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A Survey and Analysis of Consumer and Professional Headphones Based on Their Objective and Subjective Performances

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In previous studies [1–3], we presented two statistical models that predict listeners’ sound quality preferences of headphones based on deviations in their measured frequency response. In this paper the models are applied to 156 different consumer and professional headphones that include a wide range of brands, prices, and headphone categories (e.g., in-ear, on-ear, and around-ear). The goal was to gain a better understanding of how these factors influence the subjective and objective performances of the headphone. The predicted preference ratings of the headphones were compared to ratings given by five different headphone review organizations to determine their correlation. Headphones designed to the current IEC/ITU/EBU standards produce significantly lower sound quality ratings.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society