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How to equalize your headphones: A Tutorial - Page 65

post #961 of 975

So I have given this a try and just going to give a little report on what I've experienced.

Equipment: akg k240, ibasso d6

 

 

So of course, I've noticed a drop in the highs, which is to be expected. What I also thought I'd expect is a flattening of the sound, namely a reduction in bass and highs. The highs most definitely were tamed, but probably as a psychological counteraction, bass seemed to be boosted despite my reductions in the slight bass peaks. Is this what others have experienced as well? or am I just delirious from listening to too much pink noise and sine waves :confused:

post #962 of 975

Once peaks are reduced the overall volume can be increased.  So other frequencies are more audible.  This is what you want - a wider range of sound which results in more detail and a expanded sound stage.

 

It takes practice to set the EQ.  I usually do it when I'm well rested, and not distracted.  In the past I would get a certain EQ fatigue which lead to mistakes.  Now I try to do it in 10-15 minutes, and then back off.  This seems to yield better results.

post #963 of 975
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rico613 View Post

Once peaks are reduced the overall volume can be increased.  So other frequencies are more audible.  This is what you want - a wider range of sound which results in more detail and a expanded sound stage.

It takes practice to set the EQ.  I usually do it when I'm well rested, and not distracted.  In the past I would get a certain EQ fatigue which lead to mistakes.  Now I try to do it in 10-15 minutes, and then back off.  This seems to yield better results.

How often do you equalize your phones? I decided to follow your advice and skip the pink noise part and adjust mainly though trying to flatten the sine wave. This is what I experienced:

With a pair of cheap yet trustworthy in ears, the signature is pretty flat and there's like, 3 audible peaks only. With Edition 8 there's about 10 of them or more, sometimes occurring through one ear alone. The signature seems heavily modified over a flat one, and tempering with it feels like possibly ruining the tuning that the engineers made during the design.

I find that chopping some peaks down by 2-3dB gives me an acceptable loss of fidelity in those frequencies, any more and I feel that I am losing information (and when it's on the high frequencies, the sound appears muddy). From what I read, it should not be like that. Am I doing something wrong or am I approaching this with the wrong mentality?
post #964 of 975

I don't use the same system for EQ so it is hard for me to comment about the details.  Hopefully others can comment about your experience.

 

I will post a summary of my procedure soon.  The principles of EQ are the same, so I think the knowledge is transferable from one system to another.

post #965 of 975
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rico613 View Post

 

I will post a summary of my procedure soon.  The principles of EQ are the same, so I think the knowledge is transferable from one system to another.

 

I will definitely enjoy reading your summary and get one step closer to understanding the dynamics behind proper equalisation. 

post #966 of 975

I hope to get to it soon . . . .

 

EDIT:

 

There are significant advantages to equalizing headphones.  The EQ process corrects artifacts in the hardware, (cables, tubes, headphones), and also corrects for hearing loss of the listener.  This is one of the great advantages of listening with cans - the frequency curve can be custom tailored to the individual.  The improved sound quality can be stunning.  The sound stage is greatly expanded and there is greater detail across all audible frequencies.

 

Here are some basics of the method I use.  I use frequency specific sine wave files that match the 30 band equalizer.  I use a Rane DEQ 60L.  (However, the KlarkTeknik DN 370 may be a better choice these days.)   The equalization sliders control frequencies at 1/3 octave intervals.  These frequencies are: 25Hz, 31.5Hz, 40Hz, 50Hz, 63Hz, 80Hz, 100Hz, 125Hz, 160Hz, 200Hz, 250Hz, 315Hz, 400Hz, 500Hz, 630Hz, 800Hz, 1,000Hz, 1,250Hz, 1,600Hz, 2,000Hz, 2,500Hz, 3,150Hz, 4,000Hz, 5,000Hz, 6,300Hz, 8,000Hz, 10,000Hz, 12,500,Hz 16,000Hz, 20,000Hz   (don't waste time adjusting frequencies you can't hear.)

 

 

I download the sine wave files from Wavetones.com and play them from iTunes or from a CD that I burned using iTunes.

 

I tune the right channel and left channel separately.  Using the CD remote control or arrow keys on the computer, the sine wave files are played in rapid succession so it sounds like a frequency sweep.  This enables you to identify the specific frequencies that sound too loud or too muted.  Adjust those frequencies until the sweep sounds smooth.   To fine tune a frequency, I usually repeat the 3 or 4 lower frequencies that precede the frequency I'm adjusting.  The volume should increase as the frequency increases.  The frequency curve is not linear, it is a logarithmic progression.

 

Here are a few tips when using this method.  Start with each slider centered.  Adjust the EQ when you are well rested and can devote your full attention to the task without distractions.  Don't spend too much time adjusting the frequencies.  I get better results in 5-10 minute sessions than I do spending 30 minutes on it.  Try adjusting only 2 or three frequencies at a time, until you become proficient.  Switch between the bypass signal and the EQ signal to hear the difference.  Adjust the volume so the EQ mode is the same as the bypass mode. 

 

It takes practice and a lot of patients.  Don't expect perfect results for a few weeks, but you should hear improvement fairly quickly.  IMPORTANT:  When it sounds terrible back off, get some rest, set the sliders to the centered position, and try it again the following day. 

 

This method should work with any EQ hardware or software.  More adjustments are needed for the higher frequencies.  If you are setting up your EQ software and have only 8-10 frequency notches, you will want to set most of those above 1KHz.

 

Here are some photos of my setup.  I'm using Senn HD 800s running off an Eddie Current Balancing Act.  (The EQ changes every time I roll a tube!)

 

In the photo below you will see a frequency analyzer sitting on top of the EQ.  I use the analyzer to flatten the curve before I do the listening adjustments.  The analyzer is highly useful, but not essential.


