Pros: Surprisingly spacious soundstage, great instrument seperation for the price, highs are nicely detailed without sibilance, partially open, realistic
Cons: Bass anemic (atleast before EQ'ing), mids sound pretty recessed, some missing information in the midrange
I just put these in my ears and the verdict is......thin sounding ;(
atleast before EQ
I bought these by request from a Head-Fi'r, and regardless of that characteristic, im still not disappointed :)
The bass reminds me of the AKG 701's, practically non present.
However, I couldn't get over how large the sound stage was and how well instruments are separated.
Definately could see people paying $150+ for this and not being disappointed.
They seem a bit more picky to audio file quality than other IEM's in this price range, i found my poorly mastered recordings sounding particularly thin through these.
I can definately hear potential with these, especially for how well they do with rock. They have a great soundstage and instruments can easily be determined in direction and the texture is very accurate and believable, however there one major set back is how thin they sound ;/
If they simply added more bass, I think these would be a really popular product.
They dont distort at high volumes, which is rather unbelievable at this price range, and I found myself headbanging to some "woe of tyrants" with these, and I actually have very few headphones (or IEM's) that induce headbanging, and these do, even with the anemic bass.
The Head-Fi'r that lead me onto these mentioned that these NEEDED eq, which I have yet to have the chance to try until I get my Cowon J3 this christmas, but even un-EQ'd, these sounded really damn impressive for how much I payed.
When I do get my Cowon J3, I am going to EQ in the low end a bit and maybe EQ out some of the sibilant area's that give it a bit of a "tinny" sound, and I think these will be my new favorite budget portable :D
I can definately hear potential in these babies and I KNOW for a fact that once I do some serious EQ'ing, these could sound absolutely fantastic.
Sadly enough, I prefer these over my IE8's with an aftermarket cable, and those together retail for about $400 together! Everybody talked about how great the soundstage with the IE8's were, and I found it heavily overhyped, and quite frankly, sub-standard.
I didn't expect these to have a soundstage at all, and instead I found it to be incredibly large and spacious!
I will definately be returning the IE8's though, not because they are bad, but the huge bass saturation and recessed highs made them sound rather Low-Fi to me, of course thats opinion but it just didnt sound anything near what I payed for it.
From now on. until I give some more time actually listening to IEM's before I buy, I'm not going to be taking like plunges like that with IEM's again (unless they are under $100, then it doesnt hurt so bad, like these :) )
This IEM just goes to show how silly some high end headphone purchases can be, since I would say I only think the IE8's are 10 percent better, and only because they are more full bodied and have plenty of bass.
When these get EQ'd, I'll be worried about how I think the IE8's sound :D. That is, if I havn't returned them or sold them to somebody who is more into that sound signature
I used to think I was a bass-head, then I became obsessed with soundstage after the FA-011's (love those), and now I find myself looking for a nice mix of all worlds (ie neutral)
I will taking these around with me everywhere I travel and I am really really happy with the purchase
The tips are a little uncomfortable and I can find them slipping out of my ears slowly over time when wearing them, which has me worried they might pop out at any moment, but if i jam them in far enough, its fine.
It does gather earwax like the other guy said, and since the drivers are so close to the tips, I think they may need to be cleaned more regularly than other IEM's.
I got spoiled by the comply tips on the IE8's, which were easier on the inner ear but muffled the sound stage and the mids and highs more than i liked
Regardless, this is a pick up you have to get, and at this price, how could you be disappointed?