What makes a headphone "musical" & "fun"?
Nov 2, 2015 at 6:28 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 12

WaveRider69

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I've had many different kinds of the popular audiophile headphones and I've encountered something I can't quite put my finger on.
 
Some of the headphones that have the best "sound quality" I find them un-entertaining for music.  For example the Ultrasone Pro-line and any of the Beyerdynamic DT series headphones.  Their sound quality is absolutely superb for movies, games, and music production, but when it comes down to actually listening to music for enjoyment purposes, I find them greatly unappealing even with EQ'ing.  But give me some Audio-Technica or even JBL or JVC headphones (with eq'ing) and they are completely engaging.
 
What is the deal, what am I missing?
 
Nov 2, 2015 at 7:53 AM Post #2 of 12

WaveRider69

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When I say unappealing, I mean there is no emotion trigger.  I can sit there and listen and I will think to myself "Damn this sounds absolutely amazing" but I can't "feel it".  It doesn't make me "get into the groove".  It's like being detached from the music instead of being "one with the music".
 
I know some of you won't get this, but I know a lot of you know what I'm talking about.
 
Nov 2, 2015 at 8:08 AM Post #3 of 12

TMRaven

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No one trait results in musicality.  In fact, musicality is a moot term, because everybody has different preferences in sound that appeals to them.  When you hear anybody call any gear musical, just ignore them.
 
Nov 2, 2015 at 8:13 AM Post #4 of 12

WaveRider69

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I'm not interested in technicalities.  I'm interested in understanding my question.  Words are merely a way of description.
 
Nov 2, 2015 at 8:17 AM Post #5 of 12

TMRaven

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To understand your own question, you need to understand what specific technicalities strike your fancy when it comes to making headphones musical to you-- and like I said, what is musical to you may not be musical to someone else.  Do you like a bass boost, treble boost, large soundstage, small soundstage, etc.
 
Nov 2, 2015 at 9:33 AM Post #6 of 12

inthere

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a glorious soundstage and loads of clean bass does it for me every time, but some people are just the opposite so it's down to personal preference.
 
Nov 2, 2015 at 12:17 PM Post #7 of 12

Audioholic123

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  I've had many different kinds of the popular audiophile headphones and I've encountered something I can't quite put my finger on.
 
Some of the headphones that have the best "sound quality" I find them un-entertaining for music.  For example the Ultrasone Pro-line and any of the Beyerdynamic DT series headphones.  Their sound quality is absolutely superb for movies, games, and music production, but when it comes down to actually listening to music for enjoyment purposes, I find them greatly unappealing even with EQ'ing.  But give me some Audio-Technica or even JBL or JVC headphones (with eq'ing) and they are completely engaging.
 
What is the deal, what am I missing?


I think i know where your coming from. Years ago i bought Denon ah-d7000 headphones and Akg k702's. Whenever i was in the mood for listening to music purely for enjoyment, i would use my ah-d7000's...but for everything else it was the K702's. They where both VERY different headphones, but where the perfect compliment for each other. I think that is the objective in the headphone world - to find a perfect combination that will keep us content!
 
Nov 2, 2015 at 12:30 PM Post #8 of 12

shultzee

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  I've had many different kinds of the popular audiophile headphones and I've encountered something I can't quite put my finger on.
 
Some of the headphones that have the best "sound quality" I find them un-entertaining for music.  For example the Ultrasone Pro-line and any of the Beyerdynamic DT series headphones.  Their sound quality is absolutely superb for movies, games, and music production, but when it comes down to actually listening to music for enjoyment purposes, I find them greatly unappealing even with EQ'ing.  But give me some Audio-Technica or even JBL or JVC headphones (with eq'ing) and they are completely engaging.
 
What is the deal, what am I missing?


Really different things for different people.   I want to hear all the detail,  with good depth  and soundstage.   I have had some top hp's but they wore on me ( ex. LCD-X) .
For my preference the HD800 is killer.
 
Nov 2, 2015 at 12:38 PM Post #9 of 12

soundsculptor

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I like a smooth, flat frequency response with silky mids and brilliant detail.
I find that Westone W20s and the Audeze EL-8s do a great job at pulling that sound out.
 
Nov 4, 2015 at 10:23 PM Post #10 of 12

kman1211

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  I've had many different kinds of the popular audiophile headphones and I've encountered something I can't quite put my finger on.
 
Some of the headphones that have the best "sound quality" I find them un-entertaining for music.  For example the Ultrasone Pro-line and any of the Beyerdynamic DT series headphones.  Their sound quality is absolutely superb for movies, games, and music production, but when it comes down to actually listening to music for enjoyment purposes, I find them greatly unappealing even with EQ'ing.  But give me some Audio-Technica or even JBL or JVC headphones (with eq'ing) and they are completely engaging.
 
What is the deal, what am I missing?

What you are referring to is the elusive and hard to explain thing known as euphony, some refer to this as soul, etc. as well. It's just this subtle factor that makes everything sound addicting and engaging and I found it's not really related to sound signature as much as I used to believe. Some headphones are only euphoric on certain systems, some are inherently more euphoric than others, and some completely lack the euphoric sound. Euphoria does seem to differ a bit from person to person, but I have noticed there are headphones consistently considered euphoric and others that aren't. Amps and DACs can have or lack this factor as well.
 
Nov 5, 2015 at 2:09 PM Post #11 of 12

Bonobo

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So, what are some of the most engaging highend headphones? I'm wondering the same too. Very happy with my Philips X2, but already wondering how that LCD would sound. Or that Grado etc.
Very nice if the measurements are perfect on paper, but musicality is still the goal for me.
 
Can someone comment? Maybe the thread starter ?
 
Nov 6, 2015 at 2:42 AM Post #12 of 12

Thenewguy007

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  So, what are some of the most engaging highend headphones? I'm wondering the same too. Very happy with my Philips X2, but already wondering how that LCD would sound. Or that Grado etc.
Very nice if the measurements are perfect on paper, but musicality is still the goal for me.
 
Can someone comment? Maybe the thread starter ?


The LCD2 would have more drum/bass presence, impact & authority.
 

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