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Multi-IEM Review - 314 IEMs compared (Olasonic Flat-4 Nami added 04/13/14 p. 894) - Page 538

post #8056 of 13430

Neither source offers much - they're really standard quality sources. Not doing anything really wrong, but nowhere near ideal either.

You can ignore the E6, Clip Zip is about as good with slightly worse noise floor.

post #8057 of 13430
Quote:
Originally Posted by AstralStorm View Post

Neither source offers much - they're really standard quality sources. Not doing anything really wrong, but nowhere near ideal either.
You can ignore the E6, Clip Zip is about as good with slightly worse noise floor.
I appreciate the input, but I have no way of replacing ethier. It's what I've to live with for the moment, the only reason I'm even considering getting new IEMSis because a friend is highly interested in my TF10s.
post #8058 of 13430
Quote:
Originally Posted by marko93101 View Post

I have indeed, I just don't know if it's going to suit what I listen to. 

 

I've never been more confused about what to buy.

 

Last time someone had terminal buyer's indecision this was my advice to him:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs View Post

 

My advice to you:

 

1. Make a numbered list of up to 6 earphones you can't decide between

2. Throw a die

3. Buy the phones on your numbered list that the die picks

4. Follow my advanced EQ tutorial to make whatever phones you buy sound exactly like how you want them to sound

4.5 Profit biggrin.gif

5. Report back after a month and post a pic showing your final EQ curve

6. Ask joker what phones would have the sound closest to your desired sound (as illustrated by your EQ on the phones you bought) so you can hopefully enjoy the same sound without EQ, or do like me and just kick back and enjoy your phones after you configure all your music and sound sources to work with the parametric EQ.  In my case I EQ'ed the $10 Philips SHE3580 and haven't heard anything I can put my hands on in the all-you-can-eat IEM auditioning buffet that is Hong Kong that sounds better than my EQ'ed SHE3580.  I'm not saying these are anything special (although people really like them at their price) because you should be able to do the same with any decent IEM.  And don't let people tell you you can't change the original sound signature of phones with EQ, because I did just that--I changed the SHE3580 from V-shaped to mid-forward, and the mids do not sound any worse for it--in fact they sound wonderful!

 

tl;dr: with EQ just about any decent pair of phones can sound like whatever you want them to sound; here's a list of 10+ phones in my collection that I got to sound within 5% to exactly like each other using different EQ settings

http://www.head-fi.org/t/612665/how-far-can-eq-really-go-towards-truly-equalizing-headphones/150#post_8505186

 

He liked it biggrin.gif

post #8059 of 13430

Joker, sorry if this has been asked before, but any first impressions on the FXD80?
I am very fond of my FXT90 and I'm wondering how both of these compare in SQ, isolation, and comfort

post #8060 of 13430
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

 

I've used Etymotic gray triples on mine with success. I think they are from an MC5. Really good isolation and the fit works rather well with the angled nozzle and over-the-ear form factor.

 

will the Shure triples (with the top trimmed) also work?  i just tried the Meelec's and they didnt work well

post #8061 of 13430
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by heart banger-97 View Post

thanks

do you think that dba-02 has more bass (quantity) than er4s?

recently I read something about er4b, have you heard er4b?

 

The DBA-02 has a touch more impact but you really don't have to worry about anyone finding them too bassy. 

 

The ER4B is the original flat-response version of the ER4. It is said that flat response is difficult to tolerate in an in-ear form factor and will sound overly bright to most listeners, which is why Etymotic developed the ER4S and ER4P. Phonak talked about this when they were originally developing the PFE and its tuning filters. I personally find the treble of the ER4S sufficient (though not bright) and really wouldn't want the ER4B.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by marko93101 View Post

To all the thread readers and  Joker, here's the situation. 

 

I'm selling my TF10s, I've gotten so bored/irritated with them. Found they were just un-enjoyable to my ears, so much so that my SE215s get most of my ear time..

 

Guy is willing to buy them off me for 150Euro.

 

So I seek your suggestions. 

