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I don't understand the sennheiser momentum headphones

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by hifi man, Jun 27, 2013.
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  1. nicholars
    Hmmm I have read a fair amount around the subject and I have come to the conclusion that I am pretty sure expensive cables do not make any difference other than being functional, rejecting noise, durable and looking nice. I could be wrong though, I would be much more interested in your results if you could confirm them using a completely BLIND A/B test where you have NO IDEA what cable is what (get a friend to do it and see if you can still tell the differences)
  2. ev13wt

    They do, but on a scale where it doesn't matter. A hot day compared to a cold day sound difference is magnitudes higher.

    But its what I believe. If you heard a difference then enjoy!

    Many test, including abx in various flavors have been made, and noone could tell any differences nor could tell which cable is which. Even esteemed audiophile gold ears couldn't tell a difference. So they place the blame on equipment, circumstances, the test methods et cetera.

    But still, manufacturers claim differences and people spend moneyband swear that they hear a difference.

    Everyone may spend their money on whatever they like.
  3. kyuuketsuki
    That's the problem... It can't ever be truly blind. The cables all feel too differently to do a completely ABX. You'd be able to tell once it touches my ear (for my IEM cables at least). Perhaps if I ever get my hands on a HE-500 I'll have the money to get a high end cable and do an ABX. 
    The question is were those all copper cables or did they use different materials? Cables with a base of gold or silver will change the sound due to the materials being different. A copper cable will sound like a copper cable. I can't tell the difference between a $30 copper base cable and a $200 copper base cable. But I could tell the difference between a $200 copper base cable and a $200 silver base cable and a $1500 gold base cable. Which makes sense since conductivity is different in all three. So the signal will be the same but travel at different rates, which can and will change how the sound is presented. I believe pure silver has the highest, and gold has the lowest of three materials.
    However this is just me applying my logic to why I heard differences in sound. I could be entirely wrong. But I do know I heard a difference. If you can make it to a Head-fi meet, I invite you to try a few cables out for yourself and see if you hear a difference. I don't think it is a placebo because the difference was pretty apparent to me. The cable I own, I use because it is simply more comfortable without the memory wire. But there is no real sound difference other than impedance change with my stock cable, but that just has me listening at a lower volume than usual.
  4. jmsaxon69

    Well, at 100 Hz the bass starts to dive off pretty fast, the treble is spiky at about 9 - 10k.  It appears from the measurements that is is bright as hell with no bass, but that's not true now is it? The treble is actually quite smooth on the SR80i in my opinion. I love the reviews of the Momentum that say the bass isn't that good, kills me every time! I pretty much discount the whole review wondering just "what the hell are they are listening to?".  
  5. Trunks159
    Yeah, the bass is good, there's just not much of it.
  6. ev13wt

    Copper and silver and gold. I'll find some links when on my PC. It didn't make a difference. Technically it can't make a difference unless we are talking about many many feet of cable. But as with all things, YMMV.
  7. jmsaxon69

    What headphone are you talking about? The SR80i that I mentioned in the above post or the Momentum?
  8. kyuuketsuki
    To that I say Skin Effect. 
    Now I'm aware that this makes the most difference over long distances. However, the more sensitive the IEM or headphone the more likely that signal differences through cables can make a difference (if just a small one). Unless you are saying that every head-fier who can hear a difference is experiencing placebo, myself included. 
    And it is usually consistent, especially with 1+2 impressions regarding the Silver/gold cable.
  9. Trunks159
  10. jmsaxon69

  11. ev13wt

    If one reads that link, one is inclined to believe what they are talking about. But you need to actually understand it. His figure 3 for instance. 3 meters at 3mm cross section "standard" copper cables. I quote: "At 25kHz these values rise to 0·012dB and 0·028dB respectively". So.. What does this mean? There IS a difference. But, look at the figures. That volume change of rolled off highs is less than a fly farting across the room. Can you hear 0.0028dB? No. So a silver cable might measure better, but then the highs are rolled off maybe 0.0012dB. Is this better? Yes. But can you hear it? That volume change from the copper cable is akin to a fly farting at the other side of a football field.

    If you go to college or read a book on the subject, you will quickly realize that "skin effect" is not applicable at all in the audio area based on its power, frequency and cable diameters.

    Skin effect is applicable and important in multi-band gigahertz signal coax cable runs in lets say, antennas to software defined radios for the military or telecom guys. I know because I work at a company that builds said military gear. I am not an engineer, but the ones at my company laughed at me when I brought up the subject of audio and skin effect 5 years ago. One of them, also a audio nut of sorts, recapped his dac / amp combo with higher grade mil spec parts and a bigger, cleaner power supply. I asked him why, because if the parts in it are specced properly it won't make a sound difference? His answer: "Because I can."

    Now, very sensitive iems driven at a very, very low volume might have a sound difference in the high frequencies. But at a level nobody listens to, like 5 dB. Blood rushing in your ear is louder. As soon as you turn it up just a slight bit, any difference has disappeared.

    And yes, my personal claim, based on what has been measured and tested, is that all cables sound the same and anyone who hears a difference is enjoying a placebo effect. Don't get me started on amps and dacs now... But for me, the speakers / headphones differ in sound signatures the most. And the recording itself.

    But I will say it again: I have tin ears. And it's your enjoyment after all. If you hear a difference, then you do! Enjoy it and be happy.

    For me, the magic is in the music, not the gear. Imagine how much better DSOTM would sound if they had only used better cables!? Heck, it has tape hiss and even some spots where the tape warbles a bit, but it's undeniably one of the worlds greatest recordings / albums / music EVER. Especially for its time.
    Slaphead likes this.
  12. nicholars
  13. kyuuketsuki
    "Because I can" is the #1 reason why anyone upgrades their gear. 
    And I'll be the first to say that I never formally learned about skin effect, it was outside of my curriculum in biology. However I do understand the math behind it. There is a measurable difference, that was the point.
    The perceivable difference is another matter. I personally can hear it. And I always assume a certain degree of placebo. Again, I'd love to be able to do a full ABX test one day. And I am sure someone has on here. All I know is that I couldn't tell the difference between a cheap copper cable and an expensive copper cable (other than comfort), and a silver and a silver/gold. Hilariously though the silver/gold I didn't like the sound of and the price was ludicrous to say the least. 
    Logically I know there shouldn't be a difference, but what my ears tell me is completely different. 
  14. nicholars
    I don't see any problem with buying a nice cable, if it is good quality, durable, looks nice and works well, I think maybe £50 would be the maximum that any cable should cost. The problem I have with cables for headphones is the EXTORTIONATE prices.
  15. ev13wt
    See, now we are on the same page. While it "could be" that the placement of the headphones on the head changes the sound by a small margin, it also "could be" that those measurements I talked about above do change the sound. It just always depends on the scale, and how important that scale is to each person.

    Make sure that one day you actually do that double blind. But do it properly! I have done several. (edit: It's why I am now in this corner of the fight)

    One thing I'd like to mention off topic is this: A guy on a german audio forum was a total nutjob when it came to things like cable sound et cetera. He would go on and on about how it cannot be possible and double blind have been done and proof. Posts counting to the thousands. Fast forward 6 years and he is employed by the biggest audio mag in Germany. Editor. Magazine discussing cable sound in USB cables. While they can't measure it, the "hear" changes and rate the cables from 1 to 10. Surprise, the most expensive cable is also the best. His account on that forum has been inactive for a long time.
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