MrSpeakers Ether 2 measurements and thoughts

Discussion in 'Headphone Measurements' started by Vtory, Dec 9, 2018.

  1. eIndi

    eIndi Rando

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2019
    Likes Received:
    19
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Europe
    I did a very quick, qualitative test with some felt on the outside of the cups. Listening with my ears rather than measuring with the EARS. 8 kHz down, 11 kHz unchanged, 16 kHz up. Did not seem like an improvement overall. Might take measurements over easter.
     
  2. TMRaven

    TMRaven Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    593
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Took a while to do each frequency and add/subtract the difference from Purrin's spreadsheet to get a txt file for sbaf compensation. I went ahead and tried it out:

    The peak is a little offset compared to my EARS, so I'll have to change that, but I also don't like what it does for the mid treble around 8-10k, which seems to be far too low. 9k is down 25db on my Ether2!

    [​IMG]

    I arrived at a combination of HPN and HEQ. I use HPN for everything up to 7k, and about 80% of the HEQ curve above 7k, and it looks like this:

    [​IMG]

    I think I'll be using this compensation going forward for my measurements.



    I also measured my Aeon Open as well using the new compensation:
    [​IMG]

    The Aeon Open measurements correlate extremely well with Tyll's, including the little tiny notch just above 100hz, and the subsequent small humps at 1.5k and 4k. Treble peak is about the same too. Major difference is the treble above 10khz, but Tyll's rig has never really shown much treble above 10khz.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
    Jinxy245 and Lyer25 like this.
  3. eIndi

    eIndi Rando

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2019
    Likes Received:
    19
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Europe
    I measured FR with and without 3 mm felt on the outside of the ear cup. Results are very boring. Attaching and removing the felt happened without reseating the E2. I took three measurements with slightly different seating:
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

    Staff Member Friend MZR
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    7,981
    Dislikes Received:
    23
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Colorado
    Home Page:
    Start by measuring the HD600/650 and going from there. They are relatively stable with measurements, a real saint compared to most other headphones, really. Main thing to look out for with the Senns is clamping force.

    Anything nearly as sensitive to angle, placement, fit, seal, etc. etc. as the Ether/Aeon line is going to drive you mad. Very difficult to start building comp curves from those.

    I found the EARs rig as a whole just slightly narrow enough that I wanted to use rubber bands on the headphones to increase clamp, yet that seemed to take it just too far over the edge. I think I needed larger rubber bands so at to only add mild stability and clamp.

    Fun fact, Tyll used to used rubber bands to get consistent clamp with his rig depending on the headphone! He used a square wave response to ensure he was getting the best seal/possible on headphones (real-time, visual feedback, I think with an oscilloscope).

    You'll also want to make sure the mics on L/R are matched closely. Note that the, eh, cartoonish/simplistic look to the ears and the half-baked ear canal will cause some unexpected interactions with certain headphpnes.

    Lastly, it will be incredibly difficult to get everything compensated to look like how you hear it. Best you can do is get some sort of average for a variety of headphones, but you'll always have outliers that just never look like you expect based on hearing. It's the nature of our unique physical characteristics and how headphones interact with those as such.
     
    Lyer25 and Vtory like this.
  5. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

    Friend MZR
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2016
    Likes Received:
    3,182
    Dislikes Received:
    26
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    TX
    EARS owners should listen to this advice. Fully agreed.
    If you owners don't have senn 6, buy it today as a calibration tool. I also recommend to order fresh new pads (if yours are used) for this purpose. Senn pads wear out amazingly fast -- and worn pads drastically change results, with great user to user variation. Prepare new pads and use them only for measuring purposes.

    PS. I personally find my EARS had a perfect clamping and seal with senn.6x0 ..better than my real head. lol
    The problem was rather shallow internal space easily touches dummy ear -- managing outer ears needed a good learning curve in my experience. In this respect got more consistent results from 6x0+dekoni pads.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
    Jerry likes this.
  6. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

    Friend MZR
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2016
    Likes Received:
    3,182
    Dislikes Received:
    26
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    TX
    By the way looking at @TMRaven , I am concerned that his pair might be defective.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Different smoothing resolutions taken into account, his results show somewhat common pattern with my defective unit (see purple curve; 1/6 oct). Recommend to contact MrSpeakers to get a full investigation.
     
