(Sorry, no video or disco occurring in this blog)
So this article is from the Stone Age (2015) but I just found it now, so we’re going to take a look at it. For six songs, there are three samples provided (three for each song, that is). The task is to pick which of the three samples is of the highest audio quality.
I’m going to listen to each audio sample on 1) my $5.99 Koss headphones (the ones I use for walking) and on 2) my massive $600-ish Sennheisers (the ones that I freak out over nearly every day because they’re so damn good). I’m going to see if it’s easier to assess audio quality on the Sennheisers when compared to the Koss.
The tricky part is trying to be as objective/unbiased as possible for each song while still having to listen to each with both headphones. So rather than check my answers as I go, I’m going to first write them down for the Koss and then for the Sennheisers and then check my correctness. This will at least in part mitigate the issue of knowing which answers are correct as I go through the second round.
So let’s go!
Round 1: $5.99 Koss Headphones
Here are what I think are the best quality versions for each song:
- Speed of Sound: sample 1
- Mozart: sample 2
- There’s a World: sample 2
- Tom’s Diner: sample 3
- Tom Ford: sample 3
- Dark Horse: sample 3
[I waited about an hour between this round and the next and am not looking at my above answers as I do this process for the Sennheisers; I don’t remember what my above answers were]
Round 2: $600 Sennheiser Headphones
Again, here are what I think are the best quality versions for each song:
- Speed of Sound: sample 3
- Mozart: sample 1
- There’s a World: sample 3
- Tom’s Diner: sample 1
- Tom Ford: sample 3
- Dark Horse: sample 1
Ready for the results?
Score with Koss: 2/6
Score with Sennheisers: 5/6
Hahaha, wow. Wasn’t expecting that much of a difference!
Edit: turns out there’s a follow-up article. 29.7% of quiz-takers got a 2/6 score and only 4.5% of quiz-takers got a 5/6 score. Interesting!
Do you have a favorite pair of headphones and want to test how well they perform? Or are you looking to buy a pair of headphones but can’t decide between a few different models? Try this website! It lists a bunch of tests you can run by just listening to different sound files on your headphones.
Give it a try!
(Confession: I’m mostly posting this for my own reference later, haha)
That is all.
Sorry, I’m just in love with these headphones and how much they’ve reignited my love for certain songs.
- Viva La Vida – Coldplay (you can really hear the bass line with these headphones and it’s so good)
- Big Country – Bela Fleck and the Flecktones (this song is an experience with any headphones, but again…BASS)
- Doin’ It Right – Daft Punk (you can feel this song in your freaking bone marrow, yo)
- Silhouette – Owl City (it hurts my soul, but it sounds so good doing it)
There’s more, but these are the big ones right now.
Freaking love these headphones. Thanks, husband!
I don’t know why it took me so long to listen to Sleepyhead with these Sennheisers, but oh my god.
Sleepyhead was added to my music collection before my Decade of Music project (February 23, 2009 more specifically). It’s been surpassed by quite a few songs on my overall ranking of best songs, but I still maintain that its chorus is one of the best things I have ever heard.
(Chorus at 1:20)
I mean, I judge the quality of a Sleepyhead remix based on what they do with that chorus, which is why the Jazzsteppa Remix (makes the chorus a little slower and a lot more prominent with some serious bass) and the Cillo Remix (makes the chorus a bit more techno-ish and, again, more prominent with a chill vibe) are my two favorite remixes of this song.
Sorry, it’s been a while since I’ve praised Sleepyhead. I’ve had a lot of other songs to rave about, but this one definitely has not fallen off my radar.
I was gonna blog tonight
-A poem by Claudia
- Sit at computer desk with Sennheisers affixed to ears.
- Listen to music. Any music.
- Cry a lot due to the fact that every song sounds so much better with these headphones and it makes me goddamn emotional.
- Cry a lot due to other general reasons.
- OOPS, IT’S 4 AM.
(I think I posted a similar blog like a week ago, but I don’t care!)
Guys. My freaking husband got me headphones. The headphones. The Sennheiser HD 600s. These are the ones.
I have wanted these headphones for quite some time, as everything I’d read about them basically said they’re the best “under $1000” headphones you could really get.
(He also got me an amp because these headphones have a high enough impedance that the amp is necessary for power.)
And dudes. They’re so good.
