The 10 reference phones HeadRoom use for their normalized curve?
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Joe Bloggs

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Somebody on www.hydrogenaudio.org is asking how the HeadRoom normalized curves are drawn--does anyone remember which 10 phones HeadRoom use for their reference curve?
 
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Joe:

HeadRoom - The Problems With Headphone Testing:
http://headphone.com/layout.php?topi...subTopicID=122

Sennheiser Orpheus HE-HEV90
Sennheiser HD 600
Sennheiser HD 580
Sennheiser HD 495
Beyerdynamic DT 250-80
Beyerdynamic DT 831
AKG K 1000
AKG K 501
Grado RS1
Sony CD3000

TravelLite
 
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Joe Bloggs

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Well, here's proof that post count does not matter a whit... kudos to TravelLite for having a sharp eye and pointing this out.
 
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kelly

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They didn't happen to list the weightings did they? I know they didn't give every headphone an equal weighting. (In other words: The HD600 may have counted for more than CD3000 did.)
 
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MacDEF

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Quote:

Originally posted by kelly
They didn't happen to list the weightings did they? I know they didn't give every headphone an equal weighting.


Kelly, where did you get that impression, and how do you "know" this? They claim they "averaged" the results, not "weighted averaged" them. In addition, they "tested 11 so we could throw one out" because the Stax had an "unusual artifact in the bass: a very large upward spike and then a rapid drop" that they didn't want to affect the composite. If they were weighting, they would have simply weighted the Stax differently.

At least that's my reading; I'm just curious how you got the idea that they weighted them differently.
 
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kelly

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I don't "know" but that's what I thought. I'd honestly expect different results otherwise because some of the phones have a sharp treble incline.

The Stax comment is an interesting one, mostly because you'd think you could throw out any of the other phone readings for much the same reason.
 
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meh. they shouldnt mess things up further....
 
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bkelly

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MACDef,

Be serious now and answer this: isn't using both the 580 and the 600 a kind of "weighting". These are technically speaking the same headphones.





Best
Brian
 
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Good point, Brian.

p.s. Sorry I haven't emailed you lately... I've been very busy.
 
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MacDEF

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Quote:

Originally posted by bkelly
Be serious now and answer this: isn't using both the 580 and the 600 a kind of "weighting". These are technically speaking the same headphones.


But they aren't "technically speaking" the same headphones, nor do they sound exactly the same. They sound different enough to pick them apart in a blind test. The general explanation is that the component matching and the fact that the HD 600 enclosure is much better account for the difference, but the difference is there.

But more importantly, if two headphones, regardless of brand, are among the ten best heaphones available but sound very similar to each other, do you toss one out because it is "too close" to the other? No, from a methodological point of view throwing one out would be just as much "weighting" as including them both. If some other headphone that *wasn't* made by Sennheiser sounded exactly the same as the HD 600, would you throw that out, too?

If HeadRoom had taken two pairs of HD 600 and included them because they were different colors, I would agree with you; however, including two models from the same line that are similar, but not the same, is what should be done if those two headphones are actually among the ten best. HeadRoom feels that both the HD 600 and the HD 580 are in that class, so they included both.

If you want to debate that the HD 580 and/or HD 600 aren't among the best, that's another argument
Is the issue here really just that you don't think the HD 600 or HD 580 are clearly better than the HD 590?
 
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Maybe a better criticism is that the headroom top 10 contains only one headphone (the Sony CD3000) that headroom doesn't sell. Maybe bkelly's more general point is irrefutable -- the pool of headphones used is not diverse enough. And perhaps a few more headphones that they do sell have come along since their top 10 that would now supplant some of their own top 10. And maybe since the graphs are normalized against other headphones they don't give an accurate depiction of the relative frequencies, but are rather biased towards some headphones from a few brands that headroom happens to sell and that happen to meet the subjective taste of a very few people better than some other equally good headphones. Just maybe.
 
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MACdef,

I would argue that they are as close to testing one each of a different color as they can get. I have seen lots of comments (at Head-Fi) where people claim that these phones are nearly impossible to tell apart. Steve999 's comments are even, more to the point, Headroom appears to have picked a favorites list from their sales catalog. Where in the hell is the true reference headphone the R-10 in this list?

Of course I knew the 590 was not going to be on the list given Headrooms prejudice againt these headphones but there are a number of high quality phones missing and in their place we've got two from the 580/600 category.

Headroom is just pushing there own agenda and nothing more than that. Even in their literature thay claim that the 600' are the reference or standard and everything they design is designed with these phones in mind, I think. What a joke!






