Author Topic: The Headphone Addiction - Why does it happen?  (Read 1149 times)

Offline capetownwatches

Re: The Headphone Addiction - Why does it happen?
« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2019, 12:12:56 PM »
So..... Hopefully Francois and Arie will stop nagging after this.....

You're off the hook...for now.  :EGrin:

Offline AlleyCat

Re: The Headphone Addiction - Why does it happen?
« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2019, 12:57:02 PM »
2nd.


Clever got me this far, then tricky got me in. Really I was just curious.

I entered with HD600 and LD MKIII. I would be happy to own that combo again. Iím currently on HD800 and looking for the right amplification - something warm.

Speakers are my primary components though. Headphones are an extra for me.

Michon, here's a possible answer

Sennheiser HD800 and Pathos Aurium Headphone Amp ( pity you are in Jhb, I would have loaned you mine ) :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOp5Qd_n7sQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJdAmcgf0aU
« Last Edit: March 20, 2019, 12:59:56 PM by AlleyCat »
"Not everything meaningful is measurable, and not everything measurable is meaningful" - Floyd Toole

Offline Bravick

Re: The Headphone Addiction - Why does it happen?
« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2019, 12:58:51 PM »
I forgot about the Lyr, but now that I think of it I did enjoy it more than the transistor only amplifiers that I have tried with the HD800. Now my anal retentiveness is kicking in. Even the Pmillet I enjoyed.
Yeah, the Millett is a lot of amp for peanuts. The Lyr just have more of everything. Power control, micro detail etc. But then, you pay for the more of everything......

Sent from my SM-G955F using Tapatalk

I almost had a psychic girlfriend, but she left me before we met

Offline capetownwatches

Re: The Headphone Addiction - Why does it happen?
« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2019, 01:13:29 PM »
Michon, here's a possible answer

Sennheiser HD800 and Pathos Aurium Headphone Amp ( pity you are in Jhb, I would have loaned you mine ) :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOp5Qd_n7sQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJdAmcgf0aU


Ahem....I'm in Cape Town...  >:D

Offline AlleyCat

Re: The Headphone Addiction - Why does it happen?
« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2019, 01:31:16 PM »
Capetownwatches send me a pm and we can make a plan for later in the week/end, no problemo.
"Not everything meaningful is measurable, and not everything measurable is meaningful" - Floyd Toole

Offline Drifter

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Re: The Headphone Addiction - Why does it happen?
« Reply #20 on: March 20, 2019, 01:43:40 PM »
I just own 2 sets of headphones at the moment, but have been a through a few sets from Philips to Sennheisers over the past few years. Similarly I have a few amps/dacs from Audioquest Dragonfly to Jolida Glass DAC but settled on 1 amp/DAC combo at the moment.

Current set up is Audeze LCD-2 fazors and Deckard amp/DAC.


Much as I love my heaphones, it is the system I will use last out of my dedicated stereo setup, dedicated HT setup, braairoom NAD system and TV HT in a box system. I use it to keep the sound level down at times when the rest of the family want some peace and quiet. I guess I then don't qualify as an addict?

Offline naughty

Re: The Headphone Addiction - Why does it happen?
« Reply #21 on: March 20, 2019, 03:43:12 PM »
I suppose that i'm not an addict either ..... I'm just getting some  headphones and amps now because the new place i'm moving into will not allow me to play music loudly ..... and i do like it fairly loud

the thing is for me i prefer the spread of the soundstage with speakers - because it allows me to hear every detail of each instrument in its own space - with headphones it is harder to follow each instrument because everything is so much closer together ..... and i suppose that i have been listening to speakers for so long tha ti have trained my ear to look for those cues and in headphone listening i miss them

so i suppose for now i am kind of the opposite to the headphone addicts .... but it's a case of needs must and i need to actually now only get used to using headphones - which is going to make the few occasions that i listen to speakers an absolute treat

i can see myself landing up with a few headphones and a few DAC/AMPs ..... though i do want an improved wireless setup so that i can have a more audiophiley setup on the go ..... i cannot see myself carrying my new ifi IDSD Micro Black Label while i'm doing exercise though it is absolutely perfect for a desktop/PC system or for use on long trips etc where i can hook up the DAC to my phone and use a decent set of headphones

