Question About IEM Graphs

Been in a IEM craze at the moment, looking for my next unwarranted purchase. And something I’ve noticed is when looking at graphs, I get confused by a lot of people talking about their signatures. For example, I mainly use my HD 6XX headphones, which are a Warm Neutral signature. Looking at their graph, I can overall understand why they’d be considered that.

So I was looking for an IEM with similar vibes to the 6XXs, that Warm neutral sound. And a lot of IEMs were talked about. Many recommended the Olina SE, and I’ve been using them for a few days and so far do like them. But when compared to the 6XXs, the bass oddly doesn’t feel as strong, like they aren’t as warm as I was expecting. And when looking at their graph, what I see is more of a V shape, which confuses me cause everyone else says they are something like Warm Neutral/Balanced.

Like these look pretty V shaped to me. Is the Bass and Treble in IEMs supposed to be higher than on a headphone? Like even if the bass looks elevated/warmer, the mids look scooped out. I guess I’m just confused as to what qualifies as Neutral, Warm, and all that for IEMs.

1 Like

you have different ear gain with iem’s…or lack there of. headphones and speakers, you get to use your body’s natural ear gain. iem’s bypass most of that.

1 Like

Don’t just look at the graph. IEMs and headphones with the same graphics will sound different to your ears. :slightly_smiling_face:

As @joshua_g said - IEM bypasses our natural gain system (look up HRTF) and you need to add gain in the tuning to compensate for that to make it sound “neutral”. For IEM it is commonly called pinna gain and assumes adding couple of dBs around 3kHz. You should look in the beginning in graphs compensated against some normalized for in ear monitors targets to see what is the shape

Olina SE by itself look pretty V-shaped?

Then normalize against let’s say Diffuse field target at 500Hz and the outcome not so V shaped anymore. It changes a lot when you change the normalization frequency, so be careful with that tool.