 

So.. 

 

  1. Budget is a max of 150 Euros (excluding delivery)
  2. Source is a Clip Zip with E6 amp.
  3. I do enjoy a decent bass, but I also would love it to be as clear as day. 
  4. Willing to buy 2nd hand.
  5. I know this is a IEM thread, but I'm in no means restricted, feel free to suggest Portable Headphones as well..

 

 

Thanks in advance!


P.S this and your headphone threads are amazing! 

Keep it up!

 

It sounds like you'd enjoy a little more bass than the TF10. With that budget I would consider the EPH-100 - you'll trade off a bit of clarity compared to the TF10 but get a dynamic sound that will scale the bass very well with your hip hop, etc. It's not muddy and very efficient. You won't need that E6. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xinn3r View Post

Joker, sorry if this has been asked before, but any first impressions on the FXD80?
I am very fond of my FXT90 and I'm wondering how both of these compare in SQ, isolation, and comfort

 

I think I've mentioned before that I'm not too fond of the FXD80 or FX40. Isolation and comfort are fine with the FXD80 but I think the sound of the FXT90 has more of an 'it factor' where its presentation is intimate but well-layered and the timbre is rather nice. The FXD80 is good but its tone is a little on the cool side, the lower mids are recessed, and the treble is quite bright and shimmery. It's pretty much the same reasons I don't like the FX40, just much more temperate with the FXD80 to the point where I can easily tolerate them. The clarity is nice but part of it stems from the treble emphasis. When you take that away it's about as clear as the EPH-100. The detail and bass depth are good, no complaints there. Overall very nice for $100 or whatever they go for but I think they are closer in performance to the Fischer SBA-03/Klipsch X10/RE-ZERO level than the GR07, RE272, Rockit R-50, etc. 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zelda View Post

will the Shure triples (with the top trimmed) also work?  i just tried the Meelec's and they didnt work well

 

I don't think I have any Shure triples but they should be pretty similar. MEElec has two sizes of triples AFAIK. The larger ones from the M6 are too long for my canals so I trim off the top flange; the remaining bi-flange is rather comfy.

post #8062 of 13430
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

 

 

The ER4B is the original flat-response version of the ER4. It is said that flat response is difficult to tolerate in an in-ear form factor and will sound overly bright to most listeners, which is why Etymotic developed the ER4S and ER4P. Phonak talked about this when they were originally developing the PFE and its tuning filters. I personally find the treble of the ER4S sufficient (though not bright) and really wouldn't want the ER4B.

 

 

 

I think I've mentioned before that I'm not too fond of the FXD80 or FX40. Isolation and comfort are fine with the FXD80 but I think the sound of the FXT90 has more of an 'it factor' where its presentation is intimate but well-layered and the timbre is rather nice. The FXD80 is good but its tone is a little on the cool side, the lower mids are recessed, and the treble is quite bright and shimmery. It's pretty much the same reasons I don't like the FX40, just much more temperate with the FXD80 to the point where I can easily tolerate them. The clarity is nice but part of it stems from the treble emphasis. When you take that away it's about as clear as the EPH-100. The detail and bass depth are good, no complaints there. Overall very nice for $100 or whatever they go for but I think they are closer in performance to the Fischer SBA-03/Klipsch X10/RE-ZERO level than the GR07, RE272, Rockit R-50, etc. 

 

what's the 'it factor' ??

post #8063 of 13430
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zelda View Post

 

what's the 'it factor' ??

 

 

From Wise Geek, for instance:

 

 

In the past the “it factor” might have been defined as someone with je ne sais quoi, or the indefinable something that makes someone special. The “it factor”, was also called the X Factor in some cases, and still may be referred to as such. Most often, it is applied to celebrities or semi-celebrities that seem to radiate charisma and charm.
 
There is considerable debate about who possesses this unknown variable. Some people look at celebreality stars like Paris Hilton and are certain she has that “it factor”. In some way she draws people to her like a lodestone. The young woman can’t seem to make the smallest movement without a host of paparazzi avidly lapping at her heels.
 
