Author Topic: Audio connoisseurs Sennheiser have announced - Orpheus headphones 50,000  (Read 6024 times)

chesebert

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« Last Edit: October 01, 2016, 10:08:50 AM by chesebert »

Kalergie

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If it represents a fraction of a fraction of your net worth, why not?

dividendman

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If it represents a fraction of a fraction of your net worth, why not?

It represents a fraction of a fraction for me.... 50,000 = 1/4 * 1/2 * mynetworth

So, I think I'd still rather not.

SirOcelot

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The previous production run doesn't test better than headphones that cost 100x less.

But hey, that's just double blind testing.  "After the blind tests, I revealed all the headphones (the participants were blindfolded at first) and asked them to try these models again. As expected, the Orpheus gained unanimous approval after the visual stimuli."

And they are indeed very pretty.  Though personally, if I know that a product comes cut with a hefty dose of snake oil, that seriously detracts from its aesthetics.  Other consumers' mileage may vary (and most definitely does).

GuitarStv

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Selling the sizzle is nothing new in audio equipment.

You can buy fricking HDMI cables for thousands of dollars to get . . . exactly the same digital signal you get with ten dollar ones.  You can buy devices to install in an acoustic guitar that will ensure the guitar vibrates when you're not playing it . . . because we all know that the more wood vibrates the better it sounds.  Then there are always entertaining shootouts like this one:  http://gizmodo.com/363154/audiophile-deathmatch-monster-cables-vs-a-coat-hanger.

The whole audio industry makes me sick sometimes.

MgoSam

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There's always a market for "premium" headphones. Just look at Beats, which is ridiculously overpriced for what you get. You can get a far better headphone at a significantly lower price. Or if you aren't someone that needs such pristine quality, you can buy $10 headphones. As I primarily listen to audiobooks, sound quality isn't worth paying for.

Making Cookies

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I don't think anything I like to listen to is worthy of that cost.

acepedro45

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I have to admit, I'm suffering from some severe scorn/want conflict right now.

The marble base that opens to reveal these beauties is pretty boss.

No Name Guy

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The previous production run doesn't test better than headphones that cost 100x less.

But hey, that's just double blind testing.  "After the blind tests, I revealed all the headphones (the participants were blindfolded at first) and asked them to try these models again. As expected, the Orpheus gained unanimous approval after the visual stimuli."

And they are indeed very pretty.  Though personally, if I know that a product comes cut with a hefty dose of snake oil, that seriously detracts from its aesthetics.  Other consumers' mileage may vary (and most definitely does).

Selling the sizzle is nothing new in audio equipment.

You can buy fricking HDMI cables for thousands of dollars to get . . . exactly the same digital signal you get with ten dollar ones.  You can buy devices to install in an acoustic guitar that will ensure the guitar vibrates when you're not playing it . . . because we all know that the more wood vibrates the better it sounds.  Then there are always entertaining shootouts like this one:  http://gizmodo.com/363154/audiophile-deathmatch-monster-cables-vs-a-coat-hanger.

The whole audio industry makes me sick sometimes.


Audiophile excess (bold in the quotes) is one of those topics paranormal debunkers have covered for YEARS.  Must have been 10+ years ago James Randi was talking the BS that is the "high end" audiophile business to include the Monster cables.

chesebert

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Selling the sizzle is nothing new in audio equipment.

You can buy fricking HDMI cables for thousands of dollars to get . . . exactly the same digital signal you get with ten dollar ones.  You can buy devices to install in an acoustic guitar that will ensure the guitar vibrates when you're not playing it . . . because we all know that the more wood vibrates the better it sounds.  Then there are always entertaining shootouts like this one:  http://gizmodo.com/363154/audiophile-deathmatch-monster-cables-vs-a-coat-hanger.

The whole audio industry makes me sick sometimes.
How is this relevant? Transducer, amplification and source absolute make a difference and are generally priced accordingly (the well known brands at least). Listen for yourself.

Don't know any DAC that takes HDMI but USB, coaxial, optical and i2s cables do make a difference to trained ears.

GuitarStv

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Transducer, amplification and source absolute make a difference

Absolutely.  There is a measurable difference between all of these things, and that has an effect on the sound you hear.



and are generally priced accordingly

With high end audio the price has little to do with the cost of the components and manufacturing and everything to do with the ads, gimmicks, and branding.



