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EQ makes all the difference

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
First off, I wouldn't really consider myself an audiophile having previously owned CX300's and JVC Air Cushions, and now owning RE2's but I read a lot of comments and reviews about how the highs and mids etc lack or excel on different IEM's. I've found that with the right EQ you might help cure these problems and, compared to the normal EQ, you might find yourself thinking your phones sound like a higher model up. At least this is what I've found in my case.

I recently bought RE2's with a FiiO E5 amp and have been listening for about 2 weeks now through my Sansa Clip and wasn't really impressed with them. Based on its reviews I was expecting them to sound better but I thought they sounded too muddy with no oomph or bass at all which is what I needed as I listen to rock music (though thankfully, my headphone amp cured this problem). But having played with the EQ for literally hours and hours my RE2's sound much better. What I'm now hearing sounds a lot cleaner and sharper but without sounding too bright. If you're interested, the EQ settings I use on my Clip are: 1,0,0,3,7 but bare in mind these settings are used with RE2's and will most likely not sound great for other phones.

So if you think your phones don't sound the way you like them then try experimenting with a custom EQ and you might find you don't need to upgrade after all.
post #2 of 40
I've seen a lot of antipathy for EQ here at Headfi. I won't be surprised if the responses to this latest incarnation bear this out.

That being said, I think EQ is useful provided it is done well.
post #3 of 40
A lot of audiophiles are of the opinion that you lose more than you gain when you use EQ or digital signal processing (DSP). I totally agree with this.

However, I think the same can be said of switching between headphones. For an example, let's say that the HD800 is your ideal, perfect kind of sound. One day, you are curious what the JVC DX1000's sound like - you've heard about the amazing bass. If you bought a pair of the DX1000's, you'd get that bass, but you'd lose all the detail in the midrange and treble, as well as any other sonic characteristics that the HD800 has.

In my view, it makes more sense to use a $300-$400 EQ and DSP unit to get the same effect, rather than purchasing a ~$1000 pair of headphones. That same EQ unit can be used to experiment with all kinds of different sounds.

And while the equalized version will never have the overall quality of the original, it allows a person to hear many things they wouldn't normally be able to with a single pair of headphones. Particularly with electronic music, which is already full of compressed sounds that are unlikely to lose any fidelity during equalization, an EQ can be a very fun unit in a system.

There are some things that an EQ unit can't do, and there are exceptional headphones that an EQ unit can't mimic, but I still think it can be an interesting way to explore different ways of hearing sound.
post #4 of 40
EQ kills harmonics, so it's a mixed bag..
post #5 of 40
I would think EQ in the digital domain, prior to any DAC would be ideal, for example in a av pre-amp- rather than fitting a EQ on the line level output.

PEQ and room correction is being used for home cinema market, started off with subs really.
post #6 of 40
Overall, equalizers are fun and can be very useful. Decreasing certain frequencies may be less detrimental than increasing them.
post #7 of 40
I refrain from using eq so I can learn what neutral sounds like and I don't trust myself to eq properly since I've spent most of my life listening to crap onboard soundcard and computer speakers. Then if I'm using my portable setup I don't use eq because I don't mind the shortcomings enough to try to fix it.
post #8 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by haloxt View Post
I refrain from using eq so I can learn what neutral sounds like
well, no EQ on headphones is not neutral...due to outer ear resonances : http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f4/how...torial-413900/

some say your brain will adapt and use its DSP to weed out the spikes, some prefer to EQ anyway.

I don't like how EQ kills the harmonics(I tried zillions of VST plugins), so I leave it to my brain to work it out
post #9 of 40
In the end of the day, I believe that one should listen the way he likes to, and if it involves som tweaking than you should go for it, but you will also have to realize that the sound will be unreal and not as recorded...but again, who cares when you have fun!... and also a lot of headphones are already very coloured and tweaked so you even not have to use eq.

If you want bass, just get the denon AHD5000 , HD650 and if you want sparkle and treble extension get the grado. I prefer to let the headphoned to do the colouring of the sound, this way it is more natural than with EQ.
for more neutral presentation of things you have also a variety of headphones for this (akg k701 for example).
again, let the headphones to do the colouring and keep all the rest of the setup as neutral as possible IMO.
post #10 of 40
I always hate the audiophile mentality that EQ is bad or that it de-neutralizes music.

WHAT DO YOU THINK MASTERING ENGINEERS LIKE STEVE HOFFMAN, KEVIN GRAY, JOE TARRANTINO, ETC USE?!

EQ!

When properly used, EQ can help the music more than any other thing out there. In general, cutting frequencies is better than boosting but the you really have to use your ears or you might over do it. A lot of harm in music today comes from overusing compression, limiting, harmonic exciters and EQ.
post #11 of 40
the MAJOR difference is that sound engineers EQ each individual track, and that's using some top-notch soundboard w/ hardware EQ. plus, it's prior to any reverb/delay/sound effect.

some VST plugin in foobar on the final stereo mix will not sound nearly as good IMO...all it will do is kill harmonics.

and about mastering engineers, well the tracks are unmastered to begin with! so they apply a good deal of loudness war(to hide the cat's poo, as we say in my country), denoise/etc etc...at this point, they HAVE to EQ

and most mastering studios are using either Sonic Solutions or ProTools, which prolly have much more capable EQ sections than your average $50 VST plugin in foobar...plus they use dithering at the final stage, and you're *really* not supposed to do any post-processing on dithered audio.
post #12 of 40
Whatever rows your boat!
An EQ may do wonders to music if applied properly, but imo it is hard to do it right (overuse) and hence harm the sound.
post #13 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by LFF View Post
I always hate the audiophile mentality that EQ is bad or that it de-neutralizes music.

WHAT DO YOU THINK MASTERING ENGINEERS LIKE STEVE HOFFMAN, KEVIN GRAY, JOE TARRANTINO, ETC USE?!

EQ!

When properly used, EQ can help the music more than any other thing out there. In general, cutting frequencies is better than boosting but the you really have to use your ears or you might over do it. A lot of harm in music today comes from overusing compression, limiting, harmonic exciters and EQ.
Quoted for truth!

I object to poor implementation of equalization, but not to the premise of equalization itself.
post #14 of 40
An observation: it is a fallacy that the same EQ parameters will be good for every piece of music--even for a given audio setup, there is no ONE optimal set of EQ parameters because the signal chances from album-to-album. Clearly, different CD's can be mastered by different studios/engineers...and even different types of music suggest different musical character.

It is easy to use Foobar or similar to set presets for each CD or genre. I'm not saying I actually optimize EQ for every CD I play...but I do use different presets for different headphones and genres. Do as I say, not as I do, I suppose! .
post #15 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Omega View Post
An observation: it is a fallacy that the same EQ parameters will be good for every piece of music--even for a given audio setup, there is no ONE optimal set of EQ parameters because the signal chances from album-to-album. Clearly, different CD's can be mastered by different studios/engineers...and even different types of music suggest different musical character.

It is easy to use Foobar or similar to set presets for each CD or genre. I'm not saying I actually optimize EQ for every CD I play...but I do use different presets for different headphones and genres. Do as I say, not as I do, I suppose! .
If we're talking about EQ to compensate for a non-linear response, then the same EQ will work for all music so long as the room/headphones remain the same. If we're talking about EQ as tone control, then the EQ may need to be changed from song to song. However, in that case it's definitely not a fallacy that the same EQ parameters will be good for every piece of music, because that depends on subjective taste that varies from person to person.
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