If, like us, you have recently bought a pair of Sennheiser HD600s which are actually among the best audiophile headphones out there, you will probably have heard about equalization.
When we first heard this term, we were stumped. While it was something we had heard of it was not something we knew that much about.
It is a rather complicated topic which not everyone knows much about. It is for that reason we decided that this article needed to be written.
This guide is going to cover everything you need to know about equalizer settings. From how to apply equalizer settings for music, gaming, or just about anything else you might need to know.
If you have the right settings you will also have phenomenal audio quality.
With the right settings your gaming experience should be much better. You should be able to hear a pin drop or distant footsteps that you might not otherwise hear.
The music you listen to should be crisp and clear as a bell.
Having the right settings sounds pretty good right? Of course it is! But the jargon surrounding equalizers can be daunting.
Luckily for you, we have all the information you need right here and written in a way that even a novice should understand easily.
So, without further ado, let us dive right in and get started!
Let’s Talk About What Audio Equalization Actually is?
For those of you that are not actually certain what equalization is, it can be an extremely daunting topic to understand.
Have a good idea and understanding of this topic already? Then you may want to skip to the next section.
If you are new to it then it is essential for you to have at least a basic understanding of what you are trying to achieve.
While we are not specialist audio engineers, we have come to understand a bit about this topic and thus can at least give you a basic understanding of what equalization actually is.
Equalization is essentially the task of adjusting and balancing the frequency components that are inside an electrical signal.
In layman terms this means that you will be adjusting the mids, bass, and those treble frequencies to the sound quality sound that your headphones create.
When you are adjusting frequencies, you will be able to cancel out any of the unpleasant and unnecessary noise.
So the sounds that you do not have to listen to are sounds and frequencies that interfere with your gaming or music. This allows you to only hear the best frequencies while you are enjoying your games.
This can be something as quiet as footsteps in games like PUBG or Apex Legends or even the quiet notes of sound from a song.
With the right frequencies eliminated, your sound should be crystal clear.
A Guide For Getting The Optimal Equalizer Settings For APO And Peace
Now that we understand a bit about the basics of equalization and why it is so important for gaming and music.
It is finally time to start understanding how you can adjust the sound to the way it should be.
So, in this section we are going to be going over a step-by-step guide to show you how to properly set your equalizer APO and Peace. With all of that said, let us finally dive right in and get started!
Step 1 – How Do You Install The Equalizer APO Software?
Your first step is to get a hold of the Equalizer APO software. But what exactly does APO mean? In short, it is a graphic equalizer or parametric that is used for windows.
It is most often used along with a software known as Peace GUI – this is something that is used as a way to move the settings for an equalizer.
Okay now that you know a bit more about what an APO software is and why you need it.
Your next step is to head over to the Equalizer APO Download Page where you will be able to download this software. You can visit this link to get the Equalizer APO software.
Once your file has downloaded you will then need to select on the installer and run it then you should follow the steps that are displayed.
When the ‘Configuration Window’ pops up you will be offered a choice of which devices to install the APO onto. We recommend that you select on the checkbox for whichever headphones you are using currently.
If you do not have your devices named and you are unsure on which boxes to check then you will need to go to your sound icon on the taskbar.
You will need to ‘Right Click’ this icon and select the sounds. If you select the playback tab, you will see a list of all the playback devices which you have already connected to your PC.
Most people will have their headphones set as a default playback device. If this is the case for you, then there will be a tick that is green next to it on this list.
We recommend that you ‘Right Click’ on your headphone device, then select the properties. You should then rename the device and choose an icon to represent it.
This will make it much easier for you to identify your devices and select the headphones for the installation of your APO.
So, now that you know what your headphone is named you can go back to your configurator. This means that you will be able to select on the checkbox for headphones and then select the ‘Ok’ button.
Once you have done that your equalizer APO will tell you that you need to restart the system. You should restart your PC and go back to your computer after it has properly restarted.
Step 2 – Installing Your Peace APO GUI Software
Once you have your Equalizer APO software installed you will not need to install the Peace APO GUI. This software will give you an interface that you can use over the top of the Equalizer APO software.
