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How to equalize your headphones: A Tutorial - Page 56

post #826 of 951

The original point of EQ, which is actually encoded in the name, is to compensate for variables in the signal chain and/or environment which are altering the frequency balance of the sound. It only became a method of sound enhancement when people realized that the same treatments that could fix artifacts could also be used to craft an arbitrary curve. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with this usage at all. But EQ can also be used as a very targeted, precise tool.

 

As far as "coloring the sound," I've heard that quite often. Usually that's people confusing "iPod EQ" and the infinitely more nuanced and configurable parametric EQ treatments used in this thread. I've also heard the bit about the EQ leaving artifacts of its own, which are worse than what you started with.

 

I can't prove it, of course (nor do I care to even try), but I'll say I'm sure the number of people who could actually back up their claim that they could hear artifacts from a reasonably transparent EQ is very small, if there are any at all who could reliably do so. And even if you could, in comparison to what you started with, even faintly audible artifacts would be preferable, IMO.

 

What we're doing here is eliminating very specific, very prominent flaws in the frequency response, caused either by the headphone's design or the interaction of the system with the ear. These to me are like superbright LEDs shining in my eyes everytime I listen. At some point you don't "get used" to this. These features are too narrow and high in amplitude. The EQ method in this thread allows me to specifically target these very narrow peaks and iron them out.

 

Which, going back to my original point, is the original intent of EQ. Not the "Rock" preset in your iPod. biggrin.gif

post #827 of 951

someone willing to share his HD 800 electric-q setting?

post #828 of 951
Quote:
Originally Posted by Argyris View Post

The original point of EQ, which is actually encoded in the name, is to compensate for variables in the signal chain and/or environment which are altering the frequency balance of the sound. It only became a method of sound enhancement when people realized that the same treatments that could fix artifacts could also be used to craft an arbitrary curve. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with this usage at all. But EQ can also be used as a very targeted, precise tool.

 

As far as "coloring the sound," I've heard that quite often. Usually that's people confusing "iPod EQ" and the infinitely more nuanced and configurable parametric EQ treatments used in this thread. I've also heard the bit about the EQ leaving artifacts of its own, which are worse than what you started with.

 

I can't prove it, of course (nor do I care to even try), but I'll say I'm sure the number of people who could actually back up their claim that they could hear artifacts from a reasonably transparent EQ is very small, if there are any at all who could reliably do so. And even if you could, in comparison to what you started with, even faintly audible artifacts would be preferable, IMO.

 

What we're doing here is eliminating very specific, very prominent flaws in the frequency response, caused either by the headphone's design or the interaction of the system with the ear. These to me are like superbright LEDs shining in my eyes everytime I listen. At some point you don't "get used" to this. These features are too narrow and high in amplitude. The EQ method in this thread allows me to specifically target these very narrow peaks and iron them out.

 

Which, going back to my original point, is the original intent of EQ. Not the "Rock" preset in your iPod. biggrin.gif

awh man i HATE prest eq's they sound just terrible. (unless i was the one who saved the presetwink.gif) for my friend who is a purist, he doesnt know a slightest thing about the eq as cause he doesn't play with one. he uses Windows media player to play music (has terrible eq imo) and since he is using a SRH940 and doesnt like bass i guess it doesnt need much of a eq. (i didnt do much with the 10 band as well when i tried to tune it)

well personally i don't hear any flaws and artifacts (other than clipping and that is easily fixable) but the improvement in sound makes it dull and boring to listen to them unEq-ed. so infact cause i use the eq all the time, i consider headphones a little differently, normally properly say this bass is bommy, mids are recessed, highs are prominent etc, but the only parts i care most is soundstage and resolution (good tonality is a bonus though)

for my case,(i used a 250 band graphic eq by the way) it fixed the subbass problem and the shy treble,added spakle to it, also pushed the foward midrange back a little as it isnt very good for EDM, and overall made a very good EDM headphone with good soundstagebiggrin.gif (i do wish it had more resolution though)

post #829 of 951

Hi I got Westone W4 IEMs, so is this article still applicable for earphone or just for head phones ?

post #830 of 951
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnSantana View Post

Hi I got Westone W4 IEMs, so is this article still applicable for earphone or just for head phones ?

it is possible. just play around with the knobs and tune it to your liking, however it is better if you can consistantly get a good seal with the same postitioning all the time

post #831 of 951
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnSantana View Post

Hi I got Westone W4 IEMs, so is this article still applicable for earphone or just for head phones ?

 

It should work for anything you can stick on (or in) your ears. Theoretically it should also work for speakers, though room acoustics and head placement would make that very difficult.

post #832 of 951
Quote:
Originally Posted by Argyris View Post

 

It should work for anything you can stick on (or in) your ears. Theoretically it should also work for speakers, though room acoustics and head placement would make that very difficult.

portable speakers change and improve the most, a good eq can make them not sound tinny. the drawback though however is the maximum volume of it

post #833 of 951
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnSantana View Post

Hi I got Westone W4 IEMs, so is this article still applicable for earphone or just for head phones ?


