What determines quality for you?
post-7660334
Thread Starter
Post #1 of 15

Parall3l

lƐllɐɹɐԀ
Joined
May 21, 2011
Messages
3,355
Reaction score
160
Joined
May 21, 2011
Posts
3,355
Likes
160
I wonder how other people determine the quality of headphones. Personally, I judge a pair of headphones' quality in the following order:   
 
(sound signature > sound stage > build quality > details > looks > price/performance ratio)
 
Just curious how a seasoned audiophile determine the quality of a pair of headphones 

 
     Share This Post       
post-7660436
Post #2 of 15

Costia

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 26, 2010
Messages
179
Reaction score
11
Joined
Nov 26, 2010
Posts
179
Likes
11
comfort
sound
build quality
 
 
     Share This Post       
post-7660844
Post #3 of 15

Uncle Erik

Uncle Exotic
Joined
Mar 18, 2006
Messages
22,597
Reaction score
494
Joined
Mar 18, 2006
Posts
22,597
Likes
494
Mostly sound quality. I must have a very average head, since I don't run into fit/comfort issues very often.

Build quality is usually fine with headphones, too. People make a stink over plastic, but it holds up fine. Some were upset about the HD-800, but I haven't heard of one breaking in the two years it has been on the market.

Value for the dollar is important, too. Some headphones are obscenely overpriced. I don't care how much aluminum or leather it has, an overpriced pair is bad. Especially when they cost more than speakers that can thoroughly thrash them in sound quality.
 
     Share This Post       
post-7661108
Post #4 of 15

khaos974

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Mar 19, 2008
Messages
2,085
Reaction score
116
Joined
Mar 19, 2008
Posts
2,085
Likes
116
Sound Quality > Build Quality > Looks

But I feel that what you mostly want to know is what in important in sound quality, in order, here's my ranking
- details, ie how the the headphones handles attacks and decays, the timbre of the instruments, unbloated bass, non confusing treble, how easy it is to distinguish instruments and musicians.
- sound signature, as long as it's not to extreme, I can like treble heavy, bass heavy (but non bloated), V shaped, but I have a preference for neutral. It is by far the easiest thing to correct with a parametric EQ, sound sig does also affect timbre though.
- soundstage, to me the best 'headstage' sounds artificial compared to speakers, even unmounting the bowls on my headphones and holding them in from of me seem more realistic. So I just make do, I'm kind of resigned, I mostly judge by how accurately I can place the musicians in my headstage.
 
     Share This Post       
post-7661136
Post #5 of 15

Gatepc

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 24, 2010
Messages
425
Reaction score
17
Joined
Jun 24, 2010
Posts
425
Likes
17
Sound Quality > Build Quality > Value > Looks

I feel that the sound quality is far and above the most important part. I can handle a little discomfort if I must for a good pair of headphones, lucky for me I have not yet had to do this haha.

As for the actual sound I think one of the most important things for me is the sound stage and the mids. For me it absolutely has to get both right otherwise I likely won't like it very much. The mids have to be balanced(not balanced as in you need balanced amps etc, balanced as in natural sounding) or if unbalanced I prefer an upper mids exaggeration to a lower mids exaggeration. They have to be detailed but not analytical also a touch of warmth is always good. For the soundstage I want it to be wide and controlled sounding. The bass and highs matter somewhat less to me. The bass as long as its not over powering or slow and smudgy then I really don't care about its balance. The highs as long as they are not over powering, shrilly or grainy then I don't care much about their balance either.

As for the build, when I look at the build I think to myself "how long do I think these will last" that's my judging method haha. If they look solid and like they will last more then a few years then good. If they look like they are going to fall apart after a few uses not good.

Value is also very important, I think its only fair to compare headphones or amps etc in their price range. No sense comparing a $900 pair of headphones to some $30 ones. If they can't compete in their price range then their not good headphones even if they sound good compared to a lot of other things, at least IMO.

The looks I could care very little about, sure its nice to have something that looks striking but its never going to be a deal breaker for me.
 
