Muse - Sample Unit Testing Scenarios

Hello mUsers!
For the lucky few who are testing the headphones - perhaps some suggested scenarios can be posted here.

I think it’s important to note sources, cable types and material, audio source etc as in today’s internet age, it is hard to identify is it one’s source or equipment when things aren’t “right”. Spotify at 64k plus a $3000 headphone may or may not be any good (I’ll never know!), while the $3000 Sony audio player loaded with mp3 files may or may not be decent. And so:

I’m curious about cabled vs wireless sound quality.

Bluetooth drop outs.

How the cups stay or don’t stay during various head movements (and NC).

How does it fit w glasses or even a hat.

Distribution of weight of the headband.

Is anyone planning to fly during testing? Use a train?

Results using YouTube vs iPod vs computer vs a fancy audio player.

Rain/wind testing.

Bag test - how do they hold up in your backpack, purse, or folio

And perhaps a @Konstantinos appropriate drop test? :laughing::grin:

Battery life testing with various criteria.

Testers:

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I’m just going to tag the reviewers here to annoy them into reading this:
@iKirin @Javild @reiro @yetanotherone @Derpy_Spam @ferrariroxjb12 @jjw @Traveler @csroc @David_Wierzbicki @Kee @reubenno @techDK @Walderstorn

And I’m mostly interested in the latency with audio over bluetooth. But do keep in mind that that can depend on the transmitter as well. And of course the usual stuff (audio quality, battery life, comfort, stuff like that).

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I’ll intend to test in my first impressions:

Build & Comfort
Sound (Wired & Wireless compared to a few of my personal favorites) -> including various sources
Microphone
ANC (As someone who did not have ANC yet)

I’ll go and check battery life / charging as well if I got time for it

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I’ll be testing:
Build quality.

Comfort (I’ll ask family members to try them too to get a better consensus).

Audio quality (bluetooth and wired) using an HTC 10, and SMSL SD739ii amp/dac. I’ll be comparing them to my Sennheiser HD598s and Soundmagic E80 IEMs.

Noise Cancelling (ANC and physical cancellation) with consistent background noise and inconsistent noise.

Battery Life.

Bluetooth range through the heavy wooden firedoors in my home.

I’ll be flying over Christmas time, not within the 10 days I have to test them, but I’ll update my review with my experience of the headphones regardless.

If anyone else has any other things to test I’m more than happy to do so.

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Would do folks find it useful to know the general city the testers are in? Only reason is a NC scenario on a crowded Mumbai train may vastly differ to that of someone in say a prairie US state!

Since we have some hardcore techies (and a variety of users - which make for a great community!) I think noting ones wifi set up may be useful info and also if one is in an apartment or house. While these details may seem frivolous, it may be useful for the tech-heads when determining BT drop outs or headphone wireless connection quality!

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Good point, I’m in a quietish Scottish town, but I’m gonna use my studio speakers to replicate various listening scenarios.

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I almost forgot, if someone of the reviewers has access towards an Bose Quiet Comfort, or Sony WH-1000MX[number] I’d be interested in the comparisons, on all fronts :slight_smile:
might be useful for others as well since they are widely available.

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I know Unbox Therapy compared both maybe they can help in round 2 :laughing::grin:

Shameless Canadian plug

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I have a friend who has QC25s, I’ll see if they’ll lend them to me so I can make some comparisons.

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I’ve been focusing on the sound discrepancies between noise cancellation enabled and disabled. Most ANCs I’ve tried have had that behaviour, and it doesn’t seem different with the Flow II. Another thing important for me is multi-device connectivity. Sadly it doesn’t seem to exist. I have to disconnect from my phone to connect to my computer.

I find the pair fairly comfortable, and the Google Assistant integration is nice. Although due to iOS’s restrictions, the Assistant app has to be running in the background for Assistant to work when connected to an iOS device.

Some first impressions.

Hi, on a train right now and I’ve been making some preparatory notes about different travel headphone options on trains, open plan offices and hotels. Apparently my review cans will be waiting for me when I get home!

