Sound quality is not lost on younger generations!
Jun 20, 2010 at 1:44 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 46

khaos974

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Jun 20, 2010 at 2:04 AM Post #2 of 46

Ypoknons

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Great stuff, thanks!
 
Quote:
As a group, the listeners were not able to formulate preferences among the three lower rated loudspeakers B,C, and D, which were all imperfect in different ways. For an untrained listener, sorting out these different types of imperfections and assigning consistent ratings can be a difficult task without practice and training.

 
Matches my own experience. I was jumping around the KSC75, PX100, E888 in my very early days, and I couldn't really recognize the differences. Once I had better references and came back to the low-end, I could differentiate and form preferences about low-end equipment.
 
Quote:
Finally, sound quality doesn't necessarily cost more money to obtain as illustrated in these experiments. The most accurate and preferred loudspeaker - the Infinity Primus 362 - was also the least expensive loudspeaker in the group at $500 a pair. It doesn't cost any more money to make a loudspeaker sound good, as it costs to make it sound bad. In fact, the least accurate loudspeaker (Loudspeaker C) cost almost 8x more money ($3,800) than the most accurate and preferred model. Sound quality can be achieved by paying close attention to the variables that scientific research says matter, and then applying good engineering design to optimize those variables at every product price point.

 
Well, this sounds pretty relevant given the recent debates....
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 Although this is transducers, somewhat surprising... 
 
As much as I want the conclusion of the experiment about younger listeners to be representative and influence companies, the test program (see slide 9) included: Live Concert Applause, female vocals with strings, female vocals with guitar and jazz / female vocal. In my experience all these genres are fairly obviously better with basically neutral equipment. However, many teens listen to hiphop, rock, pop and electronica (last one especially outside of the USA), where a mid-bass bump is very popular, for various reasons - the enjoyment of getting closer to 'feeling' the bass, influence by how venues (clubs and many big concerts, correct me if I'm wrong) present the music and some peer pressure, including a rebellious element. If the test included these genres, I speculate we might see a larger divergence between the teens and the trained group, at least with regards to preferred transducers.  
 
Jun 20, 2010 at 6:31 AM Post #3 of 46

Vel

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Being a 22-year-old who does care about sound quality, and observing others' behaviour regarding audio quality, I can say that the majority of young people that I have come across simply don't care about what they're missing. Often if you show people your system they will agree the clarity is there and it sounds better, but they pretty much just aren't interested in improving their system.
 
It seems to me that the majority of people in any age group won't be interested in accurate sound reproduction. I suppose the question is whether the percentage of people who are interested has gone down/up between the different age groups.
 
Jun 20, 2010 at 9:35 AM Post #5 of 46

PhoneLover94

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Quote:
Maybe they'll start to care after they've heard what a good home theater can do to their music, then they'll go to good music reproduction.


Good point and very true. Some people just have absolutely no clue on what they are missing out on. Can't stand those people just blasting their phones away. They will never be able to hear the goodness of music 
frown.gif

 
Jun 20, 2010 at 3:10 PM Post #6 of 46

cifani090

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Being 14 and just buying my first real pair of headphones, Denon Ah-D500, and coming from crappy Bose (Blows) On ear headphones, there is a huge difference. I do like good music, my brother doesnt call me an audiophile yet, but i do listen to 320kbps bit rate music as much as i can and some time 800kbps or higher.
 
Jun 20, 2010 at 3:46 PM Post #8 of 46

revolink24

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I'm seventeen too. Just graduated high school. Look in my sig if you want to see where that landed me. Getting a Schiit Asgard too.
 
The student's wallet hurts.
 
Jun 20, 2010 at 5:10 PM Post #9 of 46

happyxix

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I don't think anyone intentionally likes bad quality sound. Baddly ripped mp3s have pops and distortions everywhere espeically on music that is already brickwalling on the original CD source. I can assure no one likes that. I believe they more like the fact bass is over emphsized in lower bit rate mp3s. Get a high quality source and boost up the bass then retest it and maybe they would prefer the one with the higher bass (without distortion of course).
 