Listen for yourself.

Funny you should mention that.  Properly testing audio is a rather complicated matter because of the problems associated with how people hear sound.  We hear different frequency response depending on the volume of a source.  We hear different frequency response due to constructive/destructive wave interference due to the shape of the room that people are sitting in (moving your head as little as an inch can change the frequency response at your ears by as much as 10 dB in an untreated room).  We hear frequencies differently depending on the ambient air temperature, pressure, our own blood pressure, etc.  It's very difficult to properly isolate sound tests down to individual variables.  This is one of the reasons that so many myths abound . . . it's very easy to convince people that there's a difference when testing even when there is none.

I've participated in, and set up multiple double blind tests on audio cables and equipment in acoustically treated environments.  The people who most strongly claim to be able to hear nuance between digital cables hear largely with their eyes, and when you force them to use their ears they come to very different conclusions.

With analog cables (especially using longer runs with very low source signal levels) there is an audible difference between high and low capacitance wires though.  Telling the difference between short runs of high/low capacitance wire is very difficult, and I've yet to find someone able to tell the difference between two low capacitance cables of the same length.



Don't know any DAC that takes HDMI but USB, coaxial, optical and i2s cables do make a difference to trained ears.

Hmm.  Not sure exactly what you're talking about here.  Surely you know that HDMI signals are wholly digital.  Every HDMI audio signal that passes through the wire then has to go through a DAC of some kind before it hits your speakers.

I was referring specifically of the ridiculously overpriced cables that big box stores try to sell with their home theater systems when mentioning HDMI.  Due to the built in phase checking inherent in the design, HDMI is just not susceptible to data corruption problems.  If your HDMI cable passes signal, it's good signal . . . regardless of what you paid for it.

USB is another perfectly valid example.  If you have a USB cable, and it's functioning properly (and is shielded) it will sound identical to any other USB cable (provided it's within the lengths specified for the USB type).  At least, that's why my testing shows.

I guess that it's possible that if the USB timing code is improperly implemented on the sender side, then you might run into jitter problems . . . but that's not the cable's fault.  If you try to pass more data in a burst through the cable than what the standard allows for, that could also cause problems I guess.  If you're running your cheap USB cable next to an MRI for example, you might also have problems . . . but I'd be shocked to hear that you wouldn't experience similar issues with a multi thousand dollar cable as well.  There's no magic.

Sadly, a lot of manufacturers have spent a lot of money to lie about this to people.  That's why misinformed folks like you think that 'trained ears' can magically tell the difference between these things.  It's also why I said that the audio industry often makes me sick . . . lying and misinformation is omnipresent.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2016, 06:05:23 AM by GuitarStv »

chesebert

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The sad truth is USB cables do sound different at least to my ears. Price != audio quality but the different is definantely there. Same issue with analog cables, as in price != quality but cables do sound different and you just gotta to keep trying until you find one that you like. I for example like DMM after playing the field so to speak. You just gotta to go through a good number of them to figure out what you like.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2016, 04:17:29 PM by chesebert »

gimp

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Congratulations, you're advertising Sennheiser.

Every fucking two weeks, one of you find a $50k something and advertises it.

GuitarStv

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The sad truth is USB cables do sound different at least to my ears. Price != audio quality but the different is definantely there. Same issue with analog cables, as in price != quality but cables do sound different and you just gotta to keep trying until you find one that you like. I for example like DMM after playing the field so to speak. You just gotta to go through a good number of them to figure out what you like.

I tried to cover this in my previous post.

When dealing with audio comparisons you need to deal with averages and measurable change under controlled conditions.  If you haven't done this, then you may well hear a difference that doesn't exist.

When given two sound samples from exactly the same speakers, same sound sample, same amps/pre-amps, same wires, and same room I've had a few people who would swear up and down that they could hear differences.  One sound sample was obviously more bassy, and the other had better upper mid range fidelity.  Until the test was re-run.  Then one sample had enhanced lower mids, and the other was too bright.  They would swear up and down that they were hearing a difference between the identical setup.  The thing is, they weren't lying . . . auditory processing is just complicated and error prone.

