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Multi-IEM Review - 314 IEMs compared (Olasonic Flat-4 Nami added 04/13/14 p. 894) - Page 583

post #8731 of 13424
Quote:
Originally Posted by vpr555 View Post

I've been racking my brain reading different reviews in the first couple pages of this thread, but I've got a complete headache. I need some suggestions on what to get. I'd like to spend at most around $75, but would feel better in the $50-$60 range. I generally listen to music that tends to have female vocals, but not always. I also listen to songs of other languages, especially Chinese and Japanese. Some examples of music I listen to: Etro Anime (Musical genres used by the band include drum and bassdeep housetrip hop, and breakbeat), Bang Gang, Telepopmusik, Flunk, Utada Hikaru (JPop), KOTOKO, Two Steps From Hell, Trifonic, Elsaine, Aproaching Nirvana, Brad Sucks, BoA, as well as Video Game and Movie Soundtracks (Star Wars, Chrono Trigger for example), and some more mainstream stuff like Incubus, Korn, Metallica, etc. Occasionally I'll also listen to some Stevie Ray Vaughn or Jimmy Hendrix too. I want something that doesn't muddy the bass but gives it some emphasis but not too overpowering. I also want something that highlights the Mids for the vocals and has a large soundstage. They need to be able to handle the wide variety of genres that I listen to and need to be comfortable. I'll be travelling to China in January (My 4th time) and I've had some issues with my right ear not being able to pop after flying so I don't know if that should be something I worry about in my decision making process.

 

Can anyone help me choose a pair of IEMs that will work for me that are currently available from a reliable website (I don't consider ebay reliable) - thank you so much!

Sony MH1-C  < Head Fi- thread.

 

You can buy on Amazon and stay under your budget. I have not tested many so take my next statement in this context : I think it impossible to find anything better under $100 .(maybe even up to 200)

 

One thing is the cable........as good as the sound quality is.....thats how bad the cable is.


Edited by Saraguie - 11/15/12 at 9:55pm
post #8732 of 13424

Is there a newer set of reviews compared like this?  It seems like every time I find a reasonable priced well reviewed set, they aren't available from any stores any longer...

post #8733 of 13424
Quote:
Originally Posted by luisdent View Post

Is there a newer set of reviews compared like this?  It seems like every time I find a reasonable priced well reviewed set, they aren't available from any stores any longer...

You may want to order them online, like from earphonesolutions or headroom. 

post #8734 of 13424

In this range, you cannot really beat RE0 and especially slightly darker, more impactful, more sensitive (as in no need for an amp at all) and smoother RE-ZERO. (currently $50 and $60 on head-direct.com; $10 international S&H)

The one gripe with these is that you really have to use their largest tips (either single or biflange) and make them stick out of the ear.

(Again, Hifiman putting great drivers into too small cases. I'd say this fit gives +0.8 on my own SQ scale, bringing them beyond RE272 stock. I'll be attempting a custom case.)

For a later upgrade, you can make custom silicone eartips.

Minor warning: these don't have any kind of bass boost. No rolloff though in the above onfiguration. If shoved in deeper, they have bass rolloff and become dry sounding.

Oh, forgot to mention - these have the same cable as RE272/RE262 now, if not a tiny bit thicker in RE-ZERO.

 

GR06, the closest competitor, can try, but is nowhere near as articulate and is more expensive. But if you prefer it bassier and especially warmer, it's also a good IEM.


Edited by AstralStorm - 11/16/12 at 7:24am
post #8735 of 13424
Quote:
Originally Posted by AstralStorm View Post

In this range, you cannot really beat RE0 and especially slightly darker, more impactful, more sensitive (as in no need for an amp at all) and smoother RE-ZERO. (currently $50 and $60 on head-direct.com; $10 international S&H)
The one gripe with these is that you really have to use their largest tips (either single or biflange) and make them stick out of the ear.
(Again, Hifiman putting great drivers into too small cases. I'd say this fit gives +0.8 on my own SQ scale, bringing them beyond RE272 stock. I'll be attempting a custom case.)
For a later upgrade, you can make custom silicone eartips.
Minor warning: these don't have any kind of bass boost. No rolloff though in the above onfiguration. If shoved in deeper, they have bass rolloff and become dry sounding.
Oh, forgot to mention - these have the same cable as RE272/RE262 now, if not a tiny bit thicker in RE-ZERO.

