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Harman target

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KehaDNb

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Oh, ok. It would be the Harman headphone target, but with maybe 1-2 dB less bass, and a hair less treble. It ended up being really close tonality-wise when I did set about doing A/B comparisons afterwards with my headphones and IEMs.
For nearfield??

I found the Harman Target if u think it through kind of not right, as the headphones itself has its room.

What are your thoughts ???
 

Cars-N-Cans

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For nearfield??

I found the Harman Target if u think it through kind of not right, as the headphones itself has its room.

What are your thoughts ???
My thoughts are that the Harman target has somewhat more bass than I like, and I prefer the sound to be warmer and slightly more laid back, but otherwise if you hand me a set of headphones that comply with the target I would not have any complaints about the sound.

As to how that translates to a room and speakers, its not so easy since what you hear has both direct and reflected sound. Older headphone targets were based off of things like the free field (dead room) or diffuse field (reflected room) response. Others here who are well versed in this can probably elaborate much more than I could, but in short neither of those seem like they would be right. On experimentation with the system I showed above I settled on essentially a "live end, dead end" arrangement with a reflection free zone, and then a controlled amount of first reflections arriving towards the end of the fusion window about 20-30 ms after the direct sound. I did experiment with hanging absorptive blankets behind the listening position, and it did not sound right, sort of like what you would hear outside after it snows, basically an anechoic response. In hind-sight this makes sense since when you hear a sound, you first hear the direct sound, and then any immediate reflections that arrive shortly thereafter. This is then summed to be what you hear without the perceived reflections that arrive after. I think in relation to the Harman curve a neutral speaker in a room that is slightly reverberant is used as the reference point for what listeners prefer. Essentially one that is neither free field or diffuse field, but combined. In terms of headphones, since we only have control over the frequency response, that will be all that will vary between the targets.

Getting back to the original question, I think trying to understand this through the lens of speakers in a room will muddy things. The real question is does the Harman target allow headphones to reproduce sound? In my opinion, yes. Unambiguously so. I made recordings with a camcorder with a good microphone array and when played back headphones on the Harman target do indeed reproduce the sound accurately. Now whether that is what you want for music reproduction is is not so easy to answer since we have expectations of what we think things should sound like, how it is mixed, what genre of music is being reproduced, etc. But this is where our preferences come in, and I think its probably good to not conflate those together, which is what the Harman curve aims to achieve: Making headphones sound tonally neutral.
 
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KehaDNb

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My thoughts are that the Harman target has somewhat more bass than I like, and I prefer the sound to be warmer and slightly more laid back, but otherwise if you hand me a set of headphones that comply with the target I would not have any complaints about the sound.

As to how that translates to a room and speakers, its not so easy since what you hear has both direct and reflected sound. Older headphone targets were based off of things like the free field (dead room) or diffuse field (reflected room) response. Others here who are well versed in this can probably elaborate much more than I could, but in short neither of those seem like they would be right. On experimentation with the system I showed above I settled on essentially a "live end, dead end" arrangement with a reflection free zone, and then a controlled amount of first reflections arriving towards the end of the fusion window about 20-30 ms after the direct sound. I did experiment with hanging absorptive blankets behind the listening position, and it did not sound right, sort of like what you would hear outside after it snows, basically an anechoic response. In hind-sight this makes sense since when you hear a sound, you first hear the direct sound, and then any immediate reflections that arrive shortly thereafter. This is then summed to be what you hear without the perceived reflections that arrive after. I think in relation to the Harman curve a neutral speaker in a room that is slightly reverberant is used as the reference point for what listeners prefer. Essentially one that is neither free field or diffuse field, but combined. In terms of headphones, since we only have control over the frequency response, that will be all that will vary between the targets.

Getting back to the original question, I think trying to understand this through the lens of speakers in a room will muddy things. The real question is does the Harman target allow headphones to reproduce sound? In my opinion, yes. Unambiguously so. I made recordings with a camcorder with a good microphone array and when played back headphones on the Harman target do indeed reproduce the sound accurately. Now whether that is what you want for music reproduction is is not so easy to answer since we have expectations of what we think things should sound like, how it is mixed, what genre of music is being reproduced, etc. But this is where our preferences come in, and I think it’s probably good to not conflate those together, which is what the Harman curve aims to achieve: Making headphones sound tonally neutral.
Why are ur measurements have tilt . If I look up regular measurements here in this forum . The speakers measure regularly flat on axis??
 

restorer-john

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My thoughts are that the Harman target has somewhat more bass than I like

An understatement if I ever I heard one. :) The 'Harman target' is unfortunately geared towards people with little to no understanding of spectral accuracy or musical balance. Devotees of such, need to go out and listen to more live music IMO.

