Using Headphones (or IEMs) as EQ Target for Other Headphones


For kicks, I just picked up a pair of VE Monk Plus’ from Massdrop. They’re too big for my ears and consequently uncomfortable, but I find their midrange and treble tonal balance alluring. In my ongoing quest to EQ my RN QT2s into the perfect sounding IEMs, I continue to believe that there’s room for improvement. Perhaps the VE Monk Plus could serve as a useful reference?

Inspired by @antdroid’s work to create house curves for Room EQ Wizard (REW), I decided to measure the VE Monk and use that as a house curve. I created a simple program to assist with this task.

As a baseline, here are my previous EQ settings:

The VE Monk Plus differs in a few key areas:

  • Dramatically less bass
  • Warmer low midrange (pretty similar to the stock QT2)
  • Brighter upper mids, with the peak arriving at a lower frequency
  • The treble peak arrives 2000 Hz earlier

I let REW match the response between 800 Hz 15000 Hz using 6 filters, after which I applied a couple of adjustments from my previous EQ profile for the sub-bass boost and a slight mid-midrange fill, yielding the below:

Listening to this, I found the following:

  • Although I feared that that 8 KHz peak would highlight sibilance, it doesn’t seem to do so. I vaguely recall reading somewhere that our ear has a natural resonance at 8 KHz, so perhaps a boost here is necessary for IEMs (not really sure). It does seem to improve perceived detail and tonal balance of percussion in particular.
  • The dip at 6 Khz works nicely for me. It seems to keep sibilance at bay and I don’t find myself missing the energy there.
  • The 2 KHz peak seems a bit too bright. Everything is a little overly clear, and the sound loses a little edge relative to the 3 KHz peak in my original EQ.
  • I do like the warmth in the lower midrange. Cutting it in my original EQ per the Harman IEM curve did seem to bring out more detail and improve timbre of drums, but I think offsetting it with more energy in the presence region accomplishes the same thing without losing that warmth.

So, taking the 6 KHz cut and 8 KHz boost as inspiration, I tweaked my original EQ into the following:

I’ll need to live with it for a while, but so far my impressions are positive.


This is great work as always @pwjazz. Your going to have to change your tag to Equaliser King. I always look forward to reading your exploits from within the mysterious world of Equalising. Thanks, I am slowly trying to get to grips with a little EQ myself, though obviously not on your level. I find the charts especially good as they say a picture paints a thousand words.

Sorry for the love in,:grin:, but I just wanted to reiterate that I like EQ and your posts help me.:+1: