Poll: What's your primary headphone "listening style"?
Apr 1, 2002 at 1:29 PM Post #46 of 54

Joe Bloggs

Member of the Trade: HiBy / EFO technologies Co
His Porta Corda walked the Green Mile
Joined
Oct 21, 2001
Posts
11,254
Likes
3,039
Location
Hong Kong and Melbourne
Crikes, Kelly, your post reads like something from 'A Day in the Life of the 789th division of the Borg Collective'
eek.gif
biggrin.gif
tongue.gif


My listening styles (in order of dominance):
1. Bed-Fi (eyes closed of course
biggrin.gif
)
2. Listening on the go--lots of stimuli around but little on my mind
3. Music break from tough work (as I am typing this...)

Hmm, about different listening habits affecting the way we evaluate phones--wouldn't most of us go into 'review mode' and focus solely on the music if we want to write a review?
 
Apr 1, 2002 at 1:48 PM Post #47 of 54

kelly

Herr Babelfish der Übersetzer, he wore a whipped-cream-covered tutu for this title.
Joined
Jan 1, 2002
Posts
5,435
Likes
11
Quote:

Originally posted by Joe Bloggs
Crikes, Kelly, your post reads like something from 'A Day in the Life of the 789th division of the Borg Collective'
eek.gif
biggrin.gif
tongue.gif



Joe, I've never claimed sanity as one of my traits.
 
Apr 1, 2002 at 2:12 PM Post #48 of 54

Audio-Me

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 25, 2001
Posts
3,437
Likes
10
setm - haha, gotta love them epinephrines huh? I like the endorphin effect myself (mood setter).

I wonder if kellys extreme prejudice standards to audio fidelity is obsessive or just anal? Or is my high threshold of acceptance just a side effect of gullibility or lack of good taste? Then there are those in between.
smily_headphones1.gif


I think my order headphone listening priority (based on practicality, not enjoyment, #4 would top the list for me) goes like this:
1) home (full rig): eyes open, occupied - at night leads to # 4
2) work/school (portable amped): eyes open, very occupied
3) on the go (pcdp and earbuds): eyes open, activity varies
4) falling asleep: eyes shut, on days when I need to get up early, it's in bed with portable amped rig. Otherwise it's home rig passing out in my chair.
 
Apr 1, 2002 at 9:44 PM Post #49 of 54

markl

Hangin' with the monkeys.
Member of the Trade: Lawton Audio
Joined
Jun 22, 2001
Posts
9,130
Likes
42
Thanks again for participating in this poll.

However, I still don't think that the fundamental issue being raised has been adequately addressed in replies. I scold you!
wink.gif


I hypothesize that "listening style" is as influential in whether or not you like a certain headphone as the style of music you listen to, the kind/quality of the source you have, and the kind/quality of amp you have. That's significant to me. I actually think the affect is much stronger than those examples, so I'm being conservative to avoid unnecessary side-arguments.

The question remains: Why should I listen to someone who uses headphones for a different purpose than me?

I enjoy "total immersion" when I experience music. Every piece of equipment in the signal path of my current rig got there because it aided and abetted closed-eyed, 100% dedicated listening. I feel I would have taken a different path component-wise if my goal was to create the ultimate "background entertainment" system.

I speculate that the very way you choose to enjoy the headphone experience drastically alters the kind of sound you gravitate toward. I feel that someone who listens with their eyes closed and focused solely on the music has a fundamentally different perspective on what he wants than someone who uses it as "background entertainment" to fill in one of the various channels in their brains while they are otherwise occupied. (Perhaps this explains the pervasiveness of HD600, but I digress)

So far, Kelly has come closest to capturing a a few of the elements that listening style can influence:

"At other times, I lay on the couch with my eyes closed. It is at this time that certain aspects of the sound become more important to me than others.

It is in this environment that imaging begins to matter most. With visual stimulus shut down, my mind begins to try to place things more prcisely in an audio landscape. This is perhaps more so with classical recordings and live rock performances but is somewhat true for all music. The room accoustics begin to matter a great deal more to me. The way a plucked accoustic guitar string reverberates first within the instrument and then throughout the room gives me an even clearer idea of where the musician is. It almost becomes a game of "where am I" and I begin to feel cheated when the equipment fails to give me enough clues.

