Hifiman Sundara (HE400i upgraded, around $500)
Apr 20, 2021 at 11:23 PM Post #3,361 of 3,469

539465

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Yep, the Sundara will not distort if you boost the low frequencies, not even a little and not even if you boost by a LOT. And yes you can get all the missing bass and then some more, EQ makes the Sundara the perfect set at least for me, but people still refuse to even try because of that (the way the engineers wanted the sound to be) bulls***.
I don't use EQ because i have like a dozen headphones and I cannot be arsed and also think current implementation is quite dumb as a former programmer if I had a GUI like with eartrumpet to hit a macro and pull up a list of my headphones and select EQ I would use it but I much prefer my iFi Zen CAN as it has 3D which also takes sundara to another level and a tastefully done bass boost which targets sub bass harder.... Honestly headphone enthusiasts are usually in 2 categories overspend for minor things one ought not to overspend for and super self sufficient spending hours building/tweaking/tuning.... neither of this is conducive to the simple fact that for paying even $200 things like bass boost should be standard for virtually every AMP around $150 or more.... I personally blame the "gaming headset" industry for selling garbage sound and somehow making a killing vs audiophile manufacturers who have a more cut-throat industry so simply put the audio industry is absolutely terrible at giving people what they don't know they actually want thus being the core of capitalism -> sell a product for the same price that is some way better and prosper. It's clouded with so much people don't need or is just a bad deal and not nearly as much of exactly what people need at a good price without wasted effort, same for EQ IMO there is no reason for me to click a bunch of buttons when a $40 logitech mouse can literally keybind on the fly without opening a menu. Honestly a menu like that is probably out there but the fact it's not standard in this day and age is just a wet fart in the face I have spent more than enough time making sure my spent money goes to the right headphones not going to fiddle around finding it downloading EQ's testing tweaking and honestly for the money I paid I shouldn't have to spend more time, let alone someone who pays $200+, so I politely disagree with you that it is the users fault as I usually adopt a sort of customer is always right mentality that if current EQ options where good enough (hotkey GUI like I said for 1 click switch on the fly with perhaps a linked back end repository of popular preset EQ's and a front end site for users to upload and rate others EQ's along with a search by headphone function to easily find the most popular EQ profiles) I and many others would see it as useful and use it. For a hobby with such proactive users some aspects are archaically behind the current year.
 
Apr 20, 2021 at 11:38 PM Post #3,362 of 3,469

rlanger

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I don't use EQ because i have like a dozen headphones and I cannot be arsed and also think current implementation is quite dumb as a former programmer if I had a GUI like with eartrumpet to hit a macro and pull up a list of my headphones and select EQ I would use it but I much prefer my iFi Zen CAN as it has 3D which also takes sundara to another level and a tastefully done bass boost which targets sub bass harder.... Honestly headphone enthusiasts are usually in 2 categories overspend for minor things one ought not to overspend for and super self sufficient spending hours building/tweaking/tuning.... neither of this is conducive to the simple fact that for paying even $200 things like bass boost should be standard for virtually every AMP around $150 or more.... I personally blame the "gaming headset" industry for selling garbage sound and somehow making a killing vs audiophile manufacturers who have a more cut-throat industry so simply put the audio industry is absolutely terrible at giving people what they don't know they actually want thus being the core of capitalism -> sell a product for the same price that is some way better and prosper. It's clouded with so much people don't need or is just a bad deal and not nearly as much of exactly what people need at a good price without wasted effort, same for EQ IMO there is no reason for me to click a bunch of buttons when a $40 logitech mouse can literally keybind on the fly without opening a menu. Honestly a menu like that is probably out there but the fact it's not standard in this day and age is just a wet fart in the face I have spent more than enough time making sure my spent money goes to the right headphones not going to fiddle around finding it downloading EQ's testing tweaking and honestly for the money I paid I shouldn't have to spend more time, let alone someone who pays $200+, so I politely disagree with you that it is the users fault as I usually adopt a sort of customer is always right mentality that if current EQ options where good enough (hotkey GUI like I said for 1 click switch on the fly with perhaps a linked back end repository of popular preset EQ's and a front end site for users to upload and rate others EQ's along with a search by headphone function to easily find the most popular EQ profiles) I and many others would see it as useful and use it. For a hobby with such proactive users some aspects are archaically behind the current year.

Peace provides the frontend switching capability for APO EQ that you're describing (unless I'm missing something in what you say you want). It's just one click to switch between headphone profiles, and you can download Harman Target curves for virtually any set of cans and tweak them to your own sensibilities.

