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Most Neutral Headphones?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

Confessedly, before I started reading the content of this forum, I was mildly confused. But now that I've read through a good many threads, I'm completely flabbergasted. So I tried to rely on numbers and graphs, but they hardly helped at all. I used the HD 800 as reference:

 

graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID[]=2321&graphID[]=2881&graphID[]=913&graphID[]=2811

 

Alright. So, frequency-wise, the HD 800 looks neutral. So does the HD-D2000, which also has a reputation for neutrality (though yes, I've read different opinions on those very boards). Surprisingly, the SRH440 looks pretty neutral too. [Edit:] Actually, those graphs seem to lend credence to this article and that one according to which the SRH440 is more neutral than the SHR840, even though the latter is Shure's top-of-the-line headphone monitor.

 

So please, could you either:

  1. Enlighten me as to the True Nature of Neutrality, or
  2. Refer me to a good psychiatrist?

 

 


Edited by Sinocelt - 3/3/11 at 11:57pm
post #2 of 20

not the D2000 I can tell you that for sure.

 

post #3 of 20

It seems that many people consider the Sony MDR-V6 as one of the most neutral headphones there is for cheap. Not sure why since to me it's signature is not very well balanced. The HD-598 seems more neutral to my ears, but not so much on paper. I think the flattest frequency graph I've seen is that of the LCD2. I hope that's the one I'm thinking of? K240 Studio would probably do the trick. It does have a little extra bass though.

 

One of the most neutral "sounding" headphones I've come across is the KRK KNS-8400. But look at it's graph from those silly people at Headroom confused_face_2.gif

 

graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID[]=2961

 

Has to be wrong, because it's really quite bass light. If I remember right it looks similar to the 750DJ graph?!

 

I also see the graphs of the D2000 and it LOOKS neutral, but when you listen to it, it most definitely is not. Not really helpful, but I'm bored..

post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 

Dave Rat also tested the D2000 (among many others, including the V6) and found it to be among the most neutral:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHkb4bhdnRA

http://www.ratsound.com/cblog/archives/369-The-Mighty-Headphone-Quest-Part-7.html

 

If everyone's hearing is so different, one has to wonder how music appreciation is even possible. blink.gif

post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinocelt View Post

Dave Rat also tested the D2000 (among many others, including the V6) and found it to be among the most neutral:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHkb4bhdnRA

http://www.ratsound.com/cblog/archives/369-The-Mighty-Headphone-Quest-Part-7.html

 

If everyone's hearing is so different, one has to wonder how music appreciation is even possible. blink.gif


you can see the relative dip from about 1khz to 10hz, where the bass is louder than the mids from 1k. It's boomy and the relative peak at 10khz is serrating. I had a D5000 and it was similar/ a boomy/screechy PoS.

ZC
The funny thing is, D2000 looks to be worse in those respects than D5000. (by the looks of it they should sound downright hollow in the mids, boomy in the bass and have the serrated peak in the highs)
Edited by svyr - 3/4/11 at 4:02am
post #6 of 20

From Headroom: (Assume ok to quote them?) "We use a Head Acoustics Artificial Head Measurement System to perform headphone measurements in compliance with industry standards. Wolfgang, as we call him, has soft outer ears just like you and I. The material is designed to have the same acoustic absorption characteristics as human skin and bone. Wolfie has ear canals, too. At the bottom of each is a calibrated instrumentation microphone. When we place a pair of headphones on this head, the overall acoustic coupling to the microphones is just like it would be on the "average" human."

 

Who is average?

I am not!!!

 

And if our ears WERE all average, you might all agree with me that Koss ESP 950's are the best sounding headphones in the world (which they are!) and I am sure that you don't.

 

I think these measurements should not be figured in too prominently, - although they ARE fun to read, and say - "Yes, just as I suspected" or "No way they sound like that"...

post #7 of 20

Neutrality is all in the ear of the beholder.  Measurements are fun...and not really much more than that.  Even people's ideas of neutrality differ. 

