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Topic: High end headphone advice needed ! (Read 12180 times) previous topic - next topic

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  • Porcus
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High end headphone advice needed !
Reply #25
...the measurements of the ER-4 surprise me.  There are signals which are well audible on other equipment, that I cannot at all hear on my ER-4P pair.


Have you tried them wet?


Oh, your dirty mind ... or was it my own.

I pointed out that the flangs/foams did matter, and I also have molded silicone fittings for them. Especially the latter do require a tight wet fit.

  • mzil
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High end headphone advice needed !
Reply #26
Oh, your dirty mind ... or was it my own. .

Ha-ha.

I may have worded that oddly.

For people unfamiliar with etymotics, they advise trying them wet. It is mentioned in the manual and this video:

[Considering they felt they needed to make a video, mentioning repeatedly that some people have trouble getting a good seal, and how it weakens the bass.....hmmm...]

etymotic insertion guide

Perhaps a tell tale test for a good seal is to listen to a 20 Hz tone? If you don't hear it, you don't have a good seal.

Oddly there are reasons to avoid custom ear molds. I have to run out now but I will try to get back to this later. Caio.

  • mzil
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High end headphone advice needed !
Reply #27
Oddly there are reasons to avoid custom ear molds. I have to run out now but I will try to get back to this later. Ciao.


I looked but couldn't find the article I mentioned. Sorry. Considering Etymotic now seems to promote custom ear molds and provides support in finding an audiologist to take impressions, I can see why they would have reason to yank the article from their extensive library, I had read many years back (1980s?). [I reminds me of how many speaker makers provide bi-wire speakers posts, even though they know it is just audio mythology and woo, but they feel they have to bend to market demands.] Everyone assumes "customized is always better" but this paper I read explained it's actually a mixed bag.
---

I downloaded some sine waves from here and indeed using 30Hz is a good test for ear seal in both ears with my Etymotics:

http://www.realmofexcursion.com/downloads.htm

I don't recommend 20 Hz because the results are ambiguous since it is the threshold where we no longer hear sound, we feel it. (Pinna motion, hairs on your skin wiggling, and loose clothing flapping. None of which occurs with IEM's!)

I also found a great free app for my iphone (Android support too, I think) which is by far the best manual equalizer control I have ever experienced. I gave a gentle rise to the frequency response below 1 kHz, say +8dB at 32 Hz, and it made my Etymotics sound much fuller and more akin to nearly all the other elevated bass curves we see at those headphone sites which record them using B&K H.A.T.S. , KEMAR, etc. Check it out. Here's the i-device version:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/denon-audio/id520604518?mt=8

Ignore the silly presets and go straight to manual. Note you can add many more bands (29 or 30 in total, I think) by tapping at a point between two others. You also can drag points off screen to remove them and build a simple "tilt control" with just two. Different curves can be stored as presets.

The flexibility and control is astounding. I think everyone should try it out regardless of headphone brand.

P.S. "Q" (slope) can be controlled by placing bands at different distances from the band of interest, and asymmetrically on its two sides if need be, so in that sense this equalizer is actually more flexible than most parametric equalizers.
  • Last Edit: 26 December, 2012, 10:41:57 PM by mzil

  • Mach-X
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High end headphone advice needed !
Reply #28
One thing to remember - music is mixed to be played in a room with speakers which elevates some bass and attenuate upper mid/treble. Perfectly linear headphones might sound "weak" or a little on the "bright" side...which is why most sets have some sort of "smiley" curve. Unless you plan to do some eq after the fact. I use some sennheiser iems and still boost freqs below 40 hz and dip the 4khz band a touch.

  • johnb
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High end headphone advice needed !
Reply #29
One thing to remember - music is mixed to be played in a room with speakers which elevates some bass and attenuate upper mid/treble. Perfectly linear headphones might sound "weak" or a little on the "bright" side...which is why most sets have some sort of "smiley" curve. Unless you plan to do some eq after the fact. I use some sennheiser iems and still boost freqs below 40 hz and dip the 4khz band a touch.


Or rather use the Meier Crossfeed available with Rockbox 

  • Nessuno
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High end headphone advice needed !
Reply #30
... I live by long distance.

