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Soundstage does it exist with headphones ? - Page 5

post #61 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kodhifi View Post
Now there is where you're wrong, but I understand why you think you're right. You're thinking what goes in, comes out. Soundstage is a result of delay, phasing, and level between left ear and right ear. If you play a sound in right ear only it sounds like a sound right next to your right ear. Add a little of that sound to the left ear but out of phase and with a slight delay, and your head interprets this as positional information and that sound will sound MORE to the right, even though you are now playing from the left as well.

 

MP3 at lower bit rates uses a form of stereo image compression which mostly does a good job of not changing the sound stage, however mp3 artifacts are MORE present in the sound field than in any particular sound. MP3 can and does effect the phasing and stereo clarity of certain sounds at lower bitrate, especially percussive type sounds like drums, cymbals etc.

 

I recently did a ABX test to spot a 128kb mp3 among a 320kb mp3 of the same song. One of the tells I found to distinguish between them was a drum part where the 16th notes alternated between left and right, in the lower bitrate there was muddying of the stereo separation making it harder to hear each individual hit. This was something in the background of the song and nearly inaudible if you weren't looking for it. It wasn't a huge difference but it was enough for me to easily spot the lower bit rate every time.

 

So I can see where you're coming from but my personal experience diverges from your assessment, stereo information and especially phasing tend to have more information lost in mp3 than other sounds making it have a noticable effect (even though it's very slight) on the sound stage.

 

Points taken and I concede that low bitrates can indeed affect soundstage. I'd forgotten that delay, phasing, and stereo levels can play a part in the perception of soundstage.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by extrabigmehdi View Post

@Asr

 

With CBR , and using same encoder , that's actually the case (I  guess there might be small differences between encoders, because of headers or whatever) . Also mp3 doesn't remove only information below and above particular frequencies, but use psycho acoustics, to disregard imformations that our brain often miss. For instance a loud sound, immediately followed by a quiet sound, often you don't hear the quiet sound.

Oh and downsampling ... not related at all.

 

I was assuming VBR, not CBR, but thanks for pointing out that technicality. 1 minute at 192 kb/s VBR can vary wildly in size depending on the musical content, as opposed to CBR which of course will have a fixed size per figure of time. Btw, I was referring to the frequency cut-offs as the user options that LAME provides (lowpass and highpass), not as the MP3 algorithm.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by money4me247 View Post
...so what is the conclusion of this discussion? sound stage possible on headphones or impossible on headphones or only possible with certain audio source files?

 

Soundstage is possible on headphones....through two different ways primarily:

- Hardware: Some headphone amps have a crossfeed function that will help simulate soundstage. There are also other devices, like the Smyth Realiser, which will simulate it.

- Software: Binaural recordings, which are designed to be heard on headphones and are mixed appropriately. HDTracks sells a few binaural recordings that you can check out.

 

Perception of soundstage is also highly dependent on the headphone design. For example, you won't typically find a soundstage with most closed headphones, as the sound waves are trapped within the driver enclosure and aren't allowed to radiate. I've heard a few exceptions though like the Audio-Technica W5000 and Fostex TH900.

 

Even with open headphones, not all of them will display a "soundstage", or at least the one that the listener will want. For example, Grado headphones in general impose an up-close soundstage. The Senn HD800 imposes a much larger one. Headphones with angled drivers (like the HD800, but also others) will typically have more-convincing soundstages.


Edited by Asr - 3/8/13 at 1:29am
post #62 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asr View Post

Soundstage is possible on headphones....through two different ways primarily:

- Hardware: Some headphone amps have a crossfeed function that will help simulate soundstage. There are also other devices, like the Smyth Realiser, which will simulate it.

- Software: Binaural recordings, which are designed to be heard on headphones and are mixed appropriately. HDTracks sells a few binaural recordings that you can check out.

 

Perception of soundstage is also highly dependent on the headphone design. For example, you won't typically find a soundstage with most closed headphones, as the sound waves are trapped within the driver enclosure and aren't allowed to radiate. I've heard a few exceptions though like the Audio-Technica W5000 and Fostex TH900.

 

Even with open headphones, not all of them will display a "soundstage", or at least the one that the listener will want. For example, Grado headphones in general impose an up-close soundstage. The Senn HD800 imposes a much larger one. Headphones with angled drivers (like the HD800, but also others) will typically have more-convincing soundstages.

So you are saying that using a closed pair of headphones without an amp using 320kbps mp3 (not a binaural recording), you do not experience sound stage at all or is it just to a lesser degree? Isn't it possible to still be able to pick out the location of instruments and vocals within an imaginary 3-D field without having the radiation of the sound waves out of the closed earcups?