Because of the way your brain processes audio it's very easy to trick yourself into believing that something that doesn't exist is there.  (I mentioned before how changing the position of your head an inch can radically change the constructive/destructive wave interference in an untreated room for example.)  The next time you find yourself believing that USB cables make an audible difference, blindfold yourself and spend a couple hours really listening to the difference between the two cables.  My experience doing this (unless there's something wrong with your cable) has been that nobody can consistently identify which USB connector is plugged in, let alone be able to identify any particular 'sound' of a USB cable.  You may well hear differences from test to test . . . but that has to do with the 'noise' inherent in human auditory processing rather than any actual difference in sound produced.  Otherwise these differences would be repeatable test after test.

No Name Guy

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The sad truth is USB cables do sound different at least to my ears. Price != audio quality but the different is definantely there. Same issue with analog cables, as in price != quality but cables do sound different and you just gotta to keep trying until you find one that you like. I for example like DMM after playing the field so to speak. You just gotta to go through a good number of them to figure out what you like.

I bet you're also one of the 86.45% of women who see an improvement in fine lines around your eyes and improved radiance when using the $100 face cream for only two weeks.

Again.....psudo-science debunkers have been all over this for 10-20 years at least.  Double blind testing shows no differences.  It's all in your head.

sailinlight

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I suspect Sennheiser did not come out with these to sell 50k headphones, but simply as advertising. The public will think that no other company knows how to make headphones good enough to sell for 50k, so the Sennheiser ones for 120 must be better than all the other brands at the same price point.

frugalnacho

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no other company knows how to make headphones good enough to sell for 50k, the Sennheiser ones for 120 must be better than all the other brands at the same price point.

*nodding along*

*goes to buy sennheiser headphones because they are the best*

Bettis

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I bought Sennheiser's about 5-6 years ago.  I forgot the model but they were about $24 on Amazon and I think they sound great.  High end audio looks cool and dare I say sounds better but you need a dedicated environment and a non-mustachian attitude.

There is a high end audio store near my work and in a moment of weakness, I ended up buying some good demo speakers for a couple of hundred dollars.  While they were packaging up the speakers, they let me listen to the CD I brought in the high end room with $20K+ speakers and all the fixings.  There was a huge difference and my ears aren't specifically trained to hear the nuances.  I have a feeling that the majority of the difference was the room itself.  I'm a little off topic since the room wouldn't matter with headphones but position your speakers well and if you can DIY some acoustic panels, you can make a big difference for very little $$.

GuitarStv

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Acoustic treatment makes a radical difference.  Anyone using speakers worth more than a grand in a room without acoustic treatment is probably wasting their money . . . it's like watching someone on a five thousand dollar aerodynamic road bike with baggy shorts and shirt flapping away in the wind.

slugline

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I suspect Sennheiser did not come out with these to sell 50k headphones, but simply as advertising. The public will think that no other company knows how to make headphones good enough to sell for 50k, so the Sennheiser ones for 120 must be better than all the other brands at the same price point.

Yup. I like to call this the "FAO Schwartz Catalog Effect" after the defunct toy retailer. Lead with the insanely-priced item of opulence that they don't really expect to sell, and then the merely overpriced stuff that follows looks like a good value.

GuitarStv

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Acoustic treatment makes a radical difference.  Anyone using speakers worth more than a grand is wasting their money . . . it's like watching someone on a five thousand dollar aerodynamic road bike with baggy shorts and shirt flapping away in the wind.

Fixed that for ya ;)

Eh.  Great speakers make the job of music mixing and mastering easier.  When the job is easier, you get it done faster and get paid sooner.  YMMV, but going cheap on your speakers can be a false savings for some.

If you just want something loud that makes booming sounds on demand though, I totally agree with your statement.

MgoSam

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Acoustic treatment makes a radical difference.  Anyone using speakers worth more than a grand is wasting their money . . . it's like watching someone on a five thousand dollar aerodynamic road bike with baggy shorts and shirt flapping away in the wind.

Fixed that for ya ;)

Eh.  Great speakers make the job of music mixing and mastering easier.  When the job is easier, you get it done faster and get paid sooner.  YMMV, but going cheap on your speakers can be a false savings for some.

If you just want something loud that makes booming sounds on demand though, I totally agree with your statement.


