I will be trying these in both an IEM system for a live setting, as well as a more personal setting such as in an iPod.
Hopefully I didn't just piss away 70 bucks!
I couldn't resist. Build is utilitarian, heavy plastic and superglue. Cable is spiraled twin wires and really long with a plastic sleeve that passes for a tensioner that's neigh on impossible to slide. Strain relief is impressive. They have a red and blue ring to denote right and left bud like Monster employs. The silicon tips are OK but I switched immediately to Comply tips ( just a personal preference). Sound was horrific playing compressed MP3 on a Sony Walkman right out of the box. After listening to them for maybe 5 minutes I just hooked them up to my Dell and burned them in hoping for any improvement. I burned them in for about 20 hours. Now these are a different animal. The first thing that I am just floored over is the broad sound-stage. I don't own anything that had anything close to the sound-stage these have. These are all about mids. Clear as a bell. Bass and highs are not so good. The overall impression I get is an airiness like listening to an outdoor performance in a park from 20 feet out. Overall sound is recessed...a lot.
I really didn't want to like these and there's plenty out there "better" for the price or very little more. I can't recommend them in good faith. All that being said, I confess that I do like these and I'm at a loss to say exactly why. There's no warmth, little resonance and timbre and noticeable distortion and tendency for sibilance when you goose them. Still, these probably will get a decent amount of use from me rather than being resigned to "that drawer". I also have a sense that despite appearances these guys will last a long long time. I sold my amp but I bet a good one could really bring out what's best in these.
I'm following up on my previous post regarding these EU-4s. I am impressed with the improvement following aggressive burn in. I was becoming OK with these until I listened to "Aria" from Yanni's Pure Moods II. If there is a weakness with these buds this tract really raises the goose flesh like squeaky chalk on a blackboard. Back to the burning. Still, they keep on improving. Compared with my initial impressions there's actually some signs of hope. I'm still amazed at the sound stage and that's what I'm most impressed with, followed by reasonable bass and detailed mids. I'm not ready to give these up yet and for 95% of what I listen to these aren't awful. In fact they're practically not bad. It's like finding a dent in my new car. Not bad enough to fix but you know it's there and after a while you just forget about it and live with it. I will continue to let these babies burn in and see if they mellow out some more. Maybe it's just this example because others seem well pleased with theirs right out of the box. It's only been a week or so since I've used these and for casual listening when not "listening" these get 3stars out of 5 for SQ, 5 stars for sound stage and 4 stars for build (not including appearance upon close inspection).
These are now Carvin EM902s. I bought mine cheap on E-Bay on a whim as the EU-4. They're still pretty cheap from Carvin. It was initially a love/hate thing-mostly hate. Build is
'industrial, definately not jewelry, pure utility. Crude but sturdy. Comfort is their claim to fame. These are big barreled yet surprisingly very comfortable especially with Comply foam tips when worn over the ear. These guys are sensitive to everything good and bad. Tendency towards sibilance on lower bit-rate files is irritating. Roll off on the high frequencies was really distracting. I could not in conscience either give these away, re-sell them or recommend them to my enemies. Yet they were so good sonicly in some respects with an overall impression like getting a shiny new car with one side bashed in. The listening experience was frustrating. I've never much had a lot of faith in the burning in debate but here were my candidates. Pink sound, white sound, woofer killers, frequency sweeps, anything I could think of. Days of burn in. Very gradually these got almost tolerable. Then they hit the wall and went from sad to miserable. If these did not have absolutely the most expansive sound stage of anything I own I'd have melted them for spite. Then one day the magic happened. The closest comparison I have is to my RE-0s. Only better! Clear, analytical with crystal highs and mids and well blended bass, holographic sound-stage and though still sensitive to poor files, way more forgiving. At low volumes these things are beautiful and driving them just makes them better. So if you happen to find yourself with these and are patient and persistent I think at any price these are amazing. Ouch-I've got a box with a couple of grand worth of IEMs and these are my favorite. Life is a mystery.
TBH, these have been around for a long time under various names. Makes you think that there might just be something to them. Of course I would go for the Carvin being $59 instead of the OSP or Galaxy for $69 or $79.
I must fall on my sword. I reviewed these when I first got them and to put it mildly, they sucked. I'm sure there is an audiophile term for suck but that's the term that came to mind upon use. They're very sensitive and the treble is tinny, every cymbal sounds like a tamborine. So I burned them in and after each period of burn in they improved. A LOT. Let med emphasize that I have never seen such a transformation in any product of any kind that I have ever owned. I am completely amazed. These are perhaps the best sounding IEM's I own when amped and I've got some good ones if expensive equates to good. Every time I listen to these I am stunned. I'm done analyzing the sound and I find myself just listening and enjoying whatever I'm listening to. There's still a sensitivity to any poorly mixed file especially very low bit rate files but otherwise I apologize to the manufacturer and the world for my first review. I take it all back Every bit of it. These are a tremendous value for the money. They make a duel armature model and I'm tempted to lay out the bucks for a set although I can't imagine finding anything I enjoy more than these. Maybe as much as but not more than.
I still have some hope with drsamdc's review.
What do I do to make these IEM sound not too bright? What kind of burn should I do? Should I do it with high volume and low frequencies, to loose the drivers a bit? Works like that?