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I used to not like earbuds!

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by DigMe, Dec 24, 2003.


  1. DigMe

    DigMe

    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Hey..if you're like me then you won't have anything to do with the "earbud" style headphones. Biggest issue - no bass reproduction. Also the music always seemed to have a "tinny" sound. Of course this could all be solved by buying some expensive pro in-ear monitors but that's a costly solution. Well, I read about these new Koss earbuds in a magazine and decided to try them out. They were 19.99 but the review was really enthusiastic and I had some Best Buy gift cards left so I went for it. So far they are really awesome! They have smushy foam-type plugs that push into your ear and the bass reproduction out of these little things (once they're sealed into your ear, of course) are incredible. I can finally use ear buds, which is good news for traveling and working out..no more bulky over the heads to shove into my laptop backpack.

    Anyway, if you're interested they are called Koss "The Plug" and they have a little symbol on front that says "Frequency Response 10-20,000 Hz."

    brad cook
     
  2. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Ear buds hurt my ears. That's why I don't like them.
     
  3. DigMe

    DigMe

    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    I agree about the others that I tried. These however are padded by smushy foam on the part that goes in your ear. Much more comfortable.

    brad cook
     
  4. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    I have an old-ish pair of Sonys. Instead of pushing them in with the speaker "facing" my ear canal, I put them in sideways, so that the speaker faces forward and the wires stick straight out. Probably looks dumb but the sound is immensely better. They did make my ears hurt a little after an hour or so though.
     
  5. I like ear buds, but the problem is, I have part of my left ear, the part that keeps the ear bud in, gone because of an ear drum reconstruction surgury. I have a pair of sony headphones I love. they're like earbuds, only they hook behind your ear. and great responce.
     
  6. Ty McNeely

    Ty McNeely

    Mar 27, 2000
    TX
    Very interesting subject. I've been looking to buy a decent set of headphones (or earbuds), but I have no clue what to buy or even where to look.

    Any suggestions (besides your plug for "The Plug", Brad:D)???
     
  7. Ive been thru countless earphones and headphones and I'd have to say that Sony's headphones have been my favorite; the ones with the neck band. They are prown to breaking when in bags and stuff, but IMO the sound is great, are comfortable for a couple of hours!

    Ive never used DJ style headphones, becuase they are usually out of my price range, I've never spent more than $35 on headphones, but you guys could probably get them for $20. Since we are ripped off. ;)
     
  8. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    I have a set of those! The Plug is sooooo awesome. They are very comfy. The 10 Hz response is amazing. Makes the really low sound great. I lost all of the foamy things a while back. You pay 5 bucks, and they send you another 6 pairs or so. Really great. Glad you found them as well.
     
  9. SuperDuck

    SuperDuck

    Sep 26, 2000
    Wisconsin
    To put this politely, there is no way in hell those go down to 10Hz. For starters, human hearing has no hope of coming near 10Hz. 20Hz on a good day, with no hearing damage. Some say they have heard 18, okay, I won't argue. But 10 is not gonna happen. If someone can hear and identify 10Hz, I'll give him or her a dollar.

    Second, "specs" like 10Hz to 20,000Hz are laughably inaccurate in real world applications. They don't tell you how long, at what wattage, and at what distortion level the headphones responded at. They also don't claim to be "flat" down to 10 Hz. 10Hz could happen 90 dB-SPL down from 1kHz (at the same wattage), which would render it inaudible to everything but test equipment. (Assuming there's not a huge dip at 1k, as well.) You don't know that, because the box doesn't give you a frequncy response graph. Perhaps, in a testing lab, for one one-thousandth of a second with testing equipment, they MIGHT have been able to pass 10Hz through those headphones... to produce .000000001 dB-SPL @ "x" W.

    Most people haven't really heard truly flat response down to DEEP bass. Really really really nice audiophile grade electronics with get you down to the 30s flat, and that will be some deep bass. Boom boxes, shelf systems, etc. all get their apparant bass from the resonant frequency of the box, which could give them a bump at, say, 100Hz. Sound bassy? To some, sure. 'Zat sucker going down to 10Hz? No way. Those headphones may seem deep, and I'm not saying they can't go lower than most- but 10Hz just isn't there.

