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Does headphone brand/model matter?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

I'm thinking of buying some new, more expensive, headphones. Right now I'm using the inexpensive Sentry 880CD, they sound pretty good to me but they've fallen apart.

after reading around, I found some comparison charts of different headphones, they all seem to have nearly the same frequency response ranges, just some headphones have more

bass, mids or treble than the others.

 

but if I equalize.. is there really any difference between them?

 

clearly there will be differences between open ear, closed ear, over ear, around and in ear

but as far as similar types of headphone, wouldn't eq'ing a $12 pair of headphones to sound like a much more expensive set save a lot of money?

 

I'm probably wrong here, but could someone explain why? 

 

 

thanks!

post #2 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaSupaFly View Post

I'm thinking of buying some new, more expensive, headphones. Right now I'm using the inexpensive Sentry 880CD, they sound pretty good to me but they've fallen apart.
after reading around, I found some comparison charts of different headphones, they all seem to have nearly the same frequency response ranges, just some headphones have more
bass, mids or treble than the others.

but if I equalize.. is there really any difference between them?

clearly there will be differences between open ear, closed ear, over ear, around and in ear
but as far as similar types of headphone, wouldn't eq'ing a $12 pair of headphones to sound like a much more expensive set save a lot of money?

I'm probably wrong here, but could someone explain why? 


thanks!


Hey smily_headphones1.gif

You can't compare or judge a pair of headphone by reading only it's frequency graph. This is because, it only tell you how loud/soft that particular headphone can peoduce in that particular frequency. It does not tell you how clear it sound. How tight/boomy the bass is. Texture. Distortion. And so and so.

It really depends on you. Everyone have different ear and taste. One might like this headphone but you don't. That is why different headphone with different sound signature is made/designed by several manufacturer.

EQ only help you boost/reduce a particular frequency range. It will not help an $13 headphone to sound better than higher end headphone simply because if you make too much changes as compared to it's original, the driver in the headphone might not be able to play it therefore causing "unwanted" sound.

Yes, most headphone share almost the same frequency curve but like I said, they all sound different. It just tell you the quantity of it..

It doesn't matter what brand or model it is. To me, it only help you to recognize that particular headphone.

Again. This is just my 2 cent. Let the pro here explain more about it. Please do correct me if I am wrong. smily_headphones1.gif
post #3 of 19

Equalization is a very powerful and often overlooked tool, but you can't fix a headphone's nonlinearities through equalization.  If headphones were perfectly linear, even just considering the range of inputs for which we're interested in, then you could equalize them to sound the same.  Hint: they aren't.

 

Any kind of resonances, harmonic distortion, etc. cannot be fixed.  Some headphones will run out of excursion and not be able to play at a loud volume, particularly at some frequencies (often the bass).  If you equalize some frequencies up relative to others, you may just be increasing the distortion or maybe reducing the range of usable volume.  Narrow spikes in the frequency response probably are symptoms of a bigger problem.

 

edit: that said, you could probably get a lot further than many people believe.  As a base, you'd probably want to start higher than $12 anyway.


Edited by mikeaj - 11/24/12 at 2:25pm
post #4 of 19

Good headphones can be equalized to sound very similar. With crappy headphones you will hit certain limits (^ what others wrote above).

 

Good doesn't mean expensive though. wink.gif

post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaSupaFly View Post

I'm thinking of buying some new, more expensive, headphones. Right now I'm using the inexpensive Sentry 880CD, they sound pretty good to me but they've fallen apart.

after reading around, I found some comparison charts of different headphones, they all seem to have nearly the same frequency response ranges, just some headphones have more

bass, mids or treble than the others.

 

but if I equalize.. is there really any difference between them?

 

clearly there will be differences between open ear, closed ear, over ear, around and in ear

but as far as similar types of headphone, wouldn't eq'ing a $12 pair of headphones to sound like a much more expensive set save a lot of money?

 

I'm probably wrong here, but could someone explain why? 

 

 

thanks!

You will notice very quickly that producing a heavily altered EQ on a cheap pair of headphones, or through a cheap form of playback, will cause things like clipping. 

post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 

I think I understand what you're all saying ;) thanks for all the input.

post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 

I went ahead and purchased sony mdr-v6, they're okay. My Sentry 880CD sound about just as good but with better bass. There were many reviews on the Sony that said they hug the ears really tight, this is what I was looking for but, these aren't all that tight, they're kind of slack. These were sold by SONY so I'm pretty sure they're authentic. wink_face.gif

 

Maybe my ears got used to the sentry's and so I have a hearing-bias, but I think I would rather have spent 12USD redface.gif

 

I read somewhere that there is no scientifically proven "Burn in" for headphones, but for human hearing who knows.

post #8 of 19

There's no doubt in my mind that you are perceiving a bias because of your previous headphones. The MDR-V6 are unquestionably better headphones with better clarity and overall sound reproduction. 

post #9 of 19

it can improve on the frequency response so the headphone has less flaws and suits the personal preference better. but soundstage and distortion cannot be improved.

post #10 of 19

Quote:

Originally Posted by DaSupaFly View Post

I read somewhere that there is no scientifically proven "Burn in" for headphones, but for human hearing who knows.

