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(Time)   How Dr. Dre convinced the world that you need $300 headphones to listen to your highly compressed MP3s   (business.time.com) divider line 260
    More: Interesting, Dr Dre, Jimmy Iovine, market dominance, NPD Group, LL Cool J  
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9824 clicks; posted to Geek » on 16 Jan 2013 at 10:00 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



260 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-01-16 05:44:34 PM  
it's sad; there's an entire generation that has never heard an uncompressed piece of music.
 
2013-01-16 05:56:32 PM  
I have listened to music through some Beats headphones... and I'll take my Sennheiser 598's, for $100 less, any day of the week.
 
2013-01-16 06:01:40 PM  

FlashHarry: it's sad; there's an entire generation that has never heard an uncompressed piece of music.


Let me guess, on Vinyl? LOL.

Listening to an MP3 on 300 headphones or watching Netflix streaming on your new 60" HDTV. Both are equally pointless.
 
2013-01-16 06:16:30 PM  

FlashHarry: it's sad; there's an entire generation that has never heard an uncompressed piece of music.


Using the volume of sound waves to imprint onto a piece of vinyl is also compressed music.  Speakers uncompress it in a certain way.  To insist that music is only pure if it is provided through a certain medium is as absurd as insisting that you need $500 cables to provide quality.

There's far more damage done by the process of mastering by reducing the range of sound than there could ever be in your choice of compression media.
 
2013-01-16 06:25:34 PM  

cannotsuggestaname: I have listened to music through some Beats headphones... and I'll take my Sennheiser 598's, for $100 less, any day of the week.


i have some JVC ones I paid like $20 for.
 
2013-01-16 06:39:10 PM  

Gwendolyn: cannotsuggestaname: I have listened to music through some Beats headphones... and I'll take my Sennheiser 598's, for $100 less, any day of the week.

i have some JVC ones I paid like $20 for.


My to-go headphones that I've used for better than half a decade aren't in production anymore, which sucks.  I can't stand earbuds, they hurt like a son of a biatch.  I have these that I use at home and are fantastic, but nowhere near carry-able.  I've used these, replacing every couple of years due to eventual damage.  I think I'm on my fourth set now.  The cost of the few left reflects the quality.  Haven't tried their "updated" model it links to yet, but that earpiece doesn't look comfortable.
 
2013-01-16 08:51:20 PM  
With the ability to store more data in smaller vessels, might we be able to start keeping our music in .wav format?
 
2013-01-16 08:55:10 PM  
Fashion over function.
 
2013-01-16 09:01:53 PM  
I listen to my music through two tin cans, because I *can.*
 
2013-01-16 09:16:21 PM  
I don't care if I'm listening to .mp3s, .wavs, .flacs, cassettes, or vinyl.....I'm not paying $300 for headphones.  I don't see how anyone could blow that kind of money on such a frivolous product.
 
2013-01-16 09:17:13 PM  

Coco LaFemme: I don't care if I'm listening to .mp3s, .wavs, .flacs, cassettes, or vinyl.....I'm not paying $300 for headphones.


Also, this.

My money is better wasted elsewhere.
 
2013-01-16 09:38:52 PM  

Toshiro Mifune's Letter Opener: I listen to my music through two tin cans, because I *can.*


YES WE CAN!

24.media.tumblr.com
 
2013-01-16 09:39:56 PM  

BronyMedic: YES WE CAN!

24.media.tumblr.com


U-S-A!

U-S-A!

U-S-A!
 
2013-01-16 09:43:16 PM  

FlashHarry: it's sad; there's an entire generation that has never heard an uncompressed piece of music.


Kids don't go to live concerts anymore?


GAT_00: I can't stand earbuds,


Seconded. I don't see how people can use them.
 
2013-01-16 10:03:04 PM  

FlashHarry: it's sad; there's an entire generation that has never heard an uncompressed piece of music.


Yeah, because the RIAA curve required to make something reproducible on vinyl is so pure?  You're fooling yourself.
 
2013-01-16 10:03:43 PM  
Beyerdynamic + USB sound card= still less than the cost of sh*t Beats cans
 
2013-01-16 10:03:54 PM  

GAT_00: There's far more damage done by the process of mastering by reducing the range of sound than there could ever be in your choice of compression media.


the best human ears can only hear from 20 hz to 20k. a decent mastering engineer should be able to reproduce this range. but when you listen to a 256kbps MP3, you're losing a lot more of the information than if you listened to the original, even if it were recorded and not live.
 
2013-01-16 10:04:24 PM  

jaylectricity: With the ability to store more data in smaller vessels, might we be able to start keeping our music in .wav format?


It's not that hard to get something from CD to FLAC/ALAC.  Hell, if you're not bothering to pay for your music it's trivial to find a torrent that has FLAC rips for just about anything.
 
2013-01-16 10:04:29 PM  

TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: Yeah, because the RIAA curve required to make something reproducible on vinyl is so pure?  You're fooling yourself.


where did i mention vinyl?
 
2013-01-16 10:06:24 PM  

FlashHarry: TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: Yeah, because the RIAA curve required to make something reproducible on vinyl is so pure?  You're fooling yourself.

where did i mention vinyl?


Let's put it this way:

Unless you've been to a live concert, everything you've every listened to in terms of reproduced music has not been anywhere near what the studio track started as, so complaining about "compressed music" is pointless.
 
2013-01-16 10:07:28 PM  
I'll peep the article later, but the black street cred marketing to white youth is an old staple, and has worked since the original Jordans.
 
2013-01-16 10:07:39 PM  
I'm curious, what's the point of these head phones? Do they reduce the distortion of modern music that's recorded at such a volume that modern remasters are often useless EXCEPT as lower-quality MP3s? Do they just up the bass?

Or do they make ANYTHING sound better? It sounds like they don't do that...
 
2013-01-16 10:09:53 PM  

cannotsuggestaname: I have listened to music through some Beats headphones... and I'll take my Sennheiser 598's, for $100 less, any day of the week.


I tried a pair on at the store and they're just too heavy on the bass.  It's like they ignored making anything above 150Hz sound decent.

I got a set of these for Christmas last year:

img84.imageshack.us
They're pretty good once they get broken in.  They have fabric wire insulation - until it relaxes every time the cord touches something the noise goes right into your ear.  They're from Brookstone.

Prior to those I used to spend $13 on earbuds from Radio Shack because I'd inevitably break them in a few months anyway.
 
2013-01-16 10:09:58 PM  
It seems like we've been on mp3 for years now. When can I get an mp4?
 
2013-01-16 10:12:14 PM  
they're bass heavy

some guy at my work years ago bought em and let me try.

i'm used to studio quality accurate headphones
or the crappy sony pair that seem to have lasted for years

and given the choice of paying hundreds for the Dre or 20 for my shiatty phones
i'd save my money or buy something much better for the same price.
 
2013-01-16 10:12:48 PM  
What do you mean "how"? Kids are dumb as shiat and have a farkload of disposable income, that's how.
 
2013-01-16 10:13:00 PM  
Yesterday I got a pair of Bluetooth headphones that I bought from onesaleaday. I didn't expect anything too great, but I wanted another pair to use for when I am boxing. I bought a pair from Amazon that was pretty good, but these blow those out of the water. They have beautiful padding and their range even beats that of the [superior] pair that I paid a bit more to purchase.

So $20 for a generic pair that sounds great. I doubt that I could convince myself to spend $300 on a pair, regardless of who endorses them. Then again, I am not an audiophile by any stretch of the imagination. I just want cordless and comfortable with decent sound.
 
2013-01-16 10:14:05 PM  
You pay for qualerty
 
2013-01-16 10:14:16 PM  
I like my $13 a pair KSC75s.
 
2013-01-16 10:15:23 PM  

cannotsuggestaname: I have listened to music through some Beats headphones... and I'll take my Sennheiser 598's, for $100 less, any day of the week.


I've got some Sennheiser HD280Pros.  They're flat response and have some caveats, but for ~$100 they're keen.
 
2013-01-16 10:17:44 PM  

error 303: It seems like we've been on mp3 for years now. When can I get an mp4?


If you buy from iTunes you haven't been getting mp3s for quite some time now.  You're getting 256kbps AACs in m4a containers.
 
2013-01-16 10:18:39 PM  

error 303: It seems like we've been on mp3 for years now. When can I get an mp4?


They already exist.  I have more than a few .mp4 files on my computer.
 
2013-01-16 10:21:05 PM  
Beyond a certain point audiophilia is ridiculous. There is good, and then everything above that is your imagination.

I know, I know, unlike the couple studies where even self-described audiophiles swore they could tell and failed miserably in blind tests, the farkers reading this will insist that THEY have the superb superhuman skills to tell.

/I don't even listen to music, you lose so much by listening instead of reading the notes in their originally written format.
 
2013-01-16 10:22:49 PM  

mrEdude: they're bass heavy

some guy at my work years ago bought em and let me try.

i'm used to studio quality accurate headphones
or the crappy sony pair that seem to have lasted for years

and given the choice of paying hundreds for the Dre or 20 for my shiatty phones
i'd save my money or buy something much better for the same price.


You can get a pair of AKG K-702s, which are the standard for remastering for about that price.

www.proaudiomart.com

$329, and worth every penny (especially when you can write them off as a business expense.
Flat from 10HZ-38HZ, but they require a 200 break-in time.
The most accurate cans I have.
 
2013-01-16 10:24:34 PM  
The Sony MDR-V700DJ headphones are half as much and they blow the beats out of the water. Not to mention they have some of the largest frequency range of most an headphone out there
 
2013-01-16 10:27:58 PM  
ecx.images-amazon.com

He's just taking it back.
 
2013-01-16 10:29:26 PM  
I also have a $20 pair of Sonys that aren't bad at all.

If I ever walked into the studio with a pair of Beats, they would laugh as hard as if I were wearing a pair of Hello Kittys.
Besides, who wants phones that need batteries?
They are the most counterfeited audio component in the world right now, because the people that buy them can't tell the difference anyway.
 
2013-01-16 10:31:37 PM  
A co-worker in radio bought Beats. Impressive, not near worth the $ for work, but he's young and plugs them into his iPhone, etc. I find them to be claustrophobic they're so tight.
 
2013-01-16 10:34:13 PM  
Sony makes ear sofas that deliver nearly as much bass for a lot less.

www.ybsales.net

They do break up before I reach the volume I like though, but it seems people enjoy listening to noise these days.
 
2013-01-16 10:36:55 PM  
Beats are overpriced and mediocre.

I've got a set of Vmoda Crossfades with partial metal construction on the cans and band attachment. Great sound and they're built like a tank, the cable is wrapped in kevlar for durability. Excellent sound reproduction at all frequencies, and they can produce enough volume that I could use them as desktop speakers, without any audible distortion (I run my soundcard output at just 15% with them plugged in and it's plenty loud).

And those only cost me a hundred bucks. If I was going to spend the kind of money for Beats, I'd buy some of those Audio-Technica ones with the wooden cans.
 
2013-01-16 10:37:50 PM  

cannotsuggestaname: I have listened to music through some Beats headphones... and I'll take my Sennheiser 598's, for $100 less, any day of the week.


Nice. Few months ago I bought the 558s and have been quite happy with them. Been a Sennheiser buyer since the 70s and never been disappointed.
 
2013-01-16 10:38:04 PM  

TommyymmoT: I also have a $20 pair of Sonys that aren't bad at all.


That's me Tommy. I have MDR-ZX100. I guess that's the model Wal-Mart went to. I had been through 2-3 pair of the MDR-V150 prior to that. 20 bucks. I have nice boards at work, so they do the trick just fine. I thought the cord was too long on the 150's, too short on the new ones, but they swivel and seem tougher. And they fit about the same.

But while we're on the subject, I wish the industry as a whole would settle on 1/8" jacks. I hate having to keep up with the adapter so I can use them at work. iPod, PC, whatever else, 1/8" Broadcast stuff, 1/4". Why?
 
2013-01-16 10:39:33 PM  
hip-hop group N.W.A

I literally face-palmed.
 
2013-01-16 10:39:43 PM  

TommyymmoT: mrEdude: they're bass heavy

some guy at my work years ago bought em and let me try.

i'm used to studio quality accurate headphones
or the crappy sony pair that seem to have lasted for years

and given the choice of paying hundreds for the Dre or 20 for my shiatty phones
i'd save my money or buy something much better for the same price.

You can get a pair of AKG K-702s, which are the standard for remastering for about that price.

[www.proaudiomart.com image 404x382]

$329, and worth every penny (especially when you can write them off as a business expense.
Flat from 10HZ-38HZ, but they require a 200 break-in time.
The most accurate cans I have.


Do those come with a little button thingy to click when you hear the tones in your left or right ear?
 
2013-01-16 10:39:44 PM  
I listen to either a pair of earbuds whose name i've forgotten, or some hand me down mediocre logitech headphones

/wouldn't mind getting a pair of Sennheiser, i just have a hard time spending $100+ dollars on things like that
 
2013-01-16 10:41:19 PM  

GAT_00: I've used these, replacing every couple of years due to eventual damage. I think I'm on my fourth set now.


I too have four sets of those with the foam falling apart. For $20 they are (were) great. Should have stocked up.
 
2013-01-16 10:43:06 PM  
Every time I see someone with a pair of Beats on, I instantly know to not take them seriously. Every time.
 
2013-01-16 10:50:52 PM  
 
2013-01-16 10:57:20 PM  
reading stories and these threads make me glad I'm not an audiophile.
 
2013-01-16 10:58:18 PM  
What makes me lol is people with high end stereo equipment who blast satellite radio through it.  I'm amazed every day people willingly pay real money to listen to that tinny  underwater sound with absolutely no dynamic range or stereo separation at all.
 
2013-01-16 10:58:35 PM  
I abx tested mp3s just to see how much of a difference compression actually makes. Turns out I get really bad at telling the difference at about 192kbit average bitrate. After that I stopped caring about buying my music in compressed formats.

Beats are overpriced headphones, regardless of what you listen to. There are simply better headphones to buy if you want flat response or if you want their bass heavy signature.
 
2013-01-16 11:00:53 PM  

cannotsuggestaname: I have listened to music through some Beats headphones... and I'll take my Sennheiser 598's, for $100 less, any day of the week.


I love my old Sennheiser HD535s. Too bad the foam is falling apart.
 
2013-01-16 11:03:18 PM  

Hagbardr: cannotsuggestaname: I have listened to music through some Beats headphones... and I'll take my Sennheiser 598's, for $100 less, any day of the week.

I love my old Sennheiser HD535s. Too bad the foam is falling apart.


558's here..
 
