• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Audeze LCD-24 Review (Headphone)

Jimbob54

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 25, 2019
Messages
7,304
Likes
8,668

Robbo99999

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
3,162
Likes
2,681
Location
UK
OK, well, you sure put a lot of energy dismissing my points, or my credentials but beside telling us that some headphones are better than other at spacial quality, which I never disagreed with, can you share your own take on it? If I am so wrong, what makes one better than the other? Don't tell me something in the like "The ability to be speaker like" That's just defining spacial quality, but why an headphone, in the same category, would be better than the other one if the driver or it's ability to resolve subtleties has nothing to do with it?

Besides, You'll notice that many headphones good at spacializing often have an elevated response in the Hi-Mid, which is exactly the zone mixing engineers like to band limit the reverb effects, to make it sit in the mix and open up the sound, bass in the reverbs makes a mix sound muddy, but what do I know, according to you, how the music is produced is irrelevant also... But what is relevant then?

You'll also notice that headphones that are great at specializing, tends to be bright and analytical, HD800 is a good example, there is no magic there, low frequencies are non directional, their contribution to the sound stage is limited because by definition you can't localise them easily.
I'm just flabbergasted at the lack of logic and an apparent lack of understanding that you seem to have based on the points you've brought up, and all whilst being a professional in the field which I find astounding....I mean I wouldn't have minded but each post you made added something new that showed those traits.
First you say Harman Headphone Curve is just a preference curve, which shows a lack of understanding on your part in how it was created - it wasn't just people randomly twiddling knobs....it started out as a measured response as I had explained and then there was preference added to that on top.

Second, you made the argument that EQ'ing your gear by ear was a good approach because you said the albumns you listen to have been EQ'd by ear and therefore by extension it's fine to tune your own gear by ear, which was a logical misstep of yours to join those two points, they're not the same thing and show a lack of understanding of circle of confusion, as well as just plain illogical. They're not related.

Thirdly you say spatial qualities in headphones is mainly about fidelity of the driver, which is not true. I have HD600 and it has a small soundstage (not good) and that's a very high fidelity driver in terms of that headphone delivers nuance & detail at the best level of any of my headphones (or equal level as my K702)....so soundstage cannot just be related to driver "high fidelity" although it might be a joint part of it. I proposed angled drivers and/or angled pads combined with large earcups as the most likely factor for creating a good large soundstage.

And then finally you talk about headphones artificially enlarging soundstage and bring up the point again that soundstage is created by the mixing engineer, with the last point being true but irrelevant to the discussion because of course that is the case, it's about the speakers or headphones reproducing those points as accurately as possible.

So really all-in-all you've exasperated me with your lack of logic and seemingly lack of knowledge and then I find out you actually work in the field.....I mean I'm gobsmacked, but hell I'm sorry, I'm going on about this too much, I won't bring it up again.

----------------------------------------------------------------

But to answer your questions in your post......

All my referencing in comparing my headphones is after they've been EQ'd to the Headphone Harman Curve, so frequency response is taken out of the equation as much as possible....so when I've been comparing soundstage it's mostly down to the design differences of the headphones, as the measured frequency responses are pretty much identical. I mean there will be some unit to unit variation which will create some inaccuracies, but for reasonable practical purposes they're all the same frequency response. I've already described how I experience soundstage for my different headphones in this post: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...eze-lcd-24-review-headphone.23949/post-808085
I also describe in that post that frequency response can affect spatial qualities too, and I've found that bumping up 1-3kHz resulted in improved spatial ability in gaming (when tested on my HP50) which also equates to the same in music listening:
NAD HP50 My Spatial Target.jpg

But I find I don't like the tonality, so I don't use that for music listening (nor indeed gaming), but it was an experiment.
So frequency response certainly is an element of determining spatial qualities, but most of my comparisons have been done when EQ'd to the Harman Curve and then comparing my different headphones, which I've talked about already.
 

PeteL

Major Contributor
Joined
Jun 1, 2020
Messages
1,500
Likes
1,428
I'm just flabbergasted at the lack of logic and an apparent lack of understanding that you seem to have based on the points you've brought up, and all whilst being a professional in the field which I find astounding....I mean I wouldn't have minded but each post you made added something new that showed those traits.
First you say Harman Headphone Curve is just a preference curve, which shows a lack of understanding on your part in how it was created - it wasn't just people randomly twiddling knobs....it started out as a measured response as I had explained and then there was preference added to that on top.

