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Headphone market for 2018: Hot mess

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:53 am
by ludi
Lots of good products, but 2^n permutations of wires and standards. (Thanks, Apple!) The Verge reviews findings from CES:

https://www.theverge.com/2018/1/18/1690 ... e-ces-2018

Re: Headphone market for 2018: Hot mess

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:08 am
by Prestige Worldwide
Yeah, it's really annoying. I got a hot deal on a Pixel 2 and bought it with much haste, temporarily forgetting the lack of 3.5mm jack on the phone.

The dongle struggle is real.

Re: Headphone market for 2018: Hot mess

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:17 pm
by paulWTAMU
The change no consumers actually asked for. Screw this crap.

Re: Headphone market for 2018: Hot mess

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:23 pm
by NTMBK
Vote with your wallet, and don't buy phones without headphone jacks.

Re: Headphone market for 2018: Hot mess

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:34 pm
by bthylafh
I passed on the Essential because of its missing 3.5mm jack and went with a OnePlus 5T instead, which has one.

Re: Headphone market for 2018: Hot mess

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:14 pm
by ludi
bthylafh wrote:
I passed on the Essential because of its missing 3.5mm jack and went with a OnePlus 5T instead, which has one.

Yeah, it's the reason that when my Nexus 5X died, I went with a Pixel (gen1) instead of a Pixel2. When I need headphones or an external stereo wire-up I want something that just works and always has. What we're trending towards on the audio front is reminiscent of the bad old days when cell phones had a dozen proprietary standards for power and audio connections.

Re: Headphone market for 2018: Hot mess

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:18 pm
by Concupiscence
I bought a 128GB iPhone SE in December. The headphone jack's A-OK and audio sounds great, and I just don't understand why Apple would do this. Here's to the hope that there are still phones with headphone jacks around in four years, after I've used this little thing to death.

Re: Headphone market for 2018: Hot mess

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:26 pm
by End User
Bluetooth is my go to option for every situation bar one:

    Apple Airpods (give MKBHD some time if you are sceptical) for general at home/work iPhone/iPad/laptop/Apple TV listening - super easy to switch between devices
    BeatsX for around the town and working out
    Sony MDR 1000X for excellent audio with noise cancelling - HDTV late at night/restaurant/travel

Desktop PC audio at home is handled by USB headphones

Re: Headphone market for 2018: Hot mess

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:34 pm
by Captain Ned
End User wrote:
Bluetooth is my go to option for every situation bar one:

Wake me up when BT becomes a lossless codec.

Re: Headphone market for 2018: Hot mess

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:48 pm
by Vhalidictes
End User wrote:
Bluetooth is my go to option for every situation bar one:

    Apple Airpods (give MKBHD some time if you are sceptical) for general at home/work iPhone/iPad/laptop/Apple TV listening - super easy to switch between devices
    BeatsX for around the town and working out
    Sony MDR 1000X for excellent audio with noise cancelling - HDTV late at night/restaurant/travel

Desktop PC audio at home is handled by USB headphones


Mmmm, BT audio. I'm going to go ahead and bet that all your MP3s are 160Kbps or less. Nothing better than a high-end headset with a fuzzy-sounding source.

Re: Headphone market for 2018: Hot mess

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:56 pm
by DancinJack
bthylafh wrote:
I passed on the Essential because of its missing 3.5mm jack and went with a OnePlus 5T instead, which has one.

Credit card fraud included for free!

Re: Headphone market for 2018: Hot mess

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:58 pm
by synthtel2
Captain Ned wrote:
Wake me up when BT becomes a lossless codec.

^ That. ^

In the meantime, 3.5mm works as well as ever, and plenty of headphones using it will continue to be sold indefinitely. The headphone market for 2018 is only a hot mess if you bought a device that makes it one.

Re: Headphone market for 2018: Hot mess

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:56 pm
by ludi
End User wrote:
    Apple Airpods - $119 online / $159 retail
    BeatsX - $99 online / $149 retail
    Sony MDR 1000X - $230 online / $400 retail
USB headphones - $175 online / $250 retail


Nothing wrong with having that collection if you can afford it, but you've made your listening experience dependant upon having a thick wallet, at least one lossy wireless codec, and up to four different DACs.