Best
Brian
 
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kelly

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The 590 wasn't out yet. Tyll has never heard the R10 until Hirsch brought his to one of the tour stops.

The HD600 is, according the HeadRoom, the reference headphone. Therefore, the HD600 is the baseline by which the other headphones are compared.

I don't agree with them. But that's typical of me.
 
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Kelly,

There are no Sony's on the list, anywhere! Not even the V6. How long have the 590's been out? For that matter, how long have the 600's been around?

Somehow, I knew you wouldn't agree with them. It just came to me I guess.

Talk soon.






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Brian
 
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MacDEF

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Quote:

Originally posted by bkelly
There are no Sony's on the list, anywhere! Not even the V6. How long have the 590's been out? For that matter, how long have the 600's been around?


Um... Sony CD3000? That's a Sony. HeadRoom doesn't carry it. So much for the theory that their list only includes models they carry


As for how long the HD 590 have been out, I think Kelly is incorrect on that point. I'm pretty sure the HD 590 was available. HeadRoom just doesn't think it belongs on the list.

As for 9 of the 10 headphones on the list being ones HeadRoom carries -- that's not really too convincing of an argument, since HeadRoom carries almost every good headphone brand on the market except for Sony and AT, and I'd argue that Sony and AT only make one model each worthy of such a categorization.

Sony? The V6 is a good headphone, but among the top 10? Not even close. The only Sony headphones ever made that might possibly be included in such a list are the R10 and the CD3000. Personally, I don't think the CD3000 belongs, but HeadRoom did. As for the R10, Tyll had never heard the it (like most of the world's population
) when they came up with their list. If it were me, the CD3000 would get the boot, and the R10 would be added.

AT? From the reviews it seems they make one headphone that might belong on the list, and that one came out since HeadRoom's list and measurements were made, so it's hard to fault them there. Maybe they need to revise it, sure.

Quote:

I have seen lots of comments (at Head-Fi) where people claim that these phones are nearly impossible to tell apart.


And if you look you'll also find lots of comments where people say they are *easy* to tell apart. The thing is, the latter comments are more believable for reasons of system resolution. If your system isn't good enough to resolve the differences between these headphones, you won't hear differences. It's like my friends who aren't into audio telling me that they can't tell the difference between a cheap CD player and a good one. Just because they can't hear the difference doesn't mean there isn't one. But if someone can clearly hear the difference in a double-blind test, a difference exists. The HD 600 and the HD 580 sound different out of a good system.

Quote:

Of course I knew the 590 was not going to be on the list given Headrooms prejudice againt these headphones


By definition it's not "prejudice" -- they listened and then they decided they didn't like them as much as the HD 580/HD 600


Quote:

but there are a number of high quality phones missing and in their place we've got two from the 580/600 category.


Such as? R10? I'll give you that. But I'd dump the CD3000 from the list to make room for them before I'd get rid of the HD 580. I'd also drop the HD 495 or the DT250-80 before I drop the HD 580.

On the other hand, someone using your argument could argue that having the DT250-80 is "weighting" the Sennheiser block, since the 250-80 have a sound that is closer to the HD 580/600 than to most other headphones


Quote:

Headroom is just pushing there own agenda and nothing more than that.


C'mon! Brian, it's clear from your many posts on the HD 590 that you personally have a thing against HeadRoom for not liking it. But anyone with a clue about HeadRoom knows that while they of course want to sell their stuff, they're also true headphone geeks, more than any of us. They include the Sony, which disproves the theory that they have an anti-Sony bias. Plus when Tyll heard the R10 he loved them. They even recommend stuff on their site that they don't carry.

The people at HeadRoom disagree with you about what the "best" headphone is. Why does that mean they have some "agenda"? Couldn't it be that they just disagree with you? Given their preferences as to what makes a headphone "good" -- clearly discernible by anyone who actually reads their web site -- I'm not surprised by their list. Yet everyone wants to ascribe such nefarious motives. I think a fairer criticism is that they simply need to update their list to take into account some of the newer headphones (*provided* they really are better).

I know it sounds like I'm defending HeadRoom -- in this case I am -- but only because some of the things being said make no sense. It's easy for a cynic to casually come up with some grand theory of conspiracy, but when you look at each bit of "evidence," it doesn't hold up.


Quote:

Even in their literature thay claim that the 600' are the reference or standard


Yes, as do the majority of audio magazines and reviewers on the planet. Does this make it true? No, but it sure lends credence to the idea that HeadRoom honestly likes the HD 600 better than anything else, rather than they're just promoting some "agenda."

Brian, your pro-HD 590/anti-HD 600 campaign is causing you to make some pretty wacky accusations
 
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