Seeing as to how vlenbo quoted the wrong post for my ATH-IM02 review under HardwareZone forums, I thought I will come in to clarify and paste the right link to my review for once since I'm quite a regular lurker, but infrequent poster around here.
Fellow Head-fier vlenbo is right. W1CKED I remembered once in one of your previous posts around here, you did mentioned you are from Singapore same as me. I would suggest you to get down to listen to the ATH-IM02's for yourself before passing some mere biased assumptions that the IM02's are just basically an 'rehashed CK90-MKII in a different shell'. I came from using quite abit of Audio-technica iems actually in the past, I have been in love with most of their inner-ear monitors since 2008 ever since I first got to own my very own ATH-CK9's, and for my case there's no turning back for me now. I just managed to get hold of a BNIB pair of CK10's just last year February, and I can tell you straight in the face w/o any questions asked, the ATH-IM02 are a vast improvement over the CK10, these are just hard true facts from me. There's really no reason for me to lie or put down the CK10's, since they are a pair of iems I like very much myself and they share the same tonal signature/sound character as the CK100PRO in summary, but when comparing the CK10 against the latest ATH-IM02, seriously there's no competition here at all. The ATH-IM02 is just much better in all areas.
I don't think you will hate the ATH-IM02 sound signature coming from the CK10's. While it does not share the same kind of sound characteristics as CK10 (the CK10's are much more lean-sounding in terms of its midrange and bass impact/rumble details tends to suffer quite abit unless you're using foam tips such as Complys), I would say both are quite similar in terms of treble texture with good amount of sparkle/bite thrown in, but the ATH-IM02's just accomplishes much better in areas such as soundstage presentation and imaging. (the layering/placement of instruments are much more realistically portrayed, and instrumental separation is top-notch)
In terms of local SRP here in Singapore, the pricing for the ATH-IM02 model also gives it a very high C/P value factor as well. Just go check out the demos for yourself at either Stereo Electronics, E1Personal Audio or Soundwaves, I'm sure you will somehow agree with me if you do adore the CK10's overall sound signature and presentation.
Hi Haonan. Sorry for the late reply but I just read your (very well written) review in all this new IM series hype, among many other impressions between the two (CK10 vs IM02) and damn, am I ever so tempted to replace my CK10s now. However, from a more reasonable standpoint, there is little actual reason for existing CK10 owners to just ditch/sell off their attached IEMs of years and jump into this new and totally different style IM02's...
A few arguments I can think off of the top of my head that supports my thesis are that
One; you mentioned yourself that they have bothersome microphonics and wearing comfort ordeals, that many other, not just the CK10/100/100PROs, high end BA IEMs do not suffer from.
Secondly; while incorporating a removable cable should definitely be a plus in any given situation regarding to the longevity and customizability of a particular headphones, giving it a proprietary connector jack hinders the very goal it tries to achieve. What's wrong with using the same connectors that UE and Shure all use? People could order custom made cables from professional companies and websites alike much easier. There is the risk of these IEMs not being as successful as intended or not have a huge niche, and in turn no said companies (such as PlusSound) would offer its connectors as an option.
Lastly, and this is hypothetical but based on my observations of generalized objective views on the matter; if the CK10 and the IM02 came out around the same time, had the same steady price of around $180-$220 retail (different regional availability but no huge fluctuations), more people would go for the CK10 rather than the IM02, and I would bet my house on that prediction. Not because titanium and rubber-wrapped metallic small ultra-super-duper comfy housings look better, but because of practicality. CK10s have superior comfort, isolation, and practicality to IM02, albeit the unremovable cables. The CK10s just feel much more entitled to the position and landmarks it tries to attain, and it certainly delivers and achieves without any compromise (marketting and price differences aside).
I have never heard the IM02, but I am just enthusiastic about audio-technica and their new IM series as everyone else here on Head-Fi is. I actually just ordered the IM50s to see for myself the potentials this new line holds, and to experience the new style of fit. However, of your statements regarding IM02 being sonically superior to the CK10s, and using many sound-describing terms to back them up, I am confused with unsettling curiosity by it; isn't sound (quality) very subjective, and can change drastically from the drivers used, to a person's ear shape and properties? I just can't agree with anybody -not just you personally- saying that the IM02 is a considerable upgrade, or beats the CK10s in all areas, and claiming that the improvements are worthwhile. I'm not saying the IM02s are a re-shelled product, and this is not an attack or anything of intrusive nature, so please do not feel offended. I am just sharing my opinion and any input or a discussion would be welcomed.
Edited by stuartfang - 2/20/14 at 10:30pm