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Headphones that are the benchmark for objective measurements - Page 2

post #16 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by gnarlsagan View Post


Semantics really. Define benchmark either way. Just be specific when doing so.

 

We aren't really arguing over the definition of benchmark. I think we all agree that it is a reference to which others should be compared to.

post #17 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eisenhower View Post

We aren't really arguing over the definition of benchmark. I think we all agree that it is a reference to which others should be compared to.

You're disagreeing on the definition of "reference" which affects how the word "benchmark" is used.
post #18 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by gnarlsagan View Post


You're disagreeing on the definition of "reference" which affects how the word "benchmark" is used.

 

I'm not sure we are.. we are disagreeing in how a benchmark/reference headphone should be used, not what it's definition is - a standard by which other headphones are compared to.

 

anyways, I've made my points about the merit of the HD600 as a benchmark.


Edited by Eisenhower - 11/17/12 at 7:24pm
post #19 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eisenhower View Post

 

I'm not sure we are.. we are disagreeing in how a benchmark/reference headphone should be used, not what it's definition is - a standard by which other headphones are compared to.

 

anyways, I've made my points about the merit of the HD600 as a benchmark.

 

I don't think there is a problem. Many sites offer measurements for the HD600:

 

http://en.goldenears.net/8072

http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/SennheiserHD600.pdf

http://www.headphone.com/headphones/sennheiser-hd-600.php

http://www.head-fi.org/t/426183/rolled-off-bass-on-hd600/30#post_7151473

http://www.head-fi.org/t/426183/rolled-off-bass-on-hd600/30#post_5722856

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/3965038-post12.html

 

The problems I see with the HD600 as a global benchmark/reference are it's mid to lower FR bass roll-off, and distortion. There are also concerns about different versions of the Sennheiser HD6x0 line.

 

All that said I understand your point. I don't see any problem using the above HD600 characterization plots as a benchmark, specially for HD600 owners and use them to assess other headphones measured by the same sites. Each site though has made their own assumptions and use different equipment. Therefore it is usually advised to compare characterization curves from the same site.

 

In my case, I have not yet heard the HD600, so I use what I've heard and own as a reference.

 

In regards to neutrality though, I do not think any of the headphones I own would qualify as global benchmarks. Certainly they qualify as a frame of reference for me though... Because I know how they sound and how that sound reflects on paper. This is true for any headphone.

 

Edit: Among other things, I removed "General", I meant is as a joke of course, but at the same time I didn't want to come across as disrespectful.

post #20 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by ultrabike View Post

 

I don't think there is a problem. Many sites offer measurements for the HD600:

 

http://en.goldenears.net/8072

http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/SennheiserHD600.pdf

http://www.headphone.com/headphones/sennheiser-hd-600.php

http://www.head-fi.org/t/426183/rolled-off-bass-on-hd600/30#post_7151473

http://www.head-fi.org/t/426183/rolled-off-bass-on-hd600/30#post_5722856

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/3965038-post12.html

 

The problems I see with the HD600 as a global benchmark/reference are it's mid to lower FR bass roll-off, and distortion. There are also concerns about different versions of the Sennheiser HD6x0 line.

 

All that said I understand your point. I don't see any problem using the above HD600 characterization plots as a benchmark, specially for HD600 owners and use them to assess other headphones measured by the same sites. Each site though has made their own assumptions and use different equipment. Therefore it is usually advised to compare characterization curves from the same site.

 

In my case, I have not yet heard the HD600, so I use what I've heard and own as a reference.

 

In regards to neutrality though, I do not think any of the headphones I own would qualify as global benchmarks. Certainly they qualify as a frame of reference for me though... Because I know how they sound and how that sound reflects on paper. This is true for any headphone.

 

Edit: Among other things, I removed "General", I meant is as a joke of course, but at the same time I didn't want to come across as disrespectful.

 

Well with regards to consistency, in that post they said one of the HD650's had deformed ear pads, which may explain that difference. It certainly isn't within Sennheiser's specified 1 dB tolerance.

Bass roll off is pretty common, especially with open headphones. I'm not sure what distortion you're talking about. Maybe the HD600's are a better reference for open dynamic headphones in particular.

