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Why does it matter if headphones have a frequency range below 20Hz and above 20kHz?

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by keyboardwarrior, Nov 29, 2011.
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  1. RPGWiZaRD

    I can! >_< 
    XB700, XB500, V-Moda Crossfade LP2, at least these have the capability. I can feel the bass literally tickling my ears on XB500 in lots of songs that for example have a bassdrop that goes like from 100Hz towards 0Hz I can still feel it for a little moment after I stop hearing it, especially when paired with ZO even if set to the lowest contour levels. The headphones with capable drivers are just very few but the differences compared to speakers/subwoofers is obviously that only our ears feels it when the speaker can make our whole body feel it.
    graphCompare.png   LP2_sound_curve_wbg.jpg
  2. Head Injury
    Have you tried test tones? 20 Hz is the limit of hearing, but you feel notes that deep too. Just because you stop hearing it and start feeling it doesn't mean you're listening to a 15 Hz frequency. It also doesn't mean you're hearing anything but additional harmonics created by THD.
  3. nikp


    Are these accurate?
  4. RPGWiZaRD


    Yes I've been using test tones "Test Tone Generator" which I found to be the best one with cleanest tones to test my hearing limits. I'm fully aware of the additional noise that can be heard sometimes but I'm not speaking of that, I'm speaking only of that clean bassnote. I was able to hear the extra noise down to 12 or 13Hz but that wasn't a constant low hum tone but sounded like the sound that comes from helicopter's rotating wings at a bit slower speed so I automaticly ruled out that but at 15Hz I heard the constant onenote humming but it was veeeeeery subtle at 15Hz but 16Hz it was already much easier to hear so my hearing capability takes a quick dive between 16 to 15Hz and 14Hz I can't hear whatsoever, 20Hz is already very loud and clear and I'm not adjusting volume levels I just used a fixed volume level I would use normally when listening to music.
    Believing in that EVERY human's hearing limits are the same is just as ******** as no1 notices any difference in motion above 60 frames per second... personally I believe it varies for every person a bit and we're probably talking around 14 - 22Hz or so possibly.
  5. Head Injury

    Use something that actually tells you what frequency is playing at what time. I doubt it's accurate because I hear noise right from the beginning, and I rarely hear or feel 20 Hz at my listening volume.
    RPGWizard, if you are actually hearing 15 Hz then it's probably just harmonics.
  6. RPGWiZaRD

    No, it's that same tone/hum I'm hearing at say 30Hz but much lower pitched. I know what to listen for, I'm not a noob, I know what the harmonics is and what isn't, as I said I could hear harmonics down to was it 12 or was it 13Hz but I didn't count that. The 15Hz is just veeeery faint though (just barely standing out from natural background noise when focusing to listen for it) when using normal listening volume levels. Look, it's not like I'm the first guy to admit hearing down to 15Hz, seen others claming the same thing as well. While 15Hz is somewhat questionable and I probably won't hear that for a long time anymore but say 17-18Hz for example is very clear which is still lower than 20Hz.
  7. nikp
    I just used audacity and I can hear 15Hz at a slightly loud listening volume. And no it's not harmonics, I study sound physics.
  8. RPGWiZaRD


    Yea I've tested with audacity too but I found it to produce more harmonics than Test Tone Generator. It's a free to try for 30 or 60 days or whatever and has some nifty features and GUI.
    Most headphones have such a roll-off below 20Hz so you really have to increase the volume a lot to hear it or they might not even be able to produce a clean tone either. The XB500 still has like +12dB boost at 15Hz for example so that speaks both for that I don't have to increase the volume past "normal" listening volume and that it would have any issues producing a 15Hz tone, but I can also hear it with HTF600 so it's not only XB500.
  9. nikp
    Tried the test tone generator and I can still hear it faintly. It's probably more of a feel (tiny rumble).
  10. RexAeterna

    yes. you can still feel the vibrations from 20hz. if your sensitive to vibrations as well when standing you can actually feel the vibrations travel down to bottom of your feet since your bones acts as an absorber and allows the waves to travel like an open road. i don't know if anyone else noticed this as well.

    EDIT: had to edit cause i didn't realize this thread moved so fast.
  11. Blue Boat
    I measure extension by going from 80Hz downwards.
    Once the tone starts to sound like the helicopter rotor blades (that womp womp womp sound), that's the limit of my headphone's bass extension. I think this is what you call harmonics? Solid tones that go WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMP (constant low hum) are considered true tones. 
    Edit: Will post SR60's exact point where the bass disappears. 
  12. RPGWiZaRD


    Yea this is how I go about this too. 
  13. ineedmorebase


    You can hear it, at least definitley percieve it, it's kind of strange but when you experiement with subwoofers and bass responses/deepness, you'l start to understand a little bit better :)
  14. Blue Boat
    HD 438 : Volume of tone starts to decrease at 50-51 Hz. Below 40Hz, things start to sound a little wobbly. Below 32Hz, there's no more hum left. There's sound all the way down to 10Hz, but
                  there's a vibration sound accompanied by a very faint wobble wobble sound. I doubt the new HD439s will be any better than the HD438s.
    SR 60 : 35-39 is the limit. Below that it's too soft, and I have to turn the volume up to 0db. Bass starts rolling off at 68Hz. Noticeably less loud at 50ish Hz(s).
  15. k00zk0
    I just tried some sine testing and correct me if I'm wrong:
    At 40 hz, at a moderate level there is a steady hum. Turning the volume up, as the hum gets louder a quickly repeating whomp appears with each cycle. Is this the distortion or limit that is being referred to? Going to 30hz makes the whomp appear at a lower volume level
    Is the whomp caused by the driver now not mirroring the sine being input but slightly squaring the wave off as the excursion limit is hit? So a headphone rated to extend to 12hz will actually produce 12hz steady hum at an audible level without distorting it into the hum plus whomp with each throw?
    Edit: wow nevermind. Generating low sines made me just realize how horrible this output device is. Clear high pitched buzz while producing high level bass sines - this is NOT caused by the headphone, right?
    As well, the sub bass can definitely be felt. The earlobes are sensitive to it with headphones and the entire head can be felt to shake with enough excursion. I mean, if you can feel the outside of the phone vibrating with your fingers then you are feeling the bass with your head too...
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