FAQ

These are some things to consider when reading my reviews and takes on headphones and personal audio gear described on this site:

My ever changing gear list:




Headphones

Open-back: ZMF Verite, Hifiman Arya, Sennheiser HD600

Closed-back: Fostex TR-X00 Ebony, AKG N700NC M2, Sony WH-H900N

IEM: qdc Anole VX, Hidition Viento Reference, Unique Melody ME1 custom, qdc Uranus, Moondrop KXXS, Tin Hifi T4

Bluetooth: Samsung Galaxy Buds, Sony WF-1000XM3

Ear Buds: Moondrop Chaconne, Yincrow X6

Headphone Systems:

Room #1: 
RME ADI-2 DAC
Woo Audio WA7 Gen Fireflies with Tube Power Supply
SMSL SP200 THX-AAA 888 Amplifier
Intel Hades Canyon Computer

Work Office:
Topping DX3 Pro

Portables:
iBasso DX160
iPod Shuffle




Measurements:

IN-EAR MONITORS | IEC-711 Compliant Coupler

My newer IEM reviews all feature IEC-711 compliant measurements which use a generic coupler that meets the industry standard for Earphone measurements. Data shown will be in complete raw formatting.




HEADPHONES  | MINI DSP EARS:

All of my personal measurements are performed using the MiniDSP EARS measurement rig. This rig works quite well but it does have limitations. It also is not industry standard. So please take all measurements with a grain of salt.

In particular, the EARS does have issues with measurements around 4-5 KHz. With most all measurement devices, anything past 10-15KHz can have a lot of scatter. There is also possible noise induced measurements in the lower and sub-bass regions (below 40Hz).

For my measurements, I try to take at least 5 measurements on each ear at varying positions, and use what I consider the best middle ground of the two. I follow up with my own listening to verify if it sounds like it measures as best as I can.

There are several compensation curves that may be shown.

For IEMs, the compensation curve I typically show is the IEM Diffuse Field compensation provided by MiniDSP, which is loosely based of the Etymotics ER4 IEM and Harman Targets.

For Headphones, the curves is the HEQ from MiniDSP. This one is based on Harman Target curves. 

I do sometimes use my own compensation curve which is a hybrid of the Harman 2018 Target curve and the 2013 standard, which was based off of Speaker compensation in a diffuse field.



Music Genres:

I listen to music across a wide array of genres. I primarily listen to rock, jazz, instrumental stuff, and folk/bluegrass/country. I also try to mix in some hip hop, EDM, and pop music into my review time depending on the headphone. 

Sound Signature:


My preferred sound signature is a neutral signature with a lean towards slightly bright, which provides more intricate details and more airy presentation. I prefer my bass to be linear with a very slight warm boost. If you have heard the Focal Elex or the Hifiman HE560, that is what I like the most. The mids are also just a shade recessed to provide a wider soundstage. But I am also okay with a shade boosted to provide intimacy a la Focal.


Music Shopping:

These are some of the stores that provided me samples in the past that I think provide great customer service or stores that I just recommend in general.

Amazon

Headphones.com

Linsoul

HifiGo

Shenzhen Audio

Penon Audio

Viva Tubes

MusicTeck



Drop.com: 

This site not only provides good deals on popular products, but they have partnered up with several headphone and audio companies to make special products at bargain prices. Some of my favorite headphones and gear are Massdrop exclusives like the Focal Elex, and the Cavalli Tube Hybrid and HD58X. If you are not signed up, you can get a free $10 bonus just by signing up with this referral link: https://www.massdrop.com/?referer=3XCGPL

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