 

I am assuming that the term sound stage is correctly defined here: "depth and richness of an audio recording and usually relates to the playback process. According to audiophiles, the quality of the playback is very much dependent upon how one is able to pick out different instruments, voices, vocal parts, and such exactly where they are located on an imaginary 2-dimensional or 3-dimensional field. The quality of this soundstage can enhance not only the listener's involvement in the recording, but also their overall perception of the stage"

post #63 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by money4me247 View Post

So you are saying that using a closed pair of headphones without an amp using 320kbps mp3 (not a binaural recording), you do not experience sound stage at all or is it just to a lesser degree? Isn't it possible to still be able to pick out the location of instruments and vocals within an imaginary 3-D field without having the radiation of the sound waves out of the closed earcups?

 

I am assuming that the term sound stage is correctly defined here: "depth and richness of an audio recording and usually relates to the playback process. According to audiophiles, the quality of the playback is very much dependent upon how one is able to pick out different instruments, voices, vocal parts, and such exactly where they are located on an imaginary 2-dimensional or 3-dimensional field. The quality of this soundstage can enhance not only the listener's involvement in the recording, but also their overall perception of the stage"

even rubbish headphones can pick out directions easily with binaural recordings. It's just that the sound isn't nearly as convincing as a high end (or decent) audio setup.

post #64 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by streetdragon View Post

even rubbish headphones can pick out directions easily with binaural recordings. It's just that the sound isn't nearly as convincing as a high end (or decent) audio setup.

I understand that soundstage really shines through with binaural recordings. I am wondering about regular mp3 files that you make when ripping from a CD. Is the soundstage "hearable" with closed headphones or IEMs, or do you need specifically need open headphones that have been reviewed to have great sound stage when using regular non-binaural mp3s?

post #65 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by money4me247 View Post

 Is the soundstage "hearable" with closed headphones or IEMs, or do you need specifically need open headphones that have been reviewed to have great sound stage when using regular non-binaural mp3s?

The k550 (which is closed) is advertised as having good soundstage.

My srh940 (which is closed) have a nice soundstage, but  the soundstage was improved by stuffing cups with rope, that put more  distance between ears and driver.

But there's a quality that my srh940 doesn't have, it doesn't sound much "airy", so even with a decent soundstage on closed, open headphone

can still be interesting.

Both of my IEM  have  good soundstage (eph100 , senn ie7)

And if you want good soundstage for cheap, just use earbuds, it's not something that complicated.

I consider that every headphone has to some extent a soundstage, but the worst I've heard is on the hd25 II 1.


Edited by extrabigmehdi - 3/8/13 at 5:41am
post #66 of 88

iFi is looking into making some sound samples for their website. Maybe they will be able to add this as a way to try out the 3D effects before buying the iCAN amp.

post #67 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nirmalanow View Post

iFi is looking into making some sound samples for their website. Maybe they will be able to add this as a way to try out the 3D effects before buying the iCAN amp.

Great, but I  tend to prefer  software based solutions. Did you tried stuff like TB  isone, dolby headphone, sheppi before ?

post #68 of 88

I have tried Izotope Ozone http://www.winamp.com/plugin/izotope-ozone/79374, and I also really like the Noozxoide app for Android: http://www.head-fi.org/t/640655/noozxoide-and-neutron-versus-jplay-for-windows

 

But now I am enjoying the extreme simplicity of my new Altmann Tera Player and so any extra crossfeed needs to come from my amp. However, the Tera might have a little bit of crossfeed in one of it outputs. (the creator of this DAP is very mysterious about its actual specs). This crossfeed from the Tera sounds good by itself, but is not so good in combo with the effects on th iCAN. However, there is a second ouput that works great for feeding the iCAN.
 

post #69 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by extrabigmehdi View Post

Headphone are to me exactly the same as 3D glasses, you need two signal a bit different to let your brain have a 3D representation.

 

You seem to think having a source over each ear is all that is required for realistic duplication of real world input, as is the case for the eye - but this is incorrect. The ear is extremely good at telling whether a sound is in front or behind due to a range of special sensors for the task:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_localization

The human outer ear, i.e. the structures of the pinna and the external ear canal, form direction-selective filters. Depending on the sound input direction in the median plane, different filter resonances become active. These resonances implant direction-specific patterns into the frequency responses of the ears, which can be evaluated by the auditory system (directional bands) for vertical sound localization. Together with other direction-selective reflections at the head, shoulders and torso, they form the outer ear transfer functions.

These patterns in the ear's frequency responses are highly individual, depending on the shape and size of the outer ear. If sound is presented through headphones, and has been recorded via another head with different-shaped outer ear surfaces, the directional patterns differ from the listener's own, and problems will appear when trying to evaluate directions in the median plane with these foreign ears. As a consequence, front-back permutations or inside-the-head-localization can appear when listening to dummy head recordings,or otherwise referred to as binaural recordings.

 

You can easily confirm this by holding a hand over one ear to block it's hearing: you will still receive 3D information, including front and back information, from the remaining ear. True 3D hearing relies on a range of cues that no headphone system on the mass market will reliably simulate - not even binaural. And with non-binaural, the only thing placing the music in front of or behind you, rather than putting you in the middle of the band, is your imagination.

