Please noted that this article is just my personal opinion, take this with a grain of salt. However, ‘healthy’ discussion is always welcomed.
Lots of good gears and attractive toys coming out lately, in fact, every weeks/months when you followed up audio gears news there are always latest stuffs, with latest features that seems rather too good to have, making you start to think over now might be the best time for you to upgrade your gears, however, do bear in mind that most of the time, or at least 90 percent you really do not need to upgrade your tools.
Humans are greedy, don’t worry if you always think to upgrade your gears, this is normal as I randomly will think to get some new toys as well, sometimes I wish to get a new headphone, dac, amplifier or even DAP/cables out of no supportive reasons, it is just the urge to try out new gears, but sometimes we have to admit what our behalf said and this is the reality, audio gears are not cheap, at all!
It is true that you might have the reasons for your upgrade route, but do let me share my opinion why you do not need to upgrade your gears:
- The cost to performance ratio of your upgrades will be unbelievably low
–This is true especially when you bought something that have same/similar sound signature, I believe more into ‘sound signature’ rather than ‘audio quality’. Some people love warm, laid back sound, when they bought a cold sounding/aggressive sounding setup, they wouldn’t like it despite how strong the sound quality is. ‘Sound signature’ and ‘sound quality’ are two very different things.
-Most of the time we do not like a headphone are because of their signature are different from what we like, just like why Sennheiser HD600, Beyerdynamic DT880, AKG K701 and German Maestro GMP400, each of them got their super supporters, most of them like one of them more than others, why when all of them sounded good in reality? Must be the sound signature here, you like vocal but you go for Beyer, you love imaging/bass but you go for AKG, you like neutrality/minimal coloration/big soundstage but you go for the HD600, then you gotta started a sad story. I am not criticizing at any of them but what I want to say here is, most of them are excellent just that YOU don’t like how they behaved, so choose wisely when you pick your headphones, don’t go for what reviewer said, go for your preference and must considered your preference regarding sound signatures. Expensive are gold are not compulsory sometimes.
- You can’t hear the differences
–Come on, I am not saying that you have low taste for musics or you don’t have glden ears. It is not a shameful thing if you can’t hear the differences, you only will hear the differences if you know ‘what to listen to’, otherwise no. Honestly, you don’t have to learn in this, if you can’t tell the differences, save the money. Oh yeah, sometimes I suffered from differentiate them in short period as well.
- Reviewers are bullshitting, and just telling you fairy tales about the performance of gears
–Reviewers are not going to pay for your headphones, and most of the time they are not paying for the headphones they are reviewing, they can almost deduct the ‘money factor’ while they are writing up the review. It is true that some headphones are better than others in some aspects, however honestly you really don’t need to spend more just because of this, price to performance ratio is just too low and the price that you are paying is not worth it, you sure won’t happy when price can’t justify satisfaction.
- They are not cheap! There are lots of things that are more expensive
Don’t tell your partner/Girlfriend/mum reasons why you are going to buy a new headphone, they can look at bigger picture, much clearer than you. Let face it, audio gears never been cheap, even with the some superb performing budget tier gears, you are still going to pay for it. Unless that you are rich and nothing else to spend, otherwise you really have to appreciate musics more rather than enjoying new toys.
- Audio quality of your current gears are good enough
–This is true. You are going to nitpicking it when you want to buy a new headphone. Believe?
- There is no better sound until you listened to the better one, so don’t try to go and search for one
–This is true when you buy just because of you want to test a new thing. If you never tried something better than your headphone, then your headphone is still the best.
- Headphone first, setup second rules
–Most of the guys like to spend on Dacs, headphone amplifiers and cables, etc. They all help but in my honest opinion and experience, you need to choose your headphone first, then only you choose your other components based on your budget. If you have chosen a wrong headphone then it is hard for you to tuned it to your preferences based on source/amplifier or anything. So remember, choose the right headphone, read rules No.1.
- You thought that there will be a perfect headphone
–In fact there are no perfect headphones in the world, the best/perfect headphones are the headphones that suit your sound preference, sound signature that you like. I am not saying wide soundstage for classical music nor excessive mid coloration for vocal music, I am talking how you like your music, if you like a superb imaging type of classical musics, then K701 is not for you (Despite K701 is good in classical musics), your taste your love, simple as this.
- You are suffering from New toys Syndrome (NTS)
–Lets just admit this, we like to try out new toys, isn’t it? This is nothing wrong but if you can’t balance your monthly expenses and spending priority, your wife/mum/girlfriend is right, you are wasting money/spending unwisely.
- You don’t need a decent setup to enjoy your musics
– A good music listening surrounding and your favourite musics, both of these are enough to make you an enjoyable music listening period, you don’t really need anything more than this, really. A good setup is bonus, though.