Welcome, one and all, to the V-ZERO impressions extraordinaire! Today we have a heavyweight bout, and the card is as follows:
On the Blue Corner, in sleek black and rigid 000 cables, the FitEar To Go! 334!
On the Red Corner, in black with a nice and less rigid (+1 already!) Gold Cable, the Tralucent 1plus2!
No hitting below the belt! FIGHT!
Kidding aside, here are my impressions (this is with the Tralucent out-of-the-box and the FitEars with a lot of me time already, mind you all.)
Before the music:
I thought the FitEars were huge but the Tralucents just make them feel TINY as HECK. Even the cable is huge! Also on the cables, the Tralucents have a thicker but more supple cable, as compared to the incredibly rigid FitEar cables.
MBP Retina 15
FitEar To Go! 334:
FitEar 000 Upgrade Cable
Stock double-flange tips
Tralucent Gold Upgrade Cables
Large stock tips
Note: Upon plugging in the 334s to the AQ Dragonfly you immediately hear a little bit of hiss, very very very tiny hiss. It isn't noticable (unless you really try to look for it) and doesn't bother me, but its there. In comparison the 1p2 doesn't have any, but the volume on the 334s is at one to two bars on the Apple volume control while the 1p2 is around 4 bars. These 334s are mad sensitive.
Round 1: "Be Still and Know", Machine Head - Death Metal (Instrument Separation)
334s: When I first put on this song with the 334s a few months ago, It completely blew me away. And it still does up to this day. The guitars sound great, the drums sound amazing, the vocals are clearer than ever, I love it. When the solo comes up, the instruments are clearly separated and well "imaged". The 000 cables really make you feel as if you were in a large room as the band performs all around you.
1p2: These babies feel and sound like headphones. That's the first thing that goes through my head as the song begins. Also the tips are incredibly comfortable, compared to the pain I felt after an hour wearing stock 334 tips (which is why I use the stock dual-flanges). As the song progresses I really feel its a more up-front and smaller soundstage (something akin to the FitEar ALO Cable) but this is like <1 hour of playback, so I'll have to get back to you guys on that.
It may be just me but the 1p2s actually make the instruments, I dunno, sound... better? They're more textured on these bad boys, which makes me cry. There's a bit of reverb in the 334s especially when some instruments go disappear but the 1p2 has a tight sound to the instruments. Right now, I'm reminded of how my PS1000 sounds, talking about the 1p2.
Round 2: "Something About Us", Balance and the Traveling Sounds - Jazz (Instrument Separation)
1p2: I love instrument separation. I love how different instruments just seem to synergize well together. Definitely a more up-front presentation of the song, but wow the instruments are rendered so smexily on these 'phones on this track that its hard to just listen to the song once and give impressions. I can really feel the bass in my chest as it punches ever so smoothly throughout the track.
334: This track on these 'phones are one of the reasons why I love the 334s. The music is nice and laid-back with the sound just washing over you and letting you relax. Noticeably, the bass is a bit weaker compared to the 1p2s as there is no "punch" but I don't necessarily look for that in my 'phones, but I know some of you guys out there do :) .
Round 3: "Angel With A Shotgun", The Cab - Rock/Pop (Vocal Sibilance Test)
334: No sibilance. Great job, FitEar!
1p2: Minor sibilance, noticeable on louder volumes. Good job, Tralucent!
Round 4: "Domination", Pantera - Thrash Metal (Cymbals Sibilance Test)
1p2: Same issue, minor sibilance but not noticeable on normal listening levels.
334: No sibilance.
Round 5: "Drama Queen", Family Force 5 - Rap Rock (Boom Boom Bass Test)
1p2: I love the different kinds of bass on this track, on great headphones you get the tinny punchy bass and the big boom boom bass in the backgrounds. Right now, as it is, I can't hear much of the tinny bass (though it is there) but the big boom boom is just whack. Love it.
334: The big boom boom is lessened on the 334s. I can't feel a punch on them. Though the tinny bass is a little bit more prominent, but not by a lot.
Round 6: "Take The Power Back", Rage Against The Machine - Rap Rock (Bass Guitar Test)
334: This bass guitar intro is so smexy you could die. The 334s render it amazingly and the track just sounds great, especially on higher volumes.
1p2: PUNCH. Just, wow, that punch. I really like it. The bass sounds just so much more controlled, I don't know why but that's what I can feel. Also I just noticed, the soundstage sounds a little bit taller on these 1p2s.
Round 7: "Some Nights", fun. - Pop (Group Vocals Test)
1p2: The 3D-ness of it all just sounds more complete on the 1p2. You can hear the heights (is that even a thing?) of the vocalists as they sing in chorus. It makes you feel as if you are in the action, with the performers, as they do their thing.
334: The vocalists sound like they're in a nice row, separated very well and the vocalists can all be picked out very well. It sounds as if the performers are in front of you, singing to you as you are in the crowd.
Round 8: "Terrified", Katherine McPhee ft. Zachary Levi - Pop (Male and Female Vocals Test)
334: The 334s are just BEAUTIFUL on vocals. Very intimate, very heartfelt. Katherine McPhee's vocals are jsut beautiful on this track. Zachary Levi's vocals are amazingly rendered as well. The emotions can truly be felt with these 'phones. True vocal synergy.
1p2: Though I use this track for vocal testing I should note that as soon as it begins one of the things I really notice is how nice the instruments sound in the background thanks to the 1p2. Vocals are very well controlled but there is a little less of the emotion, but that's not really noticeable unless you really love this song (which I do). It still sounds intimate and emotional, though, so never worry.
Round 9: "Beethoven's 5 Secrets", The Piano Guys - Classical (Classical Test, Strings)
1p2: "Sweeping" is how I'd like to describe how the 1p2s render classical music. It literally sweeps you off your feet. The strings sound very intimate and amazing on this track. I'm honestly discovering new things I haven't paid attention to listening to this track with the 1p2s.
334: Classical just sounds so grandiose on the 334s. It feels as if an orchestra is serenading you and lifting you up. Absolutely stunning.
Round 10: "Hotel California", The Eagles - Classic Rock (192/24 Test)
334: The track just sounds great on the 334s. Feels like listening to vinyl without the static :) Really smooth and calming. "Such a lovely place, such a lovely face."
1p2: No complaints, amazing track is all I can say. Though I'd like to note the 334s sound more "surrounding" with this track. Like they're all around you and performing for you. 1p2 feels like a concert setting with this track.
Round 11: "The Root of All Evil", Dream Theater - Progressive Metal (Just for kicks)
1p2: Though this isn't one of my test tracks, I thought it interesting to give it a spin on the 1p2s. I really love the way the instruments just come together on the track. I can also say with confidence that I can hear more of the drums with the track. The smaller cymbals are rendered a bit better on the 1p2.
Round 12: "Who I Really Am", Lazarus A.D. - Metal (Just for kicks)
1p2: One of my favorite tracks of all time. I can say for sure now that I like metal and rock more on the 1p2s than on the 334s. All the instruments are just more... textured, shall we say? It also further cements what I've been saying, that the 1p2s feel like headphones...
And so that's it. The impressions went the distance, but for me, I think I'm really liking these Tralucents. I may keep them on for a few more days and see what happens after then. Definitely I can say for certain in the bass department the 334s are stumped. But they're pretty evenly matched in all the right places. I guess its all up to your ears whichever is best for you guys.
Long live universal fit customs! May they continue to grow even more awesome :)
Again, sorry for your wallets, guys :)