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published: Dec-2-2015

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NO SMOOTHING is applied to the shown plots. Most measurement sites have some smoothing applied which ‘irons flat’ sharp peaks and ‘wiggles’. I do not use smoothing because some info about sound quality is lost when plots are smoothed.

Aside from a small correction of the microphone itself also some correction in the lowest frequencies is applied to the plots to compensate for the perceived loss of bass when using headphones. This is described HERE in more detail.
A ‘horizontal‘ frequency response curve on the shown frequency response plots on this website thus indicates a perceived ‘flat’ tonal signature.

ALL measurements are made with a good SEAL on a flatbed measurement rig.
shape of your head, bone structure, pad size, pad ‘softness,  (compliance), hair or no hair and or wearing glasses may (drastically) change the frequency response of some headphones, so… your personal experience may differ substantially from these plots.

Frequency response (tonal balance) is the most sound-determining aspect of headphones. A horizontal line shows audible neutral response in the plots on this website. Deviations in different severities at different frequency bands have an effect on the sound character.
The bigger the deviation the stronger the effect.

Below an aid to help determining the sound character of headphones with relation to the frequency response.


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Superlux HD572-SP


This is the new (2015) Superlux HD572-SP. Superlux was kind enough to send me this brown version as a review sample.
These are also available in white, blue and black but all have the ‘creme’ coloured pads.
Just like the HD562 seems a (close) copy of the Sennheiser HD25, the HD572-SP seems to be a copy of the HD25-SP.
Appears to be a sturdy headphone, except for the (replaceable) pads perhaps. These pads are creme coloured and of the thin pleather kind.
You know the kind of material that starts to flake and fall apart within the year. No idea to tell how these will do over time.

Don’t have one of those HD25-SP so can’t compare but do know they are the lesser sounding (and cheaper) little brother of the HD25.
This HD572-SP is in a similar way the little, lesser and cheaper brother of the HD562 I reckon.

What the target group for this headphone is remains unclear. Superlux puts it in the ‘personal Audio’ range.
Where the ‘original’ HD572 is called a ‘monitoring’ headphone the HD572-SP is doped a ‘Music Appreciation Headphone’.
It is NOT a comfortable headphone and for me the cups cannot go ‘up’ far enough. Due to the very high clamping force (be aware glass wearing people) it stays on the ears though.

Personally I would say it would be a monitoring headphone instead as I really can’t appreciate music on this headphone.
As a monitor it actually isn’t bad at all. It has decent mids and would be fine for monitoring voices and instruments that do not go deep nor have treble extension.
The clamping force is HIGH. uncomfortably so, I get a headache after 10 mins or so. Bending the headband does not seem to help.

It seems, however, it is targetted for young people that want a cheap and dispensible headphone for on the go. For smaller heads it may not clamp that hard…
The angled 3.5mm plug (without an adapter) suggests portable usage, however, the cable is much to long for this so will have to be rolled up or tucked in somewhere.

Below the frequency response of this headphone. Left Right

HD572 FR

Yes, I checked for the channel imbalance a few times… it is really there, 3dB between 100Hz and 1.5kHz.
No bass extension but lows and mids seem fine but sounding,  ‘compressed’ as in not ‘dynamic/open’ though.
One would expect to hear more than enough treble and an extension to 15kHz seems more than enough to have some ‘air’ as well. The steep drop-off is similar to the HD562. BUT the HD562 sounds a lot brighter/clearer in comparison.
When you don’t like harsh treble than this won’t disappoint… I would even say it lacks treble even though the measurements say otherwise. You can’t discriminate a 128kbs MP3 with a 96/24 FLAC because it rolls off quickly (15kHz).

Below the distortion plot of this headphone (around 90dB SPL which is loud)


So … it distorts up to 100Hz and becomes somewhat better above 200Hz. Nothing special and considering the small driver diameter (30mm) not even that bad. Mainly 2nd harmonic as well. (Note this plot measures from 30Hz to 30kHz)
Above is the left channel which measured somewhat worse than the right channel by the way.

Below the CSD right and left overlayed


Not terribly bad nor excellent but decent for its price class, seen worse.
The HD681 is in a similar price class and performs MUCH better and way more ‘musical’.

The squarewave plots and needle pulse tells a better story of how it ‘sounds’.
Below the 40Hz squarewave. It should look like the green line but as can be seen lacks bass.

HD572SP 40Hz

Below the 440Hz squarewave. It should look like the green line but the measurement shows it looks more like a flattened sinewave. No treble (no sharp rising and falling edges) and no bass (no horizontal lines but curved).

HD572SP 440Hz

The needle pulse below (100μs) shows the biggest pitfall if you are looking for a ‘sparkling’ and detailed headphone.
The red trace should reach the same height as the green stimulus and rise fast, maybe even overshoot slightly.
On the positive side… there is little ringing (as can be seen in the CSD as well) and sound ‘dry’ as in the opposite of ‘splashy’. The peak level it reaches is way too low and explains why the HD572-SP sounds ‘dull’ and ‘muffled’.
Cymbals are heard very softly and there is no dynamic sound at all.

HD572SP 100us

A bit disappointing. When comparing this headphone to other Superlux phones from the past, HD681, HD668B, HD661, etc. this headphone shares NOTHING with their good sonic qualities.

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