It allows you to be able to view all the frequencies in a slider format while also importing headphone presets which are specifically relevant to your model of headphones.
When you have your Peace APO GUI downloaded you will need to run the setup. You should have the windows’ setup window pop up to prompt you in the right direction.
You should specifically get a window popping up which asks you if you have an Equalizer APO already installed. It should say ‘Yes, Installed’ in green lettering.
This is just confirmation that the equalizer APO has been installed.
If it has not been installed then you will need to check your program files and check that the equalizer APO has actually been installed.
If not then see step one to make sure that it has been done properly. You need to take care that your program files. If you have not checked your files and that your Equalizer APO is installed you may run into some issues.
For example, if your antivirus program has picked up the file it may not allow you to download and install it.
If this is an issue for you then you may need to turn off your antivirus and repeat the steps that we have indicated above.
But if you see a tick that is green as well as some green text saying that it has been installed then all that is left is to select the installation button.
Once you do that, the Peace APO should install on its own and be located in the same folder as the Equalizer APO that you have just installed.
The default should look something like the following:
- C:\Progam Files\EqualizerAPO\config
After the ‘Install’ button has been selected, you should see a small window popping up that tells you that Peace APO has been successfully installed.
At this point, you can select the ‘OK’ button and then go to the setup tool at the bottom left and select the ‘Start Peace’ button.
When you have done that then you may be given a warning prompt, which tells you that File config.txt of Equalizer APO should be overwritten in order for Peace to activate.
You should select the ‘Yes’ button in order to overwrite the config.txt.
When that has been done, you will need to choose what kind of interface you would like. We suggest that you use the full interface.
This will allow you to view everything you need to. In addition to that, you will not need to alter the settings too much when the preset has been imported.
On the other hand, it can be good to have these settings close at hand should you need to make some alterations for the equalization based on your own opinions.
You can toggle the Peace on and off easily by using the off and on switch. This is located at the top, in the right-hand corner of the window.
We recommend that you start off by choosing an EQ that is noticeable. For example, you could choose Ratio, this will allow you to be able to see the difference between the Peace EQ when it is off and when it is on.
If you are able to hear the difference between these settings, you will know that your Peace APO has been correctly installed.
If you do not notice any audible difference then you will need to go through the following steps in order to get it working properly:
- Run The Peace Installer Again
- Click The Get Help And Troubleshoot Tab
- Select The Configuration Button
- Select The Headphones Option
- On The Bottom, Check The Troubleshooting Options Checkbox
When you have your Peace APO installed properly, you will need to reboot your device. Then do the above steps in order to make sure that your Peace EQ is working as it should.
If you are still having issues you may want to check out a YouTube tutorial as it may be able to show you exactly where you went wrong.
Step 3 – Importing Your Equalization Presets Into The Peace Software
Now that you have your Equalizer APO, Peace APO installed, and your EQ setting as working properly, you can finally move onto step three.
The next step involves you importing a few presets that will work with your headphones. This will ensure that your audio quality is at its best for the headphones you are using.
To get your presets, there are several methods that you can use to do so. There are some presets that you can download via Reddit’s community.
But there are more ways to get presets, we recommend that you try out each of the methods we are about to cover. This will ensure that you actually find an option that works best for you.
Before we continue, it is important to mention that the equalizer settings you have may differ depending on what you need. So, do not worry.
Luckily changing the sliders in Peace is super easy so when you have found the presets you have downloaded you should be able to switch or move between different things with ease.
The first method you may encounter when you are downloading presets is to download a ‘Zip’ file from a website known as ‘GitHub Page’.
You can select on this link in order to acquire these Zip files. All you need to do is select the download button or the green clone and you will have your file. Once it has been downloaded all you need to do is ‘Unzip’ the file.
Once you have done that you will need to head on over to one of the following files:
- Headphonecom/sbaf-serious, innerfidelity/sbaf-serious
Open these folders and then go on over to your headphones, which you should have named. Next, you can copy the following version of your preset:
With that version copied you can then paste the link into a chosen folder which you will be able to find easily. This will be especially useful when you are importing it into your Peace APO.
