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Quality issues and sound lacks sparkle

A Review On: Spiral Ear SE 5-Way Reference

Spiral Ear SE 5-Way Reference

Rated # 52 in Custom
See all 2 reviews
Review Details:
Audio Quality
Comfort
Design
Isolation
Value
Purchased on:
Price paid: $1,500.00
Electronicbear
Posted · 815 Views · 0 Comments

Pros: Good fit after sending it back twice, good sound isolation once fit sorted, good customer service

Cons: Build quality, cable contact lousy, dark sounding, uneven balance between left and right, lacks sparkle

I have had this for about two years and ordered them after exchanging a few emails with Grzegorz, who seems very knowledgable and replies very quickly. After sending off the impressions the monitors arrived about two months later. On arrival they are well presented in a waterproof case with some instructions. Unfortunately the fit was awful and very painful on the right where it felt like the tip of the IEM was hitting my eardrum with a very muffled sound to boot. Of note also was the fact that right from the start the right channel would drop out occasionally. I sent the IEMs back for shortening and they came back a few weeks later with a decent fit. Unfortunately now the right channel completely dropped out and no swapping the cable could remedy that. Sent the things back again and got them back only for the left channel to drop out and the fit still not all that. Back again and they repaired the left monitor and shortened the IEMs a little bit more to finally have a good fit. Since then they have been mostly ok but the cable contacts with the IEMs are still an issue with either channel dropping out occasionally requiring removal of the cable and reinserting. I have no problems with replacing cables as they are the weak point of most IEMs but when the actual socket is the issue it becomes more difficult.

As for the sound compared to my Shure SE535 or TripleFi 10 they are less grainy, they have superior sound isolation but they do lack sparkle especially compared to the TripleFi. I have run them out of my iPhone, the Fiio E7 and my Lakepeople G109 headphone amp with similar results. They also still have issues with the sound balance between left and right with the left still sounding more transparent than the right. After having spent about USD1500 on the monitors and about USD 250 for shipping them back and forth to Poland for repairs and them being away for about two months I am still less than happy with them. I only ever use them on planes or on the tube where their excellent sound isolation really helps but for sheer enjoyment I prefer my Triplefis or my Denon AHD7100 or Sennheiser HD800.

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