A Headphone Measurement Discussion (That Started In The IE800S Thread)
Nov 11, 2017 at 4:33 AM Post #16 of 66
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@Rob80b
Jude is really showing us that there are a lot of garbage measurements around. While I'm sure there is always further to go and he will refine his measurements with experience, already we can see that this is miles ahead of what's been posted.

Just want to step in here with something. What Jude is showing is that there are some different measurements around - not that others are garbage - just that others are measuring differently. Jude - are yours raw or is there compensation applied? What is the standard?

Reason I'm saying this is that there was similar debate regarding Judes differences with Tylls measurements of the MDR-Z1R (I think). Funnily enough - that was also in the 10 kHz area. I'd want to measure the same IE800S on a few rigs and compare the raw measurements before saying anyone's measurements are garbage. Another interesting thing is that there were more measurements showing a 10 kHz peak around the net with that pair of headphones - in fact I think Jude's may have been the only measurement that wasn't. So when something like this comes up, I'd be holding off any judgement.

Next thing to note - Alex is using my compensation curve for my Veritas on my set-up. It's been calibrated as well as I can to mimic an IEC711 raw measurement, and I already acknowledge that at 9-10 kHz on my rig, my calibration measures lower than it should. Above 10 kHz on my set-up its a crap shoot - the Veritas is pretty inaccurate. However - up to around 8 kHz my measurements on my rig seem to be pretty good. How do I know? Because I had help (from Ken) in getting some accuracy. We both measured the same IEMs (we mailed them back and forth) and I could check and recheck. He also gave me his raw data and I used that to build the curves. Again - from 9 kHz onward I wouldn't call mine accurate - but I have already had 2 manufacturers (other than Ken) tell me that my rig is pretty close to what they are seeing on their own professional rigs at 8 kHz and under.

The important thing though is that while Alex might be using the same brand gear, it is not the same gear. Our mics will be slightly different, our other gear too, and almost certainly how we measure (even the actual ffts etc). I always use the same tip, the same insertion depth , and I have it crudely rigged for the same angle. This is one of the reasons why I can get repeatable results months apart. I also use an amp between the measuring device - and its been the same amp for at least the last 2 years (this is so I have a low impedance when measuring). I guess what i'm trying to say is that my compensation curve is calibrated for my exact measurement set-up. I gave it to Alex and have given it to other Veritas owners because it will help fix some of the fundamental issues with their Veritas measuring low from 4 kHz onward. But you should not expect absolute matching to mine, nor absolute accuracy. I think mine is pretty good for what it is.

Lastly - if Jude is measuring to a compensated standard and the rest of us are not, then there are likely to be huge inconsistencies. So before we automatically proclaim the person with the biggest $$$$ set-up to be the most accurate, and the rest rubbish, lets see what we are actually measuring first ........
 
Nov 11, 2017 at 7:58 AM Post #17 of 66

Mimouille

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I hadn't witnessed people comparing measurements since high school.

b_1_q_0_p_0.gif
 
Nov 11, 2017 at 8:49 AM Post #18 of 66

vrln

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I thought I was already done with anything non-wireless when it comes to portable audio, but I´m too much of a Sennheiser fanbuy to pass this up... Got a good deal for one and should get it hopefully within a few weeks when the first shipment arrives. Used to own the IE 800 and used it a ton, so I think I´ll be able to compare the two pretty well. Jude´s initial impressions are already very encouraging. What I most hope from the successor is a slightly less "fun" sound signature (IE 800 subwoofer was always on!) and a bit more linearity. IE 800 still has the best midrange out of any IEM I´ve heard so far. I also never heard any 10kHz treble spike in the original. Never had any treble issues with it whatsoever, but I noticed some people complaining about it. My guess: the D2CA absorbers probably don´t work with all ears/measurement systems. Worked perfectly with mine though. All in all a refined IE 800 is exactly what I´m hoping for.

Jude: thanks for the FR graph! Any chance you could post a similar measurement that shows the original with the new S version in the same graph?
 
