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"Listening to headphones over YouTube...? Hahaha!"

JohnYang1997

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#41
Or you might recognize how that ear canal shape and size affect IEM perceived sound--much like room size and shape--to much more of an extent than over ear headphones.
Not really. Only you can't insert deep enough.
The er4s needs 13khz canal resonance. And it's designed to utilize it. Too shallow you get 8k peak 12-13k dip. Too deep you get 8k dip. It's tunable basically.
 

raistlin65

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#42
Not really. Only you can't insert deep enough.
The er4s needs 13khz canal resonance. And it's designed to utilize it. Too shallow you get 8k peak 12-13k dip. Too deep you get 8k dip. It's tunable basically.
That's different from saying someone didn't "insert it properly," as if the blame is on the user. Due to ear canal shape and size, it may not be possible to tune it as you describe with the included tips.
 

JohnYang1997

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#43
That's different from saying someone didn't "insert it properly," as if the blame is on the user. Due to ear canal shape and size, it may not be possible to tune it as you describe with the included tips.
You can play with words. He can simply say maybe I can't insert it properly if that's true.
It requires the type of canals that it's roomy inside and shallow outside and it's long. So basically it's already deep inside but volume is still larger than required. But no this doesn't lead to bad sound. Just somewhat sharp sound that's still much better than mh750/755.
 

markanini

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#45
As far as insertion goes its not rocket science. You can judge it by your vocal resonance.
er4s is very close to real speakers.
Real Auratones I bet.


the MH750 and MH755 (i have both) with EQ (eg, AutoEQ, although I use the straight harman_in-ear_2019v2 compensation settings) do sound fantastic
The MH750 sound fine without EQ. I've interacted with at least seven other IEM enthusiats that feel the same. Try to listen to the gear a bit before EQ-ing. That's how I discovered that my preference differs from the In-ear Harman target.
 
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Blank Verse

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#46
Sorry if chime in here as well, but I think there was some big misunderstanding with this dispute since the very beginning which needs to be sorted out. Of course I am honored being quoted by someone like Mr. Olive but how this happened and the kind of tone and disregard simply made me mad and I had to respond with that video which was not flattering either.

But as Mr. Olive stated, I am just a "Youtube reviewer" I am not a scientist and do not have the research background, although I know most publications and papers by Mr. Toole, Olive, and also the research that has been done by Hammershoi & Moller and while I didn't study them all in detail I rather picked out those that could be relevant for my work and as a reviewer I always felt obliged to verify and prove my claims in a way which would demonstrate what I am actually hearing and how I perceive the given product.
Most reviewers claim their stuff, put it into some great sounding texts with professional looking videos which can quickly fool you and make you buy the product as they seem to have a clue about what they are talking about.
I did lots of purchases based on others' user reviews but also done by "professional" reviewers from rennowned audio magazines which turned out to be utter crap. Products recommended by so many, hyped here and there were just unsuable to me. I started to question the whole "review-industry" which in realtiy is a bunch of sponsored gangs to promote products and get lots of sales to generate some phat affilate income in return. I got similar offers from companies offering me thousands of dollars if I could mange to sell several hundred units of a particular product, which I simply couldn't promote at all as they were all pieces of junk while being "recommended by grammy award winning artists and musicans", at least that was the advertising slogan. I really wonder how those grammy winning artitst could even give their name to be linked to that crap.
The community laughed about me being the only one who always had to criticise everything, but to be honest, from 20 audio products I tried, I could maybe recommend just 1 or 2.
Also a big thanks to John Yang who got me into IEMs again as I simply lost all interest in these with all of them sounding so off and far from any natural target, that I didn't even want to purchase any of those recommended to me by my Youtube subscribers. But John at least showed me some cheap ones, hidden gems which proved that there is decent stuff out there, just unkonwn, not popular at all...
That's why I started all this to debunk all that crap out there and started to invest my energy into creating sound recordings which would represent the reality in some way, the reality how I hear it, so that I can finally prove why I judge a given product negatively or positively instead of talking just bullshit.
Also a big thanks to Mad Economist who built my current in-ear microphones and helped me a lot with different kinds of problems.

It was definitely a mistake to pull out the MiniDSP again for my Sundara video, but I still had recordings from the first version with the old pads and wanted to put both side by side with a relative comparison and record the new again the same way like I did back then. The compensation I used is based on 2 years ago and was done solely by ear. I was listening to the actual headphone and adjusted the recording to get as close as possible. Then I put on another headphone and did further tweaking to bring it even closer. The truth it, that it was impossible as the consistency was simply lacking. I could equalize a given recording to sound nearly the same as the real thing, but the next headphone recording would sound off again. Still I think I was able to capture the "general characteristics" of a headphone. And if a headphone sounded natural it was captured much more realistic than a headphone too far off from a natural traget.
As I am not sponsored by any companies and am not getting any revenue from sales I need to rely on my Patrons who support me financially therefore I put way more effort and dedication into my recordings and sound samples published solely for my Patrons.
But I would like to post an excerpt of a long video I did about the Sundara which was more a kind of "listening session", as I applied the self referencing method for this video with my in-ear mics using the HD600+Sonarworks as reference headphone, the samples should sound pretty realistic to anyone listening over exactly the same headphone, and you should get an idea how I perceived the Sundara 2020. But regardless which headphone I use for listening to this demo, I can hear the strange coloration of the Sundara.

