Have we witnessed the death of the audiophile? ...

bykfixer

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Ok so a few days ago I got the notion to refresh my 2012 gamer since it stores my music and photos. It was running sluggish and I was able to get it perked back up by deleting stuff I didn't use and turning off a bunch of junk at start up.
Happy with results I figured why not buy some better sounding sattelites as the ones with the subwoofer were just too boomy.

They arrived today and I was so looking forward to the crisp sound of my new speakers. Plug 'em in and turn on the music player and……what is this crap? These things sound like $5 speakers. Seriously? Reviews said they sound great. Man!! So I was about to box them up but decided to plug them to my mp3 player and holy crap these things sound AWESOME!!
Whathehell is the deal with the sound from the laptop?

Between the windows media player equilizer and the "realtek hd" equilizer and it's sound effects synthisizer I have it sounding decent. Better than the old satellites anyway. Some tunes sound great. But like in the old days when my home stereo had a dual 10 band equilizer I'd spend hours trying to tweak 1khz and 125 hz to get rid of the boomy sound but still get the voices right. I'm close now but until today I had no idea how awful my laptop's audio software was.
 

raggie33

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sansa has some great sounding players. i like budget audiophile gear. ok now i know the guys who spend big buck on gear wont agree lol .if it floats ya baot thats al that maytters
 

bykfixer

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Ok, so at the office where I work there is a huge protest taking place where people are staying home due to a new mask policy. I had the place all to myself. At 9:00 I'm thinking "yes, Fuze mp3 player, Bose wireless ear buds and an 8 hour playlist……yessssssss".

The Fuze broadcasts from a Anker bluetooth device plugged into the headphone jack. But the ear buds refused to pair. Draaaaaaaatzzzz!! I tried like 15 times and nothing. In my drawer was a pair of 99 cents ear buds for meetings. But oh my, those things suuuuuuuuck. No freaking way I could stand much of that. I really think a kazzo for a speaker would sound better than those things.

Instead I listened to the air conditioner "wrrrrrr" until lunch time. The building is concrete and steel and my area is in the center so no signals for my cellular phone are available. At lunch (outside in 95 degree heat) I looked up some stuff on my phone but after lunch none of that worked. I was in a hurry to finish up a bunch of stuff so I cut my lunch break short and took my moto e6 phone indoors to listen to some tunes on the wireless ear buds in case the Anker still wouldn't pair.

After work I looked up the pairing thing and reset the Bose……still nothing. Then I read if you hold the on/off button to the Anker it resets that thing. Well when I paired the Anker with the Bose ear buds after that……let there be music. Hooray.

So bottom line is if your Anker won't pair with your wireless ear buds try holding the on/off button for 10-15 seconds. It flashes blue while you hold it, then flashes red a few times and blue again. The ear buds paired with my lap top, a moto e6, a pair of bluetooth sun glasses and my iPhone easily so I think the issue was the Anker.

Whatever the issue was it sure is nice that it now works. Phew!!

Next day edit:
I got to wondering what ever became of some Shure earbuds I bought back around 010. Try as I may I just don't know what ever became of them. I just used them a few months ago. Anyway that led me to wonder if they still make wired ear buds. And that they do. They have a neat trick these days where one can unplug the cord and plug in a bluetooth broadcaster. Or one can buy a cord and turn a wireless set into a corded model for listening to movies on airplanes and such.

They are called Inner Ear Monitors (IEM by most) due to how flat the fidelity curve is. Reference devices. I opted for the consumer model, which are just upgraded 215's. They come in 3 colors and clear. Not sure which color to choose my mind was made up while watching a David Bowie concert on tv. His bass player was wearing IEM's the same color blue as the 215's blue……and so it was. I also bought a cord set to be able to listen to music on non bluetooth devices.

