would like to know dB level of my headphones
Mar 20, 2006 at 1:04 PM Post #31 of 56

Chri5peed

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I don't really want to know what level I listen at. I listen at the optimum level for my enjoyment, fairly quiet actually.

Finding out it was too high wouldn't make me change it, I'd forever be fretting over the damage being done to my ears however.


Should you enjoy something fully for a certain time or enjoy it less but over a longer time?
 
Mar 20, 2006 at 1:10 PM Post #32 of 56

needmoretoys

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Frip
That picture is frigin hilarious. We must be the wierdest people in the world.


Or the most intelligent for knowing what we are doing to our non-replaceable ears. I have had the same RS SPL meter as in the photo for many years, but have just gotten a digital meter that has a max level hold. They both read the same with a 1 kHz tone. Using the cardboard to seal is important in my opinion.

I use the C scale for measuring output at various frequencies, but use the A scale for determining safe listening levels. It makes a big difference in measured level on music such as organ where there is a lot of lower frequency content. The A scale is the one used in industry to measure noise levels to meet standards, since the low frequencies are not as harmful to hearing as mid and high frequencies. Anyone have any comments on this?
 
Mar 20, 2006 at 1:47 PM Post #33 of 56

plainsong

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Skylab
It's accurate enough for this purpose. There is actually a searchable set of correction values for the RatShack SPL meter to correct for deviations from flat/accurate ate various frequencies, but when you are using the SPL meter to test broadband level (i.e. music), it's pretty accurate.

60-70db is fairly quiet for headphone listening -- good for you! I prefer a little more gas. But in any case, from everything I have ready, anything under 80dbA average SPL is fine.



I think Luukas listens a tad quieter than I do. He's closer to 60ish and I'm closer to 70ish. If I remember correctly, the highest spike for me was 75db. I'm glad I was under 80 though. Sometimes I feel like I'm rockin out a bit too loud. Maybe sometimes I am, but it's nice to know that my average is under that.
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Mar 20, 2006 at 1:50 PM Post #34 of 56

Ayreonaut

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Quote:

Originally Posted by needmoretoys
...The A scale is the one used in industry to measure noise levels to meet standards, since the low frequencies are not as harmful to hearing as mid and high frequencies. Anyone have any comments on this?


You are correct in that the lows are not damaging like highs are. I'd take particular caution with any headphone that has high frequency emphasis or spikes. The same overall listening level with much higher HF content could do more damage.

Descriptions of Grado induced headaches scare me. Your body is trying to tell you something.
 
Mar 20, 2006 at 1:54 PM Post #35 of 56

silmaauki

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Quote:

Originally Posted by hehe
I think i mightve been listening at 110dB again just now...
Im scared to damage my ears but i just dont like it at lower levels
smily_headphones1.gif



Maybe you would love it with lower sound level IF you would have a good set. You should try some amps.

About understanding why something is better that the other. An amp usually consists of a lot of different electronic parts, like capasitors, diodes, resistors, etc. Did you know that there are different kind of capacistors (not to mention the other parts)? There are electrolytics, tantals, etc. Let's look further down to aluminium electrolytics only. Did you know that one manufacturer could have more than 50 different types of aluminium electrolytics of the same capacitance? Elna has more that 50 different types, and more that 10 of them are for audio purposes.

Why does one manufacturer have 50 susbstitutes, if there would be no difference. Maybe because they all have slightly different characteristics in an electronic circuit. If there are differencies, then most obviously the electricity does flow differently through different capasitor.

Can you understand the differencies? Can you understand how they work?

I cannot? But I don't mind. I accept the fact that there are differencies and that an amp DOES have an effect on audio quality.
 
Mar 20, 2006 at 1:54 PM Post #36 of 56

Skylab

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Quote:

Originally Posted by needmoretoys
Or the most intelligent for knowing what we are doing to our non-replaceable ears. I have had the same RS SPL meter as in the photo for many years, but have just gotten a digital meter that has a max level hold. They both read the same with a 1 kHz tone. Using the cardboard to seal is important in my opinion.

I use the C scale for measuring output at various frequencies, but use the A scale for determining safe listening levels. It makes a big difference in measured level on music such as organ where there is a lot of lower frequency content. The A scale is the one used in industry to measure noise levels to meet standards, since the low frequencies are not as harmful to hearing as mid and high frequencies. Anyone have any comments on this?



Yes, I use the A Scale for determinining safe levels as well, but I cross-check against the C level just to make sure it's not crazy. But it is true that you have to be less concerned about low frequency sounds, which is what the C-scale emphasizes, making the A scale the more useful for judging listening levels. Keep it under 80dbA and, unless you listen 12 hours a day, or are exposed to long periods of loud sound outside of headphone listening, you'll be fine.
 
Mar 20, 2006 at 3:13 PM Post #37 of 56

angler31337

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Quote:

Originally Posted by silmaauki
Can you understand the differencies? Can you understand how they work?

I cannot? But I don't mind. I accept the fact that there are differencies and that an amp DOES have an effect on audio quality.



Well put.

