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6-Way Shootout: in search of China’s top (under)dog

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Introduction

With all of the great low- and mid-tier IEMs being released in the past few years, I found it curious that very few Chinese brands managed to break through to widespread success among head-fiers. There are exceptions to the rule, of course - though almost completely obscure just a few short years ago, Soundmagic has become a name almost everyone here at head-fi is familiar with and a common utterance in budget recommendation threads. But what about the other Chinese brands? Can it be that the largest electronics exporter in the world only manufactures great equipment for re-branding?

After trying the Cyclone PR1 Pro a few months ago and being totally blown away by the sound quality put out by the $50 earphones, I was bent on finding out. My wallet was none the happier, as always, but I wanted to try at least a few of the earphones coming out of China under various brands. I have little doubt that at least five of my six earphones are produced by the same OEM. Luckily, however, they all turned out to be tuned differently enough to keep me entertained for several weeks.

The contenders:



Beta Brainwavz
VSonic R02ProII
Cyclone PR1 Pro
Music Valley Silver Prologue 1 (SP1)
Lear Le01
Lear Le01+

I decided to do something slightly different with this shootout – instead of going through the earphones one by one and then tabulating my scores and declaring a winner, I will compare the IEMs in individual attributes as I go and rank them (Best > Worst) in each category. To decide on a winner more or less objectively, I will assign points to the earphones in each placing first in a particular attribute an earphone will get 5 points, second – 4 points, and so forth. Coming in 6/6 nets zero points. At the end the point leader will be declared the winner. Which will it be? Let’s find out.

Round 1: Packaging & Accessories





The Beta Brainwavz come packaged in a black slide-out box with two compartments, one housing a vacuum-sealed bag with the earphones and a few tips and the other holding the balance of the accessories. It’s quite simple and stylish, but not particularly gift-able - the vacuum-sealed baggie is a strange touch and the thin cardboard packaging can get quite battered travelling from HK in a bubble mailer. To warm the audiophile’s heart, however, a nice variety of tips is included: two sets of silicone ‘cone’ tips (in orange and clear), large clear bi-flange tips, soft orange foamies, and 3 sets of Soundmagic-style black foamies (S/M/L sizes). Other accessories include a soft Mofi carrying pouch, shirt clip, clip-on cable winder, silicone ear guides, and a pair of bass filters.





The VSonic R02ProII comes in a handsome dark blue magnetic-clasp box made out of a thick cardboard. Opening it reveals a simple foam insert housing the earphones, a bag of single-flange tips (bi-flanges come on the earphones), a pleather carrying pouch, a shirt clip, and a manual.





The packaging of the Cyclone PR1 Pro is the least impressive by far – the Cyclones come in a tiny cardboard box that barely fits the clamshell hard case. Inside the clamshell are the earphones along with three sets of single-flange silicone tips, a set of bi-flanges, a shirt clip, and a manual.





The Music Valley SP1 is packaged in a black-and-silver cardboard box with a blue foam insert. Inside you will find three sets of faux-Sony Hybrid tips, a set of medium Soundmagic-style foamies, a shirt clip, and the manual and warranty card.









The Lear Le01 and Le01+ are packaged identically to the Music Valleys with the exception of the foam inserts being green and the outer boxes - dark red and black, respectively. Each comes with three sets of single-flange tips, a set of bi-flanges, a shirt clip, and a manual. The Le01+ also includes a set of Soundmagic-style foam tips.

Ranking (Best > Worst):

Packaging: Music Valley SP1 = Lear Le01 = Lear Le01+ > R02ProII > Brainwavz Beta > Cyclone PR1 Pro
Accessories: Brainwavz Beta > Cyclone PR1 Pro > VSonic R02ProII > Music Valley SP1 = Lear Le01 = Lear Le01+


Round 2: Appearance, Build Quality, Comfort, Isolation, and Microphonics



The Beta Brainwavz are constructed out of plastic except for the nozzles, which are metal and identical to those used on the Cyclones/VSonics/LE01+ (it’s shouldn't come as a surprise since VSonic is the OEM for all of the earphones here except the MV SP1). The nozzles are engraved with the model and serial numbers of the earphones. I rather like the large Left/Right markers on the rear of the housings. For strain relief thin, long pieces of heatshrink are used on earphone entry and the 3.5mm plug is angled at 45 degrees. The housings of the Betas are very light and they are easy to wear cord-up or cord-down. Microphonics are completely non-existent when they are worn over-the-ear and still quite low otherwise. Isolation is the same as the Cyclones and Lears – very reasonable for ported dynamic IEMs and quite sufficient for my daily commute.

