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Hugo 2 and ie800S seem a perfect match to me. And no hiss!
I was under the impression that any hissing was from multi-driver BA units like the CA Andromeda. The IE800/S is a dynamic earphone. No hiss with my IE800 and Mojo.
Thank you very much for your answers.
It causes me a little insecurity is about the non-removable cable (MMCX), did someone present a problem with the previous version?
That question is tricky to answer. The short answer is yes, there have been... a few problems with the previous version. The cables were getting hard and they required to be excuanged.
Sennheiser made the process very easy and were very helpful with their customers though, and ie800S seems to have another cable entirely, so that issue might be irrelevant to the new ones.
I don't recall any specific issues with the cable joint actually manifesting. Everyone was worried about "what ifs", but I can't recall a time something actually broke. Like George said, early versions of the cable got hard, but Sennheiser rectified this (they're good at this) and it had nothing to do with the joint itself.
Actually, given the discrepancies I've seen between web-posted measurements and subjective opinions, I'm apt to trust subjective opinions a lot of the time.
I know "higher levels of accuracy" in reviews has been a rallying cry for you of late, and you believe very strongly that measurements are perhaps the answer. In one of your earlier posts you said this to one of the other community members who writes reviews:
Again, given that measurements I've seen on the web can vary about as much as subjective opinions can, the above statement is a recommendation that should be wrapped in caveats. I don't believe reviewers need measurement rigs to review, and I don't always believe that a review should be so strongly influenced by them.
As I said in my previous post, so much of the time we have no idea how the measurements we find on the web were made or what they were made on -- and sometimes finding out only raises more questions (or at least should).
I know you're probably referring to someone else's comments, because I don't feel that to be the case at all. All measurements (including the ones we do here) need to be weighed against the limitations of measurements. And the limitations of measurements vary, and I'll trust some results more than others, depending on who did them, how they were done, what they were done with, etc. Again, for frequency response (for example), even the hypothetical best headphone measurement won't track everyone's every peak and dip, but hopefully will avoid what would be egregious, strange, or even non-existent peaks and dips for most people.
I feel very differently about this than you do. While I've regarded most headphone measurements above 8 kHz or 10 kHz suspect -- and, again, some more than others -- I feel getting accurate measurements above that should definitely be pursued. It's part of the reason we've chosen the ear simulators we've chosen, and we'll be sharing more measurements from these newer ear simulators over time that we hope have better subjective correlation above 10 kHz than we're seeing most of the time now.
I think most of us here definitely want the engineers and designers working on the headphones we listen to to be concerned with the performance of their products above 10 kHz. And so, in doing headphone measurements as a part of assessing headphones, I very much want to be able to accurately measure headphone performance above 10 khz as best I can.
And this is still true for me, which I hope is becoming more obvious.
One can't simply EQ the Vibro Veritas to turn it into something that will approximate a 60318-4 simulator from headphone to headphone. If that could be done so simply and so affordably, it would be the industry standard -- it's not for fun or prestige that a company spends considerable sums on measurement gear (including ear simulators, the good ones pretty much always being expensive). The 60318-4 (60711) ear simulator was designed to mimic the input and transfer impedance of a human ear. In other words, its role in the interaction with a headphone or earphone when coupled to the rig is a physical and individual one -- individual in the sense that I do not believe every headphone or earphone will react the same (at every point across the frequency spectrum, not to mention aspects other than frequency response) to the human-simulated input and transfer impedance of the ear simulator. So while you may successfully use an equalizer to force the shape of the Veritas' frequency response output with one headphone to match the output from another measurement rig with that exact same headphone, subsequent measurements of other headphones and earphones from those two rigs would not necessarily match up consistently, if at all.
If you're an AES member, there's an interesting paper from 2004 titled Simulation of the IEC 60711 occluded ear simulator by Søren Jønsson et al. (Downloading the paper is free for AES members, and $33 for non-members.) I believe the purpose of the paper was to examine methods of modeling the 60711 ear simulator so that virtual testing can be done ahead of manufacturing. While it's not entirely analogous to what we're discussing here, I think it gives some idea as to the complexity involved. There may be more relevant papers, more specific to this discussion, but that one came to mind as one of the ones I read as I was first learning about ear simulators.