I think what makes the HD600 a good reference is the combination of both being popular and well known, and also having a neutral, accurate sound. They are pretty much synonymous with "neutral".

post #21 of 40

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eisenhower View Post

 

Well with regards to consistency, in that post they said one of the HD650's had deformed ear pads, which may explain that difference. It certainly isn't within Sennheiser's specified 1 dB tolerance.

Bass roll off is pretty common, especially with open headphones. I'm not sure what distortion you're talking about. Maybe the HD600's are a better reference for open dynamic headphones in particular.

I think what makes the HD600 a good reference is the combination of both being popular and well known, and also having a neutral, accurate sound. They are pretty much synonymous with "neutral".

 

I agree that the HD-600 might be relatively neutral and a good benchmark for most (I have only heard the HD650s.)

 

There are however relatively affordable open ortho-dynamic open headphones that are relatively neutral, and do not have bass roll off issues from 200Hz down to 20Hz. Consider the HiFiMan HE-500: http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/HiFiMANHE500.pdf

 

Regarding distortion, I usually refer to non-linear (THD+noise.) The HE-500 is clean from 200Hz down to 20Hz relative to the HD-600 (check IF.) In terms of FR, it does not suffer from bass roll off at those frequencies either, and it is an open headphone. 

 

I do agree however that the HE-500 probably has less owners compared to the HD-600. As a matter of fact, I seriously considered getting an HD-600. Settled for an HD-558 for now.


Edited by ultrabike - 11/18/12 at 12:19am
post #22 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by ultrabike View Post

 

I agree that the HD-600 might be relatively neutral and a good benchmark for most (I have only heard the HD650s.)

 

There are however relatively affordable open ortho-dynamic open headphones that are relatively neutral, and do not have bass roll off issues from 200Hz down to 20Hz. Consider the HiFiMan HE-500: http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/HiFiMANHE500.pdf

 

Regarding distortion, I usually refer to non-linear (THD+noise.) The HE-500 is clean from 200Hz down to 20Hz relative to the HD-600 (check IF.) In terms of FR, it does not suffer from bass roll off at those frequencies either, and it is an open headphone. 

 

I do agree however that the HE-500 probably has less owners compared to the HD-600. As a matter of fact, I seriously considered getting an HD-600. Settled for an HD-558 for now.

 

well those do look pretty flat, but I'd point out that they actually have more distortion above 200Hz and a pretty not so great impulse response compared to the HD600.

The bass roll-off in the HD600 prevents its bass distortion from affecting the sound quality.. I don't think I would call it an "issue" really, they aren't known for being anything but neutral with regards to bass


Edited by Eisenhower - 11/18/12 at 10:37am
post #23 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by ultrabike View Post

 

I agree that the HD-600 might be relatively neutral and a good benchmark for most (I have only heard the HD650s.)

 

There are however relatively affordable open ortho-dynamic open headphones that are relatively neutral, and do not have bass roll off issues from 200Hz down to 20Hz. Consider the HiFiMan HE-500: http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/HiFiMANHE500.pdf

 

Regarding distortion, I usually refer to non-linear (THD+noise.) The HE-500 is clean from 200Hz down to 20Hz relative to the HD-600 (check IF.) In terms of FR, it does not suffer from bass roll off at those frequencies either, and it is an open headphone. 

 

I do agree however that the HE-500 probably has less owners compared to the HD-600. As a matter of fact, I seriously considered getting an HD-600. Settled for an HD-558 for now.

 

+1 for Hifiman HE-500... However, from the technical perspective, Audeze LCD-2 rev2 are going to work even better:

 

1) Measurements of this pair of headphones are pretty impressive for their price, technically even better than of LCD-3, HE-6, T1 etc. Only HD800 measure better in certain categories for affordable money.

 

2) FR graph you get along with every pair = you are free to leave those perfect bass and mids frequencies the same and only correct the treble a bit... HE500 do not extend to the lowest region. Bass is difficult to EQ to neutrality, treble is very easy. HE-500 do not have ideal bass and is peaky in treble. But still, the second best phone up to 1000USD IMHO.

 

3) Easy amplification to be sure they work properly.