Others look at Paris Hilton and wonder what the fuss is about. She is assuredly wealthy, and she can wear the finest clothes, make-up and jewelry that money can buy. However, people examine her and fail to see the “it factor”. Determining the “it factor” can be a matter of taste, moral background, viewpoints, and preferences.
 
post #8064 of 13430

.


Edited by Zelda - 1/14/13 at 12:11pm
post #8065 of 13430

I just registered so I could pass on my thanks to Joker and the head-fi community. I recently decided it was time to get a decent set of IEMs and research led me to head-fi, some guide articles and this review thread. After reading and re-reading, I went with some VSonic GR06s and have been absolutely blown away with their quality and price. As an FYI they now come with a cable cinch.

 

Thanks guys!

post #8066 of 13430
Quote:
Originally Posted by doosh View Post

I just registered so I could pass on my thanks to Joker and the head-fi community. I recently decided it was time to get a decent set of IEMs and research led me to head-fi, some guide articles and this review thread. After reading and re-reading, I went with some VSonic GR06s and have been absolutely blown away with their quality and price. As an FYI they now come with a cable cinch.

 

Thanks guys!

where did you get em from?

post #8067 of 13430
Thread Starter 

Added the JVC HA-FX40 and HA-FXD80. Wasn't planning to post the FX40 write-up but there's been quite a lot of interest expressed via PM. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

(3B34) JVC HA-FX40

Added Sep 2012

Details: First carbon nanotube earphone on the US market
Current Price: $22 from amazon.com (MSRP: $29.95)
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: 16Ω | Sens: 101 dB | Freq: 8-24k Hz | Cable: 3.9' I-plug
Nozzle Size: 5mm | Preferred tips: MEElec trimmed triple-flange; UE bi-flange
Wear Style: Straight down or over-the-ear

Accessories (2/5) - Single-flange silicone tips (3 sizes), foam tips, and shirt clip
Build Quality (3/5) – The housings are mostly plastic, with paper nozzle filters and no strain reliefs on cable entry. The cables are thinner compared to higher-end JVC IEMs but still soft and flexible. The 3.5mm I-plug is nicely relieved
Isolation (3/5) – Good for a shallow-fit earphone
Microphonics (4.5/5) – Low in the soft and flexible cable
Comfort (3/5) – The housings are small and ergonomic except for the plastic stabilizing arm shooting off the side of the housing, which can push against the ear and cause soreness after a while. They can be worn over-the-ear, with the stabilizer pointing outward, for better comfort

Sound (7.2/10) – The HA-FX40 is built around an 8.5mm carbon nanotube driver, the first such transducer available in the US. Billed as the ‘high clarity’ model in JVC’s extensive earphone lineup, the FX40 follows a v-shaped sound signature with strong bass and even stronger treble. It certainly delivers the clarity, but does so at a cost.

The carbon nanotube drivers found at the heart of the FX40 are most impressive in the bass region – the bass is definitely enhanced but far from overbearing. It lacks the absolute extension of sets such as the VSonic GR99 and Philips SHE3580 but still digs plenty deep without jeopardizing control. The treble-heavy nature of the earphones can diminish the relative emphasis placed on the low end but the bass of the FX40 is not to be underestimated – it is quick and impactful, forming a solid backbone for the sound.

Bass bleed is quite low – the Philips SHE 3580 and Brainwavz Beta, two competing v-shaped IEMs, have stronger upper bass response and sound warmer than the FX40. The JVCs are recessed through much of the midrange, though the response picks up towards the upper mids. Vocals, especially male vocals, are too far back in the mix on many tracks. High levels of clarity and detail are probably the most impressive aspect of the mids, though some of the perceived clarity comes from emphasis in the upper midrange and treble. This effect is similar to using a treble booster EQ setting (e.g. BBE’s “Crystal Clear” preset) and highly reminiscent of the far pricier PureSound ClarityOne earphones.

