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Our Soundstage Score and Tests
Heaphones

What it is: Soundstage qualities are not inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'create' them rather than 'reproduce' them. They determine whether the sound is perceived to be coming from inside or in front of the head, how open and spacious the soundstage is, how much the headphones acoustically interact with the environment, and how strong the phantom center is.
When it matters: When an accurately produced, large and spacious soundstage, similar to that of a stereo loudspeaker setup is desired.

Soundstage describes the perceived space and environment of sound, as created by the headphones acoustics.

For our test, a good soundstage makes the audio you hear, feel like it's coming from speakers in a room rather than headphones on your head. Headphones with great soundstage typically have an open-back design. This affects the spaciousness of audio reproduction, which might be more important for some.

Our soundstage test evaluates; PRTF, Openness, and Crosstalk (Phantom Center), for the tested headphones below.

Our tests

PRTF

What it is: The average amount of deviation in Pinna-Related Transfer Function of the headphones, compared to that of a loudspeaker. Whether the soundstage is perceived to be unnatural, located inside or in front of the head, is dependent on this quality. The more the headphones activate the HRTF resonances of the ear (similar to what loudspeakers do), the more the soundstage will be pulled out from inside the listener's head. This quality affects both stereo and mono content.
When it matters: When a natural, in-the-front soundstage is desired, similar to that of a loudspeaker.
Good value: <5
Noticeable difference: 0.5

(Coming soon)

Openness

What it is: How open the headphones are, and how open and spacious they sound. This quality affects both stereo and mono content. This test differentiates between acoustically and electronically produced crosstalk and only takes the acoustically generated crosstalk into account. This value is the inverse of the Noise Isolation test score.
When it matters: When an open, wide and roomy sound is desired. A value of 10 indicates a fully open headphone, and a value of 0 indicates a fully closed headphone.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5

(Coming soon)

Acoustic Space Excitation

What it is: How loud the headphones are, and how much they excite their environment acoustically. If the headphones are loud and open enough, the sound leaking from the headphones takes some of the characteristic of its environment (reflections/reverb) before reflecting back into the open headphones and to the listener's ears. This quality affects both stereo and mono content. This value is the inverse of the Leakage test score.
When it matters: When an open, wide and roomy sound is desired.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5

(Coming soon)

Correlated Crosstalk 

What it is: How strong and solid the phantom center is. This is mostly a stereo quality and its effects on mono content are minimal. This test is sensitive to the phase of the crosstalk and whether it is produced acoustically or electronically.
When it matters: When a true reproduction of the stereo image is desired. A value of 0 indicates no crosstalk, or that the existing crosstalk is not correlated enough to affect the phantom center. A negative score means the crosstalk is out of phase with the original signal, resulting in a slightly wider stereo image at the expense of creating a 'hole' at the center of the stereo field. A positive score means the crosstalk is in phase and positively affecting the phantom center.
Good value: >1dB
Noticeable difference: 0.3dB

(Coming soon)

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Questions & Answers

1 ANSWERED QUESTIONS
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I plan to purchase the Audeze Isine 20 which is a open back, planar magnetic, in ear, with an frequency range of 10hz-50khz. I absolutely love the system you guys use to evaluate headphones and would very much like to see it and it's baby brother the isine 10 reviewed on your website.
Thanks for your suggestions. We already have the Audeze headphones on our to-do list, but we don't have an estimate for when we will be able to review them.
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