Originally Posted by cravenz
You've brought up a curious point there. Why don't manufacturers actually just stick to the same specifications to power earphones etc and vice versa. That way it ensures that everyone hears it the way it was "supposed" to, but then again, there is more versatility and more money to be earned by messing around. Hence why so many have a gazillion earphones/headphones etc.
Objective manufacturers already do stick to established standards as mentioned above. Unfortunately, when changing sound around, you will get different output tolerance depending on many factors. If manufacturers targeted 50 ohms, they would have very little of their own signature to tout, that and considering the space limitations of earphones, you can't just wrap wire or add resistors willy nilly. It's up to the manufacturer. The user has their own agenda: expensive (and sometimes excellent (iBasso DX100)) or cheap and excellent (iPod shuffle 512, Sansa Clip), or expensive and meh: C4.
If manufacturers intend their players not to sound normal when connecting to earphones (which doesn't make sense), that is their prerogative. A low Ω output is as neutral as it gets. It isn't heavy or cloudy. It is as true to the source as is possible. If a listener prefers the sparkle added by funky treble spikes and bass fall outs, it is up to her. But, again, those things are aberrations against the original music and (if the manufacturer is indeed tuning on proper equipment (which most should be)) are up to personal opinion.
Now, most manufacturers own a bloody load of players. iPods, Cowons, Sony Walkmans, Terra players (maybe), DX100, etc. They can prefer one over another and say so. If an earphone was, instead of being tuned on industry standard equipment, tuned on an iPod, it is _possible_ that it sounds best on that device. It is also possible that the device even in tuning, didn't have what it takes to make the signal as close to the original. It is always best to tune on industry standards and let the fallout thereof go to the market. In the end, even if an iPod was proven to produce 100% perfect sound, I think users of these forums would not flock to it. It's Apple. It's cheaper than a lot of audiophile players. It's too popular. Let's face it, in the portable audio world, we strive to be different to the regular Joe. I know that some of us even look down on regular people with regular earphones with regular iPods.
And, as I've said before in caustic tones, there will always be at least one area in which we are looked down on by others whose spec we don't live up to.
Bringing us back, FitEar tune on an industry standard machine. I saw it. I saw the process. Aberrations can exist at the acoustic coupler level - but that is almost unavoidable, and those aberrations are small. The bend of our ears, our health, our weight, the weather: all of these have bigger affects on what we hear than the tiny idiosyncrasies produced by slight earphone-professional audio interface alignment niggles.