GR06, the closest competitor, can try, but is nowhere near as articulate and is more expensive. But if you prefer it bassier and especially warmer, it's also a good IEM.

the gr04 flagship. is by all accounts only slightly behind the gr07 and is $55,,shipped
post #8736 of 13424

ljokerl, I recently upgraded from RE-ZERO (which I bought thanks to your review thread over 2 years ago! biggrin.gif) to the RE262 and while I like them a lot and intend to keep them for a while, I miss the ZERO's treble presentation and relatively balanced sound signature. Do the 272's have comparable treble and bass quantity and similar sound signature to the ZEROs? I would love to have a ZERO with better soundstage, instrument separation and (as a bonus) better quality bass as my second IEM, and I'm hoping you can help me find the right replacement. On the other hand, I also wouldn't mind something similar to the 262 with a more forward better treble. I tried the GR07 and couldn't stand the sibilance. Budget is $250, but willing to stretch up to $350 if there's something that blows all of these out the water. Thanks in advance, your advice as always is much appreciated!
 

post #8737 of 13424
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

 

Yes, it's very possible you won't like a more analytical earphone as your first, which is why I recommended the SE215 or Crystal as 'safer' choices that still have controlled bass and good overall sound quality.

 

 

Breaking in my new SE215s now.  Comparing them to the Philips SHE3590 I originally bought, I actually like the Philips a little better.  Being a newb, I don't have a "sound signature" yet, but since the Shure's are reputed to have a warmer sound, I'm guessing the SE215s are not going to sound real "bright" without some EQ treatment?  I am enjoying the Shures, but now I'm wondering about other sound signatures.

 

What would be a good low-cost, more analytic sounding IEM?

 

P.S. I'm getting SHE3590s for several people on my gift list.  Too good a deal...

 

JJ

post #8738 of 13424
Quote:
Originally Posted by ibuckeye View Post

ljokerl, I recently upgraded from RE-ZERO (which I bought thanks to your review thread over 2 years ago! biggrin.gif) to the RE262 and while I like them a lot and intend to keep them for a while, I miss the ZERO's treble presentation and relatively balanced sound signature. Do the 272's have comparable treble and bass quantity and similar sound signature to the ZEROs? I would love to have a ZERO with better soundstage, instrument separation and (as a bonus) better quality bass as my second IEM, and I'm hoping you can help me find the right replacement. On the other hand, I also wouldn't mind something similar to the 262 with a more forward better treble. I tried the GR07 and couldn't stand the sibilance. Budget is $250, but willing to stretch up to $350 if there's something that blows all of these out the water. Thanks in advance, your advice as always is much appreciated!
 

Treble yes, bass quantity without the foam mod is lower and less impactful. (The drivers are even more choked.) Mids are much smoother, in fact too smooth and reverberated to my ears - somewhat recessed perhaps too. RE-ZERO is faster out of my best, low impedance source.

In fact, I get better, more coherent soundstaging out of RE-ZERO with the soft biflange - same ones that worked best with RE272. I even suspect that RE272 and RE-ZERO share the same driver - they do share impedance curves...

 

RE272 improve a lot after the foam stuffing mod - but comfort-wise RE-ZERO are better to my ears and sound quality is very comparable, in fact RE-ZERO are more detailed and perfectly flat on eq to my ears, while modded RE272 have a minor midrange 3.5-4k cut. (Foam is too effective? Perhaps difference in the case, nozzle or mesh vs "material" filter.)

 

They're very much technically on par, suprisingly. Funny thing that Joker rates them differently on SQ, perhaps he got worse fit on RE-ZERO.

The only thing I can think of that might be able to blow these out of the water while being as neutral is... RE-ZERO with custom tips (or better yet, properly done full silicone shell) or perhaps Alclair RSM or Unique Melody Miracle custom IEMs. (I'll be able to tell you when I check these out. Alclair will come first.)