Just to confirm, I can get my hands on some Bose quiet comforts and am willing to try the Sony ones in a retail space (other people may be able to do the same).

In relation to specific requests:

  • cabled vs wireless sound quality. Vital. Take it as read that I will comment on this.

Bluetooth drop outs. Gets worse on trains for some reason. Close proximity of multiple laptops and phones. Will check for you.

How the cups stay or don’t stay during various head movements (and NC). I would add strength of the ‘clamp’ and how comfortable it is over time.

How does it fit w glasses or even a hat. And under a hood. None of these cans are rainproof. I hope to give you some comments on the depth of the earpieces. There is an opportunity to anticipate a design change towards slimmer ones, which also helps with hoods etc.

Distribution of weight of the headband. And strength if the clamp.

Is anyone planning to fly during testing? Use a train? Yes to trains, maybe a flight too.

Results using YouTube vs iPod vs computer vs a fancy audio player. Sure.

Train
pulling in!

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Yo, yours arrived then I take it? Mine were due today but stuck in Germany at the moment… boooo

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I’ll be taking 2 hour’s train daily for my commute in and out of London city. Tonnes of train, underground, road, pedestrian noise to experience.

I’m sitting at home now with ear buds in too since I dont want to disturb baby sleeping. So plenty of opportunity to test long term wearing comfort

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Likewise, I’m in the UK too.

Mine have been stuck in Japan since Wednesday and were scheduled to arrive yesterday. I think the tracking information was only for the larger container they were in, not the smaller box going to me.

Likewise, mine were scheduled for today but
are stuck in Germany and it’s a working week delivery system so I think I’ll have to wait until Monday for them.

I’m loving how this thread is progressing in just a day. Keep the suggestions coming - there are several testers all over the world! While everyone’s opinion is valued, I know there are some professional audio engineers and musicians in this group too itching to weigh in!

I believe sound and comfort should be our top priorities, if we nail those aspects all we’ll be in a pretty good place. I think weight distribution is pretty important too, with the right amount and placement of padding I think we should be able to counteract any increases in weight (if project Muse ends up heavier than the Flow II of course). I’d love to see how the ANC of these compares with Bose and Sony headphones as well, in addition to ANC vs no ANC as someone mentioned.

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When I do get the headphones, I’ll be primarily focused on the physical design. Obviously I too am concerned about audio quality, but that’s not our goal here, so I intend to focus on four main aspects of these headphones.

The first design aspect that is important to me is the flexibility of the ear cups. I do a lot of audio processing that involves having my headphone facing upwards or downwards hanging from my neck, so added flexibility is a plus.

I also will focus on the optional 3.5 mm aux connector. A lot of removable jacks tend to dwindle in sound quality over time, and that’s a bit issue because I use 1/4 inch to 3.5 mm audio devices all the time. I have some ideas if that’s the case.

Additionally, I will focus on the flexibility of what I call the spine. The headband of any pair of headphone is one of the most important parts. If it is too rigid, the headphones can’t be used by people with too large or too small a head, and if it’s too flexible, the ear cups may never get a good seal. Also, construction material matters to me. I’ve had bad luck with all-plastic headbands, but no problems with even simple single-sheet metal ones.

The final feature that matters to me is an audio- related one, and that is cross-device connectivity. Rapidly changing between stored devices comes in handy, but oftentimes my Bluetooth devices need a restart when switching between stored devices. It would be nice to be able to switch seamlessly, or even listen to audio from two devices at the same time (a feature I have only discovered on accident once).

I’ll leave the in-depth audio quality testing to the more experienced audiophiles here.

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I think it’s important to note sources, cable types and material

Let’s try to keep away from pseudo-science regarding things like cable material affecting sound.

Out of interest, do any of the winning reviewers have a measurement rig? Not that I necessarily expect anyone would, but accurate measurement data is more informative than any subjective impressions on sound.

Either way, I think sending out a copy to InnerFidelity or some of the folks at SBAF would definitely be worthwhile, for measurements on known rigs (enabling accurate comparisons with other headphones) and their informed opinions.