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Apple AirPods Max Review (Noise Cancelling Headphone)

MayaTlab

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However it seems at the same time to compress the dynamics as well. And especially with recordings with a large dynamic range, such as classical music, this sounds just awful.

I'm also not certain that it's just a FR change. I haven't bothered devising some tests to that effect since I don't really like the results with headphones accommodations on anyway, but perhaps measuring signals (which ones ?) at various levels and comparing the delta with headphones accommodations on vs off could reveal additional behaviours we're not aware of ATM ?
 

Dj7675

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However it seems at the same time to compress the dynamics as well. And especially with recordings with a large dynamic range, such as classical music, this sounds just awful.
I haven’t noticed that. I will have to compare Roon with EQ to it and compare, but that hasn’t been my experience.
 

nm4711

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As far as I understand, when using the accessibility setting, you always get dynamic compression. The strengths setting should determine how much compression you get.

So for listening to music, I actually use my Windows laptop with EQ APO, despite having an iPhone.
 

Merkurio

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As far as I understand, when using the accessibility setting, you always get dynamic compression. The strengths setting should determine how much compression you get.

So for listening to music, I actually use my Windows laptop with EQ APO, despite having an iPhone.

Yup, is a PITA you can't disable the dynamic compression while retaining the tone setting.

That's what I said before in this thread that using the APM with proper parametric EQ and some volume boost feature (like the one included in SoundSource) make them sound absolutely phenomenal, on pair with great wired options.
 

robot_seven

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Not sure if this has been covered before but there's a very easy way to PEQ APM if you're using iOS.

Go to Settings > Accessibility > Audio/Visual > Headphone Accommodations

Select 'Custom Audio Setup' > Continue > Add Audiogram > Continue > Camera

Now take a picture of anything that *does not* look like a FR graph

Select 'Keep Scan' > Save

Now it will say 'Unable to Import Audiogram'

Select 'Add Values Manually' > set 2k to 5dBHL and 4k to 8dBHL and everything else to zero for both channels

Select Done > Next > Save > Use Audiogram

This will give you a response like (or better than) 'Balanced Tone' without the DRC
 

DeLub

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Select 'Add Values Manually' > set 2k to 5dBHL and 4k to 8dBHL and everything else to zero for both channels
An audiogram is not an equalizer. If you'd like to add the filters of amir as an audiogram you have to look at what the effect of the filters is:
plot.png

Rounded to whole dBs, the values are:
1250
2500
5000
10001
20006
40009
80001
This is however quite crude, as the filters have a dip around 2700Hz which you cannot create in this way.

Based on the EQ profile of Oratory1990, this would be the results:
Apple AirPods Max - ha.png

125-1
250-1
5000
10000
20003
40003
80000
I'm not sure if the -1's have any effect, but this is a bit more moderate...

Take you pick :) What sounds best?
 
Last edited:

Dj7675

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Not sure if this has been covered before but there's a very easy way to PEQ APM if you're using iOS.

Go to Settings > Accessibility > Audio/Visual > Headphone Accommodations

Select 'Custom Audio Setup' > Continue > Add Audiogram > Continue > Camera

Now take a picture of anything that *does not* look like a FR graph

Select 'Keep Scan' > Save

Now it will say 'Unable to Import Audiogram'

Select 'Add Values Manually' > set 2k to 5dBHL and 4k to 8dBHL and everything else to zero for both channels

Select Done > Next > Save > Use Audiogram

This will give you a response like (or better than) 'Balanced Tone' without the DRC
Very cool. Amazing how burried it is... thanks for sharing this.
 

DeLub

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Is there an easy way to check what the effect of adding an audiogram to the headphone accomodations is? E.g., would it be possible to capture a sweep and plot it?
 

staticV3

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Is there an easy way to check what the effect of adding an audiogram to the headphone accomodations is? E.g., would it be possible to capture a sweep and plot it?
Sure, you could measure the change in frequency response with either an in-ear microphone, an ear simulator, or with an ADC by probing the PCB directly (though the feedback algorithm might result in bad data).
Neither way is particularly easy though.
 

DeLub

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Sure, you could measure the change in frequency response with either an in-ear microphone, an ear simulator, or with an ADC by probing the PCB directly (though the feedback algorithm might result in bad data).
Neither way is particularly easy though.
sure... but then the headphones are measured as well.

I was more thinking like how these Apple Music EQ presets were measured. @abdo123 , can you share how you determined the effects of the presets? I'd like to find out how the headphone accommodations work...
 

staticV3

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sure... but then the headphones are measured as well.
Stock frequency response minus EQed frequency response equals pure EQ response.
I was more thinking like how these Apple Music EQ presets were measured. @abdo123 , can you share how you determined the effects of the presets? I'd like to find out how the headphone accommodations work...
Looks like those were measured straight from the iPhone's output, maybe with the A2049 dongle.
 

