Foobar2000 Dolby Headphone config - Comment & discuss!
May 23, 2011 at 1:42 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 868


Headphoneus Supremus
Jan 31, 2010

RPGWiZaRD's Dolby Headphone foobar2000 info & tweaks

Here I present you my carefully tweaked custom foobar2000 Dolby Headphone config, basicly I'm the kind of guy that can't keep my fingers off when it comes to settings and tweaking for the best possible result using my own ears (or eyes when it comes to calibrating TVs etc) and can spend literally months tweaking all sliders one by one, making one or a few step change and listen if I find it better/worse until I'm certain about it etc until I eventually get a really nice (in my opinion obviously) result. I realize different headphones or especially DACs/sources may skew the results or the same setting may not be ideal for every DAC/source but trying it with my different headphones it all sounded pretty much optimal or near it so headphones themselves shouldn't have a large impact, DACs might have though

Soundcard users get the best result when the output device is set to 5.1 speakermode. Also please note it seems like Dolby Headphone plugin only supports max 48kHz sample rate.

Here's some examples of my custom Dolby Headphone config recorded video

Preconfigured install

You can download a preconfigured foobar2000 archieve from here if you don't feel like manually setting it up and you only need to extract it somewhere but if you already have foobar2000 installed I'd recommend you try it out first if you like it or not by extracting it somewhere else and then open the foobar2000 exe from that path you extracted the preconfigured foobar2000 config to and then drag the songs to the playlist (or importing your playlists) to be sure you hear this effect as it's supposed to sound like. If you were to double click your songs it'll most likely open your own foobar2000 and it'd need to be replaced to work, in order to do that you'll first need to uninstall your old foobar2000 from Windows control panel and then put the portable install into the same location as your previous foobar2000 install. Please note the preconfigured configs are portable installs so won't mess with your own foobar2000 settings unless you overwrite them.

UPDATE: As of 11.1.2012 I introduce both a "forward" and "laid-back" config as different people have different preferred sound signatures and this should at least better cover them as these two are a bit of the opposite to each other in soundstage especially. Please note these two different presets is not just an EQ difference, "Forward" config uses Channel Mixer plugin and "Laid-back" config uses Free surround plugin to tweak the soundstage so therefore they sound quite a bit different!

The "forward" config is suitable for: People who prefer a more forward/"in-your-face" sounding soundstage (but improved/larger stage with better imaging/positioning and separation over stock foobar2000), more engaging listening experience. Suitable for people who like the Grado sound or listen to lots of rock, EDM, dance, pop and acoustic etc music. If unsure I'd first try this one as it's more closer to stock foobar2000 sound.

The "laid-back" config is suitable for: People who prefer a more laid-back sounding soundstage with better transparency and more spacious/wider soundstage, more relaxed listening. Suitable for people who prefer sound signatures by for example AKG K70x or Sennheiser HD800 or listen to a lot of classical/orchestra, blues etc. music. Try this if you think the "forward" config is fatiguing or the vocals too "in-your-face".

Portable foobar2000 v1.3 beta7 "Forward" configuration: foobar2000.v1.3.beta7.Dolby.Headphone.(Forward) - (Updated on 4th January, 2014)

Portable foobar2000 v1.3 beta7 "Laid-back" configuration: foobar2000.v1.3.beta7.Dolby.Headphone.(Laid-back) - (Updated on 4th January, 2014)


Note: For best result I recommend changing to WASAPI (event) output manually in the foobar2000 File -> Preferences -> Playback -> Output afterwards, it's been set to Direct Sound by default for compatibility reasons. If you use WASAPI you'll need to match your output device setting with the same bitrate as set in foobar2000 and make sure the music files are using same sample rate (for example 44100 Hz) as set in the output device properties in windows control panel or else use a resampler in foobar2000.

Manual install


foobar2000 player (obviously):
Channel Mixer DSP plugin:
Dolby headphone Wrapper:
VST adapter (beta):
Electri-Q Posihfopit edition:
Matrix Mixer:
Freesurround (beta):
DSP chain serialization helper:
Graphic Equalizer (optional):

Dolby Headphone dll I won't directly link to as such but it's found in my preconfigured package as well as for example in the trials for the most media players such as PowerDVD and WinDVD etc. Latest version I'm aware of would be v1.20.0.276 (Thanks Roller), usually named DolbyHph.dll.

