New Headphones coming from JDS Labs

jds-labs

#21

Just backed. Can’t seem to find any reviews either…


#22

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An FR was posted recently. I could see the sound being rather controversial. Seems like they’re quite dipped from 1kHz to a bit past 3kHz so they’ll probably sound kinda dull and distant but they have a huge spike at 5k so they’ll also probably sound super nasal. They then drop off steeply after so they’ll probably sound veiled too.

Of course, I don’t know the rig so the measurement could be off but I’d recommend waiting for further measurements and reviews before backing.


#23

Or just read the campaign where it says the headphone is in the prototype stage and they’re still tuning it. They mentioned specifically that they’re going to flatten out the 5K peak.


#24

It’s one thing to mention that they’ll try to do something and actually doing it. If they can manage to tame it, that’d help with the nasalness but it won’t really help the lack of upper midrange and treble.


#25

Have you heard it? I know they sent out preview units, I’m not one to follow measurements, and prefer to base my opinion on what I hear, or the opinions of people that have a sound preference to mine. Also this is being marketed as a gaming headphone so that needs to be taken into account also.That being said, I don’t think anyone should judge this based off the limited information out there, especially since it is still going through changes. I also would not like to see this forum turn into a place like the random discord channels where people are super judgemental of others preference, everyone is unique in what they hear, and shouldn’t be made to feel like they have to be on the defensive for it. Nor do I think that the forum should be super positive about every headphone, or gear. I’m a half full type so I tend to focus on the good/Positive aspects of things.


#26

I haven’t heard it; I just specified that I could see the sound being controversial through the information given because I have seen many people complain about midrange-lacking headphones like the Elear and HD700.

Though, isn’t the fact that people do perceive sound differently a case against subjective impressions? I know that I’m less tolerant of mid treble spikes and less sensitive to low treble spikes than many people, so even if people do have similar sound preferences to me, they may be more accepting or less accepting of issues I hear or things I love about a headphone. Subjective reviews do have their place (I wouldn’t do them if I didn’t think they can be useful) but the ideal situation would be using measurements with subjective impressions because they are best when used together.

I have trouble trusting reviews of pre-production or even early releases of headphones because there’s so much excitement around a product that people may subconsciously be more lenient. Measurements, with all the potential faults they may have, avoid this because they don’t have the ability to have biases. Of course, it’s silly to only trust measurements because measurements can have errors and it’s entirely possible to have something measure well sound bad because measurements only show part of the picture, but I can’t really think of many examples where a poorly-measuring headphone sounds straight up good, just cases in which measurements show specific colorations that can be pleasing to people. What I said in my first post is just an analysis of the measurement Vokyl provided, with commentary for likely issues people have have with that particular FR. Measurements are immensely useful because they provide a context without people’s own preferences coloring their own opinions and from there, people can decide if they think a headphone’s sound signature will fit their own preferences.

I normally wouldn’t judge a gaming headphone particularly harshly (like for example, I’d be ecstatic if the Mobius performs even like a slightly worse Sine) but they are claiming it is one of the best values in the under $500 range and competes with stuff on the $1k range. It’s a bold claim and I’d love if they performed on a technical level with other things in the $500 range, but their FR may leave some people wanting if they want something with a forward midrange. I’m just emphasizing that people should take the information they are provided before rushing into backing something that hasn’t been proven to be good. Headphones are hard to get sounding good, even by established companies so I think that unless that person wants to buy this as a curiosity or have a legitimate use for this, waiting for more information would be smart because $250 isn’t a small amount of money to gamble.


#27

Hence the finding someone with a similar sound preference comment I made. Measurements can be very off, depending on who is doing the measurements, and the chain that is used to get those measurements. Also like you said you seem to be hyper sensitive to things that more than likely 95%(not a factual percentage just making a point) are probably not sensitive to. I also noticed that you find fault with most headphones that majority of listeners love(not a fault just how you hear things) which goes back to my statement of people should make sure they are aware of the reviewers views so they can better understand if they would align with the reviewers perceptions of what they are hearing. For instance HD700 is one of my favorite headphones, I’m learning to better understand it’s faults but still think it is a great headphone, and most non critical listeners would probably agree (friends and family also thought it sounded awesome when I let them hear it). Measurements can also be biased depending on who does them, even supposed trusted sources, hence why I don’t really pay attention to the measurements of any headphone…maybe as I get more into the hobby I can start understanding them better or find a trusted sources (Tyll retiring leaves a whole in that trusted sources spot, but even he isn’t infallible). I recognize that their are snobs in every hobby but I don’t think this forum should be a place for them, we already have enough in other forums and discord channels. For example I witnessed a group on discord deride some kid because he wanted to buy the JDS Element or El stack, that same group went after another kid that was super stoked to get an m1060 and was saying how awesome it sounded when that group came in and derided his choice and belittled it. I felt super bad for those two kids, they just wanted to share something they were excited for and they got bullied by the resident know it all’s (unkle something and shoes something I think on the discords, not trying to call anyone out but it really disappointed me). These kids are just getting into the hobby and might not have the budgets that some of us have for gear. Sorry off my soapbox, and I’m not saying you are doing these things just the way you stated things kind of set off that string of concious. I like the inclusive and helpful community that this site has fostered and would be dissapointed if it fell to the Reddit mob/discord mob mentality.

