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Skeptico Saloon: An Objectivist Joint - Page 17  

post #241 of 1671

This just in:

http://blog.shure.com/shure-notes/understanding-earphone-and-headphone-specifications/

 

I think I should get a 10 W amp to drive my HE-6 because it can use the extra "oomph" to properly "drive" them so that they "sing" or "shine."

post #242 of 1671
Quote:
Originally Posted by miceblue View Post
 

I think I should get a 10 W amp to drive my HE-6 because it can use the extra "oomph" to properly "drive" them so that they "sing" or "shine."

I know it's blasphemy here, but I think the subjectivists might be on to something with HE-6 based on their anecdotal power observations along with Innerfidelity measurements.

 

I agree that a large power reserve that is never used should have no positive sound contribution.

 

However, if you use the Hifiman spec (83.5dB/mW), yes, 10W seems quite excessive (123.5dB SPL).  But if you calculate sensitivity from the Innerfidelity measurements, you get around 77dB/mW.  Then you start needing 2W to get to 110dB SPL (versus 450mW) or over 6W to get to 115dB SPL (head room, yada yada).  10W is _only_ 117dB SPL, which is obviously screaming loud, but I don't tend to draw the unreasonable line until >120dB SPL.

 

Now, I could write this off as being one sample that is less sensitive than normal.  But I've also looked at the Innerfidelity measurements for various copies of K 701 (and relatives) and they seem closer to 87dB/mW rather than AKG's 93dB/mW spec.

 

Maybe Innerfidelity just measures considerably lower than the manufacturers based on methodology (so few specs even list the sensitivity frequency or range of frequencies, grr).  HE-400 as measured by Innerfidelity are 95dB/mW versus the spec'ed 92.5dB/mW.  So I don't think that's quite it either.

 

I won't conclude with a fallacious "the truth is in the middle somewhere" statement, but my trust in manufacturers' published sensitivity spec plus math is a bit more...  skeptical now.  Is nothing sacred?

 

I don't know if this 'revelation' was made long ago on this subforum or elsewhere, but given the dubious quality typical of other manufacturer specs, I probably shouldn't have been nearly as surprised as I was.


Edited by Skavoovie - 10/2/13 at 10:18pm
post #243 of 1671

Just watched the audiophile myth workshop vid, was great. Thanks for posting it.

 

Is there any other good videos in the same vein?


Edited by dclaz - 10/3/13 at 12:20am
post #244 of 1671

 

I like that they mention that in-ears will sound different depending on your hearing (I'd have added: shape of your ear canal for example) and sleeves you use.

 

The maximum input power bit is probably just causing confusion to the average person...  Maximum input power should never be used to "match" amps, that's nonsense. Also, 1W being typical ... really? First they talk about in-ears that blow up if you feed them 10 mW and then they say 1W is typical? It typically is enough to destroy many headphones, yes. :D

 

I also like the bit about impedance NOT being an indicator of sound quality, efficiency etc.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Proxy1 View Post
 

Maybe people should just avoid absurdly inefficient headphones. . . .

In the speaker world there's also the opposite craze. I guess the same is less appealing with headphones because we're usually just dealing with a few milliwatts to begin with (permanent hearing damage).

post #245 of 1671

post #246 of 1671
Quote:
Originally Posted by miceblue View Post


 

No wonder their economy collapsed.....lol

post #247 of 1671

Hahahahaahaaaaaa, that is too funny.

 

"30% of my sound is the rack."

"50% of my sound is the electricity."

 

...

 

Let me guess ... 10% are the turntable, amp, etc. and 9% are cables and the rest is unimportant stuff like speakers?


Edited by xnor - 10/6/13 at 6:13am
post #248 of 1671
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skavoovie View Post

I know it's blasphemy here, but I think the subjectivists might be on to something with HE-6 based on their anecdotal power observations along with Innerfidelity measurements.

I agree that a large power reserve that is never used should have no positive sound contribution.

However, if you use the Hifiman spec (83.5dB/mW), yes, 10W seems quite excessive (123.5dB SPL).  But if you calculate sensitivity from the Innerfidelity measurements, you get around 77dB/mW.  Then you start needing 2W to get to 110dB SPL (versus 450mW) or over 6W to get to 115dB SPL (head room, yada yada).  10W is _only_ 117dB SPL, which is obviously screaming loud, but I don't tend to draw the unreasonable line until >120dB SPL.

Now, I could write this off as being one sample that is less sensitive than normal.  But I've also looked at the Innerfidelity measurements for various copies of K 701 (and relatives) and they seem closer to 87dB/mW rather than AKG's 93dB/mW spec.

Maybe Innerfidelity just measures considerably lower than the manufacturers based on methodology (so few specs even list the sensitivity frequency or range of frequencies, grr).  HE-400 as measured by Innerfidelity are 95dB/mW versus the spec'ed 92.5dB/mW.  So I don't think that's quite it either.

I won't conclude with a fallacious "the truth is in the middle somewhere" statement, but my trust in manufacturers' published sensitivity spec plus math is a bit more...  skeptical now.  Is nothing sacred?

I don't know if this 'revelation' was made long ago on this subforum or elsewhere, but given the dubious quality typical of other manufacturer specs, I probably shouldn't have been nearly as surprised as I was.
Take into consideration that it's not the "need" but that we have an amp that may work on that load. The HE designer used a 100w Threshold speaker amp at a meet and there were some heads turned to the option. I had speaker amps in storage that I'd not considered using on headphones. Using one has saved me money (isn't that the intent). While the load may not use near the amp's capability, it CAN be used.
post #249 of 1671
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skavoovie View Post
 

I know it's blasphemy here, but I think the subjectivists might be on to something with HE-6 based on their anecdotal power observations along with Innerfidelity measurements.

