which sound reigns supreme? critical or fun?
Dec 9, 2007 at 11:29 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 23

jinx20001

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theres alot of etymotic fans here at head fi, which could be said are critical listening phones along with q-jays, ue 10's etc etc.

then theres the fun sounding phones such as atrio's, e500, super fi 5, (dare i say) ue11's etc etc.

what do we prefer to listen to overall, i know we like to listen to fun sound sometimes and critical at others but...which is the one for you??
 
Dec 9, 2007 at 12:36 PM Post #2 of 23

webbie64

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I want to hear all the recording can offer, even if that means it's a disappointment because of the unforgiving gear I choose.

I've had forgiving gear and can fully understand why people choose the 'fun' factor.

I just cherish when the excellent recording through the critical unforgiving gear gets me as close to the sensation/experience of 'being there' as possible.
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Sometimes I just appreciate what the producer is doing to allow me to hear all the various instruments/sounds.

And sometimes, when I like the songs and artist but not the production, I do go and listen to it on something it was mastered for - like my car audio
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Dec 9, 2007 at 12:46 PM Post #3 of 23

krmathis

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I like to listen to both.
But when I have to pick (just like now) I go or critical.
 
Dec 9, 2007 at 12:55 PM Post #4 of 23

MaZa

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Sort of inbetween critical and fun would be great, a headphone that sounds REAL. There are headphones that are too critical, that they actually COLOR the sound to sound grey and analytical. But then again fun headphones, while good on some music, might sound totally off on others. But since those headphones are rare or are incredibly costly, I have to have both types of headphones in my collection to cover all my music. Cant vote either.
 
Dec 9, 2007 at 1:05 PM Post #5 of 23

Caribou679

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I do not share your distinction of fun or analytical listening. Also the implications that some IEMs or hp are designed for analytical/critical listening...

The "analytical" listening seems so much intelectual... abit far from the emotional effects that music is intended to communicate.

I listen to music with Sony MDR 7509HD, a hp supposedly analytical, with a large sounstage and very clear rendering, and if I can't get any feeling something is wrong with my player, my EQ or whatever. The same with the Atrio, if the soundstage is not present or the effect is not there it's not worth listening to.

I prefer analytical and fun being present in the listening at the same time, then the full effect intended by the musicians is present.

If the fun part is absent, alot is absent...

regards,
 
Dec 9, 2007 at 1:14 PM Post #6 of 23

jinx20001

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Caribou679 /img/forum/go_quote.gif

I prefer analytical and fun being present in the listening at the same time, then the full effect intended by the musicians is present.

If the fun part is absent, alot is absent...

regards,



its hard to get analytical and fun in the same earphones. its certainly possible but a fun sound tends usually to take away from the critical listening experience, you can have fun listening critical but getting that fun sound is a little harder. this is why i asked the question in the first place, because if you had to choose what to hear and stick with it what would it be.

i voted on the poll myself as fun because on day to day commuting id get a bit lonely without a foot tapping sound,some would consider me a huge basshead tho
 
Dec 9, 2007 at 2:01 PM Post #10 of 23

jinx20001

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Quote:

Originally Posted by prosound /img/forum/go_quote.gif
What do I expect when I go to a concert?


a concert is a great example of being able to get fun sound while it being completely critical and accurate ofcourse because its live.

but we are talking about earphones and speakers not live instruments and vocal. and its very difficult to get that concert sound of fun but still real/critical
 
Dec 9, 2007 at 3:05 PM Post #12 of 23

ph0rk

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Fun. Overly analytical lends itself to listening to equipment rather than music.

I guess for the musicians out there, in a way it is a somewhat similar distinction between music with technical skill and "soul" (or as I like to call it, "awesome").

Both together is nice, but if I had to choose, I'd go with a "fun" sound and music with "awesome". A second option would be something more analytical that responds well to EQ so it can be enfuninated.

Speaking of fun, I think I'm going to start carrying my dt770's with my nano.
 
Dec 9, 2007 at 3:45 PM Post #13 of 23

appophylite

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Definitely Fun. A more critical sound requires me to be sitting down and doing nothing but listen to music and I very rarely find that I have the chance to do anything like that. Plus with a more fun sound, your equipment can be a bit more unforgiving and it doesn't matter so much.
 
Dec 9, 2007 at 3:56 PM Post #14 of 23

unclejr

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jinx20001 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
a concert is a great example of being able to get fun sound while it being completely critical and accurate ofcourse because its live.

but we are talking about earphones and speakers not live instruments and vocal. and its very difficult to get that concert sound of fun but still real/critical



I generally appreciate the effort to make this distinction between fun/critical, but as I'm sure many will agree, it's more of a gradient than a bifurcation. I used to think this about concerts, but one important point is that concerts are played through loudspeakers in various acoustical environments (outdoors, concert halls, smoky bars, etc.) that affect the sound. But these things are often heavily amplified by sound engineers who are screwing with all kinds of things. I'd be interested in whether or not someone who routinely works live sets for a given band can enlighten us on what he/she tunes the system to. Surely they're looking for 'fun' because this idea of hard hitting bass, etc. is going to sell tickets, ultimately.

So now when I think of how I want my system to sound, it's not just 'most accurately depicting a live performance' but tuned to most accurately depicting a live acoustic (non-electric, analogue, if you will!) performance in a particular room/setting. For me this really means a small, unamplified jazz quartet in a tiny room with questionable acoustics, since that describes the place where my stereo resides.
smily_headphones1.gif


To me, 'fun' and 'critical' are not mutually exclusive. If it's not at a given threshold of timbre accuracy (esp a bloated midrange), it would bother me beyond listenability. I also cannot help but listen to decays of various instruments, no matter the setting. It's fun to hear it done 'right'.
 
Dec 9, 2007 at 4:15 PM Post #15 of 23

jinx20001

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Quote:

Originally Posted by unclejr /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I generally appreciate the effort to make this distinction between fun/critical, but as I'm sure many will agree, it's more of a gradient than a bifurcation. I used to think this about concerts, but one important point is that concerts are played through loudspeakers in various acoustical environments (outdoors, concert halls, smoky bars, etc.) that affect the sound. But these things are often heavily amplified by sound engineers who are screwing with all kinds of things. I'd be interested in whether or not someone who routinely works live sets for a given band can enlighten us on what he/she tunes the system to. Surely they're looking for 'fun' because this idea of hard hitting bass, etc. is going to sell tickets, ultimately.

So now when I think of how I want my system to sound, it's not just 'most accurately depicting a live performance' but tuned to most accurately depicting a live acoustic (non-electric, analogue, if you will!) performance in a particular room/setting. For me this really means a small, unamplified jazz quartet in a tiny room with questionable acoustics, since that describes the place where my stereo resides.
smily_headphones1.gif


To me, 'fun' and 'critical' are not mutually exclusive. If it's not at a given threshold of timbre accuracy (esp a bloated midrange), it would bother me beyond listenability. I also cannot help but listen to decays of various instruments, no matter the setting. It's fun to hear it done 'right'.



true, i get what your saying and yes your right concerts are still played through speakers, i dint think of that.

its interesting you explain fun as being a more bass heavy sound. but i was thinking more about feeling the music and hearing it all connected and flowing beautifully, mixing this with a warmer sound gives the music a bit of soul and character...making for a fun sound rather than a disconnected critical every frequency seperate sound.

i think the difference between a fun and critical sound is more to do with the flow of the music. a critical sound will give a colder sound so its easier to point out frequency qualities, whereas a more fun sound like i said tends to have a soul...a certain blackness inbeetween te frequencies blending the music as one making it more difficult to determine frequency qualities
 

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