InnerFidelity Update April 2016

Headphone Measurements

Not a lot of measurements really, but didn't want what I had to get stale.

If you'd like to participate with the headphone measurement program by sending in cans that aren't already measured and displayed on the measurement datasheets page, simply go to this forum page, read and follow the instructions, and we'll get it done.

As usual I've updated the AllGraphs.pdf of course, and added the cans to the measurement datasheets page. I've also linked to the measurement sheets to the headphone name in paragraphs below. New additions include:

  • Audeze - Lots of Audeze headphones in this month. Measured the LCD-4 (review here); EL-8 Open; EL-8 Closed; and SINE.

    The LCD-4 review has got Audeze and I scratching our heads. We've been exchanging emails on measurements and things don't seem to square-up. It's beginning to look like all heads aren't the same, or my Head Acoustics head doesn't quite look to spec. I'm not sure yet, but I think I'm going to have to contact B&K and G.R.A.S. to see if I can borrow a couple of heads to compare to mine on my system. If nothing else, it'll make an interesting story.

    On the less complicated note, I liked the SINE quite a bit. Review soon!

  • Fostex Massdrop TH-X00 - An InnerFidelity reader (sorry, forgot who) sent in the TH-X00. Holy Smoke! Thanks for lending me your headphone for measurements, they are really a significant improvement over their Denon ADH-DX000 predecessors to both my ears and measurements. Massdrop headphones would be hard for me to review because they go away before I get a chance to review them, but man, Massdrop seems to be doing some killer stuff. Group buy, direct to consumer, custom modified headphones....and they do it well. Pretty amazing.
  • Mr. Speakers Ether C - Having just finished the review, I've got the stock Ether C .pdf, but I've also got full measurement sheets on the Ether C with: 1 black filter; 2 black filters; and the white filter. Still loving these headphones!
  • Takato14 - We probably shouldn't tell him, but I think Takato14 may be lost down the headphone rabbit hole. The reason we shouldn't tell him, of course, is because without him we wouldn't have all these weird headphone measurements.

    For starters, he's vintage headphone crazy; this time he sent in the NAD RP18 bass-light version and Sansui SS100.

    He also sent in some DIY modified headphones. The Pioneer SE500, an old school planar magnetic headphone similar to the Sansui above—and similarly bad sounding compared to today's headphones. We've come a long way, baby. And his significantly, and I would say successfully, modified Sennheiser HD 700 I wrote about here. Here they are as he sent them, and then with a filter change.

    Thanks, Tak! You keep rummaging around down in that hole and sending me stuff, I'm always happy measure whatever you unearth.

  • Sennheiser HD 800 S - Boy, I really like this headphone; here's the review. A bunch of measurements came out of it. I measured the first sample I got twice, and I also measured two other samples: SN# 01067 and SN# 01070. Also measured was Sorrodje's Superdupont Resonator HD 800, and Superdupont Resonator HD 800 with SBAF carpet liner mod.

  • Caeden Linea No.10 - I liked this fashion Bluetooth wireless on-ear quite a bit and reviewed it here. It's rare that I find a wireless headphone that sounds and measures quite similarly passive wired, active wired, and over Bluetooth. Keep this one in mind for this winter's holiday season; it would make a great gift.
  • V-Moda Crossfade Wireless - I probably bitched about V-Moda's EQ curves too much in my review; these are pretty good basshead Bluetooth cans. Here's the measurements on the wire, and with Bluetooth.
  • Audio Technica ATH-R70x - This headphone measures pretty good with a little umph in the bass before roll-off. Bass distortion seems a little uncontrolled and treble a bit too uneven. I'll see if I can get a fresh pair from AT to remeasure.
  • Yamaha HPH-MT220BL - Kinda rough, but overall not bad. Treble is a bit zingy, but it's better than average for a $250 headphone...just better, but still.

It was 70 degrees in Bozeman yesterday; it snowed this morning. Welcome to springtime in Montana. Having a BBQ this weekend, it's supposed to be nice. Hope you can get one in soon too. Enjoy the greenery!

Armaegis's picture

Is there any chance we'd be able to get an allgraphs.pdf with a clickable table of contents? A lot of document programs will even autogenerate that if you have the headings on each page set up.

Tyll Hertsens's picture
Sorry mate, I'm working on a solution...a different one, but a solution no less.
YugiRider2's picture

In one of your previous posts you said a review for the Edition X is coming up..?

JK's picture

Is that crazy impendance spike between 2-3k related to the "LC"?

Tyll Hertsens's picture
Takato14's picture

Wait, that's the measurements with the lightning cable? wow. Did you measure the 3.5mm version?

