Posts tagged audiophiles
In between servicing laptops at work today, I sold a customer some Beats by Dre Studio headphones and a protection plan for them, and it got me thinking; while ripping some malware (and a particularly nasty bootloader) from a customer computer I decided to make a post for the geekdom on over ear headphones.
Beats get a lot of publicity.
And to put it bluntly, they shouldnt.
(Yes Marie, I know you own some Solos)
Beats are basically Low-Fi headphones in the High-Fi price bracket.
They look silly, and are priced to be premium, but at best sound like a pair of seriously broken $50 headphones.
Since the 1970’s, mainstream American music has focused mostly on alternating high and low sounds. Dubstep, most Rap/Hip-Hop beats, and much of mainstream rock all use the low, high, low sound for support, and that is what beats are tuned to emphasize.
But what really happens when you tune headphones like that is you lose the Midsection of the music. I could get really longwinded here, but i’ll just summarize.
The human ear can hear from 20hz to 20,000hz(or 20khz), and where do you think most of the sounds in that range happen? I will tell you where. NOT in the high and low range.
Beats destroy your midrange listening in favor of buffed, poor definition lows and squeaky and distorted highs.
They “sound so good” because most people have never experienced anything but Skullcandy and iPod basic headphones (which are terrible), but dont let the fact that they sound better than anything you have heard before mislead you into thinking they are actually good.
For the same price you can EASILY find a set of headphones that will sound far better, look far more classy, and will give you a much more accurate and enjoyable listening experience.
Off the top of my head i’ll give recommendations from my personal collection and professional experience. Ones I have used for Professional Audio work I will label with a (*).
JVC HA-RX900 Headphones
(*) Sennheiser HD650 Headphones
(*) Sennheiser HD598 HEadphones
(Personal and Professional) Sony MDR7506 Headphones
AKG 701 Headphones
With the exception of the HD650 (which is worth every penny of that $350), all of these offer anything Beats can offer.
They all offer superior clarity, soundstage, bass/treble/mids, and all were designed for sound quality first and looks once the sound quality met standards.
Also, those AKG 701 headphones are the same model used by DeadMau5, Eminem, Linkin Park, and several other prominent artists for mixing and recording songs.
—Adam is an overall Technology enthusiast from Tucson, Arizona that goes by the name of philwrir here on Tumblr! From Networking, Programming, to Audio configuration and Sound performance, he can do it all. If you enjoyed his article, Follow him and share this post!
Like Adam says, most people have never experienced sound quality exceeding that of iPod earbuds or car stereos, so the next step up will sound “amazing.” I imagine this trend can continue for infinity, e.g. if I were to replace my well-loved Grado SR 60s with a sexy pair of >$400 Sennheisers, I might never look back, but then my ears would be set on acquiring even more expensive cans of the next tier up in price.
It becomes easy to enter into a spiral of audiophile ridiculousness this way, paying out more and more moolah for diminishing returns in sound quality provided by things like wooden volume knobs and Monster Cables… which might be fun, until you go to debtor’s prison.