fair enough. i wasnt really expecting the "musical" part from a hd800 owner.
Well, let's try to get this thread rolling again, shall we? I bought the ADDIEM a couple of weeks ago, as I've wanted to try it for a while now, due to exceptional looking measurements at Innerfidelity and a very positive review + measurements at M.R.O. Boy, am I glad I tried it! These are simply one of the best sounding headphones I've ever heard, period - at any price. I don't have time for any extended impressions/review right now, but let's just say that these compare favorably to my HE-500 and Focal Spirit Classic out of my Fiio X5 DAP + Cayin C5 amp combo. In fact, I think that they sound very similar to HE-500 overall out of the aforementioned source and the only real difference is that HE-500 sounds somewhat more open due to being over the ear and open back obviously, ADDIEM easily beats my RE-400 in separation, clarity, speed and overall accuracy, and beats the ER4 in smoothness, soundstage depth, and transparency (due to the much more even frequency response than that of the ER4, more realistic sub bass, better dynamics, better sense of space and a more effortless sound). I also prefer the sound of ADDIEM to that of any other multi driver IEM that I've ever heard and I think that it is more coherent sounding and more technically accomplished than pretty much any other multi driver IEM that I've had experience with so far. Many will disagree with me regarding ADDIEMs technical merits, but there are facts that prove that ADDIEM is better than almost any other BA based IEM in at least some aspects. For example, it beats most BA-based and even most dynamic driver IEMs in treble extension - ADDIEM is flat up to 20 kHz, whereas most other IEMs roll off at least 2-3 kHz earlier. ADDIEM also possesses one of the smoothest and most neutral frequency responses, especially with some impedance added in (see the M.R.O review for more details). Most multi driver BA IEMs especially, have some rather large peask or dips at least somewhere in their frequency responses - just check out the Innerfidelity graphs for Westone W40 or Rock-It Sounds R50 for example - whereas ADDIEM has no such frequency response issues at all. Moreover, ADDIEM has a completely flat and perfectly extended bass, as is shown on the 30 Hz square wave response and frequency response, while far two many IEMs, especially dynamic driver based ones, either have roll off in the sub bass or have excessive bass emphasis. So all in all, I find that the ADDIEM can successfully compete with headphones costing several times its price in sound quality and is also one of the best multi driver IEM implementations out there...
Ok, so nobody is really interested in these on here it seems and that's a real shame. I know that both |Joker| and ClieOS don't rate these very high, placing them on the level of a decent $50 and ranking something like RE-0, RE-400 or Etymotic HF series/ER4 much higher in sound quality. Many others seem to think that these are only good for the price, but can't compete with many more expensive IEM.
Well, I was comparing ADDIEM directly to RE-400, ER4 and RE-0 last night and guess what - ADDIEM sounded more technically accomplished to my ears overall than both of the Hifimans and clearly fuller, richer and more fun than the ER4, while coming really close technically to the ER4 in most aspects, if not beating it in some. I did quite a few AB comparisons between these IEMs and there's no doubt about it in my mind - ADDIEM more than holds its own against the other three significantly more popular and higher rated IEMs, actually surpassing them all in some aspects.
ADDIEM is the most spacious sounding of the four - RE-0 and ER4 have significantly less depth to their sound, while RE-400 can compete with ADDIEM in depth, but lacks the instrument separation of the ADDIEM, thus ending up sounding more congested. ADDIEM has the full, deep, present bass response, similar to that of RE-400, with perhaps a little less weight than the latter, but more weight and fullness than what RE-0 and ER4 can muster.
In terms of bass quality, all four are superb, with the ER4 bass being the tightest, but the other three offering deeper extension. Subjectively I feel that RE-400 has the most bass presence, even though measurements seem to indicate that ADDIEM has more. I guess it's because RE-400 offers somewhat more of that dynamic driver decay in the low end. ADDIEM bass sound cleaner, but perhaps a little less natural, being a bit too clean maybe. Still, both the RE-400 and ADDIEM offer a full, more satisfying low end than RE-0 and ER4, both of which sound somewhat lacking in weight and overly dry in comparison.