The second part to my previous post was adding that, yes, good speakers are a necessity for people in the business, but for the what, 99% of the rest of the population they are nothing more than waste.

;)

I've noticed that more companies are advertising products that were ordinarily only sold to professionals or commercial interests. These headphones are such an example. High-end espresso and coffee makers are another, perhaps they are useful...I'm not a coffee person. Though if someone could make a very good tea maker I might interested (heats the water to the correct temp, steeps the tea for the right amount of time, ect).

Dollar Slice

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Acoustic treatment makes a radical difference.  Anyone using speakers worth more than a grand in a room without acoustic treatment is probably wasting their money . . .

My current apartment taught me a lot about the importance of the room in terms of sound quality. When I moved in I decided to repurpose an old set of speakers and put them in my bedroom. They sounded awesome in my old office, but when I turned them on in my bedroom they sounded so bad I thought they might be broken. It turns out that for reasons unknown, my bedroom has extremely fucked-up acoustics - even just coughing or snapping your fingers in that room sounds bizarre. I decided I could live with just having music in the livingroom/kitchen rather than trying to diagnose my bedroom's acoustics...

No Name Guy

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[excess cut out]
I've noticed that more companies are advertising products that were ordinarily only sold to professionals or commercial interests. These headphones are such an example. High-end espresso and coffee makers are another, perhaps they are useful...I'm not a coffee person. Though if someone could make a very good tea maker I might interested (heats the water to the correct temp, steeps the tea for the right amount of time, ect).

^^ - This.

From what I said on the expensive bike / go fast thread:
Quote
The only time paying for top product makes sense is if there is a convincing, by the numbers case, that it will be the margin between life and death / victory and defeat / business success or failure.  For most of us, this simply won't be true.

Making Cookies

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Acoustic treatment makes a radical difference.  Anyone using speakers worth more than a grand is wasting their money . . . it's like watching someone on a five thousand dollar aerodynamic road bike with baggy shorts and shirt flapping away in the wind.

Fixed that for ya ;)

Eh.  Great speakers make the job of music mixing and mastering easier.  When the job is easier, you get it done faster and get paid sooner.  YMMV, but going cheap on your speakers can be a false savings for some.

If you just want something loud that makes booming sounds on demand though, I totally agree with your statement.


The second part to my previous post was adding that, yes, good speakers are a necessity for people in the business, but for the what, 99% of the rest of the population they are nothing more than waste.

;)

My kids are going to start talking over the music anyhow... And then there is the dog's squeaky toy... j/k

Honestly, I only listen to music through headphones now on the rare occasion that I'm alone which isn't at work, isn't usually in the car, and isn't at home... ;)

How do people in multi-family housing ever enjoy good speakers? We could never turn up the stereo loud enough to enjoy without being a problem for the neighbors and likewise.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2016, 01:19:00 PM by Joe Lucky »

Dollar Slice

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How do people in multi-family housing ever enjoy good speakers? We could never turn up the stereo loud enough to enjoy without being a problem for the neighbors and likewise.

There are a lot of kinds of music in the world, and many of them do not have the sort of thumpy bass lines and driving rhythms that travel so well through floors and walls. :-) No one has ever complained about me playing string quartets, classical guitar, acoustic singer/songwriters, a capella vocals, etc. etc. I also make sure not to have any speakers or subwoofers resting on the floor or touching the wall. When I want to rock out, I use headphones.

Of course some buildings are built with Kleenex for walls and then it's pretty much hopeless no matter what...

GuitarStv

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How do people in multi-family housing ever enjoy good speakers? We could never turn up the stereo loud enough to enjoy without being a problem for the neighbors and likewise.

Good speakers don't require being turned up particularly loud to be enjoyable.  They're very detailed and sensitive, so you can hear nuances in the music even at low volume.

chesebert

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The sad truth is USB cables do sound different at least to my ears. Price != audio quality but the different is definantely there. Same issue with analog cables, as in price != quality but cables do sound different and you just gotta to keep trying until you find one that you like. I for example like DMM after playing the field so to speak. You just gotta to go through a good number of them to figure out what you like.

I bet you're also one of the 86.45% of women who see an improvement in fine lines around your eyes and improved radiance when using the $100 face cream for only two weeks.