Second, you made the argument that EQ'ing your gear by ear was a good approach because you said the albumns you listen to have been EQ'd by ear and therefore by extension it's fine to tune your own gear by ear, which was a logical misstep of yours to join those two points, they're not the same thing and show a lack of understanding of circle of confusion, as well as just plain illogical. They're not related.

Thirdly you say spatial qualities in headphones is mainly about fidelity of the driver, which is not true. I have HD600 and it has a small soundstage (not good) and that's a very high fidelity driver in terms of that headphone delivers nuance & detail at the best level of any of my headphones (or equal level as my K702)....so soundstage cannot just be related to driver "high fidelity" although it might be a joint part of it. I proposed angled drivers and/or angled pads combined with large earcups as the most likely factor for creating a good large soundstage.

And then finally you talk about headphones artificially enlarging soundstage and bring up the point again that soundstage is created by the mixing engineer, with the last point being true but irrelevant to the discussion because of course that is the case, it's about the speakers or headphones reproducing those points as accurately as possible.

So really all-in-all you've exasperated me with your lack of logic and seemingly lack of knowledge and then I find out you actually work in the field.....I mean I'm gobsmacked, but hell I'm sorry, I'm going on about this too much, I won't bring it up again.

----------------------------------------------------------------

But to answer your questions in your post......

All my referencing in comparing my headphones is after they've been EQ'd to the Headphone Harman Curve, so frequency response is taken out of the equation as much as possible....so when I've been comparing soundstage it's mostly down to the design differences of the headphones, as the measured frequency responses are pretty much identical. I mean there will be some unit to unit variation which will create some inaccuracies, but for reasonable practical purposes they're all the same frequency response. I've already described how I experience soundstage for my different headphones in this post: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...eze-lcd-24-review-headphone.23949/post-808085
I also describe in that post that frequency response can affect spatial qualities too, and I've found that bumping up 1-3kHz resulted in improved spatial ability in gaming (when tested on my HP50) which also equates to the same in music listening:
View attachment 134324
But I find I don't like the tonality, so I don't use that for music listening (nor indeed gaming), but it was an experiment.
So frequency response certainly is an element of determining spatial qualities, but most of my comparisons have been done when EQ'd to the Harman Curve and then comparing my different headphones, which I've talked about already.

Sorry sir but you are being extremely condescending, and just for the sake of it. None of what you bring here is contradicting what I said, none, are you arguing just for the sake of arguing?

-I said EQing by ear is a valid method when done properly, not that it was the best method.

-Harman Curve is a preference curve, I also said that it's rightfully commonly considered the "correct" curve. The fact that it's a preference curve don't mean that it was not obtained by a scientific method, or that we shouldn't follow it, still, it's a preference curve that's all I said. I have nothing agains't the value of following a target that suits most people.

-You said yourself, Frequency response affect the spatial quality. We say the same

-You refuse to adress my main point, what is your gripe here, "so soundstage cannot just be related to driver "high fidelity" although it might be a joint part of it." First I did not say "Only" the only difference here is that I believe it's the main one, you believe stuff like angled driver and large drivers is the main one. OK, convince me. It could also be argued that the highest fidelity headphones out there have large drivers. And notice my question "In the same category" So yes if you compare a large over ear open back to IEM, sure, having larger transducers helps of course, but I tought that was obvious. You have an other gripe with "artificially" well, to me, messing with the tonality to get a bigger image, means having an artificially large image. We say, again, the same thing.

- You keep bringing the irrelevance of the mixing process, well maybe if you'd understand what I said. I specifically talked, in my first answer, of reverb tails, that is fully relevant because nobody can't argue that reverberation, natural of induced by fx is what defines the size of the space. Spectral content and stereo width too, to a lesser degree, but the last two, are not as much affected by the resolving nature of the drivers. In a mix reverbs are a magnitude lower in amplitude than the main notes. Unresolving headphones will be able to give you the music, but not the reverberation of the space it was recorded in, that's pretty simple. You loose this you loose much of the sound stage, I really don't see what you find illogical. If you think that reverbs are irrelevant to this debate, we'll not reach an understanding.

