Headphone Roulette

Dave Bialik points us to an AES New York section event he’s overseeing on Feb. 25 — “The Perception and Measurement of Headphone Sound Quality: Do Listeners Agree on What Makes a Headphone Sound Good?”

The headphone industry is said to be worth $10 billion. The promo for the event says, “Market research indicates sound quality is a driving factor in headphone purchases with brand and fashion also being important factors among younger consumers. Yet, ironically the science behind what makes a headphone sound good and how to measure it is poorly understood. This combined with the lack of perceptually meaningful headphone standards may explain why purchasing a headphone today is like playing Russian Roulette with your ears.”

Helping Dave examine that will be Dr. Sean E. Olive, director of Acoustic Research for Harman International. Dr. Olive is also the current AES president.

This free event will start at 7 p.m., at the Harman Flagship Store, 527 Madison Ave., at 54th St. 
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I've bought more than a few moderately-expensive (by that I mean $200+, YMMV) headphones, usually when they're on sale. They all sound spectacular, but different. Vast chasms of deep bass (Sony 700s "3Hz"), vice smooth as silk mid-range (Sennies), vice clean treble (various). Different music calls for different headphones.
By J Harvey on 2/5/2014

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