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My favorite IEM under $300

A Review On: Ortofon e-Q5

Ortofon e-Q5

Rated # 36 in Universal Fit
See all 8 reviews
Review Details:
Audio Quality
Comfort
Design
Isolation
Value
Purchased on:
Price paid: $198.99
Techno Kid
Posted · 3074 Views · 9 Comments

Pros: sound, build & comfort

Cons: non

 

Specs,

 

Driver - (Moving) Balanced Armature

Impedance - 40 ohms

Frequency Response - 10 Hz to 20 kHz

Sensitivity - 118dB at 1 kHz

Cable - 4N OFC

Max Rated Imput Power - 5mW

 

Build Quality & Fit,

 

I have to say these have the best build quality I've had in an IEM.  The housing is beautifully crafted out of aluminium with a very nice silver finish.  You would have to really work hard the brake or damage them though I can see them getting scratched but not very easily.  The cable coming out of the housing has no strain relief but I don't see that being a problem at all and they have a red ring to indicate right and black for left which makes them easy to tell apart.  Down to the splitter its bulky and well made but theres no slide for helping to secure the fit but its not a problem imo.  The rest of the cable is very thick and seem like it will hold up very well over time and the plug has a nice strain relief with the slandered gold plated jack.  Like I said before the build quality on these are just top notch.

 

As for the fit they are also great.  I could see people with really small ears having a problem maybe but for most they are a perfect size.  They slide in easy and are very comfortable and even though they're made of metal they aren't heavy feeling at all but aluminium is one of the lighter metals.  They seal nicely and have average isolation probably around the 22dB to 26dB range, they don't post that spec anywhere at least I couldn't find it.  They do have some microphonics but much less than the e-Q7 and its not to bad, I'd say a bit better than average if that makes sense.  So I feel they're very comfortable with an easy fit for most people.

 

 

Sound Quality,

 

Bass - These have a unique kind of bass for a BA and it because it not a regular armature in that its called a moving armature which is like a cross between a BA and dynamic driver and you can hear it in the bass.  Its punchy with good depth like a fast dynamic driver would have and I really like the detail and feel of the bass a lot.  Along with the speed and texture I've never heard bass like this from a single BA or even a multi driver BA, it really is quite dynamic with a very fun signature.

 

Mids - As many that have heard both the e-Q5 and e-Q7 this is where the e-Q5 starts to differentiate its self from the e-Q7.  They're not as forward and are more in line with the rest of the frequencies yet still play a very large part of the over all sound signature.  Smooth, vibrant with plenty of detail and the add airiness which we'll get to later really makes the mids sound lush and fluid though different sources give them a slightly different sound.  I like the mids of the e-Q5 much more than my old e-Q7 because of the balanced and added air but if you are someone that just loves vocals then the e-Q7 might be a better choice.

 

Highs - Another improvement over the e-Q7 is in the e-Q5's treble.  The extend higher with a more crisp and sparkly signature that adds to the over all detail being better than the e-Q7 imo.  Now depending on your player they're are some moments that can get a little harsh but thoughs are few and far between but a warm amp like say the E6 would take care of that but it really doesn't happen enough at to warrant that imo.  Again the added air really makes a big difference in the sound of the highs so Ortofon really fixed everything that I thought could be better on the e-Q7.

 

Soundstage - This is where these bad boys really shine (but everything else is still just as good).  The soundstage is one of the most spacious sounding that I've heard not just from a single BA but from any universal IEM.  Width is great with a lot of out of the head moments along with excellent depth and nice bit of height which I'm getting better at noticing.  Like I said the added airiness really makes these sound wonderful and at least to me the sound larger than the TF10 which is known for having a large soundstage.

 

As for the imaging its very good as you'd think from a top-tier IEM with placement that makes me feel like I'm actually in the club or at a concert.  Separation is also very good and you can definitely hear where everything in a track is coming from.

 

Conclusion - These have quickly become my favorite IEM that I've heard (knocking of my beloved R-50's) and as a result I've sold of most of my others.  At they're current price of $200 these are easily one of the best values you can get.  Forget what you might think of a single BA because this sounds much better than any that I've heard.  So if your looking for a very spacious, detailed, balanced sound with dynamic driver style bass (like I said though a fast analytical dynamic driver sound) I don't think you can do much better than the e-Q5.  

9 Comments:

These really deserve a LOT more attention around these parts. Still one of my all time favorite universals, and worth their asking price down to the last penny, as far as I'm concerned. :D
So very true, I didn't know if I was going to like the as much as I do because I had the e-Q7 and they were to mid forward for me and the highs also to laid back. The e-Q5 did everything write and I don't see my self buying many more universal unless they're the ones made by custom companies like Fit Eat or Heir Audio.
Lol, dude, ur an head-fier! o'course u gonna get more universals! remember, Vsonic Gr-08 is yet to come..!!
Ha, so ture I've already bought 2 others since then a got 4 more sent for review, it never ends does it.
About to buy some of these before the low price dissapears on Musical Acoustics. So many people rave about these.

Except ClieOS lol (he thinks T-Peos H100s are more suitable for EDM music (mainly Trance).
dude get sony HM1/MH1c.. they cost 20$ and sound close! and they have a better bass...
No thanks, already have those and thinking about selling them.

They have the worst build of any IEMs like ever, even the Brainwavz R1s have been more thought out.
you wont like the R-50s then... they are'nt exactly the champions as far as build quality is concerned...
I didin't buy the R-50s dude. I bought the Ortofon e-Q5s
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