"Forward" configuration

DSP plugin load order

Should be noted that Channel Mixer plugin should be ABOVE the dolby headphone plugin in the active DSP list to work correctly. As far as Electri-Q VST EQ plugin goes, it's not that much of a difference if putting it first or last.

Channel Mixer settings

The rest of the settings that isn't seen in the pictures are remain unchanged. You can if you prefer a wider soundstage play around with Stereoimage width but I feel in my ears 0.96 brings the most natural sounding width and above that the vocals/mids are starting to sound off-centered, too far to the sides, this value is the last one in my ears which has the mids positioned where they should be in my ears. "Rear in front" and "Front in rear" settings affect laid-back or forwardness characteristics, the higher values the more forward sounding or vice versa while the rear volume setting seems to impact width/depth of the soundstage.

Matrix Mixer settings

Value 0.731 for the multiplier should give you roughly similar volume levels as stock foobar2000 with above Channel Mixer settings but you can adjust the volume levels according to your preferences. If you experience distortion, this would also be a good place to tweak first (additionally you can adjust gain in Electri-Q).

Dolby Headphone settings

The amplification slider works mostly as a volume control but may also add some audible reverb as well as increase the dolby headphone (surround) effect depending on how high it's set. I prefer the DH2 - Live room setting which doesn't add any noticable amount of reverb and therefore reveals fine details a bit easier, if you love to have a bit of reverb you can try DH1 - Reference room mode instead. The Dynamic compression ruins the sound quality more than it helps so stay away from that one too.

Equalizer settings

Before you ask why, I feel this is REQUIRED to neglect the frequency response change dolby headphone plugin adds, especially to the significantly boosted lows as well as recessed treblerange, without fixing this, you'll loose fine details in music and it sounds more "muffled". I've compared the EQ settings with dolby headphone enabled on foobar2000 vs stock foobar2000 but also for example Winamp and iTunes and maybe a bit Windows Media player to get a roughly similar frequency balance or just a "good result" (sounding great has slightly higher priority than sounding EXACTLY the same as other players but yea it's roughly the same anyway).

To load the VST EQ plugin Electri-Q (poihfopit edition) I recommend using the new VST host adapter by Yegor Petrov. After having placed the foo_vst.dll file in the components folder as usual, go to File -> Preferences -> Components -> VST plug-ins and add the Electri-Q plugin. Now press "apply" and it should ask if you want to restart foobar2000 and let it do so. Now go to DSP manager and add the Electri-Q (posihfopit edition) to the active DSPs list and you should be now able to bring up the EQ window.

To add a new dot, double click anywhere on the line. To change type of the filter, right click on dot and navigate to "basic" and then pick the appropriate type. To modify a dot's value, double click on it to bring up a small window where you can enter following values:

1: Filter: Peak Freq: 22,676 Gain: -1,386 BW: 1,101
2: Filter: Peak Freq: 40,425 Gain: -1,538 BW: 1,076
3: Filter: Peak Freq: 69,000 Gain: -1,100 BW: 1,096
4: Filter: Peak Freq: 123,49 Gain: -0,958 BW: 1,057
5. Filter: Peak Freq: 198,27 Gain: 0,387 BW: 1,100
6. Filter: Peak Freq: 375,89 Gain: 0,037 BW: 1,000
7. Filter: Peak Freq: 718,00 Gain: -0,159 BW: 1,088
8. Filter: Peak (Orfanidis) Freq: 1197,0 Gain: 0,937 BW: 1,128
9. Filter: Peak (Orfanidis) Freq: 1737,3 Gain: 1,137 BW: 1,100
10. Filter: Peak (Orfanidis) Freq: 2475,1 Gain: 1,172 BW: 1,100
11. Filter: Peak (Orfanidis) Freq: 3359,9 Gain: 1,038 BW: 1,041
12. Filter: Peak (Orfanidis) Freq: 4581,6 Gain: 0,929 BW: 1,117
13. Filter: Peak (Orfanidis) Freq: 6760,1 Gain: 0,404 BW: 0,738
14. Filter: Peak (Orfanidis) Freq: 9966,7 Gain: 1,176 BW: 0,990
15. Filter: Peak (Orfanidis) Freq: 16444 Gain: 0,531 BW: 1,174
16. Filter: Gain only Freq: doesn't matter Gain: -2,972 BW: 1,000

