This debate started with my questions about your perceived soundstage similarities between the NE-7 and PFE. I know people hear things differently due to so many various reasons and wanted to add my findings. Also, I was curious as to how you tested because if you have similar source gear & hearing, I can use your reviews to help me select gear (as stated in this thread, we have to buy blind). So, re-reading this thread, I still have some questions. (sorry for the long, rehashed post to most of you
Something that I forgot to mention (well, remember) is that low frequency notes don’t have spacial ques, so extra vibrating in the bass region will not directly affect soundstage but the harmonics can (distortion or also called lack of accuracy).
You were asked what your source was in post #12, 29 with this response:“Several sources, both amped and unamped”
from post #7 and 14.
Then you stated in post25:”FiiO E5, not the greatest but functions well enough. It colors a little bit and noticeably decreases stereo separation, but it does improve control and articulation of note on most headphones. The benefits outweigh the disadvantages. I'd love to run a better amp, but I really don't want anything big and bulky nor am really willing to spend towards some of the three figure good options.”
And post 42:”The review was done without the amp as it colored some and also knocked out some of the separation, but I used it as a tool to gauge how beneficial more wattage can be for a particular headphone.”So, what source(s) did you use for your reviews?
Computer, DAP, CD player, etc. and which ones? To me, that makes a huge difference. My Fuze doesn’t have the soundstage that my Icon Mobile via USB and my sound card have.
Post #33:“NE-7M versus PFE, the PFE does sound more open, yeah, but still a in-head experience and still only as wide as the earphones. It just doesn't sound as closed in.”So, does that mean a wider soundstage for the PFE vs. NE-7?
Post #30 you state:”The filter doesn't affect the stage, only frequency response.”So were you saying that changing the frequency response will change the soundstage perception? EQing will change the perceived soundstage?
Post #33 by mvw2:“The only way spacial cues can change is through a change of emphasis and delay to a different set of drivers.”
The special cues are recorded in the music. For live music, your ears create the spacial cues, for recorded music, the spacial cues are recorded in the music they aren’t added by the drivers. Drivers outside your ear canal will add some spacial cues about where the source is, therefore the transparency discussion. For stereo you have 2 point sources, and poor recordings/speakers/headphones reveal as much. Were you able to listen to the virtual barber shop link I provided, and did the sound seem like it was coming from outside of your IEMs?
Post #33 by mvw2:“Because of the physics of the device, the only explanation is the above higher relative volume an added vibration.”Does soundstage change for you with volume adjustments?
Post #33 by mvw2:”However with headphones, you can't change location. The only way spacial cues can change is through a change of emphasis and delay to a different set of drivers.”
Actually, you can. How an IEM is inserted or how a headphone is placed over the ears will change how they sound, sometimes dramatically. For IEMs, I can push the NE-7s far into my ears and the soundstage shrinks, and the bass is leaner and tighter.
Post #56 by mvw2:”For stage in a headphone environment, distance seems to help on width, but it's not entirely necessary. Transparency helps keep the mind from being directed to the headphone. This includes vibration from bass notes that can bring your attention back to the headphone playing the music. As well, spacial cues need to be recreated by the headphone to recreate room space and instrument, singer, etc. locations, so the headphone has to be detailed enough and dynamic enough to pull off good recreation of the subtle reflections, delays, etc. that we pick up as spacial cues. The source music needs to have these as well.”
That is what I stated earlier, and the PFE is more detailed and dynamic than the NE-7 from my experience, therefore having better soundstage (when the ques are there in the music and amp). So, what source is used is paramount, as in my experience rolling op amps and using various sources it does make a difference for soundstage.
Post #48 by communic:”In my experience only two physical properties have significantly contributed to creating a larger soundstage, that is the distance of the driver from the ear and[b the size of the 'pocket of air' created between the inner ear and the driver[/b]. Reflections and the timings of them by instruments as you say is what I would call reverberation which is very different to soundstage.”
Pos t#55 by communic:”Yes, absolutely, soundstaging would sound different in those two different scenarios due to the reflections within its imposed cavity but this factor only gains real significance in large speaker/room setups where the speed of sound has more time to create changing perceptions.”
Post #48 by communic:”I have to agree with mvw2, I don't hear any differences in soundstage between black and grey fillters on the phonaks.”
Post #50 by bakhtiar:Why not learn how sound being recorded and extend your knowledges of Professional Audio. By doing this, you can appreciate the beauty of audio. IMHO, PFEs reproduce echos/sound reflections which lead to a better soundstage than NE-7Ms.”
Yes, sound engineers are know to add reverb to songs. And I my point on the PFEs vs. NE-7s.
Post #36 by tstarn06:“Very little real science going on here.”
Yep, these pages are mainly about what people hear, which is really the be-all end-all of audio. I started by voicing my opinion on what I have heard with the PFE. While I don’t own them anymore, I do think they are excellent for their price, as others have stated. I just go by what my ears tell me and go from there, but when people do hear things differently, there are many factors that can cause that, hence my debate. Oh, and I do have a strong background in science and engineering.
Post #42 by mvw2:”You guys whine about hurt feelings. Frankly, I don't care. I'm here to learn, to teach what I know, and to debate about what I don't. At the very least, I like to make people think. In the case of 50-100 hours of burn in, I ask why. I want people to second guess themselves, what they've heard, or blindly been told. I want people to rationalize and actually think about the subject and come to their own conclusions (right or wrong). The best thing we can do as humans is to question everything, even if it was told to us as the "truth."
If this is referring to me stating 170+ hours of burn in for IE8s, that is what I experienced. Does brain burn in exist, yes, I believe so, but I also believe in physical burn in more so. To me, brain burn in is a sound sig and presentation sounding natural, or how it should sound. This site is littered with burn in talk, so all these people that listen once, burn in for xxx hours, then listen again have had brain burn in?
And I could question the material structure schooling/experience people on this board have, but I know that structures (driver cones, silicon paths, plastics, metals, etc.) do change over time with mechanical stress, magnetic fields, and electron flow, and other environmental influences.
Post #42 by mvw2:”In the case of burn-in, our ears/mind and perception of sound vary. What we hear one day isn't what we hear the next day. What type of sound we like one day isn't the same as the next day. We like to do listening tests to gauge the usefulness of burn-in, but at the same time, many will ignore human influence.”
I do agree sound perception varies, but there are semi-scientific ways to hear differences, which is A/B testing. If our hearing changed, the perception of both would change, therefore still validating the burn in changes. But I digress from soundstage.