2013-01-16 11:06:44 PM  

Hagbardr: cannotsuggestaname: I have listened to music through some Beats headphones... and I'll take my Sennheiser 598's, for $100 less, any day of the week.

I love my old Sennheiser HD535s. Too bad the foam is falling apart.


for the hell of it i looked at their website, you can purchase replacement ear cushions for $50
 
2013-01-16 11:10:54 PM  
Before he sold headphones, what was he a doctor of? Who is this guy?
 
2013-01-16 11:11:11 PM  
$5 Koss headphones from Walmart, 3.5mm plug fits into my ipod, music come out. I can spend the rest of my $95 on something more useful like a few bottles of Johnnie Walker
 
2013-01-16 11:12:23 PM  

loonatic112358: Hagbardr: cannotsuggestaname: I have listened to music through some Beats headphones... and I'll take my Sennheiser 598's, for $100 less, any day of the week.

I love my old Sennheiser HD535s. Too bad the foam is falling apart.

for the hell of it i looked at their website, you can purchase replacement ear cushions for $50


The headband foam is gone too. The cushions are in slightly better shape and didn't get too bad until the kids sat on them. I've had them since about '98 so I'm happy with the longevity.

I'll look into the replacement foams vs a new set.

In other news, I recently picked up a Bang & Olefsen Beomaster 2400 when I helped my friend with a house cleanout. Forgot the DIN speaker cables so I'll have to go with him on the next trip.
 
2013-01-16 11:13:25 PM  
If you don't already know:

i1.ezinemark.com

But these are the new need to know:

songlongmedia.com
 
2013-01-16 11:13:46 PM  
Sorry. Until the "Beats" came out, I almost... Forgot about Dre.
 
2013-01-16 11:15:15 PM  

Hagbardr: In other news, I recently picked up a Bang & Olefsen Beomaster 2400 when I helped my friend with a house cleanout. Forgot the DIN speaker cables so I'll have to go with him on the next trip.


try ordering those from monoprice
 
2013-01-16 11:16:41 PM  
And it's all a sham.

These will blow the hell out of any of the Dre abortions, but more power to him for finding fools to get richer:
(click on the image for more details)

ecx.images-amazon.com
 
2013-01-16 11:16:41 PM  

FlashHarry: it's sad; there's an entire generation that has never heard an uncompressed piece of music.


I'm from this generation, I've listened to vinyl. I've heard symphonies.

/has heard uncompressed music
 
2013-01-16 11:18:33 PM  
For the price, I'm quite pleased with my Audio Technica M30, they're good enough for mp3/compressed audio in web videos. I think I paid about $40 on Amazon.
 
2013-01-16 11:19:05 PM  

Quantum Apostrophe: Sony makes ear sofas that deliver nearly as much bass for a lot less.

[www.ybsales.net image 300x300]

They do break up before I reach the volume I like though, but it seems people enjoy listening to noise these days.


And it's Dr. Dre. It IS noise.

I don't care what fidelity it's recorded at, stuff like this will never not be noise.

This is marketed towards the same people who put "Puddle O Bass Thousand Watt SUBSUBSUBSUBWoofers" in their cars.
 
2013-01-16 11:19:59 PM  
No USB and no mic means no sale.
 
2013-01-16 11:20:02 PM  

FlashHarry: it's sad; there's an entire generation that has never heard an uncompressed piece of music.


But it might take a few more seconds to download A FLAC.
i.imgur.com
 
2013-01-16 11:20:35 PM  
FTFA: Beats by Dre headphones have generally been praised for their audio quality and design (even if some consumers are turned off by the notoriously bass-heavy sound). But the company's greatest innovation may have been its success at making headphones as much fashion accessories as they are listening devices. "If you're wearing a pair of Beats, it says, 'Music's really important in my life,' says Wood. "I've seen people wearing them at parties with hundreds of people, and they've got their Beats around their neck.

So it just became an idiotic status symbol rather than actual good product? Color me shocked...
 
2013-01-16 11:20:53 PM  
Watching ESPN one day, and the one black guy who wears glasses to look smart and professional, you know that one. Well, he was filing in for mike and mike and was wearing these headphones. And even if these are quality headphones, I gotta imagine the ones that are standard in a state of the art studio are gonna be better than junk you buy at Walmart. They're like a big flashing idiot sign people pay $300 to wear.
 
2013-01-16 11:22:03 PM  

styckx: Hagbardr: cannotsuggestaname: I have listened to music through some Beats headphones... and I'll take my Sennheiser 598's, for $100 less, any day of the week.

I love my old Sennheiser HD535s. Too bad the foam is falling apart.

558's here..


I've had a pair of 280pro's for pretty much forever, and I have no complaints.
 
2013-01-16 11:23:20 PM  
Oh yeah-not safe for work or audiophiles.

/lots of weed references, profanity, racial slurs, shaking tits, and autotune.
 
2013-01-16 11:24:06 PM  
Link

/have rough-mixed my last three sessions on a pair of Audio Technica ATM-50's
//even a $300-per-hour mastering engineer asked me what my secret was
///I like bass
 
2013-01-16 11:24:39 PM  

GAT_00: Gwendolyn: cannotsuggestaname: I have listened to music through some Beats headphones... and I'll take my Sennheiser 598's, for $100 less, any day of the week.

i have some JVC ones I paid like $20 for.

I can't stand earbuds, they hurt like a son of a biatch


I used to think the same. I have small ears and the old round, hard plastic earbuds (iPod 1-style) hurt like hell and didn't stay in anyway. The newer ones are primarily silicone and are pretty comfortable (even for someone like myself who is mocked for their tiny baby ears). I bought some sub-$20 earbuds and was surprised by both the comfort and the sound quality.
 
2013-01-16 11:24:45 PM  
i.imgur.com
/Doh
 
2013-01-16 11:24:50 PM  
SUCKERS!

/7506 exclusive for 20 years now but hey, I'm a FOH engineer so...
 
2013-01-16 11:24:51 PM  

Champion of the Sun: They're like a big flashing idiot sign people pay $300 to wear.


Like I just said...marketed to the same people who...
 
2013-01-16 11:26:08 PM  

FlashHarry: GAT_00: There's far more damage done by the process of mastering by reducing the range of sound than there could ever be in your choice of compression media.

the best human ears can only hear from 20 hz to 20k. a decent mastering engineer should be able to reproduce this range. but when you listen to a 256kbps MP3, you're losing a lot more of the information than if you listened to the original, even if it were recorded and not live.


At around 320kbps, the amount of information lost for the average track -- unless you're listening to something with tremendous intermixing of various frequencies -- is negligible. For most of modern music, I'd say 256kbps is near lossless. And if you can really pick up on that kind of loss of fidelity, vinyl should've driven you insane as the frequency replication was terrible near the 20KHz range.
 
2013-01-16 11:33:24 PM  
If your entire article can be summed up in one word ("marketing"), don't write it.

/crappy listening devices have killed dynamic range in music
/headphones, earbuds, and shiatty laptop speakers are no way to go through life replacement for a good home stereo, son
 
2013-01-16 11:33:48 PM  
www.productwiki.com

Best $300 I ever spent. Mine are about 16 years old. And Sennheiser still repairs/replaces any piece under repair service for about $60(flat fee for service, regardless of work), but I haven't had to do that because the drivers are still good and the frame isn't weak(like some of the Beats headphones that break on the ear swivel joints).
 
2013-01-16 11:33:53 PM  
How Dr. Dre convinced the world a small group of easily-led chuckleheads that you need $300 headphones to listen to your highly compressed MP3s

FTFY

Also, "the world" has been convinced to buy everything from $2,000 HDMI cables to Crocs, for Christ's sake. Why would headphones be any different?
 
2013-01-16 11:39:37 PM  

Hagbardr: loonatic112358: Hagbardr: cannotsuggestaname: I have listened to music through some Beats headphones... and I'll take my Sennheiser 598's, for $100 less, any day of the week.

I love my old Sennheiser HD535s. Too bad the foam is falling apart.

for the hell of it i looked at their website, you can purchase replacement ear cushions for $50

The headband foam is gone too. The cushions are in slightly better shape and didn't get too bad until the kids sat on them. I've had them since about '98 so I'm happy with the longevity.

I'll look into the replacement foams vs a new set.

In other news, I recently picked up a Bang & Olefsen Beomaster 2400 when I helped my friend with a house cleanout. Forgot the DIN speaker cables so I'll have to go with him on the next trip.


They do not list 535 in their repair section, but 555 are flat rate $55 and everything below is flat rate $40 for repair/service. When you send it in for service, they replace all your foam and padding along with whatever service you need(such as a blown driver)
 
2013-01-16 11:40:56 PM  

puffy999: I'm curious, what's the point of these head phones? Do they reduce the distortion of modern music that's recorded at such a volume that modern remasters are often useless EXCEPT as lower-quality MP3s? Do they just up the bass?

Or do they make ANYTHING sound better? It sounds like they don't do that...


BUMP

/all my music is in 256 or better
//will anyone (besides professionals) hear a damn bit of difference?
///people wearing headphones in public deserve to be run over.
 
2013-01-16 11:40:57 PM  
obama need to gib me gubment helf care cause I can't afford to go to da doctor cause I dun bought dees head phones.
 
2013-01-16 11:43:06 PM  

Smackledorfer:
/I don't even listen to music, you lose so much by listening instead of reading the notes in their originally written format.


Lord Vetinari, is that you?
 
2013-01-16 11:46:48 PM  

FormlessOne: How Dr. Dre convinced the world a small group of easily-led chuckleheads that you need $300 headphones to listen to your highly compressed MP3s

FTFY

Also, "the world" has been convinced to buy everything from $2,000 HDMI cables to Crocs, for Christ's sake. Why would headphones be any different?


MONSTER CABLES!!!!
 
2013-01-16 11:50:41 PM  

In response to Dre's Bass Bombs, Lemmy is giving us highs and mids too!

BEHOLD!
d2l176bkk6cjnx.cloudfront.net
MOTORHEADPHONES!!!
 
2013-01-16 11:52:05 PM  

rocky_howard: FTFA: Beats by Dre headphones have generally been praised for their audio quality and design (even if some consumers are turned off by the notoriously bass-heavy sound). But the company's greatest innovation may have been its success at making headphones as much fashion accessories as they are listening devices. "If you're wearing a pair of Beats, it says, 'Music's really important in my life,' says Wood. "I've seen people wearing them at parties with hundreds of people, and they've got their Beats around their neck.

So it just became an idiotic status symbol rather than actual good product? Color me shocked...


Fits right in with the hip-hop crowd.

/along with gold chains and 22" rims
 
2013-01-16 11:52:40 PM  

bhcompy: Hagbardr: loonatic112358: Hagbardr: cannotsuggestaname: I have listened to music through some Beats headphones... and I'll take my Sennheiser 598's, for $100 less, any day of the week.

I love my old Sennheiser HD535s. Too bad the foam is falling apart.

for the hell of it i looked at their website, you can purchase replacement ear cushions for $50

The headband foam is gone too. The cushions are in slightly better shape and didn't get too bad until the kids sat on them. I've had them since about '98 so I'm happy with the longevity.

I'll look into the replacement foams vs a new set.

In other news, I recently picked up a Bang & Olefsen Beomaster 2400 when I helped my friend with a house cleanout. Forgot the DIN speaker cables so I'll have to go with him on the next trip.

They do not list 535 in their repair section, but 555 are flat rate $55 and everything below is flat rate $40 for repair/service. When you send it in for service, they replace all your foam and padding along with whatever service you need(such as a blown driver)


That would be well worth it. I'll have to email them and see if they will do it.
 
2013-01-16 11:53:55 PM  

meatofmystery: Beyerdynamic + USB sound card= still less than the cost of sh*t Beats cans


Oh man, so much THIS. Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro + FiiO E9k + FiiO E17 + .flac = Deargodyoutotallyunderstandwhyyouwouldpay$500forheadphonesandaccessori es.

Not cheap, not for everybody, but holy flying fark, I have never enjoyed music this much. Can't say I have much experience with $40,000 stereo setups in acoustically calibrated rooms, but I have never, ever heard anything that sounds better, or even close.

For those of you that have headphones that can truly benefit from it, I highly suggest getting an amplifier.
 
2013-01-16 11:56:20 PM  
europe.beyerdynamic.com

Plus, they're sexy.

/And hot.
//And yeah, that's velour on the ear cups. Mmmmmm.
 
2013-01-17 12:01:22 AM  

Luminiferous Aether: For those of you that have headphones that can truly benefit from it, I highly suggest getting an amplifier.


The hippy that writes for CNET's audio column is always going on about headphone amplifiers.  Of course, he's also always going on about turntables, too.  He gives the distinct impression that if reel to reel tapes were still manufactured, he'd review those, too.  He repeatedly uses words like: warmth, lively, responsive, subtle, lows, highs, and natural.
 
2013-01-17 12:03:54 AM  

TexanBoy: Every time I see someone with a pair of Beats on, I think instantly know to not take them seriously. Every time. someone around the corner is going to knock their block off for them

FTFY
 
2013-01-17 12:06:05 AM  

bhcompy: [www.productwiki.com image 425x555]

Best $300 I ever spent. Mine are about 16 years old. And Sennheiser still repairs/replaces any piece under repair service for about $60(flat fee for service, regardless of work), but I haven't had to do that because the drivers are still good and the frame isn't weak(like some of the Beats headphones that break on the ear swivel joints).


I didn't realize repair work could be so cheap. Both my pairs of 600s have gone bad at the low end (one actually crackles, the other is just muddy and weak), but I didn't think they'd be economical to repair. Considering how much more expensive new ones are now compared to 10 years ago, I think I'll ship them in.
 
2013-01-17 12:06:31 AM  
I take my music rectally.

The bass is friggin' phenomenal.
 
2013-01-17 12:09:51 AM  
Dr dre beats are out classed in performance by headphones that are much cheaper. Hell the range the guys who made beats went on to release independently are better, cheaper and more stylish. Style is subjective though I know. Personally I'm very happy with my Phillips Fidelio L1's for home and senheizer buds for travel. Wish decent blue tooth buds without a connecting cord would be developed.
 
2013-01-17 12:11:12 AM  

Bisu: bhcompy: [www.productwiki.com image 425x555]

Best $300 I ever spent. Mine are about 16 years old. And Sennheiser still repairs/replaces any piece under repair service for about $60(flat fee for service, regardless of work), but I haven't had to do that because the drivers are still good and the frame isn't weak(like some of the Beats headphones that break on the ear swivel joints).

I didn't realize repair work could be so cheap. Both my pairs of 600s have gone bad at the low end (one actually crackles, the other is just muddy and weak), but I didn't think they'd be economical to repair. Considering how much more expensive new ones are now compared to 10 years ago, I think I'll ship them in.


