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Re: Headphones

Al Bregman wrote

> Typically I haven't been so fussy about headphones in my research.  I just
> use a reasonable set, similar to Sennheiser HD414, and calibrate it with a
> flat-plate coupler.
> ...
> Does anybody know whether this is true; and/or can you recommend a specific
> model?  I haven't yet put a price limit on it, but obviously there comes a
> point of diminishing returns as the price increases..

A while ago I tried the Sennheiser HD 600 and two slightly "lower"
models, among which the HD 590 if I remember correctly. I expected
to hear no difference at all, since I do not consider myself to be
an audio freak with golden ears, but somehow the HD 600 gave me
the shivers whereas none of the other Sennheisers did anything like
that (although they sounded great too, and all were priced above
$200). This took me totally by surprise. Entirely subjective of
course, but it was not a small difference to me and it made me
readily empty my pocket on an HD 600. Since the demo involved a
regular music CD, it could hardly have been the frequency response
that made the perceived difference (22 kHz content vs the 12Hz - 
38/39kHz range of these high-end headphones). My guess is that it
must have been the phase response, but I've not measured these
devices. I'd love to hear from others who perhaps did a much more
thorough and objective comparison of these high-end Sennheisers?
Does anyone know more about the phase linearity of the high-end
Sennheisers as compared to say electrostatic headphones?

Obviously, I nowadays use the HD 600 for optimizing the synthesis
of soundscapes in my subsidiary exploratory research on seeing with

Best wishes,

Peter Meijer

Seeing with Sound - The vOICe