Maybe this should be investigated more, but I think it's clearly hearable from this recording that the Sundara (or maybe just the unit I tried) has this kind of ugly harshness which I personally cannot stand, let alone for a headphone costing 400€ here in Europe. Maybe it's my ears I am not sure. But as Mr. Olive already stated my reference headphone which indeed is the HD600 should be close to the Harman target according to him (not taking the bass part into account now) and in fact the HD600 sounds "normal" to me, also the Focal Elex sounds "normal", the Sundara didn't, thus 2 headphones following the target sound completely different to me. Something fishy must be going on here. Maybe I got a dud, but I ordered it directly from the Hifiman online store, so I assume the prodcuts they are selling there should be somehow legit. But if I regard a HD600 as normal sounding, I cannot regard the Sundara as "normal" sounding, as it sounded way off and I think you can clearly hear from the video what I am talking about here.
As I had bought the Sundara with my own money also based on all the promising measurements published so far, I cannot simply ask for other units to check consistency, sample variation etc, the companies do not take me seriously to begin with, but I cannot take them seriously either with that kind of sound. Maybe it's really just my ears which differ too much from the average ear simulator, but so far all products I recommended got pretty positive acclaim from my viewers and Patrons who somehow seem to trust my judgement, therefore I cannot be that far off. On the other hand most headphones or IEMs tuned strictly towards the Harman target sound too harsh for me especially in the presence region. The overall tonal balance is OK, but I hear some resonance around 5-6khz with most these products. I tried some EQs from Oratory1990 which should bring any given headphone close to the Harman target, but the sound becomes too resonant for me in most cases, especially with the HD600 which I prefer way more "naked" or with the Sonarworks profile.

Regarding the music samples played: I try using music which can somehow reveal the finest differences between headphones. Solo vocals, chamber music etc can't, as the bandwidth is way too limited especially on vocals, which has hardly any content above 5khz. I once made a video about that topic also demonstrating the issue with some sound samples:

With solo vocal or orchestral music most headphones will sound just fine, as the frequency responses are quite consistent up to 2-3khz with most of them, just that nearly all planar magnetic ones I tried have that dip around 2khz, this together with a raise above makes them also sound a bit sub-par. But were the issues really start are above that. The area of 5-12khz is heavily smoothened on the Harman target, but this is were most the peaks of the human ear come into account. I assume that if a peak of my own ear comes together with a peak of a headphone it starts to sound really off. Also here should be way more research done, the overall curve is too generic and smoothened way too much. I am currently tuning my own inear and I had to do this by ear, because the IEC711 ear simulator just didn't show what I was actually hearing, either there were peaks which I didn't hear, or the peaks were shifted to some other frequency which I couldn't quite reproduce with my own ears, regardless how shallow or deep I tried to insert the IEM. I simply started reducing all peaks I could hear regardless of the resulting graph from my couplers. Funnily the end result sound quite similar to the Etymotic ER2SE, of course not as smooth overall and with slightly more bass, but the overall tone is not far off. While IEMs strictly tuned towards the Harman curve like Moondrop Blessing 2, Tanchjim Oxygen etc do not sound correct to me.

I am open for any suggestion, but right now I cannot quite trust those artificial ears that much. The results are differing way too much from what I actually am hearing.

I hope we could bury the hatchet here and hope we can continue discussing in a more human manner.

Cheers, O.
Thank you for explaining your rationale for your choice of source material. You are right that most cans do sound at least OK with material in the usual orchestral/vocal range, but there are marked differences still. Meaning that two cans can sound OK, yet do so in different ways.

Also, if you see past the frequency aspect of it, vocals and orchestral/chamber music has other advantages regarding the identification of transients and detail. That's the main reason why I think adding a little variety to your sources might be beneficial. But maybe I am misguided. In any case, thank you for your great videos, the most useful headphone videos in Youtube by a long shot.
 