Subjective claims make for good hypothesis sometimes. ;)

Since we also have objective measurements and gross sensitivity differences are trivial to hear, nobody can deny the inefficiency of the HE-6. Nevertheless you're probably not gonna need over 2 W output power, unless you really are into hearing damage or listen to very soft recordings. But those + the HE-6 is probably the worst case combination.

 

Quote:

I won't conclude with a fallacious "the truth is in the middle somewhere" statement, but my trust in manufacturers' published sensitivity spec plus math is a bit more...  skeptical now.  Is nothing sacred?

 

I don't know if this 'revelation' was made long ago on this subforum or elsewhere, but given the dubious quality typical of other manufacturer specs, I probably shouldn't have been nearly as surprised as I was.

Never trust specs and there are also manufacturing variations. Some manufacturers explicitly specify +/- 3 dB for the sensitivity, so if you're lucky your headphone could be 6 dB more sensitive then the next one on the shelf. Maybe even more..


Edited by xnor - 10/7/13 at 8:31am
post #250 of 1671

I come around to this community from time to time, and it's the first time I've seen this thread and I'm going to read it from the start when I have more time. But, I'm going to throw in a statement anyway:

 

The pursuit of the transparent and neutral sound is a big thing, but... who really has neutral ears?

post #251 of 1671
Quote:
Originally Posted by anodyne View Post
 

The pursuit of the transparent and neutral sound is a big thing, but... who really has neutral ears?

When everyone perceives colors slightly different why do we need monitors with accurate colors? An obvious answer would be that, for example, a calibrated monitor will render a transition from black to white smoothly and uniformly. You can see details in very dark images but also very bright ones which would otherwise be "hidden". Similarly a headphone with a smooth frequency response will not mask details. It won't draw attention to a certain boosted frequency range.

 

On "neutral ears":

The frequency responses of our ears are inherently non-flat. We're used to that and our brains actually use that information to determine where sound is coming from. How do we know how a certain instrument, person's voice etc. sound like? You store in your brain how it sounds.

 

Now record the instrument or voice with a flat mic and play it through flat speakers - sounds fine. Play it through colored speakers - sounds colored. It really doesn't matter how much your ears color the sound, because they do it consistently 24 hours 7 days a week.


Edited by xnor - 10/8/13 at 4:14am
post #252 of 1671
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post

When everyone perceives colors slightly different why do we need monitors with accurate colors? An obvious answer would be that, for example, a calibrated monitor will render a transition from black to white smoothly and uniformly. You can see details in very dark images but also very bright ones which would otherwise be "hidden". Similarly a headphone with a smooth frequency response will not mask details. It won't draw attention to a certain boosted frequency range.

On "neutral ears":
The frequency responses of our ears are inherently non-flat. We're used to that and our brains actually use that information to determine where sound is coming from. How do we know how a certain instrument, person's voice etc. sound like? You store in your brain how it sounds.

Now record the instrument or voice with a flat mic and play it through flat speakers - sounds fine. Play it through colored speakers - sounds colored. It really doesn't matter how much your ears color the sound, because they do it consistently 24 hours 7 days a week.

Not really--I know my ears make the same stereo at home sound awful one day and awesome the next. They have an especially hard time making up their minds after a headphone meet biggrin.gif
post #253 of 1671

Nah. Hyped bass and treble might sound exciting at first but gets tiring after a while. A smooth frequency response sounds awesome even after years. ;)

post #254 of 1671
I don't think my ears quite appreciate the totally neutral sound. I have a multiband compressor (a Frankensteinian contraption built of 2 crossovers and 4 broadband compressor VSTs) turned on almost all the time, usuaally for de-essing but I don't mind the effect even for general listening rolleyes.gif
post #255 of 1671
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post
 

When everyone perceives colors slightly different why do we need monitors with accurate colors? An obvious answer would be that, for example, a calibrated monitor will render a transition from black to white smoothly and uniformly. You can see details in very dark images but also very bright ones which would otherwise be "hidden". Similarly a headphone with a smooth frequency response will not mask details. It won't draw attention to a certain boosted frequency range.

 

On "neutral ears":

The frequency responses of our ears are inherently non-flat. We're used to that and our brains actually use that information to determine where sound is coming from. How do we know how a certain instrument, person's voice etc. sound like? You store in your brain how it sounds.

 

Now record the instrument or voice with a flat mic and play it through flat speakers - sounds fine. Play it through colored speakers - sounds colored. It really doesn't matter how much your ears color the sound, because they do it consistently 24 hours 7 days a week.

 

I have different experiences with IEMs and external sounds. When the sound is inside the ear canal the "brain EQ" kicks in after a while of getting used to a pair of IEMs. But with external sound (including cans) I often get a lot of trouble with midrange. Outer ears are evolved to help pick up certain frequencies better than others, and I think mine do it better than the average. So I find that a neutral response curve, like with studio gear I've listened to, gives me listening fatigue much easier than with more hi-fi oriented equipment.

 

It's more an issue about sensitivity than color, I think. And, I think my realization is that I need to find the right sound rather than chasing numbers that indicate the perfect sound reproduction.

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