STAX SR-007 (OMEGA II) … A REVIEW AFTER 4 YEARS OF OWNERSHIP
claims. There are so many marvellous headphones out there - with a fan base for each of
them - why tell others that one and only one headphone is the best? Is there such a thing as
a single best headphone for everyone anyway?
Objective 2: to persist in an even bigger project of mine, which is to attempt to advance the
development of an adequate language to describe the sound of headphones. The language
we use today has evolved through the decades within the context of a loudspeaker-centric
audio world. A language specifically for headphones has not yet been constructed. Some
Head-Fiers construct DIY amps - I construct here a DIY language. This is an ambitious
project; one that I started 4 years ago, and it is heart-warming to see that a few people have
begun to use the term “headstage” since its introduction back in 1999. In this write-up, I will
be offering a crystal clear explanation of the term “headstage”, and then I will be adding even
more words to the lexicon of headphonespeak.
This write-up is therefore not just a simple review of the Omega II - it is also about the
creation of a new language, new terminologies and a new review methodology. My review of
the Omega II may at first appear sporadic and strewn all over this essay, but actually there’s
a structure: every time a new term has been properly defined and explained, I will
subsequently proceed to review the Omega II using the newly created terminology. Then I
will proceed to the second terminology, define what the new word or words mean, and
proceed to describe the Omega II using the second set of new words …and so on.
BEFORE THE FOUR COMES THE ONE
First there is the One; then there are the Four.
I will be touching on the Four Depth Cues towards the middle of this essay, but from the
beginning I want to say that there is one sonic mechanism that overrides the Four Depth
Cues. This One is the sense of sound localization.
We acquire the sense of sound localization because our left and right ear each receives a
slightly different input, and by comparing the two our brain interprets the location of the
sound source. When we put on our headphones, the headphone transducers are positioned
very near our ears - we can locate the source of the sound, and we are aware of this
proximity of the sound source. Every time I use the word ‘locate’, I am referring to this One
mechanism - the mechanism of sound localization. This One mechanism is more powerful
than the Four Depth Cues.
This One mechanism gives rise to the headstage.