What are a "Perfect" Pair of Headphones?

Part of #HardwareMatters on Twitter.

What is "Ideal" Sound?

In electrical engineering and audio engineering, Ideal sound is where the output device, such as speakers and headphones, replicate the originally recorded sound without adding any gains in the audible audio spectrum (That is the Bass, Mid, and Treble levels that were set at recording should be EXACTLY the same when playing back the song on a set of speakers and/or headphones). 

The Headphone Case...

With that said, of course nothing in practice is "Ideal" but when designing a high end product, in this case a pair of headphones, you want to pursue that accurate flat frequency response.

Studio Headphones (with the exception of Beats by Dre Studio) accurately replicate sound within  +/- 10 dB and higher end headphones (Like the Sennheieser HD800) have a more precise frequency response that +/- 5 dB. What makes me and audiophiles cringe is that Beats by Dre headphones are horrible in their frequency response, they have an unnecessary +10 dB in the lower (bass) range and then sharply fall to 0 dB in the first part of the mid range and then there is the horrible drop in the higher range (treble) with the response there being -20 dB.   

In a graph where the window of the graph is +/- 10 dB, you can clearly see that the two Monster Headphones deviate of quite a bit and even go off the scale on this graph.

So why the $300+ price tag for Beats by Dre? 

Like Apple, all they care about is the aesthetics, that is how it looks (Product design), and put hardware as a last priority. Here at Hong's Electronics we recommend and sell products from brand that put hardware first, because at Hong's Electronics, Hardware Matters here!

You are better off buying a pair of $30 Sennheisers than paying that $300 price tag for a pair of headphones that make listening to music unbearable and just make you look like a fool. 

My opinion is to get a pair of Audio-Technica ATH-M50s (actually get the new ATH-M50x headphones) (Best selling headphone on Amazon) or Sennheiser HD280 Pros. Both are respectable and are studio class headphones with a great frequency response for the average person. Or if you have the money, you can drop more than a $1000 on a pair of handmade, rigorously tested Sennheiser HD800s. 

I highly recommend these brands in general:


  1. They come with a nice velvet bag to store them in. I tried to pair them with my Mac. wireless earbuds for kids


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