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Poll: Do you like Harman's target curve for headphones bass response?

Do you like the bass response of Harman's target curve for headphones?

  • Yes, it is perfect.

    Votes: 90 36.6%
  • No, I like a little less bass.

    Votes: 66 26.8%
  • No, I like a lot less bass (less than -2dB than the target curve).

    Votes: 56 22.8%
  • No, I like even more bass!

    Votes: 34 13.8%

  • Total voters
    246

Matias

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Many think the Harman's target curve for headphones has too much bass. What is your experience?
 

Scgorg

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I believe asking whether people think it has too little bass would also be reasonable, seeing as the harman research surrounding the subject also showed that some people prefer significantly more. Personally I prefer somewhat less bass and somewhat more treble than the harman target, but at high and low frequencies there is quite a bit of variation in terms of preference.
 
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Matias

Matias

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I believe asking whether people think it has too little bass would also be reasonable, seeing as the harman research surrounding the subject also showed that some people prefer significantly more. Personally I prefer somewhat less bass and somewhat more treble than the harman target, but at high and low frequencies there is quite a bit of variation in terms of preference.
Done.
 

MayaTlab

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Well it depends a lot on the shape of the FR curve above 1000hz :D.
I find it difficult to dissociate one from the other. For example, the Airpods Max has a fairly Harman-ish curve below 1000hz, but because the upper mids are comparatively recessed relative to Harman's target, it makes the frequencies below 1000hz stand out more.
 

Vini darko

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Sometimes yes sometimes no. I certainly wouldn't want all my headphones to sound the same , how boring would that be?
 

ninetylol

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If you could elaborate, why would more bass be of worse quality by default? It seems like a false dichotomy.
Quantity (which is measured) of Sundara is perfect for me. There are other qualities to bass though, like speed, decay, slam, you name it. Planar technology got its own advantages.
 

Feelas

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Quantity (which is measured) of Sundara is perfect for me. There are other qualities to bass though, like speed, decay, slam, you name it. Planar technology got its own advantages.
Yes, but if the quantity was higher in Sundara, would it necessarily mean that the bass itself is worse?
 

ninetylol

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Yes, but if the quantity was higher in Sundara, would it necessarily mean that the bass itself is worse?
Depends on the driver, but we are speaking about bass quantity here. (which is just about right for my preference)
 

Robin L

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I like the bass on the AKG K371, without eq. When the 6XX is eq-ed, I like it a little more. There's something a little wooly and loose with the K371s bottom end. Without eq, the bass on the 6XX 'phones is simultaneously boomy and lacking in the lowest octaves. With eq, the bass is more solid and focused than the K371s. I happen to prefer an eq that emphasizes the bottom octaves. I usually listen at low to moderate levels, so this might be loudness compensation. And when I had options to play music via speakers [I'm in a small apartment, wouldn't want to impose my musical taste on strangers, have a satellite/sub system that I rarely use], I usually had systems with elevated bass. I don't know if this is my imagination, but I get the impression that an important element of room tone is in the lowest octaves and this is an element of sound usually missing in the reproduction of music.
 

maverickronin

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Just as important as the amount is the shape of bass boost curve and the frequency where it starts to rise.

Personally, I like the amount of bass boost in the Harman circumaural curve, but think the shelf starts way too high. I like to just EQ up the sub bass instead.
 

BillG

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I think it's a beautiful thing. It's about as close to the club experience - Dubstep, Hip Hop, D&B, and Reggae/Dub gigs - that I can conveniently and personally enjoy.

I should mention that I'm using IEMs, though, which is a bit more boosted in bass than headphones, and that they play down to 10Hz. I've not read the research, and don't know if it would be perceptibly different, though
 
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LearningToSmile

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A good extension is more important than the quantity. If it's flat or gently rolls off all the way down, great, I can bring it up a bit if I want to. Boosted? I can probably bring it down a bit if it's too much. But it has to be there, if it falls off a cliff like the recent $9 Sony headphones there's no saving it.

As for the Harman curve, the other day I did some experiments with EQ. Before when I tried to EQ to Harman I didn't like it overall but didn't mind the bass - so recently I tried to EQ just the bass. But on its own it was a bit much, and since the extension didn't change much(the bass portion of harman EQ for my headphones is just a flat shelf filter) it didn't really feel like the bass got "better", just louder. Certainly it didn't bring it closer to the bass in my speaker system, so I went back to the mostly flat/gently sloped response without EQ.
 

PierreV

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The question could be reformulated as "how close to the average preference is your preference?"

Then, rather than posting a verbose and subjective description of our preferences, we could define and then post our favorite FR response.

Code could be reused and deliver an objective "Member Preference Score" for each and every one of us.

Finally, a ranking could be established and we would finally know which members of this forum are to be recommended (on average).
 

Robbo99999

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I voted for the "perfect" option, so I like the bass level of the Harman Curve. Some headphones though (most) you can't EQ all the way up to the Harman Curve all the way down to 20Hz as it creates too much distortion and obscures the rest of the frequency range. For open backed headphones I normally start rolling off the bass away from the Harman Curve at around 30-40Hz. For my closed back headphone they can go right down to 20Hz without detriment whilst still hugging the Harman Curve. So in conclusion I do think the Harman Curve is perfect in the bass, but you can't EQ all headphones to it all the way down to 20Hz, gotta make the right decisions on where to let it roll off otherwise general clarity will suffer as well as clarity in the bass....in my listening tests.

For instance here's my EQ's based on Oratory measurements for all of them (apart from Crinacle measurement of my K702), so this would give you a feeling for where I think it's best to roll off the bass away from the Harman Curve:
AKG K702:
Crinicle K702 best measurement EQ (clear bass).jpg
Sennheiser HD600:
HD600 New Measurement Oratory.jpg
NAD HP50 (closed back):

NAD HP50 Oratory my own EQ.jpg
 
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paulraphael

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I voted "perfect," but not with a lot of confidence ... I've never heard what that precise curve actually sounds like. I do EQ my headphones in the general direction of Harman, so in principle I like it. I might like a db or so more emphasis in the 100-200 hz area for warmth, slightly less emphasis in the deep bass, and maybe some attenuation in the 2-4khz area, where lots of things sound harsh to me. But that ideal curve of mine would probably look pretty close to Harman.
 

Jimbob54

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Depends on the headphone and likely the type of music. I generally apply 1 or 2 dB less than target and some need the sub bass passing out. Planars tend to sound more natural up to full target than open dynamics generally.
 

abdo123

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For headphones it's really really nice.

But for speakers the sound becomes really really dull. makes me think that it truly gives you a neutral speaker so the music would set the mood instead of the speakers becoming an instrument of their own.
 
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