Types of Sound Signature
What is a Sound Signature?
Sound signature is a term used to refer to the unique sonic characteristics of a particular frequency in an earphone or headphone. Those frequencies we are referring here are sub-bass, mid-bass, lower mids, centre mids, upper mids, lower treble and upper treble. All these frequencies are present in an earphone or headphones either in the lower volume or higher volume, which makes the number of sound signatures. A consumer must buy an earphone or headphones based on the type of sound signature he/she likes. To understand which earphone or headphone to go for, kindly read below:
Analytical Sound Signature
A sound signature which is highly detailed and emphasizes the upper mid-range (2kHz and 4kHz) and lower treble (4kHz and 6kHz). In this sound signature, it is extremely easy to pinpoint the smallest instrument in the background and foreground. One can easily pinpoint the guitarist and pianist’s sound. Due to the amount of clarity it delivers, music industry experts frequently choose this style of sound signature for mixing and mastering since it makes all audio flaws on a recording obvious. They can make modifications and corrections more readily as a result.
Because our ears are more sensitive to higher frequencies, wearing too-bright headphones might eventually make you feel tired from listening for an extended period.
Earphones with Analytical Sound Signature:
1. HIFIMAN RE800
2. JOYROOM JR-E105
3. TIN AUDIO T2 PRO
Bassy Sound Signature
A sound signature which has an elevation from sub-bass to lower-mids with a neutral or below neutral mids section but takes a slight elevation from upper-mids to upper treble. A very good sound signature for the bass lovers and for music genres lovers like Electronica, EDM, Hip-Hop, RnB, Dub-Step.
Earphones with Bassy Sound Signature:
1. BGVP DMG
2. FIDUE A71
Bright-Neutral Sound Signature
A sound signature which is neutral from sub-bass to lower-mids but takes an elevation from upper-mids with a slight cut from treble to upper treble. A very good sound signature for the purists, sound engineers and who love details in their music with neutral and clean mids presentation.
Earphones with Bright-Neutral Sound Signature:
Tin HiFi T4
Warm-Neutral Sound Signature
A sound signature which is neutral from sub-bass to upper-mids with slightly subdued treble and upper treble. A very good sound signature for the purist who cannot stand the slightly higher treble energy. This sound signature is a very good long listening and fatigue-free sound signature.
Earphones with Warm-Neutral Sound Signature:
1. Tin HiFi P1
2. Tin HiFi T2 Plus
Warm DF-Neutral Sound Signature
Warm DF-Neutral is the exact opposite of the DF-Neutral. Warm DF-Neutral has more sub-bass and mid-bass, whereas DF-Neutral has neutral to “lower than” neutral sub-bass and mid-bass. DF-Neutral has more upper-mids whereas Warm DF-Neutral has slightly subdued upper-mids. DF-Neutral has slightly less treble whereas Warm DF-Neutral has slightly more treble, but Warm DF-Neutral does not appear to be bright because of accentuated sub-bass and mid-bass.
Earphones with Warm DF-Neutral Sound Signature:
1. Tanchjim Tanya
2. Tennmak Crazy Cello
DF-Neutral Sound Signature
A sound signature which has below neutral sub-bass and mid-bass, neutral lower mids and a peak at upper mids region and slightly above neutral treble and neutral upper treble/air. This sound signature focused more on the upper mids region than on the entire frequency range. This sound signature is suitable for female vocalists and vocals.
Earphones with DF-Neutral Sound Signature
1. Moondrop Blessing 2
2. Tennmak Pro
Warm Sound Signature
A sound signature with good bass, especially mid-bass, present lower-mids, i.e., full male and female vocals, a rich sound, rolled off treble aka sweet highs, and an easy-to-listen sound for hours and hours.
Earphones with Warm Sound Signature:
1. BGVP DN2
2. HIFIMAN RE300
3. KZ ATE
4. KZ EDR2
5. Tin Audio T1
Warm U-Shaped Sound Signature
A sound signature which emphasizes the sub-bass, mid-bass with slight emphasis on lower treble and upper treble but doesn't emphasize the mids aka vocals, despite that, mids aka vocals are not recessed as found in V-Shaped sound signature. Such a kind of sound signature is the love at first sight kind of since it is considered as fun sound aka toe-tapping sound, but with no harsh treble or peak in a treble area. Listeners usually immerse themselves in such a sound signature easily.