Edited by AstralStorm - 11/16/12 at 6:00pm
post #8739 of 13424
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vpr555 View Post

I've been racking my brain reading different reviews in the first couple pages of this thread, but I've got a complete headache. I need some suggestions on what to get. I'd like to spend at most around $75, but would feel better in the $50-$60 range. I generally listen to music that tends to have female vocals, but not always. I also listen to songs of other languages, especially Chinese and Japanese. Some examples of music I listen to: Etro Anime (Musical genres used by the band include drum and bassdeep housetrip hop, and breakbeat), Bang Gang, Telepopmusik, Flunk, Utada Hikaru (JPop), KOTOKO, Two Steps From Hell, Trifonic, Elsaine, Aproaching Nirvana, Brad Sucks, BoA, as well as Video Game and Movie Soundtracks (Star Wars, Chrono Trigger for example), and some more mainstream stuff like Incubus, Korn, Metallica, etc. Occasionally I'll also listen to some Stevie Ray Vaughn or Jimmy Hendrix too. I want something that doesn't muddy the bass but gives it some emphasis but not too overpowering. I also want something that highlights the Mids for the vocals and has a large soundstage. They need to be able to handle the wide variety of genres that I listen to and need to be comfortable. I'll be travelling to China in January (My 4th time) and I've had some issues with my right ear not being able to pop after flying so I don't know if that should be something I worry about in my decision making process.

 

Can anyone help me choose a pair of IEMs that will work for me that are currently available from a reliable website (I don't consider ebay reliable) - thank you so much!

 

The GR06 would be my pick though I haven't heard the GR04. It's got a decent soundstage, prominent mids, and good bass.

 

You may have to unseal them in the plane a couple of times but otherwise should be fine with altitude changes.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by luisdent View Post

Is there a newer set of reviews compared like this?  It seems like every time I find a reasonable priced well reviewed set, they aren't available from any stores any longer...

 

Examples?

 

I try to note everything that's been discontinued in the reviews and by graying out the price in the table. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ibuckeye View Post

ljokerl, I recently upgraded from RE-ZERO (which I bought thanks to your review thread over 2 years ago! biggrin.gif) to the RE262 and while I like them a lot and intend to keep them for a while, I miss the ZERO's treble presentation and relatively balanced sound signature. Do the 272's have comparable treble and bass quantity and similar sound signature to the ZEROs? I would love to have a ZERO with better soundstage, instrument separation and (as a bonus) better quality bass as my second IEM, and I'm hoping you can help me find the right replacement. On the other hand, I also wouldn't mind something similar to the 262 with a more forward better treble. I tried the GR07 and couldn't stand the sibilance. Budget is $250, but willing to stretch up to $350 if there's something that blows all of these out the water. Thanks in advance, your advice as always is much appreciated!
 

 

The 272s are definitely closer to the ZERO than the 262s are but the differences from the RE262 aren't huge. I reviewed both in more detail at innerfidelity. The bass of the 272 is not really an upgrade to the ZERO. The mids and treble are great to me, though, and they are what you're looking for in terms of an RE262 upgrade. 

 

Much of the time when you have an earphone with prominent treble you risk sibilance. The VSonic dynamic IEMs I've tried have this issue and the Sony monitors do as well, to a more limited degree (the MDR-7550 is the best in this regard but still not as forgiving as the RE272 and RE-ZERO IMO). 

 

I would honestly consider giving the Rock-It R-50 a try. It's on the low end of your budget and still doesn't have much bass but it's a good BA take on a balanced sound. Comparable to the VSonic GR01 but without the massive pricetag. Not exactly what you're looking for but it's in the ballpark and you might like it better than the RE262 and RE-ZERO (or maybe rule out BAs once and for all wink.gif)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Jumper View Post

 

Breaking in my new SE215s now.  Comparing them to the Philips SHE3590 I originally bought, I actually like the Philips a little better.  Being a newb, I don't have a "sound signature" yet, but since the Shure's are reputed to have a warmer sound, I'm guessing the SE215s are not going to sound real "bright" without some EQ treatment?  I am enjoying the Shures, but now I'm wondering about other sound signatures.

 

What would be a good low-cost, more analytic sounding IEM?

