• 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). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

headphones with better soundstage (from 400-500€ downward)

ThomsBrown92

Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2022
Messages
26
Likes
0
hi everyone, I'm new here. I'm talking about the discussion linked below. I would ask you this favor, if someone who has already been in the forum for a while, who has been following the whole discussion, could make a list of the headphones analyzed in that thread and report it here. I'm talking about the headphones analyzed with the help of that mannequin, that € 40,000 machine brought back at the beginning of the discussion for the analysis of the soundstage. Thanks in advance for your answers:).
here is the discussion I'm talking about:
 

Attachments

  • Headphone Measurements Using Brüel & Kjær 5128 HATS _ Audio Scie.pdf
    212.1 KB · Views: 6

Dunring

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 7, 2021
Messages
122
Likes
109
I think what your looking for has been done already somewhat. Rtings.com tests for passive soundstage in their reviews, and even has a chart showing how different ones compare. As you might guess the HD800s is on top.
 

solderdude

Grand Contributor
Joined
Jul 21, 2018
Messages
11,645
Likes
25,934
Location
The Neitherlands
hi everyone, I'm new here. I'm talking about the discussion linked below. I would ask you this favor, if someone who has already been in the forum for a while, who has been following the whole discussion, could make a list of the headphones analyzed in that thread and report it here. I'm talking about the headphones analyzed with the help of that mannequin, that € 40,000 machine brought back at the beginning of the discussion for the analysis of the soundstage. Thanks in advance for your answers:).
here is the discussion I'm talking about:

@amirm does not have the 5128 any more (he bought another one) and Amir does not do specific tests for that. AFAIK only Rtings did.
I have no idea if @SamV plans to do so for his new employer as well.
The measurements Sam did required replacing the pinna with a flat surface and looking at the difference between those measurements. Particularly at a typical frequency (around 10kHz) for that specific pinna.
As that dip will differin frequency and possibly amplitude on human heads the question is how good that correlation is for owners.
Other measurebators like @crinacle and @oratory1990 also do not do any attempts (publish) 3D capabilities of headphones but might mention in their postings what they heard on what they heard.

The correlation I found over the years (imaging, not 3D) seemed to be related to driver-ear angle and distance, driver size and driver center positioning opposite the ear 'entrance' and also left-right differences in frequency range. And of course one's brain and recording.
Some claim 3D effects others do not (personal brain thing).

For real 3D effects there is software but not all software works really well. It is just some effects added to the original signal with which the brain could 'do' something.
Probably the best option is head-tracking software (requires mounting something on the headphone).

For me, the few 3D software and trickery as well as binaural does not work. For others it might.
 
Last edited:
OP
T

ThomsBrown92

Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2022
Messages
26
Likes
0
Penso che ciò che stai cercando sia già stato fatto in qualche modo. Rtings.com verifica il palcoscenico sonoro passivo nelle sue recensioni e ha persino un grafico che mostra come si confrontano i diversi. Come puoi immaginare, l'HD800 è al top.
non pensi che i test che vengono fatti qui siano più affidabili? Sono realizzati con macchinari migliori. Quindi RTINGS non esamina tutte le cuffie e non posso essere sicuro che alcune varianti di cuffie a livello di palcoscenico promettano la stessa cosa. Per esempio. sull'HiFiMan HE-400i sono sicuro perché ho la recensione, ma sull'HE-400i 2020 o sull'HE-400SE non ci sono recensioni RTINGS e non posso esserne sicuro
 
OP
T

ThomsBrown92

Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2022
Messages
26
Likes
0
@amirm does not have the 5128 any more (he bought another one) and Amir does not do specific tests for that. AFAIK only Rtings did.
I have no idea if @SamV plans to do so for his new employer as well.
The measurements Sam did required replacing the pinna with a flat surface and looking at the difference between those measurements. Particularly at a typical frequency (around 10kHz) for that specific pinna.
As that dip will differin frequency and possibly amplitude on human heads the question is how good that correlation is for owners.
Other measurebators like @crinacle and @oratory1990 also do not do any attempts (publish) 3D capabilities of headphones but might mention in their postings what they heard on what they heard.

The correlation I found over the years (imaging, not 3D) seemed to be related to driver-ear angle and distance, driver size and driver center positioning opposite the ear 'entrance' and also left-right differences in frequency range. And of course one's brain and recording.
Some claim 3D effects others do not (personal brain thing).

