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Raw Frequency Response

Frequency response is the most important part of a good audio reproduction. So although most listeners naturally compensate for variations in frequency response caused by their unique features, such as the shape and size of their heads, other factors like their preferred headphone position, and how the ear cups' acoustics interact with their ears may cause additional variations in the response. An inconsistent headphone may have a drastically different sound from listener to listener. This means a headphone that will sound bass-heavy for most could lack a lot of bass for listeners who wear glasses. The ideal headphone should consistently reproduce the same response whether open or closed-back and regardless of positioning or head/ear shape.

We evaluate the frequency response of our over/on-ear headphones by measuring them 5 times on the HMS (Head Measurement System) and 5 times on 5 human subjects. For in-ears, we measure them 5 times only on the HMS.

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For more information, check out our video on frequency response measurements, bass inconsistencies and target curves:

 

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Questions & Answers

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What type of microphone do you use to measure your headphones? If you are using a microphone that sits at the opening to the ear canal, it will not give you an accurate measurement in the 8-10khz range. The ear canal has a natural dip in this range. You need to measure at the eardrum position. I believe that might be the reason you are seeing an elevation in the response in many headphones in that region. You could acquire a DPA microphone, which is the industry standard, for this purpose.

We use a Head Acoustics HMS dummy head for our headphone measurements. If you are referring to our human measurements, we only use those results up to 450Hz, which due to the large wavelength will be the same at the ear canal or at the ear drum.

However, it is true that our dummy head doesn't give accurate results above 10KHz and we have taken that into account in our score calculations. We have plans for improving that even more in the near future.

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