Mar 22, 201955 views

Do you really care about the higher capability of your audio gear? What do you seek in your purchases? Be honest!

To answer the first question, I do. Not because of my ego, but because this is just a fun hobby. The fact that every pair of headphones I own makes music sound different enough gives me simple joy. That's what I seek with each headphone pair purchase: a different audio delivery. Why do I care about those aural differences? I honestly don't know, but they do matter to me enough that I'm here with you guys waiting on drops and stuff. Now, in my experience, more than 99% of the people I know do not care about audio too much. Their standard is low, and I absolutely understand their mentality. I'm fine with it. Ignoring my preferences, the audio standards of society as a whole, while low, are more than adequate. When stuff sounds ugly, people notice. When stuff sounds good, they also notice. Then comes us, who for one reason or another care to hear everything that will escape most ears. Wide and deep soundstage? They don't notice. Cold, clinical sound? They don't care...because they don't notice. Do we share a common personality trait that distills in us caring a bit too much about audio even if we're all different personality-wise? I don't want to get too deep, but just wanted to mention this. Are we hypocrites if we don't apply our high audio standards to everything else in life? Who is judging? As an example, I'm fine with my $30 drip coffee maker. I know a fancy, high-end coffee maker will yield more flavor from my coffee beans with higher heat and pressure rather than with puny hot water drops...but I think the coffee tastes nuanced enough with the cheapy I got. But yeah, I'm conscious of it...that I'm missing out on hidden flavor nuances and that the discarded coffee grounds took with them flavor my taste buds didn't get to enjoy. Now, I believe there is a point in objective sound quality where music will not sound any better, but just different. BUT...that difference means superiority to passionate people in this hobby, including this guy typing, and who is judging us if we appreciate such superiority? I can't wait to read your viewpoints. God bless! 
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kimdeug, steve, and 1 other
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I’m a total newbie at this. This is what I have accumulated so far. I have massdrop headphones and DAC tube Amp combination on the way :-)
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To me, headphones are filters for experiencing sound (music, gaming, and movies mainly) and everyone will have different factors that influence what they are looking to experience in audio. Have been trying to fine-tune how I like the sound to be presented to me the past few years and think I have the basic idea of what I'm wanting to experience in a headphone; neutrality/"reference" is NOT it. My "perfect" headphone would have an enhanced low end with great subbass extension and subbass impact like a high quality subwoofer, midbass punch that is right on par with subbass impact, and enough finesse of being able to hear most all the harmonics and tones going on and not come across 'one-noted'. Going up to the mids, I want a warm, full sounding tone which has a nice vibrancy to its delivery (not flat/dull sounding like most planars tend to present) which is clean, with plenty of detail to not ever feel lacking, and not too forward. With the treble I'm looking for a solid and energetic sound yet not fatiguing in presentation with liveliness and finesse that will present the detail mostly accurately but not step over my personal tolerance line. To sum it up, I like warm, punchy, and lively with great detail and clarity, yet also is an easy all day long listen. I've yet to find a headphone that can do it. Fostex TH-X00 subbass impact and warmth (with STAX SR-404 Limited everything else bass), with Koss Porta Pro w/ Yaxi pads warm & forward mids (with STAX SR-404 Limited everything else mids), and STAX SR-L300 Limited Treble. Presented with how an Argon Mk3 with ZMF sheepskin pads projects a sound field and is non-fatiguing. That would be what I'm after. I want my headphones to have excellent technical capabilities, but they also have to have warmth and soul to them. Not particularly fond of the high end reference headphones, like the Sennheiser HD800 - will not dispute their technical capability - it's simply I don't like how they present sound. Even less tolerant of mainstream commercial junk though... pretty much unlistenable devices to me. If a headphone is not at least on a stock Koss Porta Pro level, it's simply not worth listening to for me. I'm after quality in all my hobbies, whether automotive, photography, archery, guns/shooting, biking, 3D printing, watches, video gaming. I try to find the quality item in the price range I'm willing to pay and will research quite a bit before purchasing. I do like good or great deals and not paying more than is necessary, but will not cheap out for junk/non-optimal items - it has to properly be the quality level it needs to for it's function.
VRacer111
Nice MD Elex “review”;)