What is Frequency Response in Headphones?

We all are familiar that sound is created by vibrations and these vibrations have different frequencies. The audible frequency range is the frequency which human ear can hear and it ranges from 20Hz to 20kHz. The frequency response of a headphone tells us that how well it can reproduce different frequencies.

It is important to have a wide and linear frequency response in headphones so that all the frequencies can be reproduced accurately without any distortion. A good quality headphone should have a frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz but some high-end headphones even go beyond this range. But it must be kept in mind that human ear can’t respond to frequencies greater than 20kHz

Frequency response is an important factor to consider while buying headphones because it directly affects the sound quality. If you are looking for accurate sound reproduction, then look for headphones with a wide and flat frequency response curve.

What is a Frequency Response Graph?

Source (rtings.com)

A frequency response graph is a visual representation of frequencies that a headphone reproduces. The X-axis represents different frequencies and the Y-axis represents the level of output at that particular frequency.

A flat line on the graph means that the headphone is reproducing all frequencies with equal loudness. A dip or a peak in the graph means that the particular frequency is not being reproduced accurately.

Headphones with good frequency response will have a flat line or very slight dips and peaks. Headphones with poor frequency response will have drastic dips and peaks which results in inaccurate sound reproduction.

How to Test Frequency Response?

There are many ways to test the frequency response of headphones. One way is to use an SPL meter and a sound generator.

First, you need to connect the headphone to the sound generator. Then set the SPL meter to C-weighting and slow response and hold it close to the ear cup. Now play a sine wave at different frequencies through the sound generator and note down the dB readings on the SPL meter.

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This method is not very accurate but it will give you a general idea about the frequency response of the headphone.

Another way to test frequency response is by using an oscilloscope and a sinusoidal signal generator. This method is more accurate than the previous one but it requires some technical knowledge and expensive equipment.

If you want to get an idea about the frequency response of your headphones, they’re usually printed on the headphones box but some local headphones don’t have the accurate frequencies printed on their box, In such cases you can use the methods mentioned above.

What is the Neutral Frequency Response?

The neutral frequency response is the frequency response of a headphone when it is reproduced without any coloration. A headphone with a neutral frequency response will reproduce all frequencies with equal loudness.

A headphone with a colored frequency response will have either too much or too little bass or treble. This results in an inaccurate sound reproduction. Most of the high-end headphones have a neutral frequency response but some cheaper headphones have a colored frequency response.


In this article we have explained what is frequency response in headphones and how you can check the frequency response of your headphones. We have also explained what is the neutral frequency response and why it is important.

We hope that this article was helpful and informative. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section below. Thank you for reading!

Charles Davis

Charles Davis

I'm an audiophile and love everything about headphones - from the design to the sound quality. I've been writing about headphones for a while now and have become something of an expert on the topic. I think it's so important for people to have great sounding audio, and that's why I work so hard to promote great headphones. I believe that everyone should be able to experience high-quality audio, and that's why I'm such a big advocate for headphones.