Whilst a good addition I think 99 Euros is a mental upgrade price imho. Feels like something that should have been thrown in free or at a heavy discount for existing customers and perhaps been incorporated into a 'new & improved' base package (at a slightly higher price) for new customers.
If I understand things correctly then a new customer who would like to use their headphones on a system wide basis is looking at an outlay of 198 Euros (99 for the headphone plug-in + a further 99 for the upgrade). Good luck to them I guess!
I almost bought it. Working great, but the price was holding me a bit. Quite expensive for a software equalizer. I've decided to improve the audio chain first and bought my o2. Now I'm here, slightly poorer but quite happy
I just got through a BOM of in-line kameleon filter. Basically the same price as the headphone plugin. And it's inherently system wide...
I just downloaded the trial version of Sonarworks Reference 4 for headphones and was very unimpressed.
Before downloading it, I tried the online version sonarworks.com/reference. In all cases the results were truly awful, providing ugly bass boosts in all trials of my three headphones which created distortion and loss of clarity, and was nothing like the results of the downloaded trial. In other words, it's a total waste of time.
I downloaded the actual trial version and ran it in my DAW (Mixcraft 8.1) loaded with a 256kbps bitrate MP3 file of 'Don't Fear The Reaper' by Blue Oyster Cult. I chose that track because it's very airy. Anyway, here are my findings.
Beyerdynamic DT880 (250 ohm) headphones. I've recently been having a problem with these but have managed to resurrect them. The 'flat' response curve severely reduced the highs, almost obliterating the track's airiness, the high frequencies of the cymbals, and natural sibilance of the vocalist. Reference 4 effectively made it sound like a very low bit-rate file! It also raised the bass to a level that introduced a bit of distortion. The profile turned a good headphone into a mediocre one. Very unimpressed!
Samson SR850. I've just bought this and have so far given it only 15 hours of white noise burn-in time. Although I couldn't detect any change in the bass level (this headphone normally has a bit too much of it already), yet again the plugin severely reduced the highs, diminishing the air and cymbals. The natural vocal sibilance of the vocalist was diminished, although not as badly as it was with the DT880. Unimpressed!
Finally, my Sennheiser HD201. While the relevant profile did raise the bass level to something that sounded more correct, natural vocal sibilance levels were slightly reduced (in a bad way), and yet again it severely diminished the high frequencies of the cymbals and airiness. Unimpressed!
Overall, the profiles appear to have been badly made, rendering the software a total waste of money. Thankfully, it was a free trial.