    I'm not trying to be a jerk, but those numbers are all fudged beyond belief. I just hate to see people taken in by numbers that don't supply enough information.
     
  10. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    Actually, it's quite likely that the headphones will easily reproduce 10Hz. When you stuff a speaker into your ear canal, it will have no problem producing audible sounds at frequencies that low. Especially if it creates a seal.

    Also, human hearing does vary quite a bit, but to hear 16Hz or so isn't that crazy. I've heard "12Hz" tossed around as an actual physiological limit, but just in a couple places.

    The thing about speakers though, is if you want 20Hz reproduction, a 10Hz cutoff is a good thing. Reproduction near cutoff frequencies usually suffers because of the effects of whatever it is that causes the cutoff.

    You're right about "10-20,000Hz" being a pretty thin spec. It's especially so for headphones, because frequency range isn't such a hard thing (like it is for full-sized speakers). The difference is mostly in the subtler response variations (a 3dB bump in headphones can be REALLY annoying), and ergonomic factors.
     
  11. SuperDuck

    SuperDuck

    Sep 26, 2000
    Wisconsin
    I still don't buy it. Occlusion will add to the low frequency response, but not enough at a frequncy as low as 10Hz to make it audible (which it isn't anyway!).
     
  12. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    ?? It totally changes the role of the speaker. Instead of creating sound waves, it's just pressurizing a small enclosed volume. It dramatically increases the efficiency at low frequencies. It's the reason you get 20-30 dB of gain at 20Hz inside a car. The gain actually goes up, the lower the frequency.

    Whether or not it's audible, like I said isn't so cut and dried. But it's not a BS spec.
     
  13. SuperDuck

    SuperDuck

    Sep 26, 2000
    Wisconsin
    I did a quick web search for a frequency response graph that plots the occlusion effect down to 10Hz and haven't found any. I'll do some more intensive searching later, because now I'm curious about the topic. If you have any sources, let me know.

    The whole situation is not cut and dried, but I will say it is a BS spec- in the real world. I don't believe they are hearing 10Hz through $20 headphones. Are they bassier than other headphones? Probably. Are these headphones reproducing 10Hz at an identifiable volume inside the human ear canal? I would bet money they aren't. Like I said, it's not BS in the technical sense- they were very likely able to get down to 10Hz, but I would like to know under what conditions. I would also like to see the frequency respose graph of those headphones. That would answer a lot of questions.
     
  14. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    Here are some FR graphs of many headphones

    http://headroom.headphone.com/layout.php?topicID=10

    They only measure down to 20Hz, and they don't include any in-ears. But there are a number of conventionals that don't have a problem going down to 20Hz, and from the curves (eg Sennheiser HD580) I would guess that they're probably good to 10Hz as well.
     
  15. SuperDuck

    SuperDuck

    Sep 26, 2000
    Wisconsin
    Doesn't really nip the problem in the bud, then. (Ar ar ar) Still, a handy link to have.

    Also, I would say that the price discrepency between those 'phones and the ones we are worried with can pretty much exclude those graphs from being helpful as a comparison, regardless of the fact that none of them aren't in-ear.

    (Seeing that my K240's have a little drop in the lows also confirms what I suspected. Nice link. I wish I had it when I was shopping for studio 'phones.)
     
  16. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    OK - I just realized those curves ("normalized") aren't objective - they are comparisons against an "ideal".

    http://headroom.headphone.com/layout.php?topicID=121

    The real curves have some bass rolloff, eg go to the page for the BD 231 and compare the FR graph against the "normalized" FR graph. :meh:
     
  17. DigMe

    DigMe

    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Uh...anyway...they sure sound good! :)

    brad cook
     
  18. SuperDuck

    SuperDuck

    Sep 26, 2000
    Wisconsin
    That's what really matters, don't it? :D
     
  19. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    ditto. Man, leave it to talkbass. We have to analyze the frequency response of everything!It's fun! :D :bassist:
     
  20. Figjam

    Figjam

    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    A lot of my headphones are Koss. I had some ****ty earbuds by them that were too quiet. I have a big beefy set of old Koss's from the early 90's i use for my bass. I have a new set of big headphones by them that i attmepted to use for bass but are too quiet as well.