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The Neutral / Balanced Thread - Page 8

Poll Results: Best Neutral IEM and Headphone 2011 (Pick 1 IEM and 1 Headphone only)

This is a multiple choice poll
  • 18% (42)
    Etymotic ER-4S
  • 3% (7)
    Hifiman RE-272
  • 3% (9)
    Shure SE425
  • 1% (3)
    Sony EX510
  • 6% (15)
    Vsonic GR07
  • 3% (8)
    Westone UM3X
  • 8% (20)
    Audeze LCD-2
  • 13% (31)
    Sennheiser HD600
  • 11% (27)
    Sennheiser HD800
  • 7% (18)
    Beyerdynamic DT880
  • 3% (7)
    Shure SRH 840
  • 8% (19)
    AKG 702
  • 9% (21)
    Stax SR-009
  • 0% (1)
    Denon DN-HP1000
  • 0% (1)
    ESP950
  • 10% (24)
    Ultimate Ears Reference Monitor Custom
  • 3% (9)
    Unique Melody Miracle
  • 2% (6)
    KRK-KNS8400
  • 2% (5)
    Koss ESP950
226 Total Votes  
post #106 of 353

Sony's mdr cd900st? They fit the bill and many an artiste in Japan use them fir recording in studios. Oh and as a M50s owner too, it has good detail on the high and lows but the mids are cut down.

post #107 of 353

I guess I better join the club.  I've got the HD600's and REO's.  Nearly got the HE-4's but decided on the HD600's instead.  I have the M50's and agree, they are not analytical.  The booming bass takes away from other aspects too much, in my opinion.  I'm a little confused on the definition of analytical here.  REO's don't strike me as neutral.  I think they are bright.  Grado 325IS are the most detailed headphones I own but certainly not neutral.  But if the REO's are analytical, why not the 325's?

post #108 of 353

Quickly (and overly simply) put, I'd define analytical as as a sound signature that makes analysis of the original sound easy.

 

Emphases in general have the potential to cover up the "original" sound, but not always...

 

I feel detail is a big part of being analytical, as any lost detail is lost information to analyze.

post #109 of 353

I have no problem with an analytical can/iem being detailed - many are.  But it should not be overly coloured IMO.  It should be balanced/neutral across the frequencies - with nothing overly emphasised.  Go back to the original post - it was stated clearly there the intent of the thread.

 

You will mostly always get some emphasis on different frequency bands - really hard to avoid it - but they should not be excessive.

 

So IMO cans like DT880 / HD600 definitely yes - cans like (most) Grados / SRH940 / M50 - definitely no.

 

Of the two Shures - I found the SRH840 quite balanced, but the SRH940 was too warm and bright to be considered balanced.

 

I still think the thread title is wrong - considering the OPs original intent:

 

 

Quote:
There are numerous people in Head-Fi that's interested in an actual sound reproduction so I decided to make a thread about it. No more, no less - that's how we like it. As a musician and an amateur composer, I always strive for IEMs that gives a neutral presentation. 

 

It should be "The Neutral / Balanced Thread".

post #110 of 353
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post

I have no problem with an analytical can/iem being detailed - many are.  But it should not be overly coloured IMO.  It should be balanced/neutral across the frequencies - with nothing overly emphasised.  Go back to the original post - it was stated clearly there the intent of the thread.

 

You will mostly always get some emphasis on different frequency bands - really hard to avoid it - but they should not be excessive.

 

So IMO cans like DT880 / HD600 definitely yes - cans like (most) Grados / SRH940 / M50 - definitely no.

 

Of the two Shures - I found the SRH840 quite balanced, but the SRH940 was too warm and bright to be considered balanced.

 

I still think the thread title is wrong - considering the OPs original intent:

 

 

 

It should be "The Neutral / Balanced Thread".


Yeah maybe that's what I'm intending. Title revised.

 

post #111 of 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post

I have no problem with an analytical can/iem being detailed - many are.  But it should not be overly coloured IMO.  It should be balanced/neutral across the frequencies - with nothing overly emphasised.  Go back to the original post - it was stated clearly there the intent of the thread.

 

You will mostly always get some emphasis on different frequency bands - really hard to avoid it - but they should not be excessive.

 

So IMO cans like DT880 / HD600 definitely yes - cans like (most) Grados / SRH940 / M50 - definitely no.

 

Of the two Shures - I found the SRH840 quite balanced, but the SRH940 was too warm and bright to be considered balanced.

 

I still think the thread title is wrong - considering the OPs original intent:

 

 

 

It should be "The Neutral / Balanced Thread".


Nice.  I agree with everything except your subjective experience of the SRH-940.  Bright, surely... but I don't find it harsh, which is really what I find amazing about them.  It isn't way bright, but a notch or two from neutral I agree.  I do however think they are somewhat analytical, but definitely not neutral.  I found the "ssshhh" to actually give it a really cold sound.  My SP-1 sounds warm in comparison and that is one of the flattest sounding pieces of audio equipment I have heard.  When I think warm, I think darker (and maybe even slower or richer)... I think more in the Sennheiser realm.

