Originally Posted by communic
Magical volume limiter?! That's news to me. One of the few reasons why I still like the X10 is that changes in amplitude are much more noticeable with them than other phones including the PFE's which can make classical music a real joy to listen to. The flipside is that on poorly mastered vocal tracks where the singer raises their voice, 'sh' and 'ch' sounds are pretty much uncapped in the hurt they will deliver. They will go as high as they were intended to go.
In addition to this 'sh' sounds are smoothed over on pfe's (can;t detect sibilance even with silicon tips). 'Ch' sounds are not and that is where most of the sibilance I hear occurs. On the other hand, the X10 doesn't smooth over any of those sounds so I would get more moments of earache. On top of this, the graininess like you already mentioned, noticeable moreso at higher volumes, simply just adds insult for sibilance sufferers!
I wasn't so serious about the limiter bit...I don't actually
think there's any live volume compression going on (and if there was, I'd surely hate it), but the essence of my statements stands: With my X10, sibilants sound more distorted, but less sharp, than with my PFE. Again, I feel I must qualify that statement by saying I don't
find the PFE to be that sharp overall. But the occasional moments of excessive sibilance do occur, even with "sh" sounds, for me.
Kinda makes me wish we could just go out and buy sets of universal ears...no more worrying about individual perceptions.