Earphones with the Tympan

The Tympan is just electronics. You get to choose your own earphones. Which ones do you use? Surely the earphones will have a big effect on how the Tympan sounds. So, the choice of earphone is an important one.

As a first experiment, I did some calibration testing to assess the frequency response and sensitivity of the Tympan with my inexpensive, consumer earbuds (Klipsch S4). My results are below. I found that it can get pretty loud (117 dB at 1 kHz) and that these earphones produce a huge bass boost. I guess that should be no surprise for earbuds aimed at the consumer market, where many listeners prefer a bass-heavy sound.

More details of my testing (including code and data) are here: http://openaudio.blogspot.com/2017/05/calibrating-my-earphones-with-tympan.html

The most interesting thing (to me) about doing this testing was using an ANSI-standard 2cc coupler to attach the earbud to the laboratory microphone. I’m curious about how much of the response that I’m seeing (both the overall sensitivity and that big bass boost) might be an artifact of using the 2cc coupler instead of using an artifical ear (or instead of using a real ear). I look forward to repeating these measurements using one of these other approaches.

Does anyone else have experience calibrating earphones and headsets? What equipment did you use?


If you consider that the average real-ear to coupler difference for a 2cc hearing aid coupler has a rising slope, then the responses you show would be flatter in a real ear (see attached for the averages used by the Audioscan Verifit). These are obtained using a probe microphone near the tympanic membrane.