YouTube reviews, content, chats regarding headphones/audio.
Fun live chat with @DMS.
Comments were enabled, it was a good community discussion.
I am looking forward to the next!
Andrew (@ResolveReviews) interviews MaxSettings with Tyler (@Darthpool) on The Headphones Show.
Wow this is a really great discussion! I’m about 2 hours in and i love hearing these guys talk about audiophile terms, headphones, amps, canjam and Max’s recommendations for headphones at different price ranges. highly recommend people listen to it. Thanks for posting Luke!
No problem. It was a good chat with lots of fun info.
I think the plans are to do a live stream every Saturday.
my wife kills me, if I get everytime in the live-chat for over 2 hours - at my place, it did start at 8pm
this was again fun, maybe EVEN more so compared to the last time
Yeah, it’s like I was saying. My partner called me “Kipp” from Napoleon Dynamite.
“I have to get back to my chat…”
I read it and wanted to show it to my wife - was not sure, at the moment if she would throw something after me or laugh
It was so funny because it was true. That bitch…
Resolve’s interview with Fang Bian of Hifiman: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgUr9UHC6F0.
Back to the Fang Bian interview. Thought Resolve did a great job getting a lot of useful and unusually candid info from Fang in relatively short time. Several points contradict the headphone community’s conventional wisdom.
Here’s my abstract of the conversation [HM = Hifiman, Fang = Fang Bian, RR = interviewer, Resolve Reviews]:
Sundara revisions : there was a change to the driver after 1st or 2nd batch, 2-3 years ago. None since. Pads: no change to materials, slight change to structure. Dust cover material changed (thicker) to keep driver cleaner. These changes were made to increase reliability.
Reliability . Recent yoke change to 1-piece metal is for greater reliability. Deva is example. Ananda has no pad change, but dust cover is thicker. Result = slight change to FR, but driver, magnets, structure, etc. unchanged. Customers happy with HM customer service. But HM is constantly striving for more reliability, hence changes like the above.
Driver size/shape is not a useful descriptor taken in isolation. Just one of many parameters that must be juggled. Big, oval earcups on their own = warmer tuning, larger sound stage. Yet Susvara has the circular earcup design but nevertheless is our top-of-line.
Tuning approach. Our headphone tuning depends on price point. More expensive products = more uniform (neutral?) tuning. Goal is real (accurate) tuning. This is best for all genres. We want to match sound of $100 seats of a symphony orchestra performance in Carnegie Hall or Lincoln Center in rows 10-20, centre section. [Added] bass matters for headphones priced under $500. Tuning for specific genres doesn’t work. Classical and rock, for example, have similar sound spectrum. Symphony (especially violin) and vocal music are similar: they are mid-range driven and detail is important. [RR has a-ha moment: genre differences are less relevant because of wide variety in mix/mastering from album to album or artist to artist.]
People say neutral tuning is boring. Fang says not if there are lots of details. HE-400 series sells tens of thousands but are fairly linear, not bass heavy. But if he wanted to become billionaire (joke) he would still need to focus on bass-heavy products (like Beats does). Harman curve [boosted bass] is contentious. One you experience good neutral you won’t want to go back to bass/Harman. Now HM is niche but in future more people will like HM’s neutral tuning.
Wireless . People think high-end wired is more difficult to make, and BT, because headphones are typically less expensive, must be easier to make. But BT components add to cost. To keep price low SQ must be sacrificed. Fo con? module adds $10 to cost. HM has made a BT headphone relatively small but with audiophile-level sound. Can’t use high-end DAC+filter because they use too much power, but filter is import to retain spirit of the sound. Amplifier in Deva can do 1W/channel to power planar driver, so no compromise to reduce cost. Same nano-scale driver as high-end, magnets on both sides. HM has several magnet technologies. 400 series uses single-sided. Deva has asymmetrical magnets. Larger on outside, smaller on inside (ear-side).
How to keep planar weight down , esp. magnets on both sides. Fang: efficiency is key. It’s not just about magnets. Because HM = Chinese, have access to rare-earth materials. Diaphragm treatment, conductors, base?, padding [ear cup damping materials] around driver, arrangement of magnets are all parameters to be juggled. HE-560 was first product with our low-weight design. I worked for 3 years with lab technicians after original 500 model to achieve the 560 breakthrough. Between 2013 and 2015 there were no new models, just worked in lab day and night.
Future of headphones? Fang: = Wireless. RR: E-stat or planar ? Planar. E-stat for high end has most natural sound. HM e-stats very open between ear and diaphragm so high frequencies pass through to listener. Planar always has something between ear and diaphragm but magnets are more powerful than e-stat, so more dynamic and also more reliable. E-stat needs the diaphragm conductivity maintained in very narrow range. Even weather changes effect it. No such problem for planar.
Wireless will advance from 6.0 to 7.0 codecs, bandwidth will increase. Because of codec improvements wireless is becoming almost = wired. But we should get rid of amp and DAC, put them in earcups. But can’t do this with e-stat: amp is too big, heavy. When I got first Ananda wireless prototype I stayed up all night. Freedom of wireless combined with freedom of streaming. 5G will enable even higher quality streaming.
Closed-back . Easy to equal sound quality level of Beats, but doing better is extremely difficult. Planar drivers have to be big. Dynamic drivers need some trick to improve, like Focal’s M-dome. Currently dynamic drivers need big magnets, higher impedance to lower distortion. HM is working on some solution to achieve high sound quality closed-backs.
This guy plays classical piano for elephants. I was up until 3am watching these last night:
Andrew Clark (@ResolveReviews) from The Headphone Show,
Impressions of CanJam NYC 2020
I think I’ve never finished watching one of his videos. To be honest I get bored. In the audiophile reviewer world Z and Metal571 are complete opposites lol.