Axo1989

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After buying a pair for my younger sister for Christmas (she was locked down, poor thing) I bought a pair for myself. First impression: they are so tiny. It's all relative isn't it, I'm used to Sony MDR-Z1R. But they are smaller than my HD650s too.

I wanted wireless, noise-reduction and spatial audio so they deliver that. NR is rather better than AirPods Pro and they aren't fiddly to insert (the Pro needs a good seal). Perfect woodworking headphones, I did a bit of rotary sanding today, and it was blissful listening to Wet Leg's album release instead of a clattery whirr. Council was doing roadwork on my street and that just disappeared. Time to break out the circular saw and fibre-cement cutter for a stress-test.

Sonically, I'm not finding them lacking in treble or generally too dark—measurements here notwithstanding—but it's only been a day. Interesting because my Sonys are hot in the treble if anything but I'm not missing it. I'll play with the Accessibility > Audio/Visual > Headphone Accomodations settings for a bit and see how that goes. Otherwise they sound nice and clear and the bass isn't a let-down despite the smaller drivers (again vs Sony). All this playing from the phone. They sounded good from the (Intel) iMac then suddenly didn't, I'll have to see what's going on there. I think Sonarwoks have a profile for them now so must check that out too.
 

acbarn

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After buying a pair for my younger sister for Christmas (she was locked down, poor thing) I bought a pair for myself. First impression: they are so tiny. It's all relative isn't it, I'm used to Sony MDR-Z1R. But they are smaller than my HD650s too.

I wanted wireless, noise-reduction and spatial audio so they deliver that. NR is rather better than AirPods Pro and they aren't fiddly to insert (the Pro needs a good seal). Perfect woodworking headphones, I did a bit of rotary sanding today, and it was blissful listening to Wet Leg's album release instead of a clattery whirr. Council was doing roadwork on my street and that just disappeared. Time to break out the circular saw and fibre-cement cutter for a stress-test.

Sonically, I'm not finding them lacking in treble or generally too dark—measurements here notwithstanding—but it's only been a day. Interesting because my Sonys are hot in the treble if anything but I'm not missing it. I'll play with the Accessibility > Audio/Visual > Headphone Accomodations settings for a bit and see how that goes. Otherwise they sound nice and clear and the bass isn't a let-down despite the smaller drivers (again vs Sony). All this playing from the phone. They sounded good from the (Intel) iMac then suddenly didn't, I'll have to see what's going on there. I think Sonarwoks have a profile for them now so must check that out too.
On the Mac, another great app for EQ is SoundSource:

 

MayaTlab

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Screenshot 2022-06-06 at 19.42.39.png

Not a lot of details yet on the exact implementation (perhaps more to come during WWDC sessions ?), but will make use of the iPhone's TrueDepth camera.
It's probably an attempt at individualising the HRTF map used by Apple's renderer, but I don't think that it will be capable of fine-tuning the "basal" FR of Apple's headphones past 1kHz, so coupling issues may remain.
 

Robbo99999

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View attachment 211278
Not a lot of details yet on the exact implementation (perhaps more to come during WWDC sessions ?), but will make use of the iPhone's TrueDepth camera.
It's probably an attempt at individualising the HRTF map used by Apple's renderer, but I don't think that it will be capable of fine-tuning the "basal" FR of Apple's headphones past 1kHz, so coupling issues may remain.
What do you mean by ""basal" FR of Apple's headphones past 1kHz"?
 

MayaTlab

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What do you mean by ""basal" FR of Apple's headphones past 1kHz"?

The headphones’ FR as you traditionally measure it.

We expect loudspeakers measurements at the eardrum to deviate past 1kHz or so across individuals because of anatomical variation, but it isn’t clear whether or not headphones vary across individuals in a way that is thus desirable and not because of other, undesirable factors (the simple fact that the FR varies sometimes significantly with positioning of the earcups, or because of pad ageing or compression should already cast doubts on that idea).

I don’t think that Apple’s new solution addresses that issue. I believe that it’s rather a way to derive static, individualised HRTF maps from visual data (perhaps similar to Genelec Aural ID) and feed it into the Spatial Audio rendering pipeline instead of a generic HRTF map.
 

flaviowolff

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The terrible thing about Apple choosing a dull frequency response for this is that it has the potential to induce studios into mixing the treble of radiophonic songs according to this. IDK if it's true, but according to rumors lots of 2000s era songs were mixed to sound good on iPod's stock earbuds.
 

Somafunk

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The terrible thing about Apple choosing a dull frequency response for this is that it has the potential to induce studios into mixing the treble of radiophonic songs according to this. IDK if it's true, but according to rumors lots of 2000s era songs were mixed to sound good on iPod's stock earbuds.

And that's all it is, a rumour
 
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