Understanding "Detail" in a Headphone Review?
Sep 16, 2014 at 12:45 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 2

domino584

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I come across numerous terms that just don't make sense to me.  I can understand a more relative relation when one reviewer says a headphone is detailed than another, but on the contrary, when you lack the experience of having gotten a hold of some of the best of the best headphones, it's hard to understand what exactly do they mean when a headphone would lack detail.  Being an electrical engineer, all these reviews end up contradicting each other or using terms that don't really hold much outside of the individuals experience.  (For example, I hear the DT880s are more detailed but the Mad Dogs hold their own against an LCD-2).
 
I'm interested in grabbing some MrSpeakers Mad Dog headphones.  I'm on a strict university budget and looking for something that can compensate in terms of price and performance.  To this date, the best headphones I've ever used have been the Etymotic ER4S.  Even through a poor source, I've found these IEMs to produce better detail than other headphones I've owned in the past (AKG Q701s, Senns HD555s, Shure 840s, AKG 555s, etc.) each with a proper source to them.  Now, I use a Fiio X3 or a laptop source.
 
So, relatively speaking, how would the Mad Dogs compared to the ER4S in terms of detail?  I don't want to downgrade in terms of detail for the cost of more body.  The only issues I have with the ER4S is the lack of body to the notes, and their comfort over extended periods of time, but I don't want to change to something for when I'm sitting down, or gaming, and end up finding they had less detail to them.  Ultimately, when I'm looking for a pair of full-sized headphones, how do I know how to relatively compared the detail from one headphone to another without actually had a chance to try the ones in the review?
 

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