Again if it could be done that easily and that inexpensively, that's what everyone'd be doing instead of trying to clear budgets to make room for new measurement gear (which is something many engineers I talk to are regularly trying to do). We have a headphone engineer coming to our office in the next week or two in the hopes of trying the new GRAS RA0401 ear simulators. His team already has standard 60711 ear simulators, and if he could simply use an equalizer to turn their 711's into RA0401's, he wouldn't waste his time with the visit -- we'd use the time and money saved to eat more sushi and drink more beer. If we could take our standard 60318-4 ear simulators and EQ them into RA0401's, we'd have done it.
I agree that it's remarkable, cool, and remarkably cool that people are passionate enough about audio engineering to build their own measurement rigs. I think it's just as important, though, that those trying to interpret the outputs from these systems understand the limitations of them, and even the limitations that would come from a theoretically perfect headphone measurement system.
I don't think the most important point here is that those with lab-grade rigs measure more stuff. (Though I will say that we endeavor to measure as much gear -- electronic and electroacoustic -- as we reasonably can here.) I think the more important point should be that people should not necessarily believe every single graph and number -- every single dip, peak, and ridge they see on the web -- and start asking more questions and understanding how the measurements were made and what they might mean (especially if one is apt to be the type to accept the graphs and numbers as gospel), and, again, definitely to understand the limitations of even the best measurements. That said, for nearly three years, we've been learning from and working with people and companies who have the experience and expertise to help us perform audio measurements using the best available techniques and technologies -- and we'll continue to do so.
I've visited several headphone companies and have seen some impressive facilities with even more impressive knowledge-filled people who work in them. At some of these places, I have watched them do measurements, and, on occasion, even participated in them myself. Even the companies I've visited who use measurements most extensively place great value in the subjective assessments of their products -- that is, they also do extensive, exhaustive listening tests. I haven't met an experienced headphone audio engineer yet who said anything like, "Our measurements of this headphone are fantastic, and so everyone will love them."
For these engineers, obviously measurements do matter. There are companies that go to great lengths and great expense to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to measurement technologies and techniques. I've recently discussed examples with engineers of products gone great and products gone wrong, in part due to both successes and failures relating to measurements. Some time ago, one engineer told me of an ANC headphone product that went to market and was met with very poor reviews, in part because the measurements during the development of that headphone were done on systems that did nothing to simulate the human hearing system -- a mistake he said they're not likely to ever make again. Conversely, another engineer at another company told me very recently of big successes they've enjoyed (also related to ANC headphones) that was in part attributable to improvements they'd made in their measurement labs to help specifically with that product class (some of it involving measurement gear we're intimately familiar with here) as well as extensive listening and use tests.
Anyway, to end this post, here's a fun thing we'll be doing: Soon we'll be posting about a very interesting, very simple experiment we did here with the Sennheiser HD650 that involves measurements, listening, and how different people can have very different experiences listening to the same headphone at the same level, with the same test signal independent of preferences.
I asked Sennheiser if there will be a new mic cable for ie800s, this was their reply:
"Unfortunately, there has been no mention of a remote cable for the 800s but if we do have one in the works we will announce it and you will be informed. In the mean time I would check out headfi.org to see if there is an aftermarket available."
So looks like no mic cable option for the ie800s in the foreseeable future.
Great post, Jude.
You've expressed both what I want to see from further refinements in measurements, as well as what I am concerned about in terms of hobbyists' understanding the limitations of various measurement rigs.
