Pros: Price, Price, Price, Soundstage, SQ, Bass
Cons: Flat cable, Bass
I really can't believe I am taking my time off a super busy weekend to type up a review of the FOTM Sony MH1C (while I wait for my RE-272s ).
For firsts, I am not an ace reviewer, and I regret reading my previous reviews. I think I just belong to the race of head-fiers who just enjoy listening music and accept the fact that they are not the best with words.
Either way to make a long review short, I've bought these around a month back and used them more than once a day, so its definitely plausible and probable that they have gone a good amount of burn in and the total signature has reached its ultimate state of polish and vigor. As for 'brain-adjustments' and burn-ins, I think its least important and too consuming a time to discuss it further.
Let me, secondly, address the worst part of these IEMs as a whole - the Cable!
Flat, annoying, J-corded, Hhhhheavy - even pulls the earphones out of your ears quite too often. This might be a deal-killer for many and you can see quite too many people calling this the worst cable ever made.
Also can be found is a real good method to get rid of any and all cable issues in the Clieos' discovery thread right up here in Head-fi. I just use the shirt clip and 'clip' it to my collar once I have the J-cord up and around my neck. This might slightly let the cable difficulties to self-destruct but do not allow for a full solution, just my side of the coin really.
Now for the sound. Some of the best sound to be had at the price and a few notches up! Seriously..
Very non-fatiguing consumer friendly sound with good amounts of resolution as well(although the bass can be sometimes too much - Yes! I come from balanced armatures).
The overall sound is very warmish with a slight tinge of treble at the very top. Mids compliment the bass very well and vice-versa, they show good thickness and are not particularly forward, but I can't call them recessed either, although at times I feel that in the bass-mids competition, the bass wins by a slight margin.
The treble is recessed which tends to the overall warmish signature, but the moment I try and conclude its recessed, the high-highs just sound clear! yup! I feel that some of the high-highs or where the treble shows 'air' sounds boosted.
So the treble doesn't show good body really but 'air' in the highs are easily identifiable to call the overall soundscape 'clustered'.
Now for dominant part, THE BASS! the mid-bass is literally some of the best I've heard in quantity, shatters the likes of my SE-535 by a good margin, and quality wise I wouldn't really differentiate. The bass extends really low and show good body but I often feel that they are a bit too sub-bass happy(I use the bass-reducer EQ on my I-Pod)
Now comes the magic, once amped, the bass gets tighter, and the overall sound gets really good. There is a good increase in the width of the soundstage and imaging gets better as well. The sound is also very detailed to be honest but don't compete much with the likes of SE-535 and Brainwavz B2( yes! I know both of them are armatures) ; then again I would call their resolution to be stellar given the price of these. Once amped I would consider them competition to my SE-535(unamped) and seriously given their price difference, you do understand how astounding a value they purport!
Like I said, they are very detailed, but the overall warmish sound negates the possibility of micro-detailing IMHO! Beside whatever detail they come up with also carries a sense of warmth to it.. this is not really a problem, just a matter of preference.
Comparisons & Conclusions!
I ll compare these to the Brainwavz B2 clones(called the GH-ERC-DMS) which I'll be addressing simply as DMS and the Shure SE-535 so you can clarify why they are really the king of value.
Bass wise, the MH1c offer superior bass punch and very good sub-bass in quantity, though I prefer the quality of the sub-bass on the SE-535 ; but still not by much as the price-difference would imply. The DMS has good bass but don't really come up in the bass-comparison with the other 2.
The mids are great show overall thickness and required emotion on the MH1C, but they are neither as forward, emotive or transparent like the mids of the SE-535 and the sweet-sounding DMS. Yet, what they take away is the sibilance issues of the other two, and show better justice to low bitrate recordings.
The treble is best on the DMS, they show superlative sparkle and body without any excessive points! The SE-535 with a 6N OFHC SPC after-market cable show good treble body, but still sound rolled off next to the DMS. For the MH1c, they provide very good extension as much the SE-535 with the after-market cable at the same time give a a little extra-like feeling of extension with that weird boost in the 'air' that puts a smile on my face to how really full-sounding these IEMs are, besides its stupendous value!
The above comparison doesn't really do the MH1c any justice but for day to day use I can't really recommend any better IEM! The DMS has a fragile cable and is too analytical and bright sounding to wear out on the sunny days( I like to blend with the weather ) & the Shure SE-535 is $400 to take the same risk! Other than this if you want a well behaved sound at (1/n)th of the price without much sacrifice to detail and that provides real good competition to high-tier in ears, look no further this is your cup of tea!
Thank you Sony! Thank you Clieos!
Hope you enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed writing it!
Cheers to all!