What sort of difference does one actually hear as you pass the 1000 dollar price range?
Jan 1, 2017 at 7:55 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 2


500+ Head-Fier
Jan 30, 2016
So I have heard a lot about the law of diminishing returns when it comes to this range of headphones. I have the LCD-2s and I of course didn't pay over 1000 dollars for these things, I payed 750, but I think they at one point retailed for over 1000 dollars. I see headphones like the LCD-2, 3, and 4, and I even hear Tyler from Innerfidelity say that the LCD-3 is not worth 1000 dollars more, yet it's still somehow "better". And you know, that's the 2000 dollar range, headphones like the stax and abyss go all the way up to 5000 dollars and so do other brands too I'm sure. Then you have that fricken sennheiser that costs 50000 dollars (apparently 15,000 on release?). Do you really hear a difference? Or at that point is the difference so small, that it's just obsessive people who like spending money on really expensive stuff?
I hear amps make a difference. I'm driving these things out of the magni and modi, and they serve me so well and they sit so nicely on my desk, I almost don't want to upgrade to a new amplifier because then it wouldn't fit so snugly on my desk like it does right now. 
Jan 1, 2017 at 9:21 AM Post #2 of 2


Headphoneus Supremus
Dec 13, 2014
How about this - instead of thinking about what you hear, to me it is more what you don't hear as you move up to better headphones. I have only heard the LCD-3, LCD-4, LCD-X at meets. I'm much less familiar with the LCD lineup versus the Sennheiser or HiFiMan lineup. Moving from the HE-400S to the HE-400i to the HE-1000, at each step, I heard less glare, more of the just the original, natural high frequency sound. With the large HE-1000 drivers, I heard easy, deep bass. With Sennheiser, there is less distortion in the bass going from HD650 to HD800S, which gets tighter, flatter, and allows all frequencies to play more clearly. Perhaps too clearly...
Sticking to topic, the headphones are simply built better, with lower variances and better material, less vibration, less harshness. It is not, for me, as if suddenly a sound is there that was not there on the lower tier headphone. But it becomes that much easier to hear, and the sound becomes more cohesive. There is less work for the listener to do to peer into the music. Higher volume listening is a more natural experience, assuming you have a source and amplifier suited for the higher end headphone. Sometimes the higher end headphone reveals issues that you may not have noticed before in your source and amplifier equipment. But given that all things are upscale enough, the listening experience just becomes easier. Longer listening with less fatigue.

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