Rant over, sorry for the wall but I enjoy this forum and want it to succeed.


#28

Isn’t the job for people who are reviewing things to point out issues of headphones who are wanting to buy something, not help purchase justification for those who have already bought something? I think being harsh on gear benefits those who are looking to buy things, as they’ll know what to expect. I’ve seen so many people be disappointed by purchases that they’ve made based on unreliable reviews over the years that I’ve gotten really, really jaded towards many reviews. Funnily enough, lately I’ve noticed the M1060 series have received more disappointment from people new to the hobby than almost any other headphone. I’ve seen many people question why the reviews for them are so positive and question if they’ve been misled.

As far as the Vokyl measurements, they seem to be on a 4128C HATS so they should be relatively reliable, and coming from the manufacturer themselves, those measurements are probably going to be the most flattering.


#29

Yes, it is one aspect of a review to point out the flaws.

I think that a lot of people are dissapointed due to the roving know it alls that I mentioned above, saying they purchased poo, and because of that they jump on the bandwagon because they don’t want to go against the grain. Not all I’m sure there are plenty of people in both camps.

I hope you are not taking this personally, I’m just putting points out there that I have witnessed both personally and from others since I joined this hobby earnestly.

Back to the measurements, another reason I don’t give them too much weight is my experience with the HD700/HD800 for me personally I enjoy both and never experienced the glare/major problems. Another reason I say follow reviewers that align with your sound profile…it’s not to justify purchases but to better judge if you will like a headphone or not.


#30

Oh I’m definitely not taking it personally; if I seem curt it’s because I’ve been out running errands and answering while the SO is looking away haha.

I think the main thing is that we’re looking at the hobby from two different viewpoints; after being disappointed by so many headphones it’s hard to get me excited about something new and because of that, I usually assume the worst in a headphone until it proves to be good rather than the other way around. I don’t necessarily look at the hobby from a negative viewpoint of course, but from my point of view, realistically speaking, most headphones…need some work.

I don’t think your perception of the HD700/800 sound should affect how much you rely on measurements; instead, it should help you realize that you have certain areas where you’re less sensitive, like that 6k region evidently. I’m less sensitive to there than what I assume is normal too because I think the HD800 actually has a very nice amount of low treble. Measurements are the easiest way to get an idea of how things vaguely sound, at least in terms of how loud certain frequencies are, and from there, you gauge how much you think you will like something.

I’m the opposite though; when I see something measure poorly, it makes me want to try it more…like the T5p I recently bought.


#31

Lively discussion!

I think headphone reviews are many things to many different people. They’re advice for buyers, entertainment, marketing, a way to rationalize past purchases, a way to learn how to listen critically, and more.

I think @Ishcabible approaches reviews from the perspective of providing critical advice for prospective buyers and not simply jumping on the latest hype train. Reading your review of the Utopia, I come away thinking “nice headphones, not without problems, hard to justify spending thousands on them”. I appreciate this alternative perspective to the usual “OMG! They’re amazing. Expensive yes, but worth it!”.

I think @DarthPool’s point is that there’s a difference between pointing out a headphones’ weaknesses vs categorically calling them weak (when in reality most decent headphones have at least some redeeming qualities), which could lead some people to feel buyer’s remorse (even though they shouldn’t). I don’t think you’re specifically calling out @Ishcabible for this, just reminding us as a group that danger lies that way. I appreciate this perspective as well.

My good friend’s mom always said “everything in moderation”, typically after he and I had polished off one of her chocolate cream cheese pies before it had even finished cooling. I think that truism applies equally to praise and criticism. Nothing is perfect, and nothing is complete junk, so as long as we focus on providing an honest, coherent and complete assessment of what we review, we should be in good shape.

@DarthPool mentioned Tyll. I think his reviews worked well because he had a clear point of view, reviewed a ton of gear, measured it using a consistent rig and methodology, provided plenty of subjective comparisons to other gear and usually found at least something nice to say about everything that he reviewed. This allowed his readers to develop a decent understanding of how a specific pair of headphones might sound, irrespective of whether they shared Tyll’s tastes, and to approach every prospective purchase with an openness to being pleasantly surprised (which is quite different from the expectation of being immediately wowed which one gets from frequenting certain forums and which can lead to severe buyer’s remorse like some people feel with the M1060). No matter how thoughtfully any of the new generation of reviewers approach their craft, none of them will be able to immediately replace Tyll simply because they haven’t yet built a similarly large body of work.

