Pros: Nice detailed midrange and treble, comfortable, iphone features work well
Cons: bass is good but lack impact/punch, cable is a bit unwieldy
OK so this headphone has been a trial for me. I bought with high hopes as I was looking for a AH-D7000 equivalent in in an IEM and in this case a $90 IEM, not a small order!
So the question is did it achieve my goal and is it a worthy $90 contender? To answer my first question I can say it's not my D7000 but it does a VERY good job of coming close and is worth trying for anyone looking for an IEM to match up with their D7000. In fact I would say it is a better match in that regard than the AH-D1100 or even the beautifully crafted but overly bassy AH-A100 as it has none of the cavernous qualities of either of those headphones. As to my second question, I believe this is easily worth it's price tag as I find myself liking it more than my SM3 and my Radius DDM's more often than not. I won't say it's better than either one as they both have aspects that are technically better than the 560R but on an overall scale I think the 560R offers a more balanced (but slightly less detailed) sound than either.
I believe my impressions covered all the comfort and accessory type of questions except I will say the cables are a bit more unwieldy that I originally thought and they stiffen up something fierce in cold climates like where I live in Canada. They also look a bit dangly for those worried about appearance.
Also as I mentioned in my earlier posts these went through a very ugly valley where the bass seemed to go away as they burned in and I can say they never went back to their initial punchiness either but did recover for the most part. This IEM definitely needs to be burned in or people will get frustrated with the lack of bass as they break in. It took at least 50hrs before I started to like these after the initial first 10hrs of burn-in! If you don't believe in burn-in or want to let these to break in "naturally" expect to be underwhelmed for the first month or two, or as I suspect most will simply think these are no good and give up on them before they reach their potential.
So after the break in, how do these sound?
Bass - The bass reaches very low but lacks a big punch that many may be looking for. In my case I find about 10% of my music doesn't sound as nice as I would like. But anyone with an amp can take heart as the bass is much improved when given more juice than what comes from a typical portable source like my iPhone. The bass also is not as textured as the Radius DDM but is still better than my SM3 both in depth and substance. This is one area I wish these were a bit more like my D7000 but still find them satisfactory for most of my music.
- Depth 4.5/5
- Punchiness 3/5
- Texture and Detail 4/5
Mid-Range - The mid-range is ever so slightly recessed but mainly only in comparison to the bass and treble. If I made a EQ graph I would say these are a classic V shaped signature with the center of the V ever so slightly dipping below 0. But the mid0range otherwise is very clean and unimpeded by the rest of the signature (in other words the bass doesn't bleed into the mid-range). In fact some might find the mid-range almost a bit dry compared to other warm sounding IEM's like the Radius DDM. I do find myself liking the mid-range though which is interesting since the SM3 are mid-range kings. If I compare the 560R to the SM3 the SM3 is better in almost every way in this area in that they are more forward and more detailed. But strangely I find myself enjoying the 560R unless I do direct A/B tests.
- Detail 4/5
- Position 4/5
- Vitality/Emotion 4/5
Treble - This is the best aspect of this IEM in my opinion. They manage to have a lot more sparkle than both the SM3 (by a large margin) and the DDM (by not quite as much margin). They have a very pleasing sounding cymbal reproduction in my opinion while never coming across as sibilant. But in comparison to my beloved D7000 I do find them a tad short of the highs I prefer, just enough to make them lose some vitality.
- Detail 4.5/5
- Sparkle 4/5
- Cymbal Reproduction 4.5/5
Sound Stage - These have an above average sound stage in my opinion but it is smaller than the DDM (and IE8 from memory) and not so centered and yet expansive as the SM3. But I find most of my music benefits fro their sound stage as it is neither cavernous like I find the DDM to often be and more concert like than what I often find with the SM3.
- Width 4/5
- Depth 3.5/5
- Height 3.5/5
Detail - The detail of this IEM is better other mid-fi IEM's I have tried but it is also a laid back type of IEM in the same breath. But it does not achieve the same level of detail as the top IEM's either. But it does offer enough detail to be engrossing and interesting to listen to.
Musical cohesiveness - In this area I believe the 560R is very good as it does not have any glaring issues in its presentation such as a major hole or being excessive in the sonic spectrum. It also is not messy or inaccurate and fast enough to keep up with all of the genres I listen to aside from very fast guitar pieces from bands like AC/DC and even on those sounds very nice. In comparison to my current line up I find the SM3 to be recessed in both the bass and treble and the DDM while being better in the bass department to be lacking in the treble area. Based on memory I also would say the 560R is more well rounded than the Monster Turbine Professional Copper as it does not have some of the hot spots of that IEM and is better in the area of treble than the IE8 as well.
I found myself enjoying the ability to listen to music for hours on end without fatigue but also still find the music interesting and alive. Something I found difficult to do with my SM3 and DDM except for a few genres those IEM's excelled at. Overall I found that the 560R also worked with pretty much all of my music unless the recordings themselves had issues.
I hope a few more people give this IEM a try as I feel it is being overlooked by the Head-fi community.