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Time to get a new Sensaphonic~

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Yup, I haven't posted in ages...

My Sensaphonics 2X-S finally died. Specifically.. just the right side. I think it's due to many years of forceful tugging on the wires into the right driver. I had this habit of twisting and pulling the right driver out of my ear when I needed to talk to people and hear what's going on. Since I also wear the wires tightly around my head (they go behind the ear with a cable fastener kind thing), whenever I did that, it pulled on the wire.

A few months ago I noticed that the right driver would occassionally drop out, as it turns out, I've pulled the cable loose after all these years of use & abuse. I think I've had these for over 5+ years now.

I've got a new pair of Sensaphonics on order now...
  • Shortly thought about UE, but... nah, don't like the sound. Been there, done that.
  • Thought about reports of Sensaphonics not sounding the way it used to... intrigued.
  • It does look like Sensaphonics went through a few more cable revisions since those reports anymore... May as well try it again.
  • I still have my old UE5c, tried to just use that... still don't like the hard acrylic. I still prefer soft silicone.

I briefly considered getting something from JH Audio... but honestly, I was fine with Sensaphonic's sound, and the comfort level was just above and beyond for long wearing sessions. So I decided to take another shot with Sensaphonics instead of going to something else.

So I guess I can finally answer that question, if anyone is still care at all anymore... "if Sensaphonics still sounded the same?".
post #2 of 20
After having both revisions of the cable upgrade on my 2X-S, I can vouch that to these ears, there was no sound signature difference between the two. Your opinion may vary, as always, but I could not tell a difference.

I have to thank you for your review of the Sensaphonics 2X-S way back when. That's what led me to them over the UE-10Pro, and I couldn't be happier with the Sensa's as both in-ear monitors, and for personal listening.
post #3 of 20
Wow, a blast from the past. When's the last time you posted here? Nice to hear from you again.

Damn, my Sensaphonics died on me years ago. I believe one side shorted out during the warranty and I got them replaced but then the same thing happen after it expired. I never used them since except as earplugs. I still have my ue10s, which are still working great although I'm on my 3rd cable. I do miss being able to lay on my side when I had the sensas. The ue's hurt too much and also make noise when it moves across the pillow.

I figured when my ue's eventual die, I would just be done with iem's all together and get Audio Technica ATH-ESW9A or something like that for portable use. Now the JH Audio products has peaked my interest but not enough.

As far as the old war between UE and Sensaphonic, I still think I need something that was a combo of the two. The warmth of the sensas and the detail of the ue's. The ue's are too dry and technical for my tastes. For my home system, I moved onto a L3000/DHA3000 combo. Perfect balance of warmth and detail for me.
post #4 of 20
The new Sensa come with a 'field replaceable cable' (mine are the old version) and supposed to be among the most robust. As for sound, I have nothing to say but praise for the 2X-s which isn't just comfortable, but puts as little stress on the outputs of a portable as (almost as little) a dynamic driver based iem. Funny that they don't get more mention here in Headfi, but I guess it makes sense: they are a professional item.
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hrm... must've been like 4~5 years since I posted? I basically "retired" from the high-end audio stuff after a Head-Fi meet where some people brought some truly awesome headphones (Sony Qualia, Omega-II, Orpheus... etc)... I ended up telling myself, "Wow, these sound nice, but I'm never going to spend $10k+ for just that last few % of difference."

For the new pair I ordered, I went with the integrated cable again. I thought they had some magical way of attaching field replaceable cables, but as it turns out, the cables are simply attached with a big plug on top of the earphone. It protrudes out quite a bit, even more than the attachment method for Ultimate Ears. The difference is they use a nylon screw to secure the plug, so the contact will not wear out over time as it would with Ultimate Ears's sockets (or any other IEM with those type of sockets).

I still feel that integrated cable is a better option. I just have to be more careful about handling them this time around (stop tugging the right earpiece out all the time).

The new pair isn't here yet, but the old pair had finally died completely. Although I can still find spot to squeeze on the right driver to make the contact work again, it's too intermittent and stupid looking (I look like a FBI agent pressing my finger against the earpiece).

