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#313196 - 07/02/10 10:59 PM Re: Head Phones Recommendations [Re: terzaghi]
Wid Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/22/03
Posts: 6720
Loc: The Peoples Republic of Il.

Same here.
_________________________
Rick


"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity." Sigmund Freud


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#313220 - 07/03/10 02:47 AM Re: Head Phones Recommendations [Re: CV]
SatKartr Offline
aficionado

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 608
Loc: Dallas
The main reason I have been thinking about headphones is that my desktop speakers have been on the fritz for the past few months and I haven't been able to listen to music while writing reports, which I have to do all day 2-3 days a week.

This thread has made me think about and clarify a few things: 1) I guess it might be hard to find a pair of headphones I love because with many if not most headphones the soundstage seems too small to me to create much in the way of ambience. 2) I was listening to the Grado SR225s and they actually do sound quite good (aside from the somewhat constricted soundstage) if I crank them up to a distracting degree while working at the computer, which of course I knew but the point being: 3) the main problem is that I don't really like having loud transducers blasting into my ears in order to achieve a musical sound, but it occurred to me, duh, to play with the EQ on the PC and create a subjective loudness curve, now I am getting a very nice sound at very low volumes.

This is also giving me some ideas about possibly how to tweak my automotive system as well, because the issue there has been somewhat the same, of having to crank up the music to get a pleasing sound, and then it becomes oppressive in a small space, on the other hand it seems to lack dynamic impact at low volumes. I've had little luck playing with the car stereo EQ, which unfortunately is quite limited, but it's easier to hear what's happening subjectively with the EQ at my computer desk than in the car with all the additional ambient noise, I'm hoping the results that are working at the desktop may help establish a baseline for my own subjective loudness curve that I can transfer in part to the car stereo EQ settings, because it definitely was not what I expected and it definitely sounds much better across a wide variety of music.

I still prefer a big space with surround sound ambience (e.g., Audyssey, Dolby PIIx) but with the EQ going the headphones now sound quite acceptable and even very good at low volumes. It's seems obvious to me now that if I was in a setting where I needed to plug in the headphones while watching HT late at night I would most likely want a considerably different EQ curve for the headphones than for listening to the speakers.

I never have time to tweak anything these days so it takes me forever to make the most elementary observations. laugh
_________________________
"If you try to turn toward it, you go against it."

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#313228 - 07/03/10 08:34 AM Re: Head Phones Recommendations [Re: Murph]
BlueJays1 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 4079
Loc: Porch,enjoying Bombay Sapphire
Originally Posted By: Murph
And of course, I meant to say that I find it very hard to compare any headphones to speakers. There is just something about hearing music in the middle of your head as opposed to hearing it presented from in front of you that changes everything for me.


This is mostly because the way a certain headphone presents the soundstage. A headphone with a narrow soundstage the more it is perceived as hearing music in the middle of your head. Also headphones that have a narrow soundstage when it shifts this is when you are more prone to the "in your head effect". This is not a problem with headphones that create a large soundstage.

The majority of headphones don't have a wide soundstage especially in the lower price brackets. (see next post for recommendations).
_________________________
Iím armed and Iím drinking. You donít want to listen to advice from me, amigo.

-Max Payne

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#313230 - 07/03/10 08:45 AM Re: Head Phones Recommendations [Re: SatKartr]
BlueJays1 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 4079
Loc: Porch,enjoying Bombay Sapphire
Originally Posted By: SatKartr
The main reason I have been thinking about headphones is that my desktop speakers have been on the fritz for the past few months and I haven't been able to listen to music while writing reports, which I have to do all day 2-3 days a week.

This thread has made me think about and clarify a few things: 1) I guess it might be hard to find a pair of headphones I love because with many if not most headphones the soundstage seems too small to me to create much in the way of ambience. 2) I was listening to the Grado SR225s and they actually do sound quite good (aside from the somewhat constricted soundstage) if I crank them up to a distracting degree while working at the computer, which of course I knew but the point being: 3) the main problem is that I don't really like having loud transducers blasting into my ears in order to achieve a musical sound, but it occurred to me, duh, to play with the EQ on the PC and create a subjective loudness curve, now I am getting a very nice sound at very low volumes.

This is also giving me some ideas about possibly how to tweak my automotive system as well, because the issue there has been somewhat the same, of having to crank up the music to get a pleasing sound, and then it becomes oppressive in a small space, on the other hand it seems to lack dynamic impact at low volumes. I've had little luck playing with the car stereo EQ, which unfortunately is quite limited, but it's easier to hear what's happening subjectively with the EQ at my computer desk than in the car with all the additional ambient noise, I'm hoping the results that are working at the desktop may help establish a baseline for my own subjective loudness curve that I can transfer in part to the car stereo EQ settings, because it definitely was not what I expected and it definitely sounds much better across a wide variety of music.

I still prefer a big space with surround sound ambience (e.g., Audyssey, Dolby PIIx) but with the EQ going the headphones now sound quite acceptable and even very good at low volumes. It's seems obvious to me now that if I was in a setting where I needed to plug in the headphones while watching HT late at night I would most likely want a considerably different EQ curve for the headphones than for listening to the speakers.

I never have time to tweak anything these days so it takes me forever to make the most elementary observations. laugh


Headphones that present a wide soundstage/presentation make listening extremely enjoyable - almost as good as home system.