     Share This Post       
post-7661236
Post #6 of 15

koolkat

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
1,032
Reaction score
23
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Posts
1,032
Likes
23
First of all, sound quality.
Second is build quality. (I consider headphones to be like a future investment)
Third is comfort.
Fourth is value of product.
Fifth is customer support.
Sixth is aesthetics. 
 
 
     Share This Post       
post-7661242
Post #7 of 15

DJGeorgeT

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Mar 5, 2004
Messages
2,835
Reaction score
21
Joined
Mar 5, 2004
Posts
2,835
Likes
21
1. Sound quality
2. Initial cost and maintenance costs
3. Build and components used
4. Reputation of the brand
5. Warranty and customer support
 
     Share This Post       
post-7661243
Post #8 of 15

TheGomdoRi

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Oct 6, 2010
Messages
345
Reaction score
13
Joined
Oct 6, 2010
Posts
345
Likes
13
price/performance ratio > comfort > sound signature > build > warranty > looks
 
     Share This Post       
post-7662432
Post #9 of 15

Apalachian77

New Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 20, 2010
Messages
31
Reaction score
11
Joined
Dec 20, 2010
Posts
31
Likes
11
Obviously quality is equal to the street cred you get for wearing them.
 
     Share This Post       
post-7662455
Post #10 of 15

Parall3l

lƐllɐɹɐԀ
Joined
May 21, 2011
Messages
3,355
Reaction score
160
Joined
May 21, 2011
Posts
3,355
Likes
160


Quote:
Obviously quality is equal to the street cred you get for wearing them.

 
If that were true then the AKG K1000 would be the worst headphones ever, I'm sure many people would disagree with that.
 
     Share This Post       
post-7662489
Post #11 of 15

bcasey25raptor

Aka: Brycon Casey
aka mental patient
aka Enter Darkness
aka Shurefan
aka reaperofaudio
aka everyone knows
aka very funny
Joined
Dec 28, 2010
Messages
4,481
Reaction score
71
Joined
Dec 28, 2010
Posts
4,481
Likes
71
Sound to performance ratio > Build quality > Warranty/Customer support > Comfort (Hardly an issue ever) > Looks
 
 
I generally try to get what is already known to be bang for the buck headphones. (Shure SRH840 ($200), Alessandro/Grado MS1($100), Pioneer SE M390($60), etc)
 
     Share This Post       
post-7663569
Post #12 of 15

Suntory_Times

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 8, 2007
Messages
1,885
Reaction score
12
Joined
Dec 8, 2007
Posts
1,885
Likes
12


Quote:
I wonder how other people determine the quality of headphones. Personally, I judge a pair of headphones' quality in the following order:   
 
(sound signature > sound stage > build quality > details > looks > price/performance ratio)
 
Just curious how a seasoned audiophile determine the quality of a pair of headphones 
 
I hate the idea of callin myself an audiophile or videophile etc, though most will assure me that I am indeed one.  Basically what it comes down to is what will allow me to enjoy music, movies and lastly games the most.
 
 
 
     Share This Post       
post-7663957
Post #13 of 15

kn19h7

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 17, 2011
Messages
2,469
Reaction score
110
Location
Singapore
Joined
Feb 17, 2011
Location
Singapore
Posts
2,469
Likes
110
my priority is generally like
comfort > build >= look >= sound
 
comfort for long hours usage is critical to me, currently all orthos fail here because of their weights ==
 
     Share This Post       
post-7667871
Post #14 of 15

fabio-fi

fabio-fi, jackwess and formula1 are all the same person.
Joined
Jun 17, 2011
Messages
2,811
Reaction score
48
Joined
Jun 17, 2011
Posts
2,811
Likes
48
1- sound quality
2- comfort
3- build quality
4- looks. 
 
     Share This Post       
post-7676184
Post #15 of 15

pdupiano

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 2, 2008
Messages
1,480
Reaction score
22
Joined
Aug 2, 2008
Posts
1,480
Likes
22
I'd just rank by sound quality and there are actually subcategories for audio quality including dynamics, signature, imaging etc... The other stuff (build, comfort) are by in large stuff you have to put up with. I figure a good pair of headphones with outstanding audio qualities will be heard regardless of their physical constraints, unless of course the headphones break every time you put them on your head. 
 
     Share This Post       

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top