For real 3D effects there is software but not all software works really well. It is just some effects added to the original signal with which the brain could 'do' something.
Probably the best option is head-tracking software (requires mounting something on the headphone).

For me, the few 3D software and trickery as well as binaural does not work. For others it might.
Is speaker modeling as useful as head modeling? Or does the fact that headphones have their own virtual surround like Dolby 7.1 help? Or are they just commercial things that are useless? I was evaluating a pair of Astro A40 2019
 

solderdude

Grand Contributor
Joined
Jul 21, 2018
Messages
11,645
Likes
25,934
Location
The Neitherlands
If headphone modelling would be the way forward it would have been done.
7.1 (created by just 2.0 drivers) might give great results for gaming and requires software. This is just an emulation based on 2 signals and should work about equally well on all headphones.
 
OP
T

ThomsBrown92

Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2022
Messages
26
Likes
0
If headphone modelling would be the way forward it would have been done.
7.1 (created by just 2.0 drivers) might give great results for gaming and requires software. This is just an emulation based on 2 signals and should work about equally well on all headphones.
on all headphones as long as they have 2.0 drivers?
 
OP
T

ThomsBrown92

Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2022
Messages
26
Likes
0
on all headphones as long as they have 2.0 drivers?
If headphone modelling would be the way forward it would have been done.
7.1 (created by just 2.0 drivers) might give great results for gaming and requires software. This is just an emulation based on 2 signals and should work about equally well on all headphones.
@solderdude "creative Virtual 7.1 Surround Sound" I can use it together with dolby atmos (downloaded for a fee). Can I implement this Surround with an already equalized headphone, with SIENNA for example, what would be the best way to manage these things via software? equalized headphones, linearized with SIENNA with dB increase with linear equalizer + virtual Surround software
 

Robbo99999

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
3,867
Likes
3,365
Location
UK
Hi @ThomsBrown92 , I noticed you started up this thread, and I'd given you my thoughts on the topic over in another thread where you asked a similar question, but I'll copy & paste what I wrote (& also add a bit more), as this thread you started up is a lot more relevant.

Virtual 7.1 Surround can be really really good for gaming, but I wouldn't recommend it for anything else (although would be fine for movie watching/listening, but not music listening). I'd recommend Creative Virtual 7.1 Surround Sound, it's the only one that works properly for me. Thread here with more information: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...urround-sound-processing-in-headphones.25613/
You can use any headphones with that, but I've found you want to use a headphone with good soundstage as that enhances the Virtual 7.1 Surround Sound - K702 & HD560s work the best for me with this. I'd recommend the HD560s as the one to buy though, as it's far more reliable in terms of having a lower unit to unit variation and doesn't have any quality control longevity issues that the K702 suffers from (weak point soldering of the wires in the earcups). HD560s is also a lower distortion headphone, and has better channel matching which is a positive in a gaming scenario as well as music listening scenario. HD560s is also more useable without EQ - doesn't require EQ as much as the K702 does. In my experience I think soundstage in headphones is emphasised by spacious/large earcups (not touching your ear if possible), and angled drivers or angled pads. K702 & HD560s both have those qualities for me. It's also affected by the frequency response, but if we take measured frequency response out of the equation (by using EQ to the Harman Curve for instance) then still the physical properties of the headphone that I mentioned still remain in enhancing the soundstage: spacious/large earcups (not touching your ear if possible), and angled drivers or angled pads.
 
Last edited:

solderdude

Grand Contributor
Joined
Jul 21, 2018
Messages
11,645
Likes
25,934
Location
The Neitherlands
what would be the best way to manage these things via software? equalized headphones, linearized with SIENNA with dB increase with linear equalizer + virtual Surround software

I have no idea.
I don't use any virtualization software (not a gamer) nor do I believe in 'exact' corrections based on a specif headphone fixture so do not use such EQ either.

on all headphones as long as they have 2.0 drivers?

The vast majority (about 99.99% ? of all headphones has just 2 drivers and the ones that have more than 1 per side do not do this to create 3D effects.
I know of just 1 or 2 (very old) headphones with 2 angled drivers that could be used on quadraphonic systems.