Yep. For the same quality headphone today you're paying way more new. If they no longer make/have the parts in stock for your specific model, they use the next model in line(ie: they don't make 580 drivers anymore, so they use 600 drivers since 600s are the heir to the 580 and fit the same pieces)
 
2013-01-17 12:12:48 AM  
I replaced my Beats headphones cables with Monster cables. As an added bonus, I no longer need to carry 5 pound dumbbells when I jog.
 
2013-01-17 12:14:17 AM  

Flumple: Hell the range the guys who made beats went on to release independently are better, cheaper and more stylish.


Monster made Beats, I thought?
 
2013-01-17 12:15:58 AM  
I got tired of the Damn cord, went and picked up logitech h800s. Never been happier. Good sound, no cord.

And only $80

Now, I've heard the beats phones, and they are nice... But that's a lot of money.
 
2013-01-17 12:18:06 AM  

TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: cannotsuggestaname: I have listened to music through some Beats headphones... and I'll take my Sennheiser 598's, for $100 less, any day of the week.

I've got some Sennheiser HD280Pros.  They're flat response and have some caveats, but for ~$100 they're keen.


I used to have to 280's and they were decent, but the 598's are way better. Reference quality.


for ear buds I have some Shure SE425s that were given to me for Christmas. yay.
 
2013-01-17 12:20:14 AM  

cannotsuggestaname: I used to have to 280's and they were decent, but the 598's are way better. Reference quality.


They're also twice the price.  I don't need $250 headphones.

As I said, for $100 they're keen.
 
2013-01-17 12:21:42 AM  
I have crappy ears, and haven't ever been able to keep a pair of headphones alive for more than 6 months. So the $9 Cheapo heaphones work for me.

Worst purchase ever was a pair of Klipsch earbuds. They sounded amazing to my tin ears, but the jack broke (as every headphone I've ever had has done), within weeks. $150 down the drain. What a terrible birthday present.

My girlfriend has been bugging me for a pair of Beats for a couple years now. Whenever I go gift shopping, I do look at the display, and then laugh to myself for considering spending so much.
 
2013-01-17 12:24:12 AM  

rocky_howard: And it's all a sham.

These will blow the hell out of any of the Dre abortions, but more power to him for finding fools to get richer:
(click on the image for more details)

[ecx.images-amazon.com image 333x500]


I give you: the ATH M50-R. Same headphones, but with a removable cord so you're replacing a $10 cord instead of a $150 pair of headphones when the cord breaks 6 months from now.

/Had Seinheisser 280 Pros. And then the cord broke in about a year and a half (and they had 0 bass).
//Then had Audio-Technica A-900's. And the cord broke in 3 months. And I sent them in for repair, got them back, and then the cord broke again a month later.
///And now I have these.
 
2013-01-17 12:26:10 AM  

meyerkev: rocky_howard: And it's all a sham.

These will blow the hell out of any of the Dre abortions, but more power to him for finding fools to get richer:
(click on the image for more details)

[ecx.images-amazon.com image 333x500]

I give you: the ATH M50-R. Same headphones, but with a removable cord so you're replacing a $10 cord instead of a $150 pair of headphones when the cord breaks 6 months from now.

/Had Seinheisser 280 Pros. And then the cord broke in about a year and a half (and they had 0 bass).
//Then had Audio-Technica A-900's. And the cord broke in 3 months. And I sent them in for repair, got them back, and then the cord broke again a month later.
///And now I have these.


Of course, you could have spent less money overall on a higher end Sennheiser(500 series or better) and had better headphone with a replaceable cord, too.
 
2013-01-17 12:28:35 AM  
Doesn't matter to me.

Too many years of sticking my head near a 100W stack has blown out a lot of my fine hearing.

/ yes, I'm a dumbass who didn't use earplugs.
// I was a teen and therefore invincible.
 
2013-01-17 12:34:22 AM  

bhcompy: meyerkev: rocky_howard: And it's all a sham.

These will blow the hell out of any of the Dre abortions, but more power to him for finding fools to get richer:
(click on the image for more details)

[ecx.images-amazon.com image 333x500]

I give you: the ATH M50-R. Same headphones, but with a removable cord so you're replacing a $10 cord instead of a $150 pair of headphones when the cord breaks 6 months from now.

/Had Seinheisser 280 Pros. And then the cord broke in about a year and a half (and they had 0 bass).
//Then had Audio-Technica A-900's. And the cord broke in 3 months. And I sent them in for repair, got them back, and then the cord broke again a month later.
///And now I have these.

Of course, you could have spent less money overall on a higher end Sennheiser(500 series or better) and had better headphone with a replaceable cord, too.


Question: Do the higher end headphones have closed backs? Because I use these at work and in a shared apartment, and I remember the high-end Sennheiser's all being open-back.
 
2013-01-17 12:44:25 AM  
Silly subby! Dr. Dre (not a real doctor) convinced the world of nothing. He conned a given amount of people - those who are ignorant consumers, to purchase his over-priced wares. The bulk of these consumers are youthful inner city types with lots of untaxed unreported illegally gained income. They will gladly buy any fashion or item that a person of their race advertises. Shame on these piss poor role models that shyster their own people with inferior goods for their personal monetary gain. It ain't just whitey out to get you, bro.
 
2013-01-17 12:44:56 AM  

meyerkev:

Question: Do the higher end headphones have closed backs? Because I use these at work and in a shared apartment, and I remember the high-end Sennheiser's all being open-back.


There are high end headphones with both open and closed backs. Headroom has a section for just closed headphones:

Closed Headphones
 
2013-01-17 12:45:49 AM  

TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: They're also twice the price. I don't need $250 headphones.

As I said, for $100 they're keen.


yeah, my 280s broke, so it's the only reason I got the 598s.
 
2013-01-17 12:49:49 AM  

Quantum Apostrophe: Sony makes ear sofas that deliver nearly as much bass for a lot less.



They do break up before I reach the volume I like though, but it seems people enjoy listening to noise these days.


I don't have that model, but my Sony noise canceling headphones are pretty good. IIRC, I paid $55 or so.
 
2013-01-17 12:50:38 AM  

KrispyKritter: Silly subby! Dr. Dre (not a real doctor) convinced the world of nothing. He conned a given amount of people - those who are ignorant consumers, to purchase his over-priced wares. The bulk of these consumers are youthful inner city types with lots of untaxed unreported illegally gained income. They will gladly buy any fashion or item that a person of their race advertises. Shame on these piss poor role models that shyster their own people with inferior goods for their personal monetary gain. It ain't just whitey out to get you, bro.


I can't tell if this is poeslaw or not.

I guess 4/10 for racism, you'll probably get a few bites.

i.imgur.com
 
2013-01-17 12:51:04 AM  

GreenAdder: Before he sold headphones, what was he a doctor of? Who is this guy?


He was the fat guy on Yo MTV Raps.
 
2013-01-17 12:51:49 AM  
Forget the gun porn, we now have headphone porn.
 
2013-01-17 01:06:14 AM  
i236.photobucket.com
 
2013-01-17 01:08:50 AM  
All music is compressed to some degree, even music stamped onto vinyl, unless you can afford to hire a band to follow you around and play whenever you feel like music.

That said: I thought $279 for a set of headphones was idiotic, until I borrowed my father's for a plane trip. Bought them within a half-hour of landing. Yeah, it's a luxury item, and one I'd survive just fine without, but dammit if the music didn't sound better, not to mention it drowned out the sound of that jerkoff businessman behind me talking about how well he's doing despite the fact that he's sitting in coach.
 
2013-01-17 01:09:53 AM  
Three hundred on Dr. Dre headphones? Nah, but $250 or so for some Sony MDR 7506's is the last pair of cans you'll ever need to buy.
 
2013-01-17 01:10:34 AM  
Dre is not doing anything new. Skullcandy convinced people of the same dreck, using crappy little drivers in their headphones and selling at a markup. Just like the Monster cables that came before, their priduct actually sucks balls, but they are selling a brand on cognitive dissonance. People will buy them, and rather than admitting they got duped out of three hundred bucks, they will staunchly defend it so that they don't look like an absolute fool for being duped.
 
2013-01-17 01:12:27 AM  
AKG 240 600 ohm..
 
2013-01-17 01:12:54 AM  
I've tested so many brands and models that I couldn't even list them.

What I found was that most high priced headphones/earphones are simply overpriced and many actually sound worse or equal to some that are easily 1/6 of their prices.

The most annoying thing is the person that buys these expensive ones, have to justify themselves like their lives depended on it.

One person raved on about his >300$ Skull Candy headphones... I found them to be worse than my 40$ JVC pair that had been my go-to at the time, but then again, those JVCs (HA-B25) were a very limited run, are quite rare and set the bar very high as they were extremely good. The wiring has worn down and I've had to re-solder them in part, but they have been one of the best headphones I've ever had.

I have a few Creative Labs, Sennheiser, Razor, etc. but lately, I've been going with wireless more and more as once you try wireless for a while, getting caught on wires is a pain, plus with some decent Bluetooth ones, the quick controls (skip, volume, etc.) makes them even better.

I went ahead with getting the kids some very simple BT headphones from "The Source" that were on special for 20$, and they actually surprised me quite a bit for the sound quality. The kids that "love" their wired earphones, have all started using them and are quite enjoying them, leaving the wired pairs behind more and more. And for 20$, can't really lose at that price if the kids break or lose them.

For me, I've been using the Creative WP-250, and while tricky to put on, they're not bad at all.

All I know is that wired headphones are not something that I like using much anymore.

And as for as the Beats, the only person I know that has a pair is an Apple fanboy that woreships his Apple gear, for this guy his belief in his selection of gadgets and such is an pompous as can be, so his Beats are the best thing ever, and nothing would convince him otherwise. Funny thing is, he whines about the prices and usefulness of just about everything (else).
 
2013-01-17 01:24:19 AM  

imfallen_angel: I've tested so many brands and models that I couldn't even list them.

What I found was that most high priced headphones/earphones are simply overpriced and many actually sound worse or equal to some that are easily 1/6 of their prices.

The most annoying thing is the person that buys these expensive ones, have to justify themselves like their lives depended on it.

One person raved on about his >300$ Skull Candy headphones... I found them to be worse than my 40$ JVC pair that had been my go-to at the time, but then again, those JVCs (HA-B25) were a very limited run, are quite rare and set the bar very high as they were extremely good. The wiring has worn down and I've had to re-solder them in part, but they have been one of the best headphones I've ever had.

I have a few Creative Labs, Sennheiser, Razor, etc. but lately, I've been going with wireless more and more as once you try wireless for a while, getting caught on wires is a pain, plus with some decent Bluetooth ones, the quick controls (skip, volume, etc.) makes them even better.

I went ahead with getting the kids some very simple BT headphones from "The Source" that were on special for 20$, and they actually surprised me quite a bit for the sound quality. The kids that "love" their wired earphones, have all started using them and are quite enjoying them, leaving the wired pairs behind more and more. And for 20$, can't really lose at that price if the kids break or lose them.

For me, I've been using the Creative WP-250, and while tricky to put on, they're not bad at all.

All I know is that wired headphones are not something that I like using much anymore.

And as for as the Beats, the only person I know that has a pair is an Apple fanboy that woreships his Apple gear, for this guy his belief in his selection of gadgets and such is an pompous as can be, so his Beats are the best thing ever, and nothing would convince him otherwise. Funny thing is, he whines about the prices and usefulness of just ab ...


Now Skullcandy is complete crap. Had the misfortune of forgetting my headphones at home while going on a trip, and the only headphones I could find in the terminal were Skullcandy. Worst earbuds EVER. Something like $40 for them.

Actually, my favorite earbuds are (I'm almost ashamed to admit it) Brookstone. $40 pair, self-retracting, and a pretty decent tone. I like them for when I don't feel like looking like a pompous jerk with my giant-ass Beats Wireless headphones.
 
2013-01-17 01:46:34 AM  
Bose been doing this for years
/Nothing new
 
2013-01-17 01:54:42 AM  

OnlyM3: obama need to gib me gubment helf care cause I can't afford to go to da doctor cause I dun bought dees head phones.


Yes because the majority of people who buy these are black, moron. And fark if I can't stand when racist white people try to imitate ebonics because they can't do it right and wind up sounding more idiotic than ebonics is in the first place.
 
2013-01-17 02:09:19 AM  
I'm an audiophile noob, but I can tell when an audio file is compressed comparing it to a .flac (end result of parents taking you to the symphony every month as a kid).
I got my first pair of non-default headphones last winter, Shure SE115s, for about $60. I'd like to get another pair; does anyone have suggestions for earbuds in a similar price range?

Got a Zune back when iPods didn't do lossless. For some reason, my uncompressed files still sound better played back on my computer with the same earbuds. Is the reason the hardware, or some physical thing (walking/standing/sitting)?
 
2013-01-17 02:09:36 AM  

PirateKing: KrispyKritter: Silly subby! Dr. Dre (not a real doctor) convinced the world of nothing. He conned a given amount of people - those who are ignorant consumers, to purchase his over-priced wares. The bulk of these consumers are youthful inner city types with lots of untaxed unreported illegally gained income. They will gladly buy any fashion or item that a person of their race advertises. Shame on these piss poor role models that shyster their own people with inferior goods for their personal monetary gain. It ain't just whitey out to get you, bro.

I can't tell if this is poeslaw or not.

I guess 4/10 for racism, you'll probably get a few bites.

[i.imgur.com image 300x268]


I'd rather give him the benefit of the doubt that he's not that stupid. The majority of people who buy those things are white, just as the majority of people who purchase rap music.
 
2013-01-17 02:12:09 AM  

Lsherm: Luminiferous Aether: For those of you that have headphones that can truly benefit from it, I highly suggest getting an amplifier.

The hippy that writes for CNET's audio column is always going on about headphone amplifiers.  Of course, he's also always going on about turntables, too.  He gives the distinct impression that if reel to reel tapes were still manufactured, he'd review those, too.  He repeatedly uses words like: warmth, lively, responsive, subtle, lows, highs, and natural.


I smoke a lot of weed and try to recycle when I can, but I'd hardly call myself a hippy. Not that I'm saying you were calling me a hippy though. I'd love a turntable setup if I had the space for one, but the words said hippy uses are very frequent when talking about/reviewing any audio components.

Point is, I know I don't have the greatest or fanciest amp/DAC combo, but those pieces of equipment allowed my cans to truly open up. So what I'm saying is that anyone with high-impedance, high-quality cans that are currently just jacking straight off of their motherboard soundcard can really upgrade by getting a decent USB amp/DAC combo. Of course, this may end up costing as much or more than the cans you paid for in the first place, but if you paid that much for cans you can't adequately drive or enjoy, you were wasting your money to begin with. Waste a little more, and truly wake your music up!
 