 

However: if you want your 25s to sound wider, you can always use a player with crossfeed - any DAP running rockbox should be fine. The reason they sound narrow is that they are extremely accurate - a lot of range sensing is done by frequency distortion:


Sound spectrum : High frequencies are more quickly damped by the air than low frequencies. Therefore a distant sound source sounds more muffled than a close one, because the high frequencies are attenuated. For sound with a known spectrum (e.g. speech) the distance can be estimated roughly with the help of the perceived sound.

 

Inter-ear range-finding otoh is actually much weaker and less used than people imagine. (Read the article and google some more.) Which explains why opinions on soundstage vary so much - because i is very largely a psychological phenomenon.


Edited by scuttle - 3/8/13 at 6:39am
post #70 of 88

I just tried crossfeeding one of my song files using sound forge. And i have to say the results are rather interesting...

post #71 of 88

You won't get speaker like soundstage and imaging out of headphones regardless of what headphone you have or any processing your applying but I would defiantly stick to open headphones if your looking for something to try to come as close as possible in a headphone.  I would highly reccomend you try out rpg wizards dolby headphone config for Foobar2000 I use his laid back config and the improvement to imaging and soundstage is very nice its still not going to compete with speakers even in nearfield but its a good improvement imo and it cost nothing to use try it out with your HD650 and see how you like it you have nothing to lose.  The effect I find works better with my open AD700 vs any of my closed headphones altough it does improve sound stage and imaging even with iem.  Its also works better with music like Classical or Jazz vs Dubstep or Rap.


Edited by DJHeadshot - 3/8/13 at 8:05am
post #72 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by money4me247 View Post

I understand that soundstage really shines through with binaural recordings. I am wondering about regular mp3 files that you make when ripping from a CD. Is the soundstage "hearable" with closed headphones or IEMs, or do you need specifically need open headphones that have been reviewed to have great sound stage when using regular non-binaural mp3s?

 

If the song you ripped from the CD has soundstage cues, and if your headphone setup (DAC -> amp -> headphone, and by the way, your digital audio player or computer soundcard does have a DAC/amp built in) can reproduce those cues (even if not 100% accurately), then yeah, it's possible you can hear the soundstage. I say "possible" because each person hears things differently, so it's not clear cut that a person can "hear" soundstage in a pair of headphone that's been said to reproduce soundstage.

 

For instance, some people may claim the DT880 as having massive soundstage, but to me, it's not that big, and some closed headphones (Mad Dogs or TH900 for instance) have much more massive soundstage to my ears than the DT880.

post #73 of 88

This is a very long but helpful read in understanding soundstage on headphones:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/40313/stax-sr-007-omega-ii-a-review-after-4-years-of-ownership

post #74 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by scuttle View Post

 

 True 3D hearing relies on a range of cues that no headphone system on the mass market will reliably simulate -

True, but you could say actually the same for 3D glasses. Eyes need accommodation/ focus to naturally work, and it's not possible with 3D glasses. The reason why current 3D  technology give headache and is not enough good.

Anyways I  think the brain does some triangulation, by combing two informations either with eye or ears to estimate distance, and then use other cues to precise it.

However either with headphone or 3D  glasses, we only have two informations, and our brain try to process it.

So I  understand now what beagle meant by "fake" soundstage, it doesn't reflect a reality,  and our perception of soundstage  rely on fake informations.

 

A side remark:  my pinnas were completely remodeled during cosmetic surgery, because of protuding ears. I'm wondering how it affects my ability to locate sounds.

 

Quote:
However: if you want your 25s to sound wider, you can always use a player with crossfeed [...] The reason they sound narrow is that they are extremely accurate

 

I  totally disagree when you say that the hd25 are extremely accurate. In my review in the head gear section, I  wrote that I  found them muffled.

So are you telling that the hd25 are more accurate than the hd800 because of smaller soundstage, I  don't think it true.

I  rather think that the narrow soundstage of hd25 comes from the unwanted resonances in the tiny cups.

 

I  never got much success with crossfeed. I  found I  got more interesting results using reverb like vahlalaroom and tweaking it to death.

Later I  realized  that this algorithmic reverb constantly evolve with time, that's why my ear never completely get used to it, and perhaps why it 's not completely annoying.

Then I've combined it with other effects, such like spl transient designer  to shape it further. But playing with vst is an endless game.

 

Quote:
. And with non-binaural, the only thing placing the music in front of or behind you, rather than putting you in the middle of the band, is your imagination.

 

Well since our brain work to interpret informations, where imagination end , or "true interpretation" begin is not clear;  there are no true separation.

Just look at some optical illusions, is it "imagination", or just how our brain works anyway.


Edited by extrabigmehdi - 3/8/13 at 2:02pm
post #75 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nirmalanow View Post

I have tried Izotope Ozone http://www.winamp.com/plugin/izotope-ozone/79374, and I also really like the Noozxoide app for Android: http://www.head-fi.org/t/640655/noozxoide-and-neutron-versus-jplay-for-windows

 

So can it  (i.e Izotope Ozone or Noozxoide)  compete with the effects from iCan, or does the iCan bring something unprecedented.

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