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post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

So when people say bass is flabby, tight, light, deep, heavy, bloated, etc.. what exactly is going on in to cause this?

Is it simply an issue of frequency response, or is damping of the driver an issue as well? Is ringing really a problem in headphones?

I could attribute flabby as a broad bass hump, tight as another bass hump, light as a dip, deep as a lot of extension with maybe even accentuation as frequency lowers, heavy as a boost, bloated as a sharp bump in response.

Does anyone have anything to add about what exactly is going on here? Maybe headphones have high amounts of distortion with certain freqs or the the housing is vibrating with the bass?
post #2 of 4
I think it has to do less with distortion and more with control of the driver. When low frequency sound is produced the diaphragm has to extrude more and push more air then high frequency is produced. After it produced the sound it has to stop and return to it's initial position immediately to be ready to produce the next sound. That is where the challenge comes in, since the diaphragm is producing many many sounds of different frequencies in very short time it has to be controlled very precisely and return in the original position with out any vibration that produces undesired distortion or after-sound.

This control issues seems to be more evident with bass since the extrusion has to be larger even of the diaphragm of large size. The "flabby, tight, light, deep, heavy, bloated etc" seems to be caused by this control issues that is a combination of the amplifier and driver properties. These are my 2 cents, chime in if you disagree.
post #3 of 4
IME, bass definition is more closely related to enclosure resonance than "control". One example of this is the D5000 Markl mod. With that mod, you balance increasing bass definition (as you stuff more of the fiberloft into the chamber) with reducing volume of bass. I've observed the same effect when adding dampening felt to the enclosure of the TakeT H2, which reduced the bass significantly but increased the definition significantly too (which, btw, was a phenomenal thing to behold ).

Assuming highest quality drivers in each case, and an equal level of perceived bass volume (Stax!), then from best definition to worst definition: -
Open headphones (followed closely by)
Closed headphones
post #4 of 4
It also has a lot to do with the two chambers in headphones (circumaural) and how air is moved between them.

The least restriction between chambers means more driver movement, and more bass. Though that could also lead to "boominess" and slow decay of the bass which lead people to say how "slow" the headphone feels.
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