Integrating a subwoofer with headphone listening

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by OJneg, Oct 6, 2015.

  1. OJneg

    OJneg The Most Insufferable

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    I'm curious if any folks have had success with using their headphones in tandem with a subwoofer. You hear a lot about the 6dB effect and how headphones can't really stimulate that low-end rumble sensation, so the obvious solution would seem to be to add a subwoofer.

    • What headphone?
    • What subwoofer?
    • How are you splitting the signal? (digital or analog side)
    • Crossover point and slope?
    • How do you manage levels?
     
  2. Tuco1965

    Tuco1965 Suffring from early onset Alzheimer's - Friend

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    I'd be interested in this too. I split the output on my Bifrost between my Lyr and my Yamaha receiver and on a few occasions forgot to turn off the speaker system. The effect of the sub in those instances is very interesting indeed.
     
  3. Luckbad

    Luckbad Traded in a unicorn for a Corolla

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    It should be possible. I really want one of these:
    http://thesubpac.com/

    It uses some method to split out the bass and render it into physical shaking.
     
  4. Luckbad

    Luckbad Traded in a unicorn for a Corolla

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    There are cheaper alternatives to the SubPac that I've looked at that essentially go for tactile bass without the sound of a subwoofer.

    Butt Kicker is the most popular.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B000AOTLP6

    There are cheaper options like the Dayton Puck. With those you'll need a preamp or other subwoofer crossover.

    Btw, FMOD crossover is the cheapest way to only get bass to the sub or a shaker.

    Edit: RCA splitter plus this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00S66QNA6
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2015
  5. NoStream

    NoStream Acquaintance

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    I bought a Subpac for mixing with headphones but have used it a fair bit with my HD800s for casual listening.

    First of all, you need to position it properly on your back to get a good tactile bass. Bass tends to be a bit boomy and woolly, and the Subpac will end up interfering with your headphones' low end. The excess bass winds up clouding their high end too.

    Integration/cohesion with headphones is not great. Ultimately, it's a fun piece of equipment for 808-dominated and super bassy stuff, but it's going to give you lowrider bass, not quality bass. It's more useful as a production tool than a listening tool. I never use it for critical listening and rarely for listening to anything without synthesized bass and kick drums.
     
  6. Luckbad

    Luckbad Traded in a unicorn for a Corolla

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    How does it interfere? Aren't you just sending one signal to the SubPac and another to your headphones with a splitter instead of using the passthrough? It shouldn't impact your audio at all.
     
  7. OJneg

    OJneg The Most Insufferable

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    I'm having a similar issue I think. I have to turn my subwoofer up pretty high to get the effect and it only seems to muddy things up. I need to try different xover point and maybe a different headphone
     
  8. NoStream

    NoStream Acquaintance

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    It's not an electrical phenomenon. It's an acoustic and psychoacoustic one. Low bass is essentially omnidirectional and transmits through your body to your ears. Psychoacoustically, the low frequencies mask highs definition and also interfere with low end resolution. It's like mating a cheap sub with high end electrostatic speakers. It doesn't work that well.
     
  9. Xen

    Xen Friend

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    I remember at university, I did this the cheap way... a pair of earpods for the treble then added my Sony MDR-V6's for the bass (midbass). Really stupid, but kinda, sorta almost worked if you squinted and tilted your head to one side.
     
  10. Rex Aeterna

    Rex Aeterna Friend

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    Low end rumble is 30hz and under. Real seismic vibration is 20-28hz but better make sure you don't have sucky neighbors cause low distorted clean sub bass and infrasonic vibrations at reasonable to high spl can rattle off Windows,crack walls,ect depending on foundation...

    I never liked some powered subs for sub bass frequencies. Even for low to midbass i rather use some decent pro audio stuff...

    But, on subject..as for slops. For best separation and cut off are 48db slops..i use the builtin active linkwitz-riley 48/db with low pass of 35hz for my speakers with my crown xti 4002..for headphones i would keep it 30hz at highest maybe if using an active crossover but most active crossover has 24/db butterworth or linkwitz but, some processors like the behringer dcx something i believe it's called has 48db slops but has limited low and high pass filtering.
     
  11. Out Of Your Head

    Out Of Your Head Friend

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    I have a friend who has the Butt Kicker. It was horrible. The problem is that it's just vibration like a super strong phone vibration or paint shaker. It was either On or Off and nothing in between. It doesn't have any kind of frequency response, meaning the vibration frequency did not vary. It reminds me of the vibrating massage beds.

    The Subpac is totally different. The Subpac performs more like a subwoofer than a paint shaker. You can actually hear low end frequency response.

    I found it difficult to integrate the Subpac with headphones because the Subpac is too strong! But when I dialed it WAY down to make it more subtle, then I find it to work really well to enhance the low end. When dialed in properly, it works really well for me and feels integrated. For movies, especially 5.1 or 7.1, it greatly enhances the headphone experience. Something about that extra low end that makes action movies work really well.

    That's the way I hook it up. I use an alternate output from the DAC to send to the Subpac. I don't run the main headphone audio through the Subpac input/preamp.

    I also have a Hsu Research STF-1 subwoofer. It works reasonably well, but needs to be turned up kind of high to have any effect. At that point, it can be too loud if you are trying not to disturb family, neighbors, etc. The Subpac cannot be heard by anyone especially if it's turned down to usable levels.
     
    Luckbad likes this.

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