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Yeah, but if you want a headphones that sound good to you AND be able to use them with confidence for mixing the eq in a final mix, then it does matter about the flatness of the charts.

It impresses the heck out of me when speakers/headphones are flat enough to make mixing decisions, and yet are fantastic to listen to. The old loudness trick of turning up the bass and treble, esp at lower volumes, is built into many consumer level speakers / headphones to flatter the sound.


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Headphones ARE measured on ears - artificial ones, and yes, we all have different ears, but it's the best we can do.

I'm actually with Abdol on this, and by the way, I agree with his assessment, and he's actually swayed my opinion - if I had to choose one, I'd choose the Sony's. There's no guarantee I'd like them, but I'd rather start by being as informed as possible. Specs and measurements makes sense for headphones IMHO.

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Yes - had the OP presented the question differently (ie a mention of mixing, production, or professional use), then fair enough...

...bear in mind that I have the Sonys myself, and personally I prefer a flatter sound, so my xmas present worked out great. 🎁

But it might be worth auditioning various pairs in order to to find something that one would be happiest with (which, based on limited information, seems to be home use/silent practice - no mention of other equipment or usage thus far, unless I've missed it somewhere).

The idea of trying/testing where possible is very reasonable and sensible anyway - I'm sure that specs/measurements can help steer which to try in the first place (depending on whether someone already knows what they're looking for in the first place).

Last edited by OscarRamsey; 07/04/20 08:50 PM.

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Interesting ... I tried the old Sennheiser 555 ten or so years ago, and I felt the same way. Muddy. So I returned them.
Originally Posted by David B
I just bought my son (14th birthday) Sennheiser HD 559 ($100) and I must say that I really don't like them for playing the piano. Way too much muddy bass effect compared to my HD 58x Jubilee headphones. The 559's made my beautiful piano samples sound terribly unnatural.

So I got the Beyer DTX900 (I think that's the model). Much better.

After much wear and tear I got the Sennheiser 579 last year ... and I like them a lot. No muddiness.

They were on special for $100. Not expensive, and quite good.
Or maybe a bit more than $100? They were a gift, so I don't have a record of the price.

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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
You still don't get it. smile

I don't look at the diagram. I don't need to. Because I use my ears.

My ears don't need to be trained. I either like the sound of phones or not.

The diagrams don't tell me what to like.
The diagrams are incapable of telling me what to like.

I cannot imagine how you fail to see that.

Like I said, your ears can't tell you anything. You have the illusion of what good sounding headphones are in your head not in your ears.

It's an image, illusion, or silhouette. To overcome the illusion, you need to see how biased your "ears" are.

For you, the diagrams may look like rubbish. But in real life, these are very important. Companies spend millions of dollars in R&D to manufacture and invent technologies to achieve the flattest freq. res.

Every single hit you have heard in your life has been produced based on these principles. I used to use 3 headphones to mix and master my works. And 2 studio speaker monitors and another pair of hi-fi speakers at one point. Now I have an idea what the freq. res curves tell me, what to expect and most importantly what to buy if I need to.

You can never try every single available headphones/speakers in the market.


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Originally Posted by Abdol
Like I said, your ears can't tell you anything. You have the illusion of what good sounding headphones are in your head not in your ears.

It's not an illusion - if they sound good to him, they're good. For him. That's all he's trying to say.
He doesn't care whether they are "accurate" or not, and that's fine.
I like to do things as scientifically as possible, so I like how you assessed these headphones. However, simply choosing headphones subjectively is completely valid, if that's all one wants.


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Interesting article about how there is no correlation between price, and frequency response. I.e - if there was an agreed standard, one would expect that as price goes up, the closer they would match that standard - but they don't.
https://www.innerfidelity.com/conte...hone-frequency-response-and-retail-price

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It's also interesting that so much attention is paid to freq. response, while distortion often gets none.

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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
It's also interesting that so much attention is paid to freq. response, while distortion often gets none.


That's why I mentioned rtings.com. You can find all sorts of diagrams and comparisons there.

And here is what I bought without testing it just by looking into the diagrams and I am extremely happy! Exactly what I wanted. I can hear all the things I need to in the final mix and barely need to turn my speakers on:

HD-650

Last edited by Abdol; 07/05/20 10:34 AM.

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Originally Posted by sullivang
Originally Posted by Abdol
Like I said, your ears can't tell you anything. You have the illusion of what good sounding headphones are in your head not in your ears.

It's not an illusion - if they sound good to him, they're good. For him. That's all he's trying to say.
He doesn't care whether they are "accurate" or not, and that's fine.
I like to do things as scientifically as possible, so I like how you assessed these headphones. However, simply choosing headphones subjectively is completely valid, if that's all one wants.


Greg

I see your point and MacMacMac's desire to buy what his ears like, but closing your eyes on specs is not right by any means.

The first one is like making a decision based purely on my desire and the other one is making the decision based on my desire and the functionality of the device.

