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Topic: Understanding M50X Freq. Response graphs, and EQ-ing accordingly (Read 821 times) previous topic - next topic

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  • danglam
  • [*]
Understanding M50X Freq. Response graphs, and EQ-ing accordingly
Hi,

I have a pair of M50X which I feel need some equalizing.
Looking at their compensated FR graph at rtings.com, I tried "flattening" the headphones' response by applying an equalizer that looks like a vertical-flipping of the response graph (took me some time but I was able to create one using a parametric EQ). However, the result was very trebley and harsh sounding.
Also, I know that the M40X are regarded as "flatter" than M50X, however it looks more V-shaped at rtings.com's graphs (most of the bass and treble sections are more emphasized in the M40X, and the mid is also more recessed in the M40X).

What am I missing here (in both the claims above)?

M50X Compensated Frequency Response


M40X Compensated Frequency Response

  • DVDdoug
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: Understanding M50X Freq. Response graphs, and EQ-ing accordingly
Reply #1
Headphone frequency response is notoriously difficult to measure and someone else's artificial head/microphones, or someone else's real head/ears may give different results, especially in the upper frequency range where the wavelengths are close to the physical dimensions of the headphones/ears.

So, I wouldn't try to precisely remove the "wiggles" in the upper frequency response.  

Quote
However, the result was very trebley and harsh sounding.
It could be that the measurements are inaccurate, or it could be that you're used to hearing rolled-off treble.      

You can use those measurements as a guide or a starting point but ultimately you want something that's enjoyable to listen to, especially if you are listening for pleasure.  

If you're doing audio production, accuracy is more important than "good" sound or "pleasurable listening", but most pros will tell you not to use headphones as your main monitors anyway.   ....And although you should check your production on headphones, you may not want to check it on "artificially" equalized headphones.   (The idea would be to check/compare your production against a known-good recording that you're familiar with on headphones, and other systems, that you're familiar with.)

Quote
I know that the M40X are regarded as "flatter" than M50X...
Have you heard the M40X, and if so which one do you prefer?
  • Last Edit: 09 October, 2017, 05:33:05 PM by DVDdoug

  • danglam
  • [*]
Re: Understanding M50X Freq. Response graphs, and EQ-ing accordingly
Reply #2
Thanks for the answer @DVDdoug!

Headphone frequency response is notoriously difficult to measure...
That's kind of disappointing :-\ But if so, how can we say that a headphone is "flat"? According to which test/measurement?
Have you heard the M40X, and if so which one do you prefer?
No, I haven't heard the M40X, although I would like to... However, I was referring to the "objective" measurements of rtings.com; even if they aren't accurate in the absolute sense, how come the M50X look flatter than M40X, in the relative sense?
  • Last Edit: 09 October, 2017, 06:40:40 PM by danglam

Re: Understanding M50X Freq. Response graphs, and EQ-ing accordingly
Reply #3
Hi,

I have a pair of M50X which I feel need some equalizing.
Looking at their compensated FR graph at rtings.com, I tried "flattening" the headphones' response by applying an equalizer that looks like a vertical-flipping of the response graph (took me some time but I was able to create one using a parametric EQ). However, the result was very trebley and harsh sounding.
Also, I know that the M40X are regarded as "flatter" than M50X, however it looks more V-shaped at rtings.com's graphs (most of the bass and treble sections are more emphasized in the M40X, and the mid is also more recessed in the M40X).

What am I missing here (in both the claims above)?

What equalizer are you using?

  • danglam
  • [*]
Re: Understanding M50X Freq. Response graphs, and EQ-ing accordingly
Reply #4
What equalizer are you using?
I am using MathAudio Headphone EQ for foobar2000.

But again, how come M40X looks more V-shaped than M50X in the FR graph?