On the subject of frequency response - I’m still learning a lot, but my gut tells me that frequency response is the most important feature of a headphone’s performance in determining its sound. I suspect that a lot of the more subtle distinctions which we attempt to draw between headphones about things like detail retrieval, speed, clarity and so on are largely dominated by differences in frequency response and that if we tested all headphones equalized to the exact same target curve, the distinctions between a $300 pair and a $3000 pair would be much more subtle than we might think and that a lot of the gains that flagships provide in specific areas are due to deviations from a neutral frequency response, which then incur attendant costs (like unnatural timbre). I hope to do more reviews and comparisons in the future and plan to focus on this aspect of things a bit more. Perhaps even do a series of reviews where everything is equalized to the HD600 frequency response using Toneboosters Morphit.


#32

:grin: yes, I have been sneaking in these comments, just got back from Hawaii, and in-laws are over celebrating my 2yr olds b-day (belated). I like unique headphones, and I also gravitate to ones people don’t like too. I’m kick-starting the Verum1 purely because it generally has good preview reviews but also because of how unique it is. I love my HD800 and it is my most used headphone I have. I also can understand your point of view on this and appreciate the more holding to task of the headphones in question. I enjoy all reviews of headphones especially ones I own, because I’ll try and hear what the reviewer is hearing… @pwjazz and I had a fun back and forth with the 58X, that later included a much bigger audience. I’m also glad you weren’t taking my posts personally or as an affront, it is hard conveying what I was trying to say without coming off poorly (especially when using my fat thumbs in text form lol)


#33

I think you nailed it on the head! This is part of why I really enjoy this forum above others, it has such a diverse group, but at the same time we all are striving to help each other out and help add to the discussions.

I think that is a great idea for reviews with the HD600 EQ.


#34

Thanks @Ishcabible and @pwjazz @Tacanacy for the discussions, these types of discussion help flesh out who we are and help bond the forum together. Also thank you for bringing your perspective and thoughts on this topic!


#35

I tend to go for odd headphones too; I try to get my hands on weird things that not many people have written about like the TakeT H2+ and Sony PFR-V1 and of course the Jecklin Float. I think the weird side of the headphone world is really fun to explore because I’ve basically accepted that there won’t be a “perfect” headphone so I like trying stuff that weird people may not have even heard of. I’ll be getting a Brüel and Kjær 4128C HATS to measure stuff for headphone.com and we’re already in the process of measuring some other headphones using Cascadia Audio’s HATS system so while we won’t be able to replace Tyll’s personality, we can at least provide measurements for the community. I’ll probably end up buying one of these used because every headphone should be measured and measured.


#36

Great discussion guys and very informative. All I can add is that personally I respect anyone who takes the time and effort to review something. I may not agree at all with their findings but that’s just that they have a different take on things than me.

As long as it stays civil and doesn’t turn into a thread of insults and put downs as some forums are sometimes guilty of. Debate and differences of opinion can only be a good thing.

I love this forum for its civilised and informative take on the hobby I love. I haven’t come across any animosity or fanboyism anywhere on the forum. That’s what will keep people coming back in the end. Obviously great content and very helpful knowledgeable people help too. :slightly_smiling_face:

-Paul-


#37

Mshenay reached out to me asking if I wanted to join the tour so I’ll be doing a full writeup and measurement suite when I get it, hopefully in October/early November.


#38

:wink: I know these feels…


#39

Joining this discussion a tad late, but it’s been interesting to read the last part of it. As a somewhat newer reviewer to audio products, I’ve been trying to find my little niche on how to write things. I’ve taken the approach that @pwjazz has and combined measurements with subjective listening. I think, for me, it rounds out the review. I have a ways to go but it’s been a fun hobby. I used to write reviews on records 15 or so years ago on a website I created and had a mini staff of 8 or so friends. It was challenging to write an objective review on something so subjective as music. We also, worked for free, but it was an easy way to score free music to listen to, check out bands we liked at concerts for free and get to meet them before or afterwards for an interview, while we were poor college kids.

Anyway, I was reached out by Mshenay as well for the preview tour, so I’m excited to see how this product compares to the Mobius and other headphones in my arsenal.


#40

I’m not basically a gamer. But gamer headphones have some features that I value quite a bit. Like a good mic. I am not infrequently in a position where I need to not only shut out a noisy environment and concentrate on what a client or potential client wants to communicate, I hate to have that client think I’m in a noisy environment and am not concentrating on their words and only their words.

That’s why I pay attention to gamer headphone reviews. They can be among the best headphones for on-the-go business use.