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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Finally, the ultimate frequency curve for a neutral headphone!

AS stated in this AES paper from Harman: http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=16768  the current target curves don't line up very well with what we hear from our stereo.  I have been trying with great pain to get sound equal to my stereo through headphones.  It has essentially been fruitless up until now.

I took a set of binaural mics from Sound Professionals, placed them in my ears, sat in the sweet spot of my calibrated home theater and took some measurements--lots of measurements.  My first day curve looked like this:

  Another round a few days later(RED):

 And yet another a few Days Later with Audyssey's Dynamic Volume in use(GREEN):

Things of note about These graphs: These are the average of both ears, below about 1000-2000Hz, the room is in total control, above there it's the head position.  You can see that little transition on the graph.  That just happens to be the wavelength of the width of the head(approx 2000Hz).  You shouldn't want to see any of those little wiggles below 2000 Hz and definitely not the 220Hz dip.

So what headphones did I have that measure like this on my head?


I was able to get my grubby hands on a set of Beyerdynamic DT235 which sounded a little dark to me and I took and further modified my German Maestro GMP160 to more closely line up with my curve.  Then the Sennheiser HD598 which probably sounds the most correct to me. Here's what I got:

If you smoothed these out a bit:

I'll update this with more headphones and IEMs before long.

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