2013-01-17 02:20:51 AM  

bhcompy: [www.productwiki.com image 425x555]

Best $300 I ever spent. Mine are about 16 years old. And Sennheiser still repairs/replaces any piece under repair service for about $60(flat fee for service, regardless of work), but I haven't had to do that because the drivers are still good and the frame isn't weak(like some of the Beats headphones that break on the ear swivel joints).


Sennheiser has excellent service. I was restoring 2 pairs of 414s, which haven't been made since the 70s, and are now collectors items, and they sent me original parts for them cheap.
They looked and functioned like brand new when I was finished.
 
2013-01-17 02:28:58 AM  
"If you're wearing a pair of Beats, it says, "I am very stupid with money says Gordon Bennett.

Mind you, I may not be the right one to speak. Most of what I listen to are comedies from Radio 4 and the occasional podcast. All spoken word, all perfectly listenable through a pair of £20 full-size over the ear headphones. Also, I really do not feel the need to impress people by showing off the things I have purchased.
 
2013-01-17 02:32:09 AM  
These are the ones I use:
i50.tinypic.com
Very nice sound quality. Used them for years without knowing that they were basically the best headphones money could buy when they were released. They belong to my dad. He got them from my uncle, who bought them for $300 in Japan on a tour of duty while he was in the Air Force in the 1970s. I've been a lot more careful with them since learning their true nature.
 
2013-01-17 02:37:03 AM  
Beats are designed to be great headphones for hip-hop music, and they are. For hip-hop. I'm not really a fan of any type of headphones with only a certain type of mixing in mind, so I don't think motorheadphones are really going to be much better unless you are only listening to rock/metal. Got a pair of V-moda crossfades. Good purchase.

Also audio compression has been around for a long time, to think you listened to uncompressed music "back in the day" is just foolish. For a good sounding record, you need a certain amount of compression.

Which isn't to say people don't overuse compression these days. They do.
 
2013-01-17 02:46:49 AM  

Luminiferous Aether: Lsherm: Luminiferous Aether: For those of you that have headphones that can truly benefit from it, I highly suggest getting an amplifier.

The hippy that writes for CNET's audio column is always going on about headphone amplifiers.  Of course, he's also always going on about turntables, too.  He gives the distinct impression that if reel to reel tapes were still manufactured, he'd review those, too.  He repeatedly uses words like: warmth, lively, responsive, subtle, lows, highs, and natural.

I smoke a lot of weed and try to recycle when I can, but I'd hardly call myself a hippy. Not that I'm saying you were calling me a hippy though. I'd love a turntable setup if I had the space for one, but the words said hippy uses are very frequent when talking about/reviewing any audio components.

Point is, I know I don't have the greatest or fanciest amp/DAC combo, but those pieces of equipment allowed my cans to truly open up. So what I'm saying is that anyone with high-impedance, high-quality cans that are currently just jacking straight off of their motherboard soundcard can really upgrade by getting a decent USB amp/DAC combo. Of course, this may end up costing as much or more than the cans you paid for in the first place, but if you paid that much for cans you can't adequately drive or enjoy, you were wasting your money to begin with. Waste a little more, and truly wake your music up!


I wasn't calling you a hippy, I was calling the CNET audiophile auther a hippy, and noting that he reviews headphone amplifiers.  But he's really not even a hippy (hippie) because he isn't old enough.

I'm Ron Swanson's age, with a Ron Swanson mindset.  I swear they have an old guy in the writing room.
 
2013-01-17 02:48:18 AM  

rocky_howard: These will blow the hell out of any of the Dre abortions, but more power to him for finding fools to get richer:
(click on the image for more details)


Got those a couple of months ago and am a very happy camper.
 
2013-01-17 02:51:37 AM  
Etymotic Research ER-4 for me. Best earbuds EVER!
 
2013-01-17 02:55:43 AM  
I like Beats, I won a pair from HP and they sold for a pretty penny.

Oh, sorry for the confusion, I didn't say I like USING Beats.
 
2013-01-17 02:59:18 AM  
I had to stop at, "Beats have been praised for their sound." By who? I have yet to hear anyone who knows what they're talking about call them anything other than overpriced garbage.
 
2013-01-17 03:15:41 AM  

Jizz Master Zero: I had to stop at, "Beats have been praised for their sound." By who? I have yet to hear anyone who knows what they're talking about call them anything other than overpriced garbage.


Silly people. You're not buying them for the sound, you're paying for that logo printed on the side.
 
2013-01-17 03:17:28 AM  
Tried over a hundred sets before getting my gf her new ones.. best without spending 400 bucks+were a full cover set of sennheiser skullcandy. even though that sounds farking embarrassing but you have to believe your ears. They were a lot better than the sennheiser branded ones for the same price. Next best up were also sennheiser.

And yes, listening to compressed mp3s through decent heaphones is enormously better than through crap. not as good as listening to a really good recording no, but so what?
 
2013-01-17 03:18:05 AM  

Gordon Bennett: "If you're wearing a pair of Beats, it says, "I am very stupid with money says Gordon Bennett.

Mind you, I may not be the right one to speak. Most of what I listen to are comedies from Radio 4 and the occasional podcast. All spoken word, all perfectly listenable through a pair of £20 full-size over the ear headphones. Also, I really do not feel the need to impress people by showing off the things I have purchased.


I feel the same way when I see someone out in public wearing a full sized set of over the ear headphones. I would think that would be a pain in the ass because it's not like you can keep them in your pocket.
However, I can justify buying cans that list for over $500, because I need them to judge microphones and the like, that cost more than my car.
I repair/buy/sell high end audio gear on the side, so I consider them as tools and the only time they leave my house, is when I need them at work.
Besides, I don't think something like an iPod would power them at any more than whisper volume.
 
2013-01-17 03:41:07 AM  
If you need the best, you can afford to do a little research.

If you want to look like you did a little research, remain on the couch.
 
2013-01-17 03:43:57 AM  
I helped a friend move recently and after eating much pizza and soda, was told I could pick anything out of a pile of random electronics as a thank-you. I appreciated the gesture, and grabbed a pair of headphones which turned out to be Skullcandy Skullcrushers (I picked them because I liked the way they looked and I needed some gaming headphones). I like them just fine for gaming, but where music is concerned they're definitely a considerable upgrade over the earbuds that comes with the iPhone.

/retail for $70, but paying $300? Nope.
 
2013-01-17 03:51:58 AM  
What is "marketing?"

"Obvious Answers" for $500 Alex.
 
2013-01-17 04:03:35 AM  

meatofmystery: Beyerdynamic + USB sound card= still less than the cost of sh*t Beats cans


Oh hell yes! DT770 Pros
 
2013-01-17 04:19:42 AM  
Black people spend all of their welfare money on overpriced trends? Shocking.
 
2013-01-17 04:21:12 AM  
Sometimes products that seem to compete with others do not.

The purpose of an Apple Macbook Air is not to be more creative, or to be more efficient. You can spend half the money and get a Dell/HP/Lenovo that does the same job. It is so that you can sit in Starbucks showing how much disposable income you have.

Likewise, the Beats by Dr Dre are not just about headphones. If they were, they'd be black and have a piece of wire. They are funky looking as a piece of fashion, to show off that you're one of the rich hip kids. If anyone's in doubt, read how hi-fi magazines rate them. You can get a pair of $50 Sennheisers that score as highly.
 
2013-01-17 04:21:40 AM  
Someone help me out here. I read this comment.

LesMorpions
4 hours ago
Actually, anyone walking around wearing big headphones on the street or in social gatherings looks like a complete moron. The only people who think it carries a message are other morons. It's how morons communicate with each other. Through fashion.


I got a set of those Dre Beats headphones free. To be honest I don't notice any difference with them. Does this mean as I walk around with them people are looking and saying, "what a moran, he must have spent loadsamoney on them, idiot"? I don't like that. However is it just nerdy audiophiles with no friends who'd say that, because all the cool kids have bought into the marketing hype and fashion trends? So the cool kids are saying "wow, he's got £300 headphones, I should probably mug him"? I prefer the latter. It's all about looking cooool.
 
2013-01-17 04:42:28 AM  

fusillade762: FlashHarry: it's sad; there's an entire generation that has never heard an uncompressed piece of music.

Kids don't go to live concerts anymore?


GAT_00: I can't stand earbuds,

Seconded. I don't see how people can use them.


Well, take my situation. I have a moderate to severe hearing loss. 65* Db bilateral, from a fever when I was 2 and a half. Also I'm a pretty heavy cyclist who listens to music when he rides. This is actually legal if you use just one ear-bud (or headphone) at a time, just like driving. But I use two, because I can't hear the traffic anyways. I simply can't use cans (headphones) and wear a helmet at the same time, so when I ride I have to use ear buds. That much makes sense, right?
Now, that hearing loss thing... I've tried cheaper ear-buds, but even the $30-40 SOny ear buds don't do so great when I turn the music up very loud, which I have to do with some albums or songs because of the way it was mixed/mastered; not to mention that I have to turn things up much louder than most people just to hear it at all. So I've been using a $90 pair of Bose ear buds, specifically the IE2 because the shape of teh ear bud funnels the music right into my ears"
www.bose.com
Over the years I've discovered that if I don't have ear buds that are approximately that exact shape, I can't hear anything (music wise) over about 30-35 mph. Hell, I even lose a bit at 20 mph with normal ear buds, and that's my average speed commuting.

Anyways, I hope I've given you some insight as to why some people would use ear-buds. FWIW, I use my Cans when I'm actually at work.

\* These numbers mean that if I was 1 foot away from a speaker, and you were about 33 feet away we would be hearing the same thing, assuming I'm un-aided. Sucks, huh?
\\Because the volume of the sound is proportional to the square of the distance.
 
2013-01-17 04:44:32 AM  
In case you are wondering, you can't use hearing aids and ride a bike. You know that sound a speaker makes when you blow onto a microphone? It's like that, but a hundred times worse since the speaker is mm away from my ear drum.
 
2013-01-17 04:51:56 AM  
There are two completely different types of compression that are being referred to seemingly interchangeably in this thread. Let's just clear up a couple things here: the first occurrence of the word compression comes in the thread name. The compression being referred to here and in a number of the comments in the thread is data compression. This type of compression, used to squeeze a digital signal into a smaller number of bytes, was highly necessary in the early days of digital audio and -- among many other things -- allowed Apple to claim that you could put 1,000 songs in your pocket. They failed to mention that these thousand songs would sound vaguely like oatmeal.

These sorts of data compression algorithms were invented by some very clever people and are based on some fairly accurate psychacoustic masking models, so they are a little amazing in how much they can reduce a song's file size without massively impacting the signal quality... but wow the algorithms can do a real number on fidelity if pushed too hard (which they almost always are). This sort of compression also seems somewhat less necessary these days when portable music players could easily store >1,000 digitally uncompressed songs.


But there's an entirely different sort of compression that's being discussed elsewhere in the comments, namely dynamic range compression. This type of compression reduces the amplitude of the highest level signals and brings up the lowest level signals. It's necessary for LPs because of their inherent lack of a large dynamic range (the difference in the lowest level and highest level signals the record can reproduce). That said, a bit of compression can actually be very musical sounding.

Overuse of dynamic range compression, on the other hand, squashes the sound in a very unpleasant way, resulting in music that lacks dynamics.This makes the music simultaneously unexciting and very fatiguing to listen to. In a terrible turn of events, it also allows mixers and mastering engineers to effectively increase the "loudness" of a piece of music, which is something the marketers and producers really liked: 'Hey kid!.. make this record louder than everything else out there" ... and here we entered an awful arms race that has yet to end.

This tldrscreed needs to end now, so I'll end with a plea to the record industry: leave the music digitally uncompressed and preserve its natural dynamics... and to the listeners: get some decent headphones (good god not a pair of "Beats") and reach for the damn volume knob if you want your music louder.
 
2013-01-17 04:52:00 AM  
As an audiophile, I really hate the Beats craze. They're not awful, but they're WAY overpriced for how good they are. For $300 you have the option of some amazing headphones. The Denon AH-D2000 I have next to me right now I got for $225, and they blow Beats out of the water, as do my $100 Grados and Shure in-ears.

Oh wait...but Beats are stylish and trendy. Guess that's all that matters.
 
2013-01-17 04:53:47 AM  

Uchiha_Cycliste: In case you are wondering, you can't use hearing aids and ride a bike. You know that sound a speaker makes when you blow onto a microphone? It's like that, but a hundred times worse since the speaker is mm away from my ear drum.


Dayum. Thank you for sharing that, really. That never even crossed my mind.
I know that to be true, because when micing an outdoor concert, even a mild breeze across the mics sounds like thunder.
I carry a lot of thin sponge rubber, and tape for just that reason.
 
2013-01-17 04:58:40 AM  
Oh, and just to contribute some more headphone pron:

www.productwiki.com
media.headphone.com
media.headphone.com
media.headphone.com
 
2013-01-17 05:02:17 AM  

TommyymmoT: Uchiha_Cycliste: In case you are wondering, you can't use hearing aids and ride a bike. You know that sound a speaker makes when you blow onto a microphone? It's like that, but a hundred times worse since the speaker is mm away from my ear drum.

Dayum. Thank you for sharing that, really. That never even crossed my mind.
I know that to be true, because when micing an outdoor concert, even a mild breeze across the mics sounds like thunder.
I carry a lot of thin sponge rubber, and tape for just that reason.


You are welcome. In addition, I think it's a common misconception that hearing aids are to hearing loss what glasses are to poor vision and it's quite wrong. The environments in which you can use the aids are really quite limited, especially when you consider that if they get wet they break too. Any wind makes them useless, any water is dangerous. In a loud or crowded room, like a restaurant they pick up whatever is loudest, not what you want to hear. And to top it all off, because they can only amplify a discreet number of frequencies and sound (especially music)is a continuous spectrum, you are not really hearing what is there; and music always sounds like ass with them in. Gotta take em out and turn up the volume. And I have REALLY nice hearing aids too, >$3000 each. (most insurance doesn't help at all, but that's changing as the Boomers need aids) The batteries are hella expensive $15/8 batteries. And I go through 1-2 batteries per week, per ear. With minimal usage. I only put them on when talking with coworkers. Maybe 5% of my work day; unless I have a meeting. Top it all off, it scares the hell out of me to ride my bike with them, just because/in case. So I generally leave them at work where I know I will need them. And am usually unaided at home.

The whole situation sucks, but it's sure better than not hearing. .
 
2013-01-17 05:51:12 AM  
Sony MDR-V6. That is all.
 
