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Topic: Transparency: Public Listening Tests vs Anecdotes and My Experiences (Read 4622 times) previous topic - next topic
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Re: Transparency: Public Listening Tests vs Anecdotes and My Experiences

Reply #25
There's a theory (entirely my own I must admit) that all music is designed to be played back on speakers. Headphones / earphones are attempting to replicate that playback. Therefor transparency in good speakers is likely the priority.

HOWEVER, in most cases I think, people now have much better headphones than speakers (if they own speakers at all).

It would be interesting to survey music engineers and producers to see how they are dealing with this transition from speakers to headphones, earbuds, and IEM's by consumers.  Because it does seem to be true that a lot of consumers no longer buy stereo systems on which to listen to their music. They are listening on their cellphones with IEM's and earbuds  a lot of the time. But there are the bluetooth speakers being used too.

My "theory" is that engineers and producers would be emphasizing low frequencies more now in their mixes and mastering, as smaller speakers are less capable of producing those bass frequencies.

I myself listen to music about 50% on headphones and 50% on speakers, so I have done ABX testing with both. My brother listens about 95% of the time over his speakers, so if he were to do ABX testing, I think that's what he should use.

Re: Transparency: Public Listening Tests vs Anecdotes and My Experiences

Reply #26
There's a theory (entirely my own I must admit) that all music is designed to be played back on speakers. Headphones / earphones are attempting to replicate that playback. Therefor transparency in good speakers is likely the priority.

HOWEVER, in most cases I think, people now have much better headphones than speakers (if they own speakers at all).

It would be interesting to survey music engineers and producers to see how they are dealing with this transition from speakers to headphones, earbuds, and IEM's by consumers.  Because it does seem to be true that a lot of consumers no longer buy stereo systems on which to listen to their music. They are listening on their cellphones with IEM's and earbuds  a lot of the time. But there are the bluetooth speakers being used too.

My "theory" is that engineers and producers would be emphasizing low frequencies more now in their mixes and mastering, as smaller speakers are less capable of producing those bass frequencies.

I myself listen to music about 50% on headphones and 50% on speakers, so I have done ABX testing with both. My brother listens about 95% of the time over his speakers, so if he were to do ABX testing, I think that's what he should use.

Anecdotally, the trend towards a more bass heavy music does seem to be in place.

I have never spoken with an engineer who cares what things sound like on headphones (be it a mix or mastering engineer). All professionals seem to 100% rely upon their monitors, which is why they invest heavily in them. Bedroom producers I would argue are in the opposite end of the spectrum.

I very, very rarely use my headphones as I just can't hear the sub bass in them (HD600), which is an important part of the experience for me. I also don't like things being strapped to my head for hours on end :-D

Re: Transparency: Public Listening Tests vs Anecdotes and My Experiences

Reply #27
Whereas I never use speakers. Ever.

1) I live with other people. They care about noise.
2) I am in a video call for most of my waking hours. Desktop computer video apps don't have acoustic echo cancellation, so I'd be broadcasting my speakers to the other end of the call, the entire time.

Re: Transparency: Public Listening Tests vs Anecdotes and My Experiences

Reply #28
I myself listen to music about 50% on headphones and 50% on speakers, so I have done ABX testing with both. My brother listens about 95% of the time over his speakers, so if he were to do ABX testing, I think that's what he should use.

I use more speakers than headphones over a average month. at home I largely use my Klipsch ProMedia speakers. but on-the-go I just use my nothing fancy headphones (Sony MDR-NC7 (which I think I had since 2010)) connected to a digital audio player (AGPTEK-U3 as of Mar 2021. but prior to that I was using a Sandisk Sansa e250 since 2008 but I pretty much retired it since you can't find quality replacement batteries for it which is why I ultimately got that AGPTEK-U3 device and I am hoping it will last).

pretty much all of the ABX stuff I did over the years was done on my Klipsch PC speakers. so while I can't say anything definitively (since I never thoroughly tested), my general hunch is if something sounds good on my Klipsch speakers, then a random set of headphones would probably be similar enough. or another way I could put it... if I am happy with the sound quality on the Klipsch, I can't imagine ill notice any obvious flaws on a random set of headphones when just sitting back and enjoying my music.
For music I suggest (using Foobar2000)...
1)Opus @ 64kbps or 96kbps. NOTE: using 64kbps on Samsung J3 /w Foobar2k.
2)AAC (Apple or FhG(Winamp)) @ 96kbps.
3)MP3 (LAME) @ V5 (130kbps). NOTE: using on AGPTEK-U3 as of Mar 18th 2021. I use 'fatsort' (on Linux) so MP3's are listed in order on AGPTEK-U3.

 

Re: Transparency: Public Listening Tests vs Anecdotes and My Experiences

Reply #29
I very, very rarely use my headphones as I just can't hear the sub bass in them (HD600), which is an important part of the experience for me. I also don't like things being strapped to my head for hours on end :-D

oh yeah, there's no doubt that my subwoofer moves air in a way that no headphones or IEM's can dream of matching....so I prefer speakers...but when I lived in NYC (for 23 years) there was no way I could blast music over speakers. So I got in the habit of using headphones.

To me: speakers > headphones > IEMs.

 
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