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#47
The MH750 sound fine without EQ. I've interacted with at least seven other IEM enthusiats that feel the same. Try to listen to the gear a bit before EQ-ing. That's how I discovered that my preference differs from the In-ear Harman target.
thanks for the "advice," but i am afraid we are going to have to agree to disagree as i have been EQ'ing headphones since when i got the Sony MDR-V6 when they first came out

having played the violin for many years, including string quartet and orchestra, i think i have a pretty good idea of what i should be hearing when listening to classical music (is how i tuned my headphones before the time-saving AutoEQ project and the Harman target)

i enjoy the MH750 and M755, but only when EQ'd

i have been pleasantly surprised by the AKG K371 - requires very little EQ, if any

peace
 

thewas

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#50
@markanini and @brian_h_kim, as it has been said, the perceived tonality of headphones unfortunately depends also on the individual ear geometries and corresponding transfer functions so it doesn't make sense to tell that the other is hearing wrongly as you could be both right.
 

markanini

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#51
@markanini and @brian_h_kim, as it has been said, the perceived tonality of headphones unfortunately depends also on the individual ear geometries and corresponding transfer functions so it doesn't make sense to tell that the other is hearing wrongly as you could be both right.
That's why I said they sound better to me and others I've interacted with. You need more data to make general statements. Thats why I'm suggesting manual EQ to different targets in order to figure out your personal preference before using presets.
 
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#52
Interesting discussion. I am just a noob without any scientific background. I like the Sundara and to my untrained ears it sounds very similar to the HD 600. I am curious about the Harman target. It is based upon the preference of 200+ (Random) listeners and that makes it objectively the „best”? Is that the science behind it or am i mistaken? I mean I could understand it if it was 200+ professional trained listeners.

And a bonus question: what is the background of the Etymotic target curve? How came they up with it? To my ears the ER2SE is close to perfect and I prefer it to the much more expensive HD 600, Sundara, Ananda and Fiio H7.

Thank you!
 
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#53
Interesting discussion. I am just a noob without any scientific background. I like the Sundara and to my untrained ears it sounds very similar to the HD 600. I am curious about the Harman target. It is based upon the preference of 200+ (Random) listeners and that makes it objectively the „best”? Is that the science behind it or am i mistaken? I mean I could understand it if it was 200+ professional trained listeners.

And a bonus question: what is the background of the Etymotic target curve? How came they up with it? To my ears the ER2SE is close to perfect and I prefer it to the much more expensive HD 600, Sundara, Ananda and Fiio H7.

Thank you!
you should like me upcoming Inear then which sounds quite similar to the ER2SE as long as our ear canals are somehow similar in length etc. I tuned it by ear without respecting any targets thus I have no idea how others will perceive it but a friend of mine could hear it and he claims it’s the best “standard” IEM he has heard.
I think Etymotic has their own research department as they also offer inear measurement solutions, I think originally they come from hearing aid design. But others will definitely know more about their background.

regarding MH750: isn’t it way too bassheavy? At least to my untrained ears not playing 6 instruments just playing keyboards a bit although some of may tracks had also radio play here in Austria, I couldn’t listen to the MH750 in its stock form without applying some mods to tone down the bass.
I also think that the MH1 (the father of the MH750 and MH755) sounds overall much better and smoother than those, but still too bassheavy in its stock form.
 

markanini

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#55
regarding MH750: isn’t it way too bassheavy?
What do you consider bass heavy? As long a the bass doesn't drown the mids or sound disjointed I consider it balanced. MH1 has more of a bass causing incoherence, even with it's port blocked. Also it's a bit elevated around 5kHz so it sounds harsh when you bring down the bass with EQ. Overall a archetypal "consumer" response.
 
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#56
What do you consider bass heavy? As long a the bass doesn't drown the mids or sound disjointed I consider it balanced. MH1 has more of a bass causing incoherence, even with it's port blocked. Also it's a bit elevated around 5kHz so it sounds harsh when you bring down the bass with EQ. Overall a archetypal "consumer" response.
For me the MH750 has way more emphasis at 5khz than the MH1. The MH1 is more similar to the ER2 with upper mids. I should measure both side by side maybe.
 

fieldcar

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#57
I figured I would throw this up.
I'm sure that peak at 7K moves depending on insertion depth and ear canal resonances.

graph.png

graph (1).png
 
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#58
I figured I would throw this up.
I'm sure that peak at 7K moves depending on insertion depth and ear canal resonances.

View attachment 115443
View attachment 115444
Crinacle’s insertion depth is way too deep for all his measurements. Usually the peak for the MH750 is closer to 5-6khz for my ear. I tried to reproduce his measurements with my couplers and I hardly manage to achieve the 8khz resonance with any of my inears. With the smallest tips inserted completely maybe but no way I can wear any IEM like that.
 

markanini

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#59
Still unclear how you deem something "bass heavy" subjectively as that was the first objection raised. Without out the context of how it detracts from your listening pleasure how would someone value such a judgement? Can you rule out that you haven't been conditioned to dislike an increased bass output reflexively? Or that previous gear has formed your expectations. I trust that you are clever enough to know that I'm asking in good faith.
 
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#60
Still unclear how you deem something "bass heavy" subjectively as that was the first objection raised. Without out the context of how it detracts from your listening pleasure how would someone value such a judgement? Can you rule out that you haven't been conditioned to dislike an increased bass output reflexively? Or that previous gear has formed your expectations. I trust that you are clever enough to know that I'm asking in good faith.
It sounds boomy to me, the bass is simply way too dominant just like a Fostex TR-X00 Ebony sounds way too bassheavy to my ears.
 
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