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Limited, wooden portable ATH-ESW10JPN arrives! (with pics) - Page 109

post #1621 of 1672

The ESW10 JPN are kinda like a closed version of the HE-5 or HE-5 LE, and I think the HE-5 or HE-5 LE are just a little better and more open sounding.  But the ESW10 JPN are one of the best closed phones I've tried, and I love them.

post #1622 of 1672

I've got only 7 or so hours of burn-in with these and they already surpass what I heard from fully burnt-in B&W P5, HD-25 and SRH840. They sound amazingly open for their size and the bass and dynamics are starting to loosen and give them a fuller sound. I'm already quite satisfied :).

post #1623 of 1672
Quote:
Originally Posted by crowley View Post

 

 

 

I read the same thing hence i went with the es10. but i'd like to hear a esw10 to compare. i was also wondering if the price difference between the two was enough to justify the extra $ for the esw10 

 

I made my decision between the 250 euros T50p, the 320 euros ES10 and the !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (censored) ESW10. The thing is, it seems given early feedbacks about the T50p that they all have a very different sound signature. I finally went for the ESW10 as they were described as the most neutral of the three while being fun and engaging, an important point for me as I listen to all kinds of music. I must say I'm glad I did as their bass is already strong enough for me.

 

However, if I were to listen to rock exclusively, I would probably have chosen the ES10 instead for example. So IMHO, the value one puts on the price difference between the two varies not just by technical qualities but also the type of sound siganture and its association to the genre one listens to.

 

EDIT : Either I'm hopelessly stupid or listening right now to the ESW10 is turning me scatterbrain, but I realize I just posted two times here in a 10 minutes interval. Sorry :).

 

EDIT 2 : just noticed there already are scratches over the lacquer finish. I suppose the plastic cover of the box could be the culprit. I don't mind since I intend to use them daily when walking in the streets, I knew they'd end up that way anyway :). I'll still try to see if I can find some product to maintain the lacquer in good looking conditions or even erase the scratches.


Edited by MayaTlab - 7/17/10 at 4:36pm
post #1624 of 1672
Quote:
Originally Posted by grokit View Post

You seem a bit biased lol...




 

Quote:
Originally Posted by electropop View Post

Hah, the ESW10s can't touch the EF5/HE5 combo ;)

 

I doubt the ES10s "blow HE5s out of the water", but I haven't heard them..


 

If anything, I actually carry positive biases towards Chinese products. If my S:Flo were made by an American company, there is no way in hell I'd be keeping it. If the HE-5 was made by Germans, I doubt I'd ever have bought it myself. I'm Chinese myself; and I carry nationalistic biases (which were rather repressed for most of my life, to be fair).

 

Take it from someone who has owned both, and listened to both for several hundreds of hours. Here is a list of what I've heard the two headphones out of (as far as I remember - as there may be more than this:)


HE-5 - I've heard two different pairs of HE-5s through two different EF-5 amps, also with the uDAC as the DAC and my friend's mid-fi DAC (I don't remember the model). I've also heard (with an adapter) it through the uDAC headphone out, a Cowon S9, and a phone. 

 

ES10 - I've heard out of uDAC headphone out, Cowon S9, Mini^3, Auzen Prelude, my DFI T2RS' realtek onboard.

 

Basically, the ES10 was out of cheap/free sources in stark contrast to a full sized, synergy matched pairing the HE-5 had.

 


The HE-5s need a lot of power. I honestly find that the EF-5 might not be enough if you want to get loud - the damn drivers are just too insensitive. ES10s in comparison, will make the best out of the cheapest amps and sources. They absolutely thrive off literally nothing. Out of a less than ample amp, the HE-5 won't even get loud enough, let alone be driven properly. However, the ES10 does sound really bad on the Auzen Prelude - I think I'd ranked the Prelude as worse than anything else.. because in my experience the Prelude just botches the bass on everything I plug into it.

 

 

If you prefer a reference headphone - ES10s have nothing to offer you. Plain and simple. They are purely fun headphones - though they do dig deep enough for me and are analytical enough. They expose flaws of recordings quite plainly enough.

 


Comfort wise, both headphones are sub par. The HE-5 was a constant burden and strain on my neck; it always felt there, it always felt bad, and I couldn't keep it on for longer than 30 minutes without major discomfort. I usually take it off when not listening. However, for the ES10 - I'd always take it off when not listening. While it won't get discomfortable as quickly - it is also sub par. It is only truly fine for about an hour - the longer it gets, the worse. The clamp on the ears is still bad, and it leaves red marks. I definitely have to take it off before getting to a 3 hour listening session. However, overall, I'd still pick the ES10 despite my huge bias towards liking circumaurals.