Edited by Rico613 - 6/23/14 at 3:38pm
post #967 of 975
Thread Starter 

Wow, this thread is still semi-active after all this time. It seems like I wrote it only yesterday!

 

I wanted to reply to Rico's post. Using equipment like that is the ultimate way to equalize headphones (and many other things) in the manner that has been discussed here. Back when I used to do sound work for churches professionally, I often employed similar equipment for various reasons. Being able to do such things in analog is far easier and more intuitive than messing with things like Electri-Q, as nice as it is. If I had the money I'd probably have a nice little rack setup to apply the equalization to everything coming out of my computer.

post #968 of 975

PiccoloNamek,

 

The link to download Sinegen 2.1 from tucows here contains malware along with the download. You can extract the exe file using 7-zip and see it yourself. People trying the guide are getting directed to this courtesy of Head-Fi. I have posted about this half a year ago and nobody has yet to clean it up. Reflects well on the technical skill of our community...

 

I uploaded sinegen.exe without the toolbar installer here: https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B6IxqGzcxDWTeGhycEdFeEdhZzg


Edited by k00zk0 - 9/12/14 at 1:58pm
post #969 of 975
Quote:
Originally Posted by PiccoloNamek View Post
 

Wow, this thread is still semi-active after all this time. It seems like I wrote it only yesterday!

 

I wanted to reply to Rico's post. Using equipment like that is the ultimate way to equalize headphones (and many other things) in the manner that has been discussed here. Back when I used to do sound work for churches professionally, I often employed similar equipment for various reasons. Being able to do such things in analog is far easier and more intuitive than messing with things like Electri-Q, as nice as it is. If I had the money I'd probably have a nice little rack setup to apply the equalization to everything coming out of my computer.

 

For a while I used iZotope Ozone 5 along with Audirvana on my computer and it was a lot of fun and worked well.  I just went back to CDs because iTunes didn't catalog classical music very well.   Setting up the hardware EQ required extra interconnects and power supply management which ran into some serious $$$  I'd recommend finding a software solution unless playing from CDs or Vinyl.  The sign wave downloads from http://www.wavtones.com/functiongenerator.php will still work with a software solution.

post #970 of 975
^ Yep, O5 provides the most natural sounding EQ I've found for our needs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PiccoloNamek View Post

Wow, this thread is still semi-active after all this time.

 
This tutorial is pure gold, kudos again!

This one is also pretty sweet: http://www.davidgriesinger.com/headphones.htm


Edited by leeperry - 9/20/14 at 5:02am
post #971 of 975

I am kind of confused... The loudest frequency through Sine Gen should be heard at 3.5 kHz, right? It should sound 8 dB louder than 1 kHz. I have got half a dozens of headphones, including HD 800, HD 580, HE5LE, Beyer 880, Stax 202, but I do not hear a peak at 3.5 kHz on any pair. Measurements indicate the opposite. So I guess my HRTF is quite different from that of the measuring dummy head. What are your experiences?

post #972 of 975

^ Sorry, I'm not familiar with Sine Gen.  In general I can say that the goal of EQ is to have a nice even audible signal as you increase the frequency without any peaks or dropouts.  The real test is whether the music sounds more spacious and detailed once the EQ curve is set.

post #973 of 975
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gooberpatrol66 View Post

blink.gif

The first song I listened to on the XBA-1s was Stairway to Heaven, and it brought tears to my eyes. Everything was just so beautiful. (I'm assuming that's a standard reaction to a first encounter with good audio equipment.) I really liked those. Everything was...crisp. Overtones were positively buzzy. Anyways, due to utterly retarded cable design, where the left ear cable went directly into the combined cable, while the right ear cable was about three times as long and was supposed to go around the back of the neck, which meant every time anything jerked on the headphone cable, 100% of the stress was transferred to the left earbud alone, the solder connecting the left cable to the left earbud wore out and eventually shorted. That's why I'm only buying headphones with detachable cables from now on.

I know this post is old, but do you mind sharing your EQ for the XBA-1s or if that's still not possible a description of the peaks and your adjustments would be appreciated. I've been trying to EQ mine using rockbox for android and am running into the problem you described, that using pink noise has the effect of unintentionally reducing treble too much. Thanks very much smily_headphones1.gif

P..S. That happened to my cable to, I can send a pic of the fix if you like

EDIT: I've a general question for everybody: what if you experience troughs rather than peaks at certain frequencies? As you can see herehere, the XBA-1s shoe a significant drop after 1KHz which is in fact very noticeable in the sine wave. At first I thought I was hearing a peak at 1KHz until I released it was simply this low point straight after giving this illusion. Is it still best to leave this rather than boost the signal to try to make up for it? Thanks

Also, I experience no peaks between the frequencies suggested, instead the most noticeable peal is at 3.3KHz (which is in fact very painful). I assume this is due to the XBAs having a very pronounced mid and rolled off bass & treble, but correct me if I'm wrong.

EDIT2: I've finally finished EQing, but I used an app called ArmAmp which was the only Android app I could find with a parametric EQ. My settings were: 3,300Hz at -9.0dB, 400Hz width, and 10,000Hz at -7.0dB with 500Hz width (the first makes most difference).
Edited by enssorcel - 10/12/14 at 1:26pm
post #974 of 975

Hey I'm new to this audio stuff and you guys probably all have crazy expensive headphones and such so i hope you don't mind if i ask if the HyperX Clouds having this effect? Whenever I play CS:GO the sound is extremely higher pitched then my old siberia elites, I just wanted to know if this was the case and how I'd go about fixing it? Thanks :)

post #975 of 975
Subaru
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