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Sennheiser HD 590 Equalization

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I new to audiophile headphones and just bought used Sennheiser HD 590's.

They sound Much better than what I am used to, but reading on this forum it seems that they are in dire need of equalization..


I would like to eq them for the flattest most natural sound.  I know people say eq to what sounds the best to you, but I don't have the Golden Ears and/or reference headphones/speakers to compare to.


Does anyone have frequency responce graphs and/or Eq settings for the HD590.  I really want to maximize the sound quality.

(more HD800 or DX1000 :D)




post #2 of 8
Originally Posted by t3steve View Post

I know people say eq to what sounds the best to you, but I don't have the Golden Ears and/or reference headphones/speakers to compare to.

This sentence doesn't make much sense. You don't need reference headphones to know what EQ is best for you, just experiment and listen to the music :).


Also, I think it's impossible to make your headphones sound like flagship models by performing simple EQ. There are many variables which influences how headphones sound: sound frequency, time (decay), sound intensity (there might be different FR plots with for example 80 and 90 decibels), DAC/amplifier, your head/ears shape etc.


Another thing that natural sounding headphone is not necessarily best (most fun), most people prefer some deviations depending on personal preferences (like musical genre).

post #3 of 8

Here's the FR graph, dug out from way back when (kind of literally),


post #4 of 8

And to expand on the ideas mentioned above: simple EQ-ing alone is not going to to do much for you.

Not even in terms of tonality.

Without a professional measuring system you will have zero accuracy in tailoring the frequency response of any given headphone (say hd590) to another headphone (say hd800).

So your chances of getting HD800's approximate tonality out of HD590 is at best sketchy.


And secondly all you'll achieve is to make the HD590 sound way worse, by f...ing up the source signal with over EQ-ing and losing digital accuracy in the process.

And thirdly no magic pixie dust EQ will be able to give HD590 qualities is does not have, compared to HD800 (resolution, detail., dynamics, speed, soundstage, etc)


Anyway, I don't want to put you down, just to make you aware of the realistic outcome of that exercise.

post #5 of 8

Everyone hears differently so you EQ to what sounds good to you. The only suggestion is don't over boost the low frequencies or else you will cause distortion. On HD558 I increase bass slightly and lower top end slightly, they have good mids so I leave that alone.

Edited by Schonen - 3/18/14 at 9:37am
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thank you everyone for the replies.


I guess I should have listed my assumptions in the original post.

I know there are physical limitations imposed by the  design and orientation of the drivers.

Any time you apply Eq you degrade the signal by increasing distortion and phase errors

I don't Eq differently for different type of music, I prefer as accurate reproduction of the source as possible.

Headphone are not Eq'd the same as speakers becouse of on the ear placement.

You can not make a silk purse out of a sows ear, but you can have the best possible pig.




post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by James neutron View Post

Here's the FR graph, dug out from way back when (kind of literally),




Are the measurements for the HD590 taken the same way as for the current headphones?


If so the high freq from ~3000-15000 needs to be rolled off by ~6db or so?


does that sound about right?


Of course that could really mess up the sound, anyone tried it before?



post #8 of 8

You can't really rely on one measurements as every plot is made using different equipment, compensation curve, etc.


To get flat FR you probably want to EQ down mid-bass (100-200Hz), upper mids (3-4kHz), treble peak at 7.5kHz (but it's apparent only in left channel so it could be a matter of placing drivers against head) and EQ up the dip at 9kHz. This seems to be v-shaped headphone, so you will get less exciting sound this way.


Here is a hearing sensitivity curve, in theory a natural sounding headphone should have the same shape:

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