-Finally. HD600 is not an analytical headphone, maybe it was considered one 20 years ago. It's a great neutralish headphone with nice tonality.
 
Last edited:

Jave

Active Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2016
Messages
137
Likes
59

Jimbob54

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 25, 2019
Messages
7,304
Likes
8,668
I meant more like LCD-2\LCD-1 or even LCD X, but more in depth. like these here.
The X review was I think his first formal hp review and he's definitely expanded the reviews since. The new X he has got now to measure will I am sure follow the same format as this review. Maybe other members have or will send him lower tier models but the review queue is something of a secret
 

Robbo99999

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
3,162
Likes
2,681
Location
UK
Sorry sir but you are being extremely condescending, and just for the sake of it. None of what you bring here in contradicting what I said, none, are you arguing just for the sake of arguing?

-I said EQing by ear is a valid method when done properly, not that it was the best method.

-Harman Curve is a preference curve, I also said that it's rightfully commonly considered the "correct" curve. The fact that it's a preference curve don't mean that it was not obtained by a scientific method, or that we shouldn't follow it, still, it's a preference curve that's all I said. I have nothing agains't the value of following a target that suits most people.

-You said yourself, Frequency response affect the spatial quality. We say the same

-You refuse to adress my main point, what is your gripe here, "so soundstage cannot just be related to driver "high fidelity" although it might be a joint part of it." First I did not say "Only" the only difference here is that I believe it's the main one, you believe stuff like angled driver and large drivers is the main one. OK, convince me. It could also be argued that the highest fidelity headphones out there have large drivers. And notice my question "In the same category" So yes if you compare a large over ear open back to IEM, sure, having larger transducers helps of course, but I tought that was obvious. You have an other gripe with "artificially" well, to me, messing with the tonality to get a bigger image, means having an artificially large image. We say, again, the same thing.

- You keep bringing the irrelevance of the mixing process, well maybe if you'd understand what I said. I specifically talked, in my first answer to reverb tails, that is fully relevant because nobody can't argue that reverberation, natural of induced by fx is what defines the size of the space. Spectral content and stereo width too, but the last two, are not as much affected by the resolving nature of the drivers. In a mix reverbs are a magnitude lower in amplitude than the main notes. Unresolving headphones will be able to give you the music, but not the reverberation of the space it was recorded in, that's pretty simple. You loose this you loose much of the sound stage, I really don't see what you find illogical. If you think that reverbs are irrelevant to this debate, we'll not reach an understanding.

-Finally. HD600 is not an analytical headphone, maybe it was considered one 20 years ago. It's a great neutralish headphone with nice tonality.
Well you're being a lot more logical here, so I understand the points you're making.....but I don't see them as the same things you were saying in your other posts. I'm happy to leave it here as I think we've probably both said our piece.

About your HD600 point, and you saying it's not an "analytical headphone" (whatever that means), my experiences & comparisons are based on them all being EQ'd to the same curve (Harman Curve), so my observations re levels of fidelity are more related to inherent abilities of the headphone beyond the frequency response. (Having said that as a small aside the HD600 is super good even without EQ and is the exception amoungst my headphones when talking stock performance) I know for sure the HD600 delivers a lot of detail & quality when EQ'd to the Harman Curve (praps the most of all my headphones) just that I really don't like it's small soundstage.....so in my experience HD600 is a high fidelity headphone.....I don't really like using these loose terms but you were specifically mentioning & linking "high fidelity" (opposite of "lofi" your words) to the ability of a headphone to deliver spatial qualities. So I'm quite certain that "high fidelity" is not the only factor that enables spatial qualities given the HD600's small (poor) soundstage.