2013-01-17 06:12:36 AM  
I find it funny that full sized headphones are back in fashion. I stopped carrying them years ago because they were too much hassle (taking up space in my backpack, completely useless while jogging). None of that has changed, but a lot of people now carry them. Another fashion accessory I can do without.

/More than £15 for headphones? Outrageous!
 
2013-01-17 06:53:18 AM  

hamfast gamgee: I find it funny that full sized headphones are back in fashion. I stopped carrying them years ago because they were too much hassle (taking up space in my backpack, completely useless while jogging). None of that has changed, but a lot of people now carry them. Another fashion accessory I can do without.

/More than £15 for headphones? Outrageous!


They are a pain and they do take up quite a lot of room in my bag, but for me it's worth it as I can't abide the feeling of earbuds or any other in-ear headphones. The smaller ones that only cover part of the ear let in too much noise from outside and are also slightly uncomfortable. So, full-size it is.

That, and having very obvious large headphones on is quite useful for giving out the message that I want to be left alone.
 
2013-01-17 07:09:02 AM  

Gordon Bennett: hamfast gamgee: I find it funny that full sized headphones are back in fashion. I stopped carrying them years ago because they were too much hassle (taking up space in my backpack, completely useless while jogging). None of that has changed, but a lot of people now carry them. Another fashion accessory I can do without.

/More than £15 for headphones? Outrageous!

They are a pain and they do take up quite a lot of room in my bag, but for me it's worth it as I can't abide the feeling of earbuds or any other in-ear headphones. The smaller ones that only cover part of the ear let in too much noise from outside and are also slightly uncomfortable. So, full-size it is.

That, and having very obvious large headphones on is quite useful for giving out the message that I want to be left alone.


My problem is that I'm hooked on the sound of open-ear headphones (I even modded my Denons to make them open). Open ears are obviously bad for anything public, so I'm stuck using earbuds for any kind of public use.
 
2013-01-17 07:13:44 AM  
Love my $80 Sony active noise cancelling earbuds. Very compact, excellent battery life, sound quality is pretty good, and the active noise cancelling is a great bonus as it effectively cuts out jet noise or ventilation noise. It was great on deployment as it cuts out most of the ambient noise on the ship, which is lways has some constant background noise. Not so good on transient sounds, though.
 
2013-01-17 07:38:57 AM  
I can't hear you 'cause I've got these on.

images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com

They might not be the most comfortable, but put them on and all you'll hear is your music (or just your heartbeat if you're not playing anything).
 
2013-01-17 07:58:51 AM  
Meh.

How I listen to music:

farm4.static.flickr.com

With a SACD player and in surround sound.
 
2013-01-17 08:04:12 AM  
My 12 year old step-daughter wanted a pair of Beats by Dre headpones for Christmas, we bought her a $20 knockoff with some girly decorations on the side and she was thrilled. She shows them off to all of her friends, none of which can tell the difference anyway. It's funny to hear them talk about how much better everything sounds through them though.

Everybody is happy and we saved $280.
 
2013-01-17 08:10:21 AM  

Seth'n'Spectrum: I'm an audiophile noob, but I can tell when an audio file is compressed comparing it to a .flac (end result of parents taking you to the symphony every month as a kid).
I got my first pair of non-default headphones last winter, Shure SE115s, for about $60. I'd like to get another pair; does anyone have suggestions for earbuds in a similar price range?

Got a Zune back when iPods didn't do lossless. For some reason, my uncompressed files still sound better played back on my computer with the same earbuds. Is the reason the hardware, or some physical thing (walking/standing/sitting)?


The playback hardware will make a huge difference due to the chipset used, as the way the file is uncompressed might be standard, but the sub-processing on how the file is played makes a huge impact on sound quality.

Most computers have either Creative labs (Sound Blaster), VIA, VGA, Gigabyte, etc. and depending on the quality of the board (if it's built-in) as opposed to a add-in card can also make a difference in reference to multi-channel, high-definition, or surround sound capabilities.

The same applies to portable players, for example: iPods/ Iphones are very mediocre at best, while the Creative Labs Zen or Sony (and other brands) have a much higher end sound quality. (Zune: Audio Chip Wolfram WM8978)

Testing several headphones with multiple players, the difference was huge, as in some headphones would sound bland or too high or too much bass on one player and then sound great on another.

So getting the best sound is NOT going to be about one particular headset, but more about finding the best headset for the particular player (or computer card) that you have.

If I compare my several devices to my phone (Palm Pre2) and tablet (HP Touchpad which has a very high end audio chipset, the Wolfson WN8958 with full high quality sound and full 3D sound capacity, which makes it one of the best sounding tablets out there, if not the best.), the difference is outstanding, via bluetooth, the sound quality from an older device sound like AM radio.

I have the older Zen VIsion M, which was (and still is) considered one of the best MP3 players ever made, and again, the difference between it and many other players is huge.

And if I plug in to my computer with a fairly high end Sound blaster chipset using my Sennheiser, the sound is quite amazing, but again, I need to use decent headphones that work well with the output. This doesn`t mean expensive, just quality which you should easily find in a 40-100$ range set.

There is a huge difference between an under 20$ headset and a (up to) 100$ (on average) one, but beyond that, it really becomes hazardous terrain to judge as I've yet to find a >100$ headset that I can say it worth it, or that they do generate a worthwhile improvement.
 
2013-01-17 08:10:50 AM  

Lsherm: Luminiferous Aether: For those of you that have headphones that can truly benefit from it, I highly suggest getting an amplifier.

The hippy that writes for CNET's audio column is always going on about headphone amplifiers.  Of course, he's also always going on about turntables, too.  He gives the distinct impression that if reel to reel tapes were still manufactured, he'd review those, too.  He repeatedly uses words like: warmth, lively, responsive, subtle, lows, highs, and natural.


Fresh, NOS reel to reel tape IS still being manufactured. In fact, it out performs the old tape. Reel to reel beat sthe hell out of ANYTHING. It can even make mp3's sound slightly better. My 1960's Voice of Music record changer beats mp3 sound quality. It's always "what the hell just happened?" when going from digital to turntable. The turntable sounds so much more open and extended.

And yes there is something called extended range. Movie soundtracks have it once you get rid of the Home Theater in a Box and get a higher quality system. It's the sense of being in the room with the orchestra.

I'm not talking spending hundreds of thousands of dollars either. My home system uses a used Harmon Kardon AVR 250 Home Theater receiver/preamp, RCA tube theater amps from the 1960's, and Cerwin Vega e715 speakers, not audiophile by any stretch of the imagination, but I like the way they sound and the frequency response is good. I spent about 2,000 all together.

Mastering on new music is non existent. At least half of it overloaded. My roomie's kid (currently 11 years old) sometimes listens to 80's music, I'll occasionally play the 45 of the same song she's listening to, and she prefers the vinyl copy every time.
 
2013-01-17 08:26:50 AM  

Abulafia: There are two completely different types of compression that are being referred to seemingly interchangeably in this thread. Let's just clear up a couple things here: the first occurrence of the word compression comes in the thread name. The compression being referred to here and in a number of the comments in the thread is data compression. This type of compression, used to squeeze a digital signal into a smaller number of bytes, was highly necessary in the early days of digital audio and -- among many other things -- allowed Apple to claim that you could put 1,000 songs in your pocket. They failed to mention that these thousand songs would sound vaguely like oatmeal.

These sorts of data compression algorithms were invented by some very clever people and are based on some fairly accurate psychacoustic masking models, so they are a little amazing in how much they can reduce a song's file size without massively impacting the signal quality... but wow the algorithms can do a real number on fidelity if pushed too hard (which they almost always are). This sort of compression also seems somewhat less necessary these days when portable music players could easily store >1,000 digitally uncompressed songs.


But there's an entirely different sort of compression that's being discussed elsewhere in the comments, namely dynamic range compression. This type of compression reduces the amplitude of the highest level signals and brings up the lowest level signals. It's necessary for LPs because of their inherent lack of a large dynamic range (the difference in the lowest level and highest level signals the record can reproduce). That said, a bit of compression can actually be very musical sounding.

Overuse of dynamic range compression, on the other hand, squashes the sound in a very unpleasant way, resulting in music that lacks dynamics.This makes the music simultaneously unexciting and very fatiguing to listen to. In a terrible turn of events, it also allows mixers and mast ...



No, the frequency response on vinyl is limited to the cartridge. The RIAA curve was to correct the lower bass frequencies because it can cause the needle to jump from the groove.

If you want an example of how bad digital can sound take of a copy of Train's Drop of Jupiter. This song is available as a 45. On my analog copy (I use a Shure V15 III cart with a tube preamp, nothing special, a Stromberg Carlson stereo 14 watt tube amp from the 60's) the cymbals at the toward the end of the song are so clear, you can hear the separate hits. MP3? the cymbals are static in the background.

I haven't heard the improved version of this yet, but on Dire Strait's Money for Nothing, there's an ENTIRE layer of sound effects missing from the digital version, than even my console level 1960's Airline Voice of Music changer picks up.
 
2013-01-17 08:34:02 AM  
Recently bought some headphones and did a fair bit of research in my chosen price bracket. Reviews suggested Beats are double the price of equivalent headphones by established manufacturers.

I can also report that a decent set of phones do make a difference with music sourced from MP3s. I doubt most people could tell the difference between a CD and a high quality (320) MP3 file.
 
2013-01-17 08:34:32 AM  
Hint: Everything is compressed in some way. Live shows even more so, unless you are talking about an acoustic act in a coffee house. In a live event you're lucky if you've got 40dB of dynamic range available.

Even the audio going to your precious vinyl was compressed at some point in the chain, often in the mastering. You'll get over it.
 
2013-01-17 08:37:21 AM  

cannotsuggestaname: I have listened to music through some Beats headphones... and I'll take my Sennheiser 598's, for $100 less, any day of the week.


YES.
 
2013-01-17 08:46:55 AM  

FlashHarry: it's sad; there's an entire generation that has never heard an uncompressed piece of music.


Actually, sometimes a little bit of compression can be useful - especially with a classical recording that has a few extreme peaks in an otherwise relatively quiet piece. Getting that to play at proper listening level would otherwise require a truly heroic sound system.

This is a good case for parallel compression, which mixes in a compressed signal at a lower level against the uncompressed signal. The result sounds like moving a few rows up in the concert hall, without killing the dynamic range. It's pretty fiddly, though, and easier to work with in post-processing (though it can be done on-the-fly with analog compressors).

Unfortunately, in pop music it has become standard practice to utterly crush any dynamic range and even intentionally boost the music into clipping, just to make the recording louder than everyone else's. Unfortunately, the result sounds like crap, and listening to it is tiring.

Back to the thread subject, I consider the phrase "Beats Audio" to be an "avoid this product" warning. It's a classic example of celebrity marketing. I'll give Dr. Dre partial credit for ditching the Monster Cable folks (Monster Cable is a separate rant), but that's about all.

/recording hobbyist
 
2013-01-17 08:55:00 AM  
I have a set of iFrogz earbuds.  Crappy, I'm sure, but I like them.  But then again, while I wouldn't say I have
a tin ear, my ears are definitely not at all sensitive.

But, I rarely use them.  I do most of my listening in my car (the DC commute is good for something), and
ever since I got my iPod Touch, I've been using a short-range FM transmitter to go though my car stereo.
Currently, I'm using an old iTrip (yard sale find for 25 cents), and it works very well, though it took a lot of
finagling to find an FM frequency that would work reliably and its still subject to odd interference.

And on the occasions that I do listen at home, I have a couple of iPod docks that sound just fine.

/Mostly listens to podcasts anyway, so good sound reproduction is not a concern for me
//Sony headphones are the best.
 
2013-01-17 08:55:08 AM  

Artcurus: No, the frequency response on vinyl is limited to the cartridge. The RIAA curve was to correct the lower bass frequencies because it can cause the needle to jump from the groove.


I don't want to start an argument here, but frequency response and dynamic range are two very different and totally independent things. The first is related to the reproducible range of frequencies and the second to the reproducible range of levels. Regardless of any possible differences in frequency response, a vinyl record has a lower dynamic range than a cd, period (typically by at least 50 dB). Mind you, I vastly prefer records! Give me groove hiss over nasty digital artifacts any day.

But this is beside the point, really. The point I was trying to make was that people in this thread were using the word "compression" to refer to two completely different things. It annoyed me a little. I tried to clear it up and probably only won +1 points for pedantry... We all lose today.
 
2013-01-17 08:56:01 AM  

Fubegra: FlashHarry: it's sad; there's an entire generation that has never heard an uncompressed piece of music.

Actually, sometimes a little bit of compression can be useful - especially with a classical recording that has a few extreme peaks in an otherwise relatively quiet piece. Getting that to play at proper listening level would otherwise require a truly heroic sound system.

This is a good case for parallel compression, which mixes in a compressed signal at a lower level against the uncompressed signal. The result sounds like moving a few rows up in the concert hall, without killing the dynamic range. It's pretty fiddly, though, and easier to work with in post-processing (though it can be done on-the-fly with analog compressors).

Unfortunately, in pop music it has become standard practice to utterly crush any dynamic range and even intentionally boost the music into clipping, just to make the recording louder than everyone else's. Unfortunately, the result sounds like crap, and listening to it is tiring.



I used to rally against compression more than I do now. There nothing wrong with a little bit. Listening to classical recordings in the car actually makes me wish for a little more compression.
 
2013-01-17 09:23:47 AM  

Coco LaFemme: I don't care if I'm listening to .mp3s, .wavs, .flacs, cassettes, or vinyl.....I'm not paying $300 for headphones.  I don't see how anyone could blow that kind of money on such a frivolous product.


Once you realize you are never going to own a home and will never be able to retire. it's an easy choice.
 
2013-01-17 09:26:48 AM  

meatofmystery: Beyerdynamic + USB sound card= still less than the cost of sh*t Beats cans


Dingdingdingdingding! We have a winner! My go-to cans are the DT 770 Pro/80, and my second-in-line are Grado SR60. The Beyers are built like tanks - while the velour earpads no longer look new, they're as comfortable as ever, after five years of heavy use.

My usual listening setup involves an E-MU 0404 USB interface; wonderful sound, but it's now discontinued and no release-quality drivers are forthcoming for Windows 7 or later. Needless to say, I won't be buying anything more from Creative. A Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is in my laptop bag (it works with Win7).

A good clue that a headphone maker actually knows what it's doing is when that company also makes professional microphones. Beyerdynamic, AKG, Shure, Sony, Audio-Technica, and Sennheiser all fit this criterion.

Koss and Grado don't fit this mold, but they're also good brands to consider, and I consider the Grado SR60 (or newer SR60i) to be the best deal in audio.
 
