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JustAu69 t1_iu2rhpp wrote

I'd argue there are numerous breakthroughs. We now have ribbon drivers, AMT drivers, Dan Clark's metamaterial tuning system, high quality planars available are reasonable prices etc.


audioen t1_iu2zy5j wrote

My suspicion is that all of these changes -- while welcome -- actually amount to close to imperceptible marginal improvements. It is not like existing technology, even down to dynamic drivers from decades ago, couldn't to almost all of the same things, and almost as well. Hell, I bought my first pair of HD-600s 20 years ago and people still use them and think they sound fine.

Magnetoplanar technology is probably the point where I personally stop caring about sound quality improvements as far as the drivers go, because measurements of such a system indicate that they are already practically perfect, whereas dynamic drivers tend to struggle with distortion at low end if they were to play at flat level, let alone at the boosted Harman target level.

To me, it is a bit like in the 80s/90s when PC soundcards reached 44.1 kHz and 16 bits, and in practice reached a level which largely holds today, and to which only very slight improvement is possible in practice.

I think it is okay for technology to peak. It all reaches level of "good enough" sooner or later.


JustAu69 t1_iu4mex0 wrote

Yes, I agree these are not particularly revolutionary. Different driver types do not guarantee a better sound, just different qualities.

The Acoustic Metamaterial Tuning System in my opinion is very clever. Although I am not qualified to explain it in detail, eliminating standing waves will certainly reduce interference and allow for a FR more compliant with the Harman Target. If you are not willing to EQ, this seems to be the solution to a near perfect frequency response. In fact, the legendary Axel Grell (he designed the HD600 HD800) had high praise for it.

In my opinion, we have hit a plateau in terms of improving subjective sound quality. There is nothing new that guarantees better sound.

If we want progress we must put research into what we perceive as good sound and try to find physical metrics that are correlated and fine tune the headphones. Personally I don't think the FR and THD tell the whole story, and neither do the manufacturers. I think what's going on right now is that people know what to do to make headphones sound nicer without understanding precisely how it works. If you took a pair of Hifiman Susvara and AKG K361 and measured them, you wouldn't be able to tell one sounds so much better than the other.


Toronto-Will t1_iu2ug6y wrote

I recently picked up some Kanto Tuk bookshelf speakers that have AMT tweeters, and holy shit do they sound amazing (specifically the tweeters, because there's nothing really remarkable about the bass). I haven't tried a headphone with AMT drivers, I think those are pretty rare. Of course bookshelf speakers have some advantages over headphones with the wider staging, but it's now my favoured way to listen to music, it sounds so damn good.


unuselessness t1_iu31nnv wrote

I’ve the TUKs with the Kanto boxed subwoofer. It adds sub bass accordingly.


Toronto-Will t1_iu352ms wrote

I have that on my Amazon wish list if it goes on sale, but for the time being did movie my tv stereo sub (a cheap one) over to the Kanto. It does fill that gap in its FR nicely. I live in an apartment though, I try not to crank bass out of respect for my neighbours.


GamePro201X t1_iu3fq0p wrote

>I haven't tried a headphone with AMT drivers, I think those are pretty rare

HEDD Audio's HEDDphone is an amazing headphone

if you ever are able to audition it, do it


VinnyinJP t1_iu4068s wrote

Is there a good write up anywhere about how AMT drivers operate? I confess it’s my first time hearing about them and I can’t find much info. Looks like a ribbon tweeter, just visually.


Xjek t1_iu48n4s wrote

Would they be good for general pc use as well? Like gaming etc? Would the sub be needed at all?


Toronto-Will t1_iu4digf wrote

I would not use them for gaming instead of headphones. I just really like them for music. And yes, a sub helps a lot.


AyeYoYoYO t1_iu3egnz wrote

You misunderstood my assertion.

I meant no more innovation from the big buy outs…. Senn & AKG haven’t made any significantly great steps forward since their buyouts.


MYNAMEISNOTSTEVE t1_iu3t1jf wrote

Akg has been owned by Harman for a long time now. The 371 is also still basically unbeatable in its price bracket.