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Expect how much variation of the same model of headphone?


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I have been having troubles dealing with EQ, one of the problems being my hearing.  However, there appears to be another oddity causing great frustration...   A variability of headphone frequency response...  This variability is making me consider the gray or counterfeit market.  ( I apologize for my wordiness -- regularly criticized for that.)

 

This variability is on 2 'alleged' Beyerdynamic DT770/Pro80 -- exactly the same model.   The only obvious outside difference is in the cable, where one cable is slightly more stiff than the other.

I also have a DT990/250, which I have grown to like much better than either DT770 anyway.   One of the DT770/Pro80 that seems to be at variance on freq response,  but inconsistently  has the cable most similar the good DT990 (special model) headphone.

 

There are a pair of inconsistencies...   The DT990 with very flexible cable and the DT770/Pro80 with the stiff cable have the most clean, wide range sound.  While the DT770/Pro80 with the seemingly high quality cable sounds like a 'telephone' in comparison.

 

Is QC is amazingly bad or are there are a LOT of 'really deceptive' gray market goods being sold?  With my poor hearing, and difficult to compare references, I was clueless about the odd, telephone-like headphones but also unfortunately very dependent on the quality.   First DT770 (sounds good/correct), second DT770 (sounds like a telephone), DT990 (sounds clean, good, correct.)   I physically wore out the first DT770 because of nearly continual use for several years.   Otherwise, there was no motivation to replace the first DT770.

 

The headphones that sound most similar (and really clean/good) were purchased from a very well known equipment seller (DT990) AND an Amazon outlet (first DT770).   The questionable headphones (second DT770) were also purchased from the same well known, and very much trusted (by me) equipment seller.

 

Gray market, bad QC or early failure?   I haven't contacted the seller yet (several months after the purchase of the tie-breaking DT990) because of being crazy busy, but I will be making a contact soon mostly to warn them.

 

Any for the ideas on this matter?   Thanks in advance...

(BTW -- no matter what, even liking closed back, I VERY MUCH prefer the open DT990/250.)

 

 

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Hard to say whether it's worth manufacturing a counterfeit headphone for anything but the most expensive on the market.  

 

I would have thought that the higher end Beyerdynamic, Sennheiser, Fostex or Grado's would be more of a target for anything of that nature.  

 

Personally, not that I like headphones, I always preferred an open design for the "stress free" sound.  On the few times I do use headphones, my Grado RS1e's always feel comfortable.  

 

Perhaps you should consider an audition with something other than Beyerdynamic just to introduce another variable into the equation.

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On 7/13/2021 at 7:41 PM, StephenJK said:

Hard to say whether it's worth manufacturing a counterfeit headphone for anything but the most expensive on the market.  

 

I would have thought that the higher end Beyerdynamic, Sennheiser, Fostex or Grado's would be more of a target for anything of that nature.  

 

Personally, not that I like headphones, I always preferred an open design for the "stress free" sound.  On the few times I do use headphones, my Grado RS1e's always feel comfortable.  

 

Perhaps you should consider an audition with something other than Beyerdynamic just to introduce another variable into the equation.

I understand wanting a more 'mellow' or 'different from Beyer' headphone for normal listening. 

I have spent time in several places around town, finding what is available and model to model variability.  The variabiliity is HUGE.

My current general reasoning is noted in the indented section, not really focused on the dicsussion, but shows some reasons for my choices.

 

My nterests include hearing 'all the way down' or at least clearly detecting it (the 770 goes down to about 8Hz) and a kind of 'boost' in the upper/middle highs.  I DO want to try to detect energy <50Hz, even though it is truly not very audible on headphones -- have to try to make sure the SW isn't doing anything evil.   The Beyers can have an intense sound, and if I would be listening more casually, Id probably go for something more mellow and/or audibly be more flat >5kHz.

 

I still use the properly working DT770 for double checking the low bass, but have moved over to the DT990 for most of my testing. The DT770 affords a different enough sound to get an alternate viewpoint on the results.  I have indeed done some comparisons at various stores ($75 to $300+), and heard very variable sound qualities - the biggest off-putting headphones have boomy bass instead of extended bass.   I have been considering purchasing a totally different headphone from another major brand for getting yet another viewpoint.   Too much energy in one region seems to overshadow details in another and I do know that the Beyers would not be considered 'flat' by most listeners.   Additionally, running speakers loud enough to be able to get additional alternative opinions is also not a choice for me.  (Frankly, I have heard NO headphone that seems flat to me.)   Most seem to have too much personality.   Maybe just haven't run across my own ideal casual listening headphone yet.

 

I am still bugged by the bogus DT770.   A LOT of headphones are counterfieit -- evem the middle/low end Sony is a big time counterfiet headphone (<$75.)

Next time I consider buying headphones mail-order, there will definitely be a discussion about proper sourcing on the units.

 

 

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My understanding of counterfeit products from China is that there are two major types.  First is the standard counterfeit, where someone makes something that looks very much like the original, but uses cheaper parts - particularly those on the inside, hidden from view.  Most counterfeiters don't think you will be comparing their version to the original (if you could afford the original why would you be buying the fake version.)  The more difficult counterfeit is that a company contracts with a Chinese firm to manufacture a certain product.  The firm makes the goods as contracted, but then produces more of the same goods (using the same materials) and sells the extras to another party who sells them through the "grey" market or even to high end stores which have a back room for its special clients.  These are much more insidious - since they are the same as the original, except illegal overruns.  Happens a lot in clothing, but could happen with just about any product (maybe not Teslas).  

 

Larry

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