You can hear every sound so separately from everything else. Everything is clear and crisp. It’s going to take a long time for me to explore all my music with these headphones, but I’ll keep a list of favorites (songs that sound RIDICULOUSLY good with these) here:
- Algorithm (Alternate Reality Version) – Muse
- O Magnum Mysterium – Lauridsen
- Hide and Seek (A Cappella Cover) – Dan Wright
- Sunshine (Adagio in D Minor) – John Murphy
Edit: DUDES THAT FREAKING PLANET EARTH II SUITE SOUNDS OBSCENE. What is that word for when a song gives you tinglies? Frisson? This is frisson up the butt, yo.
AAAAAAAAAAAA MY MOM GOT ME THOSE BOSE HEADPHONES
I swear to god I didn’t tell her about them. The only place I’ve explicitly mentioned them are here on my blogs, and you can be damn sure I haven’t gotten those blogs posted prior to today.
(Edit: hahaha, it’s February 2019 and I’m looking back at this and laughing sadly because I STILL HAVEN’T POSTED THE DAMN BLOGS)
But she and I have some sort of weird psychic connection or something because when I told her “hey I found headphones I like but I’m not gonna tell you what they are,” she was like “lol too bad I’m going to brain hack you and read your thoughts so I can get you the exact headphones you want!”
And she did.
And here they are.
They’re SO GOOD. They’re also noise cancelling, which is always a plus.
YAY THANKS MOM
CRAP CRAP CRAP
I should not be allowed in Best Buys.
Or, more specifically, I should not be allowed in the headphone section of Best Buys.
Because now I want these.
They’re so comfortable, dudes. And they also are great at noise cancelling. I was wearing them in the store and I felt like I was just in a huge auditorium where the only thing I could hear was the music.
But I already have like 30 headphones, so.
FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS.
So you all saw my glowing review of the Sennheiser headphones that Nate got me a while back.
I still totally love them.
So Nate, don’t take this as a knock against those headphones. I just…I have a problem.
Bose SoundLink On-Ear Bluetooth Wireless Headphones
There was a demo pair of these at Costco in Lewiston. Very surround-sound heavy and super comfortable.
Sennheiser HD 598 Over-Ear Headphones
Now that I’ve got some incredible Sennheisers, I want all the Sennheisers.
Sennheiser HD 650 Open Back Professional Headphone
ALL THE SENNHEISERS.
I mean, like, what if there’s a more optimal way to hear Sleepyhead? What if there is some subtle beat or slur or riff that I’m missing but would send my brain into the stratosphere of happiness if I were to hear it? It’s not too far-fetched; every time I “upgrade” to a new set of headphones, I get a little bit more joy out of that song.
Master & Dynamic MH40 Over Ear Headphone
I’m sorry, I still love these. They’re gorgeous. It’s been so long since I’ve tried them in person (haven’t been able to find them since) that I can’t remember if they actually sounded as good as I remember, but they might have. And they’re gorgeous.
If I had infinite money and infinite ears…oh, the things I could listen to.
Nate got me an early birthday present today: a pair of new headphones! Specifically, a pair of Sennheiser HD 231i (which is apparently not available in the US??).
Anyway, we were at a Best Buy looking for a headphone/microphone combo for Nate’s brother, and I of course wandered over to the “music headphones” section of the store. That’s where I saw these Sennheisers.
Honestly, my first impression was that this tiny pair seemed rather out of place alongside the other Sennheiser models, which all looked capable of space travel. That impression remained as I picked up the demo pair from the little rack. They were super light. As in, “light as my $5 Walmart headphones” light.
But the sound was awesome.
I’ve never owned Sennheisers, but I’ve only ever heard good things about them. And the demo pair did not disappoint with the music selection that it had. But how would they fare with my music?
- Sleepyhead (Passion Pit) – Even though I have quite a few songs that are higher on my Top 50 list than Sleepyhead, this is still my standby “test” song for any new headphones. And the HD 231i passes the test of making the amazing chorus sound just as amazing as it should. The bass is heavy but not too heavy, and it doesn’t overwhelm everything else.
- O Magnum Mysterium (Lauridsen) – The voices in the choir sound very bright and “unique,” as in it’s like you can hear the individual people but it still all blends together. It’s almost like you’re listening to them live.
- Act My Age (One Direction) – I like a pair of headphones that lets me hear a part of a song that I can’t hear with other headphones. I was unaware of this until I tried this song with the Sennheisers, but there’s this really cool bass slur behind the first “I won’t act my age” in the chorus that really makes the song like 50% better to me. So that’s pretty snazzy.
