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Multi-IEM Review - 320 IEMs compared (Xiaomi Piston 2 added 08/21/14 p. 958) - Page 832

post #12466 of 14412

Do these IEMs have mic ? 

http://www.jr.com/denon/pe/DNN_AHC360K/

http://www.jr.com/sennheiser/pe/SEN_CX215BZ/

post #12467 of 14412
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by d marc0 View Post

Thank you @|joker| ! That's very helpful.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tan1415 View Post
 

Thanks joker.

:beerchug:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 0b095 View Post
 

@ljokerl

thanks, I'll get something with just a mic feature then, most likely philips she3575, btw is there any website you suggest me to buy it from? It's sold for $5  to $20 :confused_face(1):

 

also, those are the ones I can find in Walmart, best buy, future shop etc. should I get one of these or for instance philips she3575 is better than all of these? 

 

thank you.

 

Of those I’ve only tried the Skullcandy Smokin (best not mentioned on this forum) and the JVC FR201 (which are good if you like tons of bass but not as good as the SHE3575 overall). Probably doesn’t matter where you buy the Philips as long as you get warranty.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grayson73 View Post
 

Joker,

 

I'd like your opinion on an IEM upgrade for me.  To give you an idea of the sound I'm looking for, here are some that I have and my impressions of them.

 

IEM comparison
 
TDK BA200 (stock comply tips).
VSonic GR07 MK2 (largest stock purple tips)
Monster Gratitude (Meelectronics double flanged tips)
Zero Audio Carbo Tenore (Meelectronics double flanged tips)
Zero Audio Carbo Basso (Meelectronics double flanged tips)
HiFiman RE400 (Meelectronics double flanged tips)
 
Music preferences:  Rock and Pop.  
 
I would rank them as following:  Tenore > BA200 > Gratitude > GR07 MK2 > Basso > RE400.  Shocking, but you'll see why.
 
Treble:  Gratitude and GR07 MK2 sound the brightest, then Tenore, then Basso, then BA200.  I think the RE400 is equal to the Gratitude/GR07 MK2 or Tenore,  but don't recall exactly.  I found that the Gratitude was tuned too high (e.g. snare drums sound too bright).  BA200 treble is too smooth and not enough quantity.  Tenore is my favorite in this category because they aren't as smooth as BA200 and not as harsh as Gratitude/GR07 MK2.
 
Mids:   For vocals, the best are Tenore and BA200.  Female vocals sound like they are in the room singing to you and are so buttery; gives me chills.  I give a slight edge to Tenore because they sound more airy.  Gratitudes are clear but singer sounds farther away.
 
Bass:  My favorite in this category is the Gratitude.  In terms of quantity, Basso > Gratitude > Tenore > BA200=GR07 MK2 > RE400.  However, I found the Basso to have too much bass and not as good mids.  Gratitude has the best quality bass.  For my tastes, Gratitude and Tenore have the quantity that I desire.  Tenore bass hits hard enough and is punchy.  Bassos have too much and BA200, GR07 MK2, and RE400 have too little.
 
Detail:  GR07 MK2 and Gratitude have the most detail (and maybe RE400), then Tenore and Basso then BA200.
 
Efficiency:  GR07 MK2 is the most efficient, then Gratitude, BA200, Tenore/Basso.  Don't have the RE400 any longer to compare.
 
My favorite is the Tenore because they sound the most natural and true to life and they have the combination and quantity of bass/mid/treble that I desire.  Female vocals give me chills and have the most texture.  Next would be BA200 (smooth and great mids) and Gratitude (big and energetic).  Basso has too much bass and GR07 MK2 and RE400 had too little bass and sounded a little boring.
 
 
Improvements to my favorite 4 that I would love to find
 
Tenore: Would like slightly darker tuning (but not as dark as BA200), and bass quality of the Gratitude
BA200:  Would like more bass, more treble extension.
Gratitude:  Love the bass quantity and quality, detail, and treble extension.  Wish they were tuned darker so that they would sound more natural and true to life.  Snare drums too bright sounding.
GR07 MK2:  Would like more bass (maybe I'd like the Bass Edition?)
 
Any suggestions on what would fit the sound sig I'm looking for?  They need to have incredible vocals, have life-like tuning, quality bass and decent quantity bass, and detailed, but slightly smooth treble.
 
M200, MA750, S2, IM70?

 

I don’t think I can be of much help here – I’ve only heard half of the headphones you use in your comparisons and half of the ones you’re considering (S2 and MA750). The GR07 BE has somewhat more bass than the GR07 but not tons more. It’s not what I would really consider a fun-sounding headphone still. The same goes for the S2 – it’s more “accurate” than “fun”. The MA750 is definitely different – very smooth and fluid, with plenty of bass and warm tone. This one might work for you, I think, but I haven’t heard your Carbos. The RHA doesn't have a whole lot of treble but it doesn't seem to lack extension. Still haven't finished my listening with it, though.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Solarium View Post

Dear Joker,

I was wondering if you can help me decide on which IEM's to get, as an upgrade for my Klipsch S4i. I'm looking for the best bang for the buck IEM's with the following preferences (ranked in order of ones I most value to least):

1. Comfort - I have narrow ear canals and I want to wear these without knowing they're there, and if possible no ear fatigue for long listening periods. I also want them to be as light as possible.

2. Isolation - I will use these in subway commutes and long plane rides, I want to hear as less outside noise as possible.

3. Sound Quality - I listen mostly to electronic music and sometimes rock, and want to emphasize on having a good bass quality and quantity. Mids and treble are important but less so than bass. Good speed will be nice too. For these IEM's usage, I tend to focus less on neutrality and transparency.