To me, this makes the Sundara the perfect sub-$500 headphone. As luizffgarcia said, you will not experience any distortion so it's a no-lose proposition.

A manufacturer can't tune a headphone to please everyone. That's impossible, given that you and I don't even perceive the same headphones in the same way. So offering a headphone whose sound signature is highly customizable is a huge benefit imho.
 
Apr 21, 2021 at 12:43 AM Post #3,363 of 3,469

seanwee

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Intersting. Curious if you've heard the newer version of the LCD X? & think they could still be described as dark & warm. I'll get a pair soon to check out but my guess is they're still somewhat warm, but a bit less dark.

As well if you have the pali pads on your Sundara's that you seem to like quite a bit. Thanks.
Nope, haven't gotten the chance to try anything new since the start of covid.

I have no idea what pad i have but its the stock 2018 one.
 
Apr 21, 2021 at 8:45 AM Post #3,364 of 3,469

Dijitalism

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How would I go about adding more bass to the Sundara with EQ? I am using the Oratory1990 settings, however, I find the bass lacking somewhat. I've read that one needs to add extra dB to the low shelf (105 Hz), however, would I also need to change the preamp gain?
 
Apr 21, 2021 at 10:39 AM Post #3,365 of 3,469

SilverEars

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Thing I don't like about EQ is that you can't use bit-perfect and apply EQ at the same time. I cherish Tidal in bit-perfect.

I'll try EQ up the Subdara bass and see if I can get good impact without flab. I get a feeling software EQ will flab the bass. good tight impactful bass with good sub rumble is hard to comeby.
 
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Apr 21, 2021 at 10:40 AM Post #3,366 of 3,469

Lolito

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Yep, the Sundara will not distort if you boost the low frequencies, not even a little and not even if you boost by a LOT. And yes you can get all the missing bass and then some more, EQ makes the Sundara the perfect set at least for me, but people still refuse to even try because of that (the way the engineers wanted the sound to be) bulls***.
Gonna order one I guess.
 
Apr 21, 2021 at 10:57 AM Post #3,367 of 3,469

MayaTlab

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I'll try EQ up the Subdara bass and see if I can get good impact without flab. I get a feeling software EQ will flab the bass. good tight impactful bass with good sub rumble is hard to comeby.

The Sundara's THD is low enough that distortion is unlikely to become a factor.
What is difficult is to get the "knee" of the bass shelf to your liking (ie the relative level of the bass frequencies), particularly since headphones may actually measure differently on your head than on a test rig, in the bass because of sealing variations.
Software EQ basically just changes the relative level of the frequencies, that's all. Adding a +5dB boost at 50hz is the equivalent - at that frequency - of raising the overall volume by 5dB.
So it's all in the careful shaping of the transition from the lower mids to the shelf.
 
Apr 21, 2021 at 10:59 AM Post #3,368 of 3,469

G0rt

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The Sundara's THD is low enough that distortion is unlikely to become a factor.
What is difficult is to get the "knee" of the bass shelf to your liking (ie the relative level of the bass frequencies), particularly since headphones may actually measure differently on your head than on a test rig, in the bass because of sealing variations.
Software EQ basically just changes the relative level of the frequencies, that's all. Adding a +5dB boost at 50hz is the equivalent - at that frequency - of raising the overall volume by 5dB.
So it's all in the careful shaping of the transition from the lower mids to the shelf.
For the sake of bass, I put Dekoni sheep on my Sundara and never looked back.
 
Apr 21, 2021 at 11:02 AM Post #3,369 of 3,469

SilverEars

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The Sundara's THD is low enough that distortion is unlikely to become a factor.
What is difficult is to get the "knee" of the bass shelf to your liking (ie the relative level of the bass frequencies), particularly since headphones may actually measure differently on your head than on a test rig, in the bass because of sealing variations.
Software EQ basically just changes the relative level of the frequencies, that's all. Adding a +5dB boost at 50hz is the equivalent - at that frequency - of raising the overall volume by 5dB.
So it's all in the careful shaping of the transition from the lower mids to the shelf.
I don't need an EQ lesson that 5db boost will bost 5db. Just show me by measurements that reflects exactly what EQ was input because I have tried EQ and measurements shows otherwise in an LCDi4 I tried to correct. Who doesn't know boost of 5db is intended to boost 5? Intentions with software and physical results maybe different.