    Baten likes this.
  7. TMRaven

    TMRaven Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    593
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Yeah, I was already going to. I had shipped my Ether2 to some buddies in houston to let them listen, but it came back with the left side 'screw' loose on the yoke, so the housing of the left cup loosely scrapes against the yoke, which annoys me.

    Looking at my measurements, I don't have the 8khz peak like You and Purrin.

    I already think these things sound pretty good, but more definition in the treble wouldn't be a bad thing. Mostly I think they sound good because of the balance from 20hz-3khz.
     
  8. TMRaven

    TMRaven Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    593
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Played with EQ some using Equalizer APO.

    No EQ:
    [​IMG]

    Plus:
    [​IMG]

    And I got:
    [​IMG]



    The result is quite.... shrill and distant sounding. That EQ'd peak at 9khz is 16db, and the headphone still measures with quite the canyon there. The humps at 3 and 5k are more around 7-10db.

    I will have to try it again after I ship this unit off to Dan to fix the headband and possibly the drivers. I'm thinking I'll take a less aggressive approach to EQ'ing the upper midrange and lower treble, but the subtle EQ'ing around the lower and middle midrange to flatten out the slight depression at 300hz and slight hump at 1khz seems to be a good step.
     
  9. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

    Friend MZR
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2016
    Likes Received:
    3,182
    Dislikes Received:
    26
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    TX
    EQ101

    1. Use low-resolution smoothing (VAR or 1/3) as baseline to work on eq
    2. Avoid high Q (narrow) setting -- this introduces numerous unwanted problems.
    3. Again, you need to understand how measured freq is associated with the perception. Need to try a lot of different settings and experiments -- with standardized headphones. Use HD600 or 650 unless fully confident.

    I also suggest you to adhere to sbaf comp. That's more helpful to communicate on common ground. If you want to use your own comp, try to attach hd600/650 results together as a minimum.
     
    Lyer25 likes this.
  10. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

    Friend MZR
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2016
    Likes Received:
    3,182
    Dislikes Received:
    26
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    TX
    I was recently requested to investigate defects of a recently purchased ether 2 from a member.

    upload_2019-4-28_9-19-45.png

    upload_2019-4-28_9-21-5.png

    Sample #1 is mine (purchased last Nov; initially defected then fixed at the factory)

    Seems pretty consistent to my eyes. Measurably variation is within +1.4db and -1.3db. Considering ether 2's difficulty to get consistent measurements (pretty sensitive to various factors on EARS), I think product variation, at least for the product I tested, was nearly non-issue.

    Subjective mine sounded a hair slightly faster and crispier .. but it's most likely placebo and ownership bias. Easily can ignore difference.

    Anyway not bad at all. I am feeling confident regarding product to product variation for current productions (not quite sure about early ones though).
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019
  11. eIndi

    eIndi Rando

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2019
    Likes Received:
    19
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Europe
    Some measurements with toilet paper, 3 plies:
    [​IMG]
    Four measurements each with 1/12th smoothing, then averaged. Proprietary compensation (mix of HPN and HEQ).

    I don't like the overall loss in treble, but decreasing the big delta between and 11 and 17 kHz is nice. This raises my hopes for the perforated pads, which are expected to raise treble in general.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2019
    Baten likes this.
  12. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

    Staff Member Friend MZR
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    7,981
    Dislikes Received:
    23
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Colorado
    Home Page:
    Quick impressions and measurements of the Ether 2 @purr1n heard and measured.

    - Excellent tone. Bass is slightly accentuated and smoothly transitions into the mids. No upper-bass or lower-mid bloat. Very tasteful, perhaps one of the best bass-through-mid performances I've heard. Not the absolute most visceral bass, or tightest bass, but very good.

