Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Sound Science › How far can EQ really go towards truly equalizing headphones?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

How far can EQ really go towards truly equalizing headphones? - Page 2

post #16 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

Flat frequency response is better sound. Deviating from a natural EQ is what makes headphones tiresome to listen to for a long time, and can lead to masking issues which obliterate certain frequency bands. Sound engineers mix to a flat response. If you want what they intended you should listen to a flat response. A slight gradal slope is not as much of a problem, but it's still inaccurate.

No. The ideal headphone is not ruler flat from 10-20k. It would sound extremely bright and bass thin.

http://gilmore2.chem.northwestern.edu/articles/hguide_art.htm#diffuse
http://www.head-fi.org/t/361303/ideal-headphone-frequency-reponse-graph

The ideal "flat sounding" headphone will not measure ruler flat. Fatigue can be the result of many things - it's subjective more than anything else.

And enough with this "what the artist intended you to hear" - I really miss the pre-Dr Dre days when that buzzphrase wasn't so ingrained in the schema of audiophilia. Seriously.

You will never get what they intended for you to hear - you will get a recording (which is flawed) of them performing one rendition of a piece, after it's been processed and handled by a dozen or more people who all provide input and inherently change the nature of the piece. This is not "evil" - it's just reality. Picking whatever headphone you want that provides the most enjoyment for the end-user (and whatever EQ on top of that that you want) is ideal.

To make a crude example - would you rather see Star Wars as it was theatrically released in 1977, the version George Lucas has chopped-and-screwed for re-re-release over the years, or Alec Guiness' "intended vision" of the film?
Edited by obobskivich - 6/5/12 at 12:12pm
post #17 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

That's because it's easier to start at a baseline than to have to correct for an imbalance from the start. Headphones that are miles away from flat are an indication that the manufacturer is cutting corners in the design and really doesn't care about good sound.

No. Headphone makers vary FR in headphones to make them more entertaining for different listeners. It may surprise you, but many people find neutral cans boring. I know, big surprise, eh?
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

Flat frequency response is better sound. Deviating from a natural EQ is what makes headphones tiresome to listen to for a long time, and can lead to masking issues which obliterate certain frequency bands. Sound engineers mix to a flat response. If you want what they intended you should listen to a flat response. A slight gradal slope is not as much of a problem, but it's still inaccurate.

"Better" is subjective and doesn't always equal accurate when it comes to taste. SR-009s are the most accurate headphones I've ever heard, but I prefer the slightly more forward mids and warmer highs of the 007 Mk1s. Which is great, because that saves me thousands of $. "But that's not what engineers intend!" Can't say that I actually care. It isn't a huge difference on any chart, just a few dB here and there, but it's what I like and it's "better" for me.
post #18 of 204
People who think a flat frequency response is boring don't know what a flat frequency response is, and have likely never heard it. I've supervised sound mixes on dubbing stages with playback that was stone flat. It wasn't boring. I strive to make my own system sound broad and varied and balanced like that. It's an uphill battle, but it's worth it.

Stereo salesmen will tell you that flat sounds boring. That's because they can't deliver flat response out of a box. They want you to accept what they sell you.

If colored actually sounds better to you, it might be compensating for some degree of hearing loss, or the acoustics of the shape of your ears. That's fine for you, but it's easier to get to that place consistently by starting out with a baseline flat response and then dialing in EQ to take you to your own personal sweet spot.
post #19 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post

No. The ideal headphone is not ruler flat from 10-20k. It would sound extremely bright and bass thin.

Why would flat headphones sound different than flat speakers? A balanced respones on speakers doesn't sound bright and thin. It booms when it needs to and tinkles when it needs to. When I went out to buy headphones, I bought cans that sounded as close to my speakers as possible, (Sennheiser HD590) because I've done a lot of work on my response. I don't know if they measured flat, but they sure sounded flat.

Is the intent of that curve applied to headphones intended to correct for some inaccuracy caused by putting the transducer over your ears? If so, it's an EQ correction, not a coloration.
post #20 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post


Why would flat headphones sound different than flat speakers? A balanced respones on speakers doesn't sound bright and thin. It booms when it needs to and tinkles when it needs to. 

 

Because high frequencies decay faster (a relative non-issue with a headphone). 

post #21 of 204
But test tones with an SPL meter are balanced when you calibrate speakers. High frequencies aren't decayed at all from the optimal listening position. (...which is the soundboard on a mix stage) They're perfectly equal to all other frequencies. If there is a compensation being made, it has to be to bring the cans in line with the speakers, not the other way around.

My guess is that when you put the transducers over the ears, the directionality of the drivers has some interaction with the ear canals to emphasize high frequencies. The big difference* I hear between cans and speakers is in the upper mids. Headphones exaggerate small details in that range, while speakers sound more like the sound of the band in the studio.

* The biggest differences are actually not feeling the bass in your body and the importance of sound reflected off the room, but that's a given.
Edited by bigshot - 6/5/12 at 2:35pm
post #22 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

People who think a flat frequency response is boring don't know what a flat frequency response is, and have likely never heard it. I've supervised sound mixes on dubbing stages with playback that was stone flat. It wasn't boring. I strive to make my own system sound broad and varied and balanced like that. It's an uphill battle, but it's worth it.
Stereo salesmen will tell you that flat sounds boring. That's because they can't deliver flat response out of a box. They want you to accept what they sell you.
If colored actually sounds better to you, it might be compensating for some degree of hearing loss, or the acoustics of the shape of your ears. That's fine for you, but it's easier to get to that place consistently by starting out with a baseline flat response and then dialing in EQ to take you to your own personal sweet spot.

