Calibrating Headphones for the K-System

Bob Katz Leave a Comment

From: Gorimaa

Message: Hello, I would like to know how to calibrate my beyerdynamic DT 880 PRO (or other headphone) to be able to use the K-system. Thank you so much.

Hi Gorimaa,

It is possible with a special calibrator to measure the SPL of headphones, but there are so many practical issues trying to mix or master on headphones that I don’t think it’s worth the trouble. If you want to get close (but you won’t be exact) you could play calibrated -20 dBFS uncorrelated pink noise on both speakers with your monitor control set to -10 dB to produce a sum of 76 dBC/slow on the speakers, and switch back and forth between the speakers and the headphones. But you must be using a calibrated monitor control for the headphones as well. And when you’re done, where are you? —- No where, because the purpose of the K-System is to judge transient degradation along with examining the position of your monitor control, using your ears. And headphones are deceiving, they exagerrate transients, as do near-field monitors, so it falls apart.
Best wishes,


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