Threads for themensch

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    I had these exact same headphones as a warranty replacement for the previous pair that failed after 2 years. They refused to replace them this time. A $14 pair of AUkey headphones are nearly as good to me, although I’ll admit years of being an audio engineer have probably affected my hearing somewhat; I still appear to have quite good ears according to hearing tests. I have some nice studio headphones when I really need to hear clearly, and it turns out my use case for earbuds overrides the need for superior fidelity. Are the $14 buds as nice? Of course not, but sometimes good enough is good enough.

    Jaybird will never get another cent from me, and their parent company Logitech is now worthy of my scrutiny.

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      $14 bluetooth buds?

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        There is no correlation between headphone frequency response and retail price, the consumer and especially the audiophile HiFi market is full marketing voodoo. The main difference between cheap and expensive headphones is the material the case is made of but the built-in drivers are usually pretty cheap and the construction of good headphones is no rocket science, even though the audio industry wants you think that. I also own a cheap pair of bluetooth in-ear headphones for commuting that cost me 20€ and are pretty reliable and sound pretty okay. I forgot them once in a pocket of my jeans and they even survived the washing machine. Another anecdote regarding relation between price and audio reproduction quality of headphones: I was looking for headphones for my home recording studio this year and tested difference models ranging from Samson SR850 for 27€ to Beyerdynamic DT-880 for around 200€. In the end I went with the Samsons’ because they sound fantastic and I can live with a non perfect case finish, heck, you can even get a pair of them for 39€.

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          I don’t disagree about marketing voodoo in HiFi space, there is astonishingly good cheap gear, KSC75s possibly being the most striking example. That said, adding a mic and BT to them will cost you about $14 ($11 BT chip, $3 mic, straight from China) by itself with a so-so BT chip which doens’t license the high quality audio stream stuff and will randomly fail to pair.

          The SR850s are exceptional, like the KSC75s, Zero Audio Tenore’s and a handful of other great drivers, so-so build quality but no core build defects.

          EDIT: Update from the OP, it was $27, which makes A LOT more sense to me.

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            I’ve been exactly there and I ended up with BD DT-770’s, which sound great but are ultimately comfortable to wear for extended periods without clamping my head or causing inner-ear pain. Were I tracking a kit I’d probably use the Sennheiser hd-280pro’s due to the superior bleed isolation but man those things kill my ears after a couple hours. What that tells me is that inside, the tech provides modest differences and it’s all about comfort and durability.

            At the end of the day, much of the music most people consume is rammed through lossy compression and mixed to maximize volume, then rammed through a cheap DAC - so listening through a $1000 pair of headphones provides little benefit other than to point out the flaws in the recording all along the process.

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              At the end of the day, much of the music most people consume is rammed through lossy compression

              Most modern static compression is well beyond good enough even for high end gear. Note: static compression, not on the fly compression like BT does.

              and mixed to maximize volume

              The loudness wars left a lot of damaged music. But it is all but over at this point. Everyone from indie artists to professional mastering have stopped it as a matter of course, and it is now the exception. Mick Guzauski, Bob Ludwig and Ian Shepherd since the mid-2000s really pushed against it changing the industry. iTunes Radio really cemented it with automatically tuning down overly loud music, meaning if the copy they get from you is part of the loudness wars it is going to sound objectively horrible.

              then rammed through a cheap DAC -

              $3 DACs are all but perfect at this point, a lot of the difference between a $3 and $30 DAC is bit-rates used for professional mastering and its shielding. Finding an awful DAC these days takes real effort.

              so listening through a $1000 pair of headphones provides little benefit other than to point out the flaws in the recording all along the process.

              Really depends on the headphones, some very much show the flaws, others are just expensive and fun. Also, there is something sort of special about finding new depth in recordings through high end gear, tapping of a foot, the side mic exhale, etc. I would say like the TH900s are a nice pure-fun high end headphone: 25ohm, v-shaped, pretty to look at.

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                thanks for the clarity; I agree with the that there is the possibility to renew appreciation in old favorites by changing the listening environment. Having donned the primo grados at a high-end mastering house, I am a believer.

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                …mixed to maximize volume…

                This is more a matter of taste than a sound quality problem, and yes, the loudness war caused popular music to be less dynamic because loud = good.

                …rammed through a cheap DAC…

                I will not deny that there are differences between a good DAC used in a professional audio interfaces and those used in a cheap laptop but even the latter ones are good now (except the one of the Raspberry Pi), but the distortion caused by a cheap DAC is orders of magnitude’s lower than that of any loudspeaker. The mechinal part of reproduction is still the weak point, by far.

                Monty Montgomery from (the ogg vorbis guys) made an enlightening video about D/A and A/D conversion which I can highly recommend to anyone.

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                  All the HD-280s I have even seen or owned died the same sad death – headband death. Either the metal strains against the plastic and breaks it, or the strain goes to the metal connect and it snaps, either way hard to repair.

                  Also, they make a great set of earmuffs.

