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Help to decrease loud sounds


Nat
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Hello. I need help to understand if with some Poweramp option (or even android) I can decrease the high and sharp sounds. This problem belongs to the QCY T13 headphones, which I use with the redminote 7 pro. I also have bose soundsports but with these I don't have the following problem.
With the QCY T13 the high sounds, in particular the noises like the "s" in the speech, or in some cases the drum cymbals turn out to be way too "sharp", too loud and powerful, it's a defect of the earphones, they really hurt to the ears.
I would like to know if you think there is any option to reduce this problem and avoid feeling pain in the ears. I thought the "limit" option in the equalizer might help but I don't understand if it works. I can specify that the headphones have a fairly high volume, already halfway through the volume the tolerable limit is reached. I add further that not all songs have this flaw.

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11 hours ago, andrewilley said:

You could try identifying the frequencies that your headphones are distorting and reduce them a little via the EQ sliders.

The Limiter just prevents any EQ adjustments that you make from oversaturating the mix during peak bursts, which it does by dipping the volume for a moment.

Andre

I use a 10 band equalizer. Frequencies are those above 2k (parts of 2k are also included). I tried setting the 4k, 8k, 16k bands to 0.0 db (in the center of the equalizer) and it seems to work but the sound changes, is more flat, less open. I'll explain. I'm using a v-shaped equalizer setting, with the values of 4k,8k,16k set at +13db. If I go down to 0db i have to scale all the other frequencies to have the same equalizer with the same sound but without the treble problem(that's my guess). And that would be possible if Poweramp would allow me to go beyond the +-15db of the equalizer like for example the Realtek driver in windows where you can set it to +- 25db. With a max of +- 15db i can't scale and reproduce the same EQ with the same V shape. If it were possible i think i could fix it but i can't be sure. This are my equalizer settings. 

Band: 31: +8.0db, 62: +4.0db, 125: -5.0db, 250: -11db, 500: -5.0db, 1k: +5.0db, 2k: +10.0db, 4k:+13.0db, 8k: +13.0db, 16k: +13.0db

If i were to correct it by setting 4k,8k,16k to 0 as a reference i would get: 31:-5db/62-9db/125-18db/250-24db/500-18db/1k:-8db/2k:-3db/4k:0db/8k:0db/16k:0db

As you can see the bands 125-250-500 I can't set them to give the "V" shape, precisely because Poweramp is limited to +-15db.

 

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@Nat To be honest, if +/-15 dB isn't enough for you, then something else in your listening chain may be at fault. Remember that Poweramp's design philosophy is to get as close to faithfully and accurately reproducing the original sound recording as possible - which in an otherwise perfect world would be absolutely flat. It's not an effects-heavy booming club music generator.

If you really do need (or want) that amount of boost in the upper and lower ranges, it might be worth reducing the preamp gain by a similar amount to compensate. It will obviously be quieter, but it might deal with the distortion issues.

Andre

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1 hour ago, andrewilley said:

@Nat To be honest, if +/-15 dB isn't enough for you, then something else in your listening chain may be at fault. Remember that Poweramp's design philosophy is to get as close to faithfully and accurately reproducing the original sound recording as possible - which in an otherwise perfect world would be absolutely flat. It's not an effects-heavy booming club music generator.

If you really do need (or want) that amount of boost in the upper and lower ranges, it might be worth reducing the preamp gain by a similar amount to compensate. It will obviously be quieter, but it might deal with the distortion issues.

Andre

In fact with the bose soundsportsiI have no problem, it's the qcy t13s that have too sharp. I've already tried lowering the preamp gain but it's not the same, it just decreases the volume. With the EQ i must to flatten the bands above 2k but i must also scale the other bands to keep the v-shape of my equalizer settings, the sound I like and am used to with the bose soundsport.
It is the shape of the equalizer that changes the sound/the timbre, not the power i set in db, and unfortunately in this Poweramp it limits me, but i understand that the need to go beyond +-15db is for few people.
So unless there is an app update that allows to go beyond +-15db, i have to find another way to avoid damaging my hearing with high pitched sounds especially the "s" sounds in voice. It is also possible that the audio files have this defect on purpose to feel louder with most devices but with the qcy t13 is too much.
So options like raplaygain (which i don't understand if can help) and DVC or something else in the audio output options, could mitigate the problem?

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4 hours ago, Nat said:

In fact with the bose soundsportsiI have no problem, it's the qcy t13s that have too sharp. I've already tried lowering the preamp gain but it's not the same, it just decreases the volume. With the EQ i must to flatten the bands above 2k but i must also scale the other bands to keep the v-shape of my equalizer settings, the sound I like and am used to with the bose soundsport.
It is the shape of the equalizer that changes the sound/the timbre, not the power i set in db, and unfortunately in this Poweramp it limits me, but i understand that the need to go beyond +-15db is for few people.
So unless there is an app update that allows to go beyond +-15db, i have to find another way to avoid damaging my hearing with high pitched sounds especially the "s" sounds in voice. It is also possible that the audio files have this defect on purpose to feel louder with most devices but with the qcy t13 is too much.
So options like raplaygain (which i don't understand if can help) and DVC or something else in the audio output options, could mitigate the problem?