I have plenty of experience EQ and it's not my thing.

Try EQ all headphones to Harman and see if they all sound the same. If EQ was all there is to headphones, then why not just EQ them all? EQ is not all there is to headphones.

I tried EQ'ing HD800 to the software's target response and all the technical aspects was pretty much gone. This what I dislike about EQ. There is a difference in changing it in software that is converted to a signal compared to physical aspects modified on the headphone itself (or different ways headphones are constructed in terms of drivers, etc.).
 
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Apr 21, 2021 at 11:42 AM Post #3,370 of 3,469

MayaTlab

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Try EQ all headphones to Harman and see if they all sound the same.

They won't sound the same below threshold of audibility, for starters simply because their original frequency response won't measure the same on your head as on a test rig, particularly at the two extremities, for various reasons mainly related to anatomical variations :
https://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=16877
1449446210135.png

Already tried and measured on my own head below 5khz BTW : https://www.head-fi.org/threads/the...-at-a-breakthrough-value.943107/post-16300055

Who doesn't know boost of 5db is intended to boost 5? Intentions with software and physical results maybe different.

If the headphones compressed because of increased volume (unlikely in the case of the LCD-2) then there could indeed be a difference between the intent and the results. But it's unlikely.
Possibly could rather be from the EQ software itself, but a decent PEQ isn't supposed to do such a thing.
For (very) high-Q peaks and dips measurements may not reflect the exact actual dB output difference. Unlikely to be a thing at lower frequencies.

EDIT : since I know that question may come : here's the measurements done on my own head with in-concha mics (methodology linked above) between the HD650 and HD560S without EQ and with Oratory1990's EQ for Harman target.
Important note : The absolute values, and the relative values between the two headphones ARE NOT VALID FOR YOU IN ANY WAY.
Even on my own head, the absolute values are only somewhat correct between 50 and 1000hz or so and incorrect above or below these values.
In regards to that post's subject, look only at the relative values in dB per frequency between no EQ and Oratory's preset applied for EACH headphones RESPECTIVELY.

Apologies for the loud bolding but measurements tend to be over-interpreted.

For more information as to why the differences between the two headphones even after EQ, read the post I linked to above in the HD560S thread (it’s related in large part to the first part of this post).

Here’s Oratory1990’s EQ compensation curves for the HD650 :
Screenshot 2021-04-21 at 19.41.47.png

And HD560S :
Screenshot 2021-04-21 at 19.41.32.png

https://www.reddit.com/r/oratory1990/wiki/index/list_of_presets

Here’s the measurements between no EQ and with EQ on my own head. They were normalised at the points where the compensation curve above is near 0, so around 900hz for the HD650, and around 500-600hz for the HD560S (a little lower than 0) - where the red arrows are in the graphs above, to make it easier to read.
Repositioning of the mics or the headphones won’t matter in this EQ vs non EQ comparison as the measurements were done without needing to reposition them.
I’m not posting the measurements at high frequencies as the methodology used provides no useful information there (cf. methodology linked above).
Remember, the absolute values below 50hz and above 1khz are not valid (ie don't look at how high or low the curve is, don't look at it in terms of peaks or dips).
And the relative values between the two headphones are not valid for you, on your own head, across the entire range.
Only look at the relative values in dB per frequency between no EQ and with Oratory's EQ for each headphones respectively and compare them to Oratory's EQ compensation curve above.

Screenshot 2021-04-21 at 20.37.40.png

Screenshot 2021-04-21 at 20.37.16.png


You can see that the difference between EQ and no EQ is a very good match with Oratory1990’s EQ compensation curve in terms of dB values per frequency for both headphones respectively. This good match was repeated several times on different days, it isn’t luck.

In other words, the Qudelix 5K’s PEQ did the exact job it was supposed to do :D - which is so far the case for all the headphones I've measured this way (with the exception of active ANC headphones with a feedback mechanism and loudness compensation curves, these are a lot trickier to measure). It might not be the case for every other EQ software proposition (in which case it’s bad software - PEQs shouldn’t diverge excessively with these sorts of presets).

Some rare headphones can compress at high volume, which could results in measurements not matching the EQ input. This is what it looks like :
https://diyaudioheaven.wordpress.com/headphones/measurements/shure/srh-1840/

In the case of the Sundara IDK, but I doubt it. The THD also is pretty low.
But since it’s a planar with a front volume (volume of air between ear and driver) that’s probably meant to be somewhat closed, it can be susceptible to breach of seal, which will affect FR curve at lower frequencies and could possibly make generalised, third party corrections not accurate on your own head.
Rtings’ consistency score is actually derived at lower frequencies from measurements done on five real humans, but they tested the older revision unless I’m mistaken, so difficult to say if the current one is consistent in terms of seal across various listeners’ anatomy.