4. Durability / Build Quality - I will do a lot of travel with these, and will likely yank out the headphone from my ears a few times. I don't want headphones that are so delicate that the cable will be disconnected from the earpiece if I do so. At the same time, I don't want excessive durability with unnecessary added weight. I do want them as light as possible.


Looking at this thread http://www.head-fi.org/t/478568/multi-iem-review-307-iems-compared-inear-stagediver-2-stagediver-3-added-12-23-13-p-829 so far I've came up with only:

1. Klipsch X10 ($110 @ ebay)
2. Westone 3 ($160 @ amazon)
3. VSonic GR07 Bass Edition ($130 @ lendmeurears)
4. Yamaha EPH-100SL ($140 @ amazon)

that matches my preferences. I prefer to stay under $150 unless there's something that's significantly better for the price.

 

I wouldn't recommend the EPH-100 or any other IEM with a nozzle-mounted microdriver if you have narrow ear canals. The X10 fits your requirements pretty well but it's not very durable in my experience. The GR07 has good but not great isolation. Out of those four it seems like the W3 would be your best bet.

 

I also think the RHA MA750 might work well for you. It's not very light but the weight is offset but the molded ear hook bits. Isolation is surprisingly good - better than with the GR07 IMO. Build quality is outstanding. Sound is very competent, at least on-par with the EPH-100.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nupersatural View Post
 

Hello oh almighty IEM guru Joker. For the third time I'm here to seek guidance with my next purchase.

I've had EPH-100 since august and I just LOVE them. Coming from FXT-90 which I didn't like even near as much, they are just exactly what I was looking for. However my addiction to music has lead me to yet another purchase. Now I'm going into the 200$+ zone and I am looking for recommendations.

Which IEM in your opinion would be the closest to an "upgraded yamahas"? I just love everything about them and I want all that but more. For music preferences, I'm mostly a metal and EDM type of listener. I'm willing to spend as much as 350$ on them, and I'm willing to go with custom monitors as well.

THANK YOU!!!!

 

 

EDIT: Looking at your OP, I'm reaaaally attracted to the Custom Art Music One. They have everything I want basically. How do they compare to the yamahas sound wise? Mostly interested in the bass since I just LOVE the bass on the EPH-100 and I'm pretty sure they trump the yams in every other aspect.

 

EDIT2: Ok so I just found out about the Custom Art Music Two arriving in january, they are supposedly an upgraded version to the Music Ones. The preorder price for them is cheaper than the official one so its, again, tempting as hell to just preorder them now and be done with it. Do you think there's a high chance I'll not like the sound of them at all? Or are the yamahas not THAT far off which would assure me a lot.

 

The Music One is very different from the EPH-100 - much less bass slam and a lot more neutral-sounding. I don't think you will like it.

 

I'm not at all familiar with the Music Two. You might want to just ask Custom Art how much bass the Music Two has - they should have a pretty good idea of how it compares to the current model. If its anything like the Music One, it probably won't be for you. 

 

The 1964-V3 has the most bass out of all my customs and is the only sub-$600 that I think can compete with the Yamahas in bass quantity and slam but in terms of how the mids and treble are presented it's more reminiscent of the FXT90 than the EPH-100.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by blast0id View Post
 

Is the only reason you didn't mention the brainwavz b2 because of price? I found them on amazon for 129.95 (or so) and from reading your review in the first page, decided on those... I doubt I'll be disappointed, but if I am I guess I can always return and go for the GR07BE's ... thanks for your input though, much appreciated, I was just getting ancy and had to pull the trigger on something... it was almost the GR07BE's but when I saw the price on the B2's I couldn't resist...

 

I didn't mention the B2 because it probably doesn’t have enough bass for you based on your post.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by meggerman View Post
 

Im so lost with IEM's right now. Im new to the scene and was just about trigger ready for the RE400's but complaints about build quality and a hollow sound for some has swayed me a bit. The GR07 MKII seem to be 'not bad' but not the best, still great which is actually a real compliment given peoples differing tastes but is there something simular in sound or better for upto £200 / $260 ?

 

I already have some Sennheiser HD-600's (with HD650 cable) but a recent foray into IEM's via some cheap Sony units has given me a new insight into how comfortable vs a large openback headphone they can be, i was listening in low-fi to my Sony's for hours with no head itch, heat or weight and i wont now go to full size again for hi-fi especially as the bass amount (not quality) is equal on these IEM's to a full size headphone ?!

 

What IEM's can Match the HD-600 / HD650 for sub £200 or get close ? 

 

I bow to your superior knowlage. I need light, comfortable and small hence the RE400's seemed perfect..


I’d go with your gut and get the RE-400, or the BA200 from TDK for something a touch warmer (i.e. more HD650 than HD600). The GR07 does not remind me of the HD600/HD650, more the DT770 or DT880. 

 

These won't have the slam of the big Sennheiser cans because they just can't move as much air. If that's important to you then you'll want a more bass-heavy IEM to compensate. However, if you can live with less tactile bass, the RE-400 or BA200 are pretty damn nice and very close to the Sennheisers in detail and overall refinement considering their price.

post #12468 of 14412
Quote:

Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post
 

 

:beerchug:

 

I wouldn't recommend the EPH-100 or any other IEM with a nozzle-mounted microdriver if you have narrow ear canals. The X10 fits your requirements pretty well but it's not very durable in my experience. The GR07 has good but not great isolation. Out of those four it seems like the W3 would be your best bet.

 

I also think the RHA MA750 might work well for you. It's not very light but the weight is offset but the molded ear hook bits. Isolation is surprisingly good - better than with the GR07 IMO. Build quality is outstanding. Sound is very competent, at least on-par with the EPH-100.

