The Shredders be Happy with Skullcandy's Grind Measurements


Click on graphs image to download .pdf for closer inspection.

Raw frequency response plots show the Grind fairly close to the Harman Target Response. Bass boost is somewhat excessive and bleeds into the mids above 200Hz, which makes for a "thick" sounding mid-range response. Rise to the peak at 3kHz should start slowly much sooner, causing these cans to be a little laid back in the upper mid-range. Peak at 3kHz is a few dB too high, and remains so until about 10kHz where it comes down to an appropriate level. The overall shape of the curve, though close to target, is somewhat herky-jerky and combined with some spikes in distortion and features in the impedance plot in the low and mid treble, have me thinking that there's some driver break-up problems in this area. I did hear the area get hard sounding sometimes.

While the frequency response shows good extention into the bass, the 30Hz square wave has a slight sway back and looks like it has less bass than the FR. This can happen when the bass response goes out of phase from where it's supposed to be. THD+noise plot shows a lot of distortion in the bass as well. While the bass distortion was the worst problem I heard with the Grind, I'd also say it's not quite as bad sounding as it looks in the plots here.

300Hz square wave definitely looks like something that might sound strident, but again, these cans seem to sound better than they look. Certainly the very fast, singular spike at the leading edge followed by a modest amount of noise, and a similarly clean impulse response, indicates an articulate presentation in the treble range, which was heard in listening. Mentally combining the fairly large leading edge spike on the 300Hz square wave and the mid-treble spikes in the distortion plot would have me and my aversion to harsh or strident treble quite on edge. Fortunately, here again these cans sound better than one would expect from their chart.

THD+noise plots show some significant problems in the bass and mid-treble, but fairly good performance and power handling otherwise. Distortion spikes in the treble match up with erratic wiggles in the electrical phase, impedance, and frequency response plots, which usually indicated problems in the acoustic spaces around the driver and/or driver diaphragm break-up. I think this is indicative of the "hard" sounding treble I heard in listening.

Isolation plot shows a fairly poorly isolating sealed headphone with -12dB broad band isolation. Needing 49mVrms to achieve 90dBspl at the ear, these cans will be driven to solid listening levels on portable devices.

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