This is something I’ve been meaning to make a thread about for a while. Why do you think you like what you do? As in, what aspects of your life do you think shaped what you enjoy or even what you think sound “natural” or “right” in the sound signature of your favorite speaker/headphone/IEM?
I’ll go first. My current favorite headphone is the TR-X00 PH, so I like the bass, fairly bright treble (5k and up), good dynamics, I couldn’t care less about sound stage width, and I’m not too picky about vocals (as long as they are good enough). My theory as to why this is what I like and why it even sounds natural/right to me despite it defiantly not being neutral is because of my time in the school concert band. I started out on trumpet in 4th-7th grade (contributing to my taste for treble), then moved to baritone for the latter half of 7th and first half of 8th, then finally tuba for 8th-12th grade. The seating position on the stage means that the tuba players are all surrounded by the rest of the low brass as well as the tenor and baritone saxophones (low instruments). I also occasionally played as part of the small brass/wood wind section for the orchestra and the same thing applies but with the basses and cellos. One last thing is that I was always seated literally right next to the bass drum (I could reach over and touch it without getting up). This is why I think that boosted bass sounds right to me. My primary experience with live music is being surrounded by all the sources of lower mids and bass in the band/orchestra. My preference for treble probably comes from the trumpet as well as the rest of the percussion section which was also next to me, so I’m used to more treble from the snares and such. This also probably why I like my dynamics since percussion is the exemplary section for dynamics and I’m used to getting an earful of that. As for sound stage, I’m guessing I don’t really care since I’m used to being literally in the music, not in the audience, so nothing ever sounds really far away or anything like that. As for vocals, I never experienced much live vocal performances, so I never really got a feel for vocals I guess, So while this sound signature is NOT neutral, to me is sounds natural and correct to what I know to be live music.
I’ve always found my sound preference a little odd. I’ve had tinnitus since I was about 6-7, so you’d think I’d like dark headphones. But I don’t, I like bright headphones. I don’t even like Sennheisers because the veil covers up the treble.
I’m almost the opposite of most people here (seemingly) in that I’m not at all treble sensitive and I can’t stand lots of bass. People seem to go out of their way for that rib-rumbling bass, but I can’t take it for more than a minute. Like you, I don’t care too much about soundstage or width. I tried dolby atmos once.
It definitely influenced my taste in music, no hip-hop, drum and bass, etc. for me. I look for detailed music (perhaps to cover the constant high-pitched drone) which has led to an… eclectic library, yeah let’s go with that.
My preference for music as well as past experience playing violin shapes my preferences. My “ideal” would be flat bass, slightly emphasized mids, harman lower treble, slightly emphasized treble extension. In reality, I like any sound signature as long as it isn’t super v-shaped to my ears. In fact, I like having a variety more than a single good signature.
Warm-leaning headphones are my preference for acoustic stuff, but I also really really like shouty tonality. A lot of the electronic music I listen to is “kill me with mids and treble” so I like headphones that will kill me with mids and treble.
I’m really tempted to get the Moondrop SSR and cross-fingers that it will be a nice change of pace compared to my current collection.
I just hate treble and high-pitched noises. Makes my ears bleed.
That is also why for a lot of metal work where a sane person just shruggs it off, I put on earmuffs.
This rules out a lot of headphones for me. DT-770 was one of the worst offenders.
What I find interesting about the DT770 is that they are not actually super bright (they are bright, just not SUPER bright imo), but they have what I would call REAL sibilance. As in, they distort in the treble. Only a bit, but enough that it sounds properly piercing.
Cheap earbuds and the first cheap iems influenced my sound preferences.
Teenage years were filled with cheap audio purchases from music stores from the 10-20 dollar range. It would have been real nice to have had better access to the better chifi of today, back then. But from there, I wanted better bass because everything I bought sounded bloated and boomy, with my koss ksc75 being the exception. I needed more bass and I thought that meant more in quantity but I’ve come to realize I appreciate clean strong punchy bass for some quality but of course still want to be destroyed by bass quantity for fun.
I also like my highs because of how dark some of those cheap iems and earbuds were. I didnt want my music sounding muffled anymore. The original M50 was my first “expensive” pair of headphones when I was around 17. When I realized I could do better, I bought a pair of dt770 600 ohms when I became an “adult” a few years later. From there, I have gravitated around the beyer sound sig and I really like it. My brain tingles sometimes when listening to my dt880’s on specific songs. Never would I have thought I would prefer a more neutral presentation of sound. I always thought I would just want more and more BASS!
Now, Im starting to think I like a more laid back sound signature. The tygr 300r was that for me and so now im modding my beyerdynamics to tone some of the highs down. I guess right now, my sound preferences have gone more towards what can give me a better experience since I don’t think I’m looking for the best detail, or the the best this or that. I just want an experience that makes me think MMMhhh yes this is it.