5-A53761-F-5-F82-40-B5-9608-BE2-ADFD35764.jpg

The photo is an overlay of the ear buds and the cord kit done by an iApp called SnapSeed.
End edit
 
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orbital

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Wanted to try a pair of semi open backed headphones,,
so got a pair of Samson SR850

A difference in sound that's hard to describe ~~~ allowing the music to 'breath' is just enlightening.

Listened to Radiohead Weird Fishes with my eyes closed = it was hauntingly good♨️





$44 delivered
 

desert.snake

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Wanted to try a pair of semi open backed headphones,,
so got a pair of Samson SR850

A difference in sound that's hard to describe ~~~ allowing the music to 'breath' is just enlightening.

Listened to Radiohead Weird Fishes with my eyes closed = it was hauntingly good♨️





$44 delivered

It looks like they are AKG K240DF clones. Do they work just as well?
 

rdnzl

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I sold all of my "audiophile" gear 15 years ago. I do regret it.

But these days I listen to music through my mid to high end Denon HT receiver and my 7 speaker Martin Logan surround system. Sounds pretty good to me. MP3's are not allowed in my home.
 

raggie33

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I still say audiophiles sometimes pay more for a name like bose or beats when tgere is cheaper lesser known brands that sound just as good
 

Lynx_Arc

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I still say audiophiles sometimes pay more for a name like bose or beats when tgere is cheaper lesser known brands that sound just as good
I think the problem is a lot of us don't have super sensitive "perfect" hearing and cannot tell the difference and likewise many of us have different tastes in how we want music to sound with some liking it flat, some bright, others bassy etc and different audio components can cater to different tastes along with some devices offering equalization features in them that can raise/lower certain frequency ranges. I know over the decades my hearing has changed and I think I have a little tinnitus along with liking a little more bass but nowhere near what beats seem to default on.
 

rdnzl

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My hearing has changed, for sure. But when you listen to GOOD audio and compare it to the MP3's and streaming services, especially in a GOOD set of head pnones, it's like night and day. It's not always about frequencies. The soundstage and the presence of each instrument can be amazing on a quality recording,
 
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raggie33

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My hearing has changed, for sure. But when you listen to GOOD audio and compare it to the MP3's and streaming services, especially in a GOOD set of head pnones, it's like night and day. It's not always about frequencies. The soundstage and the presence of each instrument can be amazing on a quality recording,
Check out hd audio or sptatial audio sounds great but huge file size.im lucky my digital players has 1000 gigs
 

bykfixer

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Thinking about the past this morning it occured to me that audiophiles have been a rare thing as far back as I can remember. Example would be 90 of 100 would buy their audio equipment at a Roses department store. Around 8 at some stereo store that sold way nicer gear than Roses and the remaining 1 or 2 would travel to a stereo salon that sold hi end products.

Today wal mart and best buy cut out the stereo store guy and the salon aspect means travelling farther unless you live in a big metropolis where millionaires live nearby. When I was a teen a guy who owned a salon had expanded to 3 stores, one of which was 20 minutes from me. Back then it was an hour because some highways we have now hadn't been built.

Here's a 2007 op/ed from Salon.
 

desert.snake

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Thinking about the past this morning it occured to me that audiophiles have been a rare thing as far back as I can remember. Example would be 90 of 100 would buy their audio equipment at a Roses department store. Around 8 at some stereo store that sold way nicer gear than Roses and the remaining 1 or 2 would travel to a stereo salon that sold hi end products.

Today wal mart and best buy cut out the stereo store guy and the salon aspect means travelling farther unless you live in a big metropolis where millionaires live nearby. When I was a teen a guy who owned a salon had expanded to 3 stores, one of which was 20 minutes from me. Back then it was an hour because some highways we have now hadn't been built.

Here's a 2007 op/ed from Salon.
My local audiophiles have never had such problems, everything is bought on forums or on the Internet)) There were only 2 shops in the city with "good" audio equipment, which in fact were not so good and very overpriced.
 

bykfixer

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I know what you mean DS.
The local salon I used to buy from had some awful sounding speakers that were priced as much as my house at the time.
I never asked "how much for that turntable" but "how much a month for the stylus" for that record player. Or "can I buy the demo?" meaning a huge discount versus new. I was 19 years old making minimum wage with a zest for a great sounding stereo.