Nov 11, 2017 at 12:39 PM Post #19 of 66
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When you wear a headphone and I wear that same headphone, our individual transfer functions can vary rather substantially, and these differences (independent of preference) can significantly impact our individual experience with a given headphone. (This is an interesting discussion that we'll be having more of soon.) That said, I think if the graphs above reasonably represent an average human experience of the IE800, then, in a sweep through that range, most of us should hear the drops both of those graphs show at 3 kHz (and thereabouts). In the first graph, relative to 1 kHz, the drop to 3 kHz is steep and approaches 14 or 15 decibels, with an even deeper drop through 5 kHz. In the second graph, it's slightly less steep (but still steep) and is around 12 or 13 decibels.

Put your IE800 on, and play the following video at a moderate volume level:


Do you hear a drop in level of 13 to 15 dBSPL as the sweep transitions from 1 kHz to 3 kHz? Some may, but I think most will not. I definitely do not.

...

Finally had a chance to run this sweep. I felt like I'm at the doctor's office, getting hearing exam :wink: Tried it with wire up over ear and wire down, using Symbio silicone/foam hybrid tips.

With ie800s there is definitely no drop from 1k to 3k. But I do hear clearly a peak at 5.4k, then a little drop and a lift to the next peak at 7.9k, a small drop and another lift between 9k-12.2k reaching 12.2k as a peak, and a sharp drop off after 12.5k. From there, I only hear a small blip around 15k.

Regarding cable microphonics, not sure if it was in reference to the original ie800, but with ie800s it's hardly noticeable. It's not the "quietest" cable I heard, but it's soft, pliable, no memory effect, and perhaps a faint microphonics with wire down which completely disappears with wire up over the ear.

The length of y-split cable section is 9.5". For my average size head it's more than enough for over-ear fit, and I still have room for chin-slider to go up about an inch.
 
Nov 11, 2017 at 1:45 PM Post #20 of 66

james444

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Reason I'm saying this is that there was similar debate regarding Judes differences with Tylls measurements of the MDR-Z1R (I think). Funnily enough - that was also in the 10 kHz area. I'd want to measure the same IE800S on a few rigs and compare the raw measurements before saying anyone's measurements are garbage. Another interesting thing is that there were more measurements showing a 10 kHz peak around the net with that pair of headphones - in fact I think Jude's may have been the only measurement that wasn't. So when something like this comes up, I'd be holding off any judgement.

Just my 2c, I auditioned the new IE800S at length today, including a direct A/B to my five year old IE800. To my ears, there's definitely a similar peak around 10kHz on both IEMs, though it's maybe a tad less pronounced on the IE800S. Hard to tell by ear whether it's the exact same treble peak, cause the lower ranges are tuned differently, resulting in stronger treble masking on the new model... i.e. the peak sounds less obvious here.

But thing is, a peak in that area pretty much always manifests itself as thinness / lack of note-weight with cymbals (another example being the Pinnacle P1, for instance). And that's easily identifyable with the right test rack, if you know what to listen for (no, it's not the "SSSSSSS" :wink:). So, long story short, the exact same timbre issue with cymbals is there on the iE800S, imho. Hence I personally tend to trust graphs that do show that peak, since they coincide with what I'm hearing.
 
Nov 11, 2017 at 3:53 PM Post #21 of 66

Dobrescu George

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Just my 2c, I auditioned the new IE800S at length today, including a direct A/B to my five year old IE800. To my ears, there's definitely a similar peak around 10kHz on both IEMs, though it's maybe a tad less pronounced on the IE800S. Hard to tell by ear whether it's the exact same treble peak, cause the lower ranges are tuned differently, resulting in stronger treble masking on the new model... i.e. the peak sounds less obvious here.

But thing is, a peak in that area pretty much always manifests itself as thinness / lack of note-weight with cymbals (another example being the Pinnacle P1, for instance). And that's easily identifyable with the right test rack, if you know what to listen for (no, it's not the "SSSSSSS" :wink:). So, long story short, the exact same timbre issue with cymbals is there on the iE800S, imho. Hence I personally tend to trust graphs that do show that peak, since they coincide with what I'm hearing.

Thank you for sharing this with us!

I really want a pair now!
 
Nov 11, 2017 at 5:02 PM Post #22 of 66

Deftone

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Finally had a chance to run this sweep. I felt like I'm at the doctor's office, getting hearing exam :wink: Tried it with wire up over ear and wire down, using Symbio silicone/foam hybrid tips.