Sounds like a lot of others are recommending the W3, but you only graded its isolation and comfort both as a 3.5/5. Will it fit well with my narrow ear canals?

 

I'm also interested in the MA750, it's only $130 at amazon even with the remote and mic, which are a huge plus for me. How do they compare to the W3 if I only care about comfort and isolation? The stainless steel construction sounds pretty durable, but heavy. At this point, as long as the sound quality is similar I don't mind subtle differences.

post #12469 of 14412
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solarium View Post
 

Sounds like a lot of others are recommending the W3, but you only graded its isolation and comfort both as a 3.5/5. Will it fit well with my narrow ear canals?

 

I'm also interested in the MA750, it's only $130 at amazon even with the remote and mic, which are a huge plus for me. How do they compare to the W3 if I only care about comfort and isolation? The stainless steel construction sounds pretty durable, but heavy. At this point, as long as the sound quality is similar I don't mind subtle differences.

 

The W3 is not problematic at all with narrow canals. My issue was that the tubby housings prevented a comfortable deep insertion to minimize sibilance and maximize isolation with my ears. I think the new W30 is better designed for this, at least based on my experience with the Westone Adv, but it's also a lot more than $160.

 

The MA750 is heavier than the W3 but I've been genuinely surprised by its comfort. I expected that the non-angled nozzles would be a problem, as well as the weight, but the form-fitted cables work surprisingly well and the weight and design are not an issue. It's nearly as comfortable for me as the GR07. Isolation is a little better than with the GR07. 

post #12470 of 14412
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post
 

 

:beerchug:

 

 

Of those I’ve only tried the Skullcandy Smokin (best not mentioned on this forum) and the JVC FR201 (which are good if you like tons of bass but not as good as the SHE3575 overall). Probably doesn’t matter where you buy the Philips as long as you get warranty.

 

 

I don’t think I can be of much help here – I’ve only heard half of the headphones you use in your comparisons and half of the ones you’re considering (S2 and MA750). The GR07 BE has somewhat more bass than the GR07 but not tons more. It’s not what I would really consider a fun-sounding headphone still. The same goes for the S2 – it’s more “accurate” than “fun”. The MA750 is definitely different – very smooth and fluid, with plenty of bass and warm tone. This one might work for you, I think, but I haven’t heard your Carbos. The RHA doesn't have a whole lot of treble but it doesn't seem to lack extension. Still haven't finished my listening with it, though.

 

 

I wouldn't recommend the EPH-100 or any other IEM with a nozzle-mounted microdriver if you have narrow ear canals. The X10 fits your requirements pretty well but it's not very durable in my experience. The GR07 has good but not great isolation. Out of those four it seems like the W3 would be your best bet.

 

I also think the RHA MA750 might work well for you. It's not very light but the weight is offset but the molded ear hook bits. Isolation is surprisingly good - better than with the GR07 IMO. Build quality is outstanding. Sound is very competent, at least on-par with the EPH-100.

 

 

The Music One is very different from the EPH-100 - much less bass slam and a lot more neutral-sounding. I don't think you will like it.

 

I'm not at all familiar with the Music Two. You might want to just ask Custom Art how much bass the Music Two has - they should have a pretty good idea of how it compares to the current model. If its anything like the Music One, it probably won't be for you. 

 

The 1964-V3 has the most bass out of all my customs and is the only sub-$600 that I think can compete with the Yamahas in bass quantity and slam but in terms of how the mids and treble are presented it's more reminiscent of the FXT90 than the EPH-100.

 

 

I didn't mention the B2 because it probably doesn’t have enough bass for you based on your post.

 


I’d go with your gut and get the RE-400, or the BA200 from TDK for something a touch warmer (i.e. more HD650 than HD600). The GR07 does not remind me of the HD600/HD650, more the DT770 or DT880. 

 

These won't have the slam of the big Sennheiser cans because they just can't move as much air. If that's important to you then you'll want a more bass-heavy IEM to compensate. However, if you can live with less tactile bass, the RE-400 or BA200 are pretty damn nice and very close to the Sennheisers in detail and overall refinement considering their price.

 

 

Thanks for the reply. I do fear they miss some slam. Im not a 'bass head' but i do listen to IDM. Its more about vast swirling soundscapes and technical details for me than pure bass drive. Having said that I imagine i might play a few PC games on them from time to time ..

 

what would be simulary neutral and transparent to the RE-400 but with a tiny bit more bass presence?

post #12471 of 14412

Hi ljokerl, reading through your reviews since days. Absolutely fabulous work!

Now seeking your advice for final decision making:

 

What I have:

- UE700 logitech-version (they were 50% off, got them from amazon germany for approx. $127 incl. shipping&tax; had no idea of dynamic drivers, BA, TWFK, sound signatures, ... at that time)

- used with ts comply foams (not for sound, but for fitting concerns)

- played a bit with equalizer presets (have no other IEMs for comparison) and seemed to like non-equalized most

 

What I search for:

- sound-upgrade and preferably better comfort

- for listening at home with my Nokia Lumia 920

- preferably a CIEM or at least custom-molded ear tips

- price limit about $400 incl. shipping&tax

 

Preferred sound signature:

- especially important (in alphabetical order): definition, detail, imaging, presence, transparence

- furthermore: analytical (for at-home-listening; don't know whether a most-analytic sound would be too much), forward

- maybe also: bright, brilliant, natural, sparkling, tight

- not: coloured (slightly at most), distant

 

Possible issues:

- small/narrow/strange ears/canals? (not sure, but the UE700 with comply foams are the first not tending to fall out of my ears ^^)

- could be disappointed if the new (C)IEM is missing something compared to my UE700?