Offline Trompie67

Re: The Headphone Addiction - Why does it happen?
« Reply #22 on: March 20, 2019, 04:22:06 PM »
I do enjoy listening with headphones, but cannot by a long shot be classified as an addict.

I use a set of HD590's and a Korg DS-Dac.

I enjoy the fact that I become totally immersed in the music - I need to be relatively stationary (2,5m cable restricts movement!) and as such can blank out the outside world & chill.

The HD-590's are open back, so noise can be irritating to others in the vicinity.

However, the same ability to become totally immersed is also the biggest drawback for me.

I am hyper alert, and suffer from PTSD. The very fact that I am completely isolated from the outside world causes me great distress & will not allow me to be isolated from external sounds for longer than 5 or ten minutes.

This unfortunately means that the listening experience is always cut short just as I begin to relax & become completely immersed in the music :(.
*Insert profound or witty phrase here*

Offline What

Re: The Headphone Addiction - Why does it happen?
« Reply #23 on: March 20, 2019, 04:48:50 PM »
I do enjoy listening with headphones, but cannot by a long shot be classified as an addict.

I use a set of HD590's and a Korg DS-Dac.

I enjoy the fact that I become totally immersed in the music - I need to be relatively stationary (2,5m cable restricts movement!) and as such can blank out the outside world & chill.

The HD-590's are open back, so noise can be irritating to others in the vicinity.

However, the same ability to become totally immersed is also the biggest drawback for me.

I am hyper alert, and suffer from PTSD. The very fact that I am completely isolated from the outside world causes me great distress & will not allow me to be isolated from external sounds for longer than 5 or ten minutes.

This unfortunately means that the listening experience is always cut short just as I begin to relax & become completely immersed in the music :(.

@Trompie67  How does the Korg DAC drive the cans?

I am sorry to read about your PTSD - same here - so I totally understand where you come from.

Offline Rotten Johnny

Re: The Headphone Addiction - Why does it happen?
« Reply #24 on: March 20, 2019, 04:54:11 PM »
Much as cans can be a good listening experience, for me they're no match for a good hi-fi setup in a treated room. I also find I tend to get tinnitus when using cans daily for a week or so.  Two culprits I suspect: probably listen too loud (though I'm not convinced); too many extended listening sessions that run to after 1AM.  I know that when I'm sleep deprived I get tinnitus, every time.

I recently bought 2x Audio Pro Addon T3 active speakers, plugged a Chromecast Audio in the back and get decent sound at my bedside and in the shoebox lounge that doubles as the dogs' sleeping quarters.  They actually sound a lot better than anything that size has a right to. Now I'm getting some tunes in, enjoying them and then getting enough shut eye.
I like beautiful melodies telling me terrible things -- Tom Waits

Free your mind...and your ass will follow.

Offline Ninja_Theory

Re: The Headphone Addiction - Why does it happen?
« Reply #25 on: March 20, 2019, 05:27:28 PM »
This post is just so that Francois does not block me on Whatsapp! ;D
3rd :tongue:
I thought I was into Head-fi until I started getting a little more active here and "met up" with you, @capetownwatches @Scubadude and some other boyz here. Since then I went from an Astro A50 and an E3 to a DT990 Pro/DT770 Pro/X2 to HD650, LCD2, R2R11 with a HD800S incoming in a few weeks, followed shortly by a LDMK3. Needless to say my wife is not happy LOL but she's coming to terms with my new addiction. Just as I hit my gaming dreams with a half-decent 2080Ti rig... the head-fi bug bit. Makes gaming look like child's play.

