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Improving hearing...

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

I have the Sennheiser HD558, Audio Technica:ATH-AD700, the Etymotic HF5 and the KOSS KSC55 headphones. I originally bought the HD558 & Audiotechnica for home use, the ety for travel, and the koss for sport.

 

I want to try to pick the differences in sound quality between these headphones, to appreciate them more.

 

Any audiophiles want to advise on what to pay attention to, between these headphones, and how one would go about improving one's hearing (sound-quality wise)? I am listening to a lot of instrumental, electrical, guitar music and rock these days, but I like a variety of music

post #2 of 11
Cymbals + drums, do.they sound real? Also can you hear the singer breathe. Do bass guitars twang?
post #3 of 11
You can't really improve your hearing.

After training you can make it easier to pick up small details, or notice mistakes in e.g. frequency response.
But you won't be able to physically improve the sound quality of your ears. It's physiologically impossible.
post #4 of 11

Picking up differences in sound signature and noticing details can be done easily enough with enough dedicated listening and comparison practice.  For example listen to one song you really know for 5 or so play throughs and then switch headphones and your brain won't necessarily be listening to what the second headphone has to offer, but it will be automatically be listening to the difference in their sound before it has the chance to get acquainted with the second headphone's sound-- and vice versa. 

 

Hearing for fidelity of instruments however, is something you need actual instrument experience or professional training for.  

post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Endokrine View Post
I have the Sennheiser HD558, Audio Technica:ATH-AD700, the Etymotic HF5 and the KOSS KSC55 headphones. I originally bought the HD558 & Audiotechnica for home use, the ety for travel, and the koss for sport.
I want to try to pick the differences in sound quality between these headphones, to appreciate them more.

Any audiophiles want to advise on what to pay attention to, between these headphones, and how one would go about improving one's hearing (sound-quality wise)? I am listening to a lot of instrumental, electrical, guitar music and rock these days, but I like a variety of music

What sources are you plugging the headphones into?

I would say the better the audio sounds to you, the better the audio quality.

post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

What sources are you plugging the headphones into?
I would say the better the audio sounds to you, the better the audio quality.
If by audio quality you mean 'most accurate reproduction of the source material', then you are mistaken.
Very often the better sounding rig is not the better one in terms of linearity (lack of distortions).
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Endokrine View Post

Hi,

 

I have the Sennheiser HD558, Audio Technica:ATH-AD700, the Etymotic HF5 and the KOSS KSC55 headphones. I originally bought the HD558 & Audiotechnica for home use, the ety for travel, and the koss for sport.

 

I want to try to pick the differences in sound quality between these headphones, to appreciate them more.

 

Any audiophiles want to advise on what to pay attention to, between these headphones, and how one would go about improving one's hearing (sound-quality wise)? I am listening to a lot of instrumental, electrical, guitar music and rock these days, but I like a variety of music

Harmon has a nice listening program that allows you to identify the "neutral" definition which is in a way tuning your ears. For me, a good SQ is a headphone that sounds and measures well, if it measures well and sounds bad, the wrong thing is measured! So far for me, I find heading towards neutral feels more natural to me and I head out to concerts quite a bit. I find a lot of the measure bad and "sound good" headphones to be too coloured for my taste.

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

randomkid,
I'm paying more attention to the detail you mentioned. Thanks

Tilpo,
Yep maybe that's the wrong phrase. It should read "Training your ears"

TMRaven,
Thanks for the tip, I'll try your suggestion.

PurpleAngel,
I'm using a sansa Clip+ with Flac files


Firev1,
Thanks it sounds like a good training program. I will check it out.

Any other tips most welcome.

post #9 of 11
relax and just listen to music(don't just use it as background noise) and it'll eventually come. hearing is one of our adaptive survival instincts that can adapt at different situations. also going outside in a park or quiet room can help your hearing. it will allow your ears to re-tune themselves and teach you appreciate the sounds of nature. all have to do is just relax and listen.
post #10 of 11

I find that after some time with a set of headphones (~1 month) the signature becomes very familiar and small differences from that sound become very noticeable.  For example I could only hear the most subtle of differences between a Denon D5000 and D7000 but after a few months the differences and relative shortcomings of each headphone was very easy to hear.

 

Really all learning works like this.  

post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by eucariote View Post

I find that after some time with a set of headphones (~1 month) the signature becomes very familiar and small differences from that sound become very noticeable.  For example I could only hear the most subtle of differences between a Denon D5000 and D7000 but after a few months the differences and relative shortcomings of each headphone was very easy to hear.

Really all learning works like this.  
Getting used to the sound signature of a headphone is very important in any case.
Usually when I just received a new headphone it sounds a bit 'meh', and I don't really like the sound signature because it's different from what I'm used to.
After some time however, I start to get used to the sound signature and I'm starting like it more and more, until eventually I might even heavily prefer it over what I had before. Conditioning is a very important factor here, you might even call it 'psychological burn-in'.


Back to the original question of the OP:
A lot of people state that fiddling around with EQ for long times has improved their hearing abilities of subtle differences in the frequency domain, additionally it is supposed to help people identify certain frequencies. I haven't tried this myself, but the fact that I have heard it from countless people seems like significant evidence. Enough to give it a serious try, at least.
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