Edited by MHOE - 11/18/12 at 10:38am
post #24 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eisenhower View Post

The bass roll-off in the HD600 prevents its bass distortion from affecting the sound quality.. I don't think I would call it an "issue" really, they aren't known for being anything but neutral with regards to bass

 

The HD600/650 bass is far from neutral, it's warm and indistinct and rolls off at the very bottom. At louder volumes you can easily make out the bass being reinforced by the distortion harmonics. All Hifiman orthos have a low end that is superior to Senn's 5xx/6xx series.

post #25 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by anetode View Post

 

The HD600/650 bass is far from neutral, it's warm and indistinct and rolls off at the very bottom. At louder volumes you can easily make out the bass being reinforced by the distortion harmonics. All Hifiman orthos have a low end that is superior to Senn's 5xx/6xx series.

 

Its bass is "far" from neutral? A bit hyperbolic, I think. Given that the impulse response for the HD600 is so much better than the HE-500, the bass is most definitely not "indistinct". You would have to be listening really loud to hear bass distortion.

Just for comparison, here is the freq. response of the Yamaha NS10m studio monitors (the de facto industry standard):

 

1000

 

If your objective is to replicate what the musicians and studio professionals are hearing, it seems it would make more sense to use a headphone that actually has bass roll-off.

post #26 of 40

The NS10M sounds horrible though, at least without equalization. It's definitely not made for enjoyment.. They are just a tool to monitor the mix on a pair of speakers that resemble a variety of low-end consumer speakers.

 

Like if it sounds ok on the NS10M it will also sound ok on ear buds, kitchen radios ...


Edited by xnor - 11/18/12 at 3:20pm
post #27 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eisenhower View Post

 

Its bass is "far" from neutral? A bit hyperbolic, I think. Given that the impulse response for the HD600 is so much better than the HE-500, the bass is most definitely not "indistinct". You would have to be listening really loud to hear bass distortion.

Just for comparison, here is the freq. response of the Yamaha NS10m studio monitors (the de facto industry standard):

 

1000

 

If your objective is to replicate what the musicians and studio professionals are hearing, it seems it would make more sense to use a headphone that actually has bass roll-off.

 

I would say that in terms of headphones, for just anything (recording, mixing, mastering) you should use neutral headphones in the bass region as well... You already have studio monitors in any studio for the purpose of using the speaker-like sound (or how to call it).

post #28 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post

The NS10M sounds horrible though, at least without equalization. It's definitely not made for enjoyment.. They are just a tool to monitor the mix on a pair of speakers that resemble a variety of low-end consumer speakers.

 

Like if it sounds ok on the NS10M it will also sound ok on ear buds, kitchen radios ...

 

Well I believe the purpose of studio monitors is to use them when equalizing. For speakers roll-off is always 24db/octave below the tuning frequency of the reflex port.

Most near-field studio monitors have this bass roll-off (unless they are used with a subwoofer). They aren't meant to replicate low end speakers any more than high end speakers. It is just what they use. If they wanted to mix for ipod earbuds specifically, they would probably use ipod earbuds. I am pretty sure though that no producer or musician is relying on planar magnetic or electrostatic headphones for their studio monitoring, even if they are flatter on paper.

 

Another example (KRK K-ROK):

1000

 

Most of the serious bass attenuation is stuff below 40Hz, which is not all that valuable for music anyways, especially with headphones when you can't actually feel it moving air.


Edited by Eisenhower - 11/18/12 at 3:51pm
post #29 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eisenhower View Post

 

Its bass is "far" from neutral? A bit hyperbolic, I think. Given that the impulse response for the HD600 is so much better than the HE-500, the bass is most definitely not "indistinct". You would have to be listening really loud to hear bass distortion.

 

Yes, the hyperbole went a little too far. However despite the fairly speedy decay measurements the HD600 lacks the bass definition of the HE500, not to mention the HD800 or the SR009. It has a sort of "soft" texture about it which slightly blurs complex rhythmic passages.

 

That said I still think the HD600/650 is a superb headphone and a great value. It's just not the be-all end-all of bass performance.

post #30 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by anetode View Post

It has a sort of "soft" texture about it which slightly blurs complex rhythmic passages.

 

Agreed on the 650. But there is not the same softness with the 600, imo. 

 

 

 

Quote:
It's just not the be-all end-all of bass performance.

 

 

I don't think anyone looking for an objective reference is worrying about Bass performance, per se. They are after accuracy. There is enough good in the 600 to make up for any deficiencies (very slight, imo) in the bass. 

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