Again.....psudo-science debunkers have been all over this for 10-20 years at least.  Double blind testing shows no differences.  It's all in your head.
the "debunkers" either don't know what they are talking about, have test subjects that have not been properly trained, already have a set goal in mind and construct useless tests for the result or lack the proper instruments to measure the difference.

Just because a lot of people on this planet cannot tell the difference between cables doesn't mean some people with trained ears cannot tell the difference. Same goes with wine tasting or any other hobby based on sensory inputs

chesebert

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Acoustic treatment makes a radical difference.  Anyone using speakers worth more than a grand in a room without acoustic treatment is probably wasting their money . . .

My current apartment taught me a lot about the importance of the room in terms of sound quality. When I moved in I decided to repurpose an old set of speakers and put them in my bedroom. They sounded awesome in my old office, but when I turned them on in my bedroom they sounded so bad I thought they might be broken. It turns out that for reasons unknown, my bedroom has extremely fucked-up acoustics - even just coughing or snapping your fingers in that room sounds bizarre. I decided I could live with just having music in the livingroom/kitchen rather than trying to diagnose my bedroom's acoustics...

I have optimized my system, room EQ and room treatment for only "sweet spot" listening, which consists of 1 seat in the middle of living room. Anything more than that would require a dedicated listening room with special room treatments for corners, walls, ceiling and floor. 

chesebert

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Acoustic treatment makes a radical difference.  Anyone using speakers worth more than a grand is wasting their money . . . it's like watching someone on a five thousand dollar aerodynamic road bike with baggy shorts and shirt flapping away in the wind.

Fixed that for ya ;)

Eh.  Great speakers make the job of music mixing and mastering easier.  When the job is easier, you get it done faster and get paid sooner.  YMMV, but going cheap on your speakers can be a false savings for some.

If you just want something loud that makes booming sounds on demand though, I totally agree with your statement.


The second part to my previous post was adding that, yes, good speakers are a necessity for people in the business, but for the what, 99% of the rest of the population they are nothing more than waste.

;)

I've noticed that more companies are advertising products that were ordinarily only sold to professionals or commercial interests. These headphones are such an example. High-end espresso and coffee makers are another, perhaps they are useful...I'm not a coffee person. Though if someone could make a very good tea maker I might interested (heats the water to the correct temp, steeps the tea for the right amount of time, ect).
Better make your tea by hand as every pile of tea leaf is different you need to observe the tea and use good judgement. I have one cup that I use for tea so I know the water volume and I weight my tea every time to get consistency. I also observe the tea leafs and decide the steeping time and whether the tea needs to be agitated

Chris22

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The sad truth is USB cables do sound different at least to my ears. Price != audio quality but the different is definantely there. Same issue with analog cables, as in price != quality but cables do sound different and you just gotta to keep trying until you find one that you like. I for example like DMM after playing the field so to speak. You just gotta to go through a good number of them to figure out what you like.

I bet you're also one of the 86.45% of women who see an improvement in fine lines around your eyes and improved radiance when using the $100 face cream for only two weeks.

Again.....psudo-science debunkers have been all over this for 10-20 years at least.  Double blind testing shows no differences.  It's all in your head.
the "debunkers" either don't know what they are talking about, have test subjects that have not been properly trained, already have a set goal in mind and construct useless tests for the result or lack the proper instruments to measure the difference.

Just because a lot of people on this planet cannot tell the difference between cables doesn't mean some people with trained ears cannot tell the difference. Same goes with wine tasting or any other hobby based on sensory inputs

Isn't USB a digital signal?  Don't you either have a signal or you don't? 

chesebert

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The sad truth is USB cables do sound different at least to my ears. Price != audio quality but the different is definantely there. Same issue with analog cables, as in price != quality but cables do sound different and you just gotta to keep trying until you find one that you like. I for example like DMM after playing the field so to speak. You just gotta to go through a good number of them to figure out what you like.

I bet you're also one of the 86.45% of women who see an improvement in fine lines around your eyes and improved radiance when using the $100 face cream for only two weeks.

