Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Sound Science › Why some headphones are more revealing than others ?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Why some headphones are more revealing than others ? - Page 2

post #16 of 29

The first thing in a discussion such as this one is to define revealing.  Without a working definition, we may all be talking about different things.

post #17 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mauricio View Post

The first thing in a discussion such as this one is to define revealing.  Without a working definition, we may all be talking about different things.

Well, my definition is hearing things you haven't before on other headphones. Maybe an instrument that was getting mixed now shines through.

post #18 of 29

I agree too that I transients and response play a more important role on being a revealing headphone, As for the question on compression, the answer is why not? As long as we use a sufficiently high bitrate compression, quiet sounds masked in the first place will be lost, afterall we could NEVER hear them, thus its totally justifiable to lose it.

 

Unless you have a SR-009 paired with KGSS, I would find it necessary for mastering engineers to own a couple of somewhat neutral phones with varying specs to check a particular master(like LCD 2 for bass and SRH940/D2000/HD600/HD800 for mids and highs)

post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by firev1 View Post

Unless you have a SR-009 paired with KGSS, I would find it necessary for mastering engineers to own a couple of somewhat neutral phones with varying specs to check a particular master(like LCD 2 for bass and SRH940/D2000/HD600/HD800 for mids and highs)

Except they don't master with headphones, they use speakers. Ideally in a perfectly tuned system.
post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post


Except they don't master with headphones, they use speakers. Ideally in a perfectly tuned system.

That is where you are wrong, there are engineers who do use headphones to check their mix/master, sure they don't really master with headphones, but having a couple to give you opinions on the master at hand is not a bad thing too.

 

Also there are situations where the mastering engineer is setting up a new studio or travelling but has demands(datelines) to meet, good headphones together with a decent good crossfeed can give adequate support sometimes. I know of a certain mastering engineer(read on it on positive feedback) who used D2000s for mastering as well. 'Macc' from http://www.scmastering.com/ for instance, uses headphones for mastering a lot too.

 

Of course this demands said engineer(s) to know the headphone inside out before they do their mastering. 


Edited by firev1 - 5/20/12 at 3:11am
post #21 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by firev1 View Post

I agree too that I transients and response play a more important role on being a revealing headphone, As for the question on compression, the answer is why not? As long as we use a sufficiently high bitrate compression, quiet sounds masked in the first place will be lost, afterall we could NEVER hear them, thus its totally justifiable to lose it.

 

I'm not so sure about that. We could never hear them because of the masking due to some other frequency. If its on the threshold, its possible a particular frequency response will remove the masking. So theoretically there is a chance.

post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post

 

I'm not so sure about that. We could never hear them because of the masking due to some other frequency. If its on the threshold, its possible a particular frequency response will remove the masking. So theoretically there is a chance.

But as you said before, masking happens when there is a louder frequency within a few Hz. Even if there is a frequency which boost the softer frequency response, chances are low that the range boosted will not cover the "masking" frequency as well.

post #23 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by firev1 View Post

But as you said before, masking happens when there is a louder frequency within a few Hz. Even if there is a frequency which boost the softer frequency response, chances are low that the range boosted will not cover the "masking" frequency as well.

Within a few Hz yes, but that range is quite high, if you take a look at the graphs in the original post. Especially low frequency masks can go up to mid frequencies, while gradually reducing in effect. So, heavy bass will mask a lot of mids, for example.

post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post

So, heavy bass will mask a lot of mids, for example.

And you can test this in the real world with most bass heavy headphones - like those from Ultrasone and Denon. Headphones with a flatter response or a bass roll-off tend to be regraded as "mid centric" or "great for vocals" (for example the K701).
post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post

Within a few Hz yes, but that range is quite high, if you take a look at the graphs in the original post. Especially low frequency masks can go up to mid frequencies, while gradually reducing in effect. So, heavy bass will mask a lot of mids, for example.

I think for music, codecs like high bitrate mp3 for instance will compute a certain non-linear noise masking to be used so that we don't lose too much real detail(masking varying with frequency to give better compression results).  

Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post


And you can test this in the real world with most bass heavy headphones - like those from Ultrasone and Denon. Headphones with a flatter response or a bass roll-off tend to be regraded as "mid centric" or "great for vocals" (for example the K701).

True that, that might be why we have so called detail monsters but in reality it is just enhanced treble detail.

post #26 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by firev1 View Post

True that, that might be why we have so called detail monsters but in reality it is just enhanced treble detail.

