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How variable are Audeze headphones in terms of frequency response? How does it affect equalization?

KeithPhantom

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In my search for great transducers to EQ and enjoy music with, I have found some brands better than others in objective measurements such as frequency response, distortion, resonances, etc. I always found Audeze’s transducers to be extremely good to EQ, even when being open-back. Their only downsides to me to me are the weight (I can fix that by using them while laying down on my bed) and the unit variation in their product line. I want to own one since I like how they look and perform (especially their potential after EQ), but since there is so much variability between FR measurements between units, I don’t know if the EQ created for one unit can be reliably used for another unit to approximately EQ them. Other headphones do not vary as much in this regard, so I trust that by using EQ profiles based on measurements of one unit you can get pretty close approximations to your target curve of preference, but with Audeze, I don’t know if to take this as a fact or if there is more to it.
 

Patrick1958

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You could ask Oratory, i'm sure he measured several of the same brand unit.
 
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KeithPhantom

KeithPhantom

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I know, but I would like to have a broader opinion.
 

GaryH

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I know, but I would like to have a broader opinion.

It's not a matter of opinion, it's a matter of data and sample size, and Oratory has likely measured the most Audeze units (and most other headphone brands in fact) of anyone providing publicly available industry standard measurements, so his data will be best able to answer your question on unit variation. And because his EQ is based on averaged frequency response over several units, it will be most likely to get closer to the correct response for your particular unit than using a single unit's measurements.
 

bluefuzz

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since there is so much variability between FR measurements between units, I don’t know if the EQ created for one unit can be reliably used for another unit to approximately EQ them
Making your own measurements of your own gear will always be more useful than averaged measurements found on the interwebs. You don’t need an ‘industry standard’ measuring device for EQ purposes. Either DIY your own flat-plate rig or get a MiniDSP EARS.
 

GaryH

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Making your own measurements of your own gear will always be more useful than averaged measurements found on the interwebs. You don’t need an ‘industry standard’ measuring device for EQ purposes. Either DIY your own flat-plate rig or get a MiniDSP EARS.

Wrong. An industry standard rig is definitely needed. Flat plate, miniDSP EARS etc. rigs provide grossly inaccurate measurements (=> inaccurate EQ) because they do not have the same acoustic impedance as the human ear. Industry standard rigs do. Read headphone engineer Oratory's explanation and measurement comparison for details. Sending your headphones to him for him to personally measure would be the best option to get the most accurate EQ for your particular unit, but not everyone can do this. The second best option is to choose a headphone that has known low unit variation and use the averaged measurements he's already made for it.
 

MayaTlab

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Sending your headphones to him for him to personally measure would be the best option to get the most accurate EQ for your particular unit.

Mmm measuring headphones on your own head might be an even better solution but it’s quite difficult to do well past 1kHz and itself is prone to inexactitudes :D.
 

bluefuzz

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Wrong. An industry standard rig is definitely needed. Flat plate, miniDSP EARS etc. rigs provide grossly inaccurate measurements
I own a MiniDSP EARS. For the half dozen headphones I own and have measured (using my own compensation curve), I get results comparable (occasionally identical) to those published by Oratory or Amir. Where my measurements differ it is plainly due to sample variation - for example audible peaks in my example not visible in public measurements. EQs made from my measurements sound better to me than EQs made from Oratory’s or Amirs measurements and also better than Oratory’s or Amir’s published EQs - the latter being partly a matter of taste, obviously.

The MiniDSP EARS is not perfect of course but is definitely a useful tool if you are willing to fiddle with compensation curves and such.

So, not wrong ...
 

GaryH

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I own a MiniDSP EARS. For the half dozen headphones I own and have measured (using my own compensation curve), I get results comparable (occasionally identical) to those published by Oratory or Amir. Where my measurements differ it is plainly due to sample variation - for example audible peaks in my example not visible in public measurements. EQs made from my measurements sound better to me than EQs made from Oratory’s or Amirs measurements and also better than Oratory’s or Amir’s published EQs - the latter being partly a matter of taste, obviously.

The MiniDSP EARS is not perfect of course but is definitely a useful tool if you are willing to fiddle with compensation curves and such.

So, not wrong ...

Let's see your half dozen headphone measurements using your miniDSP EARS so we can all compare them with proper industry standard measurements then.
 

bluefuzz

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Let's see your half dozen headphone measurements using your miniDSP EARS
OK. Here are a few. The EARS data are the average of a single left and right measurement using my own compensation (not the default HEQ). Oratory’s measurements are from the AutoEQ dataset with Harman over-ear 2018 compensation applied. Amir’s measurements are the ‘relative’ measurements uploaded to this site. I have a few other cans (HD58X, HD560S, K701, DT48) but Amir hasn’t measured them. They are equally similar to Oratory’s data. A point of interest is the huge treble spike at ~8.5 kHz on my X2HR which does not appear on either Amir’s or Oratory’s measurements. I can assure you it is real - and painful! Also of note is that Amir’s and Oratory’s ‘industry standard’ measurements differ from each other as much as the EARS measurements differ from either of them ...

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Philips Fidelio X2HR

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