 

Options in no particular order (non-custom-IEMs excl. (!) approx. $84 for custom-molded ear tips):

- Fischer Audio DBA-02 mkII (from amazon germany approx. $344 o_O incl. shipping&tax)

- Etymotic Research ER-4S (from amazon uk approx. $297 incl. shipping&tax)

- Brainwavz B2 (from amazon uk approx. $98 incl. shipping&tax)

- j-phonic K2 SP (how/where to get?)

- other non-custom IEMs available inside EU?

- other non-custom IEMs available outside EU?

- Custom Art Music One (approx. $291 incl. shipping&tax)

- Custom Art Music Two (pre-order price approx. $374 incl. shipping&tax) (frequence response: Music One, Music Two; Music Two sound description by piotrus-g)

- other custom-IEMs shipping from EU?

- other custom-IEMs shipping from outside EU?

 

Also considered InEar StageDiver 2, but they cost approx. $496 incl. shipping&tax + additional approx. $84 for custom-molded ear tips = approx. $580, so almost 50% above limit. Moreover, SD-2 with dual-armature 2-way design you have scored 9.3 in sound quality, whereas Custom Art Music One with single-armature 1-way only costs half the money and scored 9.2, and the upgraded Custom Art Music Two with dual-armature 1-way is on pre-order for only $374 incl. shipping&tax.

 

Opinions on the aforementioned (C)IEMs regarding my requirements?

Other recommendations?

What would be a noticeable upgrade worth the money?

 

Many thanks in advance!


Edited by 991 Carrera 4S - 12/28/13 at 8:33am
post #12472 of 14412
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by meggerman View Post
 

 

 

Thanks for the reply. I do fear they miss some slam. Im not a 'bass head' but i do listen to IDM. Its more about vast swirling soundscapes and technical details for me than pure bass drive. Having said that I imagine i might play a few PC games on them from time to time ..

 

what would be simulary neutral and transparent to the RE-400 but with a tiny bit more bass presence?

 

Take a look at the BA200 from TDK. It has slightly more bass presence than the RE-400 and should be in your budget at $150 or so.   

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 991 Carrera 4S View Post
 

Hi ljokerl, reading through your reviews since days. Absolutely fabulous work!

Now seeking your advice for final decision making:

 

What I have:

- UE700 logitech-version (they were 50% off, got them from amazon germany for approx. $127 incl. shipping&tax; had no idea of dynamic drivers, BA, TWFK, sound signatures, ... at that time)

- used with ts comply foams (not for sound, but for fitting concerns)

- played a bit with equalizer presets (have no other IEMs for comparison) and seemed to like non-equalized most

 

What I search for:

- sound-upgrade and preferably better comfort

- for listening at home with my Nokia Lumia 920

- preferably a CIEM or at least custom-molded ear tips

- price limit about $400 incl. shipping&tax

 

Preferred sound signature:

- especially important (in alphabetical order): definition, detail, imaging, presence, transparence

- furthermore: analytical (for at-home-listening; don't know whether a most-analytic sound would be too much), forward

- maybe also: bright, brilliant, natural, sparkling, tight

- not: coloured (slightly at most), distant

 

Possible issues:

- small/narrow/strange ears/canals? (not sure, but the UE700 with comply foams are the first not tending to fall out of my ears ^^)

- could be disappointed if the new (C)IEM is missing something compared to my UE700?

 

Options in no particular order (non-custom-IEMs excl. (!) approx. $84 for custom-molded ear tips):

- Fischer Audio DBA-02 mkII (from amazon germany approx. $344 o_O incl. shipping&tax)

- Etymotic Research ER-4S (from amazon uk approx. $297 incl. shipping&tax)

- Brainwavz B2 (from amazon uk approx. $98 incl. shipping&tax)

- j-phonic K2 SP (how/where to get?)

- other non-custom IEMs available inside EU?

- other non-custom IEMs available outside EU?

- Custom Art Music One (approx. $291 incl. shipping&tax)

- Custom Art Music Two (pre-order price approx. $374 incl. shipping&tax) (frequence response: Music One, Music Two; Music Two sound description by piotrus-g)

- other custom-IEMs shipping from EU?

- other custom-IEMs shipping from outside EU?

 

Also considered InEar StageDiver 2, but they cost approx. $496 incl. shipping&tax + additional approx. $84 for custom-molded ear tips = approx. $580, so almost 50% above limit. Moreover, SD-2 with dual-armature 2-way design you have scored 9.3 in sound quality, whereas Custom Art Music One with single-armature 1-way only costs half the money and scored 9.2, and the upgraded Custom Art Music Two with dual-armature 1-way is on pre-order for only $374 incl. shipping&tax.

 

Opinions on the aforementioned (C)IEMs regarding my requirements?

Other recommendations?

What would be a noticeable upgrade worth the money?

 

Many thanks in advance!


Wow, at those prices ($350 for a DBA-02??) it really seems like the Music One is your best bet for the following reasons -

1. It's really hard to upgrade from the UE700 in comfort without going custom, period

2. It ticks most of your boxes, at least as much as an IEM in your price range can

3. It seems like with that you're not getting a hugely worse price than if you were located in the US or Asia

4. No need to invest an extra $80+ in custom tips

 

Things to consider

1. The Music One is less bright than the UE700. If you're used to the UE700's treble it may take a little bit of time to get used to having less "sparkle" but I still think the Music One sounds more natural overall

2. The Music One is not clearer than the UE700, in part because it is not as bright

3. Not sure about the audio of the Lumia 920 but a lot of the (android) smartphones I've tried don't sound great with BA earphones. I would expect the UE700 to be more sensitive to this than the Music One, though, so it seems like you're okay there.

