POLL: Do you think Sonarworks is effective with headphones?

Do you think Sonarworks is effective on headphones?

  • Yes

    Votes: 60 81.1%
  • No

    Votes: 14 18.9%

  • Total voters
    74

rudi

Active Member
One of the problems with calibrating headphones is that everyone's head and auditory paths are different. There is no standard universal hearing callibration profile, only custom ones based on measuring equipment, subjective listening and experimentation.

Maybe one day it'll be possible to produce truly individual callibration profiles by:

1) 3D scan customers' ears and auditory canals
2) produce ultra-fine moldings of the above
3) design and put some micro-transducers deep inside the ear canals
4) some form of brain scanning to measure how the brain responds to individual frequencies
5) AI

In the meanwhile, millions and millions of records and pieces of music have been recorded and double checked on headphones as well as monitors, and are not doing too badly :)
 

Jeremy Spencer

Senior Member
Great points. I’m going to pass on buying this, I was doing fine prior. If anything, I discovered there’s not enough bottom end in my cans to make final mixing decisions.....but that’s what my monitors are for.
 

Mark Evans

New Member
On my last day of the demo and as when I tried Reference 3 I'm still in the unsure box. Kind of handy to have but also quite easy to get by without.
 
I have Sonarworks Reference Studio and it includes the plugin for the headphones. I don’t really understand the purpose. My sennheiser open back headphones are supposed to have flat response already (or nearly flat). Is the plugin trying to make it flatter?
 

ryans

Senior Member
Today I went back to not using it (to hear the difference), and was shocked at how much my brain has become used to the "new" sound. Has anyone else experienced this?
Yes.. it's remarkable how quickly our ears can adapt.. and in my opinion this psychoacoustic effect renders most headphone calibration unnecessary.. Unless, as others have mentioned.. you are using headphones that have major issues.

In my own experience... testing sonarworks and the HD-600 and HD-800s was not positive. I preferred the tone of the headphones without sonarworks... probably, mostly because I am more familiar with the factory sound...

Also.. I've reached a point with the HD-600.. where I know their sound so well that I can safely make tonal mix decisions and be confident they will translate... The only areas I can't trust them are: precise stereo imaging and sub bass adjustments (which I check on monitors/sub)

Ryan
 

Jeremy Spencer

Senior Member
I have Sonarworks Reference Studio and it includes the plugin for the headphones. I don’t really understand the purpose. My sennheiser open back headphones are supposed to have flat response already (or nearly flat). Is the plugin trying to make it flatter?
Yes, if you look at the graphs you can see how much was flattened. I’ve only had my HD600’s for a short while, and I thought they were quite flat based on reviews. Indeed they are, but SW corrects them even further. I was blown away with how much the monitor calibration portion of SW improved my studio, and I ended up purchasing. I wasn’t 100% sold on the headphone calibration, but since I bought it and can spend more time experimenting, I’ll see what happens. So far though, my mixes have translated well.
 
Yes, if you look at the graphs you can see how much was flattened. I’ve only had my HD600’s for a short while, and I thought they were quite flat based on reviews. Indeed they are, but SW corrects them even further. I was blown away with how much the monitor calibration portion of SW improved my studio, and I ended up purchasing. I wasn’t 100% sold on the headphone calibration, but since I bought it and can spend more time experimenting, I’ll see what happens. So far though, my mixes have translated well.
I have the HD600s as well. So do you recommend using Sonarworks with those headphones?
 

Jeremy Spencer

Senior Member
I have the HD600s as well. So do you recommend using Sonarworks with those headphones?
You need to discover that for yourself. I didn’t like it at first, but the sound has grown on me....and mixes are translating better as I continue using the correction.
 
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Mark Evans

New Member
One tip I found quite useful was to back the mix % off a bit (bottom right corner), which seemed to restore a bit of naturalness to the sound without impacting too much on the 'correction'.
 

Tim_Wells

Tim Wells
in what regard?
A lot of people in this thread appear to be quite happy with Sonarworks headphone calibration. But there have also been a few assertions that it doesn't add much value or could even make things worse. If it were my company, I'd want to address those.
 

Jeremy Spencer

Senior Member
A lot of people in this thread appear to be quite happy with Sonarworks headphone calibration. But there have also been a few assertions that it doesn't add much value or could even make things worse. If it were my company, I'd want to address those.
SW does exactly what’s it’s meant to. The software makes a correction to either your monitors or headphones, providing a flat EQ curve (close, anyways). Whether or not this is valuable is 100% up to the listener. There is simply no right or wrong approach.
 

Tim_Wells

Tim Wells
SW does exactly what’s it’s meant to. The software makes a correction to either your monitors or headphones, providing a flat EQ curve (close, anyways). Whether or not this is valuable is 100% up to the listener. There is simply no right or wrong approach.
Okay... I wasn't trying to start a debate. Vendors often weigh in in these sorts of discussions. Just thought it might be helpful here.