I just watched this weeks “Gadget Show” on channel 5 over here in the UK.
One of the presenters was doing some product reviews with The Guardian newspaper, and one of the products they tested were the Grado PS1000e headphones.
I’ve never tried them myself, so I’m in no position to comment on how good they are, but what I can say is that they are REALLY expensive, weighing in at £1699.95!
But the thing I thought was a little silly (considering that the Guardian journalist was a technology journalist) was that he boldly proclaimed:
“They have a frequency response of between 5 and 50,000 hertz! Your ‘average’ pair of headphones is 20 – 20,000 hertz, so there’s a much wider frequency response”.
What this chap didn’t mention (presumably because he wasn’t aware of it) is that the human ear of a young person in good health can only *HEAR* between 20 – 20,000hz!
At the age of 28, it will be 22 ~ 17000 hz
At the age of 40, it will be 25 ~ 14000 hz
At the age of 60, it will be 35 ~ 11000 hz
That’s the whole reason WHY most headphone companies focus on this frequency range…
What’s MUCH more important — considering that frequency response outside of the range that humans can hear isn’t important at all, unless you’re making headphones for dogs — is:
1) the quality of the materials and components used;
2) the fine tuning of the physical design to give the sound characteristics you want;
3) the frequency curve (that’s what I call it anyway) you’ve managed to formulate, which is unique to every headphone company.
We’ve been developing PUMP Audio for almost a year now and virtually all of our efforts have been to perfect the tuning in the 20hz-20khz range.
Many quality earphones/headphones (including PUMP) do have the capability of operating well outside the 20hz-20khz range, but manufacturers don’t list these frequencies because to do so would be pure hyperbole.
Whats important…scratch that…what’s ESSENTIAL to us is that PUMP users put the things in their ears and say “wow, that sounds amazing!”.
Irrelevant figures and stats just don’t cut it.
Anyway, if anyone’s got a set of PS1000e’s they want to lend us, I’d love to try them out! : -)
Now for some covering my ass waffle… I should state that I’m not a sound engineer myself, but our engineers really do know what they are talking about : -) Also, just trying to avoid any future contradiction here… Some people believe that just either side of the frequency range that humans can hear can give a certain depth quality to music, and in fact PUMP does utilise these frequencies. So we MIGHT change the website and packaging in future to reflect this. Thought I’d better clear that up…