How to analyze my headphones sound spectrum?

Hello

Recently I have been looking at headphones and what the specs behind them actually mean. Recently I have been reading about sound spectrum's and headphones/speakers give out different sound signatures which show in sound spectrum's, so what I was wondering is if there was any software which I can download (ideally for free) that can give me a visual look at the sound spectrum of the equipment I have?

I have seen sound spectrum's online showing all the frequency ranges the headphones have and how emphasized each frequency is in Db's, that is the sort of software which I am after. If its not possible to do with software how is it analyzed?

Thanks in advance. Matt

You need some specialized equipment to do this yourself.  However, there's a "build a graph" tool on headphone.com that has a LOT of headphone information stored already.  You're basically just choosing models that you'd like to compare.

http://www.headphone.com/pages/build-a-graph

This sort of thing would be measured in an anechoic chamber on a head-like jig with measurement reference microphones and a calibrated signal path. Definitely not something that would be analyzed by purely software.

Maybe there's an example out there... oh yeah like this http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/headphone-measurement-proceedures-frequency-response

And info from a (perhaps more familiar by now) source: http://www.headphone.com/pages/measuring-headphones

So as was said in the post above, probably best to just look for existing graphs.

The best you can get without specialize equipment, as mentioned above, is to use an audio sweep and look for any peaks or dips in the overall sound signature. A sine wave (log and/or linear) would give you a good idea. You can look at something like the spectrum analyzer (frequency analyzer, spectrogram, whatever the bars are called) in a media playback software (in the visualizations options) in order to see the frequency being played back to you while you are listening to the sweep.

 

Something that you should note before doing something like this is that hearing is subjective, not objective. If you get used to the sound signature of some headphones, then it will take some getting used to in order for other signatures to sound right. What I mean is that if you only use some very non-neutral headphones like the M50x or some beats for months on end, if you switch to something more neutral, it will sound thin, bass light, weird, etc. In that same vein, if you are used to a headphone's sound signature, and you listen to a sweep like I suggested above, you might not notice any of the peaks and dips in the frequency response. That doesn't mean that they aren't there. It just means that your hearing has become accustomed to them. It is fun to test things like this, and I have done it myself many times, but you should know that it will always be subjective so long as you are using ears and not equipment.