£300 vs £7000 sound quality comparison

Dom

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So what's the difference between a cheap Samsung mobile phone with Sennheiser HD 560S headphones compared with a Roksan and Dynaudio system in terms of sound quality? TLDR: Not a lot :eek:

Considering the canyon between its price, its astonishing that's there's not more contrast between the two, maybe I should be grateful that Samsung seems to have nailed the audio in its A12 mobile or perhaps gutted with Dynaudio that there speakers whilst excellent don't do more.
So what is the difference. Well it seems the most obvious thing is the speakers have bass extension (Or loudness) and I think the headphones do distort but at that point risk damaging your ear drums.

So have I thrown my money away? Of course not its fantastic to have a home theatre and gaming system but if your dreaming of spending a fortune believing its going to sound better than a cheap phone, prepare to be disappointed (y)
 
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plastic penguin

Well-known member
So what's the difference between a cheap Samsung mobile phone with Sennheiser HD 560S headphones compared with a Roksan and Dynaudio system in terms of sound quality? TLDR: Not a lot :eek:

Considering the canyon between its price, its astonishing that's there's not more contrast between the two, maybe I should be grateful that Samsung seems to have nailed the audio in its A12 mobile or perhaps gutted with Dynaudio that there speakers whilst excellent don't do more.
So what is the difference. Well it seems the most obvious thing is the speakers have bass extension (Or loudness) and I think the headphones do distort but at that point risk damaging your ear drums.

So have I thrown my money away? Of course not its fantastic to have a home theatre and gaming system but if your dreaming of spending a fortune believing its going to sound better than a cheap phone, prepare to be disappointed (y)
Hi Dom.

Think comparing a quality hi-fi system with a Smartphone/headphones can be misleading. Unless you can strap the Dynaudios to your ears there are different aspects at play.

Firstly, highly detailed headphones such as Grados give me a headache -- way too revealing for my ears. The closest comparison to the Grados was a Naim 5i with RS6s. That gave me thumping nutache after about 20 minutes.

Compare a well-sorted hi-fi system with one worth several thousands, to my ears the more expensive set-up wins. However, just because a more expensive kit is technically better doesn't guarantee more enjoyment. The enjoyment I had from my A65 far outweighed grossly more expensive stuff.

That's my view.
 
Absolutely. There's no soundstage in front of you with conventional stereo headphone either - which is a key marker for me personally in seeking musical nirvana.

Try feeding the smartphone into the amp and see how you get on - that'd be a more worthy comparison. FWIW, Spotify via my setup (all the way back to using the CDP's DAC) gets closer than it has any right to do to CD.
 

nopiano

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The source quality obtainable from a modern cell/mobile phone is remarkable. If that had been available when CD was launched, those polycarbonate discs would never have caught on! Mind you, when you look at the cost of a phone…!
 
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WayneKerr

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Right, as others have said, you can't really compare the two but I'll have a go. A good headphone set up should challenge a hi-fi system at 3x the price but won't give you the same experience.

I don't plug my headphones into any mobile device, only from amp or CDP. Last system was Marantz PM/SA PL + PMC DB1 with Sennheiser HD650 as my go to headphones, headphones were nearly as good as speakers but lacked that immersive sense you get with speakers. Upgraded to current system and the HD650's were definitely the weak point.

Recently purchased Sennheiser HD800S and I'm astonished as to how good these sound, in all honesty they sound identical to my speakers. Obviously don't get the immersive experience but they come pretty damned close and this is without a headphone amp, I run them straight out of the CDP hp socket.
 
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Dom

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Thank you for your comments they mean a lot, they maybe not comparable and I accept that. (y)

My hifi has more finesse than my phone, I get a nice glow from my Dyns but that shouldn't be the reason to spend thousands.

What I'm trying to talk about is real tangible differences in detail and so on. I'm not getting that except in the bass area where more power is heard.
 
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WayneKerr

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You'll always get a more up-close and detailed experience with hp's. Your speakers are probably over 6 feet away from your ears, headphone drivers are 1/2 inch. Clarity and detail will obviously be there in spades but the soundstage is in your head not in front of you.
 

Dom

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You'll always get a more up-close and detailed experience with hp's. Your speakers are probably over 6 feet away from your ears, headphone drivers are 1/2 inch. Clarity and detail will obviously be there in spades but the soundstage is in your head not in front of you.
Your headphones will be exceptional.
I think there's a misconception between reality and expectation in that good headphones will sound generally similar to good hifi. My headphones are detailed, and the sound stage is in my head. I just didn't expect the A12 phone to be such a satisfying audio player.
 

Friesiansam

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Thank you for your comments they mean a lot, they maybe not comparable and I accept that. (y)

My hifi has more finesse than my phone, I get a nice glow from my Dyns but that shouldn't be the reason to spend thousands.