Meanwhile I've been using my UE instead... it's just.. not.. anywhere near as comfortable. I get fairly irritated after having to wear them for a long time. Granted it's still much better than universal fit IEM's... but I really can't wait for my Sensas to arrive.
post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by lindrone View Post
Hrm... must've been like 4~5 years since I posted? I basically "retired" from the high-end audio stuff after a Head-Fi meet where some people brought some truly awesome headphones (Sony Qualia, Omega-II, Orpheus... etc)... I ended up telling myself, "Wow, these sound nice, but I'm never going to spend $10k+ for just that last few % of difference."

For the new pair I ordered, I went with the integrated cable again. I thought they had some magical way of attaching field replaceable cables, but as it turns out, the cables are simply attached with a big plug on top of the earphone. It protrudes out quite a bit, even more than the attachment method for Ultimate Ears. The difference is they use a nylon screw to secure the plug, so the contact will not wear out over time as it would with Ultimate Ears's sockets (or any other IEM with those type of sockets).

I still feel that integrated cable is a better option. I just have to be more careful about handling them this time around (stop tugging the right earpiece out all the time).

The new pair isn't here yet, but the old pair had finally died completely. Although I can still find spot to squeeze on the right driver to make the contact work again, it's too intermittent and stupid looking (I look like a FBI agent pressing my finger against the earpiece).

Meanwhile I've been using my UE instead... it's just.. not.. anywhere near as comfortable. I get fairly irritated after having to wear them for a long time. Granted it's still much better than universal fit IEM's... but I really can't wait for my Sensas to arrive.
I know they actually changed the way they did the integrated cable during my replacement. On my final pair, they used a knot that was tied within the silicon to help with pulling. I still believe my short was caused by the twisting of the soft material in and out of my ears. It moved the drivers around.

Funny how the high-end headphones scared you off. I really got into Grados and worked my way up to a PS-1. I was quite happy with it but didn't think the build quality matched it's price. The L3000 was the only other headphone I heard at the San Jose meet that had the sound I was looking for. I've had them for about 2 1/2 years. I work out of home now, so I actually don't have as much need for portable headphones at the moment.

I'm shocked you didn't get taken in by the JH Audio stuff. I guess the material is the same as the UE's, so you'd have to deal with that. And you already know and like the Sensa sound quality. Anyway, good luck with the new pair.
post #7 of 20
If you like internally wired cabling, ACS probably have a higher quality cable. It looks to have a stronger lining than the Sensaphonics. ACS are also the company which Sensaphonics based their technology off of.
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post
If you like internally wired cabling, ACS probably have a higher quality cable. It looks to have a stronger lining than the Sensaphonics. ACS are also the company which Sensaphonics based their technology off of.
Looks like ACS has made more advancements than Sensaphonics. They offer a triple driver, better cable, and same soft material.

Advanced Communication Solutions - ACS T1 Custom Triple Driver Monitors - SRP £649
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iamoneagain View Post
I know they actually changed the way they did the integrated cable during my replacement. On my final pair, the used a knot that was tied within the silicon to help with pulling. I still believe my short was caused by the twisting of the soft material in and out of my ears. It moved the drivers around.
My Sensaphonics actually do have the knot inside. It's possible that twisting of the driver & soft material could cause the drivers to be displaced. Although on my Sensa, I got to a point where if I tug on the wire, I can see the entire knot inside the Sensa move... while on the left driver it doesn't do that. I think the way I've been using them, did eventually pull on the knot enough to loosen the entire structure inside.

Quote:
Funny how the high-end headphones scared you off.
I think that realization just struck me on how much more money there needs to be spent just to get a little bit more qualitative difference. It just wasn't worth it to me at that point. Part of it was actually kinda of a depressing realization... I remember thinking to myself, "What, this is it? If I spent $10,000 more, this is all I'm going to get out of it?"

If I was a millionaire I would gladly invest into it anyway. However, as an average working joe... yeah... I've got other things to worry about

Quote:
I'm shocked you didn't get taken in by the JH Audio stuff. I guess the material is the same as the UE's, so you'd have to deal with that. And you already know and like the Sensa sound quality. Anyway, good luck with the new pair.
I thought about it briefly... but knowing that JH Audio's another Harvey product (same person that started UE), it's likely they have the same type of sound signature that I didn't really like. Combined with the fact that it uses hard acrylic. I think even if it does indeed sound better than Sensa in every way possible, I'd still pass it up due to the material & comfort level.

