Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › How do I know if it's "distortion" from my headphones or just the recording/source?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

How do I know if it's "distortion" from my headphones or just the recording/source?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

So I just picked up a Sennheiser HD-650, and coming from a pair of cheap $10 Sony headphones, I'm, of course, picking up greater clarity and detail in the treble areas of songs and recordings, particularly from percussion instruments.

 

But in some songs/recordings, there is, what it seems, some distortion, or very, very slight buzzing or shimmering in percussion instruments.

 

It's been so long that I've used these cheap Sony headphones, which emphasize mids and bass way too much, that I have no idea if those buzzing or shimmering sounds are supposed to be there.

 

Of course, since these are percussive instruments, one would expect there to be some of those buzzing/shimmer qualities, but I just want to make sure.

 

And of course, it could just be the recording and/or the source (either the sound file or the soundcard) just being bad.

 

So how do I know if this is "distortion" coming from my headphones, and therefore is sign of a broken headphone? Or if it's just normal from either the recording and/or the source? Is a broken driver really obvious?

post #2 of 16

If you are playing straight into your computer, you're probably going to hear distortion/fuzzyness/lack of clarity. I would recommend an amp to actually judge the phones for damage.

 

Diagnosing is tricky - and especially for phones that require some juice, I would invest in the proper equipment before concluding anything.

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

Actually, yes... I do have an amp for them. It's a Matrix M-Stage.


Edited by fuzzybaffy - 12/2/12 at 2:32am
post #4 of 16

Could you link an example of an audio track and what time in the track where you seem to hear the distortion?

post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 

=/ The only way I could do that is to provide links to youtube videos or something... not sure if those are the best sources?

post #6 of 16

Probably better than nothing. Also, what is your source or DAC?

post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 

Onboard audio from the motherboard. =/

post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzybaffy View Post

Onboard audio from the motherboard. =/

Def the problem right there

post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 

^ Yep. Thanks for letting me know. People from other threads have told me the same as well, so... I'm not worrying too much about my headphones for now.

post #10 of 16

I had the same situation when I shifted from sennheisser HD515 to the BeyersDT990. I thought they were broken, but what happened is that I used eq for making the senns a bit more to my taste. The way I EQ was wrong and I was clipping freqs so they were VERY noticeable in the Beyers due the natural EQ in them... After some testing I dropped the EQ, get a good DAC and get better files and now I know that if there is some noise its from the recordings.

 

Get an ODAC, they are cheap and is WAY better than onboard soundcard and some more expensive equipment.

post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 

^ Glad to know. Did you still hear the distortion/noise on the Beyer 990's after stopping the EQ, but before you got the DAC?

post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 

^ Glad to know. Did you still hear the distortion/noise on the Beyer 990's after stopping the EQ, but before you got the DAC?

 

And yea, I would definitely like the ODAC, but it unfortunately only has a headphone out. I'd like to run my desktop speakers, along with the headphones, through the DAC as well, so I have to look for something a little more desktop oriented. Since I have the Matrix M-Stage amp, I think I'm just going to get the Matrix M-Stage DAC, thinking they should pair up pretty well.

 

Edit: Whoops! Double post.

post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzybaffy View Post

Onboard audio from the motherboard. =/


What is the model name of motherboard? We could check wich audio chipset is installed and usually the frequency response is available over the net


Edited by musiclife - 1/14/13 at 9:33am
post #14 of 16

It could actually very well be that your onboard DAC is fine. Not saying that it is, but it might be.

 

What is the typical bitrate of the music you listen to?

 

I find the kind of distortion you mention rather typical of music with very low bitrate (128 and lower), although I have also experienced it with 192 kbps files.

post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by namaiki View Post

Could you link an example of an audio track and what time in the track where you seem to hear the distortion?


+1

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › How do I know if it's "distortion" from my headphones or just the recording/source?