or Connect
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Most natural, lifelike, emotion-evoking IEM or portable headphone?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Most natural, lifelike, emotion-evoking IEM or portable headphone? - Page 2

post #16 of 30
Old Shures could do with removable cables. They would've have much better cable sells.
post #17 of 30
Well-amped Etys really come alive - I just posted a review of my Etys up against big dogs in the full-size headphone world through a desktop setup in the full-size forum, but long story short they really held their own. I will say that straight out of an iPod, though, they can sound a little flat.
post #18 of 30
I suggest Denons C700 or C751. Very rich sound, with lot of life, energy and space. With these headphones one can really enjoy music as a whole structure (not picking every single instrument). They have great dynamism, power, sparkle in highs ...yet they're not painfully detailed. They sound similiar to ....a big speaker set

I owned Altecs IM616 (which are Etymotic based) and they sound flat, dry and totally uninvolving. Good for judging, monitoring, picking details, but not really good as it comes for "FUN and ENJOY" factor. Therefore I'd stay away from ER4.
post #19 of 30
I've got a Sony A808 which probably has the same sound signature as the 629; I used SHure E4s for a long time, nice but no deep bass, then the Denon C700 (bass, dynamics, but impure treble) and I'm totally happy now with the Sleek SA6s; these phones are capable of transmitting a lot of emotions; they sound detailed and quick yet the sound has good solidness.
post #20 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolperl View Post
I suggest Denons C700 or C751. Very rich sound, with lot of life, energy and space. With these headphones one can really enjoy music as a whole structure (not picking every single instrument). They have great dynamism, power, sparkle in highs ...yet they're not painfully detailed. They sound similiar to ....a big speaker set

I owned Altecs IM616 (which are Etymotic based) and they sound flat, dry and totally uninvolving. Good for judging, monitoring, picking details, but not really good as it comes for "FUN and ENJOY" factor. Therefore I'd stay away from ER4.
Well, how detailed would you say the Denons are? I still love detail, I just want something musical as well. Detail will also help because I play acoustic guitar and it would be nice to be able to pick out everything a guitarist is doing.

And how large and accurate is the soundstage (please compare to a similar full-size headphone)? And by "accurate" I mean is the imaging the typical "3 point" imaging or is it to the point where you can point to where a sound is coming from?

And are any frequencies recessed or boosted on the Denons? I don't want overpowering bass or bright/shrill highs, but I also don't want any frequency to be veiled.

Is there any sibilance?

Based on my source and music taste, would these really be right for me?

And, last but not least, on a scale of 1-10, how durable are the cables?



Sorry for all the questions, but I'm very interested in those Denons!
post #21 of 30
The details on Denons are ...I'd say "balanced". They are there, but not over-emphasized (like in Etymotics). If you want, you can pick them up, but they won't struck you from the first listen.

The soundstage is a quite a subtle thing. It depends on recording and source ...Denons have great soundstage (and I dare to say, it's best in it's price range) but cannot compare to decent pair of full-sized headphones. It's definitely not only a 3 point, though.

Um, frequency is set to "fun and involving" sound. It has a little boosted bass and low midrange, the rest is neutral for my ear (neither exaggerated nor laid back).


Sybilance is absent (at least on recordings I listen). Anyway, Denons handle it pretty well (after "burn-in" period, fresh from the box, they sibilise a bit).

The cable is great. Thick, yet very flexible and hard-to-tangle.

Based on your musical taste and source, are they good for you ? Umm... Yes but there could be better ones I've listen to these recordings (you put links in the first post) and frankly, for this kind of music, I'd choose Audio Technica CK7. They're just perfect for acoustic guitar. Denons are very good, although I see them rather in dynamic music with power and impact (latter links maybe?). Audio Technicas have little narrower sound stage, but overall sound signature is better for mellow, accoustic music. They're also headphones with "fun and involving" sound, but little brighter with so much sparkle on highs (but I wouldn't call the highs shrill).
It's hard to tell which will suit you best and hard to tell how much highs is too much for you. It's very personal thing. Therefore I keep both phones and sometimes switch between them
There's a couple reviews of both of them. After a little research you'll know which one suit you best.

BTW, cable on CK7 is worse than Denon's. Very flexible, but tangle-prone and not as thick. But worse doesn't mean bad ... IMO it's typical.
post #22 of 30
Thread Starter 
Maybe I should just take the money for a birthday present instead of new earphones and see if I can get a job soon and combine the money with my first paycheck to get some IE8's?
post #23 of 30
Your decision. But remember, when you buy 5x more expensive earphone, you won't get 5x better sound . I'd stay with some cheaper option (CK7, C751) ...for now. Besides "it's all about music ....not the gear".
post #24 of 30
I consider emotion inspiring to require energy. Frequency response is frequency response. You can run an EQ and make it warm or bright tonally, flat, colored, or whatever you want. Flat is not a bad thing and it's adjustable. The hard part with developing an emotional headphone is that you have to bring body and energy into it. You need the clarity and dynamics too to represent the range of presentation.

You can get the response right via EQing, but you can't create dynamism, authority, etc. That's inherent to the mechanical designs of the headphone.