A DSP chain preset with the EQ setting above (as well as rest of the plugin settings) can be downloaded from here: foobar2000.EQ.Balanced.(Forward)-RPGWiZaRD.fbcp - Use DSP chain serialization helper plugin to load the .fbcp file by holding down shift while accessing playback dropdown menu -> DSP chain serializer -> load.

"Laid-back" Configuration

DSP plugin load order

Free Surround (beta) Settings

Matrix Mixer settings

Dolby Headphone settings

Equalizer settings

1: Filter: Peak Freq: 22,676 Gain: -1,447 BW: 1,100
2: Filter: Peak Freq: 39,150 Gain: -1,497 BW: 1,109
3: Filter: Peak Freq: 63,300 Gain: -1,457 BW: 1,235
4: Filter: Peak Freq: 115,40 Gain: -0,969 BW: 1,110
5. Filter: Peak Freq: 198,27 Gain: 0,387 BW: 1,100
6. Filter: Peak Freq: 725,00 Gain: -0,247 BW: 1,150
7. Filter: Peak (Orfanidis) Freq: 1151,8 Gain: 0,852 BW: 1,265
8. Filter: Peak (Orfanidis) Freq: 1665,8 Gain: 1,269 BW: 1,100
9. Filter: Peak (Orfanidis) Freq: 2391,8 Gain: 1,377 BW: 1,200
10. Filter: Peak (Orfanidis) Freq: 3218,4 Gain: 1,322 BW: 1,100
11. Filter: Peak (Orfanidis) Freq: 4585,2 Gain: 1,322 BW: 1,120
12. Filter: Peak (Orfanidis) Freq: 6393,0 Gain: 0,747 BW: 0,831
13. Filter: Peak (Orfanidis) Freq: 9966,7 Gain: 1,548 BW: 0,857
14. Filter: Peak (Orfanidis) Freq: 16987 Gain: 1,149 BW: 1,227
15. Filter: Gain Freq: doesn't matter Gain: -2,416 BW: 1,000

A DSP chain preset with the EQ setting above (as well as rest of the plugin settings) can be downloaded from here: foobar2000.EQ.Balanced.(Laid-back)-RPGWiZaRD.fbcp - Use DSP chain serialization helper plugin to load the .fbcp file by holding down shift while accessing playback dropdown menu -> DSP chain serializer -> load.

You can add whatever plugins you want to use, for example WASAPI is heavily recommended to bypass the Windows own built-in mixer/EQ to get a cleaner output! I decided to not enable this output as default as it usually requires the correct bitrate and sampling rate applied and may be a hazzle to newbies which haven't used foobar2000 to figure out how to fix it. Comments are highly appriciated.


Q: What's the goal of this foobar2000 Dolby Headphone config?

A: The goal is to enhance the "out-of-box" experience, make recordings sound more "live"-like with as realistic and clear positioning as possible while maintaining sound quality as close to the original signal as possible. Also it makes the sound a bit more "forward" sounding for more engaging experience that makes you wanna tap to the rythm or dance along with the music as well as having vocalist standing almost within reach to you while background instruments may sound like they'd be coming far from the background or to the sides for a more dynamic and wider listening feeling like you would forget you're wearing any headphones!

Q: Why share this config here on Head-Fi?

A: Because I realize everyone doesn't like tweaking but I do and find that if people like grasping the settings just like that and enjoys them then I'm also happy they are enjoying it, it's a win-win situation.

Q: How do you know how to adjust the settings?

A: I only go by ear really. I've been EQing my headphones for many years and tried out different VST plugins or standalone apps that try to modify the sound in different ways so I've gotten used to hear the tiny differences in sound. You can train your ears as well! EQing is one good way to start which can be suprisingly educative.
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May 23, 2011 at 6:06 PM Post #2 of 868
long time lurker here, just registered because this caused tremendous amazement :D

I've been testing DolbyHeadphone and other custom effects to get that certain "out of the head" 3D sound for a while now, always resulting with an altered sound signature.
What you've set up here seems to have a very minimal effect on the sound signature, which is exactly what I've been looking for!