Likewise, and perhaps because of this, I'm also the most sensitive to coloration in this environment. If something sounds slightly "off" from what it sounds like in real life, it's more difficult to ignore now. This is probably because of the focus mentioned above placed on room accoustics. The room itself takes on a coloration and the articiality of the experience exposes itself."

So, what do you think, how important is "listening style"? Should we encourage listening style to be disclosed in reviews (not that we're going to *require it*, that's silly).

markl
 
Apr 1, 2002 at 10:02 PM Post #50 of 54

Audio-Me

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 25, 2001
Posts
3,437
Likes
10
For sure, your question makes perfect sense, it's logic. When jude reviewed the Cardas Neutral Reference interconnects, I'm sure many of the audiophiles got a hard on. My reaction was "eh, I don't want the most revealing sound". You see how that review would not interest me? I did leave comments and questions on that thread though...
biggrin.gif


I'm sure this goes against almost every audiophiles ethics, well I like warm forgiving sound, call me a junior audio enthusiast, subpar equipment user, etc, what ever, I care about my tastes, "NOT SOMEONE ELSES" <--- right on Mark
 
Apr 2, 2002 at 12:22 AM Post #51 of 54

kelly

Herr Babelfish der Übersetzer, he wore a whipped-cream-covered tutu for this title.
Joined
Jan 1, 2002
Posts
5,435
Likes
11
Mark

I don't know if this helps, but for me my "background music" requirements are a subset of my "active listening" requirements. In other words, any headphone that somehow met my requirements for active listening would easily additionally meet my background music needs.

Perhaps snobbishly, I expect anyone who has written a review to have listened to the product actively.

I don't agree with the premise that someone who closes his or her eyes is necessarily listening in a more or less active way. Some people close their eyes and immediately have other baggage to deal with and thus are more relaxed and capable of analyzing the sound with their eyes open. I don't presume to know how someone else best uses his or her critical listening skills but I do expect he or she to have done whatever works in order to listen critically.
 
Apr 2, 2002 at 12:37 AM Post #53 of 54

markl

Hangin' with the monkeys.
Member of the Trade: Lawton Audio
Joined
Jun 22, 2001
Posts
9,130
Likes
42
A&M,
There's nothing "wrong" with background listening whatsoever. I'm just saying I think that your listening style affects what you want in a headphone. I'm suggesting that a certain kind of sound that is optimal as background entertainment may not be optimal for fully-focused listening and vice-versa.

If you agree that listening style influences sonic preferences, I'd like to identify and discuss what you think those effects are.

If you don't think it's all that significant, that's cool, say so. Maybe I'm making a mountain out of a mole hill.

markl
 
Apr 2, 2002 at 1:20 AM Post #54 of 54

Audio-Me

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 25, 2001
Posts
3,437
Likes
10
Ok here are my guesses:

Critical listening (this is NOT my style) - I figure people like all the detail they can get, mostly neutral, some prefer forward. Analytical comes to mind.

Pass time/complimentary (eyes open, occupied) - they just want it to sound good enough. mid-fi?
Well this is the bulk of my listening, and I want it to sound as good as it can get accordingly to my tastes (sweet/rich midrange, smooth bass, soft highs, warm tone).

Portable - isolated, inconspicuous, convenient. But there are too many variables to list, add transportable, and it doubles. I'll sum it up with "least sucky". I'm sure many find this ridiculous, but I listen to open cans that happen to be hard to drive (Senn HD600) out in public, that might tell you something about me, I don't know.

Relaxation/sleep (unoccupied, eyes shut) - quiet, unobtrusive, laid back, warm, soft. Ahhh, my favorite.
smily_headphones1.gif


Background - I don't think people expect any bass, as it can get very distracting if you need to focus on something, and accented highs can get annoying. I think people just want quiet midrange melodies. Non-headphone but, although I didn't enjoy any of the electrostatic speakers that I've heard, I think Martin Logans would be awesome for background music, there would be clear audible bass and hf, but it'd be neutral, and non tangible. Now I'm sure people would love the Prodigys for their main rig for focused listening as well.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top