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Hissy/staticky "s" and cymbals?

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
So I just got a pair of TB i30's and I've logged probably like 5 hours on them and something has been bugging me. The "s" sounds and cymbals sound somewhat hissy and staticky. I'm using them over Bluetooth through an iPhone mp3. I know, not Audiophile stuff but how practical are HD600's through a amp out in everyday life?

But can the hissy/staticky "s"eat and cymbals be attributed to the fact it's over Bluetooth or the fact that it's using MP3 or is it just bad sound quality? Or maybe the it is because they are brand new and the drivers aren't burned in?
post #2 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckless Raider View Post

So I just got a pair of TB i30's and I've logged probably like 5 hours on them and something has been bugging me. The "s" sounds and cymbals sound somewhat hissy and staticky. I'm using them over Bluetooth through an iPhone mp3. I know, not Audiophile stuff but how practical are HD600's through a amp out in everyday life?

But can the hissy/staticky "s"eat and cymbals be attributed to the fact it's over Bluetooth or the fact that it's using MP3 or is it just bad sound quality? Or maybe the it is because they are brand new and the drivers aren't burned in?

 

It's not going to be the BT that's creating that, after all, all we're doing is going from digital to digital to analog.  That digital to digital transformation probably won't do much, but the problem most likely lies in that last digital to analog conversion.  That happens with the internal machinery of the headphones themselves.  As we know, a poor DAC/AMP can cause poor output.  Well, it's not going to be using your iPhone's DAC/AMP to do it (since its signal is being transmitted digitally from the iPhone to the headphone), so the headphone has an internal DAC/AMP that needs to process it.  If that DAC/AMP is poor, then the output will be poor. 

 

Although it could be the MP3 files (if they are above 256, you're fine for the most part), or the BT (but a poor BT signal causes break up and skipping)...  It could be the drivers needing burn in.  My money is on the internal machinery of the headphones.

 

Just FYI, I personally have streamed 256 AAC (on my 5s) over BT to the Harmon Kardon BT, Phiaton Chord, UE 9000, and AKG K845.  They all sound just fine wirelessly, some better than others.  The wireless signal will change the way they sound because it's going through a different DAC/AMP in contrast to running a wire from the iPhone. 

post #3 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckless Raider View Post

So I just got a pair of TB i30's and I've logged probably like 5 hours on them and something has been bugging me. The "s" sounds and cymbals sound somewhat hissy and staticky. I'm using them over Bluetooth through an iPhone mp3. I know, not Audiophile stuff but how practical are HD600's through a amp out in everyday life?

But can the hissy/staticky "s"eat and cymbals be attributed to the fact it's over Bluetooth or the fact that it's using MP3 or is it just bad sound quality? Or maybe the it is because they are brand new and the drivers aren't burned in?

That hissing sound you're hearing is called simbalence, caused by uneven treble peaks in the headphone's frequency response. The best dynamic headphone I've ever heard were the AKG Q701s, afterwards, I've only used planar magnetic headphones, so I can't comment on how the HD600's sound, but looking from the their frequency response, they don't seem to have any problem with treble peaks. There is a small bump from 6,000 to 8,000 hz, and a lack of 10,000hz, so I'd imagine you won't have any problems with the hissing. 

post #4 of 32

First up (and sorry for being "that guy" on spelling - but this one bugs me - almost as much as treble being referred to as "tremble")

 

The word is sibilant, or sibilance - no "m" ;)

 

Headphonatic has the likely cause, and it sounds like sibilant behaviour (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sibilant).

 

And it's likely to be in the actual recording.  The HD600's may not show it due to their relatively even frequency response, and (for want of another word) their polite treble.

 

Sibilance can occur anywhere from 5kHz to 10kHz - but seems to be most often prevalent in the 6-8 kHz range.  EQing that area down a little may help.

post #5 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post

 

Sibilance can occur anywhere from 5kHz to 10kHz - but seems to be most often prevalent in the 6-8 kHz range.  EQing that area down a little may help.

 

This is actually why a lot of headphones have that bizarre curve response up in the higher freqs. Pull out the sibilance areas and spike back up for where you get your sparkle and shimmer from cymbals (cymbalance?). 

 

Everyone kinda forgets that if headphones had a truly ruler-flat response you'd never be able to listen to them because the trebles would blow your ears out. You ever heard a drum kit live versus recorded? It's WILDLY different. Those cymbals are agonizing if they're presented at full volume. 

post #6 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SomeGuyDude View Post

This is actually why a lot of headphones have that bizarre curve response up in the higher freqs. Pull out the sibilance areas and spike back up for where you get your sparkle and shimmer from cymbals (cymbalance?). 

