Originally Posted by astrallite
It is worth noting that some people do value technicalities above neutrality. I've heard a similar argument that a completely neutral speaker, say the Ascend CBM-170SE is the end-game for some. The problem is there are some technicalities in the audio which some people chase after that goes above pure neutrality, which is why people will upgrade to higher end models which may be less technically neutral (in Ascend's example, the Sierra 1 and 2 are less neutral than the 170SE). The most common attribute for example which summit fi headphone owners chase is speed. This is primarily determined by the transducer material's speed of sound, although magnet structure and coil structure are also important.
This is why speaker manufacturers build high end speakers with beryllium, diamond, or ribbon drivers for example, where the primary transducer material's speed of sound can approach 20,000m/s, versus 5,000m/s for a typical aluminum driver. That same sensation headphone owners will chase after with high end electrostatics or nano-film planars, or a beryllium domed driver like the Focal Utopia. Again, many don't and are perfectly satisfied with an HD600/650, just like there are many Ascend 170SE owners who happily consider that their end-game.
It's worth mentioning, I think, that neutrality isn't considered anywhere near end game for loudspeakers, so logically some headphone enthusiasts are likely to have the same feelings for their headphones.
Headphone is peace of cake to make "perfect" compared to loudpeaker. Loudspeaker has much more differing and complex environmental variables to counter i.e. carry out its task:
-listening distance. Can vary, say, from 0,5 m to 10 m. Yields hugely differing electroacoustical requirements for apt loudspeaker.
-listening ROOM reflectivity properties and their effect/requirements/co-effiency with listening distance (telephone directory -thick catalogue of complex properties)
Headphone´s coupling parameters to physical listening environment are most set: listening distance is always constant and there is never "room" to deal with. Only environmental variable of headphones is mechanical sitting on listeners skull. Which is not a problem on well engineered, highly ergonomic & adjustable headphone, like Sennheiser HD 600, if the user even remotely resembles human being (homo sapiens
, with two ears, one each side of head).
Listeners personal sound perversions or hearing damages cannot be generally taken consideration. Because perversions i.e. preferences are always self learned, and as such can be learned away too. Hearing damages can well be treated by EQ.
Neutrality of audio gear of this class means as unaltered electricity to SPL -conversion as possible. In which better than Sennheiser HD 600 (bass corrected) I haven´t yet heard. And yes. NEUTRALITY REALLY IS TOP-1 quality of audio gear. Period. Un-neutral peace of ****s i.e. balance-handicapped insults of headphone are markets full. Who states otherwise, should go back to pre-school of audiophiles learning the basics of trade.
P.S. The speed of sound (in medium suitable for that little hobby of ours) is about 340 m/s... "20,000m/s speed of sound", "nano-film planar" etc. über-BS -prone individuals returning address should be Audiophile Pre-Scool, basic training.