Re: Diminishing returns
I'm one of those audiophiles as I spet 200odd quid on on my Etymotic ER4 headphones when I bought them.
Simple, I love music, and want to hear it how it was intended warts n all. I have 20k's worth of stereo at home to listen to music (2 speakers, 1 cd player, 1 pre amp, 1 power amp + assorted cables). Listening to music on that is almost as good as listening live.
I wanted that sort of experience on a portable for when I was out and about, and the Ety's were the best in ear phones at the time that I tried. I rip lossless as I can tell hear the difference when lossy. The sound I get out and about is fantastic and I'm happy with it.
200 quid is a small price to pay as far as I'm concerned for something I get so much enjoyment out of.
as for the Etymotics, they are brilliant and way above other portable headphones I've tried and I tried a few. They don't emphasise any part of the frequency range, sound stage brilliantly, and are very well made. they block almost all outside noise, so music can be listened to quieter.
Their bad points though is that the cable is pretty microphonic (something all headphones of this type suffer from), so you can't go jogging in them. Getting them correctly fitted into your ears takes a lot of practice and getting used to, as does the feeling of them being in there. And they are useless if you have sore ears due to cold or something as they do irritate if you try to wear them then.
Oh and unless you get them correctly seated in your ears, they do not sound all that special.
for the days I have a flu / cold etc, I have Koss Porta Pros which have a fantastic build quality, great sound quality (though nowhere near as good as the Ety's, but still vvery good), no noise cancellation though but they were cheap as chips.
Some of us like to listen to music properly, and listen to proper music. Not this compressed, volume recorded so bloody loud so it sounds good on iPod, but crap on anything half decent chart crap.
Paris cause she would sound decent on anything.