I may pay a bit more or it might not be the best I like, but it's always very close to what I like as well as extremely practical.


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Originally Posted by personne
...for DP - I am afraid I would not tell which is $20 and which is $300 in the blind test and with the volume settings adjusted.

On these forums there's a mix of people, some just play the piano at home, some are gigging (semi)-pros, some are home music producers, some audiophiles or even a mix of all. Different requirements:

A) Headphones that just sound good to play digital piano, and nothing else. Period.
B) General use headphones that must sound good for everything.
C) Very high quality headphones for audiophiles.
D) Very high quality headphones for music producers/mixers.

I agree with you that only for case A), headphones only to play piano, many cheaper headphones that are relatively flat are just fine. Just for digital piano, I have two pairs of the same cheap 25$ cans (10Hz-27KHz, 40mm drivers, flat response) that sound good enough and do the job. 300$ phones sound better but for piano only that's not justified.

On the other hand, if somebody wants to use those same headphones not exclusively to play piano but as general high quality headphones to listen to all kind of music - sounds or accurately mix music, then obviously those cheap ones don't meet the requirements.

PD: Off-topic but for many years I thought that speakers/headphones initial "burn-in" was BS, right until I got my second pair of the very same phones 6 months after the first ones. Boy, how wrong I was!

Last edited by ECBetancor; 07/05/20 06:39 PM.

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Originally Posted by Abdol
Like I said, your ears can't tell you anything.
Not true. Your ears can and do tell you plenty. The idea that your ears can't tell you anything about something audible is absurd.

Quote
You have the illusion of what good sounding headphones are in your head not in your ears.
Speak for yourself. wink No illusions here.

Quote
For you, the diagrams may look like rubbish. But in real life, these are very important. Companies spend millions of dollars in R&D to manufacture and invent technologies to achieve the flattest freq. res.
No, companies spend millions of dollars in R&D to manufacture and invent technologies to achieve the most sales. If it was all about being flat, they'd all be razor flat (the tech is there, it's not hard) but they aren't. Part of that is quality and part of THAT is specs, but only part. Specs are by definition limited in what they can tell you and therefore trusting in them absolutely is inherently flawed. But companies spend money on it because they know people pay attention to them and assume a widget with better specs is a better product, which of course isn't necessarily so. I'm not saying disregard them, but to act like they're the be-all/end-all is equally inadvisable.

Anyway, back to the actual OP, in my experience most if not all ATs are hyped somewhat in the bass, i.e. not neutral or "flat" enough, and I would therefore not recommend them. Sonys are a truer sound (but both are very good headphones).

Last edited by bill5; 07/05/20 10:12 PM.
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Sonarworks appear to be doing everything possible to create a "reference" frequency response. I particularly like the fact that they have consulted widely - they're not just white-coats in a lab:
https://www.ilounge.com/index.php/reviews/entry/sonarworks-true-fi-dsp-reference-headphone-app

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Originally Posted by bill5
Originally Posted by Abdol
Like I said, your ears can't tell you anything.
Not true. Your ears can and do tell you plenty. The idea that your ears can't tell you anything about something audible is absurd.

Quote
You have the illusion of what good sounding headphones are in your head not in your ears.
Speak for yourself. wink No illusions here.

Quote
For you, the diagrams may look like rubbish. But in real life, these are very important. Companies spend millions of dollars in R&D to manufacture and invent technologies to achieve the flattest freq. res.
No, companies spend millions of dollars in R&D to manufacture and invent technologies to achieve the most sales. If it was all about being flat, they'd all be razor flat (the tech is there, it's not hard) but they aren't. Part of that is quality and part of THAT is specs, but only part. Specs are by definition limited in what they can tell you and therefore trusting in them absolutely is inherently flawed. But companies spend money on it because they know people pay attention to them and assume a widget with better specs is a better product, which of course isn't necessarily so. I'm not saying disregard them, but to act like they're the be-all/end-all is equally inadvisable.

Anyway, back to the actual OP, in my experience most if not all ATs are hyped somewhat in the bass, i.e. not neutral or "flat" enough, and I would therefore not recommend them. Sonys are a truer sound (but both are very good headphones).

[Linked Image]

Last edited by Abdol; 07/06/20 10:51 PM.

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AKG 271 MK II. They sound incredible for acoustic piano. Isn't that what you're looking for? $200.00. And you can wear them all day and all night, due to the goofy martian-type head gizmo.

To go insane, go to headfi.org.


Selmer Mark VI Tenor (‘73) & Alto Sax (‘57), Yamaha YSS-62 Soprano Sax (‘87), Conn Naked Lady Baritone Sax (‘52), Conn New Wonder Tenor & Alto Sax (‘24), Yamaha WX5 Wind Synth (‘13), Kawai MP11 & ES-110, Numa Compact 2x, Casio PX5S, Roland VR-09, Hammond E-112 (‘69).
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