Using the K701, amped through the Behringer MS40 Monitor's internal DAC/AMP headphone jack.

I need to test this for some more hours/days but so far its awesome :D Thanks for sharing this!
May 23, 2011 at 6:48 PM Post #3 of 868
Yea that's why I like the sound of this cuz it has minimal impact on the sound signature or quality, mostly plays around with the presentation, makes soundstage deeper sounding and the positioning sounds more natural/accurate (studio recording start sound more "live"-like) and makes it a little bit more forward sounding (I personally tend to prefer a bit more forward sound), which is mainly due to the "rear in front" and "front in rear settings" so you can play around with those if desired, lowering those values will make it a little more laid-back and I suppose "0" is pretty much default for those but I like how it sounds this way though, especially when the singer feels like she/he is often standing almost next to me depending on the recording obviously meanwhile instruments can be heard far into the "background" or to the sides which adds to realism like it would be a binaural recording almost. :p
I've tried several different VST plugins and "enhancements" apps of various kinds but most of them make too drastic change to the sound and some barely any audible difference, this is just perfect for my taste.
May 29, 2011 at 3:44 AM Post #4 of 868
A few months ago I found a recipe that you can use to make DH sound near-optimal if you know the raw frequency response of your headphones (I'm a scientist, you can trust me :wink:.
Depending on the level at which you typically listen to music, you need to set your sliders to the difference between the equal loudness curve at that db level and your headphones' raw frequency response. A good choice for loud listening is the 80 db curve. Here's a picture of the curves:

The only caveat is that you need to be very lucky to know your headphones' frequency response. There is a database of 200+ headphones at -- however, these are not the true curves. They are a) smoothed, b) have an offset applied, and c) most of them are wrong due to measurement errors. To get the unprocessed curve, you need to right-click the image, get the link (e.g. for the ones that I'm currently using, the link is: =1893][]=1893), and then subtract 2 from the graphID number. I.e. for my Sennheiser CX 300-II, the correct curve is: =1891][]=1891. Here's a picture:

Regarding the measurement errors: The more wiggle room there is in the placement of a pair of headphones, the lower the chances that you'll ever find the "correct" curve. Basically, I would trust at best the IEM measurements, but even some of those are horribly wrong. Out of the headphone models that I own (or used to own) the only ones that are pretty much correctly measured are Koss PortaPro and Sennheiser CX 300-II. The degree of improvement is frankly mindblowing. I bought a few other cheap ones for testing (e.g. Skullcandys), and found that one can pretty much forget their measurements (it would be nice if community members could report whether the models that they own are correctly measured...).
I ended up having to make some additional tweaks for my Sennheisers. It is possible that these are due to the fact that the measurements were taken on a dummy head with artificial ear canals. This type of tweak is independent of the headphone model, however (see picture below for the settings that I'm using).

Finally, you cannot create very good EQ's with foobar2000's built-in equalizer, because it does not produce a smooth response. See picture below for the response that you're getting out of a sample EQ setting.