With ie800s there is definitely no drop from 1k to 3k. But I do hear clearly a peak at 5.4k, then a little drop and a lift to the next peak at 7.9k, a small drop and another lift between 9k-12.2k reaching 12.2k as a peak, and a sharp drop off after 12.5k. From there, I only hear a small blip around 15k.

Regarding cable microphonics, not sure if it was in reference to the original ie800, but with ie800s it's hardly noticeable. It's not the "quietest" cable I heard, but it's soft, pliable, no memory effect, and perhaps a faint microphonics with wire down which completely disappears with wire up over the ear.

The length of y-split cable section is 9.5". For my average size head it's more than enough for over-ear fit, and I still have room for chin-slider to go up about an inch.

Interesting I tried another test I downloaded from the internet, I hear it to 19khz, I love how the treble is going strong even at that kind of height then it goes extremely quiet and I can’t hear anything at all. I also hear the same lifts and drops you hear earlier on in the treble.
 
Nov 12, 2017 at 12:24 AM Post #23 of 66
Just want to step in here with something. What Jude is showing is that there are some different measurements around - not that others are garbage - just that others are measuring differently. Jude - are yours raw or is there compensation applied? What is the standard?...

@Brooko, the IE800S frequency response I posted is uncompensated.

...Reason I'm saying this is that there was similar debate regarding Judes differences with Tylls measurements of the MDR-Z1R (I think). Funnily enough - that was also in the 10 kHz area. I'd want to measure the same IE800S on a few rigs and compare the raw measurements before saying anyone's measurements are garbage. Another interesting thing is that there were more measurements showing a 10 kHz peak around the net with that pair of headphones - in fact I think Jude's may have been the only measurement that wasn't. So when something like this comes up, I'd be holding off any judgement...

Tyll later commented on this subject in this post on InnerFidelity (link) and in the post's accompanying video.

...Lastly - if Jude is measuring to a compensated standard and the rest of us are not, then there are likely to be huge inconsistencies...

Again, that's an uncompensated measurement. If I use compensation I do note it with the measurement.

...So before we automatically proclaim the person with the biggest $$$$ set-up to be the most accurate, and the rest rubbish, lets see what we are actually measuring first...

I don't recall anyone proclaiming this.

We've been putting together our measurement systems and techniques for nearly three years now, with a lot of help, knowledge, and feedback from industry mentors that include acoustical engineers and others who make their livings in/around audio measurements. Also, it's not surprising to me that our measurements don't always look like everyone else's you'll find around the web. I think some of the measurement commonalities you'll see between different enthusiast measurements on the web is due to commonly shared opinions and recommendations on how to build and tune do-it-yourself measurement rigs.

I'll post more details about our measurement systems here later, including discussion on some of the changes and additions we're making to them very soon.
 

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Nov 12, 2017 at 2:57 AM Post #24 of 66
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Cool - thanks I was unaware of that info from Tyll. It does make me wonder though - why the discrepancies - not only in what is being measured, but also in what people say they are hearing? I don’t have the IE800S so I can’t comment on what is right and what is not. And I always listen first, then try to measure so I understand what I’m hearing.

It just strikes me as weird that already there are several talking about hearing bumps at 10 kHz with sine sweeps - although that could partially be expectation bias. It’s also weird that you’re hearing none. Everyone is hearing what their graphs measure. I guess I’ll just have to get my hands on an IE800S and hear for myself.

I’d find it unlikely that Sennheiser would have possible big manufacturing deviations in a flagship IEM anyway.

Wouldn’t it be so much easier if everything was calibrated to one standard - and then we could get on with discussing the actual earphone rather than the differences in measuring rigs?
:)
 
Nov 12, 2017 at 3:00 AM Post #25 of 66
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Oh and the reply on the $$$$$ rigs was directed at Kunlun. If you’ll recall - he thanked you for your measurements, while at the same time claiming everyone else’s was rubbish. I simply don’t think we have all the facts yet. My reply was to him - I just wanted to know about your calibration.
 
Nov 12, 2017 at 4:31 AM Post #26 of 66

james444

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I’d find it unlikely that Sennheiser would have possible big manufacturing deviations in a flagship IEM anyway.

IMHO, it's much more likely that deviations among listener's ear canal anatomies are the reason behind these discrepancies. Have you ever compared ear impressions for custom IEMs? There's quite a lot of variance. The statement about KEMAR having "anatomically correct ear canals" is a bit misleading in my book. Of course they're closer to human ear canals than perfectly cylindrical ones, but (like HRTF compensation targets) they're still based on averaged data, collected from individuals that may vary significantly.

