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Do you ever feel like you're just glad to be doing what you're doing?

I was so grateful to get to work with Michael from! It was so humbling to know that he was willing to take time out of his day to answer questions for you guys who are just starting on your audio journey. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you, Michael!

If you've been looking in the audio space at all, you've probably noticed these guys. They've been mentioned by folks like Forbes, Tech Spot, and other leading names in the audio industry as well as professional outlets. ​So soak up this information, guys, and if you'd like to get their suggestions on anything else, just leave your questions in the comments or get in touch with us!

Q: Is there a particular brand or audio company that you would recommend new audiophiles look in to?

Absolutely not. The musical world is immensely diverse and far too generous with incredible, emotional response provoking material. Most Audio based companies have plentiful hits and misses in their arsenals of headphones and amps. To date, I can't name a single company that has produced 100% fantastic products without any failures.

More so, no one headphone is the true end all, be all, for any given individual. You can buy an expensive product and come to find that it isn't well rounded, probably intended to sound great only with certain types of music.

One trick Pony products are common in Hifi, so you likely need to spread that around a bit and look to more than one manufacturer. Generally, each headphone manufacture does have a typical "house sound" that is common in most of their headphones. Because of that, you should keep your door open to other brand's products to fill the rest of the gaps and short comings your chosen primary headphone might have.

Q: If you've graduated past the usual headphones like beats, skullcandy, etc, what should you start looking for if you're interested in sound quality? Again just as a hobby, not a professional sound engineering pair of headphones.

If you are infected by the Audiophile bug, congrats. Your world just opened up to new potential ways to experience bliss. That emotional connect to a musical piece is what I am after. I ask of my products "what can this headphone or amp really do for me on a personal level?" There are two routes to Hifi: The first is the clinical, accurate experience.

The second is raw musicality and total disregard for how realistic the product sounds. As a newbie to high end audio, you will come to find out which path makes you happy.

Do you listen for enjoyment factor through exaggerated low end, sparkly, beautiful treble and an overall emphasis on the music itself?

Or, do you find your happiness through how true to the track the product really is?

Either way, there are plenty of headphones and amps out there that cater to either route you take first. My advice is to save up a little and buy both types of headphones to start out with, see which you prefer.

You'll need to do some research to see what other experts say about which ever product catches your eye or ear. Ask questions to your favorite reviewers, most of us absolutely adore and love answering questions and helping others.

Q: What's one modification you would make to a stock pair of headphones? This could be adding supplementary equipment like an amp, or replacing parts of the existing headphones.

Often, headphone designers offer generic, low quality fake leather earpads on their semi-expensive products...and that infuriates me enough to make a black hole or star gone nova seem like a small matter to the universe.

Earpad alterations or swap outs would be my answer to that. So many headphones are greatly improved with new pads. For example, Grado headphones come with a not so nice set of ringed earpads that are absent a center area. Installing Sennheiser HD414 yellow earpads onto Grado's usually improve the overall heft to the sound signature and also bring the bass out more.

The trade off is a loss in some treble. Comfort is greatly increased as well. A while back, I came up with the Sunflower mod for Grado Headphones, which is merely installing both the Sennheiser 414 pad on my Grado headphones as well as the stock donut Grado pads.

The results were excellent. If the pads are detachable on your headphone, play with other pads and see which combinations you like!

Cory H.

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