Is it a GIMMICK?


apparently I am a key target for “gimmicks” I have a curved alienware gaming monitor, and I am a firm believer in ambient lights behind tvs…they lessen eye strain… now RGB lighting on all the things all the time…yeah that is a gimmick lol =)


Ambient light YES, color ambient light NO.


I have some ‘Sound Stones’ that will make any audio source sound AMAZING honest. :grin:. Only $4000 to you.



8" diameter, three-turn, rings of 1mm diameter copper modeling wire … $1 each at a craft store near you.

A decent book on “Feng Shui” to come up with where to place them … $24 on

Consulting for which chair/table/furniture legs and lamp bases to place them a round to get the best effect … well … break out that Centurion Card boys and girls …


Perhaps a Zero Volume Klein Bottle speaker, where the sound is never outside, and the speaker electronics are never inside.
Oh, and as the sound travels around the outside of the klein bottle “enclosure” it will come back inverted. The benefits are manifold.

“Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep, the radar can’t tell where to find them. They’ll meet face to face in relative space, preceeding their leaders behind them.” - The Space Child’s Mother Goose


Gimmick…but I love picking it up and putting it down again lol


@pennstac, I’m with you. I couldn’t get past my paranoia about Bose. I always thought the Bose products WERE gimmicks. I listened to both the Sony’s and the Bose at Best Buy. Sadly, the Sennheiser ANC headphones were not charged so I couldn’t compare them. I bought the Sony’s cuz I just couldn’t be #metoo-Bose person.


Well the “direct reflecting” Bose 901 speaker was surely a gimmick. Bass distortion measured about 20% with their array of 5.25 inch drivers. The only place where it sounded OK that I can recall was in a crowded bar in State College (Zeno’s) PA when they had 4 of the things stuck to the ceiling. And it sounded OK because you couldn’t pay any attention to it.

I have a 1st generation Bose wave radio. That is the ONLY Bose product that I know I like. I don’t recall the first Bose noise cancelling headphone, but a friend had them for a while, and got rid of them - BRETT, I know you joined here- maybe you’ll chime in.

Maybe the new ones are much better. I don’t know.


I owned the Bose QC 35 (Series 1), sold them and bought the Bose QC 35 (Series II), then eventually purchased the Sony WH‑1000XM2, held on to both to compare them on flights and at the noisy data center where I work oft times. I kept the Sony and sold the Bose after many A/B comparisons.

Honestly, between the Bose and Sony, the only advantages the Bose had were better long term comfort and the ability to easily switch between Bluetooth devices.

I find the Sony to be the better sounding headphone (with NC on at least) and the noise cancelling to be just slightly superior to Bose QC 35 II. The Noise Cancelling Optimizer feature is not a gimmick, people! It works very well in noisy environments.


That was my quandary. The Sony’s sounded better but the Bose felt more comfortable. I opted for sound quality. And these are MDR-1000x, not the newer version.

Has anyone compared either of these the Sennheiser ANC offering?


Assuming we’re talking about Bose QC35ii, Sony WH-1000XM2/MDR-1000X and Sennheiser HD-1 (Momentum 2.0) Over-Ear Wireless ANC units … all of which I’ve heard, and three of which I’ve owned …

The Sony has the best overall wireless sound quality, broadest codec support and battery life and noise cancelling. The QC35ii is VERY close on the noise-cancelling side of things (in some situations it can be better), but lags a little on sound. The Sennheisers are behind on noise-cancelling but have the best overall sound, especially when not running with power and are by FAR the best built of the three.

Beyond that … the source matters a lot here as they don’t all support the same codecs.

If you have a source that supports LDAC, then the Sony’s are the way to go. Otherwise if you’re using an iOS device you need to make sure you’re getting AAC support, as iOS doesn’t currently support aptX and the default SBC codec is where Bluetooth Audio gets its bad name …


OK. Here is another thought.
Headphone Surround Sound
Is it a Gimmick?

So, I’ve had some early attempts - wireless AR phones that tried to place speakers to create a surround soundstage. And Dolby has some signal processing tricks to sort of simulate surround sound. Some gaming headphones try to do it.

I’m one of those guys that recognizes stereo is not a gimmick - although I’d rather listen to a good mono recording than a bad stereo one. And with speakers and good equipment and good mastering and engineering, you can get a reasonably satisfactory soundstage.

I even like and don’t think that binaural recording is a gimmick.

But surround sound headphones? What do you think?


Apple even sells it in their own store. Pioneer Rayz Plus Lightning IEMs. With noise reduction.

Every real IEM I’ve tried cuts out plenty of noise, just by being an IEM.
What’s different here?

Why active noise cancellation in an IEM? Mere GIMMICKRY???


I was personally not a fan of surround sound headphones just because the headphones usually aren’t great.

But I have been listening to some 5.1 SACD (Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon) with the Mobius and I gotta say, its pretty damn impressive.

I think surround sound headphones are going to become more prominent as the technology advances in the next couple of years. It still has a ways to go but its lots of fun!


I agree with @taronlissimore about the quality of surround sound headphones, but they are what got me into audiophile headphones. I started off with gaming headphones, and over the years with more and more research I moved into the realm of high/higher end headphones. I will say that the Atmos app for headphones on Xbox one X and PC is really cool and definitely I can see that becoming the future. With the Mobius on the horizon for me, I am very much so excited for this technology to become better and better. I am first a gamer, and any technology that furthers that I’m all for =) I have had some of the best surround sound headphones and can confirm it isn’t a gimmick, but it has more to do with the audio format and delays than the actual headphones. So any stereo headphone can produce surround sound effects by sound delays and other tricks. Pretty cool technology for sure.


I will affirmatively assert that binaural is NOT a gimmick. Just not used much, and the recordings you do find are wierd. :wink:


someone posted a video of two girls licking the ears of a binaural microphone and needless to say it was disturbing…so I shared it with all my friends telling them to listen with headphones lol…I think it was on one of the headphone discord music rooms…


I think I might be in the minority in that I haven’t found many binaural music recordings that I enjoy. The Yosi Horikawa stuff is fun, but acoustic stuff sound weird to me. I would expect sounds to come from in front of me, but invariably they come from the side or behind.


I found a recording of Cowboy Junkies live mastered for headphones, it’s not exactly binaural recording but it’s pretty good, was a free download as I recall. I’ll see if I can find the link, it was in some head-fi thread.
Other than that most binaural recordings leave me cold, sorta like english recorder music (see new music thread!).


I tried but couldn’t find a English recorder song done with binaural…that would have been too good lol