 

From Peter's description the Music Two sounds awesome as well but of course I can't really have an opinion on it based on just graphs. 

post #12473 of 14412
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

Take a look at the BA200 from TDK. It has slightly more bass presence than the RE-400 and should be in your budget at $150 or so.   

Do you finally have the BA200 in your queue?
post #12474 of 14412
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

The W3 is not problematic at all with narrow canals. My issue was that the tubby housings prevented a comfortable deep insertion to minimize sibilance and maximize isolation with my ears. I think the new W30 is better designed for this, at least based on my experience with the Westone Adv, but it's also a lot more than $160.

The MA750 is heavier than the W3 but I've been genuinely surprised by its comfort. I expected that the non-angled nozzles would be a problem, as well as the weight, but the form-fitted cables work surprisingly well and the weight and design are not an issue. It's nearly as comfortable for me as the GR07. Isolation is a little better than with the GR07. 

The MA750's form fitted cables makes me wonder if it's going to be a pain storing them. What if you bend the form fitted cables, are they going to break? The price of MA750 makes me wonder what did they leave out making this stuff, compared to the W3 what would you say the MA750 lack?

I'm also very interested in the GR07-BE's sound. It sounds like it has the best sound out of the bunch and the only thing it lacks is isolation. How much more isolation does the W3 or MA750 provide over the GR07?
post #12475 of 14412
Thread Starter 

Short impressions one the TDK BA200, Brainwavz R3, Fidue A63, and Fidue A81. Reposted from http://theheadphonelist.com/brief-thoughts-tdk-ba200-brainwavz-r3-fidue-a63-a81-ear-earphones/ .

 

Quote:
 

Below are a few thoughts on a couple of my new IEMs. These are either noteworthy sets that are not near the top of my queue yet or IEMs that I’ve listened to but don’t plan to review at all for one reason or another. These notes are based on brief listening impressions done over the course of a few evenings.

TDK BA200 ($150)

TDK BA200

TDK BA200

I’ve long wanted to try TDK’s dual-BA flagship earphone but the opportunity has always gotten away from me, until now. Big thanks to kind fellow Head-Fier ericr for finally making it happen!

First impressions are positive – the packaging is simple and there’s not too many accessories – just two sizes of foam tips and two sizes of bi-flanges, along with a soft pouch, shirt clip, and some replacement filters. The earphones are designed for over-the-ear wear and very comfortable in the ear. The y-split, on the other hand, is quite bulky an occasionally gets caught on things. Not a big deal. So far I am enjoying these with the Shure Olives and the EarSonics double-flange tips.

The sound of the BA200 is as comfortable as the fit. It’s a smooth-sounding earphone with a tonal character slightly on the warm side of neutral.  In many ways it reminds me of the HiFiMan RE-400, just less mid-centric (a good thing) and a little warmer due to a greater amount of mid-bass boost. The BA200 is a punchy earphone overall and the clarity is very good. The treble is very smooth but still crisp and resolving. The BA200 a little more revealing of sibilance, which the RE-400 tends to downplay.

Long story short, the BA200 so far seems like a slightly better RE-400, which is not at all a bad place to be as the RE-400 is one of my absolute favorite sets in its price range. The BA200 will definitely get a full review in due time.

Brainwavz R3 ($130)

Brainwavz R3The Brainwavz R3 is a dual-dynamic earphone with a very unique form factor. In this case unique doesn’t necessarily mean good, however, as I really can’t seem to get comfortable with these earphones.

The design is a straight-nozzle one but the housings are oriented perpendicular to the nozzles. The twin 10mm drivers feed into the nozzle, one from each side. The housings are aluminum and not too heavy but the super heavy-duty cable is somewhat unwieldy. The memory wire section is extremely long, which in a way is a blessing. The only way I can really wear these securely is with the cable exiting down, and then looping over the ear from there.

The earphones come with a nice, spacious case, which makes sense for these with their odd shape and extremely thick cable, and a ton of tips.

The sound quality of the R3 is very impressive – balanced, with level bass and smooth treble. It is not unlike the HiFiMan RE-400 in sound signature and is smoother and much less bright than Brainwavz’ other flagship, the dual-armature B2. Vocals on the R3 sound a little dull in comparison to the HiFiMan RE-400, like there’s more of an upper midrange dip. At the same time, it has a little more treble energy overall. The RE-400 has more midrange emphasis in comparison, slightly better clarity, and smoother highs with less dips and peaks. The R3 has got a very nice sense of space, though. In terms of sheer sound quality, the R3 really can should be able to compete with anything  in its price range.

However, while it may not necessarily be superior in sound, I like the RE-400 much, much better in terms of form factor. Therefore, the R3 is something I wouldn’t be too likely to recommend and it won’t get a full review.

Fidue A63 ($55) & A81 ($299)

Fidue is a new IEM brand coming out of China, founded by experienced headphone designer Benny Tan. From the company’s about page, Fidue sands for:

F —— Fidelity: Natural original voice of high fidelity.
I —— Inspired: The resonance of soul.
D —— Durable: Long-lived quality.
U —— Unique: The unique design.
E —— Enjoyable: Enjoy happily.

Regardless of the brand story, the company’s two very first earphones are interesting for their sound alone.

Fidue A63

When I first started listening to them I wasn’t sure of the pricing, but I remember thinking that the A63 would be very comfortable under $100. Turns out it’ll be priced closer to $50, which makes it look like an excellent value.

The packaging is quite nice on the A63 – not as lavish as with the higher-end model, but rather handsome and understated. Accessories include 5 types of silicone eartips and a soft pouch.