-Angler
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Mar 20, 2006 at 3:36 PM Post #38 of 56

needmoretoys

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Skylab
Yes, I use the A Scale for determinining safe levels as well, but I cross-check against the C level just to make sure it's not crazy. But it is true that you have to be less concerned about low frequency sounds, which is what the C-scale emphasizes, making the A scale the more useful for judging listening levels. Keep it under 80dbA and, unless you listen 12 hours a day, or are exposed to long periods of loud sound outside of headphone listening, you'll be fine.


Thanks for the comments. When I listen to classical I usually keep the peaks under 80 dBA. If the majority of the recording is very soft, with some short loud passages, then I allow the loud passages to be no higher than 83 dBA. I have checked all of my volume settings on all my amps and headphones with 0 dB test CD recordings, so I know the level will never be higher than that. Even at 83 dBA peaks the softer parts are well under 70 dBA. For rock and jazz, with their more constant sound level, I usually keep the SPL at 70 dB or lower.

On classical orchestra, I usually find the difference between A and C to be as little as 5 dB, but on jazz with good strong bass, it can be as great as 20 dB.
 
Mar 20, 2006 at 3:51 PM Post #39 of 56

needmoretoys

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Chri5peed
I don't really want to know what level I listen at. I listen at the optimum level for my enjoyment, fairly quiet actually.

Finding out it was too high wouldn't make me change it, I'd forever be fretting over the damage being done to my ears however.


Should you enjoy something fully for a certain time or enjoy it less but over a longer time?



You say you listen at fairly quiet levels and I believe you, but for the sake of argument, let's say that you or someone else listens at very loud levels. Being 27 yo, only you will be able to decide if it was worth it when you are 40, 50, 60, etc. I am 61 and have very seldom been exposed to very loud music or workplace, except for the occasional disco many years ago. My last hearing exam was very good. I can no longer hear 16 kHz or 20 kHz, but I can hear a 10 kHz tone as loud as a 1 kHz tone and it starts to drop precipitously at 12 to 13 kHz. I know people 10 or 15 years younger than me that can barely hear any 6 or 8 kHz sound. It was certainly worth it for me, but each has to decide.
 
Mar 20, 2006 at 3:54 PM Post #40 of 56

hehe

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Can someone tell me if an amp works because of reason 1 or 2 that i said before?
Or maybe there is another one?
Either way does this mean you have to put your soundcard at a very low volume when using one?
Does the output of the amp have to be higher than the soundcard or does it just change the sound but not necessarily make it louder?
 
Mar 20, 2006 at 4:16 PM Post #41 of 56

hehe

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http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/~jw/hearing.html

I can still hear the 16khz pretty good, but it hurts more than i hear it.
I put it about 30dB higher than 3khz and its still not as loud but because of the way it feels i rather not put it higher.
I hear 8khz a lot louder than the other ones around there also, could this be because of a peak in my headphone response?
30hz i need to put almost all the way up to hear (with my level in windows set to around 90dB i think).
Im just wondering what others get?
 
Mar 20, 2006 at 4:24 PM Post #42 of 56

Skylab

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I needed 6db more loudness at 16kHz to hear it the same as the rest. With my DT770's, I had no trouble hearing 30Hz very strong, same as 1kHz.
 
Mar 20, 2006 at 4:25 PM Post #43 of 56

luukas

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Quote:

Originally Posted by hehe
Can someone tell me if an amp works because of reason 1 or 2 that i said before?
Or maybe there is another one?
Either way does this mean you have to put your soundcard at a very low volume when using one?
Does the output of the amp have to be higher than the soundcard or does it just change the sound but not necessarily make it louder?



These are sweeping generalizations, but:

1) At least the Audigy line cards should output the cleanest signal at about 75% of maximum. More volume might add distortion, and less could mask details and affect dynamics. This only applies to master volume. Wave should always be set to 100%, otherwise you're hacking off bits, literally.

2) Headphones' impedance is not a constant across the frequency spectrum. A plain soundcard (or a lousy amplifier) can't handle the variations and messes with the sound. Ideally (IMHO) an amp will take a signal, and then provide enough juice that the are no dropouts or peaks.

In case of a brain fart, feel free to correct my short ramblings.
smily_headphones1.gif


edit:

On the topic of SPL levels, I measured mine to be around 55-60dB (hard to say for sure, the RS meter isn't so accurate in that range), peak level being at most 65dB. C-weighting was used both in mine and plainsong's cases.

Also! Grados are awesome for low volume listening. Very good detail rendering, and they still have a snappy sound. In comparison the HD595s which are no slouch either feel a bit lifeless, unless I bump the volume up by ~5dB or so.
 
Mar 20, 2006 at 4:46 PM Post #44 of 56

K2Grey

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Hehe: From what I've gathered over time, the function of an amp is twofold. First, it boosts the voltage, resulting in gain and volume increase. Second, it boosts the current, which allows the headphones to function better. The goal is to do these two things without changing the sound itself.
 
Mar 20, 2006 at 4:48 PM Post #45 of 56

hehe

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So the headphone has an effect on the output of the amp or soundcard.
I thought electricity was simpy emited like light so you see why i would not expect an amp to make a difference then.
If 75percent of the soundcard is the best then i need an amp to lower te volume.
I just thought an amp was used to increase the volume...
smily_headphones1.gif
 

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