For a budget headphone the Audio Technica ATH-AD700 is truely a world class headphone at around $80. Superb positioning/soundstage and damn comfortable. They do have slightly rolled off highs though. With the AD700 instruments will be perceived as coming from all parts of your head (front left, back right etc). With a jazz drummer you can perceive what area of the drumkit he is playing on. Wonderful for classical recordings. The ATH-AD900 is just a more refined AD900 which is also a consideration.

For a bit more money the Beyerdynamic DT880 (32 or 600 ohm). I am confident this headphone would change your outlook on headphones and your concerns of a narrow soundstage presentation. It delivers in all areas (neutrality, comfort, soundstage, tonality etc).






_________________________
Iím armed and Iím drinking. You donít want to listen to advice from me, amigo.

-Max Payne

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#313232 - 07/03/10 10:01 AM Re: Head Phones Recommendations [Re: BlueJays1]
SatKartr Offline
aficionado

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 608
Loc: Dallas
Thanks for the recommendations, I was reading about some of those Audio Technica models last night on the internet and wondering if they were as good as people seemed to think as far as opening up the soundstage goes. I'll probably try out one of the budget models, e.g., ATH-AD700, to experiment and then go from there.
_________________________
"If you try to turn toward it, you go against it."

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#313233 - 07/03/10 10:14 AM Re: Head Phones Recommendations [Re: SatKartr]
BlueJays1 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 4079
Loc: Porch,enjoying Bombay Sapphire
Originally Posted By: SatKartr
Thanks for the recommendations, I was reading about some of those Audio Technica models last night on the internet and wondering if they were as good as people seemed to think as far as opening up the soundstage goes. I'll probably try out one of the budget models, e.g., ATH-AD700, to experiment and then go from there.


The ATH-AD700 do have rolled of bass and slightly rolled of treble however they more than make up for it in its soundstage and tonal presentation. The soundstage/spaciousness and positioning these headphones present is outstanding. They are used a lot in competitive gaming. The midrange is very, very good. These are a bargain for what they charge on places like Amazon. Also remember the color scheme is Gold and Purple before deciding to make your purchase and if this is a turn off for you.

For a no compromise solution the Beyerdynamic DT880 (600 ohm) is the ticket. An external headphone amp for powering high impedance headphones would be recommended here.




_________________________
Iím armed and Iím drinking. You donít want to listen to advice from me, amigo.

-Max Payne

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#313235 - 07/03/10 10:27 AM Re: Head Phones Recommendations [Re: BlueJays1]
SatKartr Offline
aficionado

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 608
Loc: Dallas
Yes I'm on Amazon right now and the DT880 looks quite tempting, I'll probably pull the trigger in the next day or so on either this or the ATH-AD700, I have both of them lined up in my cart. I'm leaning toward the 32 ohm model though for convenience, and since I'll be using them mostly at the computer, I'm not sure the sources will do the 600 ohm model justice. What type of headphone amp do you favor, I've never owned one and have never been able to figure out whether the recommendations I've read are just more amp voodoo or what have you.
_________________________
"If you try to turn toward it, you go against it."

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#313237 - 07/03/10 10:38 AM Re: Head Phones Recommendations [Re: SatKartr]
BlueJays1 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 4079
Loc: Porch,enjoying Bombay Sapphire
The Beyerdynamic DT880 (32 ohm) would be excellent directly used with the computer, MP3 player etc. It will be the better choice for this purpose and it is a better all around headphone than the ATH-AD700 but it costs 3 times more!

There is a lot of snake oil with headphone amps especially when it comes to "sound quality" however the main purpose I would recommend using a headphone amp with the DT880 600 ohm version is solely for the purpose that they will do a better job at providing sufficient voltage to these headphone so you will be able to achieve loud(er) volumes and better dynamics. With the 32 ohm DT880 version a headphone amp will not be needed nor with the ATH-AD700.
_________________________
Iím armed and Iím drinking. You donít want to listen to advice from me, amigo.

-Max Payne

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#313264 - 07/03/10 05:25 PM Re: Head Phones Recommendations [Re: CV]
BlueJays1 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 4079
Loc: Porch,enjoying Bombay Sapphire
Originally Posted By: CV
These headphones aren't blowing me away, either, which I attributed to being spoiled by my Axioms. They can sound nice, but like you, I think I must need to spend quite a lot more to where it competes with my main system.


I have never listened to the HD555 but the Sony MDR-7506 are not gonna "blow you away". They are a closed reference level studio monitor that have a dead accurate response. Its not going to be a "fun" or "exciting" headphone, its just going to be neutral. The 7506 is pretty much the most commonly used headphone in radio and professional studio applications. Why? Because of the neutrality and they are cheap (cost that is).

While the closed nature of the 7506 is ideal for studios and noisy environments I would not generally recommend a closed model as your primary headphone for home music listening. Closed headphones in general give you a limited soundstage and somewhat unnatural "boxy" sound since it is not the way we (humans) interpret sound on a day to day basis by blocking/attenuating any outside noise in our environment. Unless you are trying to purposely attenuate outside noise or prevent sound leaking out, open headphones are for the most part always better.

I think you will appreciate and take comfort in the thought that when you are listening to Regina Spektor, she has probably worn the 7506 on many occasions and some of her albums have probably used them in the recording/mastering process - it would be like having sex with her albums. You can't get any closer to her than that without actually meeting her, that is . cool

_________________________
Iím armed and Iím drinking. You donít want to listen to advice from me, amigo.

-Max Payne

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#313269 - 07/03/10 06:03 PM Re: Head Phones Recommendations [Re: BlueJays1]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11208
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
Originally Posted By: Dr.House
You can't get any closer to her than that without actually meeting her, that is . cool




Never mind how creepy I look. Just focus on her.

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