A couple of reaaaaaally dumb questions..
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stream

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First, regarding bass. How do tiny in-ear headphones produce bass? I thought the entire point of bass was moving enough air in a room at a low frequency, which requires woofers with a relatively large surface area with powerful drivers behind them. How do little in-ear 'phones produce bass? Is it easier for them because the "room" to which they're playing is very small (your ear)?

Second, is it bad to walk around all day with only one headphone in, with the other hanging out? I wear my iPod at work, and I need people to be able to talk to me, but I don't want to constantly be taking both my 'phones in and out, so I've just been leaving one side in all the time. Will this have any effect on the way I hear stuff if I do it for too long? I have a strong feeling that it won't make a damn bit of difference, but I just want to be sure. Never can be too safe when it comes to your hearing.

-Jesse
 
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lindrone

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Quote:

How do little in-ear 'phones produce bass? Is it easier for them because the "room" to which they're playing is very small (your ear)?


You would be correct in making this assumption. It is a ratio of the amount of air moved in the relatively small space that allows canalphone to produce bass. That's why the "seal" is very important with canalphones, unless that room is sealed off, the air will escape, and you will not get the bass.

Although, it is important to note as well, that no single driver canalphone can produce both clarity and a truly, competitively satisfying bass. Why do I say, "competitively satisfying"? Because if your reference point are full-size headphones, neither canalphones such as the Ety ER-4 or Shure E3c produces a satisfying bass, both needs some mental adjustment or just willingness to make sacrifices in certain type of sound. They are not able to directly compete with the type of impactful bass that a full size headphone provides.

To get the type of bass that truly competes with full-size headphones, you need to get multi-driver canalphones. They use a separate bass and high-end driver in combination to cover the entire sound spectrum.


Quote:

so I've just been leaving one side in all the time. Will this have any effect on the way I hear stuff if I do it for too long?


In a way, probably not... but if you have it in one ear all the time, and causes some type of hearing loss over-time in one ear more than the other.. then yes, it could affect how you perceive sound.
 
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Lostlamb

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Think of your ear as the "room" and the headphones the speakers. It's moving quite a bit of air in that little room.



As for your second question, as long as you keep the volumn low enough, I'm sure you'll be ok. I would watch out for equilibrium problems with music in one ear and people talking to you in the other. You might also need to pay attention to the people talking to you instead of listening to music.
 
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Taurui

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No idea about the bass thingie.
Now for the other thingie:

I guess it won't make a problem if you
a) Switch ears from time to time

b) Put both plugs in, set to a comfortable listening level and then leave it at that. The perceived loudness with only one plug is lower, so you're at risk turning it up and damaging your ear

-Taurui
 
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Dusty Chalk

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Quote:

Originally Posted by stream
First, regarding bass. How do tiny in-ear headphones produce bass?


By moving relatively slowly compared to higher frequencies. Don't think of the room -- that's not really what's going on. Room interaction is important with speakers, but those are standing waves -- they aren't what really causes you to hear sound. What causes you to hear sound is the driver causes disturbances in the atmosphere which cause localized pressure changes at the driver -- higher than, then lower than, the local air pressure. These peaks and troughs in the highly localized air pressure correspond to the peaks and troughs of the signal, and propagate as waves from the driver to your ears.

With headphones, they just have less far to travel. You can reproduce bass without a seal, but the in-ear type are designed with the seal. Quote:

Originally Posted by lindrone
You would be correct in making this assumption. It is a ratio of the amount of air moved in the relatively small space that allows canalphone to produce bass. That's why the "seal" is very important with canalphones, unless that room is sealed off, the air will escape, and you will not get the bass.

Although, it is important to note as well, that no single driver canalphone can produce both clarity and a truly, competitively satisfying bass...



Not true.

(Unless, by "competitively", you mean like in those car bass competitions...) Quote:

Second, is it bad to walk around all day with only one headphone in, with the other hanging out? I wear my iPod at work, and I need people to be able to talk to me, but I don't want to constantly be taking both my 'phones in and out, so I've just been leaving one side in all the time. Will this have any effect on the way I hear stuff if I do it for too long? I have a strong feeling that it won't make a damn bit of difference, but I just want to be sure. Never can be too safe when it comes to your hearing.


In what, your ear? No, that's not bad, but I agree with the advice that you should swap ears once in a while. Otherwise you may suffer from asymmetrical burn-in.
 
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oneeyedhobbit

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Dusty Chalk, how can you say that what Lindrone said simply isn't true? You did not provide any back-up for that statement whatsoever. Please expound instead of just disagreeing.
 
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randompt

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In my younger days (read: last year) I had a pair of clip on sony headphones which were easier to leave on the right ear since that was the side the source plug was on. I'm convinced that I have more ringing in that ear than in the other. So switch them ears! Ideally, stop listening so loudly (yeah right).
 
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lindrone

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Dusty, name one "single-driver" canalphone that has competitive bass with similarly classed full-size headphones... by "competitive", I don't mean Ety ER-4, or Shure E3c-like bass, but a bass that offers both visceral impact and deep extension.
 
