The Great Equalizer Debate (The Best EQ Settings for Visual Kei!)

Over the years I’ve heard plenty of back and forth about EQs, whether it be settings, and even whether or not it’s actually disrespectful to use an EQ because artists spend plenty of time and money to have things produced the way they want only to have it destroyed by preset EQs and any random hertz that a person wants to put the settings to. So, I’m curious, what is everyone’s position on using EQ, and what are your favorite EQ settings if you use them? I used to use Rock on ios, but got rid of it and I’m using a custom EQ for my Sony XM4 earbuds, and use the rock preset for my car. Strictly speaking this is just for VK, when I’m listening to someone like RADWIMPS or LiSA I’ve got the pop EQ on in the car.

I personally don’t think music is so holy you can’t do anything to it, so I don’t really have anything against EQ. It’s not like you can literally reproduce the same exact frequencies anyway and perceive them the same way as the artist. Everything between you and the original master will color the sound and change the experience. Especially the speakers used your own ears. You probably aren’t using the same monitoring equipment the band used to create the music and you’ll (probably) never have their ears. So what’s the point of being anal about it? Chances are, whatever headphones or speakers you’re using, the frequency response out of the box is miles away from “the intended setup”. You might as well adjust the frequencies to your liking.

That said, I generally don’t do much EQ myself, or presets anyway. I find that they’re way too aggressive with it and sound weird. I slightly boost the bass on my DT 770s, because otherwise I can’t really hear it and that’s all.


This for sure

I am quite convinced equipment can have an effect on your listening perceptions with music. Which can explain why some shit bands would sound great to some and great bands would sound like shit to others.

I personally don’t EQ, my gear is already meeting my sound preferences like 95%. The only EQ that I would accept is probably a parametric EQ but it is too expensive to adjust a small amount. I don’t like software EQ at all, it is the most susceptible to distortion.

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Don’t EQ anything > _ <

Buy a very good headphone or a very good pair of speakers it’s worth it ! :slight_smile:

EQ to your equipment / room, not the (allegedly?) finalized audio

play pink noise thru the speakers you wanna tune, in the room you want to tune them to - download a spectral analyzer on your phone (or computer w/ a decently flat mic input if you wanna do it right) & adjust your EQ until the spectral curve gets as flat as you can get it

that may not sound best to you (esp in the US, we love a heavy mid sweep) but will be the most accurate sound, and likely how the track was mastered, regardless of genre/state

anything other than this, i think just comes down to individual preference (which is ofc fine! i do music too; EQ mine however you like, it’s just a chunk of media to consume however makes u happy)

but likely what people are doing w/ EQs is tuning their equipment w/o realizing it, and that can be confusing like why do some things sound good w/ one setting and some with another? so if it’s something you wanna do, tuning your equipment purposefully is something anyone can do for free, relatively easily, and in less than a half an hour the first time you try

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I have to use EQs just to make the sounds not hurt my ears. I have nothing against EQs. Honestly some of the VK songs are so badly mixed already you can’t really hurt them much with EQ.

I remember when early Starwave literally sounded so awful that no EQ could help and it sounded worse than late 90’s Matina.

I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with using an EQ in your listening setup, I just prefer not to. I listen to so many varieties of music that I’d be changing it constantly if I went down that rabbit hole. I also produce my own music, and I wouldn’t want to go do a car test for a new mix and have it sound all wrong because I have an EQ set up and forgot to turn it off.

I don’t use EQ. Granted I don’t know too much about it, but I never felt the need to alter the sound signature either.

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I try to avoid EQ, but there have been plenty of products, especially in the wireless space, that have built-in EQs or are tuned a certain way to sound like shit out of the box. My old JayBird X2’s would sound pretty bad until I activated their “signature” EQ via the app.

Back to the question, I only use Peace Equalizer for Windows to bump up the high end for one of my modded shp9500 cans. However, one of my favorite ways to listen to budget vk are actually my wired Google Buds that make the mids a lot more forward.

Another thought - I don’t think there can be a “best settings for [insert genre]” because so many albums within the same genre will have different mixes and treatments.

It’s like asking what the best compression settings are for a snare drum when mixing a song. It’s entirely dependent on the context around that snare, the end goal, and what kind of compressor you’re using. A fast attack and slow release might do what you’re looking for, but a slow attack and immediate release might be better - or somewhere in between the two extremes. It’s all dependent on what else is going on, what the original snare recording sounds like, and what you’re trying to achieve with it.
Likewise, different albums within the same genre will sound different. Therefore, if you’re trying to alter that frequency response to get a sound you prefer, the “best” settings for the EQ in your listening system will depend drastically on what that end goal you have is as well as what the starting point is. This is going to be even more true when comparing different songs or albums from different eras where the prevailing sonic aesthetics are drastically different from one another.

So I think in the end, asking what’s the best settings for any specific genre is a losing battle from the start.