  • eric.w
  • [*][*]
Re: Understanding M50X Freq. Response graphs, and EQ-ing accordingly
Reply #5
I'd try some alternate measurements as targets, eg:
https://sonarworks.com/blog/studio-headphone-review-audio-technica-ath-r50x/
http://goldenears.net/board/GR_Headphones/5322081
https://clarityfidelity.blogspot.ca/2016/08/audio-technica-ath-m50x-mg-over-ear.html?q=m50x (check the Harman target compensated curve)

There are a lot of variables that could cause this to fail; e.g. large differences between your pair of headphones and the one that were measured, whether or not a flat on a given test setup (including the compensation / target curve they use) would be perceived as flat.

Maybe try tackling one thing at a time, e.g. a bass hump, then a dip at around 300Hz seems to be consistent across most of the measurements, so you could try fixing that first.

Re: Understanding M50X Freq. Response graphs, and EQ-ing accordingly
Reply #6
I'd set the 'phones up on android device with a good low impedance headphone jack using Neutralizer, and transfer whatever eq works well with it over to the target system.

  • danglam
  • [*]
Re: Understanding M50X Freq. Response graphs, and EQ-ing accordingly
Reply #7
I'd set the 'phones up on android device with a good low impedance headphone jack using Neutralizer, and transfer whatever eq works well with it over to the target system.
So I tried using Neutralizer on my Galaxy S7, but the results didn't make any sense; I ended up with an equalizer that really emphasizes the bass and treble... Maybe I wasn't using it right.
Anyway, I downloaded Equalizer APO and assembled the following equalizer. It is composed of a total of 15 peaking filters: 9 common to R+L channels (adjusted with listening to music files), 1 for R channel and 5 for L channel (adjusted using a sine wave sweep). I'm also using a preamp to avoid clipping.
Please notice that the peak-to-peak is ~14dB. Is this too aggressive? Am I messing with the audio too much (causing distortions, phase errors etc.)?

Preamp: -3 dB
20 Hz, Gain -1 dB, Q 1.6274
48 Hz, Gain -4.3 dB, Q 0.8498
140 Hz, Gain -5.2 dB, Q 1.3348
500 Hz, Gain 3.6 dB, Q 1.0746
1500 Hz, Gain -0.9 dB, Q 0.5091
5500 Hz, Gain 4.6 dB, Q 2.0746
10400 Hz, Gain -8.8 dB, Q 3.2746
16507.3 Hz, Gain -9.1 dB, Q 5.6583
20000 Hz, Gain -5.8 dB, Q 1.1746
Channel: L
3380 Hz, Gain -1.5 dB, Q 5
4000 Hz, Gain -2.7 dB, Q 4
5000 Hz, Gain 1.6 dB, Q 10
5800 Hz, Gain -3.3 dB, Q 9.569
7050 Hz, Gain -1 dB, Q 12.1352
Channel: R
4500 Hz, Gain -2 dB, Q 27

Re: Understanding M50X Freq. Response graphs, and EQ-ing accordingly
Reply #8
I'd set the 'phones up on android device with a good low impedance headphone jack using Neutralizer, and transfer whatever eq works well with it over to the target system.
So I tried using Neutralizer on my Galaxy S7, but the results didn't make any sense; I ended up with an equalizer that really emphasizes the bass and treble... Maybe I wasn't using it right.

You seem to have missed asking the most relevant question: "How does it sound?"

If you don't know, why do you care?

  • danglam
  • [*]
Re: Understanding M50X Freq. Response graphs, and EQ-ing accordingly
Reply #9
You seem to have missed asking the most relevant question: "How does it sound?"

If you don't know, why do you care?
That's not a bad question :) I guess I'm trying to make sure there are no "hidden bugs" in my setting, which I will discover in the future when listening to the song that will uncover them... Or maybe just to know that I haven't done a lousy job.
But I guess the best way to learn is to discover those things on my own

  • danglam
  • [*]
Re: Understanding M50X Freq. Response graphs, and EQ-ing accordingly
Reply #10
You seem to have missed asking the most relevant question: "How does it sound?"

If you don't know, why do you care?
Oh, and if you were asking about the results of Neutralizer, it sounded bad...