2013-01-17 09:42:18 AM  

Fubegra: meatofmystery: Beyerdynamic + USB sound card= still less than the cost of sh*t Beats cans

Dingdingdingdingding! We have a winner! My go-to cans are the DT 770 Pro/80, and my second-in-line are Grado SR60. The Beyers are built like tanks - while the velour earpads no longer look new, they're as comfortable as ever, after five years of heavy use.

My usual listening setup involves an E-MU 0404 USB interface; wonderful sound, but it's now discontinued and no release-quality drivers are forthcoming for Windows 7 or later. Needless to say, I won't be buying anything more from Creative. A Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is in my laptop bag (it works with Win7).

A good clue that a headphone maker actually knows what it's doing is when that company also makes professional microphones. Beyerdynamic, AKG, Shure, Sony, Audio-Technica, and Sennheiser all fit this criterion.

Koss and Grado don't fit this mold, but they're also good brands to consider, and I consider the Grado SR60 (or newer SR60i) to be the best deal in audio.


The Grado SR80i headphones are only about $20 more and totally worth it.
 
2013-01-17 09:51:58 AM  

FlashHarry: it's sad; there's an entire generation that has never heard an uncompressed piece of music.


? I'm sure they've been to concerts.
 
2013-01-17 10:00:25 AM  

Fubegra: Koss and Grado don't fit this mold, but they're also good brands to consider, and I consider the Grado SR60 (or newer SR60i) to be the best deal in audio.


I was a bit frustrated with Grado- I picked up a set of SR60i's a couple of years ago for practicing guitar (I play at night after the kids are in bed so no amp for me) and while they sound excellent, they developed a nasty buzz on one side when playing low notes- open E was especially bad. It sounded like something was rattling inside of them. I don't play especially loud, so it was a bit baffling.

I sent them back to Grado and they supposedly fixed them, but within a day or two the buzz was back. I didn't feel like spending the money to send them back again, so I'm just using a hand me down pair of Sony MDR-V6s now. Excellent phones- beat all to hell but they work perfectly.
 
2013-01-17 10:00:25 AM  
I'd like to see some cheap earbuds that don't get hard wire.
 
2013-01-17 10:09:06 AM  

vharshyde: Dre is not doing anything new. Skullcandy convinced people of the same dreck, using crappy little drivers in their headphones and selling at a markup. Just like the Monster cables that came before, their priduct actually sucks balls, but they are selling a brand on cognitive dissonance. People will buy them, and rather than admitting they got duped out of three hundred bucks, they will staunchly defend it so that they don't look like an absolute fool for being duped.


Uh, my Skullcandy buds cost $7. I'm sure they sell overpriced BS, but not everyone with Skullz is a rube. Some of us are cheapskates.
 
2013-01-17 10:10:48 AM  

Seth'n'Spectrum: I'm an audiophile noob, but I can tell when an audio file is compressed comparing it to a .flac (end result of parents taking you to the symphony every month as a kid).
I got my first pair of non-default headphones last winter, Shure SE115s, for about $60. I'd like to get another pair; does anyone have suggestions for earbuds in a similar price range?

Got a Zune back when iPods didn't do lossless. For some reason, my uncompressed files still sound better played back on my computer with the same earbuds. Is the reason the hardware, or some physical thing (walking/standing/sitting)?


Somebody linked this site earlier. It's a good place to start your research. For me ear buds are all about finding the most comfortable ones, aka ones I don't notice are in. That ended up as some Klipsch S4 earbuds. Had some bookshelf Klipsch speakers I was always happy with so was happy to spend my money on a familiar brand. I've heard good things about Sennheiser (and many Farkers seem to be fans of their non-earbud headphones) but I have yet to try a pair.
 
2013-01-17 10:38:47 AM  
I've always been rather partial to Beyer cans. I've got a DT 770 Pro pair for editing and mixdown as well as my favorite for Skyping and remote voiceovers:

www.cameratim.com

The Beyer DT 109. I can wear that pair for hours.

I also use a pair of Sony 7506s when I travel or do remote audio 'cause they sound great and fold up pretty well.

lohjinawi.com

As for earbuds, I go Shure.
 
Bf+
2013-01-17 10:46:30 AM  
www.camvis.com
yo.
 
2013-01-17 10:50:03 AM  

Quantum Apostrophe: [ecx.images-amazon.com image 300x300]

He's just taking it back.


Kind of like the indians and casinos.
 
2013-01-17 11:08:44 AM  

dc0012c: I've always been rather partial to Beyer cans. I've got a DT 770 Pro pair for editing and mixdown as well as my favorite for Skyping and remote voiceovers:

[www.cameratim.com image 231x300]

The Beyer DT 109. I can wear that pair for hours.

I also use a pair of Sony 7506s when I travel or do remote audio 'cause they sound great and fold up pretty well.

[lohjinawi.com image 500x500]

As for earbuds, I go Shure.


You no wear glasses.
 
2013-01-17 11:14:45 AM  
I have a pair of Sennheiser 558s that I like a lot. Usually I use them with my stereo or computer, but if I am listening to my mp3 player, I connect through a Travagans 'dog bone' amplifier. The sound is pretty good.

If I'm at the gym, I just wear a pair of $20 Koss headphones. Earbuds just don't stay in place when I run.
 
2013-01-17 12:04:16 PM  
Maybe I wasn't paying close enough attention, but I haven't seen any love for Bowers and Wilkins in this thread. I got a set of their headphones six months back and take them everywhere. They're the best headphones I've ever had for limiting outside noise that weren't noise-cancellers. They're expensive, but I got mine for free. So, you know...
 
2013-01-17 12:17:12 PM  
I'm honestly surprised that hipsters haven't flocked to Koss PortaPros yet: folding headphones with industrial design still the best that 1987 has to offer, but nonetheless the best-sounding audio you can buy for $40 at K-Mart.

But then maybe it's not just looking ridiculous that's important, but the combination of looking ridiculous and paying way too much for the privilege.
 
2013-01-17 12:33:46 PM  
Umm..people were buying the Bose noise canceling headphones like crazy years before BBD.
 
2013-01-17 12:56:15 PM  
FTFA: "If you're wearing a pair of Beats, it says, 'Music's really important in my life,' says Wood. "I've seen people wearing them at parties with hundreds of people, and they've got their Beats around their neck. It's no different than somebody wearing a Run DMC T-shirt and Adidas shoes, or the guy who always wears a Metallica T-shirt."

No, that is NOT the same. People normally wear shirts and shoes as their every day attire. The same cannot be said for a pair of headphones.
 
2013-01-17 01:00:10 PM  
"I've seen people wearing them at parties with hundreds of people, and they've got their Beats around their neck. It's no different than somebody wearing a Run DMC T-shirt and Adidas shoes, or the guy who always wears a Metallica T-shirt."

All of those say you're a douche. You go to douche parties. Stop being a douche.
 
2013-01-17 01:04:30 PM  

cannotsuggestaname: I have listened to music through some Beats headphones... and I'll take my Sennheiser 598's, for $100 less, any day of the week.


This; have a pair of MC5 from Etymotic Reasearch that were only $58. Best I've ever had. The only drawback is the FR, even then, it's the fault of Apple for having such sucky audio on their iPod touch.
 
2013-01-17 01:05:11 PM  
spacebison.com
 
2013-01-17 01:06:32 PM  

Coco LaFemme: I don't care if I'm listening to .mp3s, .wavs, .flacs, cassettes, or vinyl.....I'm not paying $300 for headphones.  I don't see how anyone could blow that kind of money on such a frivolous product.


Unless they have incredible sound quality, balance and durability then...no, you don't.
 
2013-01-17 01:06:52 PM  
Headphones are for closers.
 
2013-01-17 01:10:58 PM  
SkullCandy {greater than} Beats
 
2013-01-17 01:21:44 PM  

thornhill: Meh.

How I listen to music:

[farm4.static.flickr.com image 334x500]

With a SACD player and in surround sound.


That must be a pain in the ass to take on the bus


coolmaterial.com

Not the best sound quality, but they look badass, I got 'em for $20, and the housing is aluminum with a kevlar-wrapped cord.

/You shouldn't be using headphones for anything other than monitoring anyway, if you work in studio production
 
2013-01-17 01:23:37 PM  

poot_rootbeer: I'm honestly surprised that hipsters haven't flocked to Koss PortaPros yet: folding headphones with industrial design still the best that 1987 has to offer, but nonetheless the best-sounding audio you can buy for $40 at K-Mart.

But then maybe it's not just looking ridiculous that's important, but the combination of looking ridiculous and paying way too much for the privilege.


A design that has existed for over 25 years...and still beats the piss out of Dre's monstrosities.
 
2013-01-17 01:35:19 PM  

Brainsick: thornhill: Meh.

How I listen to music:

[farm4.static.flickr.com image 334x500]

With a SACD player and in surround sound.

That must be a pain in the ass to take on the bus


[coolmaterial.com image 570x456]

Not the best sound quality, but they look badass, I got 'em for $20, and the housing is aluminum with a kevlar-wrapped cord.

/You shouldn't be using headphones for anything other than monitoring anyway, if you work in studio production


Headphones are only used for monitoring when there is no way to use speakers. And even when recordings are done outside of the studio, recording producers and engineers will always try to find a room large enough to setup 5 equidistant speakers.

Despite what some headphone fanatics believe, headphones are just about portability or inability to use speakers. Anyone who thinks they're getting "audiophile" sound from headphones is just delusional.
 
2013-01-17 01:49:11 PM  

ScouserDuck: Umm..people were buying the Bose noise canceling headphones like crazy years before BBD.


You can try, but I refuse to associate BBD with anything but Bell Biv Devoe.
 
2013-01-17 01:57:12 PM  
Pfffft...where will i put my Shakti stone?

/if you aren't listening to your vinyl using a moon stone rock needle, it sounds like shiat.
 
2013-01-17 02:08:57 PM  
Mine, that I got for a little over $100. You can argue it's a waste to listen to MP3s on nice headphones if you like, but these sound much, much better than my old ones...and I'm listening to the same MP3s. Worth the money, IMO.

farm9.staticflickr.com
 
2013-01-17 02:35:10 PM  
Right now I'm working on a project at work that involves cranking some of these babies to the 80KHz range.

www.stereophile.com

/Love my job.
 
2013-01-17 02:40:50 PM  
This is how I roll....

a4.ec-images.myspacecdn.com
 
2013-01-17 02:43:07 PM  

BEER_ME_in_CT: FlashHarry: it's sad; there's an entire generation that has never heard an uncompressed piece of music.

Let me guess, on Vinyl? LOL.

Listening to an MP3 on 300 headphones or watching Netflix streaming on your new 60" HDTV. Both are equally pointless.


So I should buy a second TV for streaming Netflix?
 
2013-01-17 02:45:41 PM  

fusillade762: GAT_00: I can't stand earbuds,

Seconded. I don't see how people can use them.


Depends what you're doing.

Better than jogging or working out with big ass headphones on.

/26 minutes
 
2013-01-17 02:52:47 PM  
I'm going to post this info in every music hardware thread until the owner's of Crystal Cables become filthy, stinking rich from the sheer audacity of selling such a thing as these. Absolute Dream Interconnects, Speaker Cables and Power Cords: $15,000.00/meter
 
2013-01-17 02:56:04 PM  
Full custom Ultimate Ears. Made from a mold of your ear canal. Friggin incredible if you can drop a grand on earbuds.  I think they can fit up to 4 drivers in them these days.
ultimateears.logitech.com
 
2013-01-17 02:57:49 PM  
Or until I learn to use apostrophe's, man I don't even...
 
2013-01-17 02:58:59 PM  

Uchiha_Cycliste: So I've been using a $90 pair of Bose ear buds, specifically the IE2 because the shape of teh ear bud funnels the music right into my ears"
www.bose.com


I have the older model of these and I'm quite happy with them as well. I hate can headphones, they're heavy, they're hot, and I specifically (I know I'm the minority here) dislike noise cancelling/isolation. I'd like to be able to hear what I'm doing AND know if someone's trying to talk to me.

Also have one of these:
ecx.images-amazon.com

Sound not as good as the Bose, but the wireless is nice and the form-factor is pretty awesome, with the controls on your collarbone. They're earbuds, but you can do the the same 'wear on neck' thing you do with cans when you're not using them w/o having wires dangling off you. The tips though, uncontoured and can actually push them in too deep if you're an idiot. Does the whole send/receive call thing too, but never really use that.
 
2013-01-17 03:00:18 PM  

fluffy2097: Full custom Ultimate Ears. Made from a mold of your ear canal. Friggin incredible if you can drop a grand on earbuds.  I think they can fit up to 4 drivers in them these days.
[ultimateears.logitech.com image 511x284]


Those are freaking awesome. I've been imagining repurposing a pair of high-quality hearing aids as custom earbuds. The set my ex has was bluetooth compatible, and could be tweaked via bluetooth and proprietary PC software.
 
2013-01-17 03:11:20 PM  

Holographic Shimmering Pork: Those are freaking awesome. I've been imagining repurposing a pair of high-quality hearing aids as custom earbuds. The set my ex has was bluetooth compatible, and could be tweaked via bluetooth and proprietary PC software.


If you watch TV or live music, you will see that all the performers today have earbuds.

They are ALL made by Ultimate Ears. All of them.

As an added bonus to sounding more incredible then any earbud has a right to, they provide something like -15 to -25 db noise reduction just from having a good fit in your ear. They are like earplugs that include audiophile quality speakers inside.
 
2013-01-17 03:12:12 PM  
This is why I love FARK.
When I woke up today, I had no idea I'd be balls deep in a headphone porn thread.
 
2013-01-17 03:12:14 PM  

stappawho:
Better than jogging or working out with big ass headphones on.

/26 minutes


You're wearing them wrong.
/my hobby...putting hyphens in the wrong place
 
2013-01-17 03:13:41 PM  

ProfessorOhki: Uchiha_Cycliste: So I've been using a $90 pair of Bose ear buds, specifically the IE2 because the shape of teh ear bud funnels the music right into my ears"
www.bose.com

I have the older model of these and I'm quite happy with them as well. I hate can headphones, they're heavy, they're hot, and I specifically (I know I'm the minority here) dislike noise cancelling/isolation. I'd like to be able to hear what I'm doing AND know if someone's trying to talk to me.

Also have one of these:
[ecx.images-amazon.com image 300x300]

Sound not as good as the Bose, but the wireless is nice and the form-factor is pretty awesome, with the controls on your collarbone. They're earbuds, but you can do the the same 'wear on neck' thing you do with cans when you're not using them w/o having wires dangling off you. The tips though, uncontoured and can actually push them in too deep if you're an idiot. Does the whole send/receive call thing too, but never really use that.


