The Dandy MEElectronics A161P and Fischer Audio SBA-03 Measurements
Editor's Note: Stunned, I say, stunned when I saw the MEE A161P measurements on the MEE website. Take a good look at the graph above and then at the measurements I made. They're almost identical! I applaud the recent trend in actual measurements by manufacturers, especially when done well. A big thanks to all the hobbyists for embracing and understanding the difficulties of headphone measurements. That understanding allows manufacturers the courage to publish real measurements, rather than flat lines drawn by marketing people. Great job Headphonedom!!!.
The above measurements show pretty clearly these are the same headphone. Raw frequency response measurements and 30Hz square waves show the Fischer having somewhat less bass in one channel. This is likely due to a poorer fit of the tip on one ear during measurement.
The compensated frequency response plot shows a low end that's boosted by just a few dB but remarkably flat overall. There is a slight dip towards the 500Hz mark but the earphones stay pretty flat through the midrange. The presence range from 1kHz to 3kHz also remains fairly well in line, likely delivering good coherence and balance through the low treble with these cans. There is a trough centered at 4kHz before the response rises back up for mild peaks at 6 and 9 kHz, the latter likely caused by resonance in the ear canal. The overall curve indicates an energetic but relatively mild treble response.
The 30Hz square wave plot is linear with a slight downward slope and is indicative of a tight, extended bass response. Coupled with the low distortion figures in the lower octaves indicate a tight, controlled bass response.
The 300Hz square wave plot and impulse response indicates some problems with ringing, which would typically indicate some artificialness of the sound in treble octaves. The first overshoot is mild, however, typically indicating fairly inoffensive treble.
The THD+noise plot that shows distortion in the <1% range with a fairly small difference between measurements taken at 90 and 100 dB, which typically indicates good power handeling characteristics.
Impedance is a fairly low 35 Ohms below 100hz, indicating that sources with high output impedance may have trouble maintaining the flat bass of the earphones. The large feature on both impedance and phase at 2.5kHz is likely the primary resonance of the driver. Interestingly, this feature lines up with the nicely extended frequency response feature. I'd say this is an intentional design feature that delivers the fairly flat response to this frequency. Nicely done.
Impulse response again shows a bit of ringing, though the headphone sounds pretty quick in regular listening. Isolation is good at around -34dB broadband, which matches up well with my experience out and about.
The earphones are very efficient at around 17mVrms to achieve 90dB SPL and will be driven easily to dangerously high volumes by portable players.