 

The Grado "sizzle" also sounds really cold to me.  This just shows the potential variation in subjective experience.

 

post #112 of 353

Well Neutral and balanced are not very universal terms.  I don't think very many headphones are neutral/balanced.  HD600/650, LCD-2, O2 are some of the most neutral/balanced in terms of FR IME. 

 

If you are talking about headphones designed for analyzing music and bringing out the highest sense of detail and clarity, than you are not looking for neutrality, you're looking for the "clarity coloration" that is basslight and bright. 

post #113 of 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by R-Audiohead View Post

Nice.  I agree with everything except your subjective experience of the SRH-940.  Bright, surely... but I don't find it harsh, which is really what I find amazing about them.  It isn't way bright, but a notch or two from neutral I agree.  I do however think they are somewhat analytical, but definitely not neutral.  I found the "ssshhh" to actually give it a really cold sound.  My SP-1 sounds warm in comparison and that is one of the flattest sounding pieces of audio equipment I have heard.  When I think warm, I think darker (and maybe even slower or richer)... I think more in the Sennheiser realm.

 

The Grado "sizzle" also sounds really cold to me.  This just shows the potential variation in subjective experience.

 


biggrin.gif - yep we definitely disagree on the SRH940 - but it seems to be polarising (no middle ground so far - you either like them or not).  BTW - I didn't call them harsh (not sure where you picked that up from).  To me they were anything but harsh.  They were warm and sweet rather than warm and dark (to me warm does not necessarily mean dark - although some here seem to think the two go hand in hand) - with a slightly dryish top end.  Analytical yes - balanced no.  If they corrected the mid-bass (lack of) I'd still have them.  It was the only thing keeping them from being a very nicely balanced can IMO.  I'm now waiting for SRH1040 - and hoping it will be a mix of the 840 and 940 wink.gif

 

post #114 of 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhythmdevils View Post

Well Neutral and balanced are not very universal terms.  I don't think very many headphones are neutral/balanced.  HD600/650, LCD-2, O2 are some of the most neutral/balanced in terms of FR IME. 

 

If you are talking about headphones designed for analyzing music and bringing out the highest sense of detail and clarity, than you are not looking for neutrality, you're looking for the "clarity coloration" that is basslight and bright. 

 

And once again I go back to OP's original thoughts on the thread:

 

"There are numerous people in Head-Fi that's interested in an actual sound reproduction so I decided to make a thread about it. No more, no less - that's how we like it. As a musician and an amateur composer, I always strive for IEMs that gives a neutral presentation. "

 

I don't think it was ever supposed to be about analysing the music - just getting as close as possible to a neutral frequency response (nothing added).

post #115 of 353

I think I've got the definition down now.  Thanks for the clarifications.  I still have to say the HiFiMan RE0's don't belong on the list.  

 

The RE0 are:

1) Detailed

2) Analytical

3) Great value for the $ that can't be beat.

 

The RE0 are not: 

 

1) Neutral

2) Balanced

 

RE0's are bass shy and treble heavy. (And sound fantastic for the price)


Edited by TexasBuck - 10/19/11 at 8:58pm
post #116 of 353

So now that this is the neutral/balanced tread we need to start the ultra detailed thread.

RE0 and 940 first on the list.

post #117 of 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhythmdevils View Post

Well Neutral and balanced are not very universal terms.  I don't think very many headphones are neutral/balanced.  HD600/650, LCD-2, O2 are some of the most neutral/balanced in terms of FR IME. 

 

If you are talking about headphones designed for analyzing music and bringing out the highest sense of detail and clarity, than you are not looking for neutrality, you're looking for the "clarity coloration" that is basslight and bright. 


interesting but i assume equipment used to measure music is same as natural/balanced is all same meaning to me. clarity i assume comes from how pure the signal and the recording itself is.natural sound equipment will sound bright from my understanding as well due to treble energy travels are much quicker then bass energy which low frequencies are far more greater wave length so i'm guessing maybe that gives the assumption of bass light/treble heavy maybe? headphones drivers are close to the ears as well so i'm guessing if headphone has treble peak or flat treble response it'll sound bright no matter what but depends on how well the mastering is itself to determine if it's fatiguing or not. i am just makings guesses here since i always interpret analytical/natural/balanced sharing similarities to one another in some ways.
post #118 of 353

I aim for a balanced sound signature, figuring that it's easier to color a neutral headphone than balance a colored one.

 

However, I've got this nagging uncertainty in the back of my head as to just how neutral my Stax SR-Lambda actually is, and the fact that the drivers have been rebuilt with slightly thicker mylar (2.5 microns vs. 2.0 microns) along with not having the usual mineral wool in the earcups could have skewed the sound signature away from neutral for all I know. Hard to say when I can't afford to buy another Lambda that's actually in stock condition for once, much less the SR-009 and a worthy amp...

post #119 of 353

Hey guys, sorry for the diversion, but does anyone know what the colours of LCD-2 rev.2 cable (black, brown, orange, red) correspond to (L+/L- R+/R-)?

 

Thanks!

post #120 of 353

The new title is so much easier to understand beerchug.gif

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