Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › How It's Made Headphones (AKG K702)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

How It's Made Headphones (AKG K702)

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

post #2 of 11
No matter how many times this gets posted or I see it re-run on TV, this is always interesting to watch. Wish they'd do more on different models, but I'm guessing that wouldn't fit with the show's style. redface.gif
post #3 of 11
Thanks! Seeing how it's made, I find it hard to agree with the €300-400 MSRP though…
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 

I do believe cable makes a different but I have seen many cases where headphones uses the steel headband to conduct current from the left to right. That is sure not "hi-fi" enough and not forgetting we are so concern about whether the copper cable are 9.99% or 9.9999% OFC but it seems not affecting the balance between left to right headphones.

 

Can anyone explain that? Also while we have high grade cable, the jack or connectors are probably cheap nickle plated with gold so what is the purpose of using high-grade copper but terminated both ends with cheaper materials?

 

Like a clear river that has a dirty downstream, no matter how clear the water it will get contaminated after the downstream.

 

I do believe in cables and I can hear a different but cannot explain the above.

post #5 of 11

This is my opinion from my experiences in electrical engineering.

 

Cables are over rated. The cable has a nominal effect on the resistance path to the driver, but at the milivolt range they are being driven at in a set of headphones I don't think it makes much difference at all.

 

The reason OFC's are popular isn't better audio quality, it's consistent audio quality and longevity. Non OFC's degrade over time as the metal slowly oxidizes. Most of the headphone cables I've seen actually have LESS copper in them when they are OFC than the old variety of braided copper wire.

 

As for headphones with a connection on only one side: I know people worry about the difference in length causing phase problems, and the difference in material like non OFC metal wire connecting the two halves possibly degrading the signal, I have only this to say.

 

If you were listening to 2 loudspeakers 100feet away from you and somebody moved one side exactly 8" closer to you, would you be able to tell with your eyes closed? I doubt you could and that is 8" of extra signal path through air, which is a hell of a lot slower than electricity goes through wire, near the speed of light. I can assure you that the difference in length will be completely lost to your listening experience. Our brains are not wired for phase analysis on the femtosecond scale. It's why we can't hear in stereo under water, sound moves faster through water than air, and the sound hitting our left ear arrives much faster than the sound hitting the other ear when it's under water. The brain can't make sense of the miniscule difference in timing, so it appears to hit both at the same time to your perception.

 

And as for the steel cable introducing some kind of degradation to the signal, you realize that the signal paths inside the components that amplified and decoded the music you're listening to are basically thinly layered foil right? Over the short 8" or so path bridging left to right, there is enough conductor there to carry thousands of times more bandwidth at hundreds of times the voltage without degredation.

 

So in a nutshell, don't worry about things so much and just try to enjoy the music. :)
 


Edited by Kodhifi - 1/8/13 at 4:21pm
post #6 of 11

popcorn.gif

post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by homesick_alien View Post

popcorn.gif

LOL.

post #8 of 11

I'm talking explicitly about the k702's using the steel headband to send sound to the other speaker.

 

I'm NOT talking about all headphone cables for all headphones. However, most of the apparent difference between one cable to the next is usually due to differences in how they are wired. Such as 4 conductor cable vs 3, or balanced VS unbalanced but the changes are still very small.

 

It matters more when you are taking a low power signal going over a wire and then amplifying it, because if that cable picks up any noise, then the noise is amplified as well. This is why XLR is preferable to phono when wiring self amplified speakers to an audio source.

 

Headphones are the end signal so any noise they do pick up will remain inaudible. Speaking of AC hum and the like.

post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kodhifi View Post

This is my opinion from my experiences in electrical engineering.

 

Cables are over rated. The cable has a nominal effect on the resistance path to the driver, but at the milivolt range they are being driven at in a set of headphones I don't think it makes much difference at all.

 

The reason OFC's are popular isn't better audio quality, it's consistent audio quality and longevity. Non OFC's degrade over time as the metal slowly oxidizes. Most of the headphone cables I've seen actually have LESS copper in them when they are OFC than the old variety of braided copper wire.

 

As for headphones with a connection on only one side: I know people worry about the difference in length causing phase problems, and the difference in material like non OFC metal wire connecting the two halves possibly degrading the signal, I have only this to say.

