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Finding IEM EQ target that resemble the Sennheiser HD600 tonality .

ObjectAudio

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The Sennheiser HD600 consider as one of the most natural reference headphones. I was looking to find the target for IEM equalizing that will result in the tonality of the equalized IEM to be similar to the HD600.

I am not judging if the HD600 is the most natural , but only trying to find the IEM target that will sound similar.
I have few IEMs, and I started the process by equalizing the Etymotic ER4XR, that is also considered as a reference for natural accuracy.
The issue that for my ears both statements that the HD600 and the ER4XR are natural cannot exist together as they sound total different to me.

To help with the process I have an Ear simulator IEC711 clone , that based on comparing my ER4XR measurements to the certificate coming with the ER4XR is very accurate.

I started by Slightly Equalizing the HD600 to meet approximately the Harman target with less bass boost.
The starting target was the Crinacle IEF with Bass boost, and trying to equalize the ER4XR to this target. The result was still too much energy in the 1-3KHZ region.
In the end I failed trying to modify the IEF target to bring the sound to be similar to the HD600. Frustrated I decide to pick my old UE Triple.Fi 10 that always I thought sound amazing, and to my surprise the tonality of the TF10 without EQ was very similar to the HD600.

Looking on the TF10 measurements results with the IEC711 simulator , I started to have some hint about the required IEM target. Searching the Internet I found a brochure for the Westone W60 with some target of sound for this IEM. The target was looked very similar to what I measured from the TF10.

I digitized it and started to use it as my IEM target. The TF10 required very small changes to meet this target. I also measured my old UE Super.Fi 3 and it is also follows this target almost perfectly. also measuring the UE UE600 and it also follow this target nicely.

Equalizing all the earphones I have to this target result in all of them to my ear sound very similar to the HD600.

Based on these measurements It looks like that this “Westone target” was the tuning target for Ultimate Ears earphones. Looking on IEM measurements online from Westone and Shure (like the SE535) it looks like that this is also what they were shooting for their IEM tuning.

It looks like that these older IEM companies Ultimate Ears , Shure and Westone all were shooting in their reference products to something similar to this target counter to Etymotic with their target. It looks like in the last years with the Chi-Fi products are more tuned toward with the Harman IE target and all the other online targets like the IEF target. To my ears all of them have too much energy in the 1-3Khz region.

A tuning target is a personal preference, but to my ears this target sound more balance and it is resemble the HD600.


The EQ for the HD600:

1630169142275.png



Comparing the target to Ultimate Ears IEMs.

1630169240168.png
 

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ObjectAudio

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I am attaching the CSV file for the suggested IEM target. If you have an Ear simulator IEC711 you can try to EQ your IEM to this target.
 

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ObjectAudio

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Here are the EQ settings for the Etymotic ER4XR to make them sound similar to a corrected HD600 to the Harman target with some less bass than Harman target suggesting.

1630463632033.png


1630463700908.png



I would be interest to get feedback from those who have both.
I have other IEMs that I can post the EQ for them.
There also similarity to the EQ that Linkwitz suggested for his older Etynotic ER-4S.

1630464823096.png


I tried and EQ The IEMs I have to most of the public domain targets in the post above, and the suggested one is the most that resemble the corrected HD600, and to my ears the most natural.
 

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Jimbob54

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Here are the EQ settings for the Etymotic ER4XR to make them sound similar to a corrected HD600 to the Harman target with some less bass than Harman target suggesting.

View attachment 150847

View attachment 150848


I would be interest to get feedback from those who have both.
I have other IEMs that I can post the EQ for them.
There also similarity to the EQ that Linkwitz suggested for his older Etynotic ER-4S.

View attachment 150850

I tried and EQ The IEMs I have to most of the public domain targets in the post above, and the suggested one is the most that resemble the corrected HD600, and to my ears the most natural.
I'm about to try this now. the first 2 filters arent a typo are they? You mean to leave them as 0db so no impact?
 
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ObjectAudio

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No typo. It is a generic 10 band EQ from my excel, and the ones that are not in use have 0 dB.
 

digitalfrost

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Figure_1.png

Here is what happens if you EQ the ER4 to HD600 using the AutoEQ sound signature feature. Seems similar to your results.
 

Jimbob54

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No typo. It is a generic 10 band EQ from my excel, and the ones that are not in use have 0 dB.
Figured that. First impressions is the 11k suck out kills the sound totally. Sounds better with that disabled (with more time I will find a reduction that sounds better but the 11db pull down sucks too much for me).

