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Your missing headphones have been submitted to Zaya, thank you.
Why did you start Zaya?
Because after months of COVID lockdowns my subconscious was screaming for distractions, and so down the headphones rabbit hole I went. Zaya is the tool I wish had existed when I started my journey.
What are audiophile headphones?
Audiophile headphones is a category that we can define by process of elimination. You're familiar with True Wireless headphones such as Airpods, and Noise Cancelling overhead headphones such as the Sony WH-1000XM4 and Bose 700. You've also seen gaming headsets - audiophile headphones are none of the above. They don't have any features - they don't cancel noise, they're not wireless, they don't have a microphone and they're often large and heavy. They go a step further and become even less pragmatic, as they're often what's known as "open-back" - that is - they are not sealed. You can hear your surroundings, and everyone around you can hear what you're listening to.
Audiophile headphones sound terrible!
That's not even in the form of a question! And in many ways, yes, audiophile headphones are terrible. But they're also the best, and there's not a person on this planet that thought - that thing over there is the best, but I want 2nd best! At a given price point, audiophile headphones sound better than their equivalent feature-rich True Wireless or Noise Cancelling headphones.
Alright, so they sound better, but why should I care?
Because they sound SO much better that it's a new experience in and of itself. It's like trying out Sushi for the first time - it looks fishy, but hot damn is it good. What do you feel when you eat your usual breakfast? Likely nothing. Try and recall what you felt when you had a brand new food for the first time. That's what it's like listening to your favorite songs with a really nice pair of audiophile headphones.
How do I read frequency response graphs?
Frequency response graphs are produced by placing headphones over a fairly bizarre looking artificial head & ears with microphones in them and measuring how loud they get at each point of the sound spectrum -- more precisely frequencies from 20 Hz (the very low end of the bass) and 20,000 Hz (humans can't actually hear this high).
Why is this useful?
It gives you a rough idea of how headphones sound like without listening to them, and so is an objective tool that helps you evaluate and research headphones.
OK, so what does a "good" graph look like?
Here we introduce the Harman target curve - an approximation of what an average listener would prefer. If headphones produce sound that sits on the Harman curve, most people would think that those headphones sound natural, without outstanding deviations in bass, mids, or treble. To that end Zaya shows you two graphs - the headphones in question overlaid on top of the Harman target curve, and a second graph that highlights the deviation from the target curve, coloring those areas against the X axis.
I want some more in-depth and authoritative information!
DMS and Resolve produced fantastic, short, consumable videos about this topic.



Where is the frequency response data from?
Headphone frequency response data is taken from the wonderful AutoEQ project that aggregates measurements from generous community members, including oratory1990, rtings, Reference Audio Analyzer, Inner Fidelity, and others.


Zaya Headphone Reviews, created by Assaf Muller, with art by Bar Muller

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