Impulse's picture

Could be wrong, but I don't think LC stands for Lighting cable...

BaggedMilk's picture

I think its this LC. The Sine has a LC circuit for tuning the FR.

Tyll Hertsens's picture
Measurements were the 3.5mm version. I can't measure it with the Lightning cable.

Yes, there's an LC circuit in the SINE...I was skeptical, but it seems to work well.

ednaz's picture

Glad to know that New Jersey isn't the only place giving residents weather whiplash. 75 degrees one day, 20 degrees the next. Warm for long enough to get everything to sprout and begin to flower, then a couple days of below freezing with 50mph winds.

The bright spot is that the freezing cold got me to re-experience my closed back headphones instead of my favorite CIEMs. I'd almost forgotten how much I like a couple of them.

Closed back headphones are as good, maybe better than earmuffs. Maybe you could do subjective evaluations of the effectiveness against stupid-cold weather and wind?

Takato14's picture

... the Sansui is modded too, and the link you gave to it appears to be broken. Might be for the best though, as I've changed the mods on them and they're much better sounding now...

Takato14's picture

Also, the sennheiser doesn't have swapped drivers... they are the stock sennheiser drivers.

BaggedMilk's picture

The link in the download page isn't broken.

looks pretty darn fast and clean. Bass is rolled off a tad though, and there's a dip in the mid treble. Did the mods fix those two issues?

Takato14's picture

There was a dip in the treble (~10dB) when I first got them back from tyll, as well as some bass roll off. I fixed both since then.

BaggedMilk's picture

Whoa, the Kapton version measures so much better on Marv's rig than the bass light version on Tyll's.

Takato14's picture

Keep in mind, marvs is modified. This was the stock headphone, with the awful 1/8" on-ear pads that don't seal worth a shit. Marv/RDs pair had HiFiMAN earpads.

Takato14's picture

*1/8" thick

what happened to the edit button

Tyll Hertsens's picture
Should all be fixed up now. Changed links here, AllGraphs.pdf, and measurements page. Sorry 'bout that.
mindbomb's picture

Hopefully someone can send Tyll an audio technica r70x to measure.

Tyll Hertsens's picture
Guess I was having a bad day yesterday. It's up!
ADU's picture

...And I hope you get a chance to measure/review another pair as well.

These look fairly neutral, and similar to the plots I've seen elsewhere. The notch between 3.5 and 9-10 kHz looks a bit steep, though it looks like the response in that area varies depending on how the headphone is positioned.

I wasn't really planning on buying these, but was very curious to see where they'd fall in the general scheme. And definitely seeing a "family resemblance" in many of the FR plots posted here lately.

Aufdemaury deus ex machina's picture

A year or two a ago I recall downloading your measurements pdf for all the measurements you have ever done just in case if they got taken down or changes occurred & I noticed that at one time, not to long ago, around the big sound event you had 2 measurements of the hd800... the first one was from your first review a 15000 serial number unit, and the latter more recent one was 33 xxx serial #, suddenly out of nowhere this was removed? a couple of measurements i recall are being removed or changed, such as the AKG Q 701. Regarding the Akgs I A/B'd them to the ones that i downloaded from your site a while ago as to the new ones that you sneakily slided in to replace them... and they are different.. And a couple more are different as well when I A/B them with my personal PDF on my hard drive.

Very very mysterious.. although i'm not necessarily mad or going banana's over this, i was wondering if any of you guys have noticed this as well? I can personally send anyone an old pdf no longer available through inner fidelity to confirm my findings via email.

Dear Tyll,

I'm very curious about these subtle/discrete changes in measurements, and why a few things are changing as time marches on. Did one of the Sennheiser reps personally ask you to remove the
Sr 33xxx # HD 800 for proprietary reasons or whatnot? are you updating measurements because you have recently measured new pairs and decided that they would best represent the current headphones performance?

Thank you for your time

Aufdemaury deus ex machina's picture

Will send a screen shot from my Mac to anyone to clarify this if need be.

Impulse's picture

That last bit of the comment (and the overall tone) came of a bit inflammatory, no offense, but maybe let the man explain what's going on before questioning his ethics or professionalism? The truth is probably far less devious...

Aufdemaury deus ex machina's picture

Didn't mind my own tone when I was writing this, mind you I think your misunderstanding the intent of the message, and of course i'm not necessarily implying anything, hence the line of inquiry and me asking questions rather than blunt labels. Anyway now he did explain himself, because I asked the question (Thankyou), don't have one clue on how I am judging his moral principles/ethics or his professional etiquette. To clarify I DID ask questions before anything else and he can't explain himself unless one of us asks the question or he decides to do it on his own behalf.