About me saying that I think inherent (not frequency response) soundstage capabilities of a headphone are based on angled driver and/or angled pads and large earcups. Well I have to admit that solderdude was the one I saw say this and then that observation also tallied with my experience as well as that of reports of others on soundstage of their particular headphones. For instance, my K702 has large earcups and angled pads, this headphone has great soundstage which is why it's my favourite.....also the Sennheisser HD800s has massive earcups and angled pads/drivers and HD800s is widely lauded as the soundstage headphone by many people including Amir (Amir might not have said it's the soundstage headphone but he was mightily impressed with said abilities and noticed that aspect as something special). Also this Audeze LCD24 in this review thread had excellent spatial qualities (after he EQ'd it) according to Amir and it has angled pads and large earcups. Additionally, the HE4XX that I have that sits at second place in my soundstage rating for my own headphones has angled pads and reasonably sized earcups although they're not that large inside with all the padding, which is why it might be in second place perhaps....whilst my other two headphones the HP50 & HD600 don't have angled pads and sit at the back of my soundstage rating. Yep, so I think angled pads/drivers and large earcups are the design recipe that create good soundstage (I'm not sure of the exact mechanism why this would be so), with frequency response also being responsible.
 

MayaTlab

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2020
Messages
364
Likes
499
All my referencing in comparing my headphones is after they've been EQ'd to the Headphone Harman Curve, so frequency response is taken out of the equation as much as possible....so when I've been comparing soundstage it's mostly down to the design differences of the headphones, as the measured frequency responses are pretty much identical. I mean there will be some unit to unit variation which will create some inaccuracies, but for reasonable practical purposes they're all the same frequency response.

As I've already written, they really aren't. Remaining differences when your specific headphones are mounted on your own head are likely to be above threshold of audibility (and in the case of two headphones that already tracked a target rather well may not always bring them even closer).
That's just with in concha mics with two passive open headphones from Sennheiser : https://www.head-fi.org/threads/the...-at-a-breakthrough-value.943107/post-16300055
Above 3-4kHz it's likely to be even more significant (something which I feel I'm increasingly capable of actually measuring to a degree of precision and repeatability that's useful).
Thinking that frequency response is a controlled variable when using third party measurements and profiles to a target is most likely inaccurate.
 

Jave

Active Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2016
Messages
137
Likes
59
The X review was I think his first formal hp review and he's definitely expanded the reviews since. The new X he has got now to measure will I am sure follow the same format as this review. Maybe other members have or will send him lower tier models but the review queue is something of a secret
Hopefully he will also get an LCD2\3 in the future to review, since it is seems to have a better out of the box frequency response and I've been thinking of buying a pair for quite some time now.
 

Robbo99999

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
3,162
Likes
2,681
Location
UK
As I've already written, they really aren't. Remaining differences when your specific headphones are mounted on your own head are likely to be above threshold of audibility (and in the case of two headphones that already tracked a target rather well may not always bring them even closer).
That's just with in concha mics with two passive open headphones from Sennheiser : https://www.head-fi.org/threads/the...-at-a-breakthrough-value.943107/post-16300055
Above 3-4kHz it's likely to be even more significant (something which I feel I'm increasingly capable of actually measuring to a degree of precision and repeatability that's useful).
Thinking that frequency response is a controlled variable when using third party measurements and profiles to a target is most likely inaccurate.
I'm not saying that the frequency response seen by the GRAS measurement device when my headphones are EQ'd is gonna be the same frequency response that I receive at my ear - I'm aware that anatomical differences mean we all differ in some respects from the dummy head/ear that was measured. I'm also aware that this difference is larger the higher up the frequency range you go & that also as you go up the frequency range then how you place your headphones on your head each time you put it on can influence the frequency response, especially above 10kHz where it can be affected by even just small changes in positioning. But for all intents & purposes the fact remains that my headphones have been EQ'd to the same frequency response on the same measuring gear, and that's a fact. I also am aware that there might be specific interactions of certain headphones with your own ear that mean that if I was to measure my headphones on my own head they would differ from each other to some extent even if they had been EQ'd to measure the same on the GRAS unit. But, my point was, my headphones have to the best of my power been EQ'd to the same frequency response. I'm aware of the variables & inaccuracies that can occur.
 

MayaTlab

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2020
Messages
364
Likes
499
So… the logical conclusion should be that you’re quite a way away from being able exclude frequency response as a variable to explain « soundstage » or « imaging » (whatever that means).
IMO as long as it remains an uncontrolled variable it’s pointless to try to go look into hypothetical other factors when FR differences at your DRP are not hypothetical in all likelihood :D.
 