 

P.S. I'm getting SHE3590s for several people on my gift list.  Too good a deal...

 

JJ

 

No, the SE215 doesn't really sound bright at all. If you're sure you want balanced sound you might want to try one of the solid single BAs (MEElec A161P, Ety HF5, or Phonak 022+gray filters) or a HiFiMan RE-ZERO. Otherwise you could try something more v-shaped, like the Philips are. Most v-shaped IEMs under $100 won't be much of an upgrade over the Philips - maybe the FXD80s could work. I have a CKM500 here which is v-shaped as well and came highly recommended but I'm not sure what I think about it yet.

post #8740 of 13424

I am trying to get rid of some of my earphones that I don't listen to anymore(not the etymotic hf5 for sure, I am loving them more than ever) and am thinking of using those money to purchase a new pair of earphones, guessing that I would get around $50 after selling all the earphones I want to sell.

I am thinking of the vsonic gr06/gr04 and the hifiman re-zero/re-0 as most of them have dropped in price and are within my price range($50).

So which of those do you think is going to compliment my etymotic hf5 well?

My concern with the re-0 is that my ipod touch 2G won't be able to drive them properly, is that going to happen?

Thanks.

post #8741 of 13424

Well, if by complement you mean "be unlike", then GR06 - it's warm, kinda classic Sennheiser tuning dynamic driver signature with a bit of 6k sibilance/hotness. Much smoother than HF5 and less resolving.

 

If you mean "be similar but better in everything", I'd say RE-ZERO. (but not RE0) That one is near perfectly flat and has reasonable bass impact unlike HF5, while keeping up speed-wise and in general quality. Heck, it even has the similar "bite" quality to the sound while being endlessly extended upwards. (HF5 ends high at 18k, RE0 is similar to RE-ZERO, but has a highest frequency peak or two.)

 

RE0 may be ever so slightly quiet on Touch 2G, but should still be workable. RE-ZERO and GR06 will definitely be fine.


Edited by AstralStorm - 11/17/12 at 6:19am
post #8742 of 13424
Quote:
Originally Posted by AstralStorm View Post

Treble yes, bass quantity without the foam mod is lower and less impactful. (The drivers are even more choked.) Mids are much smoother, in fact too smooth and reverberated to my ears - somewhat recessed perhaps too. RE-ZERO is faster out of my best, low impedance source.

In fact, I get better, more coherent soundstaging out of RE-ZERO with the soft biflange - same ones that worked best with RE272. I even suspect that RE272 and RE-ZERO share the same driver - they do share impedance curves...

 

RE272 improve a lot after the foam stuffing mod - but comfort-wise RE-ZERO are better to my ears and sound quality is very comparable, in fact RE-ZERO are more detailed and perfectly flat on eq to my ears, while modded RE272 have a minor midrange 3.5-4k cut. (Foam is too effective? Perhaps difference in the case, nozzle or mesh vs "material" filter.)

 

They're very much technically on par, suprisingly. Funny thing that Joker rates them differently on SQ, perhaps he got worse fit on RE-ZERO.

The only thing I can think of that might be able to blow these out of the water while being as neutral is... RE-ZERO with custom tips (or better yet, properly done full silicone shell) or perhaps Alclair RSM or Unique Melody Miracle custom IEMs. (I'll be able to tell you when I check these out. Alclair will come first.)

 

Thanks AstralStorm! I'm definitely interested in your comparisons to the RE-ZERO when you get a chance to A/B them

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

The 272s are definitely closer to the ZERO than the 262s are but the differences from the RE262 aren't huge. I reviewed both in more detail at innerfidelity. The bass of the 272 is not really an upgrade to the ZERO. The mids and treble are great to me, though, and they are what you're looking for in terms of an RE262 upgrade. 

 

Much of the time when you have an earphone with prominent treble you risk sibilance. The VSonic dynamic IEMs I've tried have this issue and the Sony monitors do as well, to a more limited degree (the MDR-7550 is the best in this regard but still not as forgiving as the RE272 and RE-ZERO IMO). 

