Equalized Headphones for Music


I didn’t do the listening comparisons with the m40x’s.
I was listening for changes in the feel of the transitions between the different segments. I sensed very little change when the m40x’s were played.
I would consider myself somewhat of an “audio nut” too and I too am aware of my loss of high frequencies. I too use an EQ to bring some of it back. But at the end of the day…those very high frequencies are nothing but harmonics. Sure a lot of the sounds produced from instruments can be in those ranges and can give depth to the sound but it’s almost imperceptible. This is a part of what I’m saying. It’s about the energy up in those harmonics. In a lot of cases the energy is minimal. Except cymbal interestingly.
This talks about loudness levels and for how long to take it before damage might occur.


You do understand that there are the same number of notes between 500Hz and 1KHz as there are between 8KHz and 16KHz ? You can be tested at half octave intervals if it helps.

Truly flat responses are unlikely as your driver unit will have an inherent resonant frequency(ies). You can square the circle using appropriate crossovers or through processing.

It’s all a bit irrelevant anyway, as your ear compliance isn’t standard, so there will be more or less volume and compliance/inductance in the structure than the headphone driver is designed to manage - so you won’t get what it says on the tin unless you get you headphones fitted with REM of another canal measure.


Thanks for sticking with me folks.

Yes Um_bongo. There seem to be a huge amount of variables in play. And the Fletcher-Munson effect makes everything even more confused. I know I can get the sound I want with lots of EQ. I guess it really does boil down to whether I would be damaging my hearing. So I think I can narrow it down to 4 specific questions:

1: Can anyone help me find an audiophile audiologist in the Houston area who can perform a ½ octave hearing test extending up to 16kHz?

2: Does excessively loud sound in a narrow frequency range damage hearing only in that range, or would it also affect my hearing at frequencies outside of that range?

3: If I start with music that averages 80dB, then replay it with 8-16kHz boosted 10 dB, what will be the measured average dB of that music?

4: If 85dB is a 1 hour limit for healthy ears, is this the same limit for folks with diminished hearing? If it is, hearing aid users would be damaging their hearing every day.


Hey Z10. Thanks for the 3 links. The tone generator is interesting, because if I use my source and headphones, I can kinda get rid of the need to figure out whether diminished hearing is due to my ears/brain or peaks and valleys in the headphones’ frequency response.

This is the curveball: Fletcher–Munson curves - Wikipedia
Its a set of curves showing the humans don’t hear low bass and high treble as well as frequencies associated with speech. Makes sense. As volume increases, our ears hear the ons and highs better and better relative to the mids. I think audiograms at the doc compensate for this, but don’t know about the frequency generator.

Trying to wrap my tiny mind around all of this.


Again…enter in your standard 8khz audiogram here and we can see what you have for standards. I went through a lot of this struggle before finally giving in to needing HA’s. Turn up treble, val salva, asking for repeats, frustration at not hearing everything, removing myself from hearing challenging situations etc.
Unless you’ve caused damage to your ears…it’s called presbycusis. In an easier word…age.


This works very well!


maybe this could help you dial in the exact curve that you what you want to hear…


I have a physical parametric equalizer tied to my audio system and I’ve always been able to get the sound I want, through any speakers I’ve owned or wired headphones.

Good luck


I thought I’d mention to you that the question of whether certain frequencies boosted enough in headphones so you can hear them is the same question asked repeatedly (including by me): Will hearing aids, which significantly boost certain frequencies to bring them into your hearing range, further damage your hearing long-term.

It is my belief that it probably will, though this has been much debated. For me it is a quality of life issue though, I guess I’d rather hear and understand now and not later, rather than barely comprehend evenly for the rest of my life.

Anyway I don’t think you’re going to find a satisfactory answer for that part of your question.


If you’re still interested, I can throw off my selection of headphones and a comparison of their characteristics