Re: Headphone market for 2018: Hot mess

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:06 pm
by mudcore
Spending more to get less is so 2018.

Re: Headphone market for 2018: Hot mess

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:35 pm
by bthylafh
DancinJack wrote:
bthylafh wrote:
I passed on the Essential because of its missing 3.5mm jack and went with a OnePlus 5T instead, which has one.

Credit card fraud included for free!


Bought mine through Paypal, so I think I'm OK.

Re: Headphone market for 2018: Hot mess

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:37 pm
by bthylafh
Captain Ned wrote:
End User wrote:
Bluetooth is my go to option for every situation bar one:

Wake me up when BT becomes a lossless codec.


Besides which, to heck with having to charge wireless earbuds and eventually throwing them out once the cells die. I have a very decent pair of wired Sennheiser buds that should work fine for a decade or more.

Re: Headphone market for 2018: Hot mess

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:39 pm
by Welch
bthylafh wrote:
I passed on the Essential because of its missing 3.5mm jack and went with a OnePlus 5T instead, which has one.


Good choice, the OnePlus 3t has been the best phone purchase ever. The last update increased my battery like I couldn't believe. Can start my day early and with only 89% and still have 25% by 2-3am the next day. I stay up late :P

The CC thing isn't really all that valid to me since every damn company on this earth has been breached at some point it seems. Hell, when your CC company itself is breached multiple times a year, then I'm a lot less worried about the vendors who have my card. Non-legit purchases from a CC are typically covered as I found out for the first time with my BOA card when someone bought on Bestbuy.com a new iPhone a year ago with my card :P

Yeah BT is convenient when in my vehicle and stuff but I prefer 3.5mm for anything else. I can't stand the USB headphone thing on a PC. I guess if you feel like gaining a bunch of noise through the circuitry on your motherboard instead of using the audio chip that these days are pretty decent with isolated circuitry, then be my guest.

Re: Headphone market for 2018: Hot mess

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:53 pm
by just brew it!
Welch wrote:
Yeah BT is convenient when in my vehicle and stuff but I prefer 3.5mm for anything else. I can't stand the USB headphone thing on a PC. I guess if you feel like gaining a bunch of noise through the circuitry on your motherboard instead of using the audio chip that these days are pretty decent with isolated circuitry, then by my guest.

In theory it should actually be easier to suppress electrical noise with a USB headset, since all the sensitive analog stuff is physically outside the PC, away from all the noisy system buses. That said, I'm sure USB headphone designers get it wrong sometimes.

Re: Headphone market for 2018: Hot mess

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:20 pm
by Airmantharp
just brew it! wrote:
In theory it should actually be easier to suppress electrical noise with a USB headset, since all the sensitive analog stuff is physically outside the PC, away from all the noisy system buses. That said, I'm sure USB headphone designers get it wrong sometimes.


I'd be more worried about the quality of the DAC that they provide, and its implementation. Assuming that these are up to par, and that the headset maker actually used quality components and construction, they should be decent overall, and many are, for their purpose.

[and I've currently moved up the audio snobbery ladder to an X-Fi with optical out to a Topping DX7 with a pair of Hifiman HE-4XX (Massdrop) hooked up with balanced cables :D ]

Re: Headphone market for 2018: Hot mess

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:43 pm
by Welch
just brew it! wrote:
Welch wrote:
Yeah BT is convenient when in my vehicle and stuff but I prefer 3.5mm for anything else. I can't stand the USB headphone thing on a PC. I guess if you feel like gaining a bunch of noise through the circuitry on your motherboard instead of using the audio chip that these days are pretty decent with isolated circuitry, then by my guest.

In theory it should actually be easier to suppress electrical noise with a USB headset, since all the sensitive analog stuff is physically outside the PC, away from all the noisy system buses. That said, I'm sure USB headphone designers get it wrong sometimes.


