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Is HIFI dead-where is it going?
Is HIFI dead-where is it going?
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Old 24th May 2012, 12:18 PM   #31
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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No, 'high end' can mean either high quality sound at a reasonable price or expensive toys for rich people which may damage the sound in ways which some find temporarily impressive.

If possible, it would be better to reclaim 'hi-fi' from the mid-fi box shifters.
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Old 24th May 2012, 11:21 PM   #32
devilsindetails is offline devilsindetails  Canada
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Originally Posted by picowallspeaker View Post
It's not a matter of frequency , but how the lossy compression actuates it ;
indeed , signals present on the record that are peculiar for the ear/brain to elaborate are in the -60dB range , and they are the 'ambient' , reflected sound of the instruments that are captioned by the mic . They'll be cut off inelegantly by the compression . This in not valid for synthetic sounds that are already avulsed from real world .

Yes..loss and signal compression are significant issues...but I rather doubt that even with a relatively lossless format that those cheap little earbuds could reproduce anything under 200hz...
"A problem left to itself dries up or goes rotten. But fertilize a problem with a solution--you'll hatch out dozens." (N.F.Simpson)
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Old 25th May 2012, 12:04 AM   #33
revboden is offline revboden  United States
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If the kids want good headphones (the ones used to make the mix in most cases) the Sony Pro MDR7520 are it. Heck I even like the MDR7506's for around the house use.
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Old 25th May 2012, 12:47 AM   #34
Rubin is offline Rubin  Canada
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It seems most people these use the word "audiophile" rather than "hifi", as in "audiophile speakers" or "audiophile cryo'd cables". Most of the gadget blogs have a tag for "audiophile" but not "hifi". As others have said here, the most popular domain of audiophile gear recently is headphones. Ten years ago few audiophiles took headphones seriously, but now that kids spend easily on headphones the scene has changed.

Hifi has not really been popular (at least in North America) since the 70s, AFAIK. Back then, the difference between a poor quality vinyl front end and, say, a Linn Sondek, was night and day. The difference between an iPod and some cost-no-object-DAC is much smaller. Even cheap speakers are much more neutral than those of many years ago.

Some of the biggest benefits of a true high-end hifi system, such as flat spectrum and realistic soundstaging, are largely only attainable with good recordings and careful speaker setup in an acoustically suitable room. Coupled with the cost of high end gear, it's not surprising that people aren't rushing to become "audiophiles".

I agree with qusp about the advantages and concomitant popularity of headphones. For not much money, and without burden of listening room setup, you can get most of the benefits of a true hifi stereo speaker system. It's how I do most of my music listening.
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Old 25th May 2012, 05:34 AM   #35
picowallspeaker is offline picowallspeaker  Italy
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With the headphones on your head ...
The fact is when you listen to the music with HP you loose another important
organ of perception : the sight . You cannot make materialize the orchestra or whatever in front of you and follow the progress of it in time and space .
The 'body' of the music gets lost also , because if the space is negated , there's no unwinding of the musical texture . And the eye also cannot place properly where it originates from .

Maybe I should have posted this on Godzilla's thread ..
Listening to loud music linked with...
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Old 25th May 2012, 08:49 AM   #36
lduarte1973 is offline lduarte1973  Portugal
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@picowallspeaker , i agree with you

i like headphones when you dont wont to bother neighboors cause itīs 3 am and because headphones give the best "stereo" possible independent of the room , but for people like me that listen at higher levels HP are not an option unless you want to be def or get a headache

i like that rock concert feeling like the band is playing in front of you , not inside my head , only speakers can do that
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Old 25th May 2012, 06:44 PM   #37
Rubin is offline Rubin  Canada
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I prefer speakers for listening to music, too, especially when realistic volumes are possible. However, I live in an apartment, and I got tired of my neighbors always complaining about noise! So on speakers I listen only to classical and other music with little bass content, while for electronic music I pretty much have to use headphones.

When people talk about hifi/audiophile vs standard gear, one often hears mention of the ability of the former gear to render heretofore inaudible details such as mixing errors, shuffling feet in the studio, etc. A good headphone setup can certainly make such details obvious (a feature that many dislike). Speakers setups can do this, too, but as you mention they ultimately provide a more realistic presentation of the recording, one that can often be more musically involving. It's good to have both options, IMO.
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Old 25th May 2012, 07:49 PM   #38
jcx is offline jcx  United States
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Default "outside of your head" virtualizaion for headphones is available

Smyth SVS Realizer is a "virtualizer" system for headphone listening that reproduces a loudspeaker & room - up to 7.1 multichannel

you calibrate in a real room, measuring your personal HRTF at a number of angles - has head angle tracking sensor

also measures, compensates for your headphones

gives a very impressive sense of listening to external sound, fixed in space, reproducing the loudspeaker & room sound

way better than Dolby Headphone processing - it is calibrated to you and a real system - head tracking is critical to fix the image as external - no system that doesn't have head tracking can compare

you can "collect" good loudspeaker & room calibrations anywhere you can get ~ 1/2 hr access

Last edited by jcx; 25th May 2012 at 08:10 PM.
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Old 25th May 2012, 08:05 PM   #39
qusp is offline qusp  Australia
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i'm thinking a few people here need to try some of the newer headphone technologies. is the soundstage as wide as speakers? no.... is the imaging, detail and immediacy 10x better than any speaker? yes indeed. is it possible to have an out of the head sound-field/experience with headphones? absolutely yes. just standard headphones here, no DSP. once DSP is added the lines are blurred even further

Just by reading the comments, which are stereotypical non-headphone users cliches i'm sorry to say; it sounds like few of you have actually heard a decent headphone system, yet seem thoroughly convinced of their inadequacies.

definitely best to have both, as each have their strengths, but if I could only have one system in the real world, it would be my headphone system. the real world is inconvenient, the real world is noisy, the real world does not contain the perfect room, the real world imposes limits on size and budget. headphones side step most of this. of course i've spent the last 18 months building a near/mid-field active 3 way digitally crossed speaker system too for the times I can get away with it, but even with all the money and time spent, I expect there will be areas my headphones outperform them. this is a Volt, Scanspeak and AudioTechnology system in the works

I mentioned the realizer in my first post; and the JH3A (both ignored), I think its more convenient for people to believe that the soundstage is somehow attached to the room

Last edited by qusp; 25th May 2012 at 08:09 PM.
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Old 25th May 2012, 09:04 PM   #40
SY is offline SY  United States
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Is HIFI dead-where is it going?
qusp, as always, it's a matter of what you like. A few weekends ago, I had the chance to spend a lot of time with five figure headphone amps and a selection of some of the most exotic and coveted headphones available, and my own source material. Very nice, but the experience still left me blah. I can't point to one thing and say, "That's it! That's why I don't like headphones," but nonetheless, I didn't get the covetous feeling I get after hearing some amazing loudspeakers.
"You tell me whar a man gits his corn pone, en I'll tell you what his 'pinions is."
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