- Hide and Seek (Dan Wright cover) – I’M GONNA CRAP MY PANTS the bass sounds so good. That’s probably because you’re able to hear all of Wright’s iterations of the song together—the bass parts, the treble parts, and everything in between—so nothing is too overwhelming.
Conclusion: no, I’m not getting paid by Sennheiser. I really, honestly like these headphones. I’m no audiophile or anything and I’m pretty sure I’ve blasted boulder-sized holes through my eardrums over the years, but I appreciate how balanced the sound is from these. I like headphones with a lot of bass, but pretty much every other pair of headphones I’ve tried that has that nice bass sacrifices the sound of everything else to achieve it. These don’t. That’s awesome.
How was it that I’d never found this website until just now?
I’m going to read everything on it.
I’m still hunting for the perfect headphones for me, if there is such a thing.
AS THE TITLE SAYS, I have money and I want headphones.
The money’s from MTurk. I’ve been doing three or four little tasks at night, and while the individual tasks don’t pay much (maximum like $2 for any of the ones I do), if you do enough, they add up. I have about $50 from MTurk now, so I’ve decided I can spend that on whatever I want.
But it’s not like I need headphones. I have my awesome Koss ones that cost about $4.50 and I have at least 4 backup pairs of them for when the current ones inevitably break (the sound quality is awesome, but they don’t last too long. $4.50 headphones, yo).
But I logged onto Amazon for whatever the hell reason tonight and it knew I had some extra money ‘cause it was like, “hey bro, y u no buy some Sennheisers?”
And so it’s all Amazon’s fault that I’ve spent the past two hours looking at headphones.
- Sennheiser HD 518 Headphones
- Sennheiser HD 280 Pro Headphones
- Sennheiser HD 598 Special Edition Over-Ear Headphones
I cannot choose!
Edit: Okay, I ended up not getting any of these. I ended up not getting Sennheisers at all. Instead, I got this guy. I’m super picky about comfort when it comes to headphones, and a good number of the reviews for these headphones said that they were really, really comfortable. Plus they’re supposed to sound good. And they’re a cool shade of blue.
OOH, I forgot to mention that my mom and I walked to Market Mall a few days ago (was that Wednesday? Tuesday?) and went to the Apple store there ‘cause we’re attracted by the shiny technology. I wanted to look at the new iPods, even though I have absolutely no reason to get one until my old one dies (which I hope doesn’t happen; I like my old one!).
Anyway, they had a few of them on display with headphones plugged in, both so that you could see how the iPods worked and to test out the headphones they had for sale at the store. One set was particularly cool-looking and good-sounding:
(Picture from here)
These are the MH40 headphones from Master & Dynamic. They were really comfortable (they fit over my industrial piercing quite well) and had a good sound. I was tempted to get a pair, but they’re like $400 (even on Amazon), so that’s not going to happen any time soon.
But they look cool!
(Note to mom and Nate: you are not allowed to buy me these. I forbid it.)
I’m going to shamelessly plug some products/brands in this blog. Because I want to.
Actually, this was brought on by buying like seven pairs of headphones at the Moscow Walmart because they don’t have these headphones in Canada and they’re my absolute favorite.
So let’s start with those!
Claudia-Endorsed Product #1: Koss Headphones
Everyone knows (or at least you do now!) that I listen to music when I walk. I wear on-ear headphones because the little in-ear buds hurt after about 10 minutes and I can never get them placed in my ears so that they stay put when I’m moving around. I have a really good and expensive pair of on-ear Bose headphones back at home—they’re soft and noise reducing and have great sound—but I don’t usually like to wear them during my walks because I’m super rough on headphones and don’t want to break those.
Instead, I wear these:
Not only do these headphones only cost $4.88 at Walmart, but they have really, really good sound. They don’t sound like $5 headphones. They sound more like the Bose ones. Sure, they’re not nearly as durable and thus break more frequently (though I guess “frequently” is a relative term; I go through about 3 or 4 of these a year because I’m rough on headphones), but they’re cheap to replace. If you like on-ear headphones and don’t want to spend like $50+ on a good set, I’d recommend these, since the sound is still really, really good despite the low price. You can also order them from the Koss website.
Claudia-Endorsed Product #2: Saucony Kinvara Shoes
You knew my shoes had to be on here. I love my Kinvaras. Not only are they very comfortable (at least for my feet), but they are very, very durable little shoes. Note that I don’t run in them, I just walk, but I’d suspect that they’d endure running pretty well, too.