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                    At the end of the day, much of the music most people consume is rammed through lossy compression and mixed to maximize volume, then rammed through a cheap DAC - so listening through a $1000 pair of headphones provides little benefit other than to point out the flaws in the recording all along the process.

                    Dunno about that. I really enjoy my AKG K812 even if plugged straight in to a laptop (most of the time) or phone (sometimes). I also enjoy my Sennheiser HD 800 even if the amp that feeds them gets analog input straight from the motherboard. Yes, it can get a little noisy when the GPU is busy. I enjoy them both, generally more than my Sennheiser HD 650, even if I’m streaming lossy music from Youtube. Or music I compressed myself at a bitrate I know is transparent (or damn well close enough) from the ABXing I’ve done in the past. If anything, I feel like the AKG K701 (cheapest cans I have right now) are more revealing in terms of recording flaws.

                    I really don’t think the DAC and compression are a big deal, even if I do also have a collection lossy music and an external head amp.

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                      I think it comes down to design intent for the cans in question - e.g. listening vs. mixing, and I do agree that technology has vastly improved since I last posted a diatribe about this. I think there’s also a matter of ear training here that affects me, as it’s not just headphone use where I hear every razzafrazzin sound in the room. I spent years developing critical listening skills and I can’t just turn them off.

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                    While I won’t argue the point of sound quality right now (because it’s all over the map), I certainly will argue about build quality.

                    I’d be willing to bet that a much larger percentage of gear priced at $200 and above will be around in 15 years, vs. lower priced gear.

                    The higher-end gear might not always be technically and sonically superior but it is usually built to a higher standard of quality.

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                    Oops, I fibbed, they were $26.99:

                    I’m one of those “excessive research” headphone chaps and I am generally highly critical of any headphones but these right here, they are a winner for me.

                    I should note my use cases are: using outdoor power equipment where bigger hearing protection doesn’t fit, using power tools in the shop, and blocking out noise on planes. The one place they fail, which is entirely due to the size, is for sleeping. Plus, more often than not I’m listening to podcasts, audio books, or lo-fi rock & roll where high fidelity or critical listening isn’t a factor.

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                  Rote memorization does not a senior sysadmin make. While there are a great number of interesting questions in here, often we care more about how someone works, both technically and interpersonally, than their ability to remember command line switches to tar. These questions would be great spice in a complete interview recipe. I’ve done literally hundreds of sysadmin interviews across many levels, and at the end of the day I ask myself, “Can I work with this person? Can I teach this person?” If the answer is yes to each, then we move forward.

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                    What exactly is the ill effect of downvoting an article because one dislikes it? Of course I’m new around here and I haven’t actually downvoted anything, but I seem to have missed this tidbit of information in the new user orientation packet. I would love to have this cleared up, and I reckon others will read this and learn, too.

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                      Articles should be downvoted for a concrete reason (e.g. the article is badly-written, incorrect, spam, etc.) This idea is specifically attempting to target downvoting due to the article not being in your taste but otherwise being fine. This latter use of downvote is supposed to instead be covered by article hiding.

                      Why should personal preference (instead of concrete fact) not qualify for downvote? The answer is differing preferences. You might like an article that I don’t, but if I downvote it (and prevent it from appearing to you) before you have the chance to see it, then ultimately the voting system has failed as you’ve now lost out on an otherwise-good article, it’s just that I didn’t like it.

                      Here’s my understanding on how various opinions on articles are intended to map:

                      1. I liked the article => upvote.

                      2. I neither liked nor disliked the article => no vote.

                      3. I disliked the article => hide.

                      4. The submission was spam, inaccurate, or otherwise had severe problems => downvote with appropriate reason.

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                        The thing a downvote should should say for “didn’t like reason” is, “I don’t like this, and I want to tell the submitter that AND I don’t think others should see it.”

                        Which when I first click downvote, I didn’t realize that was the reason. So I couldn’t in good conscience downvote articles w/o having a non-opinion reason.

                        Downvote for “didn’t like” should hide and redirect people to a philosophy page.

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                          In this case, the “upvote” and “downvote” paradigm doesn’t seem to fit well. Someone is likely to correctly assume that upvoting means “I like this article”, and then incorrectly assume that downvoting means “I don’t like this article”. This isn’t exactly an unjustified assumption when given what seems to be a binary option.

                          Another approach would be to decouple “I like this article” from the voting system. There could be a “star” or “favorite” option next to “hide”, to allow someone to indicate that they liked it. Then, the “upvote” and “downvote” could mean “this belongs here” and “this doesn’t belong here”, respectively.

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                            What of discussion comments though? Should the same rules apply to comments in the discussion sections? Of course minus the hide

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                              I think the agreement is that it’s okay to downvote comments because you disagree, but it’s not okay to downvote stories. Someone here can probably dig up several comment threads to back that up.

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                                Because downvoting a story prevents someone else from gaining new information. Why is that ever a good thing?

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                              So conversely, if I like an article, I should therefore not upvote it unless I additionally feel it provides useful content? I know I’m being pedantic here, but I like clarity and it’s my hope others do too.