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Re: Digital Piano Headphones
MacMacMac #2870239 07/18/19 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
I'm not sure I'd call these "neutral" ...

[Linked Image]


LOL. It’s amazing that they’re not embarrassed to publish that, was it measured by a third party?

Here are the plots from the drivers of my Etymotic ER4SRs:


[Linked Image]

Last edited by LarryK; 07/18/19 08:17 AM.

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Re: Digital Piano Headphones
Romar #2870268 07/18/19 10:07 AM
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Headphone measurements are never linear. Even for headphones that sound very linear. Which is why there are Harman curves, etc. Showing the raw measurement curve will always look like that.


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Re: Digital Piano Headphones
Romar #2870295 07/18/19 10:56 AM
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True, another thing is every persons ears have a fairly unique response curve. Some are more sensitive to certain frequencies than others. Most humans have certain characteristics that are common like a sensitivity to frequencies around 1Kz, thus the ubiquitous 'V' shaped EQ curve. Which is why a set of headphones one person absolutely loves another person might say 'Meh". So its best when your buying, buy from a company with a good return policy!


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Re: Digital Piano Headphones
CyberGene #2870296 07/18/19 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Headphone measurements are never linear. Even for headphones that sound very linear. Which is why there are Harman curves, etc. Showing the raw measurement curve will always look like that.


I don’t think the curve he posted looks much like the Harman curve:

https://www.innerfidelity.com/content/harman-tweaks-its-headphone-target-response

At what point do we conclude that a particular pair of headphones is garbage based on their measurements? I doubt that many manufacturers of cheap headphones are trying to hit any kind of curve, and they don’t publish plots.

As mentioned in that article, headphone response is based on a listener’s age. I’m older and don’t want the bass bump that all the youngsters seem to require. Etymotic makes the ER4XRs for people who want a bass bump.

I think my headphones look pretty linear.


Last edited by LarryK; 07/18/19 11:06 AM.

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Re: Digital Piano Headphones
Kbeaumont #2870299 07/18/19 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Kbeaumont
True, another thing is every persons ears have a fairly unique response curve. Some are more sensitive to certain frequencies than others. Most humans have certain characteristics that are common like a sensitivity to frequencies around 1Kz, thus the ubiquitous 'V' shaped EQ curve. Which is why a set of headphones one person absolutely loves another person might say 'Meh". So its best when your buying, buy from a company with a good return policy!

Indeed! I'm probably one of only a few people on this planet who honestly detest the venerable Audiotechnica ATH-M50x headphones! I've read only a few negative opinion and zillions of praise. I couldn't stand their exaggerated bass. I listen mainly to classical music and especially symphonic music and they ruin it IMO. BTW, the biggest differences between headphones I find with symphonic music especially in tutti sections where you can hear the entire orchestral spectrum, it's an unmistakable sound signature which should be very familiar to people listening to this music and going to live symphonic concerts often. There's only one way a symphonic orchestra will sound good and no coloration would improve that smile It's not techno or pop music where a V-shaped sound is good.


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Re: Digital Piano Headphones
Romar #2870300 07/18/19 11:08 AM
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I detest all headphones and regard them as a necessary evil.


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Re: Digital Piano Headphones
Romar #2870307 07/18/19 11:32 AM
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I prefer to use my ears to detect problems in the headphones. With a sinusoidal waveform that sweeps from about 50Hz to 16-17000Hz I search for audible "holes" (some frequencies where the headphones speakers suddenly drop in volume, and then return to the normal level). After you found some hole, if you have a very precise graphic equalizer you can get from your headphones a much flatter response.
For equalization on Windows I use "Equalizer APO", a nice open source software.

Of couse if your headphones have big limits in reproducing some frequencies, the equalizer can't do miracles...

Re: Digital Piano Headphones
magicpiano #2870321 07/18/19 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by magicpiano
I prefer to use my ears to detect problems in the headphones. With a sinusoidal waveform that sweeps from about 50Hz to 16-17000Hz I search for audible "holes" (some frequencies where the headphones speakers suddenly drop in volume, and then return to the normal level). After you found some hole, if you have a very precise graphic equalizer you can get from your headphones a much flatter response.
For equalization on Windows I use "Equalizer APO", a nice open source software.

Of couse if your headphones have big limits in reproducing some frequencies, the equalizer can't do miracles...