Back then I'd listen to an album once to make sure it did not skip or pop, then record it to a cassette tape. I used DBX noise reduction (if at all) because to me it actually reduced the hiss with very little change in the upper tones or spacial aspect where Dolby (at the time) just made everything dull and flat to remove the hiss.

My brother used reel to reel but that didn't work out so sporty in your 77 Nova.

My brother always had gigantic speakers made of nice wood and sounded awesome. He liked BASS and lots of it. When I brought home my first end table sized Klipsch speakers (the KG square) he said "awe man that just aint fair" lol. Klipsch had smashed the bass issue by putting passive radiators on the rear of the cabinet. Oh they did not do justice to a stand up bass fiddle like my brothers refrigerator sized furniture but they sure did a heck of a job at providing a nice bass punch while the tweeter put out a nice wide sound stage in the sweet spot between them.

My first sattelite speaker set was a Klipsch. Disappointing to say the least but sounded way better than the high $ Bose and all the crap Best Buy sold at the time. I use small sattelites by Bose plugged into the headphone jack of a laptop these days. Compromise with a capital C but I no longer long to sit in the sweet spot in a rocking chair buzzing from left handed cigarettes but instead move about enjoying background music that sounds better than the overhead speakers at my cardiologists office. ;)
 
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desert.snake

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I just don't have a place to put speakers, and the walls in the apartment building are too thin, it will disturb the neighbors (and I don't want them to know about my addictions anymore), so I always had headphones and everything with connected with them. With headphones, you can get very cheap, very good sound. I found audio cassettes when I was little, my grandfather also had a vinyl player, but there were no records for him, except for a few 60s, and there was no where to buy them either. In general, I did not even know about the existence of audiophiles and something more expensive than $ 30. I bought Sennheiser 415 headphones and used them for a computer, after a while my ears started to hurt, in the sense of the eardrums themselves, although I did not listen loudly. I decided to look for something better and bought Grado 80 headphones with my first salary. It was 2010 and the worst heat wave in my memory. The sound was much better, my ears stopped hurting, but I began to be bothered by excessive sound saturation and the cartilage of the ears began to hurt due to the fact that the headphones leaned on them. I found a forum for headphone lovers, learned about sound cards, DACs, ADCs, amplifiers, different types of emitters, and it all went like a snowball))) Now I stopped at this, as I picked up a system that suits me. Something much better will be much more expensive (for example Stax, Abyss, Focal, etc)
 

orbital

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worthy update:

Owned my Samson SR850 headphones for about year & half now.
Have to say they are one of the best purchases per dollar for me.
Just fantastic experience.

Open back headphones give a different experience ~ tight clean bass with the rest of the sound spectrum landing in nicely.
They let your ears breath and you don't get that hot/pressurized headphone feeling.
Hard to describe, but you get more of a 360 degree experience, than say other headphone 'drivers' yelling at your ears

100% recommend
 

idleprocess

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worthy update:

Owned my Samson SR850 headphones for about year & half now.
Have to say they are one of the best purchases per dollar for me.
Just fantastic experience.

Open back headphones give a different experience ~ tight clean bass with the rest of the sound spectrum landing in nicely.
They let your ears breath and you don't get that hot/pressurized headphone feeling.
Hard to describe, but you get more of a 360 degree experience, than say other headphone 'drivers' yelling at your ears

100% recommend

Two things that have dissuaded me from exploring open-back headphones:
  1. The environments I normally use headphones in require isolation both ways
  2. I gather they're best paired with headphone amplifiers as the typical headphone jack can't do them justice
 

orbital

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I use them plugged into my laptop,
without incurring hearing damage, there is no way I could possibly turn them up (notebook volume) all the way.
No amp needed.

Impedance~ 32 ohm
Sensitivity~ 98 dB
 
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