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Volume level with HD800 - curious comment in the user manual

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

 

Got my new HD800s today and read something curious in the user manual that I've not seen mentioned on here before:

 

Quote:
The harmonic distortion of the HD 800 is so low that you might be tempted to turn the volume up too high. You get the best sound results if you listen in the medium volume range.

 

This seems a somewhat odd statement to make - like an admission that the headphones don't handle high volumes well? Okay it's demonstrably true that the HD 800 has very low harmonic distortion but, to explore the inverse, why might higher harmonic distortion deter folks from turning the volume up 'too high'? That such distortion becomes unpleasant (or even painful) to listen to? Still and all, why would one turn up the volume just because of a lack of such distortion?

 

Now then, the 5-6kHz spike has been debated back and forth (to death) and I don't really want to re-open that can of worms, but might it be that at higher volumes the brighter character of this headphone comes to the fore and affects one impression?

 

Another thought is that the translation of the first sentence from the original German might have lost some of the nuance of meaning. Reverso.net translates:

 

Quote:

Der Klirrfaktor des HD 800 ist so gering, dass man schnell dazu neigt, die Lautstärke zu weit aufzudrehen.

 

 

to:

 

"The harmonic distortion of the HD 800 is so low that one quickly inclines to turn up the volume too far."

 

This seems to suggest an even more direct causal relationship between low distortion and high volume listening. If there are any German-speaking forum members perhaps you could translate the German?

 

I dunno, just a few of the thoughts this phrase has prompted for me - anyone else have any?

 

 

Cheers,

 

Ian

post #2 of 3

Whats not to understand there?

 

It's a security advice to be careful and not blow your hearing.

 

With speakes high volumes are associated with distortion of the speakers,

resonating objects in the room and actually feeling the vibrations in your chest.

 

All three points are missing when listening to high quality headphones.

So one is tempted to push it too far without immediatly noticing.

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

So you're saying that for headphones that have higher harmonic distortion levels, that very distortion will be a signal that the volume is too high? All good, but:

 

a. I don't buy that this is a warning - it's not couched in that language and is in the middle of a general paragraph.

b. What about the implicit suggestion that lower harmonic distortion encourages a raise in the volume?


Edited by drdiem - 5/14/14 at 6:01pm
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