The mids are hard for me to compare - all four do mids extremely well. I feel that ER4S is the most transparent, followed by RE-0, but both also seem somewhat too dry and unnatural sounding. RE-400 and ADDIEM are maybe a bit behind in transparency, but are not necessarily lacking in resolution. ADDIEM sounds clearer and better defined than RE-400 due to its better instrument separation and faster transients, but RE-400 sounds more forward and sweeter with perhaps a somewhat more natural timbre and more texture/micro detail.
The highs are the most extended on the ADDIEM and RE-0, according to the measurements. RE-0 and ER4S has the most treble presence and the most apparent treble resolution. ER4S is the treble quality champ IMO, having the most resolving, clearest highs of any IEM I've ever heard, even beating out my HE-500 in the treble. RE-0 seems very resolving in the highs, but I think that its mostly an illusion due to its treble having such a strong presence and also a somewhat metallic, aggressive character that grabs the listeners attention more. In reality, I think ADDIEM has a more resolving, cleaner treble than RE-0, as well as RE-400 but can't quite match the treble quality of the ER4S. ADDIEM has the most pleasant treble of the four in that it is perfectly smooth and even with zero harshness, yet also highly resolving and fully present, and extended. RE-400 has a smoother treble than RE-0, but lacks some presence up top and can't compete with ADDIEM and ER4 in clarity, speed and detail retrieval in the high frequencies.
In terms of power requirements and scaling, I feel that ADDIEM actually scales the most of the four IEMs. Better sources and amps really seem to open up this IEM, giving it significantly more dynamics and a more open, lively sound. I feel that while Etys are seemingly more detailed, the ADDIEM is actually more transparent, showing differences in character between amps and sources much better than the ER4 does. I also think that ADDIEM is more transparent than RE-0 and RE-400, also being able to show more differences between source and amps than the other two.
ADDIEM and RE-400 both cost officially cost $79 now if I am not mistaken, but the ADDIEM can be bought new for much less than that from ebay, while RE-400 can be bought for less, but usually only opened/used. This makes ADDIEM the better value IMO, as it offers similar, if not better overall sound quality. Compared to the ER4, ADDIEM is clearly a far better value and I think that it actually sounds sort of like a fuller, smoother ER4 with more bass extension and presence, deeper soundstage and more treble extension. ADDIEM may be somewhat less resolving than the ER4, but the differences are not night and day and ADDIEM is actually the more transparent IEM to my ears...
Thanks for the feedback man. Guess, I may need to stock on some tips for these then because I will be listening to them a lot! Gonna be getting a few replacements from Ebay... Oh and I also need one or two of those impedance adapters as well for more accurate frequency response. I may want to try 33 Ohm and 50 Ohm...
Regarding ADDIEMs detail retrieval, I think that they may actually be just as detailed as my ER4S. ADDIEMs just don't push details forward aggressively like the Etys do. I can't say I can hear more details with the Etys than the ADDIEM right now, but I do hear ADDIEMs as having much more depth to the sound and I feel that they are able to reproduce spacial cues in music more accurately than the Etys, giving a better idea about the environment where music was recorded. ADDIEM does seem to be more detailed than the RE-400, or at least the former is definitely clearer and more precise. Switching directly from ADDIEM to RE-400 makes the latter sound very congested and closed in in comparison. Switching from ADDIEM to ER4 makes the latter sound dry and screechy. I think ADDIEM is definitely the most balanced sounding of the three and may be the most balanced sounding IEM I've ever heard actually.
My only fear with the eBay purchase of these is the probability of buying a fake increases exponentially - these are the type of IEM you buy at Apple or you take your chances. And you can get the tips replaced within the first 12 months at the Apple store if you have the receipt - not so if you bought from Bernie's House Of Silicone on ebay.
I use the Sony Hybrids for this IEM. I could not get a proper fit with the round Apple tips. I don't ever recall losing one of the Sony tips.