OK, maybe 25 members, I returned mine. It was really a slippery slope for me, as I was teetering on keeping them until, well you will have to see below
I will bullet my (many) steps to returning my PFE (a lot of A/B testing).
- I got the PFEs, listened to them with the grey filter, and switched to the black filter...ahhhh, that sounds so very sweet
- I first thought the IE8 didn't compare (but knew they needed burn in), as the PFEs were awesome
- Day 2 - the IE8s soundstage opened up, but they still sounded muddy with recessed highs, and holy moly, what a mid-bass hump
- I primarily used the PFEs, as they sounded so good, I couldn't believe it and thought for sure I was going to sell my IE8s
- After about 100 hours of burn in the IE8s started to have almost the same detail as the PFE, but the treble was still recessed and the mid-bass hump, while better, was still prominent
- After about 170 hours of burn in the IE8s detail surpassed the PFEs, but the mid-bass hump was still there. The treble was coming out more.
- After 200 hours of burn in the IE8s treble was out more, pretty close to the PFE (but not there) and the mid-bass hump was now just a warm sound sig
- Now the IE8s had more treble and bass detail, wider soundstage, and more fun presentation. But I was thinking of keeping them as an analytical IEM, and I did like their sound, but of course not as much as the IE8. But they had better balance across the spectrum than the IE8s.
Note: I have kept my IE8 burning in as I am also burning in my Icon Mobile, so 24/7 of burn in
- Then something bad happened, oarnura posted this
"X2. The black filters kill some of the clarity and sound stage for me. You really should do a comparison with the Grey filters. But then again you are comparing what you like in each so there really isn't much of a point to that."
- I tried the grey filters and initially didn't like them due to the balance swaying toward the mids/treble.
- I critically listened and A/Bed them and wow, they were as detailed as the IE8 and the soundstage really opened up also. The bass was lacking and switching between them the PFE sounded hollow
- So I EQed them. They sound better...or do they. My Fuze couldn't get the bass to a comparative level as the black filters. I could on my computer, but what is causing that bass distortion on some songs? Was it the EQ, the Icon Mobile, or the PFE?
- I tweaked and tweaked until I got the best sound I think I could get. Then A/Bing them (and turning off/on the DSP) they still didn't sound as good as my IE8s. The bass was deep, detailed, and reverberant, but it just didn't sound right.
- So, on my Fuze and through my computer the IE8s sounded better than EQed with the grey filters.
- Back to the black filters...where did the detail go? This is awful. Good balance, but man, the treble detail seems gone to me.
- Back to the grey filters...again, the PFEs didn't sound as natural, enjoyable, full, fun, exciting, engaging
. The IE8s are engaging, what a musical presentation. When I put them in I want to keep listening with a smile on my face (with my FLAC files and good recordings of course) and get bummed when I have to turn them off. Another phone call, maybe voice mail can take this one
- So last Friday I called AudeoWorld PFE and talked to Megan and told her I was thinking of returning them. She told me I could call her back Monday if that was my decision.
- Over the weekend I compared the NE-7 (my backup/workout IEM) to the PFE. Man, the NE-7 sounds bad (comparatively). I did more A/Bing with the IE8, and the more I did, the more the IE8 pulled away from the PFE.
- Monday I called AudeoWorld and shipped my PFEs back.
Moral of the story...if you like your PFEs, don't listen to well burned in IE8s
Oh, and I asked Megan if anyone else returned them, and she said of the 200 or so they have sold, 3 have been returned.