Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › 2nd Thoughts on PFEs: Are IE7s Worth the Extra $$?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

2nd Thoughts on PFEs: Are IE7s Worth the Extra $$?

post #1 of 153
Thread Starter 
I have a pair of PFEs on their way, but I'm having second thoughts already. The more I read, the more they seem kind of high maintenance--between the bodies and cables breaking and having to find the right filters, which tear easily, etc.

I know that there are plenty of threads regarding PFEs vs. IE7s, but they seem to kind of ignore the monetary issues. Are IE7s worth the extra $75 over PFEs?

Durability is important to me, I wouldn't spend money on something I think will only last a year, regardless of how great they sound. If the PFEs are going to be cracking, or if I'm going to have to be replacing filters constantly, it just seems like a tremendous hassle. So, taking durability into accound along with differences in sound quality, is the price difference worth it?

Just for referance, I've been trying out a pair of X10s, and probably would not even pay $200 for them on amazon, let alone the $350 tag everywhere else...I find them to be nice, but not worth it (for my personal tastes).


Side note: I'd also like to throw in Turbines if anyone would care to compare value/sound/durability, although that's not the major issue here, so understandable if no one addresses it.
post #2 of 153
I'd recommend Turbines over PFEs. They're better in basically every way to my ears and they're even $40 less!
post #3 of 153
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kobayashi View Post
I'd recommend Turbines over PFEs. They're better in basically every way to my ears and they're even $40 less!

Where have you found them for $40 less? The PFEs cost ~$140 ($125 with coupon code). I've only seen the turbines for $150.
post #4 of 153
ive not heard the senn, but i am dying to. i have both the pfe and turbine and like them both heaps. it depends on personality. if you really value more of texture in music, the turbine i think are better but if you prefer pinpoint accuracy, the pfe are better.

fortunately, neither are fatiguing and sound great for their own signature.

however, on longevity perspective: turbine are metal: that housing will not die. it is wonderful if heavy. the cable too is stronger but more micorphonic. i don't feel that it is anchored any worse than the pfe is to any part other than the headphone jack.

if you want a phone that will last for sure a long time, the turbine is it. im sure the senn are great too but i am waiting my turn to hear them patiently as i can. the pfe are reallly remarkable for a ba phone: great sound but construction quality really has not come up to the level of their price yet.
post #5 of 153
I've currently got the ie7s, x10s and pfe;s on hand and I would agree that the x10's at their launch price of $350 were especially overpriced. At $200, with the newer-gen earphones released I would agree again and say they are a tad overpriced. Both the ie7 and pfe beat them in SQ.

Between the pfe;s and ie7s though it really does depend on your personal tastes as both are enjoyable in different ways. The ie7s offer a grander, more speaker-like, very laidback sound. The pfe's are more focused and deliver a cleaner and clearer sound though sufficiently warm (with black filters).

Across the spectrum the pfe's are more refined but again depending on your tastes it is hard to quantify whether the ie7s are worth the extra $75. Durability-wise though, the ie7s will not let you down they do look like they will pass the test of time. My pfes haven't had any cracks so far but I have busted two black filters through frequent changing!
post #6 of 153
Do you want more bass and richer sound? (ie7) or do you want more speed less bass and more clarity?(pfe) Are you going to just listen out of the headphone jack? (ie7) Or are you going to/or do use and amp.(pfe)

Build quality goes to sennheiser.
post #7 of 153
I hate to say it but I just sent my PFE's back because of how easy the filter tore. (Like I took off the silicone tip and saw that the filter was torn!) I was also having some cutting out/hissing in the left side. But as far as durability, I'm thinking about the Etymotic ER4p; people have been really positive about their durability. I hear they have a quick, clean sound but I hear its not as warm as the PFE and more analytical. Right now, I'm probably waiting either for a deal on ER4p or the ie7.
post #8 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by imackler View Post
I hate to say it but I just sent my PFE's back because of how easy the filter tore. (Like I took off the silicone tip and saw that the filter was torn!) I was also having some cutting out/hissing in the left side. But as far as durability, I'm thinking about the Etymotic ER4p; people have been really positive about their durability. I hear they have a quick, clean sound but I hear its not as warm as the PFE and more analytical. Right now, I'm probably waiting either for a deal on ER4p or the ie7.
You should post about your defective pair of Phonaks in this thread, and the OP can add you to the list.

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f103/p...thread-418044/
post #9 of 153
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the thoughts so far. I guess my greatest fear with the PFEs is that they will break after the 14-day return window, and I'll be stuck with them or a with a replacement that I have no confidence in.

FYI, I will not be using an amp. Anything that I buy will basically be used for everything (including working out, walking around, etc.), so using anything that adds bulk is not something I'm likely to do.