I guess at this point in my life, comfort + sound quality is a good combination for me. The "ultimate" sound quality in trade for comfort doesn't really make a whole lot of sense when 99% of the time I'm listening to music from my iPhone.
post #10 of 20
I think you are giving the comfort level a bit too much of a emphasis I mean the silicone is probably a bit more comfortable then hard acrylic but I can have my iem's in easily for 5 hours without even knowing they are there. Also have you given Westone a thought? They are a hybrid that uses the soft material in the inner canal area and acrylic on the outside they would probably be a good alternative.
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Triple driver is kinda enticing... but at this point I'm sticking to what I know & trust. Like the UE-10 and Sensa experience I had years ago, more drivers doesn't necessarily mean getting a sound that I like.

It is to be noted though.. I see this on their site:

"The T1 IEM is supplied with Kevlar™ reinforced cable as standard. Available in a variety of colours, this high performance cable reduces noise generated by motion-induced friction and is far stronger than standard cable to cope with the most demanding environmets. Please note silver and graphite cable finishes are now discontinued."

FWIW, I think Sensaphonics introduced this same "kevlar reinforced" cable as well a long time ago. It's the same generation as the when they started doing the tied knots inside the IEM housing. As far as I can tell it's probably the same design as ACS. It seems like ACS only offers solid colors for their cable now, I think the silver & graphite cable types has a tendency to change color (clear PVC changing color something?), a solid color is less likely to turn green like my old cable did.

You can't find old literature about the kevlar reinforced cable on Sensa's site now, because all the material has been changed over to promote their field replaceable cable. With only a few references to old integrated design available on special request.
post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hockeyb213 View Post
I think you are giving the comfort level a bit too much of a emphasis I mean the silicone is probably a bit more comfortable then hard acrylic but I can have my iem's in easily for 5 hours without even knowing they are there. Also have you given Westone a thought? They are a hybrid that uses the soft material in the inner canal area and acrylic on the outside they would probably be a good alternative.
I have *both* soft silicone and acrylic (Sensa and UE) at the moment. I have a solid one to one comparison. For me, it is a "big" difference and a huge issue. I hate how the hard acrylic feels in my ear. Enough to the point where after about half a hour or so I would take them out and go, "I don't want this in my ear anymore."

I also happen to have the Ultimate Ears with the half-soft material and half-hard material from way back before they discontinued it. Soft acrylic material is not anywhere close to the soft silicone material in terms of how much it can mold and fit to your inner ear canal.
post #13 of 20
Yeah, I'd have to say the silicon felt better. It seemed to have a better seal and I could also lay on my side with it. I don't have that much trouble with the hard shell but I also think I could have sent them back to get them to fit a little tighter. I can easily break the seal. I decided to keep them the way they were because it was easier to take in and out when I worked in an office. Also allowed me to hear the phone or coworkers just a little easier.
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by lindrone View Post
Triple driver is kinda enticing... but at this point I'm sticking to what I know & trust. Like the UE-10 and Sensa experience I had years ago, more drivers doesn't necessarily mean getting a sound that I like.

It is to be noted though.. I see this on their site:

"The T1 IEM is supplied with Kevlar™ reinforced cable as standard. Available in a variety of colours, this high performance cable reduces noise generated by motion-induced friction and is far stronger than standard cable to cope with the most demanding environmets. Please note silver and graphite cable finishes are now discontinued."

FWIW, I think Sensaphonics introduced this same "kevlar reinforced" cable as well a long time ago. It's the same generation as the when they started doing the tied knots inside the IEM housing. As far as I can tell it's probably the same design as ACS. It seems like ACS only offers solid colors for their cable now, I think the silver & graphite cable types has a tendency to change color (clear PVC changing color something?), a solid color is less likely to turn green like my old cable did.

You can't find old literature about the kevlar reinforced cable on Sensa's site now, because all the material has been changed over to promote their field replaceable cable. With only a few references to old integrated design available on special request.
Well if you are already set in your head of what you want then I guess this thread does not serve a purpose since you are not looking to change anything.
post #15 of 20
Hockey, I own the JH13Pro and the Sensaphonics 2X-s. While the JH13Pro is stunning in every way for listening, the 2X-s stomps all over it for comfort (really), usability for people with glasses, outdoor use, isolation, and is much much easier to drive from a portable (has almost no frequency response strangeness). I love the JH13Pro, but unless I am home on a bed for about an hours, I much prefer the Sensaphonics which apart from a little bit of detail loss, isn't really all that behind.
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