ETA Mini C Review and Measurements (A new standard for closed headphones?)

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by purr1n, Aug 5, 2022.

  1. penguins

    penguins Friend, formerly known as fp627

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    I wonder if it's the driver material? I think @tommytakis mentioned it being graphene at the show but it was very briefly in passing and I could be remembering wrong.
    -----
    With regards to the measurements, I only listened briefly, but I didn't hear a severe dip in the 8k range that shows up on the measurements. Anecdotally, I've found that stuff like snares will sound off or cymbals won't quite have their "full color" with big dips in that region. Is this a measurement artifact or did I just not listen to enough music with these?

    Also, a completely different question @purr1n - have you used IEMs under ear muffs before? The few drummers I know all do this. The above provides a little more isolation once you find the particular muffs that you like and is more universal blah blah.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2022
  2. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

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    ETA Mini C
    Impedance and Electrical Phase
    YEL = free air
    GRN = on ear
    upload_2022-8-9_9-26-37.png

    There was something up with the cable in the prior measurement. :rolleyes:
     
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  3. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

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    The 8k dip is a measurement artifact.
     
  4. ChaChaRealSmooth

    ChaChaRealSmooth Damsel in distress, ZMF Whore

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    I might be dumb, but I'm not quite seeing what might be leading to the slower transients here. The things I noticed with Mini C in these plots:
    • Mini C at 1500 Hz seems to have a slow attack here, so this one makes sense to me
    • Mini C at 500 Hz seems strange. It's an overshoot like the Utopia but much longer in duration.
    That being said it's highly unlikely HD600/650 like transients will bother me.

    Marv did you ever take burst response/decay for HD650? I'd like to see it for comparison (or if he already did, can someone link me the graph).
     
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  5. spoony

    spoony Spooky

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    500Hz burst coincides with the cup gain which also shows some ringing, must be a bit of residual energy there.
     
  6. chesebert

    chesebert Acquaintance

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    Your comment got me thinking. I am just flipping through my memory of Tyll's old measurements and I don't remember any other pair of headphones that measures this well. This might be on balance the best measured headphones (unless you like strict adherence to harmon).
    I must be crazy, but I thought MiniC settled relatively quick in comparison to Utopia and way ahead of Grado. I do recall Tyll used to do impulse responses measurements and most headphones take 1-2ms to settle down. I do wish the graphs had labeled the x axis.
     
  7. E_Schaaf

    E_Schaaf MOT: E.T.A Headphones

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    Mini C and S Isolation Measurements

    -

     
  8. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    The Mini C has genuinely changed my perspective on what great sound requires. I’m finding a setup like a Mini C straight out of a Fulla E sounds so good that I have little desire to listen to a more powerful system.
     
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  9. Claritas

    Claritas Friend

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    Would someone please measure and report on the height and width of the inside of the (stock) earpads in mm? And do you find your ears touching, partly or wholly, the pads or the drivers? It tends to matter more often with closed headphones. Gratias.
     
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    Last edited: Aug 26, 2022
  10. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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    While I believe this can be true for a number of folks, let’s not extend this to all because while I enjoy the Mini C, more so out of Oor than Vali 2+, I still reach for the Susvara on the Oor for added air, detail, clarity, separation, openness. Certainly Mini C is a winner (and a value king!) but for many it’s not going to outright replace TOTL.
     
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  11. E_Schaaf

    E_Schaaf MOT: E.T.A Headphones

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    For reference regarding earpad size, I just used some calipers to measure the opening of a Sennheiser HD600 earpad.

    A stock Sennheiser HD600 series earpad with a moderate amount of wear has an opening of 35Wx65Hx18D mm. The baffle is sunken 0mm from the earpad mounting position. Sennheiser pads have a beveled edge like the Mini C pads, but the inner walls of the earpad are close to making contact with the baffle - more or less unusable space below that point.

    The stock MDR earpads included with Mini Closed are 32Wx60Hx20D mm. At its deepest point on the baffle (which should line up with the helix of the ear), it's recessed by 6mm, so you could add some portion of that to the pad cavity depth to approximate a net total of inner volume when worn properly (meaning with the ears slipped underneath the beveled wall of the earpad, NOT sitting on top of the outer face of the earpad). The ear should not contact any hard surfaces.

    For most folks, the the total volume of the ear cavity on the Mini C is quite similar to the size of the ear cavity in a HD600 series headphone, though the proportions are slightly different.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2022
  12. gotflute

    gotflute Rando

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    First (sorry if off topic): it is been a while since I have been on here. Glad to be back.

    Looking for a nightstand rig with closed headphones for late night "not waking the wife" listening.