I can't say I have a strong preference for warmth vs. clarity. I'm looking for something that I can listen to and appreciate subtle instrumentation and detailed layers in the music that cannot be easily heard otherwise, but also something that is reasonably warm enough to enjoy casually (while at the gym, etc.). Basically, I'd like the best of both worlds, but really would be happy to have sound that makes an impression of any sort (vague enough???).
post #10 of 153
The debate between warmth and accuracy is tough; it's one of those things that (to me) seem to have no clear better in any sense.

However, if money is now out of the question, and you do not account for durability and microphonics (aaaaugh..), and this is your sole basis for choosing, I would choose warmth.

Listen to the first movement of Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings. Ask yourself: "in the opening, if the musicians had concentrated on sound accuracy but neglected warmth, would this be as good?" and "in the middle of the movement (the fast section), if the musicians had concentrated on sound accuracy but neglected warmth, would this be as good?".

Of course, the professional recordings have very good accuracy and very good tone. Both of these will be represented in high quality IEMs, but ask yourself which little push of emphasis do you prefer?
post #11 of 153
most all phones will present details nearly as well, but whether they emphasise those details is another question. the thing that does not get discussed is bass details. the phones that are called 'detailed' end up being treble emphasised. however those same phones take much more listening or ampage to hear bass details or timbre and texture.

treble details are something i love but if i cannot feel the texture of the bass, i am lost for much of the music i love, whether bass driven or not.

what treble does of course is create a hypnotic environment for believing you hear greater space, but there is always something lacking when it is just a treble focused phone. as much as i like the pfe (grab rating) i am lacking an impactful detailed bass.

most armatures give detailed bass but you have to strain to hear it and cannot feel it in the same way. however, that is my preference when listening. i did find the atrio a bit too dark and need to hear the v2 to make final comments but that may never happen. the monster turbine just has such a good internal housing that does not overpress the echo of the mids and bass: i don't get a veil with them. i get details where i hear the music.
post #12 of 153
shigzeo knows what he's talking about. But this too is a matter of personal preference. I prefer the tightness and indescribable tone of bass over pounding airs waves which make my ears hurt after hours of extended listening at low volumes. I can always turn up the bass with jeteffect (or rockbox equalizers on ipods, or whatnot) if I want more bass.
post #13 of 153
sorry if i meant to you understand pouding. i meant feeling the bass details. not pounding. i have never found that outside a bit of tones, i have felt happy about the bass of an armature, no matter how much the bass puts out. simply, armatures are sound only, no tangible expression of music.

this is very personal of course however, even with dynamics that are not bassy, there is a natural presence that does not come through with ba.

my favourite armatures are the ck10 from audio technica which do not have much bass at all but are honestly wonderful with stage and very natural highs and mids, but... music always feels better live as i can feel it and dynamics recreate that for me.

i suppose if i were a recorder or engineer only, i might prefer clinical presentation to tangible presentation but even then i am unsure. after having the e500 and um2, the move to cheaper atrio impressed me not with bass, but with violins. finally, i could feel the fibre of the strings and the bow instead of just hear the movement.

not the best description but i am aiming to say that.
post #14 of 153
Sounds like IE7 is your best option, and I love the PFEs (still have my original pair, in white, since January, and no cracks or broken filters). I also owned the IE8s but sold them, but not because of the PFE. I chose the Westone 3s over the Senns, my personal taste preference.

The idea that you will not use an amp, to me, means the IE7s are the right phones for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mnbvcxz View Post
Thanks for all the thoughts so far. I guess my greatest fear with the PFEs is that they will break after the 14-day return window, and I'll be stuck with them or a with a replacement that I have no confidence in.

FYI, I will not be using an amp. Anything that I buy will basically be used for everything (including working out, walking around, etc.), so using anything that adds bulk is not something I'm likely to do.

I can't say I have a strong preference for warmth vs. clarity. I'm looking for something that I can listen to and appreciate subtle instrumentation and detailed layers in the music that cannot be easily heard otherwise, but also something that is reasonably warm enough to enjoy casually (while at the gym, etc.). Basically, I'd like the best of both worlds, but really would be happy to have sound that makes an impression of any sort (vague enough???).
post #15 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by mnbvcxz View Post
Side note: I'd also like to throw in Turbines if anyone would care to compare value/sound/durability, although that's not the major issue here, so understandable if no one addresses it.
To me the PFE are far superior to the Turbines. The Turbines sound veiled, muddy and less transparent compared to the PFE.

The Turbines have lots of bass but to me sounds fairly one-note (some recordings) and slow.

Between the two I would recommend the PFE. I love accuracy more than warmth. The PFE have fast, deep, accurate bass with no mid bass hump.

I'd keep the choice between the PFE and the IE7.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › 2nd Thoughts on PFEs: Are IE7s Worth the Extra $$?