headphones,well generally anything audio related, are covered head to toe with marketing propaganda. and you gotta cut through it all.
first off, you need to recognize what type of environment youll be using headphones in the most. often noisy and around a lot of people? mostly by yourself in a quiet environment? this will help tell you which type of headphone youll want.
there're basically 4 kinds: open ear, closed ear, noise-cancelling and in-ear. each have strengths and advantages.
- open ear: these generally tend to have the greatest frequency response, meaning they can hit the highest highs, and the lowest lows. they tend to be the most accurate and bad ass. they are also generally the most expensive. theyre also bad in loud environments with a lot of people, because a) if youre playing your music loud, others might be able to hear it, and b) all that noise will leak in and color the music youre listening to, as well as drown out your volume.
- closed ear: closed ear is better for noisy environments (not as much outside noise gets to your ears), and tend to place an emphasis on bass (though it tends to sound 'boomy' and not 'tight' or controlled sounding... kinda like if you place a subwoofer too close to a wall). good headphones if youre often out and about in public.
noise-cancelling: theyre closed ear phones with special stuffs to really block outside noise. you pay a premium for this specific feature, and generally sound quality itself is regarded as secondary in their construction. great for super noisy enviroments, not the best for actual sound quality. not terrible for sound quality, but expensive.
in-ear: minimalist headphones that're very easy to take anywhere. they can also come in a noise-cancelling flavor, but all in-ear phones resist outside sound fairly well. sound quality runs the gamut: they can be piss poor (stock ipod headphones) to really good ($500+ ones). they dont however beat open-ear in sound quality, but can match some closed ear ones (though closed ear phones are generally much better).
after that, you gotta consider your source. ipod? cd player? laptop? home theater amplifier? all drive headphones differently, meaning not only different levels of sound quality, but different max. volumes too. some open-ear and closed-ear headphones require a lot of power, so if you plug one into an ipod, at max volume itll still sound soft and quiet. generally, this is how power output goes, in order of weakest to most powerful:
ipod - cd player - laptop - home theater amp
if youre going with an ipod, want fancy headphones and want good volume levels, often youll need a portable headphone amplifier. you probably wont get anything super fancy or demanding so ill skip this section, and go right to recommendations.
also, you gotta recognize which sound youre more biased toward: treble or bass, or simplify it. do you like a lot of boom boom, or prefer crystal clear highs? somewhere in the middle? consider the music you normally listen to.
and before recommendations however, a tip: always evaluate headphones with them on, as youd listen to them normally. headphones - some more than others - are designed specifically to sound a certain way with the headphones on your head. with the headphones by your neck, youre testing them in a way theyre not designed to be used; in other words, many things affect sound quality, and the specific position of the headphones relative to your head is something the manufacturers depend on for sound quality. getting your ears at the right position is something the engineers spend good time on (from the shape of the headphones, to the specific padding they use, etc.) so by not wearing the headphones properly, youre robbing yourself of the sound quality the manufacturers made the headphones for.
on to recommendations!
well im not going to recommend any specifically, sorry if i got your hopes up. but i can list some brands to think about.
beats by dr dre: lots of bass (and not very quality at that), muddled treble and pricey.
grado: loved for the super clear treble is makes, annoys people who love bass. not great for rap music, sexy for classical, rock, etc. what bass is does have is very tight and controlled, at least. more expensive grados are supposed to have great bass.
sennheiser: very popular, and tends to be a bit bass heavy. generally good treble, and beefy bass. good for rap and the like.
there're a lot of headphones to consider, so if any catch your eye, look for professional reviews that not only compare it to other assorted headphones, but is from a website that is devoted to audio. dont go to IGN, neoseeker, amazon, general tech sites or places like that for a well-rounded audio evaluation, go to a professional site that does a lot of audio hardware reviews.
May 16, 12 at 6:39pm
I am looking for advice on headphones and I am starting to think my method is faulty. I usually put my headphones around my neck just hanging there so I can make out what kinda tone my target is, still hear whats going on around me, and not be bothering people close by with F2 loud speaker. Some advice that was given to me was listen to the shape and volume of the tones and you will be able to tell more about the target. I am starting to think maybe I should put the headphones on my ears where they belong to make out those subtle sounds. I was introduced through a friend who have joined the headphones promotional activities. When I saw the stylish appearance ,I fell in love with it-- Beats By Dr.Dre Headphones. This site is ongoing promotional activities, everyone who buys the headphones will enjoy a half price !!! www.b2cmonster What do you think? Wish helps and advises! Thanks!
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