I had benefitted greatly from PiccoloNamek's "how to equalize your headphones tutorial". Unfortunately, he seems to have left head-fi and the tutorial is getting out of date. Since reading his tutorial I've learned some new tricks to streamline the equalization process to get results faster and more repeatably. By repeatable I mean that I can have a target frequency response curve for my ears and achieve it with different headphones, so that different headphones end up having the same (to me) ideal frequency response and I can compare the actual sound of the headphones on a level ground, without the "sound signature" and "coloration" of the different phones getting in the way of the comparison.
The methodology can be summed up as follows:
1. Build up a "target frequency response curve", which is basically an Equal Loudness Contour at a fixed loudness level customized to your ears ("Why must we build the target frequency response curve EQ?")
2. Run two VST parametric equalizers in series, one set to the target FR curve, and just tune the other EQ until all tones at all frequencies sound as loud to your ears, like so:
From *right* to left: the sine tone generator program Sinegen playing back tones at different frequencies, the 1st EQ displaying my "target frequency response curve", and the 2nd EQ displaying the EQ curve for my Philips SHE3580.
This methodology is the basis for me claiming victory of the $10 Philips SHE3580 over the $200 Etymotic ER-4P (for ergonomic reasons, and because they now sound equally as good to my ears), so there should be something to it ;)
Unlike PiccoloNamek I don't have the energy right now to write a complete guide from start to finish, so instead I'll write it step by step and write about the next step when someone replies to this thread saying that they've completed the first step, and link the resources I write back to this opening post. I'll also elaborate on previous steps when someone comes back with questions or difficulties.
So without further ado, the first step: (right now I'm afraid this is strictly PC-only, use a PC emulator or something if you're using a Mac?)
(copied from this thread; it's a bit brief, because I could see this step going totally smoothly, or like a can of worms depending on your computer setup. Just write back if you have any questions or difficulties ok?)
"First you need to install Virtual Audio Cable and VSTHost on your computer
(You can test the trial version of Virtual Audio Cable until you see that it works with VSTHost, but then you'll have to pay for the full version to make the "demo" voice go away. Best $25 you'll ever spend on audio, though)
And get it working as per this review http://www.head-fi.org/products/beyerdynamic-dt-770-pro-closed-studio-headphones-250-ohms/reviews/5928 (but replace SAVIHost with VSTHost) so that you can equalize system sounds using VST plugins. And instead of his Marvel GEQ you need a parametric EQ like Electri-Q
which is what I use. The paid version may be less buggy though:
(I know how to work around the bugs in the free version but it may be easier to work with the paid version)
The Virtual Audio Cable+VSTHost combination is required to equalize sounds coming out of Sinegen, while VSTHost is required instead of SAVIHost because we will be running two equalizers in series.
Come back to me when you've got this setup working so you can hear system sounds (such as stuff playing on youtube or spotify) being changed when you play with Electri-Q in VSTHost, or if you have problems setting this up and we'll discuss what to do from there."
(My understanding is that some of you on this forum already have this set up the way I described it; if you write back to me here we can discuss the next steps?)
Troubleshooting Virtual Audio Cable and VSTHost:
Edited by Joe Bloggs - 6/26/12 at 9:10am