Why EQ a headphone?

One thing most reviewers (not Zeos, but the more technical) often say is:
You can EQ this headphone so it sounds how you like it

But why?
If you want all HP’s to sound the same, to sound like YOU like a HP, then why buy or try new HP’s. You can just find the one that suit you best and stop the search. To all you who buy HP’s and EQ them to fit your desired sound (which I guess more or less stay the same), I have this question:

Why buy more than one HP?

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It’s normally about fixing a particular issue (sibilance, muddy upper bass, etc.) rather than trying to replicate a sound signature.



10 characterslololol

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Yeah, I wouldn’t suggest buying a headphone just to go ham with eq. You use eq to tune it a bit to how you want it and also fix things that bother you. Perhaps a tad more bass, or perhaps less treble in the sibilance range or something. You can eq frequency response to an extent, but you cant eq in detail, soundstage, imaging, speed, transient response, etc

Well, I just learned more in 3 replys than seeing several online HP reviews.
Thx guys, this forum is the place to be part of, if you want to learn more about audio :slight_smile:

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I use tone control more than proper “EQ” and the reason I do this is because sometimes I change genres while listening and don’t always feel like slapping a different headphone on to match the music style, especially when all I really want is a 2 or 3 dB change in a general region.
Also, it’s a personal taste preference. I like my music to sound a certain way. Not everyone is a purist, I enjoy my music rich, warm and relaxing. I use all sorts of tricks to get this sound to include, hand selected tubes, tone controls, and different types of amplification. Just like my speakers, I want my headphones capable of a certain level of sound reproduction, they all differ in one way or another. Changes in sound signature are mood and musical genre dependent.
This is the beauty of music, you really can, “Have it your way.”

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To get it closer to neutral/natural/transparent for no extra cost, and thereby get more fidelity for your money.

Faster drivers can “take” more EQ (higher adjustment values) without adding too much distortion, slower ones don’t respond too well (not at extreme frequencies anyway). This is why the best fidelity/price ratio, especially in mid-fi or higher territory, is achievable by getting the fastest headphone you can afford that doesn’t have a terrible FR and EQ-ing it, rather than getting something (much) more expensive and refusing to EQ.

Also it’s a much faster way to discover what FR you like, rather than by trying headphone after headphone after headphone, dealing with packages, sending them back etc.


I do understand why some EQ the treble down a few dB if it’s to hot or bumping the bass up a bit to give them more kick but whole sell changes to the EQ make no sense to me. I have a Schiit Loki and the only one of the 4 nobs I’ve used is the bass, so it really is kind of a waste of $150 I guess.

More or less same in -> What's the problem with eq'ing?

I try to EQ as little as possible. the problem with EQ is i feel its degrading the sound. I use software EQ’s. not sure if thats teh reason or if its how certain headphone respond to EQing. One guy that EQ’s his headphones a lot Metal571, he reviews headphones. but he has some kind of expensive EQ rig.

He just uses software eq APO EQ

really? i thought i heard him say something about a hardware EQ

For instance, one can buy a more detailed headphone that may sound more neutral than their previous, but the like a warm sound.
In that scenario, like I have had, I use tone controls to make the headphone warmer whilst still reaping the benefit of more detail than my previous set.