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Expensive headphones that sound bad

maverickronin

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#24
What do mean by power handling?. How are they stressed too much nothing i read even hints that?.
Fairly significant rise in distortion with volume. Right in the midrange too. Multi BA designs often fare better in the respect. Final's F series of single BA models seem to hold it together very well to my ear, though I haven't seen any distortion measurements to confirm that. Their FR's need more work than the Etys too.

I'm with you on most of the super expensive multi BA IEMs being overrated with weird tunings though. That's what sells though, for whatever reason.

When I go through a manufacturer's whole lineup at their AXPONA table I usually find models in their low or mid tier have a more neutral FR.
 
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Blujackaal

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Thread Starter #25
Fairly significant rise in distortion with volume. Right in the midrange too. Multi BA designs often fare better in the respect. Final's F series of single BA models seem to hold it together very well to my ear, though I haven't seen any distortion measurements to confirm that. Their FR's need more work than the Etys too.
But that only 90 to 100db?, So multi BA/Single DD only win is at volumes no one would try?. The ER4 is rated for up to 1% maximum with how high speakers can reach in the mids, I highly doubt that even a problem. Your F vs ER4 is as vaild as me saying Lame >> AAC/Ogg with no ABX proof.

People act like the Andro is world changing but it FR looks like something a cheap single driver IEM would have. Many Multi BA/DD hype how they can reach 20KHz, Yet quite a few tap out at 16KHz.
 

majingotan

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#26
I'm with you on most of the super expensive multi BA IEMs being overrated with weird tunings though. That's what sells though, for whatever reason.
From the marketing standpoint, most of the customers at that price range aren't really looking for a "relatively flat frequency response" sound and more of tuning preferences. The marketing people know that a lot of those customers like to make the sound "huge, authoritative, (and many more audiophool terms here)" and thus they tune those TOTL IEMs with weird tunings. The technical standpoint of resolution is way past the diminishing returns (any decently priced IEM can churn out every microscopic detail presented in the recording) and as such, it's purely the tuning of the IEM to one's preferences that matter. Sadly, the audiophools are willing to pay premium for that weird tuning.

People act like the Andro is world changing but it FR looks like something a cheap single driver IEM would have. Many Multi BA/DD hype how they can reach 20KHz, Yet quite a few tap out at 16KHz.
I wouldn't want to listen to elevated high frequencies past 8KHz myself and so does the Harman OE target curve. That <$99 Chi-fi tuning does sound "huge, authoritative, (and many more audiophool terms here)" when A/Bed with an IEM with a listener perceived flat frequency response tuning and that's why it sells despite its price tag. Manufactures are also incredibly smart to tune their lower priced tier to closely follow Harman or diffuse field curve, sell that as "reference tuning" and during audio shows, lure the customers to try the reference tuned IEM first then their TOTL range and show that "wow factor" with that weird tuning (because it sounds more "live")
 

maverickronin

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#27
But that only 90 to 100db?, So multi BA/Single DD only win is at volumes no one would try?
That's a perfectly acceptable volume for short periods of time. Live music goes a lot louder...

Personally, I normally listen at much lower levels but I like to crank it for a single track when a favorite comes up on random play.

Your F vs ER4 is as vaild as me saying Lame >> AAC/Ogg with no ABX proof.
I'm saying that none of them are perfect as they have tradeoffs in different areas.

If you cap the maximum volume, the ER4SR would end up being the best IEM I've ever heard. It's one of only a few headphones of any type that I don't think requires either EQ or mods. It is excellent. It's just not perfect.

Is not not praise enough? Or are you disputing if the distortion is even audible?
 
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Blujackaal

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Thread Starter #28
From the marketing standpoint, most of the customers at that price range aren't really looking for a "relatively flat frequency response" sound and more of tuning preferences. The marketing people know that a lot of those customers like to make the sound "huge, authoritative, (and many more audiophool terms here)" and thus they tune those TOTL IEMs with weird tunings. The technical standpoint of resolution is way past the diminishing returns (any decently priced IEM can churn out every microscopic detail presented in the recording) and as such, it's purely the tuning of the IEM to one's preferences that matter. Sadly, the audiophools are willing to pay premium for that weird tuning.
It's worse with the current electrostatic/planar craze. Where they act as if there the kings of detail when it not even true any driver can have peak resolution when pushed. I've noticed how the BA/DD headphones don't have the -10 dip audeze stuff has, $3000 for a headphone with a issue that a ER3XR/HD6XX don't have. lol

What funny they get shocked when in Studios they won't even touch them. It's mostly just the HD600, ER4, DT1990 and more. Because there tuning is too coloured for there use.


I'm saying that none of them are perfect as they have tradeoffs in different areas.

If you cap the maximum volume, the ER4SR would end up being the best IEM I've ever heard. It's one of only a few headphones of any type that I don't think requires either EQ or mods. It is excellent. It's just not perfect.

