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The (underestimated?) individualism of headphone listening (loose thoughts)

Frank Dernie

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#21
Well in real life, there such an annoying bug feature™ most of us that aren't super rich have to deal with:

neighbours.
Quite so, though that is a bit country dependant and whether many people live in flats (apartments).
I am a country boy so no neigbour problem as a teenager, just family.
Consideration of my family (and the fact that a 30 watt amp was a BIG one) limited loudness until I was in my 40s and travel for work meant mostly Etymotic ear buds (there was no such thing as noise reduction electronics).
Now my kids have left home and I have retired and my wife's piano is as far from where the stereo is as you can get in the same house, so we can both do our thing without disturbance (the piano is much louder than the stereo most of the time of course).
I now have zero constraints on day time noise level :)
We don't do open plan living, mainly for noise annoyance reasons but also pointlessly wasteful to heat.
 
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respice finem

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Thread Starter #22
My experience with crossfeed is mixed, but i'm rather in the group of listeners not bothered much with the "playing in your head" effect. There are certain recordings that profit from it, but not really many. And when I use crossfeed on my RME, then only the 30° speaker simulation variant, the other variants also sound strangely "bloodless" to me. You may also play with it in foobar2000 (plugin Meyer crossfeed). This is fine-tunable, and this option shows how narrow the "corridor" is between making the soundstage better and spoiling the tonality. One would need a different setting for almost every recording, so most of the time, I end up listening without crossfeed.
 
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respice finem

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Thread Starter #23
...I have a feeling that the differences in personal preference in headphones has less to do with measurable frequency response at the eardrum and more to do with the psychological biases and expectations within the brain of the listener.
I tend to think it may be a bit of both. And one more factor: training. As a daily headphone listener, the "special" soundstage becomes the new normal.
 

bluefuzz

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#24
I tend to think it may be a bit of both. And one more factor: training. As a daily headphone listener, the "special" soundstage becomes the new normal.
I'm not sure about that. I have always enjoyed the 'special' soundstage of headphones even though I very rarely listened to music on them due to most phones seriously challenged frequency response, i.e. no bass and headache-inducing treble. Now that good EQ is available I can actually enjoy listening on phones even though I still listen far more often on speakers.
 

richard12511

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#26
This is huge factor and it's rarely discussed. I am continually amazed at how few people listen to headphones without crossfeed or any other kind of more advanced HRTF simulation.

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Is there a way I can get these with an Iphone on the go? I only listen to headphones when I go for a walk or when I'm at the office. I've tried it using the built in crossfeed thing that Roon has, and I enjoy it, but Roon has the super unfortunate characteristic of not working outside of the home(wifi). I love it, but I desperately wish it worked more like a typical modern subscription service(Tidal, Spotify, Qobuz, etc.) for non local files.
 

maverickronin

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#27
Is there a way I can get these with an Iphone on the go?
I'm not an iphone person, but IIRC because Apple does not allow system wide DSP apps you need to use a specific media player app with the DSP you need built in. Then you're limited to playing local files through it because ofc none of the streaming service apps have anything useful built in.

Maybe something useful here.

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ows-linux-macos-ios-ipados-and-android.18450/
 

GGroch

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#28
.......... with headphones, the whole "listening room" is only the size and shape of the earlobes plus the headphones themselves - the earlobes suddenly make for perhaps 30-50% of it.....;)
There are headphones that compensate for external ear differences. These are mostly Automatic Noise Canceling models because high end ANC headphones already have internal microphones and necessary DSP built in.

My AKG N90q have such a circuit. Hit the button, it generates a test tone, and measures it noting how your external ear parts modify the signal, and then compensate. Theoretically this would also compensate for differences in pad seal caused by hair/glasses. I do not know how accurately it calibrates, but it definitely sounds better after calibration. I believe it compensates only for frequency response, not spatialization, but it is possible that headphones with multiple in-cup mics could compensate for spatial differences caused by external ear parts as well.

I have some Sony ANC headphones that compensate for external ear shape, but these rely on photographing your ears with the accompanying phone app and inputting your age. My guess is the age may be more important than the photo.
 
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respice finem

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Thread Starter #29
Similarly, the JVC surround headphones released this year - an in-ear mic and suitable software would be a "nice to have" as a sort of kit for the headphones we already own. I began thinking about it after I noticed that "standard" EQ doesn't fit my hearing of upper midrange/treble (while it works in bass). Me being 53+ and a long-time sports shooter is certainly not helping either, but I think that ear form/angle is also a factor.
 

Head_Unit

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#30
As science progressed, people developed tools that allowed that them to study individual molecules. What they found is that individual molecules can behave far far away from the averaged behavior. Not only that, past interpretations of bulk experiments were likely incorrect in view of the newly discovered molecular individualism.
Can you expand on that? And/or provide some links? That is very interesting, especially if it relates to gas mechanics which are a particular interest of mine.
I attended a talk with a climate scientist from Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He stated that there was no "average precipitation" and proceeded to show a bar graph chart of annual Los Angeles rainfalls. The bars were simply randomly all over the place. There was NO "typical year"
 

Head_Unit

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#31
Oh, whatever happened to Dolby Headphone? Seems like it mostly went into game consoles without HiFi application?
 
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respice finem

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Thread Starter #32
There were many such attempts, all landed in their own small niche, because what was good for one, sounded awkward for the other. Why that is, is not completely clear, and here it comes back to my initial "suspition".
 

noobie1

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#33
Can you expand on that? And/or provide some links? That is very interesting, especially if it relates to gas mechanics which are a particular interest of mine.
I attended a talk with a climate scientist from Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He stated that there was no "average precipitation" and proceeded to show a bar graph chart of annual Los Angeles rainfalls. The bars were simply randomly all over the place. There was NO "typical year"
I'm referring to "molecular individualism" which may be difficult to connect with what you've mentioned.

Here is article on Steven Chu who won the Nobel Prize for his work using laser traps - https://news.stanford.edu/pr/98/980211unfold.html
 
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