InnerFidelity Podcast No.7 with Helmuts Bēms of Sonarworks

What's it like to test 6,000 headphones?

Helmuts Bēms takes audio playback very seriously, he should, he's probably logged more hours testing more headphones than almost anyone on the planet.

His company Sonarworks has been delivering a unique “flat” reference playback product to recording studios for years, which allows recording engineers a more consistent monitor experience – regardless of the playback system.

Now with the company’s True-Fi product, headphones are able to start with a truly flat response. Over the course of the development process Helmuts has acquired quite the data cache of measurements, calculated observations and an overall unique perspective on personal audio that few others can match.

– Brian Hunter and Rafe Arnott

The InnerFidelity Podcast features one-on-one interviews with everyone from high-fidelity headphone manufacturing heavyweights, musicians, artists, audio engineers and record and tape collectors, to long-time industry legends, audio technical experts and young up-and-coming headphone designers, host Brian Hunter takes listeners on an exciting aural journey every month with intelligence, wit and humour.

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COMPANY INFO
Sonarworks SIA
Smerla iela 3 Riga, LV-1006 Latvia
hello@sonarworks.com

COMMENTS
KaiS's picture

@Sonarworks:
How do you deal with the huge differences between each individual's pinnae shape?
This difference largely changes the ear's interaction with headphones, it has a great influence on what frequency response would be received as "natural" or linear.
Plus, this interaction is extremely different between different sized and shaped drivers and cup designs, e.g. Planars vs. Dynamic etc.
For me the only way to get around this would be to measure ones individual acoustic reception for specific headphones in relationship to a defined larger sound field.
Then the trouble starts: which kind of sound field is reference?

It was done as an option with the AKG K1000 / BAP1000 system, where you could go to AKG's labs and get your HRTF measured and put into the processor.

skris88's picture

Hi Kais, Your question re "...differences between each individual's pinnae shape and the great influence on what frequency response would be received as 'natural' or linear" is moot. You are saying that if you and I were to hear a live performance we would hear it differently (true) but perceive it differently as well (false); we both perceive it as we would perceive it - there is no right or wrong. So the same would go with DSP calibrated loudspeakers in a room. Or calibrated headphones. It is safer to go with 'true' objective sound than a bias and preference to start with. Then, if you wish, one would tweak it with tone controls to one's subjective preference. Cheers, skris88.

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