Despite the large variety of included tips, I couldn’t find any that felt and sounded “right”. The strange conical tips don’t give me a good seal, the biflanges are too large, the black foam tips aren’t soft enough, and the orange foam tips have an effect similar to Complys in darkening the sound and slightly obscuring treble. I defaulted to my usual Sony Hybrids and was far happier.



The VSonic R02ProII uses generic housings shared with the Cyclones and both of the Lears, but with a longer rubber strain relief and much nicer cables. Similarly to the Betas, the metal nozzles are engraved with the model and serial number of the earphones. The 45-degree 3.5mm plug is also identical to the one used by the Brainwavz. The long rubber strain reliefs on the housings do a good job of protecting the cables but make these rather difficult to wear over-the-ear. Another small annoyance is that the Left/Right markings take the form of small letters stamped in the strain reliefs, unlike the Cyclones and Lears which feature prominent painted-on markings. The housings are asymmetric, though, so it doesn’t take long to learn to tell the earpieces apart by touch. It’s the excellent silver cable, however, that really makes the R02ProII feel like a quality product. The cable is very smooth but quite tangle-resistant and has just the right amount of memory character to be easily manageable.

Comfort-wise the VSonics are similar to the Cyclones and Lears - perfectly tolerable for long periods of time with the stock tips. They are quite difficult to wear cord-up, which results in increased microphonics. On the grand scale, however, the microphonics are still below average.



The Cyclone PR1 Pro uses the same housings in as the VSonics. However, the nozzles are not engraved with the model name, the strain reliefs are missing, the cables are thin and rubbery, and the 3.5mm connector is a standard I-plug, all resulting in a decidedly more budget feel. They also utilize a dreadful j-cord setup (could be a plus for some) which makes microphonics all but nonexistent.



The Music Valley SP1 is the stylistic standout in this lineup of conventional straight-barrel IEMs. They utilize oddly-shaped all-plastic housings with an outgrowth on the side that’s meant to hook into the antitragus of the ear, not unlike the JVC HA-FXC50. I personally find this design rather pointless – the rigid housings actually hurt my ears after medium-length listening sessions. I found the SP1 most comfortable with long bi-flange tips and worn over-the-ear, for which they were obviously not designed. The hard plastic housing makes this very difficult to do with any of the included single-flange tips. The hard plastic stem does not act as a very good strain relief, either. Cabling is plasticky and terminates in a 3.5mm I-plug identical to the one used by the Cyclones. Isolation suffers as well due to the shallow insertion and no bi-flange tips are included.



The Lear Le01+ shares housings with the Cyclones but also features a short rubber strain relief on cable entry. The cabling is thin, rubbery, and slightly prone to tangling, as with the Cyclones and Le01. The strain-relief on the I-plug is fairly wimpy. They are easy to wear cord-up or cord-down due to the shorter strain relief and microphonics are low.



The Lear Le01, consistent with being the cheapest earphone of the bunch, utilizes fully plastic housings. Though they don’t look as nice as the VSonics, Le01+, and Cyclones, they are even lighter. I find them very easy to wear for long stretches. Strain reliefs are missing entirely, as with the Cyclones, so wearing them cord-up is not a problem. They are identical to the Le01+ in matters of cabling and microphonics.

Ranking (Best > Worst):

Build Quality: VSonic R02ProII > Brainwavz Beta > Lear Le01+ > Cyclone PR1 Pro > Music Valley SP1 > Lear Le01
Comfort: Lear Le01 = Lear Le01+ = Beta Brainwavz > Cyclone PR1 Pro = VSonic R02ProII > Music Valley SP1
Microphonics: Cyclone PR1 Pro > Lear Le01 = Lear Le01+ = Beta Brainwavz > VSonic R02ProII > Music Valley SP1
Isolation: VSonic R02ProII = Cyclone PR1 Pro = Lear Le01+ = Lear Le01 = Beta Brainwavz > Music Valley SP1


Round 3: Sound

Specifications:



Testing Setup

All on-the-go listening was done straight from an unamped Sansa Fuze using a selection of tracks in 256-320kbps mp3 format featuring a variety of genres including different subgenres of Rock & Metal, Pop, Acoustic, Blues, Jazz, and Electronica. All critical listening is done via an optical-fed iBasso D10 with stock opamps using a wider selection of tracks in FLAC and Windows Media lossless formats.

