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Headphone Buying Guide: Frequency Response for Headphones

Frequency Response for Headphones

What should I know about Frequency Response in Headphones?

  • Frequency response is the range of bass, mids and treble. In the example 20 to 20,000 Hz, the first number represents the bass end of the spectrum while the second number represents the treble end.
  • 20 to 20,000 Hz is generally accepted as the audible frequency range, this is the standard for most headphones.
  • Some headphones offer wider ranges (for example, 5 to 33,000 Hz), but better frequency response does not always mean better sound quality.
  • Below 20 Hz bass frequencies can be felt more so than heard, treble frequencies over 20,000 Hz are not always audible.
  • Some ratings include a plus/minus deviation (ie ±3 dB). This indicates how far the sound deviates from a neutral or "flat" response; the lower the number the better.

Further Reading On Headphones