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Can quality IEMs make an average audio player sound great?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I don’t want to give up on my cowon S9 but I’m afraid I’ll have to return it unless the bass can be improved significantly. There’s a hell of a lot of bass on the S9 - but it’s the wrong sort: it isn’t deep rich skull-reverberating bass. My first player was the Iriver H120 with wonderfully deep bass. So please tell me that there are IEMs that can give me that bass fix even though the player itself can’t. I’ve got a pair of cx300 and they pick out the rich bass on the Iriver, no problem. But is there any point in paying a lot of money for ultra quality phones when the dap is just not up to the job? I love the S9… except for the dull bass. I’ve been thinking about the CKS70s - I don’t really want more “punch”, just deeper bass that I can feel.
post #2 of 16
The S9 is a good player, so you shouldn't need to be worried about the SQ coming from it.
post #3 of 16
Well you don't want mid-bass, what you want is sub bass. I know phones like the Atrio are reputed to be able to render the really low notes. My RE0s can hit low notes, but they don't thump like a bassy phone. What you need are higher quality headphones is all.
post #4 of 16
Quality bass requires quality bass phones: Atrios, IE8, TF10. If you want to increase sound quality overall, upgrade your source; mp3 v0 or better, or go lossless.
post #5 of 16
The phrase "Polishing a turd" comes to mind. Audio, whether recording or reproducing it, is only as strong as its weakest link. But the Cowon shouldn't be your problem; there are a lot of people that are very happy with its sound even with higher-quality phones.
post #6 of 16
The S9 is a very good player; you shouldn't even think about letting that thing go
I would think about investing in a new pair of headphones or IEMs to get that much needed bass.

If you want some IEMs I can fully recommend the IE8s if 300 is within your budget. These are some of the best dynamic IEM's in terms of detail and deep, full bass

If you want something cheaper you can get the TP 10s for around 160 over at Amazon right now.. but the price is slowly rising :/

But yea the Trips.... have amazing treble and good bass... the response mirrors a slight U IMO.
But yea how much are you willing to spend?
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for suggestions.

Polishing a turd? Hmm… not quite as bad as that. Though the S9 has smooth mids + highs (really easy on the ear), the lows ain’t low enough. And if the player can’t provide it can IEMs give me something that’s not there? The S9 sounds great to someone who hasn’t heard better, but every time I’m listening I’m thinking: “bass not good… bass not good… go and listen on the H120”. I can hear the difference between mp3/lossless on the S9 - the mid-range, certainly. But it doesn’t touch the lows.
Semisight mentioned sub-bass: can hi-end IEMs create this? I’ll def upgrade my phones – it’s just a question of choosing the right ones.
post #8 of 16
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post #9 of 16
I have the S9 too, it is not your player!

I do notice some players tend to have an artificial re-EQ that you might not be able to turn off yourself.
The S9 is more like, "here's a flat uncolored response with plenty of power, you decide how you want to change it."
The S9, has just a overwhelming amount of tweaking you can do.

As for ear phones, yes, they'll make the biggest difference.
post #10 of 16
No, it really depends on the kind of music and the styles of IEMs.
post #11 of 16
If you are on a budget, I would suggest the Hippo VB earphones. They have awesome bass without sacrificing on the rest of the audio spectrum.

Here is a review - CrossRoads MylarOne Bijou 2/3, Quattro, Hippo VB, Hippo Boom Review
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks brendon. I'm not willing to spend more than a hundred quid, and for what I require the Hippo vb look a good bet.
post #13 of 16
To answer the title question- I don't like listening to ER-4Ps with my 2nd generation ipod nano, but i am very happy with ER-6is, just as I am with the ER-4Ps and a 2nd Gen Touch. Vocals seem weird with the nano and the higher resolution earphones.
post #14 of 16
If you wanted to upgrade your player....what would it be to? The S9 is at the top of PMP. The iPod Touch and iPhone dont compare. There is not sub- or mid-bass with Apple. Just, no bass. Take that money and get a pair of IEM's equal to the price of a new expensive player, rather than buying another player.
post #15 of 16
+1
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