The less airtime given to the absolute abomination that is the 'preference curve' the better. But in real terms, it's not about anything other than selling more gear, and certainly not the pursuit of ultimate sonic accuracy.
 
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KehaDNb

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I have measured my speakers once with sonar works and the measurement was fairly flat.
 

someguyontheinternet

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An understatement if I ever I heard one. :) The 'Harman target' is unfortunately geared towards people with little to no understanding of spectral accuracy or musical balance. Devotees of such, need to go out and listen to more live music IMO.
Harman research showed no significant difference between preferences grouped by listening experience. I would be interested to understand how you came to your conclusion.

 

Curvature

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An understatement if I ever I heard one. :) The 'Harman target' is unfortunately geared towards people with little to no understanding of spectral accuracy or musical balance. Devotees of such, need to go out and listen to more live music IMO.

The less airtime given to the absolute abomination that is the 'preference curve' the better. But in real terms, it's not about anything other than selling more gear, and certainly not the pursuit of ultimate sonic accuracy.
An opinion back by years of experience selling hifi.
 

anotherhobby

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An understatement if I ever I heard one. :) The 'Harman target' is unfortunately geared towards people with little to no understanding of spectral accuracy or musical balance. Devotees of such, need to go out and listen to more live music IMO.

The less airtime given to the absolute abomination that is the 'preference curve' the better. But in real terms, it's not about anything other than selling more gear, and certainly not the pursuit of ultimate sonic accuracy.
With such a strongly worded repudiation of the Harmon Curve, would you be also willing to share what shape response curve you feel is not "geared towards people with little to no understanding of spectral accuracy or musical balance?" How much tilt or whatever (maybe none?) do you think is appropriate to target for a response curve? I made some physical changes in my room this weekend, I'm about to re-calibrate, and I would like to try your recommendation.
 
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Cars-N-Cans

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An understatement if I ever I heard one. :) The 'Harman target' is unfortunately geared towards people with little to no understanding of spectral accuracy or musical balance. Devotees of such, need to go out and listen to more live music IMO.
My hearing rolls off sharply below about 35 Hz so it HAS the correct spectral balance for me (edit: I say this as I cannot vouch for that part of the bass region below. I feel, but do not hear it, in the headphones.). Others it may be too bassy, esp. older listers who’s hearing may not be as good as it used to be. They will naturally want more treble and less bass for intelligibility (edit: This was discussed by Sean himself). The assumption that everyones ears have the same characteristics and anatomy is flawed at best, and this is the same with the Harman target. For some percentage of listeners it won’t be right. But generally its correct for the majority of liseners. What about Amir? He clearly prefers it. Is he not an experienced listener?
 
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Cars-N-Cans

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The less airtime given to the absolute abomination that is the 'preference curve' the better. But in real terms, it's not about anything other than selling more gear, and certainly not the pursuit of ultimate sonic accuracy.
As I said earlier, a target curve objectively quantifies what subjectively sounds good. We are not just making it conform to some arbitrary response. Since I know I fall in the middle I know the Harman target is correct for me, so that is why it carries the weight it does. If it didn’t then the only real use it would be is in knowing what corrections I will need to apply to get to my own preferences.
 

Cars-N-Cans

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Why are ur measurements have tilt . If I look up regular measurements here in this forum . The speakers measure regularly flat on axis??
Please re-read what I posted. This is due to room acoustics (Edit: I suspect you may know this already, but it’s being lost in translation, so please forgive if I’m missing something). I brought this up as the tilt seen in the Harman speaker target isn’t for more bass. It’s principally due to acoustics. The speakers are indeed flat on-axis when I take semi-anechoic measurements. If you were to try to make the steady-state room response flat the speakers would have too much treble.

Edit, again: I dug around a bit and found some measurements in the far-field for the S55 speakers by themselves with no EQ or sub reinforcement, and the steady-state in-room response tends to inversely track the directivity of the speaker.

Far-field Response, No EQ, No Sub.png

DI.png


For completeness, here is the gated on-axis response at about 1m. It is necessarily flat, but the S55 has some directivity error in the cross-over region as well as some beaming and eventual diffraction from the tweeter/waveguide above about 6-7 kHz.

S55 Gated On-Axis Response.png


I think the only speaker that would have a flat in-room and "on-axis" response would be something like an mbl with radialstrahlers as it will have a more or less constant sound power across the audio spectrum and a DI very near to unity. Stereophile has some measurements posted, and above the transition region the response is fairly flat due to, well, every axis being "on-axis": MBL Radialstrahler 101E Mk.II

Hopefully this makes some sense (and is at least somewhat correct).
 