 


Sound wise, I think they're simply uncomparable. The single best aural performance I have ever heard was done by the HE-5 + EF-5 + uDAC. This includes all audio equipment that I have ever heard, though admittedly, I have never heard any setup (speaker or headphone) that is in excess of 2 grand. However, consistency has to go to the ES10 despite its fun curve. The HE-5 just sounds so wrong to me.. it seems that a lot of my music is just butchered in such a strange way from the tonality. It becomes really obvious that my mind is simply fooling myself to be accustomed to the sound when I just switch over to my reliable old HD555s that the HE-5s really just aren't that impressive. The ES10s however, are a substantial upgrade compared to HD555s. That is why in the end, I did not keep my HE-5 + EF-5 - well, that and QC issues with wood cracking & my PSU on the EF-5 dying, the terrible horror stories of warranty and the costs associated, as well as a weaker price/performance figure than my ES10s.

 

 

I do not find myself particularly biased, any more than a regular person should - though you are certainly free to object (yes, I realize what I wrote in the beginning). When I say blow out of the water, I mean it - it is substantially better for ME in MY opinion. It is something you can feel and hear and can be objectified - no cables or I think or it might be if I listen extremely hard kind of minute difference - no hype or FotM sugarcoated words - just the plain hard truth: in other words - my sense of reality. Which is really just the epitome of irony, is it not?


Edited by Vergex2 - 7/18/10 at 5:12am
post #1625 of 1672
Quote:

Originally Posted by Vergex2 View Post

If anything, I actually carry positive biases towards Chinese products.

 

What I meant is that you may have formed a bias against that particular manufacturer because of both the EF5 and the HE-5 failing on you as well as your concerns about their warranty performance, not about Chinese products in general.

 


HE-5 - I've heard two different pairs of HE-5s -snip- (with an adapter) it through the uDAC headphone out, a Cowon S9, and a phone. 

 

Now that does sound bad, when I tried the HE-5 out of a very good portable amp with adjustable gain (Arrow HE), it still clipped at high volume.



Comfort wise, both headphones are sub par. The HE-5 was a constant burden and strain on my neck; it always felt there, it always felt bad, and I couldn't keep it on for longer than 30 minutes without major discomfort.

 

If you think the HE-5 is heavy (I used to feel the same way), try the LCD-2 for awhile; the HE-5 is positively dainty and actually feels light on my head compared to it.

 

 

The single best aural performance I have ever heard was done by the HE-5 + EF-5 + uDAC. This includes all audio equipment that I have ever heard...

-snip-

The HE-5 just sounds so wrong to me.. it seems that a lot of my music is just butchered in such a strange way from the tonality.

 

You seem to be contradicting yourself here.

 

 

It becomes really obvious that my mind is simply fooling myself to be accustomed to the sound when I just switch over to my reliable old HD555s that the HE-5s really just aren't that impressive. The ES10s however, are a substantial upgrade compared to HD555s.

 

Now that is where we have a totally different perception, to me the HD555 does absolutely nothing right and damn near ruined my enthusiasm for this hobby entirely when I ignorantly replaced my beloved but broken HD540 Reference II with it, thinking that it would be as good or better based upon the product number alone!

post #1626 of 1672
Quote:
Originally Posted by grokit View Post




 


Indeed.. I do seem to be contradicting myself. I can't really describe it properly, short of saying that the HE-5 performed less consistently to my ears for my music. But I did mean what I wrote.

 

And yes, we obviously do hear quite differently. Aside from having slightly too little bass and being slightly unresolving (to be expected at that price point, however) - I thought the HD 555s were pretty damn good. The HE-5s, for me, is just paying a whole lot for well.. just a different sound signature, a bit more resolving, more clarity and details.. not entirely better (for my money's worth, so I went to try other headphones).

post #1627 of 1672

A lot of people's impressions of gear relate to tone more than anything. Indeed most of us are seeking a nice tonal balance from headphones especially, that suit our music tastes and ears.  This is as true when we seek detail and speed as well.

