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Issues with Blind-Testing Headphones and Speakers

Reply #50
I honestly don't really see the point, because given the new target curves you can build different types of headphones that sound "equally" awesome.
People will choose whatever type of headphone that they prefer anyway, be it in-ear, on-ear, around-ear, ... light or heavy, (p)leather or velour pads, and so on ...


And such a test would basically be just the comfort ranking that I mentioned before.



Which brings us back to the point that Sean Olive is saying otherwise: that people will tend to prefer headphones that sound 'neutral' *if* sighed bias (but not 'touch') is nullified. 



Issues with Blind-Testing Headphones and Speakers

Reply #51
Which brings us back to the point that Sean Olive is saying otherwise: that people will tend to prefer headphones that sound 'neutral' *if* sighed bias (but not 'touch') is nullified.

Well, that is not necessarily mutually exclusive with what I said. If we ignore those people who buy headphones as fashion, but are interested mainly in sound quality, then they will still choose the better sounding headphone from the remaining ones. (The others were eliminated due to type, budget, comfort ...)
"I hear it when I see it."

Issues with Blind-Testing Headphones and Speakers

Reply #52
Here's another potential issue the method I mentioned earlier, using a single pair of individually calibrated headphones the listener doesn't remove from their head, and instead listens to different headphone brand modeling (via outboard electrical EQs) eliminates:
http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=15443

" The results indicate that, whatever the headphone model or the excerpt, the modifications caused by different positions were always perceived."

Notice they said "always". This proves that casual tests of things like, say for example headphone "burn in", listening to 'phones and then the same again later after 100 hours of burn-in, is pointless, or at least very problematic.


Issues with Blind-Testing Headphones and Speakers

Reply #54
in fact it seems rotten
What I heard (so take it with a pinch of salt) is that there were several contenders for this loudness standard from reputable companies/institutions, and someone also threw in this really simple solution. Across a fairly wide range of material, including the material chosen for testing, the simple solution did remarkably well. Each of the reputable companies could find material on which their solution performed better, but overall the simple solution worked well enough that everyone came to an agreement to stop pushing their own preferred system, and to just go with this one.

In some contexts where the loudness matching is hopelessly wrong, the way it gets it wrong is kind of handy too - i.e. it won't turn up almost inaudible near-ultrasonic signals in an attempt to make them equally loud, which is quite useful because it avoids frying tweeters in that context!

While you can do better, it's surprising how little benefit doing "better" brings in most real-world contexts.

Cheers,
David.

 
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