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Can you make headphones sound like real loudspeakers? We're giving it a go

Discussion in 'trade discussion' started by Sonneteer, Dec 10, 2018.

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  1. Sonneteer

    Sonneteer Trade: Sonneteer

    Music is rarely recorded specifically for headphones and headphones do not behave as loudspeakers do. For starters there is very little air between the listened and the headphones and of course the sound is not coming from two speakers (or more) at a distance.

    So we've come up with a gadget that tries to make up for some of the shortcomings. It's called the Bard's Headspace.

    https://www.sonneteer.com/product/the-bards-headspace/

    Any thoughts?

    Haider
    sonneteer.com
     
  2. ToTo Man

    ToTo Man the band not the dog

    Interesting. Is this device acting as a fixed-value crossfeed?
     
  3. Sonneteer

    Sonneteer Trade: Sonneteer

    Well it certainly isn't black magic if that's what you mean ;-)

    we are certainly doing a little bit of maths amongst other things.

    Is it in principle something you would want?
     
  4. James Evans

    James Evans Bedroom Bodger

    I'd seen this on ebay, and was wondering what it does!
     
  5. Sonneteer

    Sonneteer Trade: Sonneteer

    Hopefully as it says on the tin :)
     
  6. lordmortlock

    lordmortlock pfm Member

    Looks interesting. Could you explain what it actually does? How come it’s only fifteen quid?
     
  7. Sonneteer

    Sonneteer Trade: Sonneteer

    Costs is because it's more clever than it is costly. We have debated for years about elements of why sound behaves as it does through different media and why sources are preferred over others for differing reasons. The vinyl vs digital debate is typical of that. Also our recent big project 'HearBeat' has brought headphones an their use to the fore. Clearly tackling the issue of headphones not being quite upto the job of producing recorded stereo correctly is quite a deal for serious listeners. So we looked at the maths and all the attempts to tackle this issue in the past and we cam up with a simple solution. We then tested it and tweaked it in the good ol' fashioned hifi way to make sound good as well as perform theoretically.

    So bottom line we wanted to know what is missing. Same question can be asked with regards digital recordings when played back. As in what is missing compared to when playing back same material on vinyl. Also why is it many prefer it? Well in some ways the answers are similar. The problem with headphones is a very real on as the music is recorded to be monitored on loudspeakers. So headphone listening however good, is a compromise. The Bard's Headsapce attempts to minimise that compromise and make things sound good too.

    So in terms of what is missing, we are filling a lot of the gaps. The theory can be complex, the answer can be simple.

    So we are not charging you the earth for it.

    I hope this helps.

    Haider
    sonneteer.com
     
  8. alanbeeb

    alanbeeb pfm Member

    If feedback is positive.... will you make a version for 1/4" plugs?
     
  9. Sonneteer

    Sonneteer Trade: Sonneteer

    Hi it's unlikely we will make a 1/4" version as it's quite bulky to carry around. Saying that we may incorporate it in our more high end products going forward.

    But never say never.

    Haider
     
  10. ToTo Man

    ToTo Man the band not the dog

    And 4-pin XLRs please!
     
  11. Rug Doc

    Rug Doc pfm Member

    Yes I’d be interested and I’d love to try one. What does it do to the stage?
     
  12. Sonneteer

    Sonneteer Trade: Sonneteer

    haha well that would become quite big to carry around. We'll see how it goes into future products but that certainly wouldn't be 14.95.
    Haider
     
  13. Sonneteer

    Sonneteer Trade: Sonneteer

    That's just the point it presents a more natural soundstage. Many headphones fundamentally lack one because of their nature and the way in which music is recorded.

    Our next thing is to do more tests with DACs to see if it lends that Vinyl effect? That may require a little more research though.

    Haider
     
  14. eastone

    eastone pfm Member

    If you can make a 1/4" version I'll buy two :)
     
  15. Caliente

    Caliente pfm Member

    I will more than likely order one - I know it's churlish at this price, but are there any independent reviews?
     
  16. Sonneteer

    Sonneteer Trade: Sonneteer

    Not yet, but we did put some out into the field to get some honest feedback. We will publish those soon. But to say honestly (obviously I will say this but) the response was beyond our expectations and those that gave a detailed response basically reflected our own experience and our hopes for the product.
    We took the theory and then spent some time doing the good old hi-fi of choosing components through listening tests. Much came from our long experience of doing the same with the Sonneteer classic line of amps, preamps and CD players over the years. So the signature sound which we like to think is a very natural, real sound, is there.

    I hope this helps.

    Haider
     
  17. Sonneteer

    Sonneteer Trade: Sonneteer

    Haha, well if we were to make a custom one for you it would probably be a lot more expensive sadly.

    But why not try one and we can find you an adaptor?

    I imagine any 1/4" requirement would be not portable? How would you be listening?

    Haider
     
  18. ToTo Man

    ToTo Man the band not the dog

    It might surprise you the number of people who listen to headphones whilst remaining static. I do most of my headphone listening when sitting in my living room at home. There's no way I'd ever consider taking my expensive reference headphones out of the house on a journey! Maybe I'm wrong but I also suspect that those listening to headphones in portable environments aren't going to be acutely aware or concerned about the lack of proper soundstaging their headphones produce. I therefore expect it will be enthusiasts like myself who enjoy listening to their headphones in the comfort of their own home who are more likely to appreciate the effect of The Bards Headspace.
     
    vinylslug and eastone like this.
  19. Sonneteer

    Sonneteer Trade: Sonneteer

    Yes agreed that most will be sitting down. Though the majority will also be using 3.5mm these days too. Hence our move in that direction. But can understand the desire for a 1/4" version.
    Future products that accommodate even more high end listening while static will likely incorporate this 'technology'. More likely to be in something ten fold the price at least however.

    We will look at how we may expand the offering further down the line certainly with your comments heard loud and clear. Thank you for your comments.

    Haider
     
    ToTo Man likes this.
  20. MarkW

    MarkW Full Speed & Pagan

    Well I bet the Smyth Realiser team feel pretty stupid now, with their two grand box and years of research. :)
     

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