Sound distortion, anyone else notice it?
Sep 9, 2011 at 4:46 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 31

jrkong

Formerly known as ak47-whaaa
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So I've been listening to my low end headphones when my IE7's (now ie8's replaced by sennheiser) and I noticed all 200 sub headphones I heard had a degree of sound distortion the same with my IE8's (bout 10 hours of burn in on them now) and they sound utterly like crap and really distorted (especially acoustic wise).

So I almost know this will go away with burn in but can anyone back me up and has anyone else had a similar experience as me?

Thanks everyone!
 
Sep 9, 2011 at 5:26 PM Post #3 of 31
What headphones sound distorted? What sort of distortion are you hearing? Inner Fidelity may have graphs of some of them that would be helpful if it's harmonic distortion. It's also good to know what your source is, what audio codec your files are encoded in, and what music you're listening to.
 
I wouldn't generalize it by price. Grados of all prices have very harmonically distorted sub-bass, which explains why they're tuned to roll off. The $30 Koss PortaPro has less THD than the $695 RS1 under about 500Hz and at about 4kHz. Beyerdynamic's mid-fi DT880 has about as much harmonic distortion as their T1 flagship.
 
Sep 9, 2011 at 10:53 PM Post #4 of 31
Does this distortion have anything to do with the volume level? Are there specific frequency ranges that sound distorted? There might be a problem or limitation in your setup rather than the phones, as JRG1990 said.
 
Sep 10, 2011 at 12:33 AM Post #5 of 31
Distortion can occur in any part of an audio system. If you hear distortion, I am betting it is not caused by headphones.  Try isolating the problem by starting with a test CD.
 
Sep 10, 2011 at 6:44 PM Post #6 of 31


Quote:
Nope not for me, it's probley your source rather than the earphones.

 
Nope I've been using the same iPhone running the same 320kbs and lossless files, it's the headphones for sure
 
 


Quote:
What headphones sound distorted? What sort of distortion are you hearing? Inner Fidelity may have graphs of some of them that would be helpful if it's harmonic distortion. It's also good to know what your source is, what audio codec your files are encoded in, and what music you're listening to.
 
I wouldn't generalize it by price. Grados of all prices have very harmonically distorted sub-bass, which explains why they're tuned to roll off. The $30 Koss PortaPro has less THD than the $695 RS1 under about 500Hz and at about 4kHz. Beyerdynamic's mid-fi DT880 has about as much harmonic distortion as their T1 flagship.

I'm not really generalizing it by price but low end headphones are the ones i hear it out of the most but I'm finding that the distortion in my new ie8's causes most sounds to sound unnatural, especially when compared to my fully burned in IE7's, I found the acoustics most unnatural in the acoustic version of the song face down where the intro acoustics just completely lacked realism.
 
So my question is, are my ears ok or is it just a matter of lots more burn in(which hopefully and most likely it is).
 
 
 
Sep 11, 2011 at 4:41 AM Post #7 of 31


Quote:
Originally Posted by ak47-whaaa /img/forum/go_quote.gif

...I found the acoustics most unnatural in the acoustic version of the song face down where the intro acoustics just completely lacked realism.
 


 

 
Sep 11, 2011 at 5:01 AM Post #8 of 31
Unsure if this is relevant to your situation. But I'll put my information in:
 
Any speaker system, headphone or not, will have resonances in the casing/box/enclosure. This won't be affected in any appreciable way by burn-in. I think the DT880 enclosure resonates at around 500 hz?
 
If you're listening to music that, for whatever reason, happens to have a lot of stuff in that frequency, you might find some distortion. Theoretically. I've never tried it. 
 
God forbid someone design an enclosure that resonates at 440 hz... that would be terrible. 
 
As someone said in an earlier thread about harmonic distortion, a well engineered construction will minimise the resonances to the best degree, and have it in an unoffending frequency. I think that generally at -70dba, it's almost impossible for a person to hear it. But many headphones distort at a larger amount, as -70dba distortion is very hard to achieve. Ideally, you'd want the device to resonate at an ultrasonic/infrasonic frequency, that then it'd have to weigh, like, a gram, or several tons.
 