I think that Silverears is absolutely right to question whether or not the end result actually measures like what you’d expect it to, but it’s highly unlikely that the end result sounding “flabby” has anything to do with software EQ per se or the headphones being “unresponsive” to EQ, and more to do with how your own copy of the headphones actually measures on your own head to start with (and third party measurements possibly diverging from it, making it potentially more difficult to base your own EQ on them). So if you want to EQ your headphones, be somewhat careful and don't necessarily apply too literally third party presets (they're still very useful in many ways). And don't rush too quickly into judgments after they've been supposedly EQed to the "same target" (it's likely they actually still don't have the exact same FR curve at your own eardrum).

Or maybe it's just plain bad EQ software, who knows. Just don't use them.
 
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Apr 21, 2021 at 12:48 PM Post #3,371 of 3,469

luizffgarcia

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I currently have 5 headphones and i EQ all of them, i agree that Peace UI is not ideal to switch between settings because it closes the entire thing and re-loads, takes like 10 seconds which is annoying, but still it is ONE click every time i switch headphones and i am ok with that.

As for the possible cons of EQ, what i usually say is that you will hear your bass boost, or highs boos or whatever you want to do with your EQ, you will for SURE hear the improvement you want in your sound, but i highly doubt you will hear the possible distortion or whatever else may happen to the sound as long as you EQ properly.

So i have no problem with people who try EQ and dislike it, to each their own, but i have a really hard time respecting those who will not even try because "i am an audiophile", those people don't use EQ because they were freaking TOLD by others that they cannot use it. It is freaking ridiculous if you as me...
 
Apr 21, 2021 at 1:00 PM Post #3,372 of 3,469

luizffgarcia

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How would I go about adding more bass to the Sundara with EQ? I am using the Oratory1990 settings, however, I find the bass lacking somewhat. I've read that one needs to add extra dB to the low shelf (105 Hz), however, would I also need to change the preamp gain?
Raising the 105hz band is all you need to do, Oratory confirmed this in the Sundara EQ thread, he says one can go as high as 15db in that band with no issues, give it a try!

EDIT: You may need to reduce the preamp gain a bit if you go as high as 15db, but just click the "prevent clipping" checkbox to find out, it will automatically decrease the preamp if necessary.
 
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Apr 21, 2021 at 1:23 PM Post #3,373 of 3,469

JamminVMI

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Thing I don't like about EQ is that you can't use bit-perfect and apply EQ at the same time. I cherish Tidal in bit-perfect.

I'll try EQ up the Subdara bass and see if I can get good impact without flab. I get a feeling software EQ will flab the bass. good tight impactful bass with good sub rumble is hard to comeby.
I get it using hdw EQ with Schiit Loki Mini +. Not flabby at all!
 
Apr 21, 2021 at 3:35 PM Post #3,374 of 3,469

539465

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Thing I don't like about EQ is that you can't use bit-perfect and apply EQ at the same time. I cherish Tidal in bit-perfect.

I'll try EQ up the Subdara bass and see if I can get good impact without flab. I get a feeling software EQ will flab the bass. good tight impactful bass with good sub rumble is hard to comeby.
checkout the Zen CAN or other zen amps with bass boost and it actually bumps the sub bass wayyy up with a nice mid bass bump it was legit made for bass rolled headphones the 3D effect also increases the soundstage left and right and front and back so it sounds better, I promise you will enjoy it if you use it broski and never look back I have basically been turned into their shill after buying my amp and loving it so much
 
Apr 21, 2021 at 3:56 PM Post #3,375 of 3,469

SilverEars

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checkout the Zen CAN or other zen amps with bass boost and it actually bumps the sub bass wayyy up with a nice mid bass bump it was legit made for bass rolled headphones the 3D effect also increases the soundstage left and right and front and back so it sounds better, I promise you will enjoy it if you use it broski and never look back I have basically been turned into their shill after buying my amp and loving it so much
I was considering something like Loki to try out to shelve some bass to compare with software EQ. I just have a DAC/Amp setup that cannot be replaced with some random one that happens to have bass boost. Everybody got their reasons.
 

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