Jimbob54

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 25, 2019
Messages
7,304
Likes
8,668
So… the logical conclusion should be that you’re quite a way away from being able exclude frequency response as a variable to explain « soundstage » or « imaging » (whatever that means).
IMO as long as it remains an uncontrolled variable it’s pointless to try to go look into hypothetical other factors when FR differences at your DRP are not hypothetical in all likelihood :D.
Yup. So for the lay consumer, there really is no substitute for auditioning a pair of headphones. Even better, auditioning them with eq to preference curve of choice.

By all means read measurements and subjective reviews to winnow down a shortlist but you really won't know how they sound until you try.

Easier said than done of course.
 
OP
amirm

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
35,336
Likes
135,207
Location
Seattle Area

MayaTlab

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2020
Messages
364
Likes
499
By all means read measurements and subjective reviews to winnow down a shortlist but you really won't know how they sound until you try.

That's also how I see measurements available online. As a way to weed out sub par engineering, look at how sound the headphones are, and characterise their behaviour.
In an age when this is considered acceptable by the people who release headphones, I find dummy head / test rigs measurements still immensely useful :
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/.../abyss-ab-1266-phi-tc-review-headphone.23411/
https://www.rtings.com/headphones/1-4/graph#1619/4011

I haven't re-measured my HD560S and HD650 with Oratory1990's profiles on the current iteration of the DIY probe I'm making, but I can provide that :
Screenshot 2021-06-07 at 07.53.01.png

HD560S in red, HD650 in green, right channel, no EQ, normalised at 500hz (and my first copy of the Sundara in blue, this one is likely to be defective or a poor sample). I'm quite confident about the values for relative comparisons up to 10kHz or so. As long as the probe wasn't moved between seatings I'm at the point where I can repeat it on a day to day basis to within pretty decent tolerances on a day to day basis in relative terms (ie the HD560S's response @7300hz is always 2.5-3dB higher or so than the HD650, I find both headphones fairly easy to position in the same way on my head on a day to day basis and they don't slide around much once they're on). In absolute terms it's getting better but not good enough (and every single time I make the slightest modification to the probe, such as changing the silicone tube, I need to re-calibrate it). I'm not expecting to be able to achieve excellent absolute values anyway.
The relative differences are fairly similar to the ones measured when using in-concha microphones up to the point where these become invalid in relative terms (3-3.5kHz ? - it's much earlier than that in absolute terms obviously) :
Screenshot 2021-06-05 at 11.54.04.png

Measured days earlier. HD560S in orange, HD650 in verdigris. It's not a perfect match by any means and I certainly would never draw conclusions such as "X measures 3.74dB higher than Y at 1434Hz" but the trends are fairly constant even with these two wildly different methods. In the case of these two headphones the relative differences are actually quite a match up to 5kHz or so but I'm not confident that it would be the case with all over-ears.
You can compare that to what Oratory or Crinacle measured :
Screenshot 2021-06-05 at 09.09.18.pngScreenshot 2021-06-05 at 09.12.54.png
There are some rather clear differences. The generally warmer tilt of my sample of the HD650 on my head looks like it has older, worn out pads but it actually isn't the case, they're fresher than the HD560S' :D.
All in all it's not a surprise that when using either Oratory1990's or Crinacle/AutoEQ's profiles there are audible remaining differences when you compare their measurements (which aren't identical in relative terms BTW but we'll gloss over that for now...) to mines.
It's not that significant in the sense that both headphones, whether profiled or not, already measure pretty well and are IMO variations around "sounds decent". But since it's frankly quite easily audible, it's really impossible for me to consider FR a controlled variable if I were to base my EQ on someone else's dummy head / test rig's measurements.
Sorry for the thread derailing. It's just that I don't find it very helpful to see very hypothetical ideas thrown around to explain "soundstage" when there are some tangible, non-hypothetical variables that aren't well controlled.
 