My thought was that your audio would have to run through the system bus specifically because it was USB, which is why I made a note of possible added noise. Are you refering to the better USB headsets that actually have their own "Sound Card" built into them or am I misunderstanding how these headsets work?

Re: Headphone market for 2018: Hot mess

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:13 pm
by Airmantharp
Welch wrote:
My thought was that your audio would have to run through the system bus specifically because it was USB, which is why I made a note of possible added noise. Are you refering to the better USB headsets that actually have their own "Sound Card" built into them or am I misunderstanding how these headsets work?


They all have a build-in 'sound card'- that's all a DAC is, plus a driver, and that's done by the operating system these days.

The question with USB is mostly that the power supplied through the USB port- not the data, but the power itself- could be 'dirty'. The data will be fine, connection-oriented and all that, but the power supplied through the USB cable to the amplifier might not be.

Re: Headphone market for 2018: Hot mess

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:00 pm
by just brew it!
Yeah, what Airmamtharp said. USB cannot carry analog signals, so the DACs are in the headphones, by definition. So it all comes down to the quality of the DACs used, and how well they filter out any noise on the power rails. In general the headphones will be in a "cleaner" environment from an EMI standpoint, unless you've got a motherboard and GPU strapped to your head!

Re: Headphone market for 2018: Hot mess

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:16 pm
by End User
Hey ludi. Why did you edit my post when you quoted me? I did not include prices.

Please modify your post.

Re: Headphone market for 2018: Hot mess

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:25 pm
by Captain Ned
End User wrote:
Hey ludi. Why did you edit my post when you quoted me? I did not include prices.

Please modify your post.

Your original post is still in place. Ludi merely added prices to your recommendations in his quote. No modification is necessary.

Re: Headphone market for 2018: Hot mess

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:27 pm
by End User
ludi wrote:
Nothing wrong with having that collection if you can afford it

I find it weird that you gave me so much flak (get it?) regarding how much I spent. I guess I should not tell you that I have 3 pairs of AirPods (bedroom/living room/work).

My headphone budget was chump change to that of an audiophiles. The Sennheiser HD 820 headphones are $2,399.95 US and one should pair them with the HDV 820 which goes for $2,399.95 US as well.

Re: Headphone market for 2018: Hot mess

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:44 pm
by End User
Captain Ned wrote:
End User wrote:
Hey ludi. Why did you edit my post when you quoted me? I did not include prices.

Please modify your post.

Your original post is still in place. Ludi merely added prices to your recommendations in his quote. No modification is necessary.

Wait a second! Hold the fort! Captain Ned, you got duped by this very type of behaviour. Sweatshopking fabricated a quote from me and you actually believed that I had insulted you, a Zune user:

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=108272&hilit=Asus+Zenbook+UX305&start=60

I feel so down now. Please squirt me a song (FLAC preferably) to make me feel better!

Re: Headphone market for 2018: Hot mess

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:48 pm
by End User
Yeah, what just brew it! said.


My Sennheiser’s PC 373Ds sound good enough to me. A very simple solution for good PC audio.

Re: Headphone market for 2018: Hot mess

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:51 pm
by End User
bthylafh wrote:
Captain Ned wrote:
End User wrote:
Bluetooth is my go to option for every situation bar one:

Wake me up when BT becomes a lossless codec.


Besides which, to heck with having to charge wireless earbuds and eventually throwing them out once the cells die. I have a very decent pair of wired Sennheiser buds that should work fine for a decade or more.

It gives me an excuse to buy new things.

Re: Headphone market for 2018: Hot mess

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:55 pm
by Redocbew
I like using bluetooth headphones, but I wish mine had some other way of notifying me of a low battery. Suddenly hearing a voice from the eerie valley screaming "BATTERY LOW" seemingly at random is a bit jarring.

Re: Headphone market for 2018: Hot mess

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:01 pm
by End User
Vhalidictes wrote:
I'm going to go ahead and bet that all your MP3s are 160Kbps or less. Nothing better than a high-end headset with a fuzzy-sounding source.

Bad bet. 256 kbps AAC and it sounds good to me. Clean and clear.

I never said I used high-end headphones.