But the real turning point for me was the move from the DT990 Pro/E3 to the HD650/R2R11. I don't recall anything blowing my perception of music through the roof as that upgrade did for me. The rest, as they say, is history...
HD650/800S || DX7S || Massdrop THX 789 Little Dot III || Loxjie P20

Offline gLer

Re: The Headphone Addiction - Why does it happen?
« Reply #26 on: March 21, 2019, 12:40:16 AM »
I may as well chime in since I was called out by name in the very first post (guilty as charged!). I'm a writer so this is going to be story. Strap in and get the popcorn.

I found a somewhat fast-tracked path through the head-fi maze by virtue of my brother and head-fi mentor @xenithon being one of the original pioneers of high-end head-fi in South Africa. 

My very first 'serious' headphone was an AKG-K100 (which I still have, battered and worn as it is), which I bought as a 30th birthday gift for myself many moons ago. I then lost interest in headphones until working all day on computers became a thing. So I bought some V-Moda M-100s a few years back, they being FOTM at the time. This was the start of my basshead period, one which I'm very glad to have finally left in the past. But not before migrating up from the V-Modas to the B&W P7 and then my first 'audiophile' closed headphone, the Massdrop TH-X00.

That was about 18 months ago, at which point the addiction bit so hard that I jumped straight to the $1000 leagues with the ZMF Atticus, one of two in Africa at the time (the other being Carmel's). This was also the last of my 'closed' headphones and officially the end of my basshead days as I started appreciating a more balanced, refined sound, and finally understood the benefits of 'open' headphones that I was so quick to dismiss for their 'lack of bass' (which I now know to be 'lack of bloom', a very different thing).

But I digress. I kept the Atticus around for a while, then added what at the time I thought was my 'endgame' headphone, the LCD-3F. This was 'the' headphone, one I'd aspired to since I first heard it back in my newbie Fostex days. It also took my headphone spend to unprecedented levels, by which time I'd sold off just about any piece of unused tech I had lying around the house to afford it (they don't call it an addiction for nothing).

And so I was happy, for a while. But something still niggled. The Atticus wasn't gelling so well with my new amp (don't get me started on amps, @capetownwatches will give you a primer on amp addiction if you like); and I was too scared to use the LCD more than once or twice lest I damage it in some way (an irrational paranoia given how well built it is, but still). I had my two 'dream' headphones and I wasn't really enjoying them.

Eventually I decided to reluctantly sell the Atticus. I fell in love with ZMF headphones with the Atticus, but my real love was the Auteur, the pinnacle of what Zach Merbach had achieved with his custom dynamic headphones. This was less than 6 months ago. But the Auteur was simply beyond what I was willing and able to spend - until by chance I found a buyer for the headphone I swore I'd never sell, the LCD. At the same time, Zach had a pair of demo Auteurs in a rare dark Wenge wood finish, and said I could have them for the sale price of the LCD. It was written in the stars, apparently.

But I wasn't done, of course. While all the back-and-forth was going on with the Atticus and LCD (and if you know anything about high-end head-fi buying and selling in SA, you'll know it's not an easy or straightforward process), I chanced on a pair of Focal Elear headphones on Head-Fi, my main source of audio equipment. The recent release of the Massdrop Elex for $699 saw mint Elears being flogged off for less than $500, so with the extra cash from the Atticus sale I picked up an Elear and, later, some Elex pads. I figured at the price, if I didn't like them I should be able to sell them again without losing money, but as it turns out I loved them. So much so that they became my daily headphones.

Not wanting another LCD debacle, where hugely expensive headphones spent most of the time unused in their box, I started rotating the Elear/Elex with the Auteur, only to discover the differences between the two were not enough to justify my keeping both. What to do? I didn't want to sell either, but if I was going to let one go, it would be the Elear, and then only if I could find a replacement that was both exceptional and vastly different, as a complement to the Auteur.

