Originally Posted by shigzeo
@Maya - I've used the SM2 on both the iPod touch 2G and S9 and both retain some similarities, but the touch is definitely able to drive them better. If you listen from an S9, you really should have an amp. It's possible that you enjoy that signature.
Both are somewhat cool, but in terms of space and details (especially in the midrange), the S9 and the iPod touch don't have what it takes, but the touch does a better job. I've not heard a single BA that the S9 can really handle. Driving an amp however, it is great.
Did you use your S9 completely flat, without BBE adjustments ? I've personally noticed that indeed, the S9 SQ on "normal" seems of a lesser quality than the iPod touch 2G, especially as you said in the mid frequencies. However, by using a few BBE effects (I personally use MP Enhance, 3D Suround, Mach3Bass, and extensive EQ modification, all used moderately to flatten / correct the sound signature of my headphones to my liking) the S9 took the lead. And I didn't use an amp.
It took me time to get to the sound signature I was looking for (especially adjusting the EQ, not only in terms of dB, but also in terms of frequency and width), but I've succeeded with the S9 to turn the IE8 from a pair of headphones I really did not like into something much more refined and subtle to my ears. I did not spend as much time fine-tuning the SM2, but with a few BBE settings activated and a quick EQ adjustment, it was already sounding better than the touch to me. I've also been quite impressed by the precision of the EQ (the frequency response of my IE8 and SM2 is very similar now). Otherwise, I suppose it's a question of taste