For the time being, I'd propose to go with the hypothesis that people with rather straight (and possibly wide) ear canals may hear a 10kHz peak, while others with more curvy (and possibly narrower) ones may not. I definitely belong to the former group, so I'd fit into the scheme. Would be interesting to correlate people's listening impressions to their ear canal anatomies... :smile_phones:

Edit: in this context, it would also be interesting to see the old IE800 and the Pinnacle P1 measured on Jude's rig...
 
Nov 12, 2017 at 8:06 AM Post #27 of 66

Rob80b

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.........

With ie800s there is definitely no drop from 1k to 3k. But I do hear clearly a peak at 5.4k, then a little drop and a lift to the next peak at 7.9k, a small drop and another lift between 9k-12.2k reaching 12.2k as a peak, and a sharp drop off after 12.5k. From there, I only hear a small blip around 15k.

.............

That's my observations to a "T", so good to know some of us hear more or less the same which gives credence to some graphs and a common point of reference although my hearing drops like a stone after 11kHz. : (
 
Nov 12, 2017 at 9:11 AM Post #28 of 66

Kunlun

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Oh and the reply on the $$$$$ rigs was directed at Kunlun. If you’ll recall - he thanked you for your measurements, while at the same time claiming everyone else’s was rubbish. I simply don’t think we have all the facts yet. My reply was to him - I just wanted to know about your calibration.

@Brooko I certainly never said that whoever had the most $$$$ was the best, that's all you.

I did thank Jude and I mentioned his experience. Are you questioning that?

People have a tendency to believe whatever they see in the form of a graph and whatever comes from an apparatus, regardless of whether that's justified. I do think some humility from those do it yourself rigs toward people who have put more time and experience into it would be great. Jude (and Tyll) deserve respect on this and it's not just more data, but rather better data, that should receive the most attention. That understanding seems to be missing, although you are a step ahead by talking about the limitations of your apparatus. That's not enough, though.

If people with a starter measuring apparatus know that their measurements are limited to below 9khz (and maybe above 70hz, bass on these rigs often isn't quite right), then one way to decrease the garbage factor and gain respect would be to cut your graphs off at those frequencies. Why post information you know to be misleading? That's a real question and one that must be answered. This is a real step you could take to make your data better. We should ask the same of others with the same apparatus. It's not good when twister6, who has the same rig as you, I believe, posts measurements here and then later says he won't post them on his reviews for lack of faith in their accuracy.

And, just to return to topic, I've picked up a pair of ie800S and will be listening for myself as soon as they arrive. It was the comments of people listening to them, primarily, that helped the most in making that decision, plus my experience with the original ie800. Jude's measurements certainly have been helpful as well.
 
Nov 12, 2017 at 11:28 AM Post #29 of 66
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@Brooko I certainly never said that whoever had the most $$$$ was the best, that's all you.

I did thank Jude and I mentioned his experience. Are you questioning that?

People have a tendency to believe whatever they see in the form of a graph and whatever comes from an apparatus, regardless of whether that's justified. I do think some humility from those do it yourself rigs toward people who have put more time and experience into it would be great. Jude (and Tyll) deserve respect on this and it's not just more data, but rather better data, that should receive the most attention. That understanding seems to be missing, although you are a step ahead by talking about the limitations of your apparatus. That's not enough, though.

If people with a starter measuring apparatus know that their measurements are limited to below 9khz (and maybe above 70hz, bass on these rigs often isn't quite right), then one way to decrease the garbage factor and gain respect would be to cut your graphs off at those frequencies. Why post information you know to be misleading? That's a real question and one that must be answered. This is a real step you could take to make your data better. We should ask the same of others with the same apparatus. It's not good when twister6, who has the same rig as you, I believe, posts measurements here and then later says he won't post them on his reviews for lack of faith in their accuracy.

And, just to return to topic, I've picked up a pair of ie800S and will be listening for myself as soon as they arrive. It was the comments of people listening to them, primarily, that helped the most in making that decision, plus my experience with the original ie800. Jude's measurements certainly have been helpful as well.