Again.....psudo-science debunkers have been all over this for 10-20 years at least.  Double blind testing shows no differences.  It's all in your head.
the "debunkers" either don't know what they are talking about, have test subjects that have not been properly trained, already have a set goal in mind and construct useless tests for the result or lack the proper instruments to measure the difference.

Just because a lot of people on this planet cannot tell the difference between cables doesn't mean some people with trained ears cannot tell the difference. Same goes with wine tasting or any other hobby based on sensory inputs

Isn't USB a digital signal?  Don't you either have a signal or you don't?
Actually you don't. In theory, a digital signal should be a square wave with instantaneous rise and fall time. But in reality, nothing is perfect. In practice, square waves will have overshoot, undershoot, ripples, reflections, a measurable rise and fall time and other real-life effects. In other words, it is just another analog cable that is passing a signal that hopefully resembles a square wave. The receiver will then need to figure out whether that "half-assed" square wave is really at one voltage or another voltage. I didn't even get into the clock recovery issue with USB... which is very important for a USB DAC

« Last Edit: October 05, 2016, 05:12:36 PM by chesebert »

mbk

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Years ago, when I was developing codecs for H264, Mpeg4 etc, our company had high end Sennheiser headphones for the audio team. The sound from those headphones blew my mind. I used to go to work on weekends just to listen to music on those headphones (when they were not in use). One weekend, I was singing along loudly and didn't realize my manager was also working few cubicles down.

IMO, some headphones are worth the money. However I never would buy them on my dime.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2016, 09:31:05 PM by mbk »

chesebert

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Years ago, when I was developing codecs for H264, Mpeg4 etc, our company had high end Sennheiser headphones for the audio team. The sound from those headphones blew my mind. I used to go to work on weekends just to listen to music on those headphones (when they were not in use). One weekend, I was singing along loudly and didn't realize my manager was also working few cubicles down.

IMO, some headphones are worth the money. However I never would buy them on my dime.

I have heard the original Orpheus and baby Orpheus (HE60) - the experience was surreal to put it mildly. The big Orpheus HE90 was a bargain at 25k (the original retail price was 16k)... I probably would have jumped if the new one was 25k, but 50k+ is giving me serious pause...

BTW, for those interested the old Orpheus has not lost any value (I think increased from 16k to 25k or so) in the decades since it was first debuted, so this is not like buying a car for 25k or any other depreciating asset.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2016, 09:52:20 PM by chesebert »

Metric Mouse

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Years ago, when I was developing codecs for H264, Mpeg4 etc, our company had high end Sennheiser headphones for the audio team. The sound from those headphones blew my mind. I used to go to work on weekends just to listen to music on those headphones (when they were not in use). One weekend, I was singing along loudly and didn't realize my manager was also working few cubicles down.

IMO, some headphones are worth the money. However I never would buy them on my dime.

Some headphones/equipment etc. are worth more than others. Few are worth the money the industry charges for them.

ooeei

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The sad truth is USB cables do sound different at least to my ears. Price != audio quality but the different is definantely there. Same issue with analog cables, as in price != quality but cables do sound different and you just gotta to keep trying until you find one that you like. I for example like DMM after playing the field so to speak. You just gotta to go through a good number of them to figure out what you like.

I bet you're also one of the 86.45% of women who see an improvement in fine lines around your eyes and improved radiance when using the $100 face cream for only two weeks.

Again.....psudo-science debunkers have been all over this for 10-20 years at least.  Double blind testing shows no differences.  It's all in your head.
the "debunkers" either don't know what they are talking about, have test subjects that have not been properly trained, already have a set goal in mind and construct useless tests for the result or lack the proper instruments to measure the difference.

Just because a lot of people on this planet cannot tell the difference between cables doesn't mean some people with trained ears cannot tell the difference. Same goes with wine tasting or any other hobby based on sensory inputs

Isn't USB a digital signal?  Don't you either have a signal or you don't?
Actually you don't. In theory, a digital signal should be a square wave with instantaneous rise and fall time. But in reality, nothing is perfect. In practice, square waves will have overshoot, undershoot, ripples, reflections, a measurable rise and fall time and other real-life effects. In other words, it is just another analog cable that is passing a signal that hopefully resembles a square wave. The receiver will then need to figure out whether that "half-assed" square wave is really at one voltage or another voltage. I didn't even get into the clock recovery issue with USB... which is very important for a USB DAC

Then wouldn't that mean that when transferring data over USB cables, such as pictures or files, they would be less accurate to the original if transferred by lesser USB cables? Like a few pixels being different, or a name not transferring properly.  Something related to the target not getting all of the correct information.