That would be an interesting test.
 
Jun 21, 2010 at 9:42 AM Post #10 of 46

DrSpiv

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I find most people simply don't know. All they've ever had has been OEM car stereos, an ipod with original earbuds, and perhaps an ipod dock or some other set top with built in speakers. They are in it for background noise and an occasional sing-a-long. They have never heard "good" to know what "good" is. Never mind get enough time with it to understand what elements make up "good" vs "noise."
 
There's nothing really wrong with that either. I mean think of how much money they're saving! But you and I know they are missing out on much of the music. Usually when you show them the things they think they are familiar with they take notice, but some will go for the hobby and some won't.
 
I've had a couple friends pick up the headphones off my desk just to check out a song, and end up getting sucked in to an hour+ listening session. Others have that "ooh that's neat. Anyway..." reaction.
 
I don't think it's generational. I'm in my late 20s, my friends range from college age (18+) to in to their 50s. I see no significant pattern. Most people know it when they hear it. Whether they care or not?
 
I will say that when someone hands me a mix "tape" (CD, flash drive, whatever) the probability that the audio quality will be despicable does correlate with age. That might have more to do with money and source material though.
 
Jun 21, 2010 at 10:09 AM Post #11 of 46

Ishcabible

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15 here, and I've been in the hobby since I was 12/13. I'm starting to think that my generation will slowly turn away from hi-fi because most people I know like music with over emphasized bass and will always go for the gear that gives the most bass possible by going with Skullcandy or Beats. I only know of one person that likes a neutral sound, she has a pair of ER6is. Although I'm starting to corrupt some of my other friends by making them listen to my K271. Some of them think it's insane that I have such good sound for $60 (I was REALLY lucky), others say they lack bass.
angry_face.gif

 
We're the generation of 128kbps itunes downloads and laziness. I ask why some people don't buy the CD if they're paying $15 for the whole album, they might as well have a physical copy in case their computer dies. They say it's too much effort to rip a CD. They think it's ridiculous I actually GET UP to put a record in my turntable and flip it when it's halfway done. Imagine what they'll say when I get around to making a reel to reel setup.
 
However, I make the friends that are interested in joining the hobby listen to two different rips of the same song, one in 128kbps and one in 320kbps. It's reassuring that they can hear the difference between the two.
 
Wait, cifani90, you're 14 and bought D5000s as your first headphones? Props to you. You paid for them yourself I hope.
 
 
 
 
Jun 21, 2010 at 2:23 PM Post #13 of 46

Ishcabible

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Quote:
K271 for $60? Wow. Next thing we know this kids gonna get a pair of HD800s for $250.... =)


Haha wouldn't that be nice? They have a scuff, but it's barely noticable. It was an ebay BIN that the seller reduced $10 every half hour. I was going to wait until it reached $50, but decided not to take a chance. Then a week after there was an auction for 2 pairs of DT48S (!) for $50 and I couldn't justify getting them. And the sad thing is that a K270 Playback sold for $40 the day before but didn't bid because I thought it would end in a bidding war.
 
There was also the K400 and K500 auctions recently that wend for under $50 each that I regret missing. The K400 sold for $30, but I was away when it ended and couldn't bid.
 
Jun 21, 2010 at 3:20 PM Post #14 of 46

Happy Camper

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It's not whether they can hear a difference, it's the value they place on it. If they don't have better sound quality to reference, they won't pay for it. This is why digital hasn't overtaken vinyl for purity of sound. Technology wise, there should be no comparison.
 
Jun 21, 2010 at 5:23 PM Post #15 of 46

revolink24

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In all honesty, I think just as many people my age (about 17) care about sound as middle-aged people, the latter just have more expendable income. Eventually the Skullcandies and ibuds will go away as people mature, and will be replaced with Sony/Bose/Whatever. But thats what middle aged people now have. Our younger generation is just the same as when you folks were younger, just more exposed to tech.
 

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