    - Upper-mids are slightly relaxed in a particular area. Usually not noticeable. The rest of the response through the treble is not too far off that of the HD650. Relatively neutral, a hair relaxed, but not quite as smooth as HD650.

    - There's definitely some sort of treble peak or ringing. It sounds kind of like high-pitched digital artifacting on things like cymbals, a sort of synthetic "eeee" sort of sound.

    - However, the above is quite minimal (easily tolerable by me) and can often be mitigated if you find a better spot to place or angle to wear the headphones. The Aeolus has some ringing as well that is somewhat similar.

    - Combined these make for a slightly warm (no worse than HD650), but incredibly balanced sound. They sound more refined, blacker, cleaner than the HD650. Less strain, less hash, but more upper-end resonance (trade 5Khz ringing for 8-9KHz ringing), and not quite as smooth. Worthwhile for the bass performance, comfort, and how it is less demanding regarding amps.

    - Timbre is mostly where it should be, but a hair soft or a hair steely depending on where something lies in the frequency band.

    - Dynamics are pretty good. Again, not grab-you-by-the-groin visceral, but lively enough. Works fine from a Magni 3. Good with macro and micro gradation.

    - Seal is not as critical as other Ether headphones. In fact, you can leverage this to reduce the bass and boost the mids/treble. Placement is very important on the head. You do have to fiddle with it to find the best sound. Again, you can mitigate some nitpicks but moving them to a different spot.

    - Comfort and ergonomics are easily the best I've ever experienced on a headphone.

    - Resolution is very good.

    All in all, easily one of my favorite headphones. If the ZMF stuff is sort of like the Sennheiser stuff with flair and fun, the Ether 2 is sort of like a more refined, mature sounding HD650. There are very few headphones on the market that sound this balanced overall, have solid technical chops, can run fine off a budget amp, and are incredibly comfortable, all at the same time.
     
    edd, spoony, sheldaze and 7 others like this.
  13. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

    Staff Member Friend MZR
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    7,981
    Dislikes Received:
    23
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Colorado
    Home Page:
    Tasteful downward slope to about 2KHz. 4Khz is a bit down and can make, say, distorted guitars sound a bit less lively than usual. Often not noticeable and can shift as you physically fiddle with headphone placement. Treble response is a bit uneven but doesn't sound so much in listening. Treble around 10KHz in general looks more recessed than it sounds. May be a measurement interaction OR that the way I wore the Ether 2 during measurements was not where I'd listen ideally (hard to say given the nature of measurements).

    MrSpeakers Ether 2 Frequency Response Left.png

    Distortion is very low across the board. The bit of uptick around 8KHz might clue us in to some of that weird ringing I heard.

    MrSpeakers Ether 2 Left Distortion.png

    CSDs for the most part look great, but, yes, there is indeed some ringing around 8KHz. Thankfully, it does not continue forever. It sinks into the noise floor. It is audible, but not as bad as you would expect in listening.

    Ether 2 Left CSD.PNG
     
    eIndi, FlySweep, Lyer25 and 4 others like this.
  14. eIndi

    eIndi Rando

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2019
    Likes Received:
    19
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Europe
    Is it really audible though? I know at first I blamed the less-than-stellar sounding treble on it. But where it sounded bad, it was not exactly quickly decaying treble. It was just your garden variety cymbals with very slow decay. Seems quite unlikely that decay on the order of 8 db/ms cannot keep up with something like that.

    It got a lot better when I started EQing the treble, and it does not require me to reduce 8 kHz for it to sound better. I am quite confident that the E2 does not suffer from too slow decay but a very ragged frequency response with peaks and dips that are severe enough to mess with our auditory masking, making us hear things that we would not hear with a more smooth frequency response and vice versa.

    This is a screenshot of the spectrum of a treble signal with very fast decay:
    [​IMG]
    Black is -55 dB, white is -25 dB. FFT is set for very high temporal resolution. You can see the right channel has a selection that roughly goes from -25 to -55 db, probably a bit too narrow. The length of this selection is 15 ms. So roughly a decay of 2 db/ms. I would say the E2 with its 8 dB/ms can probably still follow without breaking a sweat.

