Everyone loves a heavy bass, particularly if the sound fills a room and moves everything including the furniture. Concert halls throughout the world were designed to pick up the pure sounds of percussion, strings and horns in complete harmony. The design of modern headphones tries to duplicate that sound and funnel it into just two ears. A neat trick if it could really be done, but there are some trade offs. Using bass headphones may not be one of them.
The idea of capturing the lows has gotten a bump from the gamers who like the thuds and booms that rock the room; but there can still be some problems.
Lows to Low
Most wireless headphones that use noise canceling technology are better blocking out the lows than the highs. But if the lows are amplified with a strong bass, then the overall affect becomes bottom heavy. Continued use will provide the user with less and less satisfaction.
Anytime you change the original electronically, distortion sets becomes a factor. The original instruments in concert and the master created by the engineers are the first generation when played through speakers. If the recording is then sent through headphones the same distortion takes place. With bass headphones, the tops are lost and that pure sound is now something else.
Of course the most obvious problem with any type of headphones, ear plugs or amplified speakers is that the cumulative effect of high volume can impair hearing in even the biggest ears. The human hearing range is between 15Hz – 20,000Hz; anything below or beyond is out of our range. Deliberately increase the bass can contribute to the loss at the lower end.
Use Is The Key
If you have only one pair of either wired or wireless headphones, then using a bass headphone for everything may not be wise. The recordings or sounds that you use them for, whether it be vocals, sound effects or acoustical guitar riffs, each require a range of frequency. If the frequency is altered to accommodate the bass headphones, then the use on sound effects for gamers or the highs in a string quartet will undoubtedly be off.
So the key is to either buy separate headphones for the specialty use and a general pair for everything else. Narrow down the field by reviewing the specs before you try out a pair. It’s the same technique professional audio engineer use to sort out the myriad of options