    And, right away, I find this thread :)

    First priority (and apologizes if this has been covered and I missed it): how's isolation? Using some Senn HD380's currently, now on their third set of replacement pads, as a reference point for isolation.
     
  13. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

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    Mini C Isolation
    Direct radiation (speaker playing white noise directly into the side of the EARS)
    Attenuation of External Stimulus Signal vs. Frequency
    [​IMG]

    Mini C Isolation
    Indirect / opposite side radiation (speaker playing white noise but on the other side of the EARS)
    Attenuation of External Stimulus Signal vs. Frequency
    [​IMG]

    The closed offers about 6db more attenuation with the attenuation starting about 700Hz instead of 1kHz. 6db represents a double of perceived volume, so is quite significantly. Also, keep in mind that I'm blasting these headphones with a speaker just one feet away!

    Unfortunately, I don't have HD380s on hand to run the same test. My sense having used similar Senn type headphones with the same kind of pads as the HD380, the Mini C are going to isolate a little bit better.
     
  14. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    Last edited: Sep 2, 2022
  15. gotflute

    gotflute Rando

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    Wow @purr1n: you answer with graphs, not just with words. Thank you! My kinda guy.

    And, you mentioned that you use these as isolation headphones while tracking for drumming. I don't think my listening to wind quintets late at night would leak enough to wake the Mrs. :)

    As I ease back into the recreational side of the hobby, I thought would some of the older denon phones, but I think these ETA's might fit the bill (and with warrenty for probably less money).

    I might just "bite the bullet": they seem easy to drive, and it would be interesting to compare to some other things I have in the area that I have the most experience: realism of attacks/releases and timbre in recorded woodwind music.

    Prob should pick a Magni 3+ as well to play with driving them: seems like that price/awesome factor is something just not available in years past :)

    Thanks for the quick response.
     
  16. gotflute

    gotflute Rando

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    Thanks for the links!
    I am very close to pulling the trigger on these :)
     
  17. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

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    You may want to consider the S too. Still good isolation, slightly better than those old D2/5/7 Denons which IMO didn't truly isolate. The S being semi-open are more open sounding with snappier transients.

    I use the Mini S with my Nintendo Switch or phone at night in bed to avoid annoying my wife.
     
  18. gotflute

    gotflute Rando

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    Thanks for the recommendation(s).

    I had been on the hunt for a used version of those McIntosh headphones. They had a premium put on them because of the brand name, but probably not in the used market. Online reviews from the time seemed to not be kind, perhaps because of that price point, but I auditioned them a couple of times and couldn't believe they were closed phones... large scale orchestral works that were actually recorded in a hall sounded like that hall, and I was surprised how good timbre was compared to the stax (and HD 600/woo setup I had at the time).
     
  19. earnmyturns

    earnmyturns Smartest friend

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    First superficial impressions: I've been using mine for city outdoors/travel powered by my A&ultima SP1000M DAP. A bit light but clear on the low end, maybe from being relatively low impedance for the DAP, but then my comparison is various ZMFs powered by Af, Stellaris, or 3F, not a fair match. However, I'm impressed by their very clean performance across the frequency range (but I'm an oldster so don't pay attention to my my views on higher frequency performance). Just listening to the released tracks of the forthcoming Julian Lage album ("View with a Room"), Lage's guitar is well rendered tonally and dynamically. I need to listen a lot more, but I can already say that these are keepers for their light touch, honesty, enjoyable unpretentiousness.

    What the ETA Mini C made me realize (I know, I'm a slow learner) is that while I love the dense sound of my big headphone rigs, there's another worthy local optimum for headphone chains that is closer to a certain "British" precise/contained tuning that I first learned from the original AR speakers and NAD components that I owned out of college, and more recently from KEF Reference, Linn, and ATC speaker gear. I've not listened yet to any of the muscle planars that some here swear by (lack of matching amps), but IMHO these smoke DCA Æon 2 and Ether Flow IMHO (at a much lower price).

    I'm not doing long intercontinental flights nearly as much as pre-pandemic, but I can already feel that these will replace my competent but fiddly IEMs.
     
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  20. gotflute

    gotflute Rando

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    Perhaps last questions(at least for now): how portable/ability to fold are these? The sony headband is from a headphone that folds up. My Senns can fold and hold a dragonfly in the case (dating myself, perhapsh) which all fits into my briefcase for travel. I'm becoming allergic to "futzing with gear" as I get older.

    If they can replace what I use headphone-wise for both late night listening as travel, as well as considering using this for recording monitoring for classical and video needs... that would make it a great buy for me.

    As a side note, can't believe I missed the convention in Houston on Aug 2... guess I got back into this, after a long deep dive into photography during COVID. ETA was there and many of the questions I have here might have been answered :(
     

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