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ASR Headphone Testing and BK 5128 Hats Measurement System

solderdude

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Is there a headphone I should buy right now to make testing more meaningful? I have HD-650, Hifiman HE400i, Grado SR80 (?), Sony MDRV6 (?), Drop Ether CX. I also have a Sony and Harman headphone whose model numbers escape me but did the best in Harman controlled listening tests.

HD650 is the headphone to compare to as it is the most measured headphone out there and most folks have heard one or own one.
Very little pinna activation so will measure pretty much the same on FP. Small driver, not angled.
HE400i large driver, not angled. Substantial pinna activation but different from most others.
Grado SR80. On ear good candidate because of this. very little pinna activation, small driver. resonances in the area of interest to check a test rig.
Sony MDRv6. Studio standard, small driver and small pinna activation.

When you want to test for weird pinna activation the K712 is fun and a good headphone. Strangely enough the K702 with similar build but has very different pinna activation.

There is little point in buying headphones that only few people have if the goal is to get feedback on results vs reports.

The K371 is cheap, nice to own and should be close to Harman. Consider this a reference to Harman and is measured with different rigs.
 
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amirm

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Ive put these on my Ether- a lot bigger than stock- I like! https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076SLL6BK/ref=twister_B076SHF8LV?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1
They do a range so linked items on there should get you to the Sennheiser 6xx etc

Range of materials - but I like the leather on the Ether, I have a pair of hybrids (felt and perforated pleather) on other cans too. Up to you how many pads and swaps you want to buy and test. Maybe buy a range of fit and finish for the Ether .
Are these a quick swap or you have to deal with glue and such?
 

bobbooo

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HE400i large driver, not angled. Substantial pinna activation but different from most others.

The pads on the HE400i (and HE4XX) are angled though, which should act to angle the drivers when the headphones are on the head.
 
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AudioJester

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Can it do IEM's?
Be interesting to see something like a neuraphone and how well it corrects - would have to measure your hearing as well!
 
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amirm

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The K371 is cheap, nice to own and should be close to Harman. Consider this a reference to Harman and is measured with different rigs.
Thanks. Just ordered. I also have AKG K90. And remembered the Top Harman tested one that I have bought, the AKG N700NC. And Sony MDR7506 which also rated high.

How about IEMs? I only have a few. Etymotic XR4SR. And some random ones.

Also I have my Stax Headphones I could test with it. They are quite old but I have a number of them.
 

Fluffy

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Measuring resonances in CSD plots and spectrum plots (like in diy-audioh-eaven) will be very beneficial. In most of these plots the measurement doesn't go below 100 hz, but I think measuring resonances at very low frequencies are actually very important to the sound of a headphone.

Also, measuring compression of the driver, and distortions at different SPLs like you do in speakers. I mostly see THD measured at a single SPL, and as we know from measuring speakers, this doesn't tell the full story. The multitoned test will also be interesting on headphones. Overall I suspect the distortion of good headphones should be significantly lower than in speakers.

Testing electrostatic headphones would be amazing, because those are the least well measured. I know that the nature of their operation might interfere with condenser microphones, so it's worth checking if they can be measured on this rig.

Also, I wonder if acoustic phase plays a part in headphone sound. in speakers the soundwaves disperse and interfere in all sort of ways in the room so acoustic phase is probably not critical, but in headphones they pretty much pressurize the ear drum directly so it might have more of an effect.
 
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amirm

amirm

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Can it do IEM's?
Be interesting to see something like a neuraphone and how well it corrects - would have to measure your hearing as well!
It can but I am unsure of how well one can ensure proper insertion depth.
 

solderdude

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The pads on the HE400i (and HE4XX) are angled though, which should give a similar effect to angled drivers.

That most certainly will.
The trick here is to measure the HE400i and/or the HE4XX with both types of pads and you'll know.
Have seen those plots already so there is no surprise there.
What is fun to see is the HE400i with different pads.
Oh wait... Amir has a HE400i.
Get the A-pads and a bunch of very different aftermarket pads and you have a nice measurement festival.


Slapping different pads on any headphone will result in different sound and measurements.
 
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amirm

amirm

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Also, measuring compression of the driver, and distortions at different SPLs like you do in speakers.
This is tricky here. With speakers, the large drivers compress/distort a lot easier than the measurement mic. Will be interesting to see how we can disentangle microphone from the headphone. My minidsp EAR for example, has dominant distortion of its own that is headphone independent.
 
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amirm

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bobbooo

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That most certainly will.
The trick here is to measure the HE400i and/or the HE4XX with both types of pads and you'll know.
Have seen those plots already so there is no surprise there.
What is fun to see is the HE400i with different pads.
Oh wait... Amir has a HE400i.
Get the A-pads and a bunch of very different aftermarket pads and you have a nice measurement festival.

That's what I suggested earlier in this post :)
 

solderdude

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How about IEMs? I only have a few. Etymotic XR4SR. And some random ones.

Also I have my Stax Headphones I could test with it. They are quite old but I have a number of them.

Stats are also interesting. They should be quite flat and roll-off in the lows.

I don't like shoving anything in my ear so have no interest in these. There are a LOT of them though.
Looking at the study that was linked to showing all the different ear canals is another reason.
Seal, insertion depth and such will probably never match real world situations.
Stuffing a mic capsule in a piece of tubing and 'wing' the correction or no apply one at all will give repeatable results but will differ substantially from real life. May partly explain why some folks swear by the 'neutral' IEMs where others hate it and vice versa.

As far as I can see there is a wider divergence about opinions in sound between IEM's that between over ear headphones and yet again for speakers.

Sure one can test to a standard in this case but hard to correlate with experiences of owners. Owners seek validation in plots.
 

solderdude

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bobbooo

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And cheaper too including the plastic mounting ring. These rings have a tendency to break easily though.
The Dekoni Elite Hybrids are nicely made and will differ yet again from the A-pads from hifiman.

Yeah the Dekoni's are pretty popular, but at $70 they seem a bit pricey to me - that's half the price I paid for the actual HE4XX headphones from Massdrop :D
 
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MZKM

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How about IEMs? I only have a few. Etymotic XR4SR. And some random ones.
Eh, I wouldn’t go out buying more IEMs now, due to the personal target curve we have, FR measurements are pretty useless unless they own an IEM you also measured so comparisons can be made, or they know how their personal target looks like ok your rig (or in relation to the Harman target if you adjust it to that).

Headphones would be less problematic.
 
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amirm

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@amirm will you have the system around the 21st? The new Sony WH-1000XM4 comes out then. That would make an immediate, attention-grabbing review.
 
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