So all headphones are simply stereo (thus 2.0, 1 speaker per side and no subwoofer)
 
Last edited:

Robbo99999

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
3,867
Likes
3,365
Location
UK
@solderdude "creative Virtual 7.1 Surround Sound" I can use it together with dolby atmos (downloaded for a fee). Can I implement this Surround with an already equalized headphone, with SIENNA for example, what would be the best way to manage these things via software? equalized headphones, linearized with SIENNA with dB increase with linear equalizer + virtual Surround software
Definitely don't use two different virtual surround processing solutions at the same time, that would be kinda ridiculous, as you're stacking one lot of processing on top of another, so you'd end up with a worse result and it would have more CPU overhead too as you're doing "two lots" of calculations. So instead you'd either use Creative 7.1 or Dolby Atmos, but definitely not at the same time! I tried the Dolby Atmos Headphone trial and I thought it was useless though - literally the only one that works for me is Creative's version of 7.1 Surround Sound.

You can use equalisation at the same time as using one of the Virtual Surround Sound technologies though. So if you're on PC, you could use EqualiserAPO for your EQ, which places the EQ at a system wide level (basically everything you hear will be equalised the same - Youtube vids / games / any audio you play). And then you just whack your Virtual 7.1 Surround on top of that. I have no idea what "SIENNA" is as a program, so I have no idea if that's compatible with Virtual Surround Sound. (I also couldn't find anything about SIENNA when I did a real quick Google of it).
 
OP
T

ThomsBrown92

Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2022
Messages
26
Likes
0
Hi @ThomsBrown92 , I noticed you started up this thread, and I'd given you my thoughts on the topic over in another thread where you asked a similar question, but I'll copy & paste what I wrote (& also add a bit more), as this thread you started up is a lot more relevant.

Virtual 7.1 Surround can be really really good for gaming, but I wouldn't recommend it for anything else (although would be fine for movie watching/listening, but not music listening). I'd recommend Creative Virtual 7.1 Surround Sound, it's the only one that works properly for me. Thread here with more information: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...urround-sound-processing-in-headphones.25613/
Puoi usare qualsiasi cuffia con quello, ma ho scoperto che vuoi usare una cuffia con una buona scena sonora in quanto ciò migliora il suono surround 7.1 virtuale - K702 e HD560 funzionano al meglio per me con questo. Consiglierei l'HD560 come quello da acquistare, poiché è molto più affidabile in termini di variazione da unità inferiore a unità e non presenta problemi di longevità del controllo qualità di cui soffre il K702 (punto debole di saldatura dei fili nei padiglioni). HD560s è anche una cuffia a bassa distorsione e ha una migliore corrispondenza dei canali, il che è positivo in uno scenario di gioco e in uno scenario di ascolto musicale. L'HD560s è anche più utilizzabile senza EQ - non richiede EQ tanto quanto il K702. Secondo la mia esperienza, penso che il palcoscenico sonoro in cuffia sia enfatizzato da padiglioni auricolari spaziosi/grandi (non toccarsi l'orecchio se possibile), e driver angolati o pad angolati. K702 e HD560 hanno entrambi queste qualità per me. È anche influenzato dalla risposta in frequenza, ma se eliminiamo dall'equazione la risposta in frequenza misurata (ad esempio usando l'equalizzazione sulla curva di Harman), le proprietà fisiche delle cuffie che ho menzionato rimangono ancora nel migliorare il soundstage: spazioso/ padiglioni auricolari di grandi dimensioni (se possibile che non toccano l'orecchio) e driver angolati o cuscinetti angolati.

Definitely don't use two different virtual surround processing solutions at the same time, that would be kinda ridiculous, as you're stacking one lot of processing on top of another, so you'd end up with a worse result and it would have more CPU overhead too as you're doing "two lots" of calculations. So instead you'd either use Creative 7.1 or Dolby Atmos, but definitely not at the same time! I tried the Dolby Atmos Headphone trial and I thought it was useless though - literally the only one that works for me is Creative's version of 7.1 Surround Sound.