First up: the Beta Brainwavz. Looking at the specsheet these have the widest frequency response of the six IEMs. However, as is often the case with such specifications, roll-off is completely unaccounted for. I actually found that the bass starts dropping off very quickly past 35Hz or so. Only the bass-light Cyclones and LE01s have less presence in the lowest reaches. Still, what is there is tight and enjoyable, accurately hitting distinct notes, just not particularly impactful. The bass can be tightened slightly by installing the bass filters, which sacrifices some treble resolution (not unlike swapping the grey filters for black ones in the Phonak PFEs) and thus was not worth it for me. Even with the filters off the bass is quite sufficient in quality but not integrated into the overall sound as much as I would like. To be fair, however, I found the whole signature to be slightly distant, and not in a wide-and-airy sense as with the Cyclones. The midrange is quite articulate but can sound hollow at times for this exact reason. There also seems to be some emphasis on the upper midrange, which gives certain vocals an ‘edgy’ quality and cuts down significantly on upper midrange/lower treble clarity, making them sound run-together and lacking in detail. Even without the filter the upper mids can sound somewhat muddy and unrefined. The treble itself has a bit of sparkle but sadly ends up being recessed at the very top of the range. Nevertheless, without the filters they are rather bright; adding the filters moves them closer to neutrality. Denser tracks are not the Betas’ forté as instruments such as high-hats can get downright lost in the sound but for pop and soft rock they work fine. All in all, the Beta Brainwavz are definitely not a bad-sounding IEM for the price, but being the cheapest IEM in this lineup puts them at an obvious disadvantage.

Next up, the aging VSonic R02ProII. Despite being the OEM for most of the other earphones in this lineup, VSonic has seemingly retained the unique build and sound of their R02ProII model under their own branding. Coming from the Beta Brainwavz the first thing I noticed was the intimacy of the soundstage - the sound put out by the R02ProII is anything but distant. The next most noticeable thing is the warmth – the VSonics are definitely on the warm side of neutral in the bass and mids. The bass is impactful and extended. Mid-bass may be overemphasized slightly (but nowhere near as much as the Le01+) and balances out the overall sound very well. It does creep up slightly on the lower midrange, giving the sound some coloration. The mids are slightly warm and quite full. Both the midrange and treble are extremely smooth – definitely no sibilance here. The smoothness ends up glossing over some of the detail, but they still beat the Brainwavz quite easily. Overall it is a very ‘likeable’ sound, albeit hindered by the narrow-ish soundstage.

Next, we get to the Cyclone PR1 Pro, the IEM that initiated this whole review. The Cyclone still sounds astonishingly good to me after 3 months of ownership. It may be apparent by now that I have been using it as a benchmark for the other earphones, for which I have plenty of reasons. The soundstage is easily the widest of the group and the sound is almost perfectly neutral and balanced to my ears. Clarity and instrumental separation are both outstanding and the detail isn't far behind the more expensive Head-Direct and Etymotic earphones. The bass is very controlled – never excessive and yet never missing completely. They will not have enough impact for die-hard bassheads but the bass complements the very poised overall sound signature nicely. The midrange is crisp and natural, almost to the point of sounding ‘thin’ in the wide soundstage. The treble has a little sparkle and gentle roll-off at the very top, resulting in a completely non-fatiguing and smooth sound. Yes, they are still one of my favourite budget IEMs.

With its unconventional housings and in-house driver design the Music Valley Silver Prologue 1 is certainly the standout of the group on paper. But being the highest-priced IEM here, the SP1 would have to do more than just look pretty to compete. Luckily, the SP1 does not disappoint - it is a stunningly detailed and well-balanced earphone that falls just short of the Cyclones in overall clarity. Soundstaging is fairly average, wider than with the VSonics but not quite up there with the Cyclones. Still, the sonic images are all where they need to be, with the vocals upfront and drums at the back. Bass is extended and tight. There is a good amount of bass with the included single-flange tips but unfortunately I could not get a good fit with them. The dual-flanges I’ve been using cut down on bass quantity but still maintain excellent control over the low end. Low-end texture is impressive and the quantity of bass makes low-end detail easier to distinguish than with the Cyclones. The mid-range is recessed slightly compared to the bass and on the dark side, but still quite lush and rich. Compared again to the Cyclones the midrange sounds thicker and more liquid at the expense of some of the clarity and instrumental separation, making them sound just a bit more congested. The treble is less extended and lacks sparkle. Overall, these really make the other earphones here sound bright. Still, they are smooth and non-fatiguing, quite detailed, and with very punchy and well-behaved bass. Definitely an enjoyable sound all things considered.