I personally have not heard enough headphones to casually suggest an IEM option to you that you will be happy with. I've used the V-Moda Vibe, Yuin PK2, Denon C700, and Head Direct RE0. That's it. I'm much more versed in home and car audio and could easily point you to a variety of options. I just don't have the breadth of personal experience with head-fi.

Something like the V-Moda is an emotional evoking experience because it has substantial body. It's an immersive sound that fills and envelops the experience. It simply lacks clarity, detail, definition, so it does lack in other areas.

Yuin's PK2, and I assume other PK and OK series, are energetic. You get a good bit of gusto/authority in note, but it lacks body. Notes are crisp and strong but short. You get good energy but it doesn't envelope you in the music.

Denon's C700/C751 (same) is the most realistic IEM I've listened to. It is also the most transparent. It's the only IEM I've run where I can see the people, instruments, and room being played in. The sound is natural and lifelike. It might be a touch dry to some, but it has good body and articulation. The bass of the Denon bugs me though. It's overpronounced, constrained, and lacks control and definition. I don't know why though. I've only run it unamped and am curious if it's a design issue or power issue. EQing doesn't seem to help it.

The RE0 has great frequency range and great dynamism and could be an amazing IEM. However, it does lack some weight, so all the notes sound overly light/weak in presentation. The sound signature is just slightly dark/veiled, so it doesn't quite sound natural but rather slightly warm and slightly covered. Now, the IEM does come with a piece of foam in the canal tube that tames the highs. It is removable and opens up and unveils the sound a good bit. There is also a fiber earwax filter on the end that minorly veils the sound. My comments are with the foam removed but using the fiber cover. It doesn't need an amp, but to get the dynamics, it should be run with one. In terms of an overall package, it's the best I've used, but it does still have a couple faults.

Out of my short list, The Vibe is the most immersive and emotional phone, the C700 the most realistic, the PK2 the most energetic, and the RE0 the most dynamic. As far as having everything all in one, I haven't found it yet. However, for what you're looking for, I'd start with the Denon C751. Try it and see what you think. If it's not what you want, sell and try something else. If you can stand a slightly lighter experience, the RE0 does offer a wider breadth in frequency response and dynamics.

There are a TON of earphones out there, so your choices are quite open. I'm personally curious about the PK1, ER4S, SA6 (because it can be mechanically tuned rather then EQ), and some others. One I wouldn't overlook is the ER4 line because it's been around forever and has been very loved the entire time. It obviously does something right to exist this long.
post #25 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvw2 View Post
....One I wouldn't overlook is the ER4 line because it's been around forever and has been very loved the entire time. It obviously does something right to exist this long.
Precisely it is near to 18 years of service for the ER-4. Practically unchanged since the very day it was introduced long ago.

Yes they are very special, they are loved surely not for the ugly an d unassuming look, not for the microphonic stiff cable definitely. ER-4 have to be the most scalable IEM in existence and they are quite faithful to the source. Feed them on unsuitable DAP and garbage comes out, as simple as that. But feed them with stellar source, you will get stellar sound.

I have known several long time hardcore audiophiles (very picky ones) still prefer ER-4 over anything else despite the myriad of newer and trendy insurgence of multiple armature driver IEMs.

To me, I loved ER-4 so much because it is very realistic sounding and very transparent too. ER-4 puts the listener there right in the middle of the stage with the musicians - that is what involving experience is all about, to be part of the music
post #26 of 30
OP - everything EFN says X 2!

I sold my Ety Er4Ps about a year ago because I was simply accumulating too many sets of cans and I much prefer supra- or circumaural cans over IEMs. I used my Etys unamped through an iPod, amped with a decent portable (Tomahawk), and amped with a full-size home amp (Millet Max). They always sounded great when used via any of the above methods, and I agree with EFNs overall assessment of their sound sig.

I miss them every day and, as soon as finances allow, WILL buy another pair to replace the pair I sold. Selling them off proved to be the biggest headphone-related mistake I've made since getting into this hobby!

Good luck in your decision.
post #27 of 30
I hope you will get one soon Dave. There's some floating on eBay last week. It would be nice if you can get the older non braided Red/Blue classic version - they looked so old skool
post #28 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by EFN View Post
I hope you will get one soon Dave. There's some floating on eBay last week. It would be nice if you can get the older non braided Red/Blue classic version - they looked so old skool
I have those. Microphonics will kill all desire to enjoy music.
post #29 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZephyrSapphire View Post
I have those. Microphonics will kill all desire to enjoy music.
Especially when you start jumping with the music. No, really for regular use, at work, while reading, walking around the house. Microphonics has never been a problem.
post #30 of 30
Miles Davis Trumpets. There. You'll get nowhere trying to be cerebral. Refer to Joker's/headphonelist review. Nuanced. Enough controlled bass. Does jazz perfectly well. Instruments sound like instruments in front of you. Vocals are filled with details n nuance(try it with audio books). Wide soundstage.

Cons? No more lifetime replacement warrantee. Baby them, if you find them online.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Most natural, lifelike, emotion-evoking IEM or portable headphone?