Here is my current Kinvara 5 pair next to my original Kinvara 3 pair. They both look holey and ratty as hell, right? That’s because I have at least 750 miles on the newer ones and 1,500 miles on the older ones.
The older ones are still technically wearable, too. I bet I could go another 400 at least before the soles actually start wearing all the way through, haha. If you walk a lot or just want a pair of shoes that will last you a long time, try these out.
Claudia-Endorsed Product #3: L.L. Bean backpacks
I think I’ve gone through a total of four of these backpacks, and I’ve been using them ever since I was in first grade. Not only are they durable (I think I might be even harder on my backpacks than I am on my headphones), but they can hold a LOT of stuff and they’re pretty waterproof, too. Plus, you can get one in lime green. What’s not to like?
I had like five other things in mind, but I got distracted by R and now I can’t remember any of them.
Claudia-Endorsed Product #4: R
I don’t know if this even counts as a product, but whatevs. R is a great statistical software package because a) it’s free, and b) it’s like SAS’s little brother who wants to be just like big brother SAS, but cheaper, because c) it’s free. So if you’re ever in need of some statistical analysis software and aren’t afraid of a little coding, go here and download R.
Today my father arrived in Vancouver. He’s staying here a few days to participate in the Sparta Run held tomorrow. I may or may not participate as well.
In his suitcase he brought my new pair of Beats by Dr. Dre. I got the white, ‘cause they look awesome.
And now we do a review. Please note: I was fully prepared to endorse the hell out of these before I even got them in the mail. This is because, as I’ve mentioned, I actually got to try them out on several occasions.
But now they’re here!
First impressions: they’re as comfortable as the test set at Best Buy was. And they’re pretty!
Inaugural song: Sleepyhead. Because, I mean, come on.
Response: Oh yes. Oh yes. The chorus part sounds absolutely fantastic. Very crisp, very bassy. YAY, this is why I bought these headphones.
Second song: Jupiter (the new recording)
Response: I chose Jupiter to check out the Beats’ abilities in a genre that they weren’t necessarily designed for. And you know what’s weird? The headphones really brought out the clarinets. It’s kind of freaky, but it’s true. They also, again, enhanced the bass, ‘cause that’s pretty much what they were designed to do.
Third song: Hey There Mr.
Response: so apparently there’s this super cool bass line during the chorus of this song that I honestly never heard before using these headphones. I was hoping the vocals would be brought out a bit more, but I’ll totally take this bass line.
Conclusion: yeah, these rock. I know I’m no audiophile and I know jack about sound quality in general, but to my untrained ear, these headphones rock. They’re also noise-cancelling. So if you’ve got $300 and are in the market for some new headphones, dig these.
YO, ladies and gents!
Because I’ve been downloading so much music, I feel I am justified in purchasing some form of high-end, amazing-sounding headphones. While I truly do love my $4.99 Koss headphones from Walmart (I’m serious, they’re durable and sound pretty fantastic for costing less than a gallon of milk in Canada), I would really derive pleasure from a good over-ear symphony blaster.
Yesterday my mom and I went to the Apple store in the Oakridge Centre and, in between fondling iPads and convincing my mom to buy a Nano (mission accomplished! She loves it), I happened to try on a pair of Beats by Dr. Dre.
First impressions: comfortable, amazing bass, noise-cancelling.
Second impression (upon seeing the price): oh shit, these are expensive.
As enamored with Beats as I was, I wanted to see some reviews on them, so I checked them out on Amazon to see what people had to say. During this process I happened to stumble upon these, which are on sale (regular price = $330!) and appear to be either just as good or better (more balance with respect to bass/treble) than the Beats.
The only problem is the fact that I’m super picky about headphone comfort. I love Sony, for example, but they’re headphones feel horrible to me, so I don’t buy them. I actually got to try on the Beats and loved the way they felt, and unless I can find a pair of Sennheisers at a Best Buy or something around here, I won’t be able to do the same thing with them.
Any of you guys know of any super good headphones?
EDIT: So I went to a Best Buy on Saturday to see if they had Sennheisers there. They had one model (it wasn’t the model I was looking for), but it was substantially less comfortable than the Beats. I could judge this more objectively, too, because there was a test pair of Beats sitting next to the Sennheisers and the Beats definitely feel better on my head. So now it’s back to Amazon to see if I can get the Beats for a cheaper price, even if it means cheating the system a bit and using the US store.
EDIT #2: ordered Beats from Amazon. Anticipating their arrival in a few weeks.