That's not something I've ever experienced, so I'm not sure why digital music data would be the exclusive owner of that problem.  I suppose maybe it'd be an issue if the cable cut out intermittently, but that would show up in skipping, not audio quality. A huge advantage of using digital data is that the signal doesn't have to be perfect for it to be decoded correctly, it just has to get close enough to register as a binary 1/0.  If what you're saying is true, I'd expect increasing degradation of a file if it was transferred back and forth between computers multiple times using a cheap USB cable.  Is that something that happens?
« Last Edit: October 13, 2016, 01:27:08 PM by ooeei »

Metric Mouse

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If what you're saying is true, I'd expect increasing degradation of a file if it was transferred back and forth between computers multiple times using a cheap USB cable.  Is that something that happens?

Yes, that's why all those music sharing sites went bust. All those copies of copies of copies began to sound terrible.

Oh, wait... that's not what happened at all.

GuitarStv

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Data transfer is not a real time / time sensitive application of USB.  Typically there's a CRC sent with the data, and if this check doesn't match up for the packet of information then a resend is requested.  Music and audio is time sensitive and played on the fly, so it's not possible to resend bad data without causing an interruption to the music.

That said, bad data over USB isn't typically a problem in the real world.  When transferring data as an analog signal you can get slight variation in the signal from capacitance (tends to roll off the highs) and interference that subtly effects the sound because of the way that the whole signal is being sent.  Many get confused on this point, because this is not the case with a digital signal that is sent over USB.  If you were streaming digital audio and there was data corruption, it would be random corruption.  This is very audible as bits of dead noise, loud shrieks that are completely off pitch, and harsh static.  You would not get subtle and regular degradation of sound as happens with analog signals.

ooeei

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Data transfer is not a real time / time sensitive application of USB.  Typically there's a CRC sent with the data, and if this check doesn't match up for the packet of information then a resend is requested.  Music and audio is time sensitive and played on the fly, so it's not possible to resend bad data without causing an interruption to the music.

That said, bad data over USB isn't typically a problem in the real world.  When transferring data as an analog signal you can get slight variation in the signal from capacitance (tends to roll off the highs) and interference that subtly effects the sound because of the way that the whole signal is being sent.  Many get confused on this point, because this is not the case with a digital signal that is sent over USB.  If you were streaming digital audio and there was data corruption, it would be random corruption.  This is very audible as bits of dead noise, loud shrieks that are completely off pitch, and harsh static.  You would not get subtle and regular degradation of sound as happens with analog signals.

This makes sense. 

So basically, anyone who has to close their eyes to concentrate, or squint and put their hand on their forehead to determine a difference between two USB cables is totally placebo-ing themselves?  I'm also thinking phrases like "lacks some depth" and "hits the highs just a BIT clearer" are misplaced when talking digital.

NoVa

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Many years ago they did testing on digital (not analog) high end cables between a high end DVD player to a nice processor (this was for digital audio). Good cables sounded fine. Cheap cables sounded fine. They eventually tried a straightened out coat hanger with alligator clips, it worked fine. Their conclusion was anything made of conductive metal would work for digital, it either got there or it didn't.

jfolsen

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Many years ago they did testing on digital (not analog) high end cables between a high end DVD player to a nice processor (this was for digital audio). Good cables sounded fine. Cheap cables sounded fine. They eventually tried a straightened out coat hanger with alligator clips, it worked fine. Their conclusion was anything made of conductive metal would work for digital, it either got there or it didn't.

jfolsen

No doubt the testers' ears were just not trained enough.

frugalnacho

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Many years ago they did testing on digital (not analog) high end cables between a high end DVD player to a nice processor (this was for digital audio). Good cables sounded fine. Cheap cables sounded fine. They eventually tried a straightened out coat hanger with alligator clips, it worked fine. Their conclusion was anything made of conductive metal would work for digital, it either got there or it didn't.

jfolsen

No doubt the testers' ears were just not trained enough.

I'dda been able to tell the difference.