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How to do a proper headphone review on Youtube (Oluv's Gadgets)

lashto

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#1
Recently discovered Oluv's Gadgets on Youtube and was quite impressed with his reviews. Covers lots of Bluetooth speakers/boomboxes but also some standard speakers, soundbars and headphones. Very down to earth style, technical minded and no bullshit. His English accent might not be the best (I think he's Austrian) but nobody is perfect :)

I was particularly impressed by his latest headphone reviews which include excellent sound demos and side-by-side comparisons done with binaural mics. A unique feature AFAIK and very well done, check the video below for an example.
If you want to skip the intro-talk, the binaural demos start at ~13:00, followed by measurements. With comparison-measurements between different pads as extra bonus - another pretty unique feature which I find really useful. IMHO, every headphone review should contain those kind of sound demos & measurements, much better than the usual "lalalaaa, I hear crickets" review.



edit: he actualy has a whole database of those recordings and you can select&compare as desired http://switcher.oluvsgadgets.net/.
@amirm This looks like a lot of effort but if you can somehow find the time, such binaural recordings would be a great addition to your speaker/HP listening tests.

P.S.
Just to clear the air: I did post this on another thread but I think it deserves much better visibility; hopefully the cross posting is not an issue. Also, I have no connection whatsoever with that guy/channel, just think that those are the best and most useful headphone reviews I ever saw.
 
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raistlin65

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#3
I also think he is the best, too bad he doesn't review lots of headphones and more recently seems focused entirely away from headphones. His sound demo is also the best IMHO.
Didn't he only get into headphone reviews in the last year? I expect we'll see more.
 

Objectivist01

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#4
Recently discovered Oluv's Gadgets on Youtube and was quite impressed with his reviews. Covers lots of Bluetooth speakers/boomboxes but also some standard speakers, soundbars and headphones. Very down to earth style, technical minded and no bullshit. His English accent might not be the best (I think he's Austrian) but nobody is perfect :)

I was particularly impressed by his latest headphone reviews which include excellent sound demos and side-by-side comparisons done with binaural mics. A unique feature AFAIK and very well done, check the video below for an example.
If you want to skip the intro-talk, the binaural demos start at ~13:00, followed by measurements. With comparison-measurements between different pads as extra bonus - another pretty unique feature which I find really useful. IMHO, every headphone review should contain those kind of sound demos & measurements, much better than the usual "lalalaaa, I hear crickets" review.



edit: he actualy has a whole database of those recordings and you can select&compare as desired http://switcher.oluvsgadgets.net/.
@amirm This looks like a lot of effort but if you can somehow find the time, such binaural recordings would be a great addition to your speaker/HP listening tests.

P.S.
Just to clear the air: I did post this on another thread but I think it deserves much better visibility; hopefully the cross posting is not an issue. Also, I have no connection whatsoever with that guy/channel, just think that those are the best and most useful headphone reviews I ever saw.
What State of the art measurement equipment is he using for his measuring ? Also sound demos aren’t all that useful from YouTube as you are playing them with your dac, amp and headphones , presumably adding it’s own flavor to what he recorded, even if it’s reference level
 

amirm

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#5
@amirm This looks like a lot of effort but if you can somehow find the time, such binaural recordings would be a great addition to your speaker/HP listening tests.
I have seen some of his videos and they are decent. What microphone you suggest? Professional ones are well over $1,000. Hobby ones are around $100.
 
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#6
Also sound demos aren’t all that useful from YouTube as you are playing them with your dac, amp and headphones , presumably adding it’s own flavor to what he recorded, even if it’s reference level
All I can make out is that the Sundara is absolutely painfully bright but that's not useful information. If the Sundara has a bright character and I push that through the "Mt. Beyer" of my DT-880, the result has to sound painful because you are basically chaining 2 bright cans after another. This does not tell you how the Sundara would sound on it's own at all.
 

ReaderZ

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#7
All I can make out is that the Sundara is absolutely painfully bright but that's not useful information. If the Sundara has a bright character and I push that through the "Mt. Beyer" of my DT-880, the result has to sound painful because you are basically chaining 2 bright cans after another. This does not tell you how the Sundara would sound on it's own at all.
By the same token, Sundara sound too bright even listening though the warm LCD-3 and the neutral KH-310 to me, so it does tell me it's too bright for me.
 

