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Why do headphones have different sound signatures? - Page 2

post #16 of 25

Just my personal opinion, but I think you can see the drivers/can design from the original Bose in a number of headphones on the market - they all tend to sound the same to me: Bose, Beats, Monster, Sol, etc.  Heck, I think they're all manufactured in the same Chinese factory.  So yeah, given the same driver, the variances only add up to the housings, pads, and materials used to make them.

 

One might say that the headphone market consists of perhaps 75% cr*p that's more or less the same, except for packaging and endorsements.

 

Head-Fi is here to try distinguish between that heap and audiophile phones that truly offer a different/better sound.  Once you start looking/listening to headphones like that, everything is different - driver manufacturer, materials, can design, pad design, headband design, cable design, etc., etc.  Most people probably can't hear those differences, but once you become accustomed to listening to many different headphones, it gets obvious.

post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beagle View Post

 

Why wouldn't it?

I've heard that Deer are a bit shy so they don't talk much.


Edited by Winegums - 7/21/13 at 10:31pm
post #18 of 25

There are many different reasons why headphones have certain sound signatures. The tuning of the headphone cups were the drivers fits in effects the tuning. Also the build quality and size of the drivers reflects the sound.

post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by sniperwill0 View Post

So the title basically says it all. Why do headphones sound different from one another? I know that the basic design (open vs. closed/driver size etc.) plays a large role in shaping a headphone's sound. However, what are the other things that manufacturers do to differentiate their headphone's sound from another set? I've been thinking about it for awhile but can't think of a definitive answer. I know this is a very open ended question with many potential answers, so just a few key ones is ok. Thank you!

 

Sound signature is a very misleading term - replace that with "preferred compromise" and you can get a better understanding, and this also applies to speakers. Basically, you're working with something that has to produce the most even response from 20hz to at least 20khz, but you have to work within certain restrictions. On one set, you have the business economics - the MSRP, production cost, projected sales volume, etc. On the other, you have more technical restrictions, like form factor and driver type - driver type* and the resulting size and weight of the whole package**. Factor all these in, and for any price point, a manufacturer will prefer a certain sound, and other characteristics like comfort, as a good compromise (and maybe claim that it's "flat") for that price point.

 

 

 

*Dynamic driver or electrostat? One dynamic midwoofer, or one more dedicated bass driver? Dome tweeter or ribbon tweeter?

**40mm or 50mm dynamic driver? How about comfort - light like the HD800, or can we get away with the LCD-2's weight? Standmount, but what size? Floorstander, OK - shipping will be expensive on this at all steps, but OK...

post #20 of 25

like Maniac said everything effects the sound of a headphone as well as what it's like to live with. When I say everything effects a headphone I mean everything, even down to air humidity and temperature. There's a range of driver types that come in different sizes,shapes, pros and cons, and power requirements. Some of the driver types are dynamic cone (Most common loud speaker type), planar magnetic, electrostatic, Balanced armature, and even radical plasma loud speakers. Each will sound different and each has hurdles to over come before they react and perform like we want them to. Drivers are only one facet of a headphone there's much more than just what produces the sound.

 

Comfort is a huge aspect of a headphone as well as build quality and over all aesthetics. No one wants a something that will break, make their ears hurt or look terrible. depending on how long your listening sessions are comfort could be a huge problem or asset. I my self listen to my LP2's all day at work and when I take them off at the end of the day I have no ear fatigue what so ever. I've had past headphones crumble in my hands they were so fragile and it's really disappointing to see.

 

A Headphone is a good exercise in ergonomics, material science and technical prowess, when all three come together you have something you can call a headphone.

post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winegums View Post

like Maniac said everything effects the sound of a headphone as well as what it's like to live with. When I say everything effects a headphone I mean everything, even down to air humidity and temperature. There's a range of driver types that come in different sizes,shapes, pros and cons, and power requirements. Some of the driver types are dynamic cone (Most common loud speaker type), planar magnetic, electrostatic, Balanced armature, and even radical plasma loud speakers. Each will sound different and each has hurdles to over come before they react and perform like we want them to. Drivers are only one facet of a headphone there's much more than just what produces the sound.

 

Comfort is a huge aspect of a headphone as well as build quality and over all aesthetics. No one wants a something that will break, make their ears hurt or look terrible. depending on how long your listening sessions are comfort could be a huge problem or asset. I my self listen to my LP2's all day at work and when I take them off at the end of the day I have no ear fatigue what so ever. I've had past headphones crumble in my hands they were so fragile and it's really disappointing to see.

 

A Headphone is a good exercise in ergonomics, material science and technical prowess, when all three come together you have something you can call a headphone.

 

i thought rocket science was hard.

post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by meyner View Post

 

i thought rocket science was hard.

Rocket Science is actually pretty easy.

post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beagle View Post

 

They did random tests on coyotes and deer with different high end headphones and they did not indicate any preference for any particular model.

Good to know now I can rest easy in getting the HE-500 for my pet dear instead of a HD 800 or Stax SR009 knowing he'll be just as happy thanks you!

post #24 of 25

It all comes down to magnet quality, refinement of the voice coil, driver material/quality, inner ear-cup dimensions, and damping.

Quickest example I can think of, titanium coated drivers. They all sound terrible to me because the metal has a tendency to make highs sound shrill. I'm looking at you ultrasone.


Edited by PanamaHat - 7/24/13 at 11:59pm
post #25 of 25

Yeah metallic drivers, when done wrong they can sound shrill. Good examples are some cheapo studio monitors, such as Behringer B2030's.

 

But when done right (Beyerdynamic DT48) they can sound incredibly realistic. IMO

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