It looks to me like you are using the EQ to significantly boost the upper range, (the second half of the “V” target), but then are not happy with the high frequencies you are hearing. Remember the every headphone model has a different signature, so you can’t universally apply one EQ curve and expect them to sound the same. Ultimately, if the T13s don’t suit your listening taste you’d be much better off replacing those with a pair that does. There is no way anything more than a +/-15dB range should be required for any reasonable player/headphone combo.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/26/2022 at 4:42 PM, MotleyG said:

It looks to me like you are using the EQ to significantly boost the upper range, (the second half of the “V” target), but then are not happy with the high frequencies you are hearing. Remember the every headphone model has a different signature, so you can’t universally apply one EQ curve and expect them to sound the same. Ultimately, if the T13s don’t suit your listening taste you’d be much better off replacing those with a pair that does. There is no way anything more than a +/-15dB range should be required for any reasonable player/headphone combo.

I'll try to explain myself better. I set the equalizer in a way that i like with any device. But with the q13 i can't because the high sounds are too sharp and hurt the ears. It's a q13 issue not the equalizer. If i lower the high frequencies, it partially solves the problem but the sound is "flatter" because the harmony with the other frequencies has changed as the shape of the equalizer has changed. So my theory is to scale all the bands uniformly taking as reference the 0db value for the other frequencies in order to maintain the same ratios but going down with the values in db. So basically I'm doing the opposite of boost the upper range. With +-15db i can't maintain the ratios between the bands, that's the problem. If Poweramp had +-25db like other programs, for example in realtek drivers for winows, i could at least test my theory and see if it works. The fact that both windows and other programs have +-20db while Poweramp doesn't, I find it strange.

This is the EQ I'm trying at the moment to try and fix the problem https://i.postimg.cc/MWnCSNJ1/Screenshot-2023-01-06-16-25-40-594-com-maxmpz-audioplayer.jpg

This is the normal EQ i use with soundsport bose on pc and Poweramp https://i.postimg.cc/Ytn5TkZp/IMG-20230106-162618.jpg

As you can see the v-shape is kept in the second eq but not in the first

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2 minutes ago, Nat said:

If Poweramp had +-25db like other programs, for example in realtek drivers for winows, i could at least test my theory and see if it works. The fact that both windows and other programs have +-20db while Poweramp doesn't, I find it strange.

Poweramp is much more focused on the audio quality and optimizing the potential output to best match that intended by the recording. So adjustments outside of the +/-15dB range would have a very negative influence on this. That is why on any decent quality audio preamp or receiver, you won't find anything with a range greater than this. In some cases they have no tone adjustments at all.

5 minutes ago, Nat said:

It's a q13 issue not the equalizer.

This is the real source of the problem. If this headphone doesn't suit your taste, you are far better off finding one that does.

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On 1/6/2023 at 4:42 PM, MotleyG said:

Poweramp is much more focused on the audio quality and optimizing the potential output to best match that intended by the recording. So adjustments outside of the +/-15dB range would have a very negative influence on this. That is why on any decent quality audio preamp or receiver, you won't find anything with a range greater than this. In some cases they have no tone adjustments at all.

This is the real source of the problem. If this headphone doesn't suit your taste, you are far better off finding one that does.

Better headphones aren't worth the price unless you're spending a lot of money. Honestly, the equalizer is just a function, just a line of code that adds decibels to frequencies, with no point in the output, rather is a sound modification. Hardly anyone likes the flat sound except those who have to work in the studio. There is no point in having a dac or hifi headphones if the sound is flat and not sound open like in real life. So the equalizer is fundamental in listening quality. Audio purists may not think so, but purists aren't ordinary people, they want to reproduce flat audio because they think it's more "faithful" even if it sounds like crap.

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Sweeping generalizations aside, no one is saying don't EQ your headphones. Our body and ear shape "EQ" sound in real life, too. (That's kind of why neutrality matters as a starting point)

It's just a little excessive to require 20dB increase (100 times increase in loudness) to fix a 

1 hour ago, Nat said:

flat and not sound open (like in real life)

When there's plenty of affordable IEMs/Headphones that give an open and natural sound (without such adjustments). Reviews for QCY T13 mention peaky treble in the "cons" of the earphones. You can't polish a turd.

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2 hours ago, Nat said:

Better headphones aren't worth the price unless you're spending a lot of money.

...

So the equalizer is fundamental in listening quality. Audio purists may not think so, but purists aren't ordinary people, they want to reproduce flat audio because they think it's more "faithful" even if it sounds like crap.

@Nat I wasn't suggesting you spend excessively to buy anything. But even in budget and mid-level headphones, there are different characters to each brand. As @Fitzian points out, the qcy t13 have been noted to be a treble heavy headphone. Obviously this is not something that you have found to a enjoyable. So something with less emphasis on the treble would be more suitable for you, and can easily be found in lower cost models and brands.

2 hours ago, Nat said:

Honestly, the equalizer is just a function, just a line of code that adds decibels to frequencies, with no point in the output, rather is a sound modification. Hardly anyone likes the flat sound except those who have to work in the studio. There is no point in having a dac or hifi headphones if the sound is flat and not sound open like in real life.

Actually there is a point to restricting the adjustment range, especially on the boost side of things. The DAC in most devices will quickly run out of range to handle the signal with that much boost applied, forcing it into a clipping condition and with noticeable distortion likely to happen. While less audible, even cutting the signal by a large amount would end up with missing details when the signal itself is already at low levels. Either way this is really putting a software band-aid on a hardware (headphone) problem. For me it would be irrelevant as I simply wouldn't use these extreme adjustments.

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