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What is diffuse field equalization

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I've read in different places that some phones have it and some don't.

Can someone explain to me what it is exactly (and if you could put it in laymen's terms, that would be grand),

and which phones have it,

and how is it done?
post #2 of 6
Thread Starter 
Uhh, anyone?
post #3 of 6
see the review of the dt770's a few lines down. also check the website for audio technica m40df headphones.

do a search for diffuse

diffuse field tries to mimick speakers (the angle of sound is overlapped).

diffuse field headphones are usually used by mixers and sound producers.
post #4 of 6

Diffuse field equalization explained

To illustrate what diffuse field equalized means, it is perhaps better to explain first what free-field equalized means.

A standard for high-fidelity headphones endorsed by DIN, IEC and ANSI standardisation bodies during the 70's. Free field equalized headphone will try to achieve a similar frequency response as a perfectly flat frequency loudspeaker would do in an anechoic room (i.e. 'free field room').

Such a headphone will more than likely have a dip at 1200 Hz, a slow bump at c. 2000 Hz and another dip at c. 8000 - 10 000 Hz. The effect of this will be roughly flat frequency response at ear canal.

Another standard developed during the 80's to overcome the localisation problems in the mid-frequencies so apparent in free-field equalized headphones. It has not completely replaced free-field equalization, it's just another alternative (another design philosophy). Diffuse field equalized headphone will try to mimic a flat frequency loudspeaker response in a reverbant room that has equal sound pressure in most locations inside the room (i.e. diffuse field).

Such a headphone might have a different kind of frequency response, such as a peak at 2-3 kHz and 5-7 kHz and a sharper dip at 8 kHz. The effect should be similar to that of a diffuse field, but with a slightly different tonal balance.

Neither approach deliver FLAT frequency response for all (or even a majority of listeners) beyond 2000 Hz and certainly not beyond 8000 Hz.

In addition to the above there is a flat equalisation school of though that just delivers no equalisation like above.

All headphone manufacturers usually have some kind of ideal which they have experimentally found out in their own testing and most of their headphones follow this criteria.

In short, there is no single right way to do things and different people will find different equalisation 'natural' to them.

I hope that offers some little explanation.

post #5 of 6

I have both an ED-1 and an ED-1 Signature.

I believe (though I will go about checking) that, as well as the equalisation of frequency response for diffuse field, there is some degree of cross feed of left to right and of right to left.


I can find this out easily enough when once I get these two machines out of storage....

post #6 of 6

You may already have seen this, but there's an explanation on the North American beyerdynamic website:




You'll have to fish a bit, as it's one of those expanding section affairs.

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