There's one headphone I've had a long history with, being the very first 'high-end' headphone I heard back in the day: the Sennheiser HD800. Those were my V-Moda days, and I distinctly remember joking with Carmel as to why anyone would spend $1000 on a headphone and the same again on an amp to power them. And having spent all that money, still not have the 'bass' of my comparably 'cheap' V-Modas. Little did I know then the rollercoaster I would soon be taking...

And so, as fate would have it, @Scubadude wanted an Elear/Elex, and I wanted an HD800, and we each had what the other wanted, so we swapped (cue inspirational cinematic music).

If all of this has taught me anything, it's that the addiction is real, but at the same time, there's a cure. That cure is finding the headphone - or headphones - that make you want to listen to every single album in your collection all over again, and in the Auteur and, as of a few weeks ago, the HD800, I've found my head-fi nirvana.

It's a strange feeling waking up in the morning and not thinking about which headphones I might want to try - or buy. I've now turned my attention to mobile gear, just to feed that niggle that never quite goes away. But as far as I'm concerned my (full-size) headphone journey is done. All that's left now is to do with them what they were designed to do in the first place.
Mac Mini ---> Audio-gd R-28 ---> Sennheiser HD800 / ZMF Auteur
Fiio M11 ---> FiiO FH7

Offline Trompie67

Re: The Headphone Addiction - Why does it happen?
« Reply #27 on: March 21, 2019, 01:45:41 AM »
@Trompie67  How does the Korg DAC drive the cans?

I am sorry to read about your PTSD - same here - so I totally understand where you come from.

The Korg DS-DAC & DAC-M are both fantastic. I'm using the DAC-M currently & am very happy. Great match with the 590's.
*Insert profound or witty phrase here*

Offline dingeth

Re: The Headphone Addiction - Why does it happen?
« Reply #28 on: March 21, 2019, 10:33:02 AM »
My recent audio journey began about 9 months ago when my 4 yr old broke my PlayStation gaming headset. I'm the type of person that does stupid amounts of research before making any tech purchase, so that I get the most bang for my buck. Cue endless Google searches on "Best gaming headset" and in the next week I read just about every review in existence on various PS4 headsets, and did the currency conversion mathematics like a crazed lunatic. Almost settled on a set of steelseries arctis pros.

But then I came across an interesting thread on Reddit about how gaming headsets are overpriced for what they are and how alot of compromises are made in terms of sound quality, accurate imaging and position cues etc. and how surround sound via software is bull....

This really piqued my interest and I hadn't realised it yet but that was probably the start of my own rabbit hole. Another month of research on various forums such as head fi etc. followed and then it dawned on me that I was highly unlikely to meet my dual criteria of excellent gaming headset (at least on console) as well as Superior audio reproduction. So I ended up getting a replacement Sony headset for the PS4 at a steal, thinking to myself that I could finally rest in peace since I got my new headset and I didn't have to spend much...

But my craving for a high end headphone was still there so I eventually went against my better judgement and spent what I initially considered "crazy" money and put down a few k's on my first "audiophile" can, a pair of Audeze Sines. My life goal (actually more like 2 months goal) was now complete!!

Or so I had thought...

Five months later and I've now added a Fiio Q5 mobile dac/amp and am planning to add a hd6xx to my collection in the next couple of months with a set of balanced cables to get the most out of my most recent purchase. At this point in time I've spent more on my audio gear than I like to admit (and wouldn't dare admit to my wife!!) but once the Senns arrive I can finally call it a day right?

Except I'm sure that it won't be the end....

The addiction is real
Audio Noob

Offline Ninja_Theory

Re: The Headphone Addiction - Why does it happen?
« Reply #29 on: March 21, 2019, 12:56:38 PM »
but once the Senns arrive I can finally call it a day right?
Mods, please file under "famous last words"...
HD650/800S || DX7S || Massdrop THX 789 Little Dot III || Loxjie P20