This is a debatable subject as some will say that the "burn in" is really just the human ears growing to comprehend the sound that is being reproduced. I think that bit is true for the most part. However for brand-new headphones fresh out of the box, I believe that "burn in" should be considered as the headphones "warming up". 

 

apropos: Headphone brand is definitely important as each and every manufacture approaches sound in a different manner. This is why different headphones have different sound signatures. Thus, headphone models become of an importance as well.

 

destroysall.


Edited by Destroysall - 12/4/12 at 12:29pm
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Destroysall View Post

This is a debatable subject as some will say that the "burn in" is really just the human ears growing to comprehend the sound that is being reproduced. I think that bit is true for the most part. However for brand-new headphones fresh out of the box, I believe that "burn in" should be considered as the headphones "warming up". 

 

apropos: Headphone brand is definitely important as each and every manufacture approaches sound in a different manner. This is why different headphones have different sound signatures. Thus, headphone models become of an importance as well.

 

destroysall.

 

"Warming up" in terms of the voice coil heating up?

 

I know I've seen tests where woofer parameters have changed drastically after some play time. Supposedly this was a combination of the materials mechanically loosening *and* the voice coil heating up after having some current run through it. I wonder if this phenomenon still exists with headphone drivers.

 

I'd imagine that a smaller and more sensitive voice coil in a headphone would be much less subject to these parameter changes. A high impedance, high sensitivity driver (>8ohm, ~100dB/mW) would obviously draw much less current than that of a ~6" 8ohm woofer.

post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 

it's been a day and I do hear a slight difference from when they were new, it's more comfortable sounding.

it's either my ears adapting (maybe the sound vibes are shaking all the ear wax in place wink.gif)

or maybe the heat+moisture+being played might have something to do with it.

 

unfortunately one of the reasons I wanted these headphones the most was because of the reviews on the clamping force, I think I must

seriously have a tiny head because these don't clamp as hard as I'd like, it seems to me that with more clamping force there's more isolation

and better sound. I became paranoid as people were saying the fake mdr-v6 have bad clamping force,

but I bought these right from SONY so I doubt they're selling fakes ph34r.gif

 

This has gone off topic from the sound science and onto a personal review I think, so I'll just leave it here

and thank you all who have replied with your input.


Edited by DaSupaFly - 12/4/12 at 7:29pm
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaSupaFly View Post

it's been a day and I do hear a slight difference from when they were new, it's more comfortable sounding.

it's either my ears adapting (maybe the sound vibes are shaking all the ear wax in place wink.gif)

or maybe the heat+moisture+being played might have something to do with it.

 

unfortunately one of the reasons I wanted these headphones the most was because of the reviews on the clamping force, I think I must

seriously have a tiny head because these don't clamp as hard as I'd like, it seems to me that with more clamping force there's more isolation

and better sound. I became paranoid as people were saying the fake mdr-v6 have bad clamping force,

but I bought these right from SONY so I doubt they're selling fakes ph34r.gif

 

This has gone off topic from the sound science and onto a personal review I think, so I'll just leave it here

and thank you all who have replied with your input.

I do wish to recommend you one or two more headphones. If it is clamping you want, I'd recommend the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro. It may not be mid-bass heavy as it is low-bass heavy, but it is an amazing headphone that I have come to know and love.

 

destroysall.

post #14 of 19

I never really felt like my V6's had much in the way of clamping pressure either. I wouldn't worry too much about having gotten a fake somehow. They are very good all-around headphones with fairly linear frequency response, and good detail retrieval. 

 

Hard to beat for the price, if accuracy is what you want. 

 

While I do not believe burn in to be a significant phenomena with headphones, I do believe there is an auditory adjustment period we all deal with as our ears/brain shift to a different signature. I believe that plus earpads softening over time (and thus changing the seal and ear to driver distance) accounts for just about everything currently called "burn in."

post #15 of 19
In my experience frequency response ranges mean diddly squat. That tells you what the driver is capable of but I've found real world use means little. I've had 20-20k headphones that sounded like subs, hollow or screechy. My best advice is try some out in a store if that is possible in your area. Everyone's ears are different. smily_headphones1.gif my recommendations however is examine AKG, Yamaha, Sennheiser, Audio Technica, Fostex Txxrp, and Panasonic/Technics. smily_headphones1.gif

Me personally I back AKG The most.
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