 

I just had another go of the ES10s today, this time from my Pico Slim/iPod Classic/TWAG LOD combo, which is biased towards being slightly bright. It worked incredibly well with better bass than I was expecting.  Now I know where I can get a pair of ESW10JPNs new (no, I'm not telling) so maybe I'll have to see if I can't do a comparison.

post #1628 of 1672
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post

The ESW10 JPN are kinda like a closed version of the HE-5 or HE-5 LE, and I think the HE-5 or HE-5 LE are just a little better and more open sounding.  But the ESW10 JPN are one of the best closed phones I've tried, and I love them.


Whoa.  Now I'm very interested in the Hifiman headphones... since the ESW10JPN are the closest thing to perfect sonic balance for my ears (can't even say that personally for HD800, but those are obviously much better in many other traits).

 

Are they really that close in terms of sonics?  Between the two, what would you say is closer to the ESW10JPN sound?

post #1629 of 1672

After 50 hours of burn-in I'm starting to hear a disapointing coloration I did not remember hearing when I received them. There seems to be a hole in the 600 - 700 hz frequencies and a rather unnatural boost in the 2000 - 3000 hz frequencies. This makes vocal intimate as they should be given that chart :

 

http://www.independentrecording.net/irn/resources/freqchart/main_display.htm

 

However, it also makes them unnatural and really awful sounding to me : because of the 600-700 hole I feel that they don't have body and sound flat, while the peak in the 2500 hz area makes every bit of breathing too forward. Finally I feel there is some other hole somewhere in the trebles as they lack harmonics.

 

The peak in the 2500 hz area coupled with the hole in the 650 one also seem to make everything else way too forward and thin sounding to me.

 

By applying some VERY moderate EQ with my S9 I'm able to compensate for that. Since I dial back the 2500 hz peak soundstage increase by a good margin. Dialing up the 650 hz region makes the sound much more full bodied and giving a boost in the 7000 hz area gives instruments and voices some brilliance I felt lacking before.

 

I hope this coloration will diminish as I head towards the 100 hours mark.

post #1630 of 1672

This is the AT house sound. For a long time I hated it.

post #1631 of 1672
Quote:
Originally Posted by K_19 View Post


Whoa.  Now I'm very interested in the Hifiman headphones... since the ESW10JPN are the closest thing to perfect sonic balance for my ears (can't even say that personally for HD800, but those are obviously much better in many other traits).

 

Are they really that close in terms of sonics?  Between the two, what would you say is closer to the ESW10JPN sound?


I suppose the HE-5 LE would be closest in balance, but remember the HE-5 LE need a much more powerful amp than the ESW10 need.  As I recall, an APS V3 re-cabled RS-1 with flats had many similarities to my ESW10 too.  I can try comparing them again tomorrow and give you a better idea if that statement still holds true, but the RS-1 were sold last Xmas because the original HE-5 were a little better.  

post #1632 of 1672
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

This is the AT house sound. For a long time I hated it.


I know the AT house sound, and the ESW10 don't have any of that to my ears.

post #1633 of 1672

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by K_19 View Post


Whoa.  Now I'm very interested in the Hifiman headphones... since the ESW10JPN are the closest thing to perfect sonic balance for my ears


Lol, I really like the HE-5, so that makes me even more interested in the ESW10JPN

post #1634 of 1672

Thanks MayaTlab. I guess, that's the thing to be careful about the ES10, one of the reasons to love the ESW10JPN is the very sweet FR, and the ES10 is a bit different there.

post #1635 of 1672

I actually checked carefully and when I made the comment above I was around 40 hours actually. I'm now at 50 something and the coloration is starting to diminish by a tiny amount (I'm reducing the EQ). 

 

And I don't think it's a case of brain burn in, as I regularly compared it to my other phones (SM3). Most likely a temporary burn in variation. Bass quantity is still increasing and starts to fill in the upper bass / lower midrange (good thing).

 

They're technically getting impressive (at last) and now clearly surpass any other portable phones I've tried (SRH840, HD-25, P5). The bass is very nice as It isn't too dry and yet maintains good speed. I've heard quite good amounts of details in Massive Attack's Angel in the bass line I did not notice before, and with no distortion so far (or at least I don't hear it as I don't really know how to spot it unless it's glaringly obvious :)). Soundstage is rather closed in, except when I balance their frequency response with EQ. It then becomes really really good.

 

Otherwise the build quality really is rubbish for headphones that expensive. I've seen better in cheaper ones. Plastic parts are smelling troubles from kilometers away :).

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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Limited, wooden portable ATH-ESW10JPN arrives! (with pics)