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Listening fatigue - is it me over-analysing, or is it my equipment?

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samwell7

samwell7

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I think I've worked out what the problem is!

I toed the speakers out so I wasn't getting 'distracted' by all the hyper-detail.
I was watching The Wiggles with my kids in the home office (on holidays now) and one of the singers (Simon, if you're familiar with The Wiggles) sounded WAY off.

His voice (he is a bass-baritone apparently) sounded almost like it was missing his fundamental octave, very hollow and had no body.

I guess I just hadn't been able to pinpoint what the issue was but the general 'stuffiness' of the sound makes a lot more sense now.

I'll be returning these speakers and start looking for some replacements, maybe even a stereo pair of the Google Nest Audio
 

watchnerd

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I think I've worked out what the problem is!

I toed the speakers out so I wasn't getting 'distracted' by all the hyper-detail.
I was watching The Wiggles with my kids in the home office (on holidays now) and one of the singers (Simon, if you're familiar with The Wiggles) sounded WAY off.

His voice (he is a bass-baritone apparently) sounded almost like it was missing his fundamental octave, very hollow and had no body.

I guess I just hadn't been able to pinpoint what the issue was but the general 'stuffiness' of the sound makes a lot more sense now.

I'll be returning these speakers and start looking for some replacements, maybe even a stereo pair of the Google Nest Audio

Apple Homepod is pretty awesome.
 

Katji

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ok,...
I know what you mean about the treble/tweeter bright/etc. and sibilance. (And for me, hi-hats too, and it seems to depend on studio production.) When I read [on forums] what people say about speakers, their experience and so on, or it's a forum ad and I might be interested, so I google it...any mention of bright/etc., that's enough, I move on.

I got Edifier S3000PRO a few weeks ago. I'm happy. The planar tweeter is the star of the show.
I spent a lot of time on it, comparing various different models, multiple tabs, back and forth, eventually made a spreadsheet to make it easier to compare. :) (Needed USB but most had only S/PDIF and I decided I didn't want to deal with a converter. And although Bt is a very rare use case for me, I didn't want to get anything that is Bt 4.0 and doesn't do aptX HD codec/s.)
I wanted the soft dome tweeter.

I've refrained from buying more speakers the last 2-3 years - already 4 speakers in this flat, including some rather big pro audio speakers and their boxes - because I decided no point, I need to sort out the room acoustics and that means I need to renovate first. But the wanting to try active speakers had increased, and then these price markdowns/specials were happening, so...\ ...And it's not like they cost what LS50W costs. (And now the desire for LS50W has gone, anyway.) :)

Q Acoustics mentioned... Concept 20, often amazed me, but some listening fatigue. I thought I'd keep them in case something goes wrong with the Edifiers but now decided I'll sell them and the pro audio speakers and keep the vintage Corals for spare.

So,...[fwiw, it's my head and my room, and not near-field,] but...these tweeters are amazing.

It sounds to me like they are talking about about different Klippels modules than the near-field scanner that Amir uses to measure speakers. Klippel also produces a large number of modules specifically designed for driver testing and optimisation. Based on their reply to you, it's at the driver design phase of the process that they use Klippel tools.
Yes...I think so. I've got 2 pics, I'll check, fwiw. Interesting visit to the factory. (Photos + story. There is a video but it's an interview, not the factory.)


...Yes. Drivers.

1608936136945.png


1608936161403.png


1608936190492.png


Unfortunately this guy made his images a bit small.

1608936261494.png
 
Last edited:

watchnerd

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ok,...
I know what you mean about the treble/tweeter bright/etc. and sibilance. (And for me, hi-hats too, and it seems to depend on studio production.) When I read [on forums] what people say about speakers, their experience and so on, or it's a forum ad and I might be interested, so I google it...any mention of bright/etc., that's enough, I move on.

I got Edifier S3000PRO a few weeks ago. I'm happy. The planar tweeter is the star of the show.
I spent a lot of time on it, comparing various different models, multiple tabs, back and forth, eventually made a spreadsheet to make it easier to compare. :) (Needed USB but most had only S/PDIF and I decided I didn't want to deal with a converter. And although Bt is a very rare use case for me, I didn't want to get anything that is Bt 4.0 and doesn't do aptX HD codec/s.)
I wanted the soft dome tweeter.