LOL biggrin.gif

I think you have something there with the reference to symbalance - for some reason the use of that word (or non-word) grates me though.

My understanding is that the real reason for the peak / trough combo is to compensate for the shape / make-up of our ears.
post #7 of 32
Found it - I was referring to HRTF adjustment

Here's a great article on it http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/headphone-measurement-proceedures-frequency-response
post #8 of 32
Thread Starter 
So simply put, they are too unforgiving in the treble whereas compared to the super high end hd600 and such hide that more?

Or more so what I'm asking is does that mean that the i30's have poor SQ?
post #9 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckless Raider View Post

So simply put, they are too unforgiving in the treble whereas compared to the super high end hd600 and such hide that more?

Or more so what I'm asking is does that mean that the i30's have poor SQ?

Hard to say without:
  1. Hearing the music you're listening to
  2. Hearing the i30s. OR
  3. Knowing the i30 frequency response graph

It's likely to be a combo of 1&3 where the music is recorded hot/bright and the i30 have a treble emphasis. An example would be Beth Hart's "Live At Paradiso" album which is quite a hot / bright recording. It sounds bright but great on the HD600s, but does have sibilance when using my HD700s (which have a couple of treble peaks). Easy solution is EQ.
post #10 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post


LOL biggrin.gif

I think you have something there with the reference to symbalance - for some reason the use of that word (or non-word) grates me though.

My understanding is that the real reason for the peak / trough combo is to compensate for the shape / make-up of our ears.

 

Well yeah, the makeup of our ears is such that certain frequency bands are FAR easier to pick up than others. If you play a 50Hz tone at 100db versus a 12000Hz tone at 100dB the latter is going to sound like your eardrums are exploding. At the same time, we've evolved to pick up on human speech far more readily than other frequencies, so you don't actually need as much in the mids. I think the reason some people get annoyed at the scoop is they want the vocals to be up front, while others are happier with them sitting on an even keel with the instruments (which sounds "buried" if you're expecting your music to be "vocals with a backing band"). So a "natural" shape to a frequency response curve would actually look way different than a flat line in order to "sound" like the frequencies are even from bottom to top (even if they're not actually). 

 

I admit I'm making a looooot of assumptions here, but this is just stuff I've picked up over the years from being involved in music and various audio types. 

post #11 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post

First up (and sorry for being "that guy" on spelling - but this one bugs me - almost as much as treble being referred to as "tremble")

The word is sibilant, or sibilance - no "m" wink.gif

Headphonatic has the likely cause, and it sounds like sibilant behaviour (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sibilant).

And it's likely to be in the actual recording.  The HD600's may not show it due to their relatively even frequency response, and (for want of another word) their polite treble.

Sibilance can occur anywhere from 5kHz to 10kHz - but seems to be most often prevalent in the 6-8 kHz range.  EQing that area down a little may help.
Oh thanks, spell check has been bugging me about that for the last two years.

And brooko's right, most sibilance occurs right under 8k. When paired with frequent treble spikes, vocals too can become really edgy and piercing. I'd also take a look at the He-400's; since they only have a single peak at 9k, so you'd still get good treble sparkle and resolution, but without the sibilence. A big dip at 3.5-5k also prevents harshness from vocals, trumpets, and the like. Another big plus is that they're pretty easy to amp, really fun to listen to, and are relatively cheap-300$
post #12 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post

Hard to say without:


  1. Hearing the music you're listening to
  2. Hearing the i30s. OR
  3. Knowing the i30 frequency response graph

It's likely to be a combo of 1&3 where the music is recorded hot/bright and the i30 have a treble emphasis. An example would be Beth Hart's "Live At Paradiso" album which is quite a hot / bright recording. It sounds bright but great on the HD600s, but does have sibilance when using my HD700s (which have a couple of treble peaks). Easy solution is EQ.

For example the song numb by linkin park had a lot of that hissy "tinny" sound whereas much Boston specifically peace of mind sounded awesome
post #13 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckless Raider View Post


For example the song numb by linkin park had a lot of that hissy "tinny" sound whereas much Boston specifically peace of mind sounded awesome

 

Quick question, does the i30 have a passive mode where you can run them without BT and connect a cable to the iPhone?  What you're describing can describe sibilance though. 

post #14 of 32
Thread Starter 
Yes. Yes they can.
post #15 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckless Raider View Post

Yes. Yes they can.

 

Test them passive and see if the issue is still there :)  If it is, then the issue is sibilance for sure.  If it's not, then it was the internal dac/amp that did that. 


Edited by tinyman392 - 3/11/14 at 9:57pm
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