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Old 09-23-2011, 08:43 AM
loverslane loverslane is offline
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Exclamation how to select (full-size) headphones

i've read some posts about members asking others for some advice or recommendations on selecting full-size headphones. here's my thoughts about it, hope it helps.

1. whenever you can, try the headphones for yourself. this means borrowing it for a limited time from someone who owns one. treat it gently, otherwise, if you ruin it, the rightful owner, certainly, will demand replacement. this can be a problem if the headphones is no longer issued. not to mention that your relationship with the other party might be jeopardized.

1.5. trade shows, music stores are great if you want to try the headphones you've been sighting on. but you can only do so for such a limited time. any longer, and you'll get that nasty look from the other waiting behind you

2. read about the review from respected audio magazine, if any. some reviewers really know what they are doing. and see if you agree (why?) or, ESPECIALLY, disagree (why?) with the reviewer's comments after you try the headphones.

3. do the earcups fit your ear nicely? how about the headband, is it "clamping" your head too tight? because if so, it won't give you any comfort for a long period time of listening.

4. how does it sound with the combinations of musical genre of your choice? do you enjoy it?

5. does the cable length suit your application?

6. some headpones is designed for specific purpose, like for mp3, listening to TV. exactly, what is the purpose of the headphones designed for? if it is designed for TV listening, it might not be sonically superior if you listen to CD since it is originally designed to make all programs on TV (like news) are more easy to listen to. if it is designed for mp3, how does it sound? do you like it? if it is designed for MP3, there's a possibility that the lower bass and higher highs are boosted to compensate mp3 compression. there goes a problem if you listen to CD. if it is designed for TV, how does it sound?

7. some headphones come with volume control. oh, yeah, it's very comfy to adjust the sound volume handy. but, do you know that if the volume control is broken, there are only 2 things you can do: (a) spend some time to re-cable your headphones, provided the cable is long enough for you to cut and re-cable, if you know how to or know someone who can do it for you. (b) say goodbye to your headphones by tossing it to electronic waste dump. to avoid the volume control broken, adjust the sound volume from somewhere else, like the volume knob on your audio amplifier (someday, it will either need to be sprayed with contact cleaner or need replacement anyway) or on volume mixer in your computer. doing so will prolong the live of you volume control and, hence, you headphones life.

i told a friend of mine of that. spontaneously, he looked around for some 3m tape, set the volume on max and put the tape around the volume control. paranoid, you might say? he has been using the same headphones for 5 years straight. just like Andy Grove from Intel processor manufacturer : "paranoid survives."

to be continued....

Last edited by loverslane; 09-27-2011 at 05:39 AM. Reason: additional info
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  #2  
Old 09-23-2011, 11:11 AM
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regarding #2...it helps to get an idea of the reviewers taste. For instance there is a guy on head-fi that ha a huge review thread. He is pretty good at being fair to the set he is reviewing but my taste is different than his. I have found that his idea of enough bass is not my idea of enough bass. also, his idea of comfort isnt exactly mine either. once I figured that out, his reviews have been very helpful to me. If I bought blindly based on his input I would be disappointed.
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Old 09-23-2011, 12:31 PM
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Reading reviews is old I was going to make a thread about this over at Head Crap I think more people need to get into the practice of selling there body parts to fund there passion.
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Old 09-23-2011, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Confispect View Post
Reading reviews is old I was going to make a thread about this over at Head Crap I think more people need to get into the practice of selling there body parts to fund there passion.
stick with fluids...lower payday, but its a renewable resource.
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Old 09-23-2011, 01:48 PM
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Ah the light.
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Old 09-23-2011, 02:51 PM
koolkat koolkat is offline
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As someone who's pretty new to headphones and other audio related stuff, it's pretty difficult to get a feeling of what the headphone is really like when the reviewers uses audiophile-1337-spe4k. Yea sure, there's a glossary, but why can't people just use normal words to describe the sound...

Some people with high end equipment do put their reviews in easy to understand non-audiophile. I try to do that as well, but I just can't put what's going on in my mind into words in proper , understandable english. lol.

Also, I believe 15 minutes is enough to get an overall feel of the phone. I did an M50 review, which was based on roughly 2 , 15 minute auditions. Felt the phone was boring, overrecommended, etc. They thought I was trolling .-.

