Preferred store

Treble Frequency Response on Headphones

What it is: Frequency Response from 2KHz-20KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on high-range frequencies, such as voice, cymbals, and any other material where brightness, brilliance and airiness is desired.
Score components:

Treble describes the high-range spectrum of frequency response, which spans from 2.5KHz up to 20KHZ.  

The high tones are the sharper sounds you can hear in music. Hi-hats, cymbals, sibilance and the higher harmonics of other instruments all lie within this spectrum and add brightness to the audio.

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

Test results

When it matters

Treble matters for vocals and higher harmonics of instruments such as cymbals and hi-hats, which add brilliance to music. Headphones with great treble performance reproduce the high-range spectrum of a track as it was arranged.

An over-hyped treble profile will make audio tracks sound too sharp for most ears, especially if bass and mids are lacking in comparison to the treble. Inversely, an under-hyped treble profile will cause some tracks to sound dull and heavy. Also, frequencies within the 15KHz up to 20KHz range are age dependent and are therefore not audible to everyone.

Treble sensitivity thresholds vary from user to user, some high frequencies causing more discomfort to certain listeners than others. Listening habits are also important as different treble profiles may be more noticeable with music than movies or audiobooks.

Our tests

Treble Std. Err


What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in treble frequency response (2.5KHz-20KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) treble 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 2KHz-5KHz.
When it matters: Almost all instruments rely on this range for their presence, detail, and articulation. Over-emphasis can sound harsh and painful. Under-emphasis hurts the comprehensibility of 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 5KHz-10KHz.
When it matters: This is the sibilance range. Cymbals, vocals, and lead instruments rely on this range for brightness and presence. Over-emphasis sounds piercing and painful, under-emphasis sounds dull and lispy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB

[Coming soon]



What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 10KHz-20KHz.
When it matters: This range gives brilliance and airiness to the sound. Over-emphasis sounds hissy, under-emphasis sounds closed-up and lifeless.
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.