I've refrained from buying more speakers the last 2-3 years - already 4 speakers in this flat, including some rather big pro audio speakers and their boxes - because I decided no point, I need to sort out the room acoustics and that means I need to renovate first. But the wanting to try active speakers had increased, and then these price markdowns/specials were happening, so...\ ...And it's not like they cost what LS50W costs. (And now the desire for LS50W has gone, anyway.) :)

Q Acoustics mentioned... Concept 20, often amazed me, but some listening fatigue. I thought I'd keep them in case something goes wrong with the Edifiers but now decided I'll sell them and the pro audio speakers and keep the vintage Corals for spare.

So,...[fwiw, it's my head and my room, and not near-field,] but...these tweeters are amazing.


Yes...I think so. I've got 2 pics, I'll check, fwiw. Interesting visit to the factory. (Photos + story. There is a video but it's an interview, not the factory.)


...Yes. Drivers.

View attachment 101516

View attachment 101517

View attachment 101518

Unfortunately this guy made his images a bit small.

View attachment 101519

Speaking of factories and testing rooms...

I'd love to go visit this in person:

 
OP
samwell7

samwell7

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Joined
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Messages
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Location
Victoria, Australia
ok,...
I know what you mean about the treble/tweeter bright/etc. and sibilance. (And for me, hi-hats too, and it seems to depend on studio production.) When I read [on forums] what people say about speakers, their experience and so on, or it's a forum ad and I might be interested, so I google it...any mention of bright/etc., that's enough, I move on.

I got Edifier S3000PRO a few weeks ago. I'm happy. The planar tweeter is the star of the show.
I spent a lot of time on it, comparing various different models, multiple tabs, back and forth, eventually made a spreadsheet to make it easier to compare. :) (Needed USB but most had only S/PDIF and I decided I didn't want to deal with a converter. And although Bt is a very rare use case for me, I didn't want to get anything that is Bt 4.0 and doesn't do aptX HD codec/s.)
I wanted the soft dome tweeter.

I've refrained from buying more speakers the last 2-3 years - already 4 speakers in this flat, including some rather big pro audio speakers and their boxes - because I decided no point, I need to sort out the room acoustics and that means I need to renovate first. But the wanting to try active speakers had increased, and then these price markdowns/specials were happening, so...\ ...And it's not like they cost what LS50W costs. (And now the desire for LS50W has gone, anyway.) :)

Q Acoustics mentioned... Concept 20, often amazed me, but some listening fatigue. I thought I'd keep them in case something goes wrong with the Edifiers but now decided I'll sell them and the pro audio speakers and keep the vintage Corals for spare.

So,...[fwiw, it's my head and my room, and not near-field,] but...these tweeters are amazing.


Yes...I think so. I've got 2 pics, I'll check, fwiw. Interesting visit to the factory. (Photos + story. There is a video but it's an interview, not the factory.)


...Yes. Drivers.

View attachment 101516

View attachment 101517

View attachment 101518

Unfortunately this guy made his images a bit small.

View attachment 101519

Hey thanks for your response! It's very good to hear that the planar tweeters are a bit more subdued/smooth and glad to hear you're enjoying your S3000s.
I did speak with Edifier customer support and they told me that the planar tweeters from the S2000 upwards will be a lot smoother than the dome tweeters I'd experienced with the R1700 and S1000 but by this point my original budget of 200AUD would have been well and truly demolished (the S2000mk3s were around 450AUD last I checked).

The S3000s really interest me if I needed a simple/uncluttered two channel setup for home theatre or in a bigger room, cool pictures from the factory also - despite the issues I had with their speakers I believe Edifier are doing a pretty good job at bringing value audio to the general population
 

Katji

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:oops: WAOW!...is an understatement. :) Is that an array of microphones?....and a speaker strapped on that boom? The room looks huge.

Capital investment...FTW.
 

Katji

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hey :) Yes, budget, it had to stretch. It actually started with the Luna Eclipse, "just for fun", and some praise on the local forum like "they have no right to sound as good as they do."

simple/uncluttered...Yes, the amplifier and the DAC are in the cupboard. And the speaker cables. All I could do is upgrade the 2 power cables. :p

Edifier, the company...the CEO/founder said they had sold 100 million speakers. ! I still can't quite imagine. Apparently well-established leading brand in China, long before the rest of us heard of them.
 
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samwell7

samwell7

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hey :) Yes, budget, it had to stretch. It actually started with the Luna Eclipse, "just for fun", and some praise on the local forum like "they have no right to sound as good as they do."

simple/uncluttered...Yes, the amplifier and the DAC are in the cupboard. And the speaker cables. All I could do is upgrade the 2 power cables. :p

Edifier, the company...the CEO/founder said they had sold 100 million speakers. ! I still can't quite imagine. Apparently well-established leading brand in China, long before the rest of us heard of them.
That's awesome, yeah I've noticed they introduce new models to China and India first, probably a good way to get any early production issues sorted due to those being such large markets
 

watchnerd

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OP
samwell7

samwell7

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izeek

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First up a bit of background.
I have only starting near field listening again, for the last 7 or so years I've just been using headphones (Sony MDR-7520, Audiotechnica ATH M50 or Etymotic MC5s) without issue while working (office environment).
Because I've been working from home I've got back into loudspeakers and it's enjoyable listening without something on my head.