What I'm trying to talk about is real tangible differences in detail and so on. I'm not getting that except in the bass area where more power is heard.
Now I always use my Elegias with the Pathos Converto Mk2 RR amp and they work very well together, a good match to my ears, full of energy and detail. Some time ago I tried them plugged into the Chord Mojo and it sounded dull and lifeless, no punch with rock music, no liveliness with the prog rock I mostly listen too. Hard to say really if the Pathos is actually worth 3 times as much money but (5 times the money at today's price but, I got a good deal from Audio Affair), absolutely no doubt it is greatly superior.

More recently I tried them plugged them into my Fiio E10k, a 60 quid matchbox sized device, although not great, it suited the Elegias better than the the more expensive Mojo.

With regard to headphone's sound stage, angled drivers help to move it further forward but, not as much as manufacturers would have you believe.
 
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WayneKerr

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Your headphones will be exceptional.
I think there's a misconception between reality and expectation in that good headphones will sound generally similar to good hifi. My headphones are detailed, and the sound stage is in my head. I just didn't expect the A12 phone to be such a satisfying audio player.
Phones have come a long way :) Your hp's are also very good, Gray rates them very highly indeed. Regarding mine, I didn't purchase them to plug them into a mobile device :)
 
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Dom

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Phones have come a long way :) Your hp's are also very good, Gray rates them very highly indeed. Regarding mine, I didn't purchase them to plug them into a mobile device :)
Lol mate, I guess phones have improved a lot.
The story is I wanted headphones to take on walks but got so frustrated finding any, I bought the Sennheiser's instead but are totally unusable outdoors, there open back design means noise is easily heard.

The IEMs I used before were the Flare Audio Jet 3s in titanium which did block out ambient noise and I did take them on walks but they don't sound very good in comparison.
 
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WayneKerr

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Lol mate, I guess phones have improved a lot.
The story is I wanted headphones to take on walks but got so frustrated finding any, I bought the Sennheiser's instead but are totally unusable outdoors, there open back design means noise is easily heard.

The IEMs I used before were the Flare Audio Jet 3s in titanium which did block out ambient noise and I did take them on walks but they don't sound very good in comparison.
We're from different generations Dom :)When I go for walks it's to enjoy the beauty of nature and birdsong, listening to music would only get in the way as I'm a bloke and can't multitask :)
 

Dom

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I tried the PC's front panel headphone out with the HD 650S. The motherboard is the Asrock B460 Steel Legend with the Realtek ALC1200 audio codec. 110 SNR and 32 Ohm load specs. 🎧

Might listen to this more often and who needs expensive gear :D
 

SteveR750

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As other have said, you can't compare loudspeakers with headphones. The difference in size will explain most of the cost delta. However, comparing a phone as a source is interesting. I've got an LG V50 with UAPP installed, and the SQ to a sensible volumes (below 75-80dB) is comparable to my JDS Element 2, both connected to audeze LCD-X phones.
 

Dom

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As other have said, you can't compare loudspeakers with headphones. The difference in size will explain most of the cost delta. However, comparing a phone as a source is interesting. I've got an LG V50 with UAPP installed, and the SQ to a sensible volumes (below 75-80dB) is comparable to my JDS Element 2, both connected to audeze LCD-X phones.
First, nice cans but I'm surprised your phone has enough power for them. Second, your right its not a fair comparison I was just having fun. :oops:
 

Gray

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Your hp's are also very good, Gray rates them very highly indeed.
Gray certainly does Dom 👍
I've got through too much money on every type of hi-fi component (+ a few toys such as the Behiringer Minifex FE800).

I can't think of a bigger audio bargain than the £152 that I paid for the 560S.
However, I'm not naive, they sound good to me in isolation but......when I eventually hear the 800S, I expect to have my 'good' perception of headphone quality put into perspective.
 

SteveR750

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First, nice cans but I'm surprised your phone has enough power for them. Second, your right its not a fair comparison I was just having fun. :oops:
So was I, but they're reasonably easy to drive. It's not ear shattering levels, but loud enough to enjoy them. The LG phones are impressive devices.
 

Dom

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Gray certainly does Dom 👍
I've got through too much money on every type of hi-fi component (+ a few toys such as the Behiringer Minifex FE800).

I can't think of a bigger audio bargain than the £152 that I paid for the 560S.
However, I'm not naive, they sound good to me in isolation but......when I eventually hear the 800S, I expect to have my 'good' perception of headphone quality put into perspective.
Isn't this a case of the grass is always greener on the other side. ;)
 

MrReaper182

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The only conclusion I can come up with to why you put a post on an hi-fi forum saying that you think a cheap smartphone sounds better than an expensive home theatre system is that you are trying to troll us. Well it's not working with me, I wont fall fall for it. Your have to try harder to troll me.
 

Timbola

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I have a pair of Sennheiser HD600 which I listen to via a Qutest and my amp which has a pretty decent headphone stage. I listen via headphones in the evening or at night I if I don’t want to wake up the rest of the house with listening via speakers. I’ve had some great listening sessions with the headphones and they can really impress, but given the choice/when my wife & kids are out I’ll always listen via speakers. I think that tells me I get more enjoyment listening via speakers. Wonder if many/most other people are the same and headphones are ultimately a compromise (albeit a very good one) based on people not being able to use speakers…
 

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