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post #16 of 24
What are your favorite headphones?
Beyerdynamic DT48A
What are your favorite types of headphones? (in-ear, on-ear,circumaural, supra-aural)
circumaural
Do you believe that the current standards for objective measures are useful?
Yes.
What should headphones sound like?
Detailed and flat frequency response.
What makes a good headphone?
A headphone that sounds good, is well built, comfortable, for it's price.
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaxter View Post
What are your favorite headphones?

Beyer T1

What are your favorite types of headphones? (in-ear, on-ear,circumaural, supra-aural)

It's application specific, just depends on what you're doing.

Do you believe that the current standards for objective measures are useful?

No. But I'm working on it. (Feel free to hang out in my measurement lab thread. )

What should headphones sound like?

Nothing ... but I'm like that.

There's nothing wrong with people enjoying a certain kind of sound.
Let's face it, there are a LOT of bad recordings out there, why not lush 'em up the way you like?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaxter View Post
My search on headphone papers turned a series of different measurement techniques; HATS, GRAS, Head Acoustics Artificial Head Measurement System, and potentially utilizing a diffuse field EQ curve as well as ITU standards (ITU-R 468 noise weighting, ITU-R BS.708- Probe Mics).

It's a clustered-fork for sure.


But without correlation to specific attributes that relate to the subjective experience of the listener, these metrics become arbitrary or ambiguous.

It's so tough just to know what flat is that you really don't want to be jumping to too many conclusions too fast. I agree, headphone evaluation is not very mature yet ... well, the guys at Sennheiser and AKG know what's going on pretty well, but that knowledge is secreted behind closed doors.

I agree with you whole heartedly however, there needs to be some basic ability to measure a headphone and tell whether it's flat and how much it deviates from flat.

But you'll never be able to get more than a decent gist of how something is going to sound subjectively, warm or bright and how much; maybe how ragged something sounds by looking at how much distortion ... but even that's a bit of a crap shoot.

Given that all metrics used in engineering are relative, I have yet to see a headphone measurement that was given with a defined transfer function as related to some other known and established metric that has been identified as describing objectively, essential attributes that pertain to audio fidelity.

We're going to be talking about that big time in in my lab thread soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaxter View Post
I don't believe thus far, that the industry has come up with a protocol that really quantifies the accuracy or performance of headphones to date. I realize that there is much debate concerning which attributes are the most important when defining this metric. Although even the most basic measure of say a frequency response curve (what should the curve look like?) has yet to be determined.

I would greatly appreciate any thoughts regarding the measure and quality of current headphones and what you believe is the beth method of achieving that.
Working on it. You're welcome to come give me a hand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deep Funk View Post
Current standards for objective measures are useful? Which standards? I prefer reviews and impressions. User comments are important.
I believe this is true. I also think there can be some more objective methods applied to subjective testing using survey that could deliver fairly accurate subjective headphone evaluation results.

post #18 of 24
What are your favorite headphones?

That I've listened to, my Sennheiser HD 280 Pros.

What are your favorite types of headphones? (in-ear, on-ear,circumaural, supra-aural)

Circumaural at my desk, "clip on" on ear for working out (running, riding my bike) and portable, IEM for isolation when taking a bus or train.

Do you believe that the current standards for objective measures are useful?

Yes. I used HeadRoom's graphs when I was deciding on my HD 280s. But I'm a firm believer that there is always room for improvement.

What should headphones sound like?

I agree with krmathis (I think I got that right.) Transparent.

What makes a good headphone?

Transparency and appropriateness of a headphone's design to a listener's application.
post #19 of 24

Sneezeweed

What are your favourite headphones?

I've spent the most time with the AKG K701, and I really like them. However, I strongly suspect that I prefer the Sennheiser HD800.

What are your favourite types of headphone; in-ear, on-ear,circumaural or supra-aural?

Circumaural, but merely for comfort's sake: each is necessary for different times.

Do you believe that the current standards for objective measures are useful?

Not particularly. Too often have I seen a graph which simply fails to tell me enough information, or is seemingly contradictory. Further, I have never seen an attempt at defining soundstage.

Measuring speakers is relatively simple. Headphones, due to their inherent proximity and interactions to and with the human body means that no headphone measurement, when taken with the human in mind, can be absolutely true for all persons. Sadly, I suspect that the only way in which a headphone can be tested is by measuring the system with out bodily interference. This is, however, ridiculous, for, as I mentioned earlier, the human body in inherently interacting with the system, thus rendering the measurements useless -- a mere technical exercise in the abilities of the drivers (which can be measured as speakers).

What should headphones sound like?

On the one hand, I desire that the entire audio system be merely a perfect reproducer of sound, that what was recorded be reproduced perfectly and with out any alterations what ever. I also know that I secretly dislike some sounds and like others, and that I desire to hear these sounds. The real question is whether I am willing to sacrifice my ideal sound for sonic purity of reproduction.

What makes a good headphone?

One that does the above, more than any thing else. Comfort is also important, though not as much. Finally, style , but this is nearly irrelevant.
post #20 of 24
Thread Starter 
[QUOTE=Tyll Hertsens;6588551]Working on it. You're welcome to come give me a hand.


