If you’re reading this, then there’s a good chance your headphones sound better than 98% of the stuff out there. Expensive or affordable, all headphones are limited by the same physics, which we can only cheat a little. But most of all they’re limited by the fact that almost no one has figured out what to shoot for when designing them. Our plug-in changes all of that and now I’ll tell you how we make sure you get a sound beyond anything attainable by physical manufacturing alone.
Going beyond average
Sonarworks individual calibration is currently the best remedy for driver variation in headphones. This is how we do it:
- A pair of headphones goes through the whole measurement routine so we can see exactly what’s wrong with them
- Our team of engineers check that the measurements are free of errors and do a good job of describing how the headphone actually sounds
- Our proprietary software generates a highly precise calibration profile
- The now-calibrated pair of headphones are checked against the reference, so no audible differences persist
- Listening tests are performed by no less than 3 different specialists and final tuning is done by our chief research guy
In the end this increases the calibration accuracy from +/-3dB to a much more impressive +/-0.9dB. The 2.1dB difference sounds much more impressive than numbers might suggest. The improved channel matching makes instruments more clearly audible, thus allowing you to move them more precisely if needed. You might be asking what can we do about the last +/-0.9dB, and the honest answer would be – we shouldn’t do anything. Remember, that there will be some variation, even we can’t correct – ear shape, earpad wear, sealing issues due to hair (really!), etc.
Two paths to excellence
There are two ways how you can get your hands on one of these custom calibrated cans. The obvious would be – contact us for the calibration service and send your cans to our lab. Remember to have pretty minty earpads on them, so your individual calibration doesn’t expire once the old pads do. The only drawback to it is that you’ll have to make do without your favourite headphones for about a week. I know how hard it can be, so that’s why there’s the second option.
You can always buy a pair of pre-calibrated headphones from us. We always stock some amount of popular studio headphones pre-calibrated and ready to be shipped to your doorstep. See if the cans you like are in our store, or just drop us a message about what headphones you’d like us to custom calibrate for you. Then you’ll need to buy them, put our address on the shipping label and we’ll reship them back to you once they’re done. We can calibrate all types of headphones, except earbuds and IEM’s. Oh, and if you’re sending a pair of electrostatic headphones, be sure to ship over the amp as well!
Tell us in the comments what’s your main gripe about studio headphones. Maybe we can fix it!