    Listening to it with the E2, it sounds like a very sharp decay, with and without EQ. I think at least with the E2, the ringing is a complete non-issue. Not sure about some Hifimans that seem to decay even slower. Could be an issue there.

    If you have music with what you think is a very fast treble decay, send me a sample and I'll check it out.
     
  15. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    45,295
    Dislikes Received:
    70
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Antarctica
    The CSD ridge at 8kHz is sharp. That means it's spotlit and therefore might not be heard with some recordings with wider spectrum. The other factor is that the tip of the peak is more or less even or lower than the midrange amplitude.

    This manifests as sibilance and sharpness, again recording depending, and really has nothing to with overall treble decay or speed. The CSD actually shows excellent performance in such decay characteristics, except with that narrow spot.

    There is debate whether these sharp ridges are audible or not: https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/ortho-wall-for-lack-of-a-better-term.2119/

    With me, it seems to be frequency dependent. Also, there are a lot of members who with super sensitive ears who can hear this kind of stuff. It's really just a matter of training.

    One can try a sine sweep.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2019
    Jinxy245 likes this.
  16. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

    Staff Member Friend MZR
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    7,981
    Dislikes Received:
    23
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Colorado
    Home Page:
    @eIndi I think you are over complicating this. I can’t speak for what you may or may not hear, but it’s quite obvious this ringing is audible.

    It’s also really pretty minor. It’s a nitpick more than a complaint. The Ether 2 is easily still one of my favorites.

    It does seem to go away, or at least shift, if I compress the headphones more on my head. And I have a big head. So it could be some sort of coupler loading effect between the driver and head, which maybe the other pads alleviate or exacerbate.

    Someone with different head and ear characteristics may get a different effect.

    The way you’re thinking about this is a quick way to go crazy and end up with a wild EQ setting that just makes things weirder. Pads and damping, front and/or back, are really the only way you’d be able to control any of this. The 8Khz spot may not be where you hear a hot spot given unique head interactions either.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2019
    Jinxy245 and Lyer25 like this.
  17. ChaChaRealSmooth

    ChaChaRealSmooth SBAF Gearmaster

    Friend
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2018
    Likes Received:
    827
    Dislikes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    California, USA
    For what it's worth, during my time with the Ether 2 I didn't really notice the ringing unless I really listened for it; if I was just enjoying the music I didn't hear it. Might just be my [defective] head.
     
    purr1n, Jinxy245 and Jerry like this.
  18. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

    Staff Member Friend MZR
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    7,981
    Dislikes Received:
    23
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Colorado
    Home Page:
    It is not a glaring issue and depended on what material you’re listening to.

    The shit I listen to, prog metal for example, can be a bit of a torture test for headphones. Ether 2 still does very well even there.
     
  19. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

    Staff Member Friend JK47
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Likes Received:
    3,990
    Dislikes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    CO
    hope you could bring these Ether 2 to a mini meet one day, or short term loan to Colorado Krew as I remain skeptical of uber reviews and personally having zero desire to Deal With Dan(tm).
    namely, whatever rig (DAC+Amp) Ether2 used at RMAF did them no favors IMO, the sound seemed tunneled and the bass sloppy.
    was i biased going into RMAF, sure. still biased? sure.
    happy to be wrong after direct listening.
     
    Ash1412, Elnrik and Lyer25 like this.
  20. Lyer25

    Lyer25 Too sensitive for SBAF

    Friend
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2017
    Likes Received:
    3,186
    Dislikes Received:
    22
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Pasig, Philippines
    If jexby of all people accepts these as good then the Ether 2s are infallible.

    On that note, still tracking down a pair to audition in spite of being a complete hermit apart from school. Not that I'll be able to snag one any time soon, but been really curious since initial talk cropped up. Apart from using material I'm familiar with, any stress test tracks owners might be able to recommend? I'm thinking a mix of big band, J-Pop, grunge, symphonic metal, and TSwift's1989+Reputation (both of which are fucking sharp).
     

Share This Page