Depends on the measurements of course - I know that a lot of the Veritas measurements out there are completely uncalibrated. You can see it particularly in the upper mid-range and lower treble. But what i am talking about is when reviewers claim increased bass or increased treble due to things like going balanced - when you can measurably show this does not occur. IMO the standard of reviewing has slipped in the last couple of years - less accuracy, no proper volume matching when making comparisons, talking about perceived "easily heard" differences between two earphones when there are none. You must see it Jude - yet Head-Fi promotes any review to the front page as long as it has a high ratings, nicely laid out and has some nice pictures. In other words rather than trying to set a higher bar, Head-Fi seems to be encouraging the completely subjective and often highly inaccurate reviews that seem to be becoming the norm. I'll trust subjective reviews when I know the reviewer and he/she has good methodology and reasonable accuracy
A review is and always should be a persons opinion on the headphone they are reviewing - so it will always be subjective. But you and I both know how inaccurate that filter (bias) is that the brain puts on everything. So whats wrong with listen first, take your notes, then measure and use the measurements to check your impressions, and also try to explain them. Surely - as long as you've invested time into trying to get a measurement system to a reasonable level of accuracy - the resultant review should be better? Would we rather not be properly informed, or should we just blindly go into a purchase where a reviewer calls a DAP "U shaped" when it is measurably flat? Or talks about smooth treble when there are obvious peaks? Or talks about differences with going balanced (in terms of frequency changes) when using the same gear you can prove that there is no frequency change?
Agree on all of this which is why some of us who are more serious about this spend so much time seeking a level of accuracy which can make our reviews better. Most of us won't get to anywhere near the level of accuracy as Tyll or yourself (we don't have the budget for it), but its amazing how far the hobbyist sector has come.
My comment was not on accuracy of measuring above 10 kHz (although I agree with you) - it was purely on the audible effect of peaks and valleys (in real music) above 10kHz. By all means strive for accuracy - if I had the equipment I would. But lets not lose the intent of my comment. I've invited more than one reviewer to take normal music, then change an EQ slider in bands from 20 kHz down to around 13 kHz - and see how much actual effect it has. Once again I stand by my comment - for most music and for most people - upper treble frequencies have to have dramatic changes to be perceived or to have noticeable effect.
Remember - I'm talking about earphones - not headphones - so the Pinna has little effect. Our canals are all quite different - so all we can do is get a reasonable average. And I'd suggest to you that within general tolerances for the gear we have - YOU CAN - do exactly what I've done, and get very consistent measurements which are reasonably close to an IEC standard. I've shown it with the gear both Ken and I measured - exactly same earphones (in the end there were about 6 of them). I calibrated based on one (the Nova) and we got very similar curves for all the rest. His will always be more accurate, and I never claim my rig is. But I can consistently get curves which are pretty close to many manufacturers rigs - based on this one reading, and subsequent checking with others. I purposely used a very low impedance system to negate the overall effects of impedance - and the results I'm getting tend to tell me that I'm not too far away.
And lets not throw the baby out with the bath water here. When I use the rig, I show channel matching (which seems to be pretty good as long as I'm seating properly), and base frequency response (which I mainly use to show relativities within the primary audible range - sub-bass to lower treble). I use it to show relativities within the frequency response, and also show relative comparisons to other earphones. Nowhere do I make claims of accuracy above anyone else's measurements. I am very careful with my disclaimers. So I guess I'll just feel free to disagree with your statement. maybe I just "got lucky".
I don't think this was ever in question. Measurements will never tell you how a headphone or earphone will sound to an individual. But they can help explain what you're hearing, and they can give pointers to where issues are.
And I hope you continue. In the meantime - perhaps you'll remember that all this discussion kicked off from a single member's post who basically stated (and forgive me, I'm paraphrasing) - "well thank goodness you've measured them Jude - because everyone else's is rubbish".
If you agree with this sentiment (and condone/encourage it) then I'd have to ask why I'm still here? I trust that's not the case. You've always been straight with me - as I have with you.
Ultimately it comes down to pursuit of accuracy. Like I stated in my blog on this site - one of the best compliments you can get as a reviewer is "I trust your opinion xxxxx" or "I trust you xxxxx because you tell it like it is", and this is right up there with someone saying they based a buying decision on your review, and wanted to get in touch to thank you for nailing the description. I believe that my own personal standard and also understanding of audio lifted as I started developing my rig further and understanding how changes of frequency could very much affect my perception of what I was hearing. If you personally feel this is not the case, I'd be interested in talking further - perhaps off-line.