Those sound great for in the office, but I'd be worried about the electronics in the rain and drenched with sweat, especially day after day after day. My trick for the wires is to run the wires behind me under my jersey and then have it pop out the back and into my right side jersey pocket. Been working for me for years.
 
2013-01-17 03:15:14 PM  

MorePeasPlease: This is why I love FARK.
When I woke up today, I had no idea I'd be balls deep in a headphone porn thread.


I think you might be wearing them wrong...
 
2013-01-17 03:16:39 PM  

fluffy2097: Full custom Ultimate Ears. Made from a mold of your ear canal. Friggin incredible if you can drop a grand on earbuds.  I think they can fit up to 4 drivers in them these days.
[ultimateears.logitech.com image 511x284]


Are the molds a soft plastic or a hard plastic. Hard plastic form fitted for in-the-canal hearing aids really start to suck after a few hours. They get sweaty, waxy, uncomfortable and just plain hurt after a while. A soft plastic I can imagine being more tolerable over an appreciable amount of time.
 
2013-01-17 03:17:06 PM  

TruBluTroll: Right now I'm working on a project at work that involves cranking some of these babies to the 80KHz range.

[www.stereophile.com image 200x334]

/Love my job.


I would love to wear those on the subway just to see the response.
 
2013-01-17 03:18:15 PM  

ProfessorOhki: I think you might be wearing them wrong...


Sorry, I can't hear you over the sounnnnnngh-oh-oohhmmmmm...
 
2013-01-17 03:18:55 PM  

Uchiha_Cycliste: ProfessorOhki: Uchiha_Cycliste: So I've been using a $90 pair of Bose ear buds, specifically the IE2 because the shape of teh ear bud funnels the music right into my ears"
www.bose.com

I have the older model of these and I'm quite happy with them as well. I hate can headphones, they're heavy, they're hot, and I specifically (I know I'm the minority here) dislike noise cancelling/isolation. I'd like to be able to hear what I'm doing AND know if someone's trying to talk to me.

Also have one of these:
[ecx.images-amazon.com image 300x300]

Sound not as good as the Bose, but the wireless is nice and the form-factor is pretty awesome, with the controls on your collarbone. They're earbuds, but you can do the the same 'wear on neck' thing you do with cans when you're not using them w/o having wires dangling off you. The tips though, uncontoured and can actually push them in too deep if you're an idiot. Does the whole send/receive call thing too, but never really use that.

Those sound great for in the office, but I'd be worried about the electronics in the rain and drenched with sweat, especially day after day after day. My trick for the wires is to run the wires behind me under my jersey and then have it pop out the back and into my right side jersey pocket. Been working for me for years.


They'd be total ass for anything more than walking or biking. The collar thing get's real old real fast if you're doing anything with up and down motion involved. It's pretty light so it just bounces continuously.
 
2013-01-17 03:24:43 PM  

TruBluTroll: Right now I'm working on a project at work that involves cranking some of these babies to the 80KHz range.

[www.stereophile.com image 200x334]

/Love my job.


80KHZ? Are you composing music that only dogs can hear?
 
2013-01-17 03:26:55 PM  

ProfessorOhki: Uchiha_Cycliste: ProfessorOhki: Uchiha_Cycliste: So I've been using a $90 pair of Bose ear buds, specifically the IE2 because the shape of teh ear bud funnels the music right into my ears"
www.bose.com

I have the older model of these and I'm quite happy with them as well. I hate can headphones, they're heavy, they're hot, and I specifically (I know I'm the minority here) dislike noise cancelling/isolation. I'd like to be able to hear what I'm doing AND know if someone's trying to talk to me.

Also have one of these:
[ecx.images-amazon.com image 300x300]

Sound not as good as the Bose, but the wireless is nice and the form-factor is pretty awesome, with the controls on your collarbone. They're earbuds, but you can do the the same 'wear on neck' thing you do with cans when you're not using them w/o having wires dangling off you. The tips though, uncontoured and can actually push them in too deep if you're an idiot. Does the whole send/receive call thing too, but never really use that.

Those sound great for in the office, but I'd be worried about the electronics in the rain and drenched with sweat, especially day after day after day. My trick for the wires is to run the wires behind me under my jersey and then have it pop out the back and into my right side jersey pocket. Been working for me for years.

They'd be total ass for anything more than walking or biking. The collar thing get's real old real fast if you're doing anything with up and down motion involved. It's pretty light so it just bounces continuously.


I can see that, thanks for confirming.


Hey! Talk of the Nation is talking about Drew right now. Like, RIGHT now. neat!


anyways... thanks for confirming. Sounds neat for the office though.
 
2013-01-17 03:27:30 PM  

FlashHarry: GAT_00: There's far more damage done by the process of mastering by reducing the range of sound than there could ever be in your choice of compression media.

the best human ears can only hear from 20 hz to 20k. a decent mastering engineer should be able to reproduce this range. but when you listen to a 256kbps MP3, you're losing a lot more of the information than if you listened to the original, even if it were recorded and not live.


Leave a oscillator slightly above 20k and somebody will hear it (probably a young'in. I couldn't hear past 16k at 16 and now wear an onion on my belt), but CDs will go up to 22k (but don't count on it. There was no way to make a modern filter in 1984 and even the ones that went down to 20k were nasty. Mastering all the way out to 22k could easily cause backward compatibility problems with existing CD players).

256k MP3? Uncompressed CDs run 1400kps, FLAC should give about 800kps. If you can hear that tiny difference between 256kMP3 and 800kpsFLAC you need a better encoder (which wouldn't surprise me at all).

If you ask me, a bigger change has been the complete absence of dynamic range. Kakofonous A. Discord would be proud.
 
2013-01-17 03:28:39 PM  

TommyymmoT: TruBluTroll: Right now I'm working on a project at work that involves cranking some of these babies to the 80KHz range.

[www.stereophile.com image 200x334]

/Love my job.

80KHZ? Are you composing music that only dogs can hear?


That or an ultrasonic ear cleaning system.
 
2013-01-17 03:56:44 PM  

Ecliptic: Sony MDR-V6. That is all.


Best Bargain, hands down, good nice flat response.
 
2013-01-17 04:01:57 PM  
thenewamericanconsumer.com


www.mrgadget.com.au

What i'm currently using. Good enough for me.
 
2013-01-17 04:05:20 PM  

stappawho: BEER_ME_in_CT: FlashHarry: it's sad; there's an entire generation that has never heard an uncompressed piece of music.

Let me guess, on Vinyl? LOL.

Listening to an MP3 on 300 headphones or watching Netflix streaming on your new 60" HDTV. Both are equally pointless.

So I should buy a second TV for streaming Netflix?


You can stream Netflix in HD 1080p, you know. I'll still get a BD when I want 7.1 surround, but for general watching, like catching up on "The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret", streaming is just fine.
 
2013-01-17 04:11:58 PM  

FlashHarry: GAT_00: There's far more damage done by the process of mastering by reducing the range of sound than there could ever be in your choice of compression media.

the best human ears can only hear from 20 hz to 20k. a decent mastering engineer should be able to reproduce this range. but when you listen to a 256kbps MP3, you're losing a lot more of the information than if you listened to the original, even if it were recorded and not live.


In this case, the range of human hearing is not relevant. Super Audio CD actually sounded better than regular CD's for one big reason: those overtones, the sounds up to 96k, have an effect on those tones from 20-20k. The sounds you can't hear affect the sounds you can hear. This is the biggest reason why live music always sounds best.
 
2013-01-17 04:13:35 PM  
Never understood the hi-fi movement because whenever I'm listening to music, it's during another activity

driving..
working...
studying...
exercising...

so even though I love listening to music I rarely give it enough of my attention to warrant higher quality. 256 Kbps is perfectly adequate for me, and headphones I pretty much only use at work and even then, only in one ear so I can hear the phone, questions, etc.

to summarize, I have absolutely zero need for expensive headphones or speakers of any kind.
 
2013-01-17 04:16:17 PM  

Cream of Meat: [thenewamericanconsumer.com image 500x554]


[www.mrgadget.com.au image 308x308]

What i'm currently using. Good enough for me.


I've tried those, and they're quite good, especially at that price.
Though I really wouldn't call it compromising, because the sound really nice.
I was looking at some Grado PS100s, but they were way out of my price range at $1800.
 
2013-01-17 04:22:05 PM  

Hella Fark: Never understood the hi-fi movement because whenever I'm listening to music, it's during another activity

driving..
working...
studying...
exercising...

so even though I love listening to music I rarely give it enough of my attention to warrant higher quality. 256 Kbps is perfectly adequate for me, and headphones I pretty much only use at work and even then, only in one ear so I can hear the phone, questions, etc.

to summarize, I have absolutely zero need for expensive headphones or speakers of any kind.


It's sort of like wine appreciation. Some people embrace all the little nuances of a fine wine, and are willing to pay the price, and some people add club soda, and fruit.
When it comes to audio, you fall in the latter category, especially if you're listening with only one ear.
 
2013-01-17 04:23:41 PM  
JVC HAS160, best $10 earphones money can buy.
img525.imageshack.us
the ones I have are green, but this is the first image I found
 
2013-01-17 04:45:49 PM  
www.headphones.com
Audio Technica ATH-A700. Not the most technically exact, but great all rounders, good separation and exceedingly comfortable.
 
2013-01-17 05:13:42 PM  

ProfessorOhki: TommyymmoT: TruBluTroll: Right now I'm working on a project at work that involves cranking some of these babies to the 80KHz range.

[www.stereophile.com image 200x334]

/Love my job.

80KHZ? Are you composing music that only dogs can hear?

That or an ultrasonic ear cleaning system.


Audiophiles insist they can hear things normal people can't even though a human's high-frequency hearing ability starts to decline after age 20.  If you know someone 50+ who is spending thousands of dollars on audio equipment, then you know an idiot, because they are physically incapable of telling the difference between high and low end anymore.
 
2013-01-17 05:44:51 PM  

Abulafia: There are two completely different types of compression that are being referred to seemingly interchangeably in this thread. Let's just clear up a couple things here: the first occurrence of the word compression comes in the thread name. The compression being referred to here and in a number of the comments in the thread is data compression. This type of compression, used to squeeze a digital signal into a smaller number of bytes, was highly necessary in the early days of digital audio and -- among many other things -- allowed Apple to claim that you could put 1,000 songs in your pocket. They failed to mention that these thousand songs would sound vaguely like oatmeal.

These sorts of data compression algorithms were invented by some very clever people and are based on some fairly accurate psychacoustic masking models, so they are a little amazing in how much they can reduce a song's file size without massively impacting the signal quality... but wow the algorithms can do a real number on fidelity if pushed too hard (which they almost always are). This sort of compression also seems somewhat less necessary these days when portable music players could easily store >1,000 digitally uncompressed songs.


But there's an entirely different sort of compression that's being discussed elsewhere in the comments, namely dynamic range compression. This type of compression reduces the amplitude of the highest level signals and brings up the lowest level signals. It's necessary for LPs because of their inherent lack of a large dynamic range (the difference in the lowest level and highest level signals the record can reproduce). That said, a bit of compression can actually be very musical sounding.

Overuse of dynamic range compression, on the other hand, squashes the sound in a very unpleasant way, resulting in music that lacks dynamics.This makes the music simultaneously unexciting and very fatiguing to listen to. In a terrible turn of events, it also allows mixers and mast ...


Preach it!
 
2013-01-17 05:46:23 PM  

Lsherm: ProfessorOhki: TommyymmoT: TruBluTroll: Right now I'm working on a project at work that involves cranking some of these babies to the 80KHz range.

[www.stereophile.com image 200x334]

/Love my job.

80KHZ? Are you composing music that only dogs can hear?

That or an ultrasonic ear cleaning system.

Audiophiles insist they can hear things normal people can't even though a human's high-frequency hearing ability starts to decline after age 20.  If you know someone 50+ who is spending thousands of dollars on audio equipment, then you know an idiot, because they are physically incapable of telling the difference between high and low end anymore.


Oh, I get that, but that's in the range where you never were able to hear it. At 80kHz, your dog can't hear it.

/Well, unless literally Batman
 
2013-01-17 05:57:20 PM  

fluffy2097: Holographic Shimmering Pork: Those are freaking awesome. I've been imagining repurposing a pair of high-quality hearing aids as custom earbuds. The set my ex has was bluetooth compatible, and could be tweaked via bluetooth and proprietary PC software.

If you watch TV or live music, you will see that all the performers today have earbuds.

They are ALL made by Ultimate Ears. All of them.

As an added bonus to sounding more incredible then any earbud has a right to, they provide something like -15 to -25 db noise reduction just from having a good fit in your ear. They are like earplugs that include audiophile quality speakers inside.


I have been wanting an in-ear monitoring system for the stage. Good to know. I should start saving my rubles and shekels.
 
2013-01-17 06:10:04 PM  

Lsherm: ProfessorOhki: TommyymmoT: TruBluTroll: Right now I'm working on a project at work that involves cranking some of these babies to the 80KHz range.

[www.stereophile.com image 200x334]

/Love my job.

80KHZ? Are you composing music that only dogs can hear?

That or an ultrasonic ear cleaning system.

Audiophiles insist they can hear things normal people can't even though a human's high-frequency hearing ability starts to decline after age 20.  If you know someone 50+ who is spending thousands of dollars on audio equipment, then you know an idiot, because they are physically incapable of telling the difference between high and low end anymore.


I realize that, but 80K? Dogs can't even hear that high.
Actually, humans can hear some very high frequencies, only not as loud, to the point of being imperceptible, and it gets worse as you age.

One of my favorite live sound tricks, is to use (a bunch of) super tweeters that go up to 21.5K (JBL slots),  and use mics that can reach 20k or so as well.
Then you CRANK 16, or 17K, on up.
It adds a very nice element of clarity, and transparency, as you force an extended range.
 
2013-01-17 06:21:32 PM  
What, did you think he sold them all?
 
2013-01-17 07:02:59 PM  
Beats are shiat headphones. Adding a "compression chip" to make everything sound super-squished doesn't make it "better"

A fool and their money...
 
2013-01-17 07:18:16 PM  
I like my Skullcandy headphones.

/$25
//lifetime warranty
 
2013-01-17 07:34:10 PM  

Rwa2play: Coco LaFemme: I don't care if I'm listening to .mp3s, .wavs, .flacs, cassettes, or vinyl.....I'm not paying $300 for headphones.  I don't see how anyone could blow that kind of money on such a frivolous product.

Unless they have incredible sound quality, balance and durability then...no, you don't.


...and unless you listen through them for dozens of hours a day on some insane commute then they're not worth it.

