It was recommended to me that I get a second reference point other than my own head to check for any response anomalies. Great idea. Again, super simple, I just stuck the mic inside and held the CD3000's around one of the cases that came wit the Ultrasone 900's. As you can see it is slightly different than the 'on my head reading but still darn close. As with all the readings there is a slight variation with moving the mic a bit and ear pad pressure, but all the reading stay surprisingly close and consistent for each pair of headphones. I tried this with several other pairs and they all too were consistent with the reading while on my head.
So lets have some fun and start elimination round #1 getting rid of some now that I have a good solid selection to pick from. Lets get the reference CD3000's up.
Ok, if you cant read the #'s here they are. I am putting the frequencies with lines down to them in bold
25, 32, 40, 50, 63, 80, 100, 125, 160, 200, 250, 315, 400, 500, 630, 800, 1K, 1.25K, 1.6K, 2K, 2.5K, 3.15K, 4K, 5K, 6.3K, 8K, 10K, 12K, 16K, 20K
There is 8 db between the horizontal lines (2 db per led) so as you can see this reads that the CD3000's are within an 8db range from 25hz to 12.K. Since my setup most likely is not very accurate beyond 12.5K, and for live sound EQ it is not very critical up there as we lose most of that super high stuff to air loss anyway, I am not going worry about 16K and 20K. So as our spec, we can say that we are looking for headphones equal to or better than a +- 4db 25 to 12.5K using my crude but simple measurement system.
First say bye bye to Apple ear buds as clearly they will not work for the desired live sound purpose but they are fairly flat from 125 to 12.5K
No go on the Sony XB700's because they are just not going to cut it the cables too short and their response is way off with the bass boost, big hole at 630-800 and rolling off highs.
Yikes, check out the response of the Pickering vintage OA-3 phones!
These open ear Koss PortaPro open ear phones actually sound quite good, lots of low end and I was duly impressed by the sound versus size and cost. That said, I think I want them for my portable player but they just wont work for live shows.
The Audio Technica Pro 700's had strong low end power but were midrange heavy and lacked a top end.
The extra bass Equation Audio RP22X were smoother sounding but as expected, they were low end heavy. But hey, they are the extended bass version. I think this may be a good DJ headphone at a reasonable price. Plus the 1/4 turn removable cable is a nice feature.
And here drops the first one of the big boys. This was a real surprise for me but what I heard and what I see lined up. Say bye bye to the comfy, nice iso, neatly folding Sennheiser HD380 PRO's. Deep but a bit loose sounding low end, mids a bit subdued and though they sound Hi-Fi, the holes in the upper ranges just pulled all the clarity out. They actually sounded a little similar to the RP22X but with 20 db down at 6.3K and 12 db down at 2.5K, I had to drop them from the list.
It was fun to put on the Koss 4AA cans and brought back fond memories. These durable things have a solid tight fit and some heft and though I do not recommend them for live monitoring cans they do seem optimized for speech intelligibility, so they would make good utility cans in high volume environments.
Finally for today an entry from Ultrasone, the HFI 450 pair show a smooth but gradual roll off towards the HF.
And the culling of the 'heard' has just begun. There are plenty more and some surprises ahead!
|AKG 271 MKII
|Allen & Heath XONE XD-53
|Bye bye, ear buds
|Audio Technica ATH W5000
|ULF-, HF-, UHF-
|Audio Technica ATH AD700
|Equation Audio RP-21
|Smooth, HM-, UHF+
|Removable straight cable
|Cool no tangle coily cable
|Bye Bye, open ear
|Bye bye poor response
|Sennheiser HD 25-1 II
|Sennheiser HD 280 Pro
|Hi-Fi but dull HF
|ULF-, M+, H-, UHF-
|Tonally close, harsh
|Bye bye too bassey
|Ultrasone PRO 900
|UL+, LM-, M-, HM-
|Removable cable, Lacks mid
Alright, that's it for today.