Which top end headphone's sound is the most realistic and closest to real life sound?
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Shang-Ti Chen

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As titile... Which headphone's, like RS-1, Stax, R10 and etc., sound is the most realistic and closest to real life and real instruments' sound?
 
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I don't think you'll get an answer that really will satisfy you (and, besides, I cannot see why the question should be of any importance for anyone as everyone has different live music experiences and - far more important - your question doesn't state what "real instruments' sound" is supposed to mean: acoustic vs. electronic, classical vs. jazz vs rock etc.) So, there are probably as many opinions as there are good headphones out there.
Why don't you just enjoy what you have?
 
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Shang-Ti Chen

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Don't wanna get an answer to satisfy myself; I just want to know about it and that is all.
My MS Pro's sound pretty realistic to me and it's the reason aroused me to ask the question.
 
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lan

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There's no one headphone that does it all. Your end result is still highly dependant source and amp.
 
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NotoriousBIG_PJ

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Stax.

Biggie.
 
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I'm going to respectfully disagree with Biggie. I've heard several electrostatic setups, and while they are very visceral, and airy they are far from "real sounding". My objective as a listener is to recreate instruments and vocals as real as possible. I feel the closest I have heard was my HP-2's + MPX3 + Golden Cross + Meridian 508.24. All electrostatic setups completed lacked in creating a realistic listening environment. I could go on regarding my observations, as I've discussed it with other head-fi'ers, all agreed with me.

Cheers!

Trevor
 
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Well cary->kgss->omega2 sounded pretty true to the recording to me. Your 202 stax setup and tomeks 404 setup each left something to be desired as far as realism, but I thought the kgss->omega2 did a nice job of not leaving a signiture on the music.

Biggie.
 
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Quote:

Originally posted by TrevorNetwork
All electrostatic setups completed lacked in creating a realistic listening environment. I could go on regarding my observations, as I've discussed it with other head-fi'ers, all agreed with me.
Cheers!


I'll disagree with you. I have plenty of listening time with most of the best headphones out there and my Omega II setup makes music unlike anything else I've ever experienced. That doesn't make you (or me) wrong, it just means people hear things differently. To boot, too many have based their experiences with high end headphones on one or two listens. In my experience that doesn't work because these headphones react so differently in different setups. The first two times I listened to the R10 I didn't get it. The first time I listened to the W2002 I thought it was horrible. Subsequent experiences changed my mind after I saw what they were capable of. I have heard Stax sound bad and if that were my only experience with them I would be biased too.

That is why this question is not going to work--it's too subjective and there are going to be a lot of differing opinions. In the end, what makes music for you might not be the same thing that makes music for somebody else.
 
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Any of the really high-end stuff can sound quite real, but it takes a lot of money to get the entire system up to that level. You need to have everything working synergistically together to make the whole thing come together sound wise. Once that happens, no matter what cans the system is built around, it is simply a joy to listen to.
 
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Biggie:

I have heard a Wadia 302 + Omega II (SS), as well as Meridian 508.24 + Baby Orpheus among other electrostatic setups. I do not feel that electrostatics are capable of reproducing the "flesh" to instruments and vocals. An example of this is Ayako Hosokawa's "Bridge over troubled water". At about 3m28s in to the song there is a sax solo. With the HP-2's one is able to feel the warm air coursing through the sax, and being "shaped" by the valves. With electrostatics one merely hears the sound emitted by the sax. The same characteristic is shown with vocals, be they female or male. One is unable to feel the air from the vocalists lungs being shaped into wonderful melodies. Furthering that an ex-girlfriend of mine was a professional pianist. She was -incredibly- good. I spent many hours listening to her play her grand piano. I am very familiar with the sound of pianos in general having spent 100's of hours of my life listening to a variety of piano music. The electrostatic (and most dynamic) headphone setups I have heard were unable to reproduce the "piano" itself. I am talking about the physical object. Doubtless the electrostatics reproduced the "touch" of the pianist's fingers on the keys, as well as the strike of the hammer, and the vibrating strings. -BUT-, and this is a big but. They were never able to reproduce the feeling of having a grand in the room, never. With the aforementioned setups, I was never given the impression that I was listening to a physical object. Merely, hearing the notes viscerally projected from nothingness. It is this that pushed me away from electrostatics. I can tell you with absolute certainty that the only headphone setup I have heard that sounded "real" to my ears was the HP2 + MPX3 + Pythons + Meridian 508.24. Again, I can elaborate this further, but I feel I have given my opinion.

Kind regards,

Trevor
 
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Well put SIE. I've found plenty of realism with my coloured bright tizzy bass humped smeared midrange rocking rs-1's. Took a lot of system matching to get it right though.


Biggie.
 
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Furthering my previous post, I am not saying I do not thoroughly enjoy electrostatic sound, especially the baby O. I do find them a pleasure to listen to. My post was in reference to the "realism" aspect. I will also add the caveat that my post is to be limited to the items I touched on. I could further it, but I feel I've been long-winded enough!
 
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Trevor sounds like you are describing the fullness and magic of a good tube amp. My amp sure brought life to my system.


As for stax I think a player like a cary with its commanding presence probably helps the stax give more substance to the music. I would love to try some omegas with a tube or hybrid amp...

Biggie.
 
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Biggie:

You might be right. I have not heard a high-end valved electrostatic setup. I will be hearing one in the next couple of months (Hoping to put together a WA + Vancouver meet.
I still feel that the HP-2 setup as described is the most real sounding headphone setup I have heard to date.

Trevor
 
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I wonder if some of you are talking around each other a bit, perhaps without realizing it.

Quote:

Originally posted by TrevorNetwork
My objective as a listener is to recreate instruments and vocals as real as possible.


Quote:

Originally posted by NotoriousBIG_PJ
Well cary->kgss->omega2 sounded pretty true to the recording to me.


Sounding true to life and true to the recording are probably not the same thing.

Quote:

Originally posted by Canman
I have plenty of listening time with most of the best headphones out there and my Omega II setup makes music unlike anything else I've ever experienced.


I'm not sure how you meant this. Did you mean unlike anything including live music? Or just closer to live than anything else you've heard?
 
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