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Transparency Question?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
What are the most transparent, neutral, uncolored IEM for studio production that best emulate studio monitors?
post #2 of 14
ER4p.
post #3 of 14
ER 4P with P->S conversion, or just ER 4S
post #4 of 14
how could the er's be the most neutral IEM if they have no bass? Rofl if you have no bass it def. cannot be played the way the artist wanted it to be heard...
post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by hockeyb213 View Post
how could the er's be the most neutral IEM if they have no bass? Rofl if you have no bass it def. cannot be played the way the artist wanted it to be heard...
Neutral and natural sounding in speaker generally describe almost the same thing (a flat freq. response.) In the headphone world, however, neutral and natural sounding are two different concept. Neutral indicates a flat freq. response, but natural indicates EQ'ed / bumped un-flat freq. response that aimed to achieve a sensation of 'flat sound' in the ear. Read this for more info.
post #6 of 14
By your terminology for headphones and the diagrams and explanation in the following link, the ER4 are designed to be "natural" but are not "neutral":

Etymotic Research, Inc. - ER-4 - Technical Specifications

In my opinion these two terms are one in the same for IEMs. A flat frequency response measured at the IEM doesn't mean much due to the differences in people's ears.

Mark, I think to find the most uncolored IEM, you're going to have to try the different suggestions people make and decide for yourself. I know from my recent experiences with the Etymotic ER4, Klipsch X10, Ulimate Ears Triple.Fi 10, and Westone UM2 that people hear things differently. Some of what many called audio bliss was an immediate disappointment for me.
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
thanks for the replies I have been thinking er4s or maybe er4b for a while. By neutral I mean transparent and most like a good studio monitor.
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark_h View Post
thanks for the replies I have been thinking er4s or maybe er4b for a while. By neutral I mean transparent and most like a good studio monitor.
well good studio monitors are usually 2 way speakers with a seperate subwoofer believe it or not, you hardly ever see 3 way speakers in a studio.

no something with bass is essential. the er4p are indeed flat, but as has been said in this thread by clieos i think, frequencies have to be bumped,usually in the low end to sound natural in the ear canal, so although the er4p are almost completely flat, this doesnt bode well for a realistic sound and something with a bit more of a bumped low end may produce a more natural sound.

im not saying the er4p are not natural, im saying flat isnt natural, its just flat meaning no boosted frequencies, hence why the er4p sound a little sharp maybe and lack kick that you would get from that studio subwoofer.

i think the triple fi offer almost the same highs quality as the er4p with that slightly bumped low end for realism in the ear, i still stand by the se530 being some of the most natural sounding but to most the warm sound is not flat enough to be real, but those that think that tend to think the flatter the response the more realistic the sound but this isnt the case
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Possum View Post
By your terminology for headphones and the diagrams and explanation in the following link, the ER4 are designed to be "natural" but are not "neutral":

Etymotic Research, Inc. - ER-4 - Technical Specifications

In my opinion these two terms are one in the same for IEMs. A flat frequency response measured at the IEM doesn't mean much due to the differences in people's ears...
Ety's measurement disregards the HRTFs (among other things) completely and only pays interest in what measured flat in the ear canal. The more current view is, music in headphone (not just IEM) sounds more natural (as in how you will hear it in a speaker system) if it is hardware tuned / EQ'ed to factor in HRTFs, diffuse field and/or Fletcher-Munson loudness curves. As quoted from the page linked in my previous post: 'Headphones that have built-in equalization to sound "flat" do not necessarily measure flat.' Vise versa, headphones that measure flat do not necessarily sound "flat".