Last edited:

Robbo99999

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
3,162
Likes
2,681
Location
UK
So… the logical conclusion should be that you’re quite a way away from being able exclude frequency response as a variable to explain « soundstage » or « imaging » (whatever that means).
IMO as long as it remains an uncontrolled variable it’s pointless to try to go look into hypothetical other factors when FR differences at your DRP are not hypothetical in all likelihood :D.
No, I disagree that the frequency variable is not controlled enough to compare my headphones for soundstage capabilities once all are EQ'd to the Harman Curve. Two reasons, firstly I think the differences in frequency are not large as they sound all pretty much the same in tonality, and secondly any deviations between the different headphones when placed on my head will be random small changes based on unit variation and how that specific headphone reacts to my ears in a different manner to how it would on the GRAS unit and I think these small random changes won't be significant enough to majorly influence spatial properties of the headphone in one direction or another. You can think frequency response is not a controlled variable enough if you like for me to draw conclusions about the inherent soundstage properties of my headphones, but I know you're wrong - there's also correlated evidence in headphone reviews (Amir's included) with reference to soundstage/imaging properties of headphones, so if you think it's all so "uncontrolled" & impossible to relate to a specific headphone then that's your own loss when it comes to choosing the right headphones for yourself & also if that's the case I suggest you don't pay any attention to Amir's subjective listening impressions either. ;)

If you don't know what "soundstage & imaging" are then you don't pay attention to your music or your gear does not replicate it properly. Look it up to see what those descriptions are likely to mean, I described how I experienced soundstage & imaging at the following post which I now realise was actually a reply to you! https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...eze-lcd-24-review-headphone.23949/post-808085
 

Rottmannash

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Nov 11, 2020
Messages
1,490
Likes
1,140
Location
Nashville
you should get a headphone working out of the box for 3000$.

the fact that high-end headphone manufacturers have indoctrinated people that THEY need to put the effort to get the best sound possible out of the headphones is gross.
What about AVR's with Dirac or Audyssey? Isn't that the same thing?
 

MayaTlab

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2020
Messages
364
Likes
499
I think the differences in frequency are not large as they sound all pretty much the same in tonality, and secondly any deviations between the different headphones when placed on my head will be random small changes based on unit variation and how that specific headphone reacts to my ears in a different manner to how it would on the GRAS unit and I think these small random changes won't be significant enough to majorly influence spatial properties of the headphone in one direction or another.

I often wonder about the actual audibility with musical content of variations in FR. It's been studied (Toole and Olive, surely ?).
But what I believe is that it's quite reasonable to believe that a very large bandwidth difference of, let's say, 1dB, or a medium one of, let's say, 3dB, are audible (and particularly a succession of several medium bandwidth deviations taken as a whole), and that's typically the sort of stuff I'm seeing when equalising headphones to the same target and measuring them on my head.
And I'm being very, very conservative here as I've spent most time measuring open passive Senheisers. It's likely to be a lot worse with headphones with a closed front volume, poor design in terms of ensuring positional consistency, or manufacturers with poorer manufacturing consistency (you can see above that the first copy of the Sundara I received shows a much stronger high Q dip at around 1.2kHz than you see in other measurements, and since the slopes surrounding it have a large bandwidth the total area affected is significant, which makes for a very audible - and un-EQable in practice - problem).

Otherwise, I've actually started to measure positional variation at higher frequencies on my own head to see what it is like. With some headphones I have a feeling that it's an overrated problem, while with others it's an underrated one.

You can think frequency response is not a controlled variable enough if you like for me to draw conclusions about the inherent soundstage properties of my headphones, but I know you're wrong -

The most comforting thing about considering that it would be ideal to better control that variable before looking into other factors is that we don't need to go against what I wouldn't be surprised to learn some acousticians would tend to say about it : https://www.reddit.com/r/oratory1990/comments/gbdi7v/_/fpb63ht On one hand, we have a phenomenon that we know is likely, for most headphones comparisons and most people, to be audible one way or another, even if only slightly (ie two headphones equalised to the same target on a test rig still having a different FR at a listener's eardrum).
On the other hand we have... not much to chew and a lot of question marks.
So I think that it's entirely reasonable to consider that a better control of that variable is needed before proposing other hypothesis.
Otherwise it's the usual audiophile missing the forest for the tree problem.