I do have an issue with the housings – I don’t understand why they made the metal edges so tall and sharp. The corners hurt after a while unless I switch to bi-flanges and position the housings farther in the ear. Not quite a deal breaker, but it could definitely have been more comfortable.

Sound-wise I like these a lot – better than the similarly-priced Astrotec AM-800, for example. Nice clarity and detail, not too much bass, but still punchy. Vocal clarity is absolutely fantastic on these – better than with the VSonic VSD1, I think. With the pricing I’m seeing this one appears to be a winner.

Fidue A81

The pricier A81 model takes it up several notches in terms of design. The packaging is extravagant – it greatly reminds me of the $1300 AKG K3003. The earphones come with a nice carrying case, gorgeous leather-covered storage case, foam and silicone eartips, shirt clip, and two cables – a headset cable with inline mic and remote, and a higher-quality stereo cable with no headset functionality. Overall the packaging and accessory set are not one bit less impressive than any of the flagships from western brands.

The housing design of the A81 is reminiscent of the Ultimate Ears 900 in the way it fits in the ear. It’s meant for over-the-ear wear and includes two interchangeable cables. The sockets are 2-pin, but unique in the way the connectors are designed. As a result the A81 cables don’t really work with other 2-pin earphones. The housings of the A81 are not small, but the earphones are comfortable. The only issue I’ve found so far is a bit of driver flex on insertion, which can cause a channel imbalance unless corrected.

The 10mm dynamic drivers of the A81 utilize titanium composites. At first I wasn’t too impressed with its sound, but it has grown on me over the past month. It’s got quite a bit of bass but seems to maintain composure pretty well – a touch of mid-bass bloat but nothing drastic. Bass depth is good. Mids and highs appear to be pretty flat and smooth, and the A81 not overly warm or thick despite the bass boost. Soundstage is pretty nice as well – the MOE-SS01, for example, sounds quite congested next to it.

Overall it’s definitely not a bad-sounding set but there are sub-$200 sets that I expect will be stiff competition – the VSonic GR07BE and RHA MA750 for example, so time will tell how well these compete on value.

The two Fidue earphones will be reviewed in full.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vwinter View Post


Do you finally have the BA200 in your queue?

 

Yep ;) 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Solarium View Post


The MA750's form fitted cables makes me wonder if it's going to be a pain storing them. What if you bend the form fitted cables, are they going to break? The price of MA750 makes me wonder what did they leave out making this stuff, compared to the W3 what would you say the MA750 lack?

I'm also very interested in the GR07-BE's sound. It sounds like it has the best sound out of the bunch and the only thing it lacks is isolation. How much more isolation does the W3 or MA750 provide over the GR07?
 
The MA750 comes with a really spacious case but I store them in a standard clamshell. The wire hasn't been a problem.
 
I don't know how to quantify isolation other than to say the W3 and MA750 isolate a little better than the GR07. It's noticeable, but it won't make a huge difference in day to day use. 
 
There's nothing wrong with the pricing on the MA750. The W3 uses balanced armatures which are a lot more expensive than dynamic drivers but there are dynamic-driver earphones that cost more than the W3. It's really up to the manufacturer what price tag to put on an earphone and it's up to us, the consumers, to figure out if that price is worth paying. 
post #12476 of 14412
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post
 
The MA750 comes with a really spacious case but I store them in a standard clamshell. The wire hasn't been a problem.
 
I don't know how to quantify isolation other than to say the W3 and MA750 isolate a little better than the GR07. It's noticeable, but it won't make a huge difference in day to day use. 
 
There's nothing wrong with the pricing on the MA750. The W3 uses balanced armatures which are a lot more expensive than dynamic drivers but there are dynamic-driver earphones that cost more than the W3. It's really up to the manufacturer what price tag to put on an earphone and it's up to us, the consumers, to figure out if that price is worth paying. 

 

I'm just going to buy all 4 headphones (W3, X10, MA750i, and GR07-BE) from amazon to test them out. Since I have prime anyway I'll just return all but the one I want the most. It's difficult to judge anyway unless I try them all out myself :D

 

BTW, any aftermarket tips that I should absolutely include to really get the most out of those IEM's? Like without them, the listening experience would be completely different.

post #12477 of 14412

Hey Joker,

 

I'm new around here, & similarly a complete noob when it comes to the wonderful world of audiophillia - but having read through this review thread extensively along with your other links whilst lurking for the past couple of weeks - I think it's safe to say that you are one of the 'benchmark authorities' to seek advice from regarding IEMs due to the sheer expanse of the market that you seem to have sampled & experienced first hand.

 

So I was hoping that you might be able to help me out with my current situation. This was my original thread that I posted outlining what my dilemma was in fairly thorough & extensive detail (explaining my history, musical preferences, sources to be utilised, ideal sound signature, shortlist, thoughts so far, etc.): http://www.head-fi.org/t/696783/best-sub-600-iems-for-metalcore-melodic-hardcore-post-hardcore-melodic-death-metal-technical-death-metal-pop-punk-alternative-rock-guitar-centric-music-caution-massive-essay-ahead

 

But if that's a bit too much to get through - basically I've finally decided that it's the right time to upgrade my old Shure SE210s & really dive headfirst into a genuine audiophile-grade portable listening equipment - the real issue being that there is just such a range of options & unfortunately my location means that I have no practical way of testing any of them out for myself first hand prior to purchase. Which is why I have joined this site & posted in the hope that some of the many knowledgable & experienced users like yourself will be able to provide me with some much needed guidance & advice so that I can make the right decision since I'm potentially spending more than half a grand on these.

 

Anyway, I will attempt to summarise the most imporant parts of the thread that I posted.