Last but certainly not least are the two pairs of Lear IEMs, the Le01 and Le01+. The Le01+ is touted as being an improvement on the Le01’s build quality and bass response. Expecting them to be quite similar in sound, then, I started with the Le01. Being the second cheapest earphone here after the Beta Brainwavz, the Le01 is quite an impressive performer. The signature is quite flat and neutral, second only to the Cyclones in that respect, but the tonality isn’t as accurate and texturing could be better. At the low end they tie with Cyclones on bass quantity but fall behind on control and accuracy, sounding just a little boomy with drums. Extension isn’t quite on par with the VSonics and the Music Valleys. They are more forward than the Cyclones in the midrange and fall behind in clarity, but only slightly. The treble has some sparkle and is quite accurate and fairly extended. Compared to the Cyclones it’s a tad grainier but still extremely enjoyable. The soundstage is a bit intimate but quite good as far as IEMs go. All things considered I really like the Le01 - considering that it is a bottom-of-the-range earphone from a little-known Chinese company, the Le01 is a stellar performer.

The Le01+, besides offering a better build than the Le01, “improves” on the sound by adding a noticeable (and rather large) mid-bass hump to the sound signature. Indeed, they have the most mid-bass of the bunch by a stretch and extend the lowest as well (below 25Hz to my ears). The boom found in the bass of the Le01 is magnified by the hump, which is also large enough to creep up on the lower midrange and makes them sound a good amount warmer and darker than the Le01. The resulting sound smoothes over some fine detail and causes a loss in the crispness of the Le01 but provides for a less ‘plasticky’ and more ‘popular’ overall sound. The change from the Le01 is personally not to my liking. For bass I still prefer VSonic’s own R02ProII and in midrange and treble clarity the Le01+ just gets left too far behind, which is shame.

Ranking (Best > Worst):

Bass Quantity: Lear Le01+ > VSonic R02ProII = Music Valley SP1 > Brainwavz Beta > Lear Le01 = Cyclone PR1 Pro
Bass Quality: Music Valley SP1 = Cyclone PR1 Pro > VSonic R02ProII > Lear Le01+ = Brainwavz Beta = Lear Le01
Midrange: Music Valley SP1 > Cyclone PR1 Pro > VSonic R02ProII = Lear Le01 > Lear Le01+ = Brainwavz Beta
Treble: Cyclone PR1 Pro > VSonic R02ProII > Music Valley SP1 = Lear Le01 > Brainwavz Beta = Lear Le01+
Soundstaging: Cyclone PR1 Pro > Music Valley SP1 > Lear Le01 > Lear Le01+ > Brainwavz Beta > VSonic R02ProII
Positioning: Cyclone PR1 Pro > Music Valley SP1 = VSonic R02ProII = Lear Le01 > Brainwavz Beta = Lear Le01+
Clarity: Cyclone PR1 Pro > Music Valley SP1 > VSonic R02ProII = Lear Le01 > Brainwavz Beta > Lear Le01+
Overall Sound: Cyclone PR1 Pro > Music Valley SP1 > VSonic R02ProII = Lear Le01 > Lear Le01+ = Brainwavz Beta


Round 4: Value

Coincidentally, after the three rounds detailed above there is still a three-way tie in point count. Luckily, the tie is between IEMs that are on different price tiers so the Value round should clear things up.

Costing between $25 and $30, the Beta Brainwavz is the most readily available of the IEMs tested here and also the cheapest. At that price point I recommend it quite easily as a fun and tunable earphone and an alternative to the more laid-back Soundmagic PL30 and the bassier, more visceral Meelectronics M9. On the grand scale, however, the sound of the Betas has flaws not shared by the other, more refined earphones in this lineup.

The Cyclone PR1 Pro still reigns supreme in my book as the *the* sub-$50 Chinese IEM to own. Falling square in the middle of the price distribution, I can’t help but feel that it is a full head above the others in matters of soundstaging and clarity. Now, I have made no secret of liking a balanced and neutral response so for me the Cyclone is a very difficult IEM to beat, but getting one’s hands on a set has proved rather difficult since its inception.

The VSonic R02ProII falls in the same price category as the Cyclone but offers a very different sound – intimate, bassy, and warm. It’s a very likeable sound and the build quality is the best of the bunch, with proper strain reliefs all around and excellent cabling. For those in search for greater bass impact than the Cyclones can offer, the R02ProII should be in the running.