 

If you were listening to 2 loudspeakers 100feet away from you and somebody moved one side exactly 8" closer to you, would you be able to tell with your eyes closed? I doubt you could and that is 8" of extra signal path through air, which is a hell of a lot slower than electricity goes through wire, near the speed of light. I can assure you that the difference in length will be completely lost to your listening experience. Our brains are not wired for phase analysis on the femtosecond scale. It's why we can't hear in stereo under water, sound moves faster through water than air, and the sound hitting our left ear arrives much faster than the sound hitting the other ear when it's under water. The brain can't make sense of the miniscule difference in timing, so it appears to hit both at the same time to your perception.

 

And as for the steel cable introducing some kind of degradation to the signal, you realize that the signal paths inside the components that amplified and decoded the music you're listening to are basically thinly layered foil right? Over the short 8" or so path bridging left to right, there is enough conductor there to carry thousands of times more bandwidth at hundreds of times the voltage without degredation.

 

So in a nutshell, don't worry about things so much and just try to enjoy the music. :)
 

 

Ah, that make sense. Now I remember like Ethernet cable, if the distant is short it make no differences to use CAT5 UTP or CAT6 but long distant and noisy places CAT6 and shielded twisted pair (STP) is needed to transmit the signal without degrading the signal?

 

Higher grade OFC less oxidation problem and left to write earphone writing has not differences if it is metal or OFC because there is not much noise (since it's on our head) and good enough conductive material to transmit signal without loss. Likewise for connectors etc.

 

Did I get your explanation correctly?

post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by whoelse View Post

 

Ah, that make sense. Now I remember like Ethernet cable, if the distant is short it make no differences to use CAT5 UTP or CAT6 but long distant and noisy places CAT6 and shielded twisted pair (STP) is needed to transmit the signal without degrading the signal?

 

Higher grade OFC less oxidation problem and left to write earphone writing has not differences if it is metal or OFC because there is not much noise (since it's on our head) and good enough conductive material to transmit signal without loss. Likewise for connectors etc.

 

Did I get your explanation correctly?

Ethernet cable has some very unique properties and problems. Even if it is shielded from outside interference, it creates it's own interference as there are 8 conductors wired in very close proximity to one another and inevitably there will be crosstalk. To counteract this they twist pairs of cables a specific number of turns per foot and no 2 are the same so that the crosstalk between pairs is reduced.

 

This is different from the kind of problems we deal with in audio like with XLR cables and balanced connectors. In those cases, we are trying to limit outside noise being introduced to the signal because any noise that is introduced gets amplified when it goes to the amp. One of the worst offenders is 60hz AC hum from wall wiring. Any guitar player can attest to this annoyance. To combat it XLR uses 3 conductors, 2 signal paths and 1 ground. The 2 signal paths are for the same signal but they are wired 180degrees out of phase with each other. Any noise picked up by the cable will be picked up equally by both conductors and at the other end the phases are flipped which causes the noise to be out of phase and canceled but the signal is now in phase and has no noise. It's ingenious actually.

 

Since the connection between headphone and amplifier will not undergo further amplification, any noise it does pick up will be below the threshold of your hearing. You could probably wrap your headphone cable around a running power drill and not hear any electrical interference.

 

The OFC cables came into use because they do not degrade over time. Anyone who's ever wired up a home theater with home made cables will know that after a few years, the copper will lose it's sheen, the aluminum will begin to dull, and this oxidation will slowly work it's way from the ends of the cable, inward. You can usually get around this by simply cutting off the ends and re-crimping, but in headphones and interconnect cables this isn't convenient. OFC's will never degrade and will provide years of good as new performance.

 

A typical non OFC cable will have stranded copper conductors with maybe some teflon to add strength. It can handle more power because of the thicker conductor. The OFC cables on the other hand tend to use copper foil wrapped around a teflon core. It's one of the reasons they are so damned hard to splice or repair, because there isn't much conductor there to solder on to and the foil is quite delicate.

 

I hope this has answered your question.

post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 

Impressive explanation, thank you!

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › How It's Made Headphones (AKG K702)