You can use equalisation at the same time as using one of the Virtual Surround Sound technologies though. So if you're on PC, you could use EqualiserAPO for your EQ, which places the EQ at a system wide level (basically everything you hear will be equalised the same - Youtube vids / games / any audio you play). And then you just whack your Virtual 7.1 Surround on top of that. I have no idea what "SIENNA" is as a program, so I have no idea if that's compatible with Virtual Surround Sound. (I also couldn't find anything about SIENNA when I did a real quick Google of it).
thanks, anyway I'm going to buy the K702, can you just confirm that they are headphones if I can say funny and have a colorful sound? and maybe not too poor. Here we are on the soundstage, I would like to know only at the sound level
 

Robbo99999

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
3,867
Likes
3,365
Location
UK
thanks, anyway I'm going to buy the K702, can you just confirm that they are headphones if I can say funny and have a colorful sound? and maybe not too poor. Here we are on the soundstage, I would like to know only at the sound level
Well, before I knew anything about Hifi I used the K702 for years without EQ, and I found it fine......but then I found this site and explored EQ of headphones and anechoic flat studio monitor room speakers....and then this led me to develop what I now think/understand good sound to be.......and an unequalised K702 is not good sound. K702 is good with EQ though, and it has that soundstage, just it's a bit unpredictable because the unit to unit variation is quite high so the EQ doesn't work quite as accurately, and the wires in the earcups are gonna come loose at some stage after a number of years or less (& you'll have to resolder the wires back on). K702 does have a more fun soundstage than the HD560s, it's a larger soundstage, but the HD560s is very good in this regard except it's a bit smaller in that soundstage. If you're not gonna use EQ then I recommend the HD560s to you, and I'd probably recommend the HD560s to you over the K702 even if you are gonna use EQ due the negative points I've listed about the K702. But, if soundstage is your most important element and you're willing to take your chances with unpredictabilities of the K702 then the K702 would be a good buy for you, but it's more risky.

Have a look at this site, it's got frequency response measurements of loads of headphones and includes the K702 as well as the HD560s and hundreds of others:
Those are also the EQ's that I recommend you use/try.

If you don't EQ the K702, then it lacks bass and is treble heavy (which gives an impression of detail), but listening at stock does make music sound different, you'll notice stuff you've probably not heard in your music before, but that's largely due to the slightly whacky frequency response. They've got good potential when EQ'd though:
Don't use Filter #1 though, it muddies the sound, I think it's ridiculous to put that Low Shelf in at 24Hz - it damages the experience in my view.
 
OP
T

ThomsBrown92

Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2022
Messages
26
Likes
0
Well, before I knew anything about Hifi I used the K702 for years without EQ, and I found it fine......but then I found this site and explored EQ of headphones and anechoic flat studio monitor room speakers....and then this led me to develop what I now think/understand good sound to be.......and an unequalised K702 is not good sound. K702 is good with EQ though, and it has that soundstage, just it's a bit unpredictable because the unit to unit variation is quite high so the EQ doesn't work quite as accurately, and the wires in the earcups are gonna come loose at some stage after a number of years or less (& you'll have to resolder the wires back on). K702 does have a more fun soundstage than the HD560s, it's a larger soundstage, but the HD560s is very good in this regard except it's a bit smaller in that soundstage. If you're not gonna use EQ then I recommend the HD560s to you, and I'd probably recommend the HD560s to you over the K702 even if you are gonna use EQ due the negative points I've listed about the K702. But, if soundstage is your most important element and you're willing to take your chances with unpredictabilities of the K702 then the K702 would be a good buy for you, but it's more risky.

Have a look at this site, it's got frequency response measurements of loads of headphones and includes the K702 as well as the HD560s and hundreds of others:
Those are also the EQ's that I recommend you use/try.

If you don't EQ the K702, then it lacks bass and is treble heavy (which gives an impression of detail), but listening at stock does make music sound different, you'll notice stuff you've probably not heard in your music before, but that's largely due to the slightly whacky frequency response. They've got good potential when EQ'd though:
Don't use Filter #1 though, it muddies the sound, I think it's ridiculous to put that Low Shelf in at 24Hz - it damages the experience in my view.
thank you very much, do you think the HiFiMan he400i is much higher than the k702? the choice is this
 