The priciest earphone here, the Music Valley Silver Prologue 1, is also the one that competes best with the Cyclones. The SP1 offers a very balanced sound signature with tight bass, a medium-size soundstage, and excellent detail all-around. My personal fit issues with the SP1 make it more difficult to recommend, but once a good seal is attained the SP1 could be a mid-range ticket to audio nirvana.

The Lear Le01 comes closest to my beloved Cyclones in terms of sound signature and is cheaper to boot. As the first and lowest-end earphone from Lear, build quality is at the bottom of the group. But at the second lowest price point, the build issues will not deter me from recommending the Lear as a great all-around earphone for the price.

The Lear Le01+, on the other hand, is recommended only for die-hard bassheads. Tuned for the maximum possible mid-bass response, the resulting mountain of bass negatively affects mid-range clarity and separation. Though the sound becomes fuller and smoother, the drop in resolution is detrimental to my personal enjoyment of the earphones. I feel like the Le01 is more of an audiophile set despite its small flaws while the pricier and better-built Le01+ is geared toward the mainstream market.

Value: Cyclone PR1 Pro > VSonic R02ProII = Lear Le01 > Music Valley SP1 = Brainwavz Beta > Lear Le01+

Conclusions

Point totals:

5) Lear Le01+ (43 points)
4) Beta Brainwavz (44 points)
3) Lear Le01 (45 points)
2*) VSonic R02ProII (49 points)
2*) Music Valley SP1 (49 points)
1) Cyclone PR1 Pro (58 points)

Though the Cyclones were far from leading the pack through Rounds 1 and 2, the SQ round is where they really shine. Round 3 allowed them to pull ahead of the others and stay there. The spread between the other earphones, however, is surprisingly small, which follows what I learned from my reviews. The Music Valley SP1 and VSonic R02ProII are both great earphones with more conventional sound signatures than the Cyclones. However, the narrow soundstage of the VSonics and fit/comfort issues of the Music Valleys keep them from greatness. Bringing up the rear are the Betas and both of the Lear models. The Beta Brainwavz offer quite a bit of bang/buck by being the cheapest earphones here but just barely beat out the Le01+ for the second to last spot due to having the most flawed (to my ears) sound signature. The
Le01+ comes in dead last due to the "improved" bass tuning that Lear decided to exercise. Assuming that the Le01+ started out as an Le01 with improved build quality, it is quite disappointing that the excellent clarity was all but completely swallowed when the low end response was pumped full of steroids.

Truth is, I found all six earphones to be quite excellent in the grand scheme of things and must admit that they sound at least as good as their readily-available-in-the-USA counterparts (including the Betas and VSonics, which are readily available). Whether all of them gain widespread acceptance (and some steady distribution channels) or remain obscure and rather exotic budget entries remains to be seen.
post #2 of 26
Thanks for the review, I'm sure it will be helpful to the many budget conscious headfiers. That said, shouldn't the pl50 count as a cheap and good sounding Chinese IEM? I mean, like you said, they are no longer in the unknown and therefore "underdogs", but a relative comparison would still probably be helpful.
post #3 of 26
You put a lot of work into writing this review,good on you.

You should use one "std" headphone eg HD300 or HD300II as a comparison, with this comparison the reader can gauge the comparative quality of each headphone. In other words use a benchmark headphone may it be HD300 or another model. My comment comes a little late.

Anyway overall a good review. I will be looking out for these Chinese headphones and saves money.
post #4 of 26
Thanks for the review. I was informed that SP1 will be discontinued soon and Music Valley is going to release another IEM. That will be something to look forward to.
post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JxK View Post
Thanks for the review, I'm sure it will be helpful to the many budget conscious headfiers. That said, shouldn't the pl50 count as a cheap and good sounding Chinese IEM? I mean, like you said, they are no longer in the unknown and therefore "underdogs", but a relative comparison would still probably be helpful.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ttan98 View Post
You should use one "std" headphone eg HD300 or HD300II as a comparison, with this comparison the reader can gauge the comparative quality of each headphone. In other words use a benchmark headphone may it be HD300 or another model. My comment comes a little late.
For that there is my multi-IEM shootout thread (link in signature). The Cyclone is already in there and the other five earphones reviewed here will be added soon. There they are compared to many of head-fi's favorites, new and old, including the PL50, RE0, NE-7M, Marshmallows, etc.