  • markanini
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High end headphone advice needed !
Reply #31
Diffusie field EQ doesnt really adress Mach-X concern. He's talking about something like a slight downward slope response that's popular among audiophiles. Each to their own but crossfeed does more to bridge the gap between headphone listening vs speakers in the room. It's worth mentioning xnors crossfeed: http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....showtopic=90764
  • Last Edit: 27 December, 2012, 08:48:21 AM by markanini

  • Nessuno
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High end headphone advice needed !
Reply #32
Diffusie field EQ doesnt really adress Mach-X concern. He's talking about something like a slight downward slope response that's popular among audiophiles. Each to their own but crossfeed does more to bridge the gap between headphone listening vs speakers in the room

In fact the first of the links I gave is about a compensation in FR that Etymotic adds in its IEMs to usual DFE curve: "This modification (approximately 5 dB at 10 kHz) is necessary to avoid earphones sounding too bright on commercial recordings."

About crossfeed, I have to say I never found a crossfeed algorithm actually convincing (unfortunately can't try xnor's because I don't use FB2K), at least with decent classical stereo recordings. Maybe only with some early stereo pop recordings from the sixties with excessive left-right separation.
  • Last Edit: 27 December, 2012, 01:22:10 PM by Nessuno
... I live by long distance.

  • markanini
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High end headphone advice needed !
Reply #33
In fact the first of the links I gave is about a compensation in FR that Etymotic adds in its IEMs to usual DFE curve: "This modification (approximately 5 dB at 10 kHz) is necessary to avoid earphones sounding too bright on commercial recordings."

I agree with the point you made with your links. The way Mach-X talks about it could lead you to think that headphones known to be linear(ER4, 7506) would be bad for listening to music or require EQ-ing which isnt really the case. It also overlooks factors like how they shape or your ears can effect the perceived freq response or in the case of IEMs how good the seal is.

  • mzil
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High end headphone advice needed !
Reply #34
Oddly there are reasons to avoid custom ear molds. I have to run out now but I will try to get back to this later. Ciao.


I looked but couldn't find the article I mentioned. Sorry. Considering Etymotic now seems to promote custom ear molds and provides support in finding an audiologist to take impressions, I can see why they would have reason to yank the article from their extensive library, I had read many years back (1980s?). [I reminds me of how many speaker makers provide bi-wire speakers posts, even though they know it is just audio mythology and woo, but they feel they have to bend to market demands.] Everyone assumes "customized is always better" but this paper I read explained it's actually a mixed bag.



CORRECTION: I found it! Here it is:

http://www.e-a-r.com/pdf/hearingcons/HP%20FAQ%2015.pdf

P.S. The author has co-written (at least one) scholarly paper with Dr. Killion, Etymotic's founder and chief scientist, so he isn't a nobody. [I haven't read it but here it is, if anyone cares]:
http://www.etymotic.com/publications/erl-0017-1989.pdf
  • Last Edit: 27 December, 2012, 05:13:58 PM by mzil

High end headphone advice needed !
Reply #35
I've owned a number of different cans over the years and the best way to pick one is listen to a few in your price range with music you're familiar with.

Everyone's ear is 'different' and we have different tastes so you might prefer a certain 'sound'.

  • Nessuno
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High end headphone advice needed !
Reply #36
Everyone's ear is 'different' and we have different tastes so you might prefer a certain 'sound'.

That's obvious, but starting from a neutral one (i.e. designed to be perceived flat) is easier to equalize it to better suit your tastes than to fight against a "bump" somewhere in the FR you might not like in the first place.

And your tastes might even change slightly from day to day or from track to track.
... I live by long distance.

High end headphone advice needed !
Reply #37
Everyone's ear is 'different' and we have different tastes so you might prefer a certain 'sound'.

That's obvious, but starting from a neutral one (i.e. designed to be perceived flat) is easier to equalize it to better suit your tastes than to fight against a "bump" somewhere in the FR you might not like in the first place.

And your tastes might even change slightly from day to day or from track to track.


Agree with all your points Nessuno.

Auditioning is still important to 'hear' a wrong fit.

  • Nessuno
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High end headphone advice needed !
Reply #38
Auditioning is still important to 'hear' a wrong fit.

Right, but unfortunately not always possible: where I live, for example, you can't even buy the great majority of current headphone industry production in a real shop, let alone listening to them.
... I live by long distance.