Preferred store

Mid Frequency Response on Headphones

What it is: Frequency Response from 250Hz-2KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on mid-range frequencies. This is the case for the majority of audio content.
Score components:

'Mids' describes the mid-range spectrum of frequency response and ranges from 250Hz up to 2.5KHZ.  

Most musical instruments and vocals have their fundamental tones and lower harmonics in the mid-range. Therefore, the bulk of audio you hear in music lies within this spectrum - think warm notes, spoken words, string instruments and vocals.

For mid-range performance, we measure the low-mid, mid, and high-mid frequency response, then use these values to test for the standard error of the mid-range reproduction.

Test results


When it matters

The mid-range is important for most music genres. It covers the bulk of frequencies heard, including a wide array of instruments, vocals and spoken words. This makes mids not only important in music but in movies and audiobooks too. Headphones with great mid-range performance reproduce the mid-range spectrum of audio as it was arranged.

An over-hyped mid-range profile will cause the vocals and instruments in some tracks to overpower the bass and highs. This works for spoken word and audiobooks but may cause music to sound nasally and a little unexciting. Inversely, an under-hyped mid-range profile will cause audio to sound muddy, with a decrease in clarity of instruments and vocals, which are present in almost all genres.

However, personal taste and listening habits are important in your selection, as different mid-range profiles suit different listeners.

Our tests

Mid Std. Err

What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in mid frequency response (250Hz-2.5KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) mid performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB

[Coming soon]


What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 250Hz-500Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments have their fundamentals or low harmonics in this range. Over-emphasis in this range sounds boxy. Under-emphasis, thins out the vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB

[Coming soon]


What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 500Hz-1KHz.
When it matters: This range is occupied mostly by upper harmonics. Over-emphasis sounds forward and honky. Under-emphasis pushes instruments to the back of the mix.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB

[Coming soon]


What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 1KHz-2KHz.
When it matters: Most instruments, especially vocals, get their intensity and clarity from this range. Over-emphasis sounds harsh, under-emphasis sounds weak and distant.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB

[Coming soon]


Questions Found an error?

Let us know what is wrong in this question or in the answer.


Questions & Answers

Questions Have a question?

Before asking a question, make sure you use the search function of our website. The majority of the answers are already here.

Current estimated response time, based on # of pending questions: 3.5 business days.

A valid email is required. We answer most questions directly by email to prevent cluttering the site.