A noob question about specs...
Oct 24, 2008 at 11:16 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 9

PCthug

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Sorry for sounding like a complete noob here, but i have been looking at buying a new pair of earphones to replace my 3 year old Shure E2c's. I was looking at the Ultimate ears Fi5, the Bose ones, and a couple of others (upto about £100), then i saw some Audio Technica ATH CKM70 (Audio-Technica ATH-CKM70 Stainless Steel Housing In-Ear Headphones (Silver SV)) that were released in July this year, and just ordered a pair.
I already own the Audio Technica ATH A900 headphones (http://www.audiocubes.com/category/H...eadphones.html), which i think sound awesome.

My question is, is that i have NO IDEA what all the spec means on headphones (earphones). I have looked at a few sites explaining impedence etc, but it is till a little 'over my head'.

The spec on the CKM70's are...

# Dynamic type
# 12.5 mm Driver Diameter
# Sensitivity: 106 dB / mW
# Frequency: 5 - 24,000 Hz
# Maximum Input Power: 200 mW
# Impedance: 16 ohms

I have seen some of the others with a db rating of more than 106, but not sure if more of less decibels will give a louder/clearer/better production of sound.
Similarly i have seen frequency ratings of less than this too, yet for more money. I believe that the human ear can only hear between 8 - 20,000 hz, and yet more than this can make the sound a little clearer.
Am i correct in saying that the lower the ohms, the better the base should sound and the louder they will be, as it requires less power to drive it? this is contradiction to the higher the db rating the louder they will be.

I do understand that specs can mean very little, and that its how they sound when stuck in your ears that counts, but have not seen any reviews on these phones yet.

Any help for this noob, to make it clearer will be of a great help.

Incidently, i use my headphones on my PC and my earphones on my iPhone.


MATT
 
Oct 24, 2008 at 12:12 PM Post #2 of 9

mape00

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I don't think there is a correlation between ohmage and how good the bass is. Very simply put: Lower impedance, higher sensitivity phones are usually better suited for portable devices, while higher impedance lower sensitivity phones usually have less problems with hiss but require more power.

As for 5- 24 000 Hz, it's, ehm, how should you put it, bollocks? Why? Because they haven't specified any tolerance. The sound at 5 and 24 000 Hz could be 90 dB below what would be a flat perceived response (not that 24 kHz is audiable anyways unless you're like a dog; adults very seldom have any useful hearing above 20 kHz whatsoever). If the figures are to mean anything useful you need to specify a tolerance, like "20-17kHz +/- 3 dB" or similar.

Don't pay too much attention to the specs. Most of it is either technical mumbo jumbo put there for marketing (people rather buy a dynamic driver or a neodynium driver than a 'moving coil' driver) or meaningless tautologies (any headphone reproduces almost any frequency if you stretch the tolerance enough).

Better read reviews, or look as more complete frequency data. Some data are available at HeadRoom - Right Between Your Ears They don't have the best measuring equipment, but it's pretty accurate and gives a much better picture of the sound than the crap put on the box...
 
Oct 24, 2008 at 2:25 PM Post #4 of 9

nc8000

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Neodynium is a meterial they make strong magnets from. This means they can make stronger magnets that fill less which is good for headphones.

Dynamic means that they use a membrane basically like you see in a traditional speaker. With regards to iem's you generally have dynamic phones like Atrio M5 or balanced armature like Etymotics. Both can produce good phones so it will be up to personal preference. Other types of drive used in full size headphones are electrostatic and orthodynamic.
 
Oct 24, 2008 at 2:50 PM Post #5 of 9
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Yes, specs are pretty much worthless for figuring out how a pair of headphones will sound. It's one of the great tragedies in this hobby
wink.gif

I'd be interested to hear what you think of the CKM70 when you get them. I have and really like the CKM50, but haven't seen any impressions of the newer CKM70 and 90 yet.
 
Oct 24, 2008 at 2:56 PM Post #6 of 9

B[van]

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I've heard of instances how Bose stands for Buy Other Sound Equipment or something. idk
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Oct 24, 2008 at 3:10 PM Post #7 of 9

accurate_dB

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Specs are there mainly for providing the reference point in the product offering from a particular company, IMO. Since there are no standards body governing/enforcing the accuracy of the specs, comparing products from different companies based on specs is somewhat debatable.

However, with that said, the specs can reveal certains things about the product that can be very useful.

Impedance lets you know if you'd need an amp.
Similarly sensitivity/efficiency lets you know if you'd need an amp.

Judging/evaluating sound quality is a personal preference.

Here is an example of where signal (SNR) is distorted to improve the perceived viewing experience. There is a thing called dithering where noise in introduce to the image/picture to make the image less blocky and better for viewing. This is a case of artificially adding noise to the signal.
Correct me if I misused a terminology. Regards.
 
Oct 24, 2008 at 3:15 PM Post #8 of 9

PCthug

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Punslayer /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I'd be interested to hear what you think of the CKM70 when you get them. I have and really like the CKM50, but haven't seen any impressions of the newer CKM70 and 90 yet.


The CKM50 have a similar spec to the CKM70, apart from the 70 being a metal construction. There maybe other difference, like the way they are made or the internal materials, but i will imagine that they will be similar to yours.
I will update this thread when i get them.
I noticed that the CKM50 have quite good reviews (AudioCubes.com - Audio-Technica ATH-CKM50 Inner Ear Earphones -), so will be happy if they are similar.
 

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