Posted 11 November 2013 - 02:10 AM
I find it quite pointless to spend too much when it comes to audio.
The returns become very diminishing very quickly. With audio, I find it tough to really point out any discernible difference between something that; for example, costs 2k to something that costs 8k. Sure, there is that really small bit of increase in sound quality etc., but I would have to be listening so intently to the music to even notice.
I'm not someone who would just sit in a room and close my eyes and listen to music and focus on it, so this is why I won't spend on audio. I am almost always doing something else with music playing.
When I am commuting, I'm not actually paying enough attention to the sound to justify paying for earphones that cost say RM5000 over RM1000 ones. They both sound the same to me. For some, even the RM1000 earphones aren't worth it over a pair of RM400 ones.
I had a pair of Westone UM3X IEMs for a while. I liked them, but the problem is that my ear canals are tiny so I spend a lot of time trying to stuff any IEMs in and even then I don't get that great of a seal. This is the main reason why I decided to get a pair of custom IEMs done.
I think what's far more important than audio/sound quality is sound signature. Now this I can discern quite well. To me, there's a distinct difference between how Audio-Technica and Sennheiser sound like. If I were to buy another pair of earphones or headphones, I would base my decision on sound signature, not quality. At a certain price point, quality becomes a given and is quite consistent across every brand.
Plus, sound is extremely subjective. The Sennheiser IE8 has as many detractors as it does fans. I personally dislike it because it's so bass heavy, but there are those who swear by it and will use nothing else.
I don't have experience with hi-fi however, so maybe all this isn't applicable with hi-fi. I'd like to believe there's not much difference though, if any.