For foobar2000, there is a fairly new DSP plugin here: which seems like it does a good job. Alternatively, you can use a VST wrapper plus a good VST equalizer (which are costly, however), or the experimental SplineEQ that I made some time ago: (but it's really a hassle to install that one).
Edit: I almost forgot that it's best to use an output plugin that bypasses the built-in Windows mixer, EQ, and all that junk. I am using WASAPI (with a Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi USB sound card, which btw. requires resampling to 48 KHz to work), but ASIO or Kernel Streaming should also be good choices.
May 29, 2011 at 6:17 AM Post #5 of 868
Nice to see people like you chime in, need more people like you around here. :p
About the EQing in this config, it was only ofc to counter the change dolby headphone applies and doesn't apply any specific settings for some certain headphone, only tries to make it more sounding like other players with EQ disabled or foobar2000 itself without using dolby headphone or any EQ enabled.
I've read an article regarding testing different EQs and yea I remember foobar2000's were quite ugly looking with those unsmooth changes and yes you can hear it's not a very good EQ by the ear pretty much as well but at least lowering the frequencies below the 0-level works a bit better than boosting which is something you should never attempt to do on foobar2000's EQ or most other software EQs. Also should be noted the results gets more inaccurate if you adjust one slider several steps away from the others than letting all sliders be no more than one or possibly two steps higher/lower next to the other slider like I did in that config above. I personally use my soundcard's EQ to tweak the headphones themselves but I wanted to counter the change which dolby headphone in foobar2000 does so I wouldn't end up EQing my soundcard's EQ to sound optimal with foobar as in that case when I'm gaming I would perhaps lack slight amount bass for example so it's best or most practical IMO to at least counter the frequency balance change dolby headphone plugin adds within foobar2000 and then if you need further EQ tweaking for your headphone to sound great then use a some that is applied to all your computer tasks like the soundcard or something else or in worst case use some for foobar2000 for your music listening needs at least.
I'm not the person that puts a lot of focus at the theory like graphs measuring the response but rely on my own ears the most. It's kinda like it doesn't matter how it's done or if it gives a theoretically more "correct" result if I can't hear that with my ears as well, I prefer letting the ears decide all changes I do, I only like to compare for example when EQing my headphones with a frequency graph so I can compare with both my own hearing and the graph to get easier to a better result but most of the time the ears do the job and I've almost always came to similar results as if I'd follow a graph, my ears are pretty trained to hear differences in sound as I've spent lots and lots of time on EQing for many years as well as testing out several VST plugins or apps that do various things. It's gone so far I can quite accurately tell whereabouts the frequencies need to be tweaked for a headphone I listen to without having to start trying it out first.
I didn't know of that free EQ dsp plugin for foobar2000 and it looks indeed doing a quite better job and 31 bands lol and more bands the more accurate results and I'll download this plugin now immediatly and see if it results in any audible better result vs using the internal one and possibly update the config if so. Since there's only a little EQ applied and the changes are made smoothly (max one step or two between 110 and 156Hz, I think it'll be very little audible difference if any but we'll see). EDIT: Looks like I will have to update foobar2000 in that case, won't work with v1.0.3 sadly and last time I tried latest version of foobar2000 it sounded slightly different compared to v1.0.3 which was less appealing to me. 
Also nice info there about's hidden raw graphs, I have seen some a couple of times but didn't know they existed for all their headphones that were measured and that you had to subtract 2 from the ID to see it. Good info there!
I tried WASAPI and couldn't get it to work in windows 7 for my soundcard and some other people may not as well why I decided to not include it in the above config and let people manually add it if they want, I rather provide a setting that will work for every1 than certain people as it's less of a hazzle. EDIT: WASAPI worked now, turns out it was the v1.0.3 not working with the wasapi plugin and worked with latest version, had to use resampler to change to 48kHz though. Is there any way to limit the volume of foobar2000, I don't have any external amp/dac to play around with any volume control and the foobar2000 volume control is now very impractical with very loud volume at max and small changes do very noticable differences, normal listening volume on my XB500 is at -25 to -30dB, very much to the left lower end of volume, with max vol I'd blast my eardrums in no time. :p
May 29, 2011 at 8:27 AM Post #7 of 868
I tried your foobar settings - didn't really know what to think at first - but after an hour or so it's quite enjoyable.  An almost out of head experience - especially using AD700's.  I've been listening to Nils Lofgren's "Acoustic Live".  it's an excellent album for this sort of thing.
Anyway - if you do retry this with new settings (ie the new EQ plugin), please continue to post your settings.  I'm happy being your guinea pig.
Also - what sort of feedback do you need?
May 29, 2011 at 8:56 AM Post #8 of 868
Sorry for double post - but had to comment on this one.  Half way through Diana Krall's album "The Girl In the Other Room".  This set up is very, very enjoyable.  Sounds like she's here in the room.
May 29, 2011 at 9:02 AM Post #9 of 868

Sorry for double post - but had to comment on this one.  Half way through Diana Krall's album "The Girl In the Other Room".  This set up is very, very enjoyable.  Sounds like she's here in the room.

