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Do Objective Headphone Measurements Correlate to the Audiophile's Subjective Experience?

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by purrin, Jun 16, 2012.
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  1. Focker
    Guys, I'm not going to keep going round and round. I've been pretty clear on my opinion so I'll leave it there. 
    I know a lot of you guys like to get all caught up in the headphone wars, and I even get caught up in it myself, but it really gets silly after a while. 
  2. purrin
    So who wants to see crappy DT1350 measurements? Taking an informal poll right now...
  3. KG Jag
    Were all or virtually all your testors from So Cal?
    How did you control for sound differences/factors not attribuatble to the tested headphones?
    Edit add:
    Did all your individual testors use their own or borrowed equipment?  Did they all use your set-up?  If so what was it for each can?
  4. ocswing
    I'm curious about them. Do they at least have matching channels?
  5. purrin
    Just informal poll of people around the world using their own stuff.
  6. purrin
    Yes channels match well with this one (bottom most). Unfortunately all three sound (and measure) differently. This is most disturbing.
    ultrabike likes this.
  7. jerg Contributor
    In my honest opinion, the CSD plot measurements are indeed very useful for gauging mids / treble performance, both in terms of decay rate (faster = better), and in terms of evenness/smoothness (ridges = resonance / ringing, which is never good and would screw up the timbre; also sharp valleys). The bass section however is more variable, as a flatter bass is usually more accurate but less impactful, a sharp decay bass is more tight but has less body to it.
    Ideally then CSD could reflect a universally favoured sound, it could also pinpoint nasty issues, however smaller details and oddities from CSD measurements tend to be nuances that can be loved by some and hated by others.
    As for purrin's posts for this thread, I think you might have made the writeup a bit more controversial than needed be. [​IMG]
  8. SanjiWatsuki
    Most waterfall CSD plots I see don't show the bass, though. They stop at around 500hz or so. But I do agree, there's a huge difference between bass response being too damped and sounding too tight versus being underdamped and being looser. 
  9. briskly
    Tesla Beyers and channel matching? Don't push your luck. Never mind.
  10. purrin
    Measuring bass is tough. Airplanes, water heaters, monster trucks, motorcycles, even 1/2 mile away messes up 20-120Hz badly.
  11. ultrabike
    This is indeed very disturbing! These DT1350 are completely different headphones. No wonder there are different impressions of these!
  12. hans030390
    Perfectly understandable, and I appreciate you actually responding to what I had to say with something meaningful. I think the study is great, don't get me wrong. I'm a big fan of your measurements and other contributions. I simply felt what you just said above to me could have been clarified a bit better in your original post, as I consider those to be important details to studies. That's all. I'm not trying to attack or offend you in any way. Just wanted some clarification. I'm also not sure why everyone thinks "bias" is a horrible word...I was simply using it in a technical sense.
  13. slwiser Contributor
    Have you broke down your measurement equipment and put it back together multiple times with a single copy of this headphone to make sure that it is not your setup that is changing? 
    These differences are almost incredible.  I know Tyll has had someone come in and tested his repeatability but have you?  Just having a questioning attitude here.  I know the ESW10JPN you first tested had some issues once as well until you retested!
  14. purrin
    The ESW10JPN was a compensation issue in the bass applied to the raw measurements. It wasn't a "hardware" issue.
    To answer your question, I've never broken down the rig since I've put it together. I even transported it whole to my new place when I moved.
    I'll occasionally perform a repeatability / consistency test. Nothing scientific and nothing rigorous. Just a check to make sure everything is OK. My rig, because of the way it's put together, is more immune to minor headphone placement changes.
    Here are measurements taken of a SR-80 Grado driver: 9/13/2011 and 12/4/2011:
    Here are comparison measurements (left+right channel) taken of an LCD3 in 11/14/2011 and 1/24/2012.
  15. Curly21029
    I may have missed it, but how exactly was this study conducted?  To me, the ideal method of testing would've been to have each of the 30 participants individually (i.e. isolated from others) test each of the seven headphones (burned in for 200+ hours) on the same exact rig with the same exact content.  Were any control conditions established?  If none of the preceding was met, then wouldn't the results be rendered moot by discrepancies in complimentary equipment, content, and a dissimilar basis for comparison?  If this was an invitation-only poll where those selected had a wide disparity of experience level with the headphones being examined, (as displayed by less than half being able to confidently cast a vote concerning the Edition 8's performance) then were the results actually made any more conclusive by limiting sample size?  With exclusively hand-picked subjects who the organizer(s) alone judged to be suitably informed, doesn't that inherently skew the results toward the creator's own bias and/or prior knowledge? (in this case, their own measurements)
    I'm not bashing what you've done here.  Contrarily, I believe that achieving a marriage of the objective and subjective is of the utmost benefit to this community.  Time and again, there are listings on the For Sale forum citing a job loss or overdue bills as a reason for selling.  This is NOT an inexpensive hobby, it's highly addictive, and there is rarely a guaranteed return on investment should a purchasing mis-step occur.  With the varying opinions here and elsewhere there is little doubt that losses are inevitable.  For example, I purchased one of this thread's subject headphones, the Grado RS-1, only to sell it at a loss a week later.  Personally speaking, I feel that the 3.20 mean average is charitable.  With that said, instead of simply condemning the methodology employed as flawed, I implore you to allow for varied collaboration on both sides of the experiment and take this concept further.
    At any rate, your efforts are most definitely advantageous to the community and you have my personal thanks for your numerous contributions... even if I do sometimes find your posts to be equal parts abrasive and humorous. [​IMG]
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