Improving hearing...
May 17, 2012 at 9:38 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 11

Endokrine

New Head-Fier
Joined
May 17, 2012
Posts
2
Likes
0
Hi,
 
I have the Sennheiser HD558, Audio Technica:ATH-AD700, the Etymotic HF5 and the KOSS KSC55 headphones. I originally bought the HD558 & Audiotechnica for home use, the ety for travel, and the koss for sport.
 
I want to try to pick the differences in sound quality between these headphones, to appreciate them more.
 
Any audiophiles want to advise on what to pay attention to, between these headphones, and how one would go about improving one's hearing (sound-quality wise)? I am listening to a lot of instrumental, electrical, guitar music and rock these days, but I like a variety of music
 
May 17, 2012 at 9:53 AM Post #2 of 11

ostewart

Reviewer at Sound Perfection Reviews
Joined
Feb 1, 2011
Posts
5,694
Likes
1,803
Cymbals + drums, do.they sound real? Also can you hear the singer breathe. Do bass guitars twang?
 
May 17, 2012 at 1:14 PM Post #3 of 11

Tilpo

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Mar 2, 2011
Posts
11,125
Likes
369
You can't really improve your hearing.

After training you can make it easier to pick up small details, or notice mistakes in e.g. frequency response.
But you won't be able to physically improve the sound quality of your ears. It's physiologically impossible.
 
May 18, 2012 at 7:28 AM Post #4 of 11

TMRaven

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Apr 6, 2011
Posts
7,283
Likes
1,001
Picking up differences in sound signature and noticing details can be done easily enough with enough dedicated listening and comparison practice.  For example listen to one song you really know for 5 or so play throughs and then switch headphones and your brain won't necessarily be listening to what the second headphone has to offer, but it will be automatically be listening to the difference in their sound before it has the chance to get acquainted with the second headphone's sound-- and vice versa. 
 
Hearing for fidelity of instruments however, is something you need actual instrument experience or professional training for.  
 
May 18, 2012 at 10:50 AM Post #5 of 11

PurpleAngel

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Sep 1, 2011
Posts
29,066
Likes
1,837
Location
California
Quote:
I have the Sennheiser HD558, Audio Technica:ATH-AD700, the Etymotic HF5 and the KOSS KSC55 headphones. I originally bought the HD558 & Audiotechnica for home use, the ety for travel, and the koss for sport.
I want to try to pick the differences in sound quality between these headphones, to appreciate them more.
Any audiophiles want to advise on what to pay attention to, between these headphones, and how one would go about improving one's hearing (sound-quality wise)? I am listening to a lot of instrumental, electrical, guitar music and rock these days, but I like a variety of music

What sources are you plugging the headphones into?
I would say the better the audio sounds to you, the better the audio quality.
 
May 18, 2012 at 10:57 AM Post #6 of 11

Tilpo

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Mar 2, 2011
Posts
11,125
Likes
369
What sources are you plugging the headphones into?
I would say the better the audio sounds to you, the better the audio quality.

If by audio quality you mean 'most accurate reproduction of the source material', then you are mistaken.
Very often the better sounding rig is not the better one in terms of linearity (lack of distortions).
 
May 18, 2012 at 12:42 PM Post #7 of 11

firev1

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 22, 2011
Posts
758
Likes
41
Quote:
Hi,
 
I have the Sennheiser HD558, Audio Technica:ATH-AD700, the Etymotic HF5 and the KOSS KSC55 headphones. I originally bought the HD558 & Audiotechnica for home use, the ety for travel, and the koss for sport.
 
I want to try to pick the differences in sound quality between these headphones, to appreciate them more.
 
Any audiophiles want to advise on what to pay attention to, between these headphones, and how one would go about improving one's hearing (sound-quality wise)? I am listening to a lot of instrumental, electrical, guitar music and rock these days, but I like a variety of music

Harmon has a nice listening program that allows you to identify the "neutral" definition which is in a way tuning your ears. For me, a good SQ is a headphone that sounds and measures well, if it measures well and sounds bad, the wrong thing is measured! So far for me, I find heading towards neutral feels more natural to me and I head out to concerts quite a bit. I find a lot of the measure bad and "sound good" headphones to be too coloured for my taste.
 
May 22, 2012 at 8:20 AM Post #8 of 11

Endokrine

New Head-Fier
Joined
May 17, 2012
Posts
2
Likes
0
randomkid,
I'm paying more attention to the detail you mentioned. Thanks

Tilpo,
Yep maybe that's the wrong phrase. It should read "Training your ears"

TMRaven,
Thanks for the tip, I'll try your suggestion.

PurpleAngel,
I'm using a sansa Clip+ with Flac files


Firev1,
Thanks it sounds like a good training program. I will check it out.

Any other tips most welcome.
 
May 22, 2012 at 10:22 AM Post #9 of 11

RexAeterna

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jul 22, 2010
Posts
2,317
Likes
81
relax and just listen to music(don't just use it as background noise) and it'll eventually come. hearing is one of our adaptive survival instincts that can adapt at different situations. also going outside in a park or quiet room can help your hearing. it will allow your ears to re-tune themselves and teach you appreciate the sounds of nature. all have to do is just relax and listen.
 
May 22, 2012 at 10:07 PM Post #10 of 11

eucariote

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Oct 15, 2009
Posts
1,474
Likes
74
I find that after some time with a set of headphones (~1 month) the signature becomes very familiar and small differences from that sound become very noticeable.  For example I could only hear the most subtle of differences between a Denon D5000 and D7000 but after a few months the differences and relative shortcomings of each headphone was very easy to hear.
 
Really all learning works like this.  
 
May 23, 2012 at 4:18 AM Post #11 of 11

Tilpo

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Mar 2, 2011
Posts
11,125
Likes
369
I find that after some time with a set of headphones (~1 month) the signature becomes very familiar and small differences from that sound become very noticeable.  For example I could only hear the most subtle of differences between a Denon D5000 and D7000 but after a few months the differences and relative shortcomings of each headphone was very easy to hear.

Really all learning works like this.  

Getting used to the sound signature of a headphone is very important in any case.
Usually when I just received a new headphone it sounds a bit 'meh', and I don't really like the sound signature because it's different from what I'm used to.
After some time however, I start to get used to the sound signature and I'm starting like it more and more, until eventually I might even heavily prefer it over what I had before. Conditioning is a very important factor here, you might even call it 'psychological burn-in'.


Back to the original question of the OP:
A lot of people state that fiddling around with EQ for long times has improved their hearing abilities of subtle differences in the frequency domain, additionally it is supposed to help people identify certain frequencies. I haven't tried this myself, but the fact that I have heard it from countless people seems like significant evidence. Enough to give it a serious try, at least.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top