I'm 29 and my hearing is fairly sensitive, loud sounds (especially treble) hurt, I'm usually asking my wife to turn stuff down, to her annoyance. The last time I checked (was testing a speaker, so it may be higher) I could hear to around 17kHz.

When I was listening years ago I enjoyed accurate and detailed mids and treble, my old speakers were Yamaha MSP5's and they were excellent, I don't recall ever having listening fatigue with them, even when listening loud (mixing/mastering).

Fast forward to 2020, I'm listening fairly quietly at my desk - my microphones aren't calibrated but sound meter apps on my Pixel 4 and work iPhone both gave the same reading of a max of around 60dB during regular listening (usually around 55dB or less).

I purchased a set of Edifier R1700BT speakers after seeing how well the R1280s respond to EQ in their review, after around 30 or so minutes of listening my ears would feel irritated, almost like I'd just got out of a hot shower. I reduced the treble on the back of the unit but it didn't really help so I returned them.

I then purchased a set of Edifier S1000Mk2s, while the ear irritation is much better it still pops up a bit, with my ears almost feeling 'constricted' or stuffy after a little while. The S1000mk2's aren't overly bright however they do sound fairly detailed.

I'm listening either via Bluetooth or through an Apple USB C to 3.5mm adaptor with Spotify premium with volume normalisation turned off.

Could the 'fatigue' be because of the fact that I'm listening critically (trying to assess the speakers) while I'm listening fairly quietly (while working) so my brain is working too hard? I'm thinking this may be the case because I haven't had any 'ouch' moments (harsh or sibilant treble will usually hurt me pretty well straight away).

My other thoughts were there being potentially too much treble or distortion due to driver material; before I got the Edifiers I was using a Sony microsystem (cmt-sbt40d) without issue, the system had a 37mm soft-dome tweeter and was generally less detailed, the Edifiers have titanium tweeters and aluminium midwoofers which I've heard can ring or have harsher distortion outside of the audible range which can still have impacts on listeners.

Any thoughts? Or advice on how I can stop listening to the equipment and start listening to the music to see if this is actually an issue?

I'm not sure if it's a shelf filter but I've turned the treble to -6dB on the S1000mk2's today and it wasn't really any different.

i dont know much but id venture some of it is your source.
anything bt is compressed(?)i believe which for me seems slightly muddy and lacking range. i really dont know.
you will get much better sound using a 3.5mm to rca cable from phone to pre.
youll need to moderate your volume to about 2/3ds to 3/4ths to prevent clipping. and the feeds are not always consistent. but the output is going through the phones dac. which is ok.
some phones are better than others.
my lg v50 has a nice quad dac.
much less fatigue for me.
i even use 3.5mm-3.5mm male/ male cable from phone to aux in in my car. far superior to bt.
you can also try some apps like USB Audio Player PRO. it supposedly uses your phone dac better. sounds better to me.
glad luck.
 
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samwell7

samwell7

Senior Member
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Location
Victoria, Australia
i dont know much but id venture some of it is your source.
anything bt is compressed(?)i believe which for me seems slightly muddy and lacking range. i really dont know.
you will get much better sound using a 3.5mm to rca cable from phone to pre.
youll need to moderate your volume to about 2/3ds to 3/4ths to prevent clipping. and the feeds are not always consistent. but the output is going through the phones dac. which is ok.
some phones are better than others.
my lg v50 has a nice quad dac.
much less fatigue for me.
i even use 3.5mm-3.5mm male/ male cable from phone to aux in in my car. far superior to bt.
you can also try some apps like USB Audio Player PRO. it supposedly uses your phone dac better. sounds better to me.
glad luck.

Hey thanks for your response!
It ended up being a mixture of shortcomings with the speakers (see post #61) and some weird room acoustics, three corners of the room are very reflective and then one is highly damped (bed and lots of pillows as I'm working in a spare room).
The source didn't change much for me as I noticed it whether I was hard-wired or not.

Since then I've been using Sony SS-CS5s with a Panasonic receiver I had on-hand which has been good, but mainly I've been using headphones as they bypass the room issues.
 
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