 

I would honestly consider giving the Rock-It R-50 a try. It's on the low end of your budget and still doesn't have much bass but it's a good BA take on a balanced sound. Comparable to the VSonic GR01 but without the massive pricetag. Not exactly what you're looking for but it's in the ballpark and you might like it better than the RE262 and RE-ZERO (or maybe rule out BAs once and for all wink.gif)

 

Thanks ljokerl! The R50s do look intriguing with (if I read it right) dual BA drivers at $119 eek.gif The only BA's I've heard are the Etymotic HF5 and ER4 (s & p config), and while I enjoyed the brighter treble, the BAs didn't move much air to satisfy me on the low end of the frequency spectrum. I listen to classic rock mostly so I don't need tons of sub-bass, just good impact and decay and the ZEROs did a fairly good job for me. I was just wondering if there was something better out there in terms of quality. I'm perfectly happy with both ZERO and 262 quantity-wise. Sorry, I should have been more specific in my previous post.

post #8743 of 13424
Quote:
Originally Posted by AstralStorm View Post

If you mean "be similar but better in everything", I'd say RE-ZERO. (but not RE0) That one is near perfectly flat and has reasonable bass impact unlike HF5, while keeping up speed-wise and in general quality.

Well actually I still am wondering whether to get something with similar/different signature to the hf5...rolleyes.gif

Why not the re0?

By the way I don't really find the bass impact on the hf5 lacking, but if it keeps up in speed then it shouldn't be a problem I guess.

post #8744 of 13424
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dustdevil View Post

I am trying to get rid of some of my earphones that I don't listen to anymore(not the etymotic hf5 for sure, I am loving them more than ever) and am thinking of using those money to purchase a new pair of earphones, guessing that I would get around $50 after selling all the earphones I want to sell.

I am thinking of the vsonic gr06/gr04 and the hifiman re-zero/re-0 as most of them have dropped in price and are within my price range($50).

So which of those do you think is going to compliment my etymotic hf5 well?

My concern with the re-0 is that my ipod touch 2G won't be able to drive them properly, is that going to happen?

Thanks.

 

+1 for the GR06 though I still haven't heard the GR04 .$50 is not a huge budget for something that won't sound poor compared to the HF5 but the GR06 does reasonably well with a different signature. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ibuckeye View Post

 

Thanks ljokerl! The R50s do look intriguing with (if I read it right) dual BA drivers at $119 eek.gif The only BA's I've heard are the Etymotic HF5 and ER4 (s & p config), and while I enjoyed the brighter treble, the BAs didn't move much air to satisfy me on the low end of the frequency spectrum. I listen to classic rock mostly so I don't need tons of sub-bass, just good impact and decay and the ZEROs did a fairly good job for me. I was just wondering if there was something better out there in terms of quality. I'm perfectly happy with both ZERO and 262 quantity-wise. Sorry, I should have been more specific in my previous post.


Yes, dual BA. Same driver as lots of other models from the UE700 to the ATH-CK10, but this one is tuned very well and on the low end of the price continuum. You are correct about the bass - there's not too much "body" to the bass of an R-50 but it's very clean and the extension is linear. The 262 is IMO warmer and fuller-sounding but the R-50 is satisfactory in that regard for me. 

post #8745 of 13424

After having several nightmare experiences returning IEMs to various online vendors after disappointing experiences with the monitors, I am no longer interested in patronizing anything other than brick-and-mortar stores for IEMs.  Brands such as Sony, Monster, Ultimate Ears, Q-Jays, Sennheiser, Shure, JVC, Audio Technica, Klipsch, etc are easily found in your local Best Buy, Apple, Microsoft, and audio specialty shops.  

 

Other brands like Dunu, Phiaton, 1964Ears, etc are really boutique brands that can only be accessed through high-risk purchases online with vendors who may/may not enforce restocking fees, who may/may not properly receive and credit the returned merchandise, etc.  

 

I live in a major US metropolitan area and at least 50% of the IEMs on this list are completely unavailable to me for purchase unless I am willing to purchase online.  This is a complete failure of those manufacturers to get their products into stores against the Skullcandy/Beats juggernaut.

 

I wish this IEM list would make mention of which headsets are available to purchase in stores and which are online-only models. 

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