Ears vs the Reviews

Yes.
Love music

Yes.
Anything off the grid.
I like everything battery powered.
I think it’s easier than spending hundreds of thousand dollars on battery conditioners or something from PS audio
yeah thousand dollars
I like my money…

To revive an old topic, I just wanted to hop in and say that I think reviews are invaluable and how I discover new gear.

Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I agree that for a review to be REALLY useful you would have to know what kind of gear a person uses and what specific music they listen to. Without knowing that I depend on quantity. I will Google an item and read every review I can find be it magazine, Head-Fi or YouTube. If the reviews are overwhelmingly great, then to me it is worth trying out.

Where I live there are pretty much no headphone shops so most of my stuff is bought unheard and on the 'net. And so much of my stuff gets sold on at a loss. But I have learned over the past 4+ years what I like. I like FUN headphones!

Hit and misses:

  1. Sennheiser HD6XX’s. The holy grail for audiophiles in a budget range. This cost me $340.00, landed in Canada. I then spent more than that on the required amp. I don’t know if it was all the money or all the hype, but I have never been more disappointed in a headphone. The words dull and lifeless come to mind.

  2. Oppo PM3’s. Tons of great reviews and best of lists. I got a great price on a used pair. I thought they were flat, boring and just useless.

  3. Beyerdynamic T5p.2’s. Lots of great reviews and apparently Beyer is an icon. These were too expensive for me and so I got a pair of used ones. WOW! Several months on and these are the best closed backs I have ever owned. Super clear and sound great out of my amp or just balanced out of my DAP. Definite keepers.

  4. Meze 99 Classic’s. Read lots of great reviews and liked the look (brown and gold). Bought on the net from 4000Kms away. They are awesome. Much like myself, Jack of all trades, master of none. As I write this they are playing out of my Burson Fun amp. They sound just as good out of my LG V30 on the move. A definite keeper.

Reviews are just like Google recommendations. Far from perfect, but Very useful information.

ShaneD

5 Likes

You should check out the Campfire Cascade if you get the chance…or the Fostex TH-00 series. Both of which are my go to fun headphones. Also the CA Cascade sits on my nightstand as it is easily powered by my iPad for watching Rick and Morty or listening to music, without disturbing the wife.

1 Like

I am Very interested in the Cascades, but they are Very expensive. No auditioning those in Atlantic Canada. I looked far and wide for Boxing Week sales, but no luck. I am keeping an eye out for used.

Also, I forgot to mention that I am one third of the way through the Cascades thread on Head-Fi. It is over 1500 posts long.

ShaneD

1 Like

I did a review of mine that you can find here:

1 Like

Thanks for the link. I have read all that. Very interesting read. That is what pushed me over to Head-Fi to do more research.

ShaneD

1 Like

See, @DarthPool you scared him off after reading your review. :grin:.

/s

2 Likes

Ha, fair enough, I tend to be less technical in my reviews… more lifestyle review? I don’t know I think others have more knowledge and capability to do the technical reviews. =)

1 Like

Hey, I was just kidding you do great reviews. I was just being a bit lighthearted. :grin:.

1 Like

oh no worries I picked that up, I don’t offend easy anyhow :wink:

1 Like

I enjoyed your review! As I mentioned in my diatribe, the only thing I would like to see more of, in all reviews, is for the reviewer to state what they use at home regularly and what music they listen to.

If a reviewer shares my taste in gear and especially my taste in music, the review would feel more relevant to me.

ShaneD

4 Likes

I have a Spotify playlist that I update specifically for this forum… It is in a couple of the forum posts and I think some of my reviews…but I can post it if you like.

My gear is listed under my profile, it should be more or less updated.

I fully agree, you should always seek similarly minded audio types when researching for new headphones.

3 Likes

MAN, you have a ton of gear. We have nothing in common, but you have several items that I would love to have.
Congrats!

ShaneD

3 Likes

We have a lot in common :wink: we both are here chatting about headphones, and I’m positive we probably like some of the same songs.

Just, varying levels of gear.

Cheers mate!

2 Likes

I just meant nothing in common with regards to pieces of gear.:grin:

Shane D

2 Likes

:grin: I do have the Meze 99s Massdrop edition on order.

It will be fun comparing those to the Fostex X-00 and CA Cascade.

1 Like

I will be VERY interested to read your feedback. Particularly as it compares to the Cascade.

ShaneD

2 Likes

Ears Vs Reviews? Well, ears have to win every time! However…

I live in a place where there are no audio stores anywhere near me, and the few that are within less than 45 mins by car all carry the same stuff, 99 pairs of Bluetooth headphones/earphones and a pair of Sony over ears :smiley:

Now, the problem I have is that I am very new to the (decent) headphone world with very little test drives under my belt. That means that I struggle with getting a good idea from reviews as I have tried basically nothing of what the reviewer has.

For amps and DACs I have absolutely no issues basing purchases on reviews. Just tell me whether it is quality made and show me a graph and I am happy.

With headphones it’s not that easy…

As I have said before, I have been working in audio for many years and have had chance to try lots of speakers over this time (all live stage or studio related, not audiophile) and I have had chance to get to know what I like. However, even with that experience, I still can’t base my choice solely on a graph as a speaker sounds different in every single location, so I need to be able to see what I am able to do with that speaker (using EQ). And still, my opinions will be different to each and every person at the side of me, that is why their is only one tech behind the mixing desk :wink:

A set of headphones is a different story as they should sound the same no matter who’s head they are on… but again, they sound completely different to different people.

The day I find somebody who does reviews and likes the same music I do, hears the music in the same way and has the same opinions on sound as me, it will be because I have started doing my own reviews :smiley:

In the mean time, I will have to continue to buy blindly on the internet based on what some unknown person from the other side of the world recommends.

(BTW, following this rule in the instrument world I have ended up with around 15 bass guitars that I love, so the system must work to some extent!!!)

4 Likes

I have a suggestion, which may or may not work for you. Try or buy a baseline. By this I mean one or two headphones that have many many reviews and that are generally thought of as good. You can listen to what you think, and you will have a bunch of reviewers to check.

I suggest the Sennheiser HD-580 or HD-650, both widely available used, or in the US, on Massdrop as the 58x ($149) or the 6xx ($199). Neither is crazy expensive.

Then select some other, rather different, but still popular headphone. And/or some of the better Ultra-Cheap IEMs. I ordered the KZ ZSN’s for $17 on Ali Express. And we’ve had some reviews of them here that I think are pretty accurate.

I’ll let some other good soul here suggest the 2nd baseline headphone.
I’m also willing to be told that my suggestion is full of crap, because … well… the sad state of the cosmos.

3 Likes