The resolution of the FX40 is still very good but there is another similarity to the PureSound Clarity One – the note presentation is on the thin side. The Philips SHE3580 and id America Spark, for example, both give up a bit of resolution to the FX40 but have a thicker, more fleshed-out note. While both of these earphones also sound colored, their note presentation seems a bit more natural than that of the FX40. The treble of the FX40 is emphasized overall and not entirely smooth but it is not as harsh or sibilant as one may expect from an earphone with enhanced treble response – a little splashy and fatiguing over long listening sessions, but generally tame. The tone is on the bright side, with plenty of energy and a tendency to emphasize cymbal crashes and the initial ‘crack’ of drums. The result of all this coloration, combined with the thinner note presentation, is that the fidelity of the FX40 can swing widely from great to poor depending on track.

Similarly, there are some issues with the presentation – while the FX40 tends to sound nice and open, the high left-right separation is reminiscent of Sony’s higher-end EX-series earphones and the Monoprice 8320 in providing little in the way of a central image. Depth and layering leave some to be desired as well, especially compared to JVC’s higher-end FXT90 model. On the upside, separation is good and there isn’t any of the boomy, closed-in feel that can be such a deal breaker with certain low-end IEMs.

Value (9/10) – JVC’s entry-level clarity-oriented model delivers exactly what it promises – a bright, clarity-oriented signature that doesn’t sacrifice the one must-have trait of a successful entry-level earphone – solid bass. The form factor leaves a little to be desired and the sound signature won’t work for everyone but the FX40 is one of the better treble-heavy earphones in the lower price tiers.

Pros: Minimal cable noise; good bass; great clarity and detail
Cons: No strain relief on housing entry; recessed lower mids; treble energy may be excessive for some

 

Thanks to dweaver for the HA-FX40 loan!

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

 

(2B17) JVC HA-FXD80

Added Sep 2012

Details: JVC’s carbon nanotube microdriver earphone
Current Price: $105 from ebay.com (MSRP: est $80)
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: 20Ω | Sens: 102 dB | Freq: 8-25k Hz | Cable: 3.9' L-plug
Nozzle Size: 5.5mm | Preferred tips: generic single-flanges; generic bi-flanges; MEElectronics ‘short’ bi-flanges
Wear Style: Straight down or over-the-ear

Accessories (3/5) - Single-flange silicone tips (3 sizes), cable winder, shirt clip, and drawstring carrying pouch
Build Quality (4.5/5) – The housings of the FXD80s are solid-feeing stainless steel, with nozzle-mounted microdrivers and unique-looking but sturdy strain reliefs. Cabling is typical JVC – soft and flexible. Mild driver flex is present.
Isolation (4/5) – Very good with the right tips and moderate insertion
Microphonics (4.5/5) – Very low when worn cable-down; nonexistent otherwise
Comfort (4/5) – Quite comfortable except for those with narrow ear canals. The housings are heavier and a bit larger than those of the Yamaha and Monster microdriver sets but not enough so to cause fit issues

Sound (8.7/10) – JVC’s previous microdriver earphone, the FXT90, featured a carbon nanotube driver alongside a second transducer. The new FXD80 uses a single carbon nanotube microdriver. Interestingly, the FXD80 is not as efficient as the dual-driver FXT90, requiring a few extra notches to reach listening volume. The power handling of the FXD80 is rather strange in that it is actually sensitive enough to be used at low volumes, yet happily accepts quite a lot more power before passing comfortable listening thresholds. Due to the slightly recessed mids, being able to bump up the volume without the sound becoming shrill or boomy is very welcome with many tracks.

The bass of the FXD80 is punchy and has good depth. Mid-bass boost is very mild – not as heavy as with the FXT90 and lower-end FX40 model but more substantial than with the VSonic GR07 and HiFiMan earphones. Like the FX40, the FXD80 leans slightly on the thin side in note presentation and as a result its bass reminds me of the Shure SE535 – great in extension but perhaps not as full and rumbly as the response warrants. The slight bass elevation causes the JVCs to sound a little less controlled compared to the GR07. Certain similarly-priced armature sets such as the Fischer SBA-03/MEElectronics A161P and Rockit R-50 also sound quicker and tighter, as expected. The bass of the FXD80 is also not quite as effortless as the dynamic, highly versatile low end of the Monster and Yamaha microdriver earphones but is certainly respectable considering the lower price of the JVCs.