Sure, I broke my own rule and posted a measurement here with an explanation this is not a pro setup, elaborating on that I'm certain about peaks/valleys but not exactly about the amplitude. But it's certainly my choice not to feature FR measurements in my reviews because it creates more confusion than help. Look at the last few pages of this thread, we already got into a heated discussion about hobby setups used by Paul/Brooko, Chris/HifiChris, Crinacle, and I, and pro setups used by Jude and Tyll. Then, there is an argument of inconsistency based on what we are seeing vs what we are actually hearing (such as tone sweep test). And so on. It's my personal choice to describe the sound as I hear it (even though you already critiqued it as "word salad") and to compare it to many other IEMs. I actually think the analysis where you break down and compare lows/mids/treble/soundstage is the most helpful part of the review because we are not talking about objective or subjective description, but rather a relative comparison, hopefully to something you are more intimately familiar with.

Just from my experience of close to a few hundred reviews and impressions I shared and continue to share in this community which I think people do appreciate (at least by the amount of Likes I received), I haven't featured FR measurements and I have no plans to feature it in the future. As a matter of fact, if I could get away from star/point rating - I would love that too :) That's another part of a huge misunderstanding where I'm overwhelmed with people continuously asking me why I gave 4.5 stars to one budget iem 3 years ago and gave 4 stars to another flagship iem 2 years later. It drives me nuts to go into those explanation lol!!!

But anyway, let's get back on topic of IE800S. I actually think it was a good idea for Jude to bring up tone sweep test. We all hear the sound differently, based on our ear anatomy, ear sensitivity, ear "mileage", and personal preference of songs and pair ups with different sources. Tone sweep kind of brings it to a common denominator, so maybe it's a good idea to use it in our impressions when describing how we hear IE800S :wink:
 
Nov 12, 2017 at 12:50 PM Post #30 of 66

EagleWings

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@Brooko I certainly never said that whoever had the most $$$$ was the best, that's all you.

I did thank Jude and I mentioned his experience. Are you questioning that?

People have a tendency to believe whatever they see in the form of a graph and whatever comes from an apparatus, regardless of whether that's justified. I do think some humility from those do it yourself rigs toward people who have put more time and experience into it would be great. Jude (and Tyll) deserve respect on this and it's not just more data, but rather better data, that should receive the most attention. That understanding seems to be missing, although you are a step ahead by talking about the limitations of your apparatus. That's not enough, though.

If people with a starter measuring apparatus know that their measurements are limited to below 9khz (and maybe above 70hz, bass on these rigs often isn't quite right), then one way to decrease the garbage factor and gain respect would be to cut your graphs off at those frequencies. Why post information you know to be misleading? That's a real question and one that must be answered. This is a real step you could take to make your data better. We should ask the same of others with the same apparatus. It's not good when twister6, who has the same rig as you, I believe, posts measurements here and then later says he won't post them on his reviews for lack of faith in their accuracy.

And, just to return to topic, I've picked up a pair of ie800S and will be listening for myself as soon as they arrive. It was the comments of people listening to them, primarily, that helped the most in making that decision, plus my experience with the original ie800. Jude's measurements certainly have been helpful as well.

I don't think anyone questioned Jude's experience. It seems IE800S's tuning follows the same tuning as the original IE800 with a slight variation. Pretty much all measurements on the internet including Tyll's measurements of various IE800 units show a peak at 10kHz. Now if the 800S follows a similar response, it makes us stop and think when a measurement of the 800S doesn't show a peak there. Even if the measurement is from a industrial level rig. May be Jude's measurement is correct and the IE800S doesn't have the peak. If that is the case, we need to investigate why there are differences instead of discrediting other measurements.

What is disconcerting is, as soon as Jude posted his measurement, you decided to call the other measurements as 'garbage'. Measurement enthusiasts like @Brooko , @twister6 and @crinacle go through great pain to calibrate their rigs and provide some insights by sharing the measurements. But for time and again they have provided context of their measurements. Without context, measurements from even the most accurate rigs can be misleading. If you are someone who only believes in measurements from experienced people, then let me ask you this; if Tyll's measurements of IE800 all show a peak at 10kHz and if the IE800S possibly has the same peak (as stated by some trained listeners), would you start calling Jude's measurement garbage, because his doesn't show a peak there? You can't. We would have to investigate the possible reason for the discrepancy and understand why a certain measurement has the peak or doesn't.
 

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