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Dusty Chalk

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Quote:

Originally Posted by oneeyedhobbit
Dusty Chalk, how can you say that what Lindrone said simply isn't true? You did not provide any back-up for that statement whatsoever. Please expound instead of just disagreeing.


Well, I already explained how any driver can produce deep, satisfying, extended bass, so I didn't think it necessary to repeat all of that.

Not owning a pair of Ety's, I'll leave it up to Team Etymotics to defend their headphones further. But I remember a number of members of Team Ety saying they enjoyed the bass in their canalphones.

lindrone -- I'll leave it at that. My biggest beef were with statements like "...you will not get the bass". I also have a problem with the qualifier, "competitively" (which you've now explained further, but was pretty vague in your post to which I originally responded).

For the record, there are members here who feel that even full headphones don't provide the same "visceral" bass as speakers. I disagree.
 
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lindrone

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Dusty Chalk
Well, I already explained how any driver can produce deep, satisfying, extended bass, so I didn't think it necessary to repeat all of that.


I understand what you're saying in "theory".... theoretically it's possible for any driver to produce any frequency by manipulation. However, the fact is that there hasn't been a balanced armature driver that can do that. Whether or not it's something to do with the physical size, material science, they just have not been able to produce a single balanced armature driver that can cover the entire sound spectrum.

Even dynamic drivers can only manage that in a realtively closed environment, as in headphones. Large speaker systems usually divide up the different frequencies to different sized drivers.

Which brings to the next point, producing bass frequency is not only a matter of slower vibration, but also the volume of air moved. The volume of air that must be moved to produce a deep bass is different than that of a high frequency sound, where the vibration has to be fast, but the volume of air moved can be relatively small.

In theory, if you can find a material that can both vibrate fast enough to produce high frequency, and be big enough to move a good amount air at the same time, you can get the full spectrum in one driver. Like aforementioned example, dynamic driver can do it when the space is small (headphone), but can't do it when it's large (speakers).

Balanced armature driver hasn't been able to deliver that type of performance in singular configurations.


Quote:

Not owning a pair of Ety's, I'll leave it up to Team Etymotics to defend their headphones further. But I remember a number of members of Team Ety saying they enjoyed the bass in their canalphones.


Yes, but given the recent movement of former Ety users moving up to Ultimate Ears or Sensaphonic products proves that they were aware that there's something lacking in the bass that Ety produces. They were willing to make that trade-off for the type of microdynamic that Ety provided, but now they are aware of other options that can give them both the microdynamic and the macrodynamic, slowly you see people, who can afford the cost, move up to higher-end, multi-driver canalphones.
 
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bln

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come on guys, Etys just ain't gonna do deep bass and you all know it, so stop kidding yourselves!!!!

EDIT: i was just joking, lol!
 
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doobooloo

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Quote:

Dusty, name one "single-driver" canalphone that has competitive bass with similarly classed full-size headphones... by "competitive", I don't mean Ety ER-4, or Shure E3c-like bass, but a bass that offers both visceral impact and deep extension.


To answer this - my ER-4S produces deeper extension of bass compared to any other full-sized cans I've heard. This includes the following: SR-225, CD-3K, HD-580, HD-600, HD-650, DT-770, K501, etc.

By deep I mean no sharp dropoff of extremely lower (~20Hz) frequencies.

Because of this, I get more "visceral" reactions listening to the 4S more than any other phone. What I mean by "visceral" here is my body taking auditory signals and converting them into a bodily reaction. So, when I hear low bass notes with my ER-4S, I can literally feel it in my toes as if there was a big woofer under my foot... It's scared me a couple of times initially but I got to enjoy that kind of "virtual reality". No other cans have provided such flat, extended bass that gave me such reactions to that degree.

And this is without any sort of bass boosting.

The thing is, even without bass boost once one learns how to listen to and enjoy the bass on the Etys... haha the usual "Team Ety" crap.
I'll leave it at that. I respect your opinions and I know what you're talking about, but I think at times our language can sound a little hostile.


peace and love to the other canalphone teams.
 
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stream

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So....is the jury still out on the bass question?


-Jesse
 
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dj_mocok

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STREAM : you have to know, there is no such thing as stupid question, only stupid answers... like the one im giving you now...
 
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Aptmunich

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Let me have a crack at it:

You won't have a "whoompwhoomp" sensation on the side of your head with any canalphone as the sound produced by them will not impact on a certain tiny bone inside your head which gives you the feeling i'm trying to describe...

Instead you will hear the bass notes insideyour ear, which isn't quite the same thing.

At first you'll think "they sound good, but hmm the bass is extremly weak on these, why the hell did i spend so much money?" in time this will have turned into a "wow i can actually hear the deep richness of this bass note, instead of just a whoomp whoomp"

I hope this helps to clarify things in layman terms (actually just made-up descriptive words...
)

Let me now predict what will happen next:

Owners of UE and Sensaphonic canalphones will come along and explain how their canalphones can do what i just said they can't and will then try to persuade you to spend $500+ on something you used to spend a maximum of $15 on. (if you were feeling extravagent
)
 
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