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If you still love Etymotic ER4, this is the thread for you...

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  1. chinmie
    i do talk about material sound. i do mixes and recordings in my younger years, and to my experience, in recording those two (freq and dynamics) must be treated or manipulated with different things. no matter how many points of surgical parametric eq we use, you can't manipupate dynamics. and some things in audio is like salt in soup. you can add, but you can never remove it. you can add water, but the whole taste is compromised. add a brick limiter, no way in earth you can add dynamics back to it.
    panasonicst60 likes this.
  2. JohnYang1997
    you are correct! in recordings there is dynamics. Do you know what dynamics in earphone? It's distortion! It's nonlinearities. In recording you can manipulate the dynamics to make it sound better to the taste that's in the creation part. Now it's the reproduction which is completely different.
    Simply you can use a pure sine wave, and mix it as a female vocal. Then you will see how much distortion you just created. Then you can add a few more distinct tones and see the intermodulation distortion.
    Not saying earphones are perfect in this regard certainly its called distortion and they exist.
    Er4 has 0.7% distortion in general at 1khz. Er2 and mk5 mc5 has 0.1-0.2% typical at 1khz. They both have very low distortion after 2khz. Sub 0.1% at normal listening volume. Best earphones I have seen can go to average 0.03% thd and 0.1%maximum.
    1% is -40db
    0.1% is -60db
    0.01% is -80db just for a different scale.
    It's way over 1% in mixing.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
  3. JohnYang1997
    Btw just for your information. Human generally don't hear distortion under -40db. If they hear it they perceive those as texture or slightly tonal difference. Only in very few cases human can hear under 0.01% distortion at which people are just hearing hair of difference they won't consider either as distorted. Under 1% is good enough for you to think two earphones are extremely close sounding when frequency response is 100% matched. And if you can achieve 100% i bet most people won't tell apart. So when it's apparently audible it's way over 1%
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
  4. JohnYang1997
    To be clearer most of the dynamics, transients, details are all in the frequency response. Only very small portion comes from nonlinearities. Not that non linearity is not important but frequency response will play a much bigger role. -40db distortion will only contribute to 0.08db of frequency response change. So that's a bit of stretch but you can see it how small comparing to frequency response.
  5. redrol
    DUDE! No one wants to hear about how your golden sonys beat every iem ever. Go away.
    Schwarzschild likes this.
  6. JohnYang1997
    It's just an example. lol. I have almost every model of etymotic. It's all about sharing information and educating at best. If you want to ignore reality go ahead. I won't force you.
  7. panasonicst60
    I don't believe this at all. Even if two has identical frequency response they will not sound the same. Similar, possible, identical, I don't think so. For example bass wise, they can measure the same, but one can sound nice and tight, while the other sound flabby. As for highs, even if they measure the same, one can have a lot more detail and air. I can go on and on.
  8. redrol
    If you want to post an eq correction curve, go ahead. No one believes you and many many people own the sonys you claim are so good.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
  9. JohnYang1997
    I never said 100% identical. But it will be much closer than you may think. Simple as that. If done correctly, there is chance you won't tell apart. Objectively on measurements of course there will still be difference. But that's really close to audible limit. All statements in previous posts have conditions as mentioned. So don't omit those conditions and if statements.
    csglinux likes this.
  10. redrol
    Post the damn eq curve then.
  11. csglinux
    It sounds like you do think so, because that's exactly what @JohnYang1997 is saying - similar, but not necessarily 100% identical because of non-linearities. But those non-linearities are small at sensible listening volumes.

    In practice, those little peaks and troughs in the FR are different for all of us and that makes a perfect EQ compensation very difficult to achieve.
  12. chinmie
    distortion and dynamics are not the same thing. distortion may reduce dynamics, but it also adds harmonics and other peaks into the sound. so to just eq them away, to my knowledge is unlikely. or can you care to explain how to reduce dynamics on hearing devices?
  13. Joe Bloggs Contributor
    If they don't sound the same, it would be because of the phase difference. There will be no phase difference between two of the same earbuds. Thus if you put on a pair of IEM A and then a pair of IEM B playing the same tone at the same volume, there will be no difference. And it's not because of any deficiency in your acoustic memory.
  14. chinmie
    and please have a good clean and healthy discussion here. no need to diss each other just because we disagree on something.

    i do kinda get what john is saying, but i need more specific information so i could understand what he meant
  15. Joe Bloggs Contributor
    Did you look at the data? The 10 dollar dynamic IEMs had less distortion than the BA Etys. Simply because dynamic IEM drivers have very little distortion by nature, less than any BAs, moreso a single BA.

    So strictly speaking, the 10 dollar dynamic IEMs are more dynamic than the BA etys, even the ER2 may be more dynamic than the ER4.

    Edit: Sorry, that didn't quite address your question but rather repeated JohnYang's idea. Dynamics vs distortion? In a pure physical system you can't reduce one without the other. In a processing chain (like in a hearing aid), you can reduce DR drastically without increasing distortion as much, by applying dynamic range compression. When compression kicks in, in reduces volume for a set amount of time, reducing the reduction slowly. This reduces distortion compared to the case where the top of each big waveform is simply squished on the spot.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
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