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Old Dec 25, 2006, 12:06 AM   #1
dllavaneras
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Headphone frequency response

My girlfriend gave me a pair of over-the-ear headphones for Christmas, They're small, but the sound quality is incredible, almost perfect! My parents got me a different pair of headphones (over-the-ear as well), and they're a lot bigger and more comfortable, but the sound quality's not as good as the other. Looking at the specifications, the small one (Stanton DJ Pro 60) has a frequency response of 3-28000 Hz, and the other pair (Aiwa HP-X223) has a FR of 5-25000 Hz. The difference is VERY noticeable, particularly when it comes to bass. Is the difference in frequency response that big a deal? If so, why?
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Old Dec 25, 2006, 12:46 AM   #2
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ummm.... those headphones cannot reproduce frequencies that low.
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Old Dec 25, 2006, 02:00 AM   #3
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btw, to answer your question:

freq response is not an accurate indicator of how the headphones, or any speaker, will perform. it's only an indicator of the range of freq's that it'll reproduce. how well it reproduces those freq's varies according to a number of factors, like design, materials, components, QC, etc.

some speakers are designed to recreate freq's as flat as possible (i.e. most like the incoming signal), some are designed to emphasize some freq's over others, in an attempt to flatter the music or appease customers. why one headphone sounds "better" to you over another is more about your subjective tastes than anything else. for example, if you like bass, you're possibly going to like the headphone that emphasizes bass freq's over the one which doesn't.

also -- the range of human hearing is generally taken to be 20 Hz - 20 kHz. the low end of most speakers tends to be somewhere above 20 Hz. i've never seen a spec that states something like 3 Hz. i did a quick search and saw that the first pair you listed states that, but i don't believe it. it's probably a misquote, or perhaps they're full of crap. or maybe they have done it -- somehow -- and i'm just plain wrong. but i'm highly skeptical of that number.
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Old Dec 25, 2006, 02:23 AM   #4
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Any spec that says xx Hz to xx,xxx Hz without ALSO giving a +/- range (typically +/- 3 dB, but +0/-3 dB would be better) is worthless as a measurement.

All it is saying, without setting a "3 dB down limit", is that if you pump enough power into it, some (any) output can be measured at 5 Hz. or 28,000 Hz. or whatever fiction they want to publish.
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Old Dec 25, 2006, 08:18 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dllavaneras View Post
My girlfriend gave me a pair of over-the-ear headphones for Christmas, They're small, but the sound quality is incredible, almost perfect! My parents got me a different pair of headphones (over-the-ear as well), and they're a lot bigger and more comfortable, but the sound quality's not as good as the other. Looking at the specifications, the small one (Stanton DJ Pro 60) has a frequency response of 3-28000 Hz, and the other pair (Aiwa HP-X223) has a FR of 5-25000 Hz. The difference is VERY noticeable, particularly when it comes to bass. Is the difference in frequency response that big a deal? If so, why?
You can't hear a 2hz difference, and in fact most of the "thumpin' bass" action happens at around 60 ~ 80hz. The difference is that the 'drivers' (i.e. the mini speakers) in the headphone with more bass - well, produces more bass As others have said, the frequency response alone is a completely irrelevant guide to how a headphone or speaker performs.
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