Objectivist01

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#8
By the same token, Sundara sound too bright even listening though the warm LCD-3 and the neutral KH-310 to me, so it does tell me it's too bright for me.
“Most “ People who watch these kind of videos won’t have reference grade listening equipment. 50 percent of the audience probably would be havingHD 6xx with atom and a sdac! And it’s very hard to hear anything bright with hd 6xx. May be you can say “this headphone is bright than that headphone” but still depending on how your headphone masks the other differences which may be hidden in your headphones limitation you will be getting a totally wrong picture.

with all due respect people who think they are getting a real picture of those devices with binaral audio they are MOSTLY overlooking lot of things.

it would be ideal if the video making guy suggest that “ok, you listen to these demoes using this gear and then you are Hearing the demo exactly as I recorded them”.
 
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lashto

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Thread Starter #9
What State of the art measurement equipment is he using for his measuring ? Also sound demos aren’t all that useful from YouTube as you are playing them with your dac, amp and headphones , presumably adding it’s own flavor to what he recorded, even if it’s reference level
100% objective in absolute terms does not really exist :)
In this case it is the comparative test that matters. Yes, your own hp/dac/amp add coloration. But the differences that you hear between original-track and original-track-through-headphone-X are pretty much the sound signature of headphone-X. It is of course not ideal but still very useful.
E.g. from the above video it is very easy to hear that the Sundara treble is quite off. And what you listen through does not matter much, that extra brightness/air is (almost) entirely coming from the Sundara.

One more thing though: the difference between original-track and original-track-through-HP-X includes not only the HP-X coloration but also the HRTF coloration of the guy's head/ears. Not sure if he calibrates-out that HRTF but I would guess that he does.
Even if he doesn't, comparing track-though-hp-X vs. track-through-hp-Y gives you exactly the difference between hp-X and hp-Y (everything else is the same).
 
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Frank Dernie

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#10
These seem pretty sensible to me, compared to other youtube "reviews" I have seen.
Yes one can't judge absolute SQ but the comparisons are good. I can hear the differences this may indicate one is brighter than another if not absolute brightness.
There is no real objective measurement of headphones or speakers in terms of one an individual may like, just an increasing body of research on what the majority may like. It is not absolute and never will be IMHO.
Once one knows one's own preferences one can judge whether a particular item will suit them better from measurement and this sort of audio demo but not absolute.
One thing is sure it is a billion times more useful than nothing - which is what there was when I bought my first headphones in 1970!
Koss ESP 7
 
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lashto

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Thread Starter #11
I have seen some of his videos and they are decent. What microphone you suggest? Professional ones are well over $1,000. Hobby ones are around $100.
thanks for getting back so fast @amirm . I do not have any binaural mic experience but had a look into Oluv's setup and gathered some details for you.
He seems to be using custom mics made by https://stephanepigeon.com, the guy behind https://mynoise.net/. Found that info in Oluvs "hp gimmickry" video, ~4:30 he talks shortly about the mics and then ~8:30 shows a FR done for Sennheiser hd6xx through those mics. Looks very good to me. Also in the Elex vs HD6xx demo video he uses the mics and both HPs sound pretty much like I hear them. Since you also have the HD650 it will probably be useful to do your own test. His mic test video might be useful too.

Like said, no expert here but his mics & recording setup sound very good to me. Should not be particularly expensive either, IIUC his were (more or less) a gift from that French engineer.

P.S.
I'd actually be a lot more worried about the amount of extra work that you need to do :). You'll have to calibrate those mics for your HRTF and probably need two different calibrations for listening to speakers and to HPs. Then you need to choose some reference tracks carefully, do lots of precise recordings, produce those A/B videos and/or a similar comparison database/website, etc... Sounds like a very serious amount of work to me.
 
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MZKM

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#12
Also sound demos aren’t all that useful from YouTube as you are playing them with your dac, amp and headphones , presumably adding it’s own flavor to what he recorded, even if it’s reference level
Hence they switch back and forth from the actual track and the recording.
 
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lashto

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Thread Starter #13
And another video where he compares his HP recordings to similar ones from zreviews and rtings. It's an older, pre-binaurals video using a miniDSP EARS that he tried to calibrate (and wasn't happy with). But even so and without being familiar with those demo tracks, his recordings sound much better to me. I would trust his ears ... well, actually not his ears but his recording & calibration skills.
And btw, I am using Hifiman 400i and/or HD650 for listening.
 