 

 

I'm looking for a pair of sub-$600 IEMs that are going to bring the best out from well-produced metalcore/melodic hardcore/post-hardcore/technical death metal/pop punk & other genres with a distinct focus & emphasis on the melodic & technical aspects of the guitar work in particular.

 

Here are some downloadable examples in 320kbps as a reference to the range of stuff that I want them to excel at portraying if that helps at all:

 

- Erra - Spirits Away - http://www35.zippyshare.com/v/29727834/file.html

- Erra - Alpha Seed - http://www35.zippyshare.com/v/18064516/file.html

- Funeral for a Friend - All The Rage - http://www35.zippyshare.com/v/9918121/file.html

- Funeral for a Friend - Roses For The Dead - http://www35.zippyshare.com/v/38585131/file.html

- The Story So Far - The Glass - http://www35.zippyshare.com/v/82056500/file.html

- Unearth - Arise The War Cry - http://www35.zippyshare.com/v/73347622/file.html

- August Burns Red - Salt & Light - http://www35.zippyshare.com/v/52058574/file.html

- Sylosis - Where The Sky Ends - http://www35.zippyshare.com/v/44893918/file.html

- Sylosis - After Lifeless Years - http://www35.zippyshare.com/v/18534370/file.html

- This or the Apocalypse - Hard Branch To Snap - http://www35.zippyshare.com/v/39239113/file.html

- Counterparts - The Constant - http://www35.zippyshare.com/v/62133368/file.html

- Corelia - The Sound Of Glaciers Moving - http://www35.zippyshare.com/v/26319914/file.html

- Underoath - Reinventing Your Exit - http://www35.zippyshare.com/v/92693435/file.html

- Underoath - Writing On The Walls - http://www35.zippyshare.com/v/47012111/file.html

- Saosin - Collapse - http://www35.zippyshare.com/v/31536920/file.html

- Darkest Hour - A Paradox With Flies - http://www35.zippyshare.com/v/90234818/file.html

- Killswitch Engage - Rose Of Sharyn - http://www35.zippyshare.com/v/63955287/file.html

- All That Remains - Six - http://www35.zippyshare.com/v/85921316/file.html

- The Faceless - Leica - http://www35.zippyshare.com/v/39400742/file.html

- Decrepit Birth - Diminishing Between Worlds - http://www35.zippyshare.com/v/453618/file.html

 

 

The short of it is - I want control & composure as a bit of finesse is important to me - but ultimately a fairly expansive & lush sound with plenty of articulate detail & dynamic impact that's going to enhance my overall listening experience & allow me to immerse myself in the music & it's inherent intricacies.

 

Being a guitarist myself, my main focus is on the guitars & particularly their tone & note definition, as well as the aggression, drive & impact of the drums. Vocals, both harsh & clean, are also important to me & should have plenty of prescence; but never at the obtuse expense of the guitars' coherence. I guess I'm ideally looking for a pair of IEMs that possess a certain poise & balance to provide an accurate, appealing, organic soundscape full of virility & texture with a sense of depth & intensity - but without sacrificing the clarity & instrument separation that is so vital to the kind of music that I listen to & my own personal tastes.

 

 

Low-end: Not really a basshead in terms of sheer power & quantity, but needs to be relatively deep - & as responsive, tight & punchy as possible, the kind that really hits you - but without any noticeable flubbiness/boominess.

 

Mids: I would prefer them to be slightly more prominent, certainly not significantly scooped, & rich in detail - but simultaneously quite smooth, natural & unobtrusive with good balance between upper/lower ends of the spectrum. No abrasive grainy 'ice pick' kind of phenomenons - but at the same time I don't want them to be veiled or muddy.

 

Highs: I do like my treble, so ideally it should be quite extended in range with plenty of sparkle & clarity to provide a bit of a distinctive edge to guitars & clean vocals & a nice shimmer to cymbals - somewhat bright, but short of entering sibilance-inducing territory.

 

 

I realise what I have described above may not be entirely possible within my financial limitations - but if you could provide me with anything that at least satisfies the majority of the criteria or is some sort of compromise between the characteristics, that would be absolutely wonderful.

 

True luxury high-end IEMs such as the Translucent 1Plus2, Unique Melody Miracle & JH-13/JH-16 seem as though they'd be pretty much exactly what I'm looking for judging from the reviews I've read - however they are all double my budget & simply unfeasible to justify coming from $100 SE210s.

 

So I suppose what I'm really after is a pair of IEMs that can at least stake a claim of coming close to the aforementioned heavy-hitters in most aspects. I've realised that may be what I have to settle for until I have the financial capability to construct a true audiophile-standard rig that will do justice to that kind of quality & price tag.

 

 

Here's the shortlist I've got so far from browsing through this thread & various others on the forum (including the prices they're available to me for at the moment):

 

Shure SE535 Special Edition - $465
Audio Technica ATH-CK100PRO - $385
Audio Technica ATH-IM04 - $550

Audio Technica ATH-IM03 - $370
Noble 4 - $450

Cardas EM5813 - $390

Westone UMX3-RC - $380

 

Heir 4.Ai - $400+
Tzar 90 - $360+
1964EARS 1964-V3 - $425+
1964EARS 1964-Q - $525+

 

 

Any help with figuring out which of these is really going to provide the kind of performance that I'm looking for would be truly appreciated. I really do want to get it right the first time since it is a substantial purchase & I can only really afford to own one set of high-end IEMs at this current point in time.