Earphones with Warm U-Shaped Sound Signature:
Tin HiFi P2
Neutral Sound Signature
A sound signature which is balanced/neutral/even across the frequency range can also say that no frequency range covers/overlaps the other frequency range.
Earphones with Neutral Sound Signature:
1. BQEYZ KC2
2. HIFIMAN RE400
3. Joyroom JR-E107
4. OSTRY KC06A
5. Tin Audio T2
Soundsly Apaisant Sound Signature
A sound signature with "slightly above neutral" sub-bass, present mid-bass without mid-bass bleed, slightly above neutral lower mids, neutral centre mids, slightly boosted upper-mids, neutral lower treble and "slightly above neutral" upper treble with very good soundstage due to its open back nature and extended upper treble. That's how Soundsly Apaisant sounds.
Earphones with Soundsly Apaisant Sound Signature:
Harman Profile Sound Signature
We are now wading into scientific territory because the psychoacoustics, or the study of how people respond to sound signatures, that gave rise to the Harman Curve, is what makes it possible. Have you ever wondered why there isn’t a signature that everyone finds appealing? Why does each speaker have a distinctive voice?
The mystery of what tuning appeals to human ears the best was investigated in 2010 by Sean Olive (Harman International) and his colleagues. They put hundreds of headphones on the test on thousands of listeners around the world. They finally develop the Harman Curve.
How does it sound?
The Harman curve is a theoretical target sound signature said to produce the best sound quality that most but all listeners would prefer.
The Harman Curve is essentially a specific target frequency response that produces the “best possible sound” for headphones.
Frequency response refers to the range of bass, mids, and treble that headphones can reproduce. The ideal frequency range covers the audible sound range of 20Hz–20kHz.
Harman target curve usually has a boosted sub-bass, neutral to "slightly above neutral" mid-bass, flat mids, slight above flat upper mids and extended treble response.
Harman target curve was developed to mimic the speakers-like sound quality in a headphones form factor.
Earphones with Harman Profile Sound Signature:
Warm V-Shaped Sound Signature
A sound signature which emphasizes the sub-bass, and mid-bass, but doesn't emphasize the mids aka vocals, lower treble and upper treble. Such a kind of sound signature is the love at first sight kind of since it is considered as a fun sound aka toe-tapping sound, but with no harsh treble or peak in a treble area. Listeners usually immerse themselves in such a sound signature easily. Such kind of sound signature might not have an excellent soundstage because of the lack of upper treble region aka air, but this isn't a universal truth. Some earphones might have a very good, in fact excellent, sound stage with pin-point imaging.
Earphones with Warm V-Shaped Sound Signature:
1. BQEYZ K2
2. BGVP DM6
3. Blon BL-03
4. FIDUE A91
5. KZ ZEX
Mid-centric Sound Signature
A sound signature with neutral sub-bass, neutral mid-bass, neutral lower mids, slightly boosted upper-mids, neutral lower treble and neutral upper treble. We can also say that vocals are the centre stage in the entire frequency range. Such a kind of sound signature is a delight for vocals lovers. Vocal lovers usually immerse themselves in such a sound signature easily.
Earphones with Mid-Centric Sound Signature
1. VSonic R02 Silver
2. Tenhz P4 Pro
V-Shaped Sound Signature
A sound signature which emphasizes the sub-bass heavily, mid-bass, lower treble and upper treble over vocals. Such a kind of sound signature is the love at first sight sound since it is considered a fun sound aka toe-tapping sound. Listeners usually immerse themselves in such a sound signature easily. Generally, a V-shaped sound signature has a very good and expansive soundstage.
Earphones with V-Shaped Sound Signature:
1. FIDUE A73
2. HiFiMAN RE2000
3. Ikko OH1
4. Ikko OH10
5. Joyroom JR-E103
6. KZ ED8
7. KZ ED9
8. KZ ES4
9. KZ HDS3
10. KZ EDX
11. KZ EDX Pro
12. KZ DQ6
13. KZ ZSR
14. KZ ZS10
15. QKZ VK4
16. T-Peos Popular
17. TRN V90
18. VSONIC VSD3S
19. VSONIC VSD3