The midrange is clear and detailed but, like the low end lacks a bit of thickness. The mids seem to take a step back compared to the bass and treble. Male vocals especially sound somewhat recessed – the GR07, for example, provides a flatter response with fuller, thicker, more natural male vocals. The RE-ZERO and MEElectronics A161P are more similar to the FXD80 in note presentation but both feature much more forward mids.

The response starts gaining emphasis in the upper midrange and the top end is prominent, yet somehow not fatiguing. The overall tone of the JVCs is a little on the cool side, which is certainly unusual for a mid-level dynamic earphone. Detail and top-end extension are good and the sound is nice and airy on the whole. The treble curve adds some perceived clarity to the sound in a way reminiscent of the lower-end FX40 model and the similarly-priced PureSound ClarityOne. The treble response does tend to exaggerate cymbal ringing a little and can throw timbre off slightly but – happily - doesn’t have the sibilant tendencies of the VSonic GR07. The pricier HiFiMan RE272, on the other hand, does a much better job of controlling sibilance without losing air but will not work for those who crave the extra treble energy.

The presentation of the FXD80 is less straightforward. The earphones sound spacious in a way reminiscent of the $300 Monster Miles Davis Trumpets and yet seem to have an average-sized headstage and layering. The FXD80 doesn’t throw sonic cues as far out of the head as a VSonic GR07 and Rockit R-50 and the presentation seems a little less well-spaced and linear. The HiFiMan RE272 is also more open-sounding and spacious, but the fact that the FXD80 draws comparisons to these far more expensive sets speaks volumes of the overall level of its performance.

Value (9/10) – JVC’s latest microdriver design is solid performer, combining deep bass, a clean midrange, and prominent treble for a crisp and energetic sound. As with the lower-end FX40 model, the FXD80 can’t be recommended without some reservation – the sound signature seems to work best with electronic music and male vocals disappoint compared to the pricier FXT90 model and other competing sets. Still, with its stainless steel shell, above-average isolation, and versatile, no-frills cabling, the FXD80 is one of the better buys in its price range.

Pros: Very solid build, flexible and quiet cabling, highly proficient sound
Cons: Fit may not work for those with narrow ear canals

 

Big thanks to mcnoiserdc for the FXD80 loan!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FieldingMellish View Post

From Wise Geek, for instance:

 

In the past the “it factor” might have been defined as someone with je ne sais quoi, or the indefinable something that makes someone special. The “it factor”, was also called the X Factor in some cases, and still may be referred to as such. 

 

That's a nice definition - thanks for finding it. I probably wasn't thinking too clearly when I used the term at 1am last night but this is pretty much what I meant (minus the Paris Hilton bits)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doosh View Post

I just registered so I could pass on my thanks to Joker and the head-fi community. I recently decided it was time to get a decent set of IEMs and research led me to head-fi, some guide articles and this review thread. After reading and re-reading, I went with some VSonic GR06s and have been absolutely blown away with their quality and price. As an FYI they now come with a cable cinch.

 

Thanks guys!

 

Awesome, glad you're enjoying the GR06s! beerchug.gif


Edited by ljokerl - 9/5/12 at 10:57pm
post #8068 of 13430

nice review of fxd80 , was looking for this . nice upgrade from micro hd .

post #8069 of 13430

Thanks for the review on the JVC's. Been wanting to hear your take on them since they've been such a hot topic on Dsnut's thread.

post #8070 of 13430

I enjoyed the FXD-80 while I had it; now maintaining an A161P and RE-272 in the stable. FX-40 I am keeping for it's simplicity and ease of carry; kind of an on-the-go shopping and errand IEM.

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