With the 11k disabled Its not dissimilar in tone to a quick simple 4 or 5 band one I did which had a (much smaller ) 7k bump and 2.7k reduction with a 100hz 1db shelf - which was just from eyeballing the Oratory measurements and seeing obvious outlying bits of the FR.
 
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ObjectAudio

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The 11KHz will be depend on the tip used and the depth of insertion, so it is logical that it can be different between users. Pay attention that Linkwitz has it at 7.5KHz.
 

DivineCurrent

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This is similar to my findings when I was just swapping open back headphones with IEMs. I notice it when comparing to the HD58X, HD650, Focal Clear, HE-500, and the Sundara. Most every IEM I have tried had noticeably more presence in the 2-5kHz region, to the point where I was questioning every IEM target. Crinacle's gets the closest from what I found, I never heard of the Westone target until you pointed it out here. The closest IEM that got the upper midrange/lower treble right to my ears from 2-5kHz was the IE800S. In some cases, I EQ the 3-5kHz region down by 12 dB, especially for the JVC HA-FDX1 with no filter. Also when doing sine sweeps, most open back headphones have a slight resonance around 8kHz for my ears, and if the IEM doesn't have that bump, they sound kind of dull to me so I add a peak back in there. Or the IEM has a strong resonance at 6 or 7 kHz and has a dip at 8kHz, making it sound weird.
 

oluvsgadgets

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This is similar to my findings when I was just swapping open back headphones with IEMs. I notice it when comparing to the HD58X, HD650, Focal Clear, HE-500, and the Sundara. Most every IEM I have tried had noticeably more presence in the 2-5kHz region, to the point where I was questioning every IEM target. Crinacle's gets the closest from what I found, I never heard of the Westone target until you pointed it out here. The closest IEM that got the upper midrange/lower treble right to my ears from 2-5kHz was the IE800S. In some cases, I EQ the 3-5kHz region down by 12 dB, especially for the JVC HA-FDX1 with no filter. Also when doing sine sweeps, most open back headphones have a slight resonance around 8kHz for my ears, and if the IEM doesn't have that bump, they sound kind of dull to me so I add a peak back in there. Or the IEM has a strong resonance at 6 or 7 kHz and has a dip at 8kHz, making it sound weird.
actually a dip around 8-10khz is normal with an average HRTF with the sound coming from front. A peak in this region is not normal. The IE800S has a very weird sound, I wonder how this can sound natural to you.
 

DivineCurrent

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actually a dip around 8-10khz is normal with an average HRTF with the sound coming from front. A peak in this region is not normal. The IE800S has a very weird sound, I wonder how this can sound natural to you.
I'm just going off what I'm hearing, especially comparing to relatively neutral headphones (HD600, HD650, Focal Clear, HE-500, etc.) With every one of these headphones, I hear much less from 3-5kHz than I do most IEMs. That's why I said the IE800S sounds the most natural to me in that area specifically, because to my ears doing sine sweeps, it sounds like the 3-5 kHz region matches or gets close to the over ear headphones. That's not to say it sounds all that natural overall, because I remember the treble being a bit weird and 2 kHz is too recessed.
 

oluvsgadgets

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This is my final IEM target which represents "neutral" as good as possible. It sounds smoother than the HD600, etc, as upper mids and treble were tuned towards neutral speakers standing in front, no overear I know renders them correctly. I had to create an own EQ for the HD600 which I used as reference for the IEM tuning, overlaid is also the Harman target (the dip close to 100Hz is a measuring error, as the tips create some resonance, the dips at 7.5, 9.5 and 13k are obligatory to make the sound really smooth with a constant flow when sweeping throughout the entire frequency range with no peaks):

7650-final.png

It was a pain in the ass to approach this target and took me weeks of continuous improvement, with lots of hours of listening and tweaking. Even small deviations from this curve resulted in a harsher sound and wrong sounding pink noise. Sometimes a reduction of 0.1dB in some area made another area suddenly sound better. But right now the final sound appears clearer, more transparent and smoother than any other headphone or IEM I have tried.

Some former variants I created throughout the whole process appear with minimal differences from the measurement, but overall sound completely different. I had to add the dip at 7.5 afterwards, as this is also how I perceive a speaker frontally with a significant lower amplitude in this range:
final-variants.png
 
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