Audio Science Guide

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Mar 19, 2015 1 comments

You know things are happening when industry decides to settle on a standard. In this case, the AES has settled on a standard file structure for providing portable player (smartphone, tablets, DAPs) software programmers access to HRTF and other complex audio virtualization data sets.

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Mar 17, 2015 30 comments

In part one we will look at how the THD+noise plot is acquired and what it means. In part two we will look at a variety of measured data with an eye towards interpretation.

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Feb 21, 2015 22 comments

A bunch of concepts about how a target response is developed and what it might look like were introduced in Part One of this article. Here, in Part Two, we look at a variety of plots and make observations based on what we learned in Part One.

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Feb 06, 2015 33 comments

It's taken me a long time to feel like I had enough knowledge about this subject to attempt a serious overview. Lots more to learn, of course, but here's my current understanding of headphone frequency response measurements.

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Jan Meier Posted: Nov 18, 2014 50 comments
Dr. Jan Meier, of Meier Audio, recently submitted this article for me to consider publishing. He and I have had many a discussion, and quite a few disagreements, about the nature and effects of amplifier output impedance over the years. While I still have some concerns with his view brought to light here (I'll intersperse some of my comments in italics through the course of the article), I have moved away from the simple view that lower output impedance is always better. The following article does a lot to show a bit more sophisticated view of factors involved, and I thought it would be useful for InnerFidelity readers.
Tyll Hertsens Posted: Jul 30, 2014 43 comments
A short film from Audio Precision demonstrating the current state-of-the-art for headphone measurements does a good job of showing why we need the work being done at Harman to improve a standardized headphone target response curve.
Steve Guttenberg Posted: Apr 25, 2012 42 comments

I talk with Steve Guttenberg on the phone a few times a month, and I very much enjoy our chats. When Steve suggested we have a conversation about measurements and their relevance to audiophiles and write it up as an article, I was all-in immediately.

I hope you enjoy our chat as much as I did.

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MacedonianHero Posted: Mar 28, 2012 31 comments

Head-Fi member Macedionian Hero may be a headphone geek by night, but he's the Director of Engineering at a MIL/AERO electronics manufacturing firm by day. He's also a "Lean Six Sigma Black Belt" (don't know what he had to do to get that, but I bet there's a lot of math), and one of his specialities is characterizing the the precision and accuracy of electronic systems. He volunteered to evaluate the precision of my headphone frequency response measurements.

Did some nail biting over this one, I tell ya.

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Jan 07, 2012 35 comments

I really wanted to objectively show break-in effects were measurable and audible.

"Desire," says the Buddha, "is the source of our suffering."

Guess I'm not going to get what I want, I'll just have to stop wanting it.

Wanna see what I did get?

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Dec 27, 2011 26 comments
At it hot and heavy in the lab setting up amp measurements. Started with Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise vs. Frequency tests. Sent electrons whirling through a handfull of amps to see what the numbers said.

Wanna see?

NwAvGuy Posted: Oct 03, 2011 14 comments

Top Gear is one of the BBC’s biggest shows. They evaluate expensive cars in entertaining ways then turn them over to their anonymous racing driver, known only as The Stig, to find out how fast they’ll lap their track. Some say NwAvGuy is Stig’s geeky cousin. Instead of testing cars, as an Electrical Engineer, I design and test audio gear. I want to thank Tyll for requesting my thoughts on measuring electronics. I'm all for improving measurements

WHY MEASUREMENTS? Here are some key reasons:

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Sep 08, 2011 40 comments

Subjectivist: "Man, I got my headphones last week and they're breaking in nicely."
Obectivist: "Yer nuts, dude, it's your head breaking in to the sound of your new headphones."
Subjectivist: "Leave me alone, troll, take your objectivism to 'Sound Science.' We have the minds of Gods and poets, and don't need your weights and measures to know what we know what we know."
Objectivist: "What can I say to someone who's their own placebo?"
Subjectivist: "Break-in exists ... I've heard it ... I stamp my feet three times and you will go away."
Objectivist: "Lol ... you couldn't blind test your way out of a paper bag!"

And so it goes.

Let's try to clear a bit of this up, eh?

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Jun 09, 2011 35 comments

Many of you will remember my previous attempt at analyzing break-in from this post. A lot of good comments and suggestions were made after the post, and I'd encourage those not familiar with this previous attempt to check it out.

Deciding that my time away at T.H.E. Show Newport would be the perfect opportunity to run some more break-in tests, I programmed my headphone measurement system to take frequency response, square wave, impulse response, and Total Harmonic Distortion data every hour for 100 hours.

Man! That's a lot of numbers ... I'm glad I have a computer.

Tyll Hertsens Posted: May 11, 2011 16 comments

They've been around since the 70's and never really caught on, but all of a sudden a couple small headphone makers have entered the fray with new planar magnetic headphones and ... Oh. My. Gosh. ... they're very good.

Before reviewing some of these headphones, I thought it would be a good idea to write an article describing how this "what once was old is new again" technology works. So come along for a ride as I describe how planar magnetic headphones work ... and how I busted mine all to pieces.

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