There’s no Headphone Endgame

Browse any audio community for five seconds and you’ll see people talking about their dream “Endgame” headphone setup. It probably has something that’s at least as expensive as an HD800 paired with some kind of elaborate DAC and amp.

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But here’s the thing:

If you’re deep enough down the audio rabbit hole to talk about an “Endgame” setup…you’re probably never going to be totally satisfied.

Once you realize that different headphones provide different experiences that often aren’t better or worse than what came before, it’s really easy to just spiral out of control and keep wanting to try more products.

It’s not even that hard of a revelation to come by. It only takes trying two well-respected headphones at even the “modest” $99 price point before it’s like….uh oh.

And what happens when the manufacturer of your Endgame Setup inevitably releases an upgraded model that the community agrees is superior?

Won’t you want that instead?

You probably will.

It’s okay to be aware of this. I’m not saying people should stop buying headphones or always be buying headphones. Just have a little care when you talk about something being “The Best Ever” or “The Last Thing I’ll Need.”

You’re just cheapening your own excitement for the hobby.

When the first Gears of War came out, I was convinced that was the pinnacle of game graphics for the Xbox 360 generation.

I couldn’t have been more wrong. Graphics, of course, kept getting better.

I should have just appreciated what Gears was doing, rather than holding it up to some lofty, largely subjective standard.

Don’t forget to listen to music with your headphones. And don’t forget that the smart people who made both the music and the headphones are always working on new stuff.

Find Me: Medium, Twitter, www.worldbolding.com

I do radio voice work by day, and write by day and night. I studied film and production. I love audio, design, and music. Also video games.

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