Yea I tweaked it that way so it would sound more a little more forward, if you want to hear what I'm talking about listen to the parts you enjoy and go into the channel mixer settings and put "rear in front" and "front in rear" settings from 58 and 57 respectively down to 0. It's mostly this setting along with the appropriate stereoimage width which makes it sound like the singer often is very physically close to you like standing in the same room with her/him.
I'm currently configuring foobar2000 v1.1.6, sounds reasonably same, must have been something fishy last time I tried but yea the "Graphic EQ" is good but it's difficult to discern any very audible improvements vs using the built in but I'll play around with the setting a bit more but I think I may have found roughly the optimal setting in my ears now. Will post soon.
May 29, 2011 at 9:36 AM Post #10 of 868
OK, here I've configured foobar2000 v1.1.6 with the "Graphic EQ" plugin that pro_optimizer linked to, I will probably do slight modification especially to the lows still, it could be a tiny bit too strong (punchy, meaning around 80~125Hz might be one-two steps or so too high or the very low frequencies which are definitely a bit stronger stronger compared to iTunes/WMP but it sounds very musical and most headphones have rolled off bass response at those frequencies anyway) still with this setting but it sounds pretty good already like this. I also changed "Front in rear" setting to 0.56 and Dolby headphone amplification to 121% for minor change to soundstage. Versus iTunes it may be tiny bit less sparkly (around 8~12kHz or so may need to be boosted slightly) but I found iTunes less realistic sounding than this and almost distorting the high frequencies at times so I probably won't change that and it's quite subtle differences we're talking about anyway. (it's a portable install so won't overwrite your settings, just extract to a different path to try it out)
(have reuploaded a couple of times due to minor setting changes, so if you grabbed it earlier I'd recommend redownloading)
EQ setting looks like this if you're wondering, since you can't save the profiles with this EQ I recommend you grab the package as it may be a bit difficult to get it exactly right otherwise. Also I didn't have WASAPI enabled in that config but the dll is included so it only has to be enabled in case you're usually using that.

I still have a hard time deciding whether I'm liking the foobar2000 v1.0.3 or v1.1.6 config better though, sounds very similar.
EDIT: I'm starting to doubt this EQ brings any better results than the built in one, I've kept switching back and forth and it's really difficult to say.
I'm currently using 

which may bring a bit better result than the previous setting but against the built-in with the exact setting as posted in my first post it's really hard to say...
EDIT2: I'm fairly positive after slight fineadjustments and came up with the updated setting I posted above that I start slightly preferring this config. Updated the hosted foobar config with this latest EQ setting as well. I'm still liking the v1.0.3 foobar2000 config a lot though.
Now I won't touch the settings anymore. Both the v1.0.3 and v1.1.6 configs sounds very good and almost perfectly similar in my ears so it's up to you to pick. v1.1.6 may sound slightly better now as well but believe me it require every one slider on the 31-band EQ to be set perfectly or else it'll sound worse. 

[size=medium] Quote:
Also - what sort of feedback do you need?


Any kind of feedback is welcome, as in how you'd compare it to stock foobar settings or a different player perhaps if you find it better/worse sounding or how you think it sounds different or do you have any hints to improve it or plugins that may work better etc. Whatever you want to comment, I mainly want to share the settings as in my ears it sounds so much better than any other player or settings and enhances greatly my listening experience and therefore I wanna share them but I'm also interested in hearing what other people thinks.​

May 29, 2011 at 5:04 PM Post #11 of 868
Yes, I originally did it by ear, too (tweaking the EQ over months with DH enabled...). Sooner or later, most changes would only pick out flaws in the specific recording, so I had to confirm across a variety of other recordings (mostly high-budget soundtracks) to not make it worse (I used Voxengo CurveEQ for most of it), and eventually I couldn't improve it any more. Years later I came across those raw plots from and made a difference plot with my EQ (which had quite a few peaks and dips in places). And lo and behold, out came a graph that I had seen before: a pretty decent approximation of the equal-loudness curve - which is how I originally learned that this is with high chance DH's assumed baseline.
May 29, 2011 at 5:19 PM Post #12 of 868
Yea if you are trained to hear the differences it's not suprising, and Dolby headphone really adds a massive bass boost and smoothens out the upper-mids to lower-highs range as you can see from above and the deep bass would actually have to be 1-2 steps lower but it's ok with slightly enhanced deep bass response IMO anyway. :p I also further apply my soundcard's EQ setting for XB500 on top of that which looks like:

