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"Please Stop 'Burning In' Your Earphones"

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by rosstex, Jan 2, 2014.
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  1. xnor
    Of course soundstage is not exclusive to the brain, else every headphone would have the same soundstage given the same brain.
    Localization is greatly influenced by frequency response differences between channels. We can measure changes in frequency response. There's no need to model a human brain to reconstruct how it will localize different instruments.
    But since people make claims about the FR changing, this is an irrelevant point anyway.
    The problem is that brains do not only incorporate physical sound waves (which we can easily measure) into what we hear, but also experiences, expectations etc. that bias our perception.
    That's why you can trick people into hearing audible changes by fiddling with knobs on an equalizer that is disabled.
  2. proton007
    For all those harping about things that cannot be measured:
    The T-Rex is really following you is it?
    To make some sense of all this:
    Optical or Sonic Illusions are nothing to be afraid of. No one will put you in a mental asylum for understanding the science behind illusions.
    These illusions are created by a scientific understanding of how to fool the brain, and it does get fooled, every single time.
    Part of these illusions is physically demonstrable, but the other part inside the brain is impossible to predict. Everyone will react to it in a different manner, and some will refuse to believe it's an illusion unless told.
  3. marone

    So provide the measurements. I will wait.

    If you post graphs, meeting your own standard, then you have a valid point.

    I have met my own standard. My ears hear it and I do not seek to convince you.

    You, however, seek to convince others based on your opinion and no measurements?

    Until you can provide a measurement for burn-in, or sound-stage, or any other aspect we hear but cannot currently measure, then what we have are two differing points of view that currently can neither be proven nor unproven.

    I am ok with that. You are not.

    Only one side is using insulting and condescending language (superstitious ritual, etal.) in this debate here and elsewhere.
  4. marone

    You only require proof that meets your standards, when you disagree with someone.

    You, on the other hand, are above providing said proof.

    "There's no need..."

    I am trying to get you to realise a few things:
    -Your position is opinion just like mine
    -Your position is neither better nor worse than mine
    -Your position does not even meet your own standards using measurements and the SM

    I know sound-stage exists and I think most here would agree.
    I also claim that there is no current measurement that maps to sound-stage with any p-value confidence.
    You frivolously claim it can be measured, but then dismiss the need for you to do this.

    However when burn-in is discussed you require proof because your opinion is that burn-in does not exist so I must meet your burden of proof; but when you agree that sound-stage exists you dismiss your need to meet any burden of proof to your own standards and actually use my standard i.e. you hear it.

    But that's when we agree. If you disagree, it's different.
  5. Gignac
    Fair enough.  My central point was that yes, there are things about our perception of sound that are not easily measured, but most of these things are also not easily defined (at least in a way where all sides agree on the definition) and, as mentioned here many times, are prone to our own bias.
    I'm not here to pick a side, but when reading the sound science forum I'm looking for science...and I am definitely not finding any here.
  6. dvw
    I am from a manufacturing background. So I look at product QA seriously. If I look at the cable manufacturers, basically all of them have more than one grade of product at different price point. When I read the reviews, sound stage is usually one of the review items. Cable A is better because it has better sound stage..... If soundstage can not be measured, how do these guys grade their product? How do they decide cable A has better soundstage/performance so they should charge more? How do they guarantee their product's performance? How do you know what you're buying?
    Unless performance don't matter to you, you should care about how these thing are manufactured and QA. Personally, I like my product properly QA and tested.
  7. marone

    I would state that there are things that currently CAN NOT be measured, at all.

    We know what they are - soundstage, dimensionality, harmonic compleatness, 2D instruments, etc.

    I am fine with the fact that these things cannot be measured yet we can hear them.
  8. gikigill
    Nwavguys spirit lurks this thread . It's the subjective vs objective all over again.
  9. manbear
    OK, now you are going beyond simply arguing that your ears can hear these things (i.e. "meeting your own standard").
    It is possible to know that something can be measured without actually measuring it -- providing measurements of soundstage is not necessary to meet the burden of proof. Soundstage is information contained within the sound coming out of a headphone's driver. We can measure everything coming out of a driver with a microphone (after all, the driver is just reproducing sound that was able to be captured with a microphone during recording). Soundstage has to be in there somewhere. To say that it's not measurable at all is to say that it's a property of sound that's invisible to microphones. In which case it would not be in the recording in the first place. 

    You need reasoning beyond your own experience to say soundstage cannot be measured in general. If your claim was just that we don't know how to measure it or haven't been able to measure it yet, then the burden of proof would be on us. But you are making a much stronger statement. Soundstage has to be measurable simply because it's a property of sound, even if nobody can give you can example. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence -- you are making an argument from ignorance if you're going to say that these things are actually incapable of being measured, just because nobody can you show you measurements. 
    An analogy:
    "The speed of bullet is incapable of being measured"
    - "Of course it can be measured. It's an object with mass moving through space."
    "Then show me the measurements"
    - "Sorry, I don't own the equipment to do that myself and I can't find any examples"
    "Well, in the absence of proof I must logically conclude that it's incapable of being measured"
    - "No, you can only conclude that nobody has shown you a measurement yet"
  10. dvw
    Soundstage is a perception. Perception cannot be measured. However, we can analyse soundstage, Soundstage is the relative position from left to right and the loudness between front and back. The relationship between left and right obviously has the greatest influence. So in this case, crosstalk is the best indicator of the soundstage performance. So yes this can be measured indirectly.
    I don't know what the rest is. Please define the terms: dimensionality, harmonic compleatness, 2D instruments.
    Perception are not a measurement. When you are watching a movie, you're not watching people and things moving. You are only seeing moving pictures.
    Physically when your optical nerves see thing through the lens in your eye, the image is inverted. However, you perceive an image that is right side up because your brain made the correction. The bottom line is audio video are designed (or at least attempt) to fool the brain into a imagined reality. It will always be difficult to measure the imagination.
  11. andrewberge
    I almost missed it myself but you should reread what marone said (i put the key word in bold):
  12. manbear

    The implication is still that it's actually impossible for these things to be measured (right now). Microphones are current technology, and that's all you could possibly need. If I were arguing that maybe we could measure these things using some future technology that doesn't exist yet, the "currently" distinction would make a difference. 
  13. proton007
    To say something cannot be measured is defeatist in my opinion. This statement may be false if there are already ways to measure the phenomenon in question, but I'm talking about the nature of the statement.
    Just because something cannot be explained is an insufficient reason to not try to understand it. That's where the boundary between the real and imaginary world exists. When something can be objectively measured, it shifts from the make-believe to the physical. Everything we take for granted today was not 'measurable' at some point in history.
    Its alright to say you don't wish to convince someone. But if you can't explain it, how can you establish metrics for its performance? If you can't measure it, how can you improve it?
    How different it is then from the superstition?
    manbear likes this.
  14. manbear
    A completely separate point:

    There are crossfeed plugins, surround emulators,panning controls, spatializers, and others out there that all have a controlled effect on soundstage. Engineers move certain tracks in the mix left and right, front and back, etc. to create a sense of space in the recording. When different parts of the track are recorded separately and then mixed together, the soundstage is artificially created. The end result isn't totally random. The production team has control over it. The way these tools work and the effect they have on the sound are obviously measurable. If not, nobody would use them. 
  15. Lostinspace
    Does Shrodinger's cat believe in burn in?
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