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DavidMcRoy

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Now in the context of the Harman targets for headphones and speakers the deviation seen in the green line you chose would give a roll-off to the treble in both cases. Now if that’s an actual raw measurement from a microphone or some form of DIY headphone fixture than that’s a different story. I wouldn’t want to arbitrarily apply something without some understanding of the underlying principals. That’s defeating the whole purpose of having a target to begin with.
Yes. I was referring to a calibrated mic-measured in-room response, not merely dialing-in an electrically corresponding curve.
 
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KehaDNb

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Please re-read what I posted. This is due to room acoustics (Edit: I suspect you may know this already, but it’s being lost in translation, so please forgive if I’m missing something). I brought this up as the tilt seen in the Harman speaker target isn’t for more bass. It’s principally due to acoustics. The speakers are indeed flat on-axis when I take semi-anechoic measurements. If you were to try to make the steady-state room response flat the speakers would have too much treble.

Edit, again: I dug around a bit and found some measurements in the far-field for the S55 speakers by themselves with no EQ or sub reinforcement, and the steady-state in-room response tends to inversely track the directivity of the speaker.

View attachment 241714
View attachment 241715

For completeness, here is the gated on-axis response at about 1m. It is necessarily flat, but the S55 has some directivity error in the cross-over region as well as some beaming and eventual diffraction from the tweeter/waveguide above about 6-7 kHz.

View attachment 241716

I think the only speaker that would have a flat in-room and "on-axis" response would be something like an mbl with radialstrahlers as it will have a more or less constant sound power across the audio spectrum and a DI very near to unity. Stereophile has some measurements posted, and above the transition region the response is fairly flat due to, well, every axis being "on-axis": MBL Radialstrahler 101E Mk.II

Hopefully this makes some sense (and is at least somewhat correct).
For nearfield speaker, I think the Harman Target does not apply
 

Cars-N-Cans

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For nearfield speaker, I think the Harman Target does not apply
No it doesn't for obvious reasons, namely the direct sound dominating. But I've seen people say the standard Harman speaker target is tilted for more bass, and I don't think that is really true. For me understanding why the Harman speaker target looks the way it does is important as once you know why, you can construct your own specific targets for a much wider variety of situations.

As far as the Harman headphone target, I had my near-field system before I had any headphones that were Harman compliant. When I did get such headphones and IEMs, the first thing I did was compare, and immediately I could hear they had the same tonality as my speakers with only very slight differences. If anything, it helps to vindicate the Harman headphone target as being correct as my own speaker target is based on the measured characteristics of the speakers and is not empirically done like the Harman headphone target was with controlled listening tests. Two very different systems that give the same result.
 
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KehaDNb

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No it doesn't for obvious reasons, namely the direct sound dominating. But I've seen people say the standard Harman speaker target is tilted for more bass, and I don't think that is really true. For me understanding why the Harman speaker target looks the way it does is important as once you know why, you can construct your own specific targets for a much wider variety of situations.

As far as the Harman headphone target, I had my near-field system before I had any headphones that were Harman compliant. When I did get such headphones and IEMs, the first thing I did was compare, and immediately I could hear they had the same tonality as my speakers with only very slight differences. If anything, it helps to vindicate the Harman headphone target as being correct as my own speaker target is based on the measured characteristics of the speakers and is not empirically done like the Harman headphone target was with controlled listening tests. Two very different systems that give the same result.
Thank you very much
 

Cars-N-Cans

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What would the target curve be for Omni speakers?
The in-room response (or target curve, if you will) should be pretty close to being flat since the sound power remains fairly constant if its a true omni. In the review I linked to the mbl 101E they have an in-room response measurement. Above 100 Hz where the room modes become less pronounced the measured responses (red and blue) stay more or less at the 0 dBr on the graph. It would have been nice to have had a well-behaved box speaker as the green trace for a reference, but its instead the Wilson Audio MAXX 3, which has a somewhat messy on-axis response and directivity, at least according to Stereophile's review of it.

mbl.jpg
 

dlaloum

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Interesting, wish I had more details on the polar response of my Gallo's - I know that from 2.5kHz up they disperse evenly 330 degrees (so pretty close to omni)

The crucial midrange is the ??? although I would assume a wider than average dispersion profile.... so a semi-omni... always did find they sounded a lot like the Dipole electrostatics I used to have... perhaps that is as much the way they energise the room, as it is the speakers other qualities.
 
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