About headphones measurements and frequency response in particular

Эта статья на русском языке.

This article is a part 2 of this article on target curves.

Let’s start by answering a simple (but not too simple, actually) question: what are the headphones sound parameters that can be measured at all? Or, more precisely, the sound parameters that are usually measured. I’ve divided those into two categories: the main ones – the most significant and frequently cited, and the additional ones – less significant, but also important.

Main measurements

  • The frequency response is the dependency of the sound pressure level on the frequency of the reproduced harmonic signal at the headphones output. The frequency response is a reflection of the played sound volume at different frequencies. In the audiophile universe, it’s called tonal balance. The frequency response is the most significant characteristic of the headphones sound delivery. This is what we most often pay attention to when describing the sound.
  • The cumulative spectrum (waterfall) reflects resonances and reverberations at different frequencies after the headphones stop playing the signal. Each resonance adds a certain emphasis to its corresponding frequency. If the amplifier also introduces some distortion, such a distortion is going to be amplified at the resonant frequencies. At some point, the resonances can be considered as a qualitative parameter, where less is better. However, it’s still more correct to address it as a versatility indicator, like less resonances mean less glitches visibility on the amplifier side.
  • The impulse response — a response to a single shortest possible impulse. The pulse response wave form primarily depends on the frequency response, the attenuated resonances and reverberation of the headphones themselves, as well as on the acoustic test chamber stand. The total length of the impulse is about 5 seconds, while visually it’s somewhere around 2-4 milliseconds long.
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About computer desks and workplaces in general

Choosing a computer desk is indeed challenging. Almost every furniture store offers a bunch of those ugly closet-like freaks that steal a good half of the room. Let’s not forget about ridiculous stands for CDs, platforms for 17-inch monitors and other nonsense.

I have basically no idea why these infernal monsters from the 90s are still here nor do I know who actually may buy it and why. It’s not that I would love to know it, but still.

My passion for minimalist lines says an ideal computer desk should look something like the following:

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Audiophile corner

For a while now, I have been thinking to organize a dedicated place at home, where I could listen to music thoughtfully though headphones, and spend a time with a good book, if the mood is right. First, I checked, how the true audiophiles organize their place — all of them would just have a table with piles of hardware and various devices stacekd. Looks appalling and takes up a lot of space. As for me, I was looking for a compact, neat and functional solution. 

After giving it much thought, I came up with this:

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