Regarding the clamp force, this is pretty deceiving. The Grados I tried at the audio store were very comfortable and they didn't hurt my ears. My stock ones were friggin clampy.
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  #7  
Old 09-23-2011, 03:19 PM
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Comfort is not something you can judge in 15 minutes. Just like shoes or performance underwear you need to do a marathon (albeit a slightly different kind of marathon) with your headphones to properly judge comfort. Things change after a few sweaty hours.
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Old 09-23-2011, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koolkat View Post
As someone who's pretty new to headphones and other audio related stuff, it's pretty difficult to get a feeling of what the headphone is really like when the reviewers uses audiophile-1337-spe4k. Yea sure, there's a glossary, but why can't people just use normal words to describe the sound...

Some people with high end equipment do put their reviews in easy to understand non-audiophile. I try to do that as well, but I just can't put what's going on in my mind into words in proper , understandable english. lol.

Also, I believe 15 minutes is enough to get an overall feel of the phone. I did an M50 review, which was based on roughly 2 , 15 minute auditions. Felt the phone was boring, overrecommended, etc. They thought I was trolling .-.

Regarding the clamp force, this is pretty deceiving. The Grados I tried at the audio store were very comfortable and they didn't hurt my ears. My stock ones were friggin clampy.
Agreed often when I give impressions I don't know whether I want to speak up or down on the scale of things I usually try to downplay and keep it simple. It pretty much lives in me I notice so some times I get carried away.
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Old 09-23-2011, 05:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koolkat View Post
As someone who's pretty new to headphones and other audio related stuff, it's pretty difficult to get a feeling of what the headphone is really like when the reviewers uses audiophile-1337-spe4k. Yea sure, there's a glossary, but why can't people just use normal words to describe the sound...
agreed. it gets a bit silly sometimes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by koolkat View Post
Also, I believe 15 minutes is enough to get an overall feel of the phone. I did an M50 review, which was based on roughly 2 , 15 minute auditions. Felt the phone was boring, overrecommended, etc. They thought I was trolling .-.
disagree. there are many variables that can influence a headphone/IEMs performance. maybe to make a rough judgement, but I don't know if it is always enough. I had to keep my last set for 15 days before I decided. different songs, different sources, and different environments kept making me think differently. maybe I am just indecisive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by koolkat View Post
Regarding the clamp force, this is pretty deceiving. The Grados I tried at the audio store were very comfortable and they didn't hurt my ears. My stock ones were friggin clampy.
HP fits can change over time due to lots of variables. Your store models had probably been stretch like mad by somebody trying them out. Why not? they didn't own them so who cares if it snaps? also what clamps hard for one guy might slip around on another guy. same with IEMs and insertion/isolation.
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Old 09-23-2011, 05:51 PM
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"6. some headpones is desgiend for specific purpose, like for mp3, listening to TV. exactly, what is the purpose of the headphones designed for? if it is designed for TV listening, it might not be sonically superior if you listen to CD. if it is designed for mp3, how does it sound? if it is designed for TV, how does it sound?"

^huh?

15 mins is not enough b/c a (sane) burn-in period is necessary.
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Old 09-23-2011, 06:10 PM
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Just what I look for when shopping for headphones......this badge.

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Old 09-23-2011, 07:49 PM
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My headphone is not 100% mp3 compatible. It only plays analog. Now I'm feeling some thread deja-vu. . maybe I've used this pun before. oh well.
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Old 09-23-2011, 10:09 PM
koolkat koolkat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sideways View Post
Comfort is not something you can judge in 15 minutes. Just like shoes or performance underwear you need to do a marathon (albeit a slightly different kind of marathon) with your headphones to properly judge comfort. Things change after a few sweaty hours.
I used my Senn hd438 and my previous experience with audio technica ontos to judge comfort. I can get a rough guesstimate of the level of comfort but you're right, 15 minutes is a really short time but that's the maximum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IDvsEGO View Post
disagree. there are many variables that can influence a headphone/IEMs performance. maybe to make a rough judgement, but I don't know if it is always enough. I had to keep my last set for 15 days before I decided. different songs, different sources, and different environments kept making me think differently. maybe I am just indecisive.
One of the main reasons I don't do really long auditions with phones I dont have is because there's no 30 day money back. I can audition the phones at the store but it kinda seems weird to be sitting at their counter, listening to the phones alone. Lol.
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Old 09-23-2011, 10:26 PM
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most stores and a lot of websites have 30 day return policies. I have done it several times, even with IEMs.
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Old 09-23-2011, 10:34 PM
koolkat koolkat is offline
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Im not even in the US. It's not the same policy world wide.
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Old 09-23-2011, 10:41 PM
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I knew there was a reason I lived here
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Old 09-24-2011, 12:51 AM
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Uhmuhricuh!
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Old 09-24-2011, 01:25 AM
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