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Expensive and/or raved-about headphones that actually suck!


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Well as this ain't head-fi (and all that means), I would assume one would be able to run a thread like this without having the hate brought down from the sky. Plus, roasting stuff is always fun so... 

1. Ultrasone Edition 10. ~$3500(?). The most repulsive >$100 headphone I've ever heard, period. Couldn't stand more than 20 seconds of it.  

2. Pioneer SE-Master1. ~$2500. Artificially boosted, distorted bass that interferes with the midrange and a tizzy, metallic top end sums it up quite nicely. And this piece of shit actually got quite a solid reception from magazines and some (apparently, deaf) headphone users. Was just recently measured by Tyll though and his measurements cohere with my impressions. 

3. Grado PS-1000. ~$1600. U-shape exemplified, with a razor-blade of a treble. As a bonus, unnecessarily heavy with poor weight distribution. GS1000 is the same, maybe worse. 

4. Beyerdynamic T1. ~$1100. Quite good sounding until you get to the high notes, where everything falls apart. Typical Beyer. 

5. Sennheiser HD 700. ~$700. Like above, to a lesser extent. 

6. Ultrasone Edition 8. ~$1000. May be the best Ultrasone, but that sure as hell don't make it good. 

7. JVC DX1000. $???. Sounds like having a pair of coke-cans attached to your head. 

8. AKG K701. ~$250. Very popular in its price range along with its different-colored siblings (Q701, K702) but I've never understood why. The older k501 is far better. 

9. The Denon D7100. ~$800. A failure for sure, same goes with the rest of that range.

10. Ok, here it comes. 

The STAX SR-009. ~$4000. 

No, it doesn't suck. Yes, it's miles better than anything else on this list and better than all but a few headphones in this world. And hell, with some music it's even quite a nice listen. But, it's certainly the most overrated headphone ever sold IMHO. My god, the raves about this one. Certainly ain't nothing wrong with the clarity or the engineering/construction, but to me it just sounds off tonally. Upper mids/lower treble brought forward and lower midrange & bass thinned out compared to the 007. Damn shame as it's such a beautifully built and packaged piece of headphone. 

I would mention the HD 800, but then I figured - flawed or not - it might actually be the best moving-coil dynamic driver headphone in the world. And it's not obnoxiously expensive... not by todays standards. 

All subjective of course. Anyone else? 

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I like it.  :)  The 009 does belong there and there are other crazy expensive sets which also can't quite live up to the hype.  The Orpheus was so far from being neutral that it wasn't even funny, large parts of the bass spectrum simply missing and the top end only sounds ok if you feed it through a broken amplifier with enough polyester caps in the signal path.  Let's not get started on that soundstage or what ever it was supposed to be... 

Sony R-10.  Nothing wrong with them except they have a very unique sound but my gripe is people paying way too much money for something nobody can service and where the crucial foam parts are degrading so they will never sound right.

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10 hours ago, Bjorn said:

*Nods, exhales slowly and wipes the tears*. 

You said yesterday that you thought this place was a whole lot nicer than Head-Fi.  Well, yes and no.  Props for rolling with it, but that was a pretty Head-Fi-like thread to start on your second day here, even if it would have been deleted over there.  

Keep rolling with the punches, figure out what and when is right to post, figure out the right time for attitude in your posts/responses based on some reading around the forum, and you'll do just fine here.

Welcome.  Sort of.  :popcorn:

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Are there any headphones you do like? Don't know where you get your kicks, but I don't waste a lot of time on shit I don't like, headphones or otherwise. Find something you like, listen to them for a while, and fucking smile a little.

Edited by Wmcmanus
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