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If you read audio websites often, you’ve surely seen discussion about whether or not measurements are important in audio reviews. Unfortunately, few of the people writing about this topic have experience in audio measurement, and their comments rarely amount to anything more than excuses for why they don’t do measurements. Because measurement is such a big part of SoundStage!’s group of websites, and SoundStage! Solo in particular, I thought it important to explain why we do measurements, and what conclusions you should draw -- and not draw -- from them.

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The last ten years have seen a renaissance in headphone science. Important new research into frequency response and tuning has already improved the quality of headphone sound. But I’ve seen no research into something almost as important: isolation, or the degree to which headphones block outside sounds from reaching your ears. The less such isolation you have, the more your music will be polluted by the sounds around you. That’s no problem in a quiet listening room at home, but on a passenger jet or in a crowded Starbucks, it’s impossible to get good reproduction of music unless your headphones isolate your eardrums from the ambient sounds of such environments.

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Why launch SoundStage! Solo -- a new website dedicated entirely to headphone listening -- when the Internet already has several headphone-focused sites, and dozens more audio and tech sites that review headphones? Simple: Because we think headphones deserve more serious consideration than most sites give them.

SoundStage! Expert: All About Headphones and Earphones (Episodes 1-5)

SoundStage! Expert: Basics of Solid-State Class-AB Amplifiers (Episodes 1-5)

SoundStage! Expert Phono Stages - 1) Why You Need One (April 2019)

Latest Comments

Brent Butterworth 2 days ago Eardrum Suck: The Mystery Solved!
@JeremyCWe did some further study at Wirecutter: https://thewirecutter.com/blog/how-do-noise-cancelling-headphones-work/

That probably answers the first two questions. I ...
@Brent ButterworthI will check it out!

in the meanwhile I have checked out the AutoEQ project and ...
@Brent ButterworthI think Mukund is asking the same thing I'm wondering about:

But *why* does the ...
Brent Butterworth 2 days ago Where Are We At With The Harman Curve?
@DustinApparently. I wish JBL and AKG would market this, and show the Harman curve and ...