Robbo99999

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
3,867
Likes
3,365
Location
UK
thank you very much, do you think the HiFiMan he400i is much higher than the k702? the choice is this
I've got the HE4XX which is similar to the HE400i, I think it sounds super weird without EQ, probably more weird than I remember the K702 sounding without EQ....although I only listened at stock to the HE4XX for a very short time. HE400i will be a more reliable headphone than the K702 in terms of breakages/physical construction, possibly better in unit to unit variation but it's hard to know as not much information out there on unit to unit variation.....what information there is out there on unit to unit variation you kinda have to piece together yourself. The K702 would have a better soundstage than the HE400i I would think, as K702 has better soundstage than my HE4XX....and the HE4XX is basically the same "chassis" design as the HE400i. If you were to EQ a random HE400i you bought and a K702 both using Oratory EQ's, chances are the HE400i will give you a more accurate/flat experience and with less distortion in the bass.......but the soundstage won't be as good. I'm not a massive fan of planar headphones (he400i, etc), for me they struggle to resolve nuance & detail even when EQ'd vs a dynamic driver headphone, might be due to the often-seen high Q sharp variation in the treble of most planar headphones......I've had better experiences with dynamic driver headphones. You'll have to balance up what I've said to make your choices. The most reliable high fidelity option for you whilst having a good soundstage is gonna be the HD560s, and the K702 is risky for a few reasons but has a more exciting/bigger soundstage.
 
OP
T

ThomsBrown92

Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2022
Messages
26
Likes
0
I've got the HE4XX which is similar to the HE400i, I think it sounds super weird without EQ, probably more weird than I remember the K702 sounding without EQ....although I only listened at stock to the HE4XX for a very short time. HE400i will be a more reliable headphone than the K702 in terms of breakages/physical construction, possibly better in unit to unit variation but it's hard to know as not much information out there on unit to unit variation.....what information there is out there on unit to unit variation you kinda have to piece together yourself. The K702 would have a better soundstage than the HE400i I would think, as K702 has better soundstage than my HE4XX....and the HE4XX is basically the same "chassis" design as the HE400i. If you were to EQ a random HE400i you bought and a K702 both using Oratory EQ's, chances are the HE400i will give you a more accurate/flat experience and with less distortion in the bass.......but the soundstage won't be as good. I'm not a massive fan of planar headphones (he400i, etc), for me they struggle to resolve nuance & detail even when EQ'd vs a dynamic driver headphone, might be due to the often-seen high Q sharp variation in the treble of most planar headphones......I've had better experiences with dynamic driver headphones. You'll have to balance up what I've said to make your choices. The most reliable high fidelity option for you whilst having a good soundstage is gonna be the HD560s, and the K702 is risky for a few reasons but has a more exciting/bigger soundstage.
thank you very much for the advice :) always very helpful. To summarize, leaving out the soundstage, already extensively described, wanting to describe the sound of the K702, and a little bit its distinctive features compared to the competition, that is the traits that most characterize it, what would you say? trying to be as objective as possible
 

Robbo99999

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
3,867
Likes
3,365
Location
UK
thank you very much for the advice :) always very helpful. To summarize, leaving out the soundstage, already extensively described, wanting to describe the sound of the K702, and a little bit its distinctive features compared to the competition, that is the traits that most characterize it, what would you say? trying to be as objective as possible
I haven't listened to the K702 without EQ (at stock) for a long long time, so I can't really remember. For sure though it is bass light and emphasises the treble. In this format it brings out detail from music that wouldn't be emphasised with flatter (more correct) headphones.......but it would be false detail in some respects because it wouldn't be "what the artist intended". I certainly found them very enjoyable at stock for the 4 yrs I had them before I learned properly about Hifi through this site here on ASR - at which point I was able to educate myself & my ears through buying other headphones and using good EQ on them to make them sound more authentically flat - as well as gaining experience by buying good measuring studio monitors (room speakers) and then putting in an anechoic flat EQ on top of them - so now I realise the K702 does not sound good without EQ. K702 is good with EQ though, but you can't guarantee it will sound as flat as other headphones with less unit to unit variation, as higher unit to unit variation means that the EQ (from Oratory) becomes less valid and less effective because your unit of headphone will likely be further away from the unit that Oratory measured for his EQ creation. Going back to using the K702 at stock (without EQ), I do remember distinctly it bringing out details in the music like the sound of a foot being moved on & off the pedals of a piano (seperate to the act of striking the piano keys), and the turning of pages of music in an orchestra, and the breathing of a singer between the notes - so it emphasises some of the strange details that don't normally come to the fore with flatter more correct headphones. That doesn't make it better, it's different.
 

Robbo99999

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
3,867
Likes
3,365
Location
UK
@ThomsBrown92 , over in the other thread you said you've decided to get the K702. Out of interest, let us know what you think to them (in this thread as it's more relevant) when you get them & whether or not you're using EQ, etc.
 
Top Bottom