I tried to equalize my w4r too. but I couldn't do that in a right manner. I think that this thread works for headphones that are on the bright side of sound signature something like er4s or k701 or ....

post #834 of 951
Quote:
Originally Posted by heart banger-97 View Post


I tried to equalize my w4r too. but I couldn't do that in a right manner. I think that this thread works for headphones that are on the bright side of sound signature something like er4s or k701 or ....

it takes practice, amount of improvement varies from model to model, and maybe some are just ment to have little to no change, others can have big improvements

post #835 of 951
Quote:
Originally Posted by streetdragon View Post

it takes practice, amount of improvement varies from model to model, and maybe some are just ment to have little to no change, others can have big improvements

 

This. Practice is essential, and checking your curve from session to session can often yield different results until you get it dialed in.

 

In regards to earlier, there isn't quite a causality chain here in regards to bright headphones benefiting more. Rather, bright headphones are likely perceived as such because they have prominent peaks in the treble region, and therefore they have the most to benefit. Theoretically, though, any set that exhibits artifacts (as detected by using the sine sweep) can be improved in the same manner. However, if there is coloration in other areas (like a bass bump or a swell through the midrange), the perceived effect of this technique might be less noticeable or even detrimental, as some designs rely upon those treble peaks in order to balance out the other features. That's why the tutorial recommends using relatively flat-sounding designs to begin with.

 

I'm actually not sure how the specifics translate to IEMs. I'm confident that it works, since the theory holds sound no matter which design you use. However, IEMs take the pinnae out of the equation, and theoretically that makes the system different from (simpler than) that which exists with headphones. I'm actually planning on picking up a set of decent IEMs for the holidays, and I'm very curious how my curve will turn out. I'll of course post about it when the time comes.

 

Didn't Piccolo (the OP) test one of the Etymotic IEMs (can't remember which variation of the flagship ER-4 it was)?

post #836 of 951

taming the bass on bass monsters are tough, so yeah as said above a fairly neutral headphone with good soundstage and good detail are a good candidate if you plan to eq tune it
i believe the same works on iem's just hear what is out of place, and fix it, change your curves from time to time and maybe you will pick up one good part of the curve and learn from there.
one good way to learn and get familiar is to take the knob, slide it all the way down then slide it all the way up, you will then be able to observe what the numbers of hertz are and what they actually sound like. when tuning move the sliders up and down until you feel that sweet spot where it sounds right. then stop it there and move on to the other knobs, once you get good enough you are able to immediately know what knob to move and by how much by just listening to a pair of untuned/improperly tuned headphones


Edited by streetdragon - 10/10/12 at 12:59am
post #837 of 951
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teraflame View Post

How do I make electri-q work for everything outside of foobar?

 

I still need help with this please.

post #838 of 951
Get Virtual Audio Cable and VSTHost to EQ all system sounds with electri q. will return with details when i get home. hopefully
post #839 of 951

Can you use EQ to increase headphone sound stage?

post #840 of 951
Quote:
Originally Posted by trunolimit View Post

Can you use EQ to increase headphone sound stage?

 

That depends on what you mean by "increase." If you're meaning the overall size, I'd lean toward no. If you're meaning your ability to perceive it (by ironing out your headphone's response to make it more natural), maybe.

 

Soundstage in headphones is a complex consequence of lots of factors, like distance between driver and eardrum, shape of enclosure, open or closed design, angle of drivers in relation to ear canal, position of driver (higher or lower, centered or off to the side) in relation to ear canal (e.g. Ultrasone's S-Logic), detail resolution of the drivers, and, of course, tonal balance.

 

Generally (and this is a very general statement), headphones that are very forward-sounding (lots of upper midrange) tend to have smaller soundstages. This is because your brain interprets something with lots of energy in the upper mids as being closer to you, and therefore it projects an illusion of a smaller space because that's the most logical conclusion it can draw. Headphones by nature are an unnatural way of listening to anything, and a lot of the positional cues you hear are your brain filling in the gaps and making sense of what it's hearing.

 

On the other hand, treble extension also plays a role. Well-extended treble emphasizes the depth cues that are already present in the recording, and while the same rule as above holds true (the more treble you hear, the closer something is to you), that treble is also highlighting fine details that your brain then uses to position itself in the virtual space. So extended treble tends to actually increase the sense and size of soundstage. The term "airy" is often used.

 

The aim when following this tutorial is to compensate for very specific flaws in the treble response of your headphones. If your headphones have very peaky treble, this technique might actually decrease the size of the soundstage because you're lessening the audibility of those details that the treble brought out. However, if the treble peaks were glaring and distracting, you might actually gain an increased sense of soundstage because the response is more natural and, in the absence of the excessive treble, subtle details that were drowned out are now easier to detect. Also, your brain no longer has to contend with conflicting information (i.e. details indicate a large space, but treble is high so the sound must be from close-by and the space must be small), and the result will be a whole lot more natural.

 

tl;dr: EQ probably won't make the soundstage seem any larger, but it can make what you've already got sound more apparent/convincing.

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