Originally Posted by Borderdog
Headphones have always scared me. There is no way to monitor how loud you're listening.
At least in your room, you can use your Radio Shack meter or iPhone meter (which is actually pretty accurate).
But with headphones, there is no way to monitor the SPL. The last thing I need is 105dB playing 1/2 inch from my ear.
(I need to protect what little I have left).
They really need to develop an SPL meter for headphones.
Funny I was just doing some comparative listening to Shriekback’s “Care” album (on vinyl non the less) just to see at which level I’m comfortable at while listening to the Special 25s or the Sennheiser HD700s.
Well surprise surprise the 25s won out, with all headphones I sort of have a maximum peak at which I’m comfortable with but the perceived loudness (without actually measuring) the 25s were louder and cleaner and I could have gone louder still.
But another point if I may regress from headphones for a moment
is the articulation of the bass of the Special 25s, we quite often speak of the Esotar tweeter but I’ve yet to hear a mid/bass driver that keeps the lower notes so clearly defined regardless how complex things get down yonder, and the Shiekback album is a good example.
Must admit it always brings a smile to my face, no bloomy muddiness (no matter how loud things get) just clean articulation so that one can always follow the interplay between the musicians.
Back to head phones (just for a sec.); for those who are into phones and Sennheiser in particular I'd say that going from the Sennheiser HD600s to the HD700s was similar as to when I went from the Contour 1.3MKIIs to my 25s.
But a word of caution, headphone listening at sustained loud levels, even though lower than your speaker listening will most likely bring on the dreaded tinnitus due to it's (by physical nature) closed environment.
Now back to speakers, DACs or whatever you folks are arguing about these days.