Actually, many do know, they just don't care. They want what sounds good to them. I prefer strong sub-bass, slightly more forward mids, and sparkly treble from 8-10kHz. That's probably why I like the HE-6s so much, they hit all the right buttons for me. Not because I have hearing problems, it's fantastic, but just because it's what I want. The idea that all headphones must conform to strict neutrality is absurd. You want neutral, buy neutral, there's plenty out there in every flavor. Your "my way is the only way" mentality is a bit silly.
post #23 of 204

popcorn.gif

post #24 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

But test tones with an SPL meter are balanced when you calibrate speakers. High frequencies aren't decayed at all from the optimal listening position. (...which is the soundboard on a mix stage) They're perfectly equal to all other frequencies. If there is a compensation being made, it has to be to bring the cans in line with the speakers, not the other way around.
My guess is that when you put the transducers over the ears, the directionality of the drivers has some interaction with the ear canals to emphasize high frequencies. The big difference* I hear between cans and speakers is in the upper mids. Headphones exaggerate small details in that range, while speakers sound more like the sound of the band in the studio.
* The biggest differences are actually not feeling the bass in your body and the importance of sound reflected off the room, but that's a given.

I'd like to say first, just because someone disagrees with your beliefs, doesn't give you justification to hurl insults at them. I believe everyone has remained civil here - nobody is attacking you for disagreeing with them.

Here's some more sources to explain:
http://www.stereophile.com/features/808head/index.html
http://en.goldenears.net/419

The short and sweet is: there's a huge and disparate gap between "measures flat" and "sounds flat" and an equally huge gap between a treated and fixed room and headphones. EQ is not a fix-all (even for those dubbing stages). And finally, you must always remember the Joe Dirt Rule of Business: it doesn't matter what you like, it's what the customer likes. If you've tried something that measures close to "flat" (by what standard? under what circumstances? was it measured while it's on your head to compensate for your HRTF and HPTFR? how is your hearing acuity - is that included in the compensation? would you like more holes punched in that boat?) and you like it, that's great for you, if you think EQ has something to contribute to your enjoyment, that's also great, but that doesn't mean it will be preferable (or even comparable) for other users.

To give some listening impressions - between my two current favorite cans, based on Tyll's measurements, one of them is pretty much ruler flat to around 1k, the other one is...not. I find them both equally enjoyable, and equally accurate; I cannot get the same effect taking the flatter of the two and throwing an EQ curve on it - there's other factors at play beyond FR.
Edited by obobskivich - 6/5/12 at 7:14pm
post #25 of 204
 
 you're stuck with trying to control resonance and other things that EQ can never fix, and hoping it works out ideally for the listener when they put it on their head. EQ can change frequency magnitude, but not resonance or phase.

 

Wow!


Edited by Redcarmoose - 6/5/12 at 10:50pm
post #26 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post

I'd like to say first, just because someone disagrees with your beliefs, doesn't give you justification to hurl insults at them. I believe everyone has remained civil here - nobody is attacking you for disagreeing with them.

What are you referring to? I have no idea what you're talking about.

Edit: Now you're talking out of two IDs. Hmmm...
Edited by bigshot - 6/5/12 at 7:15pm
post #27 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redcarmoose View Post

Wow!

All I see is "wow" and a garbled mess that was once a quote (I assume?) - I sometimes have issues with Huddler and getting it to display right, so to ask a childish question: "wow what?"
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

What are you referring to? I have no idea what you're talking about.
Edit: Now you're talking out of two IDs. Hmmm...

I'm talking out of what?

Anyways, I'm referencing the "people who disagree just don't know what they're talking about" comment. I don't think you were directing it at anyone in particular, but it seems a bit...un-needed, for the discussion? I mean, I think we all can assume that we're not arguing about "oh well Beats Solo is an ideal reference monitor!" - at worst we're debating what? If Edition 10's brightness is a problem, or if (quality) v-curve headphones have any merit in sounding "balanced" or "flat" to users?
Edited by obobskivich - 6/5/12 at 7:21pm
post #28 of 204
Is that second post a quote?

My question was, what in what I said there was insult hurling? And Why are two different people saying the exact same thing?

If whoever said whatever would like to restate the comment clearly, I'd be happy to respond to it.
Edited by bigshot - 6/5/12 at 7:24pm
post #29 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

Is that second post a quote?
My question was, what in what I said there was insult hurling? And Why are two different people saying the exact same thing?

If you're talking about Redcarmoose's post (and if it's garbled for you) - I have no idea (but I'm glad that it's apparently *not* an issue caused on my end; and instead a more global problem - I feel included biggrin.gif).

Really I don't mean to start a flame-war here; I've seen too many discussions like this degrade into "well those unwashed heathens just don't know and can't learn" or "they don't have the 'right stuff' to understand." Forgive me if I'm a bit...hypervigilant...when it comes to such comments. redface.gif

I'm going to go back to my decidedly un-flat and generally insane-FR-looking headphones to enjoy some decidedly bass-boosted music.
post #30 of 204
Once you go flat, you never go back!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Sound Science
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Sound Science › How far can EQ really go towards truly equalizing headphones?