Can I close in suggesting that it might be a good idea if a Moderator prune all the measuring discussion - and maybe re-site it on your blog Jude. Then we could leave the people wanting IE800S discussion in peace
... so, these actually any good? Couldn’t really tell from the responses so far.
I remember the IE800 was the first IEM to really impress me, years ago.
You got my vote
Best in ear I’ve ever heard, I find im asking myself can it even get any better? Yes probably the LCDi4 but I can’t sleep in them and they don’t have good isolation.
Sennheiser did a great job with this refinement, to my ears sub bass is tamed, mid brought up just a tad and the treble smoother and more even at the same time as being vivid and high resolution.
Long time lurking here. Its great to see so many people interested in measurement of audio. I commend Jude and his team on the efforts of exploring this wild world of headphone measurements.
The underlying problem with headphone measurement is that the industry does not have a target shape. We know a loudspeaker in anechoic chamber should measure flat.
We do NOT know what a headphone can and should do. We have microphones that can't simulate the hearing transfer function accurately beyond ~12k. Its an approximation based on standards. The IEC-60318-4 or 711coupler transfer function was based on a dataset of 2 people.
The measurement industry is small and requires extensive capital to do the required R&D to create these new tools. It took 10 or so years to create the new B&K HATS. https://www.bksv.com/en/News/launching-high-frequency-HATS-type-5128
The groups and forums that head-fi and others have created are in fact creating demand of newer technologies.
So thank you all for being so passionate about finding answers.
We are all in pursuit of the same thing. To understand how audio is perceived and measured. We are in search of ways to correlate microphone measurements with human perception.(which is a whole other can of worms.)
Measuring something with microphones, analyzers, or humans are just tools. They give us a graph and we try to map that to an experience.
We are all on the never ending pursuit of knowledge.
simulating an average ear is very relevant and interesting when trying to set a standard(and we really could do with some new one for headphones and IEMs, as pretty much nobody finds diffuse field compensation to sound neutral). averages are not as interesting or significant when we're concerned about our own ears, because chances are we're not a clone of the perfectly average guy(based on hundreds of human heads). there is no one fit all answer to those stuff, but that doesn't make them irrelevant. they just help answer different questions.
about measurements, while I'm clearly one to think we never have enough, this time I have to side against Brooko. over reliance on some pseudo objective approach is what I tend to think of as "new objectivist"(every year I hope that I'm out of it for good, and the next year I realize that I wasn't ^_^). just because out of 2 approaches, one is rubbish for most purposes outside of personal preferences(sighted tests), doesn't mean we should become over confident about the other one. the repeatability of a measurement can give a false sense that we're full on scientific method. but doing it wrong 500 times in a row with the same IEMs doesn't make it scientific or factual.
the Vibro Veritas is not an IEC711 coupler, that was more or less clear from the start. even if calibrated properly (based on what?), the resonances are not where they should be up to 10khz. so what will work for some IEMs, will not for others.
about the IEM, it's not hard to use a sweep and tell if in our ears we get a significant spike or not. even those who aren't used to sine sweeps and their own equal loudness contour,they can just take an EQ and play around the area of the expected spike with some white or pink noise to see if right before and after, the signal does go down abruptly. or if maybe there is no spike, or a spike but at a different frequency due to insertion, tip, ...
what is the result for this IEM for those who have it? it seems more relevant than to know if the perfectly average dude would get a spike or not. ^_^
Sorry, everyone, that this conversation ended up turning into more of a measurement discussion thread than one about the IE800S (though it certainly did start with the IE800S).
Let's get this thread back on topic. I've copied the measurement-specific posts to another thread (link below). Splitting off the discussion by simply moving the posts is a bit challenging, as this discussion about measurements did start with the IE800 / IE800S measurements that were posted in this thread from various sources.
Here's a link where the conversation about measurements can continue so that this thread can get back to IE800S impressions:
A Headphone Measurement Discussion (That Started In The IE800S Thread)
So for this thread, let's please get back to IE800S impressions...