I am not a sound engineer but isn't it possible that how a driver and a membrane attached to it transfer a sine wave isn't exactly indicative of how it would transfer a complex sound made up of many overtones, i.e. sound waves? Ultimately it's some light material that vibrates and would transfer a complex wave made up of countless tiny sine waves with differing ratios and phases. Whether it will be able to cope will all that isn't the same as how it would cope with a sine wave with constant intensity and varying frequency.


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Re: Digital Piano Headphones
Romar #2870346 07/18/19 02:10 PM
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I'm not a sound engineer either but what I described is just a method to make the headphones sound more flat, not to make them more sensible to fast changes of frequencies or to reduce distortions, etc.. Of course, if the headphones are crap, are crap, even if well equalized. laugh
And I think a good amplifier is important as well. The headphones are the last element of a chain.

Re: Digital Piano Headphones
Romar #2870372 07/18/19 04:07 PM
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I've made EXTENSIVE research about this topic and every possible way led me to Audiotechnica M40X or Sennheiser HD 598 from open headphones. Audiotechnica is closest to the real sound. Amazingly flat characteristic, perfect for piano and classical music.

Last edited by Nordomus; 07/18/19 04:08 PM.
Re: Digital Piano Headphones
MacMacMac #2870394 07/18/19 05:09 PM
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[/b][b]
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
You can indeed do well for $100, or a bit more.

I had Beyerdynamic DTX-900 phones for many years ... for $99. (But these are discontinued, replaced with the DTX-990 for around the same price.)

I replaced them last year with Sennheiser HD579 phones at around $150. But I see that these are discontinued.

The Sennheiser HD599 phones are largely the same, now at around $150.

The Sennheiser HD280 phones go for $100, but they're closed-back and I didn't like the sound nor the discomfort.

The Beyerdynamic DT770 are now down to $135. Very comfortable. I was tempted last year when they were at $179, but I opted for the Sennheiser HD579 instead.

The AKG K240 phones come highly recommended. They were a topic of MUCH discussion here a few years back. Only $69. (I've never tried them, so no comment.)


That's good to hear. I don't like seeing people waste their money. For $69 bucks and maybe the cost of a headphone amp ( I think most won't) They are outstanding reference/listening headphones for everything but low frequency bass heavy music. House music aficionados need not bother.

Last edited by Jethro; 07/18/19 05:11 PM.

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Re: Digital Piano Headphones
Jethro #2870423 07/18/19 06:26 PM
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What exactly are listening headphones? And how do they differ from non-listening headphones? smile
Originally Posted by Jethro
They are outstanding reference/listening headphones for everything but low frequency bass heavy music.

Re: Digital Piano Headphones
CyberGene #2870426 07/18/19 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
. . .
I am not a sound engineer but isn't it possible that how a driver and a membrane attached to it transfer a sine wave isn't exactly indicative of how it would transfer a complex sound made up of many overtones, i.e. sound waves? Ultimately it's some light material that vibrates and would transfer a complex wave made up of countless tiny sine waves with differing ratios and phases. Whether it will be able to cope will all that isn't the same as how it would cope with a sine wave with constant intensity and varying frequency.


If the membrane and its driver are _linear_ -- that is, when you double the electric power input, they double the sound-power output -- whatever frequencies are in the input, will be in the output, in the same ratios.

Their relative phases may change, so the output _waveform_ won't match the input waveform. But the output _frequency spectrum_ will match the input frequency spectrum.

That "linearity" assumption should hold pretty well at low volume. And for decent headphones, "high volume" is more than anyone wants to listen to.

There have been numerous studies on whether human ears are sensitive to phase changes. I don't know what they've proven.

Speculations:

When I see a lumpy, notched frequency-response graph, for a decent set of headphones, I wonder whether I'm looking at figments of the measurement process itself -- things like the size and shape of the chamber that holds the mic, that's listening to the headphone. And whether changing details in that arrangement, would shift everything around --

. . . so the measuring apparatus contributes a lot to the observed results.


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Re: Digital Piano Headphones
Romar #2870440 07/18/19 07:21 PM
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Yes, CC, the charts are suspect. But my ears tell me everything I need to know, so no worries.