Is not not praise enough? Or are you disputing if the distortion is even audible?
I was arguing on the idea that distortion is inaudible, The ER4XR has the highest distortion yet it dosen't hurt it clarity & res. Nobody even knew in the 90s when it was the ER4P or ER4S can reach 0.9% on most batches. They still outperformed other headphones with lower distortion like the early HD600.

I do remember a Ety engineer, Saying there was a DBT on distortion levels where the ones who could tell on sine waves was just luck than good hearing?. Seems like it could be them falling back on there research on hearing, That our hearing isn't some powerful device it pretty flawed & easily fooled.
 
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Blujackaal

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Thread Starter #30
Right, but we're only talking -40dB here...and the Ety's already have that much isolation.
My point was even at 80 - 100db it will still sound clean perceptually. When people say they can tell i assume its the music source flaws showing because of it being very detailed. But yeah with Ety's isolation its more or less distortion free since there no need to turn the volume up.

Also applies to the Grados...
I've never understood the hype they look like a DIY project with amateurish tuning, Why is there +8db in the 7k area?. Not to mention they have no bass and choke with any bass boost?.
 
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flipflop

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#32
This might be the first time I've seen someone call a ZMF headphone terrible. I've never actually heard one myself. Please do tell ...
https://www.innerfidelity.com/images/ZMFEikon.pdf
https://www.dropbox.com/s/xxt8liitfys9lt6/ZMF Eikon.pdf?dl=0
IF measurement shows bloated lower mids, oratory shows a lack of sub-bass. This could have something to do with the seal.
Both of them show a roller coaster response past 1 kHz with large dips (1.5 kHz, 7 kHz), a peak (5-6 kHz), and an overall subdued treble response.
To make matters worse, they are also highly variable when it comes to positioning, as you can see from the raw response of the IF measurement. Changing the position of the headphones slightly leads to huge variations in the FR.

ZMF Atticus are even worse sounding, and have the same issue with positioning, but I chose Eikon beucase it's more expensive.
 

pwjazz

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#33
https://www.innerfidelity.com/images/ZMFEikon.pdf
https://www.dropbox.com/s/xxt8liitfys9lt6/ZMF Eikon.pdf?dl=0
IF measurement shows bloated lower mids, oratory shows a lack of sub-bass. This could have something to do with the seal.
Both of them show a roller coaster response past 1 kHz with large dips (1.5 kHz, 7 kHz), a peak (5-6 kHz), and an overall subdued treble response.
To make matters worse, they are also highly variable when it comes to positioning, as you can see from the raw response of the IF measurement. Changing the position of the headphones slightly leads to huge variations in the FR.

ZMF Atticus are even worse sounding, and have the same issue with positioning, but I chose Eikon beucase it's more expensive.
How did they sound to you?
 

MRC01

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#34
Sensitive discussion ;)
That was by far the best video he ever did and shows what +15dB at 6kHz does. ...
That [Tyll's pained expression] is how I feel when listening to the HD-800. They're not as bad as the Ultrasone, more like +6 dB @ 6 kHz, but they still make me wince.
This could be an individual HRTF thing, because if I put my hands behind my ears and cup them forward, it makes the world sound like the HD-800.
 

pwjazz

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#37
Muddy, dull, and with a hint of sibilance.
4.5/10, would not listen to again.
I do hope to try some ZMFs one day. Crinacle has started measuring headphones, including some ZMFs. He uses a non-standard rig (a frankenstein based on MiniDSP E.A.R.S.), so take the measurements with a grain of salt.

Comparing his Eikon measurements with the HD650, I see a few notable features.

- Eikon has much less upper mids, including a very deep hole at around 1.7KHz. Although I personally think the HD650 has too much here, I can see how the Eikon would sound "dull" in comparison, especially with the missing energy around 1-2 KHz.
- There's a spike at around 9KHz. I can see how that could sound sibilant.
- The Eikon has actual sub-bass extension. If you're listening to sub-bass heavy music and are coming from a more rolled-off headphone like the HD650, I could see that contributing to the Eikon seeming very bassy, though I'm not sure it would translate into "muddy" unless there's also a great deal of bass distortion or something.

1585938950460.png
 

Severian

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#38
I've hated every pair of Mr. Speakers/DCA headphones I've tried. Don't understand the hype at all.

I've also disliked every Beyerdynamic I've tried, but at least many of them aren't TOO expensive and I suppose I can see how they might be good for studio work.
 

Jimbob54

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#39
I've hated every pair of Mr. Speakers/DCA headphones I've tried. Don't understand the hype at all.

I've also disliked every Beyerdynamic I've tried, but at least many of them aren't TOO expensive and I suppose I can see how they might be good for studio work.
I've a pair of both. On the right day, love both. Not my favourites but begs the question, what's your preferred flavour?
 

maverickronin

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#40
Listening to stereo mixes over headphones is so unnatural to begin with it's no wonder people have such widely diverging opinions.
 
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