Remember, most of us refer to what sounds 'natural' / 'flat' with our experience of a set of flat sounding speaker. However, once the sound wave leaves the speaker, it will no longer be flat any more (due to refraction, HRTFs, etc). Therefore what we hear doesn't stay in anyway as flat as what the original sound, yet we still consider the sound is natural (cause our brain has adapted to refraction / HRTFs / etc during our evolution). What Ety claimed was the ear will still received a totally flat sound after the sound wave passed through the room and I think that is probably a bit exaggerated, unless of course, the so called 'good speaker' (in Ety term) is colored (un-flat) in the first place. Another fact is, we will never know how good those good speakers actually are, by today's standard and taste (remember that ER4 was first produced back in the 1991). If ER4 is indeed natural sounding as Ety claims, you wouldn't have seen that many comments in the forum describing ER4 to be cold sounding - after all, how can any headphone be both cold and natural sounding at the same time? I think that is why neutral (as in no coloration of any kind) doesn't equal to natural (as in resemblance of a good speaker sound) in the headphone world, or at least in the discussion of ER4.
post #10 of 14
well explained clieOS, thats one thing ive never understood, everyone claims the er4p to be the best for one reason...the flatness of the response, yet every comment you see is the sound is cold analytical and in some respects lacking bass.

which is another reason i think ety would have tried to build on that design, its been so long since they have released a new design with improved realism and sonics and if any company can do it my gosh ety can.

its just dissapointing they havnt released more mainstream phones for the public
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post
Neutral and natural sounding in speaker generally describe almost the same thing (a flat freq. response.) In the headphone world, however, neutral and natural sounding are two different concept. Neutral indicates a flat freq. response, but natural indicates EQ'ed / bumped un-flat freq. response that aimed to achieve a sensation of 'flat sound' in the ear. Read this for more info.

Thanks for a GREAT link!

Could you guide me to some pices of music to listen to to judge if my phones a relatively "neutral/natural"?

I am very fond of my pair of SA6's, which to my ear sounds rather neutral. Then I wanted to try some full size cans and went for the Ultrasone Proline 650. These seems to be a bit more "bright" with very clear highs and at the same time, boy they can reproduce a kick drum and a low bass guitar note like I have never heard it before. Not that they are bass heavy, to my ear at the least, but they can reproduce some bass notes I hardly heard before.

Now I would like to know which is the most accurate or "true", even though I enjoy both very much.

Thanks
post #12 of 14
Judging headphone for neutrality and natural is mostly experience based (and no deny that subjectivity will affect the end result). The best way to build up experience is to go to meet / audition, listen to as many kind of headphones and speakers as you can, and get to know your music. Eventually, you will get a sense of which headphone is more neutral, warm, cold, natural, etc. SA6 isn't as neutral as you might think. It has a warmish, mid-centric sound which I too like it personally. As neutral sounding headphone go, I think ER4 and Yuin G1 is probably among the most neutral in all of the headphone I have heard.

As for what is more accurate or true sounding, personally I am not a big believer in that. IMO, once music left the recording studio, there is no easy way to reproduce the same sound as heard by the sound engineer who mixed the sound. The room, the speaker / headphone, the music player, the amp will all be different, thus the sound you get will be different - no one sound will be more accurate than the other.
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post
Judging headphone for neutrality and natural is mostly experience based (and no deny that subjectivity will affect the end result). The best way to build up experience is to go to meet / audition, listen to as many kind of headphones and speakers as you can, and get to know your music. Eventually, you will get a sense of which headphone is more neutral, warm, cold, natural, etc. SA6 isn't as neutral as you might think. It has a warmish, mid-centric sound which I too like it personally. As neutral sounding headphone go, I think ER4 and Yuin G1 is probably among the most neutral in all of the headphone I have heard.

As for what is more accurate or true sounding, personally I am not a big believer in that. IMO, once music left the recording studio, there is no easy way to reproduce the same sound as heard by the sound engineer who mixed the sound. The room, the speaker / headphone, the music player, the amp will all be different, thus the sound you get will be different - no one sound will be more accurate than the other.
Thanks a lot, I appreciate your advice very much. Your comments about the SA6 are very helpful also, as this gives me some kind of "baseline" to judge from. Thanks!
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Forget neutral and natural the monitors will be used in a studio, at all parts of the production process. I think the key word is transparency; I want total transparency is this even possible? I have the UE-11 they are great but far too warm. Are the drivers in the er4p and er4s the same? Is it just the Impedance that differs?
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