Re: Digital Piano Headphones
Charles Cohen #2870539 07/19/19 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
When I see a lumpy, notched frequency-response graph, for a decent set of headphones, I wonder whether I'm looking at figments of the measurement process itself -- things like the size and shape of the chamber that holds the mic, that's listening to the headphone. And whether changing details in that arrangement, would shift everything around


It would, which is why measurements are usually repeated in different positions and then averaged out to compensate for some inaccuracies.

That being said: HPs, when viewed as a complete system are NOT linear, nor will they ever be. The system has resonance frequencies (easily seen in the impedance vs frequency graph) etc that all influence the linearity.

Keep in mind: we are talking volume differences here. They can reproduce every frequency from 1 to 20KHz but at different volumes. That's what the linearity talk is all about and why you will never see ruler flat graphs.

Also, your amps output impedance can influence the measured graph considerably, well into audible range.
E.g.: my soundcards rather high output impedance gives the clear a touch of warmth (slightly elevated bass response due to low damping factor). I happen to like it, someone else might not.

Here you can see detailed measurements for the Focal Clear:
https://www.innerfidelity.com/content/focal-clear-over-ear-open-headphones-measurements

As a closing note: graphs are a tool. You can use them to gauge the general characteristics and assess whether you might like them or not. The definite decision is up to your ears though. Never buy blind when you cannot return a can.


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Re: Digital Piano Headphones
Romar #2870549 07/19/19 07:15 AM
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This post from Reddit has a lot of good information on reading graphs:

I prefer in ear monitors, IEMs, to cans, as IEMs have a flatter response curve than over the ear headphones because the driver in the ear canal has very little air to move compared to over the ear headphones, and IEMs seal strongly with large foam tips, and don’t leak like over the ear cups.

Etymotic claims 35-42dB of passive noise isolation which helps protect the ears because there is no need to turn up the volume to overcome background noise. As I mentioned, the earphones are so quiet you hear microphonic noise from the cable rubbing on your shirt. I don’t ride the subway without my Etys.

I’ll have to see if I can live with IEMs while playing the piano, given how much I move. I do clip the cord to my shirt, something which helps a lot.

Last edited by LarryK; 07/19/19 07:20 AM.

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Re: Digital Piano Headphones
Romar #2870674 07/19/19 04:01 PM
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I'd love to be able to wear custom IEMs esp when outside but alas my ears develop pain within minutes. They just can't stand me sticking stuff in the canal. ._.


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Re: Digital Piano Headphones
Granyala #2870676 07/19/19 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Granyala
I'd love to be able to wear custom IEMs esp when outside but alas my ears develop pain within minutes. They just can't stand me sticking stuff in the canal. ._.


It’s not a good idea to wear IEMs outside, you won’t hear what is happening around you, and you could get run over by a car. I never wear mine outside and I don’t wear them when I’m moving around because I can hear the cord making noise when it rubs on my shirt. I do wear them while sitting on the subway. I actually don’t wear any headphones on the street.

I tried my IEMs with the piano this morning and they work fine, I don’t move that much. The cord is a little short but it’s ok. Mine aren’t custom, by the way, they’re the stock Etymotic ER4-SRs with the big yellow foam tips. They have a bunch of different tips, some foam and some silicon. You have to experiment to figure out which one is comfortable for you.

I do understand that some people can’t tolerate ear plugs.

Last edited by LarryK; 07/19/19 04:09 PM.

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Re: Digital Piano Headphones
Romar #2870689 07/19/19 05:06 PM
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I put headphones around my ears. But I do not put things in my ears.

Re: Digital Piano Headphones
Granyala #2870692 07/19/19 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Granyala
That being said: HPs, when viewed as a complete system are NOT linear, nor will they ever be. The system has resonance frequencies (easily seen in the impedance vs frequency graph) etc that all influence the linearity.

Keep in mind: we are talking volume differences here. They can reproduce every frequency from 1 to 20KHz but at different volumes. That's what the linearity talk is all about and why you will never see ruler flat graphs.


A linear system (amp, headphones...) can have a different impedance for each frequency. The linear term should mean linear as a linear mathematical function (you double the input volume, the output volume double accurately). If the system is not linear, you will have an harmonic distorsion. It is a different way of measuring your system defect.

You perhaps mean HP have not a flat response which is different.

Here we can read about linear and non-linear distorsion http://www.neumann-kh-line.com/neum...FFBDC12578B20039968C?Open&term=THD+N

Last edited by Frédéric L; 07/19/19 05:19 PM.

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