I scored the Cyclone as an 8/10 on SQ and the SP1 and VSonics/LE01 really won't be far behind. For comparison purposes my PL50 scored a 7.5/10 and my Marshmallows - a 3.5/10. I haven't heard the CX300 (I think that's what you mean) in a very long time but I chose the PL30 over them way back when for a reason. From memory I wouldn't give the CX300 more than a generous 4.5/10 in SQ.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post
Thanks for the review. I was informed that SP1 will be discontinued soon and Music Valley is going to release another IEM. That will be something to look forward to.
Thanks - something to look forward to indeed. With a more ear-friendly housing the SP1 would be an outstanding mid-range earphone. I'm quite sure they sound better than some of the current big-bass favorites here at head-fi but I wish I could wear them for more than an hour at a time .
post #6 of 26
Excellent work joker. Thank you for your meticulous work and thinning wallet : )

I look forward to seeing them within the spreadsheet!
post #7 of 26
Fine piece of reviewing Joker. Just as an FYI, and it certainly impacts the value rating, the latest price I paid for the PR1 Pro was $39.99 shipped from Hong Kong to the US.

Being lucky enough to have read your early raves about the PR1 Pro, I secured two pair, which will not be leaving my possession until they fail and I have to toss them (or try and get them recabled or something).

As you note, they don't fall very far behind my higher priced IEMs, not at all. I never feel like I am losing something when I move to the Pros. Also, with the hybrid tips, they are by far - not even close - the most comfortable IEMs I've owned, both easy to use and lightweight.

Too bad Storm has decided to change direction (or something along those lines). A pity more HFers won't be able to get the PR1 Pro. But maybe the next iteration of the company will just release the same phone with a different name. They are that good.

Thanks again.
post #8 of 26
How would you place the PL-50s amongst these?

Thanks for the write-up.
post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcpk View Post
How would you place the PL-50s amongst these?

Thanks for the write-up.
I'll have to quantify what I'm hearing and add it to my table to see where these fare compared to the PL50. I'd say the Music Valleys are about on par SQ-wise, though with a very different signature, but the PL50s have other things going for them, e.g. accessories, comfort, etc. None of these sound like the PL50 so they're tough to compare. Besides the Cyclones I'm rather impressed with the little $30 Lears (Le01). They're a good step above the usual $30 crop like the Brainwavz, JLabs J3, RE2, etc.
post #10 of 26
great read and great review...very helpful.
post #11 of 26
Very informative comparison, thank you, but you have made my life even more complicated :/

I was on the cusp of purchasing a pair of soundmagic pl30, but now i am not sure.

How do the pl30 compare to the brainwavz beta? I primarily listen to jazz with much of my music being sax and piano jazz, which would be better?
post #12 of 26
Thread Starter 
I would go with the PL30. The smoother response and greater resolution & clarity in the upper mids should be of benefit compared to the Betas, especially for jazz. The strength of the Betas as far as budget IEMs go is speed and low-end response, as well as extension on both ends. But I still consider the PL30 the better all-rounder.
post #13 of 26
have to agree about the PR1s. they are amazing, although they sometimes "bottom" out with very fast, very low bass such as speedcore dandy by m1dy. cant recomend them for the hardcore crowds, but other electronic music is great for them (jumpstyle, hardstyle, trance, goa, dance, house...everything else i have found so far sounds incredible). they work great for other artists such as dream theater and edguy, especially the latter. heard nuances, especially with vocals, using the PR1s vs anything thing else i have ever used to listen
post #14 of 26
Excellent shoot-out review, joker! I enjoyed the read and 'twas fun to see you take a different approach to the round-by-round scoring.

Out of curiousity, how many hours would you guesstimate that you spent on this? With the pics, listening tests, write-up, etc. I can't imagine that it was any less than 20 hours?
post #15 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwhitakr View Post
Excellent shoot-out review, joker! I enjoyed the read and 'twas fun to see you take a different approach to the round-by-round scoring.

Out of curiousity, how many hours would you guesstimate that you spent on this? With the pics, listening tests, write-up, etc. I can't imagine that it was any less than 20 hours?
Thanks!

I'd say 20 hours is a good estimate for the sit-down time I spent with the earphones, listening critically and A:Bing, as well as actually writing up the (4000 or so word) review. I also spent several weeks beforehand using each IEM as my daily commuter phone for several days to get an intrinsic "feel" for how they sound as well as to see how usable they are day-to-day.
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