Well, not necessarily, a lot of 'revealing' headphones have a treble roll off with bass neutrality because a lot of the natural sound is in the mids and upper-lows which gets highlighted. The highs comprise mostly of the 's' sounds, and the added effects/instruments, so you can tune them down a bit.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by firev1 View Post

I think for music, codecs like high bitrate mp3 for instance will compute a certain non-linear noise masking to be used so that we don't lose too much real detail(masking varying with frequency to give better compression results).  

Yes, thats true.

So should we take the chance with compression? I mean, on one hand we talk about the best and most detailed headphones around, on the other hand we talk about compressing our music with the potential of losing out on enjoying the most out of it.

 

This also brings me to the point about EQing. Most of the times I've never tried it, I tend to go for neutral headphones (for music), and just the source with EQ off.

Some go further by using the EQ to balance out the headphones such that the sound is (supposedly) totally neutral. I wonder if it actually enhances the experience. And I'm also not sure which stage should the EQ be done at, digital or analog.


Edited by proton007 - 5/21/12 at 7:28pm
post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by firev1 View Post

True that, that might be why we have so called detail monsters but in reality it is just enhanced treble detail.


Not necessarily - there are bright phones, and then there are highly detailed phones. They can be separate, or together. Depends on the can.
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post

This also brings me to the point about EQing. Most of the times I've never tried it, I tend to go for neutral headphones (for music), and just the source with EQ off.
Some go further by using the EQ to balance out the headphones such that the sound is (supposedly) totally neutral. I wonder if it actually enhances the experience. And I'm also not sure which stage should the EQ be done at, digital or analog.

Depends on taste and the can itself. As the saying goes, you cannot EQ into a null - you can't fix resonance/stored energy with equalization. You can, however, fix FR. So if you take something like an AD2000 or SA5000 or 'stat and drop the top-end you'll truly drop the top-end; if you bump it, you'll make a VERY bright 'phone. Contrasted to something like an RS1, which has a few treble ridges - you can't clean that up by simply EQing it down. They are still excitable.
post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post

Well, not necessarily, a lot of 'revealing' headphones have a treble roll off with bass neutrality because a lot of the natural sound is in the mids and upper-lows which gets highlighted. The highs comprise mostly of the 's' sounds, and the added effects/instruments, so you can tune them down a bit.

 

Yes, thats true.

So should we take the chance with compression? I mean, on one hand we talk about the best and most detailed headphones around, on the other hand we talk about compressing our music with the potential of losing out on enjoying the most out of it.

 

This also brings me to the point about EQing. Most of the times I've never tried it, I tend to go for neutral headphones (for music), and just the source with EQ off.

Some go further by using the EQ to balance out the headphones such that the sound is (supposedly) totally neutral. I wonder if it actually enhances the experience. And I'm also not sure which stage should the EQ be done at, digital or analog.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post


Not necessarily - there are bright phones, and then there are highly detailed phones. They can be separate, or together. Depends on the can.
Depends on taste and the can itself. As the saying goes, you cannot EQ into a null - you can't fix resonance/stored energy with equalization. You can, however, fix FR. So if you take something like an AD2000 or SA5000 or 'stat and drop the top-end you'll truly drop the top-end; if you bump it, you'll make a VERY bright 'phone. Contrasted to something like an RS1, which has a few treble ridges - you can't clean that up by simply EQing it down. They are still excitable.

Of course, I was referring to some treble enhanced phones which are so called "detail monsters" not ones with real detail. As for compression, my answer is, why not, especially for portable use, keep the lossless for archiving though. As long as you can't differentiate the two in a ABX, compression it is. 

 

For eq, it can lower distortion or resonance because there is simply less energy, sure it does not fix everything, but if it fixes most of it, why not. For example, my room has a terrible 125khz resonance which I EQed off, it fixes it and it does not seem audible(or measurerable) during playback. If you are not a recording engineer, why not use EQ? EQ can be surprisingly effective provided you use a good one.

 

For equalisation, unless you own a extremely expensive parametric Equaliser hardware, I suggest it be done in the digital stage with not more that 6db of EQ from flat(though I flouted that with my 125khz problem). User Lunatique has great tips on EQ. Personally I using the Srh840s I don't have any desire to eq as it is pretty flat by itself. I do eq my speakers though. There are plenty of free VSTs but I can't seem to download them for some weird reason so I got TB_Equalizer instead.

post #29 of 29
Thread Starter 

+1 for TB_Equalizer. Improved my HD239s, much more pleasing now. I don't expect much from them, but still, better.


Edited by proton007 - 5/22/12 at 6:59am
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Sound Science
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Sound Science › Why some headphones are more revealing than others ?