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#14
In this case it is the comparative test that matters. Yes, your own hp/dac/amp add coloration. But the differences that you hear between original-track and original-track-through-headphone-X are pretty much the sound signature of headphone-X. It is of course not ideal but still very useful.
I disagree.

If my current can is already bright, the track will sound as bright in the original state as I want it to be. The Sundara (to stay with the example above) renders it even brighter, thus immediately eliminating the candidate from the decision pool.

I would have to dig into comparative measurements between the Sundara and my current can in order to make an educated guess about how bright they would sound on their own and how much brightness is added by my own headphone. This basically leaves me in the position I would be in as if the "sound demo" would not exist at all: comparing FR graphs and reading as many subjective impressions online as I can.

I would label the sonic impression of such videos as useless at best, completely misleading at worst. I tell you this straight up: judging by the video above: I would never consider even testing the Sundara, as I immediately ruled it out as unsuitable. Is that a fair judgment? Is that an objective judgment? I think not but the effect was that strong for me. It was basically an immediate "OUCH!" as soon as the music started.
 

Frank Dernie

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#15
I disagree.

If my current can is already bright, the track will sound as bright in the original state as I want it to be. The Sundara (to stay with the example above) renders it even brighter, thus immediately eliminating the candidate from the decision pool.

I would have to dig into comparative measurements between the Sundara and my current can in order to make an educated guess about how bright they would sound on their own and how much brightness is added by my own headphone. This basically leaves me in the position I would be in as if the "sound demo" would not exist at all: comparing FR graphs and reading as many subjective impressions online as I can.

I would label the sonic impression of such videos as useless at best, completely misleading at worst. I tell you this straight up: judging by the video above: I would never consider even testing the Sundara, as I immediately ruled it out as unsuitable. Is that a fair judgment? Is that an objective judgment? I think not but the effect was that strong for me. It was basically an immediate "OUCH!" as soon as the music started.
His site is not that useful to somebody like you then, so you should probably look elsewhere.

Personally I find listening to the differences to be extremely informative and useful and find the changes relative to what I am listening on reasonably easy to judge, and certainly better than anything else I have heard demonstrated on the internet, so for me it would be a useful site if I were wanting to change my headphones (I am already using the Verum 1, my favourite so far).
 
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lashto

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Thread Starter #16
Didn't he only get into headphone reviews in the last year? I expect we'll see more.
Just discovered that channel recently and I am not familiar with the history. The HP reviews are indeed fairly recent and the binaural mic setup seems to start about Sep2019.
I understood that he got some sample HPs from Drop but it doesn't look like he's particularly popular with manufacturers lining up products for his tests. At least nowhere near channels like zreviews (which btw, I also like but mostly cause he's somewhat entertaining and does a good job at explaining the build quality, functionality and eventual usage quirks).

Since Oluv is also in the EU I though about sending him some samples but I only have the HD650 and 400i which he already reviewed. Hopefully others can send him more samples to support those kind of reviews.
 
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#17
His site is not that useful to somebody like you then, so you should probably look elsewhere.
It probably depends on what you are looking for, aye.
I always wanted neutral gear as a baseline (and it happens to be what I like in my sound as well).
I was never looking for sth. "brighter than my current one" or "darker than what I have" because that can be achieved via EQ.

For me, videos like these do not answer the question whether the demonstrated headphone is closer to the target of neutrality or not.
 

Frank Dernie

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#18
It probably depends on what you are looking for, aye.
I always wanted neutral gear as a baseline (and it happens to be what I like in my sound as well).
I was never looking for sth. "brighter than my current one" or "darker than what I have" because that can be achieved via EQ.

For me, videos like these do not answer the question whether the demonstrated headphone is closer to the target of neutrality or not.
I see what you mean.
I am an old bloke with a lot of headphones and 50 years of experience listening to them so comparative reviews are good for me. I don't use equalisation either.
 
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lashto

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Thread Starter #19
@Frank Dernie The Verum1 is high on my list, almost ordered it before corona. Now I'm kinda glad I didn't because the new headband looks much better. Seems to be universally praised and I really like the idea of supporting a talented engineer who does an amazing amount of work by himself.
Will probably be a treat for my Christmas :)

Do you have some Verum tips/impressions to share in the meantime?
 

Frank Dernie

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#20
Do you have some Verum tips/impressions to share in the meantime?
Not really! I just plug them into my laptop and listen, usually.
I have a desktop too with a RME DAC/amp but I usually listen to music on old speakers rather than headphones if I am in my study.
 
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