there's also correlated evidence in headphone reviews (Amir's included) with reference to soundstage/imaging properties of headphones, so if you think it's all so "uncontrolled" & impossible to relate to a specific headphone then that's your own loss when it comes to choosing the right headphones for yourself & also if that's the case I suggest you don't pay any attention to Amir's subjective listening impressions either. ;)

Where's the evidence (big word) ?
Note that I'm not necessarily going to disagree that some headphones may be designed in a way that increases the likelihood that they produce a FR at the drum that is more likely to increase the proportion of listeners for which the FR at the eardrum would be more conductive to perform well in sound localisation tests. That was the basis behind Rtings' PRTF test unless I'm mistaken. But in the end that's still FR.
Otherwise I've indeed increasingly learnt to not bother with subjective impressions in audio matters when they use terms that aren't operational defined (to me "I hear a peak at 6300Hz" is a very different subjective impression in nature than "Imaging is precise, soundstage is narrow").
 
Last edited:

Robbo99999

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
3,162
Likes
2,681
Location
UK
I often wonder about the actual audibility with musical content of variations in FR. It's been studied (Toole and Olive, surely ?).
But what I believe is that it's quite reasonable to believe that a very large bandwidth difference of, let's say, 1dB, or a medium one of, let's say, 3dB, are audible (and particularly a succession of several medium bandwidth deviations taken as a whole), and that's typically the sort of stuff I'm seeing when equalising headphones to the same target and measuring them on my head.
And I'm being very, very conservative here as I've spent most time measuring open passive Senheisers. It's likely to be a lot worse with headphones with a closed front volume, poor design in terms of ensuring positional consistency, or manufacturers with poorer manufacturing consistency (you can see above that the first copy of the Sundara I received shows a much stronger high Q dip at around 1.2kHz than you see in other measurements, and since the slopes surrounding it have a large bandwidth the total area affected is significant, which makes for a very audible - and un-EQable in practice - problem).

Otherwise, I've actually started to measure positional variation at higher frequencies on my own head to see what it is like. With some headphones I have a feeling that it's an overrated problem, while with others it's an underrated one.



The most comforting thing about considering that it would be ideal to better control that variable before looking into other factors is that we don't need to go against what I wouldn't be surprised to learn some acousticians would tend to say about it : https://www.reddit.com/r/oratory1990/comments/gbdi7v/_/fpb63ht On one hand, we have a phenomenon that we know is likely, for most headphones comparisons and most people, to be audible one way or another, even if only slightly (ie two headphones equalised to the same target on a test rig still having a different FR at a listener's eardrum).
On the other hand we have... not much to chew and a lot of question marks.
So I think that it's entirely reasonable to consider that a better control of that variable is needed before proposing other hypothesis.
Otherwise it's the usual audiophile missing the forest for the tree problem.



Where's the evidence (big word) ?
Note that I'm not necessarily going to disagree that some headphones may be designed in a way that increases the likelihood that they produce a FR at the drum that is more likely to increase the proportion of listeners for which the FR at the eardrum would be more conductive to perform well in sound localisation tests. That was the basis behind Rtings' PRTF test unless I'm mistaken. But in the end that's still FR.
Otherwise I've indeed increasingly learnt to not bother with subjective impressions in audio matters when they use terms that aren't operational defined (to me "I hear a peak at 6300Hz" is a very different subjective impression in nature than "Imaging is precise, soundstage is narrow").
To be honest, I'm not interested in having long hashed out "book" posts with you about this topic in a random headphone thread. I know for sure my comparison of my headphones is valid. What you do with your headphones with measuring on your head & EQ'ing to god knows what target curve I think is less valid, and certainly when I have to explain to you what is soundstage & imaging then I think you may as well not bother considering. You'd be best off taking note of what trusted reviewers and individuals say in general about certain headphones (especially in comparisons of headphones EQ'd to the same target curve) when it comes to soundstage properties of certain headphones as there is valid information in those trends and it would save you/ (& people) a lot of trouble in making short lists of headphones to try out, rather than you wading around with your narrow soundstage HD650 with mics in your ears.
 

Jimbob54

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 25, 2019
Messages
7,304
Likes
8,668
I see the spirit of an open exchange of ideas and mutual respect is alive and well on ASR recently.

As, seemingly, is misplaced hubris and condescension.
 
Top Bottom