I was being overt, so I won't cut down the possible subjective misinterpretation I may have given off, to not be parochial.

More so, with the updates in measurements I thought Tyll would include these changes in these posts just to clarify for reference to frequent readers of the measurement page.

Yes I shouldn't have used the word "sneakily", discrete probably best fits the bill. But Tyll did not inform us about these changes until I asked, hence my use of the word, and of course I used that adjective in a half hearted/joking manner. But yes I did ask questions, nothing that jeopardized his "ethics" or "professional" etiquette.

In fact (not to deflect on you personally) but your use of the word inflammatory provokes far more anger in myself than the word "sneakily" probably would to Tyll. In (and this is my opinion) my view the adjective Inflammatory is far more "inflammatory" than "sneakily" is and is also more patronizing.. haha the puns..despite you even saying cliché's like "No offence", in a metacognitive sense, if i said
"no offence" in my comment would it excuse/pardon me of anything I just said that may have came off as derogatory or hate speech, I don't think that would pass.

To be critical of you:

"it's easy to point others misgivings when not reflecting upon one's own"

Of course if I genuinely had deep animosity in my comment which of that is absent, you'd be right to enlist in the social justice police force :P

In the future I will mind such people as you who are sensitive to such things,
as my message was directed towards Tyll, forgot this was the internet..sigh
to my knowledge Tyll doesn't just hand out his personal contact information just to anyone,
hence my post in the comments section.

Impulse's picture

I take back everything but the no offense part, feel free to be offended and flabbergasted knowing full well I meant every word and carry on happily splitting hairs.

Impulse's picture

Meant to say I take back the no offense bit and stand by the rest. My point was simply there's better ways to ask.

Aufdemaury deus ex machina's picture

hope sarcasm doesn't wet your panties XD,

Too damp no?

Impulse's picture

Personal attacks, keeping it classy huh.

DIAF :))

Aufdemaury deus ex machina's picture

A joke is a pretty easy thing to understand for most people,
for your kind, i suggest you hash it out on the forums like headfi and you'll find someone other than me to play with.

If you want an apology, as a man I'll give it to you.

Sorry, whoever it may concern anonymous person

now poke someone else's butt :)

Impulse's picture

It's on the site.

Tyll Hertsens's picture
I'm working on getting a a clean list of the most representative single measurements of headphones. I've got a TON of HD 800 measurements and was going through them and found that one as a good example, so I switched it up. No input from Sennheiser. The Q701 only had one raw plot, so I recently redid it with the 5 positions and replaced the original.
Aufdemaury deus ex machina's picture

cool stuff tell, I was just genuinely intrigued about the changes, thanks for the response :)

Impulse's picture

I know there's probably a better use of your time than reviewing limited run products but...

Some of the Massdrop releases are starting to become pretty cyclical (K7xx, TH-X00), as in, both parties felt it was successful enough to repeat it every X months.

The mention in the news is probably gonna get them some attention but a review of anything you hear that's particularly special could still be useful, certainly welcome by many!

Looking forward to that Sine review, keep up the great work!

Tyll Hertsens's picture
....I'll contact them.
NyquistRate's picture

Tyll, Thank you for posting the TH-X00 measurements. Would you mind sharing a quick thought on the expected sound change between Mahogany and Purpleheart cups as listed on Massdrop? I joined the Purpleheart drop but I'm wondering if the Mahogany would be better?

Linking for your convenience:

SBAF measurements are here:

BaggedMilk's picture

Volts RMS required to reach 90dB SPL: 1.940 Vrms
Impedance @ 1kHz: 12546 Ohms
Power Needed for 90d BSPL 0.30 mW


Tyll Hertsens's picture
It's a piezo-electric driver, so it has unusual characteristics.

Boy, pretty rough post from me, sorry about that folks. I'll do a clean-up today.

BaggedMilk's picture

I forgot the SE-500 was the piezo headphone. I was thinking of the SE-50 I think, which was a dual driver thing. Unusual sound as well I would assume?

vkvedam's picture

When are you planning to review these?

Mauro's picture

Instead of "content" there should be "images"

Impulse's picture

Trot out that crutch after you've said your piece, very clever, bravo.

Impulse's picture

Comment system has a mind of it's own, that went elsewhere obviously, not even worth the effort... Really need an edit function here, at least.

Fixing the bug where hitting reply before logging in just dumps your reply at the end as a separate comment would be nice tho.

thefitz's picture

It says /content/ instead of /images/. Were those cans not good enough to review?