The folders we have mentioned are actually different presets which have been created to help you get the best equalizer settings and the sound stage for the headset you are using.
Bear in mind that the sound settings you use will differ from person to person as good sound will be gauged by personal preferences.
For this reason we suggest that you try out them all until you find one that suits your tastes. When you have found the presets saved properly your next step will be importing them to Peace.
So, open up Peace and then select on the button labeled ‘Import’. Next, you will need to locate the folder where you have saved your presets and then import all of them into peace.
You should be able to see them all in list format at the bottom of the left-hand side of Peace. On top of that you will need to ensure that Peace is turned on.
You can do this by looking at the top right and then you can test it further by playing music and changing from preset to preset until you find one that you like.
Can you hear a difference between the sound of the different presets? You should!
If you want another source of presets then you may want to take a look at a Reddit user under the name Oratory1990.
They have tested a ton of different types of headphones to an EQ that best highlights their best qualities.
This may be to their personal taste but it is quite useful to get the opinion of someone that knows a lot about equalizers and getting the right settings.
If you want to take a look at the list of presets that Oratory1990 from Reddit has done then you can do so by following this link.
On top of having a ton of helpful presets this Reddit user also knows a fair amount on the technical aspect of equalization. So if you are keen to learn more about that you may want to look into their work.
If you want to use the presets that this Reddit user has done you will need to find a preset for your specific brand and model of headphones and add them by hand in manually corresponding pieces into the Peace software.
This may sound like quite a complicated thing to do but we assure you that it is actually much easier than you might think.
This Reddit thread also goes into detail on how you can make use of these presets. So, you do not need to worry, there will be more than enough guidance on how to use them.
If you select on the link for the presets within Reddit a PDF will open. If you scroll down the page you will find a table which has a list of all the filter settings that you need to apply within the Peace program.
As a quick note, Oratory has ten bands which you need to ensure are configured in Peace which also has ten sliders. This is because the bands will correlate with each other.
Once you have done that then all that is left is to add the values on the table into Peace.
You should not need to worry about the column labeled ‘BW / S’ as it is essentially the equivalent to the Q-factor. This is the Quality (Q) row in Peace.
You will need to ensure that you save the preset to a good folder and name it something that you will remember.
By doing this you will be able to distinguish between the various other presets that have been imported already.
At this point you should have a wide range of different presets which you can test out with your headphones. Which one you pick is a personal choice so make sure to play with them all until you find a preset that works for you.
One thing we do recommend you watch out for is the fact that just because your sound is louder does not actually make it better quality.
In fact, you may find that presets from Oratorys will be quieter than ones you might download from GitHub.
But this does not mean that it is actually a bad preset. We actually use one of them, and it is one of the best we have come across.
But if the volume is an issue then you may want to play around with it until you reach a level that works best for you and your needs.
You can do so by reducing the gain present on the presets. By doing this, you may be able to make the find more cost and crisp.
Gaming: What Are The Optimal Settings?
Gaming is no fun with poor audio quality. To get good sound for games you are almost certainly going to need a headset with a good sound stage.
It is essential for good sound. That being said, there is no one headset that will suit everyone, as we all have different tastes when it comes to sound.
Because of this, we suggest that you use presets that you have imported and make small alterations if you have found that there are frequencies that are interrupting your gaming.
You may for example find that the bass is not not as much as the stock configuration. So if you would like more bass you will need to make some small tweaks in order to really get immersed.
Once you have gotten your sound perfect in Peace you can then save your own presets.
You will need to bear in mind that while you are tweaking the sound, gun fire, explosions and other loud sounds can muffle other smaller sounds.
This can make balancing the sound harder as you need to make sure that everything has the right settings.
There are several methods of equalizing sound for musing or gaming. This may mean that you will need to switch between presets before you find one that works best for you.
But in general it is not a very difficult preset and one that you will be able to undertake quite easily.
With all of that said, we hope that you have a great day. Goodbye for now!
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