Even the shiattiest of free headphones will "do", for a brief commute in the morning. No one does their main listening and enjoyment of music by headphones.

Anyone who refuses to listen unless it's as great as can be is a fool.
 
2013-01-17 07:38:33 PM  

TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: cannotsuggestaname: I have listened to music through some Beats headphones... and I'll take my Sennheiser 598's, for $100 less, any day of the week.

I've got some Sennheiser HD280Pros.  They're flat response and have some caveats, but for ~$100 they're keen.


Love me the HD280s. Wouldn't want anything else in the environment I'm in. My house eats headphones.
 
2013-01-17 07:40:03 PM  
My best headphones have been my Koss PortaPro. They have lasted longer than my first marriage did (about 20 years). However, I have some $200 BlueAnt phones that give the Koss some good competition.

Either way, Beats are crappy Monster products. People want them for fashion, not quality.
 
2013-01-17 07:54:10 PM  

Ishidan: stappawho:
Better than jogging or working out with big ass headphones on.

/26 minutes

You're wearing them wrong.
/my hobby...putting hyphens in the wrong place


just wait till the bass kicks in
 
2013-01-17 08:01:28 PM  

Quantum Apostrophe: Sony makes ear sofas that deliver nearly as much bass for a lot less.

[www.ybsales.net image 300x300]

They do break up before I reach the volume I like though, but it seems people enjoy listening to noise these days.


That's the same kind as the pair I got for Christmas!

I love big, fluffy headphones and wear them as earmuffs fall-through-spring, then switch to noise-cancelling earbuds. Good headphones can be as cheap as $5 (if you befriend an electronics-store associate and get some Sennheisers on clearance that got screwed by the plan-o-gram layout,) or as pricy as you like, but my hearing has never been good enough to tell a difference from those priced at $30-on-sale and those costing a lot more.

My sister and I have a system. Every Christmas, she gets me headphones and I get her an external hard drive, since those are the typical things we can either fill up or wear out inside of a year, (I wear headphones a LOT,) and we both club together to get our brother his present, which is usually something like a laptop, a major car repair or clothes and some vodka. (He isn't a Farker, but should be.) Since she is in college and therefore relatively broke, whereas I'm doing okay, this is a good system. Every year since we were 20 and 16, the equipment has gotten progressively better, up to good Sonys or Sennheisers and nice 3TB drives. I shall have to warn her, though, not to switch to really ultra-fancy Bose ones or something once she's doing better finance-wise, as my bum ear really wouldn't appreciate them and I'd be happy with $20 'phones and the remainder of the budget spent on gas to come visit me more often.
 
2013-01-17 08:58:08 PM  
I have never spent more than $20 on a set of headphones and i never will.
 
2013-01-17 09:42:59 PM  

ZeroCorpse: My best headphones have been my Koss PortaPro. They have lasted longer than my first marriage did (about 20 years). However, I have some $200 BlueAnt phones that give the Koss some good competition.

Either way, Beats are crappy Monster products. People want them for fashion, not quality.


www.productwiki.com

It's sad that V-Moda abandoned the bass freq model. Wasn't too crazy about the bass, but it gave Sony a run for its money in terms of frequency range.
 
2013-01-17 10:14:25 PM  
What I don't understand is how anything bigger than earbuds gets sufficiently powered by a phone. They simply don't have the power to drive anything bigger.

People used to measure stereo amplifier output in watts. I remember getting excited about an amp that put out 100 watts per channel.  A battery powered ipod putting out 30 to 60 milliwatts cannot drive anything substantial.

Turn on a few 30 milliwatt lightbulbs and try to read something.

What they are paying for is high priced earmuffs.image.made-in-china.com
 
kab
2013-01-17 10:37:32 PM  

GAT_00: There's far more damage done by the process of mastering by reducing the range of sound than there could ever be in your choice of compression media.


Uh... wha...

good lord.

Slaxl: Anyone who refuses to listen unless it's as great as can be is a fool.


Yes, how dare anyone be discerning.
 
kab
2013-01-17 10:44:14 PM  

fusillade762: FlashHarry: it's sad; there's an entire generation that has never heard an uncompressed piece of music.

Kids don't go to live concerts anymore?


You don't think compressors are used live?

This thread is so full of wrong, it's actually kind of awesome.
 
2013-01-17 11:12:11 PM  

notmtwain: What I don't understand is how anything bigger than earbuds gets sufficiently powered by a phone. They simply don't have the power to drive anything bigger.

People used to measure stereo amplifier output in watts. I remember getting excited about an amp that put out 100 watts per channel.  A battery powered ipod putting out 30 to 60 milliwatts cannot drive anything substantial.

Turn on a few 30 milliwatt lightbulbs and try to read something.

What they are paying for is high priced earmuffs.[image.made-in-china.com image 754x692]


This post displays a fundamental ignorance of how amplifiers and speakers (or headphones) operate. It's funny though.

Speaker/headphone impedance matters.
Anything more than 1 Watt through my Bozaks shakes the house.
 
2013-01-18 12:35:20 AM  

Maestro1701: those overtones, the sounds up to 96k, have an effect on those tones from 20-20k. The sounds you can't hear affect the sounds you can hear.


Explain how.

/difficulty: physics.
 
2013-01-18 01:08:19 AM  

puffy999: I like my $13 a pair KSC75s.


I got some 35s for $10 at sears and those things are worth at least four times that.

I use Sony V6. shiats on most cans and affordable at $70 plus a little more for velvet pads. Had them about four years now and they still sound great and feel sturdy.
 
2013-01-18 03:55:33 AM  

poot_rootbeer: Maestro1701: those overtones, the sounds up to 96k, have an effect on those tones from 20-20k. The sounds you can't hear affect the sounds you can hear.

Explain how.

/difficulty: physics.


Link

Physics that be there 'nuff fer ya?
 
2013-01-18 06:01:22 AM  

poot_rootbeer: Maestro1701: those overtones, the sounds up to 96k, have an effect on those tones from 20-20k. The sounds you can't hear affect the sounds you can hear.

Explain how.

/difficulty: physics.


I don't have the link, but I read a compelling argument that extended range is detrimental to the practical listening experience. Having headphones and recordings that are producing tones above and below practical hearing range creates many more opportunities for distortion, and actually degrades the sound you are hearing.
 
2013-01-18 07:08:05 AM  

Kraftwerk Orange: notmtwain: What I don't understand is how anything bigger than earbuds gets sufficiently powered by a phone. They simply don't have the power to drive anything bigger.

People used to measure stereo amplifier output in watts. I remember getting excited about an amp that put out 100 watts per channel.  A battery powered ipod putting out 30 to 60 milliwatts cannot drive anything substantial.

Turn on a few 30 milliwatt lightbulbs and try to read something.

What they are paying for is high priced earmuffs.[image.made-in-china.com image 754x692]

This post displays a fundamental ignorance of how amplifiers and speakers (or headphones) operate. It's funny though.

Speaker/headphone impedance matters.
Anything more than 1 Watt through my Bozaks shakes the house.


Exactly. 65 watt tube Precision Electronic/Western Electric amps through 125db @1 watt Peavey old school SP2 speakers +300 happy screaming kids= dance.

It's all about efficiency ratings.
 
2013-01-18 09:29:00 AM  
Well, since you guys started talking about wattage, I feel I can biatch about something not directly headphone related. I bought a Pioneer home theater in a box (my wife and I upgraded our home theater as our Christmas present to each other).

I did my homework online and found what I thought to be a good mix of everything I wanted; basically, an 1100 watt surround system with a blu ray player for a pretty good price.

I probably should have just bought the components individually, but the convenience of one purchase and visual simplicity of one unit swayed me this way.

Got the system, connected it to the TV, and then made the fun discovery that the surround speaker wires are built into the speaker, and the end that connects to the receiver has a proprietary plug on the end. The kicker? The wires aren't even close to being long enough to stretch across the room, much less drop down through the floor as I intended. And it's a pretty small living room.

I didn't want to return the system, as I had thrown out the packaging (I know, I know) once I plugged it in and tested it. So, in the end, I spliced the wires to make them longer. It works, but I'm sure I voided the warranty.
 
2013-01-18 11:01:14 AM  

Orgasmatron138: Well, since you guys started talking about wattage, I feel I can biatch about something not directly headphone related. I bought a Pioneer home theater in a box (my wife and I upgraded our home theater as our Christmas present to each other).

I did my homework online and found what I thought to be a good mix of everything I wanted; basically, an 1100 watt surround system with a blu ray player for a pretty good price.

I probably should have just bought the components individually, but the convenience of one purchase and visual simplicity of one unit swayed me this way.

Got the system, connected it to the TV, and then made the fun discovery that the surround speaker wires are built into the speaker, and the end that connects to the receiver has a proprietary plug on the end. The kicker? The wires aren't even close to being long enough to stretch across the room, much less drop down through the floor as I intended. And it's a pretty small living room.

I didn't want to return the system, as I had thrown out the packaging (I know, I know) once I plugged it in and tested it. So, in the end, I spliced the wires to make them longer. It works, but I'm sure I voided the warranty.


No big deal. You probably aren't putting anywhere near enough power through the wires to cause any issues. That "1100" watt rating is probably the maximum it can put out for a millisecond before the magic smoke escapes. Enjoy it while it lasts, and next time, don't buy a HTiB.
 
2013-01-18 11:08:53 AM  

Luminiferous Aether: Link

Physics that be there 'nuff fer ya?


Not really.

The only means I'm aware of by which the presence of frequencies above the limit of human hearing can affect perception within sensory range is digital aliasing, and that's not something desirable. Good audio engineers intentionally lowpass out anything above the Nyquist frequency for the listening medium in order to avoid it.

Best I can tell, the Wikipedia article on harmonics doesn't describe any other phenomena which support your assertion that imperceptible high frequencies are perceptible.
 
2013-01-18 11:12:58 AM  

Virtuoso80: poot_rootbeer: Maestro1701: those overtones, the sounds up to 96k, have an effect on those tones from 20-20k. The sounds you can't hear affect the sounds you can hear.

Explain how.

/difficulty: physics.

I don't have the link, but I read a compelling argument that extended range is detrimental to the practical listening experience. Having headphones and recordings that are producing tones above and below practical hearing range creates many more opportunities for distortion, and actually degrades the sound you are hearing.


Simple solution. Buy capable equipment that can handle a full range of frequencies without producing distortion. This is why some amps and speakers sound better than others, and why they're worth a premium over lesser quality equipment.

Here's the chart for my dedicated 2-channel amp:

i555.photobucket.com

Nice and flat.
 
2013-01-18 11:28:40 AM  

poot_rootbeer: Luminiferous Aether: Link

Physics that be there 'nuff fer ya?

Not really.

The only means I'm aware of by which the presence of frequencies above the limit of human hearing can affect perception within sensory range is digital aliasing, and that's not something desirable. Good audio engineers intentionally lowpass out anything above the Nyquist frequency for the listening medium in order to avoid it.

Best I can tell, the Wikipedia article on harmonics doesn't describe any other phenomena which support your assertion that imperceptible high frequencies are perceptible.


"Another way to enhance sound is to create new high-frequency harmonics not present in the original recording. This principle was original discovered by Aphex, who found that adding a small amount of carefully controlled distortion to the original signal could actually make the sound quality appear cleaner and more detailed than it was before processing. The way it works is that some of the input signal is diverted, via a side-chain and a high-pass filter, into a harmonics-generating circuit. A high-pass filter is necessary to remove unwanted low frequencies so that the newly generated harmonics exist only at the top end of the audio spectrum, and this filtered signal is then processed dynamically to add phase shift and to create synthesised harmonics related to the original signal. The secret of the harmonic enhancement principle is that only a very small amount of the processed signal needs to be mixed back in with the original, and when this is done properly, music appears more detailed, with better separation between individual sounds."

There's Life Above 20 Kilohertz!
A Survey of Musical Instrument Spectra to 102.4 KHz


"Given the existence of musical-instrument energy above 20 kilohertz, it is natural to ask whether the energy matters to human perception or music recording. The common view is that energy above 20 kHz does not matter, but AES preprint 3207 by Oohashi et al. claims that reproduced sound above 26 kHz "induces activation of alpha-EEG (electroencephalogram) rhythms that persist in the absence of high frequency stimulation, and can affect perception of sound quality." [4]
Oohashi and his colleagues recorded gamelan to a bandwidth of 60 kHz, and played back the recording to listeners through a speaker system with an extra tweeter for the range above 26 kHz. This tweeter was driven by its own amplifier, and the 26 kHz electronic crossover before the amplifier used steep filters. The experimenters found that the listeners' EEGs and their subjective ratings of the sound quality were affected by whether this "ultra-tweeter" was on or off, even though the listeners explicitly denied that the reproduced sound was affected by the ultra-tweeter, and also denied, when presented with the ultrasonics alone, that any sound at all was being played.
From the fact that changes in subjects' EEGs "persist in the absence of high frequency stimulation," Oohashi and his colleagues infer that in audio comparisons, a substantial silent period is required between successive samples to avoid the second evaluation's being corrupted by "hangover" of reaction to the first.
The preprint gives photos of EEG results for only three of sixteen subjects. I hope that more will be published.

In a paper published in Science, Lenhardt et al. report that "bone-conducted ultrasonic hearing has been found capable of supporting frequency discrimination and speech detection in normal, older hearing-impaired, and profoundly deaf human subjects." [5] They speculate that the saccule may be involved, this being "an otolithic organ that responds to acceleration and gravity and may be responsible for transduction of sound after destruction of the cochlea," and they further point out that the saccule has neural cross-connections with the cochlea. [6]"
 
2013-01-18 11:44:25 AM  
I'm guessing that since these were designed/endorsed by a rapper, and they're marketed toward the younger end of the spectrum, they have a huge smiley curve with everything from about 20-80 Hz boosted by about 12 dB, and the mids scooped out.

No thanks.
 
2013-01-18 01:26:04 PM  

GibbyTheMole: I'm guessing that since these were designed/endorsed by a rapper, and they're marketed toward the younger end of the spectrum, they have a huge smiley curve with everything from about 20-80 Hz boosted by about 12 dB, and the mids scooped out.

No thanks.


No need to guess:

cdn.head-fi.org

imageshack.us
 
2013-01-19 03:57:30 AM  
Don't know if anyone's going to make it this far, but I'm happy to see some others sharing the love for their Sony MDR-V6s besides me. Got my set in the late 80s and just finished installing my fourth set of pads on them. Bonus: they are the same form factor as the MDR-7506 so they take the same pads, available from Sweetwater for $7 each. Using Buy.com as a reference, they still sell new for about $80 and the 7506 for $100.
 
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