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how is spacial imaging increased for iems?

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 

how is spacial imaging increased for IEMs?  How do you get the spacial sound on the IEMs?  I've noticed some have better imaging the others, how is that done?  Is it frequency dependent?  If not, what is it dependent on with IEMs?


Edited by SilverEars - 3/5/14 at 11:48pm
post #2 of 51

You're putting two tiny speakers inside your ear canals. You can't add spacial info. There's no room. There are depth cues built into the mix of the music... slight equalization shifts and echoes that indicate distance. But those are built into the mix. You can't alter them.

 

If you want true soundstage you need speakers.. The two mains in front of you will merge into an even spread of sound from left to right, simulating a stage in front of you. When you move your head in relationship to the position of the speakers, you can pinpoint specific spots in the stereo spread.

 

If you add 5:1, the center channel will allow you to move your mains further apart, increasing the size of the soundstage. And rear channels will extend the sound field out into the room front to back in addition to left to right.

 

Add DSP to 5:1 sound and you can alter the delay of the bounce off the rear wall and increase the depth of the soundstage, even with 2 channel recordings. It's possible to simulate different sizes of rooms from small all the way up to a stadium.

 

With headphones and IEMs, the best dimensionality you can achieve is to listen to a binaural recording. But the depth cues are subtle and depend a lot on how your brain interprets them. It isn't true soundstage.


Edited by bigshot - 3/5/14 at 10:23pm
post #3 of 51
Thread Starter 

I'm seeking info on IEMs only.  Thanks.

post #4 of 51

A crossfeed DSP.

post #5 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by higbvuyb View Post
 

A crossfeed DSP.

Explanation would be super.  Thanks.

post #6 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverEars View Post
 

Explanation would be super.  Thanks.

IEMs and headphones cannot have proper soundstage, practically by definition.

 

Music is designed for speakers, not IEMs. With speakers, a sound from the right reaches your right ear first, then it hits your left ear a bit later and quieter. Your brain uses this to tell that the sound should be coming from the right, at a particular angle.

 

IEM's can't do this normally because the left and right sides are fairly isolated.

 

A crossfeed DSP is a bit of software that tries to simulate speakers, by basically taking one side, delaying it a bit, making it a bit quieter, and then feeding it to the other side (and vice versa). You can get plugins for most music software, or find an app that supports this feature.

 

Another thing you can do to change soundstage is to use an equalizer. Your outer ear amplifies different frequencies depending on whether the sound is coming from above, behind, left, right, etc. So adding dips or peaks to specific frequencies above 1 kHz can make huge changes to soundstage. This depends on your ears, though, so you need to experiment.

post #7 of 51
Thread Starter 

Ok, maybe sound stage isn't the right wording then.  How does some IEMs sounds like it has better spacial imaging than others?


Edited by SilverEars - 3/5/14 at 11:37pm
post #8 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverEars View Post
 

Ok, maybe sound stage isn't the right wording then.  How does some IEMs sounds like it has better spacial imaging than others?

Frequency response.

post #9 of 51
Spacial imaging is just a flowery way of saying sound stage. They're the same thing.

Balanced frequency response can bring clarity to IEMs and headphones. No sounds cover up other sounds. Everything present and balanced. But that isn't sound stage. Sound stage is dimensional, and requires space between you and the sound. You can alter how the sound works in that space to make it sound bigger and smaller, but you can't alter space at all when the speakers are stuck up inside or against your ears.

People throw around the term sound stage like it is some magical thing that is created by playback equipment. It isn't. It's created in the mix itself and in the space around the equipment, the listening room.
Edited by bigshot - 3/6/14 at 12:24am
post #10 of 51
Thread Starter 

But, how to explain the more spacious sound you get with one iem, and another sound thin, without dimension with the same source?

post #11 of 51
You're using the wrong term. Thin is different than without dimension. Thin refers to frequency response, specifically lack of low frequencies. Dimension is actual placement of sound clearly in space. IEMs can only create left to right as a slice through the middle of your head. Speakers are in front of you and the sound bounces off walls all around you, creating a dimensional sound field. If you want dimension, you need to use speakers, because headphones and IEMs can't do that. All they can do is reproduce the depth cues embedded in the mix, which is a very tiny part of sound stage.

I know people talk about some headphones having bigger sound stage. They're just using the term to mean that it sounds good in a general sense. They don't really understand what sound stage is.
Edited by bigshot - 3/6/14 at 12:44am
post #12 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

They're just using the term to mean that it sounds good in a general sense. 

They may not understand the term, but I disagree with this statement.  Some sound more spacious than others if I am allowed to use the term.  Reason why people use certain terms is, the precise terms has not been invented, and they have to describe the sound somehow.

post #13 of 51
How can two things in your ears sound more spacious? The only way that would be possible is with phase shifting through DSPs or linking that to head tracking like the Aural Realizer.

Spacious sound, dimensional placement, sound stage... all the same. It involves the interaction of sound with the space around the speaker, the walls of the room and the distance between the transducer and the listener. IEMs can't do any of that.
post #14 of 51

How articulate the drivers are.  IME balanced armatures are very fast - planar like fast, electrostat fast.  The drivers that are more articulate can modulate as the recorded ambient signals command - creating that 'space' and 'air'.  When I say air - I'm not talking about treble - I talk about air in the bass, air in the mids and air in the treble.  This what is recorded in the signal.

 

The other factor that seem to determine 'soundstage' by a unanimous majority, but not I, is a treble boost.

post #15 of 51
I'm just guessing that different IEM designs offer different characteristics.
Some dynamic IEMs channel sound directly, like a tiny headphone, and the drivers are further away from the ear.
Some BAs use a tiny tube to channel sound because the drivers themselves are placed sideways to save space.
These might have some effect on the time delay and reflection inside the ear canal.
Also, IEMs with better response may help because they can convey the time difference more accurately.
Edited by proton007 - 3/6/14 at 2:19am
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