 

Right now, I'm leaning towards the Shure SE535 SE due to the SE210s serving me so well for so many years - as well as the IM04 since I've been extremely happy with my M50s & what I've heard so far indicates it might be able to satisfy my desires, but unfortunately there are very limited reviews of it right now & being the most expensive IEM on the current shortlist, it is therefore difficult to discern whether it would truly outperform everything else or not.

 

Any input on any of this whatsoever would be amazing.

 

Cheers


Edited by lamnidae - 12/28/13 at 10:43pm
post #12478 of 14412
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solarium View Post
 

I'm just going to buy all 4 headphones (W3, X10, MA750i, and GR07-BE) from amazon to test them out. Since I have prime anyway I'll just return all but the one I want the most. It's difficult to judge anyway unless I try them all out myself :D

 

BTW, any aftermarket tips that I should absolutely include to really get the most out of those IEM's? Like without them, the listening experience would be completely different.

 

With those IEMs you should get a pretty good idea of what you're looking at with just the stock tips.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lamnidae View Post
 

The short of it is - I want control & composure as a bit of finesse is important to me - but ultimately a fairly expansive & lush sound with plenty of articulate detail & dynamic impact that's going to enhance my overall listening experience & allow me to immerse myself in the music & it's inherent intricacies.

 

Being a guitarist myself, my main focus is on the guitars & particularly their tone & note definition, as well as the aggression, drive & impact of the drums. Vocals, both harsh & clean, are also important to me & should have plenty of prescence; but never at the obtuse expense of the guitars' coherence. I guess I'm ideally looking for a pair of IEMs that possess a certain poise & balance to provide an accurate, appealing, organic soundscape full of virility & texture with a sense of depth & intensity - but without sacrificing the clarity & instrument separation that is so vital to the kind of music that I listen to & my own personal tastes.

 

Low-end: Not really a basshead in terms of sheer power & quantity, but needs to be relatively deep - & as responsive, tight & punchy as possible, the kind that really hits you - but without any noticeable flubbiness/boominess.

 

Mids: I would prefer them to be slightly more prominent, certainly not significantly scooped, & rich in detail - but simultaneously quite smooth, natural & unobtrusive with good balance between upper/lower ends of the spectrum. No abrasive grainy 'ice pick' kind of phenomenons - but at the same time I don't want them to be veiled or muddy.

 

Highs: I do like my treble, so ideally it should be quite extended in range with plenty of sparkle & clarity to provide a bit of a distinctive edge to guitars & clean vocals & a nice shimmer to cymbals - somewhat bright, but short of entering sibilance-inducing territory.

 

Here's the shortlist I've got so far from browsing through this thread & various others on the forum (including the prices they're available to me for at the moment):

 

Shure SE535 Special Edition - $465
Audio Technica ATH-CK100PRO - $385
Audio Technica ATH-IM04 - $550

Audio Technica ATH-IM03 - $370
Noble 4 - $450

Cardas EM5813 - $390

Westone UMX3-RC - $380

 

Heir 4.Ai - $400+
Tzar 90 - $360+
1964EARS 1964-V3 - $425+
1964EARS 1964-Q - $525+

 

 

Any help with figuring out which of these is really going to provide the kind of performance that I'm looking for would be truly appreciated. I really do want to get it right the first time since it is a substantial purchase & I can only really afford to own one set of high-end IEMs at this current point in time.

 

Right now, I'm leaning towards the Shure SE535 SE due to the SE210s serving me so well for so many years - as well as the IM04 since I've been extremely happy with my M50s & what I've heard so far indicates it might be able to satisfy my desires, but unfortunately there are very limited reviews of it right now & being the most expensive IEM on the current shortlist, it is therefore difficult to discern whether it would truly outperform everything else or not.

 

Any input on any of this whatsoever would be amazing.

 

Cheers

 

I can't provide any feedback on most of the sets you're considering. The only ones I have heard are the 1964-V3, Westone UM3X, and the Cardas. I thought the Cardas was lacking in clarity for the price and can't recommend it at all. It's still sitting in my desk. The 1964-V3 has borderline basshead bass and doesn't seem like it would be a good fit for you, especially coming from an SE210. In that price range the Alclair Reference would be the custom I'd recommend but I still don't think it's a great fit for you. The SE535 would work better for you than all of those, although I haven't heard the SE535 SE.

 

From your requirements I would also suggest the StageDiver SD-2, which is not unlike the SE535 except that I didn't have as many nitpicks with its treble. It doesn't really have enhanced bass, but no less than the SE535. The mids are not forward, but not recessed either. Treble isn't bright and doesn't have too much sparkle, but again it's better than the SE535 I heard in that respect. Other than these reservations it ticks all of your boxes. 

post #12479 of 14412

Hi joker,

 

i'm really confuse to choose between gr07be, ba200, vc1000, re400, and eph100

i like to listen to jazz audiophile song, sometimes poprock songs like maroon5.

i really like clarity and detail, but also want some bass impact/quantity.

which one should i choose?

can you rank based on clarity from the list? (you had answered this question previously, but i add ba200)

and can you rank them based on bass quantity only? (may i add monoprice 8320 and vsd1s on the list :) )

thanks joker:)


Edited by dezane222 - 12/29/13 at 4:31am
post #12480 of 14412
Quote:
Originally Posted by dezane222 View Post

Hi joker,

i'm really confuse to choose between gr07be, ba200, vc1000, re400, and eph100
i like to listen to jazz audiophile song, sometimes poprock songs like maroon5.
i really like clarity and detail, but also want some bass impact/quantity.
which one should i choose?
can you rank based on clarity from the list? (you had answered this question previously, but i add ba200)
and can you rank them based on bass quantity only?
thanks joker:)
Just curious why you did not consider Fischer Audio DBA02-MKII because it has very detail and good clarity?
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