Sep 11, 2011 at 2:49 PM Post #9 of 31


Quote:


I'm surprised too! I mean unless something screwed up in my iPhone somewhere in the half a week between my last listen to the IE7's and the IE8's, either my ears are messed up or my IE8's need some serious burn in or have a serious defect
 

 
Quote:
Unsure if this is relevant to your situation. But I'll put my information in:
 
Any speaker system, headphone or not, will have resonances in the casing/box/enclosure. This won't be affected in any appreciable way by burn-in. I think the DT880 enclosure resonates at around 500 hz?
 
If you're listening to music that, for whatever reason, happens to have a lot of stuff in that frequency, you might find some distortion. Theoretically. I've never tried it. 
 
God forbid someone design an enclosure that resonates at 440 hz... that would be terrible. 
 
As someone said in an earlier thread about harmonic distortion, a well engineered construction will minimise the resonances to the best degree, and have it in an unoffending frequency. I think that generally at -70dba, it's almost impossible for a person to hear it. But many headphones distort at a larger amount, as -70dba distortion is very hard to achieve. Ideally, you'd want the device to resonate at an ultrasonic/infrasonic frequency, that then it'd have to weigh, like, a gram, or several tons.

Now I haven't gotten too far in physics but I understand just about what I need out of your two posts, the only thing that needs to be figured out now is if there is a problem with my ears or my IE8's or if I need to burn them in more, the IE8 situation is what I want to figure out the most. By the way, thanks for the lesson on harmonic distortion!
 
and does anyone know a good source besides headroom to get harmonic distortion or frequency response charts?
 
 
 
Sep 11, 2011 at 3:13 PM Post #10 of 31
The acoustics are a lot better now but I found that speed was partially the cause for the acoustics sounding so bad, but I still found the acoustics were bumped up a tone
 
Sep 11, 2011 at 5:22 PM Post #11 of 31


Quote:
I'm surprised too! I mean unless something screwed up in my iPhone somewhere in the half a week between my last listen to the IE7's and the IE8's, either my ears are messed up or my IE8's need some serious burn in or have a serious defect
 


 
No, I meant WAT as in that sentence made absolutely no sense.
 
"I found the acoustics most unnatural in the acoustic version of the song face down where the intro acoustics just completely lacked realism."
 
You used the same word three times in one sentence while intending three different meanings. I don't think anyone here understands exactly what you are talking about. Acoustics is a whole field of scientific inquiry, distortion could refer to any one of a dozen different phenomena. Be specific, don't randomly throw out words and concepts. All I've gathered so far is that you don't like the way a set of headphones sounds on your iphone.
 
Sep 11, 2011 at 5:30 PM Post #12 of 31


Quote:
 
No, I meant WAT as in that sentence made absolutely no sense.
 
"I found the acoustics most unnatural in the acoustic version of the song face down where the intro acoustics just completely lacked realism."
 
You used the same word three times in one sentence while intending three different meanings. I don't think anyone here understands exactly what you are talking about. Acoustics is a whole field of scientific inquiry, distortion could refer to any one of a dozen different phenomena. Be specific, don't randomly throw out words and concepts. All I've gathered so far is that you don't like the way a set of headphones sounds on your iphone.


"I found the acoustics most unnatural" <- I meant acoustic sounds
"acoustic version of the song face down" <- song I was listening to (Face Down(Acoustic)-Red Jumpsuit Apparatus)
"the intro acoustics just completely lacked realism"<-The part where it sounded off tone
 
what i found is it could be the physical speed of the headphones because it seems like the sounds are being blended a tad too much vs my old IE7's from the same source. So what I figure is burn in should help fix this problem.
 
Sep 12, 2011 at 4:43 AM Post #15 of 31
Quote:
not using an amp, I don't think an 18 ohm iem needs one


Yes, you are using an amp.  I assume you're running off an iPod or some other player.
 
All of them have internal amps.  Otherwise you wouldn't get any sound at all.  iPods and other tend to have amps that aren't very powerful.  They're engineered for maximum battery life.  Power requires energy, so the internal amps are usually underpowered.
 
The amp inside whatever you're using is probably clipping.
 

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