 

For example, I consider most Grados to be some of the most neutral cans around.  And I'm absolutely sure I'm in the minority with that supposition.

 

The only way to truly find what sounds most neutral to you is to buy a whole bunch of cans and pick from the lot.

post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by irishsammy View Post

Neutrality is all in the ear of the beholder. 


depends on the ratio of tweeters/mid speakers and subs in your car lol? biggrin.gif
post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by irishsammy View Post

Neutrality is all in the ear of the beholder.  Measurements are fun...and not really much more than that.  Even people's ideas of neutrality differ. 

 

For example, I consider most Grados to be some of the most neutral cans around.  And I'm absolutely sure I'm in the minority with that supposition.

 

The only way to truly find what sounds most neutral to you is to buy a whole bunch of cans and pick from the lot.

 

 

I'm going to have disagree with you there.  There are headphones that are clearly on the side of neutrality and Grados(and bass heavy headphones too) are not neutral.  I find it very unlikely that a studio would use Grados to do any mastering, recording or monitoring.  To the OP, many audiophile caliber headphones are not quite neutral where as studio monitors are usually pretty close to neutral.  The clear benefit of near complete neutrality is no part of the frequency is emphasized, meaning the headphone does not add any extra coloration(i.e. extra bass, broader mids) to the music.  The user hears what is in the music nothing extra.  The downside(for some) is that neutral cans tend to sound a little boring, so companies add a little coloration(sound wise) to their headphones to enhance their musicality, making them a bit more enjoyable to listen to.  A good example would be Sennheiser HD650, a headphone where Sennheiser purposely increased bass response and rolled off the high frequencies a bit.  The benefit here is increased musicality with very non-fatiquing highs ensuring very comfortable long listening sessions.  Or, for those who like a stronger more agressive sound signature where treble is emphasized a bit and or bigger bass emphasis there are headphones with  those qualities too.

 

So, if you're searching for completely neutral headphones there are reference class that are on the side of neutral.  I'll give you some examples below(as well as a few studio monitors).

 

AKG K240, K500/1, K701/2, K1000

 

Beyerdynamic DT 440, DT 880, DT48, DT150, DT250, T1

 

Grado HP-1000

 

Sennheiser HD380PRO, HD600, HD800

 

Shure SRH440, SRH840

 

 

post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by irishsammy View Post

Neutrality is all in the ear of the beholder.  Measurements are fun...and not really much more than that.  Even people's ideas of neutrality differ. 

 

For example, I consider most Grados to be some of the most neutral cans around.  And I'm absolutely sure I'm in the minority with that supposition.

 

The only way to truly find what sounds most neutral to you is to buy a whole bunch of cans and pick from the lot.


Agreed because what one person finds neutral to them, another person dont and so on. Thats why it really hard to suggest any headphone with that signature to people. because like you said, they have to listen to them of course thru a good amp.
post #11 of 20

I believe that neutral headphones can only truly be decided by you. How? I did so by getting me an XB500 to see how much bass I want, and at the moment have a K701 to see my treble limits. By using 2 headphones known for being extremely 'x' sounding, I personally decided what a neutral sound would sound like.

 

Now I'm not telling you to go get XB500's and a 701, but your not going to be able to determine a "neutral" sound if it's your first set of headphones. Of course graphs can help actually determine scientific flatness, but all of our ears are still different, therefore it makes more sense to fulfill your own idea of neutrality, instead of going off of graphs and speculation.

post #12 of 20

My (limited) listening experience tells me Denon Ah-d2000 is the most neutral one that I have tried.

 

J.

 

post #13 of 20
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinocelt View Post

Alright. So, frequency-wise, the HD 800 looks neutral. So does the HD-D2000, which also has a reputation for neutrality (though yes, I've read different opinions on those very boards).


Denons are fart cannons in comparison.

 

graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID[]=863&graphID[]=2751&graphID[]=2881

 

post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trysaeder View Post


Yup. I know that program. I already tried it with several earphones I owe, the most neutral of which being the HF5:

 

HF5.jpg

 

 

 

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