Ranking the aspects of headphone sound

I was thinking about this. how would you grade the aspects of headphone sound signature? which are most important and next important ect? I’m just starting to really notice these things and be able to point them out and im fascinated by it.

Here’s how i would rank it with my current understanding. i’m still learning a lot of stuff so any corrections or enlightenment on these subject is deeply appreciated. :smile::

Treble>Bass>Midrange>Dynamic Range>Detail>Imaging>Soundstage>what else?


Treble is the most important to me. if thats recessed you get a dark headphone, sometimes very dark which i hate :confounded:. I love crystal clear clarity in a headphone. Hate darkness. I’m afraid of the dark! :worried: One thing i really hate is i feel it obscures detail. But its an absolute boon for some. i suspect these are people how listen to music for long periods of time and dont want any foward or harsh sound to their music.


Next i think is Bass. i never respected bass that much till i started getting headphones that had a lot of it. its surprising how important it is! bass is a BIG deal. makes the music sound so good, and i dont listen to a lot of rap and hip hop. gets me groovin. gives a more fuller sound. makes the music more dramatic. and just so satisfying with the bass drums hit!


Next is midrange. ive heard headphones with midrange recessed too much. and their horrible. its like theres this hole there. sounds little hollow. just sounds terrible but i dont need a lot of it. some V shaped headphones sound fine. so if midrage is recessed a bit, np. Midrange also seems connected to vocal clarity.


Next i think is Dynamic Range. I was wondering whats more important. Detail or Dynamic range and i heard some headphones without so much range and its quite unsatisfying. DMS said Dynamic range is like a picture with too much exposure in light, picture gets washed out. or dark you lose details in the shadows. Wider dynamic range means more information. you get more detail and clarity.


Next Detail. Is this inextricably linked to dynamic range? idk but i love detail in headphones. i still want to get a L700 cause its supposed to have so much detail. hearing the individual instruments so clearly and the nuance thats there is so enlightening and exciting!


Imagining is where the instruments are placed in the room. This is interesting cause i dont think people come into the studio and they just record a live performance. so they place the instruments in the music during the mix? anyway its so important. and accurate presentation of them is highly valued.


Finally soundstage. soundstage is how wide or narrow the music is represented. and my least favorite. what i dont get is you hear a lot of reviewers and people complain about lack of soundstage. I dont like a lot of soundstage, the narrower the better. its why i love the Aivas so much. It seems to me the more soundstage you have the less detail you get. cause the music is farther away. Zeos loves soundstage. he once said that he wants so much soundstage he wants the music to be in the next county. i just dont get it lol.

When my ears shear off after five minutes of use, the rest does not matter.


I don’t rank, I just compare to other headphones. That’s it.
That’s why Zeos said in his reviews he hates rating things, because “what happened in the last year or even 3 months? Neither do I!”
Just my take.


What is important depends entirely on use case and what I’m listening to. As I use headphones for more than just listening to music

Comfort is a prerequisite for a good headphone as it doesn’t matter how good the sound is if you can’t stand wearing them. However it is also a highly subjective personal preference and what is horrible to one person may be comfortable to another.

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Same can be said of the sound?


Yes. Sound preference is a subjective thing and it is no more right or wrong to prefer a particular sound signature than it is any other. This is why I feel uncomfortable with the way the Harman response curve is being used to decide whether headphone sound quality is good or bad by some reviewers and websites. That curve just reflects a statistical preference. If people like that preference then great, but if a headphone manufacturer goes for a different response and you like it then that is a perfectly valid choice. I think I use Grado as an example quite a lot but for all I don’t really like their tuning it isn’t accidental and I respect them for their consistency and faith in their design language and tuning.

For me it really depends on the type of music I’m listening to. If I’m listening to Classical I appreciate imaging and detail, when I’m listening to progressive rock I care about mids, highs and detail, when I’m listening to Hip Hop I care about bass.
Though I have to admit that a lot of the aspects I don’t fully understand yet and certainly can’t (knowingly) distinguish, since I only just got into all this.