Matching low frequency response on both channels
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carmatic

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Hello people, this has been something which has been bothering me ever since I have started using personal music systems many years ago

I like to listen to bass-heavy music, and I find it extremely uncomfortable when I can hear that one of the channels gives out more bass than the other, it is a slightly nauseating experience... For instance, on my current pair of Etymotic ER3XR's , I have managed to detect it with a desktop mic: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/if-you-still-love-etymotic-er4-this-is-the-thread-for-you.538615/page-932#post-15121217 , and for sure it is not a problem with my own hearing... I used to own ER-4 earphones which come with Etymotic's matching, but the matching only goes down to 100hz, and I have had similar bass mismatch experiences with those

Are there headphones or earphones out there which match down into the bass region? Or is this a problem which it seems only I am bothered about?
 
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pinnahertz

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I've never experienced a bass mismatch that didn't relate to the degree of seal for either a closed headphone or IEM. IEMs in particular really must seal very well in the ear canal or bass just vanishes. I do mess with IEMs to get the seal right, sometimes it works better than others. But when both ears fully seal, I've never noticed a mismatch, even with much cheaper units.

If it's really a problem with one channel, you should be able to swap hearphones/ears and the problem will follow the earphone.
 
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carmatic

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If it's really a problem with one channel, you should be able to swap hearphones/ears and the problem will follow the earphone.
thats the advantage of the Etymotic ER series , the drivers are symmetrical and detachable so you could swap the drivers around... thats how I became aware that it's not a problem with my own hearing
but I have since started using a software, Room Equalizer Wizard, which does frequency sweeps and records the response from a mic, and I could get the mismatch on my current pair of ER3 IEM's on a graph... as long as the eartip can fit on the micrphone, I could do the same test on any other IEM, but the biggest variable is how the insertion of the earpiece affects the transmission of sound, I will have to take the average of many readings over many insertions to get a clean result
 
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castleofargh

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I EQed one channel to get an imbalance similar to what you measured and not only does it not bother me, I have a real hard time telling it's there. What I notice is how the level changes when I switch the EQ ON and OFF. But I don't notice the imbalance by itself on any music I tried(did it with ER4SR and IE80 set to max bass).
As you noticed doing measurements, you can expect that many people will create their own imbalance with the way they insert their IEMs. Yet, few people really bother going beyond finding comfort and a reasonable seal. That should tell you how atypical your reaction is.

About finding IEMs with great matching, I'm afraid that for something that small at such a low frequency, you'll have to rely on luck. It's probably not in the QC list of any manufacturer. I have a few IEMs with good looking low end match, but those just have imbalance somewhere else:slight_frown:.
 
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pinnahertz

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thats the advantage of the Etymotic ER series , the drivers are symmetrical and detachable so you could swap the drivers around... thats how I became aware that it's not a problem with my own hearing
but I have since started using a software, Room Equalizer Wizard, which does frequency sweeps and records the response from a mic, and I could get the mismatch on my current pair of ER3 IEM's on a graph... as long as the eartip can fit on the micrphone, I could do the same test on any other IEM, but the biggest variable is how the insertion of the earpiece affects the transmission of sound, I will have to take the average of many readings over many insertions to get a clean result
What did Etymotic Support say when you contacted them about this?
 
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castleofargh

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Ety's matching is like +/-1dB from 100Hz to 10Khz for the ER4 series. I think the rest doesn't even have that tight a channel matching requirement.
 
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pinnahertz

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Ety's matching is like +/-1dB from 100Hz to 10Khz for the ER4 series. I think the rest doesn't even have that tight a channel matching requirement.
Well, their FR spec is nonsense to begin with (FR with no tolerance is meaningless). But if it's really that bad I'd be in their face first, then looking for better phones second. I have little experience with Ety, but what I do have was not impressive. Every time I look at their models I can't find one I'd buy for one reason or another.
 
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