I just might take you up on that
post #21 of 24
Thread Starter 
I really appreciate the comments so far.
I want to hear more about personal experiences with headphones and possible measurements that anyone has used in the past.
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaxter View Post
Timbre: The octave to octave balance of the sound spectrum as defined by its envelope; amplitude, frequency bandwidth, attack time and characteristics, decay, sustain, and release.
That pretty much is exactly what I said, in more terms than less.

Quote:
The term "flat" is often used when expressing a frequency response but is only meaningful when defined by parameters or context. "Flat" response will usually refer to an expression or measure of a free field response (no reflections).
Well that's the goal. I don't mean flat for anyone's specific canals, but flat as can be empirically measured without reflections (since these will very regardless). IMO, people complain about how they have to equalize for their ear and whatnot . . . but they won't do that at concerts and will probably throw your reference for hearing entirely off.

Quote:
A loudspeaker when measured in an anechoic chamber with a free field microphone will have a given response. It is considered that a relatively smooth or flat response is optimum. If you then take a measurement of this same loudspeaker in a room with the same free field microphone, you will have an entirely different response ( assuming same parameters for measurement, FFT gated, sweep or steady state). This is not any inaccuracies or linear distortion in the loudspeakers response, but merely the boundary affects of the room as you approach a diffuse field response. This transfer function is not an indicator that you have deviated from the original "flat" response. It is the natural physics of wave propagation in a defined space over time.
Many of us already know this, and assuming our living style permits would invest in acoustic treatments to minimize the effect for speakers.

Quote:
The timbre response of a given acoustic device is defined by it's acoustic environment. It will also help tell us how we will experience this acoustic event. Utilizing what we currently know about defining what makes a loudspeaker sound good and the way in which we physiologically interprete the sound coming out of the loudspeaker, it seems that a more useful metric for headphone frequency response could be created.
"Make it sound good", or accurate? Accuracy should be the goal of HiFi.
post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shike View Post
That pretty much is exactly what I said, in more terms than less.



Well that's the goal. I don't mean flat for anyone's specific canals, but flat as can be empirically measured without reflections (since these will very regardless). IMO, people complain about how they have to equalize for their ear and whatnot . . . but they won't do that at concerts and will probably throw your reference for hearing entirely off.




Many of us already know this, and assuming our living style permits would invest in acoustic treatments to minimize the effect for speakers.





"Make it sound good", or accurate? Accuracy should be the goal of HiFi.
Your ear ( pinna, concha, auditory canal) is an equalizer or at least a set of acoustic filters. I am not so sure this effect needs to be changed in any way.

I am not sure what you mean by " minimize the effect" but there is a transfer function that is natural and you don't want to remove that from your sound in a room. Modes and nulls cause colorations that destroy the original timbre balance. Room gain is something that you normally want to keep. You want something between the extremes of what is considered diffuse field and free field.
post #24 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Presently42 View Post
What are your favourite headphones?

I've spent the most time with the AKG K701, and I really like them. However, I strongly suspect that I prefer the Sennheiser HD800.

What are your favourite types of headphone; in-ear, on-ear,circumaural or supra-aural?

Circumaural, but merely for comfort's sake: each is necessary for different times.

Do you believe that the current standards for objective measures are useful?

Not particularly. Too often have I seen a graph which simply fails to tell me enough information, or is seemingly contradictory. Further, I have never seen an attempt at defining soundstage.

Measuring speakers is relatively simple. Headphones, due to their inherent proximity and interactions to and with the human body means that no headphone measurement, when taken with the human in mind, can be absolutely true for all persons. Sadly, I suspect that the only way in which a headphone can be tested is by measuring the system with out bodily interference. This is, however, ridiculous, for, as I mentioned earlier, the human body in inherently interacting with the system, thus rendering the measurements useless -- a mere technical exercise in the abilities of the drivers (which can be measured as speakers).

What should headphones sound like?

On the one hand, I desire that the entire audio system be merely a perfect reproducer of sound, that what was recorded be reproduced perfectly and with out any alterations what ever. I also know that I secretly dislike some sounds and like others, and that I desire to hear these sounds. The real question is whether I am willing to sacrifice my ideal sound for sonic purity of reproduction.

What makes a good headphone?

One that does the above, more than any thing else. Comfort is also important, though not as much. Finally, style , but this is nearly irrelevant.

I definitely agree with you that most frequency graphs for headphone responses don't currently tell you that much about how the headphone sounds.

As far as soundstage goes, this effect is a psychoacoustic phenomena created by differences in amplitude, phase, and arrival-times. This is created with multiple sound sources and your own HRTF's. This is all generated through the recording either naturally (due too the type of recording) or artificially through pan potting or phase shifting.

Hardware such as speakers or headphones don't actually create a sound-stage. It's the recording played back in multi-channel. There can be a sense of space depending on the RT of the room and the overall polar response plots of a particular loudspeaker. This can change the ratio of the direct to reflected energy that arrives at the ear. The more energy directly from the speaker the less sense of space and the more reflected energy and the bigger the sense of space you hear.

It is true that some recordings are actually bad and when played back accurately, sound....well, just bad. This is why it could really benefit the music and recording industry with specifications that clearly stated what the performance of a studio monitor should be. These specifications exist for electronic recording equipment, but not for loudspeakers. And because of this a wide variety of recording monitors are used in many different types of rooms and there is often little consistency between many commercial recordings. It many times becomes the luck of the draw when playing it back on your own home playback system.
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