Introduction and Methodology

A database of headphone, IEM and earbud Frequency Response graphs made by one person with a hobby

All the following content is created and owned by me.

This is a culmination of a significant investment of time and money.

Please do not copy, reproduce, edit or republish any of the following work without my consent and always remember to give credit to your sources.

Simply put, while the miniDSP E.A.R.S. is flawed, a measurement on its own is practically useless. Here I am offering something different - a massive catalogue of graphs for comparison made by the same user with the same equipment and the same methodology. While there will always be imperfections, this is by far the best use-case for such a device.

About me
head-fi profile
About me

Audio consumer, modding hobbyist and vintage headphone enthusiast.

I have owned collectively over 300 various headphones, headsets, IEMs and earbuds.

Equipment
About the E.A.R.S.
Equipment

All measurements are made using a miniDSP E.A.R.S. binaural microphone jig: https://www.minidsp.com/products/acoustic-measurement/ears-headphone-jig

About the E.A.R.S.

Fundamentally it is a binaural microphone/headphone stand with simulated silicone ear-lobe mounts.

It is the most simple all-in-one measuring tool available.

PROS

CONS

Cheap all-in-one solution

Not the highest quality materials and parts

Works well with free REW software

Silicone ears are too stiff resulting in poor seal of on-ear headphones. Human ears are more flexible.

Height adjustable headband mount

Silicone ears have 4 protruding screw-heads resulting in poor seal of over-ear headphones

USB - plug and play microphone functionality

No angle adjustment of the ears which can lead to a poor seal

Consistent results for large over-ear headphones

No simulated ear-canal

Inconsistent dip in graphs at 4KHz. Most prominent with closed-back headphones.

Some headphones require rubber bands around to apply more pressure to create a seal

No width adjustment. It is a very narrow head-size, like a child's head.

Amp/DAC
Disclaimer
Amp/DAC

All headphones were plugged into the same source - audio-gd NFB11.28 TCXO: http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/NFN1128/NFB1128EN.htm

Disclaimer

Most measurements were made in High-Gain mode.

Some vintage headphones and sensitive IEMs and earbuds were measured on Low-Gain to avoid any potential damage to the drivers.

Room EQ Wizard
Frequency Response Graphs - Disclaimers
Room EQ Wizard

All graphs are made using REW: https://www.roomeqwizard.com/

Frequency Response Graphs - Disclaimers

All my graphs use the same scale.

All my headphone graphs use the 'Headphone Calibration' compensation files provided by miniDSP unique to my E.A.R.S. jig. All IEM and earbud graphs use the 'IEM Calibration' file.

The frequency response scale goes from 10-20,000Hz. I do this for 3 reasons.

Firstly, to make these graphs somewhat comparable to other measurements online created by other miniDSP E.A.R.S. owners/users.

Secondly, to make these graphs somewhat comparable to Tyll's graphs on innerfidelity.

Thirdly, there are too many online graphs that start at 20Hz. There is so much information and character of a headphone you can learn from seeing the lowest sub-bass performance of a headphone. Headphones that have a strong sub-bass down to 10Hz more often present music with grander 'scale' and dynamics. There are many headphones that start rolling-off strongly before 20Hz which is often why there is little regard given to these frequencies, but my experiences with hundreds of headphones taught me how important it really is.

While the dB scale remains the same for all graphs, the relative position or 'height' of one graph to another should not be taken as meaning anything, and as such should be largely ignored.

IEM and Earbud graphs are largely inaccurate because the miniDSP E.A.R.S. jig is simply not designed to measure these properly. I have tried to measure them as accurately as possible using as consistent a method as I can, however none of them should be taken with much authority.