This is a hardware EQ though which works soooo much better, a +2.0 boost on this EQ is quite different compared to say iTunes which need like +6 on that EQ to get similar sense of change but obviously iTunes EQ distorts which this one doesn't. I would get best result only tweaking this EQ and leaving foobar alone but like I said I can't be bothered using 2 different EQ settings when listening to music and gaming and it sounds reasonably good anyway if you accurately tweak the foobar2000's EQ to neglect the DH changes and only use smooth adjustments to it.
May 29, 2011 at 11:18 PM Post #14 of 868

Wow, I am in love with this foobar configuration. The soundstage is amazing for orchestral and jazz music.

You could make soundstage sound even larger but the point with this config it also sounds very natural at the same time and IMO things sound realisticly positioned, if I try to make it larger it starts sounding unrealistic or a mess (to me at least).
May 30, 2011 at 6:50 AM Post #15 of 868
Thanks Wiz!
I copied your new config from the pics (they are great).  Listening to it now.  I am not much of a tweaker - so I'm quite happy just absorbing your settings.
I'm listening from PC (using WASAPI) to E7 as DAC to either SRH840 or AD700's.  I use the E7 completely flat for the SRH840's and with bass boost one for  the AD700s - just to give them a little more body.
First thing I tried was using it with my SRH840's.  The staging was definitely a bit narrower - but the sound was quite warm, rich and enjoyable.  Diana Krall sounds spectacular with this set-up.  I just can't believe how intimate the experience is with this set-up and the 840's.  It just really suits female vocals.
I switched the the AD700's and definitely felt as though I was sitting a little further back.  The experience is still good - but for Krall, I think I prefer the intimacy of the Shures.
Next tried (for something completely different) Alice In Chains "MTV Unplugged".  This is a great album for this set-up because it's live, there is definite instrument separation, and with the crowd noise every now and then, it heightens the experience.  The AD700's are definitely better for this album.  BTW - with level1 bass boost from the E7, the AD700's just sound wonderful - they even have nice bass punch (who said they had non-existent bass! )
Onto another of my favourite albums - another live one - Nils Lofgren's Acoustic Live.  For this one I'm lured back to the Shures again.  And it's the distance I think.  The AD700's put you a bit further back.  But a lot of the album is just Nils, his amazing guitar, and his complimentary vocals.  To properly enjoy this, I want to sit as close as I can, and just let the music envelop me.
Next - just for another real contrast.  Porcupine Tree's album "In Absentia" - on of my favourite tracks "The Sound of Muzak".   The 840's coupled with your setting just give this track amazing immersion.  They are very involving.  I stopped at one stage and removed the plugins - it just sounded so lifeless after you get used to the setup you've configured.  Swapped to the AD700's.  Am at a bit of a loss on this one - they both sound really great.  Would be hard pushed to say which H/P I prefer - the 840's again bring everything closer and intensify it - but the AD700's give enough space that you can clearly hear each component - which for complex music is very refreshing, yet also relaxing.
OK - last from me.  This time a bit of classical.  Julia Fischer and the Russian Philharmonic playing Tchaikovsky's Violin Concertos - Op. 35 in D.  This time it's the AD700's by a comfortable margin.  The Shures just aren't as life-like with classical.  The AD700's put me at about where the conductor is.  Julia is in front of me (center-stage), and it is clear she is the focus which the rest of the orchestra complements.  With the Shures - it just doesn't separate as well, and the Concerto unfortunately loses some of the focus that your set-up gives the AD700's.  I know one thing though - I really want a better set of open cans to listen to with this set-up (thinking HD598/HD600/HD650).
Anyway - sorry for the long dissertation.  I was typing while listening - and it has been a very fun couple of hours.  I'll keep subscribed to the thread in case you have any further revelations.  I just want to say thanks once again.  I'm definitely keeping this current set-up, and will definitely be keeping it - especially for Jazz/Soul (female vocal) and Classical.  It really makes these genres shine for me.

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