a good indication of bang-for-the-buck, possibly relative to other cans in the range (or even other cans they they stock!). So 5/5 doesn't mean "wowza these are the best things since sliced bread", it means "wowza these are great for $X".


so would you say 4/5 for k601 is correct - it's not really the absolute best value at it's price point?
 
Oct 29, 2008 at 6:37 PM Post #9 of 29

progo

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While they are written for enhancing sales, they do have a seed of truth in the textes.
 
Oct 29, 2008 at 7:11 PM Post #10 of 29

glac1er

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I think it's best to think of headroom reviews as an opinion of one person with all his/her subjectivity and setup limitations. They do better reviews than most online headphone sellers. Too bad their rating system is many times useless because their reviews take into account price/performance ratio.

The price of K601 at their website is $429(4/5) and the HD595(5/5) is $299. That is way off the market price.
 
Oct 29, 2008 at 7:16 PM Post #11 of 29

QQQ

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Quote:

so would you say 4/5 for k601 is correct - it's not really the absolute best value at it's price point?


Absolutely. It's a very genre-dependent phone.
 
Oct 29, 2008 at 9:06 PM Post #12 of 29

ph0rk

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Quote:

Originally Posted by QQQ /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Absolutely. It's a very genre-dependent phone.


Their price is also much closer to MSRP than can be had from your garage/basement internet dealers. Some brands get reduced much more than others from such dealers, too.

So, in short - the k601 ain't bad at all for ~$200, but of course headroom's rating system won't take that into account.
 
Oct 29, 2008 at 9:19 PM Post #13 of 29

Chri5peed

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Like anything, its down to quantity.

Would you trust an average of 4/5 rating on a movie with 15,000 reviews or think a movie with a 4.5 rating from one person was probably better.
 
Oct 30, 2008 at 1:13 AM Post #14 of 29

Tbln

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Headroom's ratings are a reflection of their own preferences and are no different from the many differing opinions found here.

Having said that, I have found their ratings to be generally consistent with my own experiences.
 
Oct 30, 2008 at 2:27 AM Post #15 of 29

Shahrose

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well people have already said their main purpose is to sell headphones, i second that. also, they seem to love sennheisers and dislike ultrasones i've noticed. i personally don't agree with some of their reviews.
 

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