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The State of the Flagships - Page 4

post #46 of 52
Quote:
(EDITED) Originally Posted by anetode View Post

 

  1. Bass linearity of +-5 dB from 20hz to 100hz.

    1. Bass linearity is difficult to achieve, but it should be done for a flagship.

  2. 100dB distortion should not exceed 0.8% beyond the sub-bass frequencies.

    1. No flagship should have any distortion that comes close to audibility.

  3. 100dB distortion should not exceed 1% at 30hz.

    1. No flagship should have a messy bass due to distortion.

  4. Frequency response curve should be very smooth with any resonances being very minor -- no major dips.

    1. A smooth frequency response suggests few resonances. Few resonances suggests a well engineered diaphragm and enclosure.

  5. Very small to absolutely no dip at 70hz-150hz.
    1. Those resonances are caused by an interaction of the headphone cushion and your face.   

    2. Large bumps in the frequency response at those ranges suggests a poorly engineered headphone pad or that they didn’t do their testing with the human flesh as a variable.

  6. Air-level treble should be no more than -15dB relative to the mid-range.

    1. A flagship should have excellent treble extension. Extreme treble roll-off should only exist on non-kilobuck headphones.

  7. No "wiggle" in the impedance graph.

    1. Wiggle suggests a poorly balanced voice coil in a dynamic headphone.

    2. Get that out of here if you’re a flagship.

  8. Nearly perfect channel balance.

    1. If I’m paying over $1000 for a headphone, I expect the channel matching to be as good as it gets.

  9. The headphone is open or semi-open.

(I've edited the above post from the thread starter as it gave an excellent summary of the proposed flagship criteria.)

 

Of the nine criteria above, two of them (1 and 6) are fixable by EQ.  Another two (4 and 5) can be mitigated by EQ to some degree.  This means I can elevate a lower-performing headphone to higher-level status via EQ.

 

Take the B&W P5.  From Tyll's measurements, it has very low distortion at 100dB, has no major pad resonances, and has a bass hump, which means that a boost in the bass is not needed, leaving distortion there low to keep 2 and 3 above in check.   It has no impedance wiggle, and is channel matched except perhaps for the very high treble.  Through EQ, it looks like I can turn this into an "8 out of 9" headphone as it is closed.

 

Am I missing something here?  Obviously criteria based on CSD plots would change things if they are added...

 

EDIT:  One more thing:  Sometimes the bass measurement on a closed headphone can vary a lot due to fit.  For example, the bass in the P5 measurements on innerfidelity changes depending on how well the on-ear pad seals the ear.  I have found a way to seat the P5 when I wear it so that I get a good seal.  Another headphone which I believe has some seal issues is the Audio-Technica ATH-ESW9, which I find has much more low bass than Tyll's measurement shows once I fit it right.   This would affect both 1 and 3 above. 


Edited by jazzman7 - 12/31/13 at 11:21am
post #47 of 52

LOL @ the Edition 10 comments

post #48 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueangel2323 View Post
 

LOL @ the Edition 10 comments

 

It's really terrible headphones if you actually listen to them (yes, I did. I knew Ultrasone's headphones were terrible in general, but I still doubted Tyll's opinion until that moment. Could not believe near 3K USD headphones sounded that terrible.)

post #49 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by wnmnkh View Post
 

 

It's really terrible headphones if you actually listen to them (yes, I did. I knew Ultrasone's headphones were terrible in general, but I still doubted Tyll's opinion until that moment. Could not believe near 3K USD headphones sounded that terrible.)

why didn't you like the ultrasone 10s?

post #50 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by money4me247 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wnmnkh View Post
 

 

It's really terrible headphones if you actually listen to them (yes, I did. I knew Ultrasone's headphones were terrible in general, but I still doubted Tyll's opinion until that moment. Could not believe near 3K USD headphones sounded that terrible.)

why didn't you like the ultrasone 10s?

Extremely harsh treble (even worse than Sony SA5000) really distorted, bloated bass. Hmm, at least I could endure wearing SA5000 for at least 30 minutes. I could not endure ED10 for more than 10 minutes.

 

But since some people (particularly in Japan) like such sound I conjure.

post #51 of 52

Just wanted to thank the OP for pointing us to this - good read overall - and just getting to everyone else's posts now :)

post #52 of 52

I just want to add that I